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Lydia Christina Tiller Gets Early Christmas Present- Lst Columbia! Yearbook

This article first appeared in issue 17, and was written by Ed Waggener.

Lydia Christina Tiller is the owner of the official No. 1 Columbia! Keepsake Yearbook, containing all 16 of the first issues of the magazine.

"It's an early Christmas present," her mother, Linda Tiller, Arvil Burton Road, Coumbia, said. "I think it will be something that she will want to have when she grows up. She loves the stories. Sometimes we read them two or three times."

Already the 7-year-old first grader at Shepherd School is collecting Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie Series. She's serious about reading. "I'm going to be a teacher when I grow up, like Miss Amy."

"Miss Amy" is Amy Walker, Lydia's teacher. "I like her, she teaches us a lot and she tells us about her children, Katie and Abby." Lydia said. Becoming a teacher comes after many thoughtful months of planning a career in dentistry, and is due not only to Miss Amy's influence, but also that of a favorite cousin, Alma Rich, a fifth grade teacher at Shepherd.

On a more serious note, Lydia admitted that owning the first yearbook was not her main goal. "I really want to be a junior Bear Board person," she said.

"I go to Bear Wallow Church," the youngster said, "and that's where the bears wallow."

Whereupon, after meeting all the other rigid Blue Ribbon Bear Board standards, she was made a full agent of the Columbia! Blue Ribbon Bear Board, with all the rights and privileges attached thereto, and was inducted with handshake by the Bear Board factotum. She is one of the youngest in the elite organization. She has been assigned to the Greater Shepherd School sector.

She is not afraid of bears. "I've got a BB gun downstairs," she said, "and my Dad's shotgun."

When she was warned not to go after bears with a BB gun-which is against Bear Board rules, Lydia said that she could shoot the BB gun."I went to get it to shoot two red dogs, but she wouldn't let me use it," she said, pointing to her mother.

"I could use my dad's shootgun. That would stop the bear." She was told not to use the shootgun on bears, either, Her mother agreed Lydia would not.

Which is very well true. Because, you see, Lydia minds well. She has perfect attendance at Shepherd School.

Her mother is on the Site Based Council there, and is proud of the school. "The only problem, she said, "is that we're busting at the seams. A lot of people are moving here-and a lot of people who live in the Columbia school area choose to transport their kids to Shepherd, because we've got such a good school." There are now 230-plus students at the school, she said.

Lydia is one of the few seven-year-olds on earth who is truly a native of Adair County. She was the next to the last baby born at Westlake Cumberland Hospital in 1990, when, very briefly, the maternity ward was opened up and, her mother recalls, "Lydia was the second of three babies born here before they closed it down again, when the doctor left town."

Lydia's paternal Pappaw, James "Slim" Tiller, was a longtime worker at the hospital. Her grandmothers are Edna Curry and Louise Tiller, both of Columbia. And she has relatives in high places. "Cousin Ralph," Ralph Curry, is sheriff of Adair County.

Lydia's mother is a 26 year employee of what is now the Agricultural Credit Office. Her father, Mike Tiller, works at Lawless Welding, in Russell Springs.

This story was posted on 1997-10-31 12:01:01
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Archive Photo

1997-10-31 - Photo Staff. Lydia Christina Tiller is the owner of Columbia! magazine's first official Keepsake Yearbook, an early Christmas present. But what she really wanted, she said, was to be one of the bear people.This item first appeared in Issue 17 of the print edition of Columbia! Magazine.
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