1948 1st and 2nd Grade Malakoff Elementary School with old rock school in background


Letter from Peggy Robertson Stone (1958 Graduate) to Malakoff School Board

August 14, 2009


Dr. John Spies, Superintendent

Board of Education Members:

Rick Vieregge, President

Belinda Brownlow

Todd Larue

Clyde Tinsley

Jan Shelton

Homer Ray Trimble



Please travel back in time with me to the mid-1930s.  The economy was trying to recover; people were in dire need of jobs so they could feed their families; the country was trying to recover from the mistakes that had been made by those in control of government and the world in general. 


Does this sound familiar?  I think that it does because that is exactly where we are today, August 14, 2009!  Have we let the past be our guide so that we do not make the same mistakes?  The answer is a resounding “NO!”


Those who lived in the years of recovery from the Great Depression and War years had a motto and it said, “Waste not; want not.”  My parents, R.D. and Della Robertson, lived by that principle as did the citizens of Malakoff, Texas.  Those of you receiving this letter had ancestors who lived by that same principle.


To waste is a deliberate action that is chosen.  This action will return to be hurtful – maybe not to you but to someone in the future.  As you know, hurt comes in many ways!


You are deliberately choosing to waste when you want to destroy The Old Rock School.  This building is still useable and should be used either by the School District or the community.  Yes, it would cost money to remodel it.  The reason for that is because of the “near-sightedness” of past superintendents and boards of the Malakoff Independent School District.  Had they had a vision for the future, they would have maintained the building.   They made mistakes.  To rectify their mistakes, you must make a better decision for this beautiful old piece of architecture.  You must make the choice to save it so that future generations can revisit history as they visit and use the Old Rock School. 


I read with interest in The Malakoff News Mr. Vieregge’s  “…possibilities regarding the building.”  In his words, I see:

 1) the threat of a bond issue to redo the school.

 2) the threat of an eyesore as the building “sits and rots.”

 3) the destruction of the building and reuse of the rocks. 

Let’s look logically at idea number three (3).  How much money will have to be spent in the demolition to save the rocks so they can be reused?  It takes no genius to know that the School District would have to spend a lot of money for this to happen.  It certainly would be more than the $60,000 that has been mentioned for the destruction or given to the Historical Society to move the building.  This $60,000 figure says that a wrecking ball will tear into the building and No rocks will be usable for anything in the future!


What I did not see in Mr. Vieregge’s “…possibilities for the school…”  was the possibility of allowing the Malakoff Historical Society to have the building in order to preserve it. 


I did read questions regarding: 1) the acquisition of money by the Historical Society, 2)  the District losing control of the building, 3)  the membership of the Historical Society  “…who might be in charge in the future, and if their focus might change.” 


Let me assure you, Mr. Vieregge, those of us interested in saving this building are people who respect history and the footprints that have been left.  Those who will follow us as members of the Historical Society will have the same mindsets.  They will treasure the Old Rock School because it represents stability and a tie back to life past for Malakoff and Henderson County citizens who were able to survive because of the work that the construction of the building provided.  They will be proud of the many citizens involved in the education of children in the building.  There will be displays that show principals, teachers, children and citizens of Malakoff  who contributed to the community because of their experiences in the Old Rock School.


The arguments I have read concerning safety for the children of the elementary school are very unrealistic.  For children to be totally safe, you would have to make the Malakoff Elementary School like a prison with walls, barbed wire, metal detectors.  You get the picture.


Safety of school children depends on the alertness of the adults who are in charge.  Even with this alertness, children can be harmed.  If a person desires to harm, he/she will find a way to do that.  The argument that children would be harmed by using the Old Rock School for the library and other community needs is weak.  By using the building, children’s lives could be enhanced in so many ways.  Those who would be in charge of the building and its activities would be very diligent in maintaining the safety of ALL who came and especially the children being served in the elementary school.


I come back to my original statement:  Waste NOT; Want NOT!  There is a Higher Power that observes all actions that happen on this earth.  To deliberately destroy is wrong.  To preserve and protect will lead to improvement and prosperity.  As the “powers in charge” of the Malakoff Independent Schools, it is your duty to preserve and protect.  I sincerely request that you uphold this principle and save the beautiful Old Rock School.


To Ms. Shelton, Mr. Trimble and Mr. Smith, I say, “Thank you for having the insight to preserve and protect this building.  May your voices and the voices of the concerned citizens of Malakoff be heard by all members of the Board of Education for MISD.”


Respectfully written,

Peggy Robertson Stone

Plano, Texas

Malakoff High School – Class of 1958     RETURN TO SAVE OLD SCHOOL