May 22 • 09:24 AM
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Imlay grad seeks grandstand restoration

Dear Editor,

I am so pleased that there are plans afoot to restore the historic grandstand at Grettenberger Field. The grandstand is a tangible symbol of community recreation and school sports that links us to the past from the time of the Great Depression, the second World War, through the booming years that followed and into the 21st Century. It was a venue that featured programs that served all ages in different ways, including high school baseball, American Legion baseball, the founding place of Little League and Youth Baseball, men's softball leagues (following World War II), summer playground program ('50s and '60s) and more.

It was also a safe place for young people to "hang out" as spectators or just to be with other kids. It was fun to have softball teams from Dryden, Lum, Attica, Almont and Capac in addition to the hometown "boys" who played.

Let me share one of the notes my husband, Coach Lyle Powers, received as his health was failing that speaks to the summer playground program at that field. It is dated November 4, 2003:

"Dear Coach, Just these few lines to say 'Hi.'

I was looking at a picture of you and my brother John. My brothers John and Frank had so many wonderful times with you. They would have lived at the ballpark when they were younger. It was you that made every day fun for them. You are one very special man. God love you Coach.—Ramona Gonzales, the sister of John and Frank Gonzales"

Lyle felt real gratitude for his association with families. He was proud of the kids. But my point in sharing this is that Imlay City had a place and programs that allowed young people and adults to form strong, healthy relationships through recreational activities and athletic programs, and these experiences would serve them a lifetime.

I am looking forward to contributing to the restoration of the grandstand at Grettenberger Field, but I also hope that people will share their own memories of this "place in time." I have heard some great stories. Why not share them? They are part of the history, and Lyle loved that, too.

Joyce Powers (Whiteman), Imlay City Class of 1952, Brighton, Mich.
April 23, 2008

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