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Memories live in this old house

Berry Tramel Published: November 6, 2001

NORMAN - Ticket takers, one for every regal door, stood sentry Monday night at the OU Field House.

Long lines never formed. Short ones, either.

Oh, but there was a time. A Saturday night 27 autumns ago, when South Carolina came to town and the line snaked to Brooks Street, took a hard left and stretched over to Jenkins.

When finally we got in, the only spots left were in the northwest corner, near the wall. Still good seats, and glad to get 'em. Alvan Adams' Sooners beat Alex English's Gamecocks that night. Grand fun.

Monday night, the Field House hosted OU basketball for the first time since 1975. The Sooners beat Athletes First 86-78 in an exhibition ignored by all but old-timers like me. The no-show crowd - 1,340 darkened the door - proved that the market for nostalgia has dropped.

Oh, well. Newer digs, like Lloyd Noble, have plenty of parking, padded seats and post-World War II plumbing.

But give the memories to the Field House.

Glen Harless drove down from Stillwater to relive bygone days. Glen was here the 1957 night Wilt Chamberlain and Kansas marched in, then marched out with a 59-51 win.

"Unbelievable," Harless said. "You couldn't hear yourself think, the noise was so loud."

Mike McCurdy stopped by to see the show. He played in OU's last game at the Field House, the night Adams hung 43 points on Iowa State.

How long ago was that 1975 game? McCurdy's daughter, Mikel, danced Monday night as a member of the OU pom squad. How long ago was that 1975 game? Back then, the Sooners didn't even have poms.

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