ALUMNI RELATIONS 1986 Newsletter

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 20: Alumni & Alumni Relations

ALUMNI RELATIONS 1986 Newsletter

TAGS: alumni relations 1986 newsletter; Advisory Council; Alumni & Friends Association; PMSS homecoming



[1986_pmss_homecoming_001.jpg] Printed document, cover page.

of the

Sponsored by
Pine Mountain Association of Alumni & Friends

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Pine Mountain, Harlan Co., Kentucky

[1986_pmss_homecoming_002.jpg] Printed document, memorial page.

This issue is
dedicated to the
memory of
a friend
who will be
sorely missed.

[1986_pmss_homecoming_003.jpg] Printed document, page 1.

“A Farewell to Bill Dawn”

We said “Goodbye”, to Bill and Mildred on Laurel House steps as they were leaving Homecoming one year ago. “Don’t leave. Stay awhile. No need to rush back to your business.” Bill looked around with a big smile and said, “I don’t have much business anymore, but I have a lot of arrangements to make.” As it turned out that was our final farewell to Bill; his last arrangement has been made. Bill died during Homecoming time this year. He is buried at Berea.

Let us tell you Bill’s story as we came to know it through talking and corresponding with him. He spent three years at Pine Mountain, 1925-26-27, as a young, handsome teenager from Harlan town. He claimed these were the best years of his life. At any rate he says, “It changed me from a hill-billy brat to a fairly decent, well-mannered boy who learned to love good books, music and some added culture.”

Bill’s special buddy and friend at Pine Mountain was Howard Burdine, who later went to Lancing and Detroit, Michigan, with him to work. They tried going to college, then, “Went Broke.” The times were getting tough, it was the beginning of the great depression years. They scrambled around doing odd jobs and, “Finally got on — big money — fifty-five cents an hour, at Graham Paige car makers.” Bill left Howard here and went to Berea College, later got his Master of Arts in Industrial Arts and taught in college and high school. Then came World War II and he joined the Navy. Howard later returned as a Pine Mountain worker.

After his naval service to his country, Bill started in construction. Along the way, he had learned to build a square box or piece of furniture to exact dimensions. With this skill he told himself that he could build a house. While still in his Navy officer’s uniform he borrowed his father’s pick-up truck to haul the materials to build his first house. He went on to make his fortunes at Dawn and Company, in Knoxville, Tennessee. He had a good business and probably the finest collection of antique cars in Tennessee — six Rolls Royces, plus others.

Bill could go on for hours about his days at Pine Mountain, about his special privilege of being a “Zande boy” as against being a “farm boy”. He thought himself in an elite group and voiced much praise for Mr. Luigi Zande, who came to Pine Mountain to build a water reservoir but ended up staying on to build the chapel, overhaul the sawmill, build an electric plant and married the co-director, Miss [Ethel] De Long. Bill’s description of Mr. Zande is classic, “He was a recent immigrant, speaking broken English. He was a big handsome, blue-eyed Italian, very intelligent, very likeable, a fine man — even a great man. He could do anything well.” Bill’s job working with Mr. ,,,

[1986_pmss_homecoming_004.jpg] Printed document, page 2.

,,,Zande was in cutting stone for details of the chapel, rear porch steps and the retaining walls and walks. His other work on campus centered on Industrial Arts. He helped make furniture for the school buildings and dorms, even made coffins for local people. He helped build the yellow poplar and walnut trimmed coffin for Aunt Sal Creech. “Had to run five miles down Greasy Creek to the store and back for cotton padding and black satin lining for it.” Mr. Zande’s instruction and supervision in wood carving brought Bill extra money for school expenses and clothing. He says those days in the early times was a rugged life but strangely, he thrived on it.

Bill often talked of a Miss Grant, school office secretary. She sort of adopted him, lived at Boy’s House and several times helped to keep him…

Photo with caption: Howard & Edry Burdine, Bill & Mildred Dawn on Jack’s Gap

…from being sent home — expelled from school. He claims he was always getting into trouble, at least the first year.

In a humble, modest, non-boasting manner, Bill told us that due to the work habits, study habits and wonderful guidance at Pine Mountain and Berea College, he has been able to give back substantial support to Berea. It’s no secret that he was a most loyal supporter to our Alumni & Friends Association. He gave credit to Pine Mountain School that through devoted, self-less people, who had no ulterior motive for helping him, did instill or impart to him that a good citizen ought to give back to Society some of the things given him. He gave generously of his money and time to Pine…

[1986_pmss_homecoming_005.jpg] Printed document, page 3.

…Mountain. he was an active and outspoken member of our Association of Alumni & Friends, plus serving on the Advisory Council to the Board of Trustees. Life was excitement to Bill and although he was past retirement age, he never gave up and always kept his hand in things that were important to him.

Many times Bill told us, “What success I’ve had in life and business, I owe to Pine Mountain School. Probably the most important habit we learned was to [underline] work, meaningful work. Whether it was milking cows starting at 3:30 A.M. or woodworking.” He said he would always be eternally grateful to Pine Mountain.

Bill and Mildred Dawn are the embodiment of the spirit of Pine Mountain, and we will always be eternally grateful to them. We will all miss our old friend and true “buddy.”
Mattie Ellen and Paul Hayes

The Prez Sez. . . . . .

Well, the 1986 Homecoming represented the 40th reunion of my old, old class. the class of ’46. Although we would have loved to see all our old classmates, we knew that was impossible. At least 3/8 of the class was there, and I suppose that’s not bad after forty years. I will leave the narration of the reunion to my talented cohorts.

We were saddened by news of the passing away of Jeanette Lucas, our classmate, and Bill Dawn, our dear friend. Both were subjects of many fond and loving memories.

As of October 1, 1986, Paul and Ellen Hayes became the new directors of Pine Mountain School, replacing Jim and Carol Urquhart. We owe our thanks to Jim and Carol for the splendid work they did during their tenure, and we owe our loyal support to Paul and Ellen as they seek to guide the school through the most critical time in its history.

The Homecoming date for 1987 is August 15th and 16th. This is the 40th reunion for the Class of ’47, and a second chance for you members of the ’46 class who didn’t make it this year. [signed] George W. (Bill) Tye

[1986_pmss_homecoming_006.jpg] Printed document, page 4.


Homecoming ’86 — that’s the theme this year in Tennessee, inviting everyone home for the year. That was the feeling as the former students gathered at the Pine Mountain Settlement School on August 9 & 10, 1986, for their annual homecoming activities. This was especially true for the class of 1946. This was our 40th anniversary. For most of the former students this is the closest thing to coming home as they have. Our roots are at Pine Mountain because most of us do not have many relatives or a home in the Kentucky mountains anymore. The “Pine Mountain Show – and Tell” period in Laurel House living-room was a special time. Sharing stories and pictures that are cherished from our days at Pine Mountain brought back many happy memories. Those attending from the class of ’46 were:

Genella Boggs Amburgy, Nell Jones, George William Tye, Shirley Holbrook, Faye Trail Deaton, Elmer Lewis

Photograph caption: Class of ’46 Front row, l to r— Nell Jones, Millard Selrey, Hazel Kilgore, G. William Tye, Jeanette Lucas, David Martin, Evelyn Ayers, Gerald LaRue, Miss Cole. Back row — Lester Centers, Shirley Holbrook, Maxine Moses, Frank Richards, Faye Trail, Colleen Day, Glen Brown, Genella Boggs.

We missed all those that did not attend. Glen Brown, the class president, has been to some of the reunions in the past. David Martin has attended every reunion since they started except this year. It was sad to hear that Jeanette Lucas passed away this year. We were told that Millard Selvey had died some time ago.

We hope to see Lester Centers, Colleen Day, Hazel Kilgore, Gerald LaRue, Maxine Moses and Frank Richards at our next Pine Mountain reunion.
Written by Genella B. Amburgy

[1986_pmss_homecoming_007.jpg] Printed document, page 5.

By: “Ebb” Ayers Howard

Six out of sixteen isn’t bad after forty years, considering our diverse lives and distances from Pine Mountain Settlement School. Elizabeth, my youngest and I went over early and I considered this the high-point of the whole week-end, with the exception of seeing all my classmates. Elizabeth swam and hiked, and I slept and ate and read. A group of young environmental students were there, and it seemed like 1946 all over again with their voices echoing around the halls of West Wind (except for the boys of course). We did so enjoy the fellowship with friends and family. The gatherings at Laurel House and the sound of Laurel House bell aroused so many memories — instantly taking you back in time, half expecting to see everyone…

Photograph with caption: Mark Leach, Elizabeth Howard, Evelyn Ayers Howard

…gathering in the waiting room area. I do wish more of the Graduating Class of 1946 could have made this homecoming. However, what we lacked in quantity we made up for in quality. This is what you missed: 

FAYE TRAIL DEATON: My life time friend; very talented and warm, doting grandmother now. Hasn’t changed a bit from first grade.

NELLE JONES MILLER: Looks younger than when she left Pine Mountain; retired nurse and the most open and understanding lady I’ve met in years. Mother of two sons.

GENELLA BOGGS AMBURGY: Still gorgeous and young looking; a teacher and I believe a grandmother!

GEORGE W. TYE, DR.: Still gorgeous too, a practicing psychiatrist after retirement from the military. Still the life of the party.

SHIRLEY “CHICK” HOLBROOK: How we all wished we had her zest for life. Nurse, mother and grandmother, and the most bubbling, beautiful gal you’ve ever laid eyes on.

[1986_pmss_homecoming_008.jpg] Printed document, page 6.

By: Lois North Ensor

Homecoming at Pine Mountain doesn’t get older, it just gets better. I wish everyone who ever went to school there could know the feeling of home again. And Pine Mountain was our home, at least it was for me. I love Kentucky and our mountains and people. When I’m traveling down Interstate 75 and near Mt. Vernon and see the mountains in the distance, I know the warm feeling of home again.

Photograph with caption: Fixing the beans for Homecoming 86′ supper.

Next Homecoming 1987 will be my 40th class reunion. I would hope that all who reads this will make a special effort to be there. We had new faces this year – The Barry’s and Ray & Roy Banks and their wives. I had my share of “hugs” and hope for many more next year. I even had an unexpected one from Ann Creech‘s son. Ann brought me back to normal though when she told me, “He hugs everyone.” So see when you find out what you’re missing, you’ll all come to Pine Mountain in August 1987. It’s a wonderful weekend. Make it heaven in ’87. Be There!

[1986_pmss_homecoming_009.jpg] Printed document, page 7.


This year we were asked to bring something from our Pine Mountain years for “Show and Tell.” Pursuant of that, I searched through my small collection of memorabilia — old Pine Cones, Conifers, George Washington Ball dance cards, a letter postmarked Great Lakes, Illinois, 1945, from a young sailor named John Deaton. And there, folded neatly, were half a dozen letters written by Mr. [Arthur] Dodd that had been enclosed with letters of my own to my parents. Pine Mountain’s report card. In the first letter, dated December, 1942, was the statement “One person who knows Faye best says she is chronically “agin” nearly every thing and everybody.” I read that part of the letter again and then stopped to consider it, going back in my mind to those first months at Pine Mountain. I had to concede that those words were true. Why?

I had come from a situation at home that had required me to cope with problems from the age of twelve that would have bested many adults. My mother had ceased to be a mother and had become a child. The responsibility of feeding, bathing, dressing and looking after her fell to me. I tried to assume the running of a household. I was overwhelmed. When I discovered that my mother’s “strange sickness” had become a source of gossip in the community — humiliation was added to my troubles. I reacted to this new hurt by becoming angry and defensive. Thus — I came to Pine Mountain. That place where the beauty soothed, where the good and gentle workers took the raw edges [off] my being and with their teaching, encouragement, praise and caring, helped me reshape my world.

That, Pine Mountain, is one of the reasons I love you.
Faye Trail Deaton

Photo with caption: Jane and Georgia leading the sing-along.

[1986_pmss_homecoming_010.jpg] Printed document, page 8.


Pioneers of Pine Mountain Settlement School left us a wonderful example of what patience, hard work and dedication throughout a life-time can accomplish. That’s why we are here today.

Remembrances are,
The seeds of the past,
With loving thoughts,
In our heart’s forever to last.
I wouldn’t trade my treasures,
At Pine Mountain Settlement School,
For all the things I know,
Because I’ve cherished them,
From so long ago,
With love and tenderness,
Of folks I used to know.
With rainbows in the evening,
And the whippoorwill calls,
Well, us kids,
We just seemed to have it all.
I wouldn’t trade my treasures,
At Pine Mountain Settlement School,
For the sweet little things that were said,
When we orphan children were tip-toeing,
And being put to bed,
With tiny kisses of human touch,
For all through the years we had so much.
These letters and the ink may fade,
But my love I could never trade,
No words could ever tell you,
Of our treasures deep with-in,
How that God blessed us here,
And let the sunshine in,
I will just continue on to give Pine Mountain School,
The best of everything I can,
For I know, It must have been God’s big plan.
It’s meant a lot to know all my dear new friends,
From the time we first met,
You’re one of those rare folks,
Much [too] special to forget.
You’re someone who’s nice,
In big ways and small ways,
And you’re wished the best of everything,
Not just today; But always.
God bless you, I love you,

[signed] Carrie Day

[1986_pmss_homecoming_011.jpg] Printed document, page 9.


The annual meeting at Pine Mountain Settlement School Association of Alumni and Friends was held Saturday, August 9, 1986, at 1:00 p.m. at Laurel House, Jane Bishop Hobgood, President, presiding.

Mrs. Hobgood opened the meeting by introducing the members of the Association’s Executive Committee: George William Tye, Bette Anderson, August Angel, and Ruth Shuler Dieter. The Association members on the Advisory Committee were also recognized: Jack Martin, John Deaton, Paul and Ellen Hayes, and Jim and Carol Urquhart, as Directors of Pine Mountain Settlement School.

Bette Anderson read the minutes of the 1985 meeting and August Angel distributed copies of the Treasurer’s Report. He commented on many points, including the fact that in the ten years the Association has existed, about $50,000 has been contributed for worthy projects at the school.

Mrs. Hobgood then recognized those Association members on the Board of Trustees: Bill Hayes, Jack Martin, Ruth Shuler Dieter, Millie Mahoney, William Leach, and Springer Hoskins. She continued by asking those who were formerly faculty teachers and staff to stand, then those who attended the Boarding School, and those who attended Public School, and all their children. Special recognition went to those who were attending for the first time. A show of hands indicated many members had attended all ten reunions, and a good number of others had returned many times over the years.

Jim and Carol Urquhart were introduced by Mrs. Hobgood. Jim welcomed the assembly and expressed appreciation for the support the group had shown. Carol introduced the kitchen staff, which brought a great round of applause in appreciation of their efforts.

A message from the Board of Trustees was delivered by Jack Martin. He explained that in order to address the economic problems of the school, the emphasis of the school’s programs would change from Environmental Education to Community Programs.

Ruth Shuler Dieter was recognized for her work as a member of the Board of Trustees and as Chairperson of the Advisory Council.

Mrs. Hobgood encouraged all members of the Association to go to their representatives for information on the activities of the School.

Those members who were unable to make the meeting, but who had sent letters, were listed and the folder of letters was made available to all…

[1986_pmss_homecoming_012.jpg] Printed document, page 10.

…who were interested. Vice-President Dr. George W. Tye also delivered messages from members who could not be present.

A letter from Ethel DeLong Zande, written as a tribute at the time of William Creech’s death, had been found by Arthur Dodd and was also made available for all to read.

Mrs. Hobgood expressed her thanks to those who worked hard at sending out personal letters in the Spring, a mailing which resulted in a good feeling of communication, and a significant number of gifts for the West Wind Project.

As Mrs. Hobgood introduced the Chairman of the Nominating Committee, Mattie Ellen Ayers Hayes, she expressed the need for more involvement by more people in keeping the organization functioning. Mrs. Hayes nominated Dr. George W. Tye, President; Jane Bishop Hobgood, Vice-President; Bette Anderson, Secretary; August Angel, Treasurer; and Ruth Shuler Dieter, Member at Large. There were no other nominations and a unanimous vote was cast.

A proposal was made that next year’s meeting time be set for the third (3rd) Saturday in August (the 15th). After some discussion, the matter was tabled for further deliberation.

A moment of silent prayer was held in memory of Dr. Oma Creech Fiske and many other members were remembered by their friends.

A second donation in memory of Margaret Motter, former principal of the High School, was acknowledged as bringing the fund close to the amount estimated for the rewiring of West Wind.

Jane Bishop Hobgood closed the meeting by outlining the activities for the rest of the weekend.
Respectfully Submitted, Bette J. Anderson, Secretary
Pine Mountain Settlement School

[1986_pmss_homecoming_013.jpg] Printed document, page 11.

Advisory Council to the Board of Trustees Meeting 3:40 P.M.
Boy’s House Living Room
August 9, 1986

The meeting was called to order by chairman Ruth Shuler Dieter, who stated the need to “touch base”. Those present were the following: Clara Pope, Georgia Dodd, Arthur Dodd, Pauline Boggs, Jane Hobgood, Jack Deaton, Ruth [Smith] Creech, George William Tye, Ray Bird, Lowell Jackson, Fred Hall, August Angel, Calvin Jones and Ellen Hayes.

Ruth introduced school director, Jim Urquhart, to bring the group up to date on latest developments at the school. Jim explained changes taking place, emphasizing a refocusing to meet expressed needs and stating this has always been a tradition of the school to alter the programs to meet current needs. He talked about the financial situation, the deficit and difficulty of attaining funds to pay bills, the restructuring of programs and personnel cuts as a result of the board’s decision of no more withdrawals from endowment principal. He explained the nature of the new program and staff, reducing the Environmental Education Program with only one staff naturalist and limited groups. Emphasis is to be placed on community education (GED, tutorial, computer training, etc.). Fred Hall mentioned the Shakertown Conference recently held and a report on the results might be helpful in securing funds to carry out these community programs. Jim was excused at this point.

The meeting continued in a period of free discussion as to how the Advisory Council can be of help. Ruth expressed the need for a representative on the board from the Advisory Council group and talked about board membership and residence. Arthur Dodd reiterated the need for this representation. It was suggested that it be recommended we ask for two representatives. A discussion followed about non-awareness of present board members of school concerns.

George William Tye moved to ask for two members on the board. The motion was seconded by Arthur Dodd.

It was agreed that Ruth direct correspondence to the board in the way of a recommendation to this effect to be placed on the fall meeting agenda.

Next was a discussion of personnel cuts and shortage of workers. Ruth reported on her work with the bookkeeper to update her knowledge and skill in preparing monthly financial statements as required by the board.

Pauline Boggs told about a series of community meetings and the readiness of members of this group to assist the school with repair and restoration of buildings. She reported that committees have been appointed according to…

[1986_pmss_homecoming_014.jpg] Printed document, page 12.

…talents, of members ready to help and about the difficulty in getting a project started. She further stated the concern of the community that Mary and Burton Rogers be allowed to stay at Pine Mountain as long as they wished to remain at the school and that the EE Program continue. Pauline said that these concerns were the primary reasons the meetings began and led the group to start setting goals which they expected to attain and how they could present their requests to the board.

It was agreed for Ruth to include in her correspondence to the board, that there be a time set aside for community groups to meet with the board to work out details of a plan whereby these groups can help with repair and updating buildings. 

Jane Hobgood discussed the possibility of talents of Advisory Council members being utilized as volunteers on a weekly or any definite period basis, to help with projects.

Jack Martin talked about the crying need of defining the purpose of the school and its programs and the needs of the school.

Meeting adjourned 5:20 P.M.

Respectfully submitted by Ellen Hayes, Acting Secretary

[1986_pmss_homecoming_015.jpg] Printed document, page 13.

August 9-10, 1986

The Pine Mountain Alumni and Friends Association is the gift-receiving arm for contributions made to Pine Mountain Settlement School for support of special projects or programs chosen by the association members at its annual Homecoming. Gifts designated for any of these accounts offer the extra financial support that makes a difference at the school and is in part responsible for its continuing as a top-quality mountain institution.

Hundreds of alumni and friends contribute every year and their active participation helps make things happen. You control the effect of your contribution with your tax-deductible gift to meet the special needs of Pine Mountain.

During the fiscal year, August 1985 — July 1986, the Association welcomed gifts from 124 members and approximately 35 anonymous donors who showed their Pine Mountain spirit in this special way for a total of $7,554.00.

On this 10th year anniversary of the Association, over 1300 alumni and friends have contributed about $ 50,000.00 for worthy projects at the school. This does not reflect the hundreds of in-kind gifts and man-hours of service donated by the members during the decade.

A savings account with First Federal Savings and Loan of London, Ky., shows a balance of $6738.70, earmarked for the restoration of West Wind.

Your many and varied gifts combine to lift the school to a higher plane and your continued help is immensely important to keep the tradition of excellence alive at Pine Mountain Settlement School.

Thank you for your past generosity.
[signed] August Angel, Treasurer

[1986_pmss_homecoming_016.jpg] Printed document, page 14.

BULLETIN … late news from P.M.S.S.


Telephone (606) 558-3571

October 13, 1986
We are heartened by your vote of confidence, the unity of purpose and the spirit of well being for Pine Mountain. May we all work and pray for the fulfillment of our hopes and dreams for the future. Ellen and I pledge to you that we will work our very hardest to merit your confidence.

A personal note: Our friend and fellow hard worker, vice chairman of our Advisory Council, John Deaton, was injured in a one-car accident on his way home from Pine Mountain Saturday. This happened in Middlesboro but John has been transferred to University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, still in intensive care. He suffered multiple breaks in both legs, throat lacerations, and slight concussion. The report is that he will be out of commission for some time. He will undergo orthopedic surgery as soon as his condition stabilizes.

We will be looking to you for guidance and direction in the coming months as we proceed in working toward a “bright and intelligent” future for our beloved school.

In the Spirit of Pine Mountain,
Paul Hayes, Director [signed: “Paul”?]
Pine Mountain Settlement School

John Deaton and Faye’s Address:
Morristown, Tn.

Photograph with caption: Jack Martin, Ruth Shuler Dieter, John Deaton

Return to: ALUMNI RELATIONS Homecoming Newsletters Index