Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Old Building

June 29, 2016
   When I first attended Mohave County Union High School in 1961 the county was growing so fast they built a string of modern structures, including a new gym, to the west of the "Old Building," and the just built structure was immediately dubbed the "New Building." Of course, once upon a time the "Old Building" was known far and wide as the "New Building" and the pride of Kingman and all of Mohave County. Kids were bused in from Wickiup, 55 miles to the south; Valentine and Peach Springs to the East; Dolan Springs to the north; and Bullhead City to the west. In some cases, the kids got on the bus in the dark to go to school and then, after school, rode the bus home and got off the bus in the dark. Mohave County Union High School was the only high school in the fifth largest county in the country and in the beginning everyone in all four grades fit inside this "New Building."

The "Old Building" When It Was New

   The "Old Building" burned down in a suspicious fire about 25 years ago. For one thing it's all concrete, so it would be hard to burn unless you really, really wanted to see it go, and allegedly some local politicians wanted exactly that. Whatever the truth of these pernicious rumors, I used to walk down the hallway of the main floor (the row of windows above the lower horizontal dividing line) and stop at my mother's class picture (Bobbie Guess, class of 1939) and marvel at being in the same school building she graduated from way back in those ancient days of yore. Never mind that the distance back to my graduation spans 51 years while the distance from my gazing back to her day was only 21 years). I imagine she and her thirty-some classmates always referred to the school house as the "New Building."

   Now all of the "kids" who attended classes with me in the "New Building" are old, but I would bet you almost everyone of them would refer to the photo, above, as the "Old Building."

"The beauty of a face is a frail ornament, a passing flower, a moment's brightness belonging only to the skin."


  1. No doubt in my mind, this is and always will be the "old building". I was a freshman your senior year. Lucky for me, I had Study Hall the same time as a lot of the Senior boys. You were one of them! The Study Hall Room was enormous. Rows and rows of beige colored side entrance desks that went from one end of the room to the other. some of them even helped me practice reading, as a result of the various carvings and poetry written on some of the desks. The windows on the west side of this cement fortress were open most of the times, to help circulate the sometimes stagnet air. Between the Freshmen who were still learning phrases like "use deodorant" and "wear clean socks every day" and all the male and female "athletes" fresh from various practices, the smell could be bad. But I loved that class. So much laughter and very little studying. Plus looking at all the cute "upper-classman" and admiring the beautiful cheerleaders/pom-pon girls was the reason why Study Hall in the Old Building was my favorite class.

  2. Tom Scarborough9:35 PM

    Nice piece, Bob. It brought bak a lot of MCUHS "Old Building" memories! Thanks.

  3. Darrell Outlaw2:46 AM

    It certainly had more class than that new high school they built out on Stockton Hill Road or Hall Street as we used to call it

  4. Never forget the "old building "! It was getting pretty dilapidated by the time I got there '68-'72, but loved classes in it because it had character. So sad (and suspicious) when I heard it burned!


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