Friday, June 10, 2022

My niece Sophia and the mystery of my sister’s schoolhouse

A couple days ago, my sister Shawn sent me some pictures of my 17 year old niece Sophia and asked “What do you think?  We’ve been shopping around for a photographer for Sophia’s senior pics, but they’re asking $300 an hour.  We thought we’d try taking some ourselves, as other parents are doing the same.”

I told Shawn to save her money, her photos were beautiful and looked like they were taken by a professional.

As long as we’re here…  my niece is sitting in front of their 120+ year old schoolhouse at the bottom of their backyard.  It was Rogersville’s high school at the turn of the century, a one room schoolhouse with a second floor containing a gym of sorts.  An antique chalkboard still hangs up there. 

The mystery of it is that very little is known about the structure.  One of my sister’s coworkers, an amateur historian, is determined to unlock it’s secrets buried in time.  From the inside, it just looks like a large, well built shed.

When Shawn & her husband Jim bought their home 22+ years ago, they did so with the stipulation the owner got to keep this schoolhouse to use as storage (for his boat and tractor, and other junk). 

But my sister was convinced he’d someday sign it over to her, and he finally did.  Shawn wasted no time having it professionally blasted (first photo) and repainted just a couple weeks ago.  She just painted it’s front door, seen in that top photo.

When she showed me the photos, I said “I have good news and bad news.  The bad news is your schoolhouse is haunted.  The good news is, it’s haunted by it’s former school marm, a spinster who died at the ripe old age of 32 from rheumatic fever.”

“However, she likes the work you’ve been putting into the exterior.  Spirits don’t want to be forgotten.  They haunt us because they want to be remembered!”

A couple days later, I sent her the phony image below and said it was the results I got back after having her schoolhouse’s interior spectrascoped.  Shawn laughed and said she was sure Jim & Sophia would find it funny too.

Well!  I hope she takes me seriously about Sophia’s senior photos, at least.  Annoyed

28 comments:

  1. I can’t imagine buying a property where the previous owner still had access to store junk. That was very ballsy of your sister but paid off.

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    1. Ed, the owner of the house was my sisters best friend's dad. I'm not sure she would've done it otherwise! But I agree with you, it was still a ballsy move.

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  2. P.S. I think the senior picture is great too. I’m planning on taking my kids pictures when the time comes.

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    1. Very kind, thanks sir! And Ed, I would too. Geez even today's smartphone cameras compete with photographers equipment. All you really need is a good eye! πŸ™‚πŸ‘

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  3. I think that's a lovely picture of your niece and would make a great Senior pic!
    As for the haunted schoolhouse, I would personally think that many places are haunted by benevolent ghosts... kind of like the idea myself. (Is it 2-story?)

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    1. Thank you Rian! And yes, the buildings a 2 story. You can only get to the second floor via a very narrow staircase. Strangely, that's where the schools gymnasium was located.

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  4. Sophia is very pretty. I like that school house. As for spirits, yes, they do exist. Gigi Hawaii

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    1. Thank you Gigi you're very kind. And guess what? Guess where this message went again? I'm about ready to give Blogger up and move to Wordpress!

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  5. That's a beautiful photo! I took Alison's senior photos and they were OK. I don't have a creative eye but the price was right. ;) Love the schoolhouse and what your sister has done with it!

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    1. Thanks very much Margaret, and my sister will appreciate very much what you said about the schoolhouse. I've told you about her before, she likes her lawn neatly mowed like you! As for you not having a creative eye, I'm not buying it! You take great pictures πŸ˜„πŸ‘πŸ‘

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  6. Gosh, that 'spectra-scope' device certainly is a revealer, huh? $300 / hr for a photographer? No need when Sophia is so photogenic anyway. Interesting foundation on the old school house. Shawn did a great favour for the old building with the repaint. I guess the four windows were boarded over for security reasons.

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    1. You have a good eye, Florence! I was just now telling a friend who saw my blog why that building didn't have any windows. I pointed out if you look closely enough.. anyway very kind what you said here my friend. Thank you. πŸ™‚

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  7. Three hundred bucks??? Wow I guess the days of everyone dressing alike for the traveling photographer are gone when you had three proofs to choose from. Your niece looks amazing and that is a perfect shot.
    Love the make over on the schoolhouse and funny about the ghost you created. Her story sounds tragically realistic.

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    1. Patti, you gave me such a good chuckle here in regards to the photographer! You might have a few years on me, but we both come from a different time than this one. Thank you very much for the kind comments here regarding my niece and the schoolhouse. As for that ghost of mine, I'm glad you get me. πŸ™‚

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  8. If a school photographer makes $300 an hour, seems like a photographer with a spectrascope (specterscope?) would make double that easy enough.

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    1. Debby, why can't I stop laughing at this? πŸ˜„

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  9. Totally very nice photo. ($300! jeepers, I think that's more than an application fee to a college.) Love how the green door and the colorful flowers are in it. Isn't this the gorgeous gal in the prom photos? Nice restoration on the building. Linda in Kansas

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    1. This was so nice to read, thanks Linda! Yes, my sister is pretty good at incorporating various elements in her pictures, she makes it look easy. And yes that is my recent prom niece! Thank you again for the nice comment my friend. πŸ™‚

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  10. Such a pretty niece and the photo is great! Why spend $300 when you can do just as well yourself? I love the old schoolhouse :)

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  11. Hi Doug, Sophia is beautiful, your sister took a lovely photo. Goodness, where did the years go?
    I love what Shawn has done with the old schoolhouse. What an interesting piece of history to own! Your version of it’s history makes it doubly so.πŸ˜†
    Have a wonderful weekend Doug.❤️
    Robin

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    1. Where did the years go... Robin, you took the words right out of my mouth. This was such a nice comment, thank you. Hope you enjoy your weekend too. ❤️πŸ™‚

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  12. I always feel like Sophia's on the cover of a magazine when you post a picture on your blog :)

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    1. Well Shawn, that's very kind of you as it makes my blog feel like something more. But the truth is, Sophia's a knockout and deserve to be on a magazine cover--several of them! πŸ™‚♥️♥️♥️♥️

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  13. I agree, their Photo looks professional and your Niece is lovely so I'm sure you can't take a bad picture of her, she's radiant! Senior Portraits are always so overpriced and now Cameras are so good that anyone can take Photos that match the Pros, in my opinion, so save the Money. How cool that they have a Historic Schoolhouse on their property and have restored it like they have. Makes a great backdrop for the Portraits of the Niece.

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    1. Bohemian, you are very kind--thank you! And I so agree, that historic schoolhouse is pretty darn cool. And to be completely honest, it kills me how I get a nervous vibe about going in there, not my niece. To her it's a second home! πŸ˜„πŸ‘

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  14. You're absolutely right! That's a great photo of your beautiful niece, Sophia. $300? Wow! That's expensive. I have a photographer friend, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't charge that much. Granted, it's just a side job now... but still.

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    1. That was very sweet of you to say, thank you Viking Kay! ;^)

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