Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The White Buildings

I just read on my cousin's blog that they are tearing down the white buildings at my home church, Olive Baptist in Pensacola. Back when I was a tyke, the white buildings and the sanctuary (now Rousseau Hall) is all there was. I attended kindergarten in those buildings, played on the playground behind those buildings, went to Sunday School in those buildings. As I sit and think, there are so many memories connected with those buildings. Here are just a few...
- In the nursery, I fell off one of the box/benches that ran along the wall and cut my chin open. I remember my Nana coming to get me to take me to the doctor. They sat me up on the counter and Nana offered me a cracker to try and calm me down. I still have that scar.
- Going to Sunday School as a kid. One year, I was actually in the same room where my Nana taught for many years. She wasn't my teacher though. If memory serves, my teacher was Doris Martin and to this day I still remember Proverbs 17:17 from that very class.
- During another year of Sunday School, I remember sitting in a semi-circle singing songs while Aunt Nellie Parazine played the piano. We used to sing "Do Lord" all the time.
- One year during Vacation Bible School, we had these plaster Lord's Supper's that we painted gold. I remember thinking that was so cool.
- We had most of our rehearsals for the puppet ministry out in those white buildings. Those were really fun.
- On the second floor of one of the buildings, you could jump the rail and get up on the roof. It was like another world up there. In high school, you can just imagine what we used it for.
- On many a Wednesday night, after supper, we would steal the remaining bowls of pudding, sneak around between the white building and the Simmon's house and throw those bowls at passing cars. We also did some other juvenile things but I'll keep those to myself.
- I won't go into details but I also had some romantic encounters with some young ladies in some side rooms in those white buildings.
From kindergarten to grown man, I spent a lifetime in those white buildings. It's a shame I'll never see them again. I wish I had a picture to post but I don't. But I can see them in my mind's eye. I can see my friends as they were back then when the church and those white buildings were almost our entire world and not a bad world at that.

Addendum: I found a picture in a book about my church that I forgot I had. This was taken before Rousseau Hall was built. The white buildings were the sanctuary at that time. That was before my day. I also neglected to mention that the church is not only important in my history but in my family history as well. My mom grew up there and I believe our family started with the church in the 1920's. I don't know all the details...I just know we've had family at that church for a long, long time. My parents are members elsewhere now but I still have aunts and cousins and the like roaming those hallowed halls. I am 99% certain that I'll never attend there again but Olive will always hold a special place in my heart.


adam said...

man, that makes me sad...i had many of the same experiences out in those buildings except that mine stop around middle school because the youth got the new rooms in the gym most of the time. also, instead of going on the roof, we'd jump down to the ground from the railing...stupid. i have some good and some boring memories in those buildings like i loved going into the ra room and building things with mr. mcgee. the boring memories are mostly of what we called church training back then like sunday school at night except there were only like 4 of us on any given night and we didn't do anything fun...just read and worked in little books...i hated doing that but i've since talked to my parents about it talking about memories of the church and mom basically told me i went because they would be in choir practice or meetings and wouldn't have made me go if they didn't have to be there. those were also good rooms to hide in on wednesdays to skip pioneers and youth small groups because they'd be open and no one would be out there but we only did that a few times in middle school...when dave came, we actually ended up teaching groups so that ended freetime. i feel like you in that i spent my growing up years around those buildings...i also spent many days in summers playing around those buildings because mom would go up to the church to help dad with whatever and i'd be out of school and too young to be left at home or whatever like my brother so i'd run around and find rubber cement to play with or sometimes leftover sunday school donuts. ah, memories...

adam said...

by the way, did those buildings have an actual name? if so, i never knew it...