Paula just sent me a link to this photo from our local ABC station.
This is of the two of us paying our last respects to Joe Paterno.
…a great man.
This morning my friend Paula and I set out for State College, PA. The two of us decided yesterday that we needed to be there for the viewing of Joe Paterno. Paula was able to juggle her schedule and I had a day that was wide open due to recently being downsized again.
If I was going to take this road trip, Paula was the perfect friend to make the trip with. She’s probably the funniest friend I have and I knew that it was the kind of day that was going to require laughs to help us get through it.
We arrived in State College, to our surprise, without encountering any major traffic. This came as a surprise as well as the ease of finding a parking space. We parked at the Bryce Jordan Center and schlepped along to the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center. On our way we ran into Coach Bradley just outside the Forum. Paula managed to give him a pat of support on his back and he looked at her and gave her a sincere thank you. After seeing him we got to our destination only to realize that we were severely under dressed and we each were separately wondering why everyone was so dressed up. Then we took a look at the faces in the crowd and we realized that we had just crashed the VIP line. Leave it to us to find the wrong line. We continued walking and saw many players and coaches. We got to the end of the VIP line and asked the campus police where we should go to get in line. They directed us to another side of the building. When we arrived there we simultaneously realized, “We’ve found our people!” This was the line for the general public and they were dressed like us. Basically decked out in layers in their warmest PSU gear.
I looked around and pointed out to Paula that I could see the door. We were totally amazed, it just about noon and we actually arrived what seemed to be early. Yay!!! Early is really relative when you consider it was about 2:15pm when we finally stepped foot inside the building. How do I know the exact time, well….the lady behind us, who was there stag, kept us updated every step of the way. Once inside we waited in the ‘holding area’ for another 15 minutes and then we made our way to the hushed lobby area where we serpentined a bit until we reached the sanctuary. When we immediately walked into the lobby area Jay Paterno walked by, looked at us and thanked us for coming. This was just amazing when you consider he spent the morning in NYC doing the morning show circuit.
Once in the sanctuary you could have heard a pin drop. It was very quiet and somber. There was a lone photo of JoePa to the left of the closed casket and an honor guard, one former and one current player, on either side of the casket. Paula and I walked up together to pay our respects. On our way out we again walked past Jay who was talking with someone. We were amazed that he was still there and interacting with folks.
After leaving the building we headed downtown to get something to eat, grab a few things and then we headed back toward the car. Of course there was a much needed pit stop at the Creamery on the way to the car. We felt that we just couldn’t leave town without some Peachy Paterno. So five half gallons later we were on our way. No…not all five were that flavor. But three were!
I’ve been told that at different times during the day the line to pay your respects was up to a mile and a half long. Getting in line so early was truly a blessing as we had to make the three hour trek back home.
I’m so glad we were able to go today. It’s a day that I will remember forever.
Here are a few photos we took during the day:
Stadium Flag Half Staff
…I wanted to post something yesterday in honor of Joe Paterno but honestly I just wasn’t up to it.
A friend of mine posted this on Facebook and I thought this would sum up how our family feels about JoePa.
I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I’m ready to dive in and get to work on completing my degree and taking some interesting courses. I’m nervous because I’ve never had kids while being a student.
I was looking for a new challenge. This will do just fine.
I cannot tell you how the events of the last week have affected me personally. I’m not going to rehash anything because I don’t believe the media deserves it. I will simply say that the once again the media has let sensationalization grip them so hard that they completely lost focus of the victims of this wretched man.
I will say that it’s been a week of motivation for me. I’m rather surprised because I’ve spent the week being physically and emotionally exhausted. But I’ve managed to make a few decisions that will result in making things better for me and my family. Bill is completely onboard with them and, truth be told, he’s just as excited as I am.
On my way to mail the envelope I stopped to tell someone I work with and she looked at me and asked, “Penn State, really?” I didn’t miss a beat and responded with, “Where else would I get my degree from?”
For those of you who don’t know here is what has been my undergraduate degree itinerary to date:
Lock Haven University, Penn State Berks Campus, Liverpool Institute of Higher Education (Liverpool, England), Penn State Main Campus – this is the end of my full time student status. When I lived in Rhode Island I took classes at Johnson & Wales University. A few years ago I took classes locally at Immaculata University.
It’s been quite a path to take, but I’m beyond thrilled that when I’m done my degree will be from Penn State. I also can’t wait to have my photo taken at the shrine with my cap & gown on and my family standing beside me.
It’s only January 4th and so far it’s been an eventful year!
We kicked of New Year’s Day with Penn State losing the Rose Bowl to USC. Bill and I had been lamenting the fact that due to me being 33 weeks pregnant we were not able to travel to Pasadena this year for the game. But we know that PSU will be back there someday and we plan to be there to cheer them on, live, next time.
On Friday January 2nd my friend Kristina, who lives in Minneapolis, gave birth to her and Jason’s first child, a girl named Lillian Kaye. Kristina was a week behind me in her pregnancy and we were all hoping Lillian would be able to wait at least another two weeks before making her big debut. However, this little girl is a force to be reckoned with and came incredibly early. She was born at a very small 3 pounds 13 ounces and she has been in NICU. From what I’ve been told she will need to remain there for about another four weeks. She has been improving and today was taken off oxygen and is breathing what Kristina deemed “room air” with minimal assistance. Go get ‘em Lillian!
We are so happy for Kristina and Jason and we will keep their little family, and especially Lillian in our prayers.
In yet another surprise, tonight the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Minnesota Vikings to move on to the next round of the NFL playoffs. We are looking forward to yet another weekend of football for one of our teams. E-A-G-L-E-S…..EAGLES!!!
Whew, that’s a lot in just four days. I can only imagine what else lies in store for us this year. We are very much looking forward to the arrival of Squirt and we think that Rylee is starting to somewhat understand things. She still loves to lift my shirt and rub my belly. Some days, like today, she likes to give the baby hugs & kisses too. I hope this continues when Squirt is no longer in my belly!
I’d like to wish you all a Very Happy 2009. I hope this is a year full of excitement & fun for you and your families. Check in here to find out what the year brings for the Mas.
Woohoo! First Penn State senior class to win two conference championships! Unfortunately, it comes with that other ugly thing.