Historical societies are abuzz with restoration projects preserving pieces of our past. Their noble pursuits favor those hundreds of years from now enjoying the storied pasts whose memories dwell within. A bit less noble, yet still quite real, are the ambitions of being immortally remembered.
While some of us have a hard time assigning personal worth to objects, we can assign emotional value to both things and places when we remember our interactions with them. We go to a place we have seen before, but never known of our own accord. After a (wonderful, poignant, dreadful) time, we pass before it thereafter with a nostalgic look, a wry smirk or a look of disgust.
Just Bricks and Mortar
The longer a building stands, the more varied the reactions to it become. Even buildings which only serve one purpose will elicit differing opinions.
Those multipurpose buildings which host a variety of events draw the most diverse reactions. Recital halls are fantastic memory settings for concert goers, but the overflow of the music can make the cube farmers next door want to design better soundproofing.
People who have never been inside the buildings are touched by their association with those who have or those who brought the building into existence. Every day, people the world over are willing to embrace or decry ideas and projects strictly based on the participants and the pitch men.
We often do not hold the same opinion we formed the first time we go somewhere. Ever have a bad experience, but after granting a second chance found out you adored the venue after all?
Town Hall looks into the story of a building built in the days of thatch roofs. It has witnessed many occasions and touched the lives of many people. Let’s take a walk through its history.
Over the crest of the hilltop
Is a lowly building.
Two centuries of history
Are stored in its thick walls.
It has played host to the public
And hidden dark secrets.
Stories it would tell if only
We would sit and ask it.
A blushing bride was wed outside
‘Neath maples bowering.
When the sunset fell, the guests came
Inside to drink and dance
Until the sun returned rested,
Though the couple beset
On their honeymoon for hours
Before dawn revealed it.
The rains had come in the springtime,
Brought forth bumper harvests.
The farmers took care to reserve
Stores for the winter frost.
Of what remained much was sold off.
Silos burst at the seams.
The bounty still held was enough
For a festival and feast.
The townsfolk gathered ’round the fires.
Roast sucklings, stags, the best.
Women served their pies and salads
Whilst all the children danced.
The elders smoked pipes, and they sipped
Brandies of sweet spring friuts.
Outside, dogs waited patiently
For morsels, the finest.
Years of good service to people
Did Mayor give the shire.
The snow blanketed the new roof,
A pet project pushed through,
Like so many others before
Proctored in window seats
Overlooking the prim courtyard
With its stately roses.
When came his time to lie in state,
The roses blazed like fire.
The pediment showed fresh white wash
And the oiled plank floor gleamed
Until tears bespeckled the aisle
To pay respect to one
Who believed the legacy of
History never closes.
Have you ever said I never knew this place was here? Every wondered what the walls would say? Do you remember a special place from the past? How important is our personal history? Do you preserve history, at any level?
© Red Dwyer 2012
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