Tahlequah Daily Press


October 22, 2013

Boren looks forward returning to Tahlequah

TAHLEQUAH — A 10-year survivor of breast cancer, former Tahlequonian Norma Boren says she’s looking forward to moving back.

She appreciates the people, the geographic beauty and community atmosphere of Tahlequah.

“Everybody is so warm and friendly,” Boren said. “And being married to a full-blood Native American, I wanted my two sons to grow up in a community that respected their heritage.”

In 1970, she moved here with her first husband, Kiowa Indian artist David Williams. She took a job as a bookkeeper at Tahlequah Ready Mix Company. The couple met a Bacone College.

Williams’ paintings can be seen as murals at Cross Fit, and in permanent collections in museums including the Philbrook Art Museum and Gilcrease in Tulsa, the Heard Museum in Arizona, the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, the Southern Plains Museum in Anadarko, and the Cherokee Heritage Center.

“Actor Vincent Price purchased over 50 paintings of David’s to sell through the Fine Arts Collection of Sears & Roebuck back in the 1960s while we were living in Los Angeles,” she said. “Mr. Price was a renown Indian art connoisseur and hired by Sears to choose the art sold through their stores nationwide.”

Williams won many national awards before he died in 1985 from complications of diabetes.

To provide for her family, the Muskogee native earned three degrees from Northeastern State University in education, Native American history, and criminal jstice, as well as a master’s degree. She began her teaching career in 1982 at Tahlequah High School, where she would remain for 20 years before retiring.

She and her second husband, Jim Boren, moved to Whitesboro, Texas, in 2002. They met when Boren came to NSU as a professor in 1991 and they married that same year.

“Although most people remember Jim as a political humorist, he was very serious in his political beliefs,” she said.

In 1996, he ran for the U.S. Senate, losing to incumbent Sen. Jim Inhofe.

“However, the campaign was very enlightening to me as an Advanced Placement government teacher. I gained much more insight into the election process as a result,” she said.

Jim also served as chief of staff to Sen. Ralph Yarborough, D-Texas, back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, as well as working on John F. Kennedy’s campaign in Texas. He earned a diplomatic appointment in Peru from Kennedy..

He started a program called Partners of the Americas in 1963, getting Kennedy’s approval just before his assassination, she said. Theprogram linked private organizations with Latin American countries to improve schools, medical facilities, and public works projects. The program is still in existence today.

“This particular part of Jim’s life is what he was most proud of,” she said.

He died in 2010 and is buried at the Fort Gibson National Cemetery.

In Texas, Norma taught AP government at Callisburg High School, near Gainesville, and Denison High School, before retiring a second time. She also became a grader for the national AP government exam, which she’s done for the past 15 years. She continues to stay active in education as a substitute teacher.

One of Boren’s favorite memories of Tahlequah is of swimming near Welling bridge.

“When I first moved to Tahlequah, we had no air conditioning in our house. However, swimming in the cold water of the Barren Fork would keep our bodies cooled down for a few hours in the hot summer,” she said.

Boren said she loves to travel. Visits to Tahlequah are usually to see family.

“I have a lot of friends who still live in Tahlequah, and I visit from time to time. My son’s family, James and Angela Williams and my grandson Emmett, still live there,” she said. “James is the treatment coordinator at the Cherokee Nation’s Jack Brown Center. I spend most of my time visiting with them on my weekend trips to Tahlequah.”

Text Only
  • 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.

    April 17, 2014

  • rf-Zoe-thing.jpg 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.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg 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.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg 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.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg 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.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg 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.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    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.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • green-bldng.jpg City council to discuss ‘green building’

    Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • alcohol-info.jpg Alcohol screening can be critical

    It has been decades since Prohibition brought Americans gangsters, flappers and speakeasies, but statistics for alcohol addiction are staggering.
    Millions of Americans suffer from alcohol addiction and abuse, which affects families and friends.
    Today, April 10, is the annual National Alcohol Screening Day, and raising awareness through education, outreach and screening programs is the goal, according to the website at www.mentalhealthscreening.org.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • jn-CCSO-2.jpg Law enforcement agencies to get new facility

    Area law enforcement agencies will soon have a new training facility in Cherokee County.
    The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is building the new training room near its gun range, located north of the detention center. Sheriff Norman Fisher said tax dollars were not used for the building.
    “This is something we’ve been trying to work on, and it was built with no money from the taxpayers,” said Fisher. “It was paid for with drug forfeitures and gun sales.”

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism