Dr. James O’Hern turns 81 on July 24, and he said he will never sit around watching “Days of our Lives.” O’Hern is a senior volunteer for the …
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Dr. James O’Hern turns 81 on July 24, and he said he will never
sit around watching “Days of our Lives.”
O’Hern is a senior volunteer for the Douglas County School
District, teaching history of the county and its one-room school
houses. According to O’Hern there were 42 of them before “we became
O’Hern then needlepoints replica pictures onto window screens
with yarn, frames them and donates the art to the district.
“It takes about 40 hours to complete one,” O’Hern said.
So to overcome the monotony, he will work on stitching the sky
for a couple hours, and then move onto the grass. He has never
charged a penny, and said, “And I never will, even though the
frames cost $20 each.”
A former teacher, school board member and principal in Illinois,
O’Hern said a former student of his, Patsy Bell, showed him a
needlepoint she made, five feet high on a window screen. That was
52 years ago.
“It was of a Madonna and child,” O’Hern said.
After months of searching for this former student, O’Hern
tracked her down through a class reunion contact.
“I wanted her to know that I was working on projects like hers
since I met her.”
Now O’Hern has created more than 70 pictures of schools on
needlepoint, and he constructed a history booklet for all fourth
grade classes, totally 1,275 copies.
Every morning, O’Hern goes out to his favorite breakfast spot,
McDonald’s in Highlands Ranch. As he enters the restaurant, the
employees have already started working on his order, an egg and
cheese biscuit, even before he has his money out.
As O’Hern sits down to enjoy his breakfast, a needle point
replica of the McDonald’s restaurant hangs on the wall, created by
none other than O’Hern himself.
Currently, he is working on Rock Ridge and Meadow View
Elementary Schools in Castle Rock.
“Douglas County has a wonderful history,” O’Hern said. “They
have preserved it well.”
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