CLIFTON FORGE — The Clifton Forge Public Library is currently showcasing a display titled “Tie Tacks Galore!”

The display features vintage tie tacks from the private collection of Lee Dunn, on loan from his daughter, LeeAnna Tyler.

Dunn began his teaching career in 1964 after graduating from West Virginia University. He came to Alleghany County High School in 1966 and retired from the renamed Alleghany High School 32 years later, in 1998.

“My dad came from an age where male teachers always wore a shirt and tie, and he continued to do so his entire career,” said Tyler. “Thus began the tie tack collection.”

Dunn wore a different tie tack each day to school.  

“As he wore a pin during the year, he would put it in a particular bowl at the end of the day so he did not ever wear a duplicate during that school year,” Tyler explained. 

Many tie tacks came from friends and family who would always bring Dunn a tie tack from their many travels and vacations.

Dunn’s family — two brothers and a sister —  “were avid sports fans,” says Tyler, “which continued on with their children. They not only loved their college teams but professional teams as well. The collection contains many sports items.”

Perhaps the highlights of his collection came from the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta, Ga. 

“We went to the Olympics, and stayed with Dad’s sister in Atlanta,”   said Tyler.

To get tickets for the events,” she continued, “my father had to enter drawings. Dad registered for all the athletic events thinking it wasn’t likely he would win them all, if any. He got 11 events.” 

The events included such sports as cycling, rowing and gymnastics.

Of the 11 events,  Tyler’s favorite was the wrestling.  

“My dad’s favorite was baseball. He was a high school baseball coach,” she said. 

Over the course of 50 years he was either coaching or running the clock for Alleghany High School sports events.

At the Olympics, Dunn and his family joined with pin traders from all over the world to trade pins.

The display showcases several Chessie System Railroad tie tacks sold locally by the Lion’s Club. It also features specially issued Disney-themed sets in decorative Disney display tins.  The pins are grouped and include such themes as awards, toys, sports and cartoon characters.

The display contains only a sampling of Dunn’s collection which now numbers in the thousands.

The “Tie Tacks Galore!” exhibit will be on display at the Clifton Forge Public Library throughout March.

The library is located at 535 Church Street in downtown Clifton Forge.

For information on any library programs or activities, phone 863-2519.