I was saddened on my last trip to Spokane, Washington as I drove by the theatre I’d worked at several years before becoming a teacher, and saw that it had been closed. I had heard that this had happened, but I hadn’t gone up to this area in a long time. As I drove by, I felt a sudden wash of emotion spill over me. I pulled into the parking lot and felt the memories groggily emerge as I stepped onto the sodden, cracked asphalt, where rainy puddles lapped about my feet like dying jellyfish.
This place held so much for me from the years when I was young—a boy struggling through a host of lifescapes. But now, it was gone, the building was now boarded up, stripped of valuables, and completely gutted.
I drove around the side of the building where a huge door had been cut into the wall for trucks to pull in. I looked into the skeletal interior, my vision only impeded by cross-supports and columns—everything was gone.
It’s amazing to me just how much things change, and yet, we go on.
I think about the classroom—the one I left behind at my old school. I promised that I’d never go back. I’d like to remember it the way that it had been over the past 7 years, not what it’s become since they’ve closed the classroom down.
We’re taking a giant step into the future
And turning into a thousand other towns
I heard today the news that they are
Closing the bookstore down
So, take a minute and look around
There are corner shops in every town
Squeezed and pushed and hunkered down
And battered by the blows
No, they might not be shiny or bright or new
But they’re run by folks like me and you
Now, I can’t tell you want to do
But me?…I’m gonna shop in those
So give me slow food and a hometown team
Spencer’s, Bodo’s, Chap’s Ice Cream
Gleason Hardware and that corner store
With dust on the shelves and a bell on the door
I swear I’d love to hear that sound once more
Since they closed the bookstore down
- John McCutcheon