Yes, I had read the Wikipedia page for Safford High School. I knew in my mind that the beautiful old buildings which had been built in 1915 had been reduced to mere memories in 1980. Just seven years after I had been there. I knew, but somehow, I just figured it was nothing but a myth. After all, Wikipedia; you shouldn’t believe most anything you read on the internet right?
Well, it’s gone. Almost every real physical evidence that it had ever been there. It’s all the ‘NEW’ middle school now. As I slowly drove past, I was saddened and felt somehow part of my youth, my development, my very history had been whipped clean by some horrible dark force from somewhere in the universe. There had been no superheroes' to stay the destruction.
It wasn’t as if the new buildings were ugly. It was that they were simply not as pretty; not as majestic or stately as the halls, rooms, offices, lockers, the very smells and sounds which echoed back and will be forever the only proof that it ever was there.
Then, out of the corner of my eye; I caught a glimpse of something tangible. The archaeologist of my past leaped into my throat and I saw two little spots of remembered vision which gave proof to my mind. I really had been there, amongst the real of that day and they cried out to my ears, my eyes, my heart and put it somewhat to rest. Not all was memory.
Believe it, this is the lunchroom. Oh my, the lunch lady had truly haunted me. She had been there and every day, it had been excitement as to BBQ with hard as nails green beans. There were really good tacos and equality bad meat loaf. Milk, tea, water and some juice. If there was soda, I do not recall. It was always loud and green pea fights were non miss social events for the ages. In my day, you couldn’t leave campus until your senior year. I did leave, not really to go somewhere to eat but to do the things that seniors did in my day. Most of the time, if I ate, I ate right here. I was a little happy.
While the old two story, wonderfully loud gym was gone; the very gym where I played as the ‘Pistol” and did things with a round ball that amazed opponents, teammates and fans alike. There was some really cool things that took place on that floor both in practice and in games. All that is just in my mind now. But, then there there was the grass.
The field of honor I had played on, shed blood on and broken my nose on. My oh my, I still see those stands full of proud parents, excited students and staff and with just small town Friday night football fans who were being entertained in a manner only high school athletics can provide. Some games, people jammed the stands and surrounded the field. Camera flash and hamburgers with peppers, spilt soda and stolen kisses. It really had happened to me. It really had happened to me and it happened right here.
Most of the buildings were gone, but the aliens who came and destroyed, had not the ability to wipe clean my reality that was now just a memory. I think I hated it then, but now; oh Lord, I miss it so.
Tomorrow, I go downtown Safford.