Inside each person resides an artist, and Pat Ghormley has always tapped into hers.
Whether it was playing with and teaching her children and now grandchildren, or making gifts and items to sell, her talents are diverse and prolific.
The creations she’s created, including a quilted wall-hanging, paper maché bowls painted with angel designs, cloth dolls she refers to as “Nana’s Ugly dollies”, stained-glass, pottery, baskets, and small wooden sculptures, adorn the home she shares with her husband, Connell.
“I create because it’s fun to make something beautiful or useful,” she said. “And I create because I have to.”
She doesn’t paint as much now, as she’s run out of wall space, but since retiring from Green Country Behavioral Health Services as a counselor, Ghormley has had more time to pursue other artistic interests.
People who have been busy all their lives want to find ways to stay busy in retirement, she said. She worked at the Help-In-Crisis shelter for a year, but art, in its many forms, continues to fascinate her.
“I enjoy art activities, especially art projects with children,” she said. “My early memories include coloring pictures and making paper dolls.”
Her family was always interested and encouraging about her “projects.” Two high school art teachers encouraged her.
“I remember Willie Miller; I had her in high school. She didn’t have a rigid agenda; she would help you. She was a creative person, and I think it inspired people to do things,” Ghormley said.
“George Calvert was a talented artist and gifted teacher. He pushed people to do their best. I took several of his classes; he could motivate children.”
Other artistic endeavors include wheel-thrown pottery, painting decorative objects and crocheting.
“I like working with fabric. I’ve made wall-hangings, banners, quilts and hand-bags out of old T-shirts,” she said. “It’s a good way to use something that would have been thrown away.”
Nothing goes to waste, and recycling motivates Ghormley to find new uses for old items.
“The bowls I’m making from newspaper are another recycling project,” she said. “These will be painted with a Christmas motif and taken to an arts and crafts show in Muskogee.
Nana’s Ugly Dollies, are a big hit with her grandchildren, or at least most of them.
“I really think they’re cute,” she said. “My grandchildren like to hold them while they watch TV or lay on the floor with them. One Christmas, the daughters and I were using up some upholstery fabric. A small grandson asked what we were doing. We told him we were making dolls and he said ‘those are the ugliest dolls I’ve ever seen.’”
Beauty inspires her.
“I love to see children get so involved in an art project, perfecting small details, and they lose all track of time,” she said.
Patient adults encourage children to learn and create.
“I grew up very interested in my dad’s shop. He was skilled with tools and was willing to show me the correct and safe way to use them,” she said. “I have turned candle sticks on a wood lathe, soldered metal and tried to weld. I’ve smashed my fingers a number of times nailing some project together. My dad was very patient.”
Ghormley grew up in Muskogee, graduated from Central High School and attended Northeastern State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and art history minor. She also completed a master’s degree in counseling psychology, and is a licensed professional counselor. The couple has three children and seven grandchildren.
“I never taught in public school, I used the elementary education information on my own children,” she said. “Then when I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up, I went back to school and earned my masters.”
Much of her work as a counselor has been with families in distress and foster children, she said.
“I probably use art as therapy, encouraging kids, just letting them get messy and do what they do when you give them materials,” she said. “It’s fun sharing the talents have.”
One interesting project was decorating Ukrainian eggs with friends. They sold them and gave the money to Help-In-Crisis.
Art reflects culture, and tells the story of a people. She likes looking at photographs of cave drawings.
“Maybe there’s something inside of people; they just have to paint on walls,” she said.
“Today, perhaps, we need a balance for all the high-tech, electronic gadgets surrounding us. As for my art, who knows what the next project will be? But I’ll know it when I see it.”
Inside each person resides an artist, and Pat Ghormley has always tapped into hers.
Local coach involved in ID process for WWII soldier
An unusual name could lead to the identification of the remains of a World War II soldier, Norman Lloyd Miller, who was killed in action more than 70 years ago in New Guinea.
Earl Miller and Jim Miller, nephews of the soldier, and other members of the Miller family in the Joplin area learned of the development a couple of days before Thanksgiving. That’s when their brother, Elzy Miller, of Tahlequah, was contacted by a federally funded search firm that was looking for surviving members of Norman Miller’s family.
Cloth diaper exchange a boon for moms
Though disposable diapers may be far more convenient, a growing number of parents these days are choosing cloth diapers not just to save money, but for the comfort of their babies.
A local mom has started a cloth diaper-lending program and Facebook support group, PoofyPantsDiaperLendingProgram. She also has an online support group called, “Poopsmiths Anonymous of Tahlequah.”
Claremore, Grove ring in the holidays with seasonal treats
As the holiday season gets into full swing, those who enjoy short road trips have plenty of options when it comes to seasonal activities.
Local artist goes digital with OU logos
A traditional artist by desire and training, Buffalo Gauge turned an eye toward the electronic future and graphic design.
With everything going digital, Gauge wanted to see how his love of painting would translate onto the screen. He was skeptical at first of the medium many people relate to as computer drawing, but soon realized his talent translated well into the digital language.
“The creative process is the same as traditional; you have to think it out or it won’t work,” Gouge said. “You have layers you have to keep in order for the image to come together.”
A project he’s tinkered with while enrolled in the Graphics Communications program at Indian Capitol Technology Center has the potential of gaining popularity and commercial success. The geometric shape of the letters on many University of Oklahoma logo designs seemed ideal for native designs.
Area cities set holiday calendars
Cherokee County boasts its share of holiday events, but for those looking to travel farther afield to enjoy music, light displays and other seasonal fare, Green Country has a packed calendar.
Thanksgiving traditions vary across the United States, and sometimes across the street. But the memories made each year come up in conversations time and again, as family and friends gather to celebrate.
Favorite foods often boast cultural family flavors, from coastal seafood to Native American roots.
Freese growing with CUMC congregation
Rudy Freese likes to try new things, and he’s willing to grow with his congregation. That’s why he enjoys being a pastor so much.
For 2-1/2 years, Freese has led the flock at Cookson United Methodist. He’s served at Quinton UMC, Canadian UMC and Leonard UMC.
“We are appointed by the bishop, but Cookson’s love for each other and acceptance of new people is a wonderful church trait,” said Freese, who holds a Master’s in Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary.
Tour of Homes brings holiday cheer
For those dreaming of a white Christmas or a dream home, inspiration will be on display next month during the American Association for University Women’s annual Tour of Homes.
Each year, hundreds of people come from Tulsa and beyond to join with locals in picking up a map and touring select homes beautifully decorated for the holidays. This will be the 32nd year for the event.
‘President Is Assassinated; Johnson Takes Leadership’
Editor’s note: This story appeared in the Nov. 28, 1963 edition of the Tahlequah Star-Citizen, which later merged with this Tahlequah Pictorial Press. The Star-Citizen was, at that time, a weekly newspaper. It and the Pictorial Press later merged to become what is now the Tahlequah Daily Press. This story is reprinted in its entirety, as it was originally published.
Options still available for holiday travel
While destinations to see family are the top request for the holidays, many people use the time off to go on vacation.
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