On December 9, from 12-4 p.m., the public is invited to attend an open house for the “old” Milton High School and say their final goodbyes. Former students and faculty can roam the halls one last time and reminisce on memories and years long past but not forgotten.
The building is being torn down to make way for a new state-of-the-art STEM school slated to open in 2020.
As a Milton alumnus, I intend to be there to pay homage to what has been such an important part of the lives of generations in our community.
I remember the summer of 2004 as an incoming freshman seeing our first baseball state championship since 1955 and a year later seeing future World Series champ Dexter Fowler fire baseballs at Eddie Prasch across the track.
I remember meeting my future wife in my 10th grade AP World History class. I sat behind two of my best friends, and they would giggle at my adolescent attempts to get and keep her attention.
She sat next to one of her best friends and future college roommate who would look at Kristina disapprovingly and tell her not to encourage me.
I remember my first fender bender when I pulled out of the school parking lot in my ‘89 blue Volvo and rear-ended a senior in his new truck.
I remember the basketball games, especially freshman year when my good buddy Connor hit three free throws against Woodstock with time expiring to send us to the playoffs for the first time in years.
I remember small group breakfasts at Dockery’s down the street. We’d meet for breakfast, Bible study, and eventually started our tradition of plaid shorts Wednesdays.
I remember going to FCA Friday mornings for fellowship and praise.
I remember the talent shows. There was a hilarious rendition of “Anchorman” once and an original song by my friend PJ.
I remember the tragedies, when we lost one of our own in a car crash. One loss among a student body is unbearable. I can’t imagine the pain some schools that see more have to go through today.
I remember getting lost, over and over in that maze of hallways. Actually, I still have dreams about getting lost and showing up late to Mr. Friedman’s English class.
I remember Junior/Senior wars, when kids would roll each other’s houses the week before spring break. What a stupid, yet somehow necessary, tradition.
I remember the lunches, packing all your friends into those red benches. The fried chicken and the brownies. And the food fights. My friend Todd once took a mustard packet to the head that I’m sure was intended for me.
I remember Freshman Fridays, and the general sense of anxiety as freshmen carried their backpacks on their front-sides for fear of being “fish hooked”.
I remember the football games. We weren’t any good back then, but they were a lot of fun. They were truly community events and the whole town would show up.
I still remember how to get on the roof. You had to climb up a couple drainpipes, but if you knew the route, it wasn’t too bad. Thankfully for us, the administration didn’t know the route.
I remember the cross-country practices, and the different routes in and around Alpharetta. Shout out to the 2017 team who just won the school’s first championship.
I remember the dances. The awkward photos and the nervous couples.
I remember the library. We would gather there in the mornings and just talk. We’d also swap notes and do last-minute homework of course, too.
I remember the classes and the teachers, both the ones I liked and the ones I didn’t.
I remember Nancy Strada, Ron Tesch, coach Fullilove, Cliff Jones, Dr. Berkemeir, Ms. Ethridge, Mr. Friedman.
I remember the “old gym,” which tells you how old the school is, as the “new gym” has to be at least 60 years old. It’s straight out of the movie Hoosiers, and if you’re going to the open house you have to see it.
I remember how much the school was a part of the community – how our mayors graduated from Milton, our grandfathers built the cabin on the school grounds, and many of our teachers were also former students.
I miss it all.
And soon, I’ll miss the building that helped get our community through World War II, segregation, and much else.
To the bricks and mortar that are now empty hallways constituting a maze of memories, we thank you.
Take one last bow, you’ve done enough.