Oliver Hardin


Oliver Hardin was born to Floyd and Golda (Lune) Hardin on April 27, 1912 and died on July 28, 2001.

Oliver had no middle name. I always knew him as “Grandpa Shady.” Why Shady? I found out that as a young man he joined the Navy. When he signed up they needed a middle name for his records. Since he didn’t have one, he made one up. He called himself Oliver Shadrach Hardin. Hence the name Shady.

During the Great Depression, Shady was working at a restaurant where he met a young lady named Dorothy Nelson. They married after a short courtship. I imagine life was very hard for them back then. I know that one of the ways they earned money was by running a boarding house. My grandmother would cook and clean for people who rented rooms from them. Many years later, I know that Grandpa drove a truck for DC Trucking. Grandma worked for May D&F (or as she called it, the May Company.)

One of my favorite memories is thinking about how much my grandparents loved each other.  They were never far away from each other, and their love was very obvious to everyone.  Sometimes I would see them connecting their pinkies as they sat next to each other.  Inevitably my Aunt Becky would say, “They’re having pinky sex!”  I always found it to be a sweet, loving gesture.

And so begins my heritage as I know it. Shady and Dorothy had 4 children: Barbara (my mom), Beverly, Robert and Becky.

I adored my Grandpa Shady. He reminded me of Popeye the Sailor Man in some ways. He was a sailor… he had tattoos… and he loved to smoke a pipe. Oh, and his bark was much worse than his bite. He loved to rub his unshaven face on our cheeks and give us whisker burns, though it was all in fun.

His very favorite things in life were his wife, children and grandchildren.  His hobbies included gardening, camping and fishing.  I remember many camping trips with Grandma and Grandpa.  He was the one who taught me to fish.  Grandpa and Grandma always had a little garden in the back yard for the grandkids to help in.  That’s probably where my love of gardening comes from!


4 responses to “Oliver Hardin

  • Becky Decker

    Dorothy Ellen Nelson/Hardin & Oliver “Shadrick” Hardin, were my parents,Mom & Dad, were very much in love & left a wonderful legacy & example of what a loving family is all about. I am the youngest of the 4 “Hardin” offsprings, my 2 sisters & my brother are still to this day a large part of my life. My own 4 children as well as many nieces & nephews all add fond memories to my everyday thoughts & prayers. One of the things that I remember about my mom & dad is that mom loved to look at houses & was always there for me & for all of us. Mom always said “it’s not the quanity of the time but the quality of it”, as a child my mother like many others had to hold down a full time job. I remember sitting on the edge of the bathtub as she was taking here morning bath & she would say “lets have some quality time”, we would discuss the prevous day & the day coming up-those were good times. My day lived on for about a year & 1/2 after mother died in 2000, & was never quite the same after mom passed on, I remember he had a contagous laugh. I was very close to both of them & always felt very honored for the closness we had. One of the final things that my dad said to my mom was when she was just minutes before her death & he said “okay old lady (this was a loving endearment) you go on ahead & find us a new home & I will join you soon”.-I love you Mom & Dad & miss you every day.-Becky

    • soulofthegypsy

      Thanks for writing this, Aunt Becky. I miss Grandma & Grandpa lots, they were very special people!! Love you, Kathy

  • Paul Hardin

    I just found your reply to “oliver hardin”, and just thought I would introduce myself. My name is Paul Hardin, and I am the son of Floyd Hardin from his second marriage to Rosamond Raynor. I am 96 years old this coming july and live in california in a senior living residence facility. I met oliver one time in denver, CO when i was visiting floyd, but never saw him again after that. I found it interesting to read this information about oliver’s family.

    • soulofthegypsy

      Paul,
      Thank you so much for writing. I was very excited to read your reply. My name is Kathy Edmond, and I am Oliver’s granddaughter. My mother Barbara (Oliver’s oldest daughter) lives with me. I read your message to her, and she was very happy. Where in California us it that you live? If possible my mother and I would like to come and meet you.

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