Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

[friday]

November 29, 2013

Going on a treasure hunt

I’ve become a treasure hunter of sorts, scouring Kokomo for hidden gems.

No, I’m not digging holes, expecting to find a brick of gold. The gems I’m looking for are undiscovered people and places with loads of character and stories to tell.

I found my first one accidentally. It was hiding in plain sight.

Inside a small gym at the Kokomo Family YMCA, a group of men – mostly self-proclaimed “old guys” – meet weekly to play one of the nation’s most obscure sports… pingpong.

They set their tables up every Monday night, long after most gym members have finished their daily workouts.

On a good night, about 14 of them are there donning their T-shirts, athletic shorts and the occasional sweat band. They get down to business, challenging each other to matches.

I was there a few weeks ago to watch the club’s youngest member, 18-year-old Craig Simon, play.

He was taking on Lee Miller who drives “clear down” from Monticello every week.

“It’s the old versus the young,” Miller said before the match.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I got the sense it was going to be intense when Simon told me I should probably move more than a few feet from the table.

It was a dizzying performance. Literally.

I could hardly keep track of the ball as it pinged from one side of the table to the other in rapid-fire succession.

At one point, even Miller was having trouble keeping up.

“At least hit it slow enough that I can see it,” he jokingly pleaded with Simon.

It was a close match. They were playing the best two games out of three. Miller lost in a tight third game.

“Darn it,” Miller said. “I got beat at the end.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
[friday]
  • Editor's Picks An angel’s taleCarmel Community Players presents “I Married an Angel” all weekend in Carmel.Shows are 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.In the production, a wealthy Budapest banker, Count Perrin, is love-weary. He ends his engagement,

    July 25, 2014

  • This week's best bets 1) Look to the skies Several rockstars of the aviation aerobatics world are set to perform Saturday afternoon at the Kokomo Airshow. The show is free and starts at 1 p.m. at the Kokomo Municipal Airport. It will feature award-winning airshow performe

    July 25, 2014

  • Ziliak, Lindsey Living out my dream My high school chemistry teacher eight years ago basically told me I was dumb. It wasn’t because I was failing his class. I actually excelled in it and picked up this catchy tune while I was there. “A mole is a unit; Oh have you heard,” I remember si

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marques Bunn Kokomo native returning for hometown comedy show A comedian who grew up in Kokomo is back in his hometown performing all weekend – his second time here this year.Marques Bunn opens for longtime friend and fellow comedian Troy Davis at Laugh House Kokomo downtown. There are shows at 8 p.m. today and

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • This week's best bets 1) Rockin' in the park Stray Cat, Lee Rocker and Band performs a free show Saturday night at Foster Park, so don't miss it. The show goes from 7 to 10:30 p.m. and features special guests Tony Funk and the Homewreckers. Lee Rocker made his mark singin

    July 18, 2014

  • Editor's Picks 1) The Nutcracker Show Ron White performs his Nutcracker show at Honeywell Center in Wabash Saturday night. Ron “Tater Salad” White first rose to fame as the cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking funnyman from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Now, as a chart-t

    July 18, 2014

  • Ziliak, Lindsey Searching for my lovable goof He busted a move on the dance floor while wearing a woman’s straw hat, and I couldn’t help but chuckle. They say that girls want to marry men like their fathers. For years, I swore that wasn’t true. Then one day I realized it actually was. That means

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Editor's Picks 1) Everyone's favorite ogre Footlite Musicals in Indianapolis presents Shrek the Musical at 8 p.m. today and Saturday at 1847 N. Alabama St. The musical, based on the Oscar winning DreamWorks film that started it all, brings the hilarious story of ev

    July 11, 2014

  • This week's best bets 1) Fair Entertainment Check out local acts Shiny Penny, Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel and The Time Travelers at the Howard County 4-H Fair throughout the weekend. Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel and The Time Travelers take the stage tonight, with Mik

    July 11, 2014

  • NWS - duckderby 33 Rubber ducks are back at Kokomo Beach On Thursday 2,000 tiny, rubber ducks will race down the lazy river at Kokomo Beach to raise money for an organization that may be one of Kokomo’s best-kept secrets. Jamey Henderson said there are still many people who don’t know what Samaritan Caregi

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller