The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Harold Raker

November 4, 2011

More tales of yesteryear

Sometimes you just don't know how well a column went over, or if anyone was reading -- unless you make a mistake. I actually thought I made a mistake once -- but I was mistaken.

Seriously, though, a column that appeared two weeks ago drew more positive reaction than any I have done in some time.

And, when you have a good thing, why not ride it?

I'm referring to the piece I did talking about the 196l game between the Owls and Pineknotters in Northumberland.

In addition to the verbal comments, many from those who saw the game, I recently received a letter from a 78-year-old high school football fan, who asked that I allow him to remain anonymous. The gentleman had some good stories to tell, and also suggested that I call then Northumberland coach Rich Young for some more details.

I did try to reach Young, but was unsuccessful. But, armed with some ready information, I was not about to look a gift horse in the mouth (when in need of a column, or a little different one). So let me just share with you some of the anonymous Sunbury reader's narrative from a simpler time.

To make it read a bit easier, I am going to give this reader an assumed name. We will just call him "Joe" (simple enough, right?)

So "Joe" was an avid fan of high school football as a younger man. He never played the sport, noting that baseball was his game.

Calling himself "an old Pineknotter who just loved all sports" he recalled how during the mid-1940s, he and a friend used to hop a slow-moving freight train to Sunbury to watch the Owls play. "Joe" admits now that they never considered the danger of their actions (in other words: don't try this at home, kids!)

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Harold Raker
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