Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Where have all the cool old buildings gone?

Ok, I promise this is the last walk down grade school memory lane.

In fifth and sixth grade I finally got shipped into town (and probably had the shortest bus ride) to attend the really cool Washington School. Why don’t they make buildings like that anymore? Built in 1907 to initially house fifth through twelfth grades, it was full of character and stairs and cubby holes. All the floors were hardwood and creaked no matter how gingerly you walked.

It was three stories tall, and at least a couple times a year we had fire drills where they made us tromp down the metal fire escapes on either end of the building. We of course had blackboards in all the rooms – no such thing as whiteboards with colorful erasable markers. At the end of the day which ever student was the teacher’s pet got to take the chalk-filled erasers out on the fire escape to clap off the chalk dust.

Oh, and remember the portable classroom they had at Bradley School? They had a couple of those on the grounds here too, again for the younger grades. I can see why they didn’t want first-graders on the third floor. Those little six-year-olds could slip right through the metal grating of the fire escape.

As it is, Washington School caught on fire during the summer of 1978. I took some cool pictures of it, the shell of an awesome building, but then in 2008, when we went to Virginia to see my mom’s hundred year old uncle, I made a scrapbook of Tomahawk for him and put all those old school pictures in it. Luckily I was able to borrow pictures from the “You know you’re old school Tomahawk” facebook page. Thanks, guys.

All I have left is memories. And someday I will write them all down.

When I attended Washington School, those trees were giant elms. Just like the school, they were taken down, too, victims of Dutch Elm Disease.
Picture perfect postcard. Do they make postcards of schools anymore?
The school after the fire. Very sad.

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