Friday, October 29, 2010
The day has finally come. Demolition is about to begin. The kids didn't quite know what to expect, but they knew they were ready for it. All grades had been learning a song in Mr. Brickey's music class to sing at the big event. At 11:30, the kids start to line up.
It takes a while for 200 kids to walk through Old Colony to get to the rotary at Preble Circle. Then a little while longer to stop traffic so they can cross to the rotary's inner island to be a safe distance from the demo.
Make way for ducklings!
All kids assembled--kindergarteners in front, bigger kids in back--it's time to begin. Some of the 5th graders grab their tambourines and drums. The kindergartners stand so they can do the gestures they learned to go along with the song. The lyrics are perfect, from "Old house, tear it down!" to "New house, build it up!" although the rebuilding of this "house" won't start for months.
The song says one thing needed for tearing a house down is a "wrecking machine." There is a big one right across the street. After the kids finish singing, the excavator revs up. Its bucket slowly moves toward the building, hooks into a window where the glass had been removed, and takes a big bite.
It is an amazing sight!
"It looks like a Transformer is eating the house," says one first grader.
"Maybe the story is that it is trying to get some people out," says her friend.
Most kids hoot and cheer when the excavator keeps tearing chunks from the building. But some have a different reaction.
One fourth grader is upset because her apartment will come down in the next phase of renovation. When asked why he is crying, a second grader says, "It's the only memories my mother has of her birthplace."
"It looks like the building was getting old so they are knocking it down," says a boy nearby.
"That IS why they are doing it," answers another.
Old house, tear it down. New house, build it up.