Thu04242014

Last updateTue, 04 Nov 2014 9pm

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My Old School

She sat on top the hill and beamed as the most beautiful, eloquent and historic building in town. She was home to the many students, graduates, teachers, staff and administrators. She was so pristine, so unique and so Colonial Beach….she was a Classic!
She housed future lawyers, doctors, teachers, carpenters, nurses, soldiers and all walks of life who have gone out into the world to represent CB.  

Many who left after going through her halls have returned to give back to the proud community that she stood tall in.

Personally, I spent over half of my life inside those walls.  From the time I entered through her doors in 1961 as a wide-eyed first grader, to high school graduation in 1973, until the time I put my finishing touches on a 34-year career as a teacher, coach and Athletic Director in this town, I cherished every moment with her.

My famed and beloved dungeon (basement office) was home to all my Philly, Hokie and Drifter memorabilia that became part of the glue to keep the walls from caving in.  I loved the dungeon and all my students’ keepsakes more than anything else I could ever physically cherish in my professional career.

She housed the Crackerbox, the famed parquet floor – “Boston Garden” of the Northern Neck.  I learned to play basketball in that 30’x60’ jewel of a gymnasium. I made 25’ jump shots back in the day when they still only counted for 2 points instead of 3. I began my coaching career in that building, molding the future and laying the building blocks for what would become the most historic sporting event in our school history, a VHSL Group A basketball state championship. Wow!....Thank you Crackerbox. Teaching P.E. classes in the “box” was so much fun.  The kids enjoyed playing all sports in there, it was like an “arena football” experience. We played indoor soccer, flag football, volleyball, wiffleball, dodgeball, we wrestled and the kids beloved game of sideline basketball.

When people talk about where they were when devastating and historic events took place, I tell them I was in THAT building.  I was in Irene Jackson’s 3rd grade room in 1963 when the news of JFK’s assassination was announced. I was in the Crackerbox when the space shuttle Challenger disaster of 1983 took place. I was walking a class outside to the blacktop from the gym in 2001 when fellow P.E. teacher, Pat Fitzgerald, told me NY had been hit by terrorists on 9/11. I was pitching wiffleballs in class in April of 2007 when my principal, Kevin Newman, walked in and told me there had been some shootings at Virginia Tech and said to go contact both of my sons who were on campus at the time. Oh the memories ring out.

The wonderful friendships and relationships I made in my life from the Monument on the hill called CB Public Schools can never be matched.  I will forever be grateful for having spent my time inside those storied walls. 

I love you CBHS/MS/ES.

Coach Swope

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