Frank Hardy Made My Photographs Two

P. K. Younge Elementary School …

with 4 comments

IMG_0224  P K Younge _ RTP_ 20 Dec 13  SFW

This  photo is one that I had copied years ago for someone and I ran across it recently.  My father and his brother used to walk to school here back in the 1920’s … now let me tell you where they used to walk from.  When my father’s family moved to Pensacola in 1925, they moved to Reus and Garden Streets, where my grandmother ran a rooming / boarding house,  So may father and his brother would walk 5 blocks down Garden Street to Palafox Street, where they would turn left and head north ( I believe in an earlier post, I show this intersection of Garden and Palafox where there was a watering fountain for horses in the middle of the intersection … I will check on this to be sure ).  So they turn up Palafox, walk by the old San Carlos Hotel and keep on walking up the hill to Cervantes.  They cross over Cervantes Street and keep walking another 8 or 9 blocks until reach this school.  My dad said that he and Ben walked every day, rain or shine and never missed a day.  He also said that when they left their house it was just him and Ben, but by the time they got to school, they had been by joined by 20 or so kids.  I have a photo somewhere of him and his fifth grade class sitting on the steps of the school.  And that brings me another story …

In his class was a kid named Shelby and Shelby lived with his grandparent’s somewhere near the school in North Hill.  My dad said he thought it was North Hill, because it did not take him as long to walk to school as it took him and Ben.  My father would later show me the photo of the class  and I think that he had the names of all the kids on the back of the photo, but he would usually just single out Shelby,  unless he was talking about someone else he might have run into from that era.  Fast forward 55 years or so and by this time I was working with my father at the studio and the photo rings and I answer ” Frank Hardy Studio “.  This voice on the other end says in this long, Southern drawl ” Fraaank this is Sheeelby from ol’ PK Younge ”  and I said something like ” Glad to hear you Shelby … How are you doing? … You sound good ” .  Shelby then says ” You sound mighty good too Frank,  for being so old “, I laughed and  said  ” Hold on Shelby and I will  transfer you up front  to my dad, I am back in the darkroom printing” .   He then said, and I never forgot this,  ” I only went to PK Younge for a while and your father was one of the few kids that I really got to know and he was always nice to me and I never forgot that “.  They talked for an hour or so and when I noticed that the call was finished,  I walked out front and asked my dad who that hillbilly was and he said ” That was Shebly Foote and I guarantee you, he is no hillbilly “.  He told me that Shelby became a writer and later wrote books on the Civil War that  on which he became a noted authority.  My father  wrote him a letter through his publisher and had included that class photo of their PK Younge class.  Shelby said that he had never seen that photo before and was so happy to have a copy.  Several weeks later later a package arrived from New York … Shelby had sent my father his Civil War Trilogy series  and on the inside flap he had inscribed something like ” To my old PK Younge buddy, Shelby Foote” .  Sometime in the future I will photograph the inscription and add it to this post and I will also post the class photo.  I should have been more prepared, I apologize, that it going to be one of my New Year’s Resolutions …

That is my PK Younge / Shelby Foote story … It is not much, but it just shows what type of person my father was.  Thanks for looking and as always, all comments are welcome and are appreciated … Frank

Written by Frank Hardy

December 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Such a sweet wonderful story, it is a “feel good” story that we need these days. I just lost my father, 93 years young in November, it is heartwarming to hear your respect and honor you have for your Dad. Thank u for sharing.

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    Betty Mitchell Busch

    December 28, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    • Thanks for your comment and I am sorry about your father, but your were lucky to have him for so long. My father lived until he was 92 and had a good life ,,, he was happiest when he was working and he really missed the contact / interaction with everyone he “retired”. I was an only child and my parents had done everything for me and you do not appreciate or realize the sacrifices they made in their lives so that I was provided for. I always knew that I wanted to do something with all of these images and to share them with everyone … and like you said, “to honor” his memory and keep it alive. The interesting thing for me, is all of the people that I have met and have come across that this blog has afforded me. I guess that I am selfish in that point, but at this stage of my life I just want to keep busy with this blog, creating my photography and still try to stay relevant. I turned 60 this past August and I am just trying to figure out my next 30 years … so to ramble on, as my wife would say, just be glad that you did not call me on the phone, you could never get him off – he knows everyone! Thanks again and I hope you have a happy and safe New Years … Frank One more thing …please check back!

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      Frank Hardy

      December 28, 2013 at 7:31 pm

  2. Great story! Any one that watched Ken Burns “Civil War” can hear that phone call, because we all met Mr. Foote through his narratives in that documentary.
    P.K. Yonge is a great building so glad FDLE saved it.
    Thanks again Frank.

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    Bill Jordan

    December 28, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    • Thanks for reminding me about him being on Ken Burns documentary and yes, that was exactly how he sounded over the phone. I had heard “Southern” accents before from having lived in the south my whole life, but never had I heard such a ” Mississippi Drawl ” (not sure that that is an exceptionable term or not) in my whole life, up to that point and maybe only two or three times after talking to him. Thanks again for the comment and it is always nice hearing from you. Sometime next year we will have to meet at the Coffee Cup (or wherever) and chat. Happy New Years … Your friend … Frank

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      Frank Hardy

      December 28, 2013 at 6:30 pm


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