The Warwhoop

Scorched Memories

Hanah Cooper

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Firefighters around the county rushed through town Friday, January 12. Snapchat stories and Facebook posts were spread quickly around the community online. The news was out quickly: the high school Ag building was ablaze. It was shocking and tragic to everyone, but there is one group of people in particular who took a harder blow than most. The Wayne City FFA lost a lot that Friday morning. Awards, schedules, records, and curriculum all went up in flames. Record books became piles of ash. Textbooks were annihilated. Nothing was left untouched by the inferno. “We lost a lot of things, but material items can be replaced,” said FFA Reporter Nate Barbee, “What can’t be replaced is the memories that I will forever treasure that were made in that building. It had been around for as long as I can remember, and it’s just hard to see it go.” That building was home to the FFA.

The FFA Advisor, Mrs. Jennifer Ehrhart, had a lot to say about the loss of the building. “The irreplaceable things are the saddest part: the jackets, the scrapbooks, all those things that cannot be replaced, and really just the history of those things will be the hardest to move on from. But, we’re taking this as an experience to maybe get things from long ago, things that we didn’t have, or lost. So, hopefully we can build from that. The new [canopy] tent, that was sad. We had just bought that this year. The textbooks were outdated, so this definitely gives us an opportunity to move forward and get some new materials. Mainly just the history behind everything is what’s the hardest. Going through the building yesterday, we found some things. There were some projects that kids had made and things that were left by Mr. Scott such as welding projects that had his name on it. That was kind of neat to see.” She recalled the memories with a bit of struggle. “As of now, what’s going to happen is that we’re going to kind of be homeless for the next year. We’re moving from classroom to classroom as our building is a complete loss. Luckily, we still have our greenhouse, so we’ll be able to do those types of things. However, we used to be able to just run right out to the shop to get whatever we needed. Now, we’re going to have to completely change the way we think about not only our classroom but just FFA in general. Even the smallest thing like our Friday lunches. People want forks or a knife with their meal and everything we had was in that building. That includes our coolers as well. Things that you wouldn’t even think twice about before become important. I need to consciously tell myself things like ‘Oh, I need to go grab a cooler. But wait, it’s burnt up in the fire.’ We just don’t have those conveniences anymore. So, our plan moving forward is to get the things that we need immediately because it’s an educational learning experience for all of us. We’ll be looking for a ‘temporary-permanent’ home for us, and we hope to do that by getting a mobile classroom brought in so that we don’t feel like we’re just moving back and forth between classrooms. We need a place that we can start replacing things that we lost and a place to store them.”

Obviously, there is a lot that the FFA lost in this tragic event. Lots of things need replaced and sorted. However, the members are all ready to work hard to rebuild and restore their Chapter. The fire in the building is nothing compared to the fire in the hearts of the teachers and students ready to tackle the issue and grow from it.

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Scorched Memories