The Little Red Brick School
by Helen Nolden
How sad! How very sad it is to walk down the street and see the rubble of what was once my school! To be sure, the street will be cleaned of the scorched bricks and the blackened boards. But what an empty place it will leave in my heart. How many wonderful memories burned with the desk and the books on October 28, 1979?
The beautiful old red brick building that stood as a sentinel for almost 75 years, proudly proclaiming to all who passed by that this was indeed the center of learning in the small community of Anamoose.
To me it was a monument that connected the past to the present. True, it was an old building and its bell no longer tolled the beginning of the school day or the end of recess. But in years long past, the bell very loudly and clearly cut through the frosty winter mornings urgently telling the children that it was nine o’clock. Even thought the bell was silent, you could see it and with a bit of imagination, you could go back. You could almost hear it again. Backward, turn backward, O time in your flight and make me a child just for tonight.
But I remember-
Yes, I remember as do the hundred of students who had the honor to grace her hallways. I remember the sounds, the teachers the odors from the Science room, the fragrance of baked goods that swept up the stairs from the Home Economics room, the sounds of the Giant Strides as they clanked against the metal pole in the breeze of a crisp fall day. Who can forget the old iron fire escape down the west side of the building? How many students sat up there dreaming, planning for the up coming dance, basketball games, the prom or just plain girl and boy talk?
I remember entering the first grade room for the very first time and how gigantic everything looked to my 6-year old eyes.
Junior high meant that you were advancing to the rooms upstairs and sometimes a senior would stop and chat with you. You were almost a part of high school. How grown up you felt!
Freshman initiation! Who could ever forget it? The wild and crazy things the upperclassmen had in store for you. But you went through it all because now you knew you belonged to that elite group called high school students. Good old Anamoose High School!
There were the school plays, chorus, basketball, football, pep rallies and assembly singalongs. All of the mischievous things that were perpetrated in the minds of the students and counter balanced by the ever watchful eye of the teacher in charge.
There were so many memories in that little red brick school house. Memories with all their simplicity, bring fond recollections to you, we’ve lived them, we’ve loved them, with that memories anew.
At our last class reunion the older graduates seemed to be lured to that old red brick school house to again go back in time. How many times did we hear “I REMEMBER WHEN?”That was my desk over there in the corner! I had to sit in the front row! Do you remember Mr Utgaard? Miss Gilmore? Oscar Siegele? My third grade teacher, Esther Winterfield? Things were so dear then. What will our next reunion be like?
For me the loss of our brick school will leave a void for a long time to come. When I first heard the newscast I got tears in my eyes and I never fully realize why. Does a part of one die when you loose a material thing that has been so closely entwined in your life? I don’t know how others feel, but right now I feel a great loss, but I will never forget my little red brick school house in my old hometown of Anamoose.