Letter: Our memories of ‘old’ EPHS will always exist

Posted 8/8/19

To the editor:

I read with great interest Michael Pare’s excellent commentary in the July 18 issue regarding his fond memories evoked by the mere sight of East Providence High School. Reading …

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Letter: Our memories of ‘old’ EPHS will always exist

Posted

To the editor:
I read with great interest Michael Pare’s excellent commentary in the July 18 issue regarding his fond memories evoked by the mere sight of East Providence High School. Reading his perspective put me in mind of some of my own fondest memories. (Chief among them is this one: It was in one of the stairwells of the High School where between classes I asked a girl to the Homecoming Dance. The dance ended up being our first date and the girl ended up becoming my wife.)
The evocation of memory by things visible and tangible is part of what it is to be human. Aristotle taught long ago that we learn about the world by our senses. It is a simple idea but one that is lost on the world in which live. How many of us on the (daily?) drive along Pawtucket Avenue look to our side and consciously or subconsciously think – “That is where I learned my geometry and read my Shakespeare; where I formed friendships; where I matured into adulthood”.
And while it is undoubtedly a great joy that there will soon be a new high school building, there is of course some attendant sorrow in knowing that we alumni of East Providence High School from the 1950s through the late 2010s will soon no longer be able to see the brick and mortar of our alma mater. (Notably and interestingly, graduates from the 1910s through the early 1950s still enjoy the sight of their stately high school building on Taunton Avenue, even if the structure itself has been repurposed.)
But in the face of this sorrow, I offer this consolation: Any institution worth its salt is more than just buildings and people. I have always been struck by how the original insignia of East Providence High School (which is seldom seen these days) boldly states: “Organized 1884”. To me, that simple proclamation seems to imply that East Providence High School, in some mysterious way, has always existed. And similarly, that it will always exist, no matter the structure with which we associate it.
Take heart, alumni of East Providence High School. Kindle your memories of high school days; share them with your children. They soon will have their own new high school building, which will be fertile ground for the making of their own memories.
John Butler
East Providence

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