I wrote about this just over a year ago, our hopes that they would choose to name the brand-spankin’ new performing arts center after Mr. Tygett. And guess what?
It was a ridiculously difficult year, fighting against a biased committee and a corrupt school board. No, seriously. A few weeks after this was finalized, most of the school board was arrested. But in the end, we won, and the man I honestly feel is most deserving got his name on the building.
There was a celebration two weeks ago at the center. The day was declared Jack Tygett Day in all of San Diego county. People spoke or sang or danced to Mr. Tygett. We all cried a little at one point or several. The Chula Vista High dance group performed the chimney sweep dance from Mary Poppins for him and I think I will forever tear up at that scene from now on; it was beautiful.
After the show was over we got to say hello to our former teacher. Apparently he has moments of clarity among moments of confusion. When I spoke to him he was fairly clear. I told him I’d been his student in 1996 and he told me I looked familiar to him. He asked me if I’d gone on to do anything in the arts and I felt a little guilty to tell him I had not, but he seemed to understand that and he told me that most people don’t. He squeezed my hand and we took a photo together. I’ll always cherish it. Later when my friend Liz talked to him he didn’t know where he was.
After the ceremonies, and another tour of the building, we joined some alumni at a local pizza restaurant. It was like a mini-reunion, a chance to see old friends without the stupid politics and high cost of an actual reunion. We sat through a football game and a half catching up and then a few of us went and grabbed some coffee before finally heading home.
It was a magical day. Although, I suppose any day that can make me tear up at “Step In Time” would have to be magical. I’m so glad Mr. Tygett was honored the way he should have been. I’m so glad he was there to enjoy the celebration in his name. I’m so glad I got to see and catch up with old friends. Magical.