Tag Archives: Oklahoma

Indian and Buffalo Are One

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   The ancestral  Indian way of life and the buffalo are gone. They are forever in the history of this nation.  Living in Oklahoma, amongst the five civilized tribes Indian reservation lands, I think often of how much the Indian nations had to give up because of progress. I hope the Indian nations continue to teach to their young and others the wonderful bond they had with the land and nature.  It would be a shame, in my opinion if that were lost for all time.

Here in Oklahoma the reservation system is much different from other reservations I have seen in Wyoming.  In Oklahoma the Indians were integrated with us white folks and we all live together.   There isn’t a section of land set aside for just the Indian nations to live on that I’ve seen. The plains Indians were placed on reservations for themselves only, and it a totally different kind of place.

I can say that Indian blood from two tribes, the Cherokee and the Choctaw run through my veins along with several other nationalities. What does that make me, an American, just like everyone else.

The Abcedarian form of poetry is one of my favorites to do, because it is so challenging. You use every letter in the alphabet as the first letter in each line. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Ambling over the plains

Beginning and no end

Center of life for a nation

Dying for sport

Ever on the run

Fostering the image of strength

Guarding their young with fierceness

Hovering on extinction

Inflicting pain when confronted

Justice for none

Killed by the thousands

Leaving an emptiness on the plains

Moving together as one unit

Noticing all things around them

Open plains covered by Iron horse tracks

Pushing ever away

Quieting the cries of the old and young

Revelation of the coming end

Starving people in need

Time for change

Ultimate loss of life

Visions of doom

White man’s push for more

Xanadu no more

Yearning for yesteryear

Zeitgeist of long ago

Apparently Your Never To Old. Yea!!!!!

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Oxygen toxicity occurs when the lungs take in ...

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I was reading an article last night on how the over 60 age set is partaking of an experience I absolutely loved when I was doing it. It created so many different emotions from pure delight to fright. I suppose I have waited long enough to tell you what I’m talking about, scuba diving.

I am an Oklahoma farm girl who got my first taste of a big city when I went to Honolulu to work at Kapiolani Woman’s and Children hospital in Honolulu. I absolutely hated it for the first two months I was there, but then developed a love for the state and my life there. I stayed a full year and didn’t want to leave then.

After I settled into my routine life,I decided I wanted to something different.  I became a PADI certified diver. What an experience that was for me. I took private lessons just so I would feel more secure in what I was doing. It was hard for me to let go of my trainers hand and actually go on my own.  As with everything else, I just needed the self-confidence that I could do it.

I loved the beauty of the undersea world. The beautiful colored fish and even those nasty eels with the big teeth.  Of course I had seen the movie Jaws, so that was always in the back of my mind.  When I looked down and couldn’t see anything but empty space, I would think about some creature coming up and getting me.  I quickly pushed that from my mind and went on exploring the sites.

I do have to tell you I bit my mouth piece in half once because I was frightened.  I was swimming along close to the  bottom observing everything.  My mind was concentrating on some star fish when all of a sudden, two white tip sharks came out of the sand and straight up in front of my face. That startle reflex did me in. I had to leave the water.

If you have the opportunity, learn how to scuba.  It will open up a new world to you. The beauty and tranquility around you can’t be described in words. Since I read that article that the over 60 crowd is doing their diving thing, I may have to grab my wet suit, flippers and mask and head back to the open water.

A Right of Passage

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Brittany

Today is a very big day for my youngest granddaughter.  She is thinking it is the greatest thing that has ever happened to her to this point in her life.  Finally she is going to be an independent young lady, not having to depend on mom and dad.  Have you figured it out?  She is taking her driving test today to get her license. It is a right of passage for most young people, at least in this country.

Being raised in the country, she learned to drive by riding on her Grandfathers lap and controlling the steering wheel.  Just as soon as her legs were long enough to reach the petals she could drive using the controls.  It was the same for me, as well as each of my children.  My son and myself were driving hay trucks just as soon as we could see over the steering wheel.

I can remember the feeling of excitement and how “big” I felt when I began driving.  I would drive on the highway when I was fourteen, but times were very different then.  There wasn’t as much traffic and the highway patrol never came out on 270. It’s not that way any more.

My granddaughter already has her first vehicle. A nice, small pickup, which she loves.  My first car was a 1954, four door, Ford, with a stick shift.  The floor board was rusted out (I kept losing shoes) and the heater didn’t work.  It was hell in the Oklahoma winters.  My girlfriend and I would go to McAlester, to a teen dance hall, called The Attic.  We’d be wrapped up in quilts with ice scrapers in hand.  Every once in a while if it was freezing, I’d stop the car and we’d jump out and scrap the ice from the windshield. Somehow I don’t see any of my grandchildren doing that.  For one thing I don’t believe there is a snowball’s chance my children would let them out on the road if there was a chance there might be ice.  Secondly, I think my grandchildren would not drive a car in the same condition mine was in back in the 60’s.  You know “those good ol’ days.

Times and conditions have changed, but not the right of passage for driving. Do you remember how you felt when  you  were able to get that license? It’s a wonderful time, it’s just a shame we have to grow up and deal with the world.

Daddy of the Heart

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There is a man who has been in my life for as long as I can remember. I’m now sixty-two years old and I can’t imagine him not in my world, even though I know the time is getting ever closer for him to leave the world and me.

Jim has been my father’s best friend since they were boys together in Oklahoma. They survived the hard times growing up, and survived World War II.  They have stuck together like glue.

How do you tell someone they mean more to you than you can really put into words?  There hasn’t been a time when I haven’t heard the words I love you coming out of his mouth. Growing up I always knew he was there, he was my rock, and it hasn’t changed.

I got the best of Jim.  I never lived with him, so I didn’t have the trials and tribulations of everyday life that his own son experienced.  When my life was a wreck he was there for support.  He held my hand while I went to sleep, or rubbed my neck when I had a headache.

To this day, love and encouragement is what I receive from Jim.  I have been so blessed to have another daddy who loves me unconditionally and never fails to show it.

I wish everyone could have a Daddy of the Heart as I did.  Jim is one of God’s blessings in my world that I’m ever grateful for.  Let me know if you have been blessed in your life by someone in your  world.

Feeling Guilty

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Who's Guilty?

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I don’t just feel guilty, I am guilty.  Right now I bet your wondering what I’m guilty of.  It is neglect of my blog.  I started out gung-ho blogging everyday.  That went well for awile, and then life  interferred.  I started back again and thought I would do it  three days a week and life did it to me again.  What do you do when your life interfers with  what you want to do.

I have mangaed to get my book, The Tower back to the publisher after reworking it, including a new cover.  I’ve moved back to my home state of Oklahoma, to be closer to my family. I am enjoying being close to my grandchildren.  Being close to the family has a draw back. I haven’t had the time to do any writing because I am to.busy nesting in my new home and playing Nanna.

Writing has taken a back seat to life, so does that make me less of a writer?  How does everyone deal with life and writing?

Raining Fish

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Thunderstorm - NOAA

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This is a Flash Non-fiction.  I’m not even sure there is such a thing.  All I have heard about is Fash Fiction.  This could be flash fiction but the problem is, it’s not fiction.  I do want to talk a little about Flash Fiction.  It is one of my favorites to write.

I use to worry about how long a flash fiction piece is supposed to be.  It took me awhile to figure out there is no set length.  I have seen anywhere under a thousand words to the hard to do fifty word story.

You have to start your story somewhere in the middle because you do not have room for elaboration.  You can’t start your story with Once upon a time in a far away land….  You have to be tight with your writing.

You also have to make it interesting enough to hold your reader’s attention.  The story has a beginning, middle and end.  It is done in few words.  You want the reader to guess until the very end about your story.  As you can see you have some challenges when writing this type of story.

I hope you enjoy my story of Raining Fish.

The news headline of “Rain of Frogs in Essex County,” reminds me of my own childhood experience of finding live perch in our front yard.  I was ten years old
at the time.  We had one of those severe, Oklahoma thunderstorms.  It rained so
hard you couldn’t see through it. The young trees bent to the ground from the
wind. I found the fish flopping around in the mud holes after the storm had
passed.  Being both fascinated, and confused, I knew beyond doubt fish did not live in our front yard.

I picked a fish up off the ground, and ran to my mother to show her the prize I had in my hand.  I thought it was strange she wasn’t as surprised by the discovery of the fish in the yard as I was.  She was cooking supper, and didn’t want to answer my questions right then. She told me we’d talk after supper, and to get out of the kitchen until I was called for supper.

The next forty-five minutes I remained baffled as to how those fish ended up in our front yard. Did God give them to us to eat? No, because they were too small.  Most of them were two to three inches long.  Did birds drop the fish as they flew over our yard? No, it was storming with the heavy rain and high wind.  Birds wouldn’t be flying in that kind of weather.

I finally ate my supper, and by the time our supper was through, I was really ready to talk. “Okay, mama, can we talk now?”

Mama laughed at me when I told her the reasons I thought of for the fish being in the front yard. The story she told me was very interesting, and made sense.  During severe storms, sometimes tornadoes form and come down over ponds and lakes. They pick up the small fish with the water and carry the water and fish over land, releasing it.  I have always heard of it raining cats and dogs, but I can literally say I have seen it rain
fish.

http://youtu.be/DoYpO0Mz2-4  This is a cute video on flash fiction.  I hope you enjoy it.

Research

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Library Research

I loved doing the research for my book. I think my favorite spot to learn about was the Gelen Mines in Scotland. The pictures of the area were beautiful. I find it amazing how much new knowledge I gained from doing the research for The Tower. I also enjoyed the cultural aspect of Kathmandu. The city has six large casino’s located in hotels. I am sure those casinos bring in money for the government and the owners.

Tulsa, I knew about because I lived there many years ago. Since I am from Oklahoma I visited often. Tulsa is a nice city, and it is well laid out.
I also enjoyed finding out about the South American island.  I used the name and changed everything else I mentioned in the book.
Even with fiction writing, you have to know a little bit about what you are writing. I don’t think you could make it realistic if you didn’t. If your writing science fiction you know from the beginning that it is not real, the writer has to make it seem real.
That’s my two cents on research for the day.

The Gangsters Gold (A short story, 2 parts)

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I wrote this story a few months ago, so I thought I would post it for your reading pleasure.  It is based on a fact and family legend.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Please let me know if you have any suggestions or find problems.  I am dividing it because it is about 5,000 words in length.

The Ganster’s Gold

On a cold late fall evening, on January 10 1934, a black Ford pulled into the alley behind the Bank of Oklahoma in McAlester.  The car sat idling while three men thought about what brought them to this point in time.  John Connely, the hometown fellow, Ted Simms from Bartlesville and Charles Aurthur, from Wellsville Ohio were banded together for this job.

Charles was a McAlester native also, and had many friends in the McAlester area.  He had given a lot of thought about sharing
this information with his two new friends, but decided against it.  The less they knew about Charles Aurthur, the better off he would be, but almost as important, they would be better off also.

They had been staying close to the bank the last three weeks, watching how the system worked and how closely the guards paid attention to what was going on around the bank.  The guard spent most of his time flirting with the skirts, which came through the door, so he was no threat to their plan.  It didn’t take Arthur long to see the type of system used for vault security.  He was feeling more and more confident, because he knew this lock system well.  It is the same system on the bank in Wichita Kansas.  The job at that bank was only four months ago so everything was still fresh in his mind.

During the three weeks, the three “so called” friends were staying at the Hyway Lodge, just on the south side of town.  John and Ted shared a room, but Charles had one to himself.  He was quite the loner and only associated with people when he had to.  He often thought how strange it was because he made friends very easily, and got along with everyone he met.  He was an  extraverted, introvert.  He was also a conglomerate of how his world made him, and he really didn’t mind playing either role when it was required.  Just the same, he preferred to be alone in his world.  It seemed to give him more peace.  In his line of work, peace was a commodity in short supply.

In the evenings, they would sit in Charles’s room and make their plans.  The group had decided to have four cars involved in their get-away.  They each had a car in town, but needed another if the escape plan was to work.  Early in the day of January tenth, each of the men drove their car to Calvin, which is about 30 miles west of McAlester on Highway 270.  John, the hometown boy, had an uncle living just south of Calvin, He made arrangements for the three cars to be left at the uncle’s house overnight.  John told his Uncle Clarence, he had a job, because of the travel distance. The three men decided to meet in one place, so each could head home when their work was over. John did not know how long the job would last so the three parked their cars away from the house so if they arrived back in the middle of the night, the family wouldn’t be disturbed.  Uncle
Clarence did not think anything odd about this arrangement, since the economy of the times often required men to travel a distance from where they lived, in order to get work.

The three men walked back up the road, after saying their goodbyes to the uncle and his family.  Each man was lost in his own thoughts, and not talking to one another for the entire walk to the cars.  They knew their life would to be changing.  John and Ted thought how their world was going to be wonderful after the getaway and a cooling down time.  They would have the money to leave Oklahoma, and start a new life.  Charles knew what kind of life they were going to have, because he had been living it for the past year.  His mind constantly having to stay alert, paying attention to details going on around him.  If he had noticed anything out of the ordinary or just having a bad feeling, he wouldn’t waste time, and leave the area as quickly as possible.  The life of a wanted man was no picnic by any stretch of the imagination.  This little piece of knowledge was not going to be shared with his two comrades.  Let them enjoy their thoughts while they could.  This one job, would change their world, just as his world changed.

The decision to wait for the Greyhound bus on Highway 270, to take them back to McAlester was an easy one.  They looked like any other person waiting for the bus to town.  The bus ride was uneventful, and they arrived just as planned at the bus depot on Main and Cherokee.  It was just getting dusk when they arrived and had to use up some time until midnight.  They decided they would just walk back to their motel and get some rest.  They had a long night ahead of them.  The decision was made, on their walk back to the motel, to checkout at different times to help cut down on suspension.  This really didn’t make much sense to Charles but he went along with it because there really wasn’t anything else to do.

They checked out an hour apart heading different directions but would meet up at the Hilltop Bar and Grill.  The Hilltop was a hole in the wall bar, which was run by the town’s so called gangster, Angelo Perez.  Mr. Perez was the type of fellow who liked to
flash his money, gamble on the horses and carry a big stick to knock heads with, if he thought it was necessary.  It was the perfect spot to kill time, and have a couple of Crown Royal’s with Coke, and not be bothered.  That is, if you keep a low profile and don’t get involved in anyone else’s business.

About ten until midnight, Mr. Perez said he was leaving because he had an errand to run uptown.  Charles asked if Mr. Perez would give him a ride to the bus station.  Perez must have been feeling charitable because he agreed.  He and Charles went outside to the garage where a large black shiny Cadillac was parked.  Charles was told to wait there while Perez pulled the car out of the garage.  He motioned for Charles to get in the front seat beside him.  Charles opened the door and set down in the leather seat.  He was thinking this was odd because Perez didn’t let anyone ride in the front seat with him.  The drive to the bus station didn’t take long.  Charles looked at Perez and said “thank you for the lift”.  He opened the door and started to step out and Perez smiled and said, “anytime Pretty Boy”.  The car door was closed and Perez drove off, leaving behind his Oklahoma dust.  Little did Charles Aurthur know but he was given part of his nick name.

McAlester was very quiet on this Tuesday night.  Charles made his way back up main street headed for Grand Boulevard.
He knew the Geovonne Car Lot was sitting right on the corner which made it easily assessable.  The group had
decided Charles would get them a nice car using a little bit of ingenuity.  He found a 1933 Plymouth with a good heater
and radio. It did not take long to get it hot-wired, and he headed back to the Hilltop to pick up the other two guys.

John and Ted were sitting in the a booth placed so they both could watch the front door while they sipped on their drinks. Even keeping a low profile, they had enjoyed themselves that evening. Each one told about their life, and some of the funny stories which happened to them or someone else they knew.    The front door opened and there stood Charles , so they knew their relaxing evening was over.  They both got up and headed out the door.  Charles pointed to get into the red Plymouth parked at the door.  Connely, got behind the wheel since he was the driver.  Each one was hoping no one was looking outside so they could not describe what car the three men drove off in.

The time had arrived and all was running according to plan.  Simms was in charge of getting into the bank, since he had experience doing that sort of thing. Connely, the snot nosed kid and look out, was going to keep the car running to aid in the escape plan. Aurthur, was the vault man who would get in and get out as quickly as possible.  They had everything timed out to the second.

They pulled up behind the bank and Connely jumped out first with his bag of tools. He had used his week to scout out the alarm system, and how to shut it off at the outside of the building.  Since his brother was an electrician he had helped John learn the job of electrical work.  It didn’t take him long to disconnect the system and head for the door.  In under 3 minutes he had disconnected the alarm and had the door opened for Charles and himself to get inside.  With bags in hand, they headed for the bank vault.  John swiftly disconnected the door alarm and Charles worked the dial with his stethoscope.  In another minute the safe door was open and not an alarm sounded.

The safe was loaded with money, but they decided to only go for the $50.00 and under bills since they would be the easiest to get rid of.  They loaded three sacks and headed out the door.  Charles was sure a security office would be making night rounds and discover the back door open.  He would be making his rounds in about 15 minutes and that would be their head start.

Once outside Charles got in the front seat and Ted in the back.  They headed west on Grand Avenue driving at normal speed.
They didn’t want to draw attention to themselves by speeding.  They felt a little more secure once they had made it out to Wet Prairie without hearing sirens coming up behind them.  They knew it would only be a matter of minutes before the robbery would be discovered.  John put his foot to the accelerator of the red Plymouth and headed for Calvin. John would slow his speed as he went though the little towns of Arpelar, Cabiness, and Stuart.  He just kept thinking no speeding because of the town constables.  Past Stuart he had fifteen miles to go to Calvin.  He drove like a madman up the hills and around the curves.  He made it almost to his uncles and Charles told him to pull into a thicket of trees and kill the engine.  They each gapped a sack,
containing their loot, and headed on foot to his uncle’s house.  They did not want to leave the car there because that would have his uncle involved in the bank robbery and because of his family, that could just not happen.  They had about a mile to walk before they got to their cars.

The walk to the cars was done in complete silence.  Each man was thinking of his escape route and what would need to be done.  Each man was going to go his own way with approximately $50000.00 dollars more or less.  Since they didn’t stop to count their money, each got what was in the bag they were carrying.  Charles decided he was going to ditch his car as soon as possible and head into the Kiamichi mountains on horseback.  He had a friend that had a cattle ranch up in the hills who would give him a place to stay for a couple of days.  This would give him some time to decide what he was going to do.  Besides no one would think he would stay in the area.  Ted was going to head north and try to make it to Canada and John decided he was going to head south for Mexico.

More Ideas for Blogs

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The second day of a new year and here I am at the computer, keeping my New Year resolution to blog every day.  A couple of posts ago I posted the review of Steven Aitchison’s book “100 Ways to Find Ideas For Your Blog Posts”.  One of his recommendations was to review books.  Blog the review and give the unvarnished truth about what you have read.

I’m going to be totally self-serving today, and ask you to consider reading my new book “The Tower.”  It is a mystery with lots of twists and turns.  Samantha Jensen is kidnapped from outside her home in Tulsa Oklahoma finds herself without memory in “The Tower.”  Sam’s twin- brother Allan operates a company, IDEA  (International Diagnostic

EThe kidnapping, smuggling betrayal and murder, take you around the world.  It is also a story of love and devotion, as well as retribution for crimes committed.  You learn tidbits about the countries traveled.

This was a book which was fun for me to write.  I love travel and adventure and I got put myself everywhere my characters where.

To end my self-serving section of this blog, you can go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_24?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+tower+shirley+mclain&sprefix=the+tower+shirley+mclain and take a look at my book.

What ever book you read and review keep it authentic.  According to Steven Atichison, you will find that once your blog gets known you will be approached by authors who give you their books for free in return for a review.  It’s ok to have a review once in a while, but if you’re going to do this make it a balanced review and don’t sell it to make money.  Review the book as if you were giving a detailed report to a friend, warts and all.

The paragraph above was directly out of his book.  It’s easy to read and understand.  I think reviewing books will give all of us avid book readers a new outlet.  It would be even nicer if the books are given to you.  That is a win-win situation, the way I see it.