Thursday, March 25, 2010
Close to Nowhere
I just don’t understand
We have a news story on the front page this week that is something I just cannot fathom!
To be fair, we have had a lot of stories in the nearly 25 years I’ve been at the newspaper that I have trouble understanding “why” and “how.”
I’ve written stories about the Church of the Yellow Fever Martyrs from the beginning — of the restoration, not the church!
I met the late Al Hamer, former president of the St. Joseph Church restoration committee, when work was still in the talking stage.
We went to the church and I was convinced that the building was never going to be able to be “fixed.”
The floors didn’t meet the wall; much of the floor, if not gone, was spongy. I couldn’t imagine what was left of that poor building could remain standing much longer.
Oh ye of little faith! Al Hamer, Charlie Farris and Chelius Carter, to name a very few of the many who worked tirelessly on that profoundly historical and moving site, had the faith.
Approximately 10 years after the first story I wrote with Al Hamer, Charlie Farris and I worked on a story about the finish of the massive restoration effort.
Although I’d been back to the church many times while the restoration was going on, I was still in awe at the finished project.
When the building was still in shambles, you could feel the echoes of history talking to you through the walls.
To be able to see a recreation of some of the heroism and tragedy that filled that little church during the Yellow Fever epidemic in Holly Springs was tremendous.
Six nuns and a priest gave their lives caring for the sick and dying. That little church became a hospital and the nuns and priest who served God and their parish from that church served above and beyond what most are called to do.
Standing in that hallowed church, you can feel the weight of history surrounding you — telling the stories of those who lived and died there.
Last week, someone threw a molotov cocktail at the church — tried to throw it through a window. Fortunately, it didn’t break the glass and fall through and burn the historical old building down.
I’m kinda hoping that Mr. Hamer and maybe the nuns and priest protected that building and kept the glass from shattering.
I wonder — does Mr. Hamer know who did it?
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