I couldn’t help thinking about a plethora of memories as the Bangor State Fair pulled into town Friday.

Like most people in Greater Bangor, I grew up on the fairgrounds, and there are a lot of sports memories associated with the fair.

Former Bangor High and John Bapst basketball coach Bob Cimbollek and I used to run the basketball shooting booth for the Queen City Parks and Recreation Department. Cimbollek was the shooter of the pair, and he could entice hundreds of passersby with his consistent string of shots.

Truth be told, it took an accurate shot from about 15 feet away to win a prize. In actuality, the rim was about half the size of a regulation hoop.

When we both coached during our high school seasons, we had what was called way back then a rebounding ring, which, if properly inserted over the entire rim, forced players to be more accurate in their approach to the hoop.

Fact is, however, two basketballs will sit side-by-side in a normal hoop. Not so at the one we were using. Cimbollek could still nail those long range set shots of his, shots which made Bangor High and Husson College proud to have him on their teams.

Other state fair memories include following the goings-on at Bangor Raceway.

I was never much of a gambler or a risk taker, but I did enjoy the atmosphere of the track.

With caller George Hale announcing all of the proceedings with his customary, “Starters are on the track!” and the age-old bugle call announcing the festivities, there was nothing quite like the racing and the surrounding action on a warm summer’ s night in Bangor.

When I was a kid too young to wager on the ponies, I always enjoyed attending the fair with my grandfather Deck.

He would take my sister Debbie and me, while my father would find his way to the Bingo tables and have at it, trying to win my sister, mother and me a prize.

On nights he was particularly lucky, he might bring home a doll for Debbie, an electric airplane for me and a homemade quilt for my mother.

Whether sports are involved or not, the fair is an important part of a family’ s summer.

30-Second Time Out

Are you ready for some football?

With NFL training camps in high gear, thoughts turn to the New England Patriots and the possibilities of another Super Bowl run.

I caught an interview on TV with former Pats quarterback Steve Grogan. When asked what the former Super Bowl XX QB thought of this year’ s New England team, Grogan didn’ t hesitate in his response.

“They [the Pats] are as motivated as I’ ve ever seen them,” said the former Kansas State star. “I look for them to run the table, including the playoffs and the Super Bowl.”

That’ s encouraging news.

Grogan is not alone in his preseason predictions, and I, for one, would love nothing better than seeing a little revenge for last year’ s disappointing ending.