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Thursday, August 12, 2010


North Grove's Teresa Rodriguez and I were hiking in Camden, Maine, trying to stay out of trouble when we spied the Hoop Lady. When she invited us to grab hoops for ourselves we were happy to join her. Soon six of us hooping by the sea.
Judith, in her early 60's, goes to public places regularly and sets out a collection of her homemade hoops. As her little Sony cranks up the music Judith begins cranking a hoop around her waistline.

After gyrating for a half-hour we agreed it was a great workout. Both Teresa and I were already hula hoop fans and have enjoyed making them on our own. Teresa even goes to hoop classes to learn to spin plastic around her neck, arms, and knees.
We're talking about big, substantial hoops here, not the crummy, colorful ones you find at K-Mart. Those $8 circles are fine for kids but impossible for adults to enjoy. If you weigh more than a hundred pounds you need a bigger hoop with some weight to it. This gives is the centrifugal force necessary to keep it going around your middle.
As we were leaving Teresa bought one of Judith's plastic creations ($20, decorative tape included). When Teresa and her husband return to Miami next week they'll bring the new hoop with them.

Would you like a hoop of your own? I will be having a Saturday workshop next month where I'll be teaching the fine art of hula hoop making. For $15 I'll help you make and decorate your own custom hoop. For more information contact me at


Last week my brother-in-law, Mario Violich, and his family were vacationing in Hawaii. The four of them rented a small boat so they could snorkel Kauai's north shore.
While they were looking down into the emerald green water a young boy, from another boat swam up. He asked, "we ran out of bait. Do you have any?”

When Mario regretfully replied. "I'm sorry, we don't", the lad invited the Violich family to join him on the swim back to his parent's boat. When they did the boy's dad, who had been watching his son's every move, turned our to be James Bond.
The British actor, Pierce Brosnan (he played the action figure in the 1990's) could not have been nicer, Mario reported. He offered them soda, champagne, and a sit in the shade.

As my sister-in-law, Mary, was hoisting herself aboard, she thought, "Jeez, if I had known I was going to be meeting James Bond I'd have worn something nicer."

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