MORGANTOWN — Let us, today, take a trip back in time, a ride into yesterday, to 1959, the last time West Virginia University made its way to the Final Four, the only time West Virginia made it to the Final Four until Saturday’s meeting with Duke comes about.
You are, you will find once you get off our time machine, far more familiar with the year than you think you are. It was a moment in time during an era you have come to be familiar with through the television show “Happy Days” and the movie “Animal House.”
Both were funny because they were so close to reality.
We will take our ride with Jay Jacobs, the Morgantown native who was a teammate of Jerry West’s on that team.
West lived in Ann Dinardi’s house on Beechhurst, just down the hill from the Coliseum, but, of course, we already have gotten ahead of ourselves because there was no Coliseum, the games being played just down the block at Stansbury Hall.
The truth is, there wasn’t much around the Coliseum then, the area not yet having really been developed.
You traveled in Morgantown on one of two bus lines or you jumped into your Edsel, which was discontinued this year as one of the great automotive failures in history, or into your Nash or Hudson, companies that merged this very same year to make American Motors.
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Life centered around High Street then. Jacobs remembers there being three movie theaters and five stores or so, one of them his father’s clothing store.
His dad carried top-of-the-line haberdashery and Jacobs remembers a really good suit went for around $75. When he was informed that a Web site said the average suit in America cost $22, Jacobs laughed and said, “I guess my dad was doing pretty good.”