Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Walking Through the Park... and Reminiscing
Ok, so there was no park, I was driving and not walking, and it was snowy and blustery, but I did do some reminiscing following my meeting with Bob. I'm a Michigan State University grad and the campus was right around the corner from my meeting location with Bob and since Bob did not take me to lunch at Cracker Barrel (I wonder if Sharon will read this), I decided to take a little tour of campus since I haven't really done so since... ahhh... graduating in 1989. The first place I went by was The Breslin Center, which is where the basketball games are played and was completed in late 1989 after I had graduated. Of course the next place I had to check out, which has been remodeled and added on to as far as additional press box and sky box seats, was Spartan Stadium, where the football games are played and, shamefully I was carried out of on probably more than one occasion in the mid to late 80's. Nuff said. Here she is: Spartan Stadium.
The next stop on the campus tour was by Abrams Planetarium. I had never actually been in the planetarium when I was in college, but always thought it was pretty cool and would have liked to. One of those things that, if you could go back in time, you would do. And one has to have a place to live whilst getting edumacated. My first two years on campus I lived in a dormitory in Brody Complex, off Harrison Drive, called Rather (long "a") Hall. I actually lived on the first floor at the near end of the building in the photo on the backside of the building facing the courtyard where we would throw our shoulders and elbows out in the springtime playing catch (softball or baseball) for the first time since the end of the prior summer and where the outdoor basketball court was located for our complex where the one and only time I dunked a basketball occurred. Here was my home for two years. Then there is Munn Ice Arena where Michigan State went on to a couple of National Titles in hockey while I attended school there. Of course, I never went to a hockey game there. About the only thing that I did there was stay outside of it overnight in February in the brutal cold with some dorm-mates waiting in line for Eddie Murphy tickets for a March or April show he was doing on campus. I don't even remember where it was at, but would have to assume it was at the Wharton Center which is the performing arts center on campus. Anyway, it was like the temps have been here lately and I think (again) bad judgement and alcohol were involved. Kids, if you're reading this, I do not condone this kind of behavior having lived it, survived it, and grown out of it! We did end up getting tickets and did see Eddie Murphy a couple months later and, were almost thawed out then too. Bonus. One place that I did walk by pretty much every day on my way to classes and did frequent for basketball games in the "Spartan Spirit" section was Jennison Fieldhouse. This was the basketball facility at the time I was there and where Judd Heathcote (coach) would beat both his clenched fists against the sides his balding head in frustration when the guys weren't performing to his standards. It's also where Bobby Knight would go on his rants and tyrades and spew venom at the referees although, I don't think he ever actually threw a chair or choked a player in this venue. I could be wrong though. Jennison is also the place where Ervin "Magic" Johnson played his college ball and took the Spartans to a National Championship in basketball in 1979. And, last, but certainly not least, no re-visit to campus would ever be complete without going to see "Sparty". This is the statue in the center of campus of Michigan State's beloved mascot, The Spartan. This is my favorite rendition of Sparty. There are others, like the dorky mascot they have at the football and basketball games that is like a big ole dufus caracature. So, this is my favorite. Seeing the students all bundled up and looking miserable going to and from classes brought back a lot of memories. It's a beautiful campus and I don't think I will wait as long again to revisit it.