Monday, August 1, 2011

Fabulous weekend

A steady stream of alumni and visitors were able to tour the Oneida Stake Academy Building over Rodeo weekend. Members of the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation Board of Directors cleaned up the interior of the building and set up the OSA video "Within These Walls" in the classroom on the building's main floor.

Visitors were able to see each of the academy's rooms, including a peek into the doorway of the bell tower with its century of signatures from the school's alumni. As they peered into the rooms in which they once studied, memories of their school days bubbled to the surface and they giggled as they shared their tales with board members.

DeMar Tippets remembers the LAST time he and his buddies tried to sneak into and out of the building without getting captured by the school's superintendent.

"I slipped going out of the window and landed on the recently pruned bushes, which tore my pants and left a knot in my rump for weeks," he smirked. Unfortunately, he had to suffer in silence to escape the wrath of his parents.

Alvaro Jones and his son both recalled taking shop in the main room on the main floor, which will become a museum of local history up on its restoration. Jones the elder took shop from Asael Bell and Jones the younger took it from Larry Biggs. He recalled the day the shop teacher's demonstration on the lathe resulted in a concussion for the teacher and the day off for the students. Apparently, a bowl the teacher was working on broke and hit him in the head.

Another of Bigg's students showed the footprint of a wall that once stood in the same room, as it was part of a closet that had been built to store tools.

One man remembered attending the last school dance held in the spacious ballroom, and others told of taking band classes from Lyle Shipley there.

Younger visitors voiced their hopes of having their own wedding receptions in that room someday soon.

Alumni willing to share their memories are invited to leave them in the comment section below this post.

Not only did the building's many alumni and visitors share their memories and favorable impressions, but they often left what cash they had in their pockets. Others left offers to volunteer their expertise or pledges to fund various stages of the academy's restoration.

"We appreciate the public's support as we continue to raise the funds necessary to finish this restoration for them to celebrate Franklin County's 100th birthday in 2013," said board member Elliott Larsen.

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