Imagine FHS being built
I guess when you enter an age, the concept of reflection becomes a trait. In simplistic terms, it’s looking at life in the rear view mirror.
I have finally accepted this.
One trip back in time I wish I could do is going back to Fairhaven High School as it was being built. I have seen photos, but actually being there would have been ‘an experience of a life time (in reflection that is). The materials, mahogany paneling, marble floors, stucco, tapestries in Rm. 7 and the “old” auditorium’s hand carved wooden tapestries are just a few. Can you imagine actually watching the building and placement of these beautiful works of art?
To keep it short, I would have loved to attend a basketball game in the “round gym” when Mel Entin was coaching. This thought was motivated by Buddy Thomas’s article on the FHS Hall of Fame inductions. One very qualified inductee is Norris Drew who played on one of Mel’s and FHS’s, greatest basketball teams ever. Buddy spoke of the 3 man weave that brings a smile to my face right now as I think about that type of offense in the middle of the “round gym.”
Now onto the actual game. The spectators (mostly male) observed the game from the indoor track over-looking the court.
They were dressed in a suit, white straw brimmed hat and smoking cigars (yes you read it right).
There were folding, wooden chairs set up on the track. These chairs left permanent indentations on the cork surfaced 32 lap track. These indentations were visible at one time but the track was resurfaced with a linoleum composite. The craftsmanship of the resurface is 5*.
The score board might still be there or in a storage area. The score was not digital. Digital scoreboards weren’t even a thought back then. The score was recorded by a rotating band of numbers. The time kept was a large “stop-start” clock.
The size of the court was small in comparison other courts.
I was fortunate to speak to Norris one day at a West Island 5K that his son, Lyle, founded and administers. We talked about playing games in the “round gym.” One fact he brought up was how Coach Mel Entin would make the team practice shooting from underneath the upstairs track that overhung the court. It was creative that Mel actually used this “home court advantage.” It was legal. Part of the legal court was under the track.
Today, the track overlooks the library that was built several years ago. Maybe decades ago. Time seems to accelerate as one ages.
There are so many features about the FHS materials and quality that went into the building of FHS.
There is no lifetime guarantee, but it goes without saying the structure will be just that.
Steve Bender, Mattapoisett, FHS Class of 1966.
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