This is the first February vacation week that I have taken since as least 1986, which is the year before I started at the Boothbay Register. I may have taken the traditional winter school vacation week off in 1987 but I doubt it. I was bartending at Everybody's Restaurant and I needed to work to support my wife, Melodee, and daughter, Sara, who was born in 1984. Son Tim came along in 1988.
My February vacation weeks have been nonexistent because I have been covering the schoolboy and schoolgirl basketball tournaments since 1988. As you may have noticed, I love basketball and it has been a week I look forward to every year. Sadly, this year there is no Maine Principals' Association tournament due to COVID-19.
Whether it was taking photos along with John Edwards or editing Keith Alley's thorough stories about the games – or writing some of the girls' tournament games after helping to coach some of the years they made an appearance – it was fun to be at the Augusta Civic Center in February. In recent years, it has been Bill Pearson writing about the tournament games while I provided the photo coverage. Boothbay Region High School and Wiscasset High School have provided many good memories over the years at the tournament. Some disappointment creeped in but upsets and bad games happen, as I have seen a few of them over the years.
It feels a bit strange writing this on the Monday I should be planning a departure time for Augusta. Instead, Bill is covering the home girls game and I get to watch it on TV. Hopefully, senior Glory Blethen will have another good game and record her 1,000th career point. Congratulations Glory and thanks for the memories.
So, it's chores, shoveling and trying to relax this week before going back to work on Feb. 22. I would rather be in Augusta. Hopefully, next year.