The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Friday, March 20, 2009

Arlington School and The Past

Update: The Bessemer School Board will meet Tuesday, September 24, 2009 at 6:00 PM in the board room at their office at 1621 5th Ave N.

This is Arlington School. It was built in 1908 and was Bessemer's first high school. It sits at the corner of Arlington Avenue and 19th Street in Bessemer. It has been empty for years. Well, empty of students. Drug dealers and vagrants and rats have occupied the building from time to time. This picture was taken two years ago, the building looks worse now.

The School Board will decide next week what to do with the building. They have had offers from developers but have refused the offers. In the meantime, the building deteriorates. The city wants to get their wrecking ball out.

I wrote about the school here and here (and several other places) and Alabama Heritage magazine described the property in this way: "A fine example of classical revival school building from the turn of the last century, the Arlington School, built in 1908, was Bessemer's first high school. Its most distinguishing features are the decorative brick and stone facade, interior sky-lighted basketball courts, and an auditorium in the form of a jewel box theatre with a raked floor, proscenium stage, and horseshoe balcony. Once a part of a thriving middle class neighborhood, the Arlington School was abandoned in the early 1980s. Now dilapidated and out of use, the school's state of disrepair is indicative of the decline in the surrounding neighborhood..."

The next picture was taken yesterday of West End High School in Birmingham. The school is being demolished. Just to the right of the frame was written West End High School 1930, I assume that was the year it was built. Don't let this happen to Arlington.

This is my dad. He was born in 1916. He went to Woodlawn High School.

In 1930 my dad would have been around fourteen years old, so he may not have been at Woodlawn yet, where he became a football star. But he had football in him long before he entered high school. He probably played against West End while at Woodlawn. Maybe they even played against Arlington.

Later he married his sweetheart. Weren't my parents a good looking couple?

They later ended up with us four boys. Guess which one is me?

See, I feel connected to my parent's past, even though I wasn't around. And the people of Bessemer feel connected to Arlington School. When I was campaigning for City Council the subject of the school came up with many residents that I spoke with, and they all wanted the building saved. Many of the people who attended that school are no longer with us, but their children and grandchildren are. Hopefully they will let the school board know that the building needs to be saved. The Board of Education meets Tuesday night. When I find out where and what time the Board meets, I will post it on this blog.


Anonymous said...

Thank goodness your parents weren't gay or you wouldn't be here to post on this blog each day, huh?

Joe said...

Why not? I am gay, and have two kids and ny sexuality does not keep them from blogging.

Anonymous said...

And you had these two kids with your male partner? No! Because you can't. Because it is not natural. You had them with your former wife, because that is how babies are made - a man and a woman - just as God intended.

You Go Randy!!!

Joe said...

Did I say I had them with my partner? No. but I know of gay men and women who have had or fathered children while partnered. I just don't see what parentage has to do with blogging? Yall are just bewildering.

Anonymous said...

It has NOTHING to do with blogging. My point was that if you did not exist, you would not be able to blog. And a homosexual couple can NEVER PRODUCE a child. It is anatomically impossible. That is also why it is unnatural. Geez!

Joe said...

I know of a homosexual man and homosexual woman who together have a child. Also, a lesbian can bear a child after being inseminated. A gay man can donate sperm to have a child. We are having children all over the world. Get over it.

Now, if you claim the children born from insemination is unnatural and should not "count" then there are thousands of such kids born to heterosexual couples that you would do away with.

Anonymous said...

The original comment was just a cheap shot that has no basis in reality. Gays have the same reproductive organs as straight people. They are capable of having children any number of ways as Joe stated. Just because you may not want them to, the gays can indeed have children.

I can understand if someone does not approve of homosexuality for religious reasons. I personally may not agree with the specifics scripture citations, but I can respect the religious beliefs of others. But taking cheap shots at someone who just wanted to do a blog post about his parents and an old building just makes you look like a jerk.

Anonymous said...

"...gays have the same reproductive organs as straight people"

Brilliant oh brother...and stupid. Reproductive organs or not, two women can NEVER produce a baby. Two MEN can never produced a baby. No matter how hard they try. It cannot be done. It is science, as Joe often refers to on this blog.
So, taking shots at someone who has an opinion just like Joe does, makes you TOO look like a jerk.

Joe said...

Many women have a child without being married to the father. Many men father a child without being married to the mother. Gay men can father a women can have a child. Yes the sperm will come from a male and the egg from a female. all that being said, Oh Brother is right...gays can indeed have (or father) children. No one has made any accusation that two men together can bring forth a child, or two women (although I will bet that science is not far from doing that. I have enough veterinary reproductive knowledge to see in the future that DNA from two men could be implanted into an egg from which the females DNA has been removed, and with a little chromosome adjustment, a healthy baby could be produced).

All that has been said was that gays have babies.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Joe. And John, if you barge into a conversation and berate an individual for something completely unrelated to the conversation just so that you get in a few cheap shots that are not even based in reality just to make yourself feel superior, I feel that that behavior makes one look like a jerk and a bully. Calling someone out on such things I do not feel falls into that category. The same thing relates to blog posts.

If you want to debate homosexuality, Joe usually ,to his credit, will allow it. If you want to do it on religious or scientific grounds, do so and cite scripture or scientific fact. Debate on facts and beliefs. But don't take cheap shots at people and their families. People should be better than that.

Anonymous said...

same garbage comments...i wonder a few things....if they ever read the bible..i dont mean picked through it..if they ever heard of "do unto others...."....if they are such jerks about other race ..religion...why would they be so concerned or afraid of differences...and if they are so disgusted with this blog why on earth would they keep coming back to it?
we will do well to recognize what we all have in common rather than focus on our differences.
my gosh they must suffer so ..being around all the different people in the world. somewhere they have missed the boat.

Anonymous said...

LMAO....oh brother was OBVIOUSLY picked on as a child John. I wouldn't lose any sleep over his rants.