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Archival Revival

A digital exhibit highlighting the collaborative writing project between the Central Piedmont Archives and Creative Writing (ENG125).

Fall 2019: I-N

"Photo Poem" 

Iron hearts, beat so strong,

made by Flesh and Blood

The gears all turn and chain pull tight.

Working till the task is done.

The sound of metal whistling and scraping,

making this music all day long

but without the man and his friendly hand

there would be no song.

So when the man goes away and no longer wants to play

the machine will sit and wait,

until the man comes back with his friendly hand

and starts it up again.

A student in what appears to be a video technology class in the early 1980s. AR.0035 - The Spark.

"Creative Response"

Do you remember how the rain felt

Can you see the faces still?

Time has not forgotten the songs and laughter

Even though our connections are waning

The sun shines on the mist after a storm

No anger is forever, only light remains

Oh my friend, come back from the shadows

Do you see the faces? Can you hear the music?

Those were our days, life and joy

The clouds came and took us away

But our dawn rises like the first lyric of a new song

A rainy snapshot of the Central Campus snack bar (Van Every Building) in 1997. AR.0035 - The Spark.

"The Spiral"

Every day after school I head down to the local museum in my town because they have a quiet and comfy study area that I use pretty often. This room is my escape from everyone and everything. It gives off a nice seventy’s vibe with the tye dye rugs and colorful beads hanging off of the see-through curtains. The curtains are purple and when the sun shines through it the whole room has a hazy purple color and makes me relax. The chairs are a soft orange and there are dark blue bean bags that are very nice to take afternoon naps in. Very often I have this room to myself and the times where I do have to share it are never bad. It’s always so peaceful and I cannot find this relaxation anywhere else. It’s never this quiet at school and definitely not at my house. This room is where the magic happens, or at least where I make the magic happen. I write and write and write until I have to go home for supper, and sometimes I even skip supper because I’m so focused on perfecting my art.

As I sit in one of the comfy chairs I find my eyes tracing the interesting piece on the far left of the wall. It’s one of my favorite pieces in the whole museum. It’s so mesmerizing to watch. It’s a spiral looking piece with lines that all combine into one as the spiral goes around and around and around. I drink my hot chamomile tea slowly as I look into the spiral. I have decided that the spiral represents my life. How would I explain my life? Always twisting and turning and changing and thinking I have made a new direction but really I’m constantly going into the same direction over and over again. My life is and always has been a constant spiral. I never know if I’m doing life right. One day I’m getting praised by my teachers and bosses for excellent assignments and great work ethic, but the next day I’m walking down my stairs in my house and my stepmom tells me something is wrong with me or my dad tells me I’m irresponsible. Maybe there is a problem with me and maybe I am a nuisance and a bother to look at and be around, but at this museum I am a different human being. I have power, I have encouragement, I have caring people there, and most importantly, I actually feel like I’m worth something when I sit in that little room and start writing. Even the managers there are fine with me hanging around so much. I can see them look at me with sympathetic eyes as I fall asleep with my head laid down on the table, hot tea dripping from the edge and ink smears all over my hands.

I have decided that whether or not people say I’m doing life right or wrong, life overall is a beautiful thing and just like the spiral art piece, it’s full of twists going around and around. Life will always be full of twists no matter what. Many art critics that write about this museum describe this piece as breathtaking and mesmerizing. I have heard people call this art piece beautiful, creative, unique, and even unusual. There are so many things you could call it, but I call it the roller coaster ride called life. 

A visual arts piece created by an unidentified Central Piedmont student, 1997. AR.0035 - The Spark.

"The Art of Grandmastery"

I sit here thinking about my next move wondering if he is going to take the bait

For the trap I have set to check his mate.

The checkerboard is congealing into one single color on the caramel wood

Making it seem as though my eyes are being misunderstood.

I am playing my own mental game of chess where I can blunder or blitz

While synchronously playing a man who has taken some direct hits.

We are staring at the board but making subtle glances at each other

Trying to psychologically gauge one another

Blaise Pascal once said that chess is the gymnasium of the mind,

And I find myself sore from all the thinking from time to time.

But I come out stronger and wiser after every loss,

Making me a chess player that you do not want to cross.

A chess match in the rec room amongst friends. AR.0035 - The Spark.

"The Soup"

"And what would you like today sir?" The waitress asked. "I'll have the soup of the day." The man said after thinking for a while on what he wanted to order. "Alright, coming right up." The waitress replied as she skated to the kitchen. Plates were stacked up neatly in the kitchen, the other cooks were serving up orders for the other customers. The smell of burgers made with real beef permeated the kitchen along with the smell of dish water that came from the sink as the dishwasher washed the dirty dishes, leaving them spotless as he stacked them up. There was a huge pot full of the soup of the day and the cook that the waitress was looking for was walking towards it. "Babe! I need the soup of the day for table eight." "Alright." He answered as he got a ladle and a clean bowl. He then lifted the pot's lid and got the soup out and poured it into the bowl. He handed it to her and gave her a kiss on the cheek before she blushed. "Quit it Frank, I know we just got married but we're working." "I know that Denise, order up!" He said with a smile before she giggled and skated out of the kitchen with the soup.

With a grin on her face, she skated back to table eight and gave the man his soup. "Would you like anything else?" She asked the man sweetly. "No thank you." He answered. She nodded and wheeled around on her skates before going back to the kitchen. "Golly, that kitchen should be in way better shape!" Another waitress said to Denise. "Why do you think that Candy?" Denise with her red roller skates and shoulder length brunette hair asked her blonde coworker, Candy who wore blue skates. "A customer of mine, old Mrs. Fairfield just asked me for some tea and the kettle isn't warming up." "Again? That kettle causes so much trouble." Denise said as she shook her head before she went to go and turn the jukebox on. As she went to do that she caught a glimpse of two black people, a man and a woman coming inside the diner.

"Hi! We'd like a booth please?" The man asked as he and the woman saw Denise by the door when they entered. Denise's smile faded as she looked at them. When she spoke her sweet and bubbly voice was gone and replaced with a dark and unwelcoming cold tone. "Didn't you read the sign? No coloreds allowed in this diner. Take a hike." She said as she narrowed her eyes at the couple who was obviously married by the looks of it. She then turned and skated back to the kitchen. "Babe? Let's go." The woman said to her husband, with a slightly frightened look on her face as suddenly the whole diner stared at them. "Yeah, let's get out of here." He said as they got back into their car and left the diner.

A snapshot of a culinary student during an class at a local restaurant. Central Piedmont did not acquire a test kitchen on campus until the late-1970s, the Citizens Building. Prior to the Citizens Building, sessions were taught at local restaurants as a way to provide practical experience. AR.0036 - Academics