Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Daze

The sun shone down brightly Monday morning, so the Halls decided to leave the big black car in the garage and take their morning constitutional into town. Though he has always denied that he was running for political office, Mr. H. seems always to be surrounded by acquaintances and well-wishers, and today was no exception. (Mrs. Hall has remarked on several occasions that he knows more people than a head waiter...) Mistress Colleen had taken the family dog down ahead of them, and Master Chris, coming from work, met them in front of the ceremonial mighty Marcellus Memorial Rock, right in the heart of town.
Seven minutes later, after two ambulances, 15 veterans, two boys scout groups and the Marcellus High School marching band, the whole of the town's turnout returned to the Memorial Rock for speeches, a couple of hymns, Taps, a six-gun salute and the flag raising. It was a moving experience. Connections in the National Air Guard provide Marcellus with a yearly fly-by by four F-18s, which, in conjuction with the reading of the names of the honored heros, always reduces Mrs. H. to tears.
After the festivities, the little band strolled about town, shaking hands, telling jokes and checking out the new library. Colleen took an exhausted Wookie back home to rest, and Mr. and Mrs. H. stopped in to visit Mr. Hugh Norris, former Marcellus funeral director and current bon vivant, puttering about in his office lair. After a half an hour of tall tales on both gentlemen's part, the Hall's resumed their jaunt back home. All in all, a lovely and satisfying morning in the old burg; and a welcome official kick-off to summer!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Halls at the Ball!

The 2008 Marcellus Senior Ball was last Saturday, and what a brilliant and glittering affair it was! Unable to contain her charms to just one escort, Mistress Colleen was accompanied by two charming gentlemen that evening. Mother Nature sat poised to deal a wet and sloppy blow to the revelers, but the fates kindly held off the deluge until all had been transported to the dance.
Mr. and Mrs. H., ever anxious to help in any way, were tapped again this year to be a part of the parade, and Mr. H. spent quite some time Saturday shining and priming the big black car for it's happy party charges. Mrs. H. was convinced it was all his doing that the drops held off as long as they did; not even the Rain Gods would want to crush all Mr. H's hard work like that!
Young Master Chris was helping out at the Syracuse Chief's game at Alliance Stadium for Armed Forces Day; and when he was done, joined the Halls at the driver's party, held at the Lakeside Volunteer Fire Department. He regaled Mr. and Mrs. H. and the other guests at their table with his magic card trick prowess! After the dance, the cars again lined up in front of the Empire Room at the State Fairgrounds to convey their charges one last time to the Ultimate Goal Sports Arena, for the post-prom activities. Miles of food tables and games of chance galore awaited the seniors, who changed out of their formals and into their play togs for another 6 or 7 hours (!!- oh, to be young again!) of noisy, happy fun.
While there is nothing Mrs. Hall likes to do more than kick up her heels and dance the "Cotton-eyed Joe", the "Macarena" and the "Soldier Boy"- in between winning Dart Poker and Putting for Dollars, Mr. H. decided that they had had all the fun he could stand and it was time to leave the evening (or more accurately, early morning) to the youngsters and go home. They slumped into the big black car, set the dials to autopilot and cruised back to the hall.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Feats of Clay Update!

The Marcellus "Mudstangs", as they called themselves, came out charging last Friday, at the OCC Feats of Clay competition! Twelve schools came messily together to compete in several fields of talent, and the clay was flying fast and furious on the terrace outside the gallery pavillion. Thursday evening, the college hosted a showing of local talent at Ferguson Galleries and Mistress Colleen was among the highlighted artists that day. She is shown at left with her work entitled "Edgy Box". She had been recommended by her art teacher to submit this piece because of it's large size and fragility. Mr. and Mrs. H. attended the opening and placed some bids in the silent auction for the work of some of the more established contributors, as well. The next day, the weather was spectacular; crisp, clear and perfect for the strenuous athletics involved in ceramic competition. The whole crew really put their hearts (and hands and various other body parts!) into the contest. In fact, one of the favorite contests is the "No Hands" competition (picture below) where contestants are free to show some vigorous body english in the bowl making! One of the last contests of the day is a take-off of the clean-up procedures from the past; the teams take turns throwing balls of clay into large plastic drums from various distances- the further the distance, the greater the point value. It was clearly one of the hotter competitions, and for a while, Marcellus had the lead in points, but Jamesville-Dewitt came up and squashed all comers by nailing three long distance throws right off the bat. Marcellus came in fifth that day; not as high up as they would have liked, but a step up in the standings for them, according to Tim Smarzo, the art teacher in charge of the "Mudstangs". Shown below are just a few of the scenes from the day. (The Halls were victorious in the auction also, and came home with a beautiful bowl for the dining room, sporting some lovely blue and green glazes.) All in all, a great day for all the artists at Penguin Hall!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

For those of you who came in late...

Apologies from the staff at Penguin Hall. As they say in the movies, "Nothing ever happens at Grand Hotel. People come and people go; nothing ever happens at all...." Would that we had Lewis Stone lingering at the bar uttering those immortal words! But, in fact, a whole lot of nothing is exactly what's been going on around the Hall lately, so the posts have been few and far between. The editorial staff at the Monitor apologize profusely for this and promise to stir up the local populace more frequently in the future.

Rainbows and Marshmallows

All those years Mrs. Hall wasted just using worms to catch fish! Who knew trout had such sweet teeth. (When questioned further, young Sophie admitted it was the same menu she had been feeding to her toddler brother, and since he liked the combo so much, she just assumed the trout would, too.)

Colleen admits to "Feats of Clay"

It's that time of the year again at Marcellus High School, and the artists are busily stretching their creative muscles as they line up for the Clay Olympics. Every year each qualifying student receives fifteen pounds of clay and a seat at a pottery wheel; then mayhem ensues as they compete to throw as many mugs as possible (4" X 3") in the span of ten minutes. Clay flies everywhere; the top score standing right now is 40 mugs (they don't have to be fired to count). There is also a "no hands" contest, where the contestants are charged with building a pot without using their hands (elbows figure heavily in this event...) and the coil pot contest too. Stay tuned to the Penguin Hall Monitor for the results of this exciting competition; we will have all the late-breaking scores!

Tell your friends!