Friday, March 5, 2021

Turning 100,000

If you've been reading here loyally, and many of you have been, then you know that TigerBlog has been working on a book on the history of women's athletics at Princeton.

By the way, here's a "thank you" to all of you who have loyally read every day. The numbers have been tremendous, which TB takes as a sure sign that the connection between Princeton and its fans remains very strong. 

Meanwhile, back at the women's history book, here's your update: He recently went over the 100,000-word mark.

That's a lot of words.

Sometimes when businesses are reaching major milestone, they have promotions around the number of customers. For instance, the millionth customer get free lifetime pizza or something like that.

In the case of TB's book, the winner would be Olivia Hompe, the former women's lacrosse All-American. TB was writing about Hompe when the odometer crossed 100,000. Words, that is. Not miles.

TB has written some long feature stories in his lifetime. He's even written a novel. This is the first time he's reached 100,000 words on a project.

It actually got him wondering how many words he's written in his life that have been for public consumption. It's in the millions, that's for sure.

Meanwhile, back at the book, the story on Olivia Hompe is part of a chapter on women who lettered in a sport at Princeton and then had a daughter who did so as well.

There have been a 34 such mother/daughter families. In the case of the Hompes, Olivia's mother Amanda Hodgson Hompe was a hockey player in the early 1980s, when the team first became varsity. 

Olivia Hompe, by the way, is the all-time leading scorer in women's lacrosse at Princeton. Her list of accolades is enormous, including being a Tewaaraton Award finalist and first-team All-American ,as well as a two-time Academic All-Ivy League selection and a winner of Princeton's prestigious Scholar In The Nation's Service Initiative honor.

There is only one where there was a mother who had two daughters who lettered at Princeton. That would be the Maine family, where mother Debbie Emery Maine was an All-Ivy League lacrosse player (and one-time jayvee squash player) who was in the same Class of 1983 as Amanda Hodgson. 

Debbie Emery married a Princeton football player named Jordie Maine. They had three children, including a son who went to Penn to play squash (who goes to Penn? Oh wait, TB did as well).

The two Maine daughters were Emery and Libbie, both of whom were squash players at Princeton. Emery also lettered one year in lacrosse. 

All three Maine women, beyond just being letterwinners, were team captains at Princeton. Emery Maine won the deciding match for Princeton in the final of the 2008 Howe Cup to win the national championship.

TB isn't sure how many Princeton women's letterwinners had fathers who were letterwinners for the Tigers, or, even beyond that, how many women letterwinners had both parents win letters at Princeton. He'll get back to you on that one.

As far as the women's history book, he's going to write a short introduction in which he will unfortunately have to start with an apology. There's just no way he could tell all the stories he wanted to or that deserved to be told in one book.

It is, of course, a testament to the great history of women's athletics at Princeton.

There isn't too much more to write, though that will hardly mean the end of the process. The finished piece will be great, once it's edited and laid out and all.

TB can't wait to actually see that finished product. For one, it'll mean obviously that's he's finished. For another, it'll mean that he's contributed something pretty meaningful as a record of those first 50 years.

As he's said before, he's often referred to a book called "Athletics at Princeton," which covers every athletic event Princeton competed in during the 1800s. It's an old, yellowing book that has held up nicely through the decades.

That's what he's hoping for from the women's history book. 

It's been a great honor to write it.

No comments: