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Little of this and lot of that

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My Views by Thomas J. Barr, Publisher

  Can you believe that summer is over and school is back in session?

It’s true.

To get into the Back to School mood, I took a little trip back in history with a visit to The Campus Beautiful.

For those Eastern Kentucky University grads, that is a familiar motto.

I had not been back on the campus for over 25 years. A lot had changed but a lot remained the same.

On a Saturday when few students are on campus, it was a pleasant stroll around the grounds.

My old dorm, O’Donnell Hall, which was the football dorm in which I had the opportunity to tutor a few players, was gone.

A big administrative building was in its place.

It looked like the Crabbe Library had an addition built and work was being done in various areas of the campus.

A beautiful arts center was built across the bypass and is host to many major entertainers. 

The tennis courts beside Alumni Coliseum, where I won the intramural tournament as freshmen, were void of lines, nets or anything else one would expect from a tennis court.

But, the rest of campus looked pretty much the same.

The Ravine is still there but the downtown district has changed a whole lot.

My guess is that since my days on campus, the downtown area has slowly changed. 

It is just for us oldtimers that having a judicial center on First Street where bars were the commonplace seemed a bit odd.

The Dog may still be alive but there was a broken glass in its front door.

The Bypass always had a lot of businesses. Now, it has a whole lot more.

Sadly, my favorite Frisch’s is no longer alive. But, for those who love chicken wings, a Hooters is now on the main drag through town.

Both exits into Richmond are full of restaurants, hotels, stores and gas stations.

The area has truly grown up.

But, it was nice to drive around close to campus and see the residential setting has not changed.

It remains a college town.

Since my son and daughter are die-hard University of Louisville fans, I didn’t expect either to venture down to the home of the Colonels to seek their degree.

In our rapid-fire world, sometimes you just need to go back.

While there only a couple of hours, the memories quickly returned.

The long hours working on The Eastern Progress.

The sleeping through photography class after staying up all night working on the paper.

The seemingly long trips home on weekend to wash clothes. And that trip over the long bridge at Clays Ferry, which is under construction once again

They may be right -- you can’t truly go home.

But for a few brief minutes, you can relieve some of the past.

For all those EKU grads, especially those there in the early 1980s when it WAS the football power of the state, the campus is still beautiful.