• Patty Hirst – The Ghosts In The Old Dublin Gym

    It’s not only the people, but also some places around town that make Dublin, Texas so special. Mention the old gym and allow just a moment———-it’s like opening a faucet full blast!

    Built by the Works Project Administration (WPA) during the depression, the old gym is an institution for multiple generations of Dubliners.

    Since 1940 can you imagine how many people have sat in the stands, played on the court, attended or participated in events in what has been a gathering place for the community for over 70 years?

    Until the fall of 1986 every student attending Dublin ISD was in one of the buildings on North Camden Street. The gym was at the heart of that complex and every student in pre k-12 had a turn in that wonderful old rock structure for one reason or another.

    Even though I have attended events of all kinds there since 1981, Friday afternoon pep rallies are synonymous with that special spot in my mind.

    I had participated in pep rallies during my own junior high and high school days and attended countless ones throughout college and prior teaching assignments, but until I attended my first DUBLIN LIONS Pep Rally in the fall of 1981, my point of reference was lacking.

    Each week during football season the stands were PACKED! They were so full that the youngest elementary kids were ringed around the court in rows and seated on the floor so that EVERYONE could attend; the student body functioned as just that—one united force—one body!

    The air was ELECTRIC. When the football players came in that back door, the crowd literally leaped to its feet and clapped in rhythm as the band blasted “Rocky” from the south bleachers.

    If school spirit was in the dictionary, a picture of one of those pep rallies would be the definition! Wow! I got carried away there myself, and that was just a fraction of one of those Friday afternoon experiences.

    By the fall of 1986 the new elementary behind the football field on Thomas Street had become home to pre-k through fifth grades and not having the whole district present each week relieved some of the overcrowding, but it was a little like having some of the family missing.

    So many other incredible occasions have taken place within those noble rock walls.

    In talking to former students they came up with a long list of times remembered. How hot is was, the big fans that were so loud, running bleachers at basketball practice, the smell in the dressing rooms came to mind.

    The trophy case in the foyer, the concession stand that served as the snack bar during school lunch time, donkey basketball games played for fund raisers, Project Graduation. . . . . . . .

    When Dublin held its chamber banquet there, it was really hard for me to concentrate on the program; I kept thinking of the hours I had spent there, the people, the great memories . . .

    About Patty Hirst

    It doesn’t take long to discover that Patty Hirst loves Dublin, Texas, and the people who live in Dublin. She is also one of the reasons that Texansunited.com has been able to show the world just how special this Irish Texas town actually is. Quite often here on Texans United, you will find Patty in our News section, weighing in on what is happening in Dublin. But Patty Hirst is also a thinker, maybe even a dreamer,if you will. She sees the beauty in things that others never see...whether it be a rock, a single rose, or the stranger sitting on the park bench. Yes, Patty thinks good thoughts, and we've asked her to share thosse thoughts with all of us.
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    11 Responses to Patty Hirst – The Ghosts In The Old Dublin Gym

    1. Dustin says:

      Great article, Patty. I grew up in Dublin and that old gym was a key part of school life. I remember all of the important events occurring there, and it was a center for students during the summer to play pickup basketball.

    2. Pamela Tunnell says:

      Reading this brought me back to a place I’ll always treasure! You can’t make the kind of noise we made in the old gym in the new high school gym!

    3. Cindy Jones Ferguson says:

      Wow…is all I can say. There are definitely lots of memories in this gym. Besides the norm, how many of us went under the gym floor, pitch dark, dirt ground and it got smaller the further you got, but you had to touch the wall to come back. All the sweat, blood and tears literally that I remember in that gym. I think I still have scars on my knees and shins from running bleachers. I could go on and on. It just brings a smile to my face to remember the gym. Thanks for sharing Ms Hurst.

    4. Stormi Hicks says:

      This was very touching!!!…my grandfathers name is on a plaque in that gym. I loved that both my patents attended that school and played in the gym and felt honored to be in the same place they once were, I sometimes found myself thinking ” I bet my mom or dad sat here”. I was all to sad when they built the new high school and I wouldn’t be able to roam the halls any more that my parents did, but I did have junior high there so I’m very happy and blessed with having that memory. Thank you for sharing this.

    5. Tom Ellis says:

      Thanks for that. I will always consider it my “home”. My last visit I sat in the bleachers all alone in the dark thinking about times past. I won’t lie. There were tears. Not a day goes by where I do not think about Dublin. The Pep Rallys were a right of passage. When you finally got to go sit out in front of everyone and the place was rocking you knew you were no longer a kid.

    6. Keedra Couch says:

      I remember the old gym from Jr high, although your article brings life to my memories! I can’t say we had a great basketball team back in Jr high but that old gym made sure we were in the best shape against any of our opponents! Running lines, bleachers, and wall sits. Going to the locker room under the bleachers all sweaty with just enough time to throw our cloths on over the sweat and head to class. It was character building! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    7. Dawn Freeman says:

      What a great article, I was immediately flooded with a barrage of wonderful memories and whisked away to all those times the student body lovingly sang so full of pride, with pinkies linked, our school song in that gym. We were so blessed to have been a part of such a close-knit school community and to have made childhood bonds that carry through even after 28 years (gulp)! #GATA #SOUND OF DUBLIN #EYEOFTHETIGER

    8. Linda Sanders (Whiteley) says:

      WoW!! I can’t believe the memories that come flooding back. I also participated in pep rallies in this gym for 12 yrs. and multiple sports. The high school years found me on the court and in the stands encouraging all the cheers and spirit we could muster. I was so excited when my girls began their cheerleading experience so I could experience this again, at a different ISD of course. I was so disappointed to learn the students of today no longer have the enthusiasm we had back in the day! I’ve got to say, I love this gym and all the memories it holds!!

    9. I set in those bleachers as a member of the pep talley, ran them as a member of the basketball team, screamed for the men’s basketball team as they fought for trophies, and played on the court in my special peddle pushers made by my mom with LIONS down the sides because I was not allowed to wear shorts. I still smell those lockers, girls sweat too! Trying to change clothes without being “seen” due to my modesty. I loved that gym,! The memories of cheering our football team and my brother, Wayne, “MAXWELL, MAXWELL, HE’S OUR MAN!” prior to the games will always be a part of me!

    10. Laura Leatherwood says:

      Great article, Patty! Pep rallies are my fondest memories in that gym. I’ve enjoyed reading other’s comments as well!

    11. Chuck Ratliff says:

      I spent many basketball games in that old gym. Anytime Carlton ISD had a game there I was there.
      Nice old building.


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