LINCOLN ELEMENTARY

They tore down Lincoln Elementary School [grades 1-5] the lot remains empty, the playground equipment also remains.

Last April [Edited Thoughts on Lincoln’s Demolition]

Songs, facts, making fun of a girl’s name for having too many S’s, fighting with a friend who would later become my arch rival, insulting someone of a different race in self-defense, my last memory of Alex Lemons, a boy who got brain cancer and died when we were twelve, the “Pocahontas” incident at the talent show, not getting the lead role in the thanksgiving play, finally being forced into the last role, a nonspeaking part–but I was the second fastest girl in the fifth grade… I fell in love with a boy with an earring and bowl cut… Our principal, Dr. smith, even planted a walk-through garden and adopted a stray cat named Linx as our school pet.

In fourth grade we took a trip to Iowa’s capital. I got to go because I was always responsible, waking up to my alarm, walking to and from Lincoln in almost any weather. I even joined the Young Leaders In Action. Everything was new, no two days seemed the same. Life was exciting and unpredictable.

Eventually, my school grew older and was abandoned. This was long after I left and had gone to several other schools, some of which are also closed down or changed in a profound way. Although a new Lincoln was built I returned to that old, blood red brick building.

Buyer after buyer refusing to revive the dying beast. Its windows boarded up, sedating its sad toothless smile. I peeked in still, usually with a camera trying to capture what being six was like.

One day the boards were ripped away and I could see the skeleton of a school peeling and warping. The art room walls were textured and like most of the others, appeared somewhat multicolored due to decade after decade of  repainting. I never knew my grandfather went to the same elementary school, how new things must have looked then. Old buildings are destroyed, unfortunately. They really could be turned into something useful.

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