Anyone traveling through the city of Celeste can see the signs of what once was.
Once a thriving railroad community, you’ll see what used to be the grocery store, you’ll see what used to be a booming downtown, but what you won’t see is a reason to stop.
“Every small town needs something unique, like a hardware store with one of a kind fixtures or knobs or a café that has awesome pie,” said Crawford Moore, Celeste High School art teacher. “And our town didn’t have that.”
Thanks to Moore and his students that perception is changing.
“Now I see a blank canvas,” Moore said.
“Yeah, the town may not look great now, but there’s something we can do about it,” said junior Megan Sherwin.
“We can make this better,” said senior Shelby Tenney. “We can bring life back to this.”
It began last year when the city asked the students for a favor: to paint the town.”
They started with a brick wall on the side of an old, abandoned building. Next, they spruced up the flower pots, then moved on to the light posts.
Now, they’re finishing up the side of a water building.
Today, people can’t drive through town without noticing the new side of Celeste. Visitors now stop, take pictures and enjoy the art. Former Dallas Cowboy Byron Bell even pulled over to admire their work.
But travelers aren’t the only ones taking notice.
“It’s bringing our town together,” said junior Caden Lewis.
Indeed, much of the supplies and materials have been donated and the students plan to do at least one mural a year.
Because they may not have been part of the city’s history, but they’re intent on saving it.
“It’s just a reminder to them that we have pride in what we have and we still want to take care of what we have,” Ben Lewis said.
“We are the next generation, we are the future, so it’s good to continue that legacy,” Tenney said.
Whenever you think this generation has lost its way, whenever you think the future is in doubt, stop and see it’s looking pretty good.