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Articles

Living Treasure Phil Harvey

By Logan Hall

Phil Harvey has lived a peaceful life since he first moved to the Ojai Valley in 1947. Born May 11, 1921 in Emporia, Kan., he grew up under his parent’s religion as a Quaker. He attended Friends University in Kansas where he studied music and art until 1943 when he was drafted by the U.S. Army. The Quaker religion promotes peace and pacifism and its followers are strongly against war, which prompted Harvey to become a conscientious objector.
“There are a lot of elements involved in becoming a conscientious objector,” he said. “Basically, the Selective Service decides what objectors will end up doing instead of going to war.” Harvey would go on to spend the next three years at a Conservation Corps camp in the mountains above Glendora where he would work instead of fighting the war overseas.
In 1947, Harvey moved to Ojai and immediately became involved in the valley’s various arts organizations. “I started singing with the Art Center Community Chorus as soon as I came to Ojai,” he said. “I immediately fell in love with the community.” It was in the Community Chorus where he met his wife, Margaret, in 1948.
Later that year he moved to Northridge and got a scholarship to the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and Arts where he studied light opera. In 1956 he was signed to a three-year contract with Universal Pictures where he would go on to perform roles in 20 movies over the years, including “Land Unknown,” “Wild Heritage” and Orson Welles’ “Touch of Evil” where he had a scene with Charlton Heston.
After living in the Los Angeles area for 22 years, Harvey and his wife moved back to Ojai to re-establish their roots in the valley that they love so much. In 1984, he took up the position of director of music at the Ojai
Phil Harvey has lived a peaceful life since he first moved to the Ojai Valley in 1947. Born May 11, 1921 in Emporia, Kan., he grew up under his parent’s religion as a Quaker. He attended Friends University in Kansas where he studied music and art until 1943 when he was drafted by the U.S. Army. The Quaker religion promotes peace and pacifism and its followers are strongly against war, which prompted Harvey to become a conscientious objector.

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