Up for air
There are no easy answers...

Endings

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Katie was in first grade in 1991 when this school celebrated its 100th year.  I remember attending the celebration with a brand new Madeleine.

I helped with the redecorating project.  Those handprints are actual handprints of actual kids -- not just one or two or six kids, but every single kid attending school at that time put prints on the wall!  I should have counted how many handprints line those halls -- how many red and green and purple ones -- that's the kind of silly thing I'd like to know.

I helped raise money for new playground equipment after vandals wrecked what was there and the kids went for a whole year with nothing but a few swings.  I painted Four Square lines on the blacktop, and a map of the United States.

Hmong women taught me how to make spring rolls in the school kitchen, and I showed them how Betty Crocker bakes a cake.

I volunteered and went on field trips and attending meetings and conferences and concerts -- oh, the concerts!  There was a boy in Ali's second grade class... I can't even remember what he sang, but I remember the feeling -- still -- pure rapture.

Ali was a pansy for the Mother's Day Tea in second grade -- every student was a flower and recited a verse.

I actually cried (I wasn't the only one) when Katie finished third grade and had to go to a different school -- this school only went to third grade.  I cried again today when I hugged one of those third grade teachers, just outside the door of her old room.

I attended an open house this afternoon, a farewell reunion marking the last year -- the 117th year -- this building will be used as a school. I don't know if it'll still be called "school," but it doesn't matter... just as my house is known as The So-and-So House, even though So-and-So hasn't lived here in 40 years or more (it was referred to as such even TODAY at SCHOOL talking with a man who used to live a few doors down), this place will always be School.  This will always be OUR school -- Katie's and Ali's and Maddy's school.  I couldn't have dreamed up a better school for my kids.  I'm so sorry for the families in the neighborhood who will never know what it's like to have a school in their own community.

Comments

Carole

Your memories of the school are wonderful, Vicki.

Carol

What a shame. I have the same sentiments for our "used to be" pre-school that's no longer there.

Bron

What a touching tribute. Thanks for sharing. My grade school met the same fate after 100+ years. All the classrooms are now offices. I console myself that at least it wasn't torn down!

margene

What a lovely school. Every kid should have a school like that to attend.

kay

Your essay on this school is wonderful. Time moves on for those of us who attended beautiful schools like this one. I hope they don't tear it down.

kay

Your essay on this school is wonderful. Time moves on for those of us who attended beautiful schools like this one. I hope they don't tear it down.

anmiryam

It's too early to cry, but I want to. Here's to your school!

Elizabeth

What a beautiful school!
My high school was torn down recently to put a spanking new building ( a Catholic school) in it's place. No more that Victorian quirkiness of going up a half flight of stairs and down the other side to stay on the same floor. They don't know what they are missing.

deb

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your history.

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