The Green Ghosts of greatness past
A line from the poem "Flanders Fields" keeps running through my mind. "From trembling hands to you we throw... the torch. Be it yours to hold it high." The poem was designed as a tribute to soldiers in France in World War One; it is also featured in the locker room of the Monreal Canadiens hockey club. In the Montreal case, the line is accompanied by a chronological line of all the great faces and names that have graced the club from its start in the early 1900's to today.
Vincennes Lincoln High School is no different. Homecoming was held in Vincennes last weekend-- and as anyone knows, homecoming in Vincennes is more important, more intense, and more well-attended than just about any other homecoming in Indiana. It also marked the final walk-through for the former Vincennes Lincoln High School, and Clark Middle School, in downtown Vincennes. Future development will renovate the former Administration building, and raze the former Clark Middle School.
I was part of that walk-through... and the green ghosts were everywhere. They were saying-- as Robin Williams whispered in "Dead Poets' Society"-- "Carpe diem... Seize the Day." The green ghosts of Lincoln students past were also presient in Adams Coliseum-- home of the Alices from the early 1900's to 1988. Those ghosts said something completely different; they were saying.. "We were winners here... the torch is in your hands... don't let us down. Do your best, and win-- for yourself, and for the tradition of winning we have handed to you. The torch is yours now-- hold it high."
In some places, winning is nice, and losing is sad but not heartbreaking. Community schools-- where the high school represents the community, and at least 100 years of traditions in it-- are different. Look it up; community schools, where one high school represents the community are traditionally successful more than either multi-school communities, or so called "directional" schools. Why? In Lincoln's case, and in many other community schools, it is simple-- just look to the rafters, and hear the message of the Green Ghosts. "To you, we throw the torch of success-- it's up to you to carry the tradition to the next generation. Don't mess it up..."
That's my take-- I'm Tom Lee.