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The Night Joe Paterno Came to Holliston

by Ann Talbot

In the seventies Holliston High had a football player named Ron LaPointe. Dozens of colleges were after him to sign with them, one being Penn State. And Penn State was one of LaPointe’s top choices. However Joe Paterno was understandably busy during football season and was never able to see LaPointe play for Tom Caito’s Panthers. This was long before the technology that lets coaches and students communicate via the Internet.

But Ron LaPointe played basketball for Tom Keough’s Panthers. Joe Paterno decided he would look at Ron on the basketball court. The ticket seller at that time was Dick Talbot. It was decided that when Joe Paterno came, he would be the guest of the school and would not be charged for his $3 ticket. So Dick was to extend the greetings of Holliston High to the famous coach.
However, Dick neglected to tell Athletic Director Paul Rowles that he did not follow college football. He had no idea what Joe Paterno looked like. But Dick did know the HHS basketball fans from years of selling tickets. As soon as a man who Dick did not recognize stepped to the ticketseller’s table, he was greeted with the question, “Are you Joe Paterno?” One after another all evening long the fans would answer, “No, I’m not Joe Paterno” and enter the gym wondering whether this fellow was losing it. 
Finally the moment came. A man answered yes to the question, “Are you Joe Paterno?” Dick greeted him and said that he was the guest of Holliston High for the evening. But Joe Paterno insisted upon paying for his $3 ticket to support our athletic program.
Yes, Ron LaPointe played for Penn State.

Comments (1)

I was there in the HHS Gym that night cheering away - it seems like yesterday! Joe Paterno went to Brooklyn Prep with my Uncle Regis Shannahan, so my brother John, who was writing for The Milford Daily News Sports Department, went over and introduced himself...such a small world for sure!! p.s. Mrs. Talbot,oh how I remember your husband as well...always there with a friendly greeting for all!! :)

Daisy | 2012-01-25 09:39:35