[ Sorry to post early; flight to catch tomorrow. Will explain later. ]
With this year marking another anniversary for Upper Pompous Lakes Stadium we thought it fitting to review historic events we claim are from here, provided we have claims based on actual facts. Claims based on non-actual facts were disallowed by the Rules Committee on January 22, 2038.
June 30, 1934: Following a record 215 days of construction the Stadium opens to admit its first paying customers, who turn up three weeks later. An embarrassed stadium owner who asked not to be identified (he was Omero Catan, who hoped to use the low cost of labor to establish a chain of rapidly built stadiums which he could be the first to patronize) admitted they should have looked into booking some teams or events or something.
September 12, 1936: the first football game pits the Bear Swamp Rockies and the Occluded Brook Rockies against the baseball game being played by the Stammer Elk Angels and Jumping Puddle Eagles at the same time. The Angels win by two runs and a field goal.
1942: the Stadium is donated to the Army to support the War Effort, and is disassembled and transported brick-by-brick to be communications headquarters for liberated France. It is sheepishly returned in October when the Army admits they're not liberating France this year. The process is repeated in 1943, with the same results, and in 1944 they finally left the Stadium where it was and boy did everybody feel soooo foolish. The Army appreciated the thoughtfullness and sent the Pompous Lakes community a gift basket every year through 1958, when they probably moved away or something. The last bricks were finally found in 1966, where they had fallen behind a heavy dresser.
February 20, 1950: The Stadium Authority answers a big fan gripe by buying new parking lot acreage, bringing parking capacity from 28 cars to 35,800. When still-unsatisfied critics complain the new lots are in the outskirts of Inchon, South Korea, approximately 6,872 miles away from the entrance, and in a city 68 percent of those surveyed thought was a name the surveyors made up on the spot, the unidentified owner (Michael Catan; don't ask) said they would grow into it, and, just wait.
November 13, 1976: The infamous ``Snow Bowl'' game shows a nationwide audience comical attempts at football while snowdrifts over seven feet tall bury benches and seats and unsuccessfully attempt to hold ABC Wide World Of Sports anchor Jim McKay for ransom. Four snowmen and a team of rescue dogs win 17-14, with two abstentions. Questions persist about the quality of the stadium's domed roof. An investigating panel concludes by January that ``nobody has any idea who Major Deegan was or why he has an Expressway in the Bronx''. This was not under question but everybody felt better knowing it wasn't just them that wondered about the Major Deegan.
May 28, 1986: A record crowd of over 78,600 gathers for the final rounds of the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee. The Spelling Bee is held in Washington, DC, instead, but you tell 75,300 people excited by spelling ``odontalgia'' that (the rest were interested in spelling any word). Facing the restless crowd Pope Boniface III developed a system for sales of indulgences to misspell even the commonest words. The scheme raises money for the Stadium but gets attacked for producing laxity in the use of ``loose'' and making people vaguely nervous about all words ending in 's.
June 7, 1994: the Stadium reopens following a major renovation which saw the original main entrance turned into a wall with dramatic windows, while the wall with dramatic windows was replaced with the new main entrance. Contractors weren't sure just why, but you know how it is, you start renovating and can't stop and new window fixtures looked so attractive in the store and how could they resist? It would be two years before anyone noticed the dome was taken off and left behind the parking lot, where it was thought to be an artistic sun shade or maybe a tribute to aviation.
November 22, 2009: Save the date. Contributions are accepted through the Will Call booth; ask for Will.
Trivia: In 1939 the United States defense program made up about 11.7 percent of total federal expenses and only 1.6 percent of the Gross National Product. Source: The Rise And Fall Of The Great Powers, Paul Kennedy.
Currently Reading: Hershey: Milton S Hershey's Extraordinary Life Of Wealth, Empire, And Utopian Dreams, Michael D'Antonio. Not to mention being the guy people named ``Snavely'' have to look up to for an example that isn't the despicable villain in a slightly overwritten melodrama.