Monday, March 1, 2010

The Aud

We live in an age where newer is almost definitely better. We always want the new car, new computer, or in the case of many schools, a new gymnasium. However, once you lose something that has become a part of a tradition, it is very hard to revitalize that magic and sense of mystique. In Vermont, people tend to still treasure the glory of what was. However, as The Boss immortally said, "Glory days will pass you by." Therefore, people need to blend what was great about the past and hold on to it while still being aware of the needs of modern society. This is a hard balance to find however simply because nostalgia and modernity value many different things. There is one place that has become what I believe is the perfect balance of what was great about Barre 50 years ago and what is still celebrating the modern athlete. As you may have guessed by now, the place I'm talking about is the Barre Auditorium. This building was originally a New Deal creation made by the WPA in 1939. Therefore, as you might have guessed as well, it is pretty old. However, that's the charm that this building holds. You can feel the history in the brick walls; you can see worn out patches on the floor where numerous athletes have struggled in pursuit of the elusive state championship. Even though this sense of nostalgia is so heavy, there is always room for more heroes. There always is room for more buzzer beaters, epic performances, and regrettably the dreams of what could have been. That is the dark side to the Aud; while many players have celebrated there, an equal number have achieved the dream of "going to the Aud," but had not been able to pull out the ultimate victory. In a way though there is comfort in knowing that you are not the only team to have failed to achieve what some would say is the reason to compete.

Tonight, I witnessed two more clashes between four great teams. While the final scores were not incredibly close, the simple fact that they played in that building and on that floor has added to the legend of the Barre Auditorium. These athletes will be able to remember the time that they played on this floor. The floor that they have fallen on and added a bit more wear to is still there and hopefully will continue to be. If this piece of history is ever taken away from Vermont basketball, that piece of history will never be able to be regained. The Auditorium may be different than it was 50 years ago, but the history still remains relevant to all athletes who play there today.

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