Dear fellow citizens of Yazoo,
I would like to reintroduce you to a familiar place in our downtown that for more than a century has been an important landmark in our community.
When you come to the intersection of Main and Washington Street -look around... you are staring right at an important piece of Yazoo history. The triangular-shaped lot that is formed by this busy intersection holds memories common to so many Yazooans. The triangle has been the site of countless parades, festivals, and community events. This plot of land is home to the old Main Street school (1904-1975) now the triangle cultural center (1975-present,) and our beautiful B.S. Ricks memorial library.
This brings me to the importance of community, and what it means for places such as the triangle. Surely no other building still standing in Yazoo houses as many memories and emotions such as this one.
If these walls and halls could talk, they would profoundly reminisce on what all they have seen. They would tell you about witnessing many first times such as when kindergartners learned to read. The excitement and wonder in their eyes when they were praised by their teachers! We heard many giggles as students passed notes under desks. There have been a plethora of skinned knees, and too many bandaids to count.
Oh, we can’t forget about the musicals and plays. Those were the days! The way the acoustics took their notes all over this big place.
We will never forget the armistice of WWI and the teachers crying “Children, oh, children, the war is over! Thank God, it’s over!” The parade that followed this joyous occasion and the hardships to come. Oh, but we prevailed! We recall the many graduates that passed through our doors, spelling bees, and all of the recitals that were held here. We were even present when the cries of grieving children rang through our halls as they were told their daddies would not be returning home from WWII. The war came to an end which marked the ending of an era, and the turning of a page. We watched quietly as children read their daily assignments amidst our towering walls and large windows.
When it was announced that the building would close as a school, we waited and wondered what would happen to this old place.
Our community quickly stepped up to save us. They did more than salvage our structure, they preserved our town history, and more than proudly displayed it. It is all still here today in our amazing museum. Our walls and creaky floors await the next curious person to come wandering through our town’s past history. All credited to a community that cared, and put their ideas into action. A type of community that our walls and halls so desperately long for today!
Now, citizens of this community must know, and see the pivotal stage we are facing in our town. If we do not band together as the faithful community we once were, and bring this back to the respected structure that it once was, then who will? The hard work and endeavors of our communities past will be in vain.
As I sit in my art studio on the north side of the triangle, my heart stirs with so much emotion when I think of the downfall of this beloved building. I hope this letter stirs an emotion within you, and also may it bring awareness to the dire situation we are facing.
Lastly, these walls and halls long to hear the notes of a piano, the lines from a play, the roar of an audience, the pitter patter of little ballerina feet, and the multitude of sounds coming from within! If this makes you feel any sort of way, please reach out to me to come listen, and take a look at what this building has to offer for our community!
Written sincerely from the heart of someone who loves this building, the history it holds, and the life it has left in it!