I was introduced to Ernest Hemingway while still a school boy by my brother Phil. “A Farewell to Arms”, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “The Sun Also Rises” were what lead me on to further exploration of Mr. Hemingway’s writing. Although A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls deals with different wars, WWI and the Spanish Civil war, for me they both had much the same feel. The protagonist in the first was an American driving an ambulance for the Italian army and in the second a demolition expert for a Republican guerilla unit that was fighting the fascists that were backed by the Nazis and the Italians lead by Mussollini. In The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway writes about American and British ex-patriots living in Paris and Spain in the 1920’s.In all probability, had I read The sun Also rises first, I might never have read the others. After these three I bought a copy of “The Old Man and the Sea”. In my opinion this is one of Ernest Hemingway’s better works. It is every bit as good on the tenth reading as it was on the first. The story of Santiago the fisherman and his struggle with old age and meaning is the last major work published by Ernest Hemingway and I can’t help but see some parallels with the writer’s own life. This is one of the few Hemingway stories that were successfully turned into a quality movie and it was done twice. Once with Spenser Tracey and the second time with Anthony Quinn. Ernest Hemingway novels do not seem to translate well onto the screen, in part I believe it’s his style and in part it’s not being able to find a screen writer able to make the transition. Later on I discovered Ernest Hemingway’s novellas and magazine stories. Short fiction is in itself a difficult art form. You are telling the same story in a much shorter period of time. I had a conversation with Bill Roberson once and we were discussing song writing and the ability of some people to tell a story in a few verses, to me that talent and writing short fiction are very similar. The genre of music where this seems most prevalent is country music. For the sake of clarity, when I say country music, I mean classic country, mountain music, bluegrass and some forms of folk music. If you listen to some of the traditional music out of Ireland and the British Isles and then listen to some sure enough old time mountain music from the Appalachians, you can see where country and bluegrass get their start. Bill always said if you didn’t like country music then you didn’t like life, because that is what it is about. Maybe in my next life I will learn to play the banjo and the bagpipes, just not at the same time.
Thus ends this weeks book report and music tutorial.
Waurika’s latest addition to the police department is a young man who was born in Duncan, Oklahoma in 1987. Duncan has been Matt Peck’s home all of his life, except for the six months his family lived in Guymon because of his dad’s promotion as an Oklahoma Highway Patrol Officer. Afterwards his family moved back to Duncan.
Officer Matt Peck comes from a family of law enforcement. Not only is his father, Roger Peck, an OHP officer, his brother Andrew is an officer for Chickasha PD.
Along with his commitment to law enforcement, Matt has a fondness for military life. He joined the Army Reserves on August 5, 2004, a week before he started his senior year of high school in Duncan. During that year he drilled with his unit and went to basic training after graduation.
In 2008 Matt was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq conducting Route Clearance operations. After a year’s tour of duty he returned home to work for the Cotton County Sheriff’s Department. After a year and a half he transferred to Stephens County Sheriff’s Department where he served for five years.
In 2012 Matt transferred from the Army Reserves to the Oklahoma National Guard. While serving in the National Guard he was deployed to Lviv, Ukraine as a part of a NATO mission. Matt serves as a Staff Sergeant of a nine-soldier squad. He is 1st Squad Leader and regularly fills in as the Platoon Sergeant of 1st Platoon, Alpha Company of the 545 Brigade Engineer Battalion. He holds a dual MOS as a Combat Engineer and Horizontal Engineer. When deployed he finds himself embedded with the infantry as a subject matter expert in mobility and dealing with obstacles that may come across their path.
While serving in Ukraine he was privileged to meet soldiers and civilians and learning about their culture. He has fond memories of the 7 months he spent helping train soldiers in defense military tactics, explosives and locating mines.
Matt says Lviv is a beautiful part of Ukraine. It was an experience of a life time, enjoying their food, coffee—they consume lots of coffee, and learning to navigate through four feet of snow at -8 degrees.
During Easter he and his fellow staff members were honored to celebrate the resurrection at an old church that had been damaged by invaders in years gone by.
Lviv has an interesting past. This appealed to Matt’s interest in WWII history.
Matt has many stories about his time in Ukraine. (If you see him out and about ask him about Bubble Waffles).
He enjoyed Ukraine so much that he and his fiancé, MiKayla may spend part of their honeymoon there. Their plan is to marry in May, 2020. The two have known each other for several years and are looking forward to spending many fulfilling years together.
As much as he enjoys military life, he is just as happy to be back in the states wearing a police uniform. He’s enjoying his time in Waurika. He likes community policing, helping others and keeping the peace.
He does have a personal life. Along with a wonderful fiancé, he has a six-year old son named Stetson Roger. He loves to hunt and fish. He especially loves duck hunting. He loves Mexican food as well as seafood. His favorite color is blue. Like most police officers, he has a few pet peeves.
His biggest pet peeve is parents who threaten their children with the police taking them to jail if they don’t behave. He believes it teaches children to be afraid of officers.
The other pet peeve involves children as well. Children who are not properly buckled with a seat-belt while riding in a car that is.
Other than that, he is very approachable and doesn’t mind answering law-enforcement related questions. He doesn’t even mind if someone takes time to say hello.
A focus on Insurance – Part 1 – Jefferson County Farm Bureau & Bartling Insurance
Ninth in a series of stories about Waurika businesses. #ShopLocalWaurika
JEFFERSON COUNTY FARM BUREAU
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau was organized in 1942 by Oklahoma farm and ranch families. Terri Sheffield has been the Agent for Jefferson County Farm Bureau for the past 4 ½ years. “Our agency has one focus and that’s serving Oklahoma. Customer Service is our top priority. My team enjoys working hard for our customers and our company. We want to connect with our customers like neighbors, but offer the assurance that we are professionals looking out for their families,” Terri stated.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau (OKFB) has certainly grown since 1942. In 1946, OKFB members and their families loaned a total of $35,000 to help capitalize Oklahoma Farm Bureau Mutual Casualty Company so they could extend the lines of insurance they offered. Shortly after that, members of OKFB worked to expand even more and added Farm Bureau Mutual Fire Insurance to their members. “In 1949, the two companies merged to form Oklahoma Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company,” Terri explained.
In 1957 Life insurance was added to their offerings. “Today we offer insurance for Auto, Home, Farm & Ranch, Commercial, Life and Annuities,” Terri stated. “A lot has changed in the world of insurance throughout the past 70 years, but one thing that has stayed the same is our unending commitment to serve Oklahomans.”
While the OKFB’s roots are in the farming community, they also provide coverages to everyday Oklahomans. “We provide coverage for teachers, oilfield workers, nurses, and clerks. We have insurance for all Oklahomans,” Terri explained.
While agents may have changed through the years, Fay Foster has been the Jefferson County Farm Bureau Secretary for 18 years. Terri’s son, Dylan Sheffield, is a sub-agent and is finishing up his last year at Midwestern State University majoring in Management Information Systems.
Terri grew up in Waurika and Ryan. Prior to insurance she worked 23 years in banking. “Insurance has been the most challenging career,” Terri stated. When Terri was offered the agent position, the one thing she was apprehensive about was writing life insurance policies. It turns out that is one of her favorite products to offer. “I have actually seen the relief in a client’s demeanor once we have completed an application. The relief in knowing they have taken another financial step in protecting their families,” Terri said.
“I have enjoyed meeting new people and reconnecting with others through this position.” She and her husband, Chuck, have been married 30 years. In addition to their son, Dylan, they have one daughter, Cherish Sheffield, who teaches kindergarten in Waurika and a daughter-in-law, Marisa. Dylan and Marisa recently had a son, Winston. Terri enjoys traveling and her new grandson, Winston.
“I am pleased to be a member of the Waurika Chamber,” Terri commented. “I view the Chamber as a network of business minded individuals working together to promote and advocate on behalf of the business community.” “What makes Waurika special is that its Chamber takes it to a higher level in promoting and supporting its community,” Terri continued. “Whether it’s a charitable or restoration project or promoting shopping local they just seem to push it to the next level which is excellent for the community and for Waurika businesses.”
“I am extremely proud to represent Oklahoma Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company. The company truly promotes and believes in taking care of and protecting our people,” Terri stated.
Bartling Insurance has been owned by Margie Ball since 2012. Bartling Insurance has locations in Waurika and Comanche.
Bartling Insurance, we can take care of all your insurance needs including, but not limited to, General Liability, Business Auto, Personal Auto, Homeowners, Farm, BOP, Bonds, Health Accident and Life insurance.
Margie began her insurance career in January of 1981 at the age of 22. Not long after, she joined the Bartling Insurance Agency team.
In September of 2012, Margie purchase Bartling Insurance Agency. Her love of insurance and her community is why she strives to be the best at what she does.
To Margie, insurance is much more than a job, it’s her passion. She has instilled this same passion for customer service in her entire team.
“We strive to give every customer our utmost attention and support,” according to Waurika Agent Christine Turner. “We try our best to make ourselves accessible whenever our customers need assistance, even if it’s after hours. We want our customers to know they come first.”
“We are like one big family and we want to make each of our customers feel that they are part of the family as well,” Christina continued. “When you visit our Waurika office you will be greeted by either Christine, Rinda, Meagan or Candace. When you visit the Comanche office you will be greeted by Margie, Ida, Ann, Kelsey and Robin.”
We feel it’s important to participate in the Waurika Chamber of Commerce because of the support it gives our wonderful little town,” Christine said. “Waurika Chamber promotes pride and solidarity of local businesses that aid in the growth of our community.”
“Our business would not exist without customers like each of you. Thank you all for shopping local and supporting Bartling Insurance Agency. We are blessed to be part of such a wonderful community,” Christine concluded.
A focus on insurance Part Two will run next week and will feature Farmer’s Insurance
Members of Waurika FCCLA recently attended the South 4 District Leadership Meeting in Duncan. Approximately 500 students from southwest Oklahoma attended the meeting held at the Simmons Center. This year’s meeting, called “The Great Leadership Adventure”, centered on an outdoor camping theme. Members wore their new chapter tshirts, which followed the theme. FCCLA chapters collected 400 pounds of aluminum pull tabs to donate to their service project, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Oklahoma. The highlight of the meeting was the Oklahoma City dance troupe, Generation Why, which entertained the students, as well as delivered messages about anti-bullying, suicide prevention and overcoming adversity. Family, Career and Community Leaders of America is the student leadership organization that accompanies the Family and Consumer Sciences program at Waurika High School.
Waurika is honored to have as its special guest for this year’s Memorial Day Parade, a WWII veteran who was born west of Waurika in the Hooperville community and went on to serve his nation with distinction, Odell Hooper.
Hooper is related to Gary and Sharon Duncan;Gary and Jane Carter; and Roy and DeeAnn Himebaugh.
Of the16 million Americans who served in WWII only about 496,000 were still alive in 2018. Odell Hopper is one of them.
During the years towards the end of the great depression, Hooper realized he didn’t want to be a farmer like his father. Instead, he made the trek to California where he eventually found a job working for Douglas Aircraft. Odell had no idea how much his life was about to change. Instead of a steady life as a farmer, his life was about to be filled with adventure.
Recently, Hooper related the story of his time in WWII to his great niece, Jill B. Jones. Her article appeared in the May 26th edition of the Duncan Banner.
Like most young men of his time, he joined the military after the United States entered the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Hooper joined the Army Air Forces and was trained as an aerial gunner.
Eventually, Hooper was assigned to a B-24 crew. The B-24 was also known as the “Liberator”. At the age of 19 he found himself headed to war. He landed near Ipswich, England at Buckingham Field in February 1944 as part of the 453rd Bombardment group. The 453rd would take part in 259 missions and 58 crew members would give their lives to win the war. In the article that appeared in the Duncan Banner, Hooper is quoted as saying that on one day of combat they lost 60 planes with 600 men being shot down.
Hooper’s own plane was shot down on March 8, 1944. The plane crashed near Balkbrug, Holland. Before crashing, Hooper and his co-pilot put on their parachutes, shook hands, and jumped.
After jumping things didn’t go as well as planned. After attempting to pull the rip cord three times, he realized that his chute was on upside down and the cord he had been pulling on was just a strap. The rip cord was on the other side. Hooper grabbed the correct cord and was able to land safely.
Only four of the ten who bailed out that day were able to avoid capture by the Nazis. Hooper lay in a ditch for several hours covered with his chute and weeds trying to stay warm and avoid capture. Once it was dark he was able to locate a haystack, dig a hole under it and hide until found by a local farmer.
Over the next four months he would move from one location to another with the help of strangers and the use of fake passports and identities to avoid capture. Eventually, he was able to find a train that would take him from Antwerp to France. France was an ally with the US. His plan was to make it to France and reclaim his identity as well as his freedom. However, that was not to be the case.
Hooper was surprised and surrounded by the enemy and taken into custody before he could make to France. That was August 1944. It is his belief one of those pretending to help him possibly betrayed him to the enemy.
During the following six months he spent time in a POW camp in Poland where he survived on very little food and water and was subject to interrogations but avoided the torture many of his fellow soldiers faced.
Germany began to realize in early in 1945 the war was closing in on them. In February of that year many POWs died during forced marches. Because Hooper had contacted diphtheria, he was sent to a camp in Barth, Germany by train.
May 1945 victory was declared in Europe. Hooper’s camp was liberated by the Russians and by July he was back home and was discharged in November.
Although Hooper didn’t become a farmer he was glad to be back in his home State of Oklahoma. He spent the next thirty-two years working for Montgomery Ward in Duncan, Oklahoma. Not only was he become the manager of the tire department for the store, he also venture into a second career in real estate. Over the next twenty years he sold lots of land around the Waurika lake.
Waurika is grateful for Hooper’s service to his country and proud to honor him as a special guest of this year’s Veterans Parade.
A parade, a patriotic program and a community-wide free lunch comes to Main Street and Veterans Park on Monday, Nov. 11. The celebration begins with a Veterans Parade at 11:00 on Main Street. An Honor Guard from Sheppard Air Force Base will lead the parade followed by the Waurika High School Marching Band. Waurika City Manager, Brad Scott, will emcee the parade and the Program following at Veterans Park.
“This is the fourth year for the Veterans Day Parade and it keeps getting better every year,” Roy Bartling, one of the organizers of the event, stated. “This year’s event will not disappoint and we hope we have even more Veterans turn out to ride in the parade and more people lining Main Street to view the Parade and honor our Veterans.”
For Veterans who would like to ride in the parade, line up will start at 10:15 on Monday, the 11th on the side street by the Courthouse. We will have jeeps, army trucks and other army vehicles for Veterans to ride on.
“I’m told there will be several floats in the parade including one for the Cub Scouts who will also present the colors at the Veterans Park Program following the parade,” according to Bartling. “We are very proud of this group of young leaders and their leadership and look forward to another patriotic presentation.”
Parade Grand Marshall will be local attorney and Vietnam Veteran, Phillip Reed Scott. Honored guest for the Parade will be World War II Veteran, Odell Hooper. Hooper was an aerial gunner in a B-24 aircraft in the Army Air Force in World War II. Click Here to read Odell’s Story!
Speakers for the event following the parade at Veterans Park and also riding in the parade will be Vietnam Veteran, Santos Castillo, from Terral and Jason Burns from Comanche, Combat Veterans for Christ.
Santos Castillo served in the Airborne Division of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Conflict. He was injured twice in 1969 and was awarded the Bronze Star, The Air Combat Medal, The Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, two Purple Hearts, and the Combat Infantry Badge.
Pastors Jason and Melissa Burns founded Combat Veterans for Christ in 2017. Jason will announce a major project for Waurika that will help veterans.
The meal following will be provided by the Waurika Fire Department and will include pulled pork sandwiches, chips and a drink. Other county Fire Departments will have vehicles in the parade.
Every attendee over 18 years of age will receive a ticket at the program at Veterans Park. During lunch four tickets will be drawn and winners will receive $25 in Shop Local Waurika Bucks redeemable at any Waurika merchant with a Shop Local Sticker on their window or door. Tickets are free, but you must be present to win. Shop Local Waurika is a program of the Waurika Chamber of Commerce.
Quote of the Day– Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough. -Og Mandino
Public Notice– Due to Veteran’s Day failing on our regularly meeting date, the Town of Terral City Hall.
You are invited– Come have cake and coffee with us on November 3, 2019 to celebrate the 85th birthday of James Gordon Mckinley, held at the Terral Community Center from 2:00- 4:00 p.m. No gifts please just the gift of your company. Hope to see you all there!
Terral First Baptist GA’s– We have finished the “Armor of God” series and now we are learning the books of the Bible. We are now studying the New Testament books of the Bible. We will have a Halloween Costume Contest on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. Our upcoming events are a Craft Show on December 7th from 9:00 to 2:00 p.m. and bingo will start at 5:00 p.m.
Craft Show– The Terral First Baptist Church Girls in Action Group will be having a Craft Show in Saturday, December 7th from 9:00 to 2:00pm. To reserve your table call Shirley at 580-437-2337. Tables are $10.00 each. We will also have our annual BINGO starting at 5:00pm. Cost of Bingo is $1.00 per game or a one-time pay of $25.00 for the night. Baked goods and a Snack Bar will be provided. All proceeds go to the Girls in Action for crafts and outings. Thanks in advance for your support.
Community Prayer List- Teresa Sexton, A.R. and Martha Jane Goates, Wayne Wyler, Pat Bussey, Tony Rodriguez, Scotty Day, Sue Linton, Martin Villarreal, Shawna Reed, Hardy Johnson and our military stationed around the world- Kurtis Morgan & Chris Cox. Our prayer is for God to keep you in his loving care.
There doesn’t seem to be a great deal going on this week in Ryan, so this is going to be one of those times that I ramble until I get to where I am going. Robert Frost wrote about the two paths that diverged and he took the one less traveled and it made all the difference. I do that and sometimes I find that there is a good reason that the road isn’t used much, but sometimes it really is more about the journey than about the destination. I need to keep reminding myself not to get into a rut. Don’t be complacent and go with the comfortable.
I am writing this on Monday evening so that it will be ready early Tuesday when they do the lay out and send it to press. Before going home I had supper with a childhood friend. It has been years since we had a chance to talk and get caught up on the goings on of our lives. The subject matter was much what you would expect, work was put behind us and then on to who we had lost in recent years. Family and shared history were the subjects that we spent the most time discussing. Having known each other so long, we knew the same stories, but we managed to share a few laughs. He was on his way to a drag race, so of course we spent a good deal of time talking about old cars. Besides the 1955 Chevy that he drag races, he still owns the 1968 Chevy step side pick up that his grandfather bought brand new. It was passed down to his father and then to him, he drove the pick up when we were in high school. I’m not as much of a car nut as he but I can appreciate the continuity of passing things down through the generations. I still have tools that belonged to my Grandfathers. The difference is that he still drives that old Chevy pick up, I don’t intend to use Grandpas cross cut saw any time soon. I have done that once and let me tell you that the romance wore off of that real fast. If any of you are on the Facebook, check out a group called “Forgotten Oklahoma”. There is a lot of neat stuff on there. I shared some photos of Grandpa Bell on his old tractor. An older gentleman of my acquaintance looked at the photos and told me that there were at least three different makes of tractor put together. Grandpa made it work but this just proves that not everything is genetic. My Grandfather, my Father and two of my brothers were or are mechanics and for the life of me the modern internal combustion engine remains a mystery.
I rambled so much that I almost forgot to mention how the High School Girls Cross Country team placed at State. The team finished sixth overall and Miss Lilybet Harmon finished in twentieth place individually. These young ladies have done themselves, their school and their town proud.
At the most recent Waurika City Commissioner meeting, it was disclosed that the Waurika’s City Codes have recently been “Codified” and the city commissioners adopted Ordinance #10142019-04 which ads the most recent codes. The city uses Sterling to keep the ordinances codified. Now that the most recent ones have been adopted they will now be online and available to anyone interested.
In other business the minutes from the September 9, 2019 meeting were approved as well as the October 1, 2019 special meeting.
Joyce Greshem was re-appointed to the Waurika Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.
Rex Armstrong was appointed as the new member of the Waurika Housing Authority Board of Commissioners replacing Lupe Edwards.
The commissioners paid $17,000.00, which was the remaining balance of the 2016 Water Tower Maintenance Fee Loan.
Justin Winslett is now the Emergency Management Director for the city of Waurika. His assistant will be Stephen Dyer.
City Clerk, Michael Bryant reported that he has been working extensively with AT&T on updating the City’s communications, such as telephones and internet—which will be providing better services with newer technology. All departments will be tied together with newer equipment. Some locations will now have communications where they have never had it before. That being said the billing now should half of where it has been at around $3000.00.
Bryant also reported he filed several Certified Statements of Cost to be placed on the Ad Valorem Tax Rolls.
He also filed new “Work Orders”.
He also assisted the Police Department with the documentation and issuance of five citations for “Failure to Mow/Maintain” lawn.
City claims in the amount of $49,948.81 were approved.
The Financial Report provided by RS Meacham was accepted.
There being no new business, the meeting was adjourned.
The Waurika Public Works Authority (WPWA) Meeting began following the City Commissioner’s Meeting.
The minutes from the September 9, 2019 meeting were approved as was the minutes from the October 1, 2019 Special Meeting.
Glen Roberts reported from the Water Department.
The crew of the department repaired 13 leaks. They also serviced the lift stations.
They read meters and performed cut offs and turn ons on various meters.
They are still operating the six inch pump on the sewer system from 5:30 am until 10:00 at night. The sewer should be fixed soon.
The Bid Specifications prepared by David Wyatt, for Automatic Meter Reading/Infrastructure and publishing after the approval from the Oklahoma Water Resource Board Engineers were approved.
The decision to use USDA funds were used to pay the AMR loan closing costs in the amount of $20,000.00 at closing were approved.
The Waurika Golf Course is now closing.
Claims for the WPWA in the amount of $79,019.71 were approved.
There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.