Saturday, March 31, 2012

"If These Walls Could Talk: A History of Moore's Old School"

Elliot very much enjoyed the time he spent in Moore, Oklahoma. He was there for about four months, paired first with Elder Soto and then with Elder Karl, and in a ward with some great people, including the mission president, my friend John Sorensen, the Lusk family, and many others. As parents, it's comforting to know your missionary son is in good hands while he is gone for two years. And I now have a soft spot in my heart for Moore.

The other day I ran across an article in NewsOK about Moore's Old School and a documentary that has been produced to tell its story. It's such a classic tale of small-town middle America, set in Oklahoma against the backdrop of the Depression, WWII, and the '50s. The two-story school that still stands today was constructed in 1928, following a fire that mostly destroyed the prior building. For many years, the school was home to children from first grade through high school. In 1958 it became an elementary school, and was finally closed as a school in 1980.

The stories recounted in the article are terrific. My favorite:
Wes Rigsby, 74, remembers that second floor well. One Halloween, a milk cow was loosed upstairs. 
“A dairy cow will go upstairs, but it won't come down,” Rigsby said. “They're nosy, and they'll slobber on everything.” 
Rigsby claimed to know many details of the incident but denied involvement: “I don't know the statute of limitations on something like that,” he said. “But the next year, the janitor was waiting outside the door with an unloaded shotgun. ... He wasn't going to let it happen again.”
Mr. Rigsby later explained:
“I've gone to college and vo-tech, I've even been a teacher, but as far as I'm concerned, it was the very best school,” Rigsby said. “A lot of the things we learned weren't in books, things like being honest with our fellow men.”
The Old School is now the Old School Business Center & Auditorium, home to various businesses and an event center. The center's website includes some really fun historical information, including Old School yearbook photos from 1941-1960, photos of recent events at the center, and a collection of photographs and articles of the history of the school and the business center.

And now there is a documentary of the Old School, produced by Trifecta Communications, a current tenant of the center. The trailer for the documentary is below. I'm trying to find a way to purchase the DVD online and will provide an update when I do. But I know you can pick up the DVD at the Moore City Hall and at the Moore Chamber of Commerce. Enjoy the trailer.

Update (4/3/12): Bathroom Bandits Hit Old School Building. Thieves made off with two very unusual items from the Old School Business Center and the owners are hoping you can help get them back.

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