Sunday, October 14, 2007

Down the Shore with...Sue Marquette Poremba

Today I'm chatting with Sue Marquette Poremba, author of The Phillies Fan's Little Book of Wisdom and the blogger behind I Breathe; Therefore, I Write. Sue and I have been swapping emails about the Phillies since opening day (and especially during the playoffs), and she has a great love of Cape May. Who better than to kick off our "Down the Shore with..." series?

1. What do you consider "your" shore town? Why?
Cape May. When we were kids, we'd spend a week with my aunt and uncle and cousins who live in South Jersey. We'd use their house as a home base, and every day, we'd go to a different shore town -- Atlantic City before the casinos, Wildwood, and Cape May were the ones we'd make sure to visit every year. I remember Cape May best, especially riding the ferry. After I married, I'd talk to my husband all the time about going back to Cape May. We like to go in October, after the summer rush. It's the shore town where I have childhood and adult memories.

2. What's your favorite thing about Cape May?
I love the Victorian era, and whenever I'm in Cape May, I feel like I've stepped into an Edith Wharton novel. But even more, I like the absence of the typical boardwalk atmosphere. The town has a special feeling to me.

3. Most people go down the shore to eat eat and eat some more. Any restaurant or dish that stands out?
I am so not a foodie. We found a restaurant called Oyster Bay that we liked visiting when we were there. But to me, going down the shore means only one kind of food -- salt water taffy.

4. How are you holding up after the Phillies' quick exit from the playoffs?
It's been painful, especially since my husband is a Cleveland boy who feels the need to remind me daily that the Indians are still playing. And the Eagles aren't helping, with their subpar play. Thank goodness for hockey season!

5. How long have you been a fan?
Since 1974. When I was in the 6th grade, the boys on the bus decided to play pick up baseball and invited the girls. I had such a good time, I came home and started flipping through channels to find baseball. In my central PA home, we had access to the Yankees games and Phillies games. The first game I watched was a Phillies game, and I was hooked. My parents were Yankees fans and tried to get me to switch alliances, but I refused. Larry Bowa was my favorite player back then. He's still my all-time favorite player. I became a fan at a good time. 1974 was the beginning of their turnaround from a truly awful team to a playoff contender.

My 18 year old son, incidentally, followed my footsteps, and he is a huge Phillies fan. I'm trying to similarly influence my little grandson. I gave him a Chase Utley poster for his room.

6. Where did the idea for this book come from?
A writing friend who is also a big baseball fan told me that her husband wrote a trivia book for the White Sox, and she was writing one on the Dodgers. She sent me the name and contact info for her editor, and suggested I write one on the Phils. Now I'm kicking around the idea of a book on how sports has shaped the relationships I have in my life.

7. Was it painful going over all 10,000 losses?

Not at all! I find a lot of pride in those losses. First, no other sports team has been in one city with one name in one league without any break in the action as long as the Phillies have (now the owners did try to change the name, hoping to change the team's luck, but it didn't work. They were the Phillies to everyone else.) Second, even though Philadelphia fans catch a lot of grief for being hard on players and others, they are a fiercely loyal bunch.

8. And what do you think the team should do in the offseason to make sure we're not swept in the first round again?
Unfortunately, they did the one thing I thought they shouldn't do -- resigned Charlie Manuel. But that said, I think what they need to do is make sure there is no April swoon, so we aren't scratching and clawing for a playoff spot in September. The boys seemed mentally tired from that fight, and it showed on the field. I think signing Aaron Rowand needs to be a top priority, followed closely by getting a real third baseman. I know everybody whines about pitching, but I think pitching is a crap shoot. We sign guys who you expect to do great and they fall apart; or they aren't doing well on another team but find their stride in Philly. I'd rather see the team spend the money on the positioin players.

Know a good candidate for "Down the Shore with..."? Drop me a line at jenmiller27 [at] mac [dot] com.

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