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Letter from the Editor: A blast of nostalgia

by on August 31, 2018 1:47 PM

There's something exciting about opening a box of old photographs, especially if you're not sure what you'll find inside.

A couple of late July trips to the library at Penn State were a blast of nostalgia in more ways than one. They were my first visits inside to do research since 1982.

Back then, it was in the microfilm room at Pattee Library to research press coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court for my master's thesis. While I did find that interesting (yes, I'm a nerd), this summer's trips to the special collections at Paterno Library were much more fun.

I was there to dig through boxes of old photographs of Penn State football in the 1960s, looking for images to accompany David Pencek's feature story that you'll find inside this issue on the undefeated 1968 Nittany Lions.

The collection, part of the Eberly Family Special Collections Library, is extensive and impressive, including prints, slides, and some digital scans. As was customary with old prints, many simply have handwriting scrawled on the back describing what's in the photo and when – or approximately when – it was shot.

There are, of course, lots of pictures of Joe Paterno, then just beginning to rise to prominence as a head coach, long before he and his wife, Sue, raised millions to build the library that now houses these photo collections.

And there are the classic photos of young players like Jack Ham, Mike Reid, Dennis Onkotz, and Charlie Pittman – some in their 1960s letterman jackets – who now hold an esteemed place in Penn State football lore.

What I found at least equally interesting in those old photos, though, were the scenes of the crowds in and around the stadium: men in white shirts and ties, women in dresses or suits, a stadium usher in a full suit and tie, topped with an "Usher" vest.

Not one White Out T-shirt to be found.

Mark Brackenbury

Editorial Director

Barash Media

 

 

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