Things change every day. But that doesn't mean at times it isn't difficult for all of us.
At the end of the school year, my high school Berea High, will merge with Midpark High and become Berea-Midpark High School. It will be in the current Berea building I understand, and the team will be renamed from the Braves to the Titans.
This is on the heels of my old elementary school Parknoll closing after 50 years and being torn down. Sad, as I don't know if I ever felt as safe in my life as I did going to that school as a kid. Seems many of us might feel that way about our primary schools. New schools had to be built, but it doesn't make it any less sad.
I have always felt there are 4 things that are hard to watch close. Schools, Stadiums, Theaters and Theme Parks. You know, places that were built specifically for people to gather and make life better and more fun. I guess we understand that on the day they open, there will be a day they will close. But, they are beyond special places. They represent more that just a place we go...but a place we grow in one way or another.
Look at old Municipal Stadium in Cleveland. Yeah I get it, it had tons of problems. But I know this, the Browns won a ton a championships there, and have never been the same since they left the old dinosaur behind. And did you know that every player who's number the Indians have retired played there, and only there? And there is not a person you'll meet that will say that they didn't have better times at the Coliseum in Richfield.
How about the neighborhood theater? No one denies that the new places are fantastic. But the old ones with the balcony and the one or maybe two screens? The place that was right up the street with the neon marquis? And don't get me started at the fun we all had at drive-ins!
Theme parks always die hard and Chippewa Lake comes to mind. It was open for over 100 years. Generations gathered there to have family fun. It deserved better than a chained gate and 40 years of overgrowth.
Look, I'm not saying that the new places aren't amazing, beautiful and needed. Or that the old places were better or more comfortable. But I might argue that they were more fun, and that they were more special to us.
For me that is certainly the case of my school. I was sad to see Parknoll torn down. I'm going to miss driving up there on occasion to see the brick that said SW + CP that I wrote with chalk in the sixth grade when I had a crush on Connie Price. It was there since I left. Or the gym I played Saturday morning basketball in with Bobby G., and Scott M. Or the fields I rode up to on my bike 15 minutes after school was over to play some kind of ball on depending on the season. And summer camp with Valerie W., and Dave G., and others.
As for my high school? I'm sure I'm not the first person to have their high school close or change. But it's where I did the morning announements with John R., and Kathy M. Plus, this week is the final Berea-Midpark rivalry football game after 50 years. After this it will be one school, Berea-Midpark.
But don't look for the hyphen on my diploma. I graduated from THE Berea High School. Go Braves!