Buildings are temporal. Just ask anyone who has lost a home to a fire, or the citizens of Sistersville who have seen large downtown blazes, or the alumni of Paden City High School. But memories, oh, they can last a very long time-forever even.
Just ask those same people. We would bet they would be happy to tell you about those lost buildings, about the smell of something cooking on the stove, about an item they bought at one of those long-gone stores, or about a classroom where learning and antics took place. Yes. They remember.
And really, as long as the memories endure, so does the important part of those places. The heart of them remains.
Sometimes they rise like a phoenix, like Paden City High School. Sometimes they just cease existing, like some of the former businesses in Sistersville. But in the mind they persist.
Perhaps the real lesson we should take from the 40-year anniversary of the fire at PCHS is not the endurance and rejuvenation-although those are wonderful. Maybe the real lesson is that if we want something to be immortal instead of temporal, we need to make sure we make memories that will endure. Live life to the fullest-making every day count and something to remember.