Like it Was!"
With Paul Ovaitt and Dave Klaas
Meet Paul and Dave, residents of Augusta Missouri and preservationists of history. In their quest to document Augusta's rich history, these two have recorded the interviews of many long-term residents.
And now, Tell It Like It Was brings you a very unusual interview. The co-founders of the interview series, Paul Ovaitt and Dave Klauss, are interviewing each other!
(Scroll Down To Read It Below)
Paul (P): Hello, I am Paul Ovaitt, from up on Duke Road. I have lived in Augusta and the surrounding area since 1976. And you are who?
Dave (D): I, of course, am Dave Klauss from Lower St. in Augusta. I also am a longtime resident of Augusta.
P: You know, we did our first interview with Jeanette Fischer in January of 2019. We were joined by Jan Cross, and Paul Kampen captured the interview on his iPhone. In subsequent interviews we were joined by interviewer, Glenda Drier, and sometimes Kathryn Frazier videoed with her iPad.
D: Correct, but we should mention that we had planned an interview for earlier in January with town historian, Anita Mallinckrodt. Unfortunately, she died on the very day we had planned to talk with her, which goes to show, there’s no time like the present for an interview.
P: True dat! But Dave, we have been asked how is it that we came to do these interviews at all. For me, the idea slowly percolated during all the years I did my painter/carpenter thing in the area. People were good to me, and many folks hired me over and over, and gradually they revealed their own story, and the story of Augusta. But the idea reached a boiling point after Paul Mack (husband of former UCC pastor, Nancy Mack) moved to Virginia, thus ending his monthly discussion group at Kate’s Coffee. Dr. Mack would prepare a topic, like climate, history or geography, then share his research, and ask his audience to offer their own knowledge or opinions on the topic. With the demise of the discussions, I experienced a gnawing urge to fill the gap with a different sort of culture, something homegrown. Lucky for us, we have pretty good attendance because, let’s face it, we’re often the only game in town!
D: You didn’t have to say that….but before I tell you what inspired me, let’s explain what you mean by “attendance”. Our first five interviews
were videoed on cell phones, no audience, but as planned, we eventually moved to live venues, where the public could attend. Some were held at Augusta Visitor Center, but we ultimately moved to Harmonie Verein to seat more folks, and so YOU could enjoy the luxury of a cash bar.
P: And you didn’t need to say that! But please do tell why you got involved.
D: That’s easy, my love of history…I have always been interested in it…always one of my favorite high school and college subjects. And as I witnessed how the town was changing, it seemed like a good idea to interview longtime residents to get their stories and insights.
P: Well, you certainly display an abundance of curiosity, as do Jan and Glenda. But this might be a good time to mention that going forth we will sometimes interview more recent arrivals to this area. History never stands still, and what is current knowledge now, can soon be forgotten.
D: Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that even though Covid has forced a hiatus upon us, we will resume our public gatherings when we’re all vaccinated. Look for future announcements on Nextdoor, the Boone Country Connection and posters displayed around town
P: Thanks, Dave.
D: You bet.
Check out Paul and Dave's Video & Story Series!
See the complete series of video interviews documenting the historic people in the town of Augusta MO! Want even more? Check out the series of Tell it Like it Was stories adapted from the original email letters.