Thirty-nine years ago two men in Olney, TX were joking around over morning coffee. They were betting on which one of them could kill the most doves. Now both of these men have only one arm. This joking around became the One Arm Dove Hunt. My husband Gene read about the event in George Dolan’s column in the Fort Worth Star Telegram. At that 1st hunt, a few men showed up and went hunting that afternoon.
Over the years the hunt expanded to include lunch and then a hunt. Then it became a 2 day event including such activities as trap shooting, a golf tournament, horseshoes, cow chip chunking, local entertainment and an auction (which can be entertainment in itself). We are now fed 2 lunches, 1 breakfast, 1 dinner and leftovers after the hunt. This small town pulls together and provides door prizes, volunteers and some of the most wonderful deserts you will ever eat. Just throw the diet away so you won’t feel guilty.
Who would have thought that this event would continue to grow and endure all of these years. I never considered how friendships that have been developed with citizens of this town and with those that attend this event would also grow, endure and be so very important in our lives.
A few weeks ago Jan Williams, Coordinator for the Olney Chamber of Commerce contacted me via a Facebook message to find out if Gene and I could attend the annual chamber dinner. She also wanted Gene to present an award to the 2 Jacks and the One Arm Dove Hunt. They were being honored as in September 2011, they will host the 40th One Arm Dove Hunt. Well there only one option for the answer. It was YES. So Gene proceeded to put together some facts, funny thoughts and a speech developed.
On Thursday afternoon, January 27, 2011, Gene and I drove the 100 miles to Olney, TX. We checked into the only motel which is just a couple of steps above camping. But they know us and make sure we have our preferred room whenever we are there. We snuck into the community center just before the events began and were able to sit where the 2 Jacks wouldn’t discover us. However, while dinner was being served we were spotted, but luckily, there was no time for questions.
Jan gave an introduction telling how much the One Armed Dove Hunt and the 2 Jacks mean to Olney. Then Gene proceeds with his comments and presented the awards. It was such a special time. There were other special remembrances and awards that evening. Citizen of the year was presented to one of our other long time friends, Wanda and the Olney Community Library Service Award to the newspaper’s photographer who took the picture included in this post.
Other special awards were presented to a 25 year old young man dying of cancer and accepted by his Mother. He passed away a few days later. So sad. The Pioneer Award to the towns Vet who has a brain tumor. He was there to accept with 20 of his family members. While we didn’t know these two individuals, we still felt like family and friends that evening.
Olney, Tx is far from the “glamourous and big” places we have been in the world such as New York City, Beijing, Vancouver and so forth. However, it is one of the most important places we go. We are accepted and loved for who we are. We always have a great time. This is the true “Glamour of the Road”.