By Ralphine Major
It hangs in a special place as an inspiration to others. The diploma is from Tennessee State Normal School, which today is known as East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. It is a reminder of someone whose life influenced so many during their school days. He was long-time educator Harvey Gibson Loy, better known as Professor H. G. Loy. Our father called him “Prof Loy.”
Mr. Loy made his home in the Gibbs Community. He became the Principal at Gibbs High School and later Central High School. His legacy was carried on by his daughters. Betty Sharp and her late sisters, Helen Calfee and Inis Smelser, taught at Gibbs, Pleasant Ridge, and Central.
Today, Prof Loy would be pleased that his legacy is being carried on by the next generation in a unique way. Surrounded by a white picket fence, the most recent addition on the Calfee Farms is a charming place called The Hen House. The antiques and creations business owned and operated by Loy’s grandson, Ron Calfee, and his wife, Becky, also teaches old-fashioned skills to today’s generation. They taught many of these skills to their three sons—Matt, Jeremy, and Nathan—while they were growing up. Classes in biscuit making, canning, cooking, cleaning, basket making, quilting, gardening, and crafts are held for children, teenagers, college students, and adults. There are also lots of goats at The Hen House and llama shearings with Carl, the Llama.
Prof Loy passed away in 1991 at the age of 104. He would be so proud of all the learning taking place on the farm at The Hen House. When you visit The Hen House, look for Prof Loy’s diploma. It will be sure to spark a story from Ron about his beloved grandfather.
Piddle Diddle Update: Saturday, February 13, 2-4 p.m., book signing and pictures may be taken with Piddle Diddle in costume at Barnes & Noble, 8029 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919, 865-670-0773.