To the editor:
Who says you can’t go back in time? Well, perhaps in reality that’s true. However, in my remembered experiences, I did. I recently attended the Beverly/Danvers High football game at Hurd Stadium. Accompanying me was my grandson, along with a friend. We found parking on a side street close by, in the quiet residential neighborhood that borders the stadium. It was a beautiful fall day. As we walked toward the stadium, I could hear and see the Beverly High School band marching down the street, playing as they proceeded towards the field. This took me back to another time. Was I in for something special?
We proceeded to the field and entered. To my surprise I immediately noticed the playing surface was natural grass, well-kept and manicured and in excellent condition. The teenagers left to look for friends. My grandson had brought along his football. I sat relaxing in the stands facing the sun, with beautiful fall foliage as a backdrop.
The Beverly high school/middle school band performed admirably at halftime. As the well-coached, competitive game proceeded into the third quarter I began looking for my grandson. On the opposite side of the field, beyond the Beverly bench, there was a group of boys from Beverly and Danvers, ages probably 10 to 14, playing pickup tackle football! That’s right; tackle football (not really). There was a lot of grabbing, dragging, throwing passes and getting back into an unorganized huddle to make up plays. They were conducting this game on a slightly sloped hill on the west side of the stadium without field markings, out-of-bounds lines, numbers or hashmarks. And lo and behold, there was my grandson having a wonderful time, thoroughly enjoying himself. No, there I was, 70 years ago, back in time.
Leaving the stadium I wondered whether Beverly had lights for night football. I looked up and to my surprise I didn’t see any. Amazing — high school football played on a Saturday afternoon. I truly did take a wonderful memory trip back in time.
Paul Pawlak Jr.