Concrete fields of play

by Regis Boff

Our football field at South Hills High was enclosed by black cyclone fencing. It was built on concrete and attached to the school like an athletic bedpan. Every spring in the 1960’s a caravan of heavy dump trucks arrived to refilled it with dirt.

The people who lived in the neighborhood would show up and sit outside the fence on the cement Lego spectator stands that connected directly to our field, beause it was something different. We would steal peeks from our classroom windows when the teacher turn his back. I can still smell it.

We would start practice for football in the hot and dry late Augusts before the school year started.  Oil trucks had come the week before to spray the dirt dampening the dust. Through the first few weeks of practice we would come home much stained black and greasey slick.

Many of us grew what the coach called “carbuncles” on our backs. I remember them as sort of jumbo pimples. It had to be from the oil of course. I still remember my coach telling me to tape a raw slice of potato over them at night to draw out the bad stuff. So you know. It worked. Al Boff 1966SHHS39