Category Archives: Oklahoma

First Day of Spring

You know you’re in Oklahoma when you see this sign on a city street:

Wynnewood, Oklahoma

Wynnewood, Oklahoma

And you know it’s springtime when you pay attention to it.

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Filed under Oklahoma, Springtime

Observations After a Class Reunion

1. I’m glad I went. I think.

2. I’m glad that the God of my salvation does not judge me as mere mortals see me. That my worth to Him is not appearance based, or on what kind of house I live in or my education or job or social standing.

Because all those things are not in quite as good shape as they were 40 years ago when I graduated from high school.

The group photo proves that.

Ouch.

One of my few regrets from the party is that I allowed Gayla to drag me over for the portrait.

Bit a of reality check for me.

3. A mild correction of an old problem.

Remember the kid who sat alone in the cafeteria? Much of the time, that was me.

What I’ve regretted about that, was not that the others didn’t include me in their group, but that I didn’t use the opportunity to keep someone else from being alone.

What was so great about me that I couldn’t have been the one to reach out?

So, on Saturday night when one of the guys who used to have the same problem came up and started chatting, I chatted back. He made the first attempt (which I thought very brave because we’d never known each other), and I responded. And, then, I tried to overcome my nervousness and started a few conversations, too.

4. There were a few people who’d been popular (and though not enemies, weren’t friends either) who are now friendly and welcoming and that always pleases, but shocks me.

5. And there were some who’d never spoken to me in school,and who wouldn’t even crack a smile for me on Saturday night.

Stupid, stupid, stupid that it still stings. Time to grow up, girl.

Norma Davis, me, Richard Crawford, Nicole Wright

6. How valuable kindness is. Thank you, Gayla and Shirley and Carolyn and Kathy and Don and Jim and Joanna and Ray and Mike and Alan.

7. I’m glad I went.

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Filed under 1970s, Faith, Oklahoma, Tulsa, Vicissitudes of Life

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Oklahoma!

Statehood: November 16, 1907, 46th state

Capital City: Oklahoma City

Counties: 77

Motto: Labor omnia vincit (Labor conquers all things)

Nickname: Sooner State

Population: 3,450,654

Tree: Redbud

Flower: Misteltoe

Bird: Scissortailed-Flycatcher

Song: Oklahoma! by Rodgers and Hammerstein

(Content taken from 50 States.com/Oklahoma
and my memory.)

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Filed under 1900s, History, Oklahoma

Make New Friends

Carla and Sandra

Make new friends
But keep the old,
One is silver
And the other gold.

That’s a tune we learned in Girl Scouts about 1964 and it’s still true. My Mingo friends are absolutely precious to me Some of them are the same ones I learned the song with.

And I value the new friends I’ve made over the past few years, like Patti, Blanca, Geneva, Pat, Donna, Mo.

Now I can add Sandra to the list.

For a couple of years we were internet friends but hadn’t met face to face until last weekend.

Almost 3 years ago I discovered her delightful blog Add Humor and Faith…mix well through kind of a hop, skip and a jump around the internet. Coffee, Tea, Books and Me was where I started; actually one of the first blogs I ever read, back when I wasn’t really sure what a blog even was. A very interesting sounding lady posted a comment there and I followed the link to the blog she shares with her childhood friend, Stick Horse Cowgirls. Such an evocative title.

Well, C & V featured one of their reader’s comments in their sidebar – which finally brings me to Sandra. My first visit there was a delightful journey into her archives and stories about growing up in Springfield, Missouri and Indiana, crinolines, a brother and his car, older sisters and loving parents.

It surprised me how much we have in common, including visits to Tulsa. (Her grandchildren attend my old high school.)


So, this past weekend, we met Sandra and her husband at a Panera and had a wonderful visit.

The internet can be a scary place and not everyone you meet online is someone that you can safely meet in person.

But Sandy and her husband are real, salt-of-the-earth people, the kind that are also salt and light in the world and I’m so glad we met them. Joe and I had a marvelous time visiting with them.

They are shiny new silver friends.

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Filed under Faith, Tulsa

Happy Father’s Day

Carl and Carla

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Filed under 1957, Family, Mingo

Energy and Determination

Tisn’t spring anymore; I don’t care what the calendar says.

It’s June in Texas and it’s hot.

So – it’s summer.

Since I missed spring cleaning, I’m doing it now. However, the deep cleaning will have to wait because currently I’m working on clutter.

Every so often it hits me how negligent I’ve been in keeping an even-handed approach to bringing stuff in vs. hauling stuff out. The recycling gets taken care of often (because it will run you out of the house if you don’t), but the other things (clothes, shoes, magazines, books, etc.) tend to mushroom because I simply don’t deal with them on a regular basis.

My sister and I were talking about this yesterday, and I commented that for the first many years of our married life, I was better at sorting through stuff and dispensing with it. Every so often I’d clean out a closet or a drawer and send anything salable to Goodwill or Salvation Army, and throw away junk and generally clean. Sadly enough, I’ve grown lax.

I could probably look around for excuses such illness or busyness, but that’s all they’d be: excuses. Because I know that, except for the worst days (like recovering from surgery), something can be done. Doing anything is better than doing nothing.

My genetics didn’t bestow upon me the whirl of energy that my brother got, or the drive that my sister has, but I have enough of those traits to get by.

Our dad was a real go-getter. All his life, he worked manual labor jobs. Even during the last few years when he owned his own businesses, he left the office/bookwork duties to my mother.

His first job was hauling drinking water to the oil field hands in Oklahoma when he was 6 years old. He left school at a very young age to help care for his mother who was dying of tuberculosis. He rodeoed, worked in a Nabisco cracker factory, assembled Fords on the line in Detroit, learned welding and worked at Douglas Aircraft in the foundry, built houses, and a whole lot more. In his 50s, he roofed houses then he and my brother started their own business building service station canopies from Louisiana to west Texas, and north to Indiana.

At the age of 61, they bought a small local grocery/gas station/car repair business. Daddy was there at 6:00 every morning to open up, and washed down the concrete pad. Closing was at 8:00 p.m., after the shelves had been stocked and the floor mopped. He worked like that until the store was sold when he was 65. My brother has that kind of energy.

My mother was a hard worker, too, but mostly she was just determined. She graduated from high school at the age of 21 because it took that long to convince her dad that she really wanted a diploma; the nearest high school to their rural Kentucky home was far enough away that she had to go live with an uncle.

For her graduation, she wanted to look nice, so she earned money by picking strawberries to pay for her first permanent wave. It would’ve been the kind that had the curlers hooked by wires to a machine. ( And she looked lovely with that new perm.)

Daddy and Mama married when she was 28 and he was 34. I was born 11 years later. When she was 43, Mama developed a heart problem that required a lot of rest. But even so, she cooked breakfast and supper every day, sewed most of our clothes, hung the laundry out to dry and ironed it.

She did what she could as she could.

That’s the way both my parents were. They put one foot in front of the other when something had to be done. Neither one went out in search of extra work but they always did what had to/needed to be done and they didn’t complain about it. I have the idea that many, many people of my generation can say the same about their parents.

For instance, our yard was not landscaped – but it was mown every week.

Meals weren’t innovative and gourmet – but they were prepared every night.

My mother used to tell the story about learning to knit. My sister, Fran, had enrolled the two of them in a knitting class at the old Sears store at 21st and Yale. Although she’d been crocheting since she was a little girl, knitting was totally foreign to her.

She’d say that she knew she’d been the dumbest one in the class and she forced herself to concentrate on the stitches until her eyes watered and a tear dropped from her eye. The determination to not stop until she had mastered that stitch kept her from even wiping the tear away, but she learned it. It gave her such a feeling of accomplishment when teacher asked her to help one of the other students later on.

That happened when she was 50 years old. I would never call my mother an old dog – but she definitely learned new tricks!

Fran has that determination with getting things done. She used to work at one of the big petroleum companies in Tulsa typing in information for oil leases. Whole pages of nothing but numbers. Yikes! I’m doing good to handle phone numbers (and usually without area codes). Can you imagine sitting all day doing that?!

So, I’m not a dusk ’til dawn worker like my dad, and determination and I have more work to do on our relationship

but

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

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Filed under 1960's, Faith, Family, Housekeeping, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Scripture, Summer, Texas

The Monkees, The Wrecking Crew (Studio Musicians) and Leon Russell


Remember the big hoopla about 1966 – 67 that the Monkees didn’t play their own instruments? Boy, I do. And it raged for years. The Rock and Roll snobs were really ugly about it.

The Monkees never pretended that their origins were anything other than a massive casting call at Screen Gems. I was a member of their fan club and lots of articles included the original ad that began “Madness: Wanted four ….”. The years have taken their toll. I used to could quote the whole ad.

They were the brainchild of Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider. Their idea was a television show about a loony rock and roll band, with music videos. Marketing began … at the beginning. According to Wikipedia (and if I remember correctly a pre-1968 article in TV guide) the story about the group using studio musicians broke when Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork put their collective foot down to be allowed to play their own instruments. Part of the reason they were hired was that they all actually were musicians, except possibly Jones. He was a professional singer, having played the Artful Dodger in the London stage production of Oliver! and had recorded a solo album.

Fast forward a few years to 2007. While looking through some old issues of American Heritage magazine, I saw a piece on the Wrecking Crew (click here for the article online. Note: as of 3-1-2012 this link has been updated). Up until then, the only Wrecking Crew I was familiar with was the movie with Dean Martin. One of his Matt Helm, pseudo James Bond type things.

The article had pictures of people playing instruments during recording sessions. I think the only one I recognized was Glen Campbell. And even though I’ve always liked Glen Campbell, I’m not really a fan so I just skimmed through it; a couple of years later I was looking through old magazines and sat down to actually read it rather than just looking at the pictures.

(Even though I love to read books and really love magazines, there’s this quirky thing about not reading articles in them. Like a kid, I look at the pictures. I have years worth of Victoria magazines that I’ve never read, just looked at. National Review is an exception. There are very few photos in it and I usually read it cover to cover, often on the day it arrives – except for tax and libertarian pieces.)

Well, lo and behold. The Wrecking Crew was a group of studio musicians in Los Angeles. And yeah, they played the instruments on the Monkee’s first 2 albums.

But they also played for The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, the Byrds and a whole lot more. They were Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. They played everything from jazz to rock and roll to jingles for television commercials. They were fantastic.

There was an interview posted online with Tommy Tedesco’s son Denny, which has been removed.  Tommy was a studio guitarist. Denny made a documentary titled “The Wrecking Crew”, here is a video interview with him. Wish the whole film was on youtube because it looks fascinating.

Glen Campbell and Leon Russell were the only names I recognized. A more complete list of Leon Russell’s keyboard backups is here at Tulsa TV Memories. (Leon Russell is a Tulsa native.)

The Funk Brothers backed up Motown. here

For those of us who still like the Monkees:

Go here for a review of a Micky Dolenz concert. Nice article. Micky tells of being in the Abbey Road studio with the Beatles.

In this Wikipedia article on Davy Jones, it mentions that he was on Ed Sullivan the same night that the Beatles debuted, February 9, 1964.

Oh, my. Mike Nesmith is 68. Ouch. Here’s his bio on Wikipedia. My husband saw the current photo of Mike and said he looks like a senator.

And here’s the Wiki article on Peter.

Ah, memories.

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Filed under 1960's, Music, Oklahoma, Rock and Roll, Tulsa, YouTube