Florida State's Bobby Bowden will coach his last game against West Virginia on New Year's Day in the Gator Bowl. West Virginia is a team he coached long ago.

Lulu and I seldom buy game tickets in advance. One time - in 1986 - I ordered 40 Orange Bowl tickets in advance. I ended up going to Miami with my family to sell the tickets at a "discount." Never again - I vowed. Since then we have attended scores of games and bowls with ticket ranging from $5 to $20 (some free) - purchased outside the stadium at game time.

But this time it is different. It is Bobby's last game. For 20 years - it seems he has been a member of the family. He has provided excitement and entertainment that has been a common bond. Sometimes - the kids did not agree with us about many things - but we all gathered for Seminole games.

One time Santa left tickets in the kids' stockings and they were able to go to the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix on their own. Another time - the boys and I drove from Pennsylvania to Miami to sit in $10 sideline seats to watch the Noles beat Nebraska for a national championship - then drive back home in time for school. We watched the Noles in NYC perform an 8 play goal line stand to clobber Kansas. We would drive to a Philadelphia bar to watch Nole games on a big screen before we had satellite TV. In 1988 - the kids broke their piggy banks to buy their own season tickets to see the Noles. Lulu and Keith got degrees at FSU.

Bobby is a Christian man and ordained speaker. Our claim to fame is Jack. Jack Everhart our grandson is named after Jack Robinson - his great grandfather. Bobby Bowden to this day claims that Reverend Jack Robinson saved him. He told me that personally. He said he wanted to be just like Jack - and he is. We are very proud of that.

Things will be different in the Everhart House. To be on the safe side - we bought 8 sideline seats for the Gator Bowl game. We paid list price.

Harry Everhart

Former Tamaqua resident

and Panther Valley teacher

Talahassee, Fla.