Editors, Vineyard Gazette:
When someone dies, you comfort yourself and others with statements like, “At least she is not suffering anymore” or “He died doing what he loved” or “She lived a long and full life” or “He has gone to a better place.” Or if it is a baby, you say, “Little one has gone to be an angel.” But then when you see them in their coffin, it is a different story: they are dead, they are gone and reality sets in with a fury! So when I drove past the Edgartown School as the claw began to tear at her, I saw her in her coffin and I was overwhelmed with grief. I suppose it was greater because I could see that my room was next to go, and so it became a very personal moment. I was so moved with desperation to do something to honor this wonderful building that was a school for many generations, a place where children learned to read, a place where you got to show that you had lost your first tooth, a place where we teachers did all we could do to mold good character and teach the wonder of learning, a place in which we loved with abandonment, a sanctuary, a cathedral, a home-away-from-home, a place where lives were changed. At once, I was driven to do something to honor this fine lady of ours, desperate to give her due respect as the place that did so much for so many.
I have addressed this with the powers that be, and I am asking for support in this mission to honor Edgartown School and let her be memorialized. My idea is to save some of the bricks from the school and make a pathway to the new library, representing the past meeting the future, the path of compass rose on it, symbolizing direction, as the school gave and the new library will do, as well. Plus, we are a very nautical environment, so that represents this lay of the land we so love, our Island life with water all around us. I am appealing to our community to support the salvaging of some of the bricks from the school for this purpose, and I would so like to know that this is possible if this is found to be of import to many beyond me. We must honor this school that meant so much to us! She must not just be clawed into oblivion!
Doris Ward, Edgartown
The writer is a former language arts teacher at the Edgartown School.