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Saturday, November 26, 2022
Letter: Vandalism at old school was shocking

Dear editor:

I haven’t fully moved into my new art studio at the old school house in Virgil but learned last Friday that someone broke in and vandalized the building. 

Both door windows of the two churches there were smashed and the hallway to the newer section of the building was disgusting. 

Broken glass everywhere, screwdriver on the floor and blood drops along the hallways, walls in classrooms kicked in. It looked like a horror movie to me but then again I have a wild imagination.

It was so disheartening. I am so very grateful that by chance I did not go there alone to discover the damage. My very tall, big, handsome son was with me. Alone I’m sure I would have fainted!

As always I turn to writing to alleviate my anxiety. I am baffled that there is no apology and that the young men whom the police say did this are not cleaning up the mess they made. I’m left with a huge scar.

Dear Vanderlizers:

Is that even a word?

I hesitated to write this but then again I felt compelled. Writing helps me make sense of senselessness. I’m trying really hard to understand your why?

My neighbours are lovely people. It was so shocking to walk in and see this beautiful historical building vandalized. 

I wondered what you must have felt when you smashed the churches' door windows. Hey, I love the sound of breaking glass. So much that you’ll find it within my art pieces. I imagine it’s quite a cathartic release but couldn’t you simply break some glasses in your own backyard.

Why the two churches and all the classrooms? I’m trying hard to understand your motive. 

Perhaps you have one? Perhaps something so horrible happened to you that you carry all this anger within you. I’m sorry the world isn’t a better place. 

Mental health issues are rampant these days. I know. I suffer with anxiety. What I don’t do is go smash other people’s place of worship or work. Instead I create art. 

If you were hungry and stealing food I could empathize more. No one wants to be hungry. And times are hard. With people losing their jobs. We all have to take care of one another. I moved here to do that. Live within a small community of caring people. And though this has happened I still believe it’s a caring community. 

You didn’t take anything, rather you left some disturbing items on the scene. A screwdriver, broken glass and some blood. 

I believe in freedom and having fun. Perhaps you thought it fun to be in a building alone at night in the dark. Damn I hope there are no ghosts, you know what they say about Niagara-on-the-Lake having the most ghosts in all of Canada, eh? I hope you didn’t piss them off.

Perhaps you're upset about how life is right now. I get it. It’s tough to be in the world today. But that doesn’t give you a green card to vandalize.

I’m upset. I am so grateful my son was with me. He's a big bear, so I feel safe around him. Had I been alone the fright may have caused me a heart attack, then you might have a manslaughter charge to deal with, and there are quite a few elders in the building. Didn’t your parents teach you to respect your elders? I do not fair well when my safety is being challenged. And you sure challenged us all. I’m still feeling sick about it. Seeing all that damage was disheartening. I haven’t even been there a month yet. 

I don’t like living in fear. It sucks. So I pray that somehow you have remorse and make it right and never come back to do more harm. 

You hurt a lot of innocent people today. People who pay rent even when they can not use the building because of COVID. And now the place has to get cleaned up, but first the forensic department came to take samples of blood on the scene. 

Anyhow I hope that all the anger you released has subsided and that you are willing to make some changes in your life.

I hope your parents can forgive you, as I already have. I don’t wish to carry the burden of anger, it erodes us and causes us to do stupid things. You may still have time to turn this around. You did what you did. I’m so happy that no one was there for you to hurt. The damage can be repaired. 

I just pray you stop. I mean it. I wish you well. 


Filomena Pisano