I Remember When . . . .
Great Stories about growing up in the Horntown, Oklahoma area!

Remember When Index     Old Moss Gym Pictures
 

A Sad Good-Bye To A Good Old Friend!

     They tell me the old gym is gone. Moss alumni who graduated since the mid fifties will not understand how some of us felt about that old rock Gymnasium. A sadness came over me when I first read that they had demolished that old building and it has not left me since. It is not unlike what people feel upon learning that a dear friend or relative has passed on. Just seeing it from time to time or being in it occasionally is not like "growing up" inside it or having some of life's more important experiences occurring there.
     I doubt the Moss campus has ever had a class room more important to our education and personal development than was this lovable and beautiful old pile of stone. Some of the things that happened to us there were vitally important to the process of growing and maturing. Some were just plain fun.
     Some of the most fun times of my life were playing basketball there. Joe Evans was our coach one year and he taught us to behave like men. He would bench you immediately if you showed a temper or complained about a referee's call. He taught us to welcome competing players from Fairview, Spaulding, Atwood, Gerty, Stuart and other schools. It was there that we learned to win with grace and lose with dignity. We learned team work and to depend upon the other players to execute our plan. It was a lot like life was to become for us.
     Even more important were the times when, as first graders, we stood before a crowd for the first time and recited a few lines. With a hundred pairs of eyes staring at us, our voices high pitched and our minds gone into shock, we did what we would have to do time and again for the rest of our lives. We would stand and deliver. The second time was easier, and the tenth time easier still yet. This, as much as anything else we did, was an important part of preparing for life as an adult.
     All of the school programs, class plays, the literary and fine arts meets, the music programs, solos, quartets, and choirs were a preparation for life. It was the kind of preparation that enabled Jack Woods to become an attorney, Ethyl Conley to become a teacher, Robert Loftis to become a merchant and Jerry Summy to become a minister. Hundreds of other success stories could be told. And they all started there inside those old stone walls. It was an important preparation for what each of us was to become. That is why that old building seems a little like home to many of us. The demolition will hurt for a while because a part of us still resides there. Our hearts and memories are there.
     A few years ago, Sylvia and I went by Moss to see it one more time. Not a soul was there in any of the buildings, but the old gym was unlocked. We went inside. There was a basketball there on the floor. The stage that had once been on the east side of the gym, was now on the south end. The old coal stove by the front door was gone. Most of the rest of the old place was the same. We picked up the ball and started playing basketball. We talked about the things we had done in this building, the games, one and three act plays and other programs. An hour and a half later, we were still there, two sixty year old people, shooting baskets and reliving the past. It was fun.
     Being old probably has something to do with the sadness we feel with the passing of this old gym. Memories become more important, our past more real. We identify with things of our past that are as old as
we are, things that are an important part of our memories.      To those of you who are younger, I hope you can learn to care deeply about many things, to respect and honor people and, yes, even things like old buildings that are an important part of your past.
     Sometimes. . . it's ok to feel sad.
Clayton Adair, Class of 1954 (Clayton attended Moss 1942-53 and graduated from Holdenville - 1954)

Remember When Index     Old Moss Gym Pictures