Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Notes From The Reunion Weekend

  1. The meal by PSU catering at the Indoor Complex was one of the best I have ever had at an event like ours.  The BBQ 1/2 chickens and ribs were complimented by several sauces, the raspberry chipotle being my favorite.  The mac and cheese was the absolute best I have ever had.  Even the salads were esquisite to this "occasional" salad eater!  The open bar kept many in the best of moods. Desserts were "to die for".
  2. I couldn't fly the drone Airship 800U outside on Saturday because of the rain, but it did get some Thursday and Friday flights at the track with great results.  And I flew it indoors at the Ashenfelter Complex before the Alumni "Run" and only crashed it while landing!
  3. Coach Groves came to all the events with his private chauffeur and had a wonderful time.
  4. The rain didn't daunt the golfers among us.  Thirty-one of the thirty-two who signed up braved the conditions for the duration.  There was even sleet at the finish, just to welcome all of us home to State College.
  5. We all are trying to make next year's event over-the-top great!  We will attempt to arrange the whole thing during the PSU hosting of the Big Ten Outdoor Track Championships next year.  That may even free up some of you who can't come normally because of High School District Meets.  Stay tuned...
  6. Some of you had some nice things to say to me about the blog and all of our efforts to unite all 1,500 or so PSU Track and Field Alumni.  I thank all of you for helping to spread the word.  It is starting to have a real effect!
  7. Tim Backenstose went out of his way to present to me a framed pic of me in the Penn Relays Marathon in 1979 (He won the whole thing!).  He needed the help of a professional photo enhancement specialist in Hollywood to pull it off.  It means more to me than he can ever know. It will be on display in my treadmill room along with my Rec Hall lockers and Letter certificate signed by both Coach Groves and Joe Paterno.  Thank you Tim!!!
  8. Coach Groves received the very first presentation of the "Rusty Boot", an award symbolizing everything that's good about PSU Track and Field and Cross Country.  This was made by bronzing one of Coach Bill Whittaker's javelin spikes from 1970, a quite gnarly sight.
  9. Coach Gondak received an Alumni Singlet through the efforts of our Faucon 'de Orange Mark Hawkins.  This was only the second such special singlet given out with the word Coach in the lower bar.  We all thanked him for having the Penn Relays 4 x 800M winning team wear the throwback singlets for the Championship of America race.
  10. With the constant rain all day Saturday, we forgot to place the markers for the specialty holes on the course, so we don't have Closest to the Pin, Longest Putt, Longest Drive winners this year.  But I'm pretty sure all of those winners were in my threesome.  Nick K. won the closest to the pin, Clark Haley won the Longest Drive and I won the Longest Putt.  And I have the Golden Putter to prove it!
  11. Those usually in charge of the Coach Groves Golf Tourney Championship Cup forgot it at the track after the event and it was retrieved by our Chief Laundry Officer and given to Tim Backenstose for safe keeping.  Thus, Tim is now our Keeper of the Cup, a title of honor in our group.  Tim also won the "Rob Whiteside" Brotherhood Award for actually golfing with us despite hating golf more than I do!  Rob Whiteside was unable to attend the event, as he just had passed into New Jersey during his through-hike of the Appalachian Trail.  This was the only certified excuse for missing the event.  Others take warning.  
Turns out that The Cup was left behind on purpose by The Keeper of the Cup Harry Smith so that Owen Dawson would place it in a display for all to see year round at the Track Facility!  There is no Idiot quite like a Track Alumni Idiot Officer, me included!
All photos stolen from Hanna Humphries and Jim McClelland!

Most of the attending Alumni.

Beth Shisler, Doreen Statare McCoubrie, Vivian Riddick, Elaine LaFramboise Pino, Hanna Humphries.

The Mall

Coach Groves, the Ladies Man!

Coach Jordan, center.

The Alumni "Run" was well attended.

Fun despite the rain! Eric Schwartz, Don Ziter, Jim McClelland and Coach Gondak.

Coach Groves, center court, with his chauffeur.

Kierrun O'Brien.

Coach Gondak with a Penn Relays Wheel!

Coach Groves with the Rusty Boot.

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