You might say it started in earnest at the 1976 Apricot and Bicentennial Fiesta of 1976 – some 43 years ago.
That’s when six young men used the Fiesta to gain entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. They threw Frisbees for 76 consecutive hours.
That’s right – 76 hours, to match the bicentennial year. And one of them is still throwing.
That would be John Kimball, a 1974 graduate of Patterson High School, who at the time was a student at Sacramento State. His throwing mate was classmate Bob Lungaro. Making up the two other throwing teams were Ken Ward, then an Irrigator employee, and Joel Cockrell of Turlock; and Dave Hector and Steve Hiatt of this area.
They threw mostly in the junior high fieldhouse – day and night with allotted five-minute breaks each hour – and finished Sunday evening before an enthusiastic crowd in the community stadium.
It eclipsed a Guinness record of 63 straight hours.
KIMBALL STILL AT IT
But this summer Kimball (who organized the event 43 years ago) is still at it. He placed fourth in his division at the Professional Disc Golf Association’s amateur world championships held in York County, Pennsylvania.
You might not have heard of disc golf, but its popularity is worldwide. It drew 698 entrants, who were divided into 12 divisions. John competed in the 60-64 age group, which drew 41 entrants for the five days of throwing. Overall the tourney has 698 entrants from 11 countries and 41 states. He finished fourth, and actually won the distance throw with a toss of 339 feet. (That’s well over the length of a football field!)
Kimball, son of Bob (Spokie) Kimball of rural Patterson and the late Laura Kimball, is a retired teacher living with his wife in Elk Grove. He has previously entered the world tournament, placing third in 2015 and second the next year. He points out that the sport has grown “leaps and bounds” in recent years, although it doesn’t draw crowds of onlookers as does regular professional golf.
John has won numerous tournaments around the state, taking the California title in three different age divisions. He also once threw for 100 straight hours with a college roommate, but it didn’t qualify for the Guinness book.
There is a professional division of disc golf where women compete in their own divisions. The pros will be competing for prize money when they square off this month in Peoria, Illinois.
According to John, Stanislaus County has a disc golf club based in Modesto.
FOR OUR PMs
Our Persons of Maturity (don’t call us Senior Citizens; we get nasty) remember such sayings as:
In like Flynn. Straighten up and fly right. Swell. Moxie. Carbon copy.
We also remember Smith Brothers Cough Drops with those two famous brothers on the box, Trade and Mark.
FOR THE SPORTS FAN
It isn’t often that a major league baseball manager retires on his own terms.
But that’s the case with the Giants’ Bruce Bochy, who is nearing the end of a highly successful run.
Three World Series titles directing the San Francisco team endeared him to the fans – and apparently management as well. His days are now numbered as a manager, and he will join the ranks of the retired with just about a .500 record.
But Bochy has endeared himself with the fans and his players, and he will go out a winner with most of us, despite coming up a little short in his final season.
AND FINALLY …
Just the other day – for no earthly reason – I thought of the jar of marbles dating from the days of my youth. I mentioned the marbles of HM (Housemate to you with short memories), and she immediately noted the jar was in a bookcase in our family room.
Sure enough, there it was, and probably had been since I purchased the old bookcase back in the early 1970s at a bankruptcy sale at the Zacharias house on Bartch Avenue. It was nailed to the wall in an upstairs bedroom. Moving it wasn’t easy.
Now comes the question: Which is older, the bookcase or the marbles in the jar? As I recall, the marbles were well-seasoned when they came into my possession a spell back.
By the way, discussion is underway to move, renovate and preserve the old Zacharias house – which I consider to be a worthy community project.