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Book Review – Conshohocken and West Conshohocken Sports

April 29th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Review, Sports

I’ve been asked to do a book review for a new book by Conshohocken’s Jack Coll called “Conshohocken and West Conshohocken Sports“.  This being my first review of a book, take my opinions with a grain of salt.  I’m not a big fan of reading in general.  The last book I read was probably in college.  That being said, Mr. Coll’s book is perfect for me because there is not a lot of words to read – it is mostly photographs.

For those of you not familiar with Jack Coll, he is the owner of Coll’s Custom Framing on Fayette Street.  He is also the author of quite a few books similar to Conshohocken and West Conshohocken Sports.  Mostly pictorial books based on his extensive collection of images of local cities and events.  I’m already an owner of his other book, “Conshohocken (Then and Now)” and I’ve generally been pretty impressed by the book.

In addition, Mr. Coll has authored or co-authored these other books:

So, let’s talk about his latest book, Conshohocken and West Conshohocken Sports.  The most interesting piece of information I have been able to glean from the book is the extensive sporting history of our fair Borough.  In particular, the history of football in Conshohocken is pretty incredible.  I’m not going to go into gory details on the content of the book, but Conshohocken was essentially the place to be for professional football on the east coast in the early 1900s.  The shear number of fans and scope of the commitment to the Conshohocken football teams is really impressive.

Basketball was also a core sport in the Borough.  The local basketball tournament Donofrio Classic, started in 1960, has brought some of the best local high school talent to play in Conshohocken.  The book shows many of the pictures of the more recent players to take part in the tournament.

Of course, there is a also section about my personal favorite Conshohocken sport, the Soap Box Derby.  I really get a kick out of the current event and believe these types of events make Conshohocken the great town it is.  Reading about the history and looking at the pictures of bygone events make it clear that this has always been a great event.

All in all, the book has some great pictures of a sporting era in Conshohocken that has gone away.  The Soap Box derby does not bring the crowds it used to and the local football teams certainly cannot compete with the NFL.  But, what this book does display is history in images.  Conshohocken had a meteoric rise in growth and economy only to be brought back down with the loss of the steel industry.  Its most recent reincarnation will contain the contents of the next generation’s books.  But for now, Mr. Coll’s Conshohocken and West Conshohocken Sports gives the reader a glimpse into what the town was over the last 100 years in sports.

Jack Coll will be at the Barnes and Noble book store in Plymouth Meeting for a book signing.
Saturday, June 13
1:00 – 3:00 PM
Barnes and Noble
The Metroplex, 2300 Chemical Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462

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