From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Morningside Neighborhood in Hopkinsville, KY

A village within the city


First Christian Church

Many German villages, towns, and even city neighborhoods are centered around an imposing church that occupies a big chunk of real estate. Note: We lived in the Aschaffenburg area along the Main River in West Germany for three years, and then in West Berlin for two years, so when I say Germany, I'm really talking about the two parts of Germany that I experienced most: Bavaria and Berlin.

Green space behind Morningside School.
Also, German towns nearly always have nice parks, playgrounds, and green spaces. I particularly remember a large plot of grass, a block wide and three blocks long in Berlin. It had a small playground on one end, and the rest of it was just open green space. It was within walking distance of our apartment, and I went there fairly often with Keely who was about 3 years old at the time. It was very peaceful there.

The Morningside area of Hopkinsville has always felt like a German village to me, because of the symbols of community at its center. At Morningside's main intersection, First Christian Church occupies a full block, and with its tall steeple and massive pillars, it dominates the scene. Morningside Elementary School sits across the street from the church's main entrance.

A large tree-lined lawn stretches around the west and south sides of First Christian Church. The west lawn has a well-shaded miniature outdoor theater and the south lawn is big enough for ball games. The broad grassy space continues on the south side of Morningside Elementary's playground. The big trees and the expanse of green makes the area feel like a park.

I am sorry that Morningside Elementary School is being closed. The school board has voted to merge it with Highland Elementary School and is building a huge new building on the bypass east of Hopkinsville to house the new school. I think they are planning to sell the Morningside buildings. I understand that the roof is in poor repair.

First Christian Church has an attractive exterior, a sanctuary filled with light, a wonderful pipe organ and a large cafeteria and kitchen area. More than that, First Christian Church has a heart for the local children. Besides letting the Little Leaguers practice soccer on their lawn, they have sponsored Boy Scout Troop 13 for around half a century now. This is the troop that Isaac belongs to.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.