So the day before the day before yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of Centralia... and it's still burning!
Okay, so back story... Like 50 years ago (Wooh anniversaries making dates easier to remember things) there was a mine in a Pennsylvania town called Centralia. Technically, it's still there, but the town isn't.
In an abandoned part of the mine, they used to put garbage there as a dump. One night (fifty years ago) some genius either set the garbage on fire or it caught fire. Bottom line, the trash started burning in the mine. It caught the junk coal on fire, and next thing you know, everything under Centralia catches fire.
Due to health concerns, everyone had to leave Centralia, and the town is left to the weeds. It's quite eerie from what I gather. However, the fire is still burning. If you want to hear more of a brief history, click here: http://www.damninteresting.com/the-smoldering-ruins-of-centralia/
This week was also the week where we said good-bye to (in my opinion) the best crew WCHS [Morning Announcements] has had in a long time. Our anchors and sound girl graduated from high school. I first met the anchors two years ago when I started the announcements as a sound guy. Back then, we had a switching crew every month, and a total of four anchors that rotated. The two that stuck were the ones that had stayed this past year.
To say I've gotten to know them was an understatement. I was involved with chorus and the musical with these guys, and they have been all-around awesome people to work with. One is studying to enter seminary to become a Catholic Priest.
On their last day, I ran video board like I had the whole year. I asked them right before we went on air, like always, "You guys ready?" They hesitated, and then said "Yeah..." And that crew launched into the history books. I asked what the priest-in-study had in the way of words of wisdom when we had gone off air. He responded simply with: "Wake up each morning and thank God for being able to wake up." Simple, yet profound.
I took over anchoring the next day with my friend Dave Wovchko (Yeah, that Dave...) who will anchor next year. To say it was strange being on the other side of a camera is saying the least. I wasn't fully prepared to take the chairs the two senior had occupied just 24 hours previously, but we did anyway.
I have hope for this coming year, but at the same time I know it'll be different then it was. But in the end, I guess everything goes on... people never stop and freeze like Centralia. The people there moved on, and so must we.