An expression of love remembered, then destroyed

SHELLEY — In life, we see things come and we see things go. Some things are created, while other things are destroyed. But, relationships bore out and rounded in true love last forever.

On May 28, 2002, the night of the Junior High School fire, then Fire Chief Mike Carter stepped into the gymnasium to assess the fire’s advancement in the ceiling.   As he walked in, he noticed the bleachers were extended to a point you could walk behind them.  The scene stirred a memory of something he had done years before while attending school in this building. 

He stepped under the bleachers and looked.  And, sure enough, it was still there.  As a sophomore, he had scrawled on the back edge of one of the bleachers, “Mike Loves Debbie.” Debbie was his girlfriend at the time and has now been his wife for many years. 

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“I didn’t have nothing to get it off at the time,” Mike said. “When I came into the gym the next morning, the bleachers were gone.”

The only thing left was the steel frame in the charred rubble. 

For most people in our community, the destruction of both schools by fire was more than just two buildings burning to the ground.  It was also the destruction of a home, one may say even a monument, where fond memories occurred and relationships were created.

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