October 6, 2013

Amanuensis Monday ~ The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 18

The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:
During the summer time, those of us boys who lived here in town would ease over to the old three-story school building.  Mr. Coney lived right across the street from the school.  He didn't want us to go over to the school.  That made it more fun to go! 
We'd get in the building.  Usually a door was open.  When it wasn't, we'd get in through a window that had been left open.  We'd roam around half afraid of the old building because the floors would creak and pop.  We would dare one another to go up the stairs and walk down the halls on the 2nd and 3rd floors.  
I don't ever remember any boy who dared to do it alone.  In a group we'd walk up to the stairs but I don't believe even as a group we ever walked all the way down one of those halls.  It was ghosty-like.  Horror sounds!
Coney home across from the school
You would step on a part of the floor and you'd hear the creak and pop all the way down on the other end of the building.
We hung around there anyway; knowing if Mr. Coney saw us, he'd come over and run us off.
If we got permission, Mr. Coney would let us get a basketball and shoot goals in the gym.

I had been all over that old building.  Downstairs, that is.  As I said, none of us were too much on going on the other floors.  Too scarey!
I'll never forget one morning when I got up and was the first one at the school.  The janitors hadn't even made it there yet.  I wouldn't go in the old auditorium because it wasn't light enough.  It was still dark outside.  
I'd go there at that door and start to go in but it was too dark inside.  I finally walked up and opened that door and was trying to get my nerve up to step inside.  I heard something that if I hadn't seen it later, I'd have sworn it was a tiger or a mountain lion or something!  That was the most awful sound I had ever heard!  
I ran almost two blocks back towards the house then decided to turn around and ease back up there.  I discovered what it was.  An old rooster was out in the school yard,  It was up close to the auditorium but on the other side.  When he'd crow, the sound rang out across that auditorium.  That was a terrible sound!
Yes, it was ghosty in that old building in the summer with nobody there.  The silence was ghosty.  Other times of the year, the building was full of laughter, talking and playing.  In my memory, it's still ghosty to think about all the children I knew who went to school in that old building.  Many have passed on.  Others moved away years ago.
The old three-story school was built in 1923 and housed all grades.  In 1931, the two-story high school was built and in the 1960s they tore the old three-story building down and built the one-story elementary school beside the vacant lot.  
Elementary School Building in foreground; High School Building in background; former site of 3-story building to the right of the Elementary School Building.  Concrete foundation of the old 3-story building can still be seen.
The old boiler room for the three-story building now houses a concession room.  Several years ago, when I was a school board member, we renovated the two-story high school building.  I wouldn't let them tear down the old boiler room.
Old Boiler Room

Renovated High School Building - Side View

Renovated High School Building - Front View

Note:  Parts 1-17 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog.

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