FRAZIER: More than just a story for the newspaper
Published 11:00 am Saturday, November 12, 2022
I was brought to tears this week in the most unusual place – a high school classroom.
On Wednesday, I went to cover an event that was being held at Warren Central.
I graduated from WCHS, as did my girls, and I enjoy anytime I can return to old stomping grounds.
However, I was quite surprised to find I couldn’t find anything.
With the school’s upgrade/remodel that’s taking place, the new construction has altered the spaces I remember so well. In fact, I had to have a student escort me to the classroom where the event was to take place.
Once there, again I was surprised to see how an ordinary classroom had been decorated from top to bottom for Christmas.
The event I was to cover was a thank-you party the school’s community-based class was hosting for employees from Ergon Refining Inc. The employees had made possible a grant that provided for the purchase of appliances, which would be used to teach students real-life skills.
The student’s teacher – Jennifer Ray Cain (who ironically fit into a throwback from my time at the school, Jennifer’s mother, Jacquetta and I were in the band together) said the kids wanted to do something special for the Ergon group and since they all loved twinkling lights, decided to create a “winter wonderland.”
There were also yummy treats, which included a cake that had been decorated by the students.
As the party got underway, the WCHS Madrigals showed up to sing a song for the group.
I had never heard “Don’t Forget Me” from the TV series “Smash” – I got this information later from Eric Johnson, the choir director – but it was a very moving song. So-much-so, the students, who were spellbound by the performance, began applauding as the song’s intensity crescendoed.
They could feel the music.
It was in that moment, the tears bubbled up.
It was evident the students, while maybe not understanding all the words, could feel the music.
And while I too, was experiencing the intensity of the song, the action of the students also touched my soul.
Watching them, it was evident there was no plastic façade they enshrined themselves in for fear of what others would think, they just responded with a real and true spirit.
Certainly, I got more that day than just a story for the newspaper.