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Forrest (Frosty) Troy
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Photo of Frosty TroyMy life-long love affair with the public library began in my childhood in McAlester where I was number six in a family of eight boys and a girl. My older brothers were all athletic, but I was the runt of the litter. I tried out for boxing, baseball, and basketball but was too little and too slow.

That’s when I discovered the McAlester Public Library and began my journey through a gazillion books. Much of my reading was guided by the head librarian, Mrs. Andy Gravitt. She was the reason my book reports always drew an “A.”

When I was assigned by the Tulsa Tribune as State Capitol correspondent in 1960, one of the first people I encountered was State Librarian Ralph Hudson. He was located on the first floor of the Capitol. He was in a heap of trouble because the Legislature was not only niggardly in its appropriations, there was talk about closing the library. I teamed up with Hugh Hall, Oklahoma city Times Capitol correspondent, and our stories paid a handsome dividend for Ralph.

Ralph then enlisted us in a campaign for a new idea—the bookmobile. Rural Oklahoma was badly underserved. Once again, the stories paid off and the rural-dominated Legislature came up with the funding.

I have continued my support, including running a free ad periodically to promote libraries. I also go after censors with a vengeance.

Today’s public library is a technological wonder, but the fanciest computer ever built will never replace the written word or the librarian who cares for the reader.

-- Frosty Troy, Editor
The Oklahoma Observer

NOTE: Frosty Troy died in Oklahoma City on January 19, 2017 at the age of 83.

Frosty Troy accepts the Library Legend Award

Frosty Troy accepts the Oklahoma Library Legend Award
from OLA President Pat Weaver-Meyers

April 2, 2007

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