March 4, 2013

Bidding adieu to Bangor Auditorium

An era that began almost 60 years ago ends Saturday with the final championship basketball games.

By Mike Lowe
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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John Hepburn, left, of Boothbay, and Isaiah Bess of Penquis go up for a rebound Saturday night during the last basketball game at the Bangor Auditorium – the Class C boys’ state final. Bess scored 27 points to lead Penquis to a 61-54 victory.

Michael C. York/Special to the Press Herald

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But not Saturday. His wife is a Penquis graduate and Hamlin is a close friend. He had his tournament pass ready for Hamlin to sign it, a souvenir of the final day.

What he liked about the Auditorium, he said, was the familiarity.

"There were some people that I didn't know, that I never knew," he said. "But we saw each other every year. And we nodded at each other."

He will miss the Auditorium's charm, its leaky roof, the way the fans were about four feet behind the benches, the feeling as the sound cascaded from the bleachers and engulfed you.

"If you couldn't get pumped up being in this building," he said. "Then you're in trouble."

Dick Durost, the executive director of the Maine Principals' Association, presented a plaque to Bangor city officials commemorating the many years the tournament came to the Auditorium.

For all its foibles, he said, "it was a wonderful place to watch high school basketball."

But it was time to move on. Jerry Goss, a retired school official, said simply, "A chapter has ended, a new one is about to begin."

And hard-core fans like McQuesten are looking forward to it.

"I hate to see the old building go because there are so many memories here," he said. "But I know the new building will create more memories."

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH


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