You’ve probably formed the impression that I have an aversion to throwing anything away if some use can still be made of it. If so, you’re absolutely correct. I’ve been critical of Centralia College whenever they clear space to replace buildings because there doesn’t seem to be a visible effort to save any part of the old buildings. Perhaps, there may be a business that tries to salvage such usable items, but I’ve never seen one listed in the yellow pages.
Before I go any further, I want to publicly admit that I consider the space where Kemp Hall used to exist a pure gem, as is the beautiful portal entry to it! If and when the weather gets nicer than in preceding weeks, I can envision that open, grassy expanse of ground being occupied by many students gainfully employed with studying, snacking, lounging or flirting! And I hope no building ever replaces that open space.
I questioned the removal of an old building at the intersection of Silver Street and Centralia College Boulevard where so many students had found lodging over the years, but acknowledged that its lifespan was on the ragged edge of self-destruction. However, I wasn’t ready to receive a personal shock! I’d driven to deposit a letter in the Post Office’s drive-in box and, as is usual for me, I glanced across the street to see how the three-rental-unit house I used to own — and live in during some changes in my life — was doing. It had disappeared, as had the dwelling between it and the already mentioned student apartment building!
All that remained was the group of three trees I had planted in front of the unit. Well, at least they saved the trees, I thought. I’d raised them from tiny 1-inch seedlings dropped from a tree that graced the front of a house we lived in on F Street.
But, as I discovered a few days later, I was daydreaming. Those trees which had grown until they were taller than the two-story building they fronted were now missing as well. Couldn’t those trees have been saved? I’m only assuming that the small patch of land they occupied will — some time in the future — become another part of Centralia College’s ever-growing campus but I doubt that particular patch of ground is already on paper as part of a plan for any new building. So I repeat, “Couldn’t those trees have been saved?”
Changing topics — Matthew, Lanita and I scheduled another kayak journey up the Tilton River last Saturday, hoping to see some fall foliage, only to read in Saturday’s edition of The Chronicle that the water in Mayfield Lake was scheduled to be lowered by 10 feet starting the next day. When we arrived at our launch site it became obvious that the process had begun and the level was already down about 2 feet.
That didn’t stop us — or quite a few other kayakers as well — from taking one last trip this year through that beautiful passage way. I counted either nine or 10 kayaks (I may have counted one twice), two paddle boards, one canoe and one well-behaved outboard motor craft in the course of our journey upstream to a point where lower water surface and increasing current let us know it was time to turn around.
The new water level pointed out one thing that our earlier trip had missed. Firmly embedded in the crack of a large rock was an outboard motor propeller blade. There are several lessons that can be learned from that. Do I need to list them?
Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, paratrooper and pilot living in Centralia. He can be reached at email@example.com.