Monday, June 20, 2011


I am not sure of all of the towns I lived in as a child. I know that I was born in Tecumseh, Okla. I was in that town a few years ago, and my statue still has not been finished. You would think they would get that finished.

I do know that certain town names exist in my childhood memory bank. Both of my parents - at one time or another - were band directors. My mom was a violin player through her early years - piano too, I'd guess. Her father, my grandfather, was a barber in a small western Oklahoma town which now lies under a man made lake. Webb City was a nice place I'd imagine. Hopefully, my brother Jim or some of my cousins who read this will add some knowledge to all of this.

My grandmother - as most ladies of that era - stayed at home cooking, gardening, cleaning and whatever else they did in the early 1900s in Oklahoma. As an elementary aged kid, we would visit that small town. There was an old barber chair in the back yard - one of the only forms of amusement. We would climb into the chair and others would spin us around and around. Being dizzy in those days was like sniffing glue with less long term wear and tear.

I remember one particular day in that lovely place, we were walking from some point to another with our cousins - I'd guess Danny, Lee, and whoever. We came upon an old house surrounded by a fence and tall weeds. The house had a metal roof as I remember. It was really an old piece of trash. My cousins started spinning a story (pardon me, a stone) about the lady who lived there - crazy & the house was haunted. Now this story must have made quite an impression on this city boy cause I remember it to this day. I was quite innocent.

Some day I must write about my grandparents - both sides of the family. Just not tonight....

Woodward Okla - We lived there for a while - moved to OK City - and Woodward was destroyed by a tornado. The tornado hit in 1947. If you care to read a bit of history try:

it started near White Deer, TX and ended in Kansas. It was 1.8 miles wide when it hit Woodward and destroyed 340 houses. I missed it. This was good.

Related bit:  When I taught in Ardmore, OK for 10 year we made the playoffs and playoffs and playoffs.   Late in the process we traveled to Woodward for a game.  It started snowing and was miserable.   The Woodward halftime show was a tribute to the tornado and the people who died.   The tribute indicates a morbid memory for some of the townsfolks.   Yet, if you go to the Woodward City website - nothing is mentioned.   Some try to forge they live in the middle of tornado alley.

This has become too long - so I will continue my excursion into the past at a later date. Stay tuned for Dodge City - Crete, Neb. - Odessa and many more.

one last bit of no importance. I was born in Tecumseh, Okla. My mom was the band director at the time. Bro Jim is 16 months older than I. My brother Marshall was the band mascot - somewhere is a photo of him in a little drum major suit with a baton - posed. Putting him in the suit was probably cheaper than getting a baby sitter for games.

Mom used to talk about taking her band to marching contest in those days. She talked about winning these contests. She would have her majorettes (not twirlers, but majorettes) do a flip / cartwheel in front of the judges area. She swore this is why she won. You can form your own opinion. An aside: in 1940, a cartwheel in front of the judge might have carried more weight than actual music. Y'never know.

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