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LETTER: Schoolhouse painting has special meaning to Adair Countian in Utah

The painting is by two artists who have since passed on, Brandon Branham writes from Utah: His father, Wilbert Branham, and his dad's schoolmate, Rocky Yarberry
Photo of the artwork attached to this article
The painting in Adair County Middle School was done by my late father, Wilbert Branham and the late Rocky Yarberry, as an art project for Mrs. Henrietta Scott's art class in the early 70's.

When I attended ACHS in the early 90's it was hanging in the lunchroom, also my homeroom for three of my four years there. We moved to the new high school building in 1994.

"My father died in the summer of my freshman/sophomore year"

That painting means a lot to me because my father died in the summer of my freshman/sophomore year.

I have been asked numerous times if I wanted the painting to take home because Mr. Yarberry had no children and no one that wanted the painting.

I appreciate the place of honor now given the painting

I told the staff that I thought it should hang where it has all these years. I recently spoke to my mother who works at Colonel Wm Casey and she tells me that some people have given it some TLC. I am very happy that the school has chosen to hang the painting in the entrance to the school, where so many more people can enjoy it.

Thanks, Mr. McKinney and Adair County Middle School for giving the painting a place of honor.

The only thing I'm not sure about, and I'm hesitant to mention anything which might be construed as criticism, but I am a bit concerned about the addition of "ACMS" over the door of the school in the photo.

I'm not sure that I like seeing someone else's art changed, my father's or any else's. It's up the the school, of course, but I'd love to see it restored, to look exactly as painted by my father and Rocky Yarberry.

Whatever is done, however, I want everyone in Columbia and Adair County, especially the administration of Adair County Middle School, to know that I appreciate the attention being given this art work which means so much to me.


Native Columbian, ACHS graduate,
Now in Utah, but an Adair Countian always.
After retirement from the Air Force, I'll be
back to my farm near Pollard's Chapel.

This story was posted on 2006-04-30 16:57:08
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SCENIC ADAIR CO, KY: Little Red Schoolhouse Art at Adair County Middle School

2006-04-20 - General John Adair Drive, Columbia, KY - Photo Staff of painting. THIS IDEALIZED PAINTING of country life in Adair County has been a part of Adair County student life for over one quarter of a century. It hangs in the foyer of Adair County Middle School as it did when the building housed the high school. It has one change, Assistant Principal Sandy Wilson says. The ACMS were more recently added to the school building in the painting. It was originally painted by Wilbert Branham and Rocky Yarberry, both of whom have since died. (Additional information on the painting welcome).
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Newspaper Photo of Little Red Schoolhouse Painting

2006-05-02 - Adair County High School, Columbia, KY - Photo Columba Statesman. A treasured newspaper clipping from the collection of Brandon Branham is this newspaper photo showing the Little Red Schoolhouse painting in progress. His father, Wilbert Branham, is center in the photo.
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