Oklahoma, August 2012

I made a trip to the Oklahoma panhandle over 10-14 August, 2012. I stayed at my uncle Mike's and was also able to visit with my folks and several other relatives. I had not been there since I was around 15 years old. Unfortunately, Roxanne and Ryan were sick and were unable to make the trip. Here are some photos.

My dad and his older siblings when he was 6 months old, which would be the spring of 1930.

My dad and most of his siblings, dust bowlin' in the Oklahoma panhandle in ~1934. From left to right: Phyllis, dad, LaRue, Mike, and Evain.

My dad and his siblings again, about a year later. Nice to see they can get cleaned up. Must have been Sunday. I love the bib overalls with necktie on my dad. I should also mention that there is another sibling, Carolyn, who is younger and was not born yet.

Now for some photos from the trip:

My uncle Mike, dad, and mom.

My uncle Mike and his daughter, my cousin Marsha.

Kylee, Robert (Marsha's son), and their daughter Pippa.

Marsha, Robert, Pippa, and Mike.

My dad's sister LaRue, dad, and mom.

Mom, dad, and my dad's aunt Emma Gebhard.

My father was born here, in a farm house belonging to his mother's parents. It no longer exists. This sign refers to a natural gas lease -- Gebhard is my great grandparent's family name. The name ties in with the previous photo as well.

The farm where my father grew up. The old barn in the background is the only structure from his time that remains. My dad refers to it as the grainery.

The farm where my dad's mother Ruth lived in the 1960s and 70s. She had remarried to Paul Fechtler in 1962 after my dad's father, Oscar, passed away in 1960. I remember visiting here several times in 1970s when I was a kid. Ruth passed away in 1978. This farm is across the street (so to speak) from the one my father grew up on.

Another look at Ruth and Paul's old place.

The school in Optima that my dad attended through the eighth grade. He says it looks the same, except that it now has a new roof and indoor toilets instead of an outhouse.

The site of the church that my dad attended when he was growing up. This cemetery is all that remains.

My dad attended Oklahoma Panhandle State University, located in Goodwell, OK, after he graduated from high school in 1948.

After this my dad spent two years in the Army during the Korean War, attended Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK for a couple of semesters, and then moved to Henderson, NV where he worked briefly as a high school teacher and in a titanium plant. He then returned to Oklahoma State for a couple more semesters and finished his masters degree, and in September 1957 moved to Ridgecrest, CA where he has lived ever since.

My dad and the dorm he lived in. It was brand new during his time there.

My dad pointed out where he wrote is name into the wet concrete curb back in the day. Now it's a no-parking zone, painted red. Amazing that it is still there, some 60 years later.

My uncle Mike's house, in the early morning sun. I remember it well from our visits when I was growing up.

The countryside with my uncle's house in the background.

Another look at my uncles house.

There was a very serious train wreck near Goodwell on June 24, 2012. Two trains collided head-on, at considerable speed. Three engineers perished, while one survived by jumping off one of the trains just before the collision. The site was still being cleaned up on August 12.

Wild Turkeys. The subspecies in this region is apparently the Rio Grande wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia).

A Barn Owl, in my uncle's barn. It's nice when animals follow instructions and turn up where they are supposed to be...

A baby coachwhip, as found on caliche section line road a couple of miles NW of Optima. Very close to the farm where my dad grew up. No trip is complete without a snake, LOL.

Another look at the coachwhip.

Well that's it. I do wish Roxanne and Ryan could have made the trip. We'll have to do it again.