Saturday, November 26, 2022

If not Indians, what nickname for GF High? Mark: ‘Pulpers’ or ‘Big Boom’

By Mark Frost, Chronicle Editor

I’m not taking a stand one way or the other on whether Glens Falls High School should surrender its Indians name, but knowing how these challenges usually end, I naturally started pondering alternatives in case the Indian is jettisoned.

Here are some possibilities.

The Pulpers. That’s the first one that popped into my head. It gets at the essence of Glens Falls — the papermill that now and for more than a century does the most elemental thing — turns logs into paper. The critical step is pulp cooked in Finch Paper’s continuous digester. (By the way, I think log trucks should be the emblem of Glens Falls.) Pulpers as a nickname is local, strong, powerful and unique. Pulpers stands up to Spartans and Tigers.

Loggers or Lumberjacks are suggested alternatives, but they’re not so much about Glens Falls as the forest beyond.

The Catheters, suggested my wife Hutch. I think she was kidding, but I appreciated her hat tip to another of our strong local industries — medical devices.

The Glens Falls Crandalls, a salute to the entrepreneur and benefactor who gave us our library, our park, and left the rest of his fortune in a trust that continues — “to do the most good for the most people.”

The Glens Falls Cave could capitalize on Cooper’s Cave, a cataract in the limestone made legendary in James Fenimore Cooper’s novel Last of The Mohicans.

We could be the Glens Falls Falls, but it might confuse people and the fact of the matter is that the falls are seldom “on,” because most of the water is shunted to a turbine to generate electricity.

Maybe we should consider the Glens Falls Power or the Glens Falls Dam. No, that might lead to some misuse.

How about the Glens Falls Jimmer, celebrating Jimmer Fredette, who took us and himself from his family’s little house on Ogden Street to the 2011 national College Basketball Player of the Year.

Here’s a good one: The Glens Falls Cool, like the Cool Insuring Arena. I like nicknames that are singular. Utah Jazz, Oklahoma Thunder. Miami has the Heat. Glens Falls will be Cool.

How about the Glens Falls Arrow? Glens Falls’s own Arrow Financial Corporation is the parent of Glens Falls National and Saratoga National Banks. Maybe they’d pay to sponsor the school’s nickname. And we might be able to reuse some of the art from when we were Indians.

Just upriver from Glens Falls, the Big Boom is where logs were gathered from the Hudson River drives. This is something to nickname a local school about. Photo from the Arthur S. Fisher Collection

We could be the Glens Falls Wings, a tribute to Abraham Wing who first settled the town. Here the sponsorship dollars might flow from The Bullpen, the sports-themed, perennial wing contest-winner.

How about The LOOK? We’re always looking for a way to capitalize on having been LOOK magazine’s Hometown USA in 1944. The Look works a lot better than the Hometownies?

Okay, I’ve saved the best for last: The Glens Falls Big Boom or Glens Falls Boom for short. It’s a nickname that resonates in all kinds of way. My wife Hutch suggested it; this time she’s hit the jackpot.

Four miles upriver from Glens Falls, the Big Boom was where in the late 1800s as many as two million logs a year — each branded end with a company’s symbol — were corralled after being floated down the Hudson River from the Adirondacks.

As much as Tar Heel celebrates North Carolina’s heritage making tar, pitch and turpentine, the Big Boom taps deep into Glens Falls’s heritage and pride.

And Glens Falls Boom conveys power. It reverberates just to say it.

It’s an economic development tool, too. “Be part of the Glens Falls Boom,” EDC Warren County can declare. “Move your industry to Glens Falls!”

Historians will be in demand. Inevitably people will ask, “So why are you called the Boom?” Well, let me tell you…
As a newspaper editor, I like Boom because it’s short; a headline fits in large type in one-column width. The heading will shout: “Boom wins big!” “No escaping the Boom.”

Yes, the Big Boom is perfect. If Glens Falls ever jettisons Indians, our nickname should definitely become the Big Boom.

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