Feeling nostalgic over school building’s demise

It’s the 3rd of May, so here are three topics to touch on: I just found out that the building in which I attended grade school is going to be torn down. It’s a classic 97-year-old brick building on one of the main streets in North Platte.

It was St. Pat’s Elementary when I went there. The name was changed to McDaid Elementary shortly after I “graduated” to distinguish it from the high school of the same name.

For 13 school years now, it has been mostly empty as the grade school moved to a new building. So now, the church that owns the building says it’s time for it to come down. A lot of the usual arguments are valid here — it would cost too much to get everything up to code, the space could be better utilized with new structures, it’s served its time well — but, just the same, it’s sad to see it go.

Partially because, like most people, I hate to see a chapter of my past wiped away and partially because they just don’t build them like that anymore. The three-story, red brick building topped by a green tile roof is a bit of a landmark.

It might take a full column in the future to wax nostalgic on memories of the old building. For now, I’ll just have to hope I’ll have the chance to drive through North Platte and take one last look before the wrecking crew hits in July. There’s going to be an auction this month of salvageable items.

I wonder if there’s anything I’d want to keep, or will the memories be enough?

Almost a perfect match

Sometimes, while trying to make a decision, if you can match up four out of five criteria of what you are looking for, it’s good enough and you go for it. Wow, do you realize that means I just might be able to be the next “Mr. Martha Stewart?”

It seems that celebrity Martha Stewart has listed her bio on “match.com” to help her search for a new boyfriend. I heard a guy on the radio read some of the things Martha listed on her profile for the online dating service to help get her social life going again. 

She is looking for a male between the ages of 55-70. Check. I know, it amazes me, too, but I fall in that range.

He needs to be between 5-10 and 6-6. Check. Both my actual height and that which I used to list in the program of my high school basketball team fit in that range. And this might be a good time to mention that, thank goodness, she didn’t get particular about weight.

Social drinker. OK, check. No sense trying to deny this one. Plus, maybe she’ll throw together some fancy drink recipe worthy of being featured on her old TV show.

Intelligent and established. Oh, come on, Martha, these are kind of gray areas, aren’t they? I bluffed my way through college and I’ve lived in the same town for more than 30 years. Let’s just say that’s intelligent and established and leave it at that. Check.

Must make more than $150,000 a year. Oops, this might be a problem. Let’s just say I fall below that mark and save me the embarrassment of being specific. But, the way I look at it, she lists her income simply as over $150,000. I’m pretty sure it’s WAY over.

So, even if she only makes a puny 300 grand a year, that would average out to $150,000 each, right? Come on, Marty, let’s not get picky about money.

There you have it, four out of five. I could be dating a millionaire socialite. All I have to do now is run it past my wife.

Do you think she’ll have a problem? 

It is May, right?

Finally, it’s good to live in the south. Wednesday evening I swept more than 3 inches of snow off my car before leaving work in Grand Island. By the time I got to Hastings, there was little if any snow on the ground. Oh, sure, it was cold, miserable, and now and then ice pellets were falling from the sky. But no heavy snow.

Ah, southern living.



Russ Batenhorst

Don't expect to detect a common topic or theme in Russ Batenhorst's weekly column in the Hastings Tribune. Usually it's whatever slice-of-life observation pops into his head just in time to make the deadline for it to appear each Friday.

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