FANFARE FUELS THE FAREWELL
Old North Church is but a Bobby Orr slap shot away and Old Ironsides perhaps a Larry Bird jump shot from the Garden, but so few Bostonians have been to those shrines while so many —maybe all — have been to the Garden. So when Dan Rather, strangely out of place on this night the Garden closed, brought it all to an end by saying, ''A new era begins [tonight] when the FleetCenter opens,'' a cascade of boos rang down from the dusty, musty rafters of Boston Garden.. . . Larry Bird and Red Auerbach and Bob Cousy and John Havlicek all caught the magic of Boston Garden so perfectly when they described their love for a building no one could like but all Boston sports fans could love — it was the Garden fans who made the Garden the Garden. "Fifty years of my life were spent in the Garden," said Cousy, the magician whose tricks were the first to open Boston's eyes that there might just be another winter sport besides hockey. From his college days at Holy Cross to all those great years with the Celtics, said Cousy, the Garden was special to him."But it's still just a building," said the Cooz, initiating a theme that Celtic after Celtic repeated. "But a lot of the people sitting here are the ones who made the memories for us.". . . Auerbach would tell other "stupid coaches" about the dead spots in the parquet floor, "and I'd tell the other coaches, 'We know where the dead spots are.' " And they'd believe him, and they would think that is why the Boston Celtics were basketball's most successful team for generation after generation.But in truth, said Auerbach, "I want really to thank the fans. I think they had a lot to do with our winning. I really mean that sincerely because the fans were our sixth man. That's because everything in this building was so close and the fans really helped you.". . . For 67 years, Boston Garden was as far from corporate as could be. It was a real arena which no one liked but all Bostonians adored. Long after the ceremonies ended, thousands of fans remained and roared from their soul. Where the real memories of a real Garden will always bubble.
The Boston Globe, September 30, 1995.