Sunday, January 3, 2010

Down to Evergreen.

Ya'll I'm going to Evergreen.

Mary Ann told me last week that the city has decided to bring a wrecking ball to my old school building. My mother graduated from that same high school. I know every corner of that place.

When I type this post I think of Mamilu White who taught me to type. She was an amazing lady. She had rhematoid arthritis. She had a special desk which was built for her to sit up and above the classroom. Her hands were so twisted from that disease. Her body was so twisted. She was the last to leave the building each day because it took her so long to get down the hall to her car - which was adapted to her handicapped body - so that she could drive. The teenagers lived around her desk. I did. Everyone did. Her lunch was brought to her each day by a student, from the lunchroom. Once I was talking to her as she opened her milk and handled her straw. She dropped it - I told her I'd get her another one but she said she'd use the one off the floor. I protested and she said that we all need a little dirt in our bodies...that it's good for us. I learned to type in her classroom on manual typewriters. Not electric. Not computers. Manual, heavy duty typewriters. I took to typing pretty quickly and easily and on my Typing II final exam she told me all the typewriters were taken up and I'd have to type on the one electric in the room. There was only one. I panicked - complained - knew I'd make so many mistakes. She insisted and said I'd do fine. Anyway - I pouted and took the test on the electric. I guess I did fine.

I think of her all the time when I'm on this keyboard of my computer.

Evergreen High School. Daddy went to work there for how many years? about 25. I was in a wing of that old big building when I heard that President Kennedy had been shot. I was in the 7th grade, walking into social studies, into Mrs. Estelle Lewis's class. Elaine Kindig, a junior, was in there telling her. The room was all in a buzz, I was saying, "WHAT?" Elaine K was repeating to everyone. We were all in shock.

I would be sitting in my Algegra Class, Mr Till being the teacher, and during that class, I guess Daddy was always headed somewhere down the hall at that time - he, being the band director, and we would always hear him whistling. Everyone would look at me and laugh. Daddy was known for his whistling. He whistled everywhere he went - all of the time. He whistled during his Alzheimer's experience.

I went to 3 proms at that high school,
3 Homecoming Dances - decorated 7 floats for the parade - passed 5 trillion notes in those classrooms with brown wooden floors - got kissed just once at my locker - which really took me by surprise!

Once, I fell up the steps leading from the senior hall into the "regular hall", in the middle of class change - and Mike Bethune yelled out, "Elizabeth, You been walking long???" I turned around and laughed really hard.

Our lives happened in those halls - in those rooms - we grew up in that huge old building and went home at night to be with our very safe families. I did. I assumed everyone else did, too. I think I must have been pretty naive about everyone's lives being as safe. Not everyone's was.

I was asked on dates in those halls - I was glad about some and not so glad about others. I whispered and flirted and talked and laughed - I learned a little. I graduated from that building - so glad to leave - so glad. I never thought I'd want to run down there and salvage anything I could. I don't even know if I can. I just at least want to take some pictures.

Evergreen High School.

It's times like these - well - I'm reminded of the fact that we are strangers and aliens in this world. My eternal home is waiting for me and there will be no wrecking balls there. None.

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