Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Opies Parents

Standing on the same porch are David and Sarah Hyre, the parents of Opie. The stone house was contracted by his father Jonathan Hyre, with local stone masons. The Civil War interrupted the construction, but was resumed afterwards. Plagued with labor troubles, sentiment against him because of his stand during the war, and the lack of funds, Jonathan abandoned the project. This left the house an incomplete shell.
David spent some time in trying to complete the construction with the skills that he had learned from the stone masons. But time being of the essence, David contracted with local carpenters to finish the construction of the exterior and interior of the house. This was to be the new home of David and his bride, Sarah.
David was a self sufficient and progressive farmer. Over the years the farm had been cleared, orchards and a vineyard were planted near the house. Surrounding them you can see a grape vine. With this grape, David won a bronze medal and certificate for his grapes at the 1905 Worlds Fair in St. Louis. The medal had its place on the family organ in the parlor. The certificate was kept out of sight and only brought out on special occasions. The certificate was bordered by Greek Goddeses and the nude back view of a Male God. For this reason the certificate was banishment to the closet. As I painted a bit, Granny Freda pulled the framed certificate out and gave it to me for the frame. I have this certificate, in the frame, proudly displayed over my living room fireplace mantle.
The orginal vine was destroyed. But, fortunately my husband took a cutting from this vine and it now grows on our back deck. The second year we had it, the squirls almost destroyed it. They chewed through the vine, but fortunately it survived. I plan to take cuttings and give them to other members of the family.
My husbands brother Mike Hyre gave us the bronze metal. He said the medal and certificate should stay together. I truly appreciate his gesture and will treasure them both. Someday they will both together be give to one of my children.