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Hymera to put up signs to honor Hall of Famers


Photo by B.J. HARGIS

Saturday night at the annual reunion for Hymera High School, above, coach Keith Dougherty, left, and Orville Bose were recognized for being members of the Indiana High School Boys Basketball Hall of Fame.

HYMERA — According to the research done by 1960 Hymera High School graduate Jim Thomson, there are current 801 members in the Indiana High School Boys Basketball Hall of Fame, including 2004 inductee coach Keith Dougherty and 2019 inductee Orville Bose.

“Nobody had a clue that 63 years ago when Hymera took the floor at the Huntingburg Regional our coach and our star player would be in the Hall of Fame,” said Thomson, who spoke at the annual Hymera High School reunion on Saturday night. “But when Orville was inducted back in March, that became a reality.

“Everyone from Hymera takes great pride in the accomplishments of both  coach Dougherty and Orville.”

Along with Marilyn Bledsoe and Velma Peterson, Thomson is one of the go-getters with anything involving HHS. He has put in motion a project to recognize Dougherty and Bose and Hymera.

“By the time of the Hymera Seafood Festival (Aug. 24), we hope to have the signs put up recognizing that Hymera is the home of Basketball Hall of Famers coach Keith Dougherty and Orville Bose,” said Thomson. “They will be posted at both ends of towns.

“I have done a lot of research on this matter, but I believe that Hymera is the smallest town to have two members in the Hall of Fame. Sullivan has two, but they are much bigger than Hymera. A lot of small towns have one, but Hymera has two.”

Tom McClanahan, best known for his years as anchorman on WTWO-TV 2 in Terre Haute, was the emcee for the reunion.

The 1966 Hymera graduate, the last year of the school, was beaming with pride about the fact that in March at the HOF induction ceremony in Indianapolis that Hymera was being mention in the same breath as players like George McGinnis of the 1969 state champion Indianapolis Washington Continentials.

Also what happened in March was that people started asking members of the Hymera contingent, “Where is Hymera or Where in the Hell is Hymera?”

The running joke was that it is halfway between Coalmont and West Wilfred.

I am not sure if it was Thomson or Bledsoe or someone else who was behind the printing of hats and T-shirts in the Hymera colors of yellow and black, with words “Where is Hymera” surrounding a map of Indiana with a dot on it to represent the location of Hymera.

Little did I know that my connection to Bose started some 15 years ago when I wrote the story after Dougherty was inducted in the HOF.

I’ve always said that fate is four-letter word and I think it was fate that I became involved with Orville about 18 months ago.

I did a little research which brought to light the lost accomplishments of Bose, I unknowingly put myself into the middle of Bose’s story.

So yes, a hack originally from Camby, Indiana was the outsider at the Hymera reunion on Saturday.

Like I have said before, it was nothing unusual for me to sit in front of a microfilm reader, perusing over old newspapers trying to verify or find information.

Sometimes it is an addiction as I have often said, “the more information you find, the more there is to find.”

But little did I know that would it literally change my life and give me a chance to do the most meaningful thing I have ever done as a journalist.

Also, my quest for Orville’s information has given me the chance to meet so many great people. I wouldn’t want to overlook someone so I will just say you know who you are. All I can say is thank you for helping.

I still plan to write another story about what it was like back in early 1956 when literally everyone in Hymera left town to make the trek to Huntingburg for the regional.

It will give me a chance to reminisce with my newfound friends once more about one of the most memorable times in their lives.

Vicariously, it has become that for me as well.

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