John Samsell is a retired copy editor/special editions editor for the Dominion Post.
If you tend to look back a few years you’ll find that things change, and then other things remain about the same.
For instance, a quarter of a century ago, we were welcoming the return of spring while at the same time noting that it won’t be long before the days will be shorter. That’s three weeks into June, three months away.
Back then, “saving” the Met Theatre, or theater, was on our minds. One suggestion was to turn it into a high school for the performing arts. Even as it was contemplated, it was determined the suggestion was “too big” for the community to handle.
Well, the theater, constructed in 1927, is still there and being of some use.
As for the new year back then, few resolutions were to be made because it seems to be a waste of time. Yet without goals, I felt, you can’t score and without scores you can’t win. Without wins you can’t live in peace.
During that period of time, I resolved not to refer to the South University Avenue widening project until it was completed. A year before that, it looked like rubble. In 1992, it looked like rubble.
How times change. The road, now Don Knotts Boulevard, has been widened more than once.
I pledged not to sing “Georgia On My Mind” without consulting Boris Yeltsin. That was 26 years ago.
That same time, the state’s legislators were given “the benefit of any doubt until they approve the budget.”
I also resolved to get a flu shot before it spoiled another vacation.
Another pledge for that year was “not to say any bad things about those stupid, idiotic drivers who persist in driving too fast for highway conditions, or generally make fools of other motorists.”
Another drought was expected in the summer ahead, and I hoped for rain in May and June to give gardeners a break. They apparently had been without a good growing season in 1991.
Has it been that soon since the Pleasant Street Bridge was replaced? It wasn’t there in early 1992.
One more resolution for 1992: Try to understand why the state always falls millions of dollars short after six months of the rosiest budget ever approved by the governor and the legislature.
Another resolution of that era fits in today’s proposals: “To give a warm item or two to the Warm Hands, Warm Hearts program currently under way in the area.”
Spring always seems to bring out the best for everyone. Those golf enthusiasts have their clubs ready when daylight saving time gives that extra hour to walk the links. Morgantown, believe it or not, once had two pee-wee golf courses right in the downtown area.
One was on Prairie Avenue, near South High Bridge. There’s a picture of it, with Model T Ford cars parked nearby. A large home with two chimneys is shown, one that no longer exists.
In the 1920s golf was popular. Tom Thumb Golf it was called. The second course was at the corner of Fayette and High and was the city’s most popular.
Spring Break for the university was under way in
March 1992. Many accepted a pickup truck trip to the Florida Gulf Coast or thereabouts. One woman student from Pennsylvania said she was going home to relax, eat good food and look for a summer job.
Some were going to ski areas, such as Snowshoe and Canaan, which still had activities students dreamed about, they said.
For many there were still things to do in University City, such as the Mother’s Day Sing and commencement.