Recently, I was fortunate to get to spend a little time in the town I where I was raised. Before I left OKC, I loaded up my bike, you know...just in case. I lucked out and caught a nice weather window and was able to put the tires on the asphalt for an afternoon. I didn't have a specific plan, only that I wanted to ride from my parents' house to the pool I worked at as a lifeguard one summer. This was a journey I took daily that summer, as I don't remember ever driving to work. Interestingly, the pool was located next to the building where I attended kindergarten. Since I am now myself a teacher, it was interesting to stand on the same steps where my mom snapped my very first 'first-day-of-school' picture. I remember crying...being so afraid to leave my mom and go into the class with all the unfamiliar faces. As it so often does, time, and travel, blur our childhood fears and build confidence.
What resulted became a fun tour of nostalgia through the town of Ada, Oklahoma. After taking a look at the school and the old swimming pool, I decided that a fun time would be had venturing to all of the schools I attended in town via bicycle. Ada Schools and East Central University were very good to me. I'm fortunate to have been educated there.
Memory lane is best experienced when pedaled rather than driven. :)
I hope you enjoy!
Stop #1 - Glenwood School
This was the start! Glenwood now has a new building on the opposite side of town, but this was the place that SO many of us attended kindergarten. I'm not completely sure what the resource center's purpose is now, but it was sure neat to stand in front of this building again. My beard was shorter in kindergarten.
Stop #2 - Washington Elementary
4th grade was spent here after Ada moved to the 'system' which housed only two grades in each building. Washington was 3rd and 4th grade. I had completed 3rd grade (I passed!) already at my original elementary school (Hayes) so I only attended here one year. Ironically, my favorite memory was Bicycle Safety Day. We were allowed to bring our bikes and ride through an obstacle course outside.
Stop #3 - Ada Junior High
Since I traveled geographically rather than chronologically, the next stop was Ada Junior High. I think this is the most unique building in the district because it looks like a castle. 7th, 8th, and 9th grade were here.
Stop #4 - Hayes Elementary
This was my 'original' elementary school before the district went to grade centers. I completed 1st through 3rd grade here as a Hayes Bulldog.
Stop #5 - East Central University
The next stop took me over to ECU where I completed my degree. I have very fond memories from my time here and am proud to be a graduate. The experience I had here could not have been duplicated anywhere else.
Once a tiger, always a tiger. ;)
I didn't actually get to attend classes in Hallie Brown Ford as it is a new addition, but I had to include a picture because it is a fabulous facility! The music and arts students are fortunate to have this!
Stop #6 - Willard Elementary
Willard houses 5th and 6th grades, both of which I attended here. It is a special place because I had the opportunity to start band here, which ultimately became my career path.
Stop #7 - Ada High School
The old stomping grounds. I spent a lot of time here as a kid as I grew up just around the corner. The high school was a cut through to the Meadowood Neighborhood where my buddy Bryan lived, so being on a bicycle here was definitely familiar! I'm so thankful for the education and experiences I had here. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
And of course...the band room. :)
Next time you have the opportunity, jump on a bicycle or take off on foot and meander around some of your childhood haunts. I think you'll be glad you did! :)
~Thanks for reading ~