Category Archives: Tulsa

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

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

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.  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.

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

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)!

20 Comments

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

Memorial Day

Family was very important to my father and mother. In fact, Daddy quit school just after the 6th grade to help take care of his mother who was dying of TB. She died when he was 13, and then his father died about 3 years later.

When I was a girl, my family observed Memorial Day by driving to the Mount Hope Cemetery in Afton, Oklahoma. Daddy would buy flowers to put on his parents’ graves. Oh, how I wish I had written down the stories he told. Oklahoma was a new state – only 2 years old – when he was born. In fact, he was the first Edens to be born in the state of Oklahoma. It was still Indian Territory when they came by covered wagon from Missouri. What a bumpy ride that must have been.

Travelling is still a bit exhausting for me since the surgery but I wish we had been able to be in Tulsa this weekend. We would’ve placed a gorgeous bouquet of wildflowers from our pasture on his grave, as we have done in the past.

It’s an honorable act to acknowledge our loved ones who have passed away. That’s the term Daddy and Mama always used. I guess the word “death” seems a bit harsh to us Southerners. We believe that they have passed over the Jordan to be with Jesus.

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Filed under 1960's, Family, Memorial Day, Oklahoma, Tulsa, Vicissitudes of Life

Tradition

What a crazy mixed up world this is. Our society has become so complicated; but then there are magazines and television programs and books, ad nausem focusing on simplification. Most of them are trying to get us to buy even more products. Somehow I don’t think they’re getting the point that they say they’re trying to make.

Sandra’s comment on the Nurses’ Uniform post started me thinking about this. Thanks, Sandra, because it’s good for us to review our life and why we do things.

However, it’s best to use some wisdom when reviewing and making decisions. When I was in high school and thought I was so smart, I rejected a lot of tradition. Through 17 year old eyes, tradition looked tired and out-dated. I remember saying that it was not a good enough reason to keep doing something just because that’s the way we’ve always done it. And while there may be some truth in that, it’s not enough to say that just because this teenager doesn’t understand the origins of something, that it’s passe. Thank the good Lord above that I did not reject all tradition: Joe and I were married at our church, we both worked, we still valued family ties.

Our wedding ceremony was a mixture of traditional and not. I wanted a “practical” wedding dress – something that I could wear again and not have people thinking that I was like Grandmother Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof (she was ancient and wearing her wedding dress in the dream sequence). So I chose an evening dress pattern from the Vogue catalog and some aqua crepe fabric. No bridesmaids, groomsmen, my father didn’t give me away. Joe and I entered together, singing “To Be Like Jesus” a Capella; we wrote our own vows.

The church we attended was a small group of believers (New Life Fellowship in Jesus). Our pastor, Ray Vogt, was a former Mennonite. I think there were former Baptists, Mennonites and Catholics in our congregation. Going by appearances it was untraditional because we met in a YMCA building. Actually, those buildings had family history connected. The YMCA was only leasing them from the Tulsa Public School system. My brother, sister and I had all attended school there; it was the original campus for East Central High School. When I was there, it was Lewis & Clark Junior High; East Central had moved to the new building on 11th St. by then.

It was wonderfully New Testament fellowship, but it didn’t look like a “church” building. This was before the advent of the steel building mega-churches. Most church buildings up until that time, were wooden, brick or concrete block and they were all identifiable by simply looking at them. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the new style, but I confess that when I visited the Congregational Church in Middleboro, Massachusetts and saw that soaring spire and the huge columns, it made me wistful. Here was a place that was set aside from the world – identifiably so.

Hopefully all this gray hair is not in vain. I would like to think I’ve earned it.

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Filed under Aging, America, Faith, Family, Music, Oklahoma, Tulsa

Vegetarian Chili

It’s not as bad as it sounds, although it won’t fool a meat lover, but then again it’s about as close to the real thing as I can get. Some vegetarian chili recipes have things like carrots, etc. in them, which I don’t understand. Mostly I make this when our vegetarian sons are here, but I have made it for just Joe and me, too.

Vegetarian Chili

*1 package Morningstar Farms Crumbles (or 4 Boca Burgers thawed and cut into 1″ pieces)
*1 onion, chopped
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*2 T. olive oil
salt
pepper
~
1 can (I think it’s about 12 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
2 cans (or more) pinto beans
1/4 t. comino
Chili powder (at least 2 T.)
Oregano – dash

1. Saute crumbles, onion and garlic in olive oil. Crumbles will not get real brown or crisp, so just cook until the onion is translucent. I use the dutch oven for this step. There’s no reason to wash an extra skillet. Just keep stirring it to keep it from sticking.

2. Add canned ingredients and spices. We use quite a bit of chili powder. If you’re not sure, add some and taste, then adjust to your own preferances.

3. Cover and heat over low heat for 30 minutes. It really doesn’t need more time that that, and much longer and the soy products change texture somewhat.

4. Serve with fresh chopped onion and possibly a little sour cream and grated cheddar on top, or cheese slices and saltines or cornbread on the side.

Variation:
Three Way: add cooked spaghetti to your bowl. I love it this way. When I was a girl Ike’s Chili Parlors in Tulsa sold Chili, Chili with Beans and Three Way (chili, beans and spaghetti).

This post linked to Food on Friday @ annkroeker.com

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Filed under Cooking, Family, Tulsa

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

November 16, 2009


Mamosa, my blogging friend over at Eyes on the Prize, just tagged me to name 10 random things about myself and pass it on to 10 others. The goal is for us to all get to know each other better.

Seems to me that I’m a rather transparent, simple person and that anyone who talks with me for a few minutes or reads some of my posts will probably be pretty familiar with me. But I’ll try.

1962 Barbie tennis
1. Vintage Barbie dolls, 1958-1964 are one of my favorite things. They bring back very pleasant memories just looking at them. Mine was a 1962 brunette bubble-cut (I call it the Jackie Kennedy hairstyle) which came with a red mailot bathing suit and black high heels. Alas, I no longer have mine, but a few years ago I paid way too much for a replacement original at a doll shop in Fort Worth. Playing with Barbies did not scar me or make me feel inadequate.

11-16-2009 I Remember Mama script
2. The Drama Department was one of two main things that kept me in high school (the other reason I stayed was that my brother had dropped out and my mother never got over it. I couldn’t do that to her.) Norma Davis was a wonderful, kind Christian teacher who really helped me by giving me a chance to blossom when I discovered my love of theater. Auditions can be really scary things and I chickened out at the door when I was a sophomore. But in my junior and senior years I got the lead in the class plays and won the Best Actress awards for both years. Over the years, I’ve only done a few community theater shows and one at the junior college, but just walking into a live theater gives me a rush. There’s nothing like walking around on a stage, either empty or a fully dressed set. The atmosphere, the smell, the magic. Ahhh.

https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/content/dam/property-images/en-us/gr/us/tx/galveston/18122/18122_exterior_view_1.jpg?crop=3000:2000;*,*&downsize=1800:*
3. Galveston is my favorite place in Texas. Of course the water is nicer in Corpus Christi and obviously it is touristy and I know that men in Italian suits (you know what I mean) used to do a lot of business there. But it’s tropical, affordable, historical (until the 1900 hurricane it was the largest city in Texas), beautiful, reachable (only 6 hours away by car) and fun. Not for me the luxury resorts in foreign places. Nothing beats staying at the Galvez Hotel (built in 1911), eating breakfast in the dining room (with beautifully appointed settings on starched, white table cloths), walking on the beach, feeding the seagulls, going to one of the many museums, eating seafood at Gaido’s, and mostly just driving along the seawall with the windows down.

4. With only a couple of exceptions, I have sewn my own curtains during our 36 years of marriage and also made a lot of clothes. But I have never put in a zipper and have a lot of trouble with sleeves and collars. Patterns need to be simple for me. It would be better if I would actually learn to sew better because I’ve always been hard to fit. I’m tall (about 5’10) and it’s not easy finding things that fit correctly.

5. I’m passionate about not being in social drinking situations. My father became an alcoholic when I was a young teenager and nothing good ever comes of drinking too much. Nothing. That said, I don’t think drinking alcohol is wrong or evil, but excess is and I know very few people who stop at one drink. Alcohol could be a real problem for me because I love the taste of champagne and Tecate beer, but I limit it to one or less and very rarely have any. For goodness sake, I’m 55 years old and can’t quit biting my fingernails – how good would I be at having to give up something really difficult?

6. My politics have come full circle, or at least my political affiliations have. The Watergate hearings were going strong when I registered to vote. My daddy and his family were yellow dog Democrats, in fact a good way for my dad to get mad and start cussing was for a Republican to be on television. But watching the hearings, I was absolutely appalled at the way the Democrats were acting – they were like witches dancing naked in the moonlight. So, I registered Republican. A few years later, I re-registered Democrat but always voted for who I thought was the best candidate and have never voted for a pro-abortion candidate. Unfortunately, Jimmy Carter was my selection in 1976, but I voted for Ronald Reagan both times. It was Bill Clinton who drove me back into the arms of the Republican party.

Carla Edens, Joe Hoag, EC graduation May 1972
7. Long straight hair and little or no make-up were the styles when I was young and it’s not been easy to leave that behind. For years I almost never wore any make-up, and now I only do when going to town, and not always then. But I no longer have the glow of youth (walking by a mirror or a plate glass window is like a Halloween scare); a little powder and mascara sure help polish me up. My hairstyling skills are almost as good as my sewing, and I don’t know what to do with my hair and I’m way too cheap to get it done often. Mostly I wear a pony-tail, about every year or 2 getting it cut into a short page boy… it’s probably time for my annual trip to Pro-Cuts.

8. Raised in the Southern Baptist Church,I became charismatic in my teens. I love the SBC but some things about it irritate me. The ‘moderates’ went way too far, but some of the conservatives have swung back too far (even more conservative than the Bible and that’s not right). It feels so familiar and at home when we attend one, but then I start to feel like I need to hide the scriptural things I believe, and that’s just not right. So, we don’t know what to do. We are between churches right now and I would so love to have a church home where we can worship, share, learn and fellowship.

9. I used to have a very good memory (my husband does not think this is a good thing). Maybe it was memorizing those scripts (by the time opening night rolls around, one usually knows not only their lines but everyone else’s as well). I can remember what I was wearing when, and sometimes what someone else was wearing and describe the outfits. Trivial Pursuit is one of my favorite games but I don’t get to play very often. I am a wealth of useless information (the Battle of Hastings was 1066; don’t ask why I remember this or what it has to do with anything). My memory is not as sharp as it used to be, and since my mother has Alzheimer’s, this concerns me a little.

10. Today’s my birthday. I share it with the state of Oklahoma. Mine in 1954, Oklahoma’s 1907.

I don’t know 10 other bloggers very well, but I will post here later the ones that I’m tagging. Some bloggers have Tag Free/Award Free Zones and I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable.

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Filed under Faith, Family, Galveston, Oklahoma, Texas, Theater, Tulsa, Vintage Barbie

Kitchen Tables

our house, 1967

Houses were much smaller when I was growing up in the 1950s and 60s. Even new houses in Tulsa were small. I grew up in Mingo, just north of the city, a tiny community where none of the houses were new.

Nearly everyone in Mingo ate their meals at the kitchen table. There were almost no dining rooms in my neighborhood. I can only remember 2. Every night families gathered together after their day to share the evening meal. Late afternoon activities that would interfere with a meal were unheard of. Kids in my neighborhood didn’t have dance lessons, and very rarely piano lessons. I had heard there was a boys Little League team but in those days it would not have interfered with the evening meal.

It was a working class neighborhood. After school (and maybe a little television), weather permitting, children played outside: little kids played with dolls or cars, yard games like Hopscotch, Hide and Seek, Statues, Red Light-Green Light, or dress-up and make believe; bigger kids rode their bikes, played driveway basketball, or impromptu softball. Mothers prepared the evening meal. Dads came home from work.

Families sat down together and ate dinner. Webster defines ‘dinner’ as the principal meal of the day. My mother always referred to our evening meal as supper, because when she was a girl, the noon meal was the big one and her mother called it dinner. But unlike her growing up years when her father operated a country store a hundred yards from her house, my father worked at Douglas Aircraft or on a construction job and was too far away at noon to come home and eat. But old habits die hard, and even though she cooked every night, she still called it supper.

So, kitchens were an integral part of our homes.

The kitchen table was where my mother cut out the fabric for the clothes she made for us, where we did our homework, played cards or dominoes on Saturday night and met again each evening over home cooked food. I can remember the table covered with waxed paper and freshly glazed yeast doughnuts that my mother made. And how it felt to sit on my dad’s lap and learn how to play dominoes and Hearts; I don’t remember ever being told to go away while the grown-ups played cards. It was where I sat while my mother helped me practice my spelling words. At Christmas, I made marshmallow snowmen and helped my mother put stamps on Christmas cards. I must have been pretty young the first time because I remember 4 cent stamps – this was a penny less than normal postage for envelopes that weren’t sealed.

Our kitchen, 1966

Our kitchen, 1966


Somehow my mother was able to cook the holiday meals – from scratch – in the same room we ate in and kept it looking nice for the meal. My dad was a John Wayne type but he helped her cook Christmas dinner. However, on Thanksgiving morning, he and my brother were always out hunting. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners were always at noon, and I can remember that I used to worry that they wouldn’t be back from hunting so that we could eat on time. They nearly always were.

My family was not able to pass down many family mementos. In 1937, my maternal grandparents home and store were covered with flood water for 2 weeks, ruining nearly everything they had. A few photographs survived and a Bible that still has the silt from the Ohio River dried in its pages. My father’s family had to leave everything at a friend’s house when they left Oklahoma when my grandmother died in the mid-1920’s. They were never able to retrieve their possessions. Oddly enough, only my grandfather’s blacksmithing anvil remains. It weighed about 100 pounds.

So, I didn’t inherit really old family treasures, but I do have several things from my childhood and one of them is our kitchen table. Not the first one I remember – 1950’s chrome and gray formica topped. The one they bought in 1964 – brown, wood grain formica with painted scenes in two opposite corners. It’s the one you can see in the background of some of my recipe and craft posts.

It’s not valuable or even particularly lovely to anyone else. Our home isn’t big enough to have a dining room, so our old table sits in the middle of our kitchen. It’s the one that my dad sat at to feed our sons, and it’s the one we sit around with our grandsons and share meals when they come to visit.

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Filed under 1950s, 1960's, Childhood pastimes, Family, Kitchens, Mingo, Oklahoma, Tulsa, Using What You Have