While searching the Kingsport Archives collections recently for artifacts for an upcoming exhibit, I had reason to search KCMC 309; the Nancy Necessary Pridemore Collection. Everyday since, I have found an excuse to plunk myself onto the floor in front of that collection and look into just one more box and just a few more folders. Is it possible for a collection to be charming?
Nancy Jean Necessary was born 20 August 1919 in Clinchport, Virginia, to Henry and Georgia Butler Necessary. She came to Kingsport to teach English, speech, and drama at Dobyns-Bennett High School in 1946 and did so for 39 years. The Little Theater at Dobyns-Bennett is named for Nancy, today.
What I really want to do in this post is highlight the collection. One can find biographical information on Mrs. Pridemore numerous places online, so I am only including a little background about this marvelous educator whose work had an impact on so many students. According to Kingsport City directories, Nancy commuted from Virginia for her first few years at DB. In 1959 she married William Howard Pridemore. The couple originally made a house on Watauga Av their home but by 1984 they had taken up residence on Catawba St.
Nancy, herself, donated the collection to the archives in 1995. She passed away in April of 2003. The collection features one large box of trophies and awards and one of audio tapes. The contents of four regular-sized archival boxes contain programs, ticket stubs and miscellaneous items in one and scripts in the other three. Two other boxes contain rather delicate scrapbooks full of wonderful photographs of student productions, news clippings, and even some fan mail.
Most of the scripts are filled with notes and directions written in Nancy’s own hand. What a treasure!
The pages of the scrapbooks were so delightful, I wanted to scan every page. Here is the cast photo from The Importance of Being Earnest. Look at that adorable vicar!
Nancy’s students did very well in state speech and drama competitions.
Lastly, here is my favorite photograph taken from the inside cover of one of the scrap books.
Feature image: A 1965 student production