Former RCHS teacher Marcia Blair was next to speak. The former teacher spoke of a program that was started more than 30 years ago by Jr. Historical Society members under the leadership of then high school history teacher Al Hodge. As Blair explained, Hodge was instrumental in having students tape interviews with a number of Rush County residents (more than 300) from varied backgrounds in what has become known as the oral history of Rush County. A number of those interviewed have since passed away, although their thoughts and recollections of earlier times in Rush County have been preserved forever thanks to foresight of Hodge, the efforts of others and modern technology. The tapes have since been transferred into a digital format (CD) and are now available through the Historical Society for $10 each. Hodge also was instrumental in forming what is known as Peer Helpers and Facilitators for high school students.
According to Blair, the foresight and efforts of Hodge set him apart from others and she felt privileged to introduce him as the 2009 Rush County Citizen of the Year award recipient.