It is hard to put into words how everyone feels about this…Let’s hope I can do justice.
It has been one crazy ride. The Big Apple stood the test of time. While the strip malls around it changed over and over. Pizza place after pizza place, nail salons, trophy stores, ice cream stores, eye doctors, perfume shops. A lot have visited the road “near the Big Apple”
Hell if the Big Apple had a memory, it would have forgotten more memories than most establishments ever get to make.
It wasn’t just a school. It was a place where Mom connected with the entire community. Example A, Mom would go to Shop Rite and spend 20+ minutes talking to a student. Just coincidentally happened to be the isle that was home to Dad’s bread or his peanut butter, or toilet paper. You know — “You spend $250 a week and you can’t even buy me the right bread!” Well clearly she was distracted.
Talked in Shop Rite, Church, the Mall, everywhere we go. Someone knows “Miss Geri”
Generations have passed through those classrooms which was filled with the very distinct “Big Apple” smell, blue cubbies with the dirt on the very bottom shelves, and half painted walls. The toys weren’t always the newest. The VCR (yes VCR, the DVD transition was slow and painful) didn’t always work. The kids weren’t always the cleanest. But rest assure, there was no place that cared more about those kids than the Big Apple.
It’s funny how you look back when it is all said and done and say to yourself, “man I wish I could just complain one more time about painting that place.” Or even go down to the basement when Dad was playing cards and tell him we’ll be right back because we have to set up the school for the morning. I’ll even take that depressing time right after labor day when we would pack Tj’s truck up and fill the basement with all our summer items.
The best part about looking back, is that those memories ACTUALLY happened and they will forever be memories. We all knew this day would come. It is the cycle of life. It was time to move on. We can’t cry that it is over, but smile that it happened. Smile and laugh at every moment of life because without the Big Apple, there was no life. There would be no vacations, cars, family parties. There would be no pool days, holidays, or presents. There would be no Stern House, no food, no roof, no water. But there WILL always be FAMILY. And the school was built with a foundation of love and family.
Mom & Dad – nearly 40 years of students. Thousands of kids. Hundreds of gallons of paint. Dozens of graduations. A lifetime of memories. Thank You. not just from me, or my brothers, but from every child that ever had the blessing to learn from you, from every parent that felt comfortable dropping their kid off for the first time, from every child who turned into a parent and sent their kid for the same love, education, and fun they experienced. From every teacher that had the opportunity to be a part of our family. From every delivery man that was greeted when he would drop off a package. From everyone in the neighboring towns that got to see an Easter Bunny, Rudolph, or Santa Clause on the way to make a dozen kids smile (and a few cry). From every person that celebrated a birthday and got a phone call from the kids singing (and screaming) Happy Birthday. From every community member that smiled when they saw the kids playing outside. From every friend that has spent just one moment at our house, because without the Big Apple- there is no house. From everyone….
The school doors may close, but a new door has opened. Walk through it with a smile and if that day comes when you look back and a tear happens to roll down your face, just remember these words
Big Apple is our school.
Big Apple is our school.
Big Apple is the place we go to have a lot of fun!
We paint and paste and play
With books and blocks and clay
We dance and sing and do everything
and we have a lot of FUN!