One thing about today (Monday June 12) that I want to remember one year from now is how much I enjoyed spending the afternoon with my aunt, driving throughout our home county, collecting selfies in front of designated points of interest as we participated in a photo scavenger hunt sponsored by the Wyoming County Historical Museum.
During the 42 mile roundtrip circle, we collected selfies at four predetermined locations:
1) At the Civil War Trail marker in a little community called Turkey Dip.
2) In front of the Wyoming County Historical Museum sign in Oceana.
3) In front of the Appalachia Service Project sign in Brenton.
4) With the bell that sits in front of the Wyoming County Courthouse in Pineville.
As my aunt and I leisurely drove around the county, we talked and caught up on things that have happened since I last visited in early April. We enjoyed the sunny June afternoon, reminisced, and shared memories of some of the places we passed such as the drive-in movie theater, which no longer stands. I also learned some interesting, little tidbits about my family that I didn't know.
For instance, the local Appalachia Service Project headquarters (pic #3) is housed in a building that once was a school called Guyan Valley. When I was in school in the 1980s, the school was for severely disabled students. (This was during a time before inclusion existed.) As we pulled into the parking lot, I mentioned that I remembered when it was a school. My aunt did as well, adding that her sister-in-law work there during the late 1980s and, many years ago, before I was born, my great-grandmother and my great-aunt both worked there as kitchen staff. Until that moment, I didn't know that.
The fifth and final location was participant's choice; the location simply needed to be your favorite spot in Wyoming County. Well, hands down, my favorite spot in Wyoming County is my parents' back deck, but I decided to take the opportunity and give a shout out to my former high school, Pineville High.
Pineville High School no longer exists, it consolidated with Mullens H.S. in the late 90s, six years after I graduated. The building now houses Pineville Middle School. Excluding my childhood home and my grandparent's house, Pineville High is my favorite place in the county. Although I don't believe that the best years of a person's life are his/her high school years, for I agree with Hall and Oats - there is life after high school, I still had a great high school experience and have many fond memories of my time there. But, unlike most of my classmates, I also have many fond memories of Pineville High that were made long before I walked through those doors as a student.
Both of my parents taught at Pineville; in addition, Mom was always a sponsor of an extracurricular group, such as cheerleaders or Student Government, and Si was the varsity football coach. As you can imagine, I spent a lot of time in and around Pineville H.S. as a kid. I remember working the concession stand with my mom and amongst the high school kids and feeling so grown up. I remember attending bingo games and spaghetti dinners hosted by the Booster Club as they raised money to build a new football field house. I remember walking out onto the stage of the tiny auditorium, whose stage door was right across the hall from my mother's classroom, and staring out at the seemingly endless sea of seats. As a kid, the performance space seemed so enormous and I recall being utterly amazed at the fact that both my parents had sat in those very same seats that I then stared at when they were high school students two decades before.
Today was a day of reconnection not only with my aunt, but also with so many places that collectively make up what I call "home." I want to forever remember this place and all that it has meant to me through the years.
What's one thing about today that you want to remember one year from now? Do you have a special connection to a place?
As always, thanks for stopping by! Happy Thursday!