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Carol Perkins: The Final Tour (of old Metcalfe Co. HS)
'The tour is over and now when we pass the school we will see dozers and hear the sound of falling blocks and crumbling bricks. Down will come the walls, the halls, and the special places where students hid instead of going to class. Gone will be the dressing rooms, stairs we sat on during recess, and the sound of lockers slamming. It is, indeed, bittersweet. - CAROL PERKINS
The next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Old Metcalfe County High Memories
By Carol Perkins
Bittersweet. The Final Tour-The Walk Through of the original Metcalfe County High School is over and demolition begun. Over three hundred of us took that final tour with our classmates last Sunday afternoon and stood inside empty classrooms filled with images of what once was. I could see the faces of my teachers and hear the sounds of classmates answering questions, whispering or giggling at things that were probably not funny.
Different School for Different Generations
As different generations strolled together, I found it so interesting to listen to their memories. Some never knew that the "addition" was not always there. The library in their time was not where it was in mine. They listened as their mothers told their stories and how they differed from their own. By 1994 when the original high school moved to the hill, there were many more classrooms than in 1958. Of course, there were also more students. For instance, there were 49 in my 1964 class. The class of '94 probably had at least a hundred or more.
One of my classmates who came down from Louisville (Linda Jolly Whitlow) and another classmate Joan Edwards and I took the tour together. Linda stood in what was once the "cooking room" part of the Home Economics department and recalled "learning" to make biscuits and never quite getting them up to par even though, as she said, "I had just made biscuits that morning before leaving for school." We laughed about those sewing and cooking days because most of us had been cleaning and cooking long before our four years in Home Economics, but we loved those classes. It was a privilege to be an FHA officer and wear that white dress and work on the various state degrees (I don't think I worked too hard because I never received one!)
Dr. Benny Lile Welcomed the Crowd
After graduates registered, each by decades, Dr. Benny Lile welcomed the crowd and explained the future of the building. He reminded guests that bricks from the building were for sale at $3 per brick (contact central office), lockers are for sale (not the original ones), and shirts with a drawing of the school drawn by graduate Laurie McMurtrey Butler were for sale (proceeds going to the Improving Lives Scholarship Fund), plus graduate John Berry prepared a video using yearbooks from '58 to '94. (Those are still for sale for only $10 and can be picked up at Main Street Screenprinting in Edmonton or from John. Many thanks to ESB for the complimentary water, which we definitely all needed!
25 Former Faculty Members Attended
Over twenty five of the former faculty members were there to meet and greet and when we had a group picture made, I leaned over to Harold Chambers and said, "Can you lead us in spelling Metcalfe one more time." He was always the finale of our pep rallies when he threw his sport coat to the ceiling, took off his tie, and lead the students in spelling Metcalfe. He even swam across the floor a few times. When he stood before us and said, "Are you ready?" and we yelled out the letters as loudly as we could, I dropped a few tears knowing this will be our last time together.
Mr. Bruce Keel and Mr. Gary Richardson, two of our former principals, both hold unique titles. Mr. Keel was principal twice, the second time as interim principal, and Gary Richardson was the last principal of the original high school and the first principal of the new high school on the hill. Susan Chambers held the honor of being in the first graduating class (1958), beginning her career at MCHS in 1962, and retiring when the school moved in 1994. Several teachers came from great distances to take that one last tour, as did many of the former students.
A Group Project from the Beginning
From the beginning this was a group project, and to name everyone who made this day a success would be impossible, but I do need to say that without Dr. Lile, Chris Huffman, and Jamie Howard (and some I don't know about I'm sure) the rest of us would have been going in circles. They took care of getting the gym ready, tables set up, forms prepared, and as Chris said, "We made sure there was toilet paper in the bathrooms." (A running joke because there was never a ballgame that we didn't run out of toilet paper in the bathrooms).
Demolition Has Begun
The tour is over and now when we pass the school we will see dozers and hear the sound of falling blocks and crumbling bricks. Down will come the walls, the halls, and the special places where students hid instead of going to class. Gone will be the dressing rooms, stairs we sat on during recess, and the sound of lockers slamming. It is, indeed, bittersweet.
(Austin Tracy graduates are planning a reunion for all those who graduated from there before moving to Barren Co. High. Contact Brenda Bush)
Carol Perkins, the writer, is an author, weekly radio talk show Host on The Hoss, 99.1 FM, on the Tuesdays at 10amCT, Susan (Chambers) & Carol (Perkins) Unscripted and is owner of Main Street Screenprinting PO Box 1051 601 S. Main Street Edmonton, KY 42120 270-432-3152 270-670-4913
This story was posted on 2014-09-07 07:10:25
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