Sunday, June 22, 2008

Vern Olyer Independant and Free Spirited

My uncle Vern-that is Vernon Adelbert Olyer "Sokkie" was a few steps ahead of the drum that the rest of us were marching to. He was born 13 Oct 1913 in Little Falls, New York. the 9th and last child of Berlin Olyer and Margaret Cummings, of Lyon Mountain, N.Y. He was only 12 years older than me so this was a perfect roe model. He attended school in Little Falls,N.Y. and Nelliston, N.Y. spending some time in high school at Fort Plain, N.Y. He got decent grades with no effort, was not interested in any school sports-loved to hunt and fish. His room at my gandmothers was great on one wall he had real grey squirrel tails nailed up to spell the date 1938 with all kinds of boy stuff all over the place, I used to love to get in there and just stare, in aw at it.
About the time I was in 5th grade he started to date my teacher. They would go camping at wells camp site, fore the weekend, with my parents and me. I had to be real careful to address her as miss Slater in class, but is was not that way at the beach. The guy with white belt is Vern the girl standing on right is my teacher Rose Slater.
Vern had the urge to travel, on the spur of the moment he took a bus to Los Angeles, Calif. He worked at various jobs and met Julia Adamskie, who he married, in 1939. Shortly after they came home to Nelliston, N.Y. As a boy of 14 I thought she was a angel, beautiful and fun to be around, she touched a spot in my heart that has been with me all my life. Well Vern got back into swing of things, no job, so lots of hunting and fishing. This was spoiled by a add for Photographer with Photo etching experience, by Akel and Smith bag co. in Canajoharie. He spent three days in the Utica N.Y. Library reading everything they had on the subject, got the position, worked for many years for them and became well recognized in the field. At the same time he joined a group called "Marry Minstral Makers" If you are not familiar with it-a group of about 40 people all talented in the entertainment field put on a show. The M.C. was in the front center row and on each end was one or two stand up comedians with cork blackened faces that
fill in around the singers and acts]. These end men keep the show rolling along.
His show Bizz blood surfaced again and he was M C of the Ted Mack "Original Amature Hour "talent search in the Utica, New York area. Where Vern ran the same type show, with the winners
locally going on to the network shows. Do you remember Ted Mack and the dancing cigarette pack? this show was like the present "American Idol" and "So you got Talent" all rolled into one show.
Yes he had the Cigarette dancers, with a match box not shown.

This brought him to his next challenge. On a visit to our home he told us about the opportunity he had to buy a new Ferris Wheel, a Mangels Whip and a kiddie ride, he was going into the carnival business at Caroga Lake. A $36,000 investment in the early 50's. The cost to ride was 10 cents, the park was open Memorial day until Labor day , mostly week ends. We were sure that the show business, divorce, remarriage was all to much for him. But he did it, much to our surprise, all the equipment was paid for in three years, boy was I wrong.

Some time back he had separated with Judy and was married to Hellen,
Selmar, they ran the rides at Shermans Park, Caroga Lake,N.Y. for a
few years, then he moved to south West Florida were he took up blue
crab fishing. he passed away 13 jun 1989 leaving a wife Helen, son John
and a daughter Sharon. He had great life always looking for next
challenge, ready to leave the last one as soon as it was a success, and
all of the things he tried were successful.
I have missed him a lot ,we close enough in age to have been brothers,
he always found a way to lighten the occasion, always the comedian.
Here he is standing in front of his 1932 ford, which he gave me when I
was 15.

1 comment:

Rosebud Collection said...

What a great blog..I remember the Ted Mack show..Vern Olyer sounded like such a great person and I can see how you were so fond of him..