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Sight lines Today’s sports fans no longer ‘forced to the balcony’

December 10, 2005

Let us squeeze in a memory that, like most slices of history, has a place today:

“Principal Kramer announced this week that all downstairs seats in the local gymnasium will be reserved during the coming hoop season for adult admission until the game starts at 8 p.m.,” the Hood River News reported in December 1941. The court in question is now the “old gym” at what is now Hood River Middle School, which served as Hood River High School until 1971.

“Many fans have complained that they did not go to local basketball games because by the time they arrived the lower floor was filled with high school students and they were forced to take a seat in the balcony. So this winter, any adult hoop fan that wants a seat downstairs, all he or she has to do is to arrive at the gym a few minutes prior to the game.”

Don Violette wrote about the problem in his “Found in the Clutter Corner,” column 64 years ago.

Items such as this will be found aplenty in the “100 Years of News” retrospective readers can look forward to in our Dec. 31 edition.

But the item resonates today, for a reason contrasting to that of the crowding in 1941: There is plenty of room for adults who might want to attend a 2005-06 sporting activity for Hood River Valley High School, Horizon Christian School, Cascade Locks School, or Hood River and Wy’east middle schools.

Basketball games and wrestling matches are scheduled this month and go into full swing in January. Plenty of seats are available at the games. The energy level is exhilarating, and it is always worth the time and minimal cost involved to see the way young people put their practice time, teamwork, and determination into play.

Though the “old gym” is still in use by middle schoolers and retains its charm, the new gyms at the middle schools and high schools have plenty of parking and ideal sight lines. Fans need no longer complain about being “forced to a balcony.”

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