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On the Osage: The Pearl of Great Price
Profile: Darryl Wootten
Business Spotlight: Farming for Kiddos OK EAT’s Kiddie Farm Slated to Open June 12
Once Upon a Time: Idle Article & Buck Remembering “Junk-Store” Shopping
Salute to Veterans: Walt Sires
FEATURE: The Land We Walk Upon Looking Back at Tuxedo and Highland Park
Community: Saving Animals
Stars in Our Back Yard: Nan Buhlinger
Feature Sponsor Story: Gracefest on the Green
Knowing Nowata: Summer Memories
Local Legacy: Lindel Fields Retires
Unmissable Events: Treasures for Sale Dewey Flea Market Set for June 26
A Good Word: Doing Life Right
Chick-fil-A Events Calendar
Helping Hands: Say It Out Loud
A Fresh Perspective: Driving Vacations
Funny You Should Ask: Summer Help Wanted
Looking Back: From Rodeos to Hamburgers George Yocham Left His Mark on Local Food Scene
Education: Virtual Field Trips
Area Attractions: 21 Fun Places to Visit in 2021
Now You Know: Memories of Old
Entertainment: Classical Sounds
From the Heart: Run Your Race
Family: What Makes a Dad
Making a Difference: Project Tribute Organization helps Raise Funds for First Responders
Out & About: Photos from Around Town
Let Freedom Ring: The Last Confederate Surrender Chief Stand Watie Refused to Admit Defeat
JUNE 2021 4
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upfront Welcome to June friends! Wow! Can you believe that we are halfway through the year?! Where did it go? When you go to print every three-and-a-half weeks, the year flies by and when we look up one day soon, we will be printing our Back to School issue for August. We plan months ahead to help keep us focused and organized. Just like today, I gave Mike Wilt the Feature story for the October issue, and we can’t wait for you to read it. Do you not just dig this cover? When I moved to Bartlesville in 1985, a similar Holiday Inn sign was standing on the east side of Hwy 75, one block south from the QT on Tuxedo Blvd. When we would take our family vacations in the 70s, we would always stay at a Holiday Inn. It didn't matter what city or state you were in, this sign greeted you. The Holiday Inn was your home away from home, and I have so many great memories of staying there as a kid. I put “On The Road Again” on the marquee because we and millions of other Americans are ready to get out of our homes and the chaos of what we all have gone through over the last 15 months and just go! In this issue, we had Maria Gus, with the Bartlesville Convention and Tourism Office, write 21 places to see in 2021 in this great state. The feature story this month by Debbie Neece, of the Bartlesville Area History Museum, is about the Tuxedo and Highland Park area. At one time there were over 1,600 residents in the Tuxedo area, and it was very close to being its own city. It had its own airport and actually one of the hangers is still standing today from the early 1900s.
concert, and it was more like a HUGE family reunion than a concert. When Christy and I started planning this concert last September, we just wanted an uplifting event that everyone could come to, have a great time, and keep the perspective of God first! Over the eight months of planning this concert, we learned a ton. I always say we put together a really good magazine, but we knew nothing about putting together a concert. We wanted to be the first concert of the year and bring light back into our city. Next year, we have already booked the date for “Gracefest on the Green 2022” for Saturday May 7th. Put it in your calendar because you will not want to miss it. On June 4th, I will turn 52 years old. I wrote a story in this issue about being a father of four and a dad to seven wonderful kids. This incredible story is about hope, faith, and belief that the Enemy would not destroy our new family. Our new family was one that many — and I mean many — did not support. They did not want us bringing our two families together. We had six kids from the ages of three to 12, and then one year later added Grace to the mix. Through my life of abuse, addiction, and never having a father to love and guide me, I have made many mistakes. In the 28 years of being a Father, I have failed my kids more times than I care to count. But through all the dark times they loved me anyway. Thank you Tyler, Blake, James, Mary, Madison, Parker, and Grace for this amazing gift from God to be your Father and your Dad.
Volume XII Issue VI 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
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I want to recap our “Gracefest on the Green 2021” concert that happened a few weeks ago. Can I just say Thank You Bartlesville! Wow! You supported this concert with over 1,600 people who came out to listen to great uplifting music, enjoy great food, and family fun. We had people come from all over this state and surrounding states ... from Norman, Oklahoma City, Wichita, Fort Smith, and Springfield. It was so awesome to look out from the stage and see all the kids climbing on the rocks, playing the games Christy had set out. The food trucks were lined with people throughout the whole
Happy Fathers Day, God Bless
All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or otherwise, without prior permission of Bartlesville Monthly, Inc.
ABOUT THE COVER We Just Can’t Wait To Get On the Road Again Creative Concept by Keith and Christy McPhail Design by Copper Cup Images
bmonthly managing editors Keith & Christy McPhail. JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
bmonthly | JUNE 2021
JOHNSTONE SARE BUILDING
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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Darryl Wootton Spreading Love, Joy, and Peace by Sarah Leslie Gagan If you’re not growing, you’re dying. Relationships are more important than accomplishments. Strive to leave everything and everyone better than you found them. These are not mere statements, they are some of the core values Darryl Wootton stands upon daily as he serves both community and congregation as Lead Pastor at Spirit Church. Darryl, a 4th generation Bartian, fondly recalls his childhood in Bartlesville during the 1970’s and ‘80’s, growing up across the street from Jane Phillips Elementary. His parents were both high school teachers at the time, and his father later worked at Phillips 66. Darryl was an ambitious youth, with his own paper route at a young age, then working at the Kiddie Park at age 14. As a high school student, he worked at First National Bank, then later at the Phillips Petroleum mail room during his senior year and during summer break when home from college. As a teenager, while at youth camp, Darryl first felt the call to become a pastor. After graduating in 1988, he attended Central Bible College in Springfield Missouri. There he met a lovely girl from Cincinnati named Faith, who would become his wife and partner in ministry. Together they have three children.
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PROFILE Pastor Darryl graduated Central Bible College with an Associates Degree in Music and a Bachelor’s Degree in Bible. In the years since, he has also earned a Master’s Degree in Theology from Oral Roberts University and a Doctorate in Ministry from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Upon graduating from Central Bible College, Darryl served as a ministry intern in Honolulu, Hawaii. Following his time in Hawaii, Darryl became a youth pastor in Ohio, and then later in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2003, Darryl received a call from his home church in Bartlesville, First Assembly of God, (now known as Spirit Church) asking him to consider moving to Bartlesville as Lead Pastor. After much prayerful consideration, Darryl and Faith accepted the position. For Darryl, it was returning to the church where four generations of family had attended. His great-grandfather was a charter member of the church when it was founded decades earlier in 1924. When Pastor Darryl describes Bartlesville, he loves to call it “The Greatest Small City on the Planet.” He believes Bartlesville has so much to offer and considers it such an honor to be able to come back and pastor his home church. He is passionate about this community and its people. The mission of Spirit Church is to share the love, joy, and peace of Jesus Christ with the least, last, and lost. He sees the needs of those within our community and guides his congregation toward meeting those needs. Spirit Church has birthed several community-oriented programs. One especially near to Darryl’s heart is Agape Mission, where he is honored to serve as Vice President. Founded by church member Sherri Smith, Agape continues to serve our community by providing hot meals to those in need. Another Spirit Church community event that Darryl is proud of is the annual Day of Hope, which provides groceries, clothing, shoes, haircuts, medical screenings, and prayer, free of charge to those attending. Day of Hope has grown to become a multi-church sponsored event, serving Bartlesville and surrounding communities. Spirit Church is also known for the popular annual community Easter Egg Drop, including a separate egg drop for children with special needs, although COVID-19 prevented the events from being held in 2020 and 2021.
Darryl’s mom, grandfather, and great-grand father in church in the 1950s.
have had over 300 foster children come through families within the church. They sponsor an annual day at the Kiddie Park for foster children and their families to come and enjoy the park free of charge. Pastor Darryl is passionate about serving the people of our town, “I don’t know where I end and the church begins, and I don’t know where the church ends and the city begins.” That is the view of the Woottons gracious heart for our community. In previous years of Darryl’s ministry career, he utilized his talent for music and playing piano by spending some time as a worship leader. He eventually gave that up but admits musical talent runs in his family, as he has an uncle that played lead guitar for Johnny Cash for 30 years. In late April of this year, the Woottons received the honor of being elected by their pastoral peers to serve as the Oklahoma District Superintendents for the Assemblies of God. This new position is very emotional and bittersweet for Darryl and Faith, requiring relocation to Oklahoma City, but they are excited for this new chapter as they begin to serve 470 churches and 1,500 ministers across the state of Oklahoma. Pastor Darryl states, “It has truly been an honor to Pastor my home church in Bartlesville for nearly 18 years. While we will relocate to Oklahoma City, Bartlesville will always be home.”
The drive to spread love, joy, and peace at Spirit Church also resulted in paying off 2.5 million dollars worth of medical debt for local citizens last year. This act of kindness came as a welcome surprise to those strapped with medical debt they couldn’t afford to pay. When serving the community, Pastor Darryl is very aware of the need for fostering and adopting children, to spread love, joy, and peace to children without permanent homes. It is a core value at Spirit Church for every member to adopt, foster, or support those who do. They
Pastor Darryl, Isaac, Lindsey, Mallory, and Faith Wootton
The Wootton family may be leaving Bartlesville, however, they are living out another core value of their faith, “We give up what we love, to experience what we love even more.” Their deep impact upon our community will forever remain, and it can be confidently said that Pastor Darryl and his family have left Bartlesville better than they found it. We love you, we will miss you, and are so grateful for the everlasting mark you have made upon our lives and our community. How blessed we are, that a little guy who grew up in Jane Phillips Elementary School, brought back a little love, joy, and peace to his hometown. JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
Oklahoma Energy & Agricultural Training Experiential agriculture learning by tackling farm chores with 12v ride-on tractors, gators, and ground loaders. Ages 3 - elementary school.
530 NE Wilshire, Bartlesville
Farming for Kiddos OK EAT’s Kiddie Farm Slated to Open on June 12 by Sarah Leslie Gagan Every time we sit down to eat, we nourish our bodies with nutrients from the soil. Agriculture is the backbone of our nation and it is not only the foundation of healthy, homegrown food, it’s also the livelihood of nearly 700 million American citizens. With each new generation, new farmers are born. OK EAT serves to familiarize and equip young people with the farming process and allows them to have a little fun while learning. OK EAT (Oklahoma Energy and Agriculture Training) is a unique learning venue in Bartlesville for ages three to 100. Founder Kelly Goetz-Zimmerman has merged the oil and gas industries together in a way that equips and educates participants, meeting them at their level of learning. OK EAT is a 501(c)(3) public charity that provides a fun and relaxed farm atmosphere within the city limits of Bartlesville. It is the first agriculture-entertainment attraction of its kind in the area that combines agricultural learning with equipment training, providing a well-rounded view of the industries. The farm’s wide-open spaces provide a unique place for family fun. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the recently-planted wildflower fields and green grasses, which make for the perfect picnic spot or photo shoot backdrop. Sand and dirt piles are available for earthing activities for kids of all ages. The farm is a place for young and old to get curious about nature and enjoy all that country life, in the city, can offer, and to dream of what the future of agriculture can become. The Kiddie Farm will open for the 2021 season on Saturday, June 12th. Preschool and elementary-age children will be able to experience the fun of agriculture equipment training with battery-powered 12v ride-on tractors, gators, and ground loaders, as they navigate the farm terrain, driving the equipment throughout the safe and supervised training area. Teens and adults will have the opportunity to learn agriculture skills in the hoop house as they participate in activities from seed to harvest, learning the necessary steps for healthy and efficient production. As the farm continues to grow, there will be expanded opportunities available such as a working farmers market where attendees can perform necessary gardening chores in exchange for fresh produce. Also planned is the addition of more in-depth
equipment training and produce-growing technique lessons for interested teens and adults. Retired Air Force Colonel Kenneth Suggs oversees the gardening portion of the farm, including the coordination of lessons and instructors. Farm admission is $5 per child, and $2 for any teen or adult participating in hands-on farm activities. The current hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday, 6 p.m. to dusk, and Saturday 5 p.m. to dusk. Hours may be expanded as weather permits. Booking will be available for groups, field trips and birthday parties. Guests are welcome to bring food, non-alcoholic drinks, and lawn chairs. The farm is a family attraction and children may not be dropped off — a parent or guardian is required to stay with their children. Shoes are required for visitors’ safety. More information and announcements can be found on the Farm’s Facebook page Oklahoma Energy & Agriculture Training - aka "OK EAT."
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The Land We Walk Upon
Looking Back at Tuxedo and Highland Park by Debbie Neece, Bartlesville Area History Museum
The land we walk upon was once unspoiled prairie, where tall amber grasses waved in the breeze and the wildlife was abundant. The political moves that forced the removal of many Indian tribes to this land, which became known as Indian Territory, only began the trail of history we now have recorded. After the Civil War (1861-1865) slavery was abolished and Indian tribes who held slaves granted them freedom and citizenship. The Freedmen and their descendants were allotted lands under the 1887 Dawes Act.
medical practice and hospital at the location that became the Beck family allotments. Some of the earliest occupants of the Beck Cemetery were Tann’s less fortunate patients.
Cherokee Freedman Sam Beck and his family were allotted land in the area just north of current Tuxedo Blvd., along Young Avenue, aside the banks of Coon Creek. Sam’s brother, Nelson Beck’s family was also allotted land in the area; and Sam’s daughter, Luquittie Beck’s allotment became the location of the Beck Cemetery. Among the earliest recorded burials were Nancy Armstrong, wife of early pioneer Arthur Armstrong, in 1873 and Waymaffinalia Hallock, 7½ year old daughter of John Hallock, in 1875. The cemetery was not race specific. George Tann, a Civil War apprenticed doctor, was a godsend for Indian Territory. Besides operating an office at Jacob Bartles’ northside community at the horseshoe bend of the Caney River, he established a Dr. Tann’s House, near the County Poor Farm. 14
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A short distance The Delaware tribe originated in the Tuxedo and Highland Park areas and originated along the from Tann’s hospital currently their tribal headquarters is on Tuxedo Blvd. Life is full of ironies. Delaware River, was the “County Poor “white men” called Farm” with an array of farm animals and a full garden and orchard tribal members Delaware, a name they carry to this day. to feed the indigent of the area. Often Tann’s patients who were There are three Lenape clans: Turtle, Wolf and Turkey. The not able to provide for themWolf Clan was the earliest occuselves were residents of the Poor pants of the town of Tuxedo, New Farm. York and named the largest area Some of the Whiteturkey lake “Tùkwsitu.” According to family, whose allotments were Delaware linguist, Jim Rementer, nestled among the Beck famthis word means “home of the ily’s allotments, also rest at the wolf clan people.” The name HighBeck Cemetery. The Whiteland Park was also familiar to the turkey family is of the Lenape Tribe. Highland Park is a Lenni-Lenape Tribe of Indians New Jersey town along the Rariand descendants of Chief tan River where the Lenape William Anderson who was hunting trails crisscrossed the hills born in Pennsylvania. The in that area. Lenape came to Indian Territory Dr. Howard Weber was a from the states of Delaware, physician by trade but an oilman New York, New Jersey and by desire. Pennsylvania born, Pennsylvania. Because the tribe Highland Park School picture by Griggs Studio in 1921. JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
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The old Tuxedo Road Bridge, which was replaced in 1958.
Weber developed “oil fever” at Oil City, PA and followed the wealth of oil development to the Cherokee Nation. Called the Weber Pool, his oilfield held a battery of wooden storage tanks on one of his leases, located near the intersection of present Tuxedo and Washington Boulevards. Long before this section of Indian Territory became Washington County, education was the base for the development of one-room schools which dotted the country-side. The first school
Highland Park School in 1915
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in the Tuxedo/Highland Park area was established before October 1902, with Edna Cox as the teacher. In 1909, Lena and Ruth Harnage were the teachers at the new two-story brick Highland Park School near the current intersection of Tuxedo Blvd. and Washington Blvd./Highway 75. Sixty students were in attendance and enjoyed the country pleasantries of pie socials and spelling bees. In 1920, the Highland Park School building was razed and replaced at a cost of $17,200. To accommodate the explosive growth of the area, school expansions were made in 1938, 1948, 1951 and 1953. The school closed in 1984 and the students were transferred to Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. After being used as storage by the Board of Education, the Highland Park School building was sold in 1990 and later razed.
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Tuxedo Road, during the flood of 1930.
Tuxedo was first recognized in the Bartlesville City Directories in 1908 when Cordia Thompson became the first person recorded as living at Tuxedo Park. She was an attendant for Drs. Pollard and Sutton and drove her buggy to Bartlesville each day to work. Tuxedo was out in the country at that time requiring travel on a dusty pasture road, across private property, to access the Old Tulsa Road Bridge at Comanche Avenue or travel several miles out of one’s way north to Dewey, doubling back to Bartlesville… a route often hindered by mud during the rainy season. Therefore, in 1912, a petition was filed with the County Commissioners as formal request to place a steel bridge across the Caney River between Bartlesville and Tuxedo. Shortly thereafter, the project received a swift kick and bonds were sold for road and bridge improvements. By April 1913, the Rochester Bridge over the Caney River was completed and inspected… greatly improving access to all points west of the river. In August 1908, the Bartlesville Interurban Railway began northward service from Bartlesville, across the Caney River, though the Tuxedo area,
crossing the Beck family allotments, traveling to Dewey. With the long distance from the 4th Street Interurban power house to Dewey, switches/passes were created to ease the Interurban congestion. The first switch was the “Phillips Switch” where George Ford attempted to sell lots and homes one block from the switch stop. His hollow-tiled-cement homes were later offered to Bartlesville as a hospital setting but were declined. The Phillips Switch was also home of the Gun Club which featured a challenge from professional trap-shooter, Troup Saxon. Another switch on the path to Dewey was the “Little Bess Stop” at Minnesota Street, just north of the Tuxedo area.
An aerial view of the Tuxedo Race Track.
The Tuxedo community had visions of grandeur when the Bartlesville Interurban Company proposed a Country Club in the Tuxedo area with an indoor swimming pool. However, evidence suggests that project fell through. Additionally, along the Interurban Railway several small amusement parks tried to take hold before the Prospect Park was established in 1915. In August 1908, Huling and Easterly Real Estate and the Cherokee Electrical Company JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
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created an Electric Park in the Tuxedo Addition offering free admission with profits from the motion picture show, band stand, concessions and midway amusements to operate the park. Then, that November, the Clearinghouse Real Estate Company and Dr. F.G. Taft of Garver, OK, teamed to create the 16-acre “Park Place” amusement park on Lugenia Hamilton’s land. Both amusement parks were short lived. In July 1915, the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce announced the opening of a new amusement park in the DeBell Addition near Tuxedo, along the Interurban Railway. Prospect Park was a hopping place on Labor Day with free BBQ, tug-of-war competitions, greased pole climbing, foot races and dancing. Bartlesville literally closed all business activity as the
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city loaded on the Interurban street cars making a mass exit for Prospect Park. The mission of the 1920 “Tuxedo Community Welfare Club” was the betterment of community socially, morally, physically and educationally. Their progressive spirit spearheaded the move for better roads, telephone service and better gas service. With 80 families in the school district, one of their first talking points was the incorporation of Tuxedo as a town. However, the matter was laid aside until a later time. In 1939, the Gorman Construction Company built the Tuxedo Commercial Airport one mile east of Tuxedo, on land belonging to Ruth Foster Doornbos. Flight training was offered at $1.25 per
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week via Aeronca tandem plane trainers. Initially, pre-glider instruction was taught at the airport by the Tuxhorn Flying Service, operated by M.B. Tuxhorn. Later elementary aviation training was introduced which proved beneficial to local pilots who were called to serve in WWII. After the war, three decorated servicemen leased the airport with the intention of offering plane repair, 24-hour charter service and flight training under G.I. Bill of Rights veteran benefits which was approved by the Civil Aeronautics Administration and was Oklahoma State accredited. Some graduates even advanced to obtain their commercial pilot’s license. Operating as the Osage Aviation Enterprises, the airport sponsored a May 7, 1947, Junior Chamber of Commerce “Sky Safari” at the airport. An estimated 200 planes took part in the three-day “gas and go” event. Then, on Labor Day that year, the first annual Air Show was sponsored by the V.F.W. at the Tuxedo Airport. Opening with a chuck wagon style breakfast, the day was filled with activities including model airplane flying contests,
acrobatic airplane acts and more. Attendance was estimated at 8,500 and 280 planes. During a September 1947 heat wave, the Osage Aviation Enterprises at the Tuxedo Airport attempted the first rainmaking event in this area. Lola Salisbury piloted a Cessna 140 cabin plane and Harold Caldwell loaded 35 pounds of dry ice for the experiment. The cumulus clouds were only 14,000 feet high at Dewey vs 18,000 over Bartlesville so the duo dumped the dry ice over Dewey and rain dripped from the clouds for 15-20 minutes. That’s ingenuity! In 1948, the Second Annual Air Show brought an estimated 10,000 spectators, B-26 and F-80 Shooting Star planes came from Tinker field, and daredevil stunt, paratroopers and acrobatic acts filled the day. The north/south dirt road that later became called Highway 75, was the line in the sand between Highland Park and Tuxedo. The northeast corner of the intersection was claim to the Highland Park Grocery with the Tuxedo Grocery at the northwest corner. Officially, the Highland Park Grocery was the voting precinct for
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the area; however, amidst a winter freeze on January 2, 1945, 183 of the community’s 1,000 eligible souls braved the weather to select a community name. Up for grabs were the names Tuxedo, Highland Park or Gobbler’s Knob as suggested by Earl Mason,
Inside the Bea Max Dairy Queen. 20
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local sailor serving during WWII. Other possible names were Payne’s Dump, Bloody Hill and Vulture Hill, which were quickly nixed. In a 118-65 vote, Tuxedo became the name of Washington County’s largest residential area.
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Although J.W. Brock served as acting mayor for many years before the official election and was shamed for trading cigarettes for the nine votes he received, he was elected to continue in the service since he ran unopposed. W.A. “Bill” Ford, who was the retiring sheriff, became the Chief of Police and Dave Matthews became the Constable. Washington County was established at the time of Oklahoma’s 1907 statehood with six incorporated towns: Bartlesville, Copan, Dewey, Ochelata, Ramona and Vera. Although the 3 square mile community of Tuxedo had 47 named streets, 300 water meters (some homes still used cisterns), 400 electric meters and had grown to 1,179 citizens in 1950, articles of incorporation were never filed with the state of Oklahoma.
In 1950, when Bartians drove to Tuxedo, they traveled Iowa Avenue which was the east/west Main Street. The streets east of the Tuxedo Bridge were Suburban, Home, Young, Staats Drive, Center, Howard, Katherine, DeBell, Chowell, Bradley, “the four corners,” Johnstone, Harvey, Brock, Myers, Potter, and Sunset. Starting two blocks south of the Highland Park School, the streets lined up to the north as State, Kentucky, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Washington, Illinois and Wisconsin.
Inside the Tuxedo Cafe in 1955.
The town of Dewey was never included in the Bartlesville City Directories. However, in 1952, Tuxedo joined the directory with an alphabetic listing of residents detailing addresses and occupations, an alphabetic street address listing of residents and a business directory. By 1952, the community had grown to include the Highland Park JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
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Grocery and Tuxedo Grocery, George Marler’s Tuxedo Service Station, Smith’s Modern Tourist Courts, Earl Lay’s Tuxedo Barbershop, Highland Park Baptist and Tuxedo Assembly of God
churches, Highland Park School, Don Perkin’s Melody Mill Nightclub and Russell and Phyllis Bolte’s Tuxedo Drive-in Café. Many people have asked about the small stone structure at the northeast corner of DeBell Avenue and Tuxedo…area residents and family members report Sam and Harold Odle operated the tiny gas station at that location and there was an island where the pumps sat in front of the building. No one seems to remember when the structure was placed but time has taken a toll and the new owners are planning restoration. In 1956, the Bartlesville City Directory included Tuxedo and Limestone. Previous directories listed the community as Tuxedo, Oklahoma but in 1956, Tuxedo Junction was added to the list of names. Added businesses were Jen Marie’s Beauty Shop, Tuxedo Floor Covering, Wilson Electric, Lelah Brown’s Florist, Brownie’s 66 Station, Coshott and Son Service Station, Reeds Service, Starlight Club, Tuxedo Park, Clifford’s Rest Home, Carlton’s Tuxedo Café, Corral Café, and Seventy-Five Drive-in. Food Town Grocery, Highland Park Grocery and Tuxedo Grocery covered the three corners of the Tuxedo/Washington Blvd. intersection with Ralph Smith’s Dairy Queen one block north, later sold to Max and Bea Brocklesby. Food Town Grocery later became Gibson’s Discount Store, which was razed with the Highland Park Elementary school to become the QuikTrip/Hampton Inn block. Later, Denny’s Tuxedo Café, Clyne’s Cities Service Station, refreshing
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Mugs Up, Ray’s Thrifty Wise grocery and Briley’s Donut Shop all joined the Tuxedo lineup. Tuxedo was not short on entertainment. In 1953, the Bartlesville Sportsman Club became a reality. In 1958, Bartlesville Micro Midget Racers Association was organized and racing began at Riverside Speedway between Bartlesville and Tuxedo. The roaring engines could be heard for miles. In 1960, the Coaster Roller Rink opened at 3801 Kentucky (current location of Gan’s Mall) where music, exercise and bruises were fun.
in the form of roads, police, fire, sewer and water service but the tradeoff was the population growth. In 1950, Bartlesville covered 3.25 square miles with a U.S. Census population of 19,228 compared to post annexation totals in 1970 of 10.4 square miles and census recorded population of 29,683. We hope this story has answered some questions and sparked your memories of the Tuxedo and Highland Park addition.
Joining Pennington Hill’s Keg Lanes and Bartlesville’s StrikeMor Lanes, the Highland Park Bowling Lanes were state of the art for the time. The bowling alley grand opening was June 28, 1958 at 204 SE Washington Blvd. with Howard Thomas as owner and manager. The concrete block facility had 16 Brunswick Automatic Pin-Setters, light oak floors and alleys, snack bar, gray carpet and black and white upholstery, 80 Brunswick balls, over a hundred bowling shoes and a nursery for the little tikes. With teams, leagues and tournaments, each week the local newspaper was filled with bowling bragging rights. For Tuxedo residents, incorporation was always a thought but annexation into Bartlesville was a bigger vision. Beginning in the mid-50s and continuing through 1974, the vision of annexation became reality for not only Tuxedo but also other surrounding residential additions. For Bartlesville, this created growing pains
THE TUXEDO RACETRACK. JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
FEATURE SPONSOR STORY
GRACEFEST on the
Christy and I want to thank you Bartlesville for com-
Systems Resources-DSR, Sutterﬁeld Financial Group,
ing out and supporting our ﬁrst annual Gracefest
Bartlesville Health and Rehab, Comforting Hands,
on the Green 2021. What a turn out it was! We esti-
Regent Bank, Patriot Auto Group, Semper Fi Spray
mate over 1,600 people came out for family fun,
Foam, Bartlesville Radio, Stride Bank, Chick-ﬁl-A, Tay-
great food and uplifting music! It was so good to
lor Homes and Bartlesville Community Center. We
be out again as a city and enjoy this incredible
are so happy to report we were able to raise
venue we have at the Tower Center at Unity
Square.Thank you to our sponsors for without them it would not been possible. Thank you Diversiﬁed
We will see you at Gracefest 2022! God Bless!
FEATURE SPONSOR STORY
Lindel Fields Retires A Lifetime of Transforming Lives and Educational Institutions by Lori Roll He has been called an “education thought leader” whose passion has transformed thousands of lives by instilling a love of learning in students who otherwise might not pursue higher education. He is credited with transforming cultures at public institutions for over three decades to “unshackled them from assumptions limiting students and faculty potential.” His vision and leadership skills have placed his organization among “Fortune’s Great Places to Work” for four consecutive years and the “Top Place to Work in Oklahoma” for five years. He led his organization to win the prestigious U.S. Presidential Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2018. He is a sought-after national speaker, presenter, leadership trainer, blogger, columnist, and podcaster. He practices yoga, competes in Ironman Triathlons and endurance competitions with his wife Leigh Ann, and is the father of three children. This titan of excellence is Lindel Fields, Superintendent and CEO of Tri County Tech. Fields began his teaching career in the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education system at the Dick Conner Correctional Center in 1991. He taught inmates horticulture and life skills to help them transition to life after incarceration. When he 26
bmonthly | JUNE 2021
LOCAL LEGACY witnessed the impact of CareerTech changing lives through education, he began a personal campaign to transform lives and educational institutions. He became Director of Instruction to supervise prison training programs across Oklahoma and was named Assistant Director at Central Tech in Drumright, Oklahoma. He holds a bachelor’s degree in trade and industrial education from Oklahoma State University and his master’s degree in educational leadership from Southern Nazarene University.
student, take care of someone who is.’ As soon as he said it, we all knew our mission,’’ said Lydia Snyder, Dental Hygiene Director. Despite years of declining education funding and Oklahoma’s historical ranking as 49th in teacher pay, Tri County employees have had the opportunity for performance stipends and bonuses since 2010. “Lindel Fields is the kind of leader books are written about. It’s been an honor and privilege to have him as my CEO, mentor, and friend,” said Tosha Wyatt, Director of Marketing.
Fields was hired at Tri County Tech in 1999 as Assistant Superintendent of Instruction. He was promoted in 2004 to Deputy Superintendent, and in 2009 was named Superintendent and CEO. Fields has pursued his philosophy throughout his career that “no student should be denied access to an education based upon their inability to pay, nor should they graduate suffocating in debt.” In a bold move supporting his philosophy, Fields declined constrictive federal funding in pursuit of more flexible revenue, improved graduation and job placement rates, and grew access to tuition assistance through a foundation he prioritized in 2014. He customized education delivery models partnering with local businesses and entrepreneurs to increase local workforce skills and stimulate Northeast Oklahoma’s economy.
Fields will retire June 30, 2021. During his tenure, the number of students enrolled at Tri County Tech tripled. Even during the trying times brought about by COVID-19, Tri County Tech continued to pay all employees. In 2020, Fields launched the Skills to Rebuild Initiative, supported by a $1 Million CARES Act Grant which assisted over 500 Oklahomans in reskill for new and often higherearning essential careers. “This is how he always operates, getting ahead of the curve so that he can control the resolution and doesn’t have to let something dictate how he will react,” said Kyle Ppool, Career Placement Specialist. His leadership through Vision 2020 and Vision 2025 created strategic plans which will outlive his tenure. “Lindel is one of the most visionary leaders I have ever had the privilege of knowing. His leadership has helped propel Tri County Tech and the entire Career Tech system of Oklahoma to one of the best in the nation,” said Kim Smith, Chief Financial Officer. “He will truly be missed but his impact on CareerTech will live on for generations to come.”
Under his guidance, Tri County Tech has achieved a graduation and job placement rate over 90 percent since 2010. Over 500 students have received tuition assistance. “Lindel Fields is a Level 5 Executive. He has built enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. He has had great vision and, in the process, created great people,” said Tonya Foreman, Senior Director of Business Development. Fields furthered Tri County Tech’s presence in Oklahoma by adding the Pawhuska Business Development Center and a stateof-the-art Nowata Business Development Center which will also serve as home to the Boys and Girls Club of Nowata. “The idea of a student graduating from high school and going off to college for four years only works out for a handful of students who have the support system or finances to complete this path,” Fields said. Tri County Tech and the University of Oklahoma partner to share facilities and staff, a model which has expanded to Southern Technology Center in Ardmore and Western Technology Center in Weatherford. “The choice doesn’t need to be a career tech or a university. The choice can and should be both, if we are going to strengthen Oklahoma’s pipeline of skilled workers. When we break down barriers and build collaborative partnerships, we can light the path of Oklahomans to obtain an affordable education and have hope for a fulfilling career,” he said. Fields is as passionate about taking care of staff as he is about taking care of students’ needs. “He sets a tone of positivity for the whole organization, and I find that it is contagious,” said Tama Hill, Executive Assistant. Fields maintains that good pay and benefits are basic requirements for creating a positive work culture. “Lindel has a way of leading without complexity. One of my favorite mantras of his is ‘if you’re not taking care of a
Fields is passionate about transforming other education institutes and organizations by sharing his success story at Tri County Tech, teaching the Baldrige framework and conducting group and one-on-one leadership training. He regularly contributes to national discussions on quality improvement and has been a keynote speaker for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Performance Excellence Network, and Great Place To Work Institute. He is a board member of the Oklahoma State Chamber, the Jane Phillips Medical Center, and the Bartlesville Area United Way.
Lindel Fields receiving the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
JUNE CALENDAR SPONSORED BY Future Lady Bruin Basketball Camp
1-4 PM; High School Gym Cost $35 each camp and for grades 3-7th. Camp teaches fundamentals, skill development, and fun. The camp runs through June 3.
Times Vary; Richard Kane Elementary This is a six-week season.
OKM Music Especially for Kids Series
Sizzlin Sumer Series 6-9 PM;Tower Center at Unity Square 28
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OKWU Soccer Development Camp 9 AM; OKWU Soccer Field. The camp is a skills development program for boys and girls of all ages and abilities. Each camper will receive an OKWU camp T-shirt. For ages 2-12. The camp runs through June 9.
OKWU Basketball Camp (extended day camp) 9 AM; OKWU Gym The camp runs through June 9, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Reign Football Klub vs Demize NPSL 7 PM; OKWU Soccer Fields
OKWU Pitching Camp 8 AM; OKWU Baseball Stadium For girls & boys agesges 5-13. Cost is $30 per player
OKWU Hitting Camp 10 AM; OKWU Baseball Stadium For girls & boys agesges 5-13. Cost is $30 per player
OKWU Basketball Camp (diaper dandy camp) 9 AM; OKWU Gym For ages 4-8 years. The twoday camp is 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Future Lady Bruin Basketball Camp 1-4 PM; High School Gym. Cost $35 each camp and for grades 3-7th. Camp teaches fundamentals, skill development, and fun. The camp runs through June 8.
Bartlesville Sunfest All Day; Sooner Park Join us for our 39th annual celebration of Northern Oklahoma. On the plan to bring back are some staple favorites: Sunfest Summer Shine Car Show, Youthfest, and a double dose of outdoor Movie Under the Stars, live musical entertainment, homemade arts and crafts for sale, and more. Sunfest runs through June 6.
Times & Locations Vary The series runs through June 9. Advance reservations for the 2021 “Especially for Kids” series are required and are now available! For more info, contact OKM Children’s Programming Director Rose Hammerschmidt, 918-336-9900.
Mohawks for Warhawk Work hours; Pure Image Barbershop Event sponsor is Bartlesville Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ram! Benefitting WarHawk PTSD Service Dogs! Have your kids come in and get a Mohawk for WarHawk! Bartlesville CJDR will make a cash donation to WarHawk PTSD Service Dogs per WarHawk haircut! Courtesy of the team at Pure Image Barber. The fundraiser runs through June 6.
Summer Thunder Basketball
College Coaches Turf and Dirt Showcase All Day; Bill Doenges Memorial Stadium This is a unique showcase hosted by the Doenges Ford Indians and OKWU. Teams will be seen by 12 colleges and universities, who are required to be in attendance for all 3 days. Saturday morning of the tournament will be a pro-style tryout with a minimum of 2 MLB scouts. Players will also receive small group instruction from college coaches on infield, outfield, hitting, pitching and catching. Cost is $290/player. Limited spots available!
Bruins Golf Classic 8 AM; Adams Golf Club
Kiwanis Annual Fishing Derby for Ages 3-12 9 AM; Jo Allyn Lowe Park Each child must be chaperoned by an adult 18 or older. Children from ages 3-12 can register for the event at the pond at 8:30 a.m. Fishing equipment will NOT be provided, each child must bring their own.
Reign Football Klub vs Arkansas Wolves SC
9 AM; OKWU Soccer Field This camp is used for teams to work together, individuals to get extra development, and recruits to be seen by our college staff. For ages: 10-18. Cost for the 4day camp is $350 for residential and $250 for commuter.
7 PM; OKWU Soccer Fields
Reign Football Klub vs Dallas City FC 7 PM; OKWU Soccer Fields
OKWU Men’s Soccer Team/ID Camp 9 AM; OKWU Soccer Fields This camp is used for teams to work together, individuals to get extra development, and recruits to be seen by our college staff. For ages: 10-18. Cost for the 4-day camp is $350 for residential and $250 for commuter.
OKWU Women’s Soccer Team/ID Camp
OKWU Baseball Camp 2
Pioneer Kids: Growing Up in Indian Territory
9 AM; OKWU Baseball Stadium For girls & boys agesges 5-13. Cost of the 3-day camp is $75 per player.
7 PM; Tower Center at Unity Square
OKWU Baseball Camp 9 AM; OKWU Baseball Stadium For girls & boys agesges 5-13. Cost of the 3-day camp is $75 per player.
OKWU Baseball Prospect Camp 10 AM; OKWU Baseball Field For grades 10-12. Cost of the camp is $50 per player.
Kidsfest 10 AM; Woolaroc Kids of all ages can enjoy inflatable toys, games, crafts, pony rides, train rides, and much more. We will also host a number of craft booths on the grounds as well. All facilities are open from 10 am - 5 pm both days. There is no extra charge.
OKWU Baseball Camp 3 9 AM; OKWU Baseball Stadium For girls & boys agesges 5-13. Cost of the 3-day camp is $75 per player.
Finding Frank Scavenger Hunt 8:30 AM; Bartlesville Area History Museum The Bartlesville Area History Museum is ready to help you and your family fight summer break boredom. Through the month of June, bring your kids to the BAHM to participate in the Finding Frank Scavenger Hunt. Search the exhibit to find the answers to questions about Frank Griggs and be declared a history hero! All participants will receive a special surprise. Call 918-338-4294 or email history@cityofbartlesville. org for more information.
Weekly Virtual Storytime 10:30 AM Every Wednesday on Bartlesville Public Library's Facebook page.
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JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
bmonthly | JUNE 2021
JUNE EVENTS CALENDAR
Know of an upcoming event you would like to see on our calendar? Visit us at www.bartlesvillemonthly.com to submit a free listing!
Tue, Jun 1
Sat, Jun 5
Finding Frank Scavenger Hunt
OKM Music Festival Kick Off featuring Canadian Brass
Bartlesville Area History Museum
30th Annual Dewey Antique Show and Sale
OKM Music Kids Series: Storytime, Music, and Art Bartlesville Public Library
Bartlesville Community Center
401 S Johnstone Ave.
Washington County Fairgrounds
600 S Johnstone Ave.
300 SE Adams Blvd.
1109 Delaware, Dewey 10 AM
1840’s Mountain Man Camp and Animal Barn Open
Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve
Stage Art Dance: Relentless Rhythms Annual Dance Showcase
1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd.
Tower Center at Unity Square
The Mountain Man Camp & Animal Barn are open during regular park hours.
300 SE Adams Blvd. 1 PM
Wed, Jun 2
OKM Kids Series: Royal English Tea Party
Father Lynch Hall
Daughters of the American Revolution Monthly Meeting
8th & Keeler
Bartlesville Women’s Club
601 S Shawnee Ave.
Big Brother Big Sister Charcuterie Big Event at Home
The guest speaker will be Bartlesville historian and author Joe Todd.
Fri, Jun 4
Online Event 8:30 PM
Live Music with Zack Baker
Platinum Cigar Company
39th Annual Sunfest Arts, Crafts & Music Festival
314 S Johnstone Ave.
Sun, Jun 6
Friday hours 3-10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
OKM Kids Series: Song Box Music + Bingo
100.1 FM, KYFM Radio
Sizzlin Summer Series: Native Color
Tue, Jun 8 10 AM
OKM Music Kids Series: Storytime, Music, and Art Ambler Hall 415 S Dewey Ave. 1 PM
OKM Music Kids Series: Storytime, Music, and Art Ambler Hall 415 S Dewey Ave.
Wed, Jun 9
Fri, Jun 11 6 PM
OKM Music Festival at Woolaroc Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Reserve 1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd. Enjoy music under the stars at beautiful Clyde Lake, at Woolaroc. Featuring Jack Settle Band & Dallas Brass.
Sat, Jun 12
OKM Music Kids Series: Storytime, Music, and Art
Tulsa Honors Youth Orchestra
Ambler Hall 415 S Dewey Ave.
10 AM Bartlesville Community Center 300 SE Adams Blvd.
Thu, Jun 10
OKM Music Festival Brunch featuring Ann-Janette Webster
OKM Music Kids Series: Dallas Brass Educational Program Bartlesville Community Center Studio Theater 300 SE Adams Blvd.
Tower Center at Unity Square
Mon, Jun 7
300 SE Adams Blvd.
Teens: Make Your Own Pet Treats
OKM Kids Series: Native American Culture & Dance
Bartlesville Public Library
Events feature free live entertainment and children’s activities, as well as food and beverages for sale. Bring your lawn chairs or picnic blankets and join in the fun.
Tickets range from $35-65. To accommodate social distancing and CDC recommendations, the BCC has limited the availability of seating for all performances. For more event information visit https://okmmusic.org.
Bartlesville Community Center 300 SE Adams Blvd. 4 PM
OKM Music Festival: Kickin’ the Clouds Away featuring Ryan & Ryan Bartlesville Community Center 300 SE Adams Blvd.
600 S Johnstone Ave.
Tower Center at Unity Square 300 SE Adams Blvd.
JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
OKM Music Festival’s Where Bach Meets Bon Jovi
OKM Music Festival featuring Jenny Lin, piano
Ben Johnson Days
VIP Dinner with Barry Corbin
Various Locations Around Pawhuska
Bartlesville Community Center 300 SE Adams Blvd.
Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa 2727 S Rockford Rd, Tulsa
Event runs through Sunday, June 20, with a variety of events. You can check out visittheosage.com for a full schedule.
Constantine Theatre 110 W Main St., Pawhuska
Tue, Jun 15
Thu, Jun 17
Live Music with The Back Roads Band
The Constantine Theater of Pawhuska will be showing Conagher, starring Sam Elliot and Barry Corbin, on the big screen. Following the movie, meet Corbin and join in a question and answer session.
Cherokee Casino-Ramona 31501 US 75, Ramona
BPL presents the FurTastic K9s
BSO Bingo Night
Sun, Jun 13
Tower Center at Unity Square 300 SE Adams Blvd.
OKM Music Festival’s A Mariachi Celebration featuring Hugo Salcedo Tower Center at Unity Square 300 SE Adams Blvd.
Tower Center at Unity Square 300 SE Adams Blvd.
Bartlesville Public Library welcomes this great performance and stunt dog team.
OKM Music Festival Picnic 11 AM
Frank Phillips Home 1107 SE Cherokee Ave. OKM Music Festival brings Jeff Shadley and his Rat-Pack vocal style & trumpet playing to the Frank Phillips Home.
OKM Music Festival: Piano Music from Around the World Bartlesville Community Center 300 SE Adams Blvd.
OKM Music Festival: Tina Guo
Traveling: The Great Beyond
Tulsa Performing Arts Center E 3rd Street, Tulsa
Online Bartlesville Public Library Facebook page
Mon, Jun 14
Gary and Austin Spears, of Spears Travel, will answer common travel questions.
Flag Day Ceremony
OKM Music Festival’s The Best of TAKE3
Bartlesville Public Library 600 S Johnstone Ave. The Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution are jointly hosting the free event. 11 AM
OKM Music Festival featuring Wade Daniel, piano Bartlesville Community Center 300 SE Adams Blvd. 2 PM
Bartlesville Community Center 300 SE Adams Blvd
OKM Music Festival Finale featuring Grady Nichols & Baha Men Doenges Memorial Stadium 198 N Dewey Ave. Enjoy Grady Nichols opening for Baha Men for this family performance at the Doenges baseball stadium.
Fri, Jun 18 Times Vary
Osage County Cattlemen’s Convention & Ranch Tour Osage County Fairgrounds 320 Skyline Dr., Pawhuska The convention runs through Sunday, June 20. 8 PM
Live Music with Robbi Bell
Hometown History Book Club presents Killer of the Flower Moon
Platinum Cigar Company 314 S Johnstone Ave.
Johnstone Park 100 N Cherokee Ave.
Sat, Jun 19
The BAHM is pleased to announce the formation of the Hometown History Book Club. Meetings are held every two weeks.
OKM Music Kids Series: Melody’s Mostly Musical Day
Wed, Jun 16
Philbrook Museum of Art 2727 S Rockford Rd., Tulsa
Showcase 2021: Merz Trio Bartlesville Community Center 300 SE Adams Blvd.
Teen Duct Tape Creations Johnstone Park 100 N Cherokee Ave. Bartlesville Public Library is hosting a workshop for teens, led by Shani Snell, guiding them in creating animal-themed duct tape creations.
Early Bird 50/50 starts at 5 - 7pm Regular Bingo starts at 7pm. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets. Shorties Grille and Smoke 'n' Gumbo food trucks will be there with a percentage of each purchase going to BSO Educational & Outreach Programs. 8 PM
Live Music with the Smith Brothers Platinum Cigar Company 314 S Johnstone Ave.
Sat, Jun 26 10 AM
Kidsfest Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve 1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd. This traditional event features arts and crafts, games, live music, inflatables, and so much more! There is no extra charge for Kidsfest, it is covered under the price of regular admission. Train rides, along with craft and food vendors, are an additional cost. Regular Admission: $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, kids 12 and under are free.
Sun, Jun 27 10 AM
Kidsfest Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve 1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd. See June 26 event for information.
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A FRESH PERSPECTIVE
Driving Vacations An Unfolding Highway by Brent Taylor I remember watching my Dad unfold a road map and the sense of pending mystery that made me bright-eyed, like a dog in a Norman Rockwell station wagon, head out the window and tongue flapping in the breeze. I was always up for a road trip. Albert Einstein, no stranger to travel, preferred the speed of light over station wagons, imagining himself riding a light beam, which evokes the image of Slim Pickens riding a nuke in Dr. Strangelove. My guess is that one would struggle to find a nice deli while going that fast. Those of us who travel slower than a beam of light find that we enjoy the trip more when we go slow.
dad pressed on the accelerator hitting 80 MPH. I asked him why he sped up. He said he couldn’t stand the suspense and wanted to find out quickly whether we were going to run out of gas. Karen and I took a driving vacation through upstate New York and into Canada to see our son in Toronto. We meandered through the Old Forge Hardware store established in 1900, a shop with chunks of fudge and brown bottles of Saranac Root Beer next door to a dairy shack with a roof top ice cream cone. Then we drove north on Interstate 84 toward the Canadian Border. I listened to my wife’s comments as she sifted through a box of old pictures collected after her mom had sold the family house in New Jersey. She found a picture of her dad as a teenager.
But slowing isn’t the only thing. Maybe we should stop the selfies and get back to taking pictures of others. In Walker Percy’s She read a letter written novel, The Moviegoer, from her mother in August Binx Bolling has a sci1957. It was addressed to her entist friend who lives husband, Thom, who was in a mental silo, and serving in the Army Reserve cares for nothing at Fort Drum. Karen knew her except for the problem Dad served as a cook in the swimming about in his Army, but she always wonhead. Binx says about This picture was taken not long after a car wreck. He and some dered where Fort Drum was. his friend, “He is no buddies were raiding a farmers She looked up from the letter more aware of the watermelon crop and were chased and saw a sign not far from mystery that sur- away. In the scramble to escape, the Canadian border, just east rounds him than a fish he did not sit in his usual seat in of Lake Ontario. The green exit the car. Thom's friend sat in that is aware of the water it seat instead. His friend died in the sign read, “Fort Drum.” swims in. He could accident. research for a thouLater, we went to see King sand years and never have an inkling of it.” Lear at High Park in Toronto. Afterwards, Meanwhile, Binx’s mind wanders toward we sat with our son and his wife in their a game of touch football on the college Toronto apartment watching home campus lawn outside the laboratory. movies that I had digitized. We stumbled When I travel, I try to slow my pace and notice games of touch football happening on strange lawns. There are exceptions, like if you are about to run out of gas. This happened one summer while our family was driving across Montana and I noticed the gas gauge below “E”. My
upon this: my son being born. He was struggling to breathe and slightly purple. Upon seeing this, my son said, “I look like a lizard.” Oxygen hadn't coursed through his body. I was tearing up watching, and out of the corner of my eye I was watching my son watch himself being born...gurgling and crying as a nurse cleared his
mouth and nose. Suddenly, he began to glow pink...he wasn’t a lizard, he was human. As we drove home from Toronto through Detroit, we listened to the Audiobook Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann. There was a heavy dose of King Lear in Osage County back in the 1920’s, when the Osage Indians were the richest people per capita in the world and J. Paul Getty and Frank Phillips gathered under the Million Dollar Elm to bid on the Osage Indians' subterranean kingdom. “When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.” ― William Shakespeare, King Lear The Osage drove Cadillacs and succumbed to the foolishness of riches like most of us do. The story is about the prejudice toward Native American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity. The bad guys could just have easily been actors in a Shakespearean tragedy like King Lear... “rascals, eaters of broken meats; base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knaves; lily-livered, glass-gazing, superserviceable finical rogues.“ Bill Shakespeare could talk some trash. We all cry before the blood fills our veins and oxygen brightens our countenance. We nestle in the warmth of human contact and determine that the fools and knaves and killers of the flower moon may share the stage, but they won't rule the story. No matter how sweet the vacation I always enjoy coming home, sometimes from the west, crossing the Osage prairie over a ribbon of asphalt born of subterranean riches and dark secrets, and I slow down at the top of the hill on highway 60 and take in the view of my hometown. It’s always good to come home.
JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
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From Rodeos to Hamburgers George Yocham Left His Mark on Community Food Scene by Kay Little, Little History Adventures George Yocham was born in 1929, in Arkansas. He moved to Oklahoma and eventually married Ruby in Bristow, in 1949. They lived in Kellyville and Colorado before moving to Bartlesville in 1964. While in Colorado, George shoed horses at a racetrack. At one time, George was involved in rodeos and was active as a calf roper. He always wanted to be a farmer and cowboy, but he could not make enough money. George had observed the success his siblings had with Tastee Freez all over Oklahoma. So, he decided to move to Bartlesville and open one. The Yochams’ Tastee Freez was located on Nowata Road near the Limestone intersection, in the vicinity of where Gail’s shop is now. The family operated the Tastee Freez for most of the 1960s. George’s son, Rick, told me that every family member worked at the restaurant. Rick started with sweeping the driveway until he was old enough to work inside. He became known as the soda fountain jerk. Tastee Freez had 50 flavors of malts and shakes, and several customers would get a different flavor on every visit until they tried all 50. The franchise eventually changed and wanted George to use their frozen hamburger patties instead of the local fresh beef that he had been using. So, he sold the business. If any of you watch Hallmark movies, doesn’t this sound like Appetite For Love? In 1971, George started his own restaurant, Yocham’s Family Drive-In, just down the street from the Tastee Freez — where Pop’s Donuts is now located. George got his meat from Nowata, as he wanted to do at Tastee Freez. Rick told me “Dad was hard to work for if you did not work. But if you worked, he was easy to work for.” A former employee quoted George as saying, “You should never be idle. There is always something to be done.”
George knew all his regular customers so well that when he saw them get out of their car, he started cooking their order before they came in the door. He would also spend time visiting with them. George enjoyed fishing, playing dominoes, and anything he could do on a tractor.
Debbie Neece first told me about George and that his hamburgers were the best ever. After I looked at the comments on George’s obituary page, I realized everyone who had eaten one of his hamburgers felt the same way. In fact, George’s wife, Ruby, would taste other people’s hamburgers and said they never measured up to her standards. In 1977, George celebrated his first grandchild, Jessica, by selling ice cream cones for a penny. By the late 1970s, George tried to retire — but everyone missed him and his hamburgers. After selling the family restaurant, he opened a convenience store called Grab N’ Gab. It was located on Highway 60 east of Bartlesville, at the location of what is now Rick and Rhonda’s business, Yocham’s Custom Leather and Cowboy Decor. Every part of the building held a family business. You could feed your car with Mustang gas and yourself with one of George’s famous hamburgers. All the generations of Yochams love rodeos, horses, the outdoors, and making strangers and friends feel welcome. Bartlesville lost a good friend when George died in 2010. JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
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NOW YOU KNOW
“Honest John Hicks” standing by a gasoline pump at Hicks Phillips 66 Station. He also ran a grocery store there.
Memories of Old
Remembering the Old Tulsa Road & Honest John’s Corner
by Debbie Neece, Bartlesville Area History Museum Henry Ford introduced his Model T in 1908 and soon his “Tin Lizzy” became an American status symbol. As horses and buggies slowly stepped aside for the luxury of the automobile, the race for better roads became intense. However, developing infrastructure mainly fell upon the jurisdiction of poorly funded state and local governments, until the passage of the Federal Aid Road Act in 1916 which provided funding for rural roads to improve U.S. mail delivery. A little self-serving but the Road Act paved the way for various Good Road Movements to grip America. Commercial trade was on the minds of area business owners as early as 1915 when the Ozark Trails Association began laying out a plan for well-maintained roads for travelers. The plan promoted a system of good roads connecting Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri. Bartlesville lobbied for such a road from Caney, KS south though Dewey, Bartlesville, Ochelata, Ramona, Vera, Collinsville and continuing south to Owasso and Tulsa. With time of the essence, the Bartlesville Commercial Club, forerunner to the Chamber of Commerce, went to work immedi40
bmonthly | JUNE 2021
ately building bridges and laying the required sixteen-foot-wide roads to be part of the Ozark plan. With three smelter operations in Bartlesville, there was plenty of crushable clay retort waste to recycle as roadbed material, and the Dewey Portland Cement and Bartlesville Vitrified Brick Plants supplied materials to hard surface the roads. The summer of 1917, word was received that the Ozark Trail had bypassed Washington County for a more direct southern route from Coffeyville to Nowata to Tulsa. Area residents were disappointed but not halted. At one time, Highway 75 traveled south from Dewey, crossed the Caney River bridge at Cherokee Avenue, south on Cherokee Avenue to 4th Street, east on 4th Street to Comanche, south across the 1908 steel Caney River Bridge and continued south past Silver Lake. This was called the “Old Tulsa Road,” which continued to Ochelata, Ramona and on to Tulsa, much of which was dangerous narrow two-lane road and only fit for smaller vehicles.
NOW YOU KNOW The entire county was dedicated to supporting the WWI effort and hearts weighed heavy for our casualties. In 1920, 174 Elm trees were planted along the Old Tulsa Road as a “Victory Row” tribute to Washington County’s WWI fallen heroes. Then, in 1924, the original steel 1908 Old Tulsa Road bridge was replaced with our current concrete Memorial Bridge. Frank Phillips purchased 10 brass plaques engraved with the names of Washington County’s 1,603 WWI veterans. The plaques were embedded in the four-corner pillars of the new bridge.
On the Old Tulsa Road, about a half mile south of the Memorial Bridge, John and Ada Hicks established “Honest John’s Corner.” Hicks operated 10 stone Suwanee Cottages as lodging for travelers with a Texaco filling station and store attached. At that location, on the north side of the Tulsa Road, was a Marland Gasoline filling station and later Marie Souder operated Marie’s Steakhouse to the east. As the Tulsa Road curved to the south, just past the protective guardrail and just before the Toalson Road exited to the east, Hicks’ Phillips 66 Station was located. With all of the services available, a Hicks community was formed. The area was prone to flooding and in 1943, Jack Bogardus, a Suwanee Cottage resident who raised and sold pigs near his cottage, corralled the pigs in a pin on the Memorial Bridge so they would not drown. That year, Ada Hicks died and two years later, after 31 years of business, John sold the service station and tourist cottages to Lee Iseli. He retained the Suwanee name but sold the businesses in 1948 and left the area. It is hard to locate details of who owned the property between 1948 and 1957 when Leroy Bacon purchased and operated the Suwanee Cottages. By 1959, Leroy developed the “need for speed” and established a dirt go-kart race track east of the Cottages with hay bale guardrails for safety. Early in 1961, he began speaking to the City Planning Commission about upgrading the track surface
to asphalt. Several neighbors protested against turning Hicks’ Corner into an entertainment mecca along the Old Tulsa Road, but their protests were overridden. After wiggling though the legal process, the Planning Commission approved the track in February and the County Commissioners approved in March. By June, Bacon kicked off the summer with 4th of July fireworks, pony rides for the “small fries” and four-cycle go-kart races for all at the intersection of the Old Tulsa Road and Toalson Road. Many memories were formed along the Old Tulsa Road. Marie Souter operated Maries Steakhouse from 1956-1966…an exclusively private dining and dancing nightclub. Occasionally, the club would be the site of unruly activity like the early morning brawl on September 26, 1961 that resulted in four people going to the hospital and several others injured. Marie was a feisty 60 years young despite her frail stature. When she told four uninvited men to leave the steakhouse, the next thing she remembered was being at Memorial Hospital with internal injuries and broken ribs, sinus and facial bones. Law enforcement authorities quickly apprehended the four Tahlequah area assailants and after a short courtroom drama of testimony, justice was served. Memories…it is all memories now. The stone constructed Suawnee Cottages are now just a memory hiding behind a wooden fence near the intersection of Adams Blvd. and Silver Lake Road. Marie’s continued operations with several different managers until the last vacancy in 1995, when the building was boarded. Then, after being ravaged by many floods, the building was finally razed in 2018. The go-kart race track was sold to Richard and Kathy Wimer in 1995 and continued operation until November 2020, now vacant. And yet, hiding in plain sight, one small remnant of the Old Tulsa Road remains, holding on to the memories of “Honest John’s Corner.”
Did You Know? As a posthumous tribute to famed oilman Frank Phillips, on September 27, 1951, Third Street was renamed Frank Phillips Blvd. In 1969, to honor K.S. “Boots” Adams, Seventh Street from Morton to Comanche became Adams Blvd. and the following year, Adams Blvd. expanded to Madison Blvd. retiring Toalson Road. Now You Know*
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FROM THE HEART
Run Your Race Learning to Pick Yourself in The Relay Race of Life by Lori Kroh I attended my daughter’s 5th grade Field Day. I looked around the Bruins Stadium and although it has been updated, the memories came back and I was in awe of how much I detest the gritty red gravel on the track. Woodrow Wilson school had only four girls to participate: Tina, Lori J., Missy, and myself. I’m not bragging by any stretch to say I was the shortest in my class and not the fastest. Mr. Pierce announced the 800 meter to us girls and I begged for a way out. If I didn’t run, I would cause the team to forfeit the race. I was actually okay with that and he was not. So, we laced up our shoes and put away our combs that feathered our hair and off we went to conquer the day. We didn’t have Gatorade like my daughter had me buy and we sure didn’t have a protein bar. We had Pringles in a baggie and a Twinkie to give us energy. We didn’t use sunscreen except for some red headed classmates who had zinc oxide on their noses. I remember hearing the schools cheer and parents handing out brown bag lunches. The thrill of the day was before me and I had practiced my speech when we would win and stand on a podium. His whistle glistened in the sun and all hope was found. I spent the day waiting with anticipation and a surge of hope that somehow all the others would get sunsick and drop out allowing us to win. As life would have it, that did not happen and I found myself in the third leg of the relay and constantly was wiping my hands off on my polyester shorts. I looked up at the crowd and waved and gave my teacher a thumbs up. I saw Mr. Pierce grimace and chew on the string the whistle was attached to and wondered why. I looked all around and thought to myself it’s now or never. I prayed for never , but sometimes God just does not answer our prayers, or so I heard according to Garth Brooks. The whistle sounded and off ran Tina like a gazelle and she was in the lead by a longshot. She curved around the track perfectly and made a great pass off to Lori J. As she came closer, I got very nervous. She had power and the sound of the gravel crunching was getting closer as she was rounding near me...I had practiced over and over the hand off and was getting ready. I yelled, “Run Lori Run” and watched her face as she took breaths just like Mr. Pierce had taught us. For a brief moment in time, I sensed the electric momentum of victory, the smell of domination. No, thinking back that was just Charlie and Dennis
and they really stunk. I had my hand out behind me and started running when she yelled, “Go! Go! GO!” and I grabbed the baton and ran. My feet lifted high off the ground and for one minute I was part of the winning team. I relished in the thought of participating and TRYING even when all is against you. All of sudden, the baton slipped from my palms and clanked to the ground and the echo rang for eternity. I heard the crowd gasping in unison and my school yelled out, “Pick it Up! Pick it Up!” I will never forget the humiliation of letting them all down. I had fears of failing before the race, and it all came true. Your biggest fear can happen and what you do after that is what matters. Pick up and start again. I ran to Missy scowling at me and handed it off as gold. She ran her heart out and we came in dead last. The entire team ignored me the rest of the day and Mr. Pierce even took his whistle off. Looking back, I can say the promise in life is that if you endure and don’t quit, then you have won in the end. Your trophy is a place deep within so run your race friend, until the very end.
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MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Project Tribute Organization Helps Raise Funds for First Responders by Jay Hastings You may have seen Jon Beckloff’s Tribute Jeep running around Bartlesville and wondered what the story was about. If you stopped to look closer and talk to Jon about his Jeep, you suddenly realize his passion is way beyond the Jeep. While Jon admits he is an avid Jeep club member he also has a passion for honoring First Responders who have been killed in the line of duty.
son while out in the field. Another item is a small portable backup reserve air tank for firefighters to carry. First aid and self-defense training courses are other ideas which need funding. These are important lifesaving tools you may need in an instant to save not only citizens lives but fellow first responders as well.
July 7, 2016 was the day five Dallas Police Officers were ambushed, shot, and killed by a gunman. Jon said when he heard of the officers deaths, he knew something needed to change. Jon felt the need to do something to help save lives of first responders. The Tribute jeep was a way to publicly bring attention to those first responders killed in the line of duty. On the back windows of the Jeep are the names of fallen law enforcement officers, police K-9s, firefighters, emergency medical service personnel, and military personnel killed in the line of duty. Earlier this year, Jon formed a non-profit organization called Project Tribute Foundation to help raise funds for life-saving equipment for local first responders. Jon says he hopes to grow the Foundation nationally and help other first responders. Many first responders have to buy their own equipment, especially at smaller rural agencies or volunteer fire departments. Jon says he focuses on equipment and training which specifically saves lives, such as ballistic plates for officer vests. Other items provided include tourniquets that first responders can carry on their perJUNE 2021 | bmonthly
OUT & ABOUT
BHS BASEBALL SENIOR NIGHT
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OUT & ABOUT
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ON THE OSAGE
The Pearl of Great Price Joni Nash Trusting God as she Leaves Pawhuska Chamber by Kelly Bland Well, the news is out, and the story is going ‘round, so I figured this month I’d take a minute to fill you in. I’d like to begin with a little back story first if you’ll let me. (Y’all know how I like to do that whole “Paul Harvey” thing.) When I moved up to Oklahoma, one day out of the blue my phone went “ding” with a DM on Insta asking me to call a friend of a friend. That’s how I met Joni Nash. She sat on the Osage County Tourism Committee and they just happened to be looking for an executive director and my name had come up in a conversation with a mutual friend. That’s also how I landed my job — and how I fell in love with Osage County’s beautiful green countryside and friendly folks. Joni immediately took me under her wing — as she was, in my books, The Pearl of Pawhuska. Introducing me around town as if I were a rock star, she couldn’t have put me on better footing if she’d have ordered me a pair of handmade boots. She is a pro at public relations and knows the value of a genuine smile. Watching her work a room is like watching an old-timer drag calves to the fire with skill and ease. In other words, she gets the job done and makes it look easy. Our work has kept us in contact and we’ve partnered up on our fair share of sit-downs and shindigs. Last year, for a short time I thought we were going to lose her as she got the idea she might like to step away from her role and explore some new horizons. Thankfully, the dust settled on that whim and we saddled up to take on Corona together in our part of Oklahoma — and you might say we made it to the buzzer without getting bucked off. But then about a month ago, The Pearl of Pawhuska called early one morning and said we needed to talk. I was in the middle of putting on my makeup, so I put her on speaker phone and said, “What’s up?” By the time we ended our call, my makeup was smeared, my heart was touched, and I knew a new horizon was headed for The Pearl — and headed my way as well. Joni’s a gal who lives out her faith, and I admire that. Feeling the prompting of the Lord to quit your job and trust Him with the unknown is a pretty big step. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Lord has her best days right in front of her — but wanting to hand off the baton to the gal who responded to a DM on Insta one day, was something I never saw coming. After prayer and process, things have worked out and my dream job has now turned into my “better than I ever would have dreamed” job. Starting in June, I’ll be the new Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce Director and the Osage County Tourism Director as I take my own step of faith — trusting that the Lord has good things in store for both the county and Pawhuska, as well as for The Pearl and her friend The Tourism Gal.
The Pearl and The Tourism Gal.
When you’re over my way, y’all stop by the old Blacksmith Shop on Main in Pawhuska and come in and have a cup of coffee with me at the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce office. I’m hoping The Pearl will even be there from time to time to fill me in on all her new adventures. I want to say, “Thank you, Joni Nash for all the heart you’ve poured into not only Pawhuska, but into people like me. You’ve made a positive difference. May the Lord bless and smile on you. I believe your best days are yet to come!” Well, that’s how it started — and that’s what just happened. And now you know The Rest of the Story. Good day. 😊 JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
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ONCE UPON A TIME
Idle Article & Buck Remembering “Junk-Store” Shopping by Rita Thurman Barnes I’ll bet a whole bunch of you remember the ‘Idle Article’ at 1205 SE Adams. That place was huge, and it had one of almost everything ever made inside its doors. It’s the first store with “pre-owned” inventory I ever visited. I believe it started out somewhere other than where it met its demise on Adams Blvd just before you cross the bridge but to save my soul I can’t remember where it was. Maybe one of you will recall. My mother adored the Idle Article. She liked to walk through and see what they had and pick up something if it was a good deal. The Idle Article bought and sold in Bartlesville for years, but I never knew for sure who owned it and don’t remember when it closed. But I most clearly recall a similar store. When my husband and I were married in 1968, we bought the cutest little house you ever saw in Oak Park Village. Sometimes I still drive by and look at it. I remember lots of things about that house, but one memory stands out the most. To get to Oak Park from the downtown area, you drive west on Frank Phillips and hang a right at the Virginia Avenue Church. You keep going north and when you pass what used to be the Bureau of Mines, cattycorner from there you’ll see a green grassy park-looking area. But in 1968 that’s not what was there. On that corner stood a sandstone building that very well may have been a corner gas station at some earlier date but which in 1968 housed a “junk store” (301 N. Virginia Ave) owned by a man named Virgil Lee Buckelew.
store” shopping. When we married, we purchased new furniture from (now) Cooper-Herrington, and it looked lovely in our little Oak Park home. But, try as I might, I just couldn’t resist stopping to see what Buck had purchased at an estate sale or what someone had pawned to him for some much needed cash. I bought lots of knickknacks and do-dads from Buck and even a rocking love seat that was almost new. I got it home and found out it smelled like a wet dog. But Buck’s place was a veritable plethora of odds and ends and furniture, lamps, and appliances both big and small. Buck wasn’t a talkative man, and he usually always wore a khaki shirt and pants, and he would deliver if the price were right. He was just forever there on the corner till one day I learned that he had passed away. He’s one of those people who, like Ossie Grimmett aka the Ambassador of Adams Blvd. and “Smiley” and Old Joe Barber who walked the streets of Bartlesville so long ago. They are all a part of our history and their memory lingers on. Buck passed away in 1980 and was buried in Texas and this is probably far more than he would ever want to be known about him. Virgil Lee Buckelew had a shop by the side of the road, and he was a friend to man. You can’t ask for much more than that. I just wish I had told him so before he went away.
I never knew Buck’s last name at the time. I just called him Buck like everyone else. But Buck’s store was my adult initiation into “junk
JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
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SALUTE TO VETERANS
Walt Sires Remembering a Local D-Day Survivor by Joe Todd Walt Sires was born in Bartlesville on June 14, 1923 and he graduated from College High School in 1942. He was drafted into the Army on January 28, 1943 and sent to Camp Swift, Texas for Basic Training. He spent eight months at Camp Swift, then was put on a troop train and sent to Camp Miles Standish, Massachusetts near Boston. He left Boston on October 18, 1943 on the RMS Mauritania, the sister ship to the Queen Mary. The trip to England took nine days and he was seasick the whole trip. The ship landed in Liverpool and he was sent to Ilfracombe Beach and assigned to the 146th Combat Engineers. They began training for D-Day and had to carry 300 pounds 300 yards in the sand. The nearest town was Barnstaple and the Germans bombed it almost every night. They went to the pubs in town and had to go to the air raid shelter every night. They trained in the landing craft on how to get out and hit the beach. Being combat engineers, they were told they had to clear 50 yards of the beach. There would be 21 men in each landing craft. They trained every day for the invasion and his whole unit was put in a compound at Southampton, surrounded by three barbed wire fences and armed guards. No one was allowed to leave or enter the compound and he figured the invasion was near. They were informed they would be hitting Omaha Beach at Normandy and this was the reason no one was allowed in or out — for security. They were taken out of the compound and loaded on the ships the night of June 5, 1944. The invasion was to be on the 5th, but the
ocean was too rough and put off until the 6th. The ships crossed the channel and were off Normandy and his group of 21 men were climbing down into the landing craft when the Germans opened up and men were being killed around him. The landing craft came in and they hit Omaha Beach at five o’clock in the morning before the first wave. His group was to land at Dog Green at Omaha but the sea was so rough, they had no idea where they landed, they just started blowing obstacles. They were to blow the obstacles so the ships could get in closer to unload the troops. Each man carried 80 pounds of plastic explosives in socks with the detonator cord with 20-second fuses. They had to tie the explosives around each obstacle with the detonator cords while the Germans were shooting at them. The first wave was right behind them and they were killing their own men with the explosives and they had to shorten the fuses from 20 seconds to five seconds. The Germans had telephone poles at an angle with a land mine on the end and they had to blow the poles and the big steel crosses on the beach that would rip out the bottom of the landing craft. He said the noise from the artillery and the ships firing was tremendous and the screams from the wounded and dying were horrible. He never thought he would be able to survive. When he got on the beach and up against a sea wall, the waves of troops started coming in. It took several days to clear all the obstacles to get the big supply ships in to the beach. He said that over half of his unit was killed on D-Day. He then fought his way across Europe until the war ended and he returned to Bartlesville.
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Saving Animals Washington County SPCA Setting High Goals for the Future by Maria Gus With a strong leader and a supportive board, the Washington County SPCA has a set of big goals and the momentum to achieve them. WCSPCA’s average intake is 2,600 animals a year. That’s a loss that could be avoided with a concentrated effort on community education, volunteer recruitment, and fundraising. WCSPCA CEO Tonya Pete said getting out of the floodplain is their top priority, and they hope to relocate to their new shelter in three years. Other priorities include making Oklahoma a humane state by 2025, reaching a 90% save rate, and working towards becoming a no-kill shelter. “In order to be considered ‘humane’ or ‘no-kill,’ shelters or rescues have to reach a 90% save rate,” said Pete. “A 90% total save rate for all animals in a shelter system is a simple, effective method for measuring a community’s progress toward no-kill.” WCSPCA has been at an 89% save rate for the past two years and the staff and board are very proud of the progress they’ve made. “Our shelter has committed to saving all savable pets entering our care,” added Pete. Board president Chad Cox has been passionate about animals all his life. Son of a veterinarian, Cox began cleaning dog kennels at his dad’s animal hospital when he was six years old. After three years working in Texas, Cox moved back to Bartlesville in 2020 and is a commercial banker with Arvest Bank. With nearly 20 years of experience in finance, management, and veterinary operations, Cox looks forward to working with Pete, her staff, and the rest of the WCSPCA board to reduce the overpopulation of animals in the community. For the last seven years, Cox worked with his father to create mobile vaccination clinics and animal hospitals within Petco stores. “We started a mobile vaccination clinic in 2014, grew to three mobile units by 2017, and when we left there were 10 hospitals in four states providing low-cost wellness and full service care for dogs and cats.” Cox said he cannot emphasise the importance of spay and neutering enough. According to Pete, WCSPCA has gone through many positive changes over the past several years and they could not have done it without the support of the community. “We have great board members that have been a catalyst for change and how we are perceived in the community,” said Pete. “This has provided us the opportunity to grow, mend fences, and partner with our local vets and other rescues and work toward a common goal of making Oklahoma a humane state.” The Washington County SPCA has not euthanized animals to create space in the shelters for over 11 years. Pete attributes all of this to the great support they’ve had from donors, partners, and volunteers. Pete said the WCSPCA’s financial stability is due to its supporters, business sponsors, and foundation grantors like Petco Love.
Michaela Shue, the Washington County SPCA Cat Adoption Specialist.
“We have also received great support from other local non-profits like Mary Martha Outreach,” said Pete, “They donate pet food to us, the Journey Home has donated supplies they can’t reuse, and the Delaware Tribe has partnered with us on grants that help domestic violence victims who have pets.” Pete said all of this puts them in a good position to begin their capital campaign. “Together, we are making a difference for our community’s homeless animals.” “We always need volunteers, fosters, and in-kind donations,” added Pete. Pete said that kitten season is here and during the summer, it is not uncommon to have over 200 cats in their care at one time. For WCSPCA, fosters are the biggest asset. WCSPCA provides fosters with food, litter, and supplies. Current supplies needed include: Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR), canned paté cat food, paper towels, Dawn dish soap, laundry detergent, pine pellet litter, and puppy pads. To learn more about the Washington County SPCA, adopt a pet, volunteer, or make a donation, go to www.wcspca.org or call (918) 336-1577. JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
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STARS IN OUR BACKYARD
Nan Buhlinger A Look at The Queen of OK Mozart by Debbie Neece, Bartlesville Area History Museum If asked what makes Bartlesville the best kept secret in Oklahoma, thoughts turn to the unique sense of community, celebrated arts and constant work to make Bartlesville progressive, including the establishment of an international classical music festival. In the words of Walt Whitman, “If you done it, it ain’t bragging” and Nan Buhlinger has a lot to brag about. Spending most of her childhood in Amarillo, Nan Nordyke Buhlinger was introduced to piano and violin lessons at a young age. During her fifteenth summer, she attended Michigan’s Interlochen Music Camp, which greatly enhanced her love of music. Then, during her post-college years, she worked as a producer at CBS in St. Louis and became involved with the St. Louis Orchestra. She left her career to relocate to Amarillo with her family, where her husband became employed by Phillips Petroleum Company. The Buhlingers ping-ponged across Texas as Phillips transferred them often before her husband received a promotion that brought them to Bartlesville. Then, when they transferred to Houston for four years, Nan became involved with the Houston Civic Symphony and the American Symphony Orchestra League. Then, after relocating to San Antonio for 10 months, they finally settled in Bartlesville. Nan was introduced to the Bartlesville Symphony by Barbara Wallace, her back-fence neighbor, and she became involved in the Arts Council and Little Theater. She played violin for the Theater Guild which brought back childhood memories of her record player recording of Mozart’s Jupiter that she played thousands of times. Soon she was president of the Musical Research Society and a board member of the Community Concert Association. This was the “prelude” to the beginning of OK Mozart. As the president of the symphony board, Nan helped organize the Bartlesville Symphony as a business, selling season tickets to patrons. In 1977, Lauren Green arrived in Bartlesville as a professor at Bartlesville Wesleyan College and the director of the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra. The two made an effective team. The early 1980s brought a series of tangled events that unraveled into the most amazing musical event in the world…the OK Mozart International Festival. First, William Wesley Peters, protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed the $14 million Bartlesville Community Center with exquisite concert hall acoustics. The Community Center opened in 1982 and, the following year, the famed conductor Ransom Wilson’s Commu-
nity Concert tour made a stop in Bartlesville. Wilson is not only an inspirational flutist; he founded and conducted the Solisti New York Orchestra. Ransom and Nan envisioned creating a Mozart festival and discussed the idea with Gary Moore, Community Center director. Their collaborative efforts began in 1983 and resulted in the opening of the OK Mozart International Festival June 1985 to honor the music of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and bring world famous artists to Bartlesville. Over the years, the festival featured the Solisti New York Orchestra and hosted performers including Itzhak Perlman, violinist; James Galway, flutist; and Joshua Bell, violinist. Through generous gifts, many volunteer hours and millions of details, Nan Buhlinger’s labor of love became a self-sustaining music festival which skyrocketed Bartlesville to international fame. As executive director, Nan retired in 2001 but her heart is forever attached to the festival and Bartlesville.
JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
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bmonthly | JUNE 2021
Summer Memories & Ball Games The Grandstand Was a Popular Nowata Gathering Place
by Caroll Craun The distinctive sounds of bats connecting with balls; smells of popcorn, hot dogs, and sunscreen; sitting in the bleachers on hard wooden seats with splinters in them; and people yelling and screaming words of encouragement are all memories of summertime. And dust — lots of dust! There are many sights, sounds, and smells associated with this time in our life; experiences most of us have shared at one time or another. Stool ball, fletch-catch, base, all are terms used to describe what later became known as baseball. Some say it has its origins in games played in Europe; others attribute it to a Canadian physical education teacher in Springfield, Massachusetts named James Naismith, who set it up as an activity for his physically challenged clients. Whichever you choose to believe, the game eventually made its way to Nowata prior to statehood. Groups of men would gather on open fields in the Nowata area and play for their own enjoyment and to entertain those watching. As early as 1906, there was a ball team called the "Yellow Kids" in Nowata. A photo exists, but little else is known about them aside from the names of the team members. Other men's teams thrived from 1907 through the late 1930s. Gradually, teams were formed with younger players, 10-15 years old. In 1952, Father Charles Bauer, of St. Catherine's Catholic Church started the "Chiefs,” the first little league in Nowata. It was sponsored by J.L. Wiley, owner of Wiley's Super Service Station. Many of the original players still live in the Nowata area. Teams fell into several categories: American Legion teams, Semi-pro groups that were supposedly based in Kansas (Wayside Nowata Forrest Oil Ball Team South East Kansas League) but were actually in Nowata, and the Little League teams. The semi-pro teams hired retired professional pitchers to play with the teams so they could compete with the larger cities. Over time, citizens saw the need for a dedicated place to play baseball and football, hold rodeos, and even fairs and
circuses. This place became known as The Grandstand, and was built in 1922 west of the city park. Building it was believed to lead to greater prosperity for the town and draw in many visitors. The first official game was played on September 28, 1922. For many Nowata citizens, this brings back memories of a special place and time. The Grandstand was close to the current fair buildings and had a concession stand and marked playing areas. The grandstand was a magnificent structure with three sections raising a number of rows high and affording great views of the playing field. Wire screen covered the front area to protect the spectators from flying balls and other objects. The stand was constructed such that the finish line for track was in front of the stands, and if you were watching a football game you had the perfect vantage spot to watch each play. Lights for the playing field were added later via a number of fundraising activities. A fence enclosed the football playing field, and stock pens were built at both the north and south ends. Above the stock pens on the south end was a covered announcer' s booth, with loudspeakers attached to the roof in later years. When a rodeo was going on,
usually for three or four days, the stands were packed. One story that remains unsolved about The Grandstand occurred around Halloween approximately 1940. Somehow one of the city park benches appeared on top of The Grandstand. It is not known how it got on top or who did this. The Grandstand was torn down in the late 1960s and the original concession building is gone. The concession stand was replaced with a more modern building — the original wooden one did not have electricity, ice had to be brought in with chests, and there was no way to make popcorn or hot dogs. Soda pop, water, and candy bars were sold for refreshments. The new concession stand built out of cinder blocks was fully functional with lights, electricity, refrigeration, and cooking facilities and is still used today. The ball diamonds and dugouts are also still in place and in use. Nowata has a new athletic complex built east of Highway 169 courtesy of the family of Alma Lavon Lee Robson. Photographs are hard to find of the Grandstand. Former Nowata resident, now deceased, Ralph Crawford created a scale model of it that can be seen in the Nowata County Historical Museum. JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
SUMMER READING PROGRAM
June 7-July 30 Sign up with the Beanstack App or at https://bartlesville.beanstack.org/reader365
Dewey Flea Market! June 26, 10 am - 3 pm • Dewey Fairgrounds
Huge selection of ecclectic treasures! • Collectibles • Books • Vintage Items • Furniture • Antiques • Jewelry 1109 N Delaware Ave, Dewey For more information or to become a vendor, contact email@example.com 60
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Treasures For Sale Dewey Flea Market Set for June 26 by Lori Just The organizer for the newly created monthly Dewey Flea Market, has a motto that if an item has lasted 100 years, it will last another 100 years. “I have been interested in antiques my entire life,” Tanya Stokes said. “My grandfather owned a furniture store, and some of my earliest memories are of going with him to cattle or furniture auctions. My mother was also an avid garage sale attendee, so I find joy in collecting all kinds of things.” The next Dewey Flea Market is happening on June 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Washington County Fairgrounds, 1109 N. Delaware, Dewey, OK 74029. “We started this monthly series back in March 2021,” said Tanya Stokes, organizer. “We hoped to feature an eclectic array of collectibles and vintage items. We’ve had great momentum so far and hope it continues to grow and maintain a monthly destination for lovers of all things old.” The show has more than 20 vendors and is growing. Treasures are available like antique glassware, linens, furniture, books, toys, kitchen collectibles, new jewelry, vintage signs, and much more. “We have vendors that also make things by hand like bath bombs and wooden charcuterie boards,” Stokes said. “We have customers that are looking for items to decorate new with the old and this is an easy way to keep things fresh.” Admission to the market is free. Mark your calendar with upcoming dates in 2021: July 10, August 28, October 9, November 13, and December 4. “I have had this idea for a while, and my husband finally pushed me to put my feelers out and set a date,” Stokes added. “It definitely fulfills a need in this area of Oklahoma and SE Kansas so people don’t have to travel as far on the hunt for a unique item or looking to get into the business.” For more info about the show, vendor booth information, or hosting concessions or a food truck, email Tanya Stokes at firstname.lastname@example.org. JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
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A GOOD WORD
Doing Life Right It Helps to Be In the Right Place at the Right Time by June Schipper A divine appointment is to be in the right place at the right time, doing the right things with the right people. And that is how this Southern Belle became a Minnesota farmer’s wife in 1954.
sending ministry. Vance and I worshipped our Lord together, visited the local nursing home, and hosted annual church picnics at our farm. Many more divine appointments led to sweet, lifelong friendships. “There is joy in serving Jesus,” as the old hymn says.
My husband, Vance, grew up in a northwestern Minnesota farm family. In 1949, at age 19, he joined the Army. Before boarding the troop train, the last thing his mother said was, “Son, go to church every Sunday that you can.” As a Sergeant First Class, he got stationed at Ft. Rucker near my hometown of Dothan, Alabama.
Vance didn’t view farming as a mere job. He saw it as a way to care for the earth and provide food for the nation. He loved the land and genuinely enjoyed a farmer’s life, working tirelessly. He always encouraged young people. I can hear him saying, “Put your all into your work, be your best, keep learning, and always help others.”
Vance took her advice to heart and regularly attended my home church in Dothan. The visiting soldier relished regular invites for southern, homecooked, Sunday dinners! My parents and brother met my husband-to-be long before I did. I was oblivious to this handsome soldier’s faithful church June Schipper pictured now attendance and my family’s friendin top photo, and in the ship with him. I was at college 200 photo on the right on the farm in Minnesota after miles away, rarely getting home. marrying her husband. Then one weekend, when I was home, I took my customary place singing in the choir. Vance noticed me and asked my brother, “Who is that girl in the white dress?” That divine appointment began a friendship, then a courtship, followed by 62½ years of marriage and four nowgrown children. Vance and I made our home in the same farming community where he grew up. We immediately joined his home church, and before long, the church became like family. We attended weekly, gave generously, and served gladly. Vance was an elder, and I played the organ and piano until age 89. I enjoyed investing in others through a card-
That advice was also helpful to me when Vance passed away in 2016. Moving forward was a challenge, but God helped me through. Then the 2020 pandemic hit, and the divine appointment was clearly to move
closer to my kids. With one in the Dallas, Texas metro, one in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and two near Joplin, Missouri, I went with southwest Missouri. I anticipate yet another divine appointment, the day God calls me home. I await the privilege of seeing my Savior face to face and being reunited with my beloved soldier-farmer. How I long for that day! Until then, I am open to what God has in store for me. I recently turned 90 and believe I could have some of my best years yet! June Schipper lives in Webb City, Missouri and is a fan of bmonthly Magazine! JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
Toastmasters is the fun way for you to improve your communication and build skills to help in your career. Come and visit us! We are meeting virtually for now, and plan to resume in-person meetings in future. Feel free to bring friends! The more, the merrier! See contact information on the next page.
bmonthly | JUNE 2021
Say It Out Loud Toastmasters Helps People Improve Public Speaking by Lori Just According to a Chapman University survey published in the Washington Post, the number one fear of Americans is public speaking; ranked higher than death. “Based on this, you can conclude that one would rather lay in the coffin at a funeral instead of giving the eulogy,” joked Lili Gao, Club President of Phillips 66 Toastmaster Club. Toastmasters is a place to help people master giving a toast and become more comfortable at public speaking. At their meetings, members practice speaking following a manual called Pathways that focuses on different communication styles — motivational strategies, presentation mastery, team collocation, and more. “Each pathway breaks down the elements in a speech, like visual aids, tone variation, and humor, and guides the speaker toward a particular type of communication,” said Gao. “This helps the speaker focus on one thing at a time.” Toastmasters’ clubs and officer roles are hosted and held by local members. This gives an opportunity to those who wish to hone in leadership skills. “A typical Toastmasters meeting includes two to three short speeches, one session of impromptu two-minute speeches, and a feedback session,” said Gao. “These sessions help speakers practice and receive constructive feedback. The other members also learn to improve providing feedback and organizing the meeting.” Toastmasters is an international organization with four clubs in Bartlesville: Phillips 66 Club, Technical Talkers, 186 Club, and Rising Phoenix. Currently, these clubs are meeting virtually and plan to resume meeting in person again once the pandemic is over. “Each club has its personality,” added Gao. “All four clubs meet twice a month, but at different times. This allows the members to find a club that fits into their personalities and time frame.” The members of these clubs range from novice to seasoned speakers who compete in speech contests. While the majority of members are focused on growing their communication skills and leadership skills within the club, some members like to take the challenge and compete in speech contests. Toastmasters provides the stage for that while also having a little fun. “Speakers at Toastmasters meetings often talk about fun and timely topics, like gardening, raising chickens, and COVID-19 vaccine types,” Gao said. “People get to know each other and become friends over time through helping each other grow.” Anyone is welcome to visit Toastmasters at regular meetings as a guest as many times as they want. This way, the guest can figure out whether the club is a good fit before joining. To become a member, there is bi-annual fee of $45 and a one-time enrollment fee of $20.
Phillips 66 Club Contact: Lili Gao, 918-815-7474, email@example.com; Praveen Nagarajan 702-580-7747, firstname.lastname@example.org Virtual Meetings: 1st and 3rd Thursdays at noon. About: Even though our name is Phillips 66 club, we are open to other professionals sincere about self-improvement in communication and leadership. For new members, we have mentors to help them get comfortable with different meeting roles and preparing speeches.
Technical Talkers Contact: Joe Bullock, 918-977-4465, Joseph.E.Bullock@p66.com; DJ (Dhananjay) Ghonasgi, email@example.com, 918-841-2417 Virtual Meetings: 2nd and 4th Thursday at noon About: The Technical Talkers Toastmasters Club has been active since 1983. The name of the club also does not require it to be a technically-themed topic. Over its long history the club has helped several members improve their leadership and communications skills. Some members have achieved distinctions awarded by the Toastmasters International organization.
Bartlesville 186 Club Contact: Ashley Etter, firstname.lastname@example.org; Charlie Shipman (918)336-3939 Virtual Meetings: 2nd and 4th Tuesday at noon About: A local club for over 80 years, all ages and experiences are welcome. A diverse and supportive group, Club 186 may help you with your career, post-pandemic social anxiety, leading a presentation or community event, become a better listener, and more.
Rising Phoenix (formerly Conversing Couples) Contact: Mike Kirkland, 918-841-2877, email@example.com; Praveen Nagarajan (702)580-7747, firstname.lastname@example.org Virtual Meetings: Every Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. About: Start your day off right - with a bang, flame up, catch on fire and join us. While enjoying your caffeine, feed your brain, build your self-confidence, grow your leadership and speaking competencies, to become a better you! Area director: Madhumitha Venkataraman, email@example.com
JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK
by Jay Webster Hello race fans, and welcome to Summer. As a kid, summer was this magical time that seemed to slip through the hourglass day by day. It was a short reprieve from your school prison sentence, but you knew all too quickly you were expected to turn yourself back in. From the moment the school year ended, you could feel summer steadily evaporating. It led to “fun” urgency. You had to make the most of this lazy season because it was so fleeting. And that was back in the Everything happened in the summer. Bryan Adams found his old six string. It’s when the livin’ was easy. Danny and Sandy fell in 66
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love during those “Hot Summer Nights.” The Go Go’s took us on “Vacation.” All the really good love angst took place during the “Cruel, Cruel Summer.” I remember the soundtrack of summer so easily because nearly all my summer jobs as a kid were paired with the open radio. Lawn mowing. Lifeguarding. House painting. Framing … They each came with minimum wage and all the music you could listen to. days when they were serious
about chlorine, too. You had exactly one good wear of any swimsuit before it was bleached into a translucent, sheer fabric formerly known as polyester. The water could remove your tan and fingerprints in under 15 minutes.
I started mowing lawns before I could drive. That meant loading the family mower into the family truck-
FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK From there, I took probably the two most beneficial jobs I ster and having Mom drop me at the client’s home. Because there could ever ask for. The first was for a veteran house painter. My were no cell phones, you just had to trust Mom wouldn’t get disfirst day on the job, I tipped over tracted and leave you in the That was also the year I discovered what it really means to an entire gallon of paint. My boss open sun for a couple of hours. be hot. There’s only so naked you can get and still work said it was okay, but I know he It worked some of the time. around nails. So every day in my suffocating Levis and was upset about it. I know It also meant that your breathless cotton shirts, I would carry wood from one pile because while he was up on a ladwork soundtrack was a private to the next, snake through attics because no one else der and talking to his wife concert by way of a walkman. I could, and transport plywood as a pack mule all while standing behind him, he told her got adept at fast forwarding sweat covered me like a baptism. Good God it was hot! all about it. The problem was his and flipping cassettes wife had wandered away and it attached to my hip without breaking my stride with the mower. was actually just me standing there for his animated replay. When Headphones acted like a sort of music IV, bringing a steady drip he turned to look down at who he assumed was his wife and saw of Aerosmith or Guns N’ Roses directly into my brain. Following me — still with fresh paint covering my shoes — we both played behind the mower, my body would convulse and gyrate wildly like dumb. someone experiencing a seizure. It’s like the music was cocaine for my ears. Imagine Kevin Bacon from Footloose attached to a I eventually got a lot out of that job. Rent. Tuition payments. Snapper lawn mower. It’s amazing I was able to keep my mowing And a skill I have used (regrettably) for the last 30 years of my life. lines straight. From there I took a summer to work as a framer for a local A year later I was working at quite possibly the best job in the home builder. I learned to swing a hammer, frame a wall, and world, lifeguard. That job had everything a kid could want in a job: never run to the truck when someone says, “Hey, go get me that low expectations, tanning, comfortable clothing, girls, and a board stretcher. You’ll find it. Just keep looking.” boom box. Now everyone could enjoy the rock. That was also the year I discovered what it really means to be In addition to saving lives, I was also tasked with helping to hot. There’s only so naked you can get and still work around nails. teach kids how to swim. The monotony of that process was by far So every day in my suffocating Levis and breathless cotton shirts, the biggest challenge I faced. The 30-minute lessons of straight I would carry wood from one pile to the next, snake through attics because no one else could, and transport plywood as a pack legs, tummies up, blow bubbles, and don’t pee in the pool seemed mule — all while sweat covered me like a baptism. Good God it to pass at glacial speed. was hot! And that was back in the days when they were serious about chlorine, too. You had exactly one good wear of any swimsuit Maybe the best thing about those summer jobs is you knew before it was bleached into a translucent, sheer fabric formerly they were temporary. Sure, every summer of lifeguarding finished known as polyester. The water could remove your tan and fingerlike a John Hughes movie with hugs, life lessons, and a promise prints in under 15 minutes. to stay in touch. But knowing that wasn’t your life’s occupation made it fun and bearable. What would it be like as adults if every As a rule, because we were all on the swim team, we used to three months, you had to move on to some other endeavor. wear our Speedos under our civilian suits as extra security. More Maybe that’s the cure for the dreaded midlife crisis. I guess it’s often than not, our suits would become Chlorine bleached past something to think about. the point of modesty so that they left little to the imagination. Trust me, there are simply questions you’re not prepared to There’s something to be said for simplicity … and seasons that answer for little Guppies and Minnows during their 9 a.m. lessons. change … and the occasional tan line. “Sometimes I play that old six string…” Actually I can’t play anything, but I do like music and An extra layer of swimwear was always necessary. I still enjoy getting lost in an album sometimes — just with fewer I relied on those swim instructor skills for many years. When gyrations. What would my family was transferred to Houston, I got out of my job as a the neighbors think? waiter at Applebee’s by taking a position at Phil Hansel’s Swim Academy. We taught students from six months to 60 years. I hope your summer is off to a great start, For one year in college, my wife and I even started our own friends. Like we said a program: Jay & AJ’s Fun Fish Swim School. I still bump into gradcouple of columns ago, uates today. We ended the year with no losses, though getting maybe this will be the paid was sometimes a challenge. One parent informed me that “Summer of Normal.” she really wanted her kids to take lessons from us but she was Whatever that is. short on cash. She said, “But then I thought, ‘My God’s got cattle on a thousand hills…’ surely He’ll provide.” While I admired her Whatever it is, we’ll faith, I had to break it to her that we didn’t actually take “bovine” do it together. Cheers as a currency, and I wasn’t exactly sure what the exchange rate my friends. would be at the bank.
JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
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bmonthly | JUNE 2021
Virtual Field Trips Bartlesville Elementary Students Take Virtual Trips by Grace A. Birdman As teachers and students alike will tell you, the 2020-21 school year was certainly one for the history books. The pandemic had local students sheltered in their classrooms and locked out of traditional school field trips. That’s where Kane Elementary, the Bartlesville Public School Foundation and film/video production company PioneerDream saw an opportunity. Why not bring field trips to the kids instead? Kane Principal Tammie Krause said the idea to create “Virtual Field Trips” was born out of necessity, but became a great way to keep school fun for students this past semester. Krause says her Kane team wanted to share the fun with all the elementary students in town. “The pandemic has been tough on everyone! So much of what kids are used to has changed, and field trips are something they look forward to and remember for years to come. We started thinking outside the box and came up with virtual Bartlesville field trips,” said Krause. “Our goal with these videos was to showcase places in town and have people from our community talk about the wonderful things our city has to offer." Every two weeks, area elementary school classes were presented with a new “Virtual Field Trip.” Bartlesville elementary students watched each new video together in their classes, all on the same day — making it a district-wide event. “It's been a great way to build a sense of community across the different elementary sites. As myself and Kane’s Leah Dennis and Julie Eide talked about the idea with the folks at PioneerDream, the whole thing morphed into a Mr. Rogers Neighborhood meets Reading Rainbow kind of vibe,” said Krause. “We knew this fun idea was something all Bartlesville students could enjoy, so Leah and Julie applied for a grant with Blair Ellis from the BPSF, making it possible to share district-wide.” The videos featured “behind the scenes” tours of favorite local spots including Bartlesville Community Center, Woolaroc, Price Tower, Unity Square, and City Parks. The bevy of guest “tour guides” included Visit Bartlesville’s Maria Gus, Woolaroc’s Bob Fraser, Price Tower’s Rick Loyd, and Kane Elementary 3rd Grader Evanjalyn Webster. Following each “inside look,” tour video hosts also read a topically-related children’s book to students on camera. Principal Tammie Krause and Bartlesville Superintendent Chuck McCauley teamed up to close each video by presenting questions about each locale and topic to help teachers lead a class discussion. McCauley said the “Video Field Trips” added some great positivity to a challenging year, and helped connect students across the district as they shared in the videos. "For me, this project also provided an opportunity to further build relationships with our kids,” said McCauley. “When I made my weekly walkthroughs to our various elementary sites, I had
Kane Elementary’s Evanjalyn Webster interviews Bartlesville Community Development Director Lisa Beeman for the video featuring City Parks.
kids asking me about where the next field trip would be — with big smiles on their faces.” Kane Student Family Support Coordinator Leah Dennis felt the most important part of these educational “field trips” was not only instilling love and respect for the city, but also helping area children feel like they belong to the community. “We had both teacher and student feedback saying how much students loved hearing the “behind the scenes” history and stories about each location,” said Dennis. “They also loved each book read by hosts and the discussion questions which led classes to in-depth talks about architecture, recycling, artistic talents, ways to stay mentally healthy, etc. The virtual field trip vision evolved — more than I ever imagined — into something enjoyed by every elementary child in the district.” Funding for the “Virtual Field Trip” series was made possible through a grant from Bartlesville’s Public School Foundation, with additional funding provided by Truity Credit Union and Phillips 66. Bartlesville-based film/video production company PioneerDream Inc. also helped to underwrite production costs by donating many of their services. While all involved hope “in person” field trips return next year, plans are also underway to continue to incorporate the popular video series — which makes learning about more places accessible to more students. “The number one thing we heard was, ‘Where are we going next?’ It’s clear teachers would love to see other locations throughout our area filmed for students in the future,” said Krause. “We loved getting to see an idea come to fruition and turn out even better than planned! More importantly, hearing from kids and teachers that these videos made their day a little brighter was the best!” The “Virtual Field Trip” series can be viewed on the Bartlesville Public School’s website ( bps.ok-org ) under “programs” then by selecting “Community Virtual Field Trips”. JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
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21 Fun Places to Visit in 2021 by Maria Gus
Oklahoma is full of wide open spaces and 2021 is the year to get ou t and explore . 2 02 0 was … well, let ’s just leave it in the past and make the mo st o f a summer full o f p o s sib i l i t i e s! Wh e t h e r y o u l i ke a fas t p a c e d a d v e ntu re o r t a k i n g i n t h e q u i e t o f natu re , y o u ’re su re to f i n d s o m e t h i n g f u n to do when you travel Oklahoma!
Lake Murray in Ardmore Lake Murray State Park is Oklahoma’s oldest and largest state park. Whether you’re looking to take a hike or take a nap, the peaceful surroundings are a perfect place to enjoy nature. Located in Ardmore, Oklahoma’s oldest and largest state park is full of interesting sites including Tucker Tower, which used to be a retreat for Oklahoma Governor Alfalfa Bill Murray. The park consists of 12,500 acres of forested, rolling hills around beautiful Lake Murray. The park’s diverse terrain, exceptional trails, and historic sites make Lake Murray State Park a favorite destination among outdoor, water sport, and ATV riding enthusiasts. Special tip: take time to enjoy some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the state! Go to www.travelok.com for more information.
Turner Falls Park One of the most picturesque scenes in the state is Turner Falls Park, home of Oklahoma’s largest waterfall. Located near Davis in south-central Oklahoma, the 77-foot falls drop into a refreshing swimming hole. Take in the scenery of the Arbuckle Mountains or explore the caves and the Rock Castle. Keep your fishing pole handy for some of the best trout fishing in the state. Cool off with their natural swimming areas, a wading area, bath houses, and water slides. www.turnerfallspark.com
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Nearby Davis, OK Davis also offers opportunities for ATV and off-road motocross riding or take a tour of Bedre Fine Chocolate and sample Oklahoma-made gourmet chocolates. Get in touch with the area’s past at the Arbuckle Historical Society Museum of Davis. No matter what you’re in the mood to explore, Davis and Turner Falls have something beautiful to see! www.travelok.com
The Swinging Bridge in Pawhuska Oklahoma Did you know Pawhuska has one of the only swinging pedestrian bridges in Oklahoma? A close-by adventure that’s sure to get your heart rate up, the swinging bridge has been a fun place to visit since 1926. The bridge crosses over Bird Creek and the rainy season promises high water and an even more thrilling experience! Originally intended as a way for people to cross the creek into Pawhuska, the bridge was refurbished in 1970. A much safer experience than in 1926, the bridge now has high side rails but plenty of swing when crossing. No doubt you’ll need to relax by shopping in Pawhuska or taking in one of the attractions once you’re done. Locations like the Ben Johnson Museum, the Osage Nation Museum, and the Pioneer Woman Mercantile will help get you grounded after your swinging adventure. www.pawhuskachamber.com
AREA ATTRACTIONS Pete’s Place No matter where you go, you have to eat! Pete’s Place is located in Kreb’s, Oklahoma and it’s where family-style dining meets Italian home cooking. Krebs has been referred to as Oklahoma’s “Little Italy” and Pete’s Place does not disappoint. Famous for their dishes like chicken parmesan, ravioli, lasagna, and garlic bread, families can gather together to taste a little bit of Italy in Oklahoma. Pete’s Place is also famous for Choc Beer, a hand-crafted brew recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation, featuring unfiltered wheat flavors. Beer enthusiasts will enjoy sampling the various Oklahoma-made brews. Be sure to bring someone to drive, Choc Beer plus Pete’s Place pasta is sure to induce an equally delicious nap! www.petes.org
Beavers Bend State Park Located in far southeast Oklahoma is Beavers Bend State Park and a whole lot of fun waiting to be had! Broken Bow has always been a gem of a getaway and now even more travelers are finding out about this treasure. With shopping, dining, wineries, breweries, and family amusements, you’ll run out of weekend before you run out of things to do. www.travelok.com
Broken Bow, OK and the area surrounding Beavers Bend State Park Grab your 20 closest friends and reserve a spot on the Tiki Boat Tours or try a hydro flight with a trained instructor at HydraFly Watersports. There are canoe rentals, guide services, and trail rides, too. Be sure to book early as this has become one of Oklahoma’s most popular tourist destinations. www.travelok.com
Woodward Arts Theater In Woodward you can find the beautifully restored Woodward Arts Theater. This theater was a hit in 1929 showing first run movies and served as a community gathering place. Today, the Woodward Arts Theater hosts concerts, plays, events, and receptions. From the beautiful chandeliers to the gorgeous stage curtain, the theater is a great example of early 20th century architecture.
The Plains Indians & Pioneers Museum in Woodward and the Washita Battlefield While in Woodward be sure to check out the Plains Indians & Pioneers Museum with its immersive Frontier town experience and American Indian exhibits. The museum highlights lawyer and gunfighter Temple Houston including recreations of his office and parlor. See displays of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Nations as well as the Battle of Washita of 1868. If you can’t get enough of American history, this is a great destination to discover. www.visitwoodward.com
Enid The Fly Film Festival and Enid Comic Con happen in August and both bring together filmmaking and fun. The Fly Film Festival is a two-day independent film festival in downtown Enid celebrating the art of filmmaking and inspiring creativity. See dramas, comedies, short films, and much more by local and national filmmakers, along with workshops, meet and greets, and other activities throughout the weekend. The festival ends with awards given for Best Feature Length Film, Best Short Film, Best Oklahoma Feature Length, and many other categories. Stick around to see if your favorite wins top prizes and meet fellow film fans during this locally-focused festival. Head to the Enid Comic Con to meet your favorite superhero or villain, or just come dressed up as one. Attendees compete in cosplay and costume contests held throughout the convention. Guests can complete comic book collections or pick up comicinspired toys and artwork at the fun-filled event. www.visitenid.com
Twister Museum in Wakita Did you know the film Twister was made 25 years ago? Hard to believe this film has been around for a quarter century and still a film favorite. The Twister Museum is located in downtown Wakita and is in the same building used by the locations crew in 1996. The museum includes interpretive displays on the making of Twister, the original “Dorothy 1” from the movie, and plenty of behind the scenes videos from the production. No museum about tornadoes would be complete without some debris and fans of the film will find autographed photos and keepsakes signed by the late Bill Paxton. Find out more at www.twistercountry.com. To plan your trip to Wakita, contact the Wakita Town Office. Visitors can find out more about town history and local businesses or upcoming events.
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AREA ATTRACTIONS Guthrie Guthrie, also known as Oklahoma’s territorial capital, has the largest Historic Preservation District in the nation. If you love Oklahoma history, make plans to spend a few days exploring Guthrie. Guests can hop on a trolley through downtown, stay the night in a charming Victorian-era building, or uncover the origins of Oklahoma at one of their museums. Top attractions are the Oklahoma Territorial Museum, the Carnegie Library, or visit the grave of Elmer McCurdy. An alcoholic and notoriously bad outlaw, McCurdy was killed in 1911 during a shootout. When no one claimed McCurdy’s body, the Pawhuska undertaker embalmed it and charged people a nickel to see the “mummy.” This went on for several years until a circus man claimed to be a relative of McCurdy and had come to give him a proper burial. The undertaker was swindled and McCurdy’s body was then bought and sold to many different side shows, circuses, and other places where it could be put on display for amusement. After a long and strange journey, and even an appearance in the Six Million Dollar Man TV show, in 1977, 66 years after his death, the now notorious outlaw was finally laid to rest in Summit View Cemetery in Guthrie. A slab of concrete was poured over his casket so he would never be disturbed again. www.guthrieok.com
Broken Arrow Another trip close by is beautiful Broken Arrow. Whether your shopping and dining in the Rose District or taking in the 110,000 square foot Bass Pro Shop, Broken Arrow is sure to surprise you. Known for their charm and suburban amenities, Broken Arrow is more than a bedroom community. They host a great farmers market every weekend and have plenty of special events to keep you coming back. Attractions include the Military History Center, The Museum Broken Arrow and their brand new mural, and the Thunderbird Berry Farm where you can pick your own berries. Plan a quick day trip or make it a weekend and stay at a bed and breakfast or the Stoney Creek Hotel & Convention Center. www.visitbrokenarrowok.com
Chisholm Trail Museum in Kingfisher With wooden sidewalks and historic buildings, the Chisholm Trail Museum in Kingfisher has been described as an “old west treasure chest”. The Museum is located directly on the trade route that evolved into the famous cattle trail. Displays and exhibits feature a timeline of history beginning with Jesse Chisholm, the Chisholm Trail, Native American and Pioneer artifacts, a history of 1889-1893 land runs, and the Kingfisher College.
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The museum’s exhibit “Kingfisher College: Institution of the Highest Order” displays artifacts, original photographs, oral histories and narrative. The exhibit reveals the story of how the small college on a hill was established just five years after the Land Rush of 1889 in the small prairie town of Kingfisher. Although Kingfisher College only existed in Kingfisher for 28 years (1894-1922), and graduated only 117 students throughout those years, the school’s standards for excellence were second to none. www.kingfisher.org
Lawton Ft. Sill - Holy City of the Wichitas Located in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge just 22 miles northwest of Lawton, the Holy City of the Wichitas stands on a 66-acre area that looks much like Israel during Biblical times. Inside the city, you’ll find numerous full-sized buildings and structures, including the temple court, the Lord’s Supper building, Herod’s Court, and Pilate’s judgment hall, all built with locallyquarried granite in the 1930s. You can also explore areas designated as Calvary’s Mount and the Garden of Gethsemane, in addition to watchtowers and perimeter walls. The site is also home to the nation’s longest-running annual Easter passion play, “The Prince of Peace.” Other on-site attractions include a memorial for the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, a Veterans Walkway, and the World Chapel, which has become a popular wedding locale. This modern-day chapel replicates Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, and features ceiling and wall murals by artist Irene Malcolm. www.fws.gov/refuge/Wichita_Mountains/
Black Mesa Black Mesa is located in Oklahoma’s panhandle along the tri-state border with Colorado and New Mexico. Black Mesa takes its name from the layer of black lava rock that coated the mesa about 30 million years ago. Visitors can hike to the top of the plateau, Oklahoma’s highest point at 4,973 feet above sea level, while in the Black Mesa Nature Preserve. The nature preserve is operated by the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department in conjunction with Black Mesa State Park. The nature preserve consists of approximately 1,600 acres where visitors can hike and enjoy 23 rare plants and eight rare animal species. The unique area marks the point where the Rocky Mountains meet the shortgrass prairie and many species are at the easternmost or westernmost point of their natural range. www.travelok.com
AREA ATTRACTIONS Transformers in Stillwater Take a road trip to America’s favorite college town in Stillwater! Relive your college years with a trip to Eskimo Joe’s or the original Hideaway Pizza. Tour the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum or enjoy the kangaroos and lemurs at Lost Creek Safari. Dance the night away at Tumbleweed Dancehall or check out The Wall of Boom at Kicker/Stillwater designs. No Oklahoma State University fan should miss the historic Gallagher Iba Arena and heritage hall inside that reflects the history of OSU Athletics, including Barry Sanders Heisman Trophy. If you love movies you won’t want to miss the huge Optimus Prime and Bumblebee Transformers at the east and west entrances into Stillwater. Located at G&M Body Shop’s east and west side locations, the 22-foot-tall Optimus Prime and 20-foot-tall Bumblee statues have been on display since 2015. These are “prime” photo opportunities and something every “Transformers” fan has to see! www.visitstillwaterok.org
The Blue Whale Catoosa In the 1970’s, the Blue Whale became a must see stop for Route 66. Visitors could stretch their legs or take a dip in the spring-fed pond. The roadside attraction was first constructed by Hugh Davis as an anniversary gift to his wife. The whale and small waterpark around it fell into disrepair in the late 1980’s but locals stepped in to save the day. There is no longer swimming at the Blue Whale, but there’s still a wonderful stop to have a picnic or snap a photo. Close by, be sure to check out the Ed Galloway Totem Pole Park in Foyil. Home of “The World’s Largest Concrete Totem Pole”, this Oklahoma landmark has been featured in several books and articles on Route 66. Each day, from 1937-1948, retired teacher Ed Galloway would rise at 5 a.m. to combine cement, steel, and rock and carve totems in rich Native American symbolism. He built it to a height of 90 feet and in 1999 the park was added to the National Register of Historic Places. www.visitclaremore.org
Cherokee Heritage Center The Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah honors rich Cherokee history and culture, surrounded by 44 heavilywooded acres in the Oklahoma foothills. The center features the 1710 Cherokee Village, Adams Corner Rural Village, the Trail of Tears exhibit, the Cherokee National Museum, and the Cherokee Family Research Center. The 1710 Cherokee Village, also known as Diligwa, is an outdoor exhibit taking visitors back to early Cherokee trading days. Visitors can see a wide array of cultural practices including stick ball, basket making, flintknapping, and blow gun making.
The Adams Corner Rural Village depicts a Cherokee community and life during the 1890s. Inside the center, visit the Trail of Tears exhibit to witness life-size sculptures in an emotional portrayal of the Cherokee removal to Indian Territory and a timeline of the removal. The Cherokee Heritage Center is devoted to the preservation and promotion of Cherokee history and culture through several annual events and two competitive art shows. www.cherokeeheritage.org
Choctaw National Museum Inside the French-styled Choctaw Nation capitol (ca. 1884) are items that traveled the Trail of Tears, period clothing, tribal documents, and pottery. Detailed with native sandstone and carvings, this building was home to the Choctaw Senate and House of Representatives. The Choctaw national annual holiday, including a powwow, dance exhibition, and traditional attire, has been held here on Labor Day weekend every year since 1884. Peruse the Trail of Tears Exhibit on your self-guided tour and check out the Choctaw History, Culture and Family Life Exhibits on display throughout the museum. A special memorial exhibit honors Choctaw Code Talkers and the Art Gallery features work by Choctaw artists like the River Cane Family mural. At the end of your visit, you’ll discover authentic Choctaw art, pottery, and jewelry available to purchase from the museum’s gift shop. www.choctawnation.com
Heavener Runestone in Heavener Opened in 1970, this park is centered on a Swedish-inscribed runestone found in the 1920s. However, according to oral history, the runestone was actually discovered in the 1830s by a Choctaw hunting party. Some claim that the runes document Viking exploration of southeastern Oklahoma in about 1000 A.D., while others suggest the runes were carved in the early 1700s. See the stone for yourself on Poteau Mountain just outside the town’s limits. This 55-acre park also offers group shelters for picnics, picnic tables, outdoor grills, comfort stations, amphitheater, playground, campsites, hiking, and educational programs about the Runestone. Be sure to stop by the gift shop and enhance your experience at the interpretative center with educational information. www.heavenerrunestonepark.com
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of Exceptional Senior Living Green Country Village has helped seniors in Bartlesville enjoy private, maintenance-free residences with exceptional services and great hospitality for the last 30 years. Whether you or someone you love is considering independent living, assisted living or memory care, Green Country Village is the place to live, connect, grow.
Call (918) 335-2086 to schedule an appointment. GreenCountryVillage.com 1025 Swan Drive • Bartlesville, OK 74006 Not-For-Pro昀t Organization
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Classical Sounds OKM Music Gears Up for 37th Season The OKM Music Festival is entering its 37th year as Oklahoma’s premier music festival. Hosting its first festival in 1985, the OKM Music Festival is one of the state’s longest running music festivals to date. From June 10 - 17, Bartlesville will enjoy classical and multigenre entertainment from performers around the world. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 OKM Music Festival was re-imagined, downscaled, and postponed to September of last year. Most of the original 2020 lineup has been confirmed to perform in 2021 — with a few exciting additions planned. Highlights of the upcoming season include a return favorite Canadian Brass, who will be kicking off the festival at the Bartlesville Community Center on Thursday, June 10. Canadian Brass is one of the most recognized brass ensembles in the world, and includes the talent of five extraordinary artists: tuba, two trumpets, a trombone, and horn. Their last performance stop in Bartlesville was during the 2015 festival, and they are always wellreceived within the community. CANADIAN BRASS
“Canadian Brass has been a longtime favorite of OKM,” said Mary Lynn Mihm, Chairman of the Board. “We’re thrilled to have them back in Bartlesville for our upcoming season.” Other highlighted artists include Bartlesville alumni Jack Settle, who will be opening for Dallas Brass at the beloved Woolaroc performance. Classical crossover group, Dallas String Quartet, has an electrifying concert planned of classical and contemporary music fused together. Tina Guo, another classical crossover artist, will make an OKM performance stop in Tulsa at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Guo is one of the most recorded celTINA GUO lists of all time and collaborates with video game and film composers, such as Hans Zimmer, who composed the recent Blockbuster film, Wonder Woman 1984. “Tina Guo performed a virtual performance during OKM’s 2020 festival and received over 30,000 views from every corner of the world,” said Ryan Martin, Marketing Director. “Infusing acoustic and electric cello, I know she has quite the exciting performance planned.” Classical music is the backbone of the OKM Music Festival. Returning to OKM from 2019, Steinway pianist Jenny Lin will be performing a special performance at Philbrook Museum of Art in
Tulsa. Other classical performers include crossover group Take 3 and pianist Wynona Wang. “Performing works from Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Liszt,and Schumann, we have a fantastic classical series planned for our guests,” said Mihm. Geared as a family concert, Tulsa saxophonist Grady Nichols will kick off the festival finale with an exciting jazz performance. Following Nichols is the GRAMMY Award-winning, multi-platinum family of nine, Baha Men. Known for their hit single, Who Let the Dogs Out, Baha Men will bring Junkanoo stylings, pop sensibilities, and the Caribbean to Bartlesville. “It’s going to be a great family concert, and we hope the entire community comes out to celebrate with us,” said Mihm. In addition to the main stage concerts, OKM hosts free performances throughout the festival week, including performances by Ann-Janette Webster, Hugo Salcedo, Ryan & Ryan piano duo, Merz Trio, and local pianist Keeli Droege, to name a few. Just for the youngsters are special kids-only activities, events, and performances, such as story time music, art projects, and the popular tea party, held each year. Traditionally held the same week as the OKM Music Festival, this year, the Especially for Kids series will be held June 5 - 10. Advance reservations for the Especially for Kids and Showcase series are required and available at okmmusic.org. For ticket information and a complete list of events, times, and locations, visit okmmusic.org, or call 918-336-9900. Concert prices range from $15 to $90 depending on the performances, and there are also student and senior discounts for most showings.
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What Makes A Dad by Keith McPhail “The world and her people may turn their backs, and they may all give up on me ... but I believe with all I have and all my heart that He will always be the one ... the one who through the storms of my life, will love, stand, and walk with me ... he is my Father ... he is my Dad.” If all my kids can say this statement about me when I take my last breath on this earth, then my life will be fulfilled. I never had those two words present in my life ... Father ... Dad. I have prayed so hard for direction and have searched deep in my heart to tell this story and uncover many scars and emotions that I have buried for over 40 years. For the last two weeks, while writing this story I have spent many, many hours and a few sleepless nights staring at the screen. The story you are reading is the 10th draft. I have really struggled with what parts to give you, but more importantly what parts may help even “JUST ONE” person. One person who may be fatherless or is a father. One father who has bared all the mistakes, the let downs, the suffering and pain he has caused, and keeps holding on to all this hurt with the weight on his shoulders.
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I have let my kids down and disappointed them more times than I will ever be able to count, but they loved me anyway. When I was going through my divorce, which is never easy for kids, my kids suffered like most kids do. It is reality. I wouldn't be in Bartlesville without my mom divorcing my stepdad and moving to Oklahoma. How different would this story be then? There wouldn't be a story. Then you have my horrific relapse that almost destroyed so many lives. I spent the next 14 months trying to save my marriage and my relationships with my kids, but they loved me anyway. As fathers, we will always try to live our lives through our kids and what we couldn't do or what we weren't good at. We tell ourselves, as fathers, we could have done better. For the fathers who have held on over years, you just need to let it all go! Let it go. It's okay ... you don't have to hold on to the past, let go of the pain and the shame that consumes you and makes you feel that you weren't a good father ... because they loved you anyway! This story is for all the ones who didn't have a father or a dad in their lives growing up, which is 1-out-of-4 kids today. The ones
who were abused, beaten or ignored, made fun of, bullied ... the ones who never had a father at a game or a school event ... the ones who never heard the words “good job” or “I'm proud of you son” ... the ones who needed love or to be told that they are loved, this is who this story is for ... the ones like me ... like you ... whose pain is sometimes too much to bear ... the kids who have no compass to lead them through the storms of their lives and have lost all hope ... the ones who feel defeated and defined, and more of a burden then a blessing. Today you can change how your story ends. I was 11 years old sitting in the attic of our new home in Arkansas three years before I moved to Bartlesville. I sat there in the attic and started opening boxes. I saw an envelope with “Keith” written on the outside and as I opened it up, I discovered all this paperwork, pictures, and Mother’s Day and birthday cards all the way from kindergarten. I found many things I colored or I made my mom over the years in school. I started to read through all the paperwork and I noticed this separate envelope that said “West Plains Memorial Hospital.” As I opened it, my eyes focused in on the words “child’s name” and the words typed out were Keith Wayne Hickman. I kept reading the name over and over. Through the tears, I was completely lost and confused. All my
childhood I had been misled and lied to. Here was a name that I had never seen or heard ... the name I kept reading — Keith Wayne Hickman. As I sat there and stared at this piece of paper I whispered under my breath, who am I and who's my father? On May 23rd, 1993 after a six-year battle with some of the darkest moments of my life and close to five years strung out on cocaine, I became clean only by His grace and mercy. I married my first wife, and we had our first child — Blake Dewight McPhail. In that moment, after all I had come through, this was the beginning of a new time in my life. This child I held in my arms was my gift from God to help put me on the path of sobriety. This child was my way to help redeem myself after my horrific childhood. I fast forward 13 years and I found myself deeper in the darkness and heading back into death and destruction. I was newly married with six kids. Then the miracle happened ... Christy and I had Grace … God's Gift is what Grace means. Just as my first child did, Grace helped pull me back into the light. I am the father to four children and the dad to three, and now a papa to my first grandchild, Scottie. Wow ... look at what God has done for Christy, this family, and me. Through all the darkness and chaos, we stuck together and made it work ... not only made it work, but became a true family of love, dedication, and togetherness and one that always puts God first. Through the 28 years of being a father and the 16 years of being a dad, one thing is certain ... I have loved, lost, fought, sacrificed, and given everything I have to be the dad and the father that each one of our seven kids needed. Through this journey, I will admit that I have fallen short many times. I have made empty promises and caused pain and tears that I can never take back. As I end this story, one thing is certain. I am the most blessed dad because I have been given the greatest gift —my kids ... Tyler, Blake, James, Mary, Madison, Parker and Grace. Happy Fathers Day and God Bless, Keith JUNE 2021 | bmonthly
LET FREEDOM RING
The Last Confederate Surrender Chief Stand Watie Refused to Admit Defeat by Jay Hastings Confederate Brigadier General Chief Stand Watie was Cherokee, one of only two American Indian men, Union or Confederate, to achieve such military rank during the Civil War. Watie’s Cherokee name was De-ga-ta-ga and he commanded the first Indian Brigade of the Army of the Trans-Mississippi Confederate Calvary, a regiment consisting of Cherokee, Seminole, Muscogee (Creek), Choctaw, and Chickasaw men. Prior to the Civil War, Stand Watie led a contentious life. He was born in Georgia in 1806 and lived among the Five (Native) Nations that would initially become identified by Anglo-Americans as the “Five Civilized Tribes”. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson declared his support for the White Southerners who had begun pressuring the Indians to move west out of Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee to “Indian Territory,” which would include modern day Oklahoma. Unlike many of those in the Indian Nations, Watie believed that moving might actually benefit the Tribes by securing new land for their communities. Watie was one of four Indian Nation leaders to sign the Treaty of New Echota in 1835, the document that facilitated the removal and relocation of the Five Tribes to Indian Territory. Information indicates upwards of 16,000 Cherokees were removed and relocated west to Indian Territory in the journey that became known as the Trail of Tears. Not only were they forced from their previously promised lands, but many died along the trek from disease, exhaustion, and hunger. While reports vary, a conservative estimate is that more than 4,000 Cherokees – 25% of those who began the journey – died along the Trail of Tears. Of the four Cherokee leaders who signed the Treaty of New Echota, three were assassinated; Watie was the only one to survive. When the southern states began to secede from the Union in 1860 and 1861, the majority of the Cherokee Nation voted to support the Confederacy, hoping that a new Southern government would be more apt to respect their territorial claims and keep the terms of any treaty agreements.
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Watie raised a force of 300 Cherokees to fight for the Confederacy. His Indian Brigade won a number of notable victories, including capturing a Union steamboat on the Arkansas River at Pheasant Bluff. On September 19, 1864, Watie joined forces with General Richard M. Gano of the Texas Cavalry to attack a Union wagon train along the Texas Trail. The group was traveling from Fort Scott, Kansas heading south to Fort Gibson, located in Indian Territory. The raid, known as the Battle of Cabin Creek, was successful, and the Confederates captured approximately $1.5 million worth of cargo, supplies that were destined for the Union troops at Fort Gibson. Reports indicate much of the captured stores was distributed among the needy [Confederate] refugee families along the Red River and/or consumed by Watie's forces. The Cherokee people were divided. Some of the Cherokee declared loyalty to the Confederacy and back Watie. Conversely, Cherokee Unionist supporters followed a Cherokee leader named John Ross whose Cherokee name was Koo-wi-s-gu-wi. As the Civil War dragged on, John Ross’ cause gained increasingly more followers and support. The Confederate Capital of Richmond, Virginia fell to Union forces on April 3, 1865. Brigadier General Ely S. Parker wrote up the terms of surrender for General Robert E. Lee. On June 15, 1865, the Grand Council of Confederate Indian Chiefs convened to declare that it was time for Confederate Indians to lay down their arms as well. Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith had surrendered the Army of TransMississippi on May 26, 1865, but Brigadier General Chief Watie refused to admit defeat. During the weeks that followed, the Confederate Army dwindled to one lone general and his men. On June 23, 1865, Watie finally accepted that the fight was over and was the last to surrender. He surrendered to Lieutenant Colonel Asa C. Matthews at Doaksville, Indian Territory, near Fort Townson. Watie died at his home near Honey Creek, Indian Territory, just a few years following the war on September 9, 1871.
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