LEWISTOWN - As many mourn the death of a football legend and prepare to attend memorial services, one Lewistown resident has three decades worth of memories of Joe Paterno and Penn State football.
Lewistown resident William Carter began working as an usher at Beaver Stadium around the time Paterno was in his 15th year of coaching at Penn State University, but said he was a fan before he became an employee, something for which he credits his brother.
"My brother was the first one to take me over to a game, an Air Force game," he said.
From left, front, Lynn Hassinger and Brian Hassinger pose with their grandfather, William Carter, back right, and Joe Paterno at photo day before an annual Penn State Blue-White game in the 1980s.
Keeping the Penn State tradition in the family, Carter said he took his grandsons, Brian Hassinger then 15, and Lynn Hassinger, then 8, to their first game at Beaver Stadium in the 1980s. It was photo day at the annual Penn State Blue-White intrasquad scrimmage that is the culmination of spring practice, and a photo was snapped of Brian and Lynn Hassinger posing with their grandfather and Joe Paterno, holding small blue and white footballs given to them by the legendary coach.
"They were tickled," Carter said.
And over the years his grandsons have attended many of games and are "great Penn State fans," he added.
Of the many photos Carter has with players and coaches he said digging this one up meant the most.
"I have so many photos, that's the one I wanted my grandsons to see," he said.
One big reason Carter has so many photos is that he has personally attended all but one game during his 30 years due to moose hunting in Canada. His wife, Nancy Carter said he wouldn't miss a Penn State game and had his grandsons just as much involved.
A room full of pictures, a 3-foot Nittany Lion along with other paraphernalia celebrating Penn State will keep the memory of Joe Paterno and Penn State football in the Carters' home.
But like so many others, he feels sorrow for the coach's family.
"We would like to offer our condolences," Carter said.