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Hatteberg's People - Brian Richter

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On Hatteberg's People, remember when you were in high school and you threw that pass that won the homecoming game? Oh, don't you wish you had that old 16mm game film? Well, a Sterling, Kansas man feels your pain. Brian Richter has devoted a portion of his life to finding and restoring those old films, just for the memories.

"I know there are a lot of people like me who just want to see those old things."

If these reels of 16mm film could speak, they would talk of the glory days on the gridiron.

"I get a lot of emails and phone calls saying 'Don't you have this?' And I say 'no' and you can almost hear the anguish in their voice."

Brian Richter of Sterling knows that feeling. As an assistant football coach at Sterling High School, the memories of his playing days weren't saved, but he's trying to change that for others.

"As a football coach, sometimes I'll see things on there that, hey, maybe we can do that too -- and nobody has ever seen it before because it is forty or fifty years old."

Brian created a little company called 'OldSchoolYou.com' that he runs out of his garage. He tries and find old game films, then converts them to DVD's. So he is collecting sports memories from all over Kansas... and on the Internet, all over the U.S. Memories that can be shared by high school sports heroes of days gone by.

"Sports is such a big deal in our society that, for some, those are the greatest days of their lives."

"Let's go back to Eisenhower and we're talking about Normandy."

During the day, he is a history teacher at Sterling High School. Many times, he uses those sports metaphors to engage students' interest in history.

"To score points isn't necessarily their job. They are going to put their own personal interests second to the goal of the team," Richter said.

After school, history arrives in the form of more 16mm film, found by someone at Oakley High School who sent it to Richter to be made into a DVD.

Brian Richter loves history both celluloid and from the pulpit of a classroom. In a way, the best of both worlds. From the classroom to the screening room, he is saving sports history and teaching American history. All the while, he is saving valuable reels of forgotten football lore so that football legends of the high school gridiron can show their grandchildren that they, too, were once invincible.

"It's like a new treasure," he says. "That's how I view it."


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