Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Olvey Expedition

As my sister and I were going through our parents belongings after their death, we came across the letter jacket with a big chenille "O" sewed on the front that had been our father's "uniform" when he was the superintendent and basketball coach for the town of Olvey in eastern Boone County, Arkansas. Our mother was also a teacher there. The upper left hand photo was taken from the 1940 school album (called The Shadow) and shows our father wearing the letter jacket as he stands amidst the boys basketball team wearing their "O" sleeveless jerseys. Since the black, shiny Olvey letter jacket was in fairly good condition (our parents seldom threw away anything) we looked into donating it to the Boone County Historical Museum. The officials there had a pow-wow (aka Board Meeting) and determined that they could accept the jacket as a possible historical artifact for a future exhibit. The jacket held special meaning to us because our parents were not only dedicated employees of the Olvey school district in those months preceding the attack on Pearl Harbor, but they also lived on the school grounds in a small, mobile trailer that our father built himself. The Olvey school building (as shown in current-day photo above) was first occupied in 1930. Its first high school class to graduate was in 1933; the last one in 1945. However, Olvey continued as a grammar school until 1959. Many years later, the building was turned into a church, and our father helped build the rooftop steeple to signify its conversion. So when you are driving along Highway 62/412 between Harrison and Yellville, and you see the Olvey Bible Church sign, let your mind imagine the scene there when it was a bustling community (it even had its own tomato-canning factory!), school buses would be coming and going, students playing outside the school during recess, and our parents were practicing teaching skills that would later come in handy as they raised the two daughters, also shown above. Neither one of us turned out to be basketball players, but our parents DID instill in us a deep appreciation for the value of a good education. So "keep on learning"! Tricia
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