DAR chapter hosts October meeting

Submitted photoJohn Stephenson plays his flute at the October meeting of the Chimney Hill Chapter of the DAR.

The regular meeting of the Chimney Hill Chapter of DAR met on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 1:30 p.m. at the Ada Arts and Heritage Building. 

The opening ritual was led by Regent Myrtie Clarke and Chaplain Helen Roberts. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Janet Barrett. “The Star-Spangled Banner” was led by Carol Meyer, and JaNell Fleming accompanied her on the piano. The Oklahoma Flag Salute was led by Linda Hebert. The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution was led by Joan Elliott, and the American’s Creed was led by Mary Scalf.

Reports of officers

The president general’s message was read by Regent Myrtie Clarke.

Vice Regent Mary Scalf encouraged everyone to turn in their Service to America volunteer hours. She also reported that there are six area schools participating in the Good Citizenship Essay Contest this year.

Jerry Wages, the Constitution Week chairman, read a commemoration to the flag, which was very moving. Regent Myrtie Clarke will post the poem on her Facebook page for anyone who would like to download it.

National

defense report

Carol Meyer reported on “A Few Good Men and Women” from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation magazine Findings.

John H. Saxon Jr. built a successful textbook publishing company around a philosophy that emphasized incremental learning through the completion of sets. He was a West Point graduate. He taught five years at the U.S. Air Force Academy and flew 55 missions over Korea.

His son, Dr. John Saxon III, with a gift of $250,000, established the Service Academy Summer Research Program at OMRF.

This summer, two midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy worked on blood vessel development in embryos. A cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy spent his summer studying chromosomal segregation, a process crucial to preventing birth defects.

Dr. Courtney Griffin mentored these students, and she said, “The Saxon students are always ready to soak in everything we throw at them. They’re academically impressive and simply fearless. It reminds me we are in good hands if they represent the future.”

Indian minute

Mary Pfeffer reported on WWII Chickasaw Navy veteran Nathaniel Thomas, who is 91 years old. The October 2017 Chickasaw Times featured a front page story about Nathaniel Thomas, who joined the Navy in 1944, was stationed in the Pacific and was only 18 when the war ended in 1945. After the war, he married and had four children and worked for the U.S. Naval Ammunitions Plant near McAlester. He now lives in Blanchard, where he serves as a veterans chaplain and is a staunch supporter of all veterans groups, particularly with those dealing with Native Americans, like the Chickasaw Warrior Society.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, American Indian/Alaska natives are the least to use Veterans Administration services, so tribal groups like the Chickasaw Warrior Society can be very important for Native American vets. Mr. Thomas attended the Chickasaw Annual Elder Veterans Trip to Washington, D.C., this year.

Registrar report

Marian Paniagua reported that there are two prospective members in review this month. She also introduced one visitor, Karri Hayes.

Conservation report

Suzanne McFarland reported on the California wildfires. As of Oct. 10, 24 people have been killed, 1,500 buildings have been destroyed and 4 to 5 million acres have been destroyed. The fires are burning at a rate of 14 to 15 miles per hour. Fires can start by several sources, such as lighting and uncontrolled campfire. Four out of five fires are started by people. Some of the ways to control fires are dousing with water, cutting fire breaks and using controlled burns. Some of the benefits of fire are adding nutriments to soil, disinfecting soil and clearing out areas for new seeds.

People must be prepared in advance for fires. They should have a check list, get out immediately, wear protective clothing and shoes, close windows and doors when leaving and cut off gas. Also, have weeds and grass cut back from all structures. Wet down roofs and all areas close to the home. If a person gets trapped by the fire, they should get into the nearest water and cover their face with a moist cloth and stay low.

Project patriot report

Linda Hebert suggested that this year, we join the NSDAR to send needed items to those serving overseas. The NSDAR can buy in bulk, and also the local chapter would not have to pay postage for the items going overseas. Jerry Wages made the motion that we contribute $300 to the NSDAR Project Patriot. Ruth Franks seconded the motion. The motion passed.

Veterans report

Ruth Ann Taylor reported the Veterans Committee visited our 10 adopted veterans on Oct. 3. Thirteen women attended and provided the veterans with a coke float party. Everyone had a wonderful time.

Ruth Ann Taylor shared that two-gallon bags of tabs were collected in September by Lee, one of our adopted vets. The tabs are used for the veterans hospitals and also for the Ronald McDonald House.

Several area school classes are helping with our Veterans Day project in November. The schools helping to make cards are Ada Jr. High, Washington Grade Center, Hayes Grade Center, Early Childhood Grade Center, Francis, Homer and Latta. The students have made over 700 cards for the 122 veterans at the Sulphur Center. The cards will be delivered on the next visit, which is Nov. 7.

The domino tables have arrived and are ready for many hours of fun and fellowship. A plaque will be placed on the recreation room wall at the Sulphur Veterans’ Center recognizing those who helped purchase the two tables.

Ruth Ann Taylor introduced the October speaker, John Stephenson, who presented a program on Native American bows, arrows and flutes and how they are made. John is Cherokee, Chickasaw and Irish. He is a retired educator and is now pastor at Hickory Hill Baptist Church. He makes his bows, arrows and flutes from the heart of the Bodark tree ,which is also called the Osage Orange tree. When the wood ages, it turns a deep, dark red. Often, the bows are used in Native American games like Cornstalk. The bows and arrows are also used in shooting contests and also for hunting game. Plains Indians used shorter bows because they hunted on horseback, and longer bows were not easy to use while on a horse. He makes his arrowheads from flint, bone, stone or steel.

He makes flutes from river cane or Bodark. Every flute is unique, and none will sound alike. The flute’s length is measured from the middle finger to the middle of the elbow. The top hole’s beginning is measured by the width of the hand from the end of the flute. Then the space between holes is measured by the thumb. Everyone is unique, so every flute has its own voice.

In early days, flutes were used for courting. The young man would play his flute and if the girl’s dad came outside, the courting could continue. But if the dad didn’t come outside, the young man was to go home and not come back. Mr. Stephenson ended the program by playing “Amazing Grace” on one of his flutes. The program was informative, and the music was beautiful. Both were enjoyed by everyone.

Adjournment

The door prize, a beautiful fall wreath, was made by Vicki Fleming and was won by Linda Hebert.

Hostesses for the October meeting were Carol Meyer, Elizabeth Witherow, Joan Elliott and Teresa Marquard.

Visitors for the meeting were Karri Hayes and John Stephenson.

Members present were Janet Barrett, Elaine Bearden, Tommie Beddow, Bettye Brown, Myrtie Clarke, Joan Elliott, JaNell Fleming, Vicki Fleming, Mary Ann Frame, Ruth Frank, Suzanne McFarlane, Sandra Mantooth, Ann Maxwell, Carol Meyer, Margaret Mouser, Marian Paniagua, Mary Pfeffer, Helen Roberts, Mary Scalf, Ruth Ann Taylor, Jerry Wages, Binnie Wilson and Elizabeth Witherow.

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Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.