When I turned my program over to look at the back, that’s what I read.
83 years of memories, to be exact.
Saturday night, we attended the local high school spring musical. This year, the kids, including several of Amy’s friends, put on an outstanding production of Music Man. This musical has a very large cast, and requires a big stage.
But here’s the thing. Music Man, or any other large scale production like it, cannot be performed at the high school. The high school does not have an auditorium. Consequently, when high school musicals are put on, they take place at the middle school, which has the only big enough, and available stage in town.
It was no coincidence that “Music Man” was chosen for this year’s spring musical. In all likelihood, this is the last big musical the high school will ever perform. You see, the auditorium’s days are numbered. Built in 1929, it’s the type of auditorium that reminds me of schools from my own youth, and the school concerts, and assemblies, plays and musicals that I was a part of. This particular auditorium is a soaring space designed in an understated but glorious art deco style. It’s an inspiring setting for any young actor or musician.
But it's old.
This is where I have to get up on my soap box for a minute. While it’s true that the middle school is aging, and needs repairs, it broke my heart when I found that the plan to build a new middle school includes demolition of the old. Including the auditorium.
I have a soft spot for old buildings. I like to see them preserved and cherished. I know this takes money. But once a treasure like this auditorium is gone, it’s gone forever. I’ve watched this happen to other dated structures in town. And every time an old building is demolished, a piece of the history of this town is gone, leaving an incredible sense of loss. And maybe I am being dramatic, but a bit of this town’s soul disappears too.
So thanks for the memories indeed. It seems almost inevitable that a year from now the auditorium will gone, and there will no longer be a stage large enough to accommodate high school productions like Music Man.
It’s a monumental loss for this town. In so many ways.