Capital Y Yucatan

Yucatan is the capital if the Mexican state of Yucatan. I shared a memory of Mexico yesterday when I chose Xalapa as my X. When I was in high school the Anthropology club took an annual trip to Yucatan. I never went but my friends said it was amazing.

For more a to z challenge click here. To see my first Y post back in 2011 click yesterday.

Capital X Xalapa

Xalapa is the capital city of the Mexican state of Vera Cruz. When I think of Mexico, I think of the Summer of 1990 when I traveled to Mexico. I spent quite a bit of time travelling on my own in Mexico City. One thing that was out of the ordinary for me was how clean their public parks were. One reason why is that while you could buy bottles of pop (soda) from street vendors they would immediately pour the drink into a plastic bag, so they could redeem the bottle and get their deposit back.

This picture was actually taken in Guatemala, but the idea is the same.

For more a to z challenge click here. To see what My A to Z challenge 2019 X click on xpialidocious

Capital Q Quito

There are not U.S. states that begin with Q. So, I had to go to Ecuador. I don’t like travelling too far in thee turbulent days Ecauador is where I draw the line. That’s a bad equator joke, so let’s move on.

When I think of Quito, I think og Ecuador and when I think of Ecuador, i think of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot.


Jim and Elisabeth Elliot met at Wheaton College as they were both training to be missionaries. Eventually they both moved to Ecuador separately working as missionaries. They were married in Quito in 1953.

Jim Elliot was Martyred in early 1956 with 4 other missionaries. They were killed while reaching out to an indian tribe. Elisabeth Elliot and her young daughter moved in with the tribe that had killed her husband beginning to translate the bible into their language.

Jim Elliot once wrote in his journal “he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” He and his fellow missionaries gave their physical life to promote the Gospel and through it went on to be with God forever.

Elisabeth Elliot went on to be a prolific speaker and writer before battling with dementia later in life and dying in 2015. She penned tow books, Passion and Purity and The Quest for Love which really helped my wife and I especially in our own relationship.

Capital P Pierre

Other P capitals:

  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Providence, Rhode Island

Juan Pierre – Former Chicago Cub and White Sox player.

One of my “jobs” for our families home school was to participate in our home school co-op. I did this by teaching and or assisting the teacher in 3 classesa week. One class I taught was about the 50 U.S. states. One of the things we focussed on was memorizing all the capitals.

On the first or second week of class I told my students that there were some state capitals that I still struggled with. For example, I said, I got always got the North Dakotan and South Dakotan capitals mixed up. I knew they were Bismarck and Pierre but had a hard time remembering which was which.

Either after that weeks class or before the next weeks one of my students, a huge White Sox fan, said Mr. Roller, I have a good way for you to remember the Dakotan capitals. He said you could remember that Pierre was the capital of South Dakota because Juan Pierre played for the White Sox in 20109& 2011 and the White Sox play on the south side of Chicago. I said that was good, but it wouldn’t necessarily help me remember because Pierre had also played on the north side for the Cubs in 2006.

Either he didn’t know that Pierre was a former Cub or more likely he didn’t care. This is very typical of a certain portion of the population of Cubs and Sox fans. An almost forced lack of knowledge or desire to know anything about the other team.

My mother is a devout Cubs fan. She knows very little about the White Sox except that she hates them The only sports team she loves more than the Cubs is any team that plays for Notre Dame. So a few years ago after the mass shooting at Northern Illinois University. A NIU Notre Dame baseball was scheduled at the White Sox ball park withtthe proceed going to charities supporting NIU. I invited my Mom to go to the game as she had a daughter who graduated form ND and 2 children who graduated from NIU.

Her response was “I will never set foot in that Stadium. David.” The Sox really had nothing to do with the event besides providing the venue.

I love baseball. I understand the crosstown rivalry as a concept. The White Sox are definitely my favorite team. I can hold an informed conversation about either team especially when a player has played for both squads. One of my most valuable items I own is my 2005 White Sox World Series dvd set, but right next to it I have the 2016 Cubs set.

So when I think of Pierre, South Dakota, I think of the divide between South and North baseball in Chicago.

Also, the best way to correctly place both Dakotan capitals is alphabetically. Bismarck comes before Pierre as North comes before south.

Capital O Olympia

I almost went with the other O Oklahoma city but at the last moment I went with Olympia as I have decided to write about the olympics. The original olympics were held in Olympia,Greece. The first modern day games took place in Athens Greece and are held every 4 years in the summer. These became known as the Summer Olympics. In 1924 the first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France. In 1992 the last winter olyames and 2 years later the 1994 winter olympics were held and since then there has been a winter or summer olympics held every 2 years. Until that is the 2020 Summer games became another casualty of the corona ciris. The Tokyo games have been rescheduled for 2021.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of my olympic heroes

Jean Claude Killy

In 1968 Killy took advantage of home country advantage by winning Gold medals in the slalom, down hill and giant slalom events in the Winter olympics that took place in Grenoble, France.

Eric Lidell

Eric Liddell won gold in the Paris Olympics in 1924. He won the 400 meter race. His best race was the 100 meters which he did not participate in because the heat for the event took place on a Sunday and he refused to run on what Christians consider a day of rest. 96 years later his stand seems strange as Christians both participate and watch sporting events that take place on Sunday.

Yet, he was a man of principal and conscience. After the Olympics he served as a missionary to China. He eventually died of a brain tumor in a WWII internment camp. For more information check this article out.

Eric Heiden

If I say 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. A certain image might enter your mind of the U.S. Mens Hockey team defeating the Soviet team. Another image of Speed Skater Eric Heiden winning 5 Olympic Gold medals and setting 4 world records in speed skating is indelibly marked in mine.

I was 15 in 1980 and even thought I could hardly stand up on skates, i wanted to be Eric Heiden. After 1980 he went into professional cycling and is now an orthopedic surgeon. He has returned to U.S. olympic speed skating as their team physician in 2002, 2006, 2010 2014.

With my sincerest apologies to the Spinks Brothers, Mark Spitz and Nadia Comaneci , I cut short my list and return you to the a to z challenge.