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// TALES FROM SHEET NINE Take a sweep down memory lane


By David Garber, U.S. Curling News Columnist, dj.garber@tds.net


(then-named) North American Curling News for in- formation about the founding (1958). I sent some in- formation gleaned from the 1956-58 NACN to those interested. David Russell supplied copies of founding documents. During my review, I noted many items of interest, recounted in this and subsequent columns. Te Curling News 1944-2018


S USCA Hall of Fame inductee Glenn Harris of Supe-


rior, Wis., founded the North American Curling News in 1944 as the National Curling News. Early in 1945 he renamed it the NACN, aiming for the Canadian market as well, as the only curling magazine in North America. For about 15 years, the NACN included ar- ticles and regular columns of interest to Canadian curlers. In 1957, Ted Tonger founded the Canadian Curl-


ing News, still in print today (later owned by Doug Maxwell, now George Karrys). Harris’ format was tabloid on gloss paper, all black


and white, with excellent quality photos. Harris changed the paper to a matte finish in the late 1950s. Te late 1940s and 1950s was an era of great growth


in American curling, with clubs founded all over the country (aſter 50 years of stagnation, per a Harris edi- torial). (My club, Stevens Point, was founded on a ten- nis court in 1956, with our two-sheet facility ready for the 1959-60 season. My dad was a charter member that season and started me on the ice at age 12 in 1961. My mother and brother curled – a highlight was winning a local family bonspiel in the late 1960s.) In 1959, Harris sold the NACN to L. T. “Tink”


Kreutzig, a curler and marketing man from the Chica- go area. Kreutzig changed the format to saddle stitch- ing, on gloss paper, then matte again. In 1979, Tink sold the paper to Frank and China Rhyme of Portage, Wis. Te Rhymes, in turn, changed the format back to an economical tabloid. Upon their 1991 retirement they sold the paper to the USCA. Te new editor (me) changed the name to the United States Curling News, continued the tabloid format, used a high quality matte paper, and added more color photos. Rick Patzke succeeded me as editor, followed by


current boss Terry Davis. Te paper, taking advantage of modern-yet-economical printing technology, is now a slick magazine format with full-color, both print


everal curlers recently inquired about acquir- ing founding documents for our national governing body. Tat led me to research the


and online. When I started as editor in 1991, we laid out the paper on manual art boards, using purchased set type– a virtually dead technology today. Te USCA has a complete collection of the North


American and United States Curling News, with the exception of the November/December 1944 issue(s). If anyone finds these issues, the USCA will be pleased to make copies and return the original(s) to you. Email or call the office. American Curling Organizations


Te first nationwide curling organization was the


U.S. Women’s Curling Association, founded in 1947. Te USWCA has since conducted an annual national bonspiel, eventually senior and five-year and under bonspiels and other programs. Te Midwest Curling Association served about 50


clubs from Michigan to North Dakota from the 1940s to about 1960. Te Grand National Curling Club of America


(GNCC) has been in operation since 1867, serving about 30 clubs in the New England, New York and the mid-Atlantic states during the 1950’s. Te American Curling Foundation (and later, Mu-


seum) was founded in the late 1950s to develop the game around the country with stones, promotional materials and financial support. Te Museum has ma- terial at the Chicago Curling Club and at the USCA office. Te USCA Hall of Fame is located in the USCA office, with portrait plaques displayed for all inductees. Aſter the USCA was founded, the MCA disap-


peared, replaced by individual state associations in North Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin and the Great Lakes Association (Michigan and Ohio clubs). Te Washington state association was founded during this period. First official U.S. men’s championship


Te first Men’s National Championship was held in


1957, run by a new committee of state representatives. Te event was sponsored by Marshall Fields and held in the huge Chicago Stadium. Field’s chairman, curler Hughston McBain, also donated the massive sterling silver trophy still in use (valued at $4,500 in 1957). USCA founding


Te USCA was founded in 1958 as the U.S. Men’s


Curling Association, Inc. Te name was changed to United States Curling Association, Inc., on March 28, 1977, in anticipation of one day joining the Olympic movement, with equal representation opportunities by gender. Te next step was in 1986, when a bylaw re-state- ment allowed the member-elected board of directors


to be doubled in size to accom- modate women directors. Dur- ing this time the board also added a minimum of 20 percent athlete directors to comply with the Ted Stevens U.S. and Amateur Sports Act, required for all Olympic Sports. Te USCA became an affiliated mem- ber of the U.S. Olympic Committee in the late 1980s. Tis qualified the USCA for development grants, used to initiate the Curl America program (later Curl USA). Olympic Medal Status


Aſter the Olympic curling demonstrations at Cal-


gary (1988) and Chamonix (1992), where the U.S. men won demo bronze), the International Olympic Com- mittee recognized curling as a medal sport. Salt Lake City was slated to be the first medal program for curl- ing. Fortunately, the Nagano Organizing Committee agreed to include curling in Japan in 1998 (with eight teams of men and eight teams of women). Te Lilli- hammer Organizing Committee had begged off for lack of lead time to prep for the 1994 Olympic Winter Games program. On the domestic front, the USCA worked to com-


plete a stringent process required to become a full- member of the United States Olympic Committee. Aſter passing muster with the USOC Membership & Credentials Committee in Dallas in 1994, with an un- precedented no gigs, the USCA achieved its goal, qual- ifying its athletes for significant USOC funding, both directly and through high performance programs. Te 1998 Nagano Games, with the curling held at


the official satellite village of Karuizawa, succeeded as a popular event, with the exception that then-U.S. broadcaster CBS decided to televise virtually no curl- ing. Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed at NBC during the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and the TV coverage proved very popular among the U.S. public, becom- ing key to spurring a new growth boom in American curling. It seems evident to conclude that Olympic status,


combined with TV popularity, has been responsible for a boom in the popularity of curling worldwide in the 21st


century. No longer completely obscure, the


“Roaring Game” thrives and Te Spirit of Curling lives. Side note: only three nations, France, Britain and


Sweden, had competed in 1924 at Chamonix –it was easy to get a medal in 1924! More history next time. Q


USA Curling (( 31


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