This afternoon I walked across campus to Beaver Stadium. As I walked toward Beaver Stadium people were beginning to gather along Curtin Road in preparation for Coach Paterno’s final procession. I was surprised at how happy most people seemed; I expected to see more somberness and sadness.
The sign in front of the Bryce Jordan Center had a special message this afternoon.
My destination was the Joe Paterno statue on the far side of Beaver Stadium. As I got close the crowd grew thicker. Beaver Stadium threw a shadow over the statue, making it dark and cold. The (unedited) picture below captures that. You can see the bright sunlight to the south, but in near the statue it is dark.
I had to wait for an opening in the crowd to get a picture from the front.
I did not stay to watch the procession. When I left campus I had to bike across campus to a point west of the library to cross Curtin Road. The crowds of people along the procession route were too thick to navigate with a bike. (This included the street, the crowd went right across Shortlidge Road, there were cars wanting to drive through but the crowd did not move, forcing the drivers to backtrack and find a new route.)
Coach Paterno had a legendary career at Penn State. He gave much to the university. In his passing he reminds me of how much of an impact one person can have. I am also reminded that even those we think of as heroes are just human.