TrackTown, USA: Dear Reader, we are magically back in Eugene. For eight years you have had to hear about Dave attending trustee meetings - both here in Eugene, and in Palm Springs in the spring. He has now served-out his eight-year commitment (whoosh, that went fast) and was honored this evening, along with five other retiring trustees, at a very special dinner. The reason the event was special (besides the wonderful trustees) was because it was held in the middle of Historic Hayward Field! Can you believe it? How wonderful - especially since two of the retiring trustees were once members of the University of Oregon track team. Coincidence? Dumb Luck? Planets Aligning? Bull Dozers posed?
Yes, the bleachers are already being torn down. The dinner tonight was the final event to be held in the "old" arena, under a tent. The weather held and it was a perfect evening.
After we were seated and served a gourmet dinner, one-by-one the retiring volunteers were honored with a little humorous introduction and a short video about their lives, and their service and ties to the university (not every trustee is an alum). The videos were shown on the giant stadium screen at the south end of Historic Hayward Field! DT was on two NCAA Championship Cross Country teams - 1973 & 1974
Let's admit that these tributes are somewhat of an eulogy for the living, but they covered his youth, his collegiate athletic career, his/our commitment to the University of Oregon Library, and his service as a trustee. They made My Driver sound like a very upstanding citizen!Dave was presented with a statue from Foundation President Paul Weinhold, (like an Oscar, if Oscar were a Duck that weighed twenty pounds!). DT gave a short thank you speech, thanking those who have helped him along the way, and recognizing a few special guests in the crowd.
Such sweet sorrow to leave this group of dedicated lovers of the University. After everyone had been honored, we took a stroll over to the 99-year-old east grandstands. The seats are being removed. It is a very sad day for many track fans, as the new stadium is - of course, as everything in Eugene must be - shrouded in controversy. (I will opine on this subject next week, today is all about DT and the bittersweet last evening at Historic Hayward Field.)
Thank you, University of Oregon Foundation, for a very memorable evening. I'm going to miss you all. Until my next update, I remain, your nostalgic correspondent.