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Interview with Ollin Dunford

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  • Ollin Dunford 1 Interviewer: Eliza Macaulay Interviewee: Ollin Dunford (Coach O) Interview Date: April 4, 2017 Location: Jackson County, NC Length: 56:21 Eliza Macaulay: Okay. Thanks for doing this. I know you read the release form but I have to have oral consent. So, are you aware you’re being recorded and this will be made available through Appalachian Oral History? Ollin Dunford: Yes, I am. EM: Okay. So, let’s get started. So, where are you from and what are your parent’s names? OD: Okay, I am from Lawton, Oklahoma and my mom’s name was Christine Dunford and my dad’s name was Alfred Fisher. EM: Did you have any siblings growing up in Oklahoma? OD: I have one sister. EM: What’s her name? OD: Bernita. EM: Do you have any fond memories with her? OD: I mean, she’s five years older than I am. I was the baby, of course. But yeah. Great memories with my sister. I love my sister to death. EM: What was elementary school like in Oklahoma? OD: Um, that’s a great question. First of all, I grew up in an all-black school. Elementary…and actually, I went through segregation in Oklahoma so yeah. I’m older than you think. But anyway, I went to an all-black school when I was in elementary and they had…and this was in 68…1968. They decided to segregate the black schools…the black community, let me say it that way. Because they…where I’m from, it was something like fifty…a little over fifty elementary schools where I lived. And it was maybe four all-black elementary schools. And so, basically, I lived in an all-black community so we all went to that school. And in 1968, they decided to shut those schools down. Particularly Dunbar, where I went to school and they decided to shut it down and segregate the white schools. Well, it was like forty of them, all over Lawton, Oklahoma. So, they decided to take so many blacks…and sprinkle them in each white school. And that’s the way that happened so, I went to Dunbar Elementary School for four years and then I was transferred to A.T. Howell which was an all-white school. EM: And so, how did that influence your middle school life? Like where did you go for middle school? OD: I went to Eisenhower Junior High and …I think it helped me a great deal because I was just as narrow minded as the next guy. It was all-black and all-white and the whites didn’t want the blacks going to school with them and visa-versa. But the segregation back in that day as tough as it was …it was tough the first year. The fourth grade…it was tough that year. I could play sports Ollin Dunford 2 that helped a great deal. It acclimated in the end a little better but needless to say, it made the segregation into middle school a whole lot better. We were used to it. Blacks and whites did get along and play sports together and all that stuff so…it helped to do it at such a young age …and so even if I could have been narrow-minded about being prejudiced and being prejudiced against me. I grew up a lot at an early age so I think it helped me. EM: You mentioned playing sports. What sports did you play? OD: Um, I played them all. I played football, basketball, baseball, track. I did it all in school. Yeah. EM: How did you meet Mrs. Jane? OD: Mrs. Jane. Well, Lawton, Oklahoma is a military town and my wife is from North Carolina. And at the time, she was going to North Carolina State and her sister, which is probably twelve or thirteen years older than she is, she was going to the same church that I went to. And so, I met her sister. I knew her sister. We sang in the choir and everything together…anyway, Jane would come in and visit her sister in Oklahoma. And of course, I was an eligible bachelor so her sister…her older sister introduced us. “This guy, this guy here.” So, I met her that way. Through her older sister. EM: What church did you go to? OD: I went to St. Elmo Baptist Church in Lawton, Oklahoma. EM: What other jobs did you have before you moved to North Carolina? OD: North Carolina…um. Well, as soon as I got out of high school, I worked for a mental health center. And I worked there…Oh, I enjoyed the job so much. It was awesome. But, I worked there probably a year and a half. So, I worked there. I was almost…I was nineteen, almost twenty. And then I started working for Goodyear Rubber and Tire Company. EM: And that’s the company where you only missed one day of work right? OD: I was at twenty-one years of perfect attendance there and three days of work my entire career that I missed. And that was thirty years. EM: Wow! OD: Yeah, so yeah, Goodyear was where I spent all my time. EM: What made you move to Sylva? OD: Um, let me back up just a hair okay? EM: Okay. OD: I mentioned my mom and my dad’s name but I never grew up with my dad. My dad died very early so I never really knew him but…My mom was really a single parent. So, what I trying to say is I’m from a very small family. It was my mom, my oldest sister, and myself. And so, my wife…my sister, she married early. When she was nineteen she got married, went to college…it was just my mom and I. My sister is five years older than I am. So, it was just my mom and I and so, that was my life. My mom. She was my best friend even. I mean she was. So even after Ollin Dunford 3 meeting my wife and after I got grown and did my own thing, my mom was still my best friend. So, even after I met my wife and we got married, and we started having kids, and all that…well in 1998, my mom passed. And so, a small family. Just my sister and she lives in Oklahoma City. And so, my wife being from North Carolina, she was ready to move back this way. So, I said, “Ehh… I got a great job here.” I provide for my family and life was pretty good. But, my wife was ready to move back this way. So, the question was, I kept her out in Oklahoma almost sixteen years and she was saying, “after your mom passed” and even though she felt coming back home pains, she didn’t ever bring it up because she knew I took care of my mom. Well, we took care of my mom. She got old, and we had to take care of her. My whole family jumped in there and did that. But after she passed away she was ready to move back to North Carolina. So, she started doing some interviews even though she’s from Shelby, North Carolina. But she started doing…she started looking on the web. She was in Higher Ed. in Oklahoma as well. But she started looking on jobs and stuff. She saw Western was hiring and what they were hiring for. So, she just nonchalantly sent an application in and they called her back. And so, she shared that with me that “Western wanted me to come out and meet them” and stuff. I said “Okay. Wow, but okay. It might not go nowhere.” But she did and she came out. She flew out and so from that gesture turned into they made us an offer. I said, “That’s good. But you know, my job…there’s no Goodyear there.” So, I wasn’t going to leave it. She made that happen. So, I just…She said, “Can you not get your job to transfer you.” And I said, “transfer me where?” So, Goodyear…I mentioned it to them about me and my wife. Mom was gone and they had felt for me a little bit. But anyway, they said “Yeah, we have a plant in Statesville, we have another plant in Spartanburg and it was close to those areas. It was the closest place we got. We can send you there. See if that will work for you. We’ll do that for you.” At first, I didn’t think that was going to happen. But it did. And so, things just kept clicking. It was like…they said yes. So, I started making things harder for my wife. Saying “I bet that they won’t give you this or offer you that.” I said, “Ask them about that,” you know, different things. Things that I didn’t think that were going to happen. And she would take it to the table And, they would say “Yeah, we’ll do it.” “They said yes?” it was like that. So, anyway to make a long story short…we ended up in Sylva, America. EM: So, what was Sylva’s top hangout spot during the time you were here? Like, when you first moved here as the top hangout spot? OD: Um, I’m just going to say…activities here at Western…I didn’t really venture out in town. Um, I wasn’t that comfortable. I just wasn’t. A lot of unknown…but, a lot of events and activities . . . My wife did -was over - kept us busy and my family busy. So, we looked forward to those type of things but I can’t say anywhere in Sylva attracted us. Or where I felt comfortable enough. I met people from sports. My boys played sports. And even though I started meeting people, it didn’t make me feel comfortable. I felt comfortable with them. I didn’t necessarily feel comfortable in that atmosphere or that environment. So, we really didn’t indulge in that. EM: I’m going to go back a little bit. So, you said you were a part of the Baptist church. OD: Yeah. EM: So, what brought you to Liberty Baptist? OD: Um, we would visit quite a few churches here. My favorite…we favored Webster Baptist quite a bit. We spent a lot of time going there before we found Liberty. So, we just…it was Ollin Dunford 4 granted that we were affiliated with Western. We weren’t really affiliated with the black community or in Sylva. I mean we weren’t. We started meeting people. I can’t even think of who we met first…, they invited us to Liberty. It was kind of like…I can’t really remember who. We said “Sure” . . . Let me back up. We visited Mt. Zion quite a few times too. And that’s right off campus. You know where that is? Yeah, we went there a few times so…a lot of students were going there. And granted, we went to…we liked Webster, but I’m just going to tell you. We were the only African Americans there. Were they very nice to us? They sure were. They were. And they met us and made us feel very welcome. We really appreciated all that but the bottom line is we were the only African Americans there. It was like…Serving the Lord is serving the Lord, so we get that. We’re good at that, but I guess some of the ways even my wife being from Shelby, North Carolina and me being from Lawton, Oklahoma we still were used to a certain way we praised God. In other words, so just a little more, …just a little more . . . it was just different. So, we ended up meeting some people. There was a couple of them said “They’re a couple other black churches in Sylva.” And I said, “Yeah, come by.” And we did. We went about two years. Two years before we said we should join. And that’s how we came about becoming members of Liberty Baptist Church. EM: So, what is your role at Liberty Baptist? OD: Um, I used to be very active and believe it or not, I’m still a trustee there. But this last year I haven’t been as active. I still go but not as active so…I sing the choir. Still do. And so, just trustee, vacation bible school teacher. I still do that. A couple of programs I guess we conduct from time to time. Yeah. EM: So, what made you want to work with sports in particular? OD: Well, it probably started with my oldest son. I started coaching him at a very…he was five years out. I started coaching T-ball with Ollin and I love sports. I love playing them. And of course, because you can play them doesn’t mean you can teach them. You know what I mean, I’m just saying that it doesn’t…The more I got into it. I’d been coaching my boys and the more I coached them, then I started coaching their friends and so on. And that kept growing. So…I started coaching then, I got very competitive so I wasn’t just coaching…Just to be coaching like, “Yeah, y’all got a coach” and I started coaching competitively and then we started winning. And then that makes you want to do it more and do what it takes to keep winning more. And adding these kinds of players and these kind of players…I coached AA-U basketball for a long time with my boys. My oldest son’s thirty-one years old so I did it that long. Long before I came here, and, believe it or not, baseball too. I coached baseball and I was like…three times coach of the year in baseball. Yeah, so we play a lot of baseball, a lot of basketball. So, I just stayed involved. When I moved here…well, I become involved with youth sports. And that was just about my passion for the game. My passion for the game because I couldn’t play anymore but I could sure play the game through youth. EM: Yeah. OD: And so, when I saw that burning passion inside of a young person, I said “Yeah, I saw it. I’ve seen that fire before” so, that’s what made me want to coach them. “I want to coach you. I want to teach you everything I know and then some.” It just got that way. But that’s a passion that you get by teaching a player. Teaching sports. And the more I did that, the more I became interested in more, in more…so, I was the vice-president for Youth Sports after being here for Ollin Dunford 5 two years when I first moved here. I became the vice-president of Youth Sports. And that was football, baseball, and basketball then. And so, after that being the vice-president for like five years in Youth Sports. I knew we could do more with the basketball program. And so, I made a proposal and presented it to the board. To Youth Sports board that “Let’s separate. Let me just take basketball and y’all keep football because that’s where your heart is anyway.” But I didn’t ever see that passion that I was feeling about basketball so that’s why I made that proposal. From this point on, I got to see, or learn that there were a couple more board members that would have wanted to separate and just be with basketball. And that’s how I became the president of Jackson County Youth Basketball. From that part…oh yeah, I stared building players for real because granted I didn’t coach every team but there’s a piece of me in every one of those teams. Because I wanted to make sure there was a piece of me in all the coaches that I got to select. What I’m saying. So, that part was awesome for me . I love coaching, I love sports, I love kids. I just do. EM: So, what got you involved with the Smoky Mountains Women’s Basketball team? OD: Um, it was a spin off from Jackson County Youth Basketball. I coached, I did coach. I told you I was the president but I coached the boy’s team. I coached Dylan. I coached not so much Ollin once I moved here but more Dylan in youth basketball. And so, I was excited about that. There was one year I couldn’t find…I don’t know if your familiar with how they go …Pee-wee, Midget…and so, one year I really couldn’t find a coach for my girls’ team. I couldn’t find not one. I said “Jeez, what’s going to happen with my girls here. I can’t find them a coach.” And so, my other board members said, “What’s going to happen there don’t you?” and I said “No, what?” He said, “You’re going to have to coach.” So, I’m saying “Girls?” So, I stated coaching my girls’ basketball and the more I did it, the more I liked it. I said, “They are not hard-headed. They don’t talk back like boys.” Then I started seeing some fire. The kind of fire I liked. I started seeing that then I got excited about coaching girls. So, we didn’t do that great the first season that I coached them, but I came right back and coached them again. And of course, we did really well. Cindy Simmons . . . I tell you who was coaching JV girls. I’m thinking it was Kim Bryson was coaching the girls…the JV girls. Kim Bryson and Nancy Davis. Do you know her? EM: I’m not familiar with… OD: Okay, but that was Martin Davis and…I can’t think of. But anyway, that was their mom but she was very knowledgeable but they coached the JV girls and they stepped down. And since Cindy Simmons of course being the Varsity girls coach, she knew I was coaching the girls. I was doing a pretty good job with these little girls and so she asked me would I be interested in coaching JV girls. I said “Yeah.” And I was still working with Goodyear too. But I had so many years there where I had a lot of vacation. I used it. I’m like saying…yeah, my wife says, “How are you going to do that?” and still work for Goodyear. Because I commuted. I commuted to Statesville. But it was the way I’d work. So, I’d work two or three days and three days I wouldn’t. But, I started coaching JV girls in 2005. So, yeah. EM: So, who knows more about basketball. You or Mrs. Jane? OD: Oh, that’s a great question. Because she would argue but yeah…I got her there. I got her on that one. I taught her too. EM: So, what role do you believe that basketball has played in this community? Ollin Dunford 6 OD: In this community? Um… I’ve seen it soar in the last ten years. I mean…I was a part of the state championship team. But guess what, those girls came from county basketball too. I’m just saying, they were county girls. I’ve seen county kids progress to where I’ve seen progress all the way to the ultimate. As far as student . . . So, I think our programs have developed very well in regardless of how we got there. Whether I can boast about Jackson County Youth Basketball. I can talk about Jackson County Rec Basketball as well. I didn’t have anything to do with it but kids played. Kids played so that was a passion for kids to play basketball. And I promote that at every angle if I can. I did. And I think…you are a testimony. I just do, because I’ve seen you. I’ve known you since you were a little girl too. With yourself, seeing you blossomed and turned into the athlete that you have . . . in everything you do. Bottom line is, an athlete…it’s not so much about basketball but it’s an athlete. It’s in here. It’s what you pour into it. You do that. I can use you as an example of how I think our program, our athletes in this community have grown. What has set that fire? I can’t necessarily pin point what has set that fire. I do know that. Like anything else, sports run in waves. You’re good for five years and then you’re bad for six. Or ten. Then you’re good again. But, we have had some pretty good waves that have come through this community over the last ten years. And I’ve been a part of that. I’ve got to witness it firsthand. Because like I’ve said, I had nothing to do with…tennis or softball or…We always do numbers. Soccer . . . but again, soccer. A perfect one. What a down year. …down years they have had. I remember…last I remember…and I’m just saying, I’d go to soccer games just because I might have some girls that played basketball for me and they played soccer after that. I cared about them and cared about how they progressed in being a person. I use those things in basketball but it’s how they soar as a person. And that’s what I really try to develop because I know you can be successful in trying hard to accomplish something. You’ll do about anything. So, yes. I would always go and support them. And it was tough to go watch them be so sad. I didn’t like to see that. They were sad. They go “We lost again. We lost again.” And that wasn’t the sad part because somewhere in there you get past it and then you get used to it. Well, I didn’t like that either. And then there was a point where they were always going to lose. And then they got complacent, accepting it to be a loser. So, that part hurt a little bit. Then you change it. I’ve seen it in volleyball. Same thing. Soared and then they had a down…down years where they weren’t soaring and that was hard to watch. So, I didn’t like to witness that so I stopped going. I stopped going and I’d see them. Saying, “How’d you do?” “Um, okay.” Always offer them words of encouragement. I didn’t like it even though I didn’t have anything to do with it but it’s…but, I did have something to do with the youth. I wanted that to carry over to whatever you do, because I’d talk about winning. Winning comes in many aspects. It isn’t always the score. But it’s always being against someone else. At something else. Or trying just as hard. So, I always try to develop those things and players that I had something to do with. But needless to say, the passion is still there. I’m older and my times getting short, but I still have it. As long as I got it, I’m going to keep on doing it. EM: So, can you tell me some of your most funny moments coaching basketball? OD: Well, let’s see… I’ve been coaching a long time. Coaching a long time so yeah, I’m probably going to have a pile of funniest moments. Trying to share one or two with you. I’ll share one with you where we were on the state championship road and we had…we had made it all the way to the regionals. The way we did it, if you remember, we played four rounds and we played them all at Smoky Mountain. It wasn’t like that then. So, when we got to regionals, we were in Winston Salem. And so, a couple of days. Our motto was “Are you going to be in the Ollin Dunford 7 foxhole with me?’ Or “Would you get in the foxhole with me?” That was our motto. And so, Coach Simmons had the girls…it was at night. It was cold. It was so cold. So, we did the camouflage and the painted face and stuff. And so, Coach Toedtman and myself and Coach Simmons we had made a deal that if we won that first game, we would take that plunge. We would dive in the pool. We’d dive in the pool and if we won that first game of the regionals. And we did, so wow. We built it up like we were…we built it up like we were sneaking. “Duh, duh, duh” that kind of thing. So, we’d like dart…diving behind trees and we’d sneak up on girls at the pool. And we’d sneak up on the girls at the pool. We got a girl…we were ready to take that plunge so…we did that polar…Basically, that’s what it was. And so, the girls were so thrilled because we did what we said we were going to do. We don’t care how cold it was. But, just the way it came together it was very funny. There’s a lot of good pictures on that day. But yeah, that was a good one. EM: How does your first team you coached compare to this past years’ team? OD: Wow. Well, my first team was…I don’t know if you know any of these young ladies but my first team was Renee Stillwell, Kelly Childress, Voss, Cucumber…You know any of those names? EM: No, sir… OD: Okay, well…they. Anyway, they were something else. And that was my first team. And so, they didn’t know what to expect from me my first year. “This is your new coach. Coach O. I want you to give him your upmost respect and do what he says” when she introduced me. So, they didn’t know how to take me. My personality is always going to be my personality. Did I know a few of them from county ball? I did. But that was county. Coaching them at that level was different. Some of the things that I do now, I did then. But that was my personality. So, I really work hard to instill a little bit of my fire that I have or my passion about the game. I try to install that in my players. And three weeks in I seen something. I said “Wow, these girls can play. We don’t shoot the ball very well but we can play. We can play.” But needless to say, we just started chipping. Started chipping away at it. We finished that season undefeated. And of course, Pisgah was always one of them. That was great. I’ll take that back, I did lose one game. It was to Pisgah but we split. But we were also doing conference tournaments back then. And so, we did. I split with them. But we came back and beat them, again in the tournament. So, we were conference champions and we were tournament champions my very first season. My very first season. And so I had those girls…that group of girls that year and some of them the second year in 2006. And then when Brittany and them moved, Brittany and Collen Davis. And [unclear] all of them moved to the varsity in 2007. That’s when we won the state championship. They joined Cetera, Amy Hagrid and all of them. But we won the state championship from when they joined that team. So, I got to do a little of that too. But these were like…that team was great, is what I’m trying to say. I’m telling you. Just the work ethic that they played. Now, here these last few years…wow. I’m like “Wow.” Well, I mean, I have met some very good teams these last two or three years. Very good teams. So, I think it started with that kind of mentality of my first team but…these teams I’ve had…and I’m saying teams. I’m not saying team. But, I think the teams the last two or three years, that JV coach was absolutely spectacular. EM: So, have your teams affected the way you teach in the classroom? Ollin Dunford 8 OD: Yeah, without a doubt. I have never been self-centered, that it’s all about me because that’s wrong. I am very player centered. So, I’m player centered. That means I’m student centered. So, it can be all about the kind of offense I like to run, the kind of defense I like to run, but if I have a team that can run that kind of offense, it’s irrelevant what I want if they’re not…their capability goes with that kind of offense or the capability that goes with that kind of defense. Then, I better change. I better adapt and change to what you do well. Well, what, I do know that it’s hard. It’s hard to teach or it’s hard to teach someone that offense or defense every day and you’re losing. You’re losing. So, this is what we’re doing every day. I don’t know why we’re doing it every day. We’re losing. So, after a while, that soaks in on you too and it’s not the same. I lose you. I lose your passion. I lose your commitment to the game. So, what I got you doing isn’t working. Okay, so sometimes you got players like “I don’t want to do that stuff. That stuff’s rough.” We’re going to run. “I sure don’t want to run” but there’s a payoff there. And you don’t see it if your losing but if you find yourself being able to play four quarters and it’s because you’re well-conditioned a lot better than your opponent, maybe there is something to all that running. So, now it’s easier for me to say “Let’s go. On the line.” And so, it’s not as hard. It’s not as hard, you get adapted. You want to do that because you know how important it is. The classroom is the same way. Now, if I’m going to teach you. You think history is boring or math is just so hard. “I don’t get it.” So, I’m always retaliating. I want to rebel to learn it. “This is so boring. History. This is so boring. It’ll put you to sleep” So, they don’t want to learn. So, it’s important for me to do something to reach you. I want you to learn this chapter of history. And you’ll have a test on it. The results of the test is how you grasp it. Math. “Math is hard.” It’s only hard because you don’t get it. If you get it, you get it and then it’s just like “Wow.” It’s like art. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t get it either. Math is hard for me too. But I’m just saying, if you get it, you get it. But the final is, how do I keep you interested in learning or want to do better. So, I use a player centered…I’m student centered. So, my goal here is I have to reach you to teach you. If I don’t reach you, I won’t ever get to teach you anything. You despise coming to my classes. You despise coming to my practice because you don’t like it. You don’t like me. You don’t like the way I teach it so it’s not about me. I already took the test. What I’m saying. I already made all A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, and whatever I’m going to make. It’s not about me it’s about you now. So, how can I impose this on…this subject or this sport on you. To want you to do the best you can do. So, I have to reach you. I’ve got to make you like it. I’m going to. I’m going to find a way. Sometimes it takes longer than others but I do use those same skills in the classroom as I do on the court. Do I think I have a success rate? I do. I think I do. So, some young ladies, some young men will look back and say I had an impact on them. On account of a person they are in the work…in the real-life stuff because it’s the same concept. You can do it on the basketball court, in the work force, you can do it as a mom, the dad. This work ethic, it’s commitment. All those things matter. But it starts in something you like. I love playing basketball, I love playing baseball but whatever the case might be…but all those things over your head that you like to do. So, now you’ll do what it takes to get better at it. And when you do that you take those things into different aspects of life. So, the Coach O helpful impact on the kind of person you grew up to be. Maybe. Maybe I did and maybe I didn’t. But you remember something about me. That was something he thought he was doing anyway. And that’s okay. That’s okay. But yeah. That’s what I care about. EM: I know you went to WCU a few years ago. What made you decide to go back to school? Ollin Dunford 9 OD: Well, I think earlier, in the interview when I mentioned I worked for Goodyear right out of high school. Right out of high school. And when I went to work for Goodyear…I went to work for a Telfair Mental Health Center first. It was a very good job. It didn’t pay a lot of money but it was a very good job. I learned a lot. And then I got hired on at Goodyear and they built the Goodyear plant. They started building in 1977, I started working there in 1979. I was 19 years old. So, I got hired out there and it’s like “I don’t want to work out there.” So, they’re working here doing this but the bottom-line came that’s says they are paying…starting out pay is nine fifty-seven an hour in 1979. 19 years old and they started me out paying me nine fifty…I remember it like it was yesterday. Nine fifty-seven an hour. That was really good pay. As a kid. I was a kid. And so, yeah. I said arrivederci to Telfair Mental Health Center and I went to work for Goodyear. And at that time, they were giving us raises every three months. In a brand new plant. It was huge. It was a huge plant. And so, every three months we were given a raise. So, I worked there for three years. I was up to like…thirteen fifty an hour in three years. Until I was 22 or whatever. And the next thing I know, my sister’s very highly educated…that’s all she ever talked to me about was…” You need to go to college. You need to go get your college education.” You know, more than my mom did. My mom needed to work, I needed to make money. Being a single parent, we didn’t have the money. And so, she understood that. My sister, she was educated so she encouraged me to get educated. “You need to go to school.” I’m like saying “Pfft. Go to school?” And then, part of that was people that I knew that had graduated from college. And next thing I know, I look down the line and they are working with me. Doing the same thing I’m doing. So, that did motivate me to go back to school. So, back then, back then in those days it was very possible to…you could be a good worker. You could be a good worker, you come to work, you’re committed, loyal to your company and you’d get promoted. Okay. Whether I had a college degree or not. So, I worked in a different age. I do like my job, I love this money. And so, I worked hard. I’m getting back to telling you I had 21 years of perfect attendance. I didn’t miss any work. I didn’t miss work. So, I did all those things to earn me . . . I climbed the ladder pretty fast because of those things. I worked hard when I was there. Didn’t miss all those things and so I got promoted. I had great jobs. After I hit probably my seventh or eighth year, from that point on. I had great jobs. By the time I hit my tenth or eleventh year, I had my own office, I had my own cart. It was a large plant so we traveled in little carts and stuff and so I had all that. So, yeah. I loved all of it. It was cool. When I left…not so much here but in Oklahoma, I made more in Oklahoma. I had a better job. But, when I left Oklahoma, I was making twenty-three dollars an hour. It was great. Provided a great life for my family and myself. I did. That was great money and no college education. I put my wife through school. Now you’ll be in school . . . But she didn’t miss the opportunity. But, it’s a high cliff for me. When my wife got out of State, she ended up moving to Oklahoma. But as far as getting a Master’s and all that, I said “You go to school. I got this.” And that’s the way we lived. But I was no longer motivated by going to school until…this is where it gets good at, I think I’ve talked to you but I didn’t mention all of it. About my thirteenth or fourteenth year with Goodyear, things started to change. Things weren’t as…how I told you that you could work and you could move up. Through work ethic, ethics. And we could advance here and there. Professor Macaulay: I’m sorry to interrupt but the library is going to close in about fifteen minutes. I didn’t know that. OD: Okay. EM: I just have a couple more questions. Ollin Dunford 10 OD: Okay. Sorry about that but long winded. It’s the story with it. Needless to say, things changed. Well first of all…the CEO had retired … of the whole company. So, things started to change. So, now your starting to see guys with college degrees. Doctorates and all that moving into these positions, you see what I’m saying. So, it was kind of like…In a plant like Goodyear, in other factories as well. Manufacturing…it is a very good chance that it’s a whole world in a building under a building. It is. You’ve got chemistry. You’ve got engineers, you’ve got accountants, you’ve got labor people. Just people that do the work. You’ve got quality people. You’ve got everything. Everything you can mention in this world is in this plant. All these different kinds of jobs. Human resources, teachers, people who do the training. Every job you can think of is in a company like that. So, there’s many opportunities to do a lot of jobs. Anyway…speed this story up. All these stories, all these jobs started moving in, different degrees heading them up. The leaders or educated so now I’m hiring educated people. There’s no such thing as “You’ve been working here for fifteen years. Well, you’re a good old boy. We’re going to bring this guy over here” “Now, I know you know the business and this is the way it’s going to happen. You’ve been here this long but I’m going to hire Liza. She just graduated from college but we’re going to hire her.” Set her in this seat in front of you. And so, that’s tough. Because you start a new trend. And “I want you…Liza straight out of college so she doesn’t really know the ropes and the business but I’m going to have you there.” “You teach her what you know.” So, that’s the way it goes, and that’s when things started to change. Educated people started moving in and above and started taking over. So, that’s what happens there just so you know. The lot that has made this plant successful was full of a whole lot of people just like me. They were loyal because they had no college education. Where else were they going to go? You see what I’m saying. It’s easy to work in a company that long now. You’ve got this fine education okay. And you’ve got options. Sure. “Give me a try. I’ll try it.” Because you don’t like it, you’ll never get out of here. Then you’ve got to go somewhere else because you have no opportunity because you have no college degree. And those things. Then you see that trend of young people above you are coming in. Come in, take over jobs, no commitment to any of them. The money’s good but guess what, I could go over here and make the same money. Maybe even a little more. I’m not committed to you so guess what. It changes the mentality. And that mentality, it trickles down. So, it changes things. It changes the world and it did. Now, I still worked there for thirty years, but when I got out, I was satisfied. I was happy. I commuted. That had a lot to do with me coaching, I’m just saying. It had a lot to do with me making the decision I was going to retire, stop commuting. I was going to come out here and coach these girls what I love doing. And I did. It was like…but I’m not making any money. That little retirement…I need more money. That isn’t enough. So, I needed a job. Here in little Sylva, America, they offered me jobs. Unless you were a part of the university or something. The university…you better have a college degree in something. You better have a Master’s to tell you the truth, or a Doctorate or something. But it wasn’t there for me. So, it made me have that thought. “I better go back to school.” I got to go back to school and get educated. Get a college degree. That’s how it happened. Wild huh? But that’s the way it happened. EM: So, is there anything else you’d like to add before we leave? OD: Well, it’s good to be able to share a little of my life. That’s what I did. Told you how things come to pass for me and my family. My coaching. Just to put it all in a nutshell, I truly feel very blessed. If things were to go haywire tomorrow, I’d be a blessed man. And I feel that way. You can’t worry about that. You’ve got to worry about just being. I am a Christian. I believe in God Ollin Dunford 11 and I believe everything happens for a reason. And I think he set a good path for me and I’m thankful for that. Look who I’ve met. I’ve met Eliza over these years and me doing what I do. Being a part of Jackson County Youth Basketball. Met your family. I know them well and all those things. So, the Lord set a good path for me. Me being a part of the high school. It’s been great. It has been great. I recently went for the Varsity head job. I did. But it didn’t work out for me that way but it also wasn’t meant for me. And Coach Klipa took me right on board. She didn’t have to. She didn’t so I’m grateful for that. The path. It must be the path I’m going down. That way, the path I went…that’s how I met the people I’ve met. I know who I know. So, it’s been good. And I’m grateful for that. I’ll wrap it up with that.

Object’s are ‘parent’ level descriptions to ‘children’ items, (e.g. a book with pages).