Category Archives: Mingo

Happy Father’s Day

Carl and Carla

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Filed under 1957, Family, Mingo

Go Go Boots a la 1966

My parents bought me a pair of white Go Go boots about 1965 when I was in the 5th grade, a year before these were featured in the 1966 Fall/Winter Catalog. I loved them and felt so stylish and teenagery.

Go Go boots were absolutely the In Thing. I remember seeing lots of pairs of them unevenly lined up under the benches at The Wheel on Friday nights. The Wheel was the roller rink at the edge of Mohawk Park in Tulsa and my friend Judy would pick me up to go with her. When you rented the skates, you simply put your shoes/boots under the bench – not in a locker. Our friend, Carol had her Go Go boots stolen one night. Carol’s boots were probably a big temptation because her family had more money than the rest of us in Mingo, and I’m sure that her boots were probably more expensive.

It was always a little scary there to me because we were just about 10 years old and the greasers were there, too. Remember how the kids looked in “The Outsiders“? That’s them. Something about how they just looked made me uneasy – and I never ever saw anything worse than somebody smoking outside the door. But the boys did have the greased back hair and and wore pointed-toed black shoes (kind of like the ones that the band members are wearing in the Pretty Woman link below). The girls had lots of eye make-up and would crowd into the tiny girls’ bathroom. Roy Orbison’s played on the p.a. (public address system) a lot. The kids seemed to really like it.

Whenever I hear that song I don’t think about the hooker movie; no, I’m back at The Wheel.

Perhaps Susie Hinton was there, too. She went to Rogers High School and was writing “The Outsiders” at that time. These are the people she was writing about.

Aren’t these knee socks and stockings just the coolest thing?! We wore lots of them.

Here I’m striking an embarrassingly silly pose on the back of my dad and brother’s work truck in our front yard. This would’ve been about 1966 (not ’65 as I tagged the photo) and the knee socks look just like the ones from the catalog, so Mama may’ve ordered them from that very page.

But I confess, I even wore them with my cowboy boots – no photo of that (and you should be grateful)!

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Filed under 1960's, 1965, 1966, Books, Books, Boots, Entertainment, Ephemera, Fiction, Mingo, Movies, Music, Oklahoma, Rock and Roll, Sears, Shoes, Tulsa, Vintage catalogs, YouTube

“Thank You for the food we eat”: a Dick and Jane Altered Book

Mother, Jane, Father, Sally, and Dick

Dick and Jane readers were a wonderful part of my childhood – I still get such a cozy feeling just looking at them. So, when my sister, Abby and I decided to exchange little handmade Thanksgiving books last year, I chose the Dick and Jane theme for the “We Give Thanks” book I made for Fran.

Dick, Jane and Sally

Thank you for the food we eat,

Spot, Tim and Puff

Thank you for the world so sweet,

Jane, Sally and Dick

Thank you for the birds that sing,

Mother, Dick, Sally and Tim

Thank you, God, for everything.

Jane

Amen.

First I photocopied illustrations from a Dick and Jane reprint that I’d bought a few years ago at Wal-Mart (these reprints were from the 1950s’ editions). I also have 2 copies of original editions, and I wish I had used them to copy because the pictures are much better. A copy of a copy is very often not a good thing. But anyway, I selected pictures that I thought would illustrate the prayer we learned in Kindergarten at Mingo School (before our schools became so God-less).

The title “We Give Thanks” is in keeping with the Dick and Jane series, for instance, “We Work and Play”,  “We Look and See”, “We Come and Go”, etc.

To give it the feel of a board book, I made my own chipboard pages from a Coca-Cola carton. I probably should’ve rounded the edges slightly.

The background layout for the illustrations were enlarged and photocopied prose pages from the Dick and Jane books.  The edges were distressed with blue ink; brown might’ve been better.

For the prayer itself, I photocopied a page of old penmanship-style scrapbook paper. Now I realize that I could’ve bought a whole tablet of that paper at Dollar General for about $1.00.  Anyway,to get the look of children’s printing, I used a pencil in my left hand (I am right-handed). As you can see from the “Thank you God for everything” page, I accidentally wrote “Lord”. I need to fix that.

To finish, I punched 3 holes on each page and used blue gingham ribbon to bind it. On the back I used a “Handmade by” stamp and signed my name.

Now I think I’ll make one to keep for myself.

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Filed under 1950s, Altered Books, Books, Children's, Cozy, Crafts, Crafts - Cheap, Crafts - Paper, Faith, Free, Mingo, Thanksgiving, Thrift

Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

H.T. Webster was an editorial cartoonist and his most famous drawing was reprinted in the Tulsa Tribune newspaper every February 12. He drew it in 1918 when he was worked for Associated Newspapers. It’s titled “Hardin County- 1809”.

(After an exhaustive search on the internet, I can’t find even one depiction, but I did find the caption.)

Picture this: 2 Kentucky farmers are talking.

“Any news down t’ th’ village, Ezry?”

“Well, Squire McLean’s gone t’ Washington t’ see Madison swore in and ol’ Spellman tells me this Bonaparte fella has captured most o’ Spain. What’s new out here, neighbor?”

“Nuthin’ a tall, nuthin’ a tall ‘cept for a new baby down’t Tom Lincoln’s. Nuthin’ ever happens out here.”

Abraham Lincoln was a beloved president when I was a child. He and George Washington were acknowledged as the two greatest presidents in our American history.

They were given a place of honor in our history books and schools. At Mingo School, our 7th grade class was assigned by Mrs. Sappington to memorize the Gettysburg Address. Unfortunately, I only got about 3/4 to memory.

Are public school children still given that assignment? Do they even know about the Gettysburg Address? Somehow, I imagine home schooled children all across the country today are at least reading it.

On November 19, 1863
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The occasion was the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg where just less than 5 months previously 165, 620 men of the Union and Confederate armies fought. On that Pennsylvania field, 7,863 American men lost their lives during the 3 day battle. The wounded count was 27, 224, captured and missing: 11,199.

The day following the dedication, the Chicago Times, a newspaper run by Democrats, published the following comment:
“”The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States.”

Political cartoonists, in the north, viciously portrayed him as an ape.

In his lifetime, he was loved and he was despised.

Abraham Lincoln, April 10,1865


With the weight of the war on his shoulders, he posed for this portrait on April 10, 1865.

Four days later he was killed by an assassin’s bullet.

Abraham Lincoln honorably led our country in a time of incredible divisiveness and hatred among our people. He did the difficult but right thing in putting an end to slavery.

I honor his memory.

Apparently, Google does not. They chose to commemorate the winter olympics on their homepage today instead of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

They’re young. Perhaps they don’t know who he was or that what we owe him. Maybe they’re only familiar with what’s happening now. But then again, maybe it’s just their values system.

Information for this post was gathered from:

Gettysburg Address
, Wikipedia
Battle of Gettysburg, Wikpedia
Stripper’s Guide (a blog discussing the history of the American newspaper comic strip)
Library of Congress

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Filed under America, History, Kentucky, Lincoln's Birthday, Mingo, Vicissitudes of Life

Easy-No-Need-To-Buy-A-Mix Cornbread


CORNBREAD

(This recipe is for an 8″ x 8″ pan; for the large cake pan or skillet size, just double everything.)

1 egg, beaten
1 c. cornmeal
1 c. flour
1 c. milk
1/2 t. salt
3 t. baking powder
1 T. sugar
1 – 2 T. oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (toaster oven 350-375 degrees).
2. Mix all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl with a spoon.
3. Butter or Pam baking pan.
4. Use a spatula to transfer batter from bowl to baking pan – it wants to stick to the sides of the bowl.
5. Bake for about 20 minutes until brown on top and knife inserted into middle comes out clean.
6. Serve hot with butter.
7. If you have any left, store it in an airtight container in the freezer until you make cornbread dressing. Or feed it to the birds.

This is a fairly basic recipe and easy to mix up. It came from a regional cookbook we got as a wedding present over 30 years ago. I’ve altered it a bit: lessened the baking powder and oil and added the sugar. I don’t like sweet cornbread, but if you do, add a little more sugar until it suits your taste.

Since I’m from the south, cornbread is like one of the 4 food groups. Beans (pintos) and cornbread is actually my favorite meal. If there’s fried potatoes, greens and chopped onion,
to go with it, well…I’m real happy.

My mother grew up out in the country during the 1920s and didn’t have access to store bought white bread, but she said that her mother made biscuits every morning and cornbread every day at noon (“dinner” to Mama). This must have seemed strange to my Philadelphia-born grandmother, but she adapted to kentucky ways.

The best cornbread I’ve ever eaten was made by Mrs. Hickson, head of the cafeteria at Mingo School. Tuesday was Beans & Cornbread day. Even kids like me (who took their lunch every other day of the week) bought their lunches on Tuesday. I think my friend, Carol, has the recipe. I hope so because I’d love to have it.

This post is linked to Food on Fridays @ annkroeker

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Filed under Cooking, Family, Kentucky, Mingo, Oklahoma

Happy Birthday, Judy

There’s something really special about having friends with whom you share a common history.

Today’s the birthday of one of my best friends. I first met her in 3rd grade when I changed classes. In Mrs. Giddens room, our desks were in the 2nd row from the windows (huge, tall windows), mine in front of hers. Since I was new in there, I was feeling kind of alone and intimidated, and let me tell you, no one stays feeling lonely with Judy around. She is one of the friendliest persons I’ve ever known. Nobody is a stranger around her.

(This is the truth: even in a city the size of Tulsa, she’s always running into people she knows when she’s out shopping or at a restaurant.)

Classes at Mingo were small (we averaged about 20 kids per grade), and we were classmates for the next 5 years. After 8th grade graduation we all had to decide if we’d go to Tulsa or Owasso for high school. She chose Owasso (a small town about 3 miles from where she lived), I went to East Central in Tulsa. But we stayed friends and “ran around” a lot together our senior year. Within about a month of each other, we each met the men we would marry. Of course, Judy and I were the same age; both of the guys were Viet Nam veterans and about the same age, too. She had 3 sons, I had 2.

My husband just shakes his head in puzzlement when she and I get together because time stops; we joke and laugh. The years melt away.


And the memories of really good times flow: go-go boots, roller skating at The Wheel, me guarding her on the girls’ basketball team, slumber parties, watching in wonder as she and Carol danced the latest dances (the Frug, the Monkey, the Jerk), running into the bathroom between classes and ratting (backcombing) her hair, class trips, walking to Roy’s Dairyette or Mitchell’s or Carnathan’s for lunch, cruising around Brookside (and miraculously staying out of trouble – Oh, Lord, Thank You!). And so much more.

I heard my first 45 r.p.m. record at her house: “Something Stupid” by Frank and Nancy Sinatra and so when I got my little portable record player, it was the first record I bought. It’s still one of my favorite songs. And whenever I hear it, I’m 11 years old and with my good friend at her house, hearing it for the first time.

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Filed under 1960's, Mingo, Oklahoma

Christmas Then, It Was Different


Growing up in 1950s and 1960s America -it was a different world. My sons don’t really believe that. Like many other young people, they think that things have always been like they are now – for instance, crime and deviancy and government control, selfishness and a lack of self control, victimology,etc.

Life was palpably different. It was simpler. It was harder. It was better. (Right here is where one always has to insert the politically correct caveat about the things which actually have improved. That has become tiresome and I’ll resist it this time.)

A common complaint/observation about modern life is the commercialism, greed and joylessness at Christmas, which I believe is pretty accurate.

How has it changed? Well, for starters, it was a joyous season.

Born in the mid-1950s and raised in Mingo, a working class neighborhood, my friends and I looked forward to Christmas for lots of reasons, presents being only one of the many elements. Among them were the art projects and the yearly religious Christmas program at our public school, a program at church, shared secrets about gifts, helping my mother stamp the Christmas cards, receiving cards in the mail and hearing from friends and relatives, the family gathering to open presents on Christmas Eve (we had to wait until the sun was down and it seemed like it took forever). The big dinner at noon on Christmas day and the drive around Tulsa looking at lights on Christmas night. Daddy and Mama enjoyed it all as much as the children did.

One of my fondest memories is of the time I made marshmallow snowmen with toothpicks. That was a really simple thing but I remember how much fun it was.

Christmas wish lists were only in the cartoons. I never wrote one and if my friends did, they never told me about it. It never even occured to me.

None of the children in my neighborhood demanded particular gifts. Certainly there were things we wanted and told our parents about, but our world wasn’t centered around what we didn’t have or didn’t get. Christmas and birthdays were about the only times during the year when we got new toys but even then it was with restraint. I never had my own hula hoop or twirling baton or baby buggy or dollhouse, but some of my friends did and they shared nicely. It seems that I was the only one with Tinker Toys and I shared. My friend, Joy, had her mother’s original Shirley Temple doll and wicker doll buggy; we were allowed to play with it together.

My mother made all the females new Christmas dresses every year – everything else came from the store or catalog but even so it wasn’t as commercial as it is now. Retailers are only partly to blame for what has happened; we have become a very greedy, demanding society. There are gift registries for brides and babies and probably every other occasion; goodness, someone wouldn’t want a gift that they haven’t chosen for themselves!

We were not princesses and we certainly weren’t treated as such.

As for the decorating, we always had a cut tree and the big lights and a star on top of the tree. Each year my parent sent out lots of cards. Mama decorated with the ones we received and we enjoyed looking at them on display during December. She had a few other decorations sitting around, but it wasn’t the overwhelming obsession with more and more. I enjoy beautifully decorated houses at Christmas, but honestly, it is a little tiring just to even look at them.

This year Christmas is simpler at our house. Fewer decorations and I’m enjoying that. The perfect gift is not my goal; I am considering what each member of my family would enjoy and I’m also complying with what we can afford.

It is absolutely no coincidence that Christmas has lost a lot of joy in modern times. Leftist leaders have stripped as much meaning out of everything as they can.

If we can’t acknowledge the birth of our Saviour, how can we celebrate? Silly, manufactured “holidays” like kwanzaa and winter solstice are empty and hollow pathetic attempts at counterfeit substitutions for Jesus.

What is there to celebrate? God’s gift of His Son to a lost and dying world.

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Filed under 1950s, 1960's, America, Childhood pastimes, Christmas, Current Events, Faith, Family, Mingo, Oklahoma, Tulsa