This Winter, Too, Shall Pass

For those of us living in wintry places, January can be a long, cold month. Sometimes we need a reminder that this season, too, shall pass. Check out this video clip—you’ll enjoy seeing the changing seasons in an Oslo backyard.

Whether you like it or not, winter will be with us northerners for a while, so I recommend reading Colleen Friesen’s feature “Of Sled Dogs and Snow Crabs” in this month's issue of Viking. It’s a great reminder that winter—like the rest of the seasons—is better when you get out there and embrace it. Enjoy the rest of the winter, and remember: Spring is right around the corner!

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Kenneth G. Knight

Kenneth G. Knight, 55, of Spiro, OK passed away Friday, January 28, 2011 in Fort Smith, AR. Kenny was born October 24, 1955 in Poteau, OK to Charles & Phyllis (Skinner) Knight. He was of the Baptist faith. He was preceded in death by his father. Survivors include daughter & son in law, Mandy & Chris Clark of Poteau, OK; son & daughter in law, Joey & Jerri Knight of Wister, OK; grandchildren, J.T. Melson, Colby Melson, Jakston Clark, Tristan Knight & Rowdy Knight; mother, Phyllis Hayes of Spiro, OK; brother & sister in law, Phillip & Ginny Knight of Ft. Smith, AR; sisters & brother in law, Charlsi Bandy of Spiro, OK, Janet & Chuck Sandlin of Spiro, OK; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends. Services will be 10 am, Monday, January 31, 2011 at Shepherd's Heart Pentecostal Church of God in Poteau, OK with Rev. Roger Mattox & Rev. Vernard Knight officiating. Interment will follow in Howe Cemetery, Howe, OK. Pallbearers will be Derrick Knight, Rebel Knight, Chad Tolbert & Michael Holson.


If it’s Thursday, it must be Dyson day. Actually I don’t have a Dyson and only a vague idea of its merits, but I have a good friend who does…and I just like the ring of it.

The other day another friend and I were talking about division of labor, as in which spouse does what when it comes to domestic chores. This is a touchy subject in many households, and I remember buying a copy of The Second Shift at a garage sale eons ago.

This is from the product description on Amazon:

“Fifteen years after its first publication, The Second Shift remains just as important and relevant today as it did then. As the majority of women entered the workforce, sociologist and Berkeley professor Arlie Hochschild was one of the first to talk about what really happens in dual-career households. Many people were amazed to find that women still did the majority of childcare and housework even though they also worked outside the home. Now, in this updated edition with a new introduction from the author, we discover how much things have, or have not, changed for women today.”

I’m a lucky woman. My husband took over all the cooking when he was diagnosed with diabetes more than a decade ago. But his culinary roots go deeper. He learned to cook over a campfire in Boy Scouts, worked in food service in high school, and ran a vegetarian on-campus restaurant during his senior year of college. He likes to cook; I don’t. Washing a pile of pots and pans stacked to the ceiling is far more appealing to me than dicing, slicing, and trying to get dishes to come out at the same time.

What’s more, I enjoy cleaning. Scrubbing toilets or dusting woodwork is my idea of relaxing. I know I’m an aberration, and I didn’t always feel this way.

Growing up, Saturdays meant chore day. My sister, Joan, and I took turns cleaning bathrooms or dusting and vacuuming. When they got older, my brothers joined the ‘fun.’ Joan and I also alternated doing dishes after dinner each night. She got odd nights; I was in charge on even nights. I can still hear her complaining there were more ‘odd’ days in the calendar than ‘even’ ones. We did get our birthdays off.

My siblings and I had it much better than my mom and her brother and sister did. My grandmother made each one of them dust the same pieces of furniture. Grandma Rock never got up and made breakfast for them either on school days, preferring to sleep in. My mom made breakfast for us every morning. Now it wasn’t until I was married that I knew oatmeal could be creamy and not lumpy (love you, mom!), but while growing up my mom’s younger sister got up before school and cooked breakfast.

My husband’s mom had a cleaning woman when she went back to teaching in her mid-40s, but my spouse and his older brother (big sister in college already; surprise baby sister too little) had to keep their rooms clean, do their own laundry during the week, and cook one meal a week. On my father-in-law’s night to cook, he took the family out to eat.

When my mom started writing romances full-time, my school administrator father started vacuuming and doing other domestic duties. He was always neat to a fault, sometimes tossing mail before my mom could even see it. And my mother is an organizer extraordinaire.

I grapple with organization, having married a man who leaves a ‘snail trail’ of paper. On the other hand, I can safely say I’ve never cooked a Thanksgiving turkey, which means I’ve never poisoned anyone.

I’m embarrassed to admit my own children never had the chore list my siblings and I did. Conversely, my sons did and do keep their rooms clean, their schoolwork organized, and their activities scheduled.

When people ask how I write with my mother, I always say it’s a symbiotic relationship. The same holds true for housework. I scrub toilets and sinks, my husband cleans the showers and tub, my mom folds laundry (a chore I find particularly odious).

We don’t keep a chart where we write down who does what. There’s just an ebb and flow of domesticity that usually works. My mom loathes dusting; I adore banishing those particles. If I were single, I’d eat cereal for dinner every single night. Seriously. My husband is color blind; I do the laundry.

Sometimes the system breaks down but not for long. And sometimes turning a blind eye to a floor that needs mopping just means it will look that much better when it finally does get cleaned.

All the time I’m glad Cheerios aren’t my usual dinner fare.

Zenyatta to meet her match in Bernardini

Jerry and Ann Moss have announced that their grand mare, 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta (by Street Cry), will be bred to A. P. Indy's son, Bernardini, whose first foals distinguished themselves as two-year-olds last year, with victories in five graded stakes on both sides of the Atlantic.

According to Darley, at whose Lexington, Kentucky farm he stands for a fee of $75,000, Bernardini is the first freshman sire to produce juvenile Grade I winners on both dirt and turf.  They were the talented filly, A  Z Warrior (out of Carson Jen, by Mr. Prospector's son, Carson City), who captured the Frizette Stakes-G1, and Biondetti (out of Lyphard's Delta, by Lyphard), who won the Gran Criteriuim-G1 in Italy.

Bernardini's other promising offspring include the Derby hopeful, To Honor and Serve (out of Pilfer, by Deputy Minister), who won a pair of Grade II stakes (the Remsen and the Nashua) in New York, and Theyskens' Theory (out of Heat Lightning, by Summer Squall), who captured the Chicester Observer Prestige Stakes-G3 in England.

Voted Eclipse Champion Three-Year-Old Colt in his sole season of racing, Bernardini won six of his eight starts that year, including the Preakness (in which favored Barbaro was injured), the Travers, and the Jockey Club Gold Cup, defeating older horses with what track announcer Tom Durkin described as "nonchalant brilliance."  He was second to Invasor in the Breeders' Cup Classic, after which he was retired to stud, with earnings of $3,060,480.

The match between Bernardini and Zenyatta will replicate the oft successful nick between A. P. Indy and mares by Mr. Prospector and his sons.  These lines have previously combined to produce Horse of the Year Mineshaft; Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Tempera; Canadian Champion Three-Year-Old Colt Eye of the Leopard (out of Eye of the Sphynx, by Smart Strike), and the Grade I stakes winners Tomisue's Delight, Little Belle, Sweet Symphony (out of Brandy Rose, by Distinctive Pro), Flashing (out of Morning Pride (Ire), by Zenyatta's grandsire, Machiavellian), Girolamo, A. P. Adventure (out of Nataliano, by Fappiano), and Jilbab (out of Headline (GB), by Machiavellian).

A foal by Bernardini out of Zenyatta will be inbred to Brilliant/Classic Chef-de-Race Mr. Prospector (5m x 4m), with a Dosage Profile heavily weighted toward classic influences:  3-6-13-0-0.  True Nicks rates the match as an A++, while the Werk Nick Rating is a bit lower, at B+.

In addition to the obvious genetic qualities that Bernardini brings to Zenyatta, it should be noted that he is also a beautifully balanced individual of good size (listed as 16.1-1/2 hands tall).  Zenyatta reportedly stands 17.2   Their foal will probably be a dark bay, like its parents, and will have the birthright to be a very good racehorse, indeed.

Patricia Ann White

Patricia Ann White, 51, of Poteau, OK went to be with Jesus on Wednesday, January 26, 2011. Patricia was born in Poteau, OK on July 9, 1959 to Guy Wesley & Velma Lou (Stacy) Timbs. She was an administrative assistant for an investment broker. Patricia was a loving wife, mother, daughter, sister & grandmother. She loved the outdoors & spending time with her family. She was preceded in death by her father. Survivors include her husband, Russ; sons & daughters in law, John & Cortney Schafer, Jason & Typhanie Schafer; 8 grandchildren; mother, Velma Timbs; brother, Mike Timbs & wife, Char; sister, Pamela Hayes; mother in Law, Karola White; stepdaughters, Teresa Dacus & husband, Bobby, Lisa McNally; nephews, John Timbs, Guy Timbs & Casey Hayes; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends. Memorial Services will be held at 1 pm, Friday, January 28, 2011 in Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Lavon Williams & Phil Turnipseed officiating. Interment will be in Mt. View Cemetery, Glendale, OK.

Judy Cornett taking advantage of a tragedy time there is a tragedy, vultures will always swoop in and take advantage of the situation. In light of the recent shooting of 2 Florida cops and a US Marshal who were executing a warrant on a failure to register case, notorious vigilante Judy Cornett has taken advantage of this tragedy to gain cheap publicity:

Judy Predator-Patrol Jan 25

We would like to invite you all to attend a fundraiser for the families of the 2 police officers killed. We are doing a motorcycle memorial ride from Tampa to St. Pete. Saturday, Jan. 29th. Breakfast for Riders at The ***** *****, Ave. Tampa. We will ride to Westshore Mall for staging and pick up other riders, then off to the fundraiser at Quick Q BBQ (owned by deputy at Pinellas Sheriff's Dept." You can go to facebook (Judy Predator Patrol) for details or email me at
I think you should email her, but not in support, but in protest. Or, just ask about her son who is serving 25 years for a violent assault and attempted murder; she was also raising money for his defense.

Billy Joe Smith

Billy Joe Smith, 76, of Pocola, OK passed away Sunday, January 23, 2011 in Ft. Smith, AR. Bill was born November 12, 1934 in Pocola, OK to Thomas Vance & Rosa Bell (Miller) Smith. He worked for Norge for four years until they became Whirlpool and he worked for them for 30 years. He was a supervisor in materials control. He married Pat in 1962. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Doyle Smith & Arnold "Josh" Smith. Survivors include his wife, Pat of the home; 3 sons & daughter in law, Randy & Marilyn Smith of Ft. Smith, AR, Ronnie Smith Sr. of Pocola, OK, Timothy Smith of Pocola, OK; 4 grandchildren, Rodney & Deanna Smith of Pocola, OK, Tanya & Matt Cooper of Pocola, OK, Ronnie Smith Jr. of Pocola, OK, Alex & Sean Osburn of Pocola, OK; 5 great grandchildren, Cody Smith, Levi Smith, Jace Goff, Kade Cooper, Emily Osburn; 1 sister & brother in law, Loretta & Robert Loudermilk of Ft. Smith, AR. other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends. Services will be 2 pm, Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at the First Baptist Church in Pocola, OK with Rev. Chad Rogers officiating. Interment will follow in Macedonia Cemetery, Pocola, OK. The family will be at the funeral home on Tuesday evening from 6-8 pm to visit with relatives & friends.

Airborne Over Oslo

The Nordic World Ski Championships begin in just a few weeks in Oslo. The event, expected to attract a TV viewing audience of hundreds of millions around the globe, will give Norway the opportunity to showcase its newly redesigned Holmenkollen ski jump facilty, which reopened in March of 2010.

If you’d like to learn more about the new Holmenkollen ski facility or the Nordic Worlds, look for Stephen Regenold’s feature “Airborne Over Oslo,” in the upcoming February issue of Viking. In the meantime, to get you into the spirit of things, check out this ski jumping game that Stephen shared with me. It’s tricky! I’ve crashed every time, but maybe you’ll have better luck!

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user aktivioslo.

Everett Ray Humphries

Everett Ray Humphries, 83, of Poteau, OK passed away Saturday, January 22, 2011 in Fort Smith, AR. Everett was born April 24, 1927 in Gilmore, OK to Samuel Greene & Lillie (Goodin) Humphries. He was a farmer/rancher. He was a member of Double Branch Baptist Church. Everett was the 9th child of 12. He was preceded in death by his brothers & sisters, Owen Humphries, Bessie Garrett, Essie McMillin, Thurman Humphries, Quincy Albert Humphries (MIA in Corregidor WWII), Helen Broom, Mary Dovie (Kirkpatrick) Goins, Billy Harrell Humphries, & Irene Ladean Ritter. Before marrying Fay on July 23, 1955 he worked in an almond orchard in Bakersfield & a grain warehouse in Sacramento, CA. The loss of his brother Q.A. (Jim) in Corregidor left a lasting impact on his beliefs for war and the consequences it has for families & loved ones. He loved life greatly and knew how precious it is when others seem to waste it. Until becoming disabled he loved raising cattle & having a milk cow, knowing each by name. He was a kind father & friend to everyone he esteemed. Survivors include his wife, Fay of the home; 3 sons, Steve Ray Humphries of Cameron, OK, Jesse Lynn & Richard Roland Humphries of Poteau, OK; 1 sister, Shirley Reese of Poteau, OK & brother, Arbie Humphries of Poteau, OK; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.
Services will be 2 pm, Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow in Vaughn Cemetery, Gilmore, OK. Pallbearers will be Donny Harber, Dewayne Morrison, Ronald Humphries, Mark McMillin, Cornel Reece, & Weylin Groom.
I recently came across some information that a former Hiawatha friend and classmate of mine may have passed away.
I knew him as Johnny Martino. The information I have indicates that he passed away on October 23, 2009, and is buried in the Price City Cemetery. He would have been 68 years old at the time.
I have been unable to find any information other than that he was born on September 18, 1941 and living in Salt Lake City at the time of death. No obituary, or other notices of his death have been found. All the information that I do have is in this e-mail and is from the Social Security Administration.
The only person who might know about this would be Jay Martino and I thought that with your ‘Hiawatha Network’ you might be able to ask him about this. I don’t have any information on him.
If you could find out if this is who I believe it is I would be very grateful.
Sincerely,Francis Greenland

Pity Party…table for one…

So this month I’ve hardly been able to stand my own company. After being felled by severe stomach pains on Halloween and undergoing an endoscopy (that landed me in the ER with a bad reaction to the anesthesia) and an ultrasound on my gallbladder, I’ve been wallowing in self-pity. Like big-time major wallowing.

My gallbladder is at the ‘upper range of normal,’ which means…nothing. In addition, to step up my exercise routine I recently worked out on weight machines and ended up at the eye doctor with more aging eye ‘issues.’ Can you say fireworks ‘exploding’ in my eye? Then there’s my late grandmother’s foot…reincarnated on me….spooky.

For the past year, I’ve endeavored to make a lifestyle change by ramping up the exercise and eschewing dieting in favor of the aforementioned change.

But hadn’t quite counted on the aging process ‘processing.’ Silly me. And even as I whine incessantly, I know I have nothing to complain about. Seriously. Don’t even want to travel down that road of friends who’ve gone way too soon. That would necessitate finding a new box of tissues for my office.

Just this morning I heard an upbeat story about an old friend’s health scare and a sad, sad story about another old friend. Makes my ‘problems’ seem like a hangnail.

With me, it’s always about the subtext. Why did I think getting older would elude me? I vividly recall my mom telling me at a Christmas Eve service when she was about 50 that she still felt 25 on the inside. Some days I feel 15…the age of my youngest son. Other days I feel…old.

And very happy to be alive to feel old.

Cancel the table for one.

Carol (Moore) Sisco

Carol (Moore) Sisco, 73, of Panama, OK passed away Wednesday, January 19, 2011 in Panama. Carol was born in Bokoshe, OK on March 5, 1937 to Conner & Verna (Cromwell) Tanksley. She was a care giver. Carol was a member of the Panama Free Will Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her parents, 1 grandson & 1 son in law. Survivors include her husband, Charles Sisco of the home; 2 daughters, Linda Watson of Wilburton, OK & Vanessa Meier of Charleston, SC; 3 sons, Erwin Lee Moore of Broken Arrow, OK, Gary Moore of Panama, OK, Walter Moore of Williams, OK; 3 stepsons, Donnie Sisco of Oklahoma City, OK, Tim Sisco of Poteau, OK & Steven Sisco of Sheridan, AR; 19 Grandchildren; 19 Great Grandchildren; 3 sisters, Mary Jane Holstead of Wagoner, OK, Lucille Currens of Shady Point, OK, Patricia Honeycutt of Coweta, OK; 2 brothers, Dale Tanksley of Keota, OK and Jim Dan Tanksley of Shady Point, OK; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends and her extended church family at Panama Free Will Baptist Church. Services will be held 2 pm, Monday, January 24, 2011 at Panama Free Will Baptist Church, Panama, OK with Rev. David Nolen officiating. Interment will follow in Greenhill Cemetery, Cameron, OK. Pallbearers will be Brian Toney, Larry Milligan, Terry Lovell, Larry Capell, Gary Capell & Steven Sisco.

Billie Sue Knox

Billie Sue Knox, 73, of Poteau, OK passed away Wednesday, January 19, 2011 in Poteau. Billie was born April 25, 1937 in Lutie, OK to Harvey & Georgia Opal (New) Pate. She was a cook/Private Healthcare Provider. She was a member of Mt. View Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond D. Knox. Survivors include her daughters & sons in law, Cheryl Hale of Poteau, OK, Barbara & Condy Wells of Shady Point, OK, Sandra & Kevin Rogers of Poteau, OK; son, Marshal Knox of Roland, OK, 13 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and one more in February; 2 sisters & brother in law, June Winton, Mickey & Morris Foster of Grove, OK, 1 brother & sister in law, Raymond & Joyce Pate of Canadian, OK; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends. Services will be held 2 pm, Saturday, January 22, 2011 in Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow in Oakland Cemetery, Poteau, OK. Her grandsons will be pallbearers, Tommy Gray, Jeff Rogers, Michael Gray, Justin Rogers, Zac Wells, & Chris Morton. Honorary pallbearers will be Joe Wickwire & Cory Colson. The family will be at the funeral home on Friday evening from 6-8 pm to visit with relatives & friends.

Patsy Burdick Crawford obit notice

Ice Music

If you are like those of us living in the Midwest, you’re probably suffering the pains of winter. You know the gusting winds, driving snowstorms and subzero temperatures? Well, one Norwegian is trying to make the best of this wintry mix by playing instruments made of ice.

That’s right, ice.

Norwegian musician, composer and percussionist Terje Isungset has been creating music for years but it wasn’t until he was commissioned to compose and play in a frozen waterfall during the 2000 Lillehammer Olympics that he first gained notoriety for creating music with ice. Then, in 2006, Isungset founded the world’s first ice music festival with instruments—harp, guitar, drums and fiddle, just to name a few—made from 600 year old glacial ice.

In talking about his musical adventures with ice, Isungset said:

“The instruments are made from top quality ice. It must be free of any air bubbles. The instruments are carved using saws and knives. So far these instruments have been created and recorded: Iceofon, Ice Harp, Ice Horn, Ice trumpet, Ice percussion, Ice bass drum carved from one block of ice. In addition, all stands, supports and tables are also made from ice. Only the bass drum pedal, fish line for suspension, and the strings on the Ice Harp are made from materials other than pure frozen water.”

This month, Isungset is bringing his talents to the Geilo Ice Music Festival. After that he plans to take his unique music on the road with an Ice Music Tour that will make stops in Germany, India, Australia, England and France with plans to visit the U.S. in 2012.

If you would like to learn more about Terje Isungset, the Geilo Ice Music Festival or the Ice Music tour, visit, or

Jerry Dean Branscum

Jerry Dean Branscum, 69, of Fanshawe, OK passed away Monday, January 17, 2011 in Muskogee, OK. Jerry was born October 21, 1941 in Fanshawe, OK to John & Bertha (Buxton) Branscum. He was a factory worker. Jerry was preceded in death by 2 brothers and his parents. Survivors include 2 sisters & brothers in law, Betty & Jim Muse of Broken Bow, OK, Ann & Joe Ford of Sapulpa, OK; 1 brother and sister in law, Bill & Roberta Branscum of McLoud, OK; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends. Services will be held 10 am, Friday, January 21, 2011, graveside at Fanshawe Cemetery, Fanshawe, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow.

Another one of my childhood friends from Hiawatha has passed away -- Patsy Burdick was my first dear school friend in Hiawatha, when I began second grade there. Her husband, Darrell Crawford from Salt Lake City called me this afternoon, and told me that Pat passed away on Saturday evening, January 15. I don't know about the funeral yet. He told me to watch for it in the newspaper -- so I will check my Deseret News, and let you know.....or perhaps you will find it first. Irene Dougherty

Harry Vogrinec obit notice

There were only ten of us to our "Hiawatha Breakfast" this morning but it is fun to get together, even if most of the time is taken up with talking about our "aches and pains" and getting OLD. Of course there is always some good old times when we were younger, thrown into the mix and that makes it more interesting.
Pretty much the same old ones show up each time. I guess we need some new ones to come to tell is some "Hiawatha Stories" that we have not heard.
I enjoyed everyones company this morning and it seemed everyone else did also.

Opal Mildred Morgan

Opal Mildred Morgan, 87, of Wister,OK passed away January 17,2011,in Wister,OK.Opal was born October 15,1923 in Wister,OK to William and Eva (Green) Midgley.Opal was a homemaker.Opal was preceded in death by her husband, Durell Morgan;sister,Vina Wigginton,4 brothers, Dee Midgley,Charlie Midgley,William Midgley,and Marvin Midgley;sons in law, Sam Fuller and Wayne Knight; and her parents. Survivors include her 8 daughters and sons in law, Phyllis & Eldon Williams of Kansas City ,MO ,Donna Fuller of Kansas City,MO, JoAnn & Podie Meeks of Wister,OK, Bess & Larry Meeh of Wister,OK, Geraldine Duncan of Wister,OK, Glenda & Donny Shadwick of Wister,OK, Barbara & Buddy McCollom of Wister,OK, Lana & Jim Holcomb of Sapulpa,OK. 2 Sons and Daughter in law, Bud Morgan of Wister,OK, Cliff & Shelly Morgan of Wister,OK,19 Grandchildren;34 Great Grandchildren;5 Great Great Grandchildren, 3 sisters Loretta Bullard of Wister,OK, Margaret Donaho of Wister,OK,Ann Massey of Oklahoma City,OK, 1 brother Ben Midgley of Wister,OK 2 sisters in law, Marie Midgley of Wister,OK, Dorothy Midgley of Wister,OK,other Relatives & Loved Ones;A Host of Beloved Friends.Services will be held 10 am,Thursday, January 20,2011 at Ellis Chapel Church in Wister,OK with Rev.Clyde Steelman & Rev. Jack Covey officiating. Interment will follow in Wister,OK at the Ellis Chapel Cemetery. Opals grandsons will be pallbearers. The Family will be at the funeral home on Wednesday evening from 6-8 pm to visit with relatives & friends.

Ollie Bell Athey

Ollie Bell Athey, 82, of Poteau, OK passed away Sunday, January 16, 2011 in Pocola, OK.
Ollie was born April 23, 1928 in Gilmore, OK to Marion Gooden & Ethel Viola (Fisher) Amos, who preceded her in death. She was a homemaker. Survivors include her husband, Jimmy Athey of the home; daughters Bonnie Gregory and Wanda James of Poteau, OK; son, Jimmy Johnson of Ft. Smith, AR; numerous grandchildren, great, great great, and great great great grandchildren; nieces, nephews, other relatives & loved ones;many beloved friends. Services will be held 2 pm, Thursday, January 20, 2011 graveside at Vaughn Cemetery, Gilmore, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow.

Johnny James Ward

Johnny James Ward, 69, of LeFlore, OK passed away January 15, 2011, in Ft. Smith, AR. John was born October 20, 1941 in LeFlore, OK to Robert Lee Sr. & Lucy Amanda (French) Ward. John taught school, coached & was principal for 30 years. During those years in education, he worked at Albion, LeFlore, Whitesboro, & Wister Schools. After retirement from public education he was assistant baseball coach at Carl Albert State College for 8 years. He began driving a charter bus for Lets Go Charters & enjoyed meeting new friends & going new places. The last year& a half he spent raising cattle. John was preceded in death by one son, John Alan Ward; his parents; sisters, Joan Bontley & Virginia Gibbs; brothers, Robert Ward Jr., Jerry Ward & Allen Walters. John was a member of the LeFlore Baptist Church; OSSAA; The Baptist General Convention Disaster Relief, Thumbbusters for Christ; LeFlore Cemetery Association; retired teacher/coach; retired driver for Lets Go Charters; Rancher. John was active in many organizations helping young people & those in need. In his involvement with BGCO disaster relief, he assisted with tsunami efforts in Thailand, fires in Arizona, floods in Iowa, & hurricanes in the Gulf. He will be greatly missed. Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Edith Sue (Welch) Ward of the home; daughter & son in law, Susan & James Cantwell of Poteau, OK, son, Anthony Ward of Kyle, TX, Grandsons, Michael & Matthew Cantwell of Poteau, OK, Spencer Ward of San Antonio, TX; great granddaughter, Adrianna Gist-Cantwell, brother, Bill & Shirley Ward of LeFlore, OK, sister, Elizabeth Kitchens of Talihina, OK, Daughter in law, Tammy Ward of San Antonio, TX, Mother in law, Imogene Welch, sisters in law, Claudette Hamner, Brenda & Jackie Sweeten; several nieces, nephews, other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends, and brothers & sisters in Christ. Services will be held 2 pm, Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at LeFlore High School Gym with Rev. Leroy Orr officiating. Interment will follow in LeFlore Cemetery. Pallbearers will be John McAlester, Gary Gibson, Mark Warren, Bryan Warren and Ronnie Henderson, Sam Ward & Dallas Ward.

Wayne Thomas Abbott

Wayne Thomas Abbott, 79, of Poteau, OK passed away Friday, January 14, 2011 in Poteau. Wayne was born in Poteau on February 6, 1931 to Joseph Lester & Floy May (Bell) Abbott. He was a graduate of Wister High School in 1948. He graduated from the US Air Force Cadet Program in 1957 receiving his commission. Wayne was a fighter pilot. He served in Vietnam; was awarded a Distinguished Flying and retired as a Major. Upon his retirement in 1974 at the request of the Poteau Mayor he took over the Poteau airport and started the business of "Poteau Flying Service" from which he retired in 1988. After that he went to work for Fenton Motors & Broadway Motors for 12 years. In January 2000 he had a stroke and survived that until his passing. Wayne was preceded in death by his parents; brother, John D. Abbott & sister, Margaret Alice Box. Survivors include his wife, Lois "Jean" Abbott of the home; Son, Curtis Lester Abbott of Poteau, OK; 5 grandchildren, Shailyn Marie Abbott, Curtis Wayne Abbott both of Ft. Smith, AR; Kristen Lois Renn & husband Zachary of Utah, Jonathan David Abbott of Ft. Smith, AR, Skylar Thomas Abbott of the home; sister, Inez Hileman of Omaha, NE; brother, Franklin Abbott of Everett, WA; special niece, Tammy & Larry Pike of Omaha, NE; numerous nieces, nephews, In-Laws, other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends. Services will be held at 2 pm, Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at the First Baptist Church in Poteau, OK with Rev. Phil McGehee officiating. Interment will follow in Oakland Cemetery, Poteau,OK. The family will be at the funeral home on Tuesday evening from 5-7 pm to visit with relatives & friends.,

Big Drama is back

Big Drama sets NTR in the Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream
Photo:  Coglianese Photos

Likely Sprint Champion Big Drama signaled that he's back in a big way yesterday, when he set a new track record for six furlongs in capturing the Grade III Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream.

The five-year-old dark bay horse was extremely impressive at every call, over an oval he clearly loves, and he pulled away from five rivals in the stretch to win wire-to-wire by four widening lengths, stopping the timer in 1:08.12, almost two-fifths of a second better than the mark set by Tiger in 2006.

Big Drama's sparkling performance in the Mr. Prospector proved that his breakout victory in last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint was no fluke, and that he is a deserving front runner for Eclipse Award honors in the Sprint category.  He was strong and fit and powerful, and it was great to see him come back to the races on such a triumphant note.

With yesterday's victory, Big Drama has now won 10 of his 17 lifetime starts and amassed earnings of $2,699,560 in the colors of his breeder, Harold Queen.  While his trainer, David Fawkes, has not announced the venue for Big Drama's next start, it's clear that he'll be mapping out a route to get Big Drama back to the Breeders' Cup winners' circle at Churchill Downs next November.

Big Drama is by far the classiest runner from Buckaroo's sprint specialist son, Montbrook, but he's not the only one who was produced from a Notebook mare.  The nick is also responsible for Super Derby-G1 winner, Outofthebox, and for Stopspendingmaria, who placed in last year's Schuylerville-G3 at Saratoga.   All are inbred to Horse of the Year and Intermediate/Classic Chef-de-Race Tom Fool, who is the great grandsire of Montbrook, and the sire of Notebook's second dam, the illustrious broodmare, Cap and Bells.

The plot thickens in the case of Big Drama, though, because his dam, the unraced Riveting Drama, brings another cross of Tom Fool into the mix.   But perhaps even more importantly, Riveting Drama is inbred to Ghazni, dam of the full siblings, Dunce (sire of her third dam, Betoken) and Cap and Bells (who also produced Irish 1000 Guineas-G1 winner, Lady Capulet, dam of top sire El Prado).

Though unraced, Riveting Drama has done nothing but good in the breeding shed.  In addition to Big Drama, she's produced six other winners, including Maltese Massive (by Yes It's True), a stakes winner of $560,883 in Japan; Little Drama (by Burning Roma), who broke his maiden in last year's Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes at Calder; Drama's Way (by Farma Way), a restricted stakes winner at Beulah Park; and Coffee Can (by Kissin Kris), a stakes-placed winner of $114,059.

Seventeen-year-old Riveting Drama is not currently in foal, according to an article in The Cleveland Plain Dealer published after Big Drama's victory in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.  Harold Queen said at the time that, "Riveting Drama has foaled seven horses that made it to the races, and all seven were winners.  Even if she never has another foal, she has a home right here for as long as I'm alive."

But we can't help but hope that Riveting Drama produces more offspring, and wonder whether Mr. Queen will send his prized mare back to Montbrook to produce a full sibling to Big Drama, or whether he might explore other intriguing possibilities, including sons of El Prado, to recreate the inbreeding to Cap and Bells.

Happy Founders Day!

Today marks the 116th anniversary of the Founding of Sons of Norway! Join Sons of Norway members around the globe in celebrating this awesome achievement! On behalf of everyone at the Sons of Norway HQ, I want to extend a heartfelt congratulations to all members and lodges everywhere on this momentous occasion.

In commemoration of the day, Sons of Norway members are encouraged to wear their membership pins, vests, or any other Sons of Norway clothing. So, if you see someone in your city wearing their pins of Norway regalia, be sure to congratulate them on the anniversary and ask about the lodge in your area!

If you'd like to learn more about Sons of Norway and its founding, visit the About Us section of, or click here to read an earlier blog post about Sons of Norway's beginnings.

What To Do—and Not To Do—When Traveling in Norway

If you’re a Facebook friend of Visit Norway USA, you may already have seen the “Green Guide to Oslo” on Matador Network. If not, check it out for tips on eco-friendly choices in Norway’s capital city, including restaurants, shops, transportation and attractions.

Those planning a first trip to Norway might also find “What Not to Do in Norway,” an interesting read. While it represents just one writer’s opinion, it’s a good general reminder that getting off the tourist-worn path can sometimes result in big savings and richer, more authentic experiences. Both articles are written by Anne-Sophie Redisch, a travel writer based in Norway.

You'll find more travel tips and plenty of inspiration for your next Scandinavian sojourn in this month’s issue of Viking!

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Flickr photo courtesy of Toby Simkin.

TSand's now encouraging suicide-- I wonder if this also applies to him

T-Sand's latest trolling attempt can be found at Corrupted Justice's forums. Clay is the classic troll, merely making comments simply to get a rise out of people. However, his latest trolling attempt is rather ironic. Clay asks,

"Is it really wrong for AZ to encourage a pedophile to off himself or let him stay the course of abusing children?"

The REAL question is whether a human being should encourage another human being to commit suicide PERIOD. There is another case making headlines where someone encouraged suicide and is facing up to 15 years for it. 


With AZU's track record of accusing all targets of being pedophiles or "pedo-enablers," including Patty Wetterling, AZU is in serious danger of criminal and civil liability. I think it is more ironic hearing such comments coming from T-Sand's mouth. After all, most AZU members refer to him as a pedophile. Does this mean he'll live by example?

"AZ cares about children. If they can prod a pedophile into committing suicide, then so be it."

Darrell Wayne Smedley

Darrell Wayne Smedley, 56, of Addison, TX passed away Tuesday, January 11, 2011 in Addison. Darrell was born May 28, 1954 in Tulsa, OK to Joe Junior & Lorene Evelyn (Lewallen) Smedley. He was an airport security technician. Darrell was preceded in death by his parents. Survivors include his brothers, Dwight Smedley of Kemball, MI, Dennis Smedley of Culleoka, TN, Brian Smedley of Tulsa, OK; sisters, Regina Meyers of Port Huron, MI, Pamela Alvarado of Tulsa, OK, Rhonda Anderson of Austin, TX; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends. Services will be held 10 am, Saturday, January 15, 2011 in Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow in Monroe Cemetery, Monroe, OK.


Founders Day

January 16th, 1895. In world news, France was wrapping up the first chapter of the Dreyfus affair and Russia was experiencing a revival of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Otherwise it was just another Wednesday. However, far flung from these events in Minneapolis, MN, a small group of 18 Norwegian immigrants did something that would have an effect on our lives for the next century and beyond.

It was on that date Sons of Norway was founded.

Coming together out of a sense of fraternity and necessity for mutual protection, the founders based their fledgling group on the ideals of community assistance plans, which had been popular in areas of Norway. These plans required members to pay a small amount each week and in return receive free medical care for themselves and their families. The founders were proud of this new mutual assistance society and believed it reflected the moral principles of American fraternalism.

"Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson" was the name first selected for the new organization but it was soon rejected on the realistic grounds that the American people would find it quite impossible to pronounce. "Sønner av Norge" was the name settled upon and the formal inception with the 18 founders was completed on 16 January 1895.

The fledgling organization provided not only security against financial crises and a forum to celebrate their new nationalism, but it also served to preserve the many things Norwegian which were treasured by those who had left Norway: the literature, music and art which formed such a large part of their heritage.

Now, 116 years later, even though we’ve grown from 18 individuals to nearly 70,000 men, women and children, we’re still as dedicated to those same principles as we were in 1895.

So, with that, I want to encourage all our members reading this to celebrate Founders Day this Sunday, January! Wear your Sons of Norway pins, buttons, vests, jackets or hats all day, and when someone asks you what Sons of Norway is, show your pride and tell them all about the great things your lodge does in the community! Here at the HQ we’ll all be wearing our Sons of Norway member pins all week to commemorate the founding of our beloved organization!

If you or your lodge have any special plans for Founders Day, I’d love to hear all about it. Leave a comment below, tweet me at or post something on the Sons of Norway facebook page!

Horace Raymond Brown

Horace Raymond Brown, 96, passed away Tuesday, January 11, 2011 in Ft. Smith, AR. Horace was born January 20, 1914 in Shady Point, OK to Thomas & Ida (Crase) Brown. He was a bookkeeper at the medical clinic. Horace was preceded in death by his wife, Marjorie; parents; and daughter, Barbara Radcliff. Survivors include his daughter, Judith Ann Detamore and husband, Tom of Oklahoma City, OK; 4 Grandchildren and 7 Great Grandchildren; 1 brother, Virgil Brown of Texas; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends. Memorial services will be held at 2 pm, Saturday, January 15, 2011 in Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow in Shady Point Cemetery.

Charlie B. Smith Sr.

Charlie B. Smith Sr., 87, of Shady Point, OK passed away Monday, January 10, 2011 in Tulsa, OK. Charlie was born in West Helena, AR on December 22, 1923 to Fon Tenoy & James Agnus (Peterson) Smith. Charlie was a retired Forest Ranger. He was a veteran of the US Navy serving in the South Pacific from September 1942 until November 1945 obtaining the rank of Sgt. Gunnery Mate 3-C. He came home from the service for a short time and then went into the Army in Fort Stoneman, CA. He was preceded in death by his wife, Edna; his parents; 2 sons, Earl Wayne Smith & Charlie Bruce Smith Jr.; 8 brothers & sisters. Survivors include his daughter, Brenda Wagley of Shady Point, OK; 8 Grandchildren; 13 Great Grandchildren; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends. Services will be held 2 pm, Thursday, January 13, 2011 at Evans Chapel of Memories in Poteau, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow in Shady Point Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Bud Killion, Jason, Brown, Jeff Cagle, Tyler Cagle, Greg Smith & Gregory Smith. The family would like to send a special thanks to great niece, Susie Smith for her help in the past few months; and to all their friends for their love and support. The family will be at the funeral home on Wednesday evening from 6-8 pm to visit with friends & relatives
We have scheduled February 21, 2011 for our lunch. The place will be at C. J's Café ( formerly Jim's Café) located at 39th South and 9th East. We have made arrangements for our lunch to be served at 11:00 am. Please be advised that everyone from or with ties to Hiawatha is welcome to come and Gentlemen be sure to bring your ladies.
Don Reaveley
ps. Wally please forward this to your Hiawatha Distribution.

May Day Rose becomes Rockport Harbor's first graded stakes winner

May Day Rose wins the Santa Ysabel Stakes-G3
Photo: Benoit Photos/Santa Anita

May Day Rose may have beaten only two rivals in Sunday's Santa Ysabel Stakes-G3, but her winning effort elevated the stock of her young sire, Rockport Harbor, when she was crowned as his first graded stakes winner.

The three-year-old bay filly never looked threatened at any point in the mile and a sixteenth contest over Santa Anita's new dirt surface, as she easily put away Bluegrass Cat's daughter, Bluegrass Chatter, and Scarlet Starlet, by up-and-coming A. P. Indy sire, Congrats.  May Day Rose has now won three of her five career starts and earned $184,555.  Even to a casual observer, she just exudes quality.

A registered Florida-bred born on Valentine's Day, May Day Rose was plucked from the OBS June Sale for $220,000 by trainer Bob Baffert, who now conditions her for Kaleem Shah.  She broke her maiden in a five-and-a-half-furlong maiden special weight test at Del Mar in her second start, over Labor Day weekend, and went on to capture the mile and a sixteenth Sharp Cat Stakes at Hollywood in early November.  Baffert stepped her right up into Grade I company in the Hollywood Starlet a month later, where she finished a respectable fourth to Turbulent Descent.

May Day Rose is the third winner from the unraced May Day Bluff (by Danzig's son, Pine Bluff), who previously produced May Day Vow (by Broken Vow), a stakes winner of $166,285 on the New York circuit.  Her third dam is the high-class Hoist the Flag mare, May Day Eighty, who won the Grade I Delaware Handicap.

A good-looking grey son of Unbridled's Song, Rockport Harbor raced with distinction in the colors of Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm, and was considered to be an exciting Derby hopeful until his foot right hind foot was badly injured during the running of the nine-furlong Remsen-G2, which capped off his undefeated four-for-four two-year-old season.  As reported on the Farm's website, "Rocky won in a fantastic time (1:48.88) for the prestigious stakes and made his way to the winner's circle.  It was at this time that it was noticed that Rocky had been stepped on, as his right hind foot gushed blood."

Rockport Harbor was put away to allow his foot to heal, and didn't win again until he captured the Essex Handicap-G3 as a four-year-old.  He seemed on the way back to his old form, but subsequently re-injured the same foot in the Razorback Handicap-G3 a month later.  He was retired to Darley Stud, where he stood for $20,000 in 2007, the year May Day Rose was conceived.  Rockport Harbor's fee for 2011 is $12,500, which looks like a bargain now.

Interestingly, both of Rockport Harbor's first two stakes winners are out of mares by sons of Danzig.  His colt, Bear's Future, who won the seven-furlong Swynford Stakes at Woodbine, is a maternal grandson of Belong to Me.  Like May Day Rose, he is a complete outcross in his first five generations.

More Light!

So here we find ourselves swimming in the depths of a cold, dark winter. A time for most of us who work 8-5 gigs of utter darkness. It's dark when we wake up, it's dark when we head in to work and it's dark when we go home. It's been said that this is the time of year that tests a man's soul and forces him to look within for light or else he must go without.

It's during this time of year that I am often reminded of a powerful monologue from the old TV show, Northern Exposure.

"Gothe's final words: More Light. Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime that's been our unifying cry, more light. Sunlight, torchlight, candlelight, neon incandescent lights have banished the darkness from out caves, illuminated our roads, the insides of our refridgerators. Big floods for the night games at... Soldier's Field, little tiny flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we're supposed to be asleep. Light is more than watts and footcandles, light is a metaphor. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet" "Rage! Rage against the dying of the light! "Lead kindly light amid the encircling gloom, lead thou me on. The night is dark and I am far from home, lead thou me on." "Arise shine for thy light has come!" Light is knowledge, light is life, light is light."

The short version is that right about now I think we all could use a little more light. To that end, I want to share a beautiful video of a sunrise over Norway with you in hopes that it will brighten your day a little bit. The video was first found by Viking Editor, Amy Boxrud and used for a blog post in 2010, but I think its ok in this case to recycle a little content--especially if it's for the good of our collective psyche. Enjoy!

Cineflex - Norwegian sunrise from Fuglefjellet on Vimeo.

Unbridled's Song colt makes an early arrival at Keeneland January sale

Highland Torree and her new Unbridled's Song colt
at Keeneland on January 9, 201
Photo: Coady Photography/Keeneland
The Keeneland January sale isn't scheduled to start until tomorrow, but the excitement came a bit early, when one of the mares who had been listed as "pregnant" arrived at the sales grounds with her five-day-old Unbridled's Song colt in tow.  Both mare and foal are doing great.  

The robust bay colt is the first foal from the six-year-old Menifee mare, Highland Torree, a stakes winning earner of $205,922, who was bred to Unbridled's Song on February 17th, 2010.  She is catalogued as Hip 31 in the sale, and will be auctioned with her colt by her side, under the auspices of consignor Bedouin Bloodstock.

Highland Torree is a half-sister to six winners, including the good fillies Cape Town Lass (by Horse Chestnut (SAF)), who established the course record for a mile and a half on the turf at Keeneland (2:29.18) on April 9th, 2005, retiring with earnings of $215,142, and High Code (by Lost Code), a stakes-placed winner of $110,360.
Highland Torree's sire, Menifee, won or placed in 10 of his 11 starts, capturing the Grade I Haskell and Toyota Blue Grass, and placing in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Travers.  He stood at Stone Farm in Kentucky through the 2006 breeding season, when he was exported to Korea, where he currently stands as the property of the Korea Racing Authority.  Menifee has sired the graded stakes-winning fillies Game Face and Just Jenda, and is the broodmare sire of stakes winners William's Kitten (by Kitten's Joy) andDancinginherdreams (by Tapit), who is undefeated in two career starts, including last year's Pocahontas Stakes-G2 for two-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs.
The eighth leading active sire by worldwide earnings in 2010, Unbridled's Song is the sire of Unrivaled Belle, who captured last year's Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic-G1, 2008 Champion Two-Year-Old Colt Midshipman, who enters stud this year, and crack sprinter Zensational, whose first foals arrive this season.  Unbridled's Song stands at Taylor Made Stallions in Kentucky for a fee of $100,000.
Highland Torree had previously been catalogued for sale in foal to Unbridled's Song at the 2009 Keeneland November and 2010 Keeneland January sales, but she subsequently aborted the foal she was carrying then.  With that in mind, her new colt's healthy arrival is cause for celebration, indeed.