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It snuck up on me.  I wasn’t a history buff in school.  Old, musty smells use to nauseate me.  New was always better than old! In my teen years, I could have cared less about the history of my hometown. At one time, it seemed that my love for the historic building/structures in my hometown was totally happenstance.

Thinking through my passion about our history and dedicating to preserving it, I questioned where it came from.  The realization hit me, it was through the loss of both my folks that I came to appreciate my history and heritage!  My hometown was their hometown!  They went on dates and took us kids to the same theatre which I went on dates and eventually took my children to.  Dad played football on the same field my sons played football.  My husband and I renovated and live in the same house my folks lived in! So, perhaps historic preservation is more of a part of my destiny than it is some fluke.

Tonight my hometown is saying good-bye to the traditional Friday night football games in the historic WPA football stadium in our downtown.

With the last game now in progress and stadium soon to stand silent, memories flood my mind. The stadium holds over forty years of history for me.  In my mind’s eye, there are pictures of my Dad in his 50’s football uniform standing on the field.  The smell of crisp autumn air engulfs my senses and in a far off distance I hear the high school band playing our school fight song! Memories fill my thoughts as I recall my husband trailing his players as the team runs onto the field. Tears encircle my eyes as I remember the victories and defeats my son’s experienced in their traditional blue and gold!

National Trust for Historic Preservation embodies three words which state what the Panther Stadium means to me “This Place Matters!” At this point in time, there is no chance this decision will be reversed.  So, this post pays honor to this historic place.  With the lights soon to dim and the seats becoming eerie from abandonment…I bid farewell to the “Home of the Fighting Panthers!”

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