All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Guest posting: Safety, Security, and Renovation - 1

Instant Renovation

Imagine being ten years old. You've just left a neighborhood theater with your best friend following a scary flick, and you're walking several blocks home at night - just the two of you. Imagine too that your route takes you past your pal's house first. So then you must proceed on alone a block or so, step into a darkened funeral home, and quietly but quickly walk past the occupied 'parlors' and on up the stairs to your second floor home.

I made that gut wrenching trip several times in the year of 1950.

During World War II my Dad worked in a factory building bomb casings while my Mom ran a corner grocery in Milwaukee. We lived in the rear of the store. Following the war, they sold the store and leased a small house just down the street, in back of a bakery. As did many other families, they soon decided to build a new house in what was then the northwest corner of Milwaukee. Once they had signed the contract and had received their 'schedule' from the builder, my folks gave our landlord notice that we'd be moving out when construction was complete.

Unfortunately, when moving day arrived, our new house was still nine months from completion. So, we accepted the kind offer of the local funeral director's widow, and shared her upstairs living quarters with her and her small daughter just across the street from our former store.

We finally moved into our new home in December of 1950, I left both the Violet and Liberty Theaters behind, bringing along only the memory of many trips home that were more frightening than the movies which preceded them.

As our family - along with many others - learned so long ago, construction realities don't always follow contract schedules. What is billed as a two year project may be completed ahead of schedule, or be nine months late.

But how ever long it takes, new construction is never instantaneous - renovation even less so. And the lives of people who live and work - and try to learn - during a renovation, do so in the midst of construction in progress as well as construction delayed.

During a school renovation, both students and teachers struggle to communicate with one another; often separated from the chaos of construction by a bit of plywood here or a sheet of plastic there, together with ominous strips of yellow tape proclaiming: "Danger - Construction Work - Do Not Enter".

And just as I made that quick but quiet walk past the occupied parlors of my youth, they too will have to endure their own trepidations as they traverse the unknown parlors of construction throughout the school.
Gerry Goodrich
Opinions and views expressed in guest postings do not necessarily reflect all of the opinions of Practically Speaking and Brookfield7. They are written by and are the opinion of the person listed at the bottom. Anonymous postings are submitted by persons who do not wish to have their name on the piece


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