Posted in Dodds Avenue, School Building on Dodds Avenue

The End of An Era from 1969 Champion

While preparing the files of the 1969 Champion for upload to this site, I came across the following article written by an unspecified author:

The halls of my teen-age years are empty now; my footsteps cut through the unfamiliar silence.  I’ve known this building through many exciting years; and as I walk down this littered, well-worn path, scenes of my life run through my mind.  Yes, I was fifteen years old–and I was scared.  I saw this building sitting upon its throne looking like a giant with his mouth stretched wide open as if to swallow tender young sophomores.  Slowly but surely, my fear subsided; strange faces had names, and some soon became a symbol of my new life.  Then I was sixteen years old, and I knew it all! After all, I was a junior!  I showed sophomores where to go because I knew my way around.  The oceans of kids were familiar, but the sophomores were so young!  A year passed, and I was seventeen years old; I felt that I was too mature for acting silly.  As the senior year began, I kept pushing the future out of my mind.  I was sure the Seniors of “69” were the greatest ever–and I meant it!  Now, as I slowly pass the trophy case and see the white football jersey lettered with a purple “80”, I cry.  As I walk down the rotunda I try not to look back.  But as I reach the sidewalk, I slowly turn back to catch a last glimpse.  In the corner of my eye I read “Central High School–Founded 1907.”  I see that building, and it looks weary and tired; but that ageless twinkle is still there.  How can I leave this school, this warm old friend, with its endless memories?  New students will not arrive in the fall, but the building will not be forgotten.  I’m going now, and the sun rolls behind a cloud–the wind seems to blow right through me and through the halls of that empty building, and it whispers the loneliest tune.  I have grown up, and I can’t look back.  The enormous crane, swinging down and crashing the building where precious memories were made, is one scene I could not bear to see.  Change is inevitable, but my eyes are brimmed with tears–not so much tears of sadness, but tears of knowledge that students will no more attend classes here.  Many kids have gone before me, and many will come soon–not here, but at a new school.  Right now I am alone with my memories, for it is an end of an era in my life.  I wipe my eyes, turn up my collar, and walk away from a friend.

This well-written piece certainly captured emotions and memories for me.  Please help me identify the author.  Feel free to add a comment about this article or add your own memories.

Author:

Graduated from Central in 1965. Had the honor of being Mr. Central 1965. Started on the Central Basketball Team for three years and was a member of the Track Team in my senior year. Shared command with Bryant Millsaps of the Central JROTC unit in my senior year. Other activites at Central are documented in the 1963 -1965 Champions. Received an athletic scholarship and played Division I College Basketball for four years. When I graduated from Auburn in 1969, I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Adjutant General Corps and served 25 years on active duty, retiring in 1994. Some of the military awards I earned include the Legion of Merit, one Meritorious Service Medal for Achievement, six Meritorious Service Medals for Service, Joint Service Medal for Achievement, two Army Commendations Medals, and Viet Nam Service Medal. After retirement in 1994, I became a Real Estate Broker until my second retirement in 2010. I am passionate about Central History and am pleased to be Administrator of this Blog/Site.

8 thoughts on “The End of An Era from 1969 Champion

  1. Wow! I could feel myself back in those old halls while reading this! Would be wonderful to find the author.

  2. I looked forward to going to school every day that I was a student at Central High School. I had played on the grounds there as a very young child with my teenage sisters who attended there and it always felt familiar to me. I would wonder to hear students of other school speak of being unhappy at the thought of getting up for school when I could hardly wait to get there. I learned so much not only academically speaking, but about life in general. It was wonderful having social clubs, being part of so many wonderful experiences which would remain with me for life and shall never be forgotten. My character and personality were anchored there. I am so sorry for any and all who don’t understand our attachment to our high school years and the building itself. I will never forget it and know many others who feel the same.

  3. I was always proud to say I was from Central because we had such a great reputation. The girls were smart and beautiful while the boys were smart and athletic. The faculty was tough but fair. That’s why Central turned out so many outstanding students.
    As for school pride, I didn’t realize I had it during my first year there. It took an incident during that following summer for my pride to show itself. While walking by Central one summer day with a new friend who attended another school, he suggested we find some rocks and break a few windows. I was shocked at the thought and told him, “If you want to break some windows out, why don’t you go do it to your school. We love our school and besides, it would cost a lot of money to replace those windows!” He looked a little embarrassed and said he was only joking! I think he could tell by my temperment that I wasn’t!

  4. I miss that old building. It seems like only yesterday I was walking the halls filled with laughter and spirit. I wish I could revisit the past from time to time. Central will be in my blood forever.

    1. I saw an entire poem posted at one time. Do you have all of it? I would love to see it. My printer cable is off and I ciould not print it out. Thanks. I agree with what you say. No other experience can compare.

  5. The thoughts of this unknown author reflect in all of us from our class all the way back to any graduate who came before us. The building may be gone, but the memories will live on.

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