Welcome to September friends, and our annual Native American issue! We present the Muscogee Creek Nation…the first!
Over the past five years we have learned so much about our Native American friends and our neighbors, but unfortunately this is our last year to do our annual Native American issue.
We started with the Osage, went to Cherokee, Delaware, Choctaw, and we finish with Muscogee Creek, which ironically was known as the first tribe! We hope you have enjoyed these issues, and maybe we will circle back and give you one more down the road.
What I love about this story is that you can trace this tribe back to the 16th century. They settled in what we know today as Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. Before America was even a thought, they numbered over 15,000. The women did all the farming and the men hunted and protected their families. They were also known for painting (tattooing) all of their bodies.
September slowly starts the end of summer and fall is right down the road. It’s also the time for our favorite event of the year, which is Cow Thieves and Outlaws. We love this event and hope you will join us at the historic Woolaroc. Get your tickets now because they will sell out.
I’m writing this upfront August 20th around 6 in the evening. Over this past weekend we had our 36th year high school reunion. Some may ask why 36 and not 35? Well, COVID kinda got in the way last year, but this year we came together and we ROCKED IT OUT! I moved to Bartlesville in 1985 going into the 10th grade. My first year here I went to the Alternative School because my grades were not up to par. We had a little over 500 students who graduated in 1987. Honestly, it was the best class that ever graduated from Bartlesville High. I know some classes may disagree with that, but we packed the JohnstoneSare building with over 160 graduates. That is not easy to do after 35 years. I will have to say we were a pretty close class…sure we had our clicks, but the people who came out of this class have changed the world and changed Bartlesville. I’m not going to mention any names but trust me Bartlesville and
the world is a better place because of the class of 1987.
You know Christy and I were high school sweethearts, but also there were some friendships that were built during those 2 years that will never be duplicated. It’s really cool to come together and not care how much money you have in the bank or how big your house is. We want to know about each other’s kids and our aging parents. We have lost some really BIG shoes to fill. What was cool is we had parents come on Friday night. Christy and I probably see some of our graduates’ parents more often because we still live here. It’s just cool to remember going over to their houses when we were teens and hanging out and spending the night. We had no cell phones, no internet, and gas was 89 cents a gallon. We played cassette tapes and had the real MTV just music videos 24/7. The girls had big hair, we had denim jackets, the boys had their polos with the collar popped. I had the best mullet and Duran Duran, BonJovi, Janet Jackson, and Guns and Roses ruled the radio. The Simpsons and the Cosby show were hitting it big with Dallas and Dynasty still going strong. We loved America and our President was Ronald Reagan. We cruised the strip which was basically to the Canteen (which today is Heart Matters) to McDonalds, and we did it all night.
I want to thank Shelley (Greene) Stewart, who is also my editor for all that I write, for putting this reunion together. Christy and I had the best time, and it’s so great to get together with people who helped shape your life. I got to spend time with my two closest friends growing up here David Close and Charlie Donaldson. We had some great times together, and I would not trade one moment that we had in this period of our lives. We remember and pray for the 26 fellow graduates we have lost and most recently, just a day ago, Rodney Ramsey.
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David W. Hill
Principal Chief of the Muscogee Creek Nationby Sarah Leslie Gagan
In the heartland of the United States, where the rivers weave stories of history and culture, stands Muscogee Creek Nation Chief David Hill as a resolute beacon of tradition and progress. A visionary leader and a staunch advocate for his people, Chief Hill has dedicated his life to preserving the rich heritage of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation while navigating the challenges of the modern era. With wisdom forged from ancestral knowledge and a deep understanding of contemporary issues, Chief Hill has emerged as a transformative figure, bridging the past and the future for his community.
Born into a lineage intertwined with the storied tapestry of the Muscogee Nation, David Hill’s journey began on a fertile patch of land in central Oklahoma. Raised in the embrace of his people’s customs and traditions, he learned the value of community, respect for nature, and the importance of preserving the collective memory. As a young boy, he was captivated by the tales of his ancestors, a fascination that would shape his path as a future leader.
David Hill is a member of the Beaver Clan, from the Tribal Town of New Tulsa. His Ceremonial Ground is New Tulsa and he is associated with the Depew Church of God
David W. Hill was elected the seventh Principal Chief in the modern era of Muscogee (Creek) Nation tribal government on December 7, 2019. Prior to being elected Principal Chief, Hill spent 30 professional years in the aerospace industry. Throughout his first term in office, Chief Hill’s leadership has brought the tribe global recognition for its proactive response to the COVID-19 pandemic and for the Nation’s fierce battle to uphold sovereignty in the wake of the historic Supreme Court decision affirming the Muscogee
Reservation. Chief Hill’s leadership was recognized by TIME Magazine, as he was named one of 2020’s 100 Most Influential People.
Armed with an indomitable spirit, he embarked on a mission to advocate for the rights and recognition of the Muscogee people. Chief Hill’s advocacy work ranged from tribal sovereignty and land rights to cultural preservation and education initiatives. He spearheaded efforts to revitalize the Muscogee language, ensuring that the echoes of the past would continue to resonate with future generations. He is wholeheartedly committed to safeguarding the cultural heritage of the Muscogee Nation while propelling their growth and success into the future.
Hill has spent a lifetime leading and serving a variety of constituents. Prior to being elected Principal Chief, Hill served three consecutive
four-year terms as a representative of the tribe’s legislative body, the National Council. During his 12-year tenure, Hill’s Council experience included membership on the Tribal Affairs Committee; Business, Finance and Justice Committee; the Internal Affairs Committee; and the River Spirit Casino/Hotel Expansion Oversight Committee. Hill’s colleagues also selected him, for two terms respectively, as National Council Sergeant-At-Arms and Second Speaker.
Prior to his political career, Principal Chief Hill spent 30 years in the aerospace industry at the Nordam Corporation, including 23 years in Management within the organization that employs over 2,500 people across multiple strategically-located operations and customer support facilities around the world.
The same year Hill was elected, his Nation took its fight to protect its sovereignty all the way to the Supreme Court and won. The McGirt v. Oklahoma decision the summer of 2020 was a groundbreaking triumph for all of Indian Country. The court held that the land the Muscogee Creek Nation was guaranteed in exchange for leaving their ancestral home remains a reservation today.
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is headquartered in Okmulgee, Oklahoma which serves as the seat of tribal government.
Under the leadership of Chief David Hill, the future of the Muscogee Tribe is in good hands as they focus on the future with
their deep roots honoring their ancestors. Chief Hill’s legacy is inextricably linked to his efforts to empower the youth of the Muscogee Nation. Believing that they hold the key to a vibrant and sustainable future, he has spearheaded initiatives that provide educational opportunities, mentorship programs, and leadership training for young Muscogee individuals. Through these initiatives, Chief Hill instills a sense of pride in their heritage and equips them with the tools to navigate the complexities of the modern world while staying rooted in their cultural identity.
As Muscogee Chief David Hill’s tenure continues, his legacy as a guardian of tradition and progress remains firmly rooted. His tireless efforts to preserve the cultural fabric of the Muscogee people while fostering innovation serve as an inspiration not only to his community but to the world at large. Chief Hill’s leadership exemplifies the harmonious coexistence of ancient wisdom and contemporary vision, a testament to the enduring strength of the Muscogee Nation.
In a rapidly changing world, Chief David Hill’s steadfast commitment to his people’s heritage and his unwavering dedication to their future stand as a testament to the power of leadership, resilience, and cultural pride. His story is one of a leader who continues to masterfully navigate the currents of time, who will leave an enduring legacy that will continue to shape the Muscogee Nation for generations to come.
JEFF HALL REAL ESTATE
The Muscogee Creek Nation
Este Mvskokvlke: The First Civilized TribeBy Sarah Leslie Gagan
From time immemorial through the 16th century, the Muscogee people contently occupied much of the southeastern land of what would become Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. When foreign settlers arrived on the continent, they called the tribe “The Creek People” because of their tendency to build their towns and encampments along creeks and riverways in the area. In the Muscogee language, Este Mvskokvlke means “Creek People.”
With time, and the inflow of foreign settlers, they became known as the Creek Indians, despite the fact they were made up of several smaller tribes that spoke the Muscogee language. Although the tribe has seen several divisions over the centuries, today the tribe’s heritage is preserved through the name Muscogee Creek Nation.
The title “Muscogee” has an unknown origin, despite being widely used for the Muskhogean family of languages spoken throughout the historic southeast. There are various spellings for the word: Muskogee, Muscogee, Maskogee, and Mvskoke. Mvskoke is the preferred title using the native language while Muscogee is used for the nation.
Muscogee people usually also refer to themselves according to their tribal town or community, church or ceremonial ground, their clan, and finally their family connection or genealogy. The name Creek was most heavily used in the nineteenth century but is still relevant today.
Muscogee Creek Nation member Blue Clark is a Professor of Law at Oklahoma City University
and holds the David Pendleton Chair in American Indian Studies. His in-depth research regarding the Muscogee Creek Nation is credited for providing information, otherwise unknown, if not for his book Indian Tribes of Oklahoma, A Guide, Second Edition 2020 which greatly helped shape this article.
There were two territories of Creeks: the Muscogee (or Upper Creeks), settlers of the northern Creek territory; and the Hitchiti and Alabama, who had the same general traditions as the Upper Creeks but spoke a slightly different dialect and were known as the Lower Creeks.
Traditional Creek economy was based largely on the cultivation of corn (maize), beans, and squash. Most of the farming was done by women, while the men of the tribe were responsible for hunting and protection. The Creek achieved status based on individual merit rather than by inheriting it. Like most Indians of the Southeast, they commonly tattooed their entire bodies.
Before colonization, Creek towns were symbolically grouped into white and red categories, which set them apart for peace and war ceremonials. They were known as red sticks and white sticks for the color of the paint on their war clubs and bodies.
Each town had a plaza or community square, where the houses were grouped around— rectangular structures with four vertical walls of poles were plastered over with mud and branches. The roofs were pitched and covered with either bark or thatch, with smoke holes left open
at the gables. If the town had a temple, it was a thatched domeshaped edifice set upon an eight-foot mound into which stairs were cut to the temple door. The plaza was the gathering point for important religious observances such as the Green Corn ceremony, an annual first-fruits and new-fire rite. A distinctive feature of this midsummer festival was that every wrongdoing, grievance, or crime—short of murder—was forgiven.
The coming of Europeans changed everything. Hernando de Soto’s 1540 Exposition fostered warfare and devastation among the Creeks. His associates described visiting large platform mound villages with spacious plazas and temples that are now believed to have been predecessors of the Creek towns of Coosa and Cusseta. The expedition’s diseases devastated native peoples along its path. As an example, the Tristan de Luna expedition visited Coosa, capital of the Upper Creek ancestors 20 years after the earlier conquistador. Luna’s men found Coosa deserted, its population allegedly depleted and the remnants scattered. The Spaniards’ devastating impact, traced by scholar Marvin Smith, led to shrinking population, loss of control over territory and steady movement downriver of the Muscogee Peoples.
In the subsequent years, remnants from other devastated Indian nations joined together to form the Muscogee Confederacy. Scholars disagree on when it started. Some believe it was a war league long before the arrival of Europeans, while others point to the European presence as the original cause and consider the Confederacy to be the result of the 1715 Yamasee War. Tribes came together in a political and diplomatic confederacy that was already well underway by 1700. Most of the members of the more than 60 towns spoke Muskhogean. But others spoke different languages such as the Yuchis, the Shawnees and the Natchez and some Chickasaws. All shared a remarkably similar Southeastern native culture and were for the
most part matrilineal in their descent, with residences arranged around a courtyard in clusters near a central ceremonial ground. By 1685, the Muscogee Creeks numbered about 15,000.
European powers fought for almost a century to control Creek territory and trade. Near the end of the 17th century, Spanish, French, English and Creeks jockeyed for both. English trade in Carolina turned that colony into the center of trade in Indian slaves and animal pelts, involving the Lower Creek towns that were located closer to the English. Over time, English trade followed the Creeks who moved from Charlestown to where the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers meet. First Spanish, then French forces fell to the superior English trade tactics.
Conflicts led refugee tribes to seek protection among English, French, Spanish and Creek towns in the early 18th century. French attempts to secure influence in commerce led to short warfare against the Alabama towns of the Upper Creeks just after 1700. Briefly, the French set up Fort Toulouse to protect their base after the 1714 treaty. The new Fort was in the Heart of Creek country on the Tallapoosa River. English influence ultimately won again, despite setbacks such as the disastrous Yamasee War in 1715. In its wake, Lower Creeks moved from the Ocmulgee River in central Georgia to the Chattahoochee, with some going all the way to the Tallapoosa River in Alabama. The Spanish struggled with the English for control of Creek trade and territory for another decade before the English were victorious. The British king chartered Georgia as a colony in 1732, encouraging further English encroachment. Governor James Oglethorpe landed with settlers the following year. Shrewd diplomacy aided by the Yamacraw chief Tomochichi and mixed blood Mary Musgrove Bosomworth, led to gradual expansion of Georgia settlements. The small coastal community of Savannah grew up around the Musgrove trading post. With the 1763 treaty
that signaled the withdrawal of Spain and France, the Creeks had to deal exclusively with the aggressive English.
The Muscogee Creek constituted one of the Five Civilized Tribes, along with the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole. Tribal governments were effectively dissolved in 1906 but continued to exist on a limited basis.
Much as the lives of their ancestors were forever changed by the Spanish conquistadors, the Muscogee faced challenges brought on by the colonial European powers (Spain, England, and France) in the 1600’s and early 1700’s, in addition to the newly independent Americans in the late 1700’s into the 1800’s.
The Lower Creek tribes were closer to the English settlements, and greatly influenced by English culture, technologies, and ways of thought. The Upper Creek tribes, through the benefit of distance from Europeans, were able to maintain more traditional ways of life. Neither distance nor familiarity with the Europeans and Americans would save the Muscogee from losing their lands and traditional ways of life.
President George Washington believed Native Americans to be equals as people, but inferior in the ways of their society. He developed a plan (which was continued under President Thomas Jefferson) to assist the Native Americans in taking on the European/American practices of private property ownership and homesteads, farming, education, and religion with the presumption that once they were “civilized”, they would be accepted by the American people as equals. The Muscogee were the first to adopt these practices, becoming the first of what became known as the “Five Civilized Tribes”.
A division among the Creeks began to clearly develop.
Upper Creeks lived along the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers of Alabama, and lower Creeks resided on the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers that partially form the present lower AlabamaGeorgia border. The divisiveness intensified under English influence. Lower Creeks’ access to trade goods and to contact Indian agent Benjamin Hawkins and his agricultural project in the 1790’s, with its emphasis on spinning and weaving for women, tied them more closely to U.S. government policies. A Creek delegation under Alexander McGillivray ventured to meet with George Washington in 1790 and sign a treaty, the first that the new constitutional Republic ratified. McGillivray acted as the de facto principal chief of the Muscogees, which was a radical departure from traditional leadership patterns. McGillivray, a mixed blood, was of chiefly lineage from Hickory in the Upper Creek country, but he was not a chief. His death in early 1793 plunged the confederacy into chaos. The split between the Upper and Lower Creeks increased, furthered by white squatters on Indian lands, tribal punishment for Creeks attacks on whites, constant frontier expansion and rising Indian nationalism under the pleas of Shawnee/Creek chief Tecumseh.
Under Chief Menawa some Creeks, called red sticks for their painted war clubs, and bodies, rebelled. Loss of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on the Tallapoosa River in Alabama in 1814 during the first Creek War broke Creek power in the Southeast, General Andrew Jackson’s punitive cessation treaty took from the Creeks three-fifths of the present-day Alabama and onefifth of Georgia, totaling over 23 million acres. Most of the Muscogee signers had been under his command. The war was a turning point because it sped pressure for eventual removal. In the following decade, a few tribal towns decided to remove to Indian Territory. Mixed blood William McIntosh signed the
Treaty of Indian Springs in 1825, agreeing to ultimate removal, but he failed to gain the consent of other Creeks or Cherokees. Although the treaty was nullified, 2500 of his supporters migrated, beginning in late 1827.
In 1832, all Creeks who remained in Alabama underwent allotment of their lands. The resulting swift and fraudulent loss of those lands helped spawn the Second Creek War in 1836, analyzed by John Ellisor. It led to the forcible removal of the remainder of an estimated 20,000 Creeks and their slaves along their “Trail of Tears” to Indian Territory in 1834-1837.
What small lands remained for the Muscogee in central Alabama was not to last. Settlers in Georgia poured into Native American lands in large part due to the discovery of gold in northern Georgia. Seeing the writing on the wall, many of the remaining Lower Creek chiefs surrendered their lands to the United States government in exchange for $200,000 and land in Arkansas. Muscogee who refused to accept the new treaty were forcefully evicted without compensation.
When Andrew Jackson was elected president in 1829, U.S. policy towards Native Americans would change rapidly. No longer would different Native American tribes be treated as separate nations, they were seen all as one, and his plan was to move all tribes east of the Mississippi River to Indian Territory.
The Indian Removal Act was signed into law on June 30, 1830. In 1832, the Creek National Council signed the Treaty of Cusseta, ceding the
remainder of their lands east of the Mississippi to the U.S. and accepted relocation to what would one day be Oklahoma. While some Muscogee left Alabama early, the majority were removed during the Trail of Tears in 1834.
The lower Creeks of McIntosh had settled in their new land near the Arkansas and Verdigris River, while Upper Creeks established farms along the Canadian River and its tributaries. The upper and lower Creeks formally reunited in 1840 and experienced something of a brief golden age.
A period of rebuilding began again while the tribe was left to its own influences, and the Creek Nation prospered. Schools, churches, and public houses were built as the tribe reestablished itself as a working government. At Okmulgee, a national capitol building was constructed in 1867, and enlarged in 1878. Now a National Historic Landmark, the Creek National Capitol (the present Creek Council House Museum) is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The rebuilding of the tribe continued. Its blossoming growth was marred by changes on the United States level that were all too familiar— land envy. Beginning in the 1880’s an outburst of violence from a bloody political turmoil of resistance greeted the renewal of allotment and assimilation policies that climaxed with Oklahoma statehood in 1907. The Creeks lost more than two million acres of allotted domain. Through the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries mainstream pressures gradually transformed many of the forty-seven tribal towns from
ceremonial grounds into rural agricultural communities. Each of these centered on the Baptist Indian church, among Upper Creeks, or the Methodist Indian church, among descendants of Lower Creeks. The Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act (1936) helped establish the former Creek tribal towns of Kialegee, Thlopthlocco, and Alabama-Quassarte as sovereign nations.
As survivors recovered, changed their way of life and prospered, operating under their own laws and court system, they developed a model education system with notable academies like Tullahassee and Coweta. Bacone College in Muskogee and the predecessor of the University of Tulsa grew out of Creek Mission educational endeavors. Oral Roberts University in Tulsa sits on the allotment of Alice McGee. Through the terms of an 1856 treaty, the Muscogees ceeded land to the Seminoles for a reservation.
The difficulties of the American Civil War sparked more internal strife among the Creeks. Some joined the Confederacy, while others tried to escape to safety in Kansas. Bloody attacks by Confederates and Muscogee and Cherokee allies in three battles (across the territory north of today’s Tulsa) and then malnutrition in wintertime union camps in Kansas took the lives of perhaps 5,000 Creeks. Among the lost was respected Upper Creek leader Opothleyahola.
African Creeks were the first blacks in the United States to organize within the Union Army against the Confederacy. They were the first to experience combat and regularly mustered black federal troops during the Civil War and saw much battlefield action. Warfare devastated the Muscogee Nation.
During the post war reconstruction period, the Muscogee Nation lost 3.2 million acres--the western half of its lands.
Although divided in wartime loyalties, the entire Muscogee nation was treated as disloyal. The Post War treaty in 1866, (the Creek’s 14th Treaty with the United States) helped set the stage for subsequent territorial status and ultimate statehood for Oklahoma. Creeks established a new constitution with a government based on the US model and set up a new capital at Okmulgee, near the deep fork of the Canadian River, in 1867. Freedman’s town slowly developed, and the Muscogee Nation established 10 schools for them. Freedman had representation in the tribal legislature. Railroad construction brought with it non-Indian settlements, which in turn demanded territorial organization and protection of their interests. The newcomers’ communities developed into American communities. Not tribal towns.
Mission societies built boarding schools within the Muscogee Nation. Pupils studied their lessons at Wetumka, Wealaka, Asbury, Nuyaka, and New Tullahassee. They also gained education at Coweta, Muskogee and Okmulgee, which also served as an orphanage. An example of accommodation with the larger society is the life of Pleasant Porter. He was born in a log cabin but received a boarding school education at the Tallahassee school. As an adult, he was active in his Eufaula Masonic Lodge, in the Elks and in the Odd Fellows organization, was an elder in his Presbyterian Church, and served on mission school boards. He was acculturated yet identifiably Muscogee. He went on to serve as chief for his Indian nation in 1899 through 1907, the era of maximum encroachment into Creek affairs.
The 1898 Curtis Act forced allotment upon the Muscogees after the Dawes Commission enumerated their citizens. Among the Muscogees, 12,000 Indians and 6800 freedmen received
160 acre allotments. Totaling 2,997,114 acres out of their former domain of 3,079,095 acres. This surplus was opened to whites, who quickly acquired the bulk of Indian and Freedman Land holdings. Allotment tore away the tribal land and economic base.
Federal provisions dissolved most of the tribal government by 1906, during the height of the assimilation period of Indian policy. Ongoing land frauds fed other tribal grievances and lead to convulsive opposition to those policies which took the form of the Sands Rebellion in the 1870’s, the Green Peach War in the 1880’s and the so-called Snake Rebellion in 1909, named after its reputed leader Chito Harjo, or “Crazy Snake.” The 1909 rebellion was the last major Indian uprising in the United States.
There was localized, sporadic violence during World War One. Repeated oil gushers within the nation added to the confusion. In late 1905, a wildcatter struck oil on a family farm that lent its name to the oil field, Glenn Pool. Oil discovered on the allotment of Jackson Barnett in 1912, quickly set records for daily, monthly and yearly production. The Gushers made Barnett fabulously wealthy, with so much wealth flow that it created the fortunes of Thomas Gilcrease and William Skelly, as well as petroleum companies. Ida and Robert Glenn and Jackson Barnett moved to California. The litigation and exploitation resulting from Jackson Barnett’s estate and a few others, combined with lurid tales of Osage murders, created a gradually growing desire to reform national Indian policy. From 1906 to 1936, federal paternalism, the expansion of congressional power, and officials’ cynical manipulation of tribal government undermined the operation of the tribe. Federal officials appointed chiefs, who in turn appointed council members. Bureau of Indian Affairs authorities controlled the tribe like puppeteers after statehood. Over 2 million acres of Creek allotted land was sold and over $50 billion dollars in petroleum was extracted. From 1934 to 1955 elected officials presided over the tribe’s affairs. From 1955 to 1970, the BIA appointed the principal chief.
The contemporary Muscogee nation attempts to perpetuate traditions while dealing successfully with the challenges of the 21st century. A year after federal legislation was enacted in 1970, the nation duly elected Claude Cox its first principal chief since the start of the 20th century. His base of political support within
the nation came from Lower Creeks who dominated the nation’s politics. He led the drafting and adoption of a new constitution modeled after the US government. Cox revitalized the legislative branch as he started the process of tribal political and economic development. Representatives were elected from districts served in National Council, the legislative branch of the nation The tribe’s leadership in 1977 helped spur self-development when it tapped Indian Health Service assistance for water supply and waste disposal at a 100-unit tribal elderly housing project in Okmulgee County. The nation was the first to contract for clinical services under Public Law 638, Muscogee Nation litigation during the 1970s and 1980s helped affirm tribal sovereignty in the areas of constitutional self-governance, tribal court systems, and tribal bingo operations exclusive of state interference and established that the tribal court is the proper forum for disputes involving tribal business. Successive chiefs built on their predecessor’s accomplishments to continue the expansion of tribal political and economic activities, including gambling.
In 1999, tribal citizen Patrick Murphy murdered fellow citizen George Jacobs. The state tried Murphy and sentenced him to death. A unanimous appellate opinion in late 2017, threw the tribal and state legal profession into turmoil, stating that the five tribe’s reservations had never been “disestablished” in spite of the allotment and reasserting Muscogee Nation jurisdiction over the murder. The state could not try the accused because the crime occurred in Indian country which still existed. The ruling potentially offered huge implications for tribes and the state.
The Muscogees have always been a mixture of different peoples. Several groups historically within the Confederacy sought separate recognition and funding during the 1930’s and 40’s. The Alabama-Quassarte, Kialegee and Thlopthlocco towns obtained federal charters, technically making them federally recognized although they still receive Muscogee Nation funding and services and are still considered Muscogee. Natchez refugees found safe haven among Abeka Creeks following the French destruction of the Natchez Kingdom in 1730. There were Natchez refugees among the Chickasaw, Cherokee and Catawba nations. There is an identifiable Natchez community within the Muscogee Nation Today. The Yuchis reside in several communities outside Tulsa. They are currently members of the
Muscogee Nation, but seek separate federal recognition.
Wider American Indian traditions for the Creeks are maintained through powwows held in school gyms, in public parks and during festivals. Hymns and Indian Services at 140 Indian churches continued the Mvskoke language. In addition, Creek ceremonies are perpetuated at fourteen ceremonial towns throughout the Muscogee Nation, in addition to three Yuchi grounds, as well as at tribal centers of other groups like the Shawnee Quapaw and Seneca Cayugas.
Rituals involve a sacred fire at the center of the towns or square grounds. Annual ceremonies combining thanksgiving for the first fruits of the land with renewal of the earth and ritual purification and acknowledgement of the role of women, commonly called the Ribbon Dance. The all-night dancing attracts members of other towns to lend aid as well as spectators. Those practices mirror ancient rituals focused on a sacred fire at the center of the square, as described in Spanish chronicles from 1540. One observer watched through the night as the southeastern Indians performed dances in which they were violently stamping their feet on the ground, hence the label Stamp Dance. The annual green corn ceremonies in the summertime are referred to as “the busk” derived from Muscogee word “posketv” meaning “to fast,” a part of the ritual.
Numerous tribal and private endeavors also try strive to preserve and teach the Muscogee language. There are about 8000 speakers today in Oklahoma. In 1996, the Muscogee Nation set up a language committee to oversee revitalization of the language, sponsoring summer youth camps. Reverend Rosemary McCombs Maxey holds her own annual camp. The College of Muscogee Nation, established in 2004, offers language and cultural classes along with the mainstream
college curriculum. Also supporting traditions were the Red Stick Warrior Association.
Among notable Muscogees have been famed leader Opothleyahola and his nemesis William McIntosh, poet and author Alexander Posey, Hollywood producer Bob Hicks, singer Jamie Kuhn, writers Craig Womack, Lonnie McGee and Cynthia Smith, and storyteller actor Will Hill. Jack Jacobs played quarterback for the University of Oklahoma during the late 1930s and into the mid-1940’s before turning pro. Roley Haines was a famous preacher of the Gospel in Mvskoke. The late actor Will Sampson starred in the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Poet and musician Joy Harjo received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writer’s Circle of the Americas in 2003 for her contributions to literature. She was named the first Native American U.S. Poet Laureate in 2019. Ernest Childers, also Cherokee, received the Medal of Honor for Action in the European Theater in World War II. Allie Reynolds pitched for the 1947 through 53 Yankees baseball team when it won six World Championships in seven years. And he was also active in Muscogee politics. His total of seven World Series wins is second only to the achievement of Whitey Ford. Adair “Paddy” Mays played with the Philadelphia Phillies. Law professor Anita Hill of Creek freedman heritage, stood against inappropriate workplace behavior in her testimony against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas during his 1991 confirmation hearing.
Beginning in 1970 the federal government permitted the Creek Nation to elect its own principal chief. The Harjo v. Kleppe (1976) case marked the end of federal paternalism and the start of a new era for a revitalized Indian nation. The elected government supports three branches of tribal governmental and
ongoing economic development. Some tribal citizens are spread throughout the eleven Oklahoma counties that formed the historic Creek Nation boundaries as well as throughout the world. A mix of gaming, farming, and other business income has been combined with federal expenditures to support a wide range of Creek Nation programs and services. These have included tribal government offices, a national council, a tribal court system, a police force, business enterprises, health care, housing, education, and expenditures on infrastructure within the boundaries of the historic Creek Nation. A new constitution in 1975 replaced the 1867 document. A series of federal court decisions through the 1980s helped bolster Creek Nation sovereignty.
Creek claimants that are scattered across the Southeast have sought federal recognition. The Poarch Band of Eastern Creeks in southern Alabama gained recognition in 1984. More than two thousand of them reside near Atmore, a town in the ancient Creek homeland. Still other Creeks are spread throughout the nation, with Creek families in Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and other cities. The tribe is currently the fourth largest tribe in the United States, with 99,801 members.
Despite tragedies and drastic changes over the years, the Muscogee survived. Through a series of rebuilding stages, the culture, the language, the hymns, the medicine songs, and the traditions were still enjoyed into the early twenty-first century. The people have continued to celebrate their cultural heritage. They still danced around the sacred fire and sang sacred songs to their Creator, and they still offered hymns to their Savior. They have continued to transact tribal business in the Mvskoke language. New stories of contemporary life have joined ancient oral literature to chronicle cultural activities, including the high jinks of the trickster Rabbit, the traditional culture hero. As in
those stories, the Mvskoke people have learned lessons of perseverance and overcoming adversity, which is the hallmark of the Este Mvskokvlke (Creek people) of the old Southeast.
Around Town with Edgar Westonby Debbie Neece,
Bartlesville Area History Museum
Welcome back. The skyline of Bartlesville was forever enhanced when the buildings that occupied the 300 blocks of South Keeler and Johnstone Avenues between Frank Phillips Blvd. and Fourth Street were cleared to allow the construction of the Phillips’ Plaza Office Building between 1984-1987.
Frank Phillips was a young barber in Creston, Iowa, who came to Bartlesville at the urging of his father-inlaw, John Gibson, a Creston banker who wanted more for the husband of his daughter. He furnished Frank with funding to establish a bonding business in Indian Territory while exploring the developing oil industry. Frank Phillips and his brother, L.E., established the Citizens Bank and Trust Company in 1905 and turned their attentions towards oil. They drilled several dry holes and quickly depleted their funds. With enough money for one more drill, the Anna Anderson #1, three miles northwest of Dewey, became the discovery that founded their future. By mid-1917, their Lewcinda Oil Company was valued at a million-dollars and the Phillips Petroleum Company was incorporated that June.
In 1908, the Phillips’ Citizens Bank and Trust merged with Bartlesville National Bank to become the latter with L.E. Phillips as vice-president. In the meantime, in 1914, another banking powerhouse, First National Bank built and occupied a six-story brick building at the northwest corner of Fourth Street and Johnstone Avenue. In April 1920, Bartlesville National bought First National Bank and assumed the bank’s name and building. Frank Phillips was president until 1928.
Between 1925-1926, Frank Phillips’ seven-story brick office building was built at the northeast corner of Keeler Avenue and Fourth Street, followed by the “twin” Frank Phillips Towers and an eighth floor added to the Phillips office building in 1930.
The 300 blocks of South Keeler and Johnstone Avenues between Frank Phillips Blvd. and Fourth Street held history as the hub of business activity with upscaled ladies and men’s wear shops, movie theaters, jewelry stores, cafés and more, until most of the city block was cleared, paving the way for the groundbreaking of the Plaza Office Building on June 8, 1984. The Phillips Towers and office building remained while the fifteenstory Plaza Building was being constructed; then…the wrecking ball leveled the Frank Phillips office building and the east Frank Phillips Tower…leaving only the west Frank Phillips Tower standing tall, yet alone. Bartlesville residents watched as steel beams, brick and limestone rose from the earth, culminating with the ribbon cutting of the Plaza Building February 1987. Also occupying this block is the Frank Phillips Tower Center with the original Phillips Petroleum Company decorative awning gracing the north entrance.
Living in complete harmony with Bartlesville’s cityscape, the Plaza Office Building was trimmed with treated copper, which aged to mimic Bartlesville’s Internationally acclaimed Price Tower, designed by the equally acclaimed Frank Lloyd Wright. Two handsomely landscaped parks flank the north and south of the Plaza Office Building with Fourth Street between Keeler and Johnstone Avenues closed to traffic, creating a Europeanstyle green space with a granite fountain.
Frank Phillips died in 1950 and, in his honor, Third Street was renamed Frank Phillips Blvd. on September 27, 1951.
To be continued…
SEPTEMBER CALENDAR SPONSORED
Bruin Varsity Football vs Claremore
7PM; Custer Stadium
Labor Day; No School
All Day; District Wide
OKWU Mens Soccer vs John Brown
7PM; OKWU Soccer Fields
Bruin Football vs Sand Springs (8th Grade)
6PM; Custer Stadium
Bruin Football vs Sand Springs (9th Grade)
7PM; Custer Stadium
Bruis JV Fast Pitch Softball vs Ponca City
6PM; Bruin Softball Fields
Bruin 7th Grade Football vs Ponca City
6PM; Custer Stadium
OKWU Volleyball vs College of the Ozarks
6PM; OKWU Gym
Bruin Volleyball Tournament
8AM; Bruin Fieldhouse
The tournament runs through Saturday, September 9.
KAN-OKLA 100+ Miles
All Day; Various in NE Oklahoma & SW Kansas. Runs through Saturday, Sept. 9.
OKWU Men’s Soccer vs Southwestern Christian
7PM; OWKU Soccer Fields
Bruin 8th Grade Football vs Carver
6PM; Custer Stadium
OKWU Volleyball vs Hastings
7PM; OWU Gum
OKWU Women’s Volleyball vs Columbia
1PM; OKWU Gym
OKWU Women’s Soccer vs Bethel
5PM; OKWU Soccer Fields
OKWU Men’s Soccer vs Bethel
7:30PM; OKWU Soccer Fields
Bruin Fast Pitch Softball vs Putnam City
5PM; Bruin Softball Fields
Bruin JV Football vs Collinsville
6PM; Custer Stadium
Bruin Varsity Volleyball vs Jenks
5:30PM; Bruin Field House
Bruin JV Fast Pitch Softball vs Union
5:30PM; Bruin Softball Fields
Bruin Varsity Volleyball vs Jenks
6:30PM; Bruin Fieldhouse
Bruin Varsity Fast Pitch Softball vs Union
7PM; Bruin Softball Fields
OKWU Womens Soccer vs Ottawa
5:30PM; OKWU Soccer Fields
OKWU Mens Soccer vs Ottawa
8PM; OKWU Soccer Fields
OKWU Womens Soccer vs John Brown
5:30PM; OWKU Womens Soccer Fields
Back to Bartlesville
All Day; Bartlesville Municipal Airport
The fly-In runs through Saturday, September 23
Bruin Varsity Football vs Booker T Washington
6PM; Custer Stadium
OKWU Mens Soccer vs McPherson
3:30PM; OKWU Soccer Fields
Bruin Varsity Fast Pitch
Softball vs Tahlequah
4:30PM; Bruin Softball Fields
SEPTEMBER EVENTS CALENDAR
Sat, Sep 2
Bartlesville Farmers Market
Frank Phillips Park
222 SW Frank Phillips Blvd.
Wed, Sep 6
Wine Wednesday Palace Rooms Lounge
309 S Dewey Ave.
Join us for Wine Wednesdays at Palace Rooms! Every Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm, we’re offering free wine tastings for our guests who are over 21. Our team of wine experts will also be on hand to demonstrate and discuss our select wines. But that’s not all! We’re also offering specials on wines throughout the night, so be sure to ask your server for more information.
Wednesday Citizenship Class
Bartlesville Public Library
600 S Johnstone Ave.
Citizenship classes are held on Tuesdays at 6 pm, Wednesdays at 5:30 pm, and Thursdays at 11 am on the second floor of the Bartlesville Public Library.
Dance ’N Define w/ Tarah
300 SE Adams Blvd.
Dance ‘N Define w/ Tarah is held outside on the Stage at Unity Square on Wednesdays at 6 pm. .
Johnstone Irregulars Book Club
Bartlesville Public Library
600 S Johnstone Ave.
Thu, Sep 7
Times Vary 109th Washington County Free Fair
Washington County Fairgrounds
1109 N. Delaware, Dewey
The theme for the 109th Washington County Free Fair is “Red, White & You.”
Entry days are Sept. 5th for indoor entry and Sept. 6 for Livestock entry. The Fair is open on Sept. 7th thru 9th.
6 PM Community Connect: The Dalton Gang
Elder Care 1223 Swan Dr.
Radio Broadcast featuring Tim Hudson, Alan Gentges, Jason Elmore, and Maria Gus An original radio play by Tim Hudson features a local acting troupe. Pack the house and laugh all the way to the bank! Special appearance from Joe Sears. Open to adults of all ages.
Speak Freely: Oklahoma Town Hall for Public Schools
300 SE Adams Blvd.
Join us for an engaging and informative Education Town Hall on September 7th at The Center! This event is specifically designed for students, parents, and concerned citizens who are passionate about the future of the Oklahoma public school system.
Fri, Sep 8
KAN-OKLA 100-Mile Yard Sale
Various Locations in NE Oklahoma and SE Kansas
AbilityWorks Black and White Bash
Hillcrest Country Club
1901 Price Rd.
Annual Fundraiser for AbilityWorks!
Auction, Dinner, Dancing, Supporting this great organization and meeting new people in Bartlesville!
Sat, Sep 9
Central Classic 5K and Fun Run Central Middle School
815 Delaware Ave.
Fall Trail Ride
Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve 1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd.
The country retreat of oilman Frank Phillips - Woolaroc is hidden away in the beauty of the rolling Osage Hills. The trail ride covers approximately 15 miles of terrain that is rarely if ever, seen by the general public. Nothing would have pleased Mr. Phillips more than to have known that riders were enjoying his ranch doing something he loved to do... ride. It is common to see bison, elk, deer, and longhorn cattle along the trails of Woolaroc. Registration check-in time is from 7 - 9 am, and the ride begins promptly at 9:30 am. Lunch and rest period is from noon - 1 pm at the front gate.
MON, Sep 11
Beginning Spanish Class
Bartlesville Public Library
600 S Johnstone Ave.
Free Beginning Spanish Class every Monday evening at 5 pm in Meeting Room B on the first floor of the Bartlesville Public Library.
Sat, Sep 16
36th Annual Oldies ’N Goodies Car Club Show
Dewey Hotel Museum
801 N Delaware, Dewey
Make sure you join us at our 36th annual car show- all show proceeds will go to charities and organizations in our community. Location: in-between Tom Mix Museum and Dewey Hotel in downtown Dewey.
Mon, Sep 18
Adult & Pediatric CPR/AED/First Aid Class
The Crafty Candle Shoppe
222 SE Frank Phillips Blvd.
Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/ AED blended learning course equips students to recognize and care for a variety of first aid breathing and cardiac emergencies involving adults children and infants. It is designed for students who need a certification that satisfies OSHA workplace or other regulatory requirements. This class is taught in a blended learning format and the online portion (accessed via mobile desktop or tablet) must be completed prior to attending the Instructor-led skills session.
Church of Cash
300 SE Adams Blvd.
Whether you’re an old timer who grew up listening to Mr. Cash on the radio or a young soldier driving your tank across the deserts of the Middle East with the Man in Black in your headphones, the Church of Cash will bring is music with style and energy to fans everywhere. What the Church of Cash has that no one else can match is their loyalty to the song and the message that Johnny left to all of us.
Sat, Sep 23
The Crafty Candle Shoppe
222 SE Frank Phillips Blvd.
Sat, Sep 30
Cow Thieves and Outlaws Reunion
Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve
1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd.
What began as a party in 1927, when Bartlesville oilman Frank Phillips played host to cowboys, socialites, thieves, bankers, and lawmen at his country estate, is now an annual tradition that preserves the history and heritage of the American West. This is the major fundraising event benefiting the Frank Phillips Foundation, the non-profit that owns and operates the 3700-acre wildlife preserve, museum, and ranch. The Cow Thieves & Outlaws Reunion is held outdoors at Woolaroc’s Clyde Lake Pavilion, and features live music, dancing, food, drink, and a limited number of vendors. Read about the history of the Cow Thieves & Outlaws Reunion. Be sure to visit the Cow Thieves & Outlaws Reunion Facebook page for regular updates.
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Acee Blue Eagle
The Expressive Medium of Acee Blue Eagle Exhibitby Debbie Neece, Bartlesville Area
Three-quarters Creek-Pawnee, Alexander C. McIntosh descended from Creek Chief nobility. His parents, Solomon and Mattie Odom “Blue Eagle” McIntosh, called him Che-bon-ah-bee-al which translated to Laughing Boy because of his gleeful disposition. Tragedy befell the McIntosh family, claiming the lives of his twin brother (1909), mother (1913) and father (1917), leaving him in the care of his step-mother who sought legal guardianship and leased his oil rights to the Savoy Oil Company. His uncle, William Oscar Odom stepped forward, nullified the guardianship and cared for him until an Indian Agent whisk him away to an Indian Boarding School.
His Creek name was Ah-Say but his classmates nicknamed him A.C. which evolved into Acee. During his Indian School adventures, Acee developed the love of art, whether drawing in the sand or using charcoal from the dancing fire
as a medium to apply his imagination to flat rocks or tanned hides. He attended schools in Anadarko, Euchee, Haskell and graduated from Chilocco in 1928. Upon graduation, he enrolled in the Bacone College for two years, where he established the Bacone Art Department and began his career as an American Indian cartoonist and illustrator.
He transferred to the University of Oklahoma School of Fine Art and obtained his degree in 1932. The school’s director, Professor Oscar Jacobson, became a great mentoring influence in Acee’s life as an artist. In Jacobson’s words, “I can’t teach you the art. The knowledge of Indian spiritualism and religious symbols is yours, the heritage from your forefathers. But I will help you to concentrate all your efforts in becoming a great artist.” And indeed, he did.
His mother shared tribal legends and family lore about her “Blue Eagle” name: The Blue Eagles were tribesmen who had their name revealed to them as an omen. His grandfather shot an albino eagle which fell into a crock of blueberry juice and colored the bird blue, the name Blue Eagle became permanent. A name Alexander proudly embraced.
It was through their relationship that Acee’s two-dimensional painting style was manifested featuring flat areas of color with heavy outlines on a plain background allowing the scenes to step away from the canvas. His art focused heavily on symbolism to communicate and educate native culture and customs through
scenes of buffalo hunts, ceremonial dances and ancestral traditions.
The Lions Club of Oklahoma presented an Acee Blue Eagle “Indian Buffalo Hunt” painting to the USS Oklahoma battleship dining hall in 1935. On December 7, 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the Oklahoma was too badly damaged by torpedoes to be saved. The ship was salvaged in 1943, stripped and sold as scrap in 1946. The ship sank in a storm while being towed to Hawaii in 1947.
In 1935, Acee conducted American Indian Art lectures at Oxford, England and throughout Holland, Scotland and France and he was the first Indian Art Director at Bacone Indian University in Muscogee. In 1938, he resigned from Bacone College to continue his art in a studio setting and his friend, Woody Crumbo, succeeded him.
During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented a series of New Deal programs to put people to work. The “Section of Fine Arts” program employed artists to create about 1,300 wall murals and 300 sculptures between 1934-1943. Acee was invited to paint wall murals at Oklahoma’s Seminole and Coalgate Post Offices.
His internationally acclaimed artwork brought awards at the Philbrook American Indian Painting exhibitions, and he was listed in the Indian Hall of Fame, Who’s Who of Outstanding Indians in the United States, Who’s Who of American Artists, Who’s Who of Oklahoma and many more prestigious accolades.
His mural artwork has graced the walls at the Central State College at Edmond; Oklahoma College for Women at Chickasha; Blackhawk Junior Golf Club at Oklahoma City; the administration building of Northeastern State University at Tahlequah; Thunder Bird Tea Room at Muskogee; and the Veterans Hospital at Muskogee, where he died in 1959. In his honor, an Indian burial ceremony was held on the Gilcrease Museum grounds and he was laid to rest in the National Cemetery at Fort Gibson, OK, where a
military marker was placed in honor of his three-years of U.S. Air Force service during WWII.
Enter Richard M. Knox, a well-known oil man with a gasoline service station vision. September 13, 1957 an ultra-modern Knox “Service Station of the Future” grand opening was held at the southeast corner of Frank Phillips and Chickasaw. The stunning combination of stone and redwood made the station an attractive addition to area and customers enjoyed the fullservice attendants who vacuumed as their gas tank was filling.
Knox commissioned Acee Blue Eagle to paint eight Oklahoma Indian Chiefs, Warriors and Scholars which were reproduced in vibrant colors on fifteen-ounce frosted tumblers. The Indians portrayed by Blue Eagle were: RulingHisSun, OsagePawnee; Sequoyah, Cherokee; Geronimo, Apache; Hunting Horse, Kiowa; Bacon Rind, Osage; Quanah Parker, Comanche; Dull Knife, Cheyenne; and Hen-Toh, Wyandotte.
The tumblers, adorned with Blue Eagle’s Oklahoma Indian designs, were gifts with a 10-gallon or more “Knox-Less” gasoline purchase. As Knox opened stations across the state, Blue Eagle often made guest appearances to hand-deliver the tumblers. The promotion was so successful that a frosted pitcher, wooden platter and a China dinnerware service for eight (bread-andbutter and salad plates; soup bowl; and cup and saucer) joined the collection. While few are still in circulation, they are highly collectible. Between 1912-1948, the Olympics Games incorporated works of art depicting sport with categories in sculpture, music, painting, literature and architecture. At the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, Acee Blue Eagle competed against 420 artists from 12 countries and received Honorable Mention (4th Place) for his “Indian Ball Game” water color painting. The Olympics are considered an amateur competition and artists were considered professionals, therefore, in 1954, art competitions were abandoned .
Did You Know?
Now You Know *
Located in the heart of Downtown Bartlesville
Located in the heart of Downtown Bartlesville
100 SW Frank Phillips Blvd
100 SW Frank Phillips Blvd
Reserve your spot at the top (918)440-6773
Reserve your spot at the top (918)440-6773 JOHNSTONE-SARE The Room
The Great Leader of the Creeksby Kay Little, Little History Adventures
Opothle Yahola was born about 1780 in the Creek capital, located in Alabama. As a young man, he fought against the whites and Andrew Jackson in the Creek War of 1813-1814. After this, he swore he would never fight against the Federal government. Yahola was described even at a young age as having superior intellect, eloquence, leadership and physical courage. This was seen throughout his long life.
Yahola was leader of the Upper Creeks, mostly full-blood, while William McIntosh was leader of the Lower Creeks, mostly mixed bloods. McIntosh wanted to sign a treaty with U.S. government to sell their lands in Georgia and move west when whites in the area wanted their lands. Yahola opposed this. He felt it went against their laws. This caused a bitter fight, which ended in the death of McIntosh.
Yahola did not want to make any deal until all his people could meet and agree. McIntosh went ahead and signed a deal with the Federal government. The National Creek Council majority voted for McIntosh’s execution. The ones who wanted to work an early deal saw the handwriting on the wall, knowing they would all be removed eventually. This was seen as treason by leaders such as Opothle Yahola.
Unfortunately, he eventually led 8,000 Creeks to Indian Territory, which has become known as “The Trail of Tears”, after many whites settled on their land. He realized the Creeks needed to be educated in the ways of the white man, to better understand and communicate with them, hoping to be able to stand against the intruders better. But Yahola never learned English. Eventually, he became a Freemason and adopted the Christian faith, becoming a Baptist. Before this, he strongly opposed the “white man’s religion”. He realized that a good way for his people to learn to
read and write English and learn to live with the white men was to learn from the missionaries.
The Civil War was usually thought of being a white man’s war, but when the Civil War broke out in 1861, both sides started courting leaders in the tribes in Indian Territory. Many in the tribes wanted to stay neutral. They felt that it was the white man’s war. Eventually, many of the Indians decided to fight on the side of the Confederates, while some felt they should fight on the side of the Union. So, once again the war rekindled old fights and bitterness. In the middle of all this, Yahola, now 80 years old, wanted to stay neutral. Other neutral Indians and blacks started coming to Yahola’s place, near Eufaula. They requested help from President Lincoln, who said they should go to Ft. Row in Kansas where they would receive help and shelter.
In November 1861, these 9,000 people started their trek to Kansas. Meanwhile, Confederate leaders pursued them. Unfortunately, Yahola and his followers had to fight in 3 battles against the Confederates. Afterwards only 7,000 people walked to Ft Row. Their walk was in severe weather and became known as the “Trail of Blood On Ice”. Many frozen bodies were all along the trail.
By the time they reached Ft. Row, some survivors had no shoes or coats. To make matters worse, there was not enough supplies and shelter. Due to the poor conditions, more than 1,000 died, including Yahola’s daughter. He died soon after that and is buried with her.
Historian John Meserve said it best. “No man in their history so touched the hearts of his people. They knew he sympathized with their sorrows and understood their aspirations. Opothleyahola was wholly in sympathy with the full-blood Indian, who he believed, should be permitted to enjoy his social and political life according to his own notion.” Unfortunately, he did not live to see this.
Green Country Pet
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. 918-766-3812
Looking Through Glassby Brent Taylor
I have a remarkable memory for useless information. I once knew all the abbreviations for the states before someone smartly decided you only need two letters for each state. Oklahoma was abbreviated Okla. and then OK, which if you are scoring at home, saves you two letters but costs you a period. Think of all the time that was saved.
THE AUTHOR’S GRANDDAUGHTER, HOLLAND
‘I was on my phone playing a little game.’ Someone asked Dillon why he did not have a phone. He said that it was because his parents were old school. published on May 12, 2023 / 7:48 PM CBS News by SteveHartman
A bunch of new school parents were glad Dillon had no phone that day.
I worry about the new wave of useless information and the power brokers of the world who have no common memory except for the data they capture in corporate clouds while writing algorithms from a coffee shop called Rise and Roast. Google is replacing my memory, just as artificial intelligence is replacing my cognitive ability. I use Google and ChatGPT like a drunk uses a lamp post, for support rather than illumination. In other words, I already know stuff, I just can’t always recall what I know.
My three grandchildren are only a few months old, but I am on their cognitive level. Our lingua franca is a language of the not-yet-literate, a hodgepodge of wonder and newness, constant eye contact, facial expressions perfectly synced to emotions, mocking lips, arching eyebrows, and the recognition that communication is about sharing life. I also sing to them the songs I sang to their parents about cows getting into the corn and Muffin McLay like a bundle of hay. But, what is remarkable about children today is how they interact with the lit screens of modern devices like moths circling a flame. They already intuitively understand what I do not. The world has changed in remarkable ways. I hope it is for the good, but I wonder.
Earlier this year in Michigan, Dillon Reeves, 13, was on his way home from school when he realized that the woman driving the bus had lost consciousness. Dillon quickly sprang into action, grabbing hold of the wheel and guiding the bus to safety while telling his frightened classmates to call 911. Dillon’s father Steve later told CBS: ‘What else are you going to do when you don’t have a phone? You’re going to look at people, you’re going to notice stuff. As for the other students riding on the bus? ‘I had my AirPods in,’ one student explained. ‘I was looking on my phone,’ another said, with a classmate adding
About 700 years ago, off the northeast coast of Italy on a small island called Murano, the process began which defines our age, the peering into glass common to just about everyone, whether it is a television, computer screen or phone. Murano was where the glass makers were sent into economic exile by the power brokers of Venice as a sort of fire insurance since cities often burned in those days. That’s how important they were to the revolution of the glass industry. They were imprisoned because of their indispensable contribution to the advancement of glass which led to things like telescopes, microscopes, optic fiber, and phone screens .
Seeing things close and seeing things far revolutionized the world. Those things close (microscopes) and those things far (telescopes) were unseeable and mysterious until the advances in glass and lens technology. This led to the discovery of planets like Jupiter and tiny bits called cells which eventually gave us cell phones and GPS and the obsolescence of folding maps from gas stations.
As with all advances in technology there is great responsibility. How our children look through their lens to see the mystery of life will determine our future. Here’s to seeing things near and far, the beautiful and the plain, those things seen through glass and those things seen through our Godgiven eyes which sometimes leads us to interrupt life and stop runaway buses.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. The Apostle Paul I Cor. 13:12
Keep paying attention Dillon Reeves. We need people like you. Maybe someday you’ll get a phone. But I hope you continue to see the world right next to you. Great things happen when you do.
GREEN COUNTRY RODEO
BARTLESVILLE FARMERS MARKET
The Magic of Woolaroc
Bob Fraser’s Book on Frank Phillips & Woolarocby Maria Gus
Trying to get Bob Fraser to pin down the “Magic of Woolaroc” is like trying to make a bison laugh. It’s nearly impossible but might be incredibly fun to try. The former CEO of the Frank Phillips Foundation and author of Frankly Speaking, a behind-thescenes collection of tales from Frank Phillips and Woolaroc, has spent countless hours at Woolaroc and has plenty of magical stories to share.
Anyone who has had the fortune of being on a tour of Woolaroc has heard some good stories. Those who grew up in the area and have traveled to Woolaroc for field trips or family outings have no doubt heard about Harry Blackstone and the playing card trick, or marveled at the miniature birdhouses in the parking lot, and who can forget the photos and stories tied to the original Cow Thieves and Outlaws Reunion, a party that “Uncle Frank” began in the 20’s. Between the beautiful setting of the Osage Hills and the growing business of an Oklahoma oil baron, Woolaroc has become one of the most magical attractions in northeast Oklahoma. Something Fraser wanted to be sure to keep people talking about for years to come.
“I wrote the book for a couple of reasons,” said Fraser, “I love the stories, obviously, and I think it’s important that we preserve the history, and that history is going away.” During his time at Woolaroc, Fraser learned stories from anyone who had a story to share. Whether it was Frank and Jane’s grandchildren, Marcus C. Low, Jr. and Mary F. Begrisch-Hory, or from long time employees like the late Grace Billiam or Paula Blackwell and her late sister Beth Greene, who grew up at Woolaroc.
“We’re so close to losing first person knowledge of Frank and Jane,” added Fraser, “and once they’re gone the only thing that carries on that history is the stories.” For Fraser,
it doesn’t matter if you work for Phillips, if you ever worked for Phillips, if your parents or grandparents worked there, Bartlesville owes a debt to Frank Phillips. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him and his company that he built,” said Fraser.
With Frankly Speaking, Fraser has saved some of his favorite stories he told while telling the story of Woolaroc to anyone from children on a school field trip to celebrities to the world famous Christie’s Auction House. For anyone that knows Bob, reading the book is like seeing his eyes light up when he tells a story to someone for the first time. Bob Fraser absolutely loves Woolaroc. The book helps capture a moment between the past and the future.
Like many in Bartlesville, Fraser grew up visiting Woolaroc and being mesmerized by the magic that exists there. Many a child, just like Fraser, sat in the dome room of the Woolaroc Museum and looked up at the lighted ceiling, or stood in awe of the statues that welcome visitors as they enter. Of course, the buildings of Woolaroc hold many stories but, as Fraser says in his book, the museum doors open at the front gates.
For anyone who has visited Woolaroc, “Frankly Speaking” is a must have keepsake. Not only did Bob Fraser become a part of Woolaroc while he was CEO of the Frank Phillips Foundation, but he took the time to share the magic after he passed on the reins. Just as Frank Phillips did when he lived in Bartlesville, Bob Fraser has taken the time to invest in the people that make Woolaroc a special place. His enthusiasm and energy has certainly contributed to the magic of Woolaroc and Frankly Speaking is the perfect way to share the stories that make Woolaroc a special place for anyone who visits Bartlesville.
Hope Clinic is celebrating 10 years of providing FREE medical care to our community! We are a faith-based clinic. The vision of Hope Clinic is to spread the love of God to the community by providing quality healthcare and spiritual guidance. Hope Clinic is located at 101 Sooner Road, Bartlesville. God blessed us with a new building and equipment three years ago. Thursday nights we provide healthcare and prescription medication to individuals from Washington, Osage and Nowata counties who lack access to these services. Two Tuesday nights a month, we are open for new patient clinics. And once a month we are open for a dental clinic. Hope Clinic is staffed each week by all volunteers from the community. Each week twenty-five volunteers serve. We are always grateful for monetary donations too. Donations can be mailed to Hope Clinic, P.O. Box 4025, Bartlesville, OK 74006.
What Means the Most to You?
Focus on Family, Friends, and Your Communityby Bob Fraser
Keith and Christy asked if I would write the Good Word for the upcoming issue of the magazine and without thinking, I quickly said “certainly, I would be glad to.” After hanging up the phone, I spent some time giving real thought to the term, “good word,” what it means and how the phrase is used in so many different ways. Certainly, we casually say it all the time, “be sure to pass on a good word for me to XYZ,” but I am guessing we would all define it a bit differently ... so here is my attempt:
I read once that “a good life is a collection of happy moments.” While that is heart- warming, to me it sounds like something I would find in my fortune cookie at Panda Express or in a Hallmark card, but I am not sure it accurately applies to most of our daily lives.
First of all, in my opinion, I don’t think you can fully enjoy the good in life without experiencing a fair dose of the bad ... the misfortune certainly makes the good fortune taste a lot better and to be honest, without the bad, how would we even understand much less appreciate “the good?” Without getting overly philosophical, Confucius put it well when he said “our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” I like that ... it accepts the fact that we are going to have sadness, loss and disappointments in our life, but we will be measured by how we respond to those things.
Prior to my career with The Frank Phillips Foundation, I was in the senior housing industry for many years. I remember reading a study that was performed with people who had reached the age of 100. The purpose of the study was that sociologists were trying to determine if there was a common
thread between all of those people, a consistent trait within each of them? Researchers found that there was indeed a common thread….. these people dealt with loss better than most people. In common terminology, during their lives, they dusted themselves off from losses and disappointments and carried on.
The other day, a good friend said to me “it is getting harder and harder to be optimistic and positive in this crazy world, it seems like things are falling apart all around us.” I told him that I agreed with him, but later it led me to wonder, how many of those crazy things that we constantly talk about and hear on the news can I do anything about?
The hard truth is, not many! Whether it’s a war in the Ukraine, a devastating fire in Maui, fighting and bickering in our federal and state governments, nuclear weapons in North Korea or my New York Yankees playing lousy baseball, I can’t do a thing about those issues. What I can do is focus on the things that mean the most to me….my family, my friends and my community.
Truth be told, most of us have our hands full within our own lives, so maybe, just maybe, we would be more productive, more positive and yes, happier, if we focus on those things that we can influence instead of worrying about the things that we can’t.
If we love, support and encourage our family and friends and we make the time to volunteer and contribute to our community, if we do those things, I have a strong feeling that we may have stumbled upon “the good word!”
Peace and carry on!
Tuxedo Blvd. Sandlot Gangby Randy Standridge
Summer always brings back memories of my childhood and the fun I had as a 11-14 year old growing up in the Tuxedo area of town. It was the late 60’s and baseball was still the king of sports with football and basketball behind it. We were living on Nebraska Street in the 6th grade before moving over to Wilshire for the 7th grade on thru high school. Whenever I watch the movie The Sandlot, I think back to this Tuxedo Boulevard neighborhood gang.
I went to Highland Park in the 6th grade, which was the fourth elementary school in my young life and I was constantly having to make new friends. I accomplished that and I met a number of friends that lived not far from me, we went to school together and we became a neighborhood gang of youth that played outside till dark, traded baseball cards, played all three major sports at that time (football, basketball and baseball), and were lucky enough at times to get tickets to see the Phillips 66ers basketball team play at Adams Gymnasium or maybe even the College High Wildcats. We also looked forward every year to the big parade in the spring for the start of the Little League baseball season. It was so fun to wear our uniforms and walk together as teams downtown on the main streets close to the towering Phillips buildings with the high school bands playing and veterans from the America’s Legion and VFW walking in step as if marching in formation.
We were primarily Green Bay Packers fans with players like Bart Starr, Jim Taylor, Ray Nitske, Paul Hornung, Herb Adderly, Willie Wood, and Jerry Kramer being our heroes. The Dallas Cowboys were coming on strong at that time too. For basketball, there was no one team that stood out although the Celtics were pretty good as well as the 76ers and the Knicks. For baseball, there were the New York Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals. Mickey Mantle and Bob Gibson were two of our favorite players. When the World Series came around, sometimes the class we were in would let us listen to the games on a transistor radio. Back then, the games played during the day and even when our teacher wouldn’t let us listen, someone would sneak one in and keep us posted on the score.
This gang would often get together to play one of these sports during the summer or after school and we would have as many as ten or sometimes only four. It was primarily boys but there were a few girls that participated at times, especially for basketball. Leslee Boutwell Loosen was the glue that kept us together and Scott Grindle, a member of this group, stated “she was obviously better behaved than us, but there was something intangible about her that taught us to be little human beings”. We also played on Little League teams during the summer but we spent a lot of time riding our bikes and just playing something in the neighborhood.
Other members of this group included the Stamper twins - Jim and Jerry Stamper, Mike Hastings, Dwayne Tucker, Scott Grindle, Steve Vandigraff (who we all called Corky), Marty Kelsey, Terry Johnston, and Steve Thornbrugh. I know there were a few more friends that would show up and play but my memory isn’t the greatest anymore.
Rain or shine, we played ball. We had a 70 yard chalked football field with a goal post (actually a tree) and Dwayne Tucker, being the best athlete we had, would kick the field goals and extra points for whichever team needed a kick. We also had a baseball field (it was actually just some field, kinda like the football field that was in an empty field of about 3 acres) where we played with a real baseball and we really loved for it to rain so when we slid into second or third we would be completely covered with mud and water. Of course, I cut my right knee deeply one time sliding into third due to a broken tricycle stuck just under the mud and had to have a dozen stitches to sew it up. We often would play with wiffle balls in Marty Kelsey’s backyard with the ability to hit home runs over the fence, if you were able to miss the big tree in the middle of the yard. Basketball was often played at Kelsey’s and sometimes over near where Leslee lived by the other fields on North Queenstown.
We had rock forts and underground forts in another empty field on Ohio Street that eventually became a trailer park. We would play Army in the trenches and one of our favorite stories to tell is the time that Corky stopped playing, lifted his head up like he was listening for something, and then said he had to go home as his mom was calling for him. The strange thing was that we could see her on the porch down the street and it looked like she had a dog whistle, we have always said that Corky could hear that whistle somehow. Another Corky story is that one day when we were having a football game among us, he broke my collarbone and Mike Hastings’ ankle in the same game. I didn’t know about Mike’s ankle till the next day as I walked home after my injury and Mike’s injury happened after I left. We didn’t wear any pads or helmets in those neighborhood games and it was still tackle football back in those days, not touch or flag.
We also would ride our bikes down Tuxedo Boulevard to Price Field to pick up baseball games and the concrete trucks from MJ Lee would often wizz by us. Thinking back, I agree with Scott Grindle, who said even back then he thought “we must be nuts”. We rode down to Pennington Hills and Eastland Shopping Center or even down to Curtis Sporting Goods, our favorite store in town. Lot-A-Burger was on Highway 75 just across from Highland Park School (where the Hampton Inn is today) and was one of our favorites as well. There was a lot of speed in this group
with Thornbrough and Johnston being really fast and Leslee was no slouch.
At Highland Park, where most of us went to school, we had a great coach for football and for both the boys and girls basketball teams. He was Coach Benne, aka David Benne, and in the summer he even coached one of the major teams (11-12 year olds) in the Federal League of the Little League Program. He was a good coach, a good man and a mentor to many of us. As I’ve said before, we played school ball, Little League ball and then Sandlot type ball. Of all of our players, Dwayne Tucker, was always the best. I think he still holds the record for most home runs in the Federal League for a season at 24 or more. It was automatic, he was that good. He was also very good at football and basketball, with maybe Marty Kelsey giving him a run for his money. In high school, both Dwayne and Marty were starting quarterbacks with Dwayne moving to Ramona after the 8th grade and Marty starting for Sooner his junior and senior years.
We played a lot of wiffle ball in Marty’s backyard and depending on who was available, we chose up teams and played for hours. The only time we ever went in the house was for a bathroom break, get something to drink or eat and then back out to continue playing. We didn’t watch tv, had no cell phones or iPads or computers, and pretty much only traded baseball cards inside the house. Some of our homes had no air conditioning but only water coolers in one room set up in a window to blow cool air into the house. Of course, someone had to go outside, turn the water hose on and spray the cooler for a few minutes to get it to blow cool air. This was a recurring task and there were often arguments on whose turn it was to do it.
There are a lot of happy memories during that time of my life and I don’t think I would change any of it. We were just a bunch of boys and a girl from middle class families who knew they weren’t rich by any means but also knew they weren’t poor either. We must have had some pretty good teachers, coaches and parents that taught us to hang in there when things got tough, because we have all succeeded one way or another in this life we have lived. Below is a summary of what some of these friends have accomplished in the past 50 some years after high school:
Gerald Stamper (Jerry) is a Geologist and after completing his degree at both OSU and Tulsa, worked for over 42 years for a small start up company that was sold as a larger company in 2022. He worked at picking geologic sites for drilling oil and gas locations and still operates in an advisory capacity. His wife Kay and him have 3 kids and live in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
James Stamper (Jim) is a lawyer, previously obtaining a degree in Accounting before starting his first job with Grant Thornton and Coopers and Lybrand. He subsequently obtained his CPA in 1981 and then applied and was admitted to the University of Tulsa law school in 1983 before graduating and passing the Oklahoma Bar Exam in 1987. In 1993 he started his own firm and has worked as a sole practitioner since then, sharing office space with other lawyers and is currently located in the Petroleum Club
Building in downtown Tulsa. His wife Diana is also a CPA and they have two boys who have graduated from OSU, one in Chemical Engineering and one in Information Technology and they live in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Scott Grindle is retired and has a degree in Education from the University of Oklahoma. His original plan was to teach and coach but in the mid-70s the computer revolution was rolling and he had an opportunity to learn computer programming at CITGO Petroleum in Tulsa. He would spend his entire career in Information Technology and enjoyed the wave of technology that changed virtually everything. He says that it was fun working for an international company and it exposed him to many wonderful people and cultures. His wife Marsha and him have 2 daughters who have followed him into technology careers and they live in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Mike Hastings is currently a Vice President and Officer of a 4 billion dollar oil and gas company, Callon Petroleum Company, in Houston. He has a BBA in Accounting and Information System from the University of Texas PB after graduating from Neosho Junior College and had previously worked for 35 years at Phillips Petroleum (ConocoPhillips). He held various positions in Accounting/Finance and then in Commercial Marketing before retiring in 2013 as Director of Operations for the Commercial Gas and Power Group. His wife Dana and him live on LBJ Lake near Austin and have three very successful children with undergraduate and higher degrees.
Leslee Boutwell Loosen is retired and there are more details about her in a previous issue of the Bartlesville Monthly magazine (December 2022). She also received a bachelors degree in Accounting in 1977 and worked for a Big 8 accounting firm followed by a time at Phillips in International Accounting, moving to Muskogee and working at a Savings and Loan, then back to Bartlesville to work at Arvest and then finally retiring after seventeen years with Truity. She and her husband Mark live in Bartlesville.
Dwayne Tucker after high school played baseball for one year at Oklahoma State and then at Claremore Junior College. In 1976 he started his career in the automobile industry selling cars at Swenson Chevrolet in Tulsa. Over the next 25 years he sold cars for a number of dealerships mostly on the West Coast from San Francisco to Anchorage Alaska. In 1990 he moved back to the Bartlesville area and in 1996 he sold a business and moved to Tulsa where he married his wife Judy, an old high school sweetheart from Ramona. From that point forward he has been employed by the Hard Rock Casino in Tulsa running the Pro Shop at Cherokee Hills Golf Club. Him and his wife Judy have one son and they live in Manford.
Elvis Presley... And His Native American Heritageby Kay
Little, Little History Adventures
In 1800, a Cherokee baby girl, Morning Dove White, was born in Tennessee. Because her family was friendly with the white Americans, White was included in her name. It signified peace and friendliness in the early 19th century America. Some historians argue that she was actually Creek, but my best sources indicate she was Cherokee.
She married in 1818, to a white man, William Mansell, who had fought alongside Andrew Jackson against the Creeks and Seminoles. Marriage to an Indian woman was not always accepted, but where it was accepted, it meant gaining valuable knowledge and wisdom to survive in the unknown wilderness.
Morning Dove and Mancell moved to the wilderness in NW Alabama, on land acquired during the Indian Wars. This union produced several children, one of whom was John Mancell, who was father to Albert White Mancell. Albert was father to Octavia Luvenia, sometimes called Doll. Doll married her first cousin, Robert Smith.
The Smiths became the parents to Gladys, who married Vernon Presley and they became the parents of Elvis Presley. So, we can see that Elvis descended from Morning White Dove, his great great grandmother and therefore, descended from Indian tribes that are present in Oklahoma today. Vernon Presley was from Cherokee and European ancestry. Elvis grew up hearing about his Native American roots, of which he was very proud.
As married first cousins, Elvis’ grandparents apparently passed
along a genetic condition to Gladys, Elvis and Lisa Marie. There is speculation that this caused a painful physical condition in Elvis, which may be why he took pain pills. The genetic condition was not discovered until after Elvis’ death. I honestly feel that this explains a lot of things in the life of Elvis and other family members.
Despite all this, Elvis was a phenomenal person. He was very talented and very giving. He loved his mother, Gladys, his wife, Priscilla and his daughter, Lisa Marie. He was also a devout Christian and loved singing gospel songs more than the rock n’ roll songs he sang most of the time. After all, he learned to sing growing up in the church. Yes, he was a complicated person, but hopefully, this story helps you understand some of that.
I think it’s been over 20 years since I first set foot in the Solo Club.
I’d always wondered about the mysterious, tiny cinderblock building on 2nd Street with the neon sign and blacked-out windows. What goes on in there? What kind of person hangs out a in place like that? Do you come out alive if you go in?
I decided to do some reconnaissance early one Monday night.
In the fall air, a couple lonely cars sat out front of the Solo Club like horses tied up at a saloon. With my hand on the door, I could hear music from inside and not much more. I tried to look strong (which isn’t my strength). I pulled the front door open.
Three souls inside (two warming barstools and one serving) turned and looked at me.
“You got a pay phone?”
“All the way to the back.”
I walked past the red paneling and celebrated beer cans lining the wall. Past the faded pool table. Past the old-school jukebox and popcorn machine to a black, wall-mounted pay phone patrons used to call who knows who for who knows what. I placed a call…to who knows who.
And that was it.
I just turned and walked out like I had accomplished a dare. Like I had touched a dead body on the tracks or poked a bear.
But the fear was gone. I started showing up occasionally with my wife and friends, usually my sister-in-law Ashlee. Whenever I would stop in it was always friendly and lively.
About that same time, my wife (a singer-songwriter) finished her first album and we wanted to shoot a music video for one of her singles, Just the Same. We begged the parties-that-be and offered a rental fee so we could shoot a scene in the bar. They seemed surprised at the offer but agreed. The challenge was, we had to do it when the bar was closed, which meant starting at 2 AM and finishing before the morning deliveries came. It was magical. (You can actually see the now historic video on the “Video” page of ann-janette.com).
Not long after, Ann-Janette put a band together. Looking for places to play, she asked Nick Klisares - then the owner of the Solo Club - if she could play there. Even though she was an untried talent, he agreed and gave her a Friday night slot. It was like a movie scene. The tiny bar filled up. It was loud and vibrant with humanity. Someone grabbed an empty pitcher from behind the bar and walked it up and down the room, taking tips for the band (a Solo Club tradition).
Nick hugged me before he left halfway through the set. (He was always early to leave the Club.) A few minutes later I found out he’d given orders to pay the band triple what they’d agreed on. (That’s a very Nick-thing-to-do… I discovered over the years.)
When the bar’s 50th birthday approached, they asked if we’d help promote it. We gave them a new logo, press releases, T-shirts, and whatever else. In return, my wife negotiated that Nick would teach me the craft of bartending - a secret bucketlist item for me. We all agreed.
A couple nights a week I’d show up in front of the regulars and Nick, along with Tommy Leathers, taught me about pours, spirits, glasses, and demeanor behind the bar. It was Nick that schooled me to never dump the ice when you’re pouring someone a second round. “That’s educated ice, see? Leave it in there.”
After a couple of weeks of training, Nick asked if I’d like to pull a couple of shifts at the Club. So off and on for the next two years I worked Friday and Sunday nights at Solo.
The rich characters I met in my time behind the bar could fill up a Steinbeck novel.
I’d only been working a couple of months when Tony, whom we all called Blue and who used to help out around the bar, was tragically killed walking home one night crossing Tuxedo Blvd. Everyone loved Blue. The funeral home was packed with Solo Club patrons suddenly donning suits and dresses. Nick gave an impassioned eulogy and invited the entire room back to the bar for a wake of sorts. It was beautiful.
Somewhere in the hours that passed, Nick pulled me aside and recited the things he loved about Tony with real-life tales of his generosity and kindness. “And that’s the book on Tony.”
What a phrase. I imagine a little black book of acquaintances where names are listed and beside them, short notations distill who they are into a couple of key phrases. “Jay Webster/from
the Oklahoma Tribe/Writer/Funny enough/Should listen more than he speaks.”
What’s the book on you? How would you like it to read?
Tony’s would be the first of several wakes I would experience as part of the Solo Club family. At some point at every one of them, the jukebox would announce the familiar opening piano cords of Billy Joel’s Piano Man, and all the women would take seats up on the bar itself, like a sort of royal court. From there they would sway in time as the entire bar joined the hymn word for word.
I witnessed this group celebrate each other, mourn each other, support each other, and even argue with each other if the matter was important enough. They paid each other’s debts and found each other work and tried to keep each other safe. They welcomed outsiders and insiders alike. Outcasts often found a home at the Club. They were all far from perfect, but they were family.
On Sunday nights, my own family would come in. The regulars loved it. My in-laws grew more popular than me at the bar. The Solo Club adopted this pastor and his wife as their own.
For years they showed up at the start of every week for what the patrons deemed “Monday Nite Church”. This was the place people asked questions (because nothing was off limits in a bar) and asked for help and talked about spiritual things that would generally never find space in a church pew. As my father-inlaw, Jason Elmore would say in those moments, “People love Jesus and what he teaches, they just don’t want to have to go through the church to find him.”
It’s no surprise that for the years that followed Jason, with the help of his wife Joanie, has been called on to marry and bury so many people from the bar. Generally for free and always because they could be trusted.
What I learned in my years at the Solo Club is that a bar is often like Switzerland, it’s neutral. On any night, people celebrate and talk and hearts are unlocked. And at the next table, someone else is making altogether different choices. But that’s true of the houses on our block, isn’t it? Behind those doors, someone is living brilliantly and someone is preparing for a lifetime of counseling sessions. We’re all the same, it’s just the venue that changes.
There have been at least three different owners of the Solo Club since I worked there. I can’t remember the last time I set foot in the space. I just know I’ll always remember what it felt like in those moments when the piano sounded “like a carnival” and we were “feeling all right” as we had church at the Solo Club.
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Let’s Just Be Happy Think About All the Possibilities of the Futureby Lori Kroh
My favorite month is here and the weather is crisp and a chill is in the air. On a perfect day, you can see the blue skies and need a jacket. You can grasp the container of coffee and see your breath for just a moment. Each morning feels like a Saturday all fresh, new and open to what the day holds. This month is the 25th year of my choice to say I do.
I remember that day and all the possibilities of the future. I can remember the white satin and pearl princess dress and how I had dyed my shoes robin’s egg blue. The veil was dotted in pearls and trailed ten feet from my crown I wore. Scott looked so handsome to me in his charcoal cutaways and striped tie complete with pearl tie tack and pink rose boutonniere. During all the preparations no one prepared me for the joy I felt inside when the organist belted out the beginnings of the Wedding March. He was up in the balcony and the echoes of his efforts rang through the marbled halls. The thrill of it all and the beautiful music stirred my soul and I was the center of my own romance novel. I clearly remember looking at the mirror on this huge mahogany armoire and saying out loud “I am getting married” with this exuberance bursting from my lips. I was enjoying the poetic silence of staring at myself in a reflection of pure bliss. I was in my own daydream and then reality hit with only to have hurried knocks at the door and a frantic voice telling me “Lori, hurry! The music started. Where have you been?”
“I was here the whole time…just being happy,” I innocently replied.
Then the daydreaming halted and I was immediately whisked into reality.
The chasm of enjoyment and duty merged and I hurriedly ran to the spot to meet my Dad. There he was with a huge grin and as he took my arm and placed his hand on top of mine, he told me I was beautiful and how happy he was for me. The music started again and off I stepped towards my destiny.
As we moved down the aisle, I was keenly aware of all the eyes on me. Yet, I was looking at the face of my one love. I wanted to see what he thought of me and deep in my soul, I knew. He was the one for me and that our love was true. True blue just like my shoes. The smiles were all around and I was absorbed in my own thoughts and what order the ceremony was in and my next step as I struggled with the idea of falling or worse yet, messing up the vows. I felt the world was watching and remember that during the candle lighting ceremony, a tear
trickled from my eye and down my cheek. I had this thought to stifle the tears because my makeup was going to be ruined and the powder was in the ladies lounge inside my bag. I distinctly remember thinking to myself how would I get my makeup touched up since the photographer was going to take pictures right after the ceremony? This thought stopped me from the experience.
I held my emotions inside and told myself it was for the pictures. All of the beautiful roses and greenery cascading down the iron candelabras looked so perfect. The white tapers flickered and the day was overcast so this candlelit coziness filled the sanctuary with a holy ambiance. I knew my wedding was just what I had dreamed. I was intent on the vows that mattered and held back on the true enjoyment of the experience because I had been whisked from romance into reality. I didn’t know I could have both until now looking back.
Twenty five years of love between two imperfect people. We have tried to be the perfect one for each other and when romance and reality collided, we learned how to give each other grace. We don’t have to “talk about it” or do conflict resolution. We just go on drive and hold hands and sing to our favorite country tunes and our grace abounds like the hills of Osage. The road before us lengthens and somewhere in the open our disagreements fade like a view of the rearview horizon. We journey on remembering our choices like hugs that hold us together. Trying to forget the bad ones like words that cannot be taken back. All of our moments of laughter and journeys of travel. Our milestones that have been captured and many days of nothing but the routines. The days are long, the years are fast and in between are the choices that say…I was here the whole time…just being happy. Twenty five years.
The cake has been eaten, the flowers are all faded. The organ was sold at auction last I heard. The story is still being written and the pages are turning.
Let’s reflect on our lives together and choose purely to remember the bliss.
Happy Anniversary to my soul mate and the one who makes me laugh out loud.
I will let the tears fall now as I don’t care what the world thinks…you are mine and I am yours.
We are here now and have been the whole time. Let’s just be happy.
Little House on the Prairie Pawhuska to Host Little House on the Prairie Reunionby Kelly Hurd
I remember it like it was yesterday. I used to rush home from school, dish up a bowl of chocolate ice cream, crush up Lays potato chips into it, flip on the console TV, and enjoy that day’s episode of Little House on the Prairie Now, my younger afterschool years were filled with Michael Landon as Little Joe on Bonanza in the afternoons, but my high school years knew him as Charles Ingalls of Walnut Grove.
I bet you remember those days too - of loving every minute of Laura getting the best of Nellie in the end, Pa standing up for what was right in spite of the popular opinion, the poor man’s values trumping the rich man’s arrogance, and truth being valued regardless the cost of telling it. Those were the days of “Don’t squeeze the Charmin,” “Where’s the beef,” and “I’d like to teach the world to sing, in per-fect har-mon-y.” Those were days when good was good and evil was evil – and it was ok to call them both for what they were.
Well, if I’ve stirred up a little nostalgia in your heart and made you wish you could just step back in time and experience something like that again, good news! September 22-24th, members of the cast of Little House on the Prairie are having a little reunion in Pawhuska at the Osage County Fairgrounds –and you’re invited!
Pawhuska is in for an iconic weekend of nostalgia as one of NBC’s top prime time shows from 1974-1983 will be in the Osage!
Activities will kick off at 6pm with the Prairie Round-Up Dinner the evening of Friday, September 22nd featuring a Chuck Wagon dinner, live music, a chance to visit with various cast members, and even a pie auction of pies actually made by some of the Little House on the Prairie actors!
On Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., The Prairie Folks Antique and Craft Festival will be taking place at the fairgrounds, located at 320 Skyline Drive in Pawhuska, with an array of antiques, crafts, collectibles, original creations, vintage loot, seasonal décor, food, and handmade goods as well as cast members to include Dean Butler ( Almanzo), Alison Arngrim (Nellie Olson), Charlotte Stewart (Miss Beadle), and more!
In addition, the evening of Saturday, September 23rd, The Pioneer Woman Event Center will host a Little House Murder Mystery Dinner Theater in which those in attendance will have the extra privilege of getting a professional photo taken of them with the Little House on the Prairie cast members!
To top it all off, a VIP breakfast with the Little House on the Prairie stars will take place ahead of the craft show Sunday morning, September 24th.
Tickets are still available (at the time of writing this article) for the dinners and breakfast and must be purchased in advance online at Eventbrite.com (search “Little House on the Prairie” in “Pawhuska”). Admission to the antique and craft festival can be paid at the door and is $6.00 for adults and children 12 and under are free!
We’re turning back time for you over here in Osage County - where wholesome goodness is in no short supply and where #TheSmilesAreAlwaysFree! Hope to see you at the Osage County Fairgrounds. I’ll be the gal grinning from ear to ear and enjoying every minute of it! Thanks for going “On the Road” with me this month!
BiB! New Season Set
New Season Looks Exciting; Rental Opportunities Available
The Center for arts, events, and community is set to present an exciting 21st season of Broadway in Bartlesville! lineup this year. Season subscriptions are currently on sale and includes all five national touring Broadway productions. Single tickets go on sale eight weeks prior to each show date.
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR hits The Center on November 5, 2023. It is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ, as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes, I Don’t Know How to Love Him, Gethsemane and Superstar.
MEAN GIRLS comes to town on February 1, 2024. Direct from Broadway, this hilarious hit musical from book writer Tina Fey is the story of a naïve newbie who falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies. MEAN GIRLS “delivers with immense energy, a wicked sense of humor and joyful inside-jokery.” USA Today says, “We’ll let you in on a little secret, because we’re such good friends: GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!”
HAIRSPRAY will hit the stage in Spring 2024. Broadway’s Tony Award® winning musical comedy phenomenon is back! It’s 1962 Baltimore and 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad is out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular show, to change the world, and win the hearts of America once again. This megahit musical is piled bouffant-high with laughter and romance — and all of the deliriously tuneful songs you love. You don’t want to miss this party! Welcome back to the ‘60s — You can’t stop the beat!
THE CHER SHOW makes a stop in Bartlesville on April 9, 2024. Superstars come and go. Cher is forever. For six straight decades, only one unstoppable force has flat-out dominated popular culture—breaking down barriers, pushing boundaries, and letting nothing and no one stand in her way.
THE CHER SHOW is the Tony Award-winning musical of her
story, and it’s packed with so much Cher that it takes three women to play her: the kid starting out, the glam pop star, and the icon.
COME FROM AWAY has been rescheduled for a still to be determined date in 2024. This award-winning musical tells the true story of the small town that welcomed the world. Broadway’s COME FROM AWAY has won Best Musical all across North America! The story takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Don’t miss this breathtaking new musical. On 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved us all. The show is rated PG-13.
Special thanks goes to The National Endowment for the Arts, the Oklahoma Arts Council, and many local sponsors who make the 2023-2024 Broadway in Bartlesville! series possible.
Val Callaghan, Managing Director for The Center, also wants to remind everyone that The Center is not just a stage for amazing Broadway productions. It is also a fabulous venue for business and personal events. The facility has five versatile spaces available to rent. The Performing Arts Hall, Balcony, Lyon Gallery, Studio Theater, or Community Hall. The Balcony, as well as the Studio Theater, accommodate up to 120 people with tables and chairs set up in the room. The Lyon Gallery seats 80 people and the Community Hall can house up to 380 people.
For tickets, rates, or for more information, visit bartlesvillecenter.com or call 918-337-2787 and use the rent a space tab for information and rental rates on all five spaces available for rent.
• Fully equipped kitchen
• Patio with sliding glass door
• Restaurant-style dining or you can have meals delivered directly to your apartment
• Planned activities; to include regularly scheduled happy hour
• Scheduled transportation for shopping
Moved by Love
It Only Takes One Person to Start a Movement for Loveby Lori Kroh
“You never know who God will use to move you towards your promises” were his words and I turned the page in awe. Each page revealed not only his life story, yet deep truths that spoke to me and made me think of my day-to-day life. As I sipped my hot coffee, I stared at the coffee pot on the counter. His family fled the country of Vietnam carrying a bag of rice in their arms and I was choosing which flavor of creamer I wanted.
Perspective can be a reality if we choose to see.
I met Winston in middle school at Madison Junior High. We had many classes together and the school was small enough that you really did know everyone. I never knew until I read his book that he was a refugee. He learned English as a second language and our culture through color television, sports and his friends. He always had a smile and was a serious student. We had several classes together and he appreciated everything. He lived for tomorrow by working hard each and every day.
In the darkest of times and even when all hope seemed lost, love made the man we see today. Winston Bui took a second look at his life in the past few years and realized he had to tell his story. He was so compelled by what he had endured that he wrote a book for all to read about the tears, the trials and the tests he faced. His pain turned into purpose and he uses his platform all over the world to proclaim a freedom that cannot be bought. It is Love. God’s Love for all and that God has a plan for you.
It only takes one person to start a movement for a LOVE revolution. May we all be so moved to make a difference for others.
He had barely escaped the war of Vietnam and they had traveled at night by truck, walked through killing fields by foot, journeyed on a small boat at sea only to find themselves in a land of another language and a place of promise. His memories run deep and he captures the moments in time with depth and a reverence for all those who were kind to his family. He remembers what matters most and his humility honors the truth. Even today he pursues a greater cause so that lives will be changed.
A small group of people who cared to make a difference and then acted upon it changed his family forever. At the First Presbyterian Church, a Sunday school class, led by Leo and Odie McReynolds was so moved by love that they and 9 other couples raised funds and took an interest in bringing a refugee family to this town. The Bui family had arrived in Bartlesville with minimal possessions. They were given a furnished rental home, bicycles for everyone and a family car. They had no
income yet, they had each other. This was the start that the Bui family needed. The freedom to pursue their dreams along with the work ethics of the entire family was the momentum needed to see them through. They believed that their lives were spared for a reason. The group that chose to make a difference for one family had no idea yet, the destiny of thousands would be changed all because of their decision.
Each member found work and contributed as a whole to the family. Education was their belief for a better life and community was their way to settle in and belong.
When he was a junior in High School, a friend named Gregg Wheat invited him to a youth meeting and he was forever changed that very night. He discovered that the peace he was always in pursuit of was now found. His life’s work can be traced to that moment in time and all because a friend extended an invite. Winston was moved by love that night during the sermon and He found God at the altar. Winston had chosen for his whole life to serve others and to make a difference. His life’s calling has always been for the ones who are the next generation coming. He has successfully led and grown the Chi Alpha student ministry all over the United States on college campuses and been a beacon of hope for so many with his inspirational speeches and servant’s heart for missions.
The book, When We Were Refugees, is his true story.
The details and thoughts he lays out are riveting, poignant and heartbreaking sometimes. I found myself reading and rereading a page to let it sink in as to what they truly endured. His story is one of hope and he has led a life that rescues so many others. I encourage you to please read it and learn about Hope Beyond Borders. He and his wife, Kimi, started a 501(c) 3 nonprofit which alleviates suffering around the world with aid for humanitarian crises that arise as well as hands on mission teams that serve the downtrodden and forgotten all over the world. He has a very special connection to Haiti and as I just spoke to him recently, he was returning from his 52nd trip on missions!
He and his wife and daughter live in Oklahoma and he wants you to know that Bartlesville holds a very special place in his heart. He lives to change the lives of others because a long time ago some people were moved by love and made sure that despite his past, he would have a future.
~ When We Were Refugees is available on Amazon and most places where books are sold ~
This is Why We Run!by Stevie Williams
“Early detection saves lives,” says this year’s Miles for Mammograms Honorary Chairperson Kathy Smith. She should know, having survived breast cancer diagnosed in 1992. This year, Smith is ready to help those community members without health insurance have the same life-saving breast cancer screenings as those with insurance.
Miles for Mammograms annual 5K/2K will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 9:00 a.m. in Bartlesville at Tower Center at Unity Square. The funds raised by Miles for Mammograms directly support Family HealthCare Clinic’s Free Mammogram Program, providing free mammograms to women in the community who desperately need, but cannot afford, the screenings. Each year, Family HealthCare Clinic helps women detect often life-threatening medical concerns that could have gone undetected without this program.
“My cancer journey began in 1992 when I was 39 years old and teaching at Central Middle School,” begins Kathy. “I found a BB sized cyst while doing a self-breast exam. Four days later, the diagnosis was a very aggressive form of cancer. Two days after that, I had a lumpectomy and lymphadenectomy.” Immediately after that, Kathy started Chemotherapy. “My cocktail was six doses of Adriamycin (Red Devil) and Cytoxan.”
Kathy underwent 45 radiation treatments in Tulsa, each after teaching a full day of school at Central. “Every day after school, I would drive home, and someone would be sitting in my driveway to drive me to St. Francis for treatment – every single time. Once home, there was always dinner left at the house for my daughters and me.”
If you have friends or family members going through cancer treatments, Kathy suggests that instead of asking, “What can I do to help?” just offer to do something, such as dropping off groceries every Sunday or helping with errands, or offering to drive your friend to appointments or their kids to activities, or mow the lawn once a week, or help clean house. “When someone would ask how they could help, I usually didn’t know which end was up and didn’t have a clue what I needed.” Apparently, Kathy’s friends did know what she needed and first they started with driving her to her radiation appointments and having dinner ready, daily.
Kathy has two daughters, Leigh Anne Winters Dunkin who graduated from BHS in 1993 and now lives in Seattle with her husband, David, and Brooke Winters Cox who lives in Bartlesville with her husband, Chad, and two children, Parker and Wyatt. The girls were 16 and 11 at the time of Kathy’s diagnosis. “I promised them that I would tell them the truth about everything. If the news was good, I told them. If the news wasn’t so good, I told them. I shot straight with them and told them the three of us would make it together, and by golly, we did.”
Not knowing how things were going to go with her health at the time, Kathy’s appreciation for life took on a new meaning. “Embracing uncertainty can be very liberating and accepting it allows you to live life everyday.” Instead of waiting for special occasions to surround herself with beauty, or not allowing herself
enjoyment, Kathy took on a new motto as well. “I use the good china and crystal and towels. I light the pretty candles, leave the dishes in the sink, and play in the rain.”
“I can’t remember how long it took to get the ‘all clear – no more cancer’ report, as there were several scares along the way. But, I do remember at the 5-year checkup and I breathed a sigh of relief heard around the world!”
Kathy lived in Bartlesville originally from 1983-1994, then lived in Colorado for 27 years. When she came back to Bartlesville in 2021, she walked in the Miles for Mammograms 2K with her daughter Brooke and her family. That year she decided that she wanted to get in shape to be able to run the 2022 Miles for Mammograms 5K at 70 years old and as a 30-year breast cancer survivor.
“My goal last year was to get sponsors and raise $1,000 for Miles for Mammograms. I ended up raising almost $4,000! My oldest daughter, Leigh Anne, flew in from Seattle to run with me. My family and friends had a beautiful time together celebrating my victory over cancer,” said Kathy. “I could not have gotten through those two years of fighting cancer without my daughters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a boatload of friends. They pushed and pulled me every step of the way.”
Family HealthCare Clinic’s mission is to provide quality, affordable health care and health education to individuals of all ages, regardless of medical insurance. In 2002, Family HealthCare Clinic took over the Mammogram program from Bartlesville YWCA and since then has been helping women in our community with often life-saving detection.
This year’s event will occur, rain or shine. T-shirt will be guaranteed for those who register by September 1 and will be available at packet pick up on September 28. The top three finishers in each age group will receive medals. Prizes will go to Top Male & Top Female. Prizes will also be awarded for Best Pinked Individual and Best Pinked Team.
To register for Miles for Mammograms 5K and 2K races or to donate by “Sleepin’ In” or to volunteer for the event, please visit www.milesformammograms.org or call Family HealthCare Clinic at 918-336-4822.
Bert Benear Attack on Pearl Harbor Prompted Military Careerby Joe Todd
Bert Benear was born 3 July 1922 in the Lannom House, where Jane Phillips Addition now is located. He was always interested in airplanes and his father took him to the airport, where the Phillips Research Laboratory is now located, and a man took him up in his airplane. That was his first airplane ride and knew he wanted to fly.
He went through high school in Tulsa and attended Tulsa University and the University of Oklahoma. He was at the University of Oklahoma when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and thought it was a very low thing to do. After Pearl Harbor, he joined the Air Corps at the University of Oklahoma and was sent to Santa Ana, California for Pre-flight Training.
He passed all the physical examinations required to be a pilot and had Navigation and Basic Flight Regulations at Santa Ana. He was then sent to Tucson, Arizona for Primary Flight Training. He trained in the BT-13 at Tucson and had the choice of going into Fighter Training or Multi-Engine School and he chose Fighters because he preferred aerobatic flying over straight and level flying. He was at Tucson 6 months then sent to Pecos, Texas for Basic Flight Training.
In Basic, he flew an airplane with a larger engine and did cross-country flying. His Primary and Basic Training lasted about one year then went to Luke Field at Phoenix, Arizona for Advanced Training and flew the AT-6, which had a 650 horsepower engine. The last 10 hours of flying at Luke Field was in the P-40 and had Gunnery Training. They fired at a sleeve being pulled by another airplane. The sleeve was about 20 feet long and 4 feet wide.
Most of the Fighter Pilots were more aggressive then the other pilots and wanted to get in the war as soon as possible. He was sent to Sarasota, Florida from Luke Field to a Replacement Center and crossed the Atlantic on a Troop Transport. The ship was in a convoy and said there was nothing to do on the trip except sleep and eat and many of the man on the ship were seasick. The ship landed at Oran, North Africa and was assigned to the 86th Fighter Bomber Group based at Naples, Italy.
Salerno had just been invaded when he was assigned to the 86th. His first missions were to attack German Gun Emplacements and flying support for the invasion of Anzio. His Crew Chief was from Forney, Texas and “Tulsa” was painted on the skirt of one
landing gear and “Yvonne,” the wife of his Crew Chief, was painted on the other skirt.
At Anzio, he flew the A-36 with six 50 caliber machine guns and was strafing 100 yards in front on the advancing American Forces and only about 50 feet above the ground. Before each mission, each pilot asked if they had a specific target and if they did not, they looked for targets of opportunity. There were four airplanes for each mission and they flew abreast.
It seemed the pilots that always worried never came back. To him, it was like a game, hunting rabbits, but it was a very serious game. He said they were always kept a very short distance behind the front lines. They had to have good eyesight and could see anything the Germans were moving. On one mission, they destroyed 11 trains, and said they were devastating to the Germans. He had several close calls and barely made it back after being shot up by the German ME-109s. He had holes shot throughout his airplane but made it back. He was reported shot down and when he got back, his crew chief was more worried about the airplane then the pilot. He flew 130 missions in the P-51A and is an Ace. His last mission was to escort German Pilots that did not want to surrender to the Russians.
Community Bible Study
CBS Opens Registration for 40th Year
Community Bible Study (CBS) got started in the Bartlesville area in 1983 and has been holding in-depth Bible studies for women from a variety of faith backgrounds ever since. This year CBS is studying the biblical books of Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, and Ephesians.
“We thank God for 40 amazing years of being able to bring the study of God’s Word to the Bartlesville community. We invite women of all ages and faith backgrounds interested in an in-depth study of the world’s best-selling book to come join us,” said Kathy Smith, the teaching director for the CBS in Bartlesville.
CBS groups are for anyone who wants to find out why the Bible still matters today. Participants go verse-by-verse through books of the Bible using a curriculum that focuses on the truth of God’s Word while avoiding denominational distinctives. This proven learning method includes individual study, small group discussion, teaching by a trained leader, and commentary written by Bible scholars.
“Not only has CBS provided an opportunity to step into deeper study of the Word of God, but it has also given me
cherished relationships with other ladies who share my love for God and His Word. I am so thankful for CBS,” said CBS participant, Mary Coate.
“I love CBS because of the solid teaching, the in-depth study of God’s word, and the group of prayerful women whom I’ve come to call friends,” said CBS participant, Lacy Gittinger.
“Plus, the children’s program is fantastic. I’m so thankful to have found a study that’s not just childcare, but really teaches the Bible.”
CBS is an international non-profit that offers Bible study communities on every inhabited continent. The Bartlesville CBS has partnered to support Bible study in South Sudan.
The Bible study is held on Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. until noon at Grace Community Church. The study begins on August 23rd, but new members are welcome at any time and is open to women of all ages and their children from infants through high school. Scholarships are available for families in need. You can register at bartlesville.cbsclass.org (do not include the www in front) or ask questions by calling Deana at (918) 214-0688.
2023 is our 16th year!
Where: Frank Phillips Park, 222 SW Frank Phillips Blvd. (Just South of the train depot)
When: Every Saturday, May 7 - Oct 15 • Time: 8-11:30 am
Our Friday Financial Forum has been bringing you community news for over 30 years. Arvest Bank is here for our customers and community. We’ve got you covered.
Full Court Press The Ken Zacher Story
Legendary nineteen-year University of Kansas Head Coach Ted Owens talks on this documentary about Ken Zacher being one of the most brilliant minds in high school basketball he had ever seen.
Ken Zacher became the head coach in Nowata, Oklahoma in 1968. He quickly took the program up to the top of the state. He also did great things for race relations. In 1972, a race issue caused Nowata to split down the middle, catching national attention. The team elected a black captain. The school superintendent told Coach Zacher that he needed to appoint an honorary white captain to take care of homecoming duties with the white homecoming queen. Coach refused. Events for the next few weeks leading up to homecoming are unbelievable. The coach had a cross burned in his yard. Windows were broken out. Power cut off. Other similar things were happening all over town as residents took sides. Homecoming took place as the coach had planned. But some powers in town wanted the coach gone. A school board meeting was called. It had to be held in the gym because more than 600 people attended. The meeting lasted until 2:00 am the next morning when the board finally fired the coach. Student protests followed with walkouts. Spring sports were canceled.
Ken Zacher found his next coaching job in Leavenworth Kansas. Leavenworth had not had a winning season in 7 years. The school also had a tough reputation with some very strong rivals. At some games, fans were not allowed in the stands
due to fights that would break out. Zacher’s first year in Leavenworth the team went 22-3 and went to the state finals. Equally impressive, they won the state sportsmanship award. Bob Knoll who was an assistant with Zacher in Nowata joined Ken in Leavenworth. Together they had great success. But Ken Zacher was never the same after the events in Nowata. While very few knew it, he was starting to suffer from depression and mental illness. For the very first time, family members are sharing things that they have kept inside for 45 years. Mental illness was not understood back then. Even today, society is just starting to get a grasp on this disease. The family hopes that by sharing, they will be able to help others who are going through similar things.
One Sunday morning, Ken Zacher went to Bob Knoll’s house, knowing Bob and his family would be at church. He pulled his car into Bob’s garage and shut the door, leaving the car running. Bob and his family came home after church. As the garage door opened, along with his wife and young daughter, Bob saw Ken’s body lying on the garage floor. He was 36 years old.
There are dozens of personal stories and perspectives that are shared in this film from family, players, and coaches. Some fun memories, but many heartbreaking ones. Many lives have already been changed as people are coming together. The three elements of this film are the greatness of a career cut short, continued work on race relations, and mental heath awareness, and suicide prevention. We hope to share love, compassion, and forgiveness just as Christ has done the same for us.
Boom Goes the Dynamite
A Look at Alfred Bernhard Nobelby Jay Hastings
Nobel was born on October 21, 1833, in Stockholm, Sweden. He was the third son of Immanuel Nobel, an inventor and engineer. As a boy, Alfred seemed to inherit his father’s interest in engineering. He was particularly intrigued by explosives, learning very early the basic principles from his father.
As a young man, Nobel studied with chemist Nikolai Zinin and, in 1850, moved to Paris to further his work. There, he met Ascanio Sobrero, who had invented nitroglycerin three years earlier. However, Sobrero strongly opposed the use of nitroglycerin because it was unpredictable, exploding when subjected to variable heat or pressure. In response, Nobel became interested in finding a way to control the substance in order to market it for use as a commercial explosive.
In his continued studies, Nobel found that when liquid nitroglycerin was incorporated into a separate, motionless substance, it became more stable and safer to handle. This was not Nobel’s first attempt at developing a marketable explosive. To help distance himself from previous explosive-related efforts and controversies, he considered naming the new substance Nobel’s Safety Powder. Instead, he borrowed from Greek philosophy a word meaning “power”: Dunamis, sometimes spelled Dynamis. In 1867, Nobel patented his latest mixture, calling it Dynamite. He secured patents in both the United States and United Kingdom, and dynamite was subsequently widely used in mining and the building of transport networks.
Nobel later combined nitroglycerin with various nitrocellulose compounds before defining a more efficient recipe, resulting in a more powerful explosive than dynamite. Gelignite, or blasting gelatin, was patented in 1876, followed by a number of similarly developed compounds, modified by the addition of potassium nitrate and various other substances. Gelignite was more stable than dynamite. It was
more transportable and conveniently formed to fit into bored holes, like those used in drilling and mining. It was adopted as the standard technology for mining in the “Age of Engineering”, bringing Nobel a great amount of financial success. He furthered his wealth by investing in the oil company founded by his brothers, Ludvig and Robert.
Ludvig Nobel died in 1888, but many newspapers mistakenly published it was Alfred who had died, with obituaries documenting his life rather than Ludvig’s. At least one publication notably condemned Alfred for his invention of explosives used by military groups, some even criticizing dynamite, specifically. One obituary is said to have called Alfred the “merchant of death” and described him as “becoming rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before”. Alfred was troubled that, had he actually been the Nobel brother who died, he would be remembered in such a destructive, negative way.
In his remaining years, Alfred endeavored to define a more positive legacy for himself. In November, 1895, he prepared and signed his last will, leaving most of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes, to be awarded annually without distinction of nationality. The prizes would be awarded in five categories: Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, Literature, and, Peace.
Alfred Nobel died the following year. While the other categories were more obviously related to his own interests and life work, he did not leave an explanation for choosing “peace” as a prize category. Some have suggested it was his way of compensating for his notable development of explosives, some of which were used in acts of violence, even during his lifetime. Whatever his reasoning, since March 1901, the Nobel Peace Prize has been presented to those who have “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”