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Families: The Harveys and memories of Upper Jamestown Street

Dr. Phil Aaron's story on Pina Lee Pyles and her wonderful family connected to so many, many people. For writer Tony Harvey, it reminded him of the his own proud family, and his own rich heritage. The story which follows is about feelings, and health and the immediate pain a death brings; about a great era when Jamestown Street had several distinct neighborhoods, one of which the Harveys built; and the nostalgic memories of the days of Donnie's Drive-in and the filling station, and real values in the good old days

By Tony Harvey

I must say that I really enjoyed reading the wonderful story by Dr Phil Aaron about Pina Lee Pyles and her wonderful outlook. Pina Lee Pyles' attitude toward her medical issue is the key to having success in the treatment, I would have to agree.

Even with a good attitude, some are luckier than others. Our family lost a wonderful person on March 22, 1974, to kidney disease. My aunt Eris Pauline Sharp was my father Harold "Reece" Harvey's oldest sister. She passed away a day after my mother, Lena Christine "Flatt" Harvey died.


Mom and Aunt Eris were best of friends. Looking back now it seemed appropriate for the two of them to leave this world at the same time.

Our family, the Harveys, were and still are a well known family in Adair County, but as Dr. Phil noted in the story about Rollin and Pina Pyles, thedays ofhaving big families are all but gone.

Both Mom and Dad came from big families

Dad had nine brothers and sisters, and Mom had eight siblings. You think that when it comes their time to go, that you're ready for it, but that's the farthest thing from the truth.

Dad passed away last year on Halloween morning, October 31, 2008, and I miss him so.I have to admitthat there isn't as many of us left here in Adair County now as there once was.

My Pa Harvey, Holland, or H.H. as he known back then to everyone,and his brother Finiswere instrumental in building many of thehomes in the city limits and several morein the county.

Only two treasured members of a generation are left

Now almost all of that generation are goneexcept for two of dad's sisters, my Aunt Doris Bryant. who ran theHarvey & Bryant hardwarewhich was in the buildingnext to the infamous Jim Dandy, and Dad's other sister Jessie, lives in Parsippanny, NJ. and has lived there for as long as I can remember. I think that she met a man who was in the service during WWII and they married and stayed there in New Jersey.

The Days of the Jim Dandy Drive-In

The Jim Dandy I believe was firstopened by my dad's youngestbrother "Donnie" Donald Harvey, and was first know as the "Creamee," and later at "Donnie's Drive-In," later it was owned by Duck Fudge; then by Jim and Ruby Yates who gave it the name "Jim Dandy" later still by Harold Gaddis when it was known as "Harold's Steak House," and finally by Betty Ollstadt, who now operates the famous Betty's OK Country Cooking on North 55 in Columbia. Maybe there were others.

Uncle Donald Harvey was the father of James "Bean" Harvey ofHarvey & Ellis Motors on Hwy 55 North.

How things have changed

Oh how things have changed so very much. Gone are the days of sitting on my grandparents front porch as a young boy. And being able to listen to "Summer in the City" on the juke box at theJim Dandy, and watch all of the the neat cars passing by. And the only thingthat would be thumping then was a flat tire, not like today--it's somebody listening to crap err I mean Rap so loud that their entire vehicle is rattling. Back then, there was no Walmart, Wendy's, MacDonalds, IGA or Payless, Video Warehouse and we hadgas stations that you could pull up to and a person would come out and pump your gas for you, and cleanyour windshield off whether you asked him to or not.

Now we're getting a Super Walmart, and, yes, a much needed by-pass, but at big loss to the county, I think.

Adair County will never look the same as it once did. We can never go back, but only in our minds. But really, those were "Truly the good old days."

Oh, my look at me! I intended to send in some edit notes and wound up writing some of our family history.

I suppose I enjoy writing and always have, especially early in the mornings when I first get up. That way my brain isn't all cluttered up with things that aren't important.

To me, family is the most important

And to me family is what's most important these days, not how big of a home you live in. Or how much you paid for your vehicle or anything else as far as that goes.

What's most important is your family and then the other things if your blessed with them. And it's not how much that you've made in life, what's important is how did you earn it?

It seems to me that too many folks today will do what ever it takes tomake a dime.

This story was posted on 2008-06-04 07:32:40
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