By Tiffany L. Rehbein
1951. The war had ended. Elvis was alive. Kennedy was alive. My Mom wasnt even born yet. But Andy Linie, he was traveling to Great Falls to watch his second East-West High School All-Star Classic football game.
In 1947, he had watched his first. Then the military called him to serve for three years, but in 51 he was back. And he has not missed a game since.
I just enjoy watching football, he said. Just about every year some Havre kid plays and its for a good cause.
All proceeds from the football game go to support Shriners Childrens Hospitals across the United States.
When Linies kids, two boys and two girls, were young, he and his wife went together as a family.
When the kids were small, we went to the games, he said. Wed stay over night, eat out and come home.
Sometimes, however, the kids would shop with their mom while Andy went to the game, he said.
After the kids got older, Linie and his guy friends would drive over to watch the game. And through the years, no matter with whom Andy went to the game, all the games were memorable.
Ive enjoyed them all, he said. To me, they were all good.
Not much has changed in the game through nearly five decades. The biggest difference Linie has seen was that a lot of the kids chosen to play actually do not play.
Before, it was quite a priviledge to play, now it seems kids say no to playing, he said. Its not a big thing any more. I dont know, I dont know why the ones picked dont go.
After attending 50 of the 53 games, Linie might not be able to make the trek this year due to a family illness. However, his son Gary hopes to see the game.
Weve got to keep this Linie trip-thing going, he said.