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The Courthouse - Soon To Be No More
January 6, 2012 - Al Stephenson
On New Year's Day I went for a walk. The weather was nice for a January day and I decided to head downtown. My destination was the Seneca County Courthouse. I wanted to see her once more before the wrecking ball would send her to her grave.
As I walked I thought back to my memories of the structure. The two things that stood out for me was the high ceilings and the huge doors. It also seemed to be a busy place, one that had an air of importance. I went to the Courthouse several times as a boy because my mother worked there. I recall her greeting people that she saw on a regular basis. There seemed to be a shared warmth between them.
When I got to the Courthouse I noticed a gentleman who appeared to be slightly older than myself. He was gazing wistfully at the Grand Old Dame. I walked toward him and we chatted for a few minutes. He was obviously saddened by the machinery that sat waiting for the inevitable. He mentioned that he visited the Courthouse many times beginning as a youngster. "You could do all your county business in one stop," he pointed out.
His wife appeared from around the corner, camera in hand. She said she wanted her grandchildren to know what the Courthouse looked like. I bid them goodbye and continued to circle the building. I found myself getting a little emotional. That surprised me a little as I have bittersweet memories of the Courthouse.
It was always fun to go visit my mom at the Courthouse, but then one day she came home in tears. You see she had been fired from her job. "For what," her family wanted to know. She didn't really know, but her boss told her that she was TOO efficient. You heard that right folks. He actually told her that her problem was that she was TOO efficient!
It left a bitter taste in our mouths. It gave me a poor impression of politics. Though she was hired in another Courthouse office shortly thereafter, the damage was done. My family kept quiet about the incident for a long time. Even after my mother passed away we still kept the information private.
So will tearing down the structure give my family a sense of closure? No way. The Courthouse didn't fire her. The gutless wonder who did is now also deceased so perhaps we are somewhat over the senseless act. I would prefer to remember the good times at the Courthouse and now those will be fading memories as the building is about to come down.
The view from my seat suggests that it is a shame that this historic landmark will be torn down. When it is though, I hope people will forgive and move forward.
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