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Magazine of the Oklahoma Heritage Association

The 2012 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Trent Lawson: Pareidolia John Hope Franklin: A Legacy of Dignity, Knowledge, and Hope Dr. William F. LaFon: From Country Doctor to Air Force Colonel January in the Life of Oklahoma Making Elvis: Mae Boren Axton Jacob H. Bartles: An Oklahoma Innovator Hall of Fame Spotlight: Marian Opala OHA’s Story Through Its People





Success Story HOW DO YOU GROW A

Boom or bust is more than a metaphor. It has been a way of life those who rely on the land for their livelihood. Risk and luck are part of the journey, as well. And for those who follow in their footsteps, a trustworthy guide who knows the landscape and knows the drill is essential. Let us help you turn your success story into a happily ever after.


oil & gas

real estate

financial planning






Bob Burke DESIGN

Kris Vculek kv graphic design • WAUKOMIS, OK


Magazine of the Oklahoma Heritage Association

Student .................................... $15 Subscription ............................ $35 Individualism .......................... $50 Perseverance ........................ $100 Pioneer Spirit ......................... $250 Optimism ................................ $500 Generosity ........................... $1,000 Legacy Circle ...................... $2,000 Honor Circle ....................... $2,500 Executive Circle ................. $3,500 President’s Circle ............... $5,000 Chairman’s Circle ............. $10,000

For additional information contact the Oklahoma Heritage Association 1400 Classen Drive Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106 Telephone 405.235.4458 or Toll Free 888.501.2059 E-mail

Magazine of the Oklahoma Heritage Association 2 From the Chairman Calvin Anthony 3

From the President Shannon L. Rich

The 2012 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Gini Moore Campbell

13 Trent Lawson: Pareidolia Corie L. Baker

18 Book Review


John Hope Franklin: A Legacy of Dignity, Knowledge and Hope Robert H. Henry


Dr. William F. LaFon:: From Country Doctor to Air Force Colonel Sandie Olson

Visit the Association’s website at Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by return postage. Library Distribution made possible THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF MAGAZINE SPONSORS STATEWIDE.

Mission Partners Chesapeake Energy Corporation Chickasaw Nation Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma ConocoPhillips Cory’s Audio Visual Services E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Duke R. Ligon Mr. and Mrs. Tom E. Love Mr. and Mrs. Robert Z. Naifeh and Family OPUBCO Communications Group Phillips Murrah P.C.


January in the Life of Oklahoma Bob Burke

33 Making Elvis: Mae Boren Axton Gini Moore Campbell

38 Jacob H. Bartles: An Oklahoma Innovator Allison Biddinger 41 Hall of Fame Spotlight: Marian Opala Bob Burke


OHA’s Story Through Its People

From t he PRESIDENT...

From t he CHAIRMAN... With the New Year upon us, I want to take this opportunity to recognize the staff of the Oklahoma Heritage Association and GaylordPickens Museum for their efforts this year. At a time when all nonprofit organizations are facing tough financial times, our staff has worked hard to increase revenues while controlling expenses, ensuring your contributions continue to make a difference in the lives of Oklahomans of all ages. Programming has continued to increase during the year and 2013 will be no exception. Mark your calendars now for Saturday, March 9 when our Teen Board hosts the Oklahoma Heritage Land Run. Since the forming of the Teen Board, this group of outstanding young Oklahomans has raised more than $70,000 to support educational programming of the Association and Museum. Not only are the students learning valuable leadership skills, but they are investing early in their future. Students in grades nine through 12 will be competing for more than



Calvin J. Anthony Stillwater


Kathy Taylor Tulsa


Tom J. McDaniel Oklahoma City


Bill Anoatubby Ada

Bill Burgess

Calvin J. Anthony, Chairman

Robert Henry

Michael E. Smith

Pat Henry

Patti Evans

David Kyle

Stan Stamper

Clayton I. Bennett


Roxana Lorton


Duke R. Ligon

Toney Stricklin

Oklahoma City

Marlin “Ike” Glass, Jr.

Bond Payne

J.W. McLean

Oklahoma City

Dallas, TX

Glen D. Johnson Oklahoma City


Gary D. Parker Muskogee

Oklahoma City

John Massey Durant

Lee Allan Smith Oklahoma City

G. Lee Stidham



Mark A. Stansberry Edmond


Alison Anthony Tulsa


Howard G. Barnett, Jr. Tulsa

Bruce T. Benbrook


Shannon L. Rich Oklahoma City

Lawton Tulsa

Nevyle R. Cable


Shannon L. Rich, President

Rebecca Dixon

Stan Clark Paul Cornell

implement it once they return home. Our library distribution program places copies of every magazine and most books published by the Association in senior high school libraries statewide. Heritage Week competitions promote the exploration of one’s own community. Members of the Hall of Fame spend time and mentor students throughout the state and our Versus Series compares and contrasts the contributions of former and current Oklahomans. All of these programs, both at the Museum and across the state, allow students to learn firsthand the pride that comes with being an Oklahoman. They aspire to make a large enough difference to one day be recognized with induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.




Last month we celebrated the accomplishments of seven Oklahomans with their induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. From advances in medicine and entrepreneurship to government and philanthropy, this year’s Honorees remind us of the responsibility each of us has to our home state and to our neighbors. Regardless of their field of discipline, each has unselfishly made a difference in the lives of others. That is what we try to do each and every day through our programming and the Museum. Students visiting the Museum through our free field trip program learn the five characteristics of every Oklahoman—generosity, individualism, optimism, pioneer spirit, and perseverance. They see how these characteristics played a role in the lives of those featured and explore how they are or may be incorporated into their own lives. While some students share the efforts they already are putting forth, others share the inspiration they found during their visit and their plans on how to

At Large Executive Committee Members


Jane Jayroe Gamble


$4,000,000 in cash scholarships and tuition grants to Oklahoma colleges and universities this spring. In addition, one graduating senior will earn the $10,000 John W. and Mary D. Nichols Oklahoma Heritage Scholarship. In March my term as chairman will end. It has been a privilege for me to serve as chairman and I am proud of the progress we have made the last two years. I am honored to serve with such a professional board and staff and continue to be impressed with the efforts, drive, and dedication of these individuals. I am looking forward to working alongside Tulsan Kathy Taylor, who will be assuming the role of chairman, and to the momentum continuing under her leadership. I want to wish you a safe and happy holiday season. Thank you for your continued support and for allowing us to tell Oklahoma’s story through its people.


Barbara Braught Duncan

Joe Cappy Tulsa

Michael A. Cawley


Ponca City

Christy Everest Oklahoma City

Ken Fergeson Altus

Vaughndean Fuller Tulsa

Gilbert C. Gibson Lawton

Dan Gilliam Bartlesville

Jennifer M. Grigsby Oklahoma City

Virginia G. Groendyke Enid

Joe D. Hall Elk City

Jim Halsey Tulsa

V. Burns Hargis Stillwater


Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City


Vicki Miles-LaGrange Becky Switzer Oklahoma City


Joe Moran

Clayton C. Taylor


Oklahoma City

Melvin Moran

Steven W. Taylor

Fred Morgan

Steve Turnbo

Xavier Neira

Michael C. Turpen

Gregory E. Pyle

Hardy Watkins


Oklahoma City

Frank C. Robson

Ronald H. White


Oklahoma City Norman


Richard N. Ryerson Alva

Sharon Shoulders Henryetta

McAlester Tulsa

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City

By Gini Moore Campbell The Oklahoma Hall of Fame Class of 2012, left to right, Bart Conner, Suzanne Warren, Stan Clark, Lee R. West. Tom L. Ward, and Ronald H. White



he Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center was the venue for the 2012 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony. On the evening of Thursday, November 15 people from throughout Oklahoma, as well as the United States and several continents, gathered to celebrate the induction of seven Oklahomans into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame—our state’s highest honor.

Mike Turpen and Burns Hargis celebrated ten years sharing the stage as masters of ceremonies during the 2012 Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Sarah Coburn performed “The National Anthem” and led the crowd in “Oklahoma!” during the 2012 Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

Nancy Payne Ellis presented, on behalf of members of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the 2012 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Scholarship to Corey Hembree from Dale High School.


The evening began with former Tulsa Mayor and Oklahoma Heritage Association Chair-Elect welcoming the crowd to Tulsa and the 85th annual Oklahoma Hall of Fame. She highlighted the mission and work of the Association, including its Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum. Bishop Edward James Slattery, the third bishop installed at the Diocese of Tulsa at Holy Family Cathedral, followed with the invocation. Oklahoma Heritage Association President Shannon L. Rich and Chairman Calvin J. Anthony recognized the Patron Donors for the Hall of Fame, the Association’s Board of Directors, and members of the Hall of Fame in attendance, as well as honoring those who had passed since the 2011 event. Nancy Payne Ellis, chairman of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Scholarship Committee, presented the third annual Oklahoma Hall of Fame Scholarship in the amount of $5,000 to Corey Hembree, a senior at Dale High School. Sharing duties for their tenth year together as masters of ceremonies, V. Burns Hargis and Michael C. Turpen took to the stage to introduce Sarah Coburn, the renowned operatic soprano from Tulsa, to perform “The National Anthem.” Backstage, the women’s rowing team from The University of Tulsa served as escorts and ensured talent was in place throughout the show. After brief introductions, Hargis and Turpen welcomed the first presenter to the stage and the 2012 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was underway. Following the induction of Stan Clark, Ronald H. White, Tom L. Ward, the late Edith Kinney Gaylord, Suzanne Warren, Lee R. West, and Bart Conner, Secretary of State Glenn Coffee congratulated the Honorees on their induction before being joined on stage by Hargis, Turpen, and Coburn to close the show with “Oklahoma!” Following the ceremony, guests had the opportunity to congratulate the Honorees on their induction during a reception held in the adjacent ballrooms. The 2012 Oklahoma Hall of Fame was aired on OETA, The Oklahoma Network, on Saturday, November 17 to Oklahoma and the surrounding states.


Stillwater, Oklahoma

native Tulsan, Clark resides in Stillwater where he has built one of Oklahoma’smost recognized brands and become one of our state’s greatest ambassadors. The Stan Clark Companies known as the “Three Amigos” includes the flagship Eskimo Joe’s, Mexico Joe’s, Joseppi’s, and Eskimo Joe’s Promotional Products Group. The Eskimo Joe’s logo, featuring the smiling cartoon Eskimo Joe and his canine friend, Buffy, was created in 1975 by a freshman art student at OSU. In addition to sponsoring a scholarship at Oklahoma State University in the College of Education, The Stan Clark Companies donations include the South Entry Plaza of the Boone Pickens Stadium, the Stillwater Public Education Foundation, Coaches vs Cancer, Oklahoma Project Women, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Clark Companies also has sponsored the Juke Joint Jog for 25 years and the Three Amigos’ United Way Golf Classic for 20 years, both benefitting the Stillwater Area United Way. The companies’ support of the Folds of Honor Foundation directly benefits the families of fallen and disabled veterans with post-secondary scholarships. This year Clark received the 2012 Mike Synar Award for Special Olympics Oklahoma. Clark also has been recognized by the OSU Alumni Association as a Distinguished Alumnus, had the honor of being Grand Marshall for the OSU Homecoming Parade, and inducted into the OSU Spears School of Business Hall of Fame and the Meinders School of Business Hall of Honor at Oklahoma City University. For ten years, and at the request of three governors, Clark served on the Tourism Commission. He has served multiple terms on the Stillwater Convention and Visitors Bureau, is a longtime member of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association, and currently serves on the boards of the Jim Thorpe Association and the Oklahoma Heritage Association. Clark’s fun loving spirit and personal warmth has permeated every aspect of his company and brand, making Eskimo Joe’s a Stillwater institution, a statewide tourist attraction, and a globally recognized brand. Clark married Shannon Graham and they are the proud parents of three—Maguire, Gabi, and Hudson.

Chairman of the Board of Vortex, publisher of The Lawton Constitution, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, and a 2008 Oklahoma Hall of Fame inductee, Bill Burgess presented Stan Clark for induction.




onner is the only American gymnast to win Gold Medals at every level of national and international competition. Conner has been a USA Champion, NCAA Champion, Pan-American Games Champion, World Champion, World Cup Champion, and an Olympic Champion. He was a member of three Olympic Teams—1976, 1980, and 1984. It was during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics where he made a dramatic comeback from his second torn biceps injury to win two Gold Medals. In the fall of 1976, Conner moved from his hometown of Morton Grove, Illinois, to Norman to attend the University of Oklahoma and be coached by Paul Ziert. While at OU, Conner earned 14 NCAA All-American honors and led his team to two NCAA team titles. After graduating with a degree in Journalism PR in 1984, Conner went into business with Ziert. Today, they own several gymnastics related business interests, including the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy, where more than 1,000 gymnasts train at every level from beginning motor skill development to elite athletes competing for college scholarships and spots on the US National team; GYMNAST Magazine, the premier international gymnastics magazine; and Grips, Etc., a gymnastics supply company—opening a new office building and factory in Norman to produce gymnastics grips, t-shirts, and tumbling shoes. In 1996, Conner married Romanian Olympic Champion Nadia Comaneci. They have one son, Dylan Paul Conner. Today, he serves on the board of directors for Special Olympics International, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and Creative Oklahoma and on the board of visitors for the University of Oklahoma College of International Studies. Conner is co-chair of the Steering Committee for the Gaylord School of Journalism Centennial Celebration. Conner has been inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. Conner still enjoys high visibility as a public speaker and TV color commentator for ESPN. With his production company, Perfect 10 Productions, he has produced gymnastics television shows for ESPN, Fox Sports Net, Oxygen TV, and the World Championship Sports Network, now known as Universal Sports.

Bart Conner was presented for induction by Dr. Timothy Shriver, chairman & CEO of Special Olympics, social leader, educator, activist, film producer, and business entrepreneur.



dith Kinney Gaylord was a pioneer journalist and philanthropist with a life-long passion for the news business. She was born in Oklahoma City to Inez Kinney Gaylord and E.K. Gaylord, the editor and publisher of The Daily Oklahoman and The Oklahoma City Times. Educated for a short time in Switzerland, Gaylord graduated from Oklahoma City Public Schools’ Classen High School, known today as Classen School of Advanced Studies. She attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs, where she later served as a trustee and maintained a lifelong relationship with the institution. In 1937 she graduated from Wells College in Aurora, New York, with a bachelor of arts degree with emphasis in English, French, and Social Studies. Gaylord’s journalism career began at her father’s newspapers, writing news stories and reporting for the society department. Five years later she was hired by the Associated Press in New York City, ultimately transferring to the Washington, D.C. bureau and becoming the first woman on the general news staff. An early assignment to cover First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s press conferences quickly developed into a close friendship. Gaylord became the First Lady’s media liaison and then secretary of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Press Con-

ference Association. In 1944, she was elected president of the Women’s National Press Club. Other notable assignments included accompanying Madam Chiang Kaishek on her tour of America and the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London, England. Over her lifetime, Gaylord supported many organizations and projects, often anonymously. Her interests, ranging from education and health to the arts and environment, were diverse. In 1982, she created two foundations to carry on her giving—Inasmuch Foundation and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. Through Inasmuch Foundation her legacy continues to lessen suffering and enrich the quality of lives it touches. Investments of Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation builds the ethics, skills, and opportunities needed to advance principled, probing news and information. To date, giving from both foundations exceeds $130-million. Accepting induction on behalf of the late Edith Kinney Gaylord were her nieces, Louise Bennett and Christy Everest and Bob Ross, president and CEO of Inasmuch Foundation and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.



orn in Shattuck and raised in Seiling, Ward has served as chairman and chief executive officer of SandRidge Energy, Inc. since June 2006. He previously served as president, chief operating officer, and a director of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, co-founded on a handshake with Aubrey K. McClendon. In November, 2007, SandRidge went public and today employs more than 2,500 across Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. Ward graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1981 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Petroleum Land Management. Ward is a member of the Professional Basketball Club, LLC, which owns the Thunder, Oklahoma’s only major sports franchise, and serves on the board of trustees of Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana, and The First Tee. He also is a member of the Economic Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and the board of visitors for the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Department of Medicine. With his son, in 2006 Ward co-founded White Fields, Inc., offering a continuum care program and a home for severely abused and neglected boys until they are out of high school. It is important to Ward that these young men know they always will have a place to call “home.” He has provided scholarship funds to Oklahoma colleges and universities to increase the access for students to higher education and encourage them to remain in Oklahoma to live and work after they have earned their degree. Believing everyone deserves a second chance, Ward and SandRidge work closely with Alva’s minimum security Bill Johnson Correctional Center. Through the partnership, rehabilitated, non-violent inmates earn the opportunity to return to the workforce. Ward and his wife Sch’ree are the proud parents and parent-in-laws of Trent and his wife Kim, Romi and her husband Kirby, James, and their adopted son Frank Alberson and his wife Tatum. They have seven grandchildren—Rayven, Thomas, Silas, Ava, Joslyn, Madelyn, and Manning—and are awaiting the birth of their eighth in January.

Tom Ward was presented for induction by Dr. Hance Dilbeck, senior pastor of Quail Springs Baptist Church and a two-time graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, earning a Master of Divinity degree and a Doctor of Ministry degree.




arren grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut and attended Rider College, the University of Connecticut, and graduated from Florida Atlantic University with B.A. and M.Ed. degrees. Following graduation she was employed by the Palm Beach County School System. She worked in several programs funded by federal grants for disadvantaged and low-income students both as a resource teacher and director, in addition to teaching adult education. Warren works to raise public awareness and funding for Tulsa’s arts and social service organizations. Currently she serves as a director/trustee of the Children’s Hospital Foundation at Saint Francis and the Mental Health Association Advisory Board. She is a past director of Cascia Hall Preparatory School, Monte Cassino School, Ronald McDonald House, Tulsa Opera, and The Tulsa Philharmonic. She has served as honorary chair of the Red Ribbon 10-year celebration, which provides home care for patients with AIDS. Warren helped launch the Painted Pony Ball, the annual fundraiser that benefits the Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis where she is a trustee. Through her work with the event, she helped build and financially support the organization so that no family or child in the region is turned away for the lack of ability to pay. She chaired the 75th Anniversary of the Tulsa Philharmonic featuring Reba McEntire and the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philbrook Gala, the Cinderella Ball, the Mental Health Association’s Inaugural Le Masquerade, and the Tulsa Opera Ball. The Warrens have been inducted into the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame. As breeders and owners they have enjoyed great success. Saint Liam won the $4,000,000 Breeder’s Cup Classic, the richest purse race in America, and the prestigious Eclipse Awards for Horse of the Year and Older Male Horse. Charitable Man and Denis of Cork placed well in the Kentucky Derby and The Belmont Stakes. With her husband, William K. Warren, Jr., they have six children—Stephen, William J., Carolyn, John-Kelly, Andrew, and Dana—and are the proud grandparents of Brittlyn, Natalie, Garrett, and Audrey.

Manager of the Zarrow Family Office, LLC, president of the Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation, and trustee of The Zarrow Families Foundation, Judy Kishner presented Suzanne Warren for induction.




EDMOND, Oklahoma orn in Clayton and reared in Antlers, following his high school graduation West earned a degree in government from the University of Oklahoma. After 28 months active duty in the United States Marine Corps, including 13 months overseas with the 3rd Marine Division in Japan and the 1st Marine Division in Korea, he returned to the University of Oklahoma where he earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the College of Law. He was admitted to the Oklahoma State Bar in 1956. He engaged in private practice until 1961 when he became a member of the faculty at the University of Oklahoma College of Law where he taught torts, damages, evidence, trial practice, and workmen’s compensation. During the 1962-1963 term he was a Ford Foundation Fellow in Law Teaching at Harvard Law School where he received an LLM degree. In 1963 he returned to private practice and served as Labor Arbitrator for the National Mediation Board. West was appointed by Governor Henry Bellmon to serve as District Judge for the 22nd Judicial District of Oklahoma, serving also as Special Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals. He was appointed by President Richard Nixon, and later designated Acting Chairman by President Jimmy Carter, to the Civil Aeronautics Board in Washington, D.C. where he negotiated treaties with 52 countries. West reentered private practice until his appointment to the Federal Bench where he also served as Chief Judge of the Western District of Oklahoma. Since taking senior status in 1994 he has remained active hearing cases at both District and Circuit levels and serving as a settlement judge in complex and protracted cases. An avid outdoorsman, West has served as president of the Grand National Quail Hunt and is known nationwide as a champion breeder and trainer of bird dogs. West married Mary Ann Ellis, his secondgrade love. The couple has two daughters—Kimberly and Jennifer—and recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Judge Lee R. West was presented for induction by Judge David Russell, United States District Judge for 30 years and twotime U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.



graduate of Seminole High School, White received his B.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of Oklahoma. Following residency, he served in the U.S. Navy in Da Nang, Viet Nam and at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He completed a fellowship in cardiology at the OU Health Sciences Center and entered private practice, specializing in diagnostic and interventional cardiology. He attended one of the first balloon angioplasty training courses in Switzerland and subsequently performed the first procedure in Oklahoma. White co-founded the American Society of Cardiovascular Interventionalists and Oklahoma Cardiovascular Associates, the state’s largest cardiovascular physician group serving patients in 45 satellite clinics statewide. In 2002 he co-founded the Oklahoma Heart Hospital, one of the nation’s first all-digital hospitals. He served two terms on the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and as chairman three years. He is beginning his second term as a State Regent for Higher


Education, receiving appointments from Governors David Boren, George Nigh, Brad Henry, and Mary Fallin. He served on the board of directors of Oklahoma Gas and Electric, was a member of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and a trustee for the OU Foundation, Oklahoma Zoological Society, and Westminster Day School. He is currently a member of the board of directors of the Oklahoma Heritage Association, the OU College of Health Advisory Board, and the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum. His professional memberships include the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, Oklahoma County Medical Society, Oklahoma State Medical Association, and American Medical Association. With his wife, Lynn, White takes great pride in his family—son Mason, daughter Melissa, their spouses Bianca and Mike, and grandchildren Avery, Addie, and Chase Brown.

Glen Johnson, Chancellor for the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, former Speaker of the House and president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and a 2006 inductee of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, presented Ronald H. White for induction.


2 0 1 2

P a t r o n

D o n o r s


HALL OF FAME PATRON -$10,000 Atinum Partners, Seoul, Korea Mr. and Mrs. Clayton I. Bennett, Oklahoma City Chesapeake Energy, Oklahoma City Chickasaw Nation, Ada Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Durant Devon Energy, Oklahoma City Josephine Freede, Oklahoma City Inasmuch Foundation/Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, Oklahoma City Larry Lee, Joe Cappy, Tom Clark, & Doyle Woodard, Tulsa Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, Tulsa John Manley, Chicago, IL Oklahoma State University Foundation, Stillwater RBC Capital Markets, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Repsol E&P USA, Houston, TX Frank C. Robson, Claremore Saint Francis Health System, Tulsa Board and Officers of SandRidge Energy, Inc., Oklahoma City SandRidge Energy, Inc., Oklahoma City Sun Trust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Atlanta, GA University of Tulsa, Tulsa Dr. and Mrs. H.W. Vandever, Santa Barbara, CA William K. Warren Foundation, Tulsa Nazih and Annette Zuhdi, Oklahoma City HERITAGE PATRON $7,500 Robert E. Braver, Nichols Hills Bart Conner/Paul Ziert & Associates, Norman Dobson Technologies, Oklahoma City Hall Estill, Oklahoma City George Kaiser Family Foundation, Tulsa Ronald H. White, Oklahoma City LEGACY PATRON - $5,000 American Fidelity, Oklahoma City James Baker Group, Inc., Oklahoma City BancFirst, Oklahoma City Bank of Oklahoma, Tulsa Mike and Cathey Barkley, Tulsa Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Biolchini, Tulsa Stan Clark Companies, Stillwater Kathy Craft, Tulsa The Crescent Companies, Oklahoma City Pat Evans/Carl Renfro, Ponca City Jim and Christy Everest, Oklahoma City Mr. and Mrs. John Groendyke, Enid JMA Energy Company, L.L.C., Oklahoma City The Lawton Constitution/Burgess Family, Lawton Manhattan Construction, Tulsa

Mercy Health Center, Oklahoma City Joseph P. Moran, Tulsa Oklahoma Heart Hospital, Oklahoma City Payne Family Foundation, Oklahoma City T. Boone Pickens, Dallas, TX H.E. “Gene� Rainbolt, Oklahoma City Frank H. Seay, Seminole, Fred Gipson, Norman, Don Smith, Ft. Smith, AR, Richard Bell, Norman State Chamber of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Charles and Peggy Stephenson, Tulsa University of Oklahoma, Norman Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation, Tulsa TRACKMAKER PATRON - $3,500 AT&T, Oklahoma City Howard and Billie Barnett, Tulsa Ben E. Keith Foods, Edmond Michael Burrage PC, Oklahoma City Chapman Foundations Management, Tulsa First National Bank of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City First National Bank & Trust of Okmulgee, Okmulgee GableGotwals, Tulsa Ike and Marybeth Glass, Newkirk IBC Bank, Oklahoma City International Insurance Brokers, LTD, Tulsa Janzen Toyota Scion, Stillwater J.P. Morgan, Dallas, TX Edward and Marilyn Keller, Tulsa The Kerr Foundation, Inc., Oklahoma City Gordon R. Melson, Seminole/Garvin Isaacs, Oklahoma City Mustang Fuel Corporation, Oklahoma City Oklahoma Blood Institute, Oklahoma City Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Oklahoma City W. DeVier Pierson, Chevy Chase, MD Stillwater National Bank & Trust Company, Stillwater University of Oklahoma, Norman Zarrow Families Foundation, Tulsa PIONEER PATRON - $1,600 Mr. and Mrs. G.T. Blankenship, Oklahoma City Brune Law Firm, Tulsa Frates Insurance & Risk Management LLC, Oklahoma City E. Ann Graves, Tulsa Helmerich & Payne, Tulsa Integris Health, Oklahoma City Jordan & Sons, LLC, Owasso Mr. and Mrs. Duke R. Ligon, Oklahoma City Peter and Nancy Meinig, Tulsa Melvin and Jasmine Moran, Seminole Mr. and Mrs. Robert Z. Naifeh, Oklahoma City List represents donors as of close of business on November 12, 2012



Mary D. Nichols, Oklahoma City Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City Samson Energy Company, Tulsa Ryan Whaley Coldiron Shandy, PLLC, Oklahoma City Ronnie and Sue Ward, Newcastle T.D. Williamson, Tulsa Lee R. West, Edmond George U. Wyper, Darien, CT HOMESTEADER PATRON - $750 Anderson University, Anderson, IN Bob Burke, Oklahoma City Bryan B. Close, Tulsa Chuck and Shari Darr, Edmond Frederick and Janet Drummond, Pawhuska A. Munson and Vaughndean Fuller, Tulsa Mr. and Mrs. Gerald L. Gamble, Oklahoma City Arch and Jo Gilbert, Ft. Worth, TX Bill Gilliland, Amarillo, TX Bob and Ann Gilliland, Oklahoma City Jane B. Harlow, Oklahoma City Mrs. James E. Hill, Jr., Oklahoma City The Honorable Jerome A. Holmes, Oklahoma City Carlos and Pamela Johnson, Oklahoma City Kirchner Investments, LLC, Tulsa Mark and Carol Lester, Edmond Julie and Sanjay Meshri, Tulsa Raymond A. Miller, Jr., Tulsa Ruth K. Nelson, Tulsa Hisashi and Lynn Nikaidah, Tulsa John Norman, Oklahoma City C.D. and Gwen Northcutt, Ponca City Jon Patton, Stillwater Homer and Ramona Paul, Edmond Santosh and Kiran Prabhu, Edmond Elizabeth Ann Robertson, Edmond Royal Bank of Canada, New York, NY Drs. Lois and John Salmeron, Oklahoma City Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Tulsa Bill and Pam Shdeed, Oklahoma City Neil and Barbara Stanfield, Oklahoma City Mark and Nancy Stansberry, Edmond The Taylor Group, Oklahoma City Tiger Drug, Stillwater UMB Bank, Oklahoma City John Feaver, Chickasha James Vallion, Oklahoma City Michael Wilson, Plano, TX Susan Winchester, Chickasha Mr. and Mrs. Roy D. Workman, Oklahoma City

pareidolia pareidolia BY CORIE L. BAKER

Born in south Oklahoma City, artist Trent Lawson graduated from Pauls Valley High School before earning his BFA in Studio Art from Oklahoma City University. He remembers always drawing, and during middle school and high school taking as many art classes as he could. As a child, he remembers Ninja Turtles being his subject of choice. Lawson looks at the drastically different personalities and teaching styles of former OCU professors Jack Davis and Bruce Macella when exploring those that have influenced him the most. From them he

Apart from his own artistic endeavors, Trent Lawson is a preparator at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. He currently is exhibiting in the Tulsa World Gallery of the GaylordPickens Museum through January 5, 2013. Pareidolia: the psychological phenomenon where one sees a vague or random stimulus and perceives it as something recognizable. Examples are the man in the moon, cloud shapes looking like animals, Jesus in the burnt tortilla, messages in records played in reverse, and Rorschach ink blot diagrams.

Standing Freeform


“Do not look for, but look passively and took a sense of individualism and problem solving. He believes everything around each of us is an influence, whether we are aware of it at the time or not. Today, the work of Lawson explores the idea of Pareidolia—when one sees a vague or random stimulus and perceives it as something recognizable. Lawson randomly creates lines using various strings on the surface which becomes the basis for the imagery. Through a broad range of mixed media, when complete it is the viewer that finds his or her own imagery in each unique piece. As a result, the observer becomes part of the creative process. Lawson’s pieces range in size from small to oversized, including freestanding and interactive pieces.

Ooh, Barracuda

Big Blue #2




receive what the painting has to offer.” -Trent Lawson




pareidolia pareidolia CHANTILLY LACE


Blue Sabine





Only in America: 101 Stories from George Johnson’s American Journey

By George Earl Johnson, Jr. • $28.99

You know a guy for forty years, you see his public service, you are his friend, you would think you had heard “all his stories.” In reading this book, I learned this is not the case in the “two Georges.” What a great experience to relax and learn new tales of George Johnson. I am a firm believer we all are shaped, molded, influenced, and changed by the events and people along the way. We like to think we are what we made ourselves. That is only partially true. Look in the mirror of life and see a product equally made possible by the contributions of others. When I finished the work of George Johnson, I just sat there thinking we all should stop and remember those same kind of moments and people in our lives. You will enjoy the book of just some of his life stories, but I really think you will enjoy just as much, the thoughts of your life stories that George Johnson triggers in his writings. A note to everyone: “Bask in all the stories, his and yours.”


—George Nigh

New The court wa s Justice Op ala’s life. He worked all the time. He was a champion of due pro cess and protecting the rights of individuals over govern ment.

—Steven Tayl or Chief Justice,O

klahoma Sup

reme Court

a Supreme



My life’s wo rk was to lov e be commit ted to the Con and tion as the stitugre stable bulwa atest and most rk for perser our individ ving ual freedom and for protecting us from exc esses of our govern ment. —Marian Op ala


Bob Burke and

Ryan Leon ar

Foreword by David L. Bo ren





5 59696 3

Lou Dean

Series Edit or: Gini Moore Cam pbell Associat e Editor: Eric Dab ney

He was a sch olar, a states man, a gentleman, and he WA S the face of the judicia ry to the pub lic. —N oma Gurich Justice, Okla hom


From Polish freedom figh ter to Chief Just ice of the Okl ahoma Supreme Cou rt, the long life of Marian Opa la was filled with danger, adventure, and an inor dinate thirst knowledge. for His profound devotion to the rule of law was the fou ndation of his character. Opala’s som ewhat mysteri ous past is pres erved in the writing of this authoriz ed biograph y that began a few months before his dea th in 2010. It is a story that traverses the emotion s of war, rom ance, and decision mak ing at the high est levels of Oklahoma’ s judiciary.

From The okLahoma Bush Tracks To The Big appLe


HERITAGE ASSOCIAT 1400 Clas sen Drive ION • Oklahom a City, OK www.okla 73106 hom

OPALA: In Faithful Service to the Law By Bob Burke and Ryan Leonard Foreword by David L. Boren • $28.95


The Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club: The First Century By Bob Burke •$39.95

The Boys from the Bushes: From the Oklahoma Bush Tracks to The Big Apple By Lou Dean • $18.95

All publications are available at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum Store, bookstores statewide,, and 18

The portrait by Everett Raymond Kinstler of John Hope Franklin was dedicated on February 22, 2012 and hangs in the State Capitol of Oklahoma.

By Robert H. Henry


ebruary marks African American History month, and that history, especially the sub-set of it known as the Civil Rights Movement, has very special resonance in Oklahoma. African

American Oklahomans hold stellar places in the cosmological struggle for civil and human rights. They led in the courts, in the sit-in movements, in politics, in literature, in the arts, and on the athletic fields. A special black leader and Oklahoman, Dr. John Hope Franklin, was the greatest chronicler of the entire movement.


Franklin said: “The very essence of the life of the mind is the freedom to inquire, to examine, and to criticize.” He certainly lived that life of the mind. Born in

book has sold over 3 ½ million copies and has

Rentiesville, Oklahoma, only fifty years after

been translated in several languages.

the abolition of slavery, Franklin learned that

the disastrous effects of that “peculiar institu-

rights movement, he lived it. He was forcibly

tion” were a long way from being abolished.

removed from the “white people’s coach” in a

Franklin graduated from Tulsa’s Booker T. Wash-

train at age 6. He endured racial violence in

ington High School, and went on to become a

Tulsa at the same age. As a 12-year-old Boy

nationally recognized historian.

Scout, he was rejected as guide by a blind

Franklin not only chronicled the civil

John Hope Franklin was married to Aurelia Whittington for 59 years. Together they had one son, John Whittington Franklin.

woman seeking to negotiate Tulsa traffic when

Known as the leading scholar to bring African American history into mainstream American history, he stated the purpose of his life’s work was “to weave into the fabric of American history enough of the presence of blacks so that the story of the United States could be told adequately and fairly.”

a loan for a home. At 60, he was mistakenly ordered to serve as a porter for a white person at a hotel. Even in 1995 at 80 years old, he experienced the sting of discrimination. Ironically, it was on the very eve of the ceremony where Dr. Franklin was to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He had chosen to have dinner at the prestigious Cosmos Club where his picture, as a member of the club, prominently hangs on the wall. In his autobiography Mirror to America, Dr. Franklin described what happened that night: “It was during our stroll through the club that a white woman called me out,

three academic units include his name at Duke.

presented me with her coat check, and ordered

When the university offered to name the center

me to bring her coat. I patiently told her that

for African American Studies after Franklin, he

enced by his lawyer/teacher father, he spent

if she would present her coat to a uniformed

politely declined, saying he was a historian of

every evening reading and writing to satisfy

attendant, ‘and all of the club attendants were

America and the world, too. His books, lectures,

an insatiable curiosity. Denied admission into

in uniform,’ perhaps she could get her coat.”

and speeches led to Franklin receiving more than

Oklahoma universities, he earned his bachelor’s

130 honorary doctorates. He was appointed

degree at Fisk University, and then a master’s

dice didn’t prevail. Franklin became the first

to the U.S. delegation of the United Nations

and Ph.D from Harvard in 1941. By 1947 he

black historian to assume a full professorship at

Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,

published From Slavery to Freedom: A History

a white institution; he became Chair of History

and served on a host of national commissions

of African Americans which recounted aspects

at the University of Chicago, and John B. Duke

and professional organizations.

of the movement not noted by other sources.

Professor at Duke University, where the John

Now in its 8th edition, the groundbreaking

Hope Franklin Center opened in 2000. In fact,

outdone by his personal and lifelong dedication


she learned he was black. At 45, he was denied

Growing up in a bookish family influ-

Throughout his life, indignity and preju-

Franklin’s prolific writing might only be

John Hope Franklin with his son, John Whittington Franklin.

Any list of outstanding black Oklahomans will have omissions, but here is a start: Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher was the self-described petite plaintiff whose arguments first formally raised the argument that separate could never be equal, and her two trips to the Supreme Court opened the powerful profession of law to her people.

Ralph Ellison made the invisible visible with his paradigm shifting Invisible Man.

Clara Luper and her youth movement opened Oklahoma City lunch counters and businesses to African Americans, and set the example for the nation.

John Hope Franklin received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton on September 29, 1995 during a ceremony at the White House.

Hannah Atkins was one of the first black women elected to a state legislature in the South and later represented her country at the United Nations.

Prentice Gautt shattered athletic records and stereotypes on the football field, before earning a PhD and becoming a key leader in two athletic conferences.

Jimmy Rushing’s “Five by Five” voice was declared by Count Basie to have no equal in the enormously popular blues.

to civil rights. In the early 1950s, he served

nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential

award, a career literary award given annually

on the NAACP Legal Defense Fund team led by

Medal of Freedom. In 2002, scholar Molefi

by the Tulsa Library Trust. He was the first (and

Thurgood Marshall that helped develop the

Kete Asante included Franklin on his list of 100

so far only) native Oklahoman to receive the

sociological case for the epochal Brown v. Board

Greatest African Americans. In 2006, he was

award. During his visit to Tulsa to accept the

of Education, the 1954 United States Supreme

announced as the third recipient of the John

award, Franklin made several appearances to

Court decision ending the legal segregation of

W. Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the

speak about his childhood experiences with

black and white children in public schools. He

study of humanity.

racial segregation, as well as his father’s experi-

marched with the Reverend Martin Luther King,

Along the way, Oklahoma honored him

ences as a lawyer in the aftermath of the 1921

Jr. in the famous march in Selma, Alabama.

too. Franklin was inducted to the Oklahoma

Tulsa race riot. In fact, one of Dr. Franklin’s last

He lent his presence and name to countless

Hall of Fame, and designated one of Okla-

public appearances was in Tulsa in 2009 for

lectures, speeches, and meetings promoting

homa’s Cultural Treasures.

the groundbreaking of the John Hope Franklin

civil rights.

Reconciliation Park which memorializes that

Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author

In 1995, as noted above, he received our

In 1997, he was selected to receive the

horrific event and its victims.

21 35

Last year on February 22, Oklahoma bestowed him another honor

provided music of special meaning to Dr. Franklin. The choir closed

when Dr. Franklin’s portrait was unveiled and hung in the second floor

the ceremony with a moving a cappella arrangement of “We Shall

rotunda of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The work of eminent American


portraitist Everett Raymond Kinstler, the painting is different from much

of the fine art in the capitol. Franklin is shown, nattily dressed in a

on his life, he noted that he “would like [his] students to take up

camel sport coat and a bright red tie, looking much like he did when he

where [he] left off and to carry on the fight to establish history as a

delivered a lecture in Oklahoma at age 93. During the portrait hanging

powerful force for good – a constructive force to rectify the ills of our

ceremony, Oklahoma City University’s “Generations Blessed” gospel choir

society – to change the world, as it were.”

Franklin taught professionally for nearly 70 years. Reflecting

In the words of the Roman poet Virgil, this great historian who chronicled this movement could truly say, “Some of these things I saw, and some of them I was.” Professor Beth Garrett, John Hope Franklin, Robert Henry, and David L. Boren during a seminar honoring Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

The John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies on the Duke University central campus.


Seventy-five years ago

At his home in Norman, Dr. William F. LaFon enjoys his retirement.

By Sandie Olson

, in 1937, William F. LaFon received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine. Today, at 99, he is the only living member of that class, and possibly the oldest living graduate of the OU School of Medicine. He received the “Golden Cane Award” at the annual alumni meeting of the Oklahoma State Medical Association in 2007. William F. “Bill” LaFon was born in the country south of Edmond, Oklahoma, on October 8, 1913, the youngest of five sons born to Lycurgus A. and Lillian LaFon. Lycurgus was a postal employee and delivered mail in Oklahoma City with a horse and cart in earlier years. The family moved to Oklahoma City when Bill was 3 months old, and then to Norman when he was 14. As a young boy, Bill delivered newspapers on his bicycle. He moved alone to Oklahoma City at 16, and continued his newspaper route, at one time having 210 customers in an eight-block area. After graduating from Central High School in Oklahoma City in 1931, he began his undergraduate studies at the University of Oklahoma. Bill was accepted into the OU College of Medicine in 1933. On October 16, 1936, Bill married Lucille Busby. The following spring, in 1937, Bill became “Dr. LaFon” upon his graduation from the college. Dr. LaFon was in a residency program in Wichita, Kansas, when a good friend, a medical equipment company representative, said, “Well, you want a country practice. There’s one down in Waynoka, Oklahoma, and the doctor there is unable to practice there any longer. Why don’t you go down and see about it?”


Dr. William F. LaFon graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in 1937. Following a residency in Wichita, Kansas, he moved to Waynoka with his wife Lucille and yearold son John to assume the medical practice of Dr. E.P. Clapper.

Dr. E.P. Clapper had come to Waynoka in 1903, ten years after the opening of the Cherokee Outlet and four years before Oklahoma’s statehood. He had served the community well both as a physician and as a model citizen. His clinic was in the middle of downtown

Alva General Hospital was used by Dr. William F. LaFon when he began practicing in Waynoka, as well as later when he relocated to Alva. It was not unusual for Dr. LaFon to provide transportation for his patients to the Alva General Hospital from Waynoka. Many families did not have cars in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Dr. LaFon was kept very busy at the clinic and with house calls. He recalled a day in which he made 12 house calls and saw 18 Dr. William F. LaFon built a new clinic on Missouri Street in Waynoka. Subsequent owners added the brick facade. patients in the office. in a small rented building on Cecil Street when the LaFons came to visit. The LaFons liked what they saw, and the decision was made to move to Waynoka at the completion of Dr. LaFon’s residency. Their son John had been born in 1939, and the LaFon family was warmly welcomed to Waynoka that same year. Dr. Clapper sold his equipment and medical supplies to Dr. LaFon for $500. The clinic on Cecil Street had three rooms: a combined reception and waiting room, a treatment room, and a supply room. Dr. LaFon kept gallon tanks of two kinds of cough syrup on hand: one was dark brown and tasted like creosote; the other was very mild


and cherry flavored. He recalled a man who requested a dose of each. When asked why, the man explained, “One for my cough and one for a chaser.” Waynoka was a unique town in northwest Oklahoma’s Woods County near the Cimarron River. It was a division point on the Santa Fe Railroad as well as an agricultural community. Dr. LaFon had to learn three languages— railroading, farming, and Spanish, the latter spoken by the families of Mexican railroad workers who lived in housing provided by the railroad in Mexican Town. He served as the official Santa Fe doctor in Waynoka, and was required to keep certain medications on hand. He was paid $1.00 for office calls,

Office calls were $1, house calls $2, and night calls $3. Instead of cash, Dr. LaFon was sometimes paid with other things, such as a tablecloth, chickens, and even a horse named Blaze, which the doctor described as a “smart aleck.” and $.50 for medication by the railroad. Dr. LaFon related a time when the son of the Santa Fe train master applied for a caller’s job on the railroad. A caller’s job was calling train crews to work. Color vision was a requirement, but the young man was color blind. Dr. LaFon tried every way he knew to

Oklahoma’s deadliest tornado struck Woodward in 1947. A request for help brought Dr. William F. LaFon and other Alva physicians to the scene.

detect color vision, but there was none. The boy’s mother came to the office, and was shown how the conclusion was reached. The young man was hired as a clerk, a job which also included the work of a caller but did not require color vision. The main railroad crossing in town was frequently blocked by trains, necessitating long waits by vehicles and individuals. It was not unusual for local youngsters to hurry under the train as it idled. On one such occasion, Karol Pierce, a boy who grew tired of the long wait, decided to crawl under the train to the other side. It moved, and the boy’s arm was severed. It was a sad and tragic day for the town, and for Dr. LaFon.

Serving the Town Dr. LaFon was kept very busy at the clinic and with house calls. He recalled a day in which he made 12 house calls and saw 18 patients in the office. A house call would require at least half an hour. On one occasion, all six children of the Baptist minister had a flu-like illness. In relating the incident, Dr. LaFon said, “That was bad. I was listening to a chest, and went to sleep.” He had been up for 36 hours. Dr. LaFon’s first x-ray machine was a dental x-ray machine, inadequate by today’s standards, but one which was useful for determining if bones were broken. A dentist who left town to join the military had left the machine for Dr. LaFon’s use. The local telephone operators were very helpful in locating the doctor in emergencies, tracking him from house to house until he was found. “I know he went to so-and-so’s house. Do you want me to call there?” During 1939 and 1940, Woods County had a smallpox epidemic. There were six confirmed cases, and Dr. LaFon vaccinated patients for $1 each. That was a considerable amount of money for the young physician. Office calls were $1, house calls $2, and night calls $3. Instead of cash, Dr. LaFon was sometimes paid with other things, such as a tablecloth, chickens, and even a horse named Blaze, which the doctor described as a “smart aleck.”

Obstetrics The weather was awful when friends of a woman in labor came, asking him to come to Quinlan because the doctor from Mooreland could

not make it. The roads were impassable. Quinlan is 15 miles southwest of Waynoka on the Santa Fe Railroad mainline. Dr. LaFon accompanied them on the 15-mile walk up the Santa Fe Railroad tracks to tend to the woman. However, the woman’s pains eventually stopped, without giving birth, and the doctor started to walk home. He was fortunate to catch a railroad crew on a motor-driven car on the rails, and they gave him a ride back to Waynoka. Dr. LaFon related assisting in the delivery of a baby in Mexican Town. He spoke almost no Spanish. He could say “You have pain, Senora” in Spanish—and the mother spoke no English. Everyone left the room, except for the doctor, the mother, and a little boy 16 months old who slept through it all. In spite of the language barrier, the baby was born just fine. Editor’s Note: Sandie Olson, president of the

Waynoka Historical Society, was one of the many babies delivered by Dr. LaFon during his practice of medicine in Woods County.

One night, Dr. LaFon was called to a farm home about 25 miles southeast of Waynoka for the delivery of a baby. The baby’s shoulder presentation was problematic. The baby could not be delivered without being inverted, which required anesthesia for the mother. The anesthetic was ether, which is highly explosive, even more so than gasoline, and which would be administered by lamplight, and with a wood fire in the stove. As Dr. LaFon told the story, he raised a hand and crossed his fingers, signifying “good luck”. The baby was delivered, with no explosions.


Most Memorable Experience

Dr. William F. LaFon and his wife Lucille were married for 67 years before her death in 2003.

The Alva General Hospital was built in the 1940s. Alva is only 26 miles from Waynoka, and many times Dr. LaFon provided transportation from Waynoka to the Alva hospital for women in labor. He recalls, “I was taking Mrs. Hendrie to the hospital. I got so sleepy that I had to turn it [the driving] over to her. She had to stay awake, and I didn’t.” In 1941, the LaFons became parents for the second time when their daughter Ann was born at the Alva General Hospital.


Dr. LaFon’s most memorable experience in the practice of medicine was the birth of a baby girl, Barbara Fiscus , daughter of Vivian and Harold Fiscus of rural Waynoka, at the Alva General Hospital. Barbara was born a beautiful well–developed, healthy baby, but quickly became listless. Dr. LaFon described little Barbara: “Her blood cells would disappear.” A large needle was inserted into her umbilical vein, and she was transfused with her father’s blood. The procedure was repeated when anemia reappeared until her condition stabilized. When Barbara was two or three years old, her parents came to Dr. LaFon, and asked if it would be safe for them to have another baby. To receive an answer, blood samples from Barbara, Harold, and Vivian were sent to Pennsylvania to a medical group whose specialty was the so-called “blue babies”. The report came back: “By no means.” And furthermore, the doctors stated, “we can’t figure out how she survived.” Later, a woman came from Chicago to see Dr. LaFon. She had heard of his success with the Fiscus baby. He had to tell her that he had learned all he

knew about it from a book written by a Chicago doctor. Today, Barbara Fiscus Pepper Walcott, mother of two, lives in Colorado near her daughter and son-in-law, Angela and Clint Douglas, and their children.

Building a New Clinic in Waynoka With the growth of his medical practice, and advances in medicine, it became necessary for Dr. LaFon to enlarge his clinic. He purchased property on Missouri Street, and employed Paul Clapper, son of Dr. Clapper, for construction of a new clinic. Labor was cheap: he offered the opportunity to some of his patients to work off their bills by helping with the building. They gladly accepted.

The Move to Alva The inconvenience of a clinic in Waynoka and having hospitalized patients 26 miles away at Alva General Hospital became more and more apparent. Dr. LaFon, his wife Lucille, and their children, John and Ann, moved to Alva in 1947. He joined the practice of Dr. Stephenson and Dr. Travis. Dr. LaFon sold his Waynoka clinic to Dr. Ronald A. Whiteneck. Several years later, when the E.P. Clapper Memorial Hospital was built in Waynoka, Dr. LaFon was also on the staff at the Waynoka hospital and saw patients there.

Dr. William F. LaFon’s most memorable case involved the birth of Barbara Fiscus, shown as a young girl in the 1950s, and as a grandmother in Colorado where she currently resides.

Dr. William F. LaFon, with his parents and brothers at their home in Oklahoma City, was the youngest of four surviving sons. Dr. LaFon celebrated his 99th birthday on October 8, 2012. Dr. and Mrs. William F. LaFon with their children, John and Ann.

Woodward: Oklahoma’s Deadliest Tornado On the night of April 8, 1947, Woodward, Oklahoma, population 5,000, was hit by the deadliest tornado in Oklahoma history. The storm had devastated Glazier and Higgins, Texas, and leveled Gage, Oklahoma, 21 miles southwest, before racing toward Woodward. The town received little warning because a telephone strike was underway and only two emergency operators were on duty. The storm hit at 8:42 p.m. The death toll was 185, more than 1,000 were injured, and 100 city blocks were leveled in the storm whose winds

were 225-440 miles per hour. Dr. Joe Duer was the head physician at the 28-bed Woodward Hospital. He quickly took charge of the hospital which was filling with the injured. The Baker Hotel was converted to a hospital for minor injuries. Some were sent to nearby Mooreland. The most seriously injured were flown to Oklahoma City. A call went out, requesting the assistance of area doctors. Dr. LaFon and other Alva doctors drove 65 miles to Woodward, but upon arriving realized little could be done without water and

electricity. The decision was made to load the less-seriously injured into freight cars on the Santa Fe Railroad, and send them to the Alva General Hospital. At Alva General, all patients who could be sent home were released and taken home by ambulance. A dormitory on the campus of Northwestern State College became a 40-bed hospital. Dr. LaFon, along with the Alva medical community, was very involved in the aftermath of the tornado. Some of the patients remained in the converted dormitory for a month.


Answering the Call: U.S. Air Force In 1953, during the Korean Conflict, Woods County received an order from the United States Government for the county to provide one physician for military service. Dr. Stephenson had 3 children in college or near college age. Dr. LaFon’s children were younger, and he perceived that it would be easier for him to volunteer than it would be for Dr. Stephenson. Dr. LaFon had not been eligible to enter the service in World War II because he was the Santa Fe Railroad physician in Waynoka, and the only doctor in town. He lost weight, going from 240 to 190 pounds, to pass the required physical, and reported to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas for medical officer indoctrination. There, according to Dr. LaFon, he was taught “how to be an officer and a gentleman, and all that sort of stuff.” From there, he was sent to Randolph Air Force Base for three months of training in aviation medicine. He entered the service as a Major because of his participation in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at the University of Oklahoma as an undergraduate 16 years previously and his 14 years in medical practice. He advanced to Lieutenant Colonel, and within three and one-half years, he was a full Colonel. At Lackland, he had been asked where he would like to go if he were sent to Europe. He responded: Spain, Scotland, or Great Britain. He was sent instead to Bordeaux, France. He was given a ride to his downtown office by a Major he had met on the plane. The next morning, he was handed his orders. He quickly realized, “I’m a Hospital Commander.” According to Dr. LaFon, he had an executive officer that was a regular medical officer, and “he kept me out of a lot of trouble.”


Bordeaux-Merignac Air Base was a front-line base for the US Air Forces in Europe, one of eleven major air bases in France which were operated by the United States Air Force between 1950 and 1967. Mrs. LaFon and the children prepared to join Dr. LaFon in France. John was only 14, but he had a driver’s license when he drove his mother and sister to New York City for the trip to France. They lived at Bordeaux-Merignac for 2½ years. When the time came for Colonel LaFon’s departure from the service, the Air Force invited him to remain in the service. He wrote that he would probably stay if he would be assigned to Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, or Colorado. He was sent to Vance Air Force Base in Enid, which was ideal, half-way between Woods County and Oklahoma City. He served at Vance Air Force Base for 1 ½ years as Hospital Commander and Flight Surgeon, and became a Lieutenant Colonel. He next served as Hospital Commander and Flight Surgeon at England Air Force Base in Louisiana, Findley Air Force Base in Bermuda, Clinton-Sherman Air Force Base near Clinton, Oklahoma for about 3 years, Shaw Air Force Base in North Carolina, and lastly at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City. Col. LaFon’s duties in the Air Force primarily were administrative as Hospital Commander and Flight Surgeon. However, at Tinker, which had the largest hospital, he also saw patients. His primary

responsibility there was taking care of the pilots, and, second, caring for their families. Col. LaFon retired from the United States Air Force in 1973 and from Civil Service in 1978. The LaFons continued to live near Tinker Air Force Base. Dr. and Mrs. LaFon were active members of Sooner Baptist Church in Midwest City where, until recent years, he taught a Bible class for senior adults. He continues to attend the church. Dr. and Mrs. LaFon had been married for 67 years when she died in 2003. Dr. LaFon, who has 4 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, and a great-great grandchild, moved to be near his daughter Ann and her husband, Billy Wolfe, and family, still in Norman. His son John, a widower, lives in California. Dr. LaFon is an avid gardener. Although the summer of 2012 was not kind to his plantings, he recently ordered 16 new rose bushes to plant in his yard. Paper boy, physician, Air Force colonel, flight surgeon, hospital commander, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, great-great grandfather, Bible teacher, friend and gardener: in his 99 years, William F. LaFon has experienced them all, admirably and well.

Col. William F. LaFon served as Hospital Commander and Flight Surgeon at a number of United States Air Force bases, beginning with Bordeaux-Marinac in France and ending at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City.


Oklahoma by bob burke

Taken form the book

A Year in the Life of Oklahoma


3 029 51

95-1-9 51995



U.S. Senator Robert S. Kerr died on this day in 1963, ushering in one of the most exciting two weeks of Oklahoma political history. Ultimately, Governor J. Howard Edmondson of Muskogee resigned, Lieutenant Governor George Nigh of McAlester became governor, and Nigh appointed Edmondson to Kerr’s Senate seat.


The nation’s most respected authority on African American history, John Hope Franklin, was born in the all-black town of Rentiesville in McIntosh County on this day in 1915. He graduated from high school in Tulsa and received a degree in history from Harvard University. A longtime professor of history at institutions such as the University of Chicago, Duke University, and the University of Cambridge, he wrote a comprehensive history of blacks in America, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of American Negroes, in 1947.


On this day in 2001, Coach Bob Stoops led his University of Oklahoma Sooners to the 2000 college football national championship with a 13-2 victory over Florida State University at Pro-Player Stadium in Miami, Florida. Stoops won the national title in only his second season at OU.


On this day in 1869, General Philip Sheridan’s expedition arrived at Medicine Bluff near present Lawton to lay out a new fort. First called Camp Wichita, six months later the post was named Fort Sill, in honor of Sheridan’s West Point classmate killed in the Civil War. Fort Sill is the only active Army post that remains from the forts built on the Southern Plains during the Indian Wars. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1960.


Baseball player Dale Mitchell died on this day in 1987. A native of Colony, Mitchell played baseball at the University of Oklahoma and for the Cleveland Indians and Brooklyn Dodgers in the major leagues. His moment in baseball history occurred when he took a called third strike to end the perfect game of Don Larsen in Game Six of the 1956 World Series. The baseball field at OU is named for Mitchell.


Frontier lawman Heck Thomas was born on this day in 1850. From 1886 to 1890, he was Deputy U.S. Marshal for Indian and Oklahoma territories and, as a fugitive hunter, quickly became a legend. He killed outlaw Bill Doolin of the infamous Doolin Gang in 1896. Thomas was Lawton’s first police chief. After statehood, he again became a federal marshal and helped quell violence in the young state.


On this day in 1965, “King of the Road,” sung by Roger Miller, was released. Within weeks it was No. 1 on music charts in the U.S. and England. Miller was raised on a farm outside Erick, where he learned his first guitar chords from his cousin’s husband, Sheb Wooley. Miller played his first studio session with a guitar borrowed from Chet Atkins.


Stanley Draper died in Oklahoma City on this day in 1976. For 49 years he managed the affairs of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and promoted the city’s progress. Under his leadership, the population of Oklahoma City quadrupled. He was instrumental in bringing Tinker Air Force Base and the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center to the area. Lake Stanley Draper is named for him.



On this day in 1923, Henry Gilliland played fiddle at the inaugural party of Governor Jack Walton in Oklahoma City. Gilliland, the former justice of the peace in Altus, was the first person in history to make a country music recording. He and a fiddler from Texas recorded “Turkey in the Straw” in New York in 1922.



Glenn Coffee became Oklahoma’s 30th Secretary of State on this day in 2011. Coffee was raised in Oklahoma City and earned degrees from Northeastern Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Before joining the administration of Governor Mary Fallin, Coffee was the first Republican President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate.


Henry P. “Hank” Iba died in Stillwater on this day in 1993. In 36 years as head basketball coach at Oklahoma State University, Iba won The U.S. Supreme Court released its decitwo NCAA national championships and sion on this day in 1948 which ordered the is the only American coach to win two University of Oklahoma College of Law gold medals in the Olympic Games. Each to admit Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, year, the Henry Iba Award recognizes the a young African American student from nation’s outChickasha. Fisher’s lawsuit was an imporstanding tant part of the desegregation of institucollege bations of higher learning in the U.S. sketball coach.

On this day in 1940, Oklahoma Congressman Lyle H. Boren, father of David L. Boren, took the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and severely criticized The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Boren believed Steinbeck’s novel was an indictment of tenant farmers in Oklahoma. Boren said, “The words he has put into the mouths of those people in his story will whisper eternally in his ear and haunt his wretched soul.”

12 Musician Wayne Coyne was born on this day in 1961. With his brother, Mark, and Michael Ivins, he formed the band “The Flaming Lips” in Oklahoma City in 1983. The band transitioned from being “Oklahoma weirdoes” in the 1990s to one of the nation’s most respected alternative rock bands of the new century.

13 30


Born on this day in 1943 to missionary parents, Shannon Lucid graduated from Bethany High School and earned three degrees, including a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. In 1978 she was selected by NASA for astronaut training. A veteran of five space flights, she holds the world record for most hours in space by a woman. In 1996, aboard the spaceship Atlantis, she logged 75 million miles in 188 days.


Robinson Risner, the highest ranking American prisoner of war in the Vietnam War, was born on this day in 1925. After graduating from Tulsa’s Central High School, he joined the Army Air Force and was trained as a fighter pilot. After he was shot down over Vietnam in September, 1965, he was held as a prisoner of war for more than seven years. He said, “To make it, I prayed by the hour. It was automatic, almost subconscious. I did not ask God to take me out of it. I prayed he would give me strength to endure it.”


Marian Opala was born on this day in 1920 in Poland. After spending time in a Nazi concentration camp, he came to Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma City University School of Law. He was the first foreign-born Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.


On this day in 1950, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” sung by Gene Autry, became the first No. 1 record of the decade. Autry came to Oklahoma as a child and grew up in southern Oklahoma. Hollywood’s first singing cowboy, Autry was a huge star of the 1930s and 1940s. In 1941, the town of Berwyn, Oklahoma, adjacent to Autry’s ranch, was renamed Gene Autry.


Iron Eyes Cody, a Cherokee actor from northeast Oklahoma, died on this day in 1999, at age 94. He began his acting career at age 12 and played Indian roles in many movies and on the television western, “Cisco Kid.” He was best known for his “crying Indian” role in the Keep America Beautiful public service announcements in the 1970s.

On this day in 1960, Anita Bryant’s hit song, “Paper Roses,” was released. Bryant was born in Barnsdall, graduated from Tulsa’s Will Rogers High School, and was Miss Oklahoma in 1958. After a career in pop music, she was the national spokesperson for the Florida citrus industry. She sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl III.



Oklahoma’s 15th governor, Raymond Gary, was born on this day in 1908 near Madill. He was a school teacher, county school superintendent, and state senator before being elected governor in 1954. Among his greatest accomplishments was the peaceful desegregation of public schools in Oklahoma.


James Jones was named Appointments Secretary (Chief of Staff) for President Lyndon B. Johnson on this day in 1965, the youngest person to serve in that White House position. Jones was born in Muskogee and served on the staff of Congressman Ed Edmondson. Jones represented Oklahoma’s First District in the U.S. House from 1973 to 1987. He was chairman of the American Stock Exchange from 1989 to 1993 and American Ambassador to Mexico from 1993 to 1997.


Astronaut William Pogue was born in Okemah on this day in 1930. After graduating from Oklahoma Baptist University and Oklahoma State University, he became a test pilot and was selected by NASA as an astronaut in 1966. He was a pilot of the Skylab 4 mission, the last of the three Skylab missions.

Television evangelist Oral Roberts was born on this day in 1918 in Ada. Roberts hosted one of television’s mostwatched religious programs of the 1950s and 1960s. In 1967, he founded Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.


The nation’s first prima ballerina, Maria Tallchief, was born on this day in 1925 in Fairfax. She was the highest paid ballerina of her era as a solo artist for Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Tallchief danced all over the world, but will always be known as “Oklahoma’s Firebird.”




On this day in 1974, Alvan Adams sets an Oklahoma high school basketball record with 21 double-doubles while playing for Putnam City. That record stood until broken by Blake Griffin. At OU, Adams was an All-American. He was drafted by the Phoenix Suns and played 13 seasons in the NBA. He was Rookie of the Year in 1976. He ranks third all-time in assists per game for centers, behind Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell.


On this day in 2001, sportscaster Bill Teegins and nine members of the Oklahoma State University basketball program were killed in an airplane crash in Colorado. Oklahoma sculptor Harold Holden of Kremlin created a life-sized kneeling cowboy sculpture to commemorate the lives lost.


28 On this day in 1956, “Heartbreak Hotel,” by Elvis Presley, was released as a single. The song was written by Oklahoma schoolteacher-songwriter Mae Boren Axton, mother of Hoyt Axton, and aunt of David L. Boren. The song was Presley’s first No. 1 pop hit. Axton was known in country music circles as “Queen Mother of Nashville” for contributing to the careers of Mel Tillis, Willie Nelson, Eddy Arnold, and Reba McEntire.

Country star Norma Jean was born Norma Jean Beasler on this day in 1938 in Wellston. She recorded many country hits and was a member of the Grand Ole Opry and sang on the Porter Wagoner Show from 1961 to 1967. She left the show to marry Oklahoma City furniture store owner Jody Taylor of Jude and Jody’s Furniture. During her career, she was known as “Pretty Miss Norma Jean.”



Cowboy actor Tom Mix’s last cowboy movie was released on this day in 1935. The original “King of the Cowboys,” Mix appeared in more than 300 movies, most of them in the silent era. He introduced John Wayne to acting. Mix spent his early years working on the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch near Ponca City, the largest working ranch in the Southwest. The Tom Mix Museum at Dewey displays memorabilia of his life.


On this day in 1942, Clarence Tinker was promoted to major general in the Air Force, the first Native American to reach that rank in the American military. Born near Pawhuska, Tinker was Osage and was killed during the attack on Midway on June 7, 1942, in World War II. Tinker Air Force Base is named in his honor.

By Gini Moore Campbell

At two years of age, Mae Boren moved with her family

to Oklahoma and forever considered it “home.” She was one of nine children and the only daughter born to Mark and Nannie Boren. She attended East Central University before earning her journalism degree, and teaching certificate, from the University of Oklahoma. Mae married John T. Axton and together they had two sons—Hoyt and John, Jr. Hoyt went on to become a country musician and actor, while John, Jr. chose the profession of law. Axton, a former officer in the United States Navy, was a school teacher and athletics coach with a strong baritone voice. Although the family lived in Comanche, Oklahoma, during the boys’ pre-teen years, Mae and her husband taught in a number of Oklahoma school districts, including Broken Bow, Moore, Walters, Frederick, and Ada. However, it was during the family’s stint in Florida that Mae began writing songs with local musicians. While working for Charles Eugene “Hank” Snow, a country music artist with more than 70 singles on the country charts during his career, she saw Elvis Presley perform for the first time.


With artist Tommy Durden she co-wrote “Heartbreak Hotel” in less than an hour based on an article that appeared in the Miami Herald about a suicide that had taken place in a local hotel. The article relayed that the victim had removed all tags from his clothing, discarded his identification, and left a one-line suicide note that read “I walk a lonely street.” In writing the lyrics, Mae suggested locating a “heartbreak hotel” at the end of that lonely street. The demo initially was recorded by Durden, but Mae thought it sounded too sweet, almost gentle, and she was looking for something “edgy.” She asked fellow writer Glenn Reeves to record it. Reeves initially had declined to participate in writing the song, saying “it is the silliest I ever heard.” He agreed to record the demo of the song as long as his name was not associated with it. At the time Mae slipped the demo to Elvis Presley she was a high school English teacher in her 40s moonlighting as a journalist, publicist, and songwriter. The hand-off took place during a radio interview in 1955 while Presley was touring

Mae Boren Axton and Elvis Presley following the release of “Heartbreak Hotel,” composed by Mae and Tommy Durden.


with his manager Thomas Andrew “Colonel” Parker. Presley and his band members were in town performing with the Hank Snow Tour, their inclusion in the tour rumored to be the result of Mae’s influence. Presley loved the song and agreed to record it if he was credited as a cocomposer and receive one-third of the royalties. Presley’s manager was known for requiring that his clients be listed as co-writer on all songs recorded; however years later Mae revealed that she and Durden agreed to share credit with Presley to help him buy a house for his parents in Florida. It would be Presley’s first single for RCA Victor. Mae was in the Nashville, Tennessee, studio when the single was recorded, two days after Presley’s 21st birthday. Its release transformed Presley’s career from an entertainer from the south to a national, and international, phenomenon. In a matter of weeks, nearly one-million copies were sold. Mae later said, “The song made Elvis, but Elvis made the song.” Elvis Presley’s manager Colonel Thomas Andrew Parker in Las Vegas, Nevada, when the United States Postal Service released the Elvis Presley stamp.

Released in 1956 by RCA Victor, Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel album featured “Heartbreak Hotel,” “I Was the One,” “Money, Money”, and “I Forgot to Remember to Forget.” The sleeve holding the LP touted: Elvis Presley, RCA Victor’s new recording artist, has zoomed into big time entertainment practically overnight. The most original protagonist of popular rhythm songs on the scene today, Elvis has a belting style which stands out vividly on records and in personal appearances and which accounts for his universal popularity, especially with the teen-age audience. “Heartbreak Hotel” may first have been recorded by Presley, but since has been recorded by countless others, including Chet Atkins, Pat Boone, Ann Margaret, Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, and Conway

“Heartbreak Hotel” was released on January 27, 1956 and the following day Elvis Presley made his debut on network television, performing on the Dorsey Brothers Stage Show. Presley made several television appearances over the next few months and on April 21 realized his first No. 1 single with the hit on the pop chart. The song also topped the country and rhythm and blues charts.

On July 8, 1975 Elvis Presley played to a sold-out crowd in the Myriad Convention Center, now the Cox Convention Center, in downtown Oklahoma City.

HEARTBREAK HOTEL Well, since my baby left me, I found a new place to dwell. It’s down at the end of lonely street At heartbreak hotel. You make me so lonely baby, I get so lonely, I get so lonely I could die. And although it’s always crowded, You still can find some room. Where broken hearted lovers Do cry away their gloom.

When the sheet music became available for “Heartbreak Hotel” it was priced at $.50.

You make me so lonely baby, I get so lonely, I get so lonely I could die.

You make me so lonely baby, I get so lonely, I get so lonely I could die.

Well, the bell hops tears keep flowin’, And the desk clerks dressed in black. Well they been so long on lonely street They ain’t ever gonna’ look back.

Hey now, if your baby leaves you, And you got a tale to tell. Just take a walk down lonely street To heartbreak hotel.

Twitty. It has been the subject of countless stories, restaurants, movies, and even a best-selling novel. In 1995 “Heartbreak Hotel” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Although he urged Mae to write more for him, she did not believe she could top the hit and secondbest would just not do. “Heartbreak Hotel” was the only song of Mae’s recorded by Presley. However, in 1972 Presley recorded “Never Been To Spain” written by Mae’s son, Hoyt, and previously recorded by Three Dog Night. Years later Mae paid tribute to Presley by writing the sleeve notes for his tribute album, The King Is Gone, by Ronnie McDowell. Presley was not the only musician who recorded Mae’s songs.

Mae Boren Axton is remembered by many as the “Queen Mother of Nashville.”

Patsy Cline recorded “Pick Me Up On Your Way Down”, Wanda Jackson “Honey Bop”, and Hank Snow “What Do I Know Today”. Perry Como and Ernest Tubb also recorded

Mae Boren Axton celebrated her 80th birthday at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. She passed away at the age of 82 in 1997.

Elvis Presley, Faron Young, and Mae Boren Axton in 1955. Young was a singer and songwriter whose hits include “Hello Walls” and “If You Ain’t Livin’ (You Ain’t Lovin’).”


songs by Mae. She played an integral role in the careers of many, including Willie Nelson, Roger Miller, Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker, Mel Tillis, and Dolly Parton. Many still refer to her as the “Queen Mother of Nashville.” Mae continued to write songs through the 1970s, released her memoirs, Country Singers As I Know ‘Em, and launched her own record label. Among numerous accolades and honors she was inducted into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame and the creation of the Mae Boren Axton Award for service to the Academy of Country Music. Hoyt Axton and his mother, Mae Boren Axton, on the hit television series “Hee Haw.”

Lyle H. Boren, one of Mae Boren Axton’s brothers, served in the United States Congress from 1937 to 1947. He authored or influenced a wide range of legislation including the Civic Aeronautics Act and the Interstate Oil Compact. When Lyle Boren was elected to Congress at age 26, he was the youngest to serve since Henry Clay. He regularly played poker with Harry Truman and shopped for cigars with Winston Churchill.


Hoyt Axton enjoyed successful careers in singing, song writing, and acting. Although he has many songs to his credit, “Joy to the World” is undeniably his best known. Others recoding his songs include Elvis Presley, Three Dog Night, and Steppenwolf. He appeared in many television series, including McCloud and The Bionic Woman, and on the big screen The Black Stal lion, E.T. and Gremlins, among others.

Jed Hughes, left, and Sarah Buxton, the entertainment duo Buxton Hughes, congratulated Rod Essig on receiving the Academy of Country Music’s Mae Boren Axton Award.

Produced by Steven Spielberg, in the 1984 hit Gremlins Hoyt Axton, right, played Randall Peltzer, the father of a young man who receives a strange creature called a Mog wai as a pet. Axton, with his unique voice, also narrated por tions of the movie.

David L. Boren, former Oklahoma Governor and United States Senator and current president of the University of Oklahoma, remembered his Aunt Mae Boren Axton saying “she was the pied piper of young people.”

Blake Shelton, country music star and judge on The Voice, remembers first arriving in Nashville. His daily schedule was less than full so he took a two-week job painting Mae Boren Axton’s Nashville home. Shelton first met Mae while he was still in high school performing at an event in her honor. Seeing talent, she encouraged him to pursue his music and he moved to Nashville two weeks after his high school graduation. His debut single “Austin” went straight to the top of the charts.



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Jacob H. Bartles: An Oklahoma Innovator By Allison Biddinger • 7th grade • Madison Middle School • Bartlesville

here are many people who contribute to the foundation of a county, more specifically, a city. As I look closer into my city’s history, I find Jacob H. Bartles, of Washington County, being someone who is important in my local history. He became one of the founding fathers of the city of Bartlesville. Bartles came to Washington County from Wyandotte County, Kansas, in 1873 with his wife, Nannie Journeycake Pratt. At that time, Washington County was part of the Indian Territory, and Bartles was only allowed to settle here if he purchased a permit, or married a member of a Delaware, or Cherokee Indian Tribe. Bartles acquired his membership into the Delaware Tribe by marrying the daughter of the chief of the Delaware Tribe of Indians. Some might say that Bartles was quite a lucky man. In 1873, the young couple moved to Silver Lake to be closer to Nannie’s family. There Bartles became a merchant at Chouteau Trading Company with a bright future ahead of him. Bartles and Nannie relocated to Turkey Creek in 1874, hoping business would be more successful there. Once settled, the Bartles’ second child was born, Joseph, as their first child only lived


one year. In 1875, Bartles purchased a grist mill from Nelson Carr, a fellow founding father, with intentions to revamp it into a flour mill. The mill was operational until 1913.

After buying Nelson Carr’s grist mill, Jacob Bartles enlarged and converted it to flour production. The mill was operational until 1913. In 1877, Bartles built a combined store and home just north of the mill. The home eventually became the center for the town’s social activities. The second floor was the family quarters, while the ground floor of the store carried an extensive merchandising operation. The store was used as a trading post, which employed William Johnstone and George Keeler, who both, along with Bartles became founding fathers later of the city. The trading post was used about two years, when it was modified into a post office in 1879. It was the first United States post office in the area, establishing that Jacob H.

Bartles became the first postmaster of Bartlesville, Indian Territory, at Turkey Creek Trading Post. He served as postmaster from May 6, 1879 to October 29, 1894. Bartles still maintained the post office even when he was operating the mill close by. His store was the only one in the community for ten years, before a second store opened across the river by his two employees previously mentioned. This small settlement was now starting to grow into an astronomical community. Bartles then put on his thinking cap and expanded his community with new things. The first thing Bartles did for his settlement was to add utilities. He imported the first generator to provide electric power, and to “illuminate” his settlement. Bartles then built

The stage coach that delivered the mail to Bartles’ store in Indian Territory.

Jacob H. Bartles

one of the first telephone exchanges in Indian Territory with William Johnstone and George Keeler. It would connect local businesses with other settlements in Kansas. Bartles also built an ice house to preserve ice for the summer and added a water system to his settlement, and built a high water tower north of his mill-store complex. In 1878, Bartles planted the first wheat crop grown in the Caney River Valley. This crop took up the whole modern-day downtown Bartlesville. Ultimately, he cultivated hundreds of acres of wheat in various sections of future Washington County and “ran great herds of cattle on the open range.” The population of the community had now reached one hundred, and even had a racetrack which brought in spectators. Bartles decided to build a boarding/rooming house. It was located east of all of his structures. The rooming house was soon enlarged to a hotel, along with a blacksmith shop and livery stable. It was used to accommodate

travelers and visitors to the community. Half a dozen homes were built south of the mill for employees. Rumor has it, during Democratic President Grover Cleveland’s term, a wagon with a United States flag on it pulled up in front of Jacob Bartles’ trading post. Two men got out and told Bartles that they were coming for the post office, and apparently they loaded up their wagon and went to the opposite side of the Caney River and claimed it for their

George B. Keeler

William Johnstone

Bartles’ former employees, William Johnstone and George B. Keeler, established their own store on the opposite side of the Caney River, on present-day North Delaware Avenue.

side of town. Four years later, now under Republican President William McKinley, Bartles got in his wagon, with a United States flag on it, and rode across the river to the other store. He loaded up his wagon and came back with the post office for his side of town. The two men and Bartles were rivals from then on. It is speculated that the two men were William Johnstone and George Keeler.

To all who knew Jacob H. Bartles, he was ahead of his time. He died on October 18, 1908. The friendly rivals on the opposite side of the Caney River named their side of town Bartlesville, out of respect for Jacob Bartles. After moving his settlement three miles north, Bartles named his community Dewey, after Admiral George Dewey. Bartles was a fascinating man who really brought Washington County to life.


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Marian Piotr Opala was born into a comfortable upper middle class existence in Lodz, Poland, on January 20, 1921. After he arrived in America, he changed “Piotr” to the traditional English spelling, “Peter.” Opala’s parents were educated, refined, and successful. His father, Antoni Opala, came from a long line of farmers and landowners in north central Poland. At the time of Opala’s birth, his father was a successful banker in Lodz. Young Marian’s first memories were of the apartment in which he and his family lived in for about nine months each year. In the summer break from school, beginning at the age of seven, he and his sister were sent away to distant resorts on the Baltic Sea or in the Tatra Mountains on the border of Poland and Czechoslovakia. He and his sister were placed on a train and received by a complete stranger at their summer holiday destination. Unfortunately, Marian was never able to develop a relationship with his sister. They were becoming closer as young adults, but that relational growth was interrupted by World War II. Tragically, after Marian left Poland, he never saw his parents or his sister again. He spoke on the tele phone to his mother only on two occasions after the war and was not allowed

Marian Opala served on the Oklahoma Supreme Court for more than 30 years, from 1978 until his death in 2010.


to return to communist Poland upon their deaths. His father died shortly after World War II and his mother died in 1982. They were afraid of maintaining too close of communication with Marian for fear of “putting them under suspicion of being Western sympathizers.” In June, 1939, Marian completed his “gymnasium” or high school education and enrolled in law school at the University of Warsaw. A special program had allowed him to begin his study of the law at a University of Warsaw branch campus in Lodz six months before gymnasium graduation. Life had been good for Marian. He was 18 years old and had begun reaching for his goal to become a lawyer and enter the banking profession like his father. Then, his future, and indeed the future of the world, was interrupted by the actions of the Germans under the command of their menacing leader, Adolf Hitler.

A rare photograph of Opala in a British Army uniform.

Opala as a young lawyer.

On September 1, 1939, Hitler shocked the conscience of peaceful Europeans by attacking Poland and its Roman Catholic majority which he considered “sub-human.” Within two days, Western countries began declaring war on Germany. The fighting would ultimately engulf much of the world. Poland fell within a month. By October 1, Germany and the Soviet Union controlled the entire country. Polish casualty estimates ranged from 150,000 to 200,000,

Opala as a law student at the University of Nuremberg in 1948.


but many remaining Polish soldiers were evacuated to neighboring Hungary and Romania and later joined the recreated Polish Army. Opala was more suspicious of the Germans than was his father. Opala saw nothing good coming from the German influence, while his father believed that perhaps German rule would at least leave the economy status quo. Mr. Opala was wrong. Within a few months the Germans took his bank. In the early part of 1940, while continuing his law studies at the University of Warsaw, Opala was drafted into the Polish Home Army, the official name for what the Americans called the Polish Underground State. It was an underground resistance organization that remained loyal to the Polish government in exile in London, England, during the war. For most of his adult life, Opala never openly discussed his years as a member of the Polish Underground. However, in 2004, he agreed to tell his full story in a series of taped interviews with Kory Warr, the grandson of the Oklahoman who was responsible for bringing Opala to America. Often with tears streaming down his face, Opala remembered the frightful days and nights of German occupation and recounted brushes with death and his stepping out of character and murdering German troops and Gestapo as an assassin and saboteur.

Opala’s first duties as part of the Home Army were non-combat related—relaying messages to other resistance fighters. When Opala’s law school and all institutions of higher learning in Poland closed in April, 1940, he turned his full attention to the Home Army. He received specific instructions never to keep any note or other information in his pockets from which the enemy could deduct information. He was told never to dress in a way to attract attention, to get “lost in the crowd,” and never to exhibit any unusual behavior that would cause him to be remembered. He was “normal looking,”

Opala and his only child, Joseph Opala, now a professor at James Madison University and one of the world’s leading anthropologists. blonde headed, and had reached his adult height of five feet four inches. Opala lived under a constant psychological strain, a fear of being caught and killed. With the German Gestapo, mere suspicion was reason for them to shoot a person suspected of helping the Home Army. It was a fear that haunted him his entire life. Well into his eighties, Opala, after having lived in America for more than a half century, still sometimes awoke in a cold sweat in the midst of a perpetual nightmare of being captured, tortured, and executed by the Nazis.

On his first Home Army major assignment, he was sent with another operative, an explosives expert who had robbed several Polish banks, to blow up a German troop train on the outskirts of Warsaw. Carrying a suitcase filled with explosives, the men hid in the brush near a railroad bridge until they heard the sound of the approaching train. They placed the explosives under the end of the bridge and ran a detonation wire to a hiding place several hundred yards away. As the train entered the bridge, the explosives were detonated, and the troop train exploded into the night air like a

fireworks display, killing perhaps hundreds of German soldiers. On other occasions, Opala sneaked into night clubs and shot and killed Gestapo officers and Polish sympathizers. He also became a crack shot, often laying in wait in a ditch at night, knowing that a high-ranking Gestapo officer was returning to his barracks. With two shots, Opala could instantly kill the driver and the officer riding in the back seat of the German car. With a price on his head, Opala had to leave Poland. Pretending to be a deaf mute, he walked 700 miles from Warsaw to Istan-

In 1978, Governor David Boren, left, appointed Opala to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Opala with Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, the plaintiff in the landmark higher education case that opened the University of Oklahoma College of Law to African Americans.


bul, Turkey, contacting British agents along the way. The purpose of the 92-day walk was to officially join the ranks of the British Army in Istanbul as an interpreter. By the age of 20, Opala spoke several languages. Opala accompanied British and Polish troops who fought alongside the British in World War II battles in North Africa and Italy. He also served as an interpreter for the Polish government in exile in London. When the British and the Americans believed Poland could be liberated, Opala was sent back to Poland. Opala was one of four British Army operatives who parachuted into Warsaw. He had only three practice drops in which to learn the art of parachuting before the fateful hour when the four translators were dropped from a British airplane into the darkness of the Polish capital. Opala safely landed in an area under Polish control. Within two hours, he made contact with Home Army commanders. His three companions were not so fortunate. He was certain they dropped, but could never be found. Later, after the war, Opala tried to find the three men who parachuted into Warsaw with him. There was no trace of them. He suspected they landed in German-held territory and were immediately executed. For 63 days, the Home Army valiantly fought the Germans in what became known as the Warsaw Uprising. But, without outside help, they were ultimately defeated. Although the exact number of casualties will never be known, it is estimated that 16,000 members of the Polish resistance were killed and 6,000 wounded. In addition, 150,000 to 200,000 civilians were killed, mostly in mass murders committed by German soldiers. It was during the final days of the Warsaw Uprising in which Opala was captured by the Germans. At first, the Germans were unsure how to treat Opala’s status—as an Allied prisoner-of-war or a Polish guerilla fighter. The German officer who captured


Opala dancing with Alma Wilson, the first woman appointed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Opala, the world traveler.

Opala and his comrades did not want to make the decision. It was a frightful time for Opala, who was taken to a collection point in the Wola suburb of Warsaw. When Opala was interviewed a few months before his death in 2010, it had been 66 years since his capture, yet relating the details of his capture brought him to tears once again. He said he feared that if the Gestapo decided he was a resistance fighter, he would be executed immediately. Opala remembered: When I learned that the Gestapo was determining my fate, it became incredibly stressful, both physically and mentally. The word “Gestapo” struck great fear in all our minds because of the stories we had heard of their butchery and inhumane treatment of combatants. It was a time of great uncertainty. Fortunately, after four days of waiting, the Gestapo sent word to Opala’s captors that he was to be treated as an Allied soldier. He and other prisoners-of-war were about to board trucks for a 400-mile trip westward to a concentration camp at Flossenburg, Germany, near the border with Czechoslovakia.

Opala spent 40 days at the main Flossenburg camp, often forced to work in the nearby rock quarries, before being moved with other Polish and international prisoners to a sub-camp at Zwickau in Saxony Germany. In a 12-month period, including the seven months that Opala was interred at Flossenburg and Zwickau, 1,500 death sentences were carried out in the Flossenburg camp system. Inmates were hung on gallows and then cremated. In the last months, the rate of daily executions overtook the capacity of the crematorium. As a solution, the SS began stacking the bodies in piles, drenching them in gasoline, and setting them on fire. Opala and other prisoners were underfed and mistreated by German guards. Often, his only daily sustenance came in thin soup made from turnips. The outside guards were SS troops, but the inner camp administration was run by the so-called “capos,” German criminals, homosexuals, and other persons declared by law to be “undesirable.” As a Pole, he was not treated as well as the majority of British Army POWs. It is estimated that the Germans killed 1.9 million non-Jewish Polish citizens in World

War II. Nearly every concentration camp had a sizable population of Polish prisoners. As Germany’s defeat became evident, German guards began marching Opala and other prisoners westward to perhaps encounter the American Army and surrender. One night, the guards disappeared, leaving Opala and the other prisoners free. Opala was among thousands of prisoners-of-war liberated by Patton’s Third Army in the spring of 1945. He was taken to an Army field headquarters near the town of Plzen or Pilsen, in western Bohemia, in Czechoslovakia. Pilsen is known worldwide for Pilsner beer, a derivation of the city’s name. One of the first Americans Opala became acquainted with at Pilsen was First Lieutenant, and later, Captain Clyde Gene Warr, an Oklahoman serving as a member of Oklahoma’s 45th Infantry Division assigned to a cavalry unit in Patton’s Third Army. Warr was a counter-reconnaissance officer before thousands of former POWs arrived and it became necessary for him to serve as a law enforcement officer, in charge of administering law and order to the ex-POW camps that had to be thrown together overnight. Warr’s father, C.B. Warr, had built many of the homes in Warr Acres, an Oklahoma City suburb. In his dealings with former POWs from several countries, Warr needed an interpreter. Because Opala was fluent in several languages, he was Warr’s constant companion. In addition, they became close friends and promised each other they would stay in contact after the war. Opala began studying law at the University of Nuremberg in Germany. However, he was intrigued by letters from Gene Warr that invited him to come to America, to Oklahoma in particular. Two days before Opala departed Germany for the United States on August 23, 1949, he wrote Warr on letterhead given him by the American Red Cross, “It is a wonderful feeling for me

and a great moment in my life. I am grateful for having the opportunity of leaving Europe and for having all the troublesome and critical periods behind me.” With $843 in his pocket and two suitcases of personal belongings, Opala made his way by steamship from Bremerhaven, Germany, across the Atlantic Ocean and into the Gulf of Mexico toward New Orleans. Arriving in the Crescent City, he immediately boarded a train to Oklahoma City. He arrived at the Santa Fe station on September 7, 1949. Within a week, he was enrolled in the Oklahoma City College of Law, a privatelyowned law school in downtown Oklahoma City that eventually became the Oklahoma City University School of Law. From the moment Opala arrived in Oklahoma, he intended to become a lawyer—not an attorney, but a lawyer. Opala believed there was a difference in the two terms. He said, “An attorney in the early English law was not an educated lawyer, but one with a license who mostly acted as an errand boy for a judge or barrister.” So, because he equated, in the light of his European upbringing, “attorney” as a lower-class professional, Opala for his lifetime referred to himself and others as “lawyers.” Opala passed the bar examination and became a lawyer in 1953. He was an assistant district attorney in Oklahoma County, spent several years in private practice, was a referee for the Oklahoma Supreme Court, and was chosen as the first Administrator of the Oklahoma court system after voters approved comprehensive court reform in 1967. In 1977, Opala became a judge of the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court and succeeded Justice William A. Berry on the Oklahoma Supreme Court in 1978, eventually rising to the post of Chief Justice. Opala served the remainder of his life on Oklahoma’s highest court until his death on October 11, 2010. About his nearly 90 years on earth, Opala had written, “I lived a fairy tale life. I came from the most oppressive

atmosphere of wartime Europe, from under the boot of occupation, to what is doubtless the freest government in the world. I gave my life to defend our freedoms.” University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren, who, as Governor of Oklahoma, appointed Opala to the Oklahoma Supreme Court said, “No judge in the history of Oklahoma did more to educate the entire population about the central value of liberty in our society and the importance of the rule of law. It is not by chance that this man with a prophetic understanding of the core concepts of our nation was the first justice of the Court to have been born outside of the United States.”

Opala was considered by many to be the public face of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.


Through it sPeople RIGHT: Chief Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange

hosted the Teen Board in her chambers following a Naturalization Ceremony the teens attended.

ABOVE: Jasmine Moran, Melvin Moran, Ronald H. White, and Melissa White Brown following White’s induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

BELOW: Attending the Patron Donor Reception

for the 2012 Oklahoma Hall of Fame were Bill Burgess, Stan Clark, and Marvene Clark.

ABOVE: Participants for the September Versus Series were, left to right, Bradley Wynn, Lance McDaniel, and Gray Frederickson. RIGHT: Art Cotton, Sandy Cotton, and Ernesto Sanchez enjoyed the opening reception for the Pareidolia Series by Trent Lawson in the Tulsa World Gallery.

LEFT: Clarissa Sharp and Susan Thomas explore the images within “Tiled Pareodolia” by Oklahoma artist Trent Lawson, right, in the Pareidolia Series exhibit on display in the Tulsa World Gallery.

BELOW: Robert Henry and

Standing, left to right, Jean Brace, Caroline Raley, and Jerry Brace celebrate the release of Beyond the Gate: My Journey as an Oklahoma Boy with author John W. Raley, Jr. at Ponca City’s Brace Books.

Lee R. West share a laugh following West’s induction as a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Class of 2012.

OHA Staff on the eve of the 2012 Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Standing, l to r, Jeremy Humbert, Shelley Rowan, Shannon L. Rich, Amy Linduff, and Tony Scott. Seated, Alexis Lux, Millie Craddick, Corie Baker, and Gini Moore Campbell.

Chesapeake Energy Corporate Volunteers


! r e e t n Volu

The Oklahoma Heritage Association and Gaylord-Pickens Museum are grateful for Corporate Volunteers from Chesapeake Energy. During the summer months Chesapeake Energy encourages each employee to volunteer four hours of their workday through “Operation Blue”. During the months of June and July we had more than 15 volunteers serve approximately 60 hours to assist staff with addressing and mailing Association publications Spring Will Come: The Life of Clem McSpadden and Beyond the Gate: My Journey as an Oklahoma Boy to more than 450 senior high school libraries statewide. In addition, volunteers have assisted with general clerical duties and support from their professions and respective fields of service. Thank you to the employees of Chesapeake Energy for their time and talents to support the mission of the Oklahoma Heritage Association.

Standing, l to r, Hall of Fame Presenters David Russell, Hance Dilbeck, Timothy Shriver, Judy Kishner, Bill Burgess, and Glen Johnson with Honorees, seated, Lee R. West, Tom Ward, Bart Conner, Suzanne Warren, Stan Clark, and Ronald H. White.

Students in Stephanie Threet’s class at Konawa Elementary School completed the “I Am Oklahoma” project sponsored by the Oklahoma Heritage Association and GaylordPickens Museum. BELOW: Timothy Shriver, Gini Moore

Campbell, Shannon L. Rich, Nadia Comaneci, and Bart Conner prior to the 2012 Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

RIGHT: John W. Raley, Jr., seated left, visits with

Susanna Moore and Ralph Hoffman during the release of his autobiography, Beyond the Gate: My Journey as an Oklahoma Boy.

BELOW: Lance McDaniel,

left, congratulated for a job well done by his parents Brenda and Tom McDaniel following the “Okies & Film” Versus Series.

BELOW: Suzanne Warren is congratulated by

fellow Tulsans Darcey Moran and Joe Moran following the 2012 Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

ABOVE: George Nigh, Bart Conner, A. Munson Fuller, Donna

Nigh, and Vaughndean Fuller enjoy the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Patron Donor Reception on November 14.

ABOVE: Shannon L. Rich presents during the pre-show of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame a gift on behalf of the officers, directors, and staff to OHA Chairman Calvin Anthony for his service. ABOVE: OHA Chairman Calvin Anthony, William K. Warren, Jr., and Suzanne Warren thank Chair-Elect Kathy Taylor for hosting the 2012 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Patron Donor Reception.

LEFT: Travis Bovee, Maggie Finnegan, Corie Baker, and Jerrell Welch at the opening of Trent Lawson’s Pareidolia Series in the Tulsa World Gallery at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum. BELOW: Tony Scott, Lynn Goldberg, Andrew Bruce, and Millie Craddick visited

BELOW: OSU Alum Billie Jean Ward gets her copy of More

before the “Okies & Film” Versus Series.

Than A Championship: The 2011 Oklahoma State Cowboys signed by nephew and co-author Robert Allen at Hall of Fame Book Trader in Stillwater.

ABOVE: Jim Halsey, Minisa Crumbo Halsey, Danna Sue Walker, Steve Wolfe, and Roxana Lorton at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Patron Donor Reception.

LEFT: Shirley Pierson, W. DeVier Pierson, Thomas Brett, and Mary Brett visit during the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Patron Donor Reception.


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Check membership desired. o Student ........................... $15 o Subscription ................... $35 o Individualism ................. $50 o Perseverance ................ $100 o Pioneer Spirit ................ $250 o Optimism ...................... $500 o Generosity .................. $1,000 o Legacy Circle ............ $2,000 o Honor Circle .............. $2,500 o Executive Circle ........ $3,500 o President’s Circle ....... $5,000 o Chairman’s Circle .... $10,000


MAIL APPLICATION TO: OKLAHOMA HERITAGE ASSOCIATION • 1400 CLASSEN DRIVE • OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73106 Subscription $35 • Subscription to Oklahoma: Magazine of the Oklahoma Heritage Association and Heritage Headlines e-update Standard Membership Benefits • Subscription to Oklahoma: Magazine of the Oklahoma Heritage Association and Heritage Headlines e-update • 10% discount at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum Store • Invitations to Association and Museum events • Membership discounts on programs and events Student $15 All Standard benefits plus: • Annual admission pass to the Gaylord-Pickens Museum for student (must present valid student ID; kindergarten through college eligible) Individualism: $50 All Standard benefits plus: • Annual admission pass to the Gaylord-Pickens Museum Perseverance: $100 All Standard benefits plus: • Annual admission passes to the Gaylord-Pickens Museum for 2 adults and household children under 18


Pioneer Spirit: $250 All Perseverance benefits plus: • Four single-use guest passes to the GaylordPickens Museum Optimism: $500 All Pioneer Spirit benefits plus: • 25% discount on one-time rental of the Devon Classroom

Executive Circle: $3,500 All Generosity benefits plus: • Customized facility use package* President’s Circle: $5,000 All Generosity benefits plus: • Customized facility use package* • Recognition in The Oklahoman and Tulsa World Oklahoma Hall of Fame Sunday Supplement

Generosity: $1,000 All Optimism benefits plus: • One complimentary weekday use of the Edith Kinney Gaylord Garden or Bennett-McClendon Great Hall • Advance opportunity to purchase Oklahoma Hall of Fame tickets • Recognition in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame program

Chairman’s Circle: $10,000 All Generosity benefits plus: • Customized facility use package* • Recognition in The Oklahoman and Tulsa World Oklahoma Hall of Fame Sunday Supplement

Legacy Circle: $2,000 All Generosity benefits plus: • Customized facility use package*

For more information about any of our membership levels or to customize your membership package at the $1,000 level and above, call Alexis Lux at 405/523-3207.

Honor Circle: $2,500 All Generosity benefits plus: • Customized facility use package*

*Facility use is subject to availability, and restrictions may apply.

MAGAZINE DONORS Alex & Teresa Adwan* Tulsa Robert D. Allen* Oklahoma City Ann S. Alspaugh* Oklahoma City Calvin J. Anthony Stillwater Howard & Billie Barnett Tulsa Lona A. Barrick Ada Sam Barrick Marietta Mr. & Mrs. Clayton I. Bennett Oklahoma City Elizabeth Bennett Oklahoma City Howard K. Berry, Jr. Oklahoma City William L. Berry Sapulpa Bobby C. Blair Shawnee Mr. & Mrs. G. T. Blankenship* Oklahoma City Tom & Calen Boone Bixby Barth & Linda Bracken Oklahoma City Sharlene S. Branham* Oklahoma City Phyllis & Russal Brawley Oklahoma City Mary Sue & Gordon Brown Oklahoma City Bill & Phoebe Burkett Oklahoma City

Members & Donors Mission Partners

Samonia Byford Oklahoma City Nevyle & Carol Cable Okmulgee Chester & Debbie Cadieux Tulsa Patty & Joe Cappy Tulsa Michael A. Cawley Ardmore Roy & Pat Chandler Oklahoma City The Chickasaw Nation Ada Vida Chenoweth, Ph.D. Oklahoma City Jodi R. Cline Ponca City Comtech Oklahoma City Edward H. & Kaye Cook Oklahoma City Mr. & Mrs. Glenn A. Cox Bartlesville Mrs. Betsy Amis Daugherty* Nichols Hills Mrs. Frank L. Davies Enid Mr. & Mrs. Charlie Drake Stillwater Frederick Drummond* Pawhuska Carl & Susan Edwards Oklahoma City Dr. & Mrs. Robert Ellis Oklahoma City J. Barry & Brenda Epperson Tulsa

Patricia Evans Ponca City Mr. & Mrs. Stanley L. Evans Oklahoma City Ken & Mary Ann Fergeson* Altus Dale & Betty Folks Edmond Sen. & Mrs. Charles R. Ford Tulsa Francis Tuttle Technology Center Oklahoma City General (Ret) Tommy Franks Roosevelt Mrs. Henry Freede Oklahoma City Vaughndean & Dr. A. Munson Fuller Tulsa Dr. & Mrs. Gilbert C. Gibson Lawton Marybeth & Ike Glass Newkirk Gose & Associates Consulting Engineers Stillwater Neil & Teri Gray Harrah Jim & Julie Grissom Edmond Jay & Valerie Hannah Norman Suzette & S. Kim Hatfield Oklahoma City Robert J. Hays Chickasha Mr. & Mrs. Skip Healey Davis Mr. & Mrs. John D. Heisch* Oklahoma City

Dr. & Mrs. George Henderson Norman Mr. & Frank X. Henke, III* Tulsa Robert Henry Oklahoma City Heritage Trust Company Oklahoma City Donald A. Herron Idabel General (Ret) James E. Hill, Jr.* Oklahoma City Nadine Norton Holloway Oklahoma City The Honorable Jerome A. Holmes Oklahoma City Bill J. & Twylah J. Horne Ada Dr. Norman & Bonnie Imes Nichols Hills Jackie Cooper Oklahoma City Mr. & Mrs. George W. James Oklahoma City Mr. & Mrs. Kent G. “Gib” James Oklahoma City The Kerr Foundation, Inc. Oklahoma City Tracy & David Kyle Tulsa Robert J. LaFortune Tulsa Roxana & Robert Lorton* Tulsa Doris Bush Maher Tulsa Gwen & Steve Malcolm Tulsa

John Massey Durant Charles Mayfield Oklahoma City Bervis B. McBride, Jr. Oklahoma City J. R. McGraw* Tulsa James A. McNeese Ponca City Herman & LaDonna Meinders Oklahoma City Nancy & Peter Meinig Tulsa Mekusukey Oil Company, L.L.C. Wewoka Dr. Larry & Joan Minks Durant Jasmine & Melvin Moran* Seminole Joseph P. Moran, III Tulsa Tom & Sherry Muchmore* Ponca City R.Z. Naifeh Oklahoma City Mary D. Nichols*, Oklahoma City Larry & Polly Nichols Oklahoma City Norick Investment Company Oklahoma City C. D. & Gwen Northcutt* Ponca City Oklahoma Baptist University Shawnee Oklahoma State University, President’s Office Stillwater

Mr. & Mrs. Jack C. Owens Tulsa Louise Painter Oklahoma City Mr. & Mrs. Richard Parker Oklahoma City Kent & Mary Patton Oklahoma City Homer & Ramona Paul Edmond Marjorie F. Polk Nichols Hills Dr. Richard W. Poole* Oklahoma City Presbyterian Health Foundation Oklahoma City Betty & Norris Price Oklahoma City The Puterbaugh Foundation McAlester Bill Ramsey Bixby Carl & Carolyn Renfro Ponca City Mrs. Hazel Roberts Edmond Frank & Ludmila Robson* Claremore Richard & Johnece Ryerson Alva Linus & Sue Schmitz Ponca City Sharon Shoulders Henryetta Pete & Theo Silas* Bartlesville Mr. & Mrs. Lee Allan Smith* Oklahoma City

Michael E. Smith—Hall Estill, Hardwick, Gable, Golden & Nelson Oklahoma City The State Chamber Oklahoma City G. Lee Stidham* Checotah Doris Anderson Smith Durant John F. & Joan Snodgrass Ardmore Stan & Judy Stamper Hugo Charles and Peggy Stephenson Family Foundation Tulsa Rex E. Stockard, M.D. Stillwater Dean & Carol Stringer* Oklahoma City The International Society of Energy Advocates Tulsa The Trautmann Family Oklahoma City Robert E. Thomas* Tulsa Chuck R. Thompson Norman Judge & Mrs. Ralph G. Thompson* Oklahoma City Gary & Sheila Tredway Edmond William Tunell, M.D. Oklahoma City Thad R. Valentine Oklahoma City

Kris Vculek Waukomis Lew & Myra Ward* Enid A. Max Weitzenhoffer* Norman Mr. & Mrs. Dick Workman Oklahoma City Ruth & Stanley Youngheim El Reno CALIFORNIA Ed Ruscha Venice MARYLAND Shirley & DeVier Pierson Chevy Chase MAASSACHUSETTS Dr. & Mrs. Philip Kistler Belmont PENNSYLVANIA Drs. Melvin & Gloria Twine Chisum Philadelphia TEXAS Jeane Hester, MD Houston J. Terry & Marty Johnson Horseshoe Bay Greg Olds Austin Darrell & Edith Royal Austin VIRGINIA Leslie Woolley Alexandria IN HONOR OF Kimberlie Austin

To more accurately thank those who have made contributions to the Association and Museum, this section is comprised of both members and donors at the $2,500 level and above. As we are funded primarily through private donations and memberships, we are extremely grateful for the support of all our donors. The list below represents donors and members at the $2,500 level and above: October 1, 2011-October 1, 2012.

Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation Oklahoma City Christy and Jim Everest Oklahoma City Mrs. Henry Freede Oklahoma City Ike and Marybeth Glass Newkirk Global Gaming RP LLC Oklahoma City Mr. C. Hubert Gragg Newcastle Hamm Management Co. Enid Integris Health Oklahoma City Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum Seminole Kyle Family Foundation Tulsa Lobeck-Taylor Foundation Tulsa John Manley Chicago, IL Massey Family Foundation Chairman’s Circle Durant $10,000 + Mr. and Mrs. Herman Meinders Baseball in the Cross Timbers LLC Oklahoma City Norman Mrs. Mary Nichols Mr. and Mrs. Clayton I. Bennett Oklahoma City Oklahoma City OKC National Memorial Mr. Bill Burgess Foundation Lawton Oklahoma City Mr. and Mrs. Bob Burke Oklahoma City Golf and Country Oklahoma City Club Oklahoma City Mr. Chad Clay Pasadena, TX Oklahoma State Chamber Oklahoma City COHPS Shawnee Oklahoma State University Foundation Davidson Investments LLC Stillwater Oklahoma City T. Boone Pickens Devon Energy Corporation Dallas, TX Oklahoma City Puterbaugh Foundation Dobson Technologies McAlester Oklahoma City Chesapeake Energy Corporation Oklahoma City Chickasaw Nation Ada Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Durant ConocoPhillips Houston, TX Cory’s Audio Visual Services Oklahoma City E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation Oklahoma City Mr. and Mrs. Duke R. Ligon Oklahoma City Mr. and Mrs. Tom E. Love Oklahoma City Mr. and Mrs. Robert Z. Naifeh and Family Oklahoma City OPUBCO Communications Group Oklahoma City Phillips Murrah Oklahoma City

* Denotes Charter Sponsor

Repsol E&P USA inc. The Woodlands, TX Mr. Frank C. Robson Claremore Saint Francis Health System Tulsa SunTrust Atlanta, GA University of Oklahoma Foundation Norman Dr. and Mrs. H. Wallace Vandever Santa Barbara, CA Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren, Jr. Tulsa Warren American Oil Company, LLC Tulsa Dr. and Mrs. Nazih Zuhdi Oklahoma City

President’s Circle

$5,000-$9,999 American Fidelity Foundation Oklahoma City Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation Tulsa Mr. and Mrs. Calvin J. Anthony Stillwater AT&T Oklahoma City Black Tie Valet Oklahoma City Mr. Robert E. Braver Oklahoma City Mr. Jim J. Brewer Amarillo, TX Mr. Michael Burrage Oklahoma City Charles and Peggy Stephenson Family Foundation Tulsa Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerce Ada Crescent Consulting, LLC Oklahoma City

Ms. Pat Evans Ponca City First National Bank of Oklahoma Oklahoma City General (Ret) and Mrs. Tommy Franks Roosevelt George Kaiser Family Foundation Tulsa Gooden Group Edmond Mr. and Mrs. John D. Groendyke Enid Hall Estill Attorneys at Law Tulsa Mr. Harold Hamm Oklahoma City Heritage Trust Co. Oklahoma City IBC Bank Oklahoma City Inasmuch Foundation Oklahoma City James Baker Group, Inc. Oklahoma City Kerr Foundation, Inc. Oklahoma City Mr. and Mrs. Steve Malcolm Tulsa Mercy Health System Oklahoma Oklahoma City Mr. and Mrs. Joe Moran III Tulsa Muscogee Creek Nation Okmulgee Mustang Fuel Corporation Oklahoma City Paul Ziert & Associates, Inc. Norman William T. Payne Fund Oklahoma City R. A. Young Foundation Dallas, TX Mr. H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt Oklahoma City

RAM Energy, Inc. Tulsa Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation Oklahoma City Sam Viersen Family Foundation, Inc. Tulsa Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Ardmore Simmons Foundation Oklahoma City Smith & Pickel Construction Oklahoma City Stillwater National Bank Stillwater Mr. and Mrs. Barry Switzer Norman T.D. Williamson, Inc. Tulsa Tulsa Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization Tulsa Walton Family Foundation Bentonville, AR Lew and Myra Ward Enid Mr. R. James Woolsey Harwood, MD

Executive Circle

$3,500-$4,999 Ms. Darlene Anderson Edmond Mr. and Mrs. Howard Barnett Tulsa Barnett Family Foundation Tulsa Mr. and Mrs. G.T. Blankenship Oklahoma City Ms. Keri Campbell Oklahoma City Mr. and Mrs. Joseph E. Cappy Tulsa Ms. Sarah Cargill Oklahoma City

Chickasaw Nation Industries Norman Chickasaw Nation Newcastle Gaming Center Newcastle Ms. Katherine Cook Norman Covenant Global Investors Oklahoma City Ms. Rebecca Crotzer Norman Ms. Teresa Easley Oklahoma City Ms. Adriana English Oklahoma City First National Bank & Trust Co. Okmulgee Mr. Brian Gabbard Oklahoma City Mr. and Mrs. John Gerding Edmond Mr. and Mrs. Larry Gilley Shawnee Mr. Gregg Glass Alva Mr. Kent Hance Lubbock, TX Mr. David Hardy Dallas, TX Helmerich & Payne Inc. Tulsa International Insurance Brokers, Ltd. Tulsa J.P. Morgan Houston, TX Mr. Juergen Janzen Stillwater Mr. Darcy Jech Kingfisher Mr. Erin Johnston Tulsa Governor and Mrs. Frank Keating McLean, VA Mr. and Mrs. Edward F. Keller Tulsa Mr. and Mrs. Mike Lambert

Norman Mr. Shane Long Norman Mr. and Mrs. Ron Mallow Oklahoma City Mr. Steven Mattachione Edmond Mr. and Mrs. Mark McPherson Beaumont, TX Jasmine and Melvin Moran Seminole Oklahoma Blood Institute Oklahoma City Oklahoma Centennial Commission Oklahoma City Mr. and Mrs. W. DeVier Pierson Chevy Chase, MD Mr. and Mrs. John Raley Ponca City Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis Oklahoma City Mr. Marlon Robin Oklahoma City Ms. Kay Rule Edmond Ms. Lauren Rutledge Oklahoma City Mr. Robert T. Simmons Oklahoma City Mr. Darryl Smette Edmond Mrs. Kathy Taylor and Mr. Bill Lobeck Tulsa Ms. Mary Teague Tulsa Mr. Robert E. Thomas Tulsa Mr. and Mrs. Dave Timberlake Edmond Blake and Donna Wade Oklahoma City Ms. Theresa Walkup Edmond Mr. Joshua Werth

We want to accurately thank our supporters. If you notice an error, please contact Alexis Lux 405.523.3207 or

Oklahoma City Zarrow Families Foundation Tulsa

Honor Circle

$2,500-$3,499 Ackerman McQueen Oklahoma City Cox Connects Foundation Oklahoma City Carl and Susan Edwards Oklahoma City Dr. A. Munson & Vaughndean Fuller Tulsa Mrs. Jane B. Harlow Oklahoma City LEL Energy LLC Tulsa Mekusukey Oil Company, LLC Wewoka OGE Energy Corp. Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau Oklahoma City Perfect 10 Productions Norman Renaissance Hotel & Spa OKC Oklahoma City Mr. Carl R. Renfro Ponca City Mr. and Mrs. Lee Allan Smith Oklahoma City Sonic Oklahoma City Marnie and Clayton Taylor Oklahoma City Mr. George Wyper Darien, CA


Oklahoma: Magazine of the Oklahoma Heritage Association: December 2012  

"Oklahoma: Magazine of the Oklahoma Heritage Association" is designed to preserve and promote all aspects of Oklahoma history and heritage....

Oklahoma: Magazine of the Oklahoma Heritage Association: December 2012  

"Oklahoma: Magazine of the Oklahoma Heritage Association" is designed to preserve and promote all aspects of Oklahoma history and heritage....