The Weirdest Idea Ever?

By Jim McCloskey

I was a bit startled to read that the University of Alabama intends to put a waterfall feature in its football team’s locker room.

I’m as quick to advise anyone who will listen of the wisdom of being around moving water. It conditions the air, settles the nerves, eases the spirit, masks the world’s noises and offers at least a dozen additional benefits, so there’s a slippery logic to placing what’s being described as a small cascade in the space.

But I have to wonder if they’ve really thought this through: When I sit down near a waterfall, all aggression flows from my mind and body, I relax almost immediately and I usually have to be torn away from my perch. Is this what you really want for a championship-caliber football program? I can’t see the value in mellowing the team out before the game or at halftime.

Maybe the idea was proposed by someone with secret ties to Ol’ Miss or LSU or Auburn or Georgia Tech? As much as I like the thought, this idea makes no sense to me.


I recently returned from a visit to Yosemite and the eastern slope of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.

The heap of photos I assembled represents just a fraction of what we saw through five days of perfect weather, family fun, good fellowship and great times.

These are special places, and it’s a privilege to live within such easy driving distance of their majesty.


I note with pleasure that two wonderful watershapes have recently come back online after long downtimes resulting from major renovations: The Point State Park Fountain in Pittsburgh was recommissioned amid great fanfare a few weeks ago, and the lily pond in San Diego’s Balboa Park is also back in the swim after repairs were made to redress the damage done by an overly enthusiastic water fight last year.

Work on the main fountain array at Longwood Gardens in southeastern Pennsylvania is still under way, and I understand that a restoration project with Rome’s spectacular Trevi Fountain is about to get going. Here’s hoping that work on these brilliant watershapes proceeds swiftly so they can be enjoyed by anyone who travels within striking distance: Both will be worth the trip!

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