Ebb and Flow

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 26, 1999

DEBORAH CORRAO / L’Observateur / June 26, 1999

For the past couple of weeks I have been interviewing athletes for our June edition of The River Current, which comes out Wednesday.

What has surprised and delighted me the most is the courage of the little girls currently competing in regional and national sporting events. I alsoadmire those who have grown up to continue to participate in their particular sports and to share their skills with the youngsters.

As a young girl I was not particularly interested in sports other than an occasional neighborhood softball game or a fierce battle of badminton or croquet on the front lawn with my brothers and sisters.

That’s not to say I didn’t have my dreams. I remember producing varietyshows in the driveway with the help of a tiny record player – singing show tunes and choreographing dances to melodies lifted from Girl Scout and Bible School songs. Our family did not have the money for dance lessons,but I was able to take piano lessons from a wonderful teacher who lived down the street and belonged to our church.

To this day my love for the performing arts continues, and I have parlayed my self-taught talents into an occasional community theater performance.

As a young woman my attention shifted to the efforts of my peers, a generation of women like myself who, in a sense, made it possible for the girls and women of today to rise to the top in their fields. Some of themburned their bras demanding equal rights for women (although, in my case, it would have been an exercise in futility).

From those first feeble efforts have sprung forth new generations of women who accept their right to pursue their dreams not only as privilege but as a right. Those women have begun to make their marks in many fieldspreviously dominated by men.

I wouldn’t say that I’m a radical feminist, but I do admit to being a feminist in the truest sense of the word – wanting opportunities for the young girls of today to go after their dreams and the elimination of the barriers that stand in their way.

Sometimes I regret the opportunities I rejected out of hand because of my gender or finances or fear of failure.

That’s why I want to take the time to congratulate all our young athletes – female and male – and encourage them to hang on to their dreams and work hard to make them all come true.

I hope you will take the time to read the upcoming issue of The River Current magazine and take note of the hard work and perseverance these youngsters of today dedicate to their efforts.

You’ve come a long way, babies!

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