Sunday, September 25, 2011

What an Accomplishment

Michael and PaPa
My grandfather, who I fondly refer to as PaPa, has been working with the Fostoria School District for many years as his father did before him. PaPa has been a member of the city council, coached, and kept time for both football and basketball games. Last year he became the oldest time keeper for boys and girls track. He's 92 and still going strong.

My great grandfather, Harold Switzer, was a custodian for the schools. Not only did Great Grandpa Harold keep the buildings looking pristine, he also ran the clock and the scoreboard for the football and basketball teams. He enjoyed doing this for the Fostoria Redman for 41 years. Afterwards, he handed this job down to PaPa who has been keeping time for both football and basketball for 62 years.

On game nights, MomMom (my grandma) made sure dinner was ready by five so that we could eat and PaPa could get to the stadium early.  He liked to be there by six. Most game nights, I ate dinner with MomMom and PaPa and rode to the stadium with PaPa. When I was little I was PaPa's little helper, following him around the stadium or the gym. He showed me how to run the board and sometimes he let me fill in if the score keeper was absent. As I grew up, I would still ride with him to the games, but I would join the cheerleaders or the band to get ready for the game. MomMom went to the games closer to game time with my Mom and Aunt Danna. The family always sat in the exact same seats at both football and basketball games.

At the stadium PaPa would visit with the players and coaches in the locker room prior to the game. He liked to wish the boys and coaches good luck. Afterwords, PaPa would climb the numerous stairs of Fostoria Memorial Stadium to get to the press box. Some of the boys have told PaPa, "When you can't make it up the stairs, we'll carry you Mr. Switzer." At half time and after the game PaPa could be found with the coaches in the locker room. I would wait for him outside the door so I could ride home with him.

PaPa was honored on September 9, at the Fostoria vs. Tiffin Columbian football game where the athletic director announced that the Memorial Stadium press box would be named in PaPa's honor: The Switzer Family Press Box: 100 years of service.

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