Last Saturday morning my ride to Happy Valley was a nostalgic moment for me. I realized the first poignant memory I have of Penn State football included the Crimson Tide. Time stood still for a moment and my mind saw the 1979 Sugar Bowl. My hippocampus was flooded almost instantaneously. A black and white television, Joe Paterno with his khaki pants rolled up, the name Matt Suhey,  Paul “Bear” Bryant with his hound tooth fedora, and my father a Penn State alumni devastated by the goal line stand that gave us a 14-7 loss. It is amazing how one’s memory can be jarred by pure emotion.  Reflecting on this fond memory, it also made me remise about the intrastate rivalry that existed in our household as my mother was a Pitt graduate. Even though my parent’s weren’t the profanity using type, our patriarch was the proud owner of a “Sh** on Pitt” t-shirt that he would darn on that particular game day! Our house only had one team Penn State, sorry Mom. Having this revelation was tantalizing as many of my collegiate tailgating experiences have a slight blur to them. There is a learning curve for everything. How to tailgate responsibly was one I had to work on… 🙂

Unfortunately,  we could not pull out a win this  past weekend against Alabama, but win or lose I am Penn State legacy.  I will always be blue and white, for the glory, and S-T-A-T-E Go State!!!

This blog is not about one particular professional football player,  but a university that has produced hundreds. It is about a  proud tailgating community tucked in the valley. It is also about the loyal fans that hit College Avenue and support the Nittany Lions at their favorite watering hole to avoid the crowd of the Beaver stadium. This is my alma mater and WE ARE PENN STATE!!

Joe’s House…… Beaver Stadium

 Nice piece of real estate!!

I had to hit College Avenue and The Family Clothesline for the game days attire!!! As I looked

for my fabulous new t-shirt, I had to wonder if there was some fire occupancy number for this place.

I could barley walk to the cash register.

The Waffle Shop is the preferred breakfast spot on College Ave.

Even though the lines to the bars are longer on a game day, just checkout

The Waffle Shop lines on a Sunday morning.

McLanahan’s on the College Ave strip is the ultimate convience store. However,

on Satuday it was so crazy one couldn’t get through the door.

Finally I hit the tailgating scene. I only got a whiff

of the chicken pens for about 30 seconds.

True fans dedicate a vehicle to their tailgating experience.

Curt Marshall (Penn State legend) and Kent Pearce

My tailgating quest took me to the overnight RV lot. Kent Pearce was the host of the tailgate. Even

though Kent is not a PSU alum, he is truly loyal fan. Curt is a financial aid guru for Penn State. He receives much love

from many a Penn State graduate!

A t-shirt that speaks for it’s self!!

Keith Traynor PSU alumni and Penn State football royalty Blair Thomas

While at Kent’s tailgate, I had the opportunity to catch up with my old friend Blair Thomas.

Blair was graciously signing autographs and spending time with his loyal fan base.

The youth enjoying the Penn State experience. Curt Marshall’s  daughter Brynn and friend.

Brynn knows Penn State!!!

After tailgating, I headed back to College Avenue. The sea of fans descending on Beaver Stadium.

And more fans!!

 A beautiful day after all the rain and flooding.

No hard feelings here.

Traditions run deep for all schools. The Pins are in at PSU.

The influence and tradition of Bear Bryant. These folks from Bama come dressed for the game.

However these gentlemen would not let us be out done!

  The joy of being a college student!

After my marathon walk back down town, I found my favorite spot from years past!! The Lion’s Den!

The good thing about game day in a bar you always make new friends. Myself and …the owner of The Den

Some pretty happy people!! I think you can see why! Even though Penn State

wasn’t fairing well, most were in great spirits.

The Tavern

I did take a stroll down College Ave to some

of my other favorite spots. 

The Corner Room


The Diner home of the Grilled Stickie

Babys for a great shakes and burgers!

I know this does not seem special, but at 2:00 a.m. this is the

greatest food ever to a Penn State student.

And Old Main

Penn State has shaped my life in so many ways. From childhood to this very moment. This

blog is dedicated to my father Rev. Glenn E. Heasley.  He taught

me  love for this institution and myself.  I love my father and miss him tremendously.

It is also dedicated to myPSU track girlfriends who

have been by my side from the moment we all met at Penn State.

Jen Heasley, Dawn Eidson-Burks, Leslie Giordano, and Shelly Mitchell-Hollingsworth

Cinnamon Rolls- Stickie Style

These cinnamon rolls are easy, easy, easy and can be grilled to get the crust!!!

1 can french bread dough

1 cup packed brown sugar

3 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup melted butter or margrine

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

– In medium bowl, mix brown sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon

– roll out french bread dough and spread extra butter on dough

– spread brown sugar mixture on dough

– roll dough like a jelly roll

– cut into 2 inch pieces

– place pinwheels into buttered baking dish

– bake for 20 minutes

If you want a grilled stickie, after cooled butter a griddle or skillet to medium temperature

place “saucy” side down. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes. Delicious!!!

TWe are Penn State and remember………….Who Do You Want In Your Kitchen On Game Day!!!