Our beloved Sports Director, Stan Pamfilis, was once an iconic stick figure at high school games thanks to something called the Stan Fan.
He's retiring Friday, Nov. 20, after almost 40 years, so it seems like a good time to reflect on what was, essentially, the anchor man's face on a stick.
It was simple and effective, and boy was it a hit.
Two decades ago they were ever-present in stands at high school football games every Friday night around Western North Carolina.
"So grab a fan. Who knows when the real Stan may be in your midst," a reporter once said, revealing a shot of station employees covering their faces with the latest Stan Fan.
In 1999, News 13's Tammy Watford was in awe when we unveiled a more streamlined design.
"Man, these things are huge; it's like a wind tunnel," Watford marveled, comparing it to the previous Stan Fans with hair. "You could take it to the Sahara Desert and still be cool."
The slick new design is an engineering marvel that even had former NASCAR driver Jack Ingram in awe.
"Well, the drafting possibilities is good," Ingram said of the updated Stan Fan.
The fan was a dream for News 13's promotions team.
"Ladies and Gentlemen," a narrator said in one promo, "Here are the top 5 uses for the Stan Fan. Number 5... facial shield. Number 4... a scarecrow!"
We'll get back to that promo later. Boy, What a time to be alive.
Years later, younger generations fell in love with the Stan Bobblehead. What's not to love?
It eventually became a staple at yard sales.
But nothing was quite as cool as the Stan Fan with its many uses.
"And the Number One use, showing your spirit!" the promo continued.
"At the end of my vintage story about the Stan Fan, I sat next to Stan in the stands, surrounded by football players carrying the fan," John Le recalled.
"I'm Stan Pamfilis," Le said in the crowd of pseudo-Stans. "Let's pitch it back to Stan."
Those were the days, folks, when we could all pretend for a fleeting moment to be Stan the Man.