Sara (left) and Chellie Zou as Purdue University's Silver Twins in 2008. (Truth photo by Tyler Klassen)
Seeing the news that twin sisters Chellie and Sara Zou were named to "The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful" list last week served as a reminder of a stunningly beautiful time in local sports.
Because, though it did not happen to be mentioned in our story on The Hill’s selection of the 2007 Concord High School graduates, Elkhart Express basketball fans might remember that those Zou twins were also members of the Elkhart Express’ dance team, which was dubbed the Locomotion.
Even that name was fittingly beautiful, as were, of course, the dancers themselves.
Virtually all of the trappings from those Express days were beautiful.
Some of the best non-NBA players, with some of them still chasing that NBA dream, coming together at North Side Gym for genuinely intense competition was beautiful.
The roaring fans full of civic pride were beautiful.
The back-to-back International Basketball League titles were beautiful.
Leading the nation in minor league basketball attendance was beautiful.
The authentic train whistle sounds that permeated North Side were beautiful.
Even have to admit that the Conductor and mascot Ernie Express were in their own charming ways beautiful.
The Express were here for only three seasons, from 2006 to 2008.
Hard to believe that Elkhart-grown Daimon Beathea’s brainchild, brought to beautiful fruition, has been gone now for five years.
Like a number of things around here during that time, however, they went away at least partially due to economic issues.
But we digress.
As for the twins, they were members of the Locomotion for just that middle season, 2007, as Beathea recalls it, but they also came back in 2008 to entertain in their roles as Purdue University’s Silver Twins.
"A couple of really nice young ladies," Beathea said.
And, it was their father, Elkhart businessman Aaron Zou, who played a lead role in the Express developing a significant relationship with and presence in China, as Beathea recollected Tuesday, Aug. 6.
Beathea, by the way, is still involved in sporting-related ventures, with some possible developments for us to catch you up on soon.
The 24-year-old Zou sisters, who are both production assistants with C-SPAN, not only made the 10th annual list — which was put together by Capitol Hill Publishing Corp. and can certainly be argued as a shallow endeavor (playful as well if you check out some of the inclusions) — but for the record, they ranked right near the top.
Sara checked in at No. 4 and officially/allegedly identical twin Chellie at No. 5.
No word yet on how the congressional newspaper decided on that order, or how much time they spent laboring over the decision.
Nevertheless, in the meantime, thanks for the trigger to reflect on all the beauty that was our Elkhart Express.