Billy Odle

Interviewed by: Christopher Odle
Date of Interview: March 2, 2011

Christopher Odle reports:

"My grandfather has been a role model to me for a long time. He is a been a hardworking and dedicated family man for all of his life. He worked for 30 years at Eastman Chemical Company all while running a farm with his wife and children. He served many years in the National Guard and served proudly for his country. He continues today to drive a bus for the Scott County Public School system. I am proud to say he is grandfather. "

Question: What is your full name? Did you have a nickname?

Odle: Billy Carol Odle. No I did not.

Question: When and where were you born?

Odle: I was born in Nickelsville, Virginia on December 20, 1942.

Question: What were your parents like?

Odle: My father was very mild manner but kept me and my brother and shape when he had too. My mother was a very hardworking woman. Together they took care of our farm.

Question: What is your earliest childhood memory?

Odle: I would have to say my earliest memory was of me working in the hay fields with my father Jack.

Question: What was your childhood like?

Odle: It was fairly pleasant, but we had to work hard to make a living.

Question: What kind of games did you play growing up?

Odle: I loved to play marbles with my friends on the road we lived along.

Question: Did you have family chores? What were they?

Odle: My brothers and I had to help in tobacco and hay. We also had to milk the cows every day. I always hated waking up at around 4 and 5 in the morning to milk cows.

Question: What kind of clothes did you wear as you were growing up?

Odle: I usually wore work clothing and nicer clothes on church days.

Question: What did you want to be when you grew up as a child?

Odle: I always wanted to be a pilot when I grew up.

Question: Where did you attend church as child?

Odle: Nickelsville Methodist Church

Question: Who is one of your role models growing up?

Odle: I always loved John Wayne and President Eisenhower.

Question: What world events had the most impact on you while you were growing up?

Odle: The Vietnam War had a huge impact on me and my family.

Question: What was your favorite thing to do for fun growing up?

Odle: I loved to play baseball with my friends in the ole sink hole.

Question: Where did you attend college? Did you enjoy this experience?

Odle: I did not attend college.

Question: How were your grades in school?

Odle: I was a straight A student.

Question: Do you remember do air raid drills while you were in school?

Odle: Yes we did them every day. It was annoying at times.

Question: What was school like as a child for you?

Odle: It was hard at times with work on the farm, but I did very well.

Question: What school activities and sports did you participate in?

Odle: I played baseball and basketball. We didn’t have any other sports.

Question: What was your first job and what did you do on it?

Odle: I worked at Eastman Chemical Company as an operator in the plastics division.

Question: Did you ever volunteer in the fire department or rescue squad, if so what was this like?

Odle: Yes, my wife and I started the Nickelsville Rescue Squad and participated in it till her death in 2005.

Question: What kind of transportation did you take everywhere?

Odle: I drove a Chevrolet truck most of my life.

Question: Why did you choose the career that you chose?

Odle: I thought it was the best thing for me and my family at the time. I should have continued on to college though.

Question: Were you happy to be retiring when the time came?

Odle: Yes it gave me more time to work on my farm.

Question: Where did you meet your wife? Linda Baker?

Odle: We met through one of my friends in Ft. Blackmore.

Question: How did you feel when you first found out that you were going to be a parent? Anthony and Carla?

Odle: I was so proud I knew that my first son Anthony would be wonderful along with my daughter Carla.

Question: Where you able to spend a lot time with your family as you worked and other activities went on?

Odle: I was most of the time but my job along with my farm work wouldn’t let spend as much as I like.

Question: What was your most proud moment as a parent?

Odle: When both my daughter and son graduated from high school and college.

Question: What was life like serving in the military?

Odle: Boot Camp was really tough, and I didn’t get to see my family as much as I would like. I was serving my country though and I was proud.

Question: Were you for or against the war in Vietnam and why?

Odle: I was for the war. I felt that it was necessary to protect our world from communism.

Question: What are the key moments that you recall about your service?

Odle: I always wanted to be a pilot, but I couldn’t due to my eyesight. I remember just staring at planes as they flew over in boot camp.

Question: What do you feel is your most valuable accomplishment in your life?

Odle: I think that making having had a wonderful career, family, friends has been my best accomplishment.

Question: In your free time, what do you like to do?

Odle: I enjoy helping my son Anthony work on the farm.

Question: What advice do you cherish from your parents the most?

Odle: Never give up on your dreams. I still cherish these words today.

Question: How is the world today different from what it was like when you were a child?

Odle: People have more problems and trouble, it used to be you could leave you doors unlocked at night and not worry about people breaking in. You can no longer do that, and it’s a shame.

Question: How would you like to be remembered?

Odle: As a hard working man, loving husband and father, a good friend, and someone that everyone could rely on.