I Blog For Books

20 August 2009

Greenie Fight Never Dies!

Last year, I was privileged to be a part of a special occasion in my (then) boyfriend's life. June 2008 was his 30th class reunion, and it was the culmination of a week-long vacation in Texas. I was excited for more than one reason: I was meeting the family (his), meeting the friends from high school (most of whom he had not seen in 20 years or more), and returning to Texas! When he told me where he had graduated from high school, my first thought was "What??" Rob graduated Class of 1978 from SOUTH PARK HIGH SCHOOL, Beaumont, Texas.

Absolutely nothing like the fictitious South Park of Cartoon Network fame, South Park High School served the South Park neighborhood of Beaumont. This classic building stands 3 stories high, is constructed of red brick, and has a sweeping stairway going up to the front doors that face Highland Avenue. Not necessarily large by high school standards, during Rob's tenure at SPHS, there were approximately 800-900 students in grades 9-12. Compare that to Dothan High or Northview and SPHS is quite a bit smaller. Consider, however, that Beaumont had seven high schools in the late 70's.

SPHS was built in the early 1900's, and its first graduating class was the class of 1915. Some 71 years later, SPHS would see the last class of senior high school students exit its doors when the class of 1986 finished their four years. The 1986-1987 school year saw it become South Park Middle School, and today the fight is on to keep this amazing part of Beaumont's educational history alive. I don't know all the reasons behind the planned destruction of this building, but what I do know of SPHS is what amazes me.

Imagine my surprise when we enter this semi-formal event and are greeted by the silent-yet-screaming presence of the school mascot "Sparky." Standing even taller than my 6'3" boyfriend, Sparky proudly wears the school colors (kelly green and white) and is the cause of more than one smile that evening. What stands out most in my memories of this part of our trip is the camaraderie and genuine caring I recognized between the classmates spread across the country from Alaska (Tommy Morris) to Alabama (Rob). Many still live in their home state of Texas, although very few at all live in the South Park neighborhood in which they grew up. This once thriving, vibrant community is now but a shell of its former self.

Take a minute to reflect on your high school days. Have you attended any reunions? Do you plan to? Why or why not? What would you feel if your school was slated for destruction? I never attended South Park High, never even lived in Beaumont, but I am saddened at the potential loss of history. There are many factors that will be taken into consideration before the judge makes his final decision as to the fate of SPHS. We may or may not ever know what those factors are. Regardless of the outcome, the Greenie spirit that lives in the former students is a wonderful thing to behold.

The sun that sets
may never rise
but Greenie fight
never dies!

What spirit shows in you? Are you as proud of Jesus as you are of the car you drive, the house you live in, or even the school you attended? I'm relatively certain He doesn't care if you don't have a bumper sticker that shouts "GO JESUS!", but what screams are heard when you open your mouth? Even more important, what is heard when you say nothing at all?

Try not to be the careless driver who was pulled over by the policeman on traffic duty. When she belligerently questioned his reasons for stopping her, he replied: "You ran a stop sign while traveling 10 mph above the speed limit, talking on your cell phone and not wearing your seat belt. You flipped off the last person you passed, and questioned my heritage when I asked for your license and registration. The bumper sticker on the back of your car says 'Honk if you love Jesus.' I thought the car was stolen." (anonymous)

Lord, help me to make the most of each day. Help me think before I speak. Better yet, keep your hand on my shoulder so you are close enough to clap it over my mouth if necessary!

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."~John 15:12-13 NIV

1 comment:

  1. Thank you!!!!!! For someone that didn't attend SPHS..... you KNOW the feelings that we have. YES......GREENIE FIGHT NEVER DIES!