When the paper sent Lauren and me to State College two Fridays ago, it wasn’t just to cover the candlelight vigil and the season’s last home game/first game without Joe Paterno.
Lauren is a business reporter, so as soon as we arrived in State College, we started working on a biz story: (How) have the Sandusky case and Paterno’s firing affected the Penn State brand?
The first store we walked into was Lions Pride. When the clerk fetched the store manager for us, he (the manager) scratched his head and said he wasn’t giving interviews because he knew what we wanted to talk about. He’d been turning down CNN, a few big-name papers and other outlets all week.
But then he started talking anyway. And then he agreed to let us quote him, and take photos in his store. And, once I was done making photos, we approached him to thank him and give him our business cards — right as he was turning down another national media outlet on the phone.
Lauren and I went to several other stores afterward. No one else would talk to us.
Here’s Lauren’s story.
The next morning, before the game, we set out again — this time, in the vicinity of Beaver Stadium. I made sure at one point to stop by the Joe Paterno statue, but it was so swarmed by fans and media that I almost left because I felt like I couldn’t get a genuine photo. Then, as I turned to my right, I saw a different kind of picture to make…
…so I made the picture.
The quote on the wall reads as follows:
“They ask me what I’d like written about me when I’m gone. I hope they write I made Penn State a better place, not just that I was a good football coach.”
(For those who may be unfamiliar with the layout of the Paterno statue area, check out this photo.)