I know I'm a softie, very nostalgic and sentimental, and I've often been referred to as an 'old soul.'
You see, that's where I went to elementary school, kindergarten through sixth grade. My mom, Sandra Thomas, graduated from there, back when it was WR Odell High School (she graduated in 1966, the last graduating class from Odell as the new high school had been completed. All of my aunts and uncles went there, along with a large measure of assorted cousins. Not to mention my friends, who were with me from kindergarten til we graduated from high school. Back then (not so long ago, but an eternity to me!), this was a rural community. Charlotte NC had yet to become a banking magnet. Concord and Harrisburg and Kannapolis were small towns in their own right, not bedroom communities of Charlotte. Odell opened in 1929-we're talking some serious history here!
What really got to me, as my mom and I and my kids roamed the halls, was that this really demonstrated the death of our rural community. Where family went to the same school, generation after generation. And folks had a lot of commonality-the same churches, the same employers, the same volunteer fire departments.
Not that change is bad, I rather enjoy progress and it's mighty nice not to drive 20 minutes to a grocery store.
But it's kinda sad. Like laying an old friend to rest.
We saw the old trophies from state championships decades ago.
I saw two of my teachers, Sue Beaver and Marcie Page. Ran into two old friends from forever, Scott Finney and Shannon Carter. That's quite a feeling. One that I pray my kids will experience one day. That's hard to get anymore, though. The growth in our area has required a lot of new schools-and the requisite reassignments. I had it good.
The hallways will soon be quiet. The new building at a new location is almost complete and will welcome new students this fall. But the memories of kids passing through these halls for almost 80 years will never die.