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FIFTY YEARS OF THE HOUSTON FIELD HOUSE



Jack Willer 50 Marco Island, Fla.

I had a part-time job with the school grounds crew in the late 40s. Before the Field House could be erected, we had the job of filling the ravine on which it sits. It took most of the winter and on into the spring. We used an Army surplus Caterpillar cable blade D-2 tractor that had a small gasoline engine used to start the diesel main engine. Lots of fun on cold Troy winter mornings.

When the spring thaw came, one of the operators broke through the frozen crust and the tractor settled down on its pan, tracks spinning, completely helpless. Fortunately one of the crew belonged to the National Guard and was able to borrow a tank retriever from his unit, which rescued our small Cat quite handily. We finished the job on time. . . and carefully.

Another anecdote: One of the first events at the Field House was a professional ice show. My wife and I were volunteers at the event and had front-row seats when the lights went out momentarily and the star, Barbara Ann Scott as I recall, ended up in the orchestra. Not hurt, but somewhat chagrined.

Jack Willer 50 Marco Island, Fla.

 

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