Tag Archives: Tulsa

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

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

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

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

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