The Old Hospital
by W. L. Wright
It's hard to believe, after all that's gone down during the past forty plus years, that memories of Demopolis keep seeping to my active level of consciousness. And, in my minds eye, I can clearly see those special "curiosity magnets" that belong to Kids of the 50's.
Someone mentioned (in the Caro Gazette) the basement of the Old Hospital across from the City Park. Oh, Yes! As a Kid I too made the uninvited tour of that Sanctuary. There were some pretty gruesome items on display in those "large pickle jars".
There were three of us, all around eleven or twelve and all brave and fearless just like Jungle Jim or maybe Captain Video. Well, a dare was a dare and we had heard something was down there that only a select few had ever seen.
Indeed! There we were! The light level was low, much like an old black and white movie. Our eyes were as big as saucers as we crept around while straining every sensory nerve in our body to assure split second response should that unmentionable assailant (The Boogie Man) suddenly appear. Thank God, there was no Kitty Cat to rouse, no sudden gust of wind, no creaking wall nor, heaven forbid, the bong of a great Clock. Our young hears would not have survived the slightest jolt as we gazed upon disfigured body parts and even a fetus suspended in some kind of liquid preserve. Our Tour was short!!
It's amazing how quickly the spirit of Jungle Jim returned after finding our way to the park.
That T-shirt and Blue jean threesome explored a good many places around Demopolis. Someone mentioned the Opera House. Yep! Been there too!
And, how about the building directly across from the Marengo Theater. The one on the corner. We used to go up on the second floor and play on the old automobile. We never knew how they got it up there. There was no way to drive it up and not even a door large enough for it to pass through.
Seems to me, there was a tag on the old car that read 1898. This was a carriage like vehicle with high spoke wheels and a "Bent Stick" steering device. It had Carbide headlamps, I wonder what ever came of that old relic.