Thursday, February 11, 2016
Occasionally I find an old barn, chicken house or other out building that reminds me of quieter, simpler times. I see the weathered wood, the rusted hinges and tin roof and I want the building to tell me it's story. What has it seen? What has happened within its walls and on its property? People are a little like old buildings. Some of them have amazing stories to tell, if only we would take a few minutes to stop and listen.
One of my regrets in this life is that I failed to sit down an interview my great aunt Elva. She was a true pioneer woman. Born in Kentucky in the late 1800's, she traveled to Oklahoma in 1901 and became a school teacher. She was teaching school in Oklahoma Territory six years before statehood.
Aunt Elva eventually taught high school home economics and later taught at Oklahoma A&M, now Oklahoma State University. She became a county extension agent and wrote articles for the local newspaper. Her connection to the university gave her access to the governor and led to the implementation of the statewide hot lunch program in public schools. Aunt Elva was some kind of woman and I wish I knew much more about her life. If you have a senior adult in your family, get to know them. Ask them about their childhood memories. They are walking, talking history and much more fun that reading a book.