It’s the last day of school. For the year. And for me the last day forever. I’ve been here for forty-five years and only four of those as a student. I stand here now in the main hallway before the trophy case. It’s late afternoon. The students are all gone now and in the quiet and the sunlight I stand and look through the locked glass at the relics: the plaques for third-place finishes, the loving cups for championships; jerseys from players I knew – once young and now dead for a dozen years; the list of names of the dead from WWII – those who came before me and who I never knew; and paintings and drawings from art class students that must have marked some event in the school’s history, at that time important and seemingly so significant that no explanation would ever be necessary. But now the images rest there as if torn from the middle pages of some unknown story, fading with time, and their meaning lost to any living soul.
And time goes on.
I look for those memorabilia that will take my back to my beginnings here; to the days of glory. And there they are – the picture of Principal Hoyt Riley standing in front of the old building. Red brick, slate roof, blue suit.