Auditorium memories echo: Matt Rossignol, Tim Scott, Ordietorium

I walked into the old barn on Dutton Street last week.
The Bangor Auditorium is on borrowed time now and a weird thing started happening as I covered the first of many high school basketball games there in its final year of existence.
I heard a voice. Every time I looked around the place, I heard the same voice…
I looked at that corner bleacher spot and the voice said…”Remember playing the saxophone in the high school that year? How stupid you felt when you dropped your reed that went through the then open bleachers all the way to the floor. Band director Dave McGillicuddy was not impressed.”
I looked up at the ceiling and the voice again was calling… “Remember that night with the leaky roof? Houlton vs Mt View girls. Dexter vs Rockland boys. MPA floor director Bump Hadley and two guys with towels spent the night right in front of you while you were sitting at press row. Once the play went to the other end of the floor, out went the guys to wipe the floor as quickly as possible.”
I looked at the baseline where the photographers take their pictures and that voice again… “Remember the first time you were shooting video for a TV sportscast – how you wondered if it was OK to be in that spot? Admit it, you were a little afraid of tourney director Woody Bailey that year.”
I looked at that spot on the floor, you know, the Thurston spot. Again I heard that voice… “Too bad you didn’t get a chance to call the play-by-play on that one but consider yourself lucky to do it when Joe Campbell had his state final buzzer beater.” I nodded when no one was looking.
I looked around while walking through the elephant room and the voice was chuckling …”Remember for the longest time you didn’t know why they called it the elephant room?”
I looked as a player fell to the floor and that voice reminded me…”Remember the year they remodeled the floor and one player after another had to get taped up because of cuts on their legs. Delay after delay.”
I looked at that railing in front of the second deck over there on the team benches side and that voice reminded me…”Remember the best sign ever was that huge sign stretching the entire length of auditorium ‘Welcome to the Ordietorium’ as Jonesport-Beals fans honored their coach Ordie Alley.”
I looked on as one team scored on a fastbreak and the same voice I kept hearing couldn’t contain the enthusiasm…”Remember the day Ellsworth’s Tim Scott scored all those points against M.A. in that final minute? Who was the first one to call it the ‘Miracle Minute’? Remember interviewing the Eagles afterward and all that joy? Remember interviewing M.A. and how tough that was?”
I looked around the back hallway and the voice reminded me…”Remember that day tourney trainer Wes Jordan was there taping Matt Rossignol’s ankle. The kid had injured the ankle just before tourney week and never got on the floor because Van Buren was one and done that year. Remember how Rossignol made up for it by putting on a show the next year?”
I looked up into the third deck, all the way to the top of the Auditorium and that voice remembered the time I went up there…”Remember that night you wanted to go all the way up there, to the last row. You wanted to get a video shot from up there. Man, you were breathing hard when you got up there. By the way, don’t try that at your age now!”
I looked to the spots around the Auditorium walls where blue paint meets green paint and the voice quickly asked…”Suppose anybody remembers why the blue paint?” I remembered – they did that because UMaine played home games there for a couple of years and they agreed to make it Maine’s blue color.
I looked on as the teams and coaches left the floor and my voice reminded me…”Remember watching Michigan State coaching legend Jud Heathcoate walk off the same floor, shaking his head the whole way? His Spartans had been upset by a Black Bear three point barrage.”
Eventually, I left the Auditorium after last week’s high school game – physically.
I’m not sure mentally I’ll ever be able to leave the old place.