Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Piece of History

re·pur·pose verb \(ˌ)rē-ˈpər-pəs\transitive verb: to give a new purpose or use to

Every year, I try to make at least one Christmas gift for some member of my family. This year I wasn't sure how I would surpass the year before, when I re-purposed some of my Grandmother's old silverware into wire crosses. They were a real hit with my sisters, so the level of the bar had been raised.

So I was surprised when the inspiration for this year's gift followed so quickly on the heels of Christmas '09. In January, I was reading a Facebook post from Kate, one of my daughter's friends. Kate had stayed in Winfield over Christmas break and had posted the demolition of Sonner Stadium was underway. For most of the free world, the demolition of an old stadium in a tiny town in Kansas would be no big deal, but to my family, all graduates of Southwestern College, this meant something. For me, it meant the beginning of the next personalized Christmas present.

I quickly contacted Kate, and she went out in a snowstorm to collect pieces of the limestone stadium for me. She braved the weather and was rewarded by the demolition crew for her efforts. She was thrilled that they let her wear a hard hat and pick up as much of the stone as she could carry. Kate delivered a backpack full of the former stadium to me on the sly, without ever letting my daughter know. (Thanks again, Kate)

The next step was to clean the stone, paint it, and then wait for Christmas, 2010. Each of my family members who attended Southwestern and spent lots of time watching sporting events and graduating in that stadium received a paperweight for Christmas. I even had to give one to my son, who attended K-State instead, because he saw them and thought they were cool. His excuse for wanting one was he had spent lots of hours there attending his sister's events!!! Everyone was surprised and pleased to receive this piece of our personal history but the most surprised was my daughter, Cameron. She was shocked that I had been able to arrange to get the rock in the first place and that Kate and I had been able to keep the secret from her for eleven months.

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