I have now seen the headwaters or source of three great rivers. The Mississippi, at Lake Itasca, where I stepped across the mighty river on stones, and had a drink of the water straight from the stream. (I like to live dangerously at times.) The Colorado, the source of which is away up in Rocky Mountain National Park, in a series of streams and rivulets that empty into Grand Lake. And now the Ohio, born of the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers in Pittsburgh. Strictly in terms of water, the Ohio is the most impressive, but Rocky Mountain National Park, well, wow!
I took time last week to attend my 50th High School Class reunion in Tiffin, Ohio. I didn’t write anything, so in keeping with that general theme, this post is not about writing. Everybody needs a little time off, right?
Amongst other things, I took a tour of my old high school, which is still there, and still in excellent condition. It opened in 1960, I first attended in 1964. Amazingly, it looks just as good now as it did then. One thing I did not appreciate at the time is that the building is a mid-century masterpiece. Here’s a look at the main hallway.
The auditorium (not shown) is exactly as it was, which is both amazing and, frankly, sort of sad. My real sadness, though, is that the planetarium died, and was converted into a teacher’s lounge.* Not that teachers don’t need a lounge. Oh, mercy, they do! But, I dearly loved that planetarium.
And, a mystery was solved. Study Hall was, and is, in room 201. Every time I’ve encountered a room 201, something has nagged at the back of my mind, as if 201 is a significant number. (Don’t know that it is, objectively.) But when I saw the old room, and the number 201, the mystery was solved! I spent many hours, mostly happy ones believe it or not, in 201. No wonder I like that number, huh?
Of course, we didn’t have water vending machines. (In the teachers’ lounge you can get the usual sweet stuff, but none for the students.) But other than that, it looks about exactly the same.
Which, of course, it isn’t. The Principal told us that they have an aviation program from which one graduates not just with a diploma, but with a pilot’s license. Some students (the brightest ones, I’m guessing) attend college while enrolled. They have several programs to intervene with at risk students to help them graduate, which actually succeed. Nice stuff. If you’re thinking that the state of education is bad, you’d have to think again if you toured Columbian.
Oh, yeah, there was a dinner, too, and I got to meet with some of the guys I used to hang with. Nice, that.
*A classmate told me that he installed the hanging ceiling in that lounge, and that it wasn’t easy. I believe him.