The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Columns

August 14, 2013

Jim Bailey: Schools come and go, but old loyalties die a slow death

Recently I caught some Internet conversation surrounding the notice of an open house for the Anderson Marching Highlanders. Yeah, that band, which took fourth at the State Fair.

This begins the third year since the consolidation of Anderson’s two remaining public high schools. I’m told very few problems involving the students themselves have been reported. School athletic teams proudly wear the Red and Green. And yes, the band struts its stuff in elegant tartan kilts and Scottish plaid.

Some of the online comments, however, remind us that old loyalties die as hard as a Delco battery. Highland grads decry their displacement as eagerly as old Madison Heights loyalists lament the loss of their school to a transplanted crosstown rival. Many have repeated vows never to acknowledge an Anderson High School band in kilts nor accept Indian motif throughout the building at 4610 Madison Ave.

Highland is now a middle school. Madison Heights is gone, almost unrecognizable amid the complete interior reconstruction and exterior refacing emblematic of a brand-new high school. What remains is a monument (none dare call it a tombstone) to the school that was.

It is probably neither unexpected nor surprising that the memories and loyalties accrued in four years of classes and extracurriculars at one’s alma mater invoke deep and lasting emotions neither easily forgotten nor forgiven. Change is a constant in an educational process determined to keep up with the times, but it cannot erase the experiences of one’s growing-up years.

That experience is not limited to Madison Heights and Highland. The Pendleton-Markleville consolidation some four decades ago was comparably painful. Northside came and went in Muncie, as did Haworth in Kokomo, which was occupied by rival colors some years before MHHS faded into history. Or ask alumni of Summitville, Fairmount, Royerton, Sweetser, Swayzee, Hartford City, Hancock Central, Fortville, Michigan City Elston and Rogers, East Chicago Washington and Roosevelt, and on and on.

Text Only
Columns
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

What do you think of Anderson's decision to have an Independence Day parade and other festivities on July 3?

That's great!
Should be OK
What a waste of money!
     View Results