Weak links to the famous don’t add luster to region
I happened to catch a local TV news report that claimed Lockport to be the home of volleyball because the sport’s inventor, William G. Morgan, was born there. Here we have another case of what I call fame-grabbing, in which some famous person or event is claimed as a hometown gem, adding luster and status where none is really warranted or deserved.
It’s true that Morgan was born in Lockport, but he attended high school and college in Massachusetts. As a young adult he used his prowess and skills to invent the game we now call volleyball at the encouragement of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball. So is it really accurate or factual to claim that Lockport is the home of volleyball when in fact the invention of the game took place in Massachusetts?
This story is a continuation of the ridiculous tendency on the part of local media to tie our region to someone or something famous, no matter how thin the connection may be. Why is it necessary to lamely burnish the luster of our area with these weak links to the famous? Is there that much insecurity and feelings of inferiority in Western New York that we can only feel worthy in the eyes of the world if we can show some level of ownership for well-known events and achievements? I think this area would be wonderful if no one of fame or nothing of note ever happened here. It’s just a nice place to live.