The 8-by-10-inch, black and white framed photograph hangs on the wall of my office. It has occupied that space ever since I moved into this office almost a decade ago.
The picture's about 30 years old, taken at a newspaper convention in Hershey. In it is my wife, Mary (looking pretty), myself (boy, I was a lot thinner in those days) and a youthful looking Joe Paterno, the head football coach at Penn State University.
Paterno was the guest speaker at that convention. I was able to corner him long enough to say hello, shake hands with him, and ask him to pose for the picture.
In case you're wondering, after all that's taken place at Penn State the past two weeks concerning the sex scandal involving former Paterno assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, plus others, including Paterno, if I'm going to take the photo down now that Paterno has been fired in the aftermath of the scandal. The answer is no. The photograph is a small part of my history in the more than 45 years I've been in the newspaper business. It's a reminder of better times for Paterno and maybe all of us. So it will stay where it is.
This doesn't mean that I'm condoning his actions, or, rather, his lack of action when he failed to go to police after an assistant told him about seeing Sandusky doing inappropriate things to a young boy in a locker room shower. Paterno deserved to be fired, despite his historic record and his reputation as a philanthropist and the leader of one of the best college football programs in the history of the game. He was wrong, he failed miserably in not protecting that young boy and perhaps others who Sandusky may have victimized. And it's fitting, although sad, that this scandal will be the strongest fingerprint on Paterno's more than 60-year legacy.
New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica calls the Penn State scandal, college football's Watergate. That's as accurate a description that I could think of.
But enough of that. Let's get on to some more upbeat stuff. Here's a quiz one loyal readers sent for some older subscribers. I have to tell you, I nailed this quiz, got them all right. See how well you do with it. It's call "A Test for Old Kids". The answers are at the bottom of the column.
01.After theLone Rangersaved the day and rode off into the sunset, the grateful citizens would ask, Who was that masked man? Invariably, someone would answer, I don't know, but he left this behind. What did he leave behind?________________.
02. When theBeatlesfirst came to the U.S. .In early 1964, we all watched them onThe _______________ Show.
03'Get your kicks, __________________.'
04.' The story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed to ___________________.'
05. 'In the jungle, the mighty jungle, ________________.'
06. After the Twist, The Mashed Potato, and the Watusi, we 'danced' under a stick that was lowered as low as we could go in a dance called the '_____________.'
07 Nestle's makes the very best . .. . . _______________.'
08. Satchmo was America 's 'Ambassador of Goodwill.' Our parents shared this great jazz trumpet player with us. His name was _________________.
09 What takes a licking and keeps on ticking? _______________.
10. Red Skeleton's hobo character was named __________________ and Red always ended his television show by saying, 'Good Night, and '________ ________. '
11. Some Americans who protested the Vietnam Wardid so by burning their______________.
12. The cute little car with the engine in the back and the trunk in the front was called the VW. What other names did it go by? ____________ &_______________.
13. In 1971, singer Don MacLean sang a song about, 'the day the music died.' This was a tribute to _____________ ______.
14. We can remember the first satellite placed into orbit. The Russians did it. It was called ___________________.
15. One of the big fads of the late 50s and 60s was a large plastic ring that we twirled around our waist. It was called the __ ______________.
01. The Lone Ranger left behind a silver bullet.
02. TheEd SullivanShow
03. On Route 66
04. To protect the innocent.
05. The Lion Sleeps Tonight
06. The limbo
08. Louis Armstrong
09. TheTimex watch
10 Freddy, The Freeloader and 'Good Night and God Bless.'
11. Draft cards (Bras were also burned. Not flags, as some have guessed)
12. Beetle or Bug
13. Buddy Holly