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WHAT’S INSIDE

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Upfront

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Profile: King Wooten Royalty Right Here in Bartlesville

Stars in Our Back Yard: The Mat Master Lyle Taylor was a Standout Wrestler at Col-Hi

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Feature: The Tulsa Massacre The Resilience of Greenwood

On the Osage: God’s Country Enjoy a Trip Through Pawhuska & Osage County

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Out & About: Photos from Around Town

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Feature Sponsor Story: Broderick Guise Firefighter Honored

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Once Upon a Time: Elder Care & Dillon: Students Donate Homemade Face Mask Straps

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Kids’ Calendar

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Chick-fil-A Events Calendar

Meet Your Writer: Jay Hastings Popular Writer Serves Community in Many Ways

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Funny You Should Ask: From the Files

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Humbly Thankful

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A Good Word: Living in God’s Safety Stroke Survivor Appreciating Each Day He Is Given

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From the Heart: An Extra Dose of Love Bartians Changed Way COVID-19 Vaccine Dispersed

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A Fresh Perspective: All Colors Bleed Into One

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Looking Back: Paul & Lucille Endacott Bartlesville’s Consummate Corporate Couple

Tribute: Judge Steve Conatser Municipal Judge, Local Attorney Passes Away

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Now You Know: The Bean Family Heritage Family’s Roots Run Deep Through Country’s History

Profiles of the Past: The Hatter Family “Dash” Life is About the Dash from Birth to Death

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Let Freedom Ring: Hannah Diggs Atkins Former Secretary of State Overcame Injustices FEBRUARY 2021

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UPFRONT

upfront Welcome to February friends and Happy Valentines to you and your sweetie! I love writing the Upfront because I get to do just that...to be upfront with you...about the magazine and our crazy lives. I get to share how each month it all comes together so we can bring you what we believe is the best city magazine in the state. Since January 2nd of this new year, the world stopped for Christy and I, which I will talk about at the end of the Upfront. Through January, we continued to get this issue ready for print. We had our trials and celebrations...through this month we faced our hardest time and our best time. On January 9th, our daughter Madison was married and it was one of the happiest moments! I want to say thank you to Reverend Victor Paul for helping us again this year, like he has for the past two issues. Every February since 2018, we have done a “Black History Month” issue, which each year has been the most emotional, inspiring and educational issue we publish all year. It’s also one of our most popular issues we print. We went south 40 miles to our sister city of Tulsa for this 14 page feature story, our biggest feature to date, so we can tell you this story of such sadness. The story is about how in just 2 days over 10,000 Black Tulsan’s of Greenwood had their whole lives turned upside down. This community would never fully recover from the devastation which left almost everything burned to the ground. There is a resurgence going on in Greenwood today, and you need to go visit Greenwood (Black Wall Street). You need to walk the streets and visit the Historic Vernon church, which we did. It was basically the only structure standing after the flames wiped out 35 blocks of this community of African Americans, who came here for a better life. This community was the envy of cities around the country.

fueled the conflict with their half-truth stories and derogatory headlines. The man’s expression on the cover speaks so loudly to me. I have stared at this picture for the last week and a half trying to bring him to life. The picture itself is incredible. I will warn you the opening 2 pages of the feature story are graphic but tell the story of those two horrific days in which Greenwood burned. I want to thank Natasha Mitchell for putting so much effort, love, compassion and dedication into this story. She wrote it so the reader can see what happened 100 years ago through today. Finally, on Saturday, January 2nd, our son James called us to tell us they were taking our little granddaughter, Scottie, to the ER. A few hours later they called and said they were taking her to Children's Hospital in Little Rock. Now at that moment you feel helpless as a parent and grandparent. All we want to do is make her better. She was a little over 7 weeks old and so tiny. We rushed down to Little Rock the next day because we just wanted to be close to her even though we could not see her. We did help James and Brittney so they could take turns being with Scottie. Because of COVID they could not both be in the hospital with her. Her diagnosis was Biliary Atresia and was going to require surgery. That Wednesday Scottie, who was born at only 18 inches long and weighing 6pounds 9oz, went in for her 5-hour surgery. They had to make a 10 inch cut on her little belly to reach her gallbladder and her liver. She had her gallbladder removed. Her parents were able to take her home to Fayetteville that Saturday.

One thing I realize is how tough Scottie is and the amazing medical technology we have today. She is eating like a horse and her color is getting a little better. She is a happy baby and she is always smiling. The road ahead for Scottie is going to be a challenging one, and there might even be more surgeries. But her fight and her spirit leads me to believe that this precious The Tulsa Massacre on May 31st and June little angel is going to be just fine. I know we 1st in 1921 was never talked about or taught in have had thousands of our friends that continue school. I want to talk about this issue you are to lift her up in prayer and we thank you so about to read. The cover photo was taken on much. We believe in the power of the railroad tracks where the first prayer and continue without fighting started. It’s where deaths waiver to believe that God is on both sides happened. All Hell healing her as you read these broke loose between the black words. The month of January has citizens of Greenwood and the been a difficult time for Christy mob of white Tulsa citizens from and me. One thing I have realized across the tracks. through all this is how thankful I It really all started at the am that we serve a merciful God courthouse and moved its way to and that I have my best friend “Black Wall Street.” The whole and the love of my life by my side event was started by “hearsay.” to battle the storms ahead. God bmonthly managing editors The Tulsa Tribune newspaper Bless, Keith Keith & Christy McPhail.

Volume XII Issue II Bartlesville Monthly Magazine is published by

ENGEL PUBLISHING

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

www.bartlesvillemonthly.com facebook.com/bartlesvillemonthly Publisher

Brian Engel brian@bartlesvillemonthly.com Art Direction

Copper Cup Images design@coppercupimages.com Director of Sales & Marketing

Keith McPhail keith@bartlesvillemonthly.com Community Liaison

Christy McPhail christy@bartlesvillemonthly.com Project Manager

Andrea Whitchurch andrea@bartlesvillemonthly.com Administration

Shelley Greene Stewart Delivery and Distribution

Julie Drake Calendar/Social Media

calendar@bartlesvillemonthly.com Contributing Writers Debbie Neece, Kay Little, Jay Webster, Michael Adair, Tim Hudson, Lori Roll, Lori Kroh, Brent Taylor, Kelly Bland,Rita Thurman Barnes, Keith McPhail, Kelli Williams, Jay Hastings Sara Leslie Gagan, Natasha E. Mitchell Contributing Photographers Andrew Nichols, Jordan Miears Photography, Bartlesville Area History Museum, Tulsa Historical Society and Museum (cover photo), Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department, Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, Greenwood Cultural Center, Throne Photography, Rachel Hough, Casey Williams, Amy Melsa Kids Calendar

Jessica Smith

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

ABOUT THE COVER Cover photo taken during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, courtesy of the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum. Creative Concept by Keith and Christy McPhail Design by Copper Cup Images

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PROFILE

King Wooten Royalty Right Here in Bartlesville by Sarah Leslie Gagan Few remain among us who can recall Bartlesville in the year 1951. Our town was growing with a population of approximately 19,000, just a bit over half of what it is today. It held the promise of jobs and fulfillment of the American dream for its citizens and those who relocated here. That drew King Wooten in, as he followed in the footsteps of his older brothers, moving to Bartlesville at the tender young age of 17-and-a-half years old. A farm boy at heart, King grew up outside Chelsea, Oklahoma. Farm life was all he had ever known, and it equipped him with perseverance, ingenuity, and a strong work ethic that would carry him throughout his life. You can take the man out of the farm, but can’t take the farm out of the man, as they say.  Upon arriving in Bartlesville in 1951, King began his first job at the Safeway grocery store. His hard work and dedication would lead him to other jobs in town, many in the automotive industry, where he gained useful experience and knowledge. That opened doors to bigger opportunities, such as a steady employment with the City of Bartlesville Sanitation Department.  

In time, King began employment with Phillips Petroleum Company, as one of six drivers of the Phillips limousine. For many years, Phillips provided a shuttle for its employees and out-of-town visitors requiring round trip service from the corporate headquarters in Bartlesville to Tulsa Regional Airport. Phillips had six vehicles in operation for transporting passengers, with drivers making 17 round trips daily, Monday through Friday, and seven trips on Sunday. The limo fleet transported approximately 22,000 passengers each year. During that time, King was celebrated for driving 1,000,000 successful miles without any incidents and awarded a Phillis 66 ring and $1,000. This feat took about 10 to 12 years to amass the required miles, and before his retirement after almost 24 years of employment, he was just shy of the 2,000,000-mile mark. For many years, King worked two jobs, driving a school bus in the mornings and the limo in the evenings. His safety record with both jobs truly earned him the title of “King of the Road,” and his friendly and kind nature made the trips pleasant for his passengers.  

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PROFILE In his younger years, King loved playing pool, and history tells the story that he was quite a profitable hustler, playing 8-ball games at the local pool hall. But that changed in 1980, when he laid down his cue recalling, “I laid down my stick and haven’t picked it up since. I laid it down for the Lord.” One of King’s greatest joys is singing. He has a beautiful voice and has the pleasure of singing in the choir at Greater First Baptist Church, where he has attended for more than 40 years. He is a man of faith who has enjoyed being active within his church and community throughout the years.    As the youngest of 11 children himself, King enjoys his large family. He has had the gift of two loving marriages with wonderful women, sadly outliving them both. Through these unions, he was blessed with seven children, and is the honored patriarch and grandfather to over 60 grandchildren. He is proud of his family and they are equally proud of him.  Throughout the decades, King witnessed the vast growth of our community. He recalls the brick surface of 2nd street, and the empty farmland east of the Caney River. He witnessed many changes and expansions, such as the development of Woodland subdivision, the building of the Phillips Hotel on Johnstone, as well as the Phillips buildings downtown. He recalls the days before Adams Boulevard existed, and the route he had to take to get to Tulsa, known as “old Highway 75,” that curved through the hills of Ochelata.  King has endured the passing of many beloved friends and family from his generation, leaving him one of the oldest citizens from the west side of Bartlesville. He misses those who are gone, but keeps their stories alive within him to see him through the lonely moments.  King’s eyes have seen our community at stages that many will never know or experience. He lived and breathed both the good and bad that has fallen upon our community within the past 70 years. King holds these stories in his heart each day and treasures them. He has enriched our community and made it a better place. His integrity stands strong, and his faith carries him daily. We are so fortunate to have him, to know him, and to

learn from him. He carries knowledge and stories about our town within him proudly, which truly allows him to live up to his royal name.

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The Tulsa The Resilience of Greenwood by Natasha E. Mitchell “Like tiny seeds with potent power to push through tough ground and become mighty trees, we hold innate reserves of unimaginable strength. We are resilient.” — Catherine DeVrye, The Gift of Nature

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Bass Reeves, the first Black U.S. Marshal, enters a young boy’s world via a movie screen in 1921 in Tulsa’s Greenwood. He watches the silent Western intently as his mother plays the piano, which adds anticipation to what happens next. “There will be no mob justice today, trust in the law,” the young boy says with giddy reverence, giving voice to a screen that has none. Unfortunately, his happiness is shortlived as his father rushes into the theater. Suddenly, chaos erupts outside. Sweeping his son into his arms, the family

leaves quickly, and they all barrel forth into the chaos of the massacre besieging this prosperous Black enclave. The boy is later separated from his parents, who were killed by the mob. In his escape, the boy hears an orphaned baby and escorts it to safety. The Emmy Award winning HBO drama The Watchman brilliantly captures the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre in its first episode, and the audience learns about the ugliness of racial violence, segregation, and power. It is the footprint that most

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SUTTERFIELD FINANCIAL FEATURE Americans prefer doesn’t resurface again. But unfortunately, it does, and Hollywood successfully leaves viewers feeling unhinged in the next eight episodes. According to researchers, human beings are born with an innate self-righting ability, which can be helped or hindered. Nan Henderson, N.S.W., author of the article Hard-Wired to Bounce Back wrote, “People bounce back in two ways: they draw upon their own internal resources, and they encounter people, organizations, and activities that provide them with the conditions that help the emergence of their resilience. Psychologists call these

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internal and external conditions ‘protective factors,’ and conclude ‘these buffers’ are more powerful in a person’s life than risks or traumas or stress. They fuel the movement towards healthy development.” The many challenges and struggles that African Americans in the United States have overcome in the past reflect the indomitable spirit, invincible hope, and incredible dreams that they possess. It is why Black History Month, initiated by African American scholar Dr. Carter G. Woodson, has become so important to commemorate.


SUTTERFIELD FINANCIAL FEATURE Such examples of resilience are found in what is known as one of the deadliest events in U.S. history — the destruction of Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District on May 31 to June 1, 1921. Its impact continues to ripple through generations of area descendants, and has attracted the interest of international media and scholars. Tulsa marks the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre this year.

us of the extreme racial, cultural, and political divisions that impede this nation’s fulfillment of equality and opportunity for all,” said state Senator Kevin L. Matthews, District 11 and chair of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, in a speech announcing the formation of the commission. “Transcending those divisions requires courage, leadership, and an unflinchingly honest understanding and acknowledgement of our past.”

“America is the land of opportunity, founded on the principle that all men are created equal. But recent events throughout the country, across our state, and in the City of Tulsa serve to remind

In a recent interview regarding her research on racial trauma and the resilience of African American adults, University of Houston clinical psychology doctoral candidate Ijeoma Madubata said,

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“African Americans have historically been subjected to racial trauma in systemic ways. Despite constant exposure to racism, African Americans exhibit resilience and hardiness in the form of outward success.” In order to understand the resilience of Greenwood, one must reflect on the tragic event that makes up its foundation. PART ONE: THE RESISTANCE "My Johnson relatives had acquired 700 acres of land in Arkansas after the Civil War, but there was so much hatred and envy of Black landowners by Southern Whites that my family lost all that land. Due to the deliberate racial injustice of taking their land, and threats against Black landowners, my relatives secretly fled Arkansas. One of mother's brothers had been targeted and would probably have been murdered had the family

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remained in Arkansas. That is how my mother arrived in Tulsa, just in time to become caught up in the worst race riot in America history!" — Essie Lee Johnson Beck, as quoted by The Greenwood Cultural Center According to historical accounts, the Tulsa Race Massacre (also referred as the Tulsa Race Riot) began on May 31, 1921, when White citizens destroyed the Greenwood neighborhood known as “Black Wall Street.” The strip of land that would become Greenwood was established when African Americans acquired the land in 1905. Lawyers, doctors, real estate agents, jewelers, restaurant owners, barbers, grocers, etc., opened their own businesses. Greenwood, home to nearly 11,000 residents, also had two newspapers, parks, a public library, hotels, theaters, a YMCA branch, and schools. It was a place African Americans finally had a chance to make something of themselves, escaping the harsh racism of a nation that deprived them of even the most


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basic dignities. Because of segregation, Tulsa was practically two cities.

apprehending Rowland a high priority. They waited until the next day to arrest Rowland.

During this renaissance time, there were threats against Blacks that lingered, as news stories contained in publications such as the Tulsa Tribune praised those who took justice into their own hands. Accounts of questionable behavior only elevated anger and reasons to strike out on innocent individuals, particularly with lynching.

The next day (June 1), the Tulsa Tribune, an afternoon newspaper, reported that Rowland, who had been picked up by police, had attempted to rape Page. This account doesn’t set well with a segregated society. Rumors erupted into an organized angry mob, who gathered at the courthouse, which housed the county jail, where Rowland was held was on the top floor, at 7:30 p.m., and demanded his release. The mob’s intent was to kill Rowland, and the police knew that. Despite the police’s attempt to keep the peace, the crowd grew. Because armed Black residents were spotted near the courthouse, White citizens went home to get their guns.

The Tulsa Race Massacre started hours after Dick Rowland, a young Black man, was accused of assaulting Sarah Page, a young White woman, in an elevator. Page was the elevator operator. According to the Oklahoma Historical Society, while it is still uncertain as to precisely what happened in the Drexel Building on May 30, 1921, the most common explanation is that Rowland stepped on Page's foot as he entered the elevator, causing her to scream. A clerk saw a startled Rowland run out of the building and reported the incident to the police. The police, after speaking with Page, apparently did not consider investigating the incident or

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Black citizens were concerned for Rowland’s safety, while White citizens interpreted the guns as an uprising among Blacks and agitation grew. Over time, a standoff occurred between White and Black citizens, shots were fired, and a riot ensued. Some people caught in the crossfire were killed. Many Greenwood homes and businesses were ablaze around 1 a.m. June 2. Firefighters were prevented by the mobs from extinguishing the flames. Accounts obtained from numerous eyewitnesses stated that private airplanes carried assailants who fired rifles and dropped firebombs that struck buildings, homes, and fleeing families. The devastation that occurred in Greenwood was tragic, as the United States experienced an era of unprecedented racial strife during a post-World War I period. There were accounts of race riots happening in other states. Although the official death toll was originally listed at 36, the official number of dead, according to the Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics, was said to be precisely 300, mostly Blacks. The 1921 attack on the Greenwood neighborhood leveled 35 city blocks and destroyed at least 1,200 homes and businesses, reducing many of them to little more than ashes. At least 800 people went to the hospital, and some 6,000 Black citizens

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were jailed for as long as eight days. Thousands of surviving Black Greenwood citizens fled the area because they had no place to go. Others were held in detention camps, living in tents, and required to carry identification cards under martial law. By June 3, the Oklahoma National Guard managed to suppress the violence. In the aftermath, Buck Colbert (B.C.) Franklin, a successful African American lawyer, and the father of the late historian John Hope Franklin, wrote about the long-lasting devastation of the massacre on the entire community, including a World War I veteran named John Ross and Ross’s family. The acts of survivors bearing witness often provide truthful understandings of the past, becoming indispensable elements of justice and reconciliation. In 2015, Franklin's previously unknown written eyewitness account of the 1921 Greenwood attack, a 10-page typewritten manuscript, was discovered, donated, and is now on display, along with his


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typewriter, at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

exceeding $5,000 for guns and ammunition taken during the racial disturbance of June 1.”

Franklin, Isaac “Ike” Spears, and P.A. Chapelle encouraged Greenwood residents to start the rebuilding process despite pressure from city leaders to sell their property to White real estate developers hoping to buy the land cheaply and rezone the area as an industrial site. Additionally, no assistance was available from insurance companies who refused to pay on claims for damages related to the massacre. Insurance policies contained exemptions from paying for damages related to riots. Many Greenwood residents lost everything, but thanks to these three men, their property rights were preserved.

For months, the American Red Cross assisted Greenwood survivors with food, shelter, and medical needs. The organization’s 1921 detailed disaster relief report unveils details of long-term recovery efforts. Not only did survivors grapple with grief, loss of homes and business, and isolation, but also blame — as the Tulsa Tribune supported leaders of the major institutions who cast doubt toward the residents of Greenwood themselves, accusing them of igniting the violence.

It was later revealed in the 2001 Oklahoma Commission Report, “while the official damage was estimated at $1.5 million, the Black community filed more than $4 million in claims. All were denied. However, the city commission did approve two claims

Despite those challenges, over time Greenwood did rebuild. But later, due to desegregation, some African Americans moved away from the area. Thanks to persistence of descendants and others who overcame the challenges of segregation and racial trauma, curiosity arose about Tulsa’s history in the 1920s.

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PART TWO: THE RESURGENCE "My father, William Henry, died before I was born. At the time of the riot, my mother, Lula Row Henry, and I were living with my grandmother, Katie Row, in a house on Pine Place. On the day of the riot, we left home in fear for our lives. We first sought shelter at Dr. Key's house. Dr. Key was a prominent, colored physician who lived in a big two-story house on Virgin Street. Then we moved again. I was a sickly child. I had rheumatism and couldn't walk very well. Grandma carried me in her arms, but she was walking too slowly for me. I said, 'Put me down. I'll walk myself!' I remember we all got picked up and taken downtown. Then, later we were taken to a place on 15th Street. The officials in charge put a bunch of mattresses on the floor for the ill colored children." — Roanna Henry McClure, recorded by the Greenwood Cultural Center For decades after the Tulsa Race Massacre, the event was largely ignored by historians, educators, as well as city and state leadership. Written records detailing the events were scarce. The Tulsa Tribune removed the front-page story of May 31 that

sparked the chaos from its bound volumes, and scholars later discovered that police and state militia archives about the riot went missing as well. But over time, seeds were planted in the dirt of curiosity, sparking a revival. In the early 1970s, a journalist named Ed Wheeler began studying the massacre at the suggestion of a local Tulsa editor. Refused by the publication Wheeler wrote the piece for, he ultimately published in a small periodical called Impact. In 1982, University of Michigan historian, Tulsa native, and author Scott Ellsworth wrote the first comprehensive nonfiction book about the massacre called Death in a Promised Land: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. The book has been reprinted eight times in 39 years.

SCOTT ELLSWORTH

Ellsworth said although his Tulsa family heritage extended as far back as the 1930s, as a child, he would hear random stories about the riot, and if he and other neighborhood kids were to walk into the room while the adults spoke about it, they would quickly change the subject or lower their voices. Ellsworth also recalled as a ninth grader a brief sugar-coated textbook version that explained “something happened in an elevator, some hotheads got mad, some burning occurred, and then afterwards, all the good White people rebuilt things.” “For the first 50 years after the massacre, its story was actively suppressed in the White community and by White leaders and others, to the point where people had their jobs and even their lives threatened,” he said thoughtfully. “For decades afterward, Oklahoma newspapers rarely mentioned the riot, the state’s his-

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torical establishment essentially ignored it, and entire generations of Oklahoma school children were taught little or nothing about what had happened. To be sure, the riot was still a topic of conversation, particularly in Tulsa. But these discussions — whether among family or friends, in barbershops, or on the front porch — were private affairs. And once the riot slipped from the headlines, its public memory also began to fade.” Despite the insistence to forget, long-term effects rose to the surface in Tulsa’s African American community. “Of course, anyone who lived through the riot could never forget what had taken place,” Ellsworth said. “The physical, psychological, and spiritual damage caused by the riot remained highly apparent for years. Indeed, even today there are places in the city where the scars of the riot can still be observed. In North Tulsa, the riot was never forgotten — because it could not be.” Through his collegiate experience, Ellsworth would later meet and capture the story of Booker T. Washington teacher W.D. Williams, who was 16 at the time of the massacre, and other survivors of that time period.

“It didn’t have to be me, but it was that encounter that led to saving the history of the riot when we had those elderly African Americans talk about what happened,” Ellsworth said. Former Oklahoma state representative Don Ross also sought to gain recognition for Greenwood by chairing the 75th anniversary commemoration, which included the dedication of the “Wall Street Memorial,” a 10-foot granite monument inscribed with the names of more than 200 Black-owned businesses that were destroyed by the flames. In 1997, the Oklahoma Legislature established the Oklahoma Commission to study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. After four years of investigation, and the participation of high-profile historians like Ellsworth and John Hope Franklin, the state finally produced an official report in 2001. No one has ever been prosecuted or punished by the government at any level — municipal, county, state, or federal — over criminal acts linked to the massacre, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society. Ross said in the 2001 state commission report, “In the 80 years hence, survivor, descendants, and a bereaved community

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seeks that administration in some action akin to justice. Tulsa’s race relations are more ceremonial — liken to a bad marriage, with spouses living in the same quarters but housed in different rooms, each escaping one another by perpetuating a separateness of silence. The French political historian Alexis d’Tocqueville noted, ‘Once the majority has irrevocably decided a question, it is no longer discussed. This is because the majority is a power that does not respond well to criticism.’” Despite much failed legislation, the persistence to include details about the massacre in school rooms and textbooks finally paid off and it has been taught in Oklahoma history classes since 2000 and U.S. history classes since 2004, and the incident has been included in Oklahoma history books since 2009. “We can see the resilience that propelled survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre to rebuild their lives, their homes, and businesses following the massacre continue in the lives of their descendants and the African American community in Tulsa,” said Michelle Brown, program coordinator of Tulsa’s Greenwood Cultural Center. “Despite a reluctance over the years to include this history in Oklahoma classrooms, resilient organizations in North

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Tulsa and courageous historians, educators, and storytellers have worked for decades to acknowledge and commemorate the tragic history of the massacre and the triumphant history of Black Wall Street." PART THREE: THE RESILIENCE Because of the resurgence and renewed interest worldwide, acknowledgement of the Tulsa Race Massacre and the resilience of Greenwood residents continue through the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission (renamed in 2018), the John Hope Reconciliation Center, the Greenwood Cultural Center, and a new generation of historians, authors, journalists, scholars, and entertainers. “Today, there is a concerted effort to restore the vibrancy of trade and commerce, to reclaim lost history, lives, lost stories, and reclaim Greenwood's place in Tulsa's, Oklahoma's, and America's history,” said Reuben Gant, executive director of the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation. “To reclaim, rebuild, and respect for culture and community as was the case before and after 1921.”


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Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the commission continues its mission to “leverage the rich history surrounding the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by facilitating actions, activities, and events that commemorate and educate all citizens.” Tulsa attorney and author Hannibal Johnson, who has written several books about Black Wall Street and the African American experience, said that the public should be aware that the overarching narrative about the Greenwood District is about the human spirit. “The real story here is of a remarkable group of Black peoHANNIBAL JOHNSON ple who were visionaries; who were skilled and adept in entrepreneurship; who were resilient after the onslaught of violence in 1921; who even as the embers smoldered from the massacre, begin the process of rebuilding. The community was rebuilt substantially by 1925 when they

hosted the National Negro Business League,” Johnson said. “The peak of the business community was back in the 1940s, two decades after it was obliviated. That speaks to the resilience of Greenwood, the fortitude, and the ability to rebound from unfortunate, tragic events. Buoyed by its powerful past, the Greenwood District still lives. No longer a Black entrepreneurial mecca, its new incarnation is that of a business, educational, recreational, cultural, and entertainment hub.” Oklahoma City filmmaker Marcus Brown also heard stories about what happened in Greenwood from his stepfather, George Palmer, whose family lost their home and shop due to the massacre. “My stepfather’s grandmother lived in Greenwood, so I’ve heard stories now and then,” Brown said. “But when I was doing research for a film about Greenwood, I learned so much information about what his family went through. He wasn’t born then, but his parents were, so that made the experiences personal.” Brown said after the massacre, his stepfather’s parents eventually settled and rebuilt their lives in Tullahassee, a Black town

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in Wagoner County, Oklahoma. The family struggled to make ends meet, which was a huge contrast to the life they lived prior to the massacre. Brown said his stepfather took him to the former

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homestead, and he was surprised at the conditions that the family had to adjust to. “From today’s standpoint, imagine living and working as an investor on Wall Street to now you’re on the street corner trying to make money,” Brown said. “The family lived in housing without indoor plumbing. Most people didn’t know that Greenwood was one of the only places in Oklahoma that had indoor plumbing. My stepfather walked on gravel because shoes were scarce. Sometimes his father was not paid with money, but with rice. It was hard for them to go from being independent to strictly relying on someone else to survive.”


SUTTERFIELD FINANCIAL FEATURE

Brown, his friend Dekoven Riggins, Jeremy Henry, and Levonté Douglas formed the Oklahoma City-based film production company Notis Studios. With a $5,000 budget, the group produced the film Black Wall Street Burning, which features a historical fictional glimpse of the incidents that led to the Tulsa Race Massacre. “I found that there were a lot of documentaries done on the story of Black Wall Street, but no feature films,” Riggins said in an interview for The Crisis Magazine. “For the younger generation, the most boring thing to watch is a documentary. You don’t usually care. It’s stock footage, and someone is narrating it. But a motion picture … there’s something different about it. It grabs your attention. It pulls you in. With a movie, you’re living it. You’re feeling it. You can attach yourself to character. Sometimes you don’t realize that these are real people, and for 70 to 80 minutes, you are immersing yourself into this world because you see it differently.”

trials, tribulations, and tragedy into a triumph of the human spirit. Their legacy endures.” The resilience of Black Wall Street continues through education and other initiatives such as a new museum called Greenwood Rising, the Greenwood Art Project, and the May 2021 Commemoration Event. Also ongoing is the renovation of the Vernon African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, which is the only remaining edifice from 1921 and the only Black-owned structure from the Historic Black Wall Street era. It is also the oldest continuously operating church in Oklahoma.

Black Wall Street Burning was shown in theatres in Oklahoma City and Tulsa in early 2020. “The stories that my stepfather grew up hearing, you wouldn’t want to see on film,” Brown said. “We wrote a story around certain events that happened. Now that we’ve done this, our goal is to get funding so that we can do a Hollywood-level type of film, because I believe there are so many storylines out there and we can really paint this in a broad way.” This, and the 100th commemoration of the massacre, shows, in Johnson’s words, that “Greenwood District trailblazers turned FEBRUARY 2021 | bmonthly

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FEATURE SPONSOR STORY

Broderick Guise Firefighter Honored as First African American Captain by Lori Roll The day was pristine, sunny, and promising when Broderick Guise learned about the fiery inferno that engulfed New York City’s twin towers on September 11, 2001 — a day forever emblazoned in U.S. history as “9/11.” Guise had only been a firefighter for six months, and that moment he realized his job was very, very important. “It was the inspiration that gave me the surge to keep going, knowing there’s going to come a time when someone is going to need you. That makes you feel good about what you do,” he said. Guise was honored February 3, 2020 by the Bartlesville City Council, Bartlesville Fire Department, and Westside Community Center for his promotion to captain after 19 years as a firefighter. He is the first African American to hold the position of captain with the department. Also honored was his mother, Beverly Robinson, who joined the department in 1981 as the administrative assistant and was recognized as the first African American employed with the Bartlesville Fire Department. “I’ve been proud of her all my life. She’s tough,” he said. Guise never considered a career in firefighting, even though he visited his mother at the central fire station where she worked. Guise is a Bartlesville native who after high school was studying biology when he saw an opening for firefighter and decided to apply. After he passed the physical, he started taking college classes, which would help give him a higher score on his firefighter test. Applicants who are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) or higher, military, voluntary or paid firefighters, or who have a degree score higher on the admission test. Guise started his career responding to fires, vehicle wrecks, and emergencies. He said, “It gets your adrenaline going when you know you’re going into a real situation. I’ve worked some really bad car wrecks out in the country and once saved a guy’s life. We are always helping with medical incidents and it feels good because we’re there so fast. It has changed since I started. Firefighters are first responders and can perform basic first aid and CPR until ambulances arrive. We can do more now that we have more EMT’s.” First responders get annual training to remain certified, while EMT’s must pass national exams and maintain annual credentials. Guise said firefighters respond to fires about 10 to 20 percent of the time, with the remaining calls being medical emergencies. “We can be at a call a few minutes faster than the ambulances because we have several locations around town,” he said. “We can gather personal information, assess, and triage patients. It makes the process of getting medical help faster so ambulance medical personnel can get on with higher levels of care.” Guise said firefighters have evolved to the medical arena after fire suppression, sprinkler systems, and building technology have 26

bmonthly | FEBRUARY 2021

decreased fires. He can envision a future when fire stations may have an ambulance or paramedics on staff to provide higher levels of care and transporting. In his Bartlesville career, Guise moved from firefighter to driver and now to captain, which puts him back in direct contact with firefighting. “I manage situations for my truck crew on bigger scenes, whether it’s a fire, a wreck, or another emergency. In situations big enough to involve a battalion chief, I will help take direction and return information so we know what to do,” he said. While the Bartlesville Fire Department doesn’t use drones yet, Guise sees the benefit of being able to look over an emergency situation, which would provide additional information to best manage the event. A proud husband, father, and grandfather, Guise admits none of his children want to follow in his footsteps. But a time may come when the dream of helping others takes hold, just as it did with him.


Abraham Lincoln A New Birth of Freedom

Video presenta琀on will be posted on our Website and the BPL Facebook page at 4 PM on February 10th and will be available for viewing through February 17th.

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FEBRUARY 2021 | bmonthly

27


FEBRUARY CALENDAR SPONSORED BY 1

OKWU Basketball vs Friends University

11

13

6 PM; OKWU Gym (W) 8 PM; OKWU Gym (M)

2

OKWU Softball vs Grandview 11 AM; OKWU Softball fields

OKWU Baseball vs Panhandle State

Bruins Basketball vs Owasso

BHS Theatre Spring Mainstage Play

4 PM; Bruin Fieldhouse (JV/G) 5 PM; Bruin Fieldhouse (JV/B) 6:30 PM; Bruin Fieldhouse (V/G) 8 PM; Bruin Fieldhouse (V/B)

7 PM; Fine Arts Center

1&3 PM; OKWU Baseball fields

OKWU Basketball vs Avila 3 PM; OKWU Gym (W) 5 PM; OKWU Gym (M)

12

BHS Theatre Spring Mainstage Play 7 PM; Fine Arts Center

Bruins on Broadway

14

7 PM; BHS Fine Arts Center

4

OKWU Basketball vs College of the Ozarks 5 PM; OKWU Gym (W) 7 PM; OKWU Gym (M)

8

OKWU Softball vs NEOSHA 2&4 PM; OKWU Softball fields

9

OKWU Baseball vs Central Christian 12 PM; OKWU Baseball fields

10

OKWU Basketball vs Southwestern 5 PM; OKWU Gym (W) 7 PM; OKWU Gym (M)

28

bmonthly | FEBRUARY 2021

Distance Learning Day No School All Day; District-Wide

OKWU Baseball vs Panhandle State 12 PM; OKWU Baseball fields

OKWU Softball vs Grandview 2&4 PM; OKWU Softball fields

Bruins Basketball vs Sapulpa 4 PM; Bruin Fieldhouse (JV/G) 5 PM; Bruin Fieldhouse (JV/B) 6:30 PM; Bruin Fieldhouse (V/G) 8 PM; Bruin Fieldhouse (V/B)


15

20

26

OKWU Baseball vs Peru State 1 PM; OKWU Baseball Fields

27

OKWU Baseball vs Peru State 12&3 PM; OKWU Baseball Fields

Feb 23-25 President’s Day - No School

OKWU Baseball vs Championship Christian

All Day; District-Wide

16 17

12&3; OKWU Baseball Fields

OKWU Softball vs Cottey

OWKU Women’s Soccer vs John Brown

12&2 PM; OKWU Softball fields

1 PM; OWKU Soccer Fields

OKWU Softball vs Goshen

OKWU Volleyball vs Ottawa

2&4 PM; OKWU Softball fields

TBA; OKWU Gym

19

OKWU Basketball vs Bethany

OKWU Baseball vs Championship Christian

2 PM; OKWU Gym (W) 5 PM; OKWU Gym (M)

12&3; OKWU Baseball Fields

Bruins Basketball vs Muskogee 4 PM; Bruin Fieldhouse (JV/G) 5 PM; Bruin Fieldhouse (JV/B) 6:30 PM; Bruin Fieldhouse (V/G) 8 PM; Bruin Fieldhouse (V/B)

Ninth Grade Enrollment Appointments All day; Central Middle School Parents will be invited to attend these enrollment appointments via Google Meet.

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

Bruins Soccer vs Booker T. Washington 6 PM; Custer Stadium

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FEBRUARY 2021 | bmonthly

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bmonthly | FEBRUARY 2021


FEBRUARY EVENTS CALENDAR

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

Mon, Feb 1

Wed, Feb 3

Fri, Feb 5

11 AM

Tai Chi with Bee Tower Center at Unity Square 300 SE Adams Blvd.

9:15 AM

Morning Stretch & Flow Yoga with Bee Tower Center at Unity Square 300 SE Adams Blvd. Class will be outside on the stage at Tower Center at Unity Square. If the temperature is lower that 50 degrees class will be held via Facebook Live via the Bartlesville Public Library. 

Tue, Feb 2 8 PM

Live Music with Biscuits & Gravy Platinum Cigar Company 314 S Johnstone Ave

Morning Tai Chi w/ Bee is held outside at the Tower Center at Unity Square, which is next door to the Library. If Temperatures are below 50 degrees, the class will be held via Facebook Live on the Bartlesville Public Library's page. The class is free and open to the public. Tai Chi will help improve your balance and wellness. Please bring your own water bottle.

12 PM Bartlesville Artisan Market

1 PM

Washington Park Mall

Monthly Meeting of the Bartlesville DAR Chapter

2350 SE Washington Blvd., Ste. 218 Indoor market where you can shop locally, stay warm, get fresh baked goods, homemade products and more.

Bartlesville Women’s Club 601 S Shawnee Ave. The guest speaker will be Dianne Martinez, Executive Director of Elementary and Middle School for the Bartlesville Public Schools. She will be speaking about the Oklahoma Reading Sufficiency Act. For questions call chapter regent, Debra Cook at 918 914-9808. Masks are worn and social distancing is observed.

5 PM

St. John Catholic School Annual Gala — Virtual Fundraiser Final Day

Sat, Feb 6 12 PM

Bartlesville Artisan Market Washington Park Mall

Online EMPOWERING MINDS – ENRICHING THE SPIRIT! Support St John’s Catholic School’s annual Gala as a sponsor for the virtual non-event on. Try your luck at five exciting items in the Online Raffle, or the School Online Auction, which will be open from January 23 thru February 6. This benefit is a special time for celebrating and honoring St. John Catholic School families, patrons, and community members. For event updates, please visit St. John’s website at https://www.sjcsok.org/annual-gala or call 918.336.0603.

2350 SE Washington Blvd., Ste. 218 See February 5 event for information.

FEBRUARY 2021 | bmonthly

31


EVENTS CALENDAR

4 PM

Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom Online

8 PM

Live Music with Alisha Kay Platinum Cigar Company 314 S Johnstone Ave.

Mon, Feb 8 9:15 AM

Morning Stretch & Flow Yoga with Bee

tims of abuse. The fundraiser runs through Friday, February 19.

9:15 AM 8:30 PM

Live Music with Garrett Brown Platinum Cigar Company

Join us for a special recording from Kevin Wood, a professional Abraham Lincoln presenter, for his hour-long program A New Birth of Freedom, available for viewing on the library’s website and Facebook page, debuting Wednesday, February 10 at 4 pm and available for viewing till Wednesday, February 17. A New Birth of Freedom will be a first-hand account from Abraham Lincoln himself of the United States from 1776 to the end of the Civil War in 1865. Kevin Wood, currently of Oak Park, Illinois, has been portraying Mr. Lincoln since 2000. He has made over 1,198 appearances in 26 states and 2 foreign countries. He has appeared at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and in Washington DC. This will be his first time presenting to an audience in Oklahoma.

314 S Johnstone Ave.

300 SE Adams Blvd.

Sat, Feb 13

See February 1 event for information.

300 SE Adams Blvd.

Thu, Feb 11

See February 1 event for information.

5:30 PM

12 PM

City Church Grocery Giveaway Designated Locations Pawhuska & Bartlesville

11 AM

Washington Park Mall

Tai Chi with Bee

2350 SE Washington Blvd., Ste. 218

Tower Center at Unity Square

See February 5 event for information.

300 SE Adams Blvd.

1:30 PM

See February 3 event for information.

2021 Martha’s Task Mardi Gras To Go

Sat, Feb 20

A’s Wine & Spirits

12 PM

3812 E Tuxedo Blvd.

Bartlesville Artisan Market

Martha's Task annual Mardi Gras party is going mobile for 2021 with dinner, wine or beer and party favors to take on the go!

2350 SE Washington Blvd., Ste. 218

926 Portland Ave., Dewey

8:30 PM

Live Music with TypsyGypsy Platinum Cigar Company 314 S Johnstone Ave.

Fri, Feb 12

7:30 PM

Morning Stretch & Flow Yoga with Bee

www.supportsamaritan.org.

See February 3 event for information.

Thirsty Turtle

See February 5 event for information.

Mon, Feb 22

Online

300 SE Adams Blvd.

Sock Hop

Washington Park Mall

Let's sock this year off with a great event. Dress like the 50s with 50s music, dance offs, and fun games. Let's sock it to 2021 for valentines day.

S.A.F.E. Breakfast Fundraiser

Tower Center at Unity Square

Wed, Feb 17

Free groceries while supplies last at Central Middle School in Bartlesville and Tri-County Tech in Pawhuska.

TBA

11 AM

Tower Center at Unity Square

Bartlesville Artisan Market

7 PM

Tai Chi with Bee

Morning Stretch & Flow Yoga with Bee

Bartlesville Library Facebook & Website

Tower Center at Unity Square

Wed, Feb 10

Mon, Feb 15

The S.A.F.E. Breakfast is a creative, festive and beautiful fundraising event that raises money for the Samaritan Counseling and Growth Center's S.A.F.E. program. S.A.F.E. is a subsidy program that ensures abuse victims will receive counseling regardless of their financial ability to pay. All proceeds from this fundraising event go to help with the cost of counseling for vic-

Reflections of Love Bartlesville Community Center 300 SE Adams Blvd. The Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra will be onstage to bring you a night of romantic and memorable music for you and your Valentine.

Sun, Feb 14

9:15 AM

Tower Center at Unity Square 300 SE Adams Blvd. See February 1 event for information.

Wed, Feb 24 11 AM

Tai Chi with Bee Tower Center at Unity Square 300 SE Adams Blvd. See February 3 event for information.

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33


FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK

by Jay Webster

You’re back! It’s nice to see you again. How’s your 2021 going so far? I’m going to let you in on a little behind the scenes secret here at bmonthly (or bMo as we call it on the inside). Generally, as we approach a new issue I have a pretty good idea of what this column will be about. There’s the traditional stuff: Back to School, the Holidays, Summer Vacations. I’m fortunate in the sense that I have a lifetime of stories and events for each of those topics. On top of that I have a nine-year-old daughter, so new stories are happening all the time. Last year (does anyone remember 2020?) was a little challenging. I had to sorta walk a fine line. There were plenty of 34

bmonthly | FEBRUARY 2021

things to write about, as we all had 12 months of shared experiences I could expound upon. The challenge was we were also all at saturation point on those topics. What was I going to share about the quarantine or pandemic or political debacle or state of the nation that you weren’t already intimately confronted with? (Remember when Europeans were the crazy ones going through that whole Brexit thing? God, I miss those days.) When I did cross over with those topics, I tried to keep the terms broad and make reflections that were somehow meaningful and actually added to the conversation. But even then there was a trap of getting “preachy.” Eventually even my wife AnnJanette said, “OK I’m giving you one more of these ‘sermons’ and then you better get on with the funny.” I didn’t know whether to


FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK be insulted (these were serious times) or flattered that she thought I was funny.

a smart man for what he does not know. The reverse I have found, isn’t always true.

As a writer, things pop into your head all the time. I can’t tell you the number of world-changing poetic prose that have been whispered into my ear by angels … only to get lost in the steps from one room to the next. My approach recently has been to immediately write them down on my phone. My wife does the same thing with melodies and lyrics. If you press the wrong button on her phone, you’re liable to hear any number of song starters that you’d swear might be the next big hit. And they might.

Other entries in my notes sound like prompts to spy thrillers. He left the buffet like a man in the act of a kidnapping. Or, He exited the bathroom as a man fleeing a crime scene, leaving behind a resentful and sullied toilet fed up with its life’s calling. There’s a lot of leaving going on here in this section of my notes.

Mine are less polished than that. I record them because I think they might fit into something someday, or because I figure they might act as sort of a “writing prompt” if I ever get writer’s block. Here’s an example: He moved with a passive-aggressive ramble that cloaked his defiant nature, but led those with him to plot his death with vivid, satisfying detail. See, there’s a lot of places that can go, but we all know that person. The individual who seems spring-loaded and spry until you need them to hurry and then suddenly they become Tim Conway in the World’s Oldest Man sketch. The anger and agitation that builds in you for someone who is “clearly doing nothing wrong” will cause you to eventually grow homicidal. And then, of all things people will look at you like you’re the animal. Here’s another one: Over the pandemic, I have become far too familiar with my own face and physical features as a result of having to cut my own hair. What a demoralizing task, coming face to face with the evolution of disgruntled, nonconforming hair all over your body. I spend nearly as much time trimming my eyebrows as I do my head. In the last year, I’ve gone from a “High and Tight” to a “Mohawk” to keep the ever-advancing gray hair at bay as it slowly creeps up my dome. All of those experiences led to this entry in my notes: It appears my ears have finally reached puberty.

Some of the entries are just life principals: If you’re dating someone … before you decide on marriage … I advise eating pizza with your prospective spouse. You’ll learn a lot about who they are. Or this observation: Unlike most things which are here today and gone tomorrow, weight tends to be here today and here-er tomorrow. Anyway, I don’t want to bore you with these. I’ll look through them on my own. Maybe one of them will make an interesting column sometime. You probably have your own list of random, poetic whispers. Little phrases that speak like lyrics, calling you to: Join the chorus of King David… Look at the stars, the moon / What is man that you are mindful of him / Human beings that you care for them? You may gaze at those stars and say out loud, As long as Orion waits / As long as he holds his shot / I will wait for you. You may consider your thoughts and gain wisdom. You may find insight into Those who have made a theology out of their insecurities and fears. And still yet, you may discover the mysteries of the universe, like: How do I explain the differences between items on the Mexican fast food menus to my daughter? It’s all the same three ingredients. Anyway, I won’t burden you with all that. I’ll figure it out. And, I promise, if you show up next month we’ll have more to talk about. Cheers my friends.

Yes, my ears have finally reached the age of possessing their own “facial hair.” If I’m not careful, my hearing ports will look like a 17-year-old QuickTrip employee trying desperately to impress Heather, who’s clearly not into him, Axe body spray, or his tenuous adolescent mustache. Some lines in my notes come from things I don’t say in conversations, like: Congratulations. You’re going to make your son’s therapist very rich someday. Or: Okay, well I’ll be honest for both of us then. These things tend to fall into the category of “Just because you think it, doesn’t mean you have to say it.” Other entries tend to be just thoughts or observations. I have a lot of very smart and even successful friends. Sometimes I think they hang out with me because it’s something charitable they can do in case they need extra points to get into Heaven. “See, I hung out with the guy with the goofy haircut and the hairy ears …That’s gotta be worth something. Right?” Being around them, I’ve determined there’s a very big difference between being smart vs. being wise. I can’t lay claim to either, but if I could I’d rather be wise. A wise man will seek out

FEBRUARY 2021 | bmonthly

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A GOOD WORD

Living in God’s Safety Stroke Survivor Appreciating Each Day He Is Given by Michael Adair Throughout the past year, I liked the direction that my life had taken. I had achieved my career goals and I found my work to be quite rewarding. My family and children were thriving and I loved them dearly. Then I had an acute stroke and everything changed. I had to begin my journey back to health and a spiritually balanced life. The stroke caught me off guard at age 51. The right side of my brain was most severely affected, resulting in weakness and loss of feeling on my left side. I battled many days of depression after having the stroke. I felt that my body had failed me. It had betrayed me. It no longer functioned the way that God designed it to work and I was shocked. God had put a halt in my life. My stroke was physically, emotionally, and spiritually debilitating, so it is taking me considerable time to reconcile myself to my changed circumstances.

I was raised and taught to maintain a physically and spiritually balanced life. Somehow I had to establish a new, more balanced post-stroke normal. Having a stroke challenged me to choose a healthier lifestyle and to be more aware of how my body is feeling. I am now making healthier choices by monitoring and maintaining a healthy blood pressure, limiting my salt intake, and reducing sugar. I also spend more time reading and studying the Bible and praying. Although I had a tremendous support base, I knew that the key to my survival was based on following the orders of my medical team and surrendering to God's will so that I would remain hopeful. Surviving the stroke made me more aware that I live in God's safety, and that He is keeping me! I believe that God allows us to experience things so that we can help others. I have a responsibility to use my experiences and what I know to encourage other people who have experienced a stroke. Being certain that my children, family and community become knowledgeable about stroke risk and prevention is paramount for me. Children of parents who have had a stroke and heart disease are more likely to have a stroke themselves. Family health history plays an important role in health preservation. It is imperative that everyone learn about their family health history so that they can monitor their health and seek treatment to control any risk factors. I pray that others are blessed by my story and are motivated to live healthy lives. I've learned to appreciate each day that I am given!

FEBRUARY 2021 | bmonthly

37


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A FRESH PERSPECTIVE

All Colors Bleed Into One by Brent Taylor Earlier this year, I joined with my brother and other family members in establishing a foundation called 1256 Movement. I grew up 40 miles north of Black Wall Street, the epicenter of a place that was grand and thriving in 1921. 1256 homes, banks, cafes, hotels, and homes were burned to the ground. The story is irrepressible, rising from the ashes of institutional denial and indifference, and it is being retold today because justice demands honesty in conversations that are uncomfortable. One of our purposes in the 1256 Movement is to not only tell the story of those horrible days and the oppression that followed the upheaval and destruction of lives, but also to tell the story of restoration and redemption in the lives of both black and white people here and now. The following is simply one story in that ongoing storybook of renewal and healing. “A White man has not preached at this church in it’s entire 97-year history,” my brother Greg informed me, after I asked him what his plans were for the weekend. He had been invited to preach at the St. Andrews Baptist Church, a historically Black congregation in North Tulsa. On December 13, 2020, St. Andrews would celebrate its 97th anniversary. On December 6, Greg Taylor, a white man with a touch of Cherokee blood, would step into the pulpit of a church that had never seen or heard a White man standing before them and casting bread on their pathways. I decided to go, since the closest I had been to a church like St. Andrews was watching Belushi and Akroyd in the Blues Brothers, when James Brown led the congregation in a rousing rendition of The Old Landmark, as Jake back-flipped down the aisle after seeing the light of salvation beaming through the stained glass window of the church. I wander into the sanctuary and sit in a pew, mask on, looking for some indication that it was alright for me to be here among the Black congregants. One lady across the aisle rises up and walks over to me. She says, “Hi!” and tells me there isn’t anything to be afraid of and emphasized this with a hearty, “We don’t bite!” I chuckle and relax, taking in the moment. The head count of White people includes the lead guitarist in the worship band, my brother Greg, and me. It feels odd to be in the minority. I sit with my hands folded in my lap waiting, as a door opens beyond the podium at the front left corner where the pastor has his office. The pastor emerges and grins in my general area and waves at me. I turn and look back over my shoulder, thinking he was waving at somebody else. But it was me he was waving at. I get up and follow him into his office. Pastor Judge Bailey is a multi-tasking bundle of energy. He plays the keyboards, prays, emcees, preaches, reads scripture, and offers up praise in the name of Jesus more times than I can count. I introduce myself and notice my brother Greg, dapperly dressed in a blue-checked houndstooth suit, and I note that he doesn’t normally look this polished when he preaches. There are several deacons wearing suits and ties, women in fancy feathered hats, and a few of the younger generation with stylishly torn jeans. I’m wearing Levi’s and a pullover sweater and a checked blue shirt and feel underdressed.

After Pastor Bailey welcomes me, I return to my pew and look back to the office door, which is open. Greg and Pastor Bailey are laying hands on one another in a kind of masked, COVID-style holy moment of prayer. The worship is beginning now. What struck me about worshipping with St. Andrews church was its gratitude and love for something far deeper and greater than their own selves. They thank God for their salvation and call on the name of Jesus again and again. As a deacon reads scripture before we take communion, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me,” I realize that these were the very words engraved in the communion table of my home church, and I think of a line from a U2 song, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For: I believe in the Kingdom come, Then all the colors will bleed into one ... You broke the bonds and you loosened chains, carried the cross of my shame ... You know I believe it. The white guy in the worship band has reading glasses pushed up on his head and he is playing lead, along with a bass player in a white silk suit who could have come directly from the Triple Rock Church of Blues in Chicago. A young man plays a drum set and I notice that he is the first person I met when I walked in, as we exchanged a friendly head nod and a how ya’ doin. Greg talks about Zacheus and how salvation came to the house of this short tax collector, who previously had been a player in the game of financial oppression. Now he was giving away four times what he had wronged anyone, plus half of his wealth. Greg talks about 1256 Movement and there are some hallelujahs and amens but there is also a palpable sense of “well, let’s just wait and see.” I meet Mary, who worked for an architect in Utica Square before she retired. She asks me what I do and I say, “I’m a homebuilder.” Afterward, Mary hands Greg a note and tells him she didn’t really understand all that he was saying or doing or intended to do, but she has an uninhabitable home with a leaky roof and could we help? Greg goes to Mary’s home and tours it, looking at the leaky roof. Greg and I don’t know if this is what we are being led to in addition to new construction, but the conversation with Mary leads us to the possibilities that include helping black folks in this area restore their homes and to be proud of them and live in them once again. One thing Greg said last Sunday was so incredibly simple yet moving. “I’m sorry. I’ve been part of the problem of injustice as it relates to the aftermath and institutional unfairness that has continued to exist, and I’m sorry.” Afterward, the woman who came over to me when I sat down before the service and told me not to be afraid, said to my brother, “Nobody has ever said I’m sorry for what happened. Thank you.” If you want to learn more about how we are partnering with others in a mission of redemption and restoration, visit the website www.1256movement.org

FEBRUARY 2021 | bmonthly

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LOOKING BACK

Paul & Lucille Endacott Remembering Bartlesville’s Consummate Corporate Couple by Kay Little, Little History Adventures You have probably heard the saying, “Beside every great man is a great woman.” This is especially true of Paul and Lucille Endacott. Paul was born in Kansas in 1902 and attended the University of Kansas, where he excelled on the basketball court, as well as in the classroom. After Paul graduated from KU, he started working for Phillips Petroleum Company, which was only six years old. He spent the first few years at PPCO developing boom towns and building tank farms, gasoline plants, company plants, and roads — all to support the growing company. He also created a new marketing plan for the company. Lucille Easter was born on a claim near Hobart, Oklahoma in 1902, and she and her family moved to Bartlesville in 1905. Her father was a teacher and her mother was a homemaker. The Easter family felt that education was very important. Lucille graduated from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. Later she did graduate work at the University of Minnesota. Lucille served as a dietician at several hospitals. She then returned to Bartlesville and taught at the high school. In 1927, a young Paul Endacott was transferred to Bartlesville, where he rented an apartment from A.C. Easter, Lucille’s father. Lucille caught Paul’s eye and they were married on October 4, 1930. They were transferred to Detroit, and then back to Bartlesville in 1934. They purchased a home on South Cherokee, where they raised their two sons. Paul and Lucille were very involved in the community and very generous with their time and money to many organizations. When they married, Paul told Lucille she would not have to deal with his work, so she could concentrate on the home and community. But, they soon realized that as a corporate wife, she was encouraged to travel with Paul. Paul then said that Lucille’s corporate wife role would keep her from “doing anything around

Paul and Lucille Endacott during their 65th wedding anniversary.

here that would be continuous, like heading some organization.” Little did he realize that was not Lucille’s nature. She maintained a very active presence in Bartlesville. She was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church, where she sang in the choir, established the Cradle Roll, formed the children’s choir, and made the vestments for them. She was the president of the Garfield PTA and then the Junior High PTA. She was also one of the first sponsors of the Jane Phillips Sorority, a member of DAR, PEO Sisterhood chapter, and a charter member of the Service League of Bartlesville. Paul was named vice president in 1943, then president in 1951. He led the company to make a profitable major drilling investment in the North Sea. Paul retired in 1967, but was still very involved in the community. Paul and Lucille died in 1997, shortly after celebrating 66 years of marriage. Lucille was once asked “What do you consider your most important accomplishments and contributions to the lives of others?” Her response was “Being a booster for your family is first and foremost in my mind. There’s a dedication there that you make when you repeat your marriage vows.”

Paul & Lucille Endacott with sons, Don and Dick.

She was also asked, “Do you have any advice to offer young women today?” Her answer was “I think loyalties should be to the family, the community, and to their church.” FEBRUARY 2021 | bmonthly

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NOW YOU KNOW

The Bean family, from left, DeLisa, Deloise, Deneshia, and Christopher.

The Bean Family Heritage Local Family’s Roots Run Deep Through Country’s History by Debbie Neece, Bartlesville Area History Museum Genealogical research is often an intriguing force which uncovers family roots generations deep entangled with America’s timeline of history. Such is the research of Deloise Bean who beams with pride detailing her findings, some more than one-hundred-fifty years ago.

Not many people can proudly state their family traveled the Trail of Tears as slaves; applied to be Creek and Cherokee Freedmen; are listed on the Cherokee Rolls of 1880 and 1896; are listed on the Dawes, Kerns-Clifton, Wallace and Creek Rolls; held land allotments; served in the Civil War and WWI; and are listed on the African American Civil War Memorial at Washington D.C. But, Deloise Bean can boast all of this and more. For instance, Deloise’s great-grandmother, Juno Ross Martin was the first black settler in Vinita. She arrived from Georgia in 1833 and lived to be 114 years young, passing away in 1918.  After the Civil War closed, three history making amendments to the Constitution of the United States paved the way for additional family accomplishments. The passage of the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery; the Fourteenth Amendment granted citizenship with civil and legal rights; and the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment granted men of color the right to vote. Soon after the ratification, Bean relatives, father Frank Harris and son Artur Harris were among the earliest Black men registered to vote in Texas. 44

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Deloise’s father, William “Bill” Bean served in WWI, discharged in 1919. He settled in Bartlesville where he worked as a mechanic, stone mason, teamster and as a Deputy Sheriff with Sheriff Tom Sears in the early 1940s. He was legendary, according to friends and acquaintances, for keeping the peace in those parts of Bartlesville that were “outside city limits.” He married Ada Harris in 1934. She worked as a domestic worker and their five children (Carmeletha, Rosie, Evelyn, Deloise and Jerry) were raised in the Starlight Baptist Church. The only surviving children are Jerry, who is a pastor of Love Chapel Church of God in Christ in San Francisco, and Deloise.   

Happiness keeps you Sweet, Trials keep you Strong,  Sorrows keep you Human,  Failures keep you Humble,  Success keeps you Glowing,  But ONLY GOD keeps you Going!

Deloise blazed her own history trail. Born in Bartlesville, she learned to read by the age of four, attended Bartlesville’s segregated school, Douglass Elementary, from kindergarten through 8th grade and then integrated to Central Junior High School where she served on the Gusher school newspaper staff. She was always an “A” student who loved “reading, writing and arithmetic”…


NOW YOU KNOW Magnin as a Store Manager, Systems Analyst and Accounts Payable Supervisor. Each newly learned skill advanced her professional ladder. Due to her computer expertise, in the mid-1980s, she was recruited to work at Gump’s San Francisco and was responsible for transitioning the entire company to a computerized system. Then, her computer skills brought 19 years of employment at Mervyn’s, during which time she attended the Holy Names College during weekends studying Business Management /Accounting.   Deloise has three children: DeLisa is a Computer Science teacher in Texas; Deneshia passed away November 2019 from heart disease; and Christopher is a logistics sales manager in CA. She also has five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Now living in retirement with her son’s family in California, Deloise was baptized at Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church and serves as a young adult Sunday school teacher which has inspired her own spiritual growth. 

Deloise relaxing in her back yard on her 76th birthday.

in fact, she read the entire Bible during her senior year at College High School. In speaking about Douglass School, Deloise said, “The Douglass administration and teachers always ‘punched above its weight’ by creating events and celebrations that made the students feel special. The entire Black community supported and took pride in the accomplishments of its young people. Although I was only 5 years old, I remember the feeling of excitement surrounding graduation. And my sister, Carmeletha and her friends looked like movies stars on Prom night!” Children learn from parental examples and Deloise’s hardworking parents laid the foundation for her pursuits. Shortly after graduation, Deloise was hired by Edward’s Ready to Wear, at 322 S. Johnstone Avenue, and she felt blessed to have the employment opportunity. Edward Farha owned the store and M.D. Smith was the manager. Deloise was hired as a “maid” but an act of kindness from three young ladies quickly pointed out to Mr. Smith that Deloise deserved better as an honor roll graduate. Mr. Smith promoted Deloise to Control Clerk and trained her in record keeping. Mr. Farha and his wife Jodie even let her help merchandise the show windows, a knowledge that came in handy in her later employment. Deloise was extremely appreciative of the three young ladies. She said, “My career was marked by numerous acts of kindness from a slew of fabulous people with special emphasis on the three young ladies who came to work as summer help at Edwards in 1963 and helped start me on my way. I would like to personally thank them one day.”  After the death of her father in 1964, Deloise moved to California where she became employed for 19 years at Joseph

In speaking about her “Granny Bean,” Deloise’s granddaughter, Olivia Lucas, said: “There are three things I admire most about my grandma: her intelligence, her hardworking spirit and her relentless ability to keep up with politics. I learned that these qualities were instilled in her at a very young age and largely influenced by her own parents.” Through her genealogy research, Deloise became a registered member of the Cherokee Nation in 2006 and true to her ancestors, who were among the first Black men to register to vote, she follows their path as a vibrantly political woman … a right Deloise and her children hold close to their hearts, voting in all elections. 

Deloise at the Douglassaires picnic in 1982.

~ Thank you Deloise Bean and granddaughter, Olivia Lucas.

Did You Know? Although all “men” were finally granted the right to vote through the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment, women faced major hurdles to obtaining their right to vote. In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution granted women the right to vote, but fell short of recognizing Black, Asian, Hispanic, or Indian Americans. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 corrected this inequity. Now You Know*

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Pregnantand andPostpartum PostpartumWomen, Women,Infants Infants,and andChildren Childrenupuptotoage age5 Pregnant 5 who receive SoonerCare automa琀callyqualify. qualify.Participants Par琀cipantsDO  DO who receive SoonerCare automatically NOThave haveto tobe beNative Na琀veAmerican American to to receive receive benefits! bene昀ts!Spread Spreadthe the NOT word! Call1-800-460-1006 1-800-460-1006 for word! Call for more informa琀on. information. Clinic loca琀ons in Pawhuska, Skiatook, Hominy, Bartlesville, Tulsa, Clinic locations in Pawhuska, Skiatook, Hominy, Bartlesville, Fairfax, McCord and Ponca City! WIC MOBILE COMING SOON!! Tulsa, Fairfax, McCord and Ponca City! WIC MOBILE COMING SOON!! This ins琀tu琀on is an equal opportunity provider.

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FINANCIAL FOCUS HOW TO RESPOND WHEN RISK TOLERANCE IS TESTED When you begin inves琀ng, you’ll generally assess your comfort with risk, as your investment choices will be guided at least par琀ally by your risk tolerance. But once you actually experience the ups and downs of the market, this tolerance could be tested. Risk tolerance may appear less bothersome in the abstract but seem quite different in reality. For example, you might ini琀ally think you wouldn’t be fazed by short-term market downturns, no ma琀er how severe. However, when the 昀nancial markets really decline, as happened when the COVID-19 pandemic struck last March, you might 昀nd yourself being more concerned than you thought you would be. Before you change your investment strategy, it's important to understand the poten琀al tradeoffs. By limi琀ng your downside risk by inves琀ng less aggressively, you may also limit your upside poten琀al. You might need to change your strategy in other ways, such as saving more or working longer. That said, the tradeoff involved in reducing your downside risk may be worth taking, if it helps you cope be琀er with wild market swings, as the best strategy may be one you can s琀ck with through the inevitable ups and downs of the markets. Because market fluctua琀ons are a normal part of inves琀ng, here are some addi琀onal sugges琀ons that may help you focus on your long-term strategy.

• •

Look past the immediate event. While the market’s pandemic-driven fall was sudden, its recovery was also fairly quick. Eight months a昀er its March meltdown, the market had regained all the lost ground and reached a new record high. During the midst of what appears to be a real threat to your investment por琀olio, it can be difficult to an琀cipate a more favorable environment. Yet, while past performance can’t guarantee future results, every historical market decline has been followed by a recovery. Understand that the Dow isn’t your por琀olio. When the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the other major market indexes such as the S&P 500 fall precipitously (or shoot up), it makes headlines. But the Dow and the S&P 500 only track the performance of large U.S. companies – and while their performance may be an indica琀on of the U.S. economy, they aren’t going to track the results of your por琀olio, which should ideally include a personalized mix of large-company stocks, small-company stocks, interna琀onal stocks, bonds, government securi琀es and other investments. Keep your emo琀ons out of your investment moves. The market will fluctuate constantly – but you should always try keep your emo琀ons in check. Excess exuberance when the market rises, or extreme despondency when the market falls, can lead you to make poor decisions. Speci昀cally, we may buy when we feel good (when the markets are up) and sell when we feel badly (when markets are down). Your heart and your emo琀ons may drive your 昀nancial goals – crea琀ng a comfortable re琀rement, sending your kids to college or leaving a legacy for your family – but when you invest for these goals, you should use your head.

Your risk tolerance is a key part of your investment strategy. But by taking the steps described above, you can gain a broader understanding of how risk 昀ts into your overall picture – and a be琀er understanding of yourself as an investor.

Randy Bluhm (918) 337-2712

Beau Eden (918) 337-3602

Dustin Hancock (918) 331-9236

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Garret Parr (918) 333-0499

Dean Surface (918) 335-8656

Levi Walker (918) 337-3782

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC


STARS IN OUR BACK YARD

The Mat Master Clinton “Lyle” Taylor was a Standout Wrestler for Col-Hi by Debbie Neece, Bartlesville Area History Museum When Lyle Taylor stepped on the wrestling mat, he showed a love of the sport and a fierce competitive drive to win. Additionally, Central vs Madison and Sooner vs College High rivalries were in full agitation and winning brought intense bragging rights. Born in 1954 at St. Louis, Missouri, Clinton Lyle Taylor moved to Bartlesville with his family where he attended Douglass Elementary and then Central Junior High. It was at Central he found wrestling with the inspiration of his uncle, Everett Adair. In 1969, under the wing of Coach Dick Seaborn, the Wildcats held a 2-6-1 record highlighted by a victory over Sooner and 115 pound Lyle beat the Blackwell regional champion. The following year, Col-Hi took seventh in conference, sixth in regionals, fourth in Oklahoma and held the strongest Wildcat wrestling team since 1967. Again, the team brought a win over the Spartans and Lyle was among four wrestlers that advanced to state, finishing in the quarterfinals. Spartan wrestler, Randy Standridge said, “He was a natural, quick on his feet with the ability to learn a move and work on it until he was proficient at it. His strength was takedowns. Back in the 70s, wrestling matches were standing room only events that had the field houses rumbling. Lyle moved like a cat, he was light on his feet and sprung at you with the duck under or arm drag and made it look so easy. Many of his matches were simply take them down, let them up and take them down again. I lost to him 7-4, he took me down 3 times and I escaped 4 times or rather he let me up 4 times, thankfully time ran out on two of those escapes or he would have taken me down again. His quickness was greater than any other wrestler I had wrestled.” In 1971, Lyle’s senior year, Coach Seaborn’s matmen finished their season 6-3 and the Wildcats again defeated Sooner 20-19. At the first Bartlesville Invitational Wrestling Tournament, teams from Prior, Pawhuska and Tulsa fell flat as Col-Hi placed five individual championships.

At the 1971 wrestling regionals, Lyle’s Sand Springs opponent greeted him with a racial slur which resulted in Lyle landing a “not so wrestling” move upon the opponent’s jaw. Lyle was ejected. At the state tournament, Lyle faced this jokester again; only this time, 130 pound Lyle gave this matman a taste of wresting tonic. At the end of regulation time and the first overtime, opponents were tied 1-1. However, in the second overtime, Sand Springs escaped in the last 42 seconds followed by Lyle’s reverse execution with 17 seconds remaining to win the state title. Since Sooner’s Chuck Hetrick won the 1968 state wrestling title, winning the state championship for the Wildcats brought Lyle pride and prestige. After graduation, Lyle continued his education at Tonkawa’s Northern Oklahoma College on a wrestling scholarship. A year and a half later, he transferred to Oklahoma State University where he acquired a BS in Sociology, graduating in 1975, but was not on the wrestling team.

Front Row (l-r): Taylor, Walton Second Row: J. Laughry, Osburn, S. Sparkman, Bandy, Kendrick, Montgomery, Atkins, McKinney, Leatherman Third Row: Jenson, Hart, Worton, Benway Fourth Row: Splinter, Uraneck, Zofness, Bolt, Edwards, Wright, Langston, Sparkman, Moore, Miller Fifth Row: Garrison, Banes, Allison, Waterbury, Keyser, Cutley, Riley, Laughry, Lowe, Willis.

Although Lyle was known as a takedown artist, his eight month wrestling match with cancer resulted in a loss on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018. ~ Thank you to Randy Standridge, 1973 Sooner High Spartan. FEBRUARY 2021 | bmonthly

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ON THE OSAGE

God’s Country Enjoy a Trip Through Pawhuska and Osage County by Kelly Bland “Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?â€? I’m sitting here writing this in mid-January, ahead of the inauguration but after the storming of Capitol Hill ‌ Another song comes to mind as well, “Grandpa, tell me ‘bout the good ‘ol days. Sometimes it feels like this world’s gone crazy.â€? If you don’t mind, can we talk? I learned back in the days of drivers ed that whatever you focus on, you’ll head towards. Today it’s a full-time job to try to keep your eyes on the horizon rather than on the divisive distractions from the left and from the right. I’m here to invite you to hop in “Blackieâ€? (my little black car) and let’s take a drive and get away from it all. I’ll drive and you ride shotgun. Let’s road trip it to the Osage. Osage County is my get-away place. I’m blessed every morning when I get to head out into this beautiful scenic countryside, where the trees grow tall and straight and the grass grows hiphigh. This is cattle country ‌ and deer country ‌ and bison country ‌ and the land of flowing waters and rolling hills ... and yes, I’m gonna say it, it’s God’s country. đ&#x;˜‰ The air is fresh. The people are friendly. The communities are charming. And I kinda like it. As we turn right heading into Pawhuska and cruise down Main Street, there’s The Pioneer Woman Mercantile on the right with its late 1800, early 1900 architecture still intact. It always looks so friendly and inviting, like it’s saying, “Come on in,â€? with a smile. I love the display windows in the Prairie Cottage. They’re always so full of fun-looking home dĂŠcor, cup towels, and dishes. We just passed the Constantine Theater on the left. It’s such a neat event center, standing there seeming like it has remained un-touched by time. It’s standing strong and holding steady, that’s so neat and needed this day in time. It’s like you can just step back to yesteryear when you walk through the doors of this majestic masterpiece. Around Halloween every year they show The Wizard of Oz down there for around $3/person and they have an old-fashioned concession stand with buttered popcorn and Milk Duds! Ah, sometimes it’s just the simple things that make me smile‌ If we turn right on Grandview Ave. we’ll head up past the Osage Nation headquarters. This majestic campus has stood the test of time and endured its fair share — and yet, here it is, flags waving and still standing. Nestled in their campus is the oldest tribal museum in the United States — the Osage Nation Museum, which is a must-see when you’re in Pawhuska. Also, across the street is The Million Dollar Inn, which is a beautiful, white, two-story home that operates as a bed and bath. This B&B is perched atop a hill and has amazing views from inside. I haven’t been straight told this, but I am guessing The Million Dollar Inn got its name from the tree that was once across

LINCOLN

the street on the Osage Nation’s campus, where oil men made million dollar deals back in the early 1900s. Now, if we keep heading north on Grandview Ave, in about seven miles, we are going to be entering the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, where over 2,500 head of bison roam on the open prairie, just like they did before Oklahoma was a state. We’ll go slow as we creep across their cattleguard, and if you look off in the distance, you may see the bison grazing the hillsides. We can drive all the way to the ranch headquarters, but I think we’ll turn around up here because I don’t like to take Blackie too far down dirt roads. But look at that ‌ It goes on for miles. Just rolling grassy hills speckled with bison ‌ Roll down your window for just a sec and breathe it all in. Yep, that’s what living is all about. This is one of my favorite spots to watch the sun go down. Heading back down into Pawhuska along Kihekah Avenue, there’s one of my favorites in the Osage sitting on the bench outside of Charlie’s Ice Cream Shop – Lincoln. I don’t know Lincoln’s last name, but he is an Osage County jewel who has also stood the test of time and seen his fair share in his day. One day I plan to go in and get myself an ice cream cone and sit down with Lincoln and see if he’ll share a little bit of his story with me. But for now, I’m just glad he’s here — in Osage County, Oklahoma where #TheSmilesAreAlwaysFree. Enjoyed the drive with you! Y’all come see us when you can and check us out on our website at VisitTheOsage.com. FEBRUARY 2021 | bmonthly

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OUT & ABOUT

BRUIN BASKETBALL SENIOR NIGHT

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OUT & ABOUT

FUN AT GREEN COUNTRY VILLAGE

CHAMBER GALA

BRUINS VARSITY BASKETBALL

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With the purchase of a qualifying Trane outdoor unit and Nexia Control, homeowners are eligible to receive an entry-level indoor unit at a discount based on the dealer’s regular retail price. Offer valid November 17, 2020 - March 31, 2021. See your local participating independent Trane dealer for complete program eligibility, dates, details and restrictions. Valid on qualifying products only. Void where prohibited.

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ONCE UPON A TIME

Elder Care & Dillon

Local Students Donate Homemade Face Mask Straps by Rita Thurman Barnes A few years ago, I became aware of the Donald W. Reynolds Elder Care Center on Swan Drive. I needed to purchase a wheelchair due to knee problems, but I wanted to try one out before doing so. Elder Care kindly loaned one to me which helped with my decision about what I needed exactly. Since the Covid pandemic I have spent the bulk of my days inside my home only venturing out when absolutely necessary and always, always wearing a facemask. We have purchased many types of masks and have also taken advantage of the good will of local people who kindly made and gave away masks made to code. My husband left our home only to pick up food and groceries at local drive-thru’s and he was also wearing a mask. We have masks in the car, in the living room bureau and on our chair-side lamp tables. But we learned all facemasks are not equal because not all human faces are created equally.

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Last year my husband and I had such fun picking up our grandson, Dillon Mehta, after school at Central. He was always full of stories about his day and eagerly shared them with us — smiling all the while. On the days he attended his Robotics class we picked him up later than usual and he had even more to share. Dillon was always making gifts and other things for us with an interesting machine I’d heard him mention from time to time, but my senior brain wasn’t able to wrap itself around the procedure. One day I learned of a Robotics project Dillon and his friend Adit Paul were involved in. I was delighted to learn it involved the very facemasks we’d all been wearing for close to a year. He called me one day and explained further that he and his project partner, Adit, needed to donate what they had engineered to a worthy cause and I suggested Elder Care. “The two buttons were designed in Autodesk’s free trial of Fusion 360, Dillon explained. The buttons have


ONCE UPON A TIME

two holes and have a smooth side and a rough side. The rough side faces down onto the felt to try to minimize the movement of the facemask strap. The buttons were sliced in Ultimaker Cura 4.7 and were printed on a Creality Ender 3 3D printer.

Elder Care) every day. We change them so often and this makes a big difference for our staff. We are more comfortable at work and so we just appreciate your commitment to keeping our Seniors safe.”

“Adit and I did this project for VEX Robotics. VEX Robotics is competitive robotics for almost every age group. This is our second year in VEX. Last year we were able to get 2nd place in one of our competitions. We also won the sportsmanship award twice. The sportsmanship award is given to the team that has earned the respect and admiration of the volunteers and other teams at the event. We got into VEX Robotics because of our robotics coach, Laura Williams, at STEM Camp with Tri-County Tech. She resurrected the Robotics Program four years ago. Central had two teams qualified for the Oklahoma State Championship in March of 2020.

I’m incredibly happy that Dillon and Adit enjoy Robotics but I’m even more amazed that they are so talented in the arena. They have participated since they were 4th graders and have also excelled in other areas as well. Before Covid, if I needed help with my cell phone or laptop all I had to do was call Dillon and he could come fix it. It’s a little harder to do these days but it was just as hard to be without him and his little sister Anika during the holidays. Dillon fixed that problem, too. He set us up on our mutual laptops to watch each other open Christmas gifts we had shared as family. It wasn’t the same, but it surely helped us out to see them.

“TSA (Technology Student Association) has been with Central for years but once again became competitive three years ago obtaining first place in Rube Goldberg at the State Conference and two years ago qualifying for TSA Nationals in Washington DC where Central placed 6th in the Nation for STEM Animation and top ten in Leadership Strategies competitions. We also got second in the region for leadership strategies last year with a then 8th grader. The competition that we submitted this for was an extra challenge meant to give everyone a chance to qualify for the global competition while still social distancing. The community award challenge was sponsored by Google.” Dillon and Adit ended up making their donation of the straps that help hold facemasks in place and the recipient said, “I am Jennifer with Elder Care and we are so excited to have these Ear Savers with the 3D printed buttons. We have to wear masks (at

When I was a 7th grader as Dillon and Adit currently are I was in advanced classes at the same great old school, but I walked to and from school and home and back for lunch. The family telephone hung on the wall and you had to dial it with your finger. The only computer I’d ever heard of was UNIVAC and I heard about it on a 15-inch black and white television. And the kids are amazed any time I speak about those days. I remember my dad talking about the flu of 1917 and only going as far as the 8th grade. His first job in the hills of Missouri was loading outbound train cars full of coal. He actually started the job at age 13 since he was well over six feet tall by that time. I wonder what he would think of how far Dillon and Adit will go with their many talents and everything this day and age offers them.   Maybe to the moon and back. Literally.

FEBRUARY 2021 | bmonthly

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MEET YOUR WRITER

Jay Hastings Popular Writer Serves the Community In Many Ways by Tim Hudson Jay Hastings is known around town by a couple of different hats, including being a valued writer/photographer for bmonthly. Some folks know him as the Captain of the Detective Division for the Bartlesville Police Department, a position that has taken him all around our fair town for years. This has helped with some of the ideas and connections that make their way into this very magazine. His history with bmonthly is a little bit different than his police career, but no less interesting. “My dad was an artist and a photographer and he worked at Phillips, so that's probably where I got into a creative type of photography that is more along the lines of art,” he said. “I’ve been doing that since I graduated high school.” A love of history, combined with the skills he’d been developing for 20 years or so, put him on a course to write for this magazine. “History is another hobby of mine, local history in particular. I told

Debbie at the History Museum that I wanted to volunteer and that’s why I started writing the history stories. That’s where my passion is,” he said. “I got used to writing the stories and the details involved at the Police Department, and that's how I became a writer. By writing reports and stuff for the police department you tell stories, and you'll obviously have to include the facts and details, so you have to combine that with history. I like the kind of investigative history and maybe that’s good term to use: investigative history.” Jay said that today there’s a lot of information on the internet, but it takes someone savvy to put it together into something readable. “You have to check different sources and verify, and I use that to build the story, because usually there's something funny or quirky or interesting in there. A lot of people think that history is boring if you put too many details in there without telling a story or being a little bit creative,” he said. “If you are just putting merely the facts, that can be pretty dry. But if you can make it into a story, add a little quirkyness to it or something out of the normal that you don’t expect, I think that really helps to make a story.” He points to a recent article that he wrote in the December issue for our “Let Freedom Ring” series as one of his most memorable. “The one that I contributed was what Bartlesville has been for the past 100 years, and what it’s going to be like for the next 100 years. I really like that story because I was able to express some of my own opinions, and I've had nothing but positive feedback from the story,” he said. “I just kind of wanted to ask people to think outside the box and not always try to be like Owasso or Broken Arrow, because Bartlesville is a different community and I think we need to build on what makes us unique.”

FEBRUARY 2021 | bmonthly

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HUMBLY THANKFUL

by Keith McPhail

Humbly Thankful

I am ... Humbly Thankful! Humble means: to do or say something which shows that one knows (me) has been wrong, but behaved with too much pride. He needs to humble himself and ask for their forgiveness. A humble person is at peace with themselves and others. Thankful: in the Bible, Jesus says “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Throughout my life I've been homeless, witnessed death, and left fatherless. I’ve stopped my beating heart three times by overdosing. I’ve lied, cheated, and stolen. I have wept. I was bound by the chains of addiction. I had physical and sexual abuse thrown on my young body. I have screamed at God for answers. I was scared to live, but more afraid to die. I have been lonely, shattered to pieces, and my soul lost. I crawled my way through some of the darkest moments in complete desperation. When all my hope seemed lost — and I mean ALL — His Mercy found me. “Just hang on” I would whisper to myself in the mirror, as I stared into the eyes of a man in complete despair ... as I scarred my arms even more ... as I was literally killing myself shot after shot. “Just hang on” echoed in my mind ... Damnit! Get up, Keith! Get up! DON'T QUIT!  I got back up again and again, but I would just fall right back into that darkness. When you think you can’t get back up, know that someone believes you can. I believe you can. You are worth it! You're not just anybody ... YOU  are SOMEBODY ... YOU were made in His image and that is a beautiful thing.  Do you ever feel that way? What's your last chapter in your story look like? Are you going to write it, or have someone else 62

bmonthly | FEBRUARY 2021

write it for you? I choose you! You can rewrite your story and take that pen from the enemy, who only wants to destroy you! Everyone gave up on me and us ... but God and my wife, Christy, didn't stop fighting for me. With His Grace and Mercy my story ... our story ... keeps going today. Take a glance at your rearview mirror. Look back at how far you have come. Isn’t it amazing to see the deepest valleys and highest mountains you and I have crossed?! It's a new day for you ... for me ... for us. There's a better life, a better way, bluer skies, a new sunrise, victories, and clear eyes to see the beautiful you. I know you may not see it now, but you will. I pray that you will let go and let God be the author of your story. When I was at my very lowest point and everything I loved was gone, I had thoughts of just going away. I did not want to be a burden to anyone anymore. I felt hopeless. I saw the agony in the hearts I had broken because of my selfish sins, mistakes, failures, and lies. As the days kept coming, without fail I would relapse again and again. The devastating disappointments and lies happened again and again. I was tired and knew I didn’t have much time. It's hard to describe in words how sick and close to death I was. During this 13-month period, I prayed and begged God as I pushed the cocaine through my veins. I pleaded “please God, don't let me go this way.” I knew my body could not continue much longer. I did not want Christy or one of the kids to find me with a needle in my arm ... DEAD! The enemy was winning and I desperately needed God to move boldly and swiftly through my life, so my story would continue. I needed to again become the man, husband, and father He made me to be. He did just that —my brokenness, my shame, my doubts, my guilt, my pain — were GONE! 


HUMBLY THANKFUL I want to pause a minute and be absolutely clear to anyone reading this magazine. I share all my failures, disappointments, and my walk through HELL over the years to help others. I write these stories of my past, so you can see that anyone can fall from Grace. I write about my past, so you can relate and talk about your own story ... break the chains of your silence, darkness, and addictions. We only have one shot at this life. While we live for today and pray for tomorrow, we can be thankful ... so very thankful. I'm here today to share the stories of my lowest moments, so maybe — just maybe — they can help you reach for your highest moments. As evidenced by my life, I believe that God has you and me right where He needs us to be. I boldly say that my God has NOT failed me.  It will be 15 years this July when the man Christy married was lost. Life had been sucked out of me, and I was a shell of disappointment. Many told Christy I was a lost cause. Christy believed in me just enough to weather the storm. However, the man she believed in was unrecognizable. The bright light that I once was for her was darkened in less than six months. I absolutely crushed her. I remember looking into her eyes and seeing her desperation and sadness.  In March of 2007, I was 36 years old with three kids under the age of 12 and newly married to Christy with her three kids under the age of 13. We had a nine-month-old little girl named Grace, who was our dream come true. If you have read my stories, you understand the love, commitment, passion, and friendship Christy and I have for each other. Here is why I am  Humbly Thankful. I was 14 years clean prior to our marriage. In a matter of six months, I had fallen. Christy didn’t initially know I was using because of her trust in me and her innocence. ALL her friends and family were telling her to leave me or take the chance of losing everything, including her house and her kids. But she believed in this broken man just enough. She believed in her husband, the man she had always loved.  I was injecting cocaine without caring where I was or what vein I put it in. Trust me, I have many scars to prove it. I was so sick and so lost. During those nine months, I experienced one of my lowest moments. I locked myself in our bathroom to shoot cocaine into my bloody, scarred arms. This is NOT who I was ... this was NOT the man Christy married. It happened so fast. I

believe none of us desire or want to end up being a drug addict, an alcoholic, homeless, hungry, faithless, or hopeless. I had completely let everyone down. Christy had a very small core group who also had the strength, patience, hope, and forgiveness not to give up on me. They knew, as I knew, I was not that man. They never gave up on me and continued without waivering to pray for me, keep me accountable, and love me. The enemy had its grasp on me and time was not on my side. It really is amazing and comforting to me to look back and see how God worked His way through my life and continues to do so today. He put people in my path and put me in places at the time I was screaming WHY GOD? I end my writing today with a story of a miracle. I have never shared this story with anyone. I believe the battle for my life and our marriage started in September of 2006. Christy told me if I wanted to see her and the kids, I had to come to a service at Victory Church. I forced myself to go, even though I hated being in front of people. As I sat down on the right side of the church, three rows from the front, the guest speaker, Mary Frances Varallo,  — whom I’d never met — started walking around, speaking in tongues. Then she stood right in front of me and said these powerful words ... we still have the cassette tape to listen to it.   Sir, There was a time when you didn't know the right thing to do, but you know it now. And it's the right thing you choose to do. And yet there hasn't been all the encouragement that there could have been.  Because you have had to fight Hell. But hear me now. Heaven saw it all. And know you're not where you need to be, but by your choices you're on your way. You've seen the greater. You know what it is. And you're one of those...you're FEBRUARY 2021 | bmonthly

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HUMBLY THANKFUL

one of those who in your own way has said, I'm going to have this thing even if I have to die trying. You were born to be one of His heros. Make it all the way...Remember today, forget yesterday...it plays with you too much. It will hold you back. God’s forgotten. You must forget. Unless you were one of the 50 people in that room that evening at Victory Church on Nowata Road, you might not accept or believe the words that were said over me. I do. I believe this is the night when His Mercy found me! The impact this pastor’s words had on my life that night opened my heart to change and finally the forgiveness. With His Mercy, I am made new! The next six months were absolute HelI for all of us, but I believe on that day God sent His angels to battle for me, us, and our new family. This March marks the 14th year that I have been clean. 

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As you take a glance at your own mirror and look back at those moments of darkness, or maybe you're walking in that darkness now...make today the first day of the new you. Make this day...the day to step out into the light, and let the world know that you got back up and you didn't quit. I believe the darkness throughout this story and my life was actually the shadow of the cross. I pray right now that this story will help one person, one couple, one teenager, the lost, the lonely, the forgotten, the abandoned, and the ones who think they can't keep going because of the shame they bear...Let it go! For all that has happened in this 51-year journey I have been on, one thing is clear and certain to me. I truly believe God is not done writing my story, and the shadow of His cross still covers me. For that reason, I can finally stand to say ... I am so ... Humbly Thankful. God Bless, Keith 


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FROM THE HEART

An Extra Dose of Love

Bartians Changed the Way COVID-19 Vaccine Dispersed by Lori Kroh

Due to the Emergency Use Authorization, it was up to Operation Warp Speed to get a deliverable vaccine to the people. The National Guard was implementing delivery, and the job to keep the vaccine at -30 degrees was no easy task, as lives were at stake and the world was watching.

He told her what was happening and asked her for her brother’s number. He needed to ask her brother, Colonel Gregg McCarthy - Bartlesville class of 1987, who has dedicated his life and service to the Marine Corps, for a huge favor.

On December 14th, the state of Oklahoma was awaiting the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine and a plan was in place. The idea was to administer two doses for the press conference and huge crowds, and then immediately proceed to the people. What would usually take 15 years and billions of dollars to bring forth a vaccine was accomplished in quantum time, and Oklahomans were ready for it. The frontline workers knew this was a promise of hope and looked forward to working together hospital-to-hospital to ease the horrendous burden this pandemic has caused. After the first doses were drawn and administered, Steven Howell, D.Ph. of Bartlesville’s class of 1989, realized a huge problem. The mandate coming from the top of the CDC, NIH, and Steven Howell recently received FDA was that the doses were to be five per vial. The overfill was a token of appreciation from Alex Azar and Integris Baptist yielding 20 percent in the vial. Medical Center Although that is usual to have extra medicine in the vial, this was so much it could be used as part of a reconstituted dose. Howell kept muttering to himself, “This is a complete waste. We cannot let this be discarded. If in fact this is in every vial, this could yield more doses for all, and that would save millions of lives.” He felt this compelling need to do his best to make a difference. He was raised to not be idle, when something needs done. Even as other hospital administrations had circulated emails that morning noticing the same percent ... no one seemed to think anything could change. It was determination and perseverance that led to the next mandate. He quickly called his wife, Stephanie McCarthy Howell, N.P., also of Bartlesville’s class of 1989.

STEPHANIE HOWELL

As Steven explained it, she knew exactly what the extra doses could mean for us all, as a frontline worker she knew it meant extra lives. The number five had been determined due to calibrations, supplies, and procedures and was a point of debate between the CDC and FDA.

Colonel McCarthy was on the committee for Health & Human Services. GREGG McCARTHY

They figured out that if someone could see that in the real world application, the 6th dose could be used, then even more lives would be saved. They only had a few hours though. Once used, the vaccine must be discarded within so many hours and all of the overfills would be lost. If only they could get permission to have it reconstitionalized, then all would be well and this would be a historic moment for all. He figured out a way. He asked Colonel McCarthy to go before the press secretary to Alex Azar Jr. and make it known. They had only hours to make a decision and he knew that the world was watching and the frontline workers were waiting. The press secretary knew this could be front-page news if doses were found to be discarded that could have potentially saved lives, and it’s always better to be the hero in bureaucracy. They got to work and within a few hours, an email came across with new dosing mandates, and the extra dose was found viable to be used. Yet, we know the real heroes. The ones fighting for the world on all fronts and especially from the best little city ever. Bartlesville. We may never know the countless lives saved, yet we can say for sure that Bartlesville people change the world. Our community, our values and our way to never give up create a contribution to society. We always knew there was overfill here. An extra dose of love for all. HHS Director Alex Azar Jr., left, with Colonel Gregg McCarthy. FEBRUARY 2021 | bmonthly

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TRIBUTE

Judge Steve Conatser Municipal Judge, Local Attorney Passes Away by Kelli Williams, City of Bartlesville As the world celebrated the holidays and counted down the days to the end of a tumultuous year, many Bartlesville residents and City of Bartlesville staff were rocked by the death of one of their own: Municipal Judge Steve Conatser passed away at his home on December 24. He was 72. James Stephen Conatser, better known by most as simply Steve, served as the city’s municipal court judge from February 1981 until his death last month. It was a position he handled seamlessly, displaying wisdom, reason, and integrity for 40plus years. “I don’t recall ever receiving a complaint about the Municipal Court process or Judge Conatser, who presided over the court for so many years,” said Mayor Dale Copeland. “I admire and appreciate his service to the city and the citizens. He will be missed.” Soft-spoken and famously even-tempered, Conatser spent the majority of his time representing clients as a local attorney in his private practice, which he established in 1974. But outside his private practice, he could be found nearly every Tuesday and Thursday morning at City Hall, where he presided over the day’s Municipal Court proceedings. Consisting primarily of traffic violations and other misdemeanor offenses, he listened with interest and compassion to the stories of those who ended up in his courtroom and administered justice intended to help right the wrongs of the world — often teaching a lesson or two along the way. “As a Judge, Steve was compassionate and fair,” said attorney Jess Kane, who serves as attorney for the City of Bartlesville. “I’m certain that I did not appreciate this when the court’s justice was administered upon me as an imprudent 16-year-old driver, but I came to appreciate it after years of observing Steve on the bench.” City Manager Mike Bailey spent time in Conatser’s court as well, years before their working relationship and friendship began. “Judge Conatser held the difficult position of municipal court judge for the City of Bartlesville since I was a teenager. Unfortunately for me, that’s where we first met nearly 30 years ago,” said Bailey. “After coming to work for the City, I came to know Steve as a judge, as an attorney, and as a friend. I am grateful for having had the time and opportunity to do that.” By all accounts, compassion and fairness were hallmarks of Conatser’s court, and he was respected equally by those who appeared before him as those who stood beside him. “As a Bartlesville police officer working through the Bartlesville Municipal Court, I found Judge Steve Conatser to be a fair, honest, and kind man,” said BPD Captain Kevin Ickleberry. “He would lis-

ten to those who came before his court and work to help them through any problems they had. “He was firm when needed and gentle and kind when needed, always being fair and giving many second chances to those who would frequent his court.” In the wake of his death, city staff who worked most closely with Conatser are quick to pay tribute to his long and successful career as the city’s judge and as a private attorney, but it is his friendship they will miss the most. “Steve was very patient and always a joy to be around,” said Ickleberry. “He cared about those of us who were his friends and would oftentimes call to make sure we were okay. I know that as a friend, I have lost someone who truly cared about me and one that I could call if I needed anything. Steve’s compassion, and his kind and caring heart made a great impression, not only in my life, but also on the citizens of Bartlesville.” “His presence will be missed in the courtroom, but I’ll miss his occasional drop-in, ‘just saying hi’ visits to my office most,” said Bailey. “Steve was a good attorney, a great judge, and an even better person, and he will be missed by all of us.” FEBRUARY 2021 | bmonthly

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PROFILES OF THE PAST

The Hatter Family “Dash” Life is About What Happens in Dash from Birth to Death by Debbie Neece, Bartlesville Area History Museum Robert and Mary McDuffy Hatter were northeast Oklahoma pioneers and the parents of Phines Leo Hatter who was born in Nowata County, March 8, 1903. At the age of 17 years, he moved to Bartlesville and became employed with the Don Tyler family. Mr. Tyler was the president of the Dewey Portland Cement Company and Phines worked for the Tyler family for 45 years, retiring at the age of 65. But the Hatter story is much grander than these few words … the real story is about this family’s “dash.” You see, life is about what happens during your “dash,” between birth and death. For Phines, marrying Miss Geraline “Vivian” Brewster on March 1, 1938 was an important part of his life; as were their four children (Arthur Lee, Preston Tyler, Helen M., Shirley Kay).

was a member of the 1955 Douglass Dragon Champion football team.

Vivian’s sister was working in Bartlesville in 1937 when Vivian moved to join her. Phines Hatter worked with her sister, love happened and Vivian and Phines were married the following year.

The Hatters operated a rooming house and rental property to supplement the family income and eventually operated the Hatter’s Grocery at 615 W. 7th Street (Adams Blvd.), across from the First Colored Baptist Church. The rented apartments were upstairs and their grocery downstairs. In 1942, they built a rock building on the corner of Adams and Virginia with rental apartments in the back and a grocery, Hatter’s Cleaners and shoe shop in the front. Vivian also operated Viviren’s Beauty Shop after she attended the Troupe Beauty College in Tulsa and graduating in 1965.

Before integration, the Hatter children attended Douglass School where Preston

The family attended Greater First Baptist Church in Bartlesville were Phines

Vivian was born April 14, 1916, to James Benjamin and Minnie Johnson Brewster. She was one of nine children who grew up ten miles east of Nowata. As a child, her family attended the Lighten Creek Baptist Church, about a four mile walk or wagon ride from their home. Vivian’s mother believed raising children in the church built a lifelong foundation.

served as a Trustee. Their spiritual foundation supported them when son Preston Tyler was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1976; when father Phines died in 1986; and when a medical incident took Arthur in 1993. Vivian felt blessed she still had four daughters…two she birthed and two daughters-in-law (Sandra and Gladys) who were her bonus daughters. The Hatter family’s connection to the Tyler family was more than just employment. With deep respect for the Tyler’s, Phines and Vivian named their son, Preston Tyler Hatter, and Preston named his son Preston Tyler Hatter, Jr. In addition, Mrs. Helen Tyler Beasley gave Phines a lovely suit of gray and upon his passing, Mr. Phines Leo Hatter was laid to rest in White Rose Cemetery, wearing this gift from the Tyler family. For the Hatter family, their “dash” continues to leave a mark on the world. On December 28, 2020, Vivian Hatter left this earth at the age of 104 years young. Her “dash” was grander than any events…her “dash” was four children, thirteen grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, her beloved bonus daughters Sandra and Gladys and a massive amount of Bartlesville and Colorado Springs friends. The greatest “dash” is yet to come

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LET FREEDOM RING

Hannah Diggs Atkins

Former Secretary of State Overcame Social Injustices by Jay Hastings Hannah Diggs was born in 1923 and grew up in WinstonSalem, North Carolina. She was the fifth of six children, all of whom eventually obtained Master Degrees. Additionally, in 1961, her brother was the first African American to attend medical school at the University of North Carolina. Hannah attended segregated schools in Winston-Salem and graduated Valedictorian at age 15 from Atkins High School. She earned her initial undergraduate degrees from St. Augustine College in Raleigh, North Carolina, double majoring in French and Biology. She pursued and achieved an additional degree in Library Science from the University of Chicago in 1949. Not yet finished with educational endeavors, at the age of 66 Hannah earned a Master Degree in Public Relations from the School of Law while attending Oklahoma City University. In 1943, Hannah married physician Charles Atkins and they would later have three children. In 1949, Hannah became a reference librarian at the Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1950, the family moved back to Winston-Salem, where Hannah became a librarian at Kendal Park Elementary School. In 1953, the family moved to Oklahoma and Hannah became a branch librarian for the Oklahoma City Public Library. In 1962, Hannah became a reference librarian for the Oklahoma State Library. In a little more than a year, she worked her way up to Chief of General Reference and Acting Law Librarian. Hannah would eventually become an Instructor of Law as well as an Instructor of Library Science at Oklahoma City University. In both roles, librarian and instructor, Hannah served as a voice against both censorship and racism. The influence of Hannah’s father and her collective life experiences worked together to prepare her for a political career. That journey began in 1968, when she was elected to the Oklahoma State House of Representatives — the first African American woman to be elected to the position. In that role, Hannah authored many important bills. She was a fierce advocate for health care, child welfare, mental health, women's and civil rights. After Hannah’s final State term ended in 1980, President Jimmy Carter named her to the General Assembly of the 35th Session of the United Nations. She was a member of the Third Committee, which concentrated on social and economic issues. Hannah returned to state service as the Assistant Director of Human Services and later a dual post of Secretary of State and Cabinet Secretary of Social Services. Hannah held positions and memberships in the American Civil Liberties Union, NAACP, National Association of Black Women Legislators, Oklahoma Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Co-Founder of the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Women's Political Caucus, and Founder of the Oklahoma Black Political Caucus. Hannah was inducted into the 74

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Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame in 1982. Throughout her career she acquired numerous awards and honors, and was the highest-ranking woman in Oklahoma state government until her retirement in 1991. When she was asked about the challenges of becoming Secretary of State, Atkins stated: “Not easy. No, no, no, no, no, no. It wasn't easy. I got hit over the head all the time, you know. First, I was a woman and then I was an African American. They will beat you up on those things. Oklahoma was still a southern attitude. But my daddy told me, 'Don't ever let that stop you. You have your ambition and you go ahead and do what you think you're cut out to do. Don't let any of those things stop you,' and I tried to live that way.” Hannah Diggs Atkins faced many obstacles in pursuit of her education, her careers, and throughout life. She is a great example of what a person can achieve, for oneself and others, when determined to not let social injustices and obstacles stand in the way of fulfilling dreams. Hannah used her education, influence, and collective life experiences to advocate for and implement positive social changes in her community, state, nation, and throughout the world.


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