I am sure most of you have noticed that Brice Field is now visible from Pendleton Street, and the wall that once hid the green expanse from passersby has been removed.
I am sure that most of you have noticed the steady march of busy workman amidst the bulldozers, hard hats, and renovation efforts.
The old Easley High School will be converted into the city’s second middle school and some of the buildings on campus will be demolished, but Brice Field and the ’39 building will be restored and the 73 years of wear that marred their features will be removed.
The original school on campus, the ’39 building, cost just $240,000 to complete and was opened in 1939, two years before America’s involvement in World War II and one week after the release of “The Wizard of Oz”.
Nearly 75 years of American history has unfurled since the campus was first opened and one Easley generation after another has passed through the halls of the ‘39 building or sat along one of the yard lines at Brice Field.
The new High School, complete with football stadium and a $55 million price tag, sits just outside of town, well beyond its predecessor in terms of distance, and well beyond the seven decades of time that separate each school’s completion.
But a community has a way of holding on to some things, and some things represent more than a city’s history.
Old timers like Hal Looper, 1980 graduate, quarterback, and student athlete under the guidance of Coach Larry Bagwell, would rather Brice Field remain untouched, perfectly preserved just as it was when he played and just as it remains in his mind.
If you talk to Hal, he’ll tell you that Brice Field is Easley football, and he’ll tell you about the great players that called the stadium home.
He’ll tell you about Eric Meekins, Stanley Morgan, James Earl, Alvin Sutton, and Russell Patterson.
Brice field was named after James C. Brice, a former coach and educator at Easley High, and although the field will remain, it has lost some of its character and some of the key attributes that made it so unique.
The wall is gone, some of the stands are gone, and so too is the press box, but the missing feature most prevalent to all is something that Easley will have to get used to.
Brice Field will never be the home of the Green Wave again.
That time has passed and those days have gone and can only be reborn in the memories of those who were there.