Sunday, February 12, 2006

Remains of the daycare...

Along the way on my walk to the Plaza, I passed the day care where we used to take The Judge and her sister, Curtie. Curtie only went during her middle school years after school, but originally, she attended original Esprit Day Care located on Atlas Street in northeast El Paso. The Judge started out as Esprit Day Care from 6 months.

For the owners of the daycare, the clientele of the daycare changed little-by-little over the years, especially after the big purge at EPNG. It was then that they felt it was time to “retire” and get out of the daycare business altogether while the getting was good.

As I passed the building, I was surprised to see the space was now an "indoor parking garage." In the entranceway, where the children used to play in a sandbox area with climbing equipment with enough room to ride a tricycle or two, there was now a garage door and an arm restricting entrance. Yet a person on foot can walk right in and see it all free.

The oddest bits left over were the ones I immediately remembered—a street scene on a wall looked out from where children used to drive their tricycle “cars” upon streets once paved with street and alleyway carpeting. Now there are concrete yellow stops for real cars, which for some reason were nowhere to be found.

Upon painted brick walls, remnants of classroom decorations remained: little pictures of animals pasted upon one wall, with a yellow arrow pointing the way back outside, another wall held cartoon lions and tigers and more yellow arrows. Other murals still perched upon the bright blue beams that had been originally salvaged by the day care's owners—a souvenir of a museum exhibit that had run its course over 15 years ago. The murals still looked as good as they did when they were first installed. In all, the combination made for a very surreal exhibit of a place where there are no children, parents, or teachers—no people, cars, or sounds.

Where once were children crying, yelling, laughing, playing, there is nothing but the sound of an aging building, turning into something else all over again.

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