Clay gets an A+! And maybe so do I.

Apr 24, 2015 | 3 comments

 

Oysterville Schoolhouse

Oysterville Schoolhouse

Yesterday we attended the next to the last of the 2015 Spring Lecture Series at the Oysterville Schoolhouse. Poet Susan Holway entertained a delighted audience with her reminiscences about growing up in Oysterville and her ongoing love of bay, ocean and peninsula. We laughed and clapped and the hour went by all too quickly.

We lingered for a while afterwards to talk a bit with Sue and with our many friends and neighbors in the audience. That’s one of the greatest pleasures of the series – seeing familiar faces time after time and feeling a bond beyond the usual – almost as though we’d been taking a class together or belonged to a special club.

A.K. Smiley Public Library, Redlands

A.K. Smiley Public Library, Redlands

Yesterday we also met a couple from Redlands, California – Hopi and Mike Hayes who are friends of Sue’s who were interested in getting one of my uncle Willard Espy’s books. I told them that Willard and my mother and their brother Edwin had all graduated from the University of Redlands and, as one thing led to another, I learned that they were good friends of Larry Burgess, longtime Director of the Smiley Library in Redlands.  That’s where Willard’s own library was placed several years ago after the demise of the Espy Foundation. Nyel and I had gone to Redlands met with Dr. Burgess on several occasions and… it began to feel like an old Southern California Home Week right there at the Oysterville Schoolhouse! They promised to look in on Willard’s books for us and “report back.”

Grandpa Clay Likes Butter

Grandpa Clay Likes Butter

And, speaking of reporting back… Clay Nichols told me that in following the “assignment” I had suggested at the end of my own Schoolhouse Lecture last month, he has written twenty-five stories about his own growing up years – stories for his grandchildren! Twenty-five! Now THAT’S  ‘putting the story back into history” in a big way! I was SO pleased. Without even reading those stories (not that providing feedback was even part of the suggestion!) I am giving Clay an A+!

One of my big goals was to encourage others to begin writing their own memories – the stories that will become the history of the future. And Clay is apparently doing so in the grand manner! Come to think of it, I believe I’ll give myself high marks, as well. Imagine inspiring an internationally known geothermal engineer who has been an adviser to scientists and politicians concerning climate change and other heady matters! I am delighted.

3 Comments

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Wonderful advice as well as serendipity!

    Reply
    • Clay Nichols

      Thanks, Sydney! I’ve had to distinguish between my “Stories for Grandchildren”, and a collection called “Stories for Older Grandchildren”. The latter involve more military and college stories. One that I will be reading at Diane’s next “Read to Me” session, for example, will deal with an incident at Ft, Bliss, Texas in which the Post’ commanding officer’s wife performed a show at the NCO’s club which incited the troops to riot on a night when I was duty officer.

      Reply
      • sydney

        That’s one I hope I get to hear!

        Reply

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