Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

March 19, 2014

Pat Smith: Golden days and happy memories

I’m looking at something so valuable that to touch it seems a risk.

And yet, it is in perfect condition and appears to be quite sturdy. I don’t know its value in monetary terms, but it’s priceless in terms of history and memories. It’s a book that belonged to Hilda Mae Meek of Sandusky High 1924, and is a more elaborate autograph book than the ones many of us had. This one is titled “My Golden School Days/A record Book for Happy Memories.” It’s hardbound and measures 8½ by 5 inches.

Jeanie Coy loaned it to me. The Coy family, Jim, Jeanie, Abby and Paige was named the Indiana Farm Family of the Year in 2011. A few things they’re known for are the perfect prize-winning grains they enter in the State Fair each year, for their prize-winning goats and for the fact that they own the land where once the county’s Poor Farm was located near Sandusky. When Jeanie entered this school scrap book in the State Fair it won supreme sweepstakes. It was, of course, quite an honor.

I’ll return the book quickly, but will have another column or two over the next few weeks about this splendid record of a part of our history. (By the way, Jeanie is looking for pictures of the County Poor Farm, so if you have any please let her know.) Jeanie said, “Hilda was Hugh Coy’s first cousin. She married Willard Sefton and they didn’t have any children. Hugh Coy was my husband’s father. The Coy’s all grew up in Sandusky.”

The front page of the book is the program for the senior play “That’s One on Bill,” of 1924. Just look who was in it: Loren Root, John Waybright, John Thrine, Charles Thorpe, Maurice McDonald, Anna Mae Amos, Mary Louise Clemons, Carmen Smith, Mae Aldridge and Mary Fightmaster. The music was by Golay’s Orchestra which, I believe, was a local orchestra.

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