"THE ROSE AND THORN,
SORROW AND GLADNESS
ARE LINKED TOGETHER."
Just as I am saddened by the loss of a friend of fifty one years, so Abilene is saddened by the loss of a historic landmark once again. Though not the same they are similar.
I have too many interests and areas of interest. I love old theaters especially when they are alive with activity. There is a feeling back stage and on stage of something that cannot be duplicated by modern architecture. The ring of your voice and the music is in a spot that was intended for it to be there.
Two of the greatest moments of my life were backstage, when a production that I envisioned was taken by a group of highly talented artists in tribute to the 150th anniversary of Kansas, to places that I never envisioned.
The chills that ran up and down my spine must be like the feelings that adventurers feel performing some dangerous feat. Or the athlete winning the championship. Or like the kid that screams with delight and terror on the roller coaster. The true feeling cannot be described.
Abilene will not have that again at the Great Plains Theater. Those feelings and experiences there are gone. Once again the town suffered the loss of one of it's historic treasures. It is gone with nothing to salvage.
The 130 year old structure burned on Wednesday July 23rd. Five hundred of the towns people from toddler to elderly gathered to witness the futile battle that the fire departments from the region fought.
Just as I place affectionate value on our friend that we lost this community places value on it's friend also. Seems as when you age you place value on the fragility of those you love and things that stand for something more than just board and stone.
I never had the chance to perform on stage at the Great Plains and now that is a permanent certainty. Just as I will visit with old friends that are past.
As I said I have too many areas of interest. I like old barns and old folks. I like the stories of the past and the people who lived them. Old tractors and trucks. Old Cowboys and Cowgirls. I like old books and things that record what once was. Music and writing, expressing my opinion. I like those who stand for what is right and will express what is wrong and not cower by a vocal minority that seek to dominate others.
Maybe the ache in the bones or the ringing in the ears from mindless political campaigns. But I come to value friends and things I consider friends more everyday.