MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) When Murphy High seniors Miranda Mixon and Christin Prince saw what the Christmas day tornado did to their beloved campus, they knew graduation was going to be very different for the class of 2013.
"Especially knowing that we're not going to get a chance to go back on campus as students ever again," said Miranda. "It's really heart breaking."
"It's like a part of me has been taken away because Murphy was like a second home to a lot of us," chimed in Christin. "So when you see the devastation you just don't know what to do."
But, gradually, people are learning what to do. Workers are toiling away at Clark-Shaw Magnet School to expand the campus to accommodate Murphy. And some students are picking up paint brushes, too.
But not to paint what you might think.
Anybody in Mobile that knows their history knows that, after the McGill/Murphy football game, the cannon at the Loop is mysteriously painted either orange or blue, depending on who wins.
Well, thanks to a bunch of energetic students and supporters, for the next week, the cannon will be Murphy Blue.
Even Mayor Sam Jones and Councilman William Carroll added a few brush strokes.
"This time, this cannon is being painted as a reminder of what took place at Murphy," commented the mayor. "Murphy is a Midtown school. Everyone wants them back in Midtown as soon as possible, and you're seeing a tremendous amount of support in the community."
William Carroll graduated from Midtown rival McGill Toolen in 1988. "I'm actually going to put a little royal blue." he said, smiling.
When you look at the scope of the damage at Murphy High, you quickly realize it will take more than paint and good intentions to fix those historic buildings.
But a little blue and gold paint could be just the fix for those who want to be sure the heart and soul of Murphy will never fade.
"You know, I guess we're lucky that we didn't lose anyone," said a thoughtful Miranda. "We lost a building but we're not going to lose the spirit and tradition we always had."