Lines form of people waiting to claim Pyramid bricks

(WMC-TV) – Dozens of people stood in line at the Pyramid Friday afternoon to pick up the commemorative bricks they purchased decades ago.

The bricks lined Pyramid Plaza for 20 years. The statue that they used to be on display with was moved to the University of Memphis campus. Now, brick owners can decide whether they take their piece of history home with them, or if they want it moved to the new location.

In 1990, proceeds from the purchase of the bricks benefited MIFA (Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association). When the bricks were uprooted to make way for Bass Pro, original owners feared they would be forever lost.

"The people who purchased these bricks are important to us, not only to the people who purchased them, but to MIFA. We want to make sure they get into the proper hands," said James Seacat, MIFA.

Once the bricks were safely salvaged, MIFI and city officials worked out a plan to make sure people like Thomas Van Fossen could reclaim their memories.

"She's gone now and I don't have much left of her except my memories and I was thinking I could make a flower bed with these," said Van Fossen.

For just a few hours Friday and Saturday, the bricks will be available for pick up at the north side of the Pyramid parking lot.

"We have a directory, we'll look up the inscription on the brick and there's a corresponding number to the plot and we'll be able to help you to find your brick in a very expeditious manner," said Seacat.

So how do you prove which brick is yours? Twenty years ago buyers were given a certificate. But organizers realize not everyone will know where theirs may be now.

"If they can, that's the perfect form of identification otherwise some sort of I.D. that connects them with the inscription on the bricks," explained Seacat.

Seacat is glad to see the bricks back in the hands of their original donors or their families.

The bricks will only available until 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Unclaimed bricks will be relocated to the University of Memphis Campus to join the Ramesses II statue that was moved from the Pyramid to the U of M campus last month.

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