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Oral Histories of Blanco Residents Available on DVD at Library
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 • Posted June 15, 2010

A collection of DVDs featuring long-time residents remembering their lives and times in Blanco is now available for check out at the Blanco Library. These discs are the product of several years’ work by the library’s Oral History Committee and the technical and artistic production skills of Rebecca Wier, a 2010 BHS graduate.

Now ready for circulation are DVDs featuring the late Roy Byars, Bernice West, Stanley Lane, Leroy Klinger, Stanley Glasscock, Jasper Upshaw, the Lindeman Sisters, and Lawrence Coffee.

Currently in production are DVDs recording the memories of Kathleen Inglish, Catherine Lyons, Leon Coffee, Cicero Rust, Wyatt Trainer, Louis Kuebel, and Fritz Kuebel, Jr.

A preview of the DVD featuring the late Roy Byars is presented this week. Other DVDs will be introduced in upcoming editions. Taken together, these stories cover early times in the twentieth century, with vivid remembrances of the town, its characters, memorable events, childhood pranks, Blanco school facilities, farm life, and family stories.

“This collection is a treasure trove, not only for us but for future generations,” said Barnett Cline, chair of the Oral History Committee.

Other current committee members are Gene Guthrie, Bobbie Abbott, Bonnie Holmes, Carolyn Boydston, Linda Howard, and Elizabeth Pavlov. Shirley Beck initiated the project several years ago, and Tommy Koch contributed to the initial technical efforts to record, preserve, and edit the collection of video tapes. Former librarian Janice Redmond and current librarian Crystal Spybuck have assisted the Committee.

Financial support has been provided by the Blanco South Library District, Friends of the Library, and the Blanco Women’s Club.

Roy Byars DVD Focuses On Early Blanco Schools

The late Roy Byars grew up in Blanco, graduated as valedictorian, ran the local hardware store for 30 years, served as postmaster, and was a school board member for 14 years. In this interview, he talks about the history and evolution of local schools and teachers he remembers.

A dedicated record keeper, he compiled a list of everyone who ever graduated from Blanco schools. Byars describes student life in the early schools as well as the primitive facilities—a well for water, outhouses for restrooms, and a wood burning stove for heat. He remembers the city baseball team from the 1920s-1950s, the first football field built in 1942 on the grounds of the state park, the consolidation of many small community schools, and the continued scholastic improvements.

Memories of his own life in Blanco, working before and after school, watching the town grow and change, and working with the Lions Club on civic projects add to the story of the history of education in Blanco.

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