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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Waurika Library News May 9 2019


The 2019 Summer Reading Program will kick off on Monday, June 3. This year’s theme is ‘A Universe of Stories’ and a focus on space – with 2019 marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing.

The public library, community organizations and individuals care about your children. Together we’ve raised funds to offer daily educational programs and lunches to help keep your children’s minds and bodies fed this summer. Whether keeping track of the amount of time your children spend reading or the number of books they’ve read this summer, children who attend the Summer Reading Program keep their minds active and enter the new school year ready to succeed.

All children attending the program must be registered. The program will run each weekday through Friday, July 27 – with the exception of the July 4 holiday. Reading and activities will start at 10 a.m. and lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. Children attending the Summer Reading Program must be picked up by their parent, guardian or designee by noon each day. 

The Summer Reading Program is free to attend for children entering first grade through fifth grade in the fall. Age limits have been established and must be enforced to ensure one teacher can plan and successfully deliver a program for all. Older school-aged children are welcome to participate as helpers – as space allows, and all school-aged children are welcome to join us for lunch.

For more information or registration forms, please visit the Waurika Public Library or call 580.228.3274.

Blevins Brothers Continue Terral Tradition


It’s hard to think about Terral, Oklahoma without thinking of mouth-watering watermelons.

People from all over love the watermelons grown in Jefferson County and every summer they will drive any distance to Terral just satisfy that craving.

The Blevins Brothers, Jerry and Charles, have been providing watermelon fans with what they crave for over 20 years.

Jerry and Charles grow the watermelon and canteloupe right in Terral.

 However, they sell more than just watermelon and canteloupe. 

Customers who stop by their shed just south of Terral on Highway 81 can find canteloupes, pickled okra, pickles, plum jelly, and salsa. Sometimes they even have tomatoes. 

They sell around 1200 quarts of pickles a year. The pickles are the result of the labor of Charles and Loretta Blevins. 

Some customers pick up 5 or 6 cases at a time. 

A woman from Decatur picks up 10 cases per month to resell at her stand. 

At one time there were watermelon patches all over southern Jefferson County. 

Doug Gunter, who has been working with them since he was in high school, remembers he and his friends picking watermelons out in the heat all hours of the day and evening. 

One time a crew from south Texas came up and while picking watermelons they engaged in a little contest with the south Texas boys. 

The Texas crew had already been picking for a while during the season and it was still early for Doug and his friends. 

The Terral boys outdid the Texas boys by loading their truck faster.

It shocked the Texas professionals that they had been outdone by some high school boys from Oklahoma.

Doug remembers the football team working during the summer and being ready for the season. Coaches would only have to practice once a day so the players could pick melons the rest of the day. 

The cost of production has affected the growing of watermelons in Terral. 

At one time about 75% of the people in Terral were involved in the watermelon venture. 

Charles has been growing watermelons since 1969. Together he and Jerry have been growing and selling watermelons for over 20 years. 

Charles got into the business because of his father-in-law. 

Jerry and Charles remembers the days of the Terral Watermelon Festival. It was a popular event for 50 years.

Besides watermelons, there was usually a parade, a classic car show, live music, mule jumping contests, and a dunk tank.

Doug Gunter remembers that most the trees down by the Baptist Church in Terral had trucks under them with farmers selling watermelons. 

Years ago, Doug remembered supplying Rush Springs with watermelons for their festival. 

Charles said the old timers remembers  putting stickers  on Terral watermelons saying “Rush Springs Watermelons” then loading them on the train. 

Over the years they have got to know quite a few people, many of them have become loyal customers and friends. 

During our interview, people were waiting in line to pick up their load of watermelon and canteloupes. 

Tonya Wickware and her son Wrangler pull up with another load fresh from the field and everyone jumps into action. 

Over the years there is no telling how many melons the Blevins have sold. 

It’s nice to see them carrying on the Terral Tradition—supplying the country with the best watermelons money can buy. 

Ryan FFA News September 27 2018

Front Row (left to right): Ethan Burden, Riley Ross. Back Row (left to right): Rylee Townsend, Alicen Williams, Madisen Rhoades, Savannah Lashley, Pacen Wiest, Mike Regher, and Ms. Welchel

 OKC, OK- On September 16, 2018, Members of the Ryan FFA chapter volunteered their time at the Oklahoma State Fair in the Agtropolis building. Members had the opportunity to work “Farmer for a day” station, this activity allows our members to interact with children from around the state of Oklahoma while teaching them about agricultural practices. Each member that attended did a tremendous job representing our chapter while advocating for agriculture.

Alicen Williams and Riley Ross work the cashier station at the “Farmer for a day” activity.


Ethan Burden teaches a child how to gather
eggs from chickens.


Mike Regher shows a child how to properly plant a corn seed.


Front Row (left to right): Ethan Burden, Riley Ross.
Back Row (left to right): Rylee Townsend, Alicen Williams, Madisen Rhoades, Savannah Lashley, Pacen Wiest, Mike Regher, and Ms. Welchel

What is Disc Golf? It is coming to Waurika


It will be a part of Harmon Park and the land behind the Waurika football field stadium (see photo at left).

Disc golf!

The game is growing in popularity and is coming to Waurika very soon, possibly by May.

Monica Bartling presented the idea at Monday evening’s Waurika City Council Meeting. The council approved the addition of the Disc Golf Course so work should begin soon.

Monica explained a bit about Disc Golf.

The game is much like the traditional golf. However, instead of using a ball and clubs, the participants use a flying disc that closely resembles a Frisbee.

Disc Golf Goal (source:https://www.threeriversparks.org/location/hyland-hills-disc-golf-course)

Historically, the game was formalized in the 1970s.

The object of the game is much the same as it is in traditional golf. Attempting to complete each hole (goal) with the fewest attempts as possible.

Both sports began at a location called a “Tee”.

The target is a basket (see picture above).

After beginning at the “tee” the player will continue to toss the flying disc down a fairway until he successfully lands one of them in the basket.

Disc Golf Tee (Source: https://www.allentownpa.gov/Home/News-Details/ID/744/Disc-Golf-Course-Tees-Improved)

Here are some of the advantages to disc golf.

No golf cart rentals or fees to play.

Fun and challenging for all ages.

Great exercise.

According to the notes Monica Bartling presented at Monday evening’s meeting, the Waurika Disc Golf Course was designed by Anderson Dark, Esq.

He is an in-house counsel for Allstate Insurance in Oklahoma City, and – most importantly- an avid disc golfer since high school. His thoroughness is in designing this course is admirable and exactly what we need to ensure the best golf experience.

He has visited the course with multiple people throwing from different places on the course at the same time. His design ability allows for 18 holes of challenging golf and adheres to the standards of the Professional Disc golf Association (PDGA). this allows us to qualify for multiple tournament opportunities. He is donating his valuable time to design this course for Waurika.

The new disc golf course could potentially bring many visitors to Waurika and thus, much revenue.

The total estimated cost for completion of the project is $8,700.00 and will be paid for through fundraising efforts.

Cameron University to present Disability Awareness Fair


Cameron University will present the 11th Annual Disability Awareness Fair on Thursday, October 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the McCasland Ballroom, located in the McMahon Centennial Complex on the Cameron campus. The event is open to the public at no charge. The Disability Awareness fair will inform participants about services and resources available on campus and in the community for persons with disabilities.


The Disability Awareness fair will feature interactive stations where participants can learn more about disabilities such as visual impairments or learning disabilities in reading comprehension. In addition, various community organizations that provide services and support to those with disabilities will be present to share information and answer questions.  Cameron’s annual disability awareness event is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff and members of the community to gain an understanding of what it means to live with a disability.


For more information, contact the Office of Student Development at 580-581-2209 or via email at student_development@cameron.edu.

Waurika Senior Michael Bryant Leaving His Mark on the Community

Michael Bryant Jr

He can solve a Rubik’s Cube in about a minute, hit a pop-fly to center field, and this coming fall he will be playing on the field at Oklahoma State University as a member of the Cowboy marching band. 

Although he was born in Houston, Texas, Michael Bryant, Jr. has attended school here in Waurika his whole life.

He has participated in band, football, baseball, the academic team, FFA, the Beta Club, and is a member of the National Honor Society. 

So why did he try out for the OSU marching band? It’s not because one of his favorite colors is orange.

The simple answer is that he has a deep love for music. Two of his favorite genres is country and classic rock from the vinyl era. 

Although he can play the tuba, he favors the trumpet because of its versatility. 

Bryant tried out for a place in the marching band back in February and was informed the day of the try out that he had been accepted. 

He will attend band camp a week before the official move-in date in order to prepare for the marching season. 

He says his most memorable moments while attending Waurika High School are the times he competed with the band at state competitions. 

Even though he has many accolades and achievements under his belt, some of the qualities he possesses that makes him memorable among members of the community is his genuineness, maturity, and ability to communicate with people from all levels of society. 

His plans are to major in Agriculture and possibly go on to become a Veterinarian.   

Whatever he chooses to do in life he will go far. 

FCCLA Helps with Regional Food Bank


Twenty-five members of Waurika FCCLA traveled to Oklahoma City on September 28 to volunteer at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.  The group was assigned to pack food items for the Back for Kids program.  While there, they packaged over 600 bags, or over 2,000 pounds of food.  Waurika Public Schools benefits from the Back Pack for Kids program.  The students said they enjoyed volunteering and knowing that their efforts will benefit Waurika school children.

Chickasaw weapons-maker to Hollywood authors book


TISHOMINGO, Okla. – Historically accurate craftsmanship of Native American weapons has made Chickasaw citizen Eric Smith recognized among Hollywood movie-makers.

In December, he will add another accomplishment to his resumé – published author.

“The Warriors tools: Plains Indian bows, arrows and quivers” will hit bookstores and retail businesses Dec. 4. It is published by Roadrunner Press.

“I am very excited about it. Roadrunner Press is out of Oklahoma City and has published many Native American-themed books,” Smith said. “It is written from a Native American perspective. So many books concerning (Native American) history are written by Europeans and they had a completely different perspective from that of Native people,” he added.

Smith most recently found nationwide acclaim for crafting Native weaponry for the Oscar-winning movie “The Revenant.” The 2016 motion picture was nominated for a dozen Oscars, taking home three; Best Actor, Best Cinematography and Best Director.

He is still crafting weapons for movies but is unable to say much about his endeavors until studios and movie executives are ready to make announcements.

For Children

The book is written at a high school level and Smith’s greatest desire is to make it available to students. Children are the keys to preserving Native culture, in Smith’s opinion.

“The things that we do, our cultural ways, they must continue. The key to that is reaching children. We must inspire our youth or we are in trouble,” Smith intoned, adding “with everything I do, I try to inspire our younger generations to take up some of these techniques.”

“As a youth, when I was learning to make Native weapons, people were telling me ‘this is irrelevant’ and ‘there is no use for these things in the modern world.’ Well, I am a walking testament that isn’t true. Here are these ancient methods so needed and highly sought after today,” Smith said. “That just shows the relevance of our people and our culture.”

He has been crafting Native weapons since age nine. That is when he made his first bow. “No, it wasn’t a very good one,” Smith recalls with a sly grin, “but I was so proud because it actually worked.” By the time Smith entered his teens, his craft was honed to such a high degree he was asked to make bows for friends and for hunters.

The Next Level

Making weapons came naturally to Smith, but a curiosity nagged his soul. Not only did he wish to make quality weapons, but he also wanted them to be historically and culturally pure.

For guidance, he turned to Native elders and made frequent road trips to consult with them.

“Elders always have a story to tell. If you sit down with an elder, listen and let them talk to you, it is amazing the information they will share. Everywhere I went, whether it was Pine Ridge (South Dakota Oglala Lakota) or Tuba City in the Navajo Nation, I listened and learned.”

With the visits came an epiphany – all ancient cultures worldwide used archery.

No culture, however, excelled at it like Native Americans.

In the book, Smith devotes two chapters to weapons made from the horns/antlers and sinew of animals. “Native Americans made some of the most complex bows in the history of the world,” Native American “horn bows” are among them.

“Mountain sheep horns, elk antlers, caribou antlers, and sinew were all used. I’ve replicated many of those bows. For me, it was a lot of trial and error and a lot of mistakes. For our people to figure out this complicated technology, it is almost unbelievable,” Smith explained. “It shows great skill, great ingenuity, and dedication to work with material available to them in their natural environment. So, I share that knowledge in the book for people who want to try to do it.”

Winning the Battle

Smith is an expert in Native American weaponry. He has successfully replicated all kinds of weapons from many different tribes, including his own tribe. However, his specialty is weapons of Plains Indians at around the time they acquired horses. Most historians put the date at around 1680, following the Pueblo Revolt.

He was recently a trifecta winner at the Southeastern Art Show and Market (SEASAM) sponsored by the Chickasaw Nation during its Annual Meeting and Festival celebration. Smith entered two categories and placed three times – first place in cultural clothing; second place in weaponry and third place in cultural clothing.

Sometime in the near future, he will move from his Lawton home to Pauls Valley. He has spent a year restoring a home once owned by a family member who is now deceased.

Sharing his knowledge, research, philosophy, and skills appeal to Smith because the book “will be around forever.”

Eric Smith greets visitors from his booth at the Southeastern Art Show and Market during the 2018 Chickasaw Nation Annual Meeting and Festival.

“It took about four months to write the book,” he said. “I did some research to make sure all the facts were correct, but primarily I wrote about what I have learned from elders and by doing it. I had friends read the manuscript and they said ‘it makes me want to build a bow,’” he said. “And, I consider that a great compliment.”

“The Warriors tools: Plains Indian bows, arrows, and quivers” will be available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other major bookstores. Amazon will make the book available for Kindle download.

Terral News and Happenings


QUOTE OF THE DAY – “The meaning of life is to find your gift.  The purpose of life is to give it away.” Pablo Picasso.

I would like to take the time to say “Thanks” for all the prayers, cards, and phone calls while I was home after back surgery.  “Thank You” to Sue McKinley for doing my office duties while I was out of the office.  A special “Thanks” to Mary Alice Kunkel for teaching my GA Class on Wednesday nights at the church.  GA’s your notes and drawings were so very uplifting and I really enjoyed them.  While I am not 100% as of yet, I am on the road to recovery.  I could not have done this without my best friend and partner in life, my husband, Valton Gambill.  I want you to know how much I appreciate everything you have done for me.  Thank you all – Shirley Gambill.

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH GA’s -Thanks to all who came out on Saturday and supported our Bingo and fundraising efforts.

If you missed it, you will have a second chance on Dec. 1 to play Bingo again at 3:00 p.m. Come and join us!

TERRAL SCHOOL EVENTS – Thanksgiving Break will be Nov. 19-23.  School resumes on Nov. 26th. Nov. 26 we will have a game at Wichita Falls Christian at 4:00 p.m. there.

TERRAL VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT – The Terral Volunteer Fire Department is having a Toy and Food Drive for Christmas.  Donation boxes are located at the Terral City Hall.  The Drive will begin on November 1st through Dec. 15th. 

All donations will be given to those in need in Terral at Christmastime.  For more information, you may call  580-437-2337.

CRAFT SHOW & BINGO – The FBC Girls in Action will be holding a Craft Show and Bingo on Saturday, December 1, 2018, at the Terral Community Center.  The Craft Show will be from 9:00 to 2:00 p.m. Come on out and select some unique gifts for Christmas.  Gift Wrapping will be available.  Bingo will start at 3:00 p.m. Tables will reserve for $10.00 each.  If you would like to reserve a table call Shirley at 437-2337 or 437i-2545 after 5:00 p.m. All proceeds go to the FBC Girls in Action for activities, crafts, and outings for the group.  Hope to see ya there!

COMMUNITY PRAYER LIST – A.R. and Martha Jane Goates, Wayne Wyler, Amy Alsup, Pat Bussey, Tony Rodriguez, Carried Villarreal, Brenda Bryant, Archie Fulton, Scotty Daly, Tom Baysinger, Sue Linton, Martin Villarreal, Sr., Joe Martin, Adam White, Mary Loo Duke, Esther Grimes, Virginia Tanner, Darlene Hall, T.K. Delaney, Manuel Villarreal, Shawna Reed, Hardy Johnson, and our military stationed around the world.  May God Keep you in His loving care.

Cameron University alumnus Hon. Emmit Tayloe to address Class of 2018


The Hon. Emmit Tayloe, a Cameron University alumnus and judge for Oklahoma’s Fifth Judicial District, will deliver the commencement address to Cameron’s Class of 2018. The annual graduation ceremony is slated for Friday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Cameron Stadium. Following Tayloe’s address, CU’s 2018 graduates will receive their diplomas. A fireworks display will cap off the occasion. The public is invited to attend free of charge. No tickets are required.

“Throughout his professional life, Judge Emmit Tayloe has demonstrated integrity, character, and a genuine sense of caring about the Lawton/Fort Sill community,” says Cameron President John McArthur. “He is an outstanding role model for this year’s Cameron graduates, who can find inspiration in his dedication and service to others.”

Since earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cameron University in 1980, Lawton native Emmit Tayloe has experienced a career that has seen him open a private law practice, serve as an assistant district attorney and, since April 2014, hold the position of judge for Oklahoma’s Fifth Judicial District.  During each phase of his career, he has demonstrated care, enthusiasm, diligence and fairness.

Attending Cameron on a debate scholarship, Tayloe majored in speech and was a member of CU’s National Championship Speech Team in 1979.  He also served fellow students as vice president of the university’s Student Government Association.

Admitted to the bar in 1983 after earning his juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, Tayloe was appointed as a Comanche County assistant district attorney. In 1986, he opened a private practice in Lawton, where he specialized in both civil and criminal law. After his appointment to the Fifth Judicial District, Tayloe served as chief judge in 2016 and 2017 and as community sentencing judge since 2016.  He also initiated the Community Sentencing Diversion Program in 2016, which has been used by more than 100 defendants to date.

Professionally, Tayloe is an active member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and the Comanche County Bar Association, where he has served as president and vice president. He is a Fellow of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation. He has been actively involved in Comanche County’s Teen Court for more than 20 years as past chairman of its board of directors and as presiding judge.

Tayloe serves on the Preserving the Record task force, a statewide effort to address the current shortage of court reporters, and he was responsible for obtaining funding from the Oklahoma Bar Foundation to install video systems in all seven courtrooms in the Comanche County Courthouse, as well as the adult and juvenile detention centers. He also serves on the Executive Board for the Judicial Conference with the Chief and Vice-Chief of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

He has continued his involvement with Cameron University, acting as judge for the Business Department’s annual Ethics Bowl competition.  In 2016, he was honored as one of Cameron’s Distinguished Alumni. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Cameron University Alumni Association.

A fourth generation Oklahoman, Tayloe has ties to Fort Sill, where his father retired as a Master Sergeant. He is active in the Kiwanis Club and served as a deacon and elder in his church.  Tayloe and his wife of more than 30 years, Dolina, have three children and four grandchildren.


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