Friday, October 28, 2011

Back to Our Roots, Kentucky!

In August, My dad was asked by his very first church to come back and be a special guest. I guess each and every year they do a "Homecoming" where they ask all previous members to come back for a reunion... which I think is pretty cool. My dad was super excited about this opportunity and and as an amazing birthday present he asked me and Hatley to come along. I had not been to Kentucky since I was 3 or 4, so really didn't remember much of where my dad grew up or lived in his 20's and 30's. So Hatley and I excitidly went along for the 5 day whirlwind trip back to our families roots. It was also very special because my sister, Julie, who lives in Texas was able to make the trip too, so she met us in Kentucky. It was Dad and his girls, and Julie's first time meeting her neice Hatley-Roo. We got to Louisville on Thursday and didn't need to be to Brandenburg until that Saturday so we had a day or two to explore Louisville and Brandenburg before the churches festivities began...
Our first stop was The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where my dad received his Master's in Divinity back in 1964 (I believe that is the correct year.)
Dad in the Chapel where we met 3-4 times a week, and even heard Martin Luther speak here.
This whole trip was pretty exciting for me. I LOVE history, so to go back, walk in my dad's shoes and see him so excited! I was in heaven!
While in Louisville we were even able to find my dad's old house, and my big brother Tom's first house that they lived in while dad was going to seminary.
In Brandenburg, KY. Standing in Kentucky, Ohio River in the Middle, Indiana on the other side of the river.
Dad and his girls!
Dad in 1965. He had preformed a wedding that day.
My dad looks amazingly young for his age! I hope I get that gene... But these gals were all part of the church when Dad was the pastor there... Salem Baptist Church.
Joyce and Doodle... This was the couple dad married back in 1965!
The Oliver Gals with Pastor Garry Oliver.
Salem Baptist in the background. They have since moved into a new church building across the street, but use this church for big church potlucks, etc. It is essentially their fellowship hall. I was super thankful that they still use it and we were able to go in and see where my dad preached his first sermon as a brand new pastor!
On the Road... the Tobacco Fields.
Back in Lexington, we were able to find the house where Dad, Tom and Julie and their mom Jerry lived when dad was preaching in Louisville after leaving Brandenburg. The tree in the front yard they had planted....
Hatley having a blast in our Hotel room!
Dad mainly grew up in Southgate and Newport Kentucky. When he was in high school they moved to Florence, Ohio, which was just right across the river. This was the grocery store my dad had his first job in. He was a delivery boy... Boy would I love to have my groceries delivered =)
The Barber Shop where Grandpa Ray and little boy Garry used to get their hair cut!
Dad's childhood street. Holds soooooo many memories. The last time I was here I was 3 or 4, and Andy, my little brother, was Hatley's Age. Where Dad is standing in the picture above , is where he remembers exactly standing when everyone in the neighborhood came running out of their houses screaming the War is over, World War Two was over! What an amazing memory to have as a young child.
Dad's Childhood home. See the window on the left hand side of the house, that is the room where dad was born in 1938. And the grate below the deck, just below the window, that is where he used to throw all the coal, bucket, by bucket when the coal truck showed up. I would LOVE to go back in time for a day, to see dad at this age!
The garage and all the stairs my Grandpa Ray built when they bought the house brand new! The house was for sale when we were there. I wish I had enough $$ to buy it as a vacation home =)
Fun to see Hatley play exactly where her Grandpa played 60+ years ago...
Dad is finally home! The tree behind him, he planted as a little boy!
So happy to have had this opportunity with you Dad!

Dads childhood street. When Dad was little he had a pet duck, daisy, who could not fly... she met him everyday after school at the fire hydrant and walked home with him =)
The church in Newport where dad was baptized as a baby.
Dad's elementary school in Southgate. It was built the year he was born, and the same building is still in use. When we were there they were adding onto the building... but it was amazing to see the playground and school where my dad ran as an elementary kid.

White Castle burger for lunch, with Big Red Soda. ONE of my dad's favorite childhood drinks! We drank A LOT of Big Red on this trip!
One of the most interesting things to me this whole trip, and some of you may find it morbid, but it is so amazing to me, was we were able to go and find many grave stones pertaining to our family. Here is Southgate we found my grandma Velma's mother ( Callie Ann Brown), and grandmother (Matilda Vineyard).
Here is dad saying hello to his grandparents, and Hatley in a weird way meeting her great, great grandparents (Andrew & Callie Brown), and great,great, great grandmother (Matilda).

Thanks to my sister's Iphone we were able to look up information on them. Matilda Eveline Vineyard... My Dad's Great Grandmother.
In Newport, KY looking across the river to Cincinnati Ohio.
Buskin's bakery in Florence, Ohio. Dad remember's coming here and getting treats with grandma. Julie my sister was even brought her as a little girl with grandma Velma... Now Hatley was here with her Papa Garry!
SHE LOVED THEIR COOKIES! Grandma Velma was good friends with the owners of buskins and while we were there we were looking through a history book they had and found a picture of Grandma standing at the counter ordering some goodies! It was pretty special to see!
Dad's home in highschool, and the house grandma and grandpa lived in until they passed away. This is where I stayed as a little girl. It had just been purchased by new owners while we were there and we were able to walk around the outside of the house and peak in windows... it was pretty amazing to see things that my grandpa had done to the house and were still there.
Dad planted this tree when he was in highschool =)

Dad was super excited to hit up Dixie Chili while we were in Newport, KY. It was his favorite childhood restaurant. And i must say it was pretty good. So glad we we able to go there and eat some Cincinnati Chili and drink some Big Red!

Our last stop, before heading to the airport was Blanchester, Ohio, where my grandpa Ray was born, and his dad and his dad. We were able to go to the cemetary where all my dad's side of the family is buried AND right across the street was the home (which is now pharmacy, but still looks almost the same) where my grandpa Ray was born, his Dad Henry was born, and his dad. My grandpa's father Henry, passed away when my grandpa was just 2 years old.


a random but beautiful building in Blanchester.
The Oliver home, which is now a pharmacy.

Grandpa Ray.

THANK YOU Dad and Mom for giving Hatley and I the chance to go along and see some true and rich Oliver history. Thanks Julie for being able to come along and join us! This is a trip I will never ever forget, I hope one day I can go back again and show it to Hatley when she is old enough to remember it. Maybe Papa Garry you can come along again and teach Hatley yourself!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


In September we enjoyed another Palouse Days Parade and all the festivities to go along with it. Including family pictures!
We had a family date day and went out to lunch, ice cream and headed over to Washington State University to check out the grizzly bears... Hatley growled the whole time!

Spent quite a few hours in the combine and in the grain trucks... we enjoyed another harvest out on Sawyer farms!

Uncle Rob, Aunt Julie and cousins Mya and Kylie came to visit!
We watched Garfield-Palouse football games from our front yard, on our couches from the garage. GO VIKINGS!

Hatley got to paint her toes just like mamas. She is getting girlier ever day!
Hatley got her first pony tail! It is finally long enough!