bmonthly December 2020

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Profile: Sherri Wilt A Community Visionary

Fun Facts: Wham-O! Phillips 66 Discovery Brought the Hula Hoop to Life


Funny You Should Ask: Holiday Scandal


Community: Christmas in the Ville


Out & About: Photos from Around Town


Feature: Bartlesville’s Melting Pot ... Our Early Zinc Smelters


On the Osage: Tallying the Books A Look at the Life of Frederick Ford Drummond


Feature Sponsor Story: Light in the Darkness Area Christmas Light Displays Bring Joy in 2020


Stars in Our Backyard: Bartlesville’s First Lady of Music


A Good Word: Here to Hear



Kids’ Calendar

Arts & Entertainment: Color and Light Frank Lorenzo’s Work to be on Display at PTAC


Chick-fil-A Events Calendar


Meet Your Writer: Lori Just


Helping Hands: Ringing in Joy


Words of Wisdom: A Divine Name Change


From the Heart: Our Christmas Choice We Can Let it Be Ruined or We Can Rejoice


Once Upon a Time: Christmases Past


Profiles from the Past: CJ “Pete” Silas

A Fresh Perspective: A Time Somehow Out of Time Anticipation of Christmas Must Have a Backbone


Knowing Nowata: Open House Cancelled


Meeting a Need: Answering the Call Ignite Responds to COVID-19 Rehab Needs

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Looking Back: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year First Baptist Church’s Beloved Christmas Programs



Business Spotlight: A Passion to Serve McGraw Realtors Steve & Jana Russell Love Helping

Family Heritage: Two Brothers’ Hopes & Dreams Gavellas Brothers Came to America Full of Dreams


Let Freedom Ring: The Delaware Crossing


Now You Know: Petroleum Experiment Station Bartlesville Benefitted from Winning Bureau of Mines


Year in Review: What a Year it Was! 2020 Will Go Down as a Life-Changing Year DECEMBER 2020


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upfront Welcome to December, friends. It's really hard to believe that I'm writing the Upfront for the last month of the year — and oh what a year it has been! Since March of this year, the Coronavirus has changed all of our lives. We have been turned upside down, and it feels like we have all been dropped on our heads in all aspects of our lives. What we have gone through as a country is 180 degrees from how we all lived just 12 months ago. It changed how our kids were educated, how we shopped, worked, worshipped, traveled, watched, and played sports. Every aspect of our lives was changed! For the families who have lost loved ones because of the virus, we lift you up in prayer. For the cover photo, we called on Tony Lemer, who has always photographed our December issue, and, of course, our favorite Santa Claus, Mr. Ron Adams, who has been our Santa Claus since the start of Bartlesville Monthly Magazine in 2011. I had two ideas for the cover this year, and I needed a large fireplace with a beautiful mantle. After much searching and asking several realtors in town, we found our location at the home of Dr. Michael Peaster and his wife, Candi. They graciously decorated the North Pole’s fireplace and their antique desk. We used our kids' names and family members for the “Good Boys & Girls” list Santa is holding to prepare for his big night of delivering gifts all around the world. If you look closely at the picture, we added a few surprises ... see if you can spot them. There are many people we need to thank who helped us bring the best magazine in the state into your homes and offices each month. I believe our writers are as good as they get. We want to thank Debbie Neece, Mike Wilt, Kay Little, Sarah Gagan, Tim Hudson, Lori Roll, Lori Kroh, Jay Hastings, Rita Thurman Barnes, Lori Just, Jay and AJ Webster, Maria Gus, Brent Taylor, Kelly Bland, and Carroll Craun for being a part of our family each month. We also want to thank our photographers Chance Franks and Tony Lemer. Many thanks to Debbie Neece, our city historian with the Bartlesville Area History Museum, for sending me thousands of pictures over the year, so I could find the pictures for all the historic stories and that one picture that can grace the cover of bmonthly. We want to thank Fritz and Melissa Green and their incredible staff at Copper Cup Images for their dedication to our

vision. Thank you Julie Drake, for delivering magazines each month, and Jessica Smith, for putting together our Kids Calendar. Thank you to our very dear friend Shelley (Greene) Stewart, our administrator behind the scenes, keeping us organized and editing all the stories I write. Andrea Whitchurch, thank you, for managing our billing and mailing subscriptions to 17 different states each month. A very special thanks goes out to all of our advertisers, who captured our passion and believed in our vision. We know without you there would not be a magazine. When Brian Engle brought us on in April of 2017, it was just to sell advertising. Over the last two and a half years, he has allowed us to take this magazine from a 36-page struggling publication to an 84-page magazine that is read by over 20,000 readers a month. Thank you, Brian, for believing in us. The year 2020 has been a year of tremendous growth for Christy and me. It has also been a year of reflection on how blessed we are that we can bring you this publication each month. This magazine is us ... it's you ... it's who and what this city is to so many people who forged before us and the ones today who make Bartlesville so great to live and work in. Finally, we want to give all the Praise and Glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who has brought Christy and I through many storms and has never let us down. Over the years, I have written and shared with you these chapters in our lives through the magazine. I pray that “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you. And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”

Volume XI Issue XII Bartlesville Monthly Magazine is published by


Offices located in Downtown Bartlesville in the historic Price Tower 510 Dewey Ave, Suite 400, Bartlesville, OK 74003 P.O. Box 603, Bartlesville, OK 74005 Publisher

Brian Engel Art Direction

Copper Cup Images Director of Sales & Marketing

Keith McPhail Community Liaison

Christy McPhail Project Manager

Andrea Whitchurch Administration

Shelley Greene Stewart Delivery and Distribution

Julie Drake Calendar/Social Media Contributing Writers Debbie Neece, Kay Little, Jay Webster, Maria Gus, Tim Hudson, Lori Just, Lori Kroh, Brent Taylor, Kelly Bland, Rita Thurman Barnes, Keith McPhail, Caleb Gordon, Jay Hastings, Carroll Craun, Quinn Schipper, Mike Wilt, Sarah Leslie Gagan, AJ Webster Contributing Photographers Bartlesville Area History Museum, Crossfit Bartlesville, Platinum Cigar Company, Nowata County Historical Society, Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra, Tony Lemer, Kathy Peaster, Jay Hastings, Bill Riley Kids Calendar

Merry Christmas and God Bless! Keith and Christy

Jessica Smith

All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or otherwise, without prior permission of Bartlesville Monthly, Inc.

ABOUT THE COVER Cover photo taken by Tony Lemer is Santa Claus, aka Ron Adams, looking over his “Good” list. Creative Concept by Keith and Christy McPhail Design by Copper Cup Images

Keith & Christy McPhail with their favorite Santa Claus (Ron Adams). DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly



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bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020

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Visit Hideaway and discover this year’s Elf-tastic collection of cups and boxes! We’re closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & New Year’s Day.

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Sherri Wilt A Community Visionary by Sarah Leslie Gagan Successful leadership consists of many ingredients. Creativity, motivation, ambition, kindness, wisdom, and attention to detail are just a few possessed by Sherri Wilt, President and CEO of Bartlesville Regional Chamber of Commerce. This year, 2020, Sherri celebrates one decade as Chamber President, and her vision has never been clearer. All the roads taken by Sherri have paved the way for this Kansas City girl to become one of the many great visionaries in our community. Sherri was at John Brown University studying to receive her Bachelor of Science Degree, majoring in English with a business minor, when she met her husband, Mike. It would be a job opportunity for Mike that would relocate the Wilts to Bartlesville in 1990, making the community their home. Sherri had the opportunity to hone her skills while teaching seventh grade Language Arts for a time. Her experience in teaching provided her with invaluable understanding in working with students and families as she worked in the heart of the community she loved. Before her promotion to Chamber president, Sherri served as the Chamber vice president, and had also previously held the position of director of community development at the Chamber. These roles gave her the experience necessary to be a perfect fit for president when the opportunity arose. Working with local businesses came naturally to Sherri, who herself was an entrepreneur. For five years, Sherri owned and operated an upscale children’s clothing boutique, The Tailored Tot, in Bartlesville. This experience — starting a business from scratch — equipped her to identify with the daily ins and out of small business. She would draw upon this expertise years later in her Chamber role, as she was able to identify with businesses in our community in a way that could only be gained through living experience. 8

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PROFILE One of the most endearing aspects of Bartlesville that draws Sherri in is the strong sense of community. She loves the downtown area and remains excited about the continued ongoing revitalization. When considering their relocation to Bartlesville in 1990, the downtown area was what struck Mike and Sherri most. “The beauty of it, how clean it was, we were just blown away. I just love our downtown,” Wilt recalled. When she compares Bartlesville with other areas, such as Owasso, she notes that the others are “just a town” but with Bartlesville, there is a sense of “place” and history contained within our community. She notes how valuable uniqueness is in maintaining our sense of community, and holds The Price Tower, Woolaroc, and the Bartlesville Community Center in high regard for making our town what it is today. One of Sherri’s proudest accomplishments is the annual Christmas in the Ville. She gives her staff full credit for creating the vision and idea of the festival, and for the drive to make it a reality. It truly has become one of Sherri’s most cherished events. Sherri hopes to see continued development in Bartlesville, coupled with rejuvenating what we already have. It’s her goal to incorporate the history of what we have into the growth of the future. The recent renovation of Eastland Shopping Center is a perfect example of this idea brought to life, as well as the recent redesign of the former Kmart building. These are examples of full utilization of present resources, reimagining them into the future, and using their prime location to showcase our town. History preservation is important to Sherri, who strives to re-invent and re-imagine our current community into new vibrant spaces for entrepreneurs to bring their vision to life, while reverberating with echoes of the past. Sherri is very enthusiastic about unique, locally-owned businesses in the community — Crossing 2nd, Cooper & Mill, and The

Sherri and her two granddaughters.

Local Juice Company, to name a few — and hopes to see creative and innovative businesses continue to come to Bartlesville. The Wilt’s have two adult daughters and two granddaughters. The experience of being a grandmother sparks life in Sherri’s heart like nothing else. She considers it one of her greatest blessings on earth and spends time with them at every opportunity. Right now, she is “all about” being a grandma, and is loving it. At the end of the day, Sherri hopes to be remembered as someone who really loves her community, someone who always wanted the best for her community, and always invested in her community. She is also someone who loves her family, and God, noting that He is such an important part of who she is. Sherri said, “I love my job, but it’s because of the people I work with. They are THE best. It is because of them that the Chamber is as successful as it is. They are great, great, great to work with! I’ve never worked with better people.”

Sherri with husband, Mike Wilt.

Perhaps Sherri’s greatest asset is the depth of her humility and desire to share the spotlight. She credits the Chamber team with the tenacity to grow and lead our community into the future, while preserving the history and integrity of the past. It takes a great visionary to lead such a team. Bartlesville is gifted with a Chamber president as unique as our community, to lead us into Sherri with her staff at the Bartlesville whatever the future may Regional Chamber of Commerce. hold. DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly


A Gift for the Community from The Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce


For all Details and Hours BARTLESVILLE.COM


bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020

Public Hours Enjoy Historic Downtown

Dec. 5-20 Bartlesville with outdoor Friday Family Skate 3:30-6pm ice skating, carriage Dec. 11 & 18 (children 10 & under with adult) rides, movies in the park, Fridays 6-9pm Sat. & Sun. 1-9pm Santa sightings, holiday photo ops and so much Dec. 21 - Jan. 3 more! Daily 1-9pm Closed Christmas Day Dec. 24 & 31 - 1-5pm

Sponsored by:


Christmas in the Ville Popular Annual Chamber Event Kicks Off on December 4 by Mike Wilt It’s the most wonderful time of the year as the Bartlesville Regional Chamber of Commerce hosts its fourth annual “Christmas in the ‘Ville.” The month-long holiday festival will again feature a real ice skating rink located in the parking lot just north of the historic 1909 Chamber Depot at 201 SW Keeler. Sponsored by Perspective Advisors, the festival will open to the public on December 4 and continue through January 3, 2021. “We are excited to bring back this fun, entertaining gift to our community,” said Chamber President/CEO Sherri Wilt. “The fivemember Chamber staff wanted to highlight our very special downtown, particularly during the holidays. We have created a family-friendly, old-fashioned Christmas atmosphere in the heart of downtown.” The Chamber’s property will be magically lit from Depot Park to the north parking lot where the vintage AT&SF No. 940 locomotive and four train cars sit. All have been lovingly restored and will be lit for a beautiful backdrop to the rink. The park will be filled with twinkle lights and a magnificent 12-foot-high walkthrough ornament and 18-foot-tall Christmas tree. “We want to set ourselves apart from other holiday rinks by surrounding our guests with beauty and entertainment,” Wilt said. Beginning December 4, the festival will be open every Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and every Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays before Christmas from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. are reserved for families skating with children 12 and younger. After December 20, the rink will be open every day during Christmas break from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. It will be closed Christmas Day, but open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Admission to skate is $10 per person and includes skates and unlimited skating time. Besides the carriage rides, all other activities are free. Free parking is available behind the Chamber and across the railroad tracks on Frank Phillips Blvd. Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be every Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Evenings will feature Christmas movies on the north lawn and yard games on

the south lawn. Character weekends will include Anna & Elsa from Frozen along with Superman and Spiderman. A community-wide celebration of the season and rink opening will be at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 4. A flip of a switch will light the entire Chamber park and 27-foot-tall Christmas tree. The night will see the debut of Anna and Elsa and Santa and Mrs. Claus along with local food trucks, a downtown crawl with great prizes, festive photo-op stops, real tot train rides, “Presents with Perspective Shop” where kids shop free for family members in the Perspective Advisors tent, and carriage rides in the five-seat surrey or the special NYC-style carriage. New and special this year will be the Bartlesville High School choir and jazz choir performing their Christmas concert at 7 p.m. “We hope the people will slip on out and enjoy some frosty family fun,” Wilt said. For more information about the festival including the schedule of events visit and follow on Facebook at Bartlesville Christmas in the Ville.

DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly


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bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020


May Your Days Be Merry & Bright!

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Bartlesville’s Melting Pot ... by Debbie Neece, Bartlesville Area History Museum

A byproduct of the oil fortunes being made from the agreement between the Osage Tribal government and H.V. Foster’s Indian Territory Illuminating Oil Company was natural gas, which allowed Bartlesville to sustain a number of industries. Three smelters sprung from the soil along the Osage and Washington County border in 1907 and utilized


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natural gas to produce one of the nation’s largest smelting operations. Since there was not sufficient natural gas beneath the smelters, the three companies joined forces to form the Smelter Gas Company and obtained natural gas from the Osage Nation and Hogshooter areas.


.. Our Early Zinc Smelters

The Commercial Club, precursor to the Chamber of Commerce, was a powerhouse in establishing Bartlesville. In June 1906, they met with Jesse Starr of the Joplin area and Delos “Dee� Lanyon of Neodesha to consider a smelter proposition. The conditions of the proposal were the ability to purchase gas at two cents per thousand cubic feet and a

35-acre site for the plant. Bartlesville residents funded the needed gas pipeline; Katy and Santa Fe railroad engineers laid spur lines to the smelter location; Lanyon brought machinery from St. Louis; and the Lanyon-Starr Smelter No.1 was fired up on March 28, 1907 with the first car load of spelter (molded zinc slabs) shipped on April 3, 1907.

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To avoid a housing shortage, the Commercial Club purchased a ten-acre tract of land six blocks north of the Lanyon-Starr, divided the land into 50x125 foot lots and constructed inexpensive frame homes to sell to smelter workers at $100 each. Christmas Eve, 1906, a public drawing allocated the residential lots and the communities of Fly Point and Mosquito Row (known as Skeeter Row) were established just north of the Mound near a swampy area, thus their insect-like names. Later, Smelter Town, Border Town and Frog Hollow developed at the center of the smelter operations and Rag Town or Pruneville was established just south of the smelters. The communities drew from a melting pot of nationalities, especially Polish and German immigrants. While the Lanyon-Starr Smelter No. 1 was nearing completion, another smelter was being constructed just north of the LanyonStarr – the Bartlesville Zinc Smelter No. 2 (a subsidiary of the American Metals Company with a smelter also operating in Collinsville). In 1913, Bartlesville Zinc became known world-wide for the first commercial production of gallium, a rare metal. In 1915, the Bartlesville Smelter purchased the Lanyon-Starr and increased plant operations with 1,200 employees at peak production.

Then…the ink on the April 1907 contract signed between the Commercial Club and New York capitalists was barely dry when plans changed. The original contract called for a National Zinc six-block smelter and almost immediately changed to a twelveblock smelter…town officials were thrilled. National Zinc No. 3 was incorporated March 12, 1907 in the state of New York and a smelter rose from a cornfield that summer. National Zinc turned Bartlesville into an international shipping center as zinc products were shipped to and received from across the U.S. and six countries, including Canada. There were no banks in Smelter Town so the National Zinc manager traveled by horse and buggy to the bank in Bartlesville to retrieve payroll. His trusty shotgun companion was a plant

When H.C. Price graduated from the Colorado School of Mines, he came to work at the Bartlesville Zinc as a chemist, He then developed the technique of electric welding steel pipe joints which lead to high pressure pipelines and eventually the H.C. Price Pipeline Company. SMELTER TOWN SCHOOL 16

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worker posed to protect the payroll cash as they traveled the rutted, oil-soaked wagon road (later called Frank Phillips Blvd). Although in some aspects smelter workers faced primitive circumstances, the basic needs of life were cared for. Free public schools were established in Bartlesville about 1899 replacing small church or subscription schools where parents paid the teacher $1 per month to educate their children. In the smelter area, the educational opportunities were the St. John’s Catholic School at Eighth Street and Keeler Avenue or the Smelter Town School with teachers May Locke and Ila Berry. Miss Berry taught 19071912 and walked from her downtown Bartlesville boarding house to Smelter Town to teach because the pay was $10 per month over the rate of teaching “in town.” In 1912, Miss Berry married Frank Finney ending her teaching career. Statehood arrived in 1907, but the sidewalks were boards and the streets unpaved. Not many automobiles were in the area so the Bartlesville Interurban Railway was the transportation to the city of Bartlesville or to the Catholic school. Chartered in 1905, the Bartlesville Interurban Railway lasted only twelve short years with track laid to the smelter area transporting workers day and night.

Fare was five cents except to Dewey…that was ten cents, and children’s tickets were two-for-a-nickel so the child could go to school roundtrip for five cents. There were no telephones in those days and lighting was by natural gas until about 1910 when electricity arrived in the smelter area. Smelter Town was more about community than nationality. The three smelters collaborated to form the Smelter Mercantile, but the store burned to the ground at the beginning of WWI. A few other businesses included George Hackett’s Barbershop, Lotz Smelter Feed Store, Lanyon-Starr Hotel, Smelter Hotel, Pilcher Boarding House, J.R. Grounds and W.L. Foster operated pool halls, Ambrose Hinkle Lunch, Robert Burk’s Beanery, Red Front Restaurant, Glessner Missouri Restaurant, Mound Road House confectioners, Percy Locke Grocery, Neer and Hinkle Cottage Grocery, Joseph McDonald Grocery, Crawford and Knisley Meat Market, Sulima’s Grocery, Blongewicz Grocery, Asa Higbee Grocery…some came, some went…except Mnich’s Grocery. Konstantine “Gus” Mnich was just 16 years old when he left his native Poland and arrived at New York. His search for the

DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly



streets of gold brought him to Bartlesville by 1909 where he found zinc instead of gold. He worked at the Bartlesville’s No. 3 Smelter until 1913 when he moved to St. Louis, married Mary Pencak and the couple returned to Bartlesville in 1915. He worked at the Lanyon-Starr Smelter for about a year before organizing the Gus Mnich Grocery with his brother Loddie Mnich and Henry Rybka. Rybka found his calling in farming at Dewey, where he and his wife raised 10 children. The family grocery began in one of the five rooms in the Mnich home. According to Mike Mnich, “the brick smoke house was the house the Mnich’s built that built Mnich’s” greatly due to the highly sought Mnich’s smoked Polish sausage. Gus held a full grocery line from a meat market to a bakery to fruit and vegetables. During the depression, Gus “carried” families on credit and when they paid their bill, Gus filled a goodie sack with fruit and candy as their treat. The Mnich’s were an icon in Bartlesville long after Gus passed away in 1978. His sons Tony and Mike took over the business at their new store on Highway 123 only by that time the smoke house was replaced by a fully automatic smoker eliminating the need to split hickory in 18

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the winter. For the Mnich’s, the grocery business was about family and memories. The store was destroyed by a tornado March 15, 1982 but, even to this day, the name Mnich brings visions of smoked Polish sausage. Today, United Supermarket is at that location. The smelter community was well before their time in some aspects. Their “tiny homes” were often tents or small shacks as building materials were expensive and in short supply. Some even resorted to using railroad shipping containers, insulated with tar paper, dirt and newspaper as protection from the weather and criminal elements.

Rag Town was a tent city with a barbershop, two groceries, feed store and a restaurant. In 1908, fifteen smelter town tent homes were listed in the Bartlesville City Directory and tents could be purchased or rented at the Economy Store in Bartlesville. Once the area developed a technique of making “prune whisky” the new community name was Pruneville. The bootlegged “prunella” whiskey was often made in bathtubs or mash barrels and hotsweaty smelter workers would stop by for a glass, or bottle, of whiskey to knock the smelter dust off Pipeline crew laying gas line to the smelters. the day.


My late Polish friend, Ted Synos, once told me his family lived in a shotgun house and his mother canned their food from the garden. Desperate times created thievery so the jars of food were stored safely under the house until needed. Shotgun houses were small narrow wooden homes with the front and back doors aligned so pellets from a shotgun fired from the front door would exit the back door without hitting anything. Shotgun houses did not have “amenities” requiring water to be hauled and personal “visits” were made at the outhouse. Ted also told stories of “hopping” the passing train to school in the morning but he had to walk home in the evening. As a child, local historian, Joe Todd lived in a small community at 14th Street and Virginia Avenue referred to as Starvation Corner, so called because those who lived in the area fought to survive, especially during WWI. Most of the people living in the area were smelter workers and their homes were poorly constructed or patched with found materials. Walt Perry had a grocery store on Virginia Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets and Harry Robinson had the Viaduct

Grocery on Maple Avenue. Both of these grocers allowed people to charge their groceries, like Mnich’s. Many people avoided starvation through the generosity of these three gentlemen. Taylor Green had a general store on 14th Street selling all the goods a smelter worker’s family would need: clothing, bedding, pots, pans, dishes, tableware. And “Old Lady Laddie” was the area bootlegger. She bought empty bottles for a dime each and sold them filled. It was a poor time…they fed their families by canning vegetable gardens and wash day brought fresh linens hanging from the clothes line in the yard. Depending on the direction of the wind, the clean clothes might not get soiled by smelter dust. Pennies had to stretch in those days and so did shoes. The Kress store sold half soles to extend the life of shoes. If pennies were not to be had, cardboard was tacked in place until the pennies were available. Christmas was a family affair as people from Smelter Town and Starvation Corner ventured to the “eastside” to look at the beautifully decorated Christmas trees with twinkling lights filling the windows of the fancy homes.

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Unable to decorate their own homes, gifts were simple but much appreciated. The smelter town whistle broke the silence at 4 am and 4 pm but later sounded more often to signal meal breaks. The payroll was lined with names like Resnick, Poloski, Orloski, Rybka, Wojtuck, Szalla, Turonski, Kazmierzak, Olsson and others. The around the clock work was hot, sweaty and dusty. When the condensers and retorts from the zinc smelters were discarded, they were crushed and used as the underlay for Bartlesville streets, under the “buffalo bricks.” To this day, as street repairs are done and the bricks are pulled up, the clay discards are still visible. About 1921, a depression hit the area which created a smelter strike from July 1921 to February 1922. When the Bartlesville Smelter reopened, the company experienced operational difficulties; the natural gas in the area began to wane causing “deadfires” and loss of productivity. The struggle continued until 1926 when National Zinc bought Bartlesville Zinc’s gas rights and Bartlesville Zinc moved to Blackwell where they rebuilt and operated a plant that had closed at the end of WWI. Unfortunately, the company was dismantled in 1930.


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As the final smelter in operation, the National Zinc Smelter stood the test of time, surpassing the Lanyon-Starr and Bartlesville Zinc Smelters. The company weathered wars, Span-


ish Flu, strikes, the Great Depression, technology, equipment and management changes. In 1974, the company was purchased by Engelhard Minerals and Chemicals Corporation and construction of a new fortythree-million dollar electrolytic refinery was completed in 1976. When the old furnaces were shut down, National Zinc was the last horizontal retort zinc plant in the United States. And now, the evening aglow from smelter furnaces in the smelter complex has faded into memories. In October 1982, National Zinc had 350 employees and the electrolytic process held at 51,000 tons of slab zinc per year. Then, in September 1987, the National Zinc plant passed ownership to Horsehead Industries, doing business as Zinc Corporation of America. In the early 1990s, heavy metal levels were monitored in the area and remediation began to lower lead levels on the west side of Bartlesville. As of 2001, governmental officials were satisfied the cleanup was complete. This story was written with great appreciation of Joe Todd and his momma Mildred for recording the memories of “Starvation Corner.”

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Light in the Darkness Area Christmas Light Displays Can Bring Joy in 2020 by Maria Gus The early sunsets of the winter months can sometimes bring the blues. Things can feel a bit dreary when the lights go out so early, and finding joy in 2020 has often been a challenge. One good thing about the dark? It makes the light so much more beautiful. Some say the custom of hanging lights during the holidays began when Christians placed candles on their Christmas trees, signifying Christ’s light for the world. By the mid-20th century, many quaint downtowns strung lights on their streets, perhaps in the hopes of attracting the eye of potential shoppers. Whatever the reason, one thing can be said of beautiful holiday decorations, — the lights should bring you happiness. Find joy and light this December by visiting these top spots for Christmas lights and cheer. Over 750,000 lights are on display during Wonderland of Lights at Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve. This long-standing tradition returns Friday, November 27, and will continue every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 20. In order to keep everyone safe, Woolaroc will offer a drive-through-only version this year. Lights will shine brightly from 5-9 p.m. and the price is only $2 per person (children under two are free). Although the beloved attraction has had to make a few changes this year, make no mistake that the Holiday Horseman will still be along to wave hello. Admission can be purchased at the front gate only. For more information about this year’s event, you can contact Woolaroc through email at Magic can also be found at Fantasy Land of Lights, in Johnstone Park. Beginning November 20, Bartlesville’s Johnstone Park will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland. Load your friends and family in the car and tune to their holiday station while enjoying the display. Some say they like to take the loop a few times just to keep the show going a little longer! Sponsored by Bartlesville Daybreak Rotary, there is no admission fee, however, donations are accepted and appreciated. 22

bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020

Funds go to maintain the light display and a portion also goes to educational scholarships. One of Bartlesville’s most popular Christmas stops has become the fantastic display at Sutterfield Financial Group, located at 501 E 4th Street. With the help of their friends at Curb Appeal Lawn Care and Landscaping, Sutterfield Financial turns their building into a synchronized holiday celebration. Guests can tune their radio to 99.9 FM and listen to holiday songs while the lights dance before their eyes. The company has been in business for 25 years and has supported several great organizations. Their holiday light display is one of many ways they continue to give back to the community. Of course, no Christmas light car ride is complete without winding your way through neighborhood displays. Local residents Jody Burch (1255 Saddle Lane) and Connie Bottenfield (3305 Lincoln Rd) have bright lights and Christmas joy to share. “It’s not huge, but it takes several weekends to set up,” said Burch, of his festive decorations. “Kids seem to have fun looking at it.” Connie Bottenfield’s tree on Lincoln Road is also a family favorite. “It’s not set to music or fancy, but my family loves to drive by the tree on Lincoln Rd.,” said Ann Marie Alleman, Bartlesville resident, “You wouldn’t look twice during the day, but it’s so fun and impressive lit up at night. We drive by it every time we’re nearby during the holiday season.” No matter how you celebrate the holidays, may your December be very merry and bright!

Green Country Pet Cremation Service offers private pet cremation with timely return of ashes in your choice of a decorative wooden urn with an engraved nameplate. If no return of ashes is requested, the ashes will be gently scattered on a beautiful pastoral/garden property. We are located in Bartlesville, Oklahoma and gratefully serve pet owners from a wide area surrounding Bartlesville, Dewey, and Northeast Oklahoma. For our fee schedule, please feel free to call us at any time.


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DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly



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bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020

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Here to Hear We Are Called to Hear and Respond in Obedience to God by Quinn Schipper Clustered inside the middle ear are the smallest bones in the human body. Their common names are the hammer, the anvil and, the tiniest, the stirrup. Without them, you would be stone deaf. Sound waves enter the outer ear, travel through the ear canal, strike the eardrum's thin membrane, and cause it to vibrate. On the other side, the chain of three minuscule bones passes vibrations to the fluid-filled inner ear. The inner ear detects the entire spectrum of sound, tones, and frequencies. It converts them into nerve impulses and sends them to the brain for interpretation — for example, as speech or music. This remarkable sequence is nearly instantaneous. Hearing is kind of important! There is a Jewish prayer known as The Shema. Shema, simplistically, means "hear." Shema is the first word of instruction found in a section of Deuteronomy, one of the first five books of the Bible's Old Testament. The first verse of Deuteronomy 6:4-9 summarizes the monotheistic substance of Judaism: "Shema (Hear), O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one." It continues, "And you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength." However, Shema is broader than the word-for-word English translation of Shema = Hear. Its essence means "hear and respond." Drill down a bit deeper and the meaning blossoms: "hear and respond in obedience." Parents know the frustration of a child's selective hearing. You tell them to do something. You know they can hear you, but they don't respond. If they do respond, they might think obedience is optional. If they exercise the option of disobedience, consequences follow! Jesus was raised with the daily recitation of The Shema. Once, Jesus was asked which commandment was first above all. He unhesitatingly responded by quoting The Shema. He then continued by declaring the second to be this: love your neighbor as yourself. Then he shocked his hearers by asserting, "There is no other commandment (singular) greater than these (plural)." He made the two inseparable as one. He placed loving God, others, and self all on equal footing. To his Jewish hearers, that was scandalous! Who was this that dared compromise The Shema? How were they to respond to that? And what of the imperative to obey? Refusal, after all, had consequences. Yet right there before them was Jesus, the supposed Son of God, the epitome of loving God with all one's heart, soul, mind,

and strength. Jesus, who consistently demonstrated The Shema and exemplified loving others. As for those who risked all to follow Jesus, they were placed on equal footing with him. And so are all who take that same risk today. May it be that God's people perpetuate the essence of Shema: to hear and respond in obedience to the One they love and serve. And to fulfill loving God, others, and themselves in real and practical ways. Not out of a religious obligation but from an authentic relationship with Jesus. Let those who have ears, Shema! DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly




OKWU Basketball vs Sterling


5:30 PM (W), 8 PM (M); Mueller Sports Center


All City Orchestra Concert


8 PM; Bartlesville Community Center


Journey to Bethlehem Live Free Drive-thru 5 PM; Oologah United Methodist Church Experience the real meaning of Christmas with live actors & real animals on the journey to Bethlehem and to the Nativity.

Virtual Friday All Day; District wide


Annual Bartlesville Christmas Parade 6:30 PM; Downtown Bartlesville The Downtown Kiwanis is hosting the 2020 Bartlesville Christmas parade. The Kiwanis has been hosting the parade since 2011, bringing joy to people of our community. Parade starts at Frank Phillips & Keeler traveling east then turns right on Cherokee Ave., then right on 5th St., left on Keeler, right on Adams right at staging parking lot.


BHS Basketball vs. Sand Springs 4 PM (JV/G), 5 PM (JV/B), 6:30 PM (V/G), 8 PM (V/B); Bruin Fieldhouse


bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020

Santa in the Ville 5 PM; Bill Doenges Memorial Stadium Come visit Santa at Bill Doenges Memorial Stadium! Enter at the gate on the leftfield side. Free hot chocolate and candy canes for all! We will also be accepting small unwrapped gifts or toiletries for children in our area!


OKWU Men’s Basketball vs McPherson 8 PM; Mueller Sports Center


All City Band Concert 7 PM; BHS-FAC Auditorium


OKWU Basketball vs Tabor 3 PM (W), 5 PM (M); Mueller Sports Center

Free Christmas Breakfast 8 AM; First Wesleyan Church

Santa in the Ville 8 PM; Bill Doenges Memorial Stadium

BPS Winter Break December 21-Jan 1

Month-long Fun Events

Wonderland of Lights Fantasy Land of Lights

Christmas in the Ville Afternoons and nights in December Christmas in the Ville Ice Rink will be open at the Downtown Depot. Christmas in the Ville Ice Rink will open to the public starting with a Grand Opening celebration on Friday, December 4. Hours are as follows: • December 4: 5:30-9 p.m. • December 5-20: Friday 6-9 p.m. Saturday & Sunday from 1-9 p.m. • December 21-January 3: MondaySunday 1-9 p.m. • Christmas Eve: 1-5 p.m. • New Year’s Eve: 1-5 p.m. Closed Christmas Day and New Years Day. Tickets are $10 per person, price includes skates.

Open nightly in December at Johnstone Park, Fantasy Land of Lights is an annual, drive-through Christmas light display at Johnstone Park in Bartlesville, OK has become a holiday tradition. With the help of generous donations from the public, Fantasy Land of Lights continues to grow each year. Be sure to visit so you can see what is new this year! Fantasy Land of Lights takes the work of all of our members in the weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving. The display is manned by dedicated volunteers from the Bartlesville area. There is no admission fee however donations are accepted and very much appreciated. Once the expenses are paid, money is set aside to purchase or repair displays and a budgeted amount goes into the Club’s Foundation to cover educational scholarships to students in the Washington County area.

A wonderful holiday tradition returns as a drive-thru experience this year with the spectacular Wonderland of Lights! The grounds and buildings of Woolaroc will be covered with over 750,000 lights as the historic ranch transforms itself into a magical winter wonderland. The lights will be turned on Friday, November 27th, and will be on every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 5-9 p.m., through December 20. Admission can be purchased at the front gate ONLY. No advance purchase is required or offered. Simply pay for your admission when you wish to enter! Admission to Wonderland of Lights is: $2 per person Children 2 and under and Members of Woolaroc are FREE.

Weekly Virtual Storytime 10:30 AM Every Wednesday on Bartlesville Public Library's Facebook page.

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DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly



Know of an upcoming event you would like to see on our calendar? Visit us at to submit a free listing!

Tue, Dec 1

Fri, Dec 4

6 PM

Fantasy Land of Lights

12 PM

Johnstone Park Fantasy Land of Lights is an annual, drive-through Christmas light display at Johnstone Park that has become a holiday tradition. With the help of generous donations from the public, Fantasy Land of Lights continues to grow each year. Be sure to visit so you can see what is new this year! The display is open every day through December 30, from 6-10 p.m.

Business Hours

Warm for the Winter Coat Drive

Bartlesville Artisan Market Washington Park Mall 2350 SE Washington Blvd. An indoor market with fresh baked goods, coffee, home decor, clothing, soaps, live succulents, Unique homemade products, local art and more! Open Friday & Saturday, from 12-4 p.m. 5 PM

Washington Park Mall

Thu, Dec 3

2350 SE Washington Blvd.

7 PM

The mall has partnered with Volunteers of America to help support our local community and give back to those in need. Join us in spreading holiday cheer by donating new coats, hats, scarves, and gloves through December 11.

Holiday Cocktail Class

Wonderland of Lights Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve 1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd.

Platinum Cigar Company 314 S Johnstone Ave. Learn how to make beautiful and delicious cocktails for your upcoming holiday parties and get togethers! You get to taste them, too! You definitely don't want to miss this fun event. $35. Sign up at the bar or message Platinum Cigar Company on fb and get your name on the list. Hosted by A's Wine & Spirits.

Wonderland of Lights is one of the highlights of the year at Woolaroc a tradition for so many friends and guests. The grounds of Woolaroc light up in such a special way during the holiday season, it truly is some of the best “magic” that Woolaroc has to offer. To ensure they are following proper safety recommendations, Woolaroc will not be offering wagon rides, Santa in the museum, or cookies in the Lodge. Since it is a drive-thru only, Woolaroc has greatly reduced the price to $2 per person (children 2 and under are free).

5:30 PM

Christmas in the Ville Opening Night Downtown Depot 201 S Keeler Ave. Christmas in the Ville Ice Rink will open to the public starting with a Grand Opening celebration, including the Community Tree & Park Lighting. 6:30 PM

NFAA 2020 Indoor National Championships — Quarantine Edition The Arrow Shop 131 N Osage Ave., Dewey The Arrow Shop is proud to be a host location for the National Field Archery Association 2020 Indoor National Championship – Quarantine Edition. Archers will be required to complete two NFAA 300 rounds (blue/white face target, single or 5-spot) over three days and 6 shooting time options.

Eastland Center H 918-335-2940

Happy Holidays!

DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly





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Fri, Dec 11

8 PM

Kitchen Table Jam!

9 PM

Heritage Theater-Gizzy’s Pub

Live Music with Luke Christenson

306 E Don Tyler Ave., Dewey

Platinum Cigar Company

Join Heritage for some great music around the table. Reservations held keep social distancing, so call 918-440-2393 to make a reservation.

Sat, Dec 5

314 S Johnstone Ave.

Sat, Dec 12 8 PM

Bartlesville Christmas Parade

Platinum Christmas Party featuring Biscuits & Gravy

The Downtown Kiwanis is hosting the annual parade, which starts at Frank Phillips & Keeler traveling east then turns right on Cherokee Ave., then right on 5th St., left on Keeler, right on Adams right at staging parking lot.

8:30 AM

8:30 AM

NFAA 2020 Indoor National Championships — Quarantine Edition

NFAA 2020 Indoor National Championships — Quarantine Edition

The Arrow Shop

The Arrow Shop

131 N Osage Ave., Dewey

131 N Osage Ave., Dewey

See December 4 event for information.

See December 4 event for information.

Tue, Dec 8

8:30 PM

Sun, Dec 13

3:30 PM Frank Phillips Home 1107 SE Cherokee Ave. Tuba Christmas features holiday classics re-interpreted for tubas and euphoniums. The performers dress for the holidays and some of their instruments are decked out for the season as well. The event is held on the front lawn of the home.

Join us for a special evening tour at the Frank Phillips Home! View the home at night, fully decorated for the holidays. Admission is $5 per person. Tickets can be purchased by visiting their gift shop, or by calling 918-336-2491.

Tue, Dec 15 6:30 PM

Frank Phillips Home Evening Tours

Poetry Night hosted by Morris McCorvey

Thu, Dec 10

Heritage Theater-Gizzy’s Pub

6:30 PM

1107 SE Cherokee Ave.

306 E Don Tyler Ave., Dewey

Frank Phillips Home Evening Tours

See December 8 event for information.

Open Mic night for poetry with sanitary protocols in place. Bring your favorite peom or just come and enjoy. Food and drink available.

314 S Johnstone Ave.

12th Annual Tuba Christmas

Frank Phillips Home Evening Tours 1107 SE Cherokee Ave.

Platinum Cigar Company

Fri, Dec 25

201 S Keeler Ave.

Frank Phillips Home

Fri, Dec 18 Live Music with Martin and the Dead Guys

6:30 PM

7 PM

1107 SE Cherokee Ave.

314 S Johnstone Ave.

Downtown Depot

The ice rink and other festivities will be open on Fridays from 6-9 p.m., and Saturdays & Sundays from 1-9 p.m. From December 21 through the end of the year, the ice rink will be open daily from 1-9 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person, which includes skates.

Frank Phillips Home

Platinum Cigar Company

Sun, Dec 6

Christmas in the Ville

6:30 PM

Frank Phillips Home Evening Tours

See December 8 event for information. 6:30 PM Downtown Bartlesville

6 PM

Thu, Dec 17

Frank Phillips Home

Thu, Dec 31 9 PM

New Kings New Year’s Bash! Platinum Cigar Company 314 S Johnstone Ave. Rock in the new year and finally say goodbye to 2020 with one of Oklahoma’s own great bands! 9 PM

Live music with The Broadcasters New Year’s Eve Party

Frank Phillips Home

Cherokee Casino Ramona

1107 SE Cherokee Ave.

31501 US-75, Ramona

See December 8 event for information.

Original Oil Paintings and Commissions by Carolyn Mock Lots of minis on hand By Appointment Only 918-333-0748 WILDLIFE, WESTERN, PET PORTRAITS, PEOPLE, AND LANDSCAPES 30

bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020


Ringing in Joy Salvation Army Volunteers Brighten the Holidays for Many by Ann-Janette Webster

When you think of joyful bells ringing at Christmas, it’s often church bells and jingle bells that come to mind. But it’s the bells rung by Salvation Army volunteers that truly brighten up the holidays for many. The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle fundraiser is their biggest of the year, and collects donations that will stretch long past the holidays and into 2021. Captain Ian Carr, commanding officer of Bartlesville’s chapter of the Salvation Army, said those traditional Red Kettles and volunteers we encounter are actually the key to their annual operations. “Those Red Kettles are the biggest fundraiser we have to provide funds throughout the year to those in need. The money collected helps all year, including this and potentially next Christmas,” said Captain Carr. “This year, between our community partners, donors, and fundraisers — to be able to meet the needs expected for the coming year — we need to raise about $68,000.00 in the Red Kettles.” Giving to those Red Kettles is tradition for many, and some families also have the holiday practice of adopting an “Angel” from a Salvation Army “Angel Tree.” Locally, Angel Trees can be found throughout December at Walmart and other locations. Angel Tree adoptions can also be taken on as a group project. Churches and civic groups often team up to sponsor an Angel for Christmas, or even take batches for adoption. “We can really use volunteer help in several ways this Christmas season. We are daily working as teams to put together food boxes for Christmas assistance to families and to help with Angel Tree distribution,” said Carr. “The biggest need we have right now, though, is for bell ringing volunteers. We still have 862 two-hour shifts that need to be filled. Every minute volunteering and every penny in the Red Kettle helps!” Bartlesville’s Salvation Army gives financial aid to many in our community, including those needing help with rent and utilities. They provide groceries for families from their food pantry, and also

help with funeral services, disaster services, and operate the “Red Shield Program,” which assists the homeless with emergency food, shelter, and clothing. Captain Carr said the local organization does its best to look for and serve the unique needs of our community. Like many non-profits, Carr admits 2020 has brought with it many new challenges. Much of their ongoing services have moved to a “contactless” approach via phone and email. “Contactless makes ministry more difficult to do. Logistically and ministerially, the lack of face-to-face with clients is definitely tough. We’ve seen an increase in the amount of funds per client needed, due to the compounding effects of the pandemic on people's lives and financial stability,” said Carr. “Still, God has been good to us, and this community has been very generous in helping us meet these extended needs.” Those wanting to learn more about the Salvation Army and its many outreach programs should view their YouTube Video at Carr is proud to share that the Salvation Army is known for maximizing donor funds, and 82 cents of every dollar given stays in Bartlesville for local services. For those looking to make a difference this Christmas season, Carr encourages you to volunteer at the local chapter and to visit those familiar Red Kettles … with even more generosity than usual. “The Salvation Army can do great things in a community like Bartlesville. Myself and my wife, Captain Brittany Carr, are so very blessed to be here. There is not anywhere else or anyone else we would want to be serving right now,” said Carr. “The fact that we have been sent to this community that is so continually generous and supportive is nothing short of a great blessing.” If you want to help, you can donate digitally via New this year, Christmas shoppers can also donate locally at Bartlesville's Walmart by “rounding up” their totals this December. To volunteer, call the local office or sign up at DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly



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T R I C O U N T Y T E C H . E D U | 61 0 1 N O W ATA R O A D , B A R T L E S V I L L E , O K | 9 1 8 . 3 3 1 . 3 3 3 3 There will be no discrimination in the technology center because of race, color, sex, pregnancy, gender, gender expression or identity, national origin, religion, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, age, or genetic information in its programs, services, activities and employment. The following individual is designated to handle inquiries regarding the technology center’s nondiscrimination policies, including Title IX: Tara Stevens, Director of HR & Compliance O cer | 6101 Nowata Road, Bartlesville, OK 74006 | 918-331-3248 | According to the State of Oklahoma Sex O昀enders Registration Act, registered sex o昀enders must self-disclose their status before admissions. View our privacy policy: View our full non-discrimination policy: Title IX Training provided by: OSSBA Workshop Resources:

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bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020


Our Christmas Choice

We Can Let It Be Ruined Or We Can Rejoice by Lori Kroh

I remember staring at the gifts under the tree all piled up and the shiny paper with matching bows. I grabbed a tag with a reindeer dashing through the sky and it read, “To Lori - Love, Mom & Dad”. I was kneeling at the tall tree and looked at all the twinkling lights, and my heart was beating so fast with curiosity of all things Christmas. I peered all the way to the top of the tree and saw the shiny star shining down on me. The ornaments covered the tree — many were ones my sisters and I had made at school. All of the presents were there stacked upon each other and the thrill of Hope was upon me. It was that exact moment I made a decision. I gently lifted the tape off of one edge and it came up so easy that I did it again for the next side. I continued until the thrill of hope became real. Behold, my first gift was unwrapped. I instantly loved it. It was a little Skunk holding a perfume bottle and it came from Avon. My mother used to let me have all the miniature lipstick samples, so Avon was dear to my heart. For me, genuinely wondering what was in the presents as I shook them was also dear to my heart. I continued in my quest like the Magi searching for the King and guided by a star. I also was guided by a star, as it was in the direct line of view of our family wall clock. The ticking of the minutes hurried me along as I was listening for the sounds of car doors slamming instead of reindeer hooves on the roof. I opened every gift under the tree as my curious nature took over and I found myself weary but rejoicing. I would then rewrap the gifts using the same tape and it all looked the same to me except for one thing. I knew deep down

that long lay the world, in sin and error pining ‘Til they appeared and the soul felt its worth. Yes, my parents came home and with that the thrill was gone. It was over. I had ruined Christmas. Yet, I didn’t just ruin it for myself, I had two little sisters. I would see if they wanted to know what their gifts were under the tree, and of course they would. I would hold up their gift and shake it and tell them this is a doll and she has brown hair and freckles on her nose. I would then lift up another gift and shake it and say, “This is a pretty kitty cat and she is so fluffy and there’s even a lip balm that comes with her. Here’s a red sweater and it’s so soft and just your size. Here’s a Barbie Doll house and it has three floors and even an elevator! Here’s a doll bed and it comes with a matching pillow, quilt, and even a housecoat and slippers for your doll.” I watched their eyes grow big. They wanted to peek and shake the gifts and I made them promise to not say a word. I brought them into my circle of knowing too early the joys of Christmas and the despair of all hope lost. It was a secret we all kept until my one sister blurted out to my mother, “Lori opened up all of our gifts! We know what they are” in her little sing-song voice. I will never forget the look on my Mom’s face, it still haunts me like the ghost of Christmas past. It’s the one day that merriment is to be found and glad tidings abound. The heavy burden I carried for ruining Christmas for us all was more than enough punishment. I caused the loss of hope. Many people feel like this Christmas of 2020 will be ruined for them. What I learned all those years ago is that we have a choice about Christmas. We can let it be ruined or we can rejoice. A star, a star is shining in the night. DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly


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bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020


A Time Somehow Out of Time Anticipation of Christmas Season Must Have a Backbone by Brent Taylor

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Although I remember Christmas as a child and thinking that the waiting was cruel, and that it would never arrive soon enough. So with bed covers pulled up to my chin, longing for the advent of that magical dawn, I stared at the ceiling listening for clues that might confirm my hopes for a moment yet nigh. This longing for something unseen, yet hoped for, reminds me of the moment my son saw a special gift through the window by the Christmas tree after all the presents had been opened. As I opened the window blinds, he looked out at his shiny red minibike and his mouth opened wide and his eyes lit up with surprise. In our house, the magical presents appear on Christmas morning, which was an idea emphasized by my wife’s family. Karen speaks of her childhood Christmas memories fondly. She says, “We had no fireplace, but Dad worked for Trenton Glass and he brought home a cardboard fireplace. I lived in a black and white world for the most part, but on Christmas morning, the world exploded in color — tinsel, lights, and presents under the tree, which we put up Christmas Eve, in anticipation of Santa coming that night. It was magic.” Joseph Bottum wrote in an article titled “The End of Advent,” “When I was little, I always felt that the days right before Christmas were a time somehow out of time. Christmas Eve, especially, and the arrival of Christmas itself at midnight: the hours moved in ways different from their passage in ordinary time, and the sense of impending completion was somehow like a flavor even to the air we breathed.” Most of us have lost the spirit of anticipation, of starry eyes staring at the ceiling, covers pulled up to the chin, too excited to sleep, wishing only one thing — that sleep could come that instant and Christmas morning would reveal itself in a glorious spectacle of breathless realization. However, the anticipation of the Christmas season must have a backbone, a reason to be, otherwise Christmas melts into a fondue of shopping and gathering stuff and chasing after nostalgia.

fabrication of ancient myth. It’s the thing that holds everything in place and gives it shape and keeps it from flying apart. In the words of Mr. Joseph Bottum, “They give a shape to the anticipation of the season. They discipline the ideas and emotions that otherwise would shake themselves to pieces, like a flywheel wobbling wilder and wilder till it finally snaps off its axle.” This is what happens when I lose my way, shopping my way to some ideal of Christmas past, eating my way to fulfillment, giving to others without any idea why I’m giving, and opening gifts without gratitude and wonder. I love the roots of Christmas … the roots of, and it shall come to pass and there shall come forth. The litany of hope represented by the prophets, “I shall see him, but not now; I shall behold him, but not nigh; There shall come a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.” In a crazy year of polarity and pandemic, I need the hope and anticipation that awaits a morning of wonder. I rejoice in God’s steadfast presence in my life, and in God’s unique presence in the life of Jesus of Nazareth — born of Mary, growing through childhood, and in all his life manifesting the peace, love, and justice of God; his voice undimmed by the centuries, his call and his promise as clear to me as it was to his disciples so long ago. Come to us, Lord Jesus, Be born in us this night, in our hearts, our minds, our lives. May the light of your life be kindled in us, And lead us to the shining truth, of God with us, God for us, God in us. Amen.

The idea of peace on earth, goodwill to men is not empty tradition. The Christ-child in a manger isn’t passé, the anticipation of something imminent and wonderful and marvelous isn’t some DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly



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bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year First Baptist Church’s Beloved Community Christmas Music Programs by Kay Little, Little History Adventures “Music allows people to experience the Lord personally and share Him with others in a way that is very unique and moving,” according to former Bartlesville First Baptist Church (BFBC) music minister Tim Cardwell. Most of us enjoy hearing Christmas songs during the month of December, whether it be while shopping, on the radio, at home, work, school, or church. Schools perform Christmas musicals. Local symphonies, choirs, and churches perform Christmas programs — many times with drama included. The first church formed in Bartlesville, First Baptist Church, has shared Christmas music and dramas with the community for many years. The Living Christmas Tree has been one of the major outreach programs of BFBC. The music and special effects change some every year, but the central message remains the same — the birth and life of Jesus Christ. In the mid-70s, BFBC had a wooden Living Christmas Tree built for the Youth Ministry to do productions. It was new and innovative, and the production was held in the old Civic Center. BFBC held its first service in their newest sanctuary on Easter Sunday in 1979. The new building was conducive to large productions. Music minister Jim Robinson and choir presented To Bartlesville with Love for the 1979 Christmas season, with a cast of 175 members. They continued these concerts every Christmas for the next several years, even after Jim left, with Bill Cohen leading.

The program always started with a secular Christmas story, including Santa. After the intermission, the set transformed to the Holy Land, telling the true story of Christmas. The program told the story of Jesus, from his birth to His resurrection. It was a very powerful program, with a powerful message. In the 1990s, music minister Tim Cardwell brought back the Living Christmas Tree, but this time with the adult choir. Current minister Wade Daniel has continued with the Living Christmas Tree. Kim Kayser, member of BFBC says it best: “When I think back to Christmasses past, my mind invariably goes to Christmas music and productions at First Baptist Church starting in the 70s. The productions were in the planning phase in early spring, sets were designed, and musical rehearsals started mid to late summer. Sets were built, costumes

designed & sewn, music had to be memorized — all of it, there were no screens on the back wall to prompt us. Right after Thanksgiving, stage rehearsals began and then dress rehearsals — epic dress rehearsals. I remember nights we were at the church, in costumes, on stage rehearsing over and over and over until after midnight. Participants would get up and go to work the next morning and be back at it for either another dress rehearsal or a performance the next night! I can’t imagine that happening these days, but people were so invested — I truly don’t remember hearing much, if any, complaining.” The music speaks to all of us. Some people may wonder why anyone would spend so much time and energy to present a music program, but the church loves to tell the community about the wonderful message of Jesus. It is a great way for all to understand the message. DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly



Christmas Memories In A

New Home



A Passion to Serve McGraw Realtors Steve & Jana Russell Love Helping by Maria Gus Spend any time with Steven and Jana Russell and it won’t take long to realize that they both love to serve. Happily working as real estate agents with McGraw Realtors, the Russells have long made their faith the guiding star in life and careers. “Our walk and relationship with Jesus Christ is a top priority,” said Steven. “We love to serve our clients, who many times become friends.” A native of Caney, Kansas, Steven attended Pittsburg State University before moving to Bartlesville in 1991. Jana was raised in Bartlesville and met Steven on a blind date arranged by Steven’s dad. The blind date was a success, and six months later the second-generation Phillips 66 employees were married. They now have two adult sons, Jonathan and Matthew, who loved being Bartlesville Bruins. Family is the magnet that keeps them in the area, and those strong community ties have helped them succeed in the world of real estate. The couple’s positive attitude and willingness to go the extra mile for their customers is no surprise for those who know them. Steven credits his faith in Christ as the reason for their success. For the Russells, faith and Christianity are where they find their strength and hope. “Without hope there’s no happiness,” said Steven. “This world can be so dark and dreary for people. Anytime we can bring a ray of hope and sunshine into a person’s life, it is a joy.” Focused on service, the Russells work tirelessly to ensure they can meet their client’s needs. "Our experience with Steve and Jana can only be described as exceptional,” said Mark Vaughn, a client of the Russells. The Vaughns said that Steven and Jana’s knowledge of the market and understanding of their ‘wish list’ was invaluable. “They were kind, trustworthy, patient, and professional,” added Sherry Vaughan. “Steve & Jana invested countless hours with our whole family in search of the right fit. We love these new friends and our new home in Bartlesville!" Clients Dawn and Dr. Scott Williams also had high praise for the Russell real estate team. “Jana and Steve were great to work with,” said Dr. and Mrs. Williams. The couple were most impressed by the Russell’s helpful suggestions and willingness to go above and beyond. “Steve and Jana even went so far as to help us weed and clean up our property,” said the Williamses.

When they’re not working, the Russells don’t sit still for long. Steven said that an active lifestyle is very important to him and Jana. While Jana stays healthy as an avid runner, Steven stays fit working out, hiking, walking, and swimming. In 2018, Steven also decided to take up oil painting — which he says he finds rewarding and therapeutic. The Russells love spending time together as a family on the lake, in the Colorado mountains, and cruising the Carribean Sea. However, no matter how far they wander from home, they are always so happy to come back to Bartlesville. The Caney native likes to joke, “I haven’t gone too far in life! About 25 miles south.” For more information or questions about Steven and Jana Russell and their real estate experience, you can contact them at 918-213-5943 or go to

DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly



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Petroleum Experiment Station Bartlesville Benefitted from Winning Bureau of Mines by Debbie Neece, Bartlesville Area History Museum

President Theodore Roosevelt’s concern over the waste of natural resources brought him to urge the establishment of the Bureau of Mines in 1910. Under the U.S. Department of Interior, the BOM recognized the role petroleum played in American life and provided “nationwide safety and health inspections for mines and petroleum industry operations while conducting scientific research for the conservation of mineral resources.” Lucky for Bartlesville, we were able to tap into this operation. In 1917, Clarence Burlingame was the president of the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce and he often traveled to Washington D.C. for meetings with the Fuels Administration. On one such trip, Burlingame heard the BOM planned to develop a petroleum experiment station in the Mid-Continent area. The Foster Act of 1915 established 10 petroleum experiment stations and seven mine safety stations with an appropriation of $75,000 to operate each station but no funds to erect the buildings. To win the station, cities were required to offer a suitable site and $50,000 for equipment and furnishings. Bartlesville was joined in the race by Kansas City, Lawrence, Stillwater, Dallas and Tulsa…Bartlesville and Tulsa were neck and neck, but Bartlesville was unstoppable. City co-founder, George B. Keeler supplied a 5 acre plot while Burlingame gathered some of Bartlesville most influential businessmen in conference, instructing them to turn over every stone and accept all pennies in an effort to gather the money and secure the BOM contract. Indeed, the “pennies” rolled in, including a $25,000 check from Empire Gas.


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On December 19, 1917, the Secretary of the Interior awarded Bartlesville the station and construction began on the brick twostory administration and one-story laboratory buildings. WWI created supply delays so completion of the project was finally achieved January 1919 and Superintendent J.O. Lewis opened the station with a laboratory of six chemists and engineers. Local oilmen welcomed the Bureau of Mines with a list of production problems in hopes of gaining solutions for everything from extracting more petroleum from oil sands to recovering natural gas. The chemists and engineers at BOM were a close “work family.” In 1921, BOM held an employee picnic at Johnstone Park and among the families in attendance were Charles Beecher, Harry Hill, Arthur Ambrose, Samuel Ivy and Charles Bopp. Charles Richard Bopp was an important part of each BOM Christmas holiday. Born in Leesburg, VA in 1881, he attended Georgetown University and specialized in chemistry. In 1900, he began his service with the U.S. Geological Service in Washington D.C. In 1911, he married Miss Mae Frazier and the couple remained in D.C. where Charles accepted a skilled labor position July 1915 at the U.S. Bureau of Mines. Two years later, he became a Junior Petroleum Chemist and then an Assistant Refinery Engineer. In 1920, he moved his family (wife Mae and daughter Florence) to Bartlesville and continued his BOM employment at the newly established experiment station.

NOW YOU KNOW Bopp’s volunteer service matched his dedication to the BOM as he held life memberships with the Masonic and Elks Lodges. However, Charles’ most proud contribution to Bartlesville and his Bureau of Mines family was donning a festive Santa Claus suit for his annual Christmas visits with BOM employees’ children. He also extended his “jolliness” to area church, lodge and school children … and nursing home residents. For over three decades, Santa Bopp left his home about 4 p.m. each Christmas Eve with a driver and map reader for the 50mile trip; visiting the homes of each BOM employee and delivering cellophane sacks filled with an apple, orange and candy to the children. His goal was to complete the visits by 9:30 so all of the children could be safely tucked into bed and asleep for the “Big Guy’s” nighttime visit. During Charles Bopp’s Santa career, the BOM supplied his Santa suit of imported cherry red velveteen with wooly white cuffs, coal black shiny boots and belt, and a flowing white beard and wigged cap…quite a sight for wide-eyed boys and girls. At 82 years of age, Charles refused to look retirement in the eye. In charge of the “chemical analysis of petroleum and natural gas” with over 350,000 well logs, he split his time between two offices at the Bureau of Mines and enjoyed his work. The generous heart of Charles Bopp stopped Christmas Eve 1973 at 92 years young but his life’s story continues in the memories of his Bureau of Mines family for the years of magical sparkle he delivered each Christmas Eve. The Bartlesville Petroleum Experiment Station operated under the Bureau of Mines from 1918-1959 and grew from the two initial buildings to a total of 23 buildings covering four city blocks. After 41 years of petroleum service, the focus of the operation changed to research and, thus, the name of the

facility changed to the Bartlesville Petroleum Research Center through 1971. In 1971, the name was again changed…to the Bartlesville Energy Research Center (BERC). It was President Richard Nixon’s vision that created the Energy Research and Development Administration, enacted by President Gerald Ford on October 1974, to centrally focus energy operations which had been in the care of various governmental agencies. To prevent an energy crisis, the ERDA was responsible for streamlining technological opportunities and “developing fossil fuels and the possibility of new forms of energy” into one department. It was during this time the Department of Energy became responsible for the Bartlesville facility and changed the name yet again in 1978 to the Bartlesville Energy Technology Center. Although the U.S. government maintained ownership of the facility, October 1983, the DOE contracted operations to the National Institute for Petroleum and Energy Research (NIPER). In 1992, the NIPER contract expired and BDMOklahoma held the contract through 1998. In 1998, Delaware Chief Dee Ketchum was approached with a tribal economic opportunity. After eight decades of service, the DOE planned to mark the “NIPER” facility as surplus which often means demolition. However, after negotiations, the Delaware Tribe of Indians rescued the facility January 8, 1999.

Did You Know? In 1978, the Oklahoma Historical Society and the Oklahoma Petroleum Council placed a granite marker at the corner of Cudahy and Virginia paying tribute to the petroleum research and development that stemmed from Bartlesville’s Petroleum Experiment Station. Now You Know *

DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly


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DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly




Phillips 66 Discovery Brought the Hula Hoop to Life by Sarah Leslie Gagan “Barrels of Fun! Defies gravity and spins forever around your waist, neck and knees! Toss it! Skid it! Twirl, roll or spin it! It even boomerangs back! Amazing action! Hilarious fun for everyone!” The Wham-O Hula Hoop made its debut in 1958 with ads promising fun for kids aged six to 60, and quickly became the latest fad on the scene. The new toy was the first product made from polypropylene, a new type of plastic resulting from a chemical experiment at the Phillips 66 Research Center right here in Bartlesville. In 1951, Phillips 66 researchers Paul Hogan and Robert Banks were looking for ways to convert natural gas hydrocarbons into gasoline components. Through their experimentation, they discovered the catalyst to transform the hydrocarbons propylene and ethylene into solid polymers. The plastics that resulted, crystalline polypropylene and high-density polyethylene, are now the core of a multibillion-dollar, global industry. At the time of this discovery, the plastic industry was in its infancy. Phillips 66, with its history of trying new and different



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ideas, eagerly supported and funded the research and experimentation of plastics — and their potential. Frank Phillips began the investigation of additional uses for natural gas liquids in 1925, and established the world’s first hydrocarbon research laboratory in 1927, located in


Bartlesville. Seeing the potential in the mid-1930s, Phillips urged his company to acquire vast quantities of natural gas acreage to provide the necessary supply for innovative research. During the wartime years of the 1940s, the oil production landscape changed, and Phillips 66 searched for ways to expand its product lines. With large quantities of natural gas on hand, they began to experiment with ways to use propylene and ethylene, which are byproducts of natural gas refining. This paved the way for Hogan and Banks to make their momentous discovery in 1951. As the story goes, it was June, 1951 when they set up their serendipitous experiment. Paul Hogan recalled standing outside the laboratory when Banks came out saying, “Hey, we’ve got something new coming in our kettle that we’ve never seen before.” Running inside, they saw that their chemical mix produced a white, solid material. Hogan and Banks were looking at a new polymer — crystalline polypropylene. Hogan immediately drafted a patent idea, and he and Banks both signed it. With full support from


Phillips management, Hogan and Banks quickly switched their research efforts from gasoline production to the development of plastics. The new plastic was named Marlex, and was introduced to the market in 1954. Phillips marketers had so much faith in the new product they believed it would practically sell itself, but due to market changes, Marlex inventory piled up in the warehouses. The breakthrough came

when a deal was made with Wham-O to use the product to manufacture a ring of plastic tubing called the Hula-Hoop. The toy became a phenomenal success and the demand for Marlex soared, using the plant’s entire output for nearly six months. Then-Phillips 66 President Paul Endacott was so thrilled that he kept a Hula Hoop in his office to show it off. Phillips 66 continued to improve upon the Marlex brand, and soon it became the preferred plastic for many uses because it was not only shatterproof, but could also withstand high temperatures. It was used in the production of easy-to-sanitize baby bottles, shatterproof food containers, durable toys, kitchen utensils, and other household products. This single discovery had revolutionized the plastic industry. While Paul Hogan and Robert Banks drafted and signed the patent describing the production process within an hour of their discovery, the patent wasn’t officially issued until 32 years later. Between 1951 and 1953, two other research teams filed patent applications for the discovery of polypropylene. Actions taken by the patent office and the court battle that followed would last three decades. In 1983, an appellate court ruled that the patent did indeed belong to Paul Hogan, Robert Banks, and the Phillips Petroleum Company.

In the years following their discovery, both men continued to enjoy a successful career with Phillips 66, climbing the ladder to achieve the level of senior research associate. They both retired in 1985, and would receive the Perkin Medal from The Society of Chemical Industry two years later. In 1998, the American Chemical Society gave Banks (posthumously) and Hogan a “Heroes of Chemistry” award for the use of petrochemicals in the automotive industries. They were pioneers in their field that brought notoriety to Bartlesville for the part played in the production of the famous Hula Hoop. The discovery of crystalline polypropylene and development of high-density polyethylene launched a multibillion-dollar plastic industry around the globe. It is impossible to list all the current uses, but the substances play an important role in medical care, public health, and management of environmental issues. They have become essential materials for manufacturing and consumer product companies, and as a result have created industries that provide thousands of jobs and business opportunities in America and around the world. And it all began in the little town of Bartlesville.

DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly



l a d n a c S y a d i l o H by Jay Webster

Well, if you believe the calendars, we’ve reached December and 2020 is almost over. I am afraid this year is going to send us into the next with a bunch of leftovers we don’t want. Speaking of leftovers, how was your Thanksgiving? Mine was fine, thanks for asking. I’ll spare you the details, but it was essentially: eat too much, sleep, rinse, and repeat. I managed to live to tell about it though. Of course there are obvious things we can talk about this month — the weather, the holidays, the fact that we continue to be “engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” 50

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But to be honest, like you I’m already worn out from thinking, feeling, and talking about those concerns. Instead, I wondered if it would be okay if I told you a quick story? It’s a little scandalous, but I think you’re ready. I’m going to change up some of the details to protect the innocent, but the spirit will be the same (even if the fashions aren’t). About 30 years ago, I was just a lowly high school senior falling in love with the girl who would be my wife. We lived in a time before cell phones and internets and the competing 24hour cable news channels. (Wow, that sounds nice.)

FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK Bartlesville High School was pretty much the same then as now. There were in crowds and out crowds and I was “stuck in the middle with you.” I had a small pack of friends. We listened to the Doors and the Stones and the Cure and a lot of other “the” bands. And pretty much everything felt important back then — even if most of it wasn’t. There was one episode, though, that has stayed with me because it was so strange. I had a couple of classes with this girl Mary, who seemed painfully shy at first. It turned out she was really just disinterested. Her mind was always in other places. BHS was like an airport terminal she was forced to wait in before her life could finally take off. The only time I saw her really animated was around other outcasts. Every school has that club of bland-faced, meek individuals who desperately want to blend into the walls and do their time quietly. Mary always seemed to pick those kids out and, I guess, befriend them. She was attractive, but it really wasn’t her fault. I mean that she didn’t really do anything to appear attractive. Her sense of fashion was outdated. All the girls around her had spray stiff bangs and oversized 80s sweatshirts with tapered jeans. Mary wore button-up shirts and open sweaters and little Keds that never thought of coming untied. She had a kinda glow about her though, that made her seem interesting. It was probably just that whole wholesome vibe that seems to attract boys, but it seemed different at the time. My desk was next to her’s in a couple of classes. She was pleasant enough. We talked and I tried to make her laugh, but she would never really talk much about herself. Someone told me she came from a really religious family, and her older cousin was some pastor at a sorta fundamentalist church down south. I’m guessing all that added a lot of weight when she ended up pregnant our senior year.

Occasionally, I still bump into Mary. She literally looks the same. Some people are like that. But mostly I see her son. (I put it together later that it was his name she was doodling on her notebook.) And maybe because it’s in his blood or maybe because of the way he was conceived … her son has actually become a sorta preacher himself. I’m not a very religious person, but I like a lot of the things he says. He’s always talking about loving your enemies, loving your neighbors, doing good even to those that harm you, blessing the peacemakers … He also says things that make a lot of people nervous. Last week he told some people in the park that God was his father. I don’t know if he meant it figuratively or like seriously. My friends think he’s anti-establishment and probably a socialist. That’s dangerous in this part of the country. Seems the more inclusive you are and the less you care about money or private empires, the more people want to kill you. What a strange 30-year saga, though. Virginal girl (voted least likely to be a teen statistic) gets pregnant and has a runa-way wedding to escape the scandal. Then her son turns out to be this kinda prophet, bent on changing the world. What are the chances? Anyway, I hope he’s careful and people listen to him. We could do with more love and peace right about now. Happy Holidays, my friends. We’ll have to do this again next month. In the meanwhile, I hope your December is full of light. Cheers.

I don’t think anyone else knew, but I could tell. She grew more removed and distracted. She started doodling this boy’s name over and over on her notebook. I knew her boyfriend, Joe. He was older. He’d already graduated actually, but it wasn’t his name on her notebook. Then she started to wear her shirts untucked to hide things. Thank God, for her sake we were only a few weeks from graduation. BHS could be a tough place for a pregnant teen back then. Here’s the kicker though, I found out after graduation the baby wasn’t even Joe’s. Somehow this poster child for virtue got pregnant and by someone other than her boyfriend. That must have been a fun conversation around the dinner table. About a month later, I heard she and Joe sorta eloped and moved to the town where he grew up. They probably figured it would be easier since no one knew her there and wouldn’t expect anything about the baby. I just kept thinking “not me.” I wouldn’t take my girlfriend from high school — no matter how long we dated — and run off and marry her after she told me she was pregnant and I knew it wasn’t mine. But Joe did. In fact, they even had a couple of kids after that.

DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly


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Tallying the Books A Look at the Life of Frederick Ford Drummond by Kelly Bland Wealth — how do you define it? In Osage County we characterize it by the size of character rather than by the size of bank accounts; by the investment portfolio of generosity of heart; by the depth of understanding instead of by deep pockets; by the possession of wit coupled with grit; and by the overflowing dividends of a good attitude. Frederick Ford Drummond would add, “And it’s not money — It’s the friends, the family, and the relationships that you have in this world while you’re here.” (Voices of Oklahoma interview). Let’s run the figures on this 1931 model of an Osage County icon. Frederick Ford Drummond grew up in the days when cattle were marketed via cattle drives to railroad stations. He experienced cattle being brought up from Texas to be grazed on Osage County grasses before being shipped to market. His grandfather, Frederick Drummond, built the family home in Hominy, Oklahoma and was a pioneer merchant in the late 1800s — a little over 20 years before statehood. Frederick’s father, Frederick G. Drummond, at the patriarch’s death, came home from Harvard to run the family business — and when Frederick G. passed, Frederick Ford came home to do the same. However, the family business now included a ranching operation. With an MBA from Stanford University, Frederick Ford brought a banking and business sense to the family ranching operation — and coupled it with his appreciation for the working cowboy, and in his words, even “wore out a couple of saddles,” himself (Voices of Oklahoma interview). It would seem there’s something to be said for doing what is expected of you. In the Voices of Oklahoma interview, Frederick Ford admitted why he came home to run the family business after his father’s death — because it was expected of him. He noted it wasn’t his original intent to be a cowboy due to his working many hot and dusty days in the saddle while growing up, but he inserted the adage, “Never say never.” Without a doubt, Osage County is the better for him having returned. Few men leave a mark like the legacy left by this cattleman. Today, as the winds blow through the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, where over 2,500 head of bison roam on land just like it was before white man came to this territory — Frederick Ford was one of the visionaries and founding members of the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy, who recognized the need to preserve a way of life that would outlive the ranchers and be there for generations to come. Over 40,000 acres of the once Chapman–Barnard Ranch, just north of Pawhuska, are home to one of the largest bison herds in the United States. Visitors can drive out through the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and take in the vistas of wide-open spaces speckled with bison on the horizon. They can get a glimpse of this country’s past grandeur — thanks to Frederick Ford and his contemporaries. Also, the original Drummond home in Hominy still stands as a museum open to the public. Tours are given as guests are escorted throughout the home, which remains much the same as it was in the late 1800s. This is the home where Frederick Ford played as a child. As we continue our tally, Frederick Ford’s service on prestigious boards across the state also included his serving as Chairman of the

Osage County Historical Society (OCHS) and donating valuable documents to the OCHS Museum’s historic archives. In visiting with Garrett Hartness, OCHS director, he stated, “I don’t know of anyone who didn’t like Frederick Drummond. He was a contributor — and not just of his money, but of his time and his knowledge as well.” As I researched and read, Frederick Ford’s wit was unmistakable, and his heart was all the way engaged and recognizable. The way he spoke of his son, Ford, touched my heart to hear a father speak so well of his child. It was clear he wasn’t only a rancher, but he understood the life of a ranch hand as well, as evidenced when he spoke of the cowboy as an “elitist” who would rather do what he loves than be cooped up in an office. He was a beef producer who understood the upside, downside, inside, outside, and even the backside of that business and all it entails. When asked about how the beef industry might compare to the poultry industry, Frederick remarked (like any true cattleman would), “Well, as a traditional rancher, you know, I don’t ever eat chicken.” (Voices of Oklahoma interview). When questioned about environmental concerns and the long-term health effects of beef in the American diet, Frederick Ford commented, “You know, we’ve never had a cowboy die from eating too much beef, strangely enough.” I imagined the twinkle in his eye and the chuckle that probably accompanied his witty response. To sum it up, Frederick’s love for Osage County and its history go without question — and are only surpassed by his understanding of both. As I’m connecting the dots of a life well-lived for you here, I hope you can see that we are tracing out a legacy, one worth getting the full picture of and one whose full effects will become more apparent as time goes on. When asked what he would like folks to think of him 50 years from now, Frederick said he didn’t want folks thinking about him, but rather, about the future. It would seem that’s the way Frederick Ford Drummond lived his life — thinking about the future — and investing in it. On October 18, 2020, the tallgrasses bowed low, the cowboys removed their hats, the bison saluted, the ranching industry took note, and Osage County felt its loss at the passing of Frederick Ford Drummond. I don’t know how you define wealth, but in the Osage, Frederick Ford Drummond defined it for us and etched its meaning into a history that is not only well-preserved, but a history that will be telling his story for generations to come. DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly


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Bartlesville’s First Lady of Music Frances Yates Enjoyed a Highly-Decorated Musical Career by Debbie Neece, Bartlesville Area History Museum There are many “Stars in Bartlesville’s Backyard” and one such star is Susan Frances Dunn. Most Bartians will not recognize her name but her talents and contributions have been momentous. Born in Goodwater, AL, in 1894, Frances Dunn was considered a child prodigy at five years of age as she graced the ivory piano keys under the instruction of her music teacher mother. After graduating Goodwater High School, Frances attended the Chase Conservatory of Music in Columbus, GA and received her Bachelors of Art in Piano, Harmony and Theory. Continuing her education, she studied at Columbia University and Julliard School of Music in NY. She then moved to Kansas City where she became a vaudeville and silent movie accompanist and composed a jazzy tune that caught the attention of a song writer named Larry Rosenwald. He purchased the tune for $50 and later sold the song to Euday Bowman who titled the tune the “Twelfth Street Rag.” By the 1920s, Bowman was registered as the composer and the tune had grossed over a million dollars. Popular with square dancers and played by a variety of entertainers like Roy Clark and Louis Armstrong, Frances never sought credit for her endeavor … she said, “Fifty dollars was fair business transaction.” Frances married her first husband, Eaton George and the couple settled in Bartlesville where Mr. George was an engineer and contractor building the Masonic building at 4th Street and Dewey Avenue (currently Rogers State University site). Their only child, Betty Jean George was adopted and became Miss Oklahoma in 1935. Mr. George died expectantly in 1936. In 1937, Frances married Cities Service employee George Van Ness Yates who died in 1952. She enjoyed traveling and found employment as a travel director at the Brownell Travel Bureau for ten-years before being employed at Spears Travel for nine-years. She also gave European tours and traveled to thirty-six countries around the world. Bartians who remember Frances Yates well will remember her 1957 pink Cadillac and her stellar music career. Beginning in 1923, she held a forty-eight year position as the pianist for the Kiwanis Club, of which

she was a life member. And in 1927, she accepted a position as the organist and then music director for the First Presbyterian Church. She held this position for thirty-years and received raving reviews for her well executed seasonal programs, especially Christmas celebrations. Frances was a life member of the Musical Research Society, serving two terms as president; helped organize the Bartlesville Community Concert series with early pioneer, Maurice Lorioux; member of the Bartlesville Women’s Club and the Tuesday Club; and she was the first recipient of the Bartlesville Arts and Humanities Council award. Susan “Frances” Yates died April 21, 1987 after a dedicated musical career, including composing a tune that continues to draw fame although not with her credit. During Bartlesville’s Centennial Celebration in 1997, the “Mr. Jack Daniel’s Silver Cornet Band” played the “12th Street Rag” as a tribute to the character, integrity and talent of Frances Yates … “Bartlesville's First Lady of Music.” DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly


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Color and Light Renowned Artist Frank Lorenzo’s Work to be on Display at PTAC by Maria Gus From an early age, Frank Lorenzo was encouraged to develop his artistic side. Summers with his Portuguese grandparents on their family farm provided many opportunities to bring nature to life through art. Since that time, he has cultivated a talent that celebrates not only nature, but color, light, and emotion. “I have been inspired by works of Picasso in discovering the use of color, form, and line,” said Lorenzo. Like Picasso, Lorenzo sometimes breaks with tradition. His study of art inspired him to see things in a different way. “By simplifying shape, color, and space, I used those relationships to create a painting.” Frank Lorenzo’s formal education began with a scholarship to California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California. He attended San Francisco State University for a Masters of Art in ceramics and holds degrees in art and education. He even wrote and published an artist’s rights handbook during that time. After teaching art, drafting, crafts, and art appreciation at Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, Cal., Lorenzo was selected as one of the Most Outstanding Educators of America. “I believe the level of commitment creates a level of success,” said Lorenzo. “In 1984, I was selected to exhibit four paintings in the Salon des Nation juried show in Paris. I like color and light,

which are the beyond elements. They are the essence of giving life to an object or thing.” Citing artist Andrew Wyeth (Christina’s World), Lorenzo says Wyeth’s work helped him focus on the simplicity of composition and paint to create a reality. For Lorenzo, art is about creating an emotional response for the viewer. Both a visual artist and sculptor, Lorenzo’s art combines fantasy, reality, emotion, and dynamic color. His hope is that his work allows the viewer to dance between what is real and what is not real. “I try to create a new awareness so the viewer can become aware, feel, and see the contrast in the clay.” One thing is very clear, Frank Lorenzo throws his heart and soul into his work. Beginning December 5 and through January 3, art enthusiasts can take in Lorenzo’s paintings and sculptures at Price Tower Arts Center. The artist will be showing and selling from his personal collection, representing his work from the time he was in university until present day. The pieces will be separated into a series of influences and chronology highlighting the evolution of his art. There will be an exhibition preview on December 4, from 5:30-7 pm. “The show is really a beautiful reflection of his work over the years,” said Deshane WIlliams, curator of Price Tower Arts Center. The exhibition will take place on the second floor of the Price Tower gallery. “An animal, a flower, a bird often becomes the image of a painting and the creation of new reality with the use of color and light,” said Lorenzo. “A paint subject is not calculated, but develops as I add color, shape, and light that embodies the spirit and sense of life. A painting is not just a picture, but a dynamic response to light, color, and image. It needs to speak to the viewer. Each art piece I do is a statement about who I am and what I have done.”

DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly


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bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020

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Lori Just

Advocate for Bartlesville Not “Just” Another Writer by Tim Hudson Bartlesville Monthly writer Lori Just is a renaissance type of gal. You can find her not only in the pages of this very magazine every month, but (in non-pandemic times) at most functions and events around town as well. “I’m a big advocate for Bartlesville and I just love the town,” she said. “I enjoy the spirit of community, selection of amenities, and numerous ways to give back. This will always be home for me." That sentiment, as well as a love for life in general, is evident in her writing and all that she does. Lori has literally been with bmonthly since its inception. “I’ve been with the magazine since the start. I did some photography at the beginning, and I naturally started writing,” she said. Lori is Bartlesville through and through. She was not only born and raised in Bartlesville, but both sides of here family have been here since the 1950s, when they moved from Kansas City. “I definitely enjoy writing for the magazine because it kind of gives me an outlet to be more personable and creative,” she said. While community is very important, she said that she loves getting to know the variety of people and events around town through her writing. “Every month is something new and different, which I enjoy, because growing up in Bartlesville, I have a lot of connections with people, organizations, and non-profits. Sometimes the stories are getting to know these individuals or nonprofits on a deeper level, or sometimes it’s writing something that I didn’t know before and sharing that with everyone,” she said. She said she likes to write profile articles because she likes telling people's stories, but when asked about her favorite

stories, she’s remiss to name just one — but a recent story sticks out in her mind.

local knowledge and has access to some really cool archives."

“Last month’s article that I did on the profile of the women of World War 2 made a big impact on me. Reading their testimonies at times made me emotional, and it really made me admire their spirit and what they were able to overcome and accomplish as women during that era. There have been quite a few articles that I was like ‘that’s a good one’” she said. "I also enjoy working with Debbie at the Bartlesville Area History Museum on these historic articles. She's a wealth of

In addition to the writing, she said that she still enjoys photography. “I like to dabble in photography for family and friends as a hobby. When I was in college at OSU, I liked to shoot a lot of architecture. After I graduated I got more into the people element,” she said. “I really enjoy the playful nature of people, and capturing them in their more natural moments.”

DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly


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bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020

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bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020


A Divine Name Change Now is the Time to Rely On God and Trust in His Grace by Caleb Gordon, Lead Pastor at First Baptist Church in Cedar Vale, Kansas And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. — Genesis 32:24 Have you ever had moments where you were just exhausted from life? Moments where there was nothing else left to do but scream out? You had tried so hard to make certain things happen, or you ran from your past for so long, and finally, it was just too much and you said to yourself “I’M DONE!” I think we’ve all been there. If you read this story about Jacob in Genesis 32, this guy had been running from his past for a long time. I mean, he had lied, cheated, and stolen from his brother and his family. Needless to say, he was not being invited to the family Christmas party on a regular basis.

WOW!! The song amazing grace comes to mind! Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see. When God shows up, things change! Jacob was weak and had been trying to find answers, but he was looking for the answers in all the wrong places. What is so amazing is that God had the answer the whole time. He shows up at just the right time and reveals the error of Jacob's way, then brings redemption and gives him a new name. He says you're no longer a deceiver ... you're one who walks with God. This is the good news that we celebrate at Christmas time. Jesus came into this world to seek and to save that which was lost. He shows up at just the right time!


Instead of relying upon God and trusting in His grace, he had tried to fix it on his own. He was following his own sinful nature. And isn’t that exactly what humanity always attempts to do? We try and fix our problems with our own self-effort, and that NEVER WORKS!! Well, the moment where Jacob was totally transformed came in Genesis 32, and the reason he was transformed was not that he was trying harder … it was because God actually shows up and begins to press into his life, and it gets a little violent. But when it comes to sin…God is ruthless in exposing and drawing that sin out of us. Look what happens as a result of God showing up in Jacob’s life. Jacob receives redemption. Jacob’s name is changed by God, from ‘Deceiver’(Jacob) to ‘One who walks with God’ (Israel). Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” — Genesis 32:28

I think of Romans 5 and the power of this passage. 6

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly ... 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. — Romans 5:6; 8-9 God is in the business of changing people’s names! Stop trying to change your name! It won’t work. The time for your name change could be today. The answer you’ve needed all along is standing right in front of you, His name is JESUS. He's shown up at just the right time I cannot say it any better than Mark did: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” — Mark 1:15 Merry Christmas.

DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly



Christmases Past

by Rita Thurman Barnes Christmas memories flood my mind this holiday season even as the pandemic marches on. Both my husband and I had the virus which we tried so hard to avoid so, memories of Christmases past have reached out to me from years gone-by and they are sweeter than ever before. I recall parades downtown and working on church floats and also getting to ride on them. Decorations that firemen strung from pole to pole across major downtown streets make our two main intersections come to life like old Technicolor movies. I remember hubby’s and my first Christmas tree which we brought home from IGA Foodliner in Pennington Hills and how much fun we had picking it out. It didn’t have to be perfect and it wasn’t. The only thing that mattered was that we were together along with Deanie, the kitten which was our first gift to each other. So many people, places and things come hurling their way to my December doorstep this year that if I let all of them inside, I’d really be overwhelmed. And I guess the Christmas memories I cherish the most are of my childhood and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020

I remember my mom cooking and preparing for Christmas for days on end. Baking cakes and pies ahead of time as she also did with her mouth-watering cranberry salad. With Mama, the tree was sort of an after-thought unless I nagged her every day to let me go to the corner store to purchase one and literally drag it home. When she finally succumbed to my hounding for the tree, it was just fine with her if I decorated the whole thing myself and I loved it. Those were the days of simpler decorations — paper chains and popcorn and even berries if they were on sale. We had the usual collection of unmatched bells and balls and electric lights that if one went out, they all went out, but we always had extra lights to replace them with. I guess, since Mama’s forte was cooking, that’s what I remember most about Christmas. As a child, I only recall gifts from two or three Christmas mornings but the meals she prepared will live on in my memory forever. Christmas window shopping in Bartlesville during the 1950s centered mainly in the downtown area. I don’t ever recall my mama shopping with a list in hand — she mostly window shopped a

few weeks ahead of the big day and then went back to the main shops she frequented and bought gifts a few days before Christmas Day. She simply adored JC Penney’s and CR Anthony’s as well as the downtown hardware stores and the five and dimes. And it didn’t take her long to buy her gifts for Christmas giving. She was pretty much a snap-decision shopper as I am, and the holidays never got her down. Due to reasons beyond my control, I’m not involved in the actual preparation of the holiday food very much these days. It’s mostly the menu and the shopping list that I oversee. But I miss the days when I could do all the cooking on my own as it was part of the gift I could give to my family. Food prepared from my heart and cooked with my own two hands was so special to me the same way it was for my mother, but those days are gone. And due to Covid hubby and I will be celebrating as a couple this year. It’s not what we prefer but this year we are not alone because many people around the world will be doing the same thing. I love doorbells, especially around the holidays and each time we have moved


throughout the years we’ve been married, one of the first things I’ve asked hubby to do is to go buy a new doorbell to install. Here in the condo we have both a front and back doorbell that play a variety of songs. I love to hear the Westminster Chimes announce the arrival of guests and to welcome them as well, but this year will be different. The emphasis this Yuletide will not be on a sprawling spread for 15 or more nor will there be dozens of

colorfully wrapped gifts under the family tree of red and green. There are many reasons to say Christmas just won’t be the same this year but perhaps for the very first time in a long time we can all take advantage of celebrating the true meaning of Christmas. Maybe we can celebrate that “the Lord is come” and that we can turn from our selfish ways unto Him. Time passes, times change and time marches on. And it’s not

what we eat for Christmas dinner or how fancy it is or how much there is on the candle-lit table. It’s not what’s under the tree or how much the gifts cost or where they were purchased. It’s the peace and harmony we experience as we celebrate the child who came to save us that unites each of us with the other this blessed time of year. This may be the way we’re forced to celebrate this year, but Christmas still means the world to everyone. I recently watched Scrooge – the British classic that’s an adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol starring Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. It was the very first time I’d felt the true meaning that Dickens was trying to convey. Christmas may be about love and family and friends and what’s in our hearts but it’s even more about what Tiny Tim learned about the Christ Child who came to us on that special day so long ago. Have a Peace-filled, Blessed Christmas and as just two of the many victims of Covid-19 in Bartlesville, please, please follow the 3W’s and “Wear a mask, Wash your hands and Watch your distance.” Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King! DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly


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bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020



C.J. “Pete” Silas Remembering one of Our Legendary Residents by Lori Just C.J. “Pete” Silas was a larger-than-life individual, both in stature and his lifetime achievements. Pete was born on April 15, 1932 in Florida, where he was recruited for a full basketball scholarship to Georgia Tech. He received a B.S. degree in chemical engineering and joined Phillips Petroleum as a trainee petroleum engineer in Bartlesville in 1953. During his first year, the six-foot, six-inch Silas joined the Phillips 66ers basketball team. In 1954, he served for two years in the U.S. Chemical Corps, attained the rank of first lieutenant, and played on the army basketball team that went on to win the Pan-American games in Mexico City in 1955. After his service in the Army, he returned to Phillips Petroleum in Oklahoma as a plastics engineer and began his rise through the corporate ranks of the company. From 1968 to 1976, Silas was world’s finest performers in classical music. “Pete and Theo were assigned to Phillips’ Europe-Africa area, where he directed much of ardent patrons of classical music,” said John C. Mihm, retired Sr. Vice the development of the company’s Ekofisk Operations in the NorPresident of ConocoPhillips and Board Member of OKM Music for wegian North Sea. He lived in Paris, Zurich, and New York City — 36 years. “In the mid-1980s Pete saw a vision for both Phillips 66 where he met and married his wife of 49 years, Theodosea Hejda — and the Bartlesville Community through the OK Mozart Festival. and then on to Brussels and London. The Silas’ arrived in Bartlesville Pete hoped that by bringing industry CEOs and leaders from all over in 1977 with their four children, Karla, Peter Edward, Michael Frank, the world to Bartlesville he could show case the newly built beautiful and James Alexander. He became senior vice president of Phillips community center as well as building good will through a classical in 1978, then executive vice president in 1980, and was made a direcmusic festival. The generosity and vision has impacted the commutor and elected president in nity for 36 years, and for that we 1982 at the age of 49 — the “I think people have a basic understanding of what’s right and are eternally grateful.” youngest man to hold this job what’s wrong, and they expect other people, in business or othsince Boots Adams. The family erwise, to live up to these principles.” While their contributions to became members of the First — C.J. Silas, 1991 the community have been Presbyterian Church in 1981. numerous, Pete was also well known for his civic leadership. Pete was past national chairman of In May of 1985, Silas was elected chairman and chief executive Junior Achievement, the United States Chamber of Commerce, and officer and during his nine years at the helm of Bartlesville’s largest the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. “The Boys & Girls Club of employer, he helped the company weather two hostile takeover Bartlesville would not be where it is today without Mr. Silas’ passion attempts and crushing oil price collapses, while fighting to reduce a and guidance,” added Jason Barta, chief executive officer. “His mountain of debt. Under Silas’ leadership, Phillips maintained its impact has been significant, both in Bartlesville and nationally. He position as a global leader in oil exploration and production technolwas instrumental in the early planning and vision of our new facility. ogy, with exploration efforts ongoing on five continents at the time We are beyond blessed to have Mr. Silas and his family’s legacy he retired in 1994 at the age of 62, after a 41-year career at Phillips. honored at the Boys & Girls Club of Bartlesville.” Throughout his career and retirement, Pete and Theo were Barta’s first introduction to Mr. Silas was in 2010, shortly after he active and generous participants of many boards and philanthropies. arrived in Bartlesville and the Club was serving around 30 kids a day. They were both instrumental in the establishment of the arts scene, helping to build Price Tower Arts Center into what it is today – a “He made it very clear that we should have 1,000 kids enrolled in museum, hotel, and a source of cultural pride to the city. “Pete Silas the Club,” he said. “Unfortunately Mr. Silas passed before we was instrumental to the development and survival of Price Tower Arts reached this mark, however he would be proud to know the year Center,” said Deshane Atkins-Williams, Curator. “We will be forever after he passed we reached his goal.” In 2017, the Club opened their grateful for his long dedication and passion in sharing the arts. We new 30,000-square-foot building named in honor of C.J. “Pete” Silas. plan to carry on his legacy in preserving Price Tower and bringing amazing art to this community he most certainly loved.” Pete passed away on December 16, 2014 just before 5 p.m., and Theo aptly put it at the time “right at the end of a regular workday The couple was also instrumental in establishment of the OK at Phillips.” Mozart Festival — an extended day festival featuring many of the DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly


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Open House Cancelled Pandemic Strikes Again, but Repairs & Renovations Near End by Carroll Craunn Holiday traditions in Nowata County include a lot of special times for family and friends, like parades, visits with Santa, and a host of special events and traditions. One tradition that has been going on for over 20 years is the free open house at the Glass Mansion, located in downtown Nowata and owned by the Nowata County Historical Society. This is a time when the house is decorated with beautiful trees, lights, and colorful ornaments. Refreshments are served and people can come and enjoy the beauty of the season and socialize. Often, there are musical performances for everyone to participate in and enjoy. What fun! With the current pandemic situation facing our nation and Oklahoma, the Historical Society Board made the hard decision not to open the House for the event this year. This does not mean, however, that nothing has been happening at the Mansion. The board has taken the opportunity to use this time wisely and do some necessary repairs to the structure and some renovation. A great many events have been hosted at the site over the years, but it has been difficult to do the prep work necessary if food is involved, because of limited electrical circuits and cramped working space. The other issue has been access to bathrooms, especially for those with physical disabilities. After much discussion and looking at possible options, the board decided to renovate the garage area into bathrooms and an event kitchen prep area.

installed; and two new bathrooms are easily accessible and both unisex. The colors chosen for this project are in keeping with what is already in the house, so there is a comfortable flow. The cabinets are custom made for the new work area, and there is a lot more space to move around for different prep needs. Several electrical circuits have been added to prevent problems when using coffee makers and Crock Pots simultaneously. Those that work in the area will also enjoy the incredible lighting. You can see

with out any difficulty now — every area is well lit. Hosting events on the grounds is going to be so much easier with convenient access to the kitchen and ways to bring needed furnishings, such as tables and chairs, out to the yard. Outside electrical needs have also been addressed during the renovation. Glass Mansion hopes by this time next year everything will be back to what ever is 'normal,' and lots of events will be taking place on the grounds and the house will be seen and enjoyed by many individuals. In the meantime, enjoy a few pictures from past years, see a little of the new kitchen area and baths, and dream about possible events you can host here.

This project is nearly complete. A few finishing details need to be addressed and then the fun begins — cleaning and decorating the area for use. A lift has been installed to provide easy access from the ground floor level to the garage level; two new outside entrances have been DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly


Introducing LuxeRehab

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Ignite will soon offer: Our new hospitality model, LuxeRehab featuring hospitality tablets, room service, the latest in technology including virtual reality and contact free vital monitoring coupled with beautiful renovations to include our signature LuxeCafe proudly brewing Starbucks Coffee

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bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020


Answering the Call Ignite Medical Resorts Responds to COVID-19 Rehab Needs by Sarah Leslie Gagan No other event in our lifetime has devastatingly disrupted our days quite like COVID-19. It has impacted every single American. One of the most unique challenges presented has been new demands from our healthcare system, especially regarding patient care. Ignite Medical Resorts - Adams PARC has stepped up to meet that challenge since day one. Ignite is a state-of-the-art, post-hospitalization, rehabilitation facility that provides therapy services for clients recently discharged from the hospital, who require strength-building rapid recovery therapy, before returning home. They provide dedicated clinical programs for orthopedics, cardiac care, and stroke rehab patients, and since March 2020, COVID-19 patients as well. While the novel coronavirus impacts its victims in different ways, it’s the deeply affected with the greatest need for specialized care following hospitalization. Ignite Medical Resorts Adams PARC was fully equipped and staffed to hit the ground running when the unprecedented need arose. Partnering with hospitals in Northeast Oklahoma, Ignite began admitting COVID19 positive and COVID-19 recovering patients in March 2020, providing them with the missing rehabilitation link in the treatment and recovery of COVID-19. Mrs. Angel Ingle’s COVID-19 story began with a Tulsa emergency room visit on June 1. After a three-day admission, and a primary physician follow up, she received her diagnosis of COVID-19 10 days later. She experienced two lengthy hospital stays and was discharged home twice, but within days, symptoms and lack of mobility became unmanageable, requiring readmission. It was September when she experienced a collapsed lung, then was placed on a ventilator for approximately three weeks, requiring a tracheostomy and a feeding tube. Before Covid-19, Angel was an active 45-year-old wife and mother of two living a full life, enjoying a financial career as a controller for a major car dealership in Broken Arrow. The disease has been extremely hard on the entire family, who greatly miss her. Visitors weren’t allowed during her hospital stay and are limited to “window” visits or outdoor visits with family while at Ignite. In early October, while in a Tulsa hospital, Angel received 24hour notice from her insurance company that her hospital coverage had been exhausted. She was unable to walk, or even sit up on her own, had a feeding tube, a tracheostomy, and on oxygen. Going home was not an option. That was when she found Ignite Medical Resorts - Adams PARC and felt so lucky that they could admit her the following day. When she arrived, her room was ready and complete with all the specialized equipment she required. The treatment has been the difference between night and day, according to Angel. The hospital was critically understaffed, and

many of Angel’s personal care needs went unmet. She ultimately lost her hair while at the hospital, but she has been so pleased with the care and concern shown her by the Ignite staff. They have been attentive to her every need as she learns to live her life again, through exercise and rehab with the goal of walking again, to her specific dietary needs, now requiring insulin injections and therapy as she begins to eat food again. She is excited to grow stronger and continues to make great progress. Angel’s greatest message to others about COVID-19 is to encourage those recovered to donate platelets to be used therapeutically, and to strive for health insurance reform. Recently, Angel’s health insurance informed her they would only cover 30 days of inpatient rehab, and with home not yet an option, she has become “self-pay” for her care at Ignite. Her daughter has established a go-fund-me account to hopefully fill the gap. Currently, Ignite Medical Resorts - Adams PARC is one of only a few facilities in Northeast Oklahoma admitting Covid-19 patients for post-acute care. They continue to bridge the gap between hospital and home for patients needing additional nursing and therapy services. Angel's team of therapists and nurses are working hard to assist her in getting her "spark" back. She continues to keep her eye on the goal ... returning home to her family to live her best life again! DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly


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Two Brothers’ Hopes & Dreams Gavellas Brothers Came to America Full of Dreams by Debbie Neece, Bartlesville Area History Museum Embedded in the history of each person who has arrived in Oklahoma lies a story. For the Gavellas family, two brothers fled their homeland in 1903 in search of better opportunity. Imagine the fear and anxiety of boarding a ship and setting sail towards uncertainty with only hopes and dreams as your guide. Although Charlie and Pete Gavellas left Greece behind the horizon, they brought with them the old country tradition of hard work and a love for rich productive soil…the Caney River soil. Both brothers married and became American citizens. The elder Pete Gavellas and Opal bore no children; however, Charlie and Hazel were the parents of Pete, Ruth and Mason. During the birth of the fourth child, Hazel and the child died, leaving a family dynamic of “two brothers, the wife of one and the children of the other.” As the first Greek family in Bartlesville, the brothers became reputable gardeners, supplying area cafés and grocery stores with fresh fruit and vegetables. Then in 1926, they opened the Gavellas Bros. Grocery in Dewey at the corner of the old Dewey Highway and First Street. From this store, a sundry of grocery needs were sold including the famous Gavellas horseradish which became well-known and shipped throughout the states. As a generation faded, the next stepped to the occasion binding the family gardening operation. Ruth married Darrell Woodard and they established their family (Shirley, Barbara, Patricia, Jocelyn, Beverly, Barty and Ronnie) while Pete and Mason continued the family gardening operation.

In 1942, Mason “Buster” Gavellas was called to serve in WWII. During the conflict at Iwo Jima, he was struck by shrapnel which became a life-long companion. Upon discharge, he returned to the farm and became an intricate part of the daily operation with his brother. Ornery to his core, Buster never married but enjoyed tormenting his nieces and nephews. He was a devoted Dewey Bulldogger fan and for at least sixty years, Friday evenings found him “hollering encouragement” from the stands at every home game. In 1998, the Dewey football team and Bulldogger Booster Club honored Buster with an autographed football, football jersey and a lifetime membership to all home games. During Buster’s war absence, Pete and his wife, Dortha, managed the gardening operations. As their five children (Georgia, Nelda, Glenna, Hazel and Jim) were born, they helped harvest the massive fields of tomatoes and vegetables, often working in the fields from sun up to sun down.

From left: Pete H. Gavellas, Darrel Woodard, Buster Gavellas, Pete C. Gavellas, and Charles Gavellas.

As elders, the Gavellas brothers, Pete and Buster, continued the family farming operation although much smaller than its peak. Upon the passing of their generation, the operation faded into memories. Now, in Oklahoma, the Gavellas bloodline is six generations deep and growing. As Americans, each generation has risen above challenges, but in the end, we are all fighting the same battle, to leave the world a better place. It just takes hopes and dreams.

DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly



The Delaware Crossing by Jay Hastings At the beginning of 1776, things looked promising for the American cause with the evacuation of British troops from Boston. However, the American defense of New York had not gone very well, and more British troops had been brought in. In August, 44-year-old George Washington’s Continental Army had been pushed completely out of New York. Washington had been chased by the British most of the year, but in November the British returned to New York for winter quarters, leaving Hessian forces (German Auxiliaries in the service of British) in place to guard areas they had defeated. Winter quarters were a time for generals to regroup and re-strategize.

The weather became increasingly worse after nightfall, as they encountered high winds and rain which turned into ice, then into snow. Washington was among the first of the men to cross, going with Virginia troops led by General Adam Stephen. These troops formed a sentry line around the landing area in New Jersey, with strict instructions that no one was to pass through. The password was "Victory or Death." The river was approximately 300 yards wide at the crossing, and the rest of Washington’s troops crossed the river with little to no incidents. Heavy ice delayed the artillery from crossing, and they did not arrive until 3:00 a.m. December 26.

Washington had 4,000-6,000 men under his command, although 1,700 were sick or injured and unable to fight. In the retreat across New Jersey, Washington’s army had lost precious supplies. Washington had also lost contact with two divisions of his army — many were soldiers at the end of their enlistment who deserted as winter approached.

The other two crossings failed. General Ewing did not cross the river below Trenton because of the extreme weather and ice jams in the river. Colonel Cadwalader led a large portion of his men across the river, but when the artillery failed to make it across, he recalled his men back.

With Washington down to about 600 men, an offensive assault seemed unlikely this late in the season. On December 20, General Lee’s division of 2,000 men arrived at Washington’s camp, now located at McConkey’s Ferry. Soon, another 1,000 militiamen arrived under the command of Colonel John Cadwalader. Suddenly, there were close to 6,000 men assembled. A large portion of the army was now assigned other duties, however, such as protecting and helping the wounded, and making sure the settlements were protected from attack. December 24, morale was improved when a supply of blankets arrived for the men.

On the morning of December 26, as soon as the army was ready, Washington ordered it split into two columns: one under the command of himself and General Greene, the second under General Sullivan. The Sullivan column would take River Road from Bear Tavern to Trenton, while Washington's column would follow Pennington Road, a parallel route that lay a few miles inland from the river. It took four hours for the troops to travel on land to Trenton after they had made the river crossing. During the battle only three Americans were killed and six wounded. Twenty-two Hessians were killed with 98 wounded. The Americans captured 1,000 prisoners and seized muskets, powder, and artillery.

Washington had been planning a bold offensive move since arriving in Pennsylvania, and now he had around 2,400 men ready. His first plan was to attack British forces at Mount Holy, however, the militia forces selected were in ill health and were not able to carry out the attack. Washington abandoned this idea and moved on to another plan, which was to assemble three crossings of the Delaware River for the assault on the Trenton Garrison the morning of December 26.

The return trip back across the Delaware River in some ways proved more difficult than the first crossing. The prisoners had to be escorted and supplies, including those seized during the skirmish, carried back across the river. Another contributing factor was the confiscated supply of the Hessian’s rum. In spite of Washington’s order for its destruction, the captured rum was plundered by some of the celebrating troops. This most likely accounted for the large number of troops who had to be pulled from the river on the return trip.

Preparations got underway December 23 and 24, and boats were brought in and hidden along the Hudson River. Washington gave detailed orders related to the attack on December 25, Christmas Day. Even officers and musicians were ordered to carry muskets. A large number of Durham boats were brought in for the crossing. The boats were designed to carry heavy loads from the Durham Iron Works and featured high sides with a shallow draft which could be poled across the river. Intelligence was received suggesting the British may be planning their own attack, including the crossing of the Delaware once the river froze after 4 p.m.

George Washington crossed the river a third time on January 2, 1777 and defeated British reinforcements at Trenton and Princeton, New Jersey. The third crossing was made even more difficult due to the thickness of the ice on the river. Finally, Washington retreated to winter quarters on Morristown, New Jersey. The unincorporated communities of Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, and Washington Crossing, New Jersey, are named in honor of this historic event of the American revolutionary war. Thirteen years after the famous crossing of the Delaware, George Washington would become America’s first president in 1789. DECEMBER 2020 | bmonthly



What a Year it Was! 2020 Will Go Down as a Life-Changing Year by Keith McPhail What a year it was! I can make this statement and all who read this, no matter your age, can probably agree with it. For a country and her people — and frankly the world — this year will go down as the most life-changing year we have ever experienced. I want to take you back and look at some of the highlights of bmonthly magazine 2020!

July: Most things were somewhat back to normal, except for the mask-wearing, which will never be normal to me. All churches were open and most, if not all, businesses were opening back up. The Bartlesville School District decided that in August school would be open for students.

January: Well, as you know, January is all about Baby New Year, and this year we broke every record we had. We signed up 100 babies in less than 15 minutes and had over 78,000 votes on our Facebook page. Louisa Blakemore was the cover winner for 2020, and we want to thank all the parents who allowed us to share their babies with all of our readers.

August: School opened! Parents could try to get back to some normalcy. Football and other sports were playing again, and as a community we were stronger than ever. Our dear friend, Rick Johnson, wrote a powerful tribute for his dear wife, Lisa Johnson, who passed away from cancer and touched so many of our kids while working for the School District.

February: We went full-out on our second Black History Month issue, which is actually one of my favorite covers we have put together. Pony Chambers was on our cover, and he also was the first African American postal carrier in Bartlesville.

September: Last year we did our first Native American issue on the Osage Nation. This September, we featured the largest Native American tribe, the Cherokee Nation. Let me just say, we were not prepared for the popularity of this issue. When we put the cover of Elizabeth Terrell out on our Facebook page, we had people from Alaska to North Carolina commenting on how she was their 4th-, 5th-, and 6th-generation grandmother. We sent out over 500 copies to 17 different states. To date it is our most popular issue we have printed.

March: This is the month when the word Coronavirus became an unwanted household name. Bartlesville, the state of Oklahoma, and all of our country was basically shut down. School went virtual, businesses closed, and everyone was sent home to work. This crisis was unlike anything we had seen before. Christy and I started doing COVID-19 video updates every two days to keep our community and the area up to speed on the daily changes.

October: I have always wanted to do an issue on Frank Phillips, and boy did we ever. Because of this man and his brother, L.E. Phillips, we have an incredible, beautiful city of 38,000 citizens that you will never see anywhere else in America.

April: We kicked off April with our annual Best of Pets issue, which again is hugely popular with our readers. In April, we are all working out of our homes. Kids were trying to learn how to homeschool and parents were trying to figure out how not to go crazy! I wrote a powerful piece on the abuse I suffered during my childhood called Screams of Silence to help people tell their story and not keep abuse in the dark.

November: For this month, we always honor our Veterans and the sacrifices they have made for this country. There are many families across America who will not be spending time together this Thanksgiving because of the ramp-up in COVID19 cases across the country. The vaccine for this horrific virus has been made and should be available to the public before the first of the year.

May: The city, state, and our country were starting to open back up — slowly but surely. Bartlesville High School cancelled graduation. Christy and I put all the seniors in the magazine and on our Facebook page, so they can always have that memory. The new highly-anticipated Tower Center at Unity Square opened to the public, and what an incredible addition to downtown and our community it is!

December: I finish this review of the year with Mr. Ron Adams, who again premieres as Santa Claus on our December cover — as he has since the beginning of the magazine in 2011. I wanted this cover just to simply say “Merry Christmas.” Because the way I see it, the simplicity of the photo is that we all need ... a little Merry in our lives.

June: In June, we decided to do a photo contest for the cover of the July issue. All photos were to be of the Price Tower. We had over 80 contestants enter their photo of this historic landmark. We had some incredible pictures, but in the end


Andrew Nichols won the cover and our very own Chance Franks won the People's Choice award.

bmonthly | DECEMBER 2020

Christy and I want to thank each of you, who every month pick up and read what we truly believe is the best city magazine in the state. We are blessed to bring you the history and the stories of people, both today and yesterday, that have made Bartlesville the “Greatest Little City in America.”

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