Around the Island

Richard’s almanac: Super Bowl Sunday fun

The Senior Center celebrated the Super Bowl with a party.

The Senior Center hosted a Super Bowl party last Sunday. Numerous snacks and good food were prepared by Giovanna Ketcham and her staff.

She started by passing around various vegetables with a creamy dip. These were followed by delightful deviled eggs and cheddar and apple slices. There was chili made with turkey and beef and plenty of beans. Twice-baked potatoes were an added treat. Different kinds of cupcakes were served for dessert.

Senior Center Director Laurie Fanelli told me that the big game was an appropriate time to use the new 70-inch television just installed at the center. Comfortable chairs were arranged theater style to give the viewers the sense of being at the movies. Loads of soft drinks were available. Apparently there’s a prohibition of alcoholic beverages in town-owned facilities. That’s what I heard.

Laurie said that the new gigantic TV will also be used for afternoon movies at the center. I am pleased that I was able to attend the party. It made me think back to the early 1980s when Super Bowl parties came into their own in Island saloons.

One of my assignments from then Reporter publisher Bob Dunne was to take some pictures of the festivities at Jack and Bev Cahill’s Harbor Inn. I remember leaving my house to go there and noticing how empty the Island seemed. Not a car on the road.

The Harbor Inn was packed, complete with women dressed like cheerleaders.

I also know that The Dory had a big crowd glued to the TV while Dick Edwards kept the place warm throwing huge logs into the fireplace.

The Inn Between also had revelers cheering on their teams.

Now I do know that this was Super Bowl 53 and it was being enjoyed by viewers at the bar at Isola, the Osprey and the Legion in addition to the Senior Center.

But how did this football game become such a national phenomenon? It seems to have evolved from a game followed by football fans to a nationwide celebration. Many individuals have parties and they do not even care about football!

But others are very serious.

I was recently speaking with a friend in Florida and asked how many parties she’s been asked to attend. She told me that most of the folks in her community are from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island and they’re all Patriots fans so there are many parties to choose from.

I asked a few who came to the Senior Center whether they were football fans.

One said, “Not really. I just like to see all the different ads.”

The ads along with the half-time show draw many viewers.

Another senior viewer told me that, “I come for the food and the comfortable chairs.”

Back before I retired from running a boarding school, I remember that Super Bowl Sunday always presented a series of logistical problems because of kids wanting to miss dinner and study hall to watch the game.

I solved it by having the chef make a huge hero sandwich, slice it and have the students come early and take their sandwiches and snacks to watch the game. Study hall that night was voluntary.

So I hope that everyone had a good Super Bowl and did not eat too many high-sodium foods, something very difficult to avoid at this time.