And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, Editor Emeritus

... that with the extreme and prolonged cold weather spell, some of us are happy indeed that there is a lot of action in the field of sports at this time of the year.
And happier yet that both Iowa and Iowa State won their football bowl games.

As I am typing this, the Big Ten (14!) has won all seven of its post-season games, with Michigan right now trying to make it eight. But even it’s only 7-1, it would seem to be evidence that the level of football in the league is pretty high.

The Iowa wrestlers won the Midlands championship again, and a team of unattached wrestlers from Iowa came in ninth!

Plus, the Iowa women beat a ranked Michigan basketball team despite having two starters and two-thirds of the team’s top scorers benched by injuries.

My admitted obsession with Iowa U. athletics was treated to a reminder of why by an article In one of the Sunday papers about the old fieldhouse. It was sort of my home away from home for the first year and a half I spent as a resident of the old Quadrangle dorm across the street.

My first Quad roommate was an aspiring gymnast. As such, he had full access to the equipment in the North gym. Naturally, I sometimes went with him, and tried my hand, or body, actually, on some pieces, such as then pommel horse and trampoline. He fell off the rings and got hurt, so I got to meet the athletic trainer, who turned out to be from Waukon, Arne Buntrock.

I made a friend of a fellow Quad resident who was an aspiring fencer. He placed high in the epee event in the Big 10 as an upper classman. Fencers trained in an upstairs area on the south side of the fieldhouse, sharing some space with wrestlers. So, I spent some time working out with the foil as my preferred weapon.

I took tennis as my optional phys ed course one semester, and playing on the concrete courts, actually won my section championship. I met a guy who was trying to become the sixth man on the six man varsity tennis team. They played their matches on the clay courts by the fieldhouse, and thanks to him I got to play on those courts some early Saturday mornings.

Since I was an aspiring journalist, I chose to sit behind press row on the upper deck of the fieldhouse for basketball games, usually right behind Bert McGrane of the Register. I was close enough to be able to read what he was sending by teletype to Des Moines.

There was a display in the ROTC dirt floor section of the fieldhouse, and I remember never getting tired of looking at the airplane engines shown. It has been a long time, but I think one was a 16-cylinder In-line Allison, and the other a 28-cylinder Pratt and Whitney radial.

An activities card admitted students free to university events. From my locker on the lower level, I could edge by the disinfectant pond on the way to the swimming pool, climb to the level of the fencing area, then come out a door at the far west and watch high school tournament games free from that upper level.

The good old days were pretty good, indeed!

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