Thoughts About Homecoming … and Dressing Up Our Town
Throughout the years, stories of Homecoming, its beginning and its evolution, have circulated through the neighborhoods, giving “locals” an opportunity to reminisce about a time now past, while giving “newbies” a taste of what being “from Lexington” has always meant.
Long before Homecoming became an annual event, Lexington’s sense of community was strengthened by its people, its commerce, and its sense of pride.
Charlotte Hooper (a “local” who grew up in Lexington) brought a story to the paper recently that gives us a precursor of where “Clean Up Month” (which always happens in April before the Homecoming Celebration in early May) could have started! It is a story by Isabella Cooke, Charlotte’s mother. It was written by Isabella, when she was 14 years old, on January 27, 1926. Enjoy!
First and most important, our school should be improved so that so many people would not move away on account of a bad school.
More people would come here if the school was improved and that would make our town more thickly populated.
It should be improved so that the students who graduate would not have to take a course in college.
People always want to go to some place where there is an affiliated school to educate their children for an education is one of the most important points in life. Everyone wants their children to have an education.
The school could be improved by having more play ground equipments, such as swings, slides, giant strides and all kind of different balls.
The school yard should have cement or brick walks so it will not be so muddy when it rains, and there should be several large shade trees in the yard.
Next, is repairing of dwelling houses and fences. Any town does not look nice with many old fences all rotten and falling down. All the barbed wire fences should be taken down and modern ones put in their places.
Dwelling houses uncared for by being unpainted and not kept in good condition and all old fashion houses should be taken down and remodeled and modern ones built.
People could have cement walks along their fences and in the yards so that the yards would not wash away so much and this would all add to the appearance of any place.
Then, unnecessary out buildings torn away will add to the appearance of the town.
Old barns and out houses that are not in use should be torn away for they are no use and will make the town look cleaner and nicer.
The streets cleaned and built up would be next, I think, for run down streets will make any town appear badly.
The houses should be set back in some places so that the streets can go straight instead of turning corners in many places, and short corners are dangerous, for many car drivers will pay no attention to the signs and go just as fast around a sharp curve as they do non the straight street, and by going around a curve, they may have an accident.
The streets should be kept clean on account of the filthy things such as dirty paper and tin cans will catch water and mosquitoes will hatch and bite people and give them diseases.
The streets could be paved or graveled so when it rains, they will not get muddy and there should be good drainage so there will be no water standing anywhere.
Water works would make the town more sanitary and healthful by having a sewer pipe to carry off all the waste substance from the town. Having water works in the homes would make things more convenient and helpful instead of having to draw water from a well.
With water works, one could have pretty gardens and flowers by keeping them watered.
The light system should be stronger to furnish the whole town in lights, instead of just having them around town. If everyone has electric lights, there would be less lamp explosions.
The stock law is important to keep the stock from tearing down people’s fences and eating their things they might have in their yards or gardens. If the stock are kept up, they will not bother things in town and around other people’s things.
The dog law is also important for dogs that run on the streets are likely to go mad and bite someone.
Another thing, dogs do not look nice around on the streets and they are in the way in the stores and other places.
Cars parking in the right place is another thing that would improve the looks of our town. They should all park at right angles, and the wagons should all stay at the back side of the town, and the cars at the front side.
Then on a busy day, the horses or mules would not get scared when the cars leave.
Some of the stores should be set back and arranged different to be even with the others, and all old stores torn down and nice new ones built of bricks or stone and have everything arranged nicely in around them.
They could have nice shade trees around the back and have flower beds along the sides with pretty flowers blooming in them.
The people could all cooperate together and improve things instead of trying to tear up things other people have done, and all go together and carry things on in the right way.
The Square could be improved by having a public hall for the school to have plays in and they would not have to pay such a price for the Masonic Hall and also it could be used for public speaking.
The building could be made of nice brick or stone. It should be very large for all the people in this town to get into without being crowded. They could have flower beds around the edge of the Square with flowers in them to harmonize with the colors of the building.
The trees should be trimmed nicely, what few there are, and more set out, and all of them kept trimmed each year.
I think if the Square had these improvements, it would surely improve the appearance of the town. There could be a creamery put up so the people who have milk, butter and cheese to sell would not have to send them off to some other place. They could sell them at their own home town and see the products tested. If there was a packing house here, the people could sell their hogs, cattle and fowls here and would not have to ship them off to some other place. After they had paid the freight and all the expenses, there would not be much profit made and by selling their cattle, hogs and fowls here, they would save the expenses.
The one who has to buy had rather buy from some home packing house instead of buying it after it is shipped back, for it is so much higher in price.
An ice factory would make things more convenient for all the people and the price would not be so high because the way things are, the ice has to be shipped here from some factory and by the time all expenses are paid, there has to be a high price put on the ice.
If there was a factory here, all the expenses would not have to be paid and that would make ice cheaper.
Another thing, a nice theater would be accommodating to all visitors and people who might be stopping here on a trip.
Service cars would be convenient for the people who come in on the train that want to go some where out of town.
Now, I think if all these things were done, this town would be a rapidly growing little city, and it might someday be if oil is ever found here.