Memories on display
North Country legend shares his love of sport and being a coach
Longtime Woodsville High School baseball and basketball coach John Bagonzi has gathered and organized his countless artifacts from a life in sports. They now adorn the museum he created in his barn. The Golden Age Museum opened this summer. (BOB HOOKWAY)
This summer, the Golden Age Museum drew an opening night crowd of about 300.
And as Dreamer pointed out, people have learned over the years to "just drop by" the family home on Pine Street in the heart of Woodsville; no appointment necessary.
It was there, just around the corner from his home, that Bagonzi became one of the most successful New Hampshire coaches ever. Between 1959 and 1977, he oversaw 13 combined championship teams and seven runners-up. There was even a cross country title in 1972 with Bagonzi coaching. He still retains affection for many of his players.
But the museum's reach extends beyond Woodsville.
Worn-out gloves and catcher's mitts — Clete Boyer and Ted Simmons models — get a second act in the Bagonzi's barn. And just because the proprietor and Sandy Koufax don't think alike on the finer points of pitching, that doesn't prevent him from displaying a Koufax-autographed baseball prominently.
"See that, I took the seat out of a Chrysler LeBaron and it's the most comfortable seat I have," Bagonzi pointed out.
"I've interacted with an awful lot of people over the years, and there's a lot of stuff here. The people who have come by have seemed to enjoy all this stuff. One guy was here for three hours, and he told me he'd have to come back; he didn't have time to see everything."