Was driving down So. Valley Mills Dr. just a day or two ago
and it’s the first time I’d driven down it since they imploded the West
Sideline, Press Box and Sky Box remnants of old Baylor Stadium. It left a void
in my sight line.
You see, it was built in 1950, three years after I was born
and has been one of the constants in my life. Within my entire memory every
time I ventured down Franklin Ave or So. Valley Mills I saw it. The stadium had
changed over time, grown larger as would befit a Division I NCAA Football
Program; but, it was still the same old Stadium where I ushered as a Boy Scout,
watched games coached by John Bridgers as an undergrad; and later as an Alum, “paint it green” Bill
Beall & Grant Teaff who led us to our first SWC Championship. That led to the lean years of Chuck Reedy, Dave Roberts, Kevin Steele, Guy
Morris; with Art Brile ultimately taking us from the wilderness into the
Promised Land. Saw a lot of good ball players too; including John Westbrook who
broke the color barrier as the first black SWC football player - EVER. I saw and remember Don Trull,
Larry Isbell, Bill Glass, Lawrence Elkins, Mike Singletary and up to and
including RG III.
But; all in – all done, yet another familiar landmark has
gone away. The new McLane Stadium is magnificent, not a bad seat in the house,
however, I choose to mourn the old one’s passing.
This temporal life doesn’t guarantee us constancy. It rather
insures us that time indeed marches on and we are helpless to stand before it
in an effort to halt it. Was discussing just today how much of the landmarks of
my youth have disappeared. A business location lost to Urban Renewal, a Lake
property to the Corps of Engineers, two generations of homes from my childhood
and all the schools I attended until College. Gone or changed.
Can’t really say whether this is personally for the best or
not. For the greater good, though, yes. I guess my melancholy is towards what I
perceived as: “A kinder, gentler time.” And at this age, I miss those days.