By Jeff Smyth It is Thresherman weekend and that means Pinckneyville’s finest is on display; as in its finest junk. As the Pitchfork and Plow gangs fly their colors at the Fairgrounds in a turf war for red or green dominance, the rest of us townies are left to dodge yard hoppers who seem to have a keen eye for a bargain but not for keeping their cars on the road.
By Jeff Smyth On Sept. 4, 2012 the doors to the future will open for the youth of Pinckneyville. That’s the day the new high school will open and also certain to widen the eyes of those who said it was an unnecessary expense. On a sneak preview of the building, I couldn’t help to be impressed at the thought that went into this project. I was also a little saddened that my children, with the exception of my youngest daughter who will attend there her senior year, didn’t have the opportunity to learn in the environment that has risen from the dust of a decrepit old heap that was its predecessor.
By Jeff Smyth The razing of Pinckneyville Community High School 2.0 began around 7:30 a.m. June 4, 2012 not with sinking of a plunger and dramatic implosion. Rather, bit-by-bit with the claw of a Caterpillar excavator. The less than dramatic demolition, expected to take several days, is in contrast to the emotions many are expressing about the building’s demise. On Facebook and at coffee klatches, chatter has centered on the memories that the building held them and whether or not a PCHS 3.0 was even necessary.
By Jeff Smyth Before I get to the bees I must address the “A’s,” as in Amish Amos, the man commissioned to help a friend of mine eradicate bees that had colonized inside his house. If ever you have a bee problem in Pinckneyville I recommend you call, yes call, Amos. He’ll take care of it promptly and, if you are like me, debunk some stereotypes about the Amish.
By Jeff Smyth While driving the main drags of Pinckneyville and looking at its withering retail base, I recall the story my late brother-in-law told me about a conversation he had with a woman after his store, Luke’s Family Market, was shuttered. The woman said to him, “I wish you were still open”, to which he replied ironically, “I wish you would have shopped with me when I was.”
By Jeff Smyth A finish line that was marked just moments before the horses crossed it, an entry in a three-horse contest that couldn’t be located at post time and a fugitive jockey whom officials were informed was banned the morning of the event all added up to just another day at the races at the Perry County Fair. For several years now I have been invited to “officiate” at the thoroughbred/quarter horse races at the fair. It’s a time of high comedy and each never year never disappoints.
By Jeff Smyth Work on the new high school is progressing nicely although I can’t say I am a big fan the pale-colored exterior brick. That aside, I had a chance to take an inside tour and was impressed by the form and function of the layout. It is really a smart design and plays much larger than from the street. Of course, no PCHS project would be complete with some TLC to the “cathedral” (i.e. Thomas gym). I think the obsession with this building is over the top. The fact is we might already have had a new high school years ago if the threat of losing Thomas Gym (that, and the lack of honesty and…