Wednesday, January 21, 2009

it's raining rainmen...

the halifax rainmen stormed a dartmouth classroom today, making the surprise announcement that jason ward, a grade 6 teacher at bicentennial school, was the winner of their first 'grand gesture'.

jason (that's him sitting, wearing glasses) got a spiffy new chair, some school supplies, and the whole class got free tickets to the rainmen game on sunday.

all the students had to sign permission forms to be on tv/newspaper, so they did so by telling jason we were there to film stock footage of classrooms. what exactly me, my pen and notebook for supposed to be for, was not clear. the rainmen move quickly on court, but slowly off, and were 20 minutes late. that's 20 minutes of increasingly uncomfortable shuffling. dawn from stepped in with the sharp lie that we were all her camera crew, and we were waiting for the director.

funnily enough, no one was suspicious and the big secret was revealed in high style.

there was a small tragedy though: all the students and rainmen gathered around jason for the big photo, when one poor boy got yanked off stage because he hadn't got a permission slip. the little boy sputtered and sniffed back to his desk as all of his classmates piled in. happily, my photog, darrell (that's him on the right) flew to the rescue by having the kid pose for a series of one-on-one shots with the rainmen, which darrell is going to email him.


all the rainmen were there except for their star, eric crookshank. he got benched last week for mysterious reasons and the atmosphere between the players, the coach and the owner was not good today - they hardly spoke, despite being in a tiny room, and the coach seemed to forget a couple of names. i interviewed eric last year - he's a great man and he's overcome a lot in his life, fighting his way out of a tough l.a. neighbourhood to play pro hoops. it's a shame the rainmen seemed to feel they had to can him.


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