Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Goodbye, Central High: Climbing the Tower

My mom, Pat McFarlane Young, graduated from Central in 1948, so I went to the farewell gathering as her unofficial envoy. She loved Central and has many stories about the friends she made there. She often talks about how fun it was to use the spiral staircase in the tower to deliver items to various rooms for teachers. One enterprising Central graduate managed to find an open door at the base of the tower during the event, and a band of hearty adventurers started the long climb to the top. It was pitch black inside and the walls were crumbling, but we were a determined crew using cellphones and camera flashes to find the way. Things were even dicier when people descending passed those ascending on the narrow stairs. The view from the top was worth the effort.


  1. Thanks for climbing the tower Gordie. I was with you guys in spirit. I always wanted to do that.

    I seem to be a personal curse for Flint High Schools. I attended 3 of them during my school years:

    Valley School (building closed and demolished; school still operating)

    Central (closed and fate uncertain)

    Flint Christian (school closed; building still there)

    I couldn't imagine all those schools and buildings gone......

    For the record, the view is magnificent........Here's to better days ahead for Flint.

  2. That is so cool! If I'd known you were in town I'd have loved to buy you a cold one at The Torch. Great shots.

  3. And by the way, that second shot, of the open door with sky behind it, looks almost like a Magritte. Keeper.

  4. Well done Gordon. I have to admit that it was a slightly different ball game when I walked those halls (circa 2001). The door to the tower did not have the metal shield and could be forced open with the clever use of two screwdrivers. The door at the top stood ajar for more than three years at one point. This resulted in the top third of the staircase being nothing more than a dumping ground for pigeon excrement. Now imagine navigating the entire passage with nothing more than a laser pointer and you have a sense of what we used to do. Too bad you didn't make it to the basement or into the rafters. I will never forget stumbling upon graffiti signed class of '23!

    Thanks for the photos though. Brings back memories of warm spring days gazing at downtown.

    Rob c/o 2001

  5. Not sure how much longer you will be around Flint-town, however, Friday is the Celebration in the City event for the dedication of the new parking garage, as well as a fundraiser for downtown beautification. My husband are excited to come home for it! ;)


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