Posted in Dodds Avenue, Historical Archives, Historical Marker on Dodds Avenue, Library, Preservation of History, Thanks

Update on the Tennessee Historical Marker for Central on Dodds Avenue

Thanks to a select few who donate to the Preservation of Central History Fund, we now have enough to procure a replacement marker.

This week Central History Archives Team will send a check to the State to pay for a marker to replace the one run over by a careless driver or vandal.  We are coordinating with TDOT and City of Chattanooga for final approval to place the marker on State property just outside the McCallie fence.  Mindful that we need to reduce the risk of “accidental” damage to the marker, we intend to place it facing Dodds Avenue and as close to the McCallie fence as possible.

Please keep in mind, your continuing donations to Preservation of Central History Fund will allow the Chattanooga Central History Archives Team (CCHAT) to continue other preservation efforts such as cleaning the Bellamy Flag and procuring a case in which to archive it.

The vast majority of CCHAT efforts are by a few volunteers who spent countless hours supporting the Central Librarian who directs our efforts and works tirelessly to preserve Central history and rare books in the Central Library–Central alumni are grateful.

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.

Posted in Dodds Avenue, Graduates, Preservation of History

Generations of Central Graduates

It saddened me yesterday when I received the following message from Class of 1965 classmate and friend, John Ettien:

“Bobby, my Mom passed this week.  She was a Drum Majorette at Central High, Class of 1937.  My brother Jim, sister Loretta and wife Patti are all Central High grads.”

Rosa Jane Verhey Ettien passed from among us, but I expect the Central spirit instilled in her in the late 1930s is with us still.  On behalf of all Central alumni, condolences to John, Jim, Loretta, and Patti.

I also learned today that Charlie Sedman (father is Class of 1941 graduate) is a second generation Centralite and began thinking there are probably many others.

Seems appropriate to capture this information in our efforts to preserve Central history.  So, please comment if you are or know them.