The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Columns

February 2, 2013

Jim Bailey: AHS basketball nightmares have taken on a different character

Recently I had one of those strange dreams about going to a basketball game. This time I was going to an Anderson High School game at the present location. But instead of bleachers, spectators were sitting in restaurant-style booths surrounding the court. They were all taken, so I settled for an embankment overlooking the end of the court.

A far cry from dreams I used to have about the Wigwam, once the second-largest high school gym in the world. With thousands and thousands of fans scrambling for all available seats, I obtained tickets in one of the outlying sections. Only in my dream, you couldn’t see the court from half the sections in the Wigwam, and you had to listen to the crowd reaction to tell what was going on.

Dreams, of course, are a far cry from reality. Even in the days when 9,000 screaming fans jammed every corner of the arena for sectional and regional games and even some regular-season contests, you could see perfectly (even if distantly) from the highest seats in sections XX and YY.

There was one group of fans, of course, who couldn’t see the playing floor. Those were the ones outside who hadn’t been fortunate enough to get tickets to the sectional. They tuned in on radio and held out hopes of wangling tickets or passouts from fans departing between games or at the end of the night after their teams lost.

That practice had begun at the original Wigwam, which burned in 1958. The previous March I had been one of those fans, my first adult season ticket number not having been drawn for the sectional distribution. There was, however, one difference between the old and new Wigwams: You could get a glimpse of the playing floor through the main entrance doors on the north end. Not that you could tell much about what was happening, other than from the roar of the crowd.

That particular night one of those in the crowd outside was a former classmate of mine, who ironically had a ticket but was there to peddle it in exchange for cash. By the end of the first quarter I had a seat (albeit up at rafter level) and watched the Indians, led by Norman Delph, avenge the previous season’s sectional loss to Elwood, led by Darrell McQuitty. As things turned out, both Delph and McQuitty played on the Indiana All-Star team that June.

In the 1960s, when the new Wigwam opened, basketball on Friday and Saturday nights was the place to be. Particularly at tournament time, when nobody complained about seats on the upper rim: “At least I’m in the Wigwam,” they’d say.

Contrast that to today when counter-attractions galore have reduced the allure of high school basketball and AHS fans can fit comfortably in a gym that seats less than 3,500.

Jim Bailey’s reflections on Anderson’s past appear on Sunday. His regular column appears on Wednesday. He can be reached by email at jameshenrybailey@earthlink.net.

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Jim Bailey: Figuring out how to have the good in life without the bad Most of us have had those faith-shaking episodes in our lives. The tragic episodes that leave us wondering what life is all about.

    April 24, 2014

  • OPN - Mootry column mug [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Primus Mootry: There is a poet in each of us April is National Poetry Month. Throughout the country, colleges and universities, elementary and secondary schools, libraries and various publications have hosted poetry readings or featured unpublished poets.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • underwood mug [Duplicate] Scott Underwood: Nightmares from high school proms past I wore a salmon-colored tuxedo with a cummerbund and tails to my senior prom. I was 6-foot-6 and 175 pounds. A beanpole.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hayden, Maureen mug Maureen Hayden: Judge in gay marriage decision no activist

    When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn’t resonate with those who know Young well.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd mug [Duplicate] Charo Boyd: Social Security goes green on Earth Day and every day For years, Social Security has been at the forefront of offering convenient, easy-to-use, and secure online services. We, along with those we serve, have saved a lot of paper, shipping costs, and fuel — and cut back on a lot of carbon exhaust and pollution — by going online instead of doing things the old-fashioned, less efficient way.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tim Kean: Can we have a 'A New State of Mind?' I have recently read some great articles about people coming together to make a difference in the lives of children facing food insecurity. The collective effort of a group can provide some much-needed food to kids who may not have a meal when they return home from school or during the weekend.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: County may eliminate Data Processing Board

    Action two weeks ago by the Madison County commissioners to close Data Processing Board meetings to the public might run afoul of the Indiana Open Door law, and a local resident is considering filing a complaint with the Public Access Counselor’s office for a determination.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Timmons, Theresa mug Theresa Timmons: Dinosaurs run amok at mamaw's house I love my new job as a grandparent. It includes playing imaginary tennis with imaginary tennis rackets, making elaborate tents in the living room, and hair-pulling.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stringer, Maleah mug Maleah Stringer: Volunteers needed to spend time with shelter animals Shelters can be extremely stressful places for many animals, particularly those who have been in a loving home. This is why we want people to come into the shelter and spend time with our animals — to help keep them adoptable so that when the right person comes along they are ready.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bailey, Jim mug Jim Bailey: Wages were much less back then, but so were prices If you have any questions about what economists mean by inflation, just look at yesterday’s buying power. Those old western movies talked about wages of $1 a day. That wouldn’t even buy a burger at a fast food joint today by the time sales tax is added in.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Will you vote in the primary election on May 6?

Yes, on May 6
Yes, will vote early
No
     View Results