Preserving Pocahontas

In Memory of Jane Price Sharp 1919 – 2015

Jane Price Sharp, the late Editor of The Pocahontas Times, as we remember her. This picture was taken in the 1980s by acclaimed local photographer Doug Chadwick, of Hillsboro. Access the “Preserving Pocahontas” Digital Library at pocahontaspreservation.org or preservingpocahon tas.org If you have historical records or photographs to be scanned for the county Historical Archive contact Preservation Officer B. J. Gudmundsson at 304-799-3989 or email info@pocahontaspreservation.org Prints of photographs are available.
Jane Price Sharp, the late Editor of The Pocahontas Times, as we remember her. This picture was taken in the 1980s by acclaimed local photographer Doug Chadwick, of Hillsboro.
Access the “Preserving Pocahontas” Digital Library at pocahontaspreservation.org or preservingpocahon tas.org If you have historical records or photographs to be scanned for the county Historical Archive contact Preservation Officer B. J. Gudmundsson at 304-799-3989 or email info@pocahontaspreservation.org Prints of photographs are available.

I grew up next door to The Times Office. The rumble of the press “rocked” me to sleep. I could see Jane through the window. She was on her feet all of the time. I’m sure that’s why she wore those red orthopedic shoes.

Jane once told me that people might someday quit reading the newspaper “what with the Internet and all like that.” She said that time will make a difference with everything. So I doubt that she would be surprised to know that the news of her passing spread quickly through our personal Facebook pages.

In 2003, I told her I’d like to make a movie about Cal Price and The Pocahontas Times. “Well,” she said, “I reckon that would be just fine.”

In telling the story of her father and his newspaper she opened the door to her own personal story. She shared her delicate memories. I felt honored.

About The Pocahontas Times she said: “Well, of course, it should carry the news! I like to feel that it’s a paper that can carry the story of the people of the county and the history of the county – make people aware of their surroundings. I think it’s important to have a paper that pays attention to people.”

Her husband, her sweet Basil, was a handsome fella. They had been blessed with three beautiful children. He went off to war and within a short time was killed at The Battle of the Bulge. She worked at the printing office and waited for him to be brought home.

There was little time to grieve. “I didn’t have any big plans, other than being a mother. I mean it kept me busy, cause they had to have something all the time. When I’d start to cry there was Johnny, and he’d pull on my dress there every time he’d see me crying and then I’d have to stop.”

One day as we were fishing through boxes and I asked if she had a picture of Basil. She turned, and whispered, “I had a really good one. But I think I kissed it to death.” I knew that she had allowed me into her secret space.

Her father died quickly in 1957, followed by her mother a few years later. She and the women kept at it, putting out the paper. She put her children through school, served in public office and helped her community in so many ways. I listened and wondered. How does a woman go on?

Of her father, she said, “He was a devout Christian. He had a very strong faith. And every time the church opened, he was there.” And so was she.

I can see her house through my window and as I write I’m remembering snowy nights, boxes of chocolates and “Jeopardy.” I’m remembering that she didn’t like tomatoes.

We all have our own memories and we all will miss her very much, each of us in our own way. I will miss the touch of her hand. And I’ll miss hearing her voice at my back fence.

“You missed a spot!” “Whatcha rakin’ those for? Look up in that tree!” “We’ll just have to take what we get.” “Do you know any news?” “Are you ready for church?”

“If Thou, my Jesus, will be nigh.
Cheerful I’ll live, and joyful die
Secure when mortal comforts flee,
to find ten-thousand worlds in Thee.”

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