Volunteers choose to make a difference with groups that have meaning to them.
For Ginny Wilson, organizations that help women and children have been a priority.
As a board member for Court Appointed Special Advocates and Help-In-Crisis, she’s found a meaningful way to help others. On an appointment to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women and Children she served four years.
Politics also found a commitment from Wilson. A long-time member of the Democrat Women, she’s been president and vice-president locally, and held district officers, supporting and campaigning for many candidates, “with the goal of electing honest people to serve.”
History and culture appeal to Wilson, a proud citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She’s a member of the National Trail of Tears Association and the Cherokee National Historical Society.
“I belong to the Cherokee County Retired Educators, and support the Chamber of Commerce, American Legion Auxiliary and the Thompson House,” Wilson said.
A volunteer gets to know other volunteers, who have enthusiasm and tireless commitment to their community through supporting organizations. Sally Ross is the volunteer Wilson has known and admired.
“A former mayor of Tahlequah, Ross was amazing,” Wilson said. “I enjoyed our friendship but could never keep up with her.”
Other volunteers who influenced Wilson were closer to home. A graduate of Muldrow High School, Wilson “grew up” at Northeastern State University. After completing business school in Tulsa, she married and moved to Tahlequah.
Her first job at NSU was as a clerk typist, at age 20, in 1964. She retired in 2001 as assistant dean of Student Affairs. She also had two children while working full-time.
Her roots are deep here, as both of her maternal grandparents attended the seminaries. And for one semester, she and five siblings were all enrolled at NSU.
“Having lived here almost 50 years, Tahlequah has become my home,” she said.
As long as she can remember, Wilson has belonged to the First United Methodist Church. When her children were small, she taught Sunday school, and over the years has served on many committees.
“My church has been a support group for me all of my life,” she said.
It’s a life that focused early on giving back to the community. Her parents were involved in everything that went on in their community. Her dad was superintendent of schools and her mom was a teacher.
“It was expected of them. They never seemed to have an evening at home,” she said. “I was taught to care about other people.”
Today as a retired woman, Wilson doesn’t even get on a computer. She enjoys traveling and singing in a quartet, “4 Friends.”
Family is also a priority for Wilson.
“I am very proud of my children and their spouses. The time I spend with them and my five grandchildren is very precious to me,” she said.
Volunteers choose to make a difference with groups that have meaning to them.
Red Fern Festival offers family fun
Tahlequah’s Red Fern Festival offers attendees a stroll back in time to old-fashioned family fun.
It’s a way to show children how their great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents lived and played, and tell stories about, “the good ol’ days.” And it’s a way to enjoy what is best about life in Tahlequah, for many folks, including spending quality time as a family, enjoying sunshine, and chatting with old friends and perhaps meeting new ones.
The event, slated for the last weekend in April since 2007, has brought the best of the novel, “Where The Red Fern Grows,” by Wilson Rawls, to downtown, since the movie was filmed here.
Padilla enjoys reconnecting with childhood
As a child spending time at her grandparents’ house, with all her aunts, uncles, and cousins around her, Kerrie (Bosley) Padilla spent endless hours outside playing chase, catching fireflies, or writing and acting out plays.
In 1987, after her dad got out of the Navy, the family moved here from Georgia to be closer to that family: matriarch Dorothy Monzingo, and maternal grandparents Dorothy and Dwight Allen. Her parents, DeAnna and Steve Edwards – as well as a couple of siblings and some aunts, uncles and cousins – still live here.
Eventually, Padilla graduated from Northeastern State University, and then its College of Optometry.
Dream Theatre spotlights songwriters
Dreams can come true for local aspiring songwriters who seek to gain performance experience.
For one young musician, Thursday night was an unexpected dream of discovery, as well.
Two opportunities are available to musicians at the Dream Theatre each month, the new Songwriters’ Showcase which opened Thursday night and Premier Night for musicians who have a few songs or a set, but not a whole show.
In search of the groove that works for The Dream, Manager Larry Clark is partnering with Blake Turner, Lakes Country operation manager.
The Songwriters’ Showcase, which will continue the third Thursday of the month in conjunction with Tahlequah Main Street Association’s Third Thursday Art Walk downtown, features seasoned performers who can share some of their personal insights into the how, when and why of their songwriting experiences.
Dream, Brewdog’s to host music festivals
One sign of spring’s arrival is the scheduling of music festivals, and 10 bands will visit a Tahlequah venue May 24, the Saturday before Memorial Day.
Conference attendees get words of encouragement
Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.
Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art
Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
“A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.
Dickerson believes in putting the student first
As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
“I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
“Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.
Cleaning things up
Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.
Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9
While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.
The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.
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