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The Polar Express Movie

Last night, after returning from my parents', the three of us watched one of Skyler's Christmas presents, The Polar Express, together on our bed. Renea and I noticed that it had a couple of references to Grand Rapids, Michigan. After the movie, I looked up some excellent information on it and learned that the author grew up in Grand Rapids. The department store that the train passes was Herpolsheimer’s and as I looked at some photos from the Grand Rapids Public Library website, I instantly had the memory of visiting the shopping center well after it's heyday and the popular monorail that was attached to the basement ceiling. It wasn't the fondest of memories, since I was too old to ride the monorail, but my younger brother gladly took a seat and traveled around, while I sat and watched.

I then looked up and saw photos of Creston High School, from long ago. It's pretty neat to see old photos of places that have a prominent place in the memories of my mind. It also saddens me to think that two of my other schools are no longer existing: Huff Elementary and Northeast Middle. I couldn't find any articles on Northeast Middle, which is very disheartening since I teach at a middle school and I tell my students all the time that middle school was probably the best schooling experience of my life. My opinion is that the Grand Rapids Public Schools district has failed on so many levels and the city economy is far from what it used to be. I have personally contacted the principal and a secretary of my high school and got a very lame and unprofessional response regarding current teachers. I would have loved to tell them what I do now! It digs the wound even deeper because I remind myself that my graduating class never had a high school reunion and probably never will.

So, with that...I am so happy and blessed that I moved away from that decaying town, ventured West, and met my wife, Renea. We have a beautiful child of our own and share two young adults that have bright futures ahead. Yes, I am very blessed.