Have you ever had the experience of being woken from a sound sleep, being incoherent or not grasping what someone is telling or asking you? To this day, that is what I remember about the night of March 27, 1962.
Around midnight, I was woken by my father who informed me the High School (our current Center School) was burning! I probably made (know I did make) some inappropriate comment and continued to doze. As the reality finally sunk in, I sat up with a start and looked out the window. We lived on the top of Barton Hill and my bedroom overlooked the Village Center. Flames had enveloped the entire downtown illuminating the night sky. Normally at that hour it would have been pitch blackness. That night however, the Congregational Church glowed yellow as the flames danced higher than the perch of that pointed steeple spire.
The blaze as reported in the Middletown Press showing the second story engulfed in flames.
Immediately, those portions of the Bevin Boulevard wing salvageable were cleared, cleaned and made ready, as normalcy, or the closest we could get to it, set in.