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My old school

By JamesRL ·
Went back yesterday to my old High School for one last look around. It was an event by the Alumni to give us a chance to look around before the wrecking ball comes in.

http://www.bcivs.brantford.on.ca/index.htm

My old school is being partially demonlished.

The old part was build in 1910 and had lots of charecter. Concrete floor and steps were redone since I left, wooden floor replaced, but some of the structure was as it was. The old auditorium, which had bats when I went to school, had been redone but the stage still felt the same.

Originally the plans had been to demolish the whole thing and start again somewhere else, but the Alumni fought that tooth and nail. There was a major addition in 1963 that was worth refurbishing. Eventually they decided to keep the facade of the old section, refurbish the 1963 section and replace the old section with new construction.

I was happy at my high school - it was old and had traditions and was excellent in many areas. We won the provincial championships in football and a national mathematics contest in the same year. I won a school letter for participation in Band (yes I went to band camp, and this one time...), Yearbook, cross country running, student council and camera club.

We had some famous alumni, though other than the guy who played Tonto (Jay Silverheels was his stage name) only Canadians might know;
June Callwood, David Fox, Gary Summerhayes, Pauline Johnson and others.

I kept in touch with a few friends a decade or more since high school, but don't talk to them much anymore, which is sad.

I guess this old rambling has a point. My head says, all things must pass, the old must give way to the new, but my heart says it will never be the same, I will miss that old building where so many memories were made and so much personal history took place. I have to thank many teachers who helped shape and mold me - we never think of it at the time.

My wife doesn't get it, she was eager to just get through high school and move on to university. But I went from a big High School of 2000 students to a big university of 40,000 and I can't help think the high school days were better days.

Do any of you look back? Go Back?

James

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When I go back to my home town

by maxwell edison In reply to My old school

I enjoy driving around, stopping at places from my past, walking around and reminiscing. It's part of my life, and I don't want to forget it.

I used to work in one of those classic gas stations when I was a teenager. My boss was also a friend and mentor, who taught me so much - almost a second father to me, filling-in some areas where my own father fell short. I always visited whenever I went back, drinking beer in the back with the guys. I was very sad when that gas station was torn down to make way for a new building.

The building may be gone, but the memories remain.

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My hometown....

by JamesRL In reply to When I go back to my home ...

Brantford was a worldwide leader in farm equipment manufacturing, with two major makers and many parts makers sited there.

And it all came tumbling down in the 80s. Thousands of manufacturing jobs lost in a city of 65,000.

So when I hear Bruce Springsteen's "My Hometown" and the references to main street's whitewashed windows and vacant stores, I can certainly relate - it happened after my high school, so I was shocked at the change which to me felt overnight.

There is now a casino and with it pawn shops and massage parlours. I want to weep.

In Toronto in the 30s they had these gas stations built to look like castles with a turret. They were iconic. Sadly the last of them was torn down about 10 years ago.

I still have my memories, and I share them with my kids. They have walked around the schools I attended and they have seen where I've been.

James

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I'm with your wife.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to My old school

I was an Air Force brat. I attended at least four elementary schools, one jr. high, and two high schools, none of them in the area I now live. I have no allegiance or affection to any of them and would recognize maybe two graduating classmates if I bumped into them today. That's all in the past and while it wasn't unpleasant, it's nothing I choose to revisit.

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How sad

by jdclyde In reply to I'm with your wife.

It really is amazing how differently people live.

My brother was in the military, and his boys suffered academically and socially going to the international schools. Hard when you don't understand the native language, and that is what everyone uses at recess.

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Sad? Maybe to some.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to How sad

All of our overseas assignments were over before I hit school age, so I didn't have to face that problem.

What you see as sad I recall as a great opportunity. I saw lived in and visited parts of this country I otherwise would have never seen. I don't understand people who don't want to move or travel away from where their family has lived for decades just because that's where they grew up. They stay tied to the same area as the economy changes and the town goes belly up without even considering the option to relocate. "What, and miss my reunion?"

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We choose what is important to us

by jdclyde In reply to Sad? Maybe to some.

You have great memories of the places you have been.

I have great memories of the people who have been in my life.

I moved away for a year when I was 20, but came back. I have not regretted it, even though I could make more money if i moved. It isn't about the money. Will branch out SOME after my boys graduate. They have been through enough major changes in their life (IMO).

I don't think it is a matter of judgement, just preference, and nothing wrong with either. I do see that my boys have a strong relationship with their grandmother that my brothers boys don't have, simply because they only see each other once a year on average.

I don't see myself going to my next reunion. The people I wanted to see were not the people that showed to the last one. A real disappointment.

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I've got great memories of both...

by bjennings59 In reply to We choose what is importa ...

...the places I've been and the people I've had in my life. I've had friendships that go back to high school and middle school. Scary sometimes when I think how many years it's been! And we're still in touch even though I don't see any of them very often. In fact six of us are planning a vacation together for next summer.
I visited my old HS about 10 years ago. I used to think that school was so BIG. Funny how small it looks/seems now!

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BIG to small...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to I've got great memories o ...

A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit my first grade school. Way back there in 1st grade it seemed so large, and was so intimidating! I pulled up out front of it at the age of 40something, and though it looked as I remember it layout-wise, what a dinker it looks now!

What an interesting effect the passage of time has on perspective.

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It is all relative

by jdclyde In reply to BIG to small...

you were smaller, so in comparison, it WAS bigger.

Just like there was once a time when 25 seemed so damn old.... :0

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When I was 10...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to BIG to small...

my oldest cousins (and the ones I saw the most often) were in their late 20's and one was actually 30! They were, of course, difficult for a 10 year old to relate to and have any 'real' fun with. I thought you couldn't get much older than 30, and didn't want to.

Ha! Little did I know!

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