I don't remember a lot of things about my early childhood. But, I do remember this quite well. It was the summer after my second grade, so it would have been after my brother Paul's 4th grade year. We were ICHS Spartans.....up until early June in 1963. Dad was moving us to Fort Recovery from Celina. Celina IC had just gone to state in basketball, while Fort Recovery just celebrated a perfect 0-20 record. For me....I was clueless. For a 4th Grader enthralled in sports and friends, it was the death sentence. I remember the excitement of getting to crawl into the big, blue Ful-O-Pep Feeds - St. Clair Mills truck, with nearly all of our belongings stacked awkwardly in the back and sitting next to my distraught, pouting, never-going-to-talk-again older brother.
Who would have guessed that less than 7 years later that same kid would have dribbled a basketball from Fort Recovery to Celina Fieldhouse to support his friends and his team agains rival St. Henry and another 20 years later, that same kid would have become the Voice of the Indians. While everybody saw the pride and enthusiasm Paul had about everything Fort Recovery, not many got to experience the emotions that he shared during the many special events. He shed many a proud tear taking part in the activities of Fort Recovery, both sports and non-sports related.
I can't help but think about Big P as I drive through town and see the murals, signs, decorations. I almost hear his voice as I read about the upcoming drama that so many people have worked so hard to put together and I can see the tear on his cheek as he looks proudly upon Veteran's Plaza at Monument Park.
So I think back on that day in June, almost exactly 53 years ago and then I forward to the sights and sounds of the upcoming week....
"And now....Ladies and Gentlemen! Your Fort Recovery Indians! Happy Birthday!"