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James Olin Pressley

Class of 1959 Paducah - Thru Mid 7th Grade

Class of 1959 – Littlefield High School

My family moved to Littlefield at mid-term of our 7 th grade. After graduating from high school, I attended Hardin-Simmons University , graduating in 1963 with a BA in chemistry. Having gone through ROTC in school, I entered the US Army and spent 2 years in the 2 nd Armored Division, Ft. Hood , Texas . Beginning in the fall of 1965, I taught high school chemistry for 2 years in Newport News , VA. I returned to graduate school in order to prepare for college teaching, completing my PhD in chemistry from VA Tech in 1972. Unfortunately, at that time, the teaching profession was flooded with applicants, so I accepted a position with Armstrong World Industries R&D in Lancaster , PA. I stayed with them for 25 years, taking early retirement in 1996, then turned around and worked part time for them another 12 years. I fully retired in 2008 and now enjoy tennis, golf and some volunteer activities. I have 2 grown children and 2 grandchildren, although we don't get to see them often ( Nashville , TN and Washington State University ). We live in Millersville , PA , a small college town near Lancaster , in the heart of the Amish country.

We have enjoyed traveling quite a lot, including most of the U.S. , Canadian Rockies, Scotland and England (3 times), Ireland , France, Italy (twice). The 2 nd trip to Italy was the most memorable. Along with my siblings and their spouses, we had a large villa rented in Tuscany for a week, to be followed for 1 week in an apartment in Rome . On the third day of the week in Tuscany , James had a blocked artery leading to an emergency ambulance trip to Florence , followed by almost 2 weeks in an Italian hospital. I would not recommend this as a way to see and visit Italy . For many years we owned a 30 ft sailboat and spent weekends and vacations sailing on the Chesapeake Bay . In addition, we chartered larger sailboats for weeklong trips in the Virgin Islands and further south.

Although I no longer really know any of you, I have enjoyed looking at the pictures and trying to remember bits and pieces of when I was still part of your class. I hope you enjoy your time together, since, as has been said, “it won't happen again”. I am planning to attend my 50 th in Littlefield on July 3 and 4. Thanks for including me as a “virtual” class member.