Old building still holds memories

Published 7:33 pm Thursday, January 24, 2019

When I was told my grandmother’s house was destroyed by a fire, I was devastated.

Thankfully, no one was hurt in the accident, and my grandmother had long since moved from the home. There weren’t even any family heirlooms lost.

It was just the fact that the house where I had made so many wonderful memories was forever gone, and this left me feeling sad.

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Never again could I do a drive by to see the little white house in the Delta where my grandfather taught me how to bake bread, the house where my stocking had been hung for so many Christmases, or the house that in the concrete on the front porch had a family tree of names that had been etched in by my grandmother.

This week, I experienced a similar feeling of loss when another building that held many memories of my past began to come down.

For several years now, the building that had housed all the elementary Sunday school classes at Crawford Street United Methodist Church has been vacant due to safety reasons. A new building was erected for the children’s programs, but up until this week the old building still stood. That was until Monday when an excavator began demolishing it.

From a church member’s standpoint, there will be a positive that can come from removing the building, but also from the perspective of a woman who grew up learning about the books of the Bible and singing many hymns with childhood friends in those rooms, the tear down is bittersweet.

I remember standing with my friend Janet Jackson as we sang “This Is My Father’s World.”

Tears still well up in my eyes every time we sing the hymn during a worship service as I recall those precious moments.

Also, that building is where I was first allowed to wear panty hose.

I know that sounds silly, but for a fifth grader, transitioning out of colored tights into “grown-up” hose, it was a big deal.

I also attended kindergarten at the church with classes held in the lower level of the building.

There was an African American woman, Lola, who helped then, and I will never forget her. In addition to loving on each and every one of us, she made the best homemade play-dough ever.  Oh, if I could smell fresh made play-dough again.

Later in life, the building became the stomping ground for my children.

Mrs. Flanagan was a main-stay in the three-year-old class room, and Aunt Nancy in the five-year-old room.

Also, all four of the kids attended playschool at the building.

And from the times I was a child to the times my own children attended church functions in those buildings, there is no telling how times I climbed up the back stairway of the building.  It must be thousands, millions possible!

Now, with the building gone, like my grandmother’s house, there will be no more drive buys or peeks inside an abandoned building.  The only things left to rely on are my memories.

And some are just so sweet!

Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. Readers are invited to submit their opinions for publication.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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