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Retired Okmulgee Principal Preserving, Displaying Memorabilia

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Jan Colombin is on a quest to save as much memorabilia. Jan Colombin is on a quest to save as much memorabilia.
When Colombin retired in 2012, they gave him a redecorated classroom on the third floor to help make that dream come true. When Colombin retired in 2012, they gave him a redecorated classroom on the third floor to help make that dream come true.
The football is autographed by the players on Okmulgee's 1947 state championship team. The football is autographed by the players on Okmulgee's 1947 state championship team.
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma -

Our memories live in our heads and hearts, but the hardware of those memories needs a place too. Well, a retired Okmulgee high school principal has given some of that hardware a home.

It's funny what gets you going sometimes, for Jan Colombin, it was an old football a lady purchased at a garage sale in 1997 for 50 cents.

"She said ‘Jan, do you want this,’ and I said ‘Yeah,’" he said.

The football is autographed by the players on Okmulgee's 1947 state championship team – there’s also a picture and the trophy.

Colombin was the high school principal back then, and the football set him off on a quest.

"It would be so cool to save this memorabilia to develop a room to have this for the Bulldogs of the future to come and look at," he said.

And when Colombin retired in 2012, they gave him a redecorated classroom on the third floor to help make that dream come true.

"We just started collecting stuff," he said.

And with volunteers like Sherry Lewis, they began to go through what they had and got it organized.

There’s some old stuff - like a yearbook from 1915 – and a lot more.

"This is a class announcement, a graduation announcement, from 1919," Colombin said.

And there’s some new stuff, too, like a bulldog that came from one of this year's homecoming parade floats.

Colombin said, "We've collected things and put them away and given them a place to be."

And it all kinda began with the old 50 cent garage sale autographed football.

They're always looking for more Okmulgee memorabilia. If you know of any, you can contact Colombin at 918-752-7890.

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