Alan Axelrod, Mark Gamma, and Christine McCarthy addressing the students during a creative writing lesson plan about growing up in Newburgh.

Growing Up In Newburgh: Past Meets the Present

By Matthew Colon

Nostalgia is something that we all experience. These pleasant recollections accompanied by moving emotions may affect us at random times. This was the case for me when I visited a local ninth grade classroom during a creative writing lesson plan this week. Sometimes, the feeling is so perfect I get the sense that nostalgia seeks us out. Other times, we seek out nostalgia, which is the case for a new exhibit by the Newburgh Historical Society titled, “Growing Up In Newburgh,” opening on Sunday, June 7th, between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

 

A Bold Idea

“What’s that?” a young woman called out as I entered Mrs. McCartney’s classroom at the Newburgh Free Academy (N.F.A.). The lights were out, desks were arranged in a semicircle and the students were facing a film playing at the front of the room. On the screen were images from an older Newburgh. Students called out questions and were curious about what flashed before their eyes. Some images they recognized, some images seemed out of place, while others looked nothing like the Newburgh they’ve grown to know. “Was that house on Grand Street?” another student called out.

I was late. Of course, it was my first day back to school in quite some time and I was late. I had neither a good excuse nor a hall pass to present to Mrs. McCartney. “I’m only a visitor,” I thought to myself as I raced through the main entrance, “here to observe.” Read more→

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