By Emily Kaplan, The Philadelphia Inquirer –
PHILADELPHIA—Slowly, Jerry Sandusky’s name is getting erased by the Penn State community. On Thursday, it was done by two small tools, a miniature hammer with a plastic pink handle and a sharp medal blade with a blue plastic handle.
A brick that was engraved, “Jerry Sandusky, The Second Mile, Founded 1977,” was removed from a walkway outside the Tavern, a classic homestyle restaurant in the heart of downtown State College.
It was shortly after the restaurant began serving lunch when owner Pat Daugherty received a call from Tom Fountaine, State College borough manager.
“Pat,” Fountaine said. “Did you know there’s a brick with Jerry Sandusky’s name on it outside your restaurant?”
“No,” responded Daugherty, who has owned the property for 32 years. “I had no idea.”
Fountaine then gave Daugherty a choice: Remove the brick or the borough will send over personnel from public works to do the job. Daugherty had no qualms.
“I’ll take care of it,” he told Fountaine.
A borough spokeswoman said Fountaine became aware of the brick a few days ago when a reporter called to tell him about it.
Daugherty said he must have stepped on the brick “100 times” and had no idea. It sits about 20 feet from the side door of the restaurant on Centennial Walkway, an alley that neighbors the Tavern’s patio. There are hundreds of bricks that neatly pave the walkway. About half of them are engraved with people’s names or companies.
Daugherty doesn’t know who paid for the brick but figured it happened in 1996, when the borough revamped the walkway. Anyone could purchase two engraved bricks for $100, Daugherty said. There is a brick regarding “The Curley Family” but none of Joe Paterno.
“I saw some people taking pictures outside the restaurant this past week near the Sandusky brick,” Daugherty said. “I think someone came and tried to remove it themselves.”
On Thursday morning, Daugherty enlisted the help of two of his servers, Mike Wise and Mike Wiedemer, both recent Penn State graduates, to chisel the brick out of the ground.
Wise was wearing a gray T-shirt that read, “Penn State football.” There are six navy blue signs that say “Proud to Support Penn State Football” posted in the restaurant’s windows.
A depiction of Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator who was found guilty on 45 of 48 counts of child-sex abuse in June, was removed from a well-known mural across from Penn State’s campus in November. In June, the blank area was painted over with a blue ribbon.
In an e-mail to The Inquirer, Fountaine wrote: “The Borough does not have any plan for what will happen to the brick at this time.”
Fountaine did not respond to a follow-up e-mail.
When the brick was removed, it was returned to the borough council office, a borough spokeswoman said.