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Mark Couhig has been a writer for more than 50 years.
His first experience with the written word arrived at a very early age when he was required to painstakingly hand-trace dotted lines in a notebook, a process that led first to a mastery of the straight, purely angular letters of the English alphabet. He soon turned his attention to the curved letters, exhibiting a full proficiency in that skill by the end of his seventh year.
Before another year had passed, Couhig had begun to cluster letters into meaningful compositions, an accomplishment for which he was awarded a coveted gold star, the first-ever public acknowledgement of his extraordinary aptitude with words.
In time he would take these words and strategically create further clusters, which he called “sentences.”
Paragraphs soon followed.
In the third grade Couhig learned the skill of cursive writing, allowing him to greatly expand and accelerate his output.
Over the ensuing months and years Couhig’s now-renown facility for dramatic narrative developed. He was able to work the delicate filigree of fiction — dramatic, purposeful action that engages the reader — to a degree that astonished Ms. Sweeney, his teacher and mentor. Of one of Couhig’s early works, “Run, Tom, Run,” she wrote, “I’m so proud of you.”
As his facility with words grew, so too did his worldview, aided in part by his assiduous readings of “The Weekly Reader,” which he continues to regard as a formative influence in his later, more mature works.
In the fifth grade, Couhig’s repertoire and love of the written word translated to a sterling turn on the stage as Shepherd No. 3 in a new and dynamic dramatic reading of the Gospel According to Luke, a popular work of the time.
Approximately 50 years later Couhig moved to Sequim where he writes a blog.
It’s always great when a bowl game lives up to its hype, and that was certainly the case with Tuesday night’s Beef O’Brady’s Bowl! The game’s promoters promised one and all a boring evening showcasing mediocre talent playing lackadaisical ball, and Marshall and Florida International didn’t disappoint.
I call that a huge success. Unbeknownst to most fans, the bowl, from its name right through its choice of teams, is custom-drawn to ensure no one in the elderly crowd of St. Petersburg, Fla., fans suffers from any cardiac strain.
Even so, you have to assume the half-time extravaganza must have set some pacemakers a-firin’.
“Scoot! A Tribute to Personal Mobility,” featured more than 400 Lark scooters working together in a dazzling display of precision synchronized movement.
A fitting tribute indeed!
In the end, one of the teams won the game, though reports are just now trickling in, and the details of the game are sparse.
There will be lots more excitement leading up to the big Jan. 9 showdown between LSU and Bama, the game that will determine this season’s National Champion. Here are two of our picks from the more underpublicized and underappreciated bowl games:
This year’s game promises to leave the field glistening with excitement, as the Fightin’ Okra of Delta State University take on the Banana Slugs of U Cal Santa Cruz.
The two teams feature very sticky defenses, with both holding opponents to under 250 yards per game through the 2011 season.
Back in the hot days of the Mississippi summer, the Okras’ offense was often pretty slick, but in November and December the team’s offense proved as slow as molasses in winter.
The Slugs’ offense, led by QB Hack Coff, is nothing to blow your nose at, either.
The halftime show promises to be special, with Loogy and the Phlegmtones headlining a lineup that includes numbers from The Sputumatics, The Post Nasal Drips and ‘S Not Faire.
Tune in to CBS January 1 at 1 a.m.
The grandaddy of them all! Now in its 1,946th year, this remains the only bowl game that matches up the same two teams each and every year. To date, the Lions have shown incredible success against the Christians, and now lead the series 1,945 to 1. The only exception remains the so-called “Miracle Win” of 346, when the Christians smuggled in a new Chinese invention, “gunpowder,” and managed to clear the field.
Again this year the event will be held in the Roman Coliseum, with Leo MCIV leading the Lions onto the playing field. Leo, progeny of Leo MCIII and Bootsie XXII, has mauled his way through 30 victories over his ten year career, and remains the heavy Vegas favorite again this year.
The Christians’ best hope is Augustine of Akron, an American Methodist who was seized and bound in chains earlier this year while visiting the Eternal City on a Princess Cruise port o’ call. Augustine, born Francis Brown, is 6’2” and weighs 230 lbs. He is said to be extremely P.O.’d, which aficionados of the sport say should play heavily in his favor.
The show will be broadcast at 8 p.m. EST on ESPN Sunday, Dec. 25.