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The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway

Oral History Interview with Harley Jolley, November 12, 1996

Transcript (15 p.) PDF
Complete Audio File (MP3 format / ca. 85 MB, 46:41) MP3
Abstract Former college professor Harley Jolley came to work on the Blue Ridge Parkway as a seasonal ranger in 1958. He talks about conducting research while being moved around the parkway in order to better interpret its history for visitors. Jolley talks about how his background as a professor helped him in his interpretations and touches on his affinity for the Campfire Program. He goes on to talk about how much of an impact conscientious objectors had on the parkway, including their volunteer work for science. Jolley also gives some details about Civilian Conservation Corps camps, including what little is known about the African-American camp, and touches on racial segregation along the parkway. He also tells a story of a power outage while he was presenting a slide program to first lady Lady Bird Johnson. Jolley also discusses the changes he has seen on the parkway, like more home construction close to the parkway, the difference in rangers' attitudes, and the looming possibility of tolls and privatization.
Date November 12, 1996
Interviewee Jolley, Harley
Interviewee occupation Seasonal ranger, park historian
Interviewee DOB July 5, 1920
Interviewer Mullis, Julie
Subject Park rangers
Interpretive development
Conscientious objectors