Two Losses, One Response

Two Losses, One Response

            Yesterday I stood outside Ms. Sherwin’s room, and by looking north then south, I noticed two visual changes to our campus that both happened recently, both representing a loss of some kind.

To the south is the demolition and removal of the old concession stand. Since I have been at Mountainburg, that building had been used as a concession stand, a ticket booth, a band storage building, a football storage building, and the visiting team locker room. In year’s past, it has been used as a kindergarten, a music room, and, prior to the school purchasing it, an American Legion building and a cannery.

            In some ways, it is sad to see it go. There have been lots of memories of ball games, victories and defeats, hot dogs and nacho dip, coaches, referees, and students in that building. After games, the coaches would meet there to discuss what went right, what went wrong, how much the “gate” and the “concession stand” were, as well as plans for the weekend. I remember the summer that Katie Pense came and painted the “M” and the Dragon on the side of the building, bringing color and personality to it. But it was falling down, bulging at its base, and becoming unsafe. And this building’s downfall has brought about a wonderful replacement at the north end of the football field that I am sure everyone will enjoy, if for no other reason than this--big, clean bathrooms with stall doors! On top of that, we now have a tornado safe room, almost ready for public use. So it is easy to deal with this kind of loss with a positive outlook, even with thankfulness.

           To the north is the trunk of the tree damaged by the tornado this Spring. It suffered too much damage and had to be cut down. This tree also has memories. This was one of two trees planted in the early 90s in honor a two students who had died in separate accidents. It has brought us shade and a pleasant presence for as long as I have been here. At one point, students decided to call it a gum tree, putting their used gum on its trunk, quickly covering it in used gum. It really was quite nasty before maintenance cleaned it all off, but then again, there was a certain awkward teenaged beauty to it as well. Throughout the years, Ms. Sherwin’s classes have hung different items from its branches in an attempt to beautify their corner of the campus. Good and important memories come from this tree.

But it is now gone. And just like the loss of the concession stand, good things will come from this. Grass can grow between the buildings now. Our internet cables will not be tangled in its branches. The loss of this tree doesn’t have the same financial impact as the loss of the building, and its loss will have a different kind of emotional impact, but it is a loss nonetheless. But just like the building, we can see this stump and be thankful: thankful the tornado came through 45 minutes later than the end of school; thankful that no busses and students on route were affected; thankful that no serious injuries were sustained. Yes, buildings and trees were lost, but the irreplaceable items--our families and our neighbors--are still standing.

Two losses, one response--thankfulness.


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