Going Indie

Recently my mother/writing partner, Barbara Andrews, and I launched our first venture into ‘indie’ publishing. Faith, Fireworks and Fir written as Pam Andrews Hanson is an original inspirational romance available for Kindle at Amazon and for
Nook on Barnes and Noble.

My husband, who was instrumental in the process, strongly suggested I blog about the whole thing. “Write something clever, funny, and witty,” he said.

No pressure there!

Naturally all week I’ve felt more witless than witty. Cleverness also continues to elude, so here I sit on a Sunday night willing to settle for mediocre – but even that seems elusive.

I’m just going to plunge in and make do with what I’ve got.

Several factors influenced this leap into independent publishing. First, after 30-plus books with conventional publishers (with more on the way) for Mom and me (and 50 plus for Mom including those written under her own name), the time just seemed right to explore ‘long-tail publishing.’

It used to be if you wanted to write a book, record an album, or produce a movie, and you wanted it to go out to a national, or even global, audience, you had to work with a major publisher, recording company, or movie studio.

But today, with online technology, anyone can distribute his or her work to a vast audience independently. You can sell your book, album or movie using online stores like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes. And since it is all done electronically, you don’t have to underwrite the costs of printing a book or burning a physical CD/DVD.

I have to confess I am slow to change when it comes to technology. Case in point: I just recently gave up my ‘chewing gum’ iPod, and I’m sure the Smithsonian will soon come to claim it. However, I’m also a voracious reader and being able to load half a dozen or more books onto an e-book reader when traveling is very appealing. I’ve come to believe electronic delivery systems of books don’t have to replace the traditional form but rather are complementary.

So why make the leap now? While my mom and I continue to write inspirational women’s fiction for Guideposts, we also love co-authoring inspirational romances. It is complicated to plan projects around multiple publishers. The interest in a measure of editorial and scheduling freedom meshed perfectly with the concept of indie publishing.

We view this foray into independent publishing as akin to launching a small business. Not only did we have to write a good book, we also needed to find someone to design the cover and figure out ways to promote it. I owe a great deal of thanks to many people, especially romance author Holly Jacobs who referred me to the fabulous Kim Van Meter, a Harlequin author who is a freelance designer. Holly was also instrumental in suggesting ways to use social media to promote the book, and she titled the book. She is an amazing cheerleader and friend.

And I owe a lot to my friends for not only liking me in person but ‘virtually’ on my official author Facebook page. Even people I don’t know have clicked like for which I’m also grateful.

This is not the first entrepreneurial venture my mom and I have tried. The summer after my junior year of high school, she and I went into the ‘junk’ business. My Aunt Marge (who gave my mom a paper bag of Harlequin romances which in turn spurred her novel writing career) owned a flea market in a small southwestern Michigan town not far from the city where we lived. She offered us a booth to set up and sell our wares. We haunted garage sales for antiques and collectibles and books to resell. I started collecting cookbooks that summer. After expenses, I earned enough to buy myself contact lenses. It was the best summer job I ever had, and my mom and I had a lot of fun.

Just like we are now.

Emmie Jean Camp

Emmie Jean Camp 74 passed away July 29, 2011 at Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center in Poteau. She was born May 17, 1937 in Cravens ,OK to Grady & Clara (England) Hendrix. . She was a Homemaker. Survivors include 1 daughter Linda Balloew of Atoka ,OK. 2 Sons Maurice Leggett of Poteau ,OK and Glenn Leggett of Poteau ,OK. 1 Sister Jewel Amstutz of Russellville, AR. 2 Brothers Bill Childres of Nash ,TX and Jimmy Childres of Nash ,TX. Emmie was preceded in death by her parents. She had many loved ones and friends and she will be greatly missed.

Private services will be held at a later date.

June Maxine Wann

June Maxine Wann, 87, of Wister, OK passed away Saturday, July 30, 2011 in Poteau, OK. June was born in Booneville, AR on April 23, 1924 to Omer & Esther (Harwell) Wann. She was a homemaker. June loved to sew and listen to music. She played the guitar, loved having family get togethers. She was preceded in death by her parents, 6 brothers & 1 sister.

Survivors include her brother, Warren Wann of Wister, OK; sister, Bonnie Raines of Wister, OK; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 10 am, Monday, August 1, 2011 at Summerfield Cemetery Pavilion, Summerfield, OK with Rev. Clyde Steelman officiating. Interment will follow.

One Student's Story

Soon after learning of the Oslo and Utøya attacks last Friday, I began to wonder about the students and staff of the Oslo International Summer School. Three of this year's summer school participants are Sons of Norway Foundation scholarship winners, and they were on my mind because I had just finished editing an article about them for the October issue of Viking. Later that day I was relieved to read on Facebook that all the students and staff were accounted for and unharmed.

One of those scholarship recipients is Danielle, an international studies major at Colorado State University. This summer I've been following her blog, Passport to Adventure. In addition to the experiences she shared prior to the events of July 22, this week she's posted some thoughtful reflections on the attacks and the country's response.

This isn't the last you'll see of Danielle. She, along with two other Oslo Summer School scholarship winners, will be on the September cover of Viking. In that education-themed issue, we've created a go-abroad guide for students that gives the scoop on a variety of programs, including folk schools, university study and youth exchange programs.

You can visit the Sons of Norway Foundation website to learn more about their scholarships, and be sure to check out the October issue of Viking, where we'll be profiling the Foundation's work and this year's 27 scholarship winners.

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 by Johannes Grødem via Wikimedia Commons

Winter Memories lives up to her lofty heritage in the Lake George

Winter Memories blew by the field to capture the Lake George
Photo:  Adam Coglianese, Courtesy NYRA
Anyone who is trying to figure out who might be the best turf filly or mare in the country right now need look no further than the phenomenal Winter Memories, who snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the mile-and-a-sixteenth Lake George-G3 at Saratoga today in truly spectacular fashion.  She deserves all of the superlatives that will be used to describe her scintillating performance.

It wasn't only that she trounced some very nice fillies--including last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner, More Than Real--it was the way she did it, after jockey Jose Lezcano had to slam on the brakes as he attempted to guide the gray El Prado filly around the far turn from the back of the pack because another horse suddenly swung out in front of him.

But then Lezcano simply pushed an invisible button and Winter Memories effortlessly turned on the afterburners and overtook the leaders in what seemed to be only a handful of strides, crossing the finish line some four lengths ahead of her stunned rivals, while being geared down.  She stopped the timer in 1:41.57 as track announcer Tom Durkin exclaimed, "What a Filly!  A dazzling performance at the Spa today!"  Yes, indeed.

When people talk about great racehorses, they often mention heart.  What they usually mean is that intangible character of courage and determination that is difficult to measure.  But it's the other kind of heart that comes to mind when you watch Winter Memories accelerate.  Only a horse with a finely tuned internal combustion engine, in the guise of a superior cardiovascular system, coupled with biomechanical finesse, could do what Winter Memories did in the Lake George.  With her victory today, the Phillips Racing Partnership homebred remains perfect in her three starts at three different tracks this year.  She has compiled an enviable career record of 5-1-0 in six starts, with earnings of $540,000.

Winter Memories is just the latest in a long line of high-class turf performers descended from the revered Darby Dan mare, Golden Trail, ancestress of Champion Turf Mare Ryafan, Champion Turf Male Sunshine Forever, and Winter Memories' own dam, the distinguished Silver Hawk mare, Memories of Silver.  A tough and talented multiple grade I stakes winner who earned over $1.4 million during three seasons of racing, Memories of Silver notched her initial graded stakes score in the second running of the Lake George, and went on to capture the Queen Elizabeth-G1 at Keeneland in course-record time, as well as the Beverly D.-G1 and the Diana-G2.

Winter Memories is the eighth, and by far the most successful of Memories of Silver's foals.  She is bred on the same stamina-strengthening cross as the graded stakes-winning turf stars Kitten's Joy, Senor Swinger, and Paddy O'Prado, all of whom are by El Prado out of Roberto-line mares.

Assuming that Winter Memories comes out of the Lake George in good shape, her trainer, Jimmy Toner, expects her to make her next start in the mile-and-an-eighth grassy Lake Placid-G2 at Saratoga on August 21st.  Like the thousands of racing fans who were awed by the filly's exploits today, I can't wait.

Prime Minster Jens Stoltenberg's Memorial Service Address

Today we have a very moving video of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's memorial address at the Oslo Cathedral. English subtitles have been included. As always, the thoughts and prayers of Sons of Norway continue to be with those affected by this national tragedy.

Geraldyne Hammons

Geraldyne Hammons, 84, of Wister, OK passed away Tuesday, July 26, 2011 in Wister. Geraldyne was born in Wister, OK on October 15, 1926 to Joe Willis & Carrie (Estes) Baldwin. She was a homemaker and a member of the Wister First United Methodist Church. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bill; and infant son, William Michael.
She is survived by two daughters & sons-in-law, Kathy & David Robertson, Karen & Steve Glinski of Poteau, OK; son & daughter-in-law, Ray & Donna Hammons of Wister, OK: 6 greandchildren, Jolene, D.P., Bud, Karri, Jake & Kaynan; 12 Great Grandchildren; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.
Services were 10 am, Friday, July 29, 2011 at the First United Methodist Church in Wister, OK with Rev. Will Langrehr officiating. Interment followed in Oakland Cemetery, Poteau, OK. Pallbearers were Sam Walden, Steve Walden, Tommy Baker, Rusty Baker, D.B. Lampkin, Sam Abbott, and Bill Baldwin. Evans & Miller Funeral Home, Poteau, OK - In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church in Wister, OK or to the Alzheimers Association.

Walter C. "Cotton" Carmack

Walter Charles “Cotton” Carmack, 84, of Poteau, OK passed away Tuesday, July 26, 2011 in Talihina, OK. Cotton was born in Poteau, OK on October 30, 1926 to Rube M & Bertha (McClure) Carmack. He was a veteran of the US Navy, serving as a SeaBee in World War II. He was a retired teacher, and also retired from the state working as a Health Inspector. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Poteau. Cotton was preceded in death by his wife, Aldean Carmack and brother, Ed Gene Carmack.

Survivors include his daughters, Kay Carmack of Poteau, OK, Sharon Lea Carmack of Vian, OK; son & daughter in law, Charles Allen & Joyce Carmack of Poteau, OK; brother, Roy Don Carmack of Poteau, OK; grandchildren, Lori & Jerry Boblett of Shady Point, OK, Clint & Nina Carmack of Heavener, OK, Caren & Damon Roath of Heavener, OK; great grandchildren, Kayleigh Boblett, Courtney Boblett, Cooper Roath, Tripp Roath & Kameron Carmack; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 10 am, Friday, July 29, 2011 at Oakland Cemetery Pavilion with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow. Honorary Pallbearers will be Clint Carmack, Jerry Boblett, James Vaughn, Damon Roath & Podie Meeks.

The family will be at the funeral home on Thursday evening from 5-7 pm to visit with relatives & friends.

Paul Baumgarden, Tissue Donor, Forestville, New York, 1945 - 2011

FORESTVILLE - Paul "Bummy" A. Baumgarden, 66, of Lodi Street, Forestville, passed away quietly Tuesday, July 19th, at Buffalo General Hospital with family members at his side. Paul faced his death as he faced his life - with courage. He was our hero.

He was born in Fall River, MA on April 19, 1945, the son of the late Arthur J. and Maria-Louisa Baumgarden. At a very young age, his family returned to West Seneca and he graduated from West Seneca West High School, Class of 1963.

In 1965 he enlisted in the US Navy and served our country for 6 years. During that time, he was aboard the USS Guadalcanal - the Primary Recovery Ship for Apollo 9 (the first space test flight of the Lunar Module). He also received the National Defense Service Medal and the Navy Good Conduct Medal. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, he worked alongside his father & grandfather at National Pattern Works in Buffalo, he then worked for Delavan Electronics in East Aurora and then worked for MOOG, Inc. in East Aurora, where he retired from in 2004, as a machinist and was a proud member of the Aero-Space Division, which was responsible for making parts for the NASA Space Shuttles, USAF Stealth Aircraft and the Scud Missiles during Desert Storm.

After retiring due to illness, he thoroughly enjoyed his home life in Forestville, spending time with his family and his dogs. He spent his days keeping in touch with family across the country and old friends via Facebook and email. Mr. Baumgarden found a love for baking and was deemed "The Muffin Man" by his family. Also, lovingly named "The Energizer Bunny" by his children, for the many times he entered the hospital and returned home after facing certain death.

A firm believer in organ donation, he was able to give the gift of sight to two recipients.

Joseph Andrew Sanders

Joseph Andrew Sanders, 71, of Shady Point, OK passed away July 21, 2011 in Muldrow, OK. Joseph was born July 6, 1940 in West Helena, AR to Vannily Albert & Leora (Carter) Sanders. Joseph was a custodian at Shady Point Schools for over 25 years. He was retired from the Shady Point Fire Dept.. Joseph was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, Cecil Sanders & Phillip Sanders.

Survivors include 3 nephews, Ronald & Chris Sanders, John & Debbie Sanders, Tom Sanders and 1 niece, Sandra & Marc Saddler.

Memorial Services will be 3 pm, Friday at the First Assembly of God Church in Shady Point, OK with Marie Akins & Rev. Joe Owen officiating.

Tragedy in Oslo Update

So, here we are, less than 36 hours after a bomb exploded in central Oslo, killing at least seven people. Now, we have come to learn that this may have been the first of a two part attack against Norwegian citizens, the second being a mass shooting on the island of Utoya.

So far, what is known is that yesterday at 3:26 Oslo time a car bomb exploded outside of the Prime Minister's office, leaving at least 7 dead and dozens injured. A little over an hour later, there are reports of gunfire from a political youth camp on the island of Utoy, where a Norwegian counter-terrorism team was dispatched. Over the next hour or so the gunman proceeded to shoot and kill at least 84 people on the island. As the day went on, information began to come out that the gunman may also have been seen at the location of the bombing earlier in the day.

Last night and today teams have begun to search the wreckage of the bomb blast area, looking for trapped survivors and further casualties. So far it is still somewhat unclear what the motive behind these two heinous acts may have been, though a number of speculations have been offered by different sources. 

Sons of Norway is focusing on those who have been affected by these tragic events and how best to help in Norway's healing process as it recovers from the largest loss of life in a single day since world war II. It's not just the staff of Sons of Norway, either; it's the members, too. Those of us at the Headquarters have been receiving numerous calls from members asking for confirmed information and wanting to know what they can do to help.

It really makes me emotional to see this kind of outpouring of love and support for a country that is thousands of miles away across land and sea. I think it's a real testament to the commitment that Sons of Norway members have to our mission and to our namesake nation.

In addition to calls from members we've also been receiving a number of calls from media to provide commentary on how this story is being received by, or affecting, the Norwegian American community. In fact, the media has been reaching out to members and lodges throughout the U.S. and Canada. For those who are interested, I'm providing a list below, which will be updated as I get more information.

As I hear of more stories, I will update as much as I can. In the meantime, Sons of Norway asks everyone who is reading the blog today to keep Norway and its citizens in their thoughts and prayers as they work towards a brighter tomorrow.

Also, if you have a kind thought you'd like to share, or talk about how this event has made you feel, please feel free to do so in the comments section.

Georgie's Angel wins the Schuylerville and breaks the mold

Georgie's Angel runs away with the Schuylerville-G3
Photo:  Courtesy of NYRA, Adam Coglianese
With her convincing victory in yesterday's six-furlong Schuylerville, two-year-old Georgie's Angel became not only the first graded stakes winner at Saratoga's 143rd summer meet, but a rising star for her second-crop sire, Bellamy Road.

The diminutive bay filly looks like she's all business, having banked $95,820 in her two perfect starts.  "She's always been a pretty straightforward, professional filly," said her trainer, Todd Pletcher, in an article in The Saratoga Special.  "She's a kind of filly that wants to please everybody."  If all goes well, we'll get to see her at Saratoga again at the end of the meet, in the marquee two-year-old filly contest, the seven-furlong Spinaway-G1.

Georgie's Angel is the second two-year-old graded stakes winner for Bellamy Road, a Kinsman Stud colorbearer who was himself a precocious juvenile, capturing two of his three starts in his debut season, including the Grade III Cradle Stakes at River Downs, under the tutelage of Michael Dickinson.  

Sent to Nick Zito for his three-year-old season, the son of Concerto triumphed in the Wood Memorial in spectacular fashion, equaling the track record for a mile and an eighth and besting his rivals by more than 17 lengths.  He suffered a splint injury while finishing unplaced in the 2005 Derby, but earned runner-up honors in Flower Alley's Travers, which would turn out to be his final start.  A comeback attempt at four was quashed by a recurrence of his old injuries, and Bellamy Road entered stud at Ben Walden's Hurricane Hall (now Pauls Mill) in Lexington, where he stands for $10,000.

Bellamy Road's first foals arrived in 2008, and they came out running.  At last summer's Saratoga meet, his undefeated daughter, Position Limit, won the Grade II Adirondack at six-and-a-half furlongs.  And earlier this year, Bellamy Road's son, Toby's Corner, emulated his sire's exploits by winning the Wood Memorial, and was considered a top Derby contender before an injury cut his campaign short.

Named for Bellamy Road's charismatic owner, George Steinbrenner, Georgie's Angel is the fifth foal from the Dynaformer mare, Lalka, who has produced three other winners, all by sprint specialist Richter Scale.  Her female family is chock full of distinguished Canadian stakes winners, including Lalka's half-sisters, Buffalo Jump and Gumboots.  Her third dam is the Canadian Two-Year-Old Champion, Ada Prospect, and she descends from the influential mare, Ormonda, granddam of Champion, Triple Crown Winner, and Horse of the Year Whirlaway, and ancestress of Roman Ruler.

When it comes to genetics, there are indications that Georgie's Angel is breaking the mold.  As Sean Clancy observed in his piece in The Saratoga Special, "By Bellamy Road, out of the Dynaformer mare, Lalka, Georgie's Angel should be big and should go long.  Instead, she's small and goes six furlongs on Opening Day at Saratoga faster than any of her rivals."  

And not only that.  Georgie's Angel is actually the second Bellamy Road filly produced by Lalka.  There were high hopes for the first one, a current three-year-old named Electric Boots, who sold for $125,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select Sale in 2009.  But Electric Boots has failed to live up to expectations, or to her lofty price tag.  She has been unplaced in two starts, and finished a well-beaten ninth in a $20,000 maiden claimer last out at Churchill, on May 28th.  Notwithstanding the elder sister's lackluster record, though, it's clear that because of Georgie Angel's talent, the family's fortunes are on the rise.

MIchael Todd Kerr, Organ Donor, Canton, Ohio, 2008

Michael Todd Kerr died in 2008 when he was just 26 years old, doing what he loved...riding a motorcycle.

On Sunday, July 31,2011 friends, family, strangers and the people whose lives he saved will honor him by raising awareness about the importance of organ donation.

They will gather for the Big Mike's Annual Memorial Run. The motorcycle run is free. It starts and ends in Canton at Greensburg Park.

The first stop is at LifeBanc in Cleveland. On the wall there is a tribute to Mike because of the lives he saved through the donation of his organs.

At least one of the organ recipients will be on hand to take part in the tradition.

As fate would have it, one of the kidney recipients was a family friend. Mike's Dad, Joe Kerr, says that his wife's best friend was just about to give a kidney to her husband, even though it wasn't the ideal match.

That was just days before Mike's fatal accident. Turns out Mike was a perfect match. Mike's parents have known the couple since they were in their early 20's.

"Big Mike" earned his nickname because of his size and stature, but his best friend Donnie Boyer describes him as a "teddy bear" with a huge heart.

Leslie Sullivent, Organ & Tissue Donor, Warner Robins, GA 1994 - 2011

More than four months has passed since the deaths of Warner Robins sisters, Bridget and Leslie Sullivent.

The two girls died after a car accident on Highway 96.

After the community grieved the loss, the story appeared to be over. As it turns out, it isn't.

In fact, Leslie Sullivent's death changed a life and has the potential to help heal wounded soldiers.

Melva Sullivent says it would come as no surprise to 17-year-old Leslie Sullivent's friends that she registered as an organ donor when she got her license.

Leslie talked about it with her mom last winter. Melva said, "She was on her bed doing homework and the subject came up. She said, 'Yeah, Mama, if I can help someone I am going to.'"

A few months later that opportunity came.

11-year old Bridget Sullivent died instantly in a car accident March 10th, but Leslie held on a day longer. It was long enough for Lifelink, an organ and tissue recovery organization, to ask her parents about donation.

Melva said, "Immediately we said 'yes,' because instantly, the night in her bedroom came right back to my mind, and I knew she was serious about it."

They offered Leslie's heart, kidneys, bone tissue, lungs and more. Then they say Lifelink made an unusual request.

Melva said, "There was an opportunity they wanted to talk to us about, that Leslie could possibly donate a hand."

Again, the Sullivents said yes.

Two weeks later, the Sullivents say they learned who received Leslie's hand. That was an unusual occurrence for organ donors because of medical privacy laws.

James Sullivent said, "After the transplant happened, we received a call that night, saying Emory University was going to release news on the recipient that night or the next morning." He went on to say, "They didn't want us to be shocked."

March 28th in Atlanta, Emory doctors announced the first hand transplant in Georgia. They said they hope to use the medical technology on military men and women who lose limbs in combat. Emory partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs to become one of the premier transplant centers in the country. The university received a grant for transplants from the Department of Defense.

21-year-old Linda Lu from Oviedo, Florida, needed a hand after losing hers to a rare childhood illness. At the March press conference, Lu said, "I thought I was dreaming honesltly."

Lu recieved the transplant March 12th during a 19 hour surgery. That was the day after Leslie died.

James Sullivent said, "We got to watch the news that the girl recieved it at the same time as everybody else."

Melva said she recognized her daughter's hand at first glance. She said, "Just knowing it's Leslies hand, you can see her fingers and finger nails."

Lu said told reporters it was her goal to learn to type.

Melva says she's in luck. Leslie liked typing too.

Melva said, "She was very good at technology and typing. So, that hand will be right at home on the keyboard."

The Sullivents say they have sent letters to Lu, wanting to meet her. So far, Lu has not contacted them.

A spokeswoman for Lifelink, Kaysha Cranon, confirmed that Leslie Sullivent donated organs. Those helped more than 25 people, according to a letter sent to the Sullivents by Lifelink. Cranon would not confirm or deny that Lu was the recipient, saying revealing that information would violate HIPAA laws.

Sons of Norway Response to Tragedy in Oslo

Sons of Norway was shocked to learn of this morning’s bombing in Oslo. As an international fraternal benefit society, our members, leaders and staff all have many loved ones in Norway, so this news comes with an even heavier sense of sadness.

Our collective thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been affected by this tragedy as well as their families and friends.

As we receive more information about this event, we will provide further updates on the Sons of Norway blog. In the mean time, information can be found at cnn.com, Aftenposten and NRK the BBC. You can also follow the following twitter hashtags to follow the story as it develops: #Oslo, #Osloblast, #Prayforoslo.

Gilbert Garcia, Organ Donor, Odessa Texas, 1971 - 2011

Gilbert Garcia passed away after a tragic accident at home.

He noticed something wasn't right with his TV, so he decided to fix it.

"He unplugged the TV, they vacuumed it out. It was pretty much done," Gilbert Garcia's Stepson, Josh Robinett, said.

Gilbert's wife left to change her granddaughter's diaper and when she came back she found her husband on the floor.

"She came back and it had electrocuted him with it being unplugged from the wall. It doesn't make any sense to us but what we found out was those TV's actually hold a charge even when they are unplugged up to 25,000 volts," Robinett said.

Gilbert's wife immediately began CPR on Gilbert and she called 911.

"The ambulance, they came and got him really quick and they took him to Medical Center. They soon realized that they did all they could for him. So they sent him to Lubbock and he spent five days there while he was on life support running different tests and eventually they told us that he was brain dead," Robinett said.

The family then made the heartbreaking decision to take him off life support and donated his organs.

"On his ID it didn't say that was something he was willing to do but it didn't say that he wasn't and I know my dad he is a very giving person so we decided that he can live on through other people," Robinett said.

The Garcia family was able to donate three of his organs to three different people. But donations like the one the Garcia family made are down all across the U.S. even though there are more willing donors to sign up.

"It's really because the number of potential organ donors appear to have gone down. For instance, before we didn't have to wear seatbelts or helmets when we rode our bikes and now those are mandatory. While that is a great thing and that helps save lives, that certainly puts a damper in the number of people who die and a way they can be a potential donor," Pam Silvestri with the SouthWest Transplant Alliance, said.

Even though Gilbert died a tragic death, the Garcia family is happy to know a little part of him will help save other lives.

"It makes us feel good but it still hurts. It makes us feel good and we're very proud of him. We always will be, we will never forget him," Robinett said.

Heat wave

I was reading an article this morning in our local newspaper that quoted a National Weather Service forecaster as calling the heat wave gripping the central part of the country “unrelenting.” Temperatures on the prairie soared to 98 today.

A good friend of mine lives in Oklahoma, which is particularly bearing the brunt of the heat. In the same article it reported in Oklahoma City another day of 100-degree heat was expected last Sunday, making it the 27th day the city reached 100 or above. (I’m behind on my newspaper reading). And the triple-digit temps could last through September. My friend, Sandra Dark, is the co-author of a book coming out that month on weatherproofing your landscape.

Sometimes I wish there was a way to weatherproof my internal landscape, to better manage my inner mercury. Oh, I’ve mellowed considerably as I’ve aged. It’s been nearly 30 years since I lobbed a blob of Thanksgiving pie dough at the ceiling of the apartment my husband and I lived in our first year of marriage. I’m fairly certain something was preying on my mind in addition to my leaden crust.

Over the years, I’ve tried and failed to adapt my mother’s adage of “only worry about things you can do something about.” I’m a worrier, and worrying can make me cranky. Aside: I imagine my husband, mother, sons, and friends reading that last sentence and laughing hysterically. Perhaps cranky is too mild a word. Conversely, I have mellowed somewhat in my old age. I still worry excessively, but I think I do a better job of handling it.

Then a week comes along where an egg would fry on the sidewalk, two fairly new appliances fail, family challenges arise, work is ‘interesting,’ and the post-surgery boot feels welded to my foot. But I see an amazing physical therapist, work always works itself out, ditto on the family stuff, it wasn’t the AC that broke down, and the heat, well…

The weather is the one thing I never worry about because it is totally out of my control. When shivery 50 mph winds whip across this piece of prairie in late winter, I’m going to remind myself to be grateful it’s not nearly 100 degrees outside. And when life lobs lemons at me, I’m not going to make lemonade; I’m just going to lob them back.

Just not at the ceiling.

Norwegians Dominate Tour de France

Yesterday was a proud day for Norwegians, when cyclists Thor Hushovd and Edvald Boasson Hagen took first and second place, respectively, in Stage 16 of the Tour de France. The race came down to a sprint between the two Norwegians in the final seconds of the race. Amazingly, Hushovd and Boasson Hagan were the only Norwegians competing in the event. Third place went to Canadian Ryder Hesjedal, who also claims one-quarter Norwegian heritage.

“It’s surreal," Hushovd said in an interview with NRK. "We are the only two Norwegians here, and we're fighting it out against each other. It’s incredible.”

Since going pro in 2000, Hushovd has competed in 11 Tour de France races.

“I just think I’m lucky to part of this big event,” Hushovd told Viking in an interview this spring. "Everyone's in their best form, so you have to be ready for that," he continued.

To read the interview with Thor Hushovd in its entirety, check out the June issue of Viking!

Note: This entry was updated to reflect clarify Hushovd's victory in Stage 16 of the race.

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 courtesty of Global Ref, via Wikimedia Commons

Dorothy Jean Kirkley Palmer

Word has been received of the death of Dorothy Jean Kirkley Palmer who was born January 9, 1924 in Howe, OK to Lee & Eula Kirkley. She was a 1943 graduate of Poteau High School. In 1944 she married the love of her life, James Palmer. Since James was a career Marine, they most often lived in Oceanside, CA where Jim was stationed in nearby Camp Pendleton. When her husband was away during WWII, the Korean War, and during “Peacetime” deployments in the Cold War Era, she would make her home in Poteau and work at Poteau Food Market. While her husband fought in the Vietnam War, she waited alone in California. She was preceded in death by her husband in 1989.

She is survived by one son, James L. Palmer & wife Patti of Watsonville, CA; grandson, Ryan & wife Brandi; 2 great granddaughters, Reese Laura & Romy Loyce of Livermore, CA; one sister in law, Lyndle Palmer Waters of Abilene, TX. Locally, she is survived by a brother, Garry Kirkley and a niece, Patricia Eidschun, both of Poteau.

Graveside services will be Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 10 am, graveside at Shady Point Cemetery, Shady Point, OK with Rev. Larry Matthiesen officiating.

Daisy Abernathy

Daisy Marie “Mamaw” Bryant Abernathy, 91, of Bokoshe, OK passed away Monday, July 18, 2011 in Bokoshe, OK. Daisy was born in Fish Creek, OK on April 11, 1920 to Cairl C. & Mary Elizabeth (Ashworth) Bryant. She was a housewife, farmer & rancher. She was a member of the Bokoshe Church of Christ. Daisy was preceded in death by her husband, J.B.; 6 sisters, Odie Harrelson, Alma Price, Peggy Holcomb, Freda Neal, Ruby Coplen, Jimmie Lee Sloan; 3 brothers, Jack, Dewey, Clemon Bryant.

Survivors include her sons & daughters in law, Jim Bob & Janice Abernathy, Carold & Faye Abernathy of Bokoshe, OK; 5 grandchildren & their spouses, Bobbie & Mike Bell of Bokoshe, OK, Trina & Rick Ward of Cameron, OK, Eddie & Pam Abernathy of Shady Point, OK, Jimmy & Celia Abernathy of Bokoshe, OK, Rodney & Shelly Abernathy of Bokoshe, OK; 15 Great Grandchildren, 10 Great Great Grandchildren; sisters & brothers in law, Lois “Pete” Hawkins of Hackett, AR, Juanita & Terry Vaught of Perryville, AR; brother& sister in law, Charles & Mary Bryant of Dalton, GA; special care givers, Donna Zimmerman, Debbie Poore.

Services will be 10 am Thursday, July 21, 2011 graveside at Milton Cemetery, Milton, OK with Joe Avery & Rev. Lynn Bullard officiating. Interment will follow. Pallbearers will be her great grandsons, Michael, Edward, Jeffrey, Daniel, P.J., Brett, A.J., Alex, Ross, & Carson; honorary pallbearers will be her great granddaughters, Misty, Britney, Cheyenne, Lauren, & Ragan.

Gary "Bub" Gibson

Gary “Bub” Matthew Gibson, 27, of Poteau, OK went home to be with the Lord Tuesday, July 19, 2011 from his earthly home with his family in Poteau. Gary was born in Ft. Smith, AR on November 3, 1983 to Gary U. & Sharon Lynn (Woodral) Gibson. Bub loved His Lord and the Word of God. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Clayton & Patsy Gibson, Maternal Grandparents, Fred & Doyce Woodral; aunt Rhonda Henson.

Survivors include his wife, Megan (Lindenau) Gibson of the home; parents, Gary & Lynn Gibson of Howe, OK; sisters, Christi Lopez of Hodgen, OK, Cheri Radwick of Howe, OK; nieces, MaKailyn Gibson, Alexis Hartsock, Lynsey Espinel, Jazmin Autrey, Madilyn Lopez, Kami Jo Autrey; nephews, George Matthew Espinel, Marc Lopez, Jett Autrey; BFF, Kathy Craig, Janet Mosqueda; aunts and uncles, David & Beverly Gibson of Spiro, OK, Freddie & Brenda Woodral of Bates, AR; a host of family and friends.

Services will be 10 am, Friday, July 22, 2011, First Assembly of God Church in Wister, OK with Rev. Roger Mattox officiating. Interment will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery, Heavener, OK.
Pallbearers will be Gary Gibson, Thomas Radwick, George Matthew Espinel, Dylan Roberts, Marc Lopez, Dale Fraze, Michael Salsman, Jason Salsman; honorary pallbearers will be Freddie Woodral, Russell Tucker, Bob Craig, Adam Warren, & Donnie Fout.

The family will be at the funeral home on Thursday evening from 6-8 pm to visit with relatives & friends.

Gloria Jean Tucker

Gloria Jean Tucker, 53, of Pocola, OK passed away Monday, July 18, 2011 in Pocola. Gloria was born November 14, 1957 in Florence, Wisconsin to William & Doris (Klahn) Freund. Gloria worked at Southern Steel & Wire. She was preceded in death by her father; stepfather, Cleve Chaney; and brother, Ronald Freund.

Survivors include her husband, Charles Randall Tucker of the home; son, Brad Lee Freund of Pocola, OK; mother, Doris Chaney of Fence, WI; sister, Debbie Sodereloom of Fence, WI; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 2 pm, Saturday, July 23, 2011 at Southside Free Will Baptist Church in Fort Smith, AR with Rev. Gene Thomas & Rev. Phillip Wiley officiating. Interment will follow in Macedonia Cemetery, Pocola, OK. Pallbearers will be David Thompson, Brian Tucker, Bill Jennings, Joe Ritter, Kane Riggs & Richard Kish.

Visitation will be until 5 pm daily at Evans & Miller in Pocola.

Alvin C. Schneider

Alvin C. Schneider, 74, of Poteau, OK passed away Monday, July 18, 2011 in Poteau. Alvin was born in Titusville, PA on October 23, 1936 to Nicolas & Hazel (Stufflebeam) Schneider. Alvin worked in city maintenance.

Survivors include his wife, Leora of the home; 3 daughters, Lori Schneider McKeown of Fillmore, CA, Chery Schneider McGraw of Poteau, OK, Connie Upton of Summerfield, OK; 1 son, Allen Schneider of Poteau, OK; 23 Grandchildren; 9 Great Grandchildren; 1 brother, Robert Schneider of Titusville, PA; other relatives & loved ones, many beloved friends.

Services will be 10 am, Friday, July 22, 2011 at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Keith Williams officiating. Interment will follow in Oakland Cemetery, Poteau, OK.

Ava Webster

Ava Webster died suddenly on July 9, 2011 at her home in Bokoshe, OK. She was born Avarilla Mae Wingo on January 27, 1932, in Paul's Valley, OK. Ava was the eldest daughter of William and Agnes Wingo's eleven children and was affectionately known as "Sis". She married Virgil "Bunk" Webster on December 21, 1946. They moved to California, settled in Santa Maria and there they raised a son, Rick and a daughter, Holly.

Ava had a true servant's heart, quickly giving her time, talent and resources to help those less fortunate. She was especially fond of animals and rescued many abandoned cats and dogs. Her greatest love, however, was helping children. Ava spent many happy years as a teacher's aide at Arellanes Elementary in Santa Maria, CA and in the Bokoshe schools in OK. Always willing to volunteer, she served as a Cub Scout den mother, sports coach, Girl Scout leader, PTA leader, Parks and Recreation leader, and special member of the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission. Another great love was reading, and Ava delighted in being Bokoshe's librarian these past few years.

She passed from us peacefully, surrounded by her beloved animals, books and mementos. Ava was preceded in death by her husband, who passed on March 31, 2007. She will be dearly missed by friends, family, current- and former students. Her survivors include her son, Rick Webster and his wife, Betsy, of Bay St. Louis, MS; her daughter, Holly Webster, of Raleigh, NC; 8 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, 4 brothers, 3 sisters and numerous nieces, nephew and cousins.

Cremation will take place under the direction of Evans and Miller Funeral Home in Poteau, OK. A celebration of her life is planned for this fall in Bokoshe, OK. In lieu of flowers, please remember Ava by donating to your local animal rescue organization.

Thurman Lee Harber Sr.

Thurman Lee Harber Sr, 84, of Monroe, OK passed away Sunday, July 17, 2011 in Monroe, OK. Thurman was born April 15, 1927 in Monroe, OK to William Quirlous & Beulah Leona (Weatherford) Harber. He was a mechanic. Thurman was preceded in death by his parents; brothers L.Z. Harber & Delbert Harber, an infant brother & sister.

Survivors include his wife, Jerolene of the home; 3 sons, Thurman & Rose Harber Jr., of Monroe, OK, Dennis Harber and Donny Harber of Pocola, OK; 7 grandchildren, Lee Harber, Matt Cordes, Tiffany Harber, David Harber, Brian Harber, Blandon Deen, & Hansel Deen; 4 Great Grandchildren; brother, Allen Harber of Eufaula, OK; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 2 pm, Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Les Scroggins officiating. Interment will follow in Monroe Cemetery, Monroe, OK. Pallbearers will be Thurman Harber Jr., Dennis Harber, Donny Harber, Brian Harber, Blandon Deen and Hansel Deen.

Sons of Norway Foundation Lends a Hand to Minot Flood Relief

As everyone is probably aware, there is a Sons of Norway community in great need right now. Minot, ND has spent much of its summer, so far, dealing with a once-in-a-century flood of the Souris (Mouse) river and the monumental cleanup now that the waters have begun to recede. So far, we are aware of up to 75 Sons of Norway families who have been affected by this natural disaster.

The Sons of Norway Foundation is currently working to assist as many of these families as possible through its Humanitarian Fund, from which $1,000 Helping Hands to Members Grants can be awarded to aid members who are victims of natural disasters, like this one. The grants assist our members in their time of great need, helping them purchase items, like bottled water, groceries and other severely needed supplies to keep them going during the clean-up and re-build.

In true fraternal spirit, the Foundation is calling on all Sons of Norway  members and lodges who can help with this relief effort by making a tax deductible donation* to the Humanitarian Fund.  This will ensure that the Fund stands ready to help with current and future disasters. You may donate on-line or send your checks with "Minot" in the memo line (no cash please) to Sons of Norway Foundation, Att: Minot, 1455 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408.

Please accept our heartfelt thanks on behalf of the victims who will benefit from your generosity.

Derrell D. Plummer

Derrell Plummer, 87 of Idabel, OK
Services for Derrell D. Plummer will be 10 am, Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Derrell will be laid to rest at Oakland Cemetery under the direction of Evans & Miller Funeral Home. The family will be at the funeral home on Tuesday evening from 6-8 pm to visit with relatives & friends.

Derrell died Sunday, July 17, 2011 at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa seven days following the death of his wife, Ophelia.

The son of Edd & Elsie (Young) Plummer Derrell was born September 30, 1923 in Oliver, AR. The family moved to Poteau where Derrell attended school and graduated from Poteau High School. Several years ago he was inducted into the Poteau Football Hall of Fame. In high school he met the love of his life, Ophelia Latta, and they married November 7, 1942. This November would have been their 69th wedding anniversary.

Derrell served in the United States Navy for three years during World War II. After leaving the service Derrell & Ophelia moved to Durant to continue his education. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Southeastern State College, Durant and his Masters & Doctorate work at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. Derrell was a member of the OSU Alumni Association & Masonic Lodge #23 in Hilton, Oklahoma.

Derrell worked in the education field in Smithville, Talihina, 2 years teaching for an oil company in Venezula, Duncan, Fox & worked 30 years with Vocational Rehabilitation in Idabel.

Derrell was preceded in death by his wife, Ophelia; daughter, Connie Sue; his parents, & his sister, Dorothy Jean Curtis.

He is survived by his brother, Bob Plummer & wife, Wanda of Claremore, OK; sister-in-law, Jean Shaw of LaFayette, CO; numerous nephews, nieces, and dear friends, O.L. & Joyce Childs & Leon & Barbara Blake.

Pallbearers will be Brian Plummer, Bruce Plummer, Jim Price, Leon Blake, Lee Curtis, Garry Skinner. Honorary pallbearers will be O.L. Childs & Lewis Schwartz

You may leave an online message at evansandmillerfuneralhomes.com

Arrangements under the direction of Evans & Miller Funeral Home, Poteau, OK

Hiawatha Singing Sisters

Sylvia Bingham
Nell Burgess
Cora Thomas
Geneve Shephard
Birdie Baldwin
Larene Prince
Frances Day
Mary Robb
Hazel Robb
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Anyone Know these guys?

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Omer Edmond Yandell

Omer Edmond Yandell, 84, of Wister, OK passed away Saturday, July 16, 2011 in Wister. Omer was born August 9, 1926 to George Franklin & Lucy (Jones) Yandell. Omer was a veteran of the US Army where he served in WWII. He worked for public works, at a saw mill and as a farmer. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Hazel; son, Billy; grandsons, James Ray & Joshua Duane.

Survivors include his daughters & sons in law, Ellen & David Adams of Duncan, OK, Merdith Atwell of Lawton, OK, Mary & Steve Arbuckle of Duncan, OK, Billie Yandell of Stigler, OK; sons & daughters in law, Lonnie & Judy Yandell of Wister, OK, Donald & Pamela Yandell of Poteau, OK, George & Carol Yandell of Cameron, OK; 15 Grandchildren; 26 Great Grandchildren; brother, William Yandell of Oden, AR; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 10 am, Monday, July 18, 2011 at Summerfield Baptist Church, Summerfield, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow in Summerfield Cemetery.

Barbara Weaver

Barbara Alma Agnes Weaver, 75, of Shady Point, OK passed away Friday, July 15, 2011 in Poteau, OK. Barbara was born January 26, 1936 in LaCombe, Alberta Canada to Jasper C. & Gladys M. (Balance) Brandt. Barbara was a homemaker.

Survivors include her husband, Marcell of the home; daughters, Delores Edwards of Shady Point, OK, Debra Clements of Poteau, OK, Melinda Weaver of Weatherford, OK, Sandra Sue Brossard of Las Vegas, NV; son, Duane Edward Weaver of Shady Point, OK; 11 grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren; mother, Gladys Brandt of Chula Vista, CA; sisters, Janice Brubaker of Temecula, CA, Roberta Bitts of AZ, Marsha Carroll Mann of Bonita, CA, Neoma Pearl & Glen Landerakin of San Diego, CA

Private family services will be held at a later date

Lt. Shannon Stone, Organ & Tissue Donor, Dallas, Texas 2011

Shannon Stone was a hero.

He was a hero to the residents of Brownwood, Texas, whose Fire Department he served for 18 years. He was a hero to victims of Texas wildfires and Hurricanes Katrina and Ike. He was a hero to the 40 people he benefited as an organ donor, including one given the gift of sight.

But above all, he was a hero to his 6-year-old son, Cooper.

“He is a fallen hero,” said one of the pallbearer’s mothers, Debra Kirkland, tearing up as she spoke. “The whole community is praying for that family and also for that little boy, Cooper.”  Stone was known to be inseparable from his son.

On Thursday night, the father and son went to a Rangers game in Arlington. They stopped to visit Stone’s parents, bought a new glove on the way and sat in left field seats behind Josh Hamilton, Cooper’s favorite player.

The All-Star outfielder threw them a foul ball, but the thrill quickly turned tragic when Stone fell. Witnesses said Stone was conscious afterward and fretted about his boy being alone in the stands. He died within an hour.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

How to help:

The Shannon Stone Memorial Fund, Brownwood Fire Department

Donations can be sent to:

Bank of America

c/o Shannon Stone Memorial Fund

Account # 488033378318

1 Center Ave.

Brownwood, Texas 76801

The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation Memorial Account

Donate online at:


Kaden Daniels, Organ Donor, Des Moines, Iowa 2006 - 2011

Kaden Daniels died after drowning at the Valley View Aquatic Center pool. Kaden Daniels' mother, Ciji Cook, wasn't at the Valley View Aquatic Center pool when her son drowned. She said it's one of her regrets.

Cook said she'll always remember the last moments she spent with her 5-year-old as she dropped him off with family for what was supposed to be a fun day at the pool.

"I said, 'You're my sweet one.' I got to say that to him and I hugged him and kissed him and I left, and that was the last time I saw him," said Cook. A few hours later, Kaden was found face down in the pool. Lifeguards and rescue crews tried to revive him.

Cook said she's grateful to the people who tried to help her son.

"They got a pulse back and I'm so thankful they did, so we could all have a chance to say goodbye to him," said Cook.

The hours that followed were full of tough decisions for Cook as she held Kaden's hand and begged him to wake up. When it became clear he never would wake up, she made what she calls the most difficult and fulfilling choice of her life -- to donate her son's organs.

"Those other parents that are sitting over their kids' beds waiting for a miracle, watching them just slowly and slowly. You know, I spent one night in that hospital, and I cannot imagine those parents that spend months there just waiting for that part, waiting for that donor. And especially in children, it's so hard to get, and so as far as I know a little boy or little girl in Chicago got his heart. It was a perfect match," said Cook.

Kaden's kidneys and liver saved lives, too.

Cook said it's what Kaden would have wanted.

"The true greatness that was in him was his nurturing and his love of everything, of everybody. He just loved everybody," said Cook.

She said the donations help the little boy who loved to smile, snuggle and play in laundry baskets live on.

"Since he didn't get to finish out his life and do the great things that he could have done, he helped save three other lives and that really helps a lot," said Cook. Kaden's parents had been teaching him to swim since he was 2 years old. They said no matter how much you teach your children about water safety, it's never enough.

A memorial fund has been established to help Kaden's family pay for medical bills and funeral expenses. You can send donations to any U.S. Bank branch in care of the "Kaden Daniels Memorial Fund."

You can learn more about organ donation in Iowa at www.iowadonornetwork.org

Lori Diane Carrillo

Lori Diane Carrillo, 49, of Poteau, OK passed away Tuesday, July 12, 2011, in Poteau. Lori was born August 22, 1961 in Nashville, TN to Carl & Gail Dollarhide. She was a clerk in collections.

Survivors include her husband, Chris of the home; daughters, Christina Diane Carrillo of the home, Brandi Gail Weaver of Monroe, OK; son, Joshua Adrian Greer of Poteau, OK; parents, Carl Dollarhide of Nashville, TN & Gail Cook of Nashville, TN; sister, Kim Dollarhide of Nashville, TN; brother, DeMarco Perigo of Nashville, TN; numerous grandchildren; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Memorial Services will be 10 am, Monday, July 18, 2011 in Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. P.J. Atkinson officiating.

The Writing Life

In lieu of writing a blog post this week, I would like to direct you to Janet Smart's blog (link below) to read the lovely interview she posted about my mother/writing partner (Barbara Andrews) and me. Thank you, Janet!!

Hiawatha Basketball Team

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Margie Gentry 1952

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Nellie Thomas 1952

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Wanda A. Colbert

Wanda A. Colbert, 62, of Heavener, OK passed away Monday, July 11, 2011 in Ft. Smith, AR. Wanda was born February 26, 1949 in Poteau, OK to Elige & Sarah Lemmings. She was a LPN. Wanda was preceded in death by her parents.

Survivors include her daughter & son in law, Tracy & Kerry Mills of Heavener, OK; son & daughter in law, Rick & Donna Hughes of Poteau, OK; 7 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren; brother, Eddie Lemmings; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 2 pm, Thursday, July 14, 2011 graveside at Howe Cemetery, Howe, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Pallbearers will be Josh Mills, Matt Martindale, Scotty Clague, Thomas Potter, Bobby Oliver, Sean Wilde, Josh Dowe & Tyler Brown

Ellen Milam

Ellen Milam, 82, of Poteau passed away Tuesday May 31, 2011. Ellen was born September 10, 1928, a twin and one of fourteen children to Minnie Lewis. In her younger years she enjoyed playing basketball, tennis, and bowling. Ellen worked along side her husband of over fifty years, Norman Dale Milam, owner/operator of the Poteau City Shoe Market. She enjoyed teaching Sunday school and was a member of the Poteau First Baptist Church. Ellen was preceded in death by her husband; her mother; her father and mother in law Frank S. Milam and Alla L. Milam. Ellen is survived by her twin sister Helen Lewis, of Poteau now living in Fort Smith, A.R.; a sister Betty Markovitz of Fullerton, C.A.; two brothers, James R. Lewis and George H. Lewis both of Nevada; a son Terry Joe Milam of Poteau; a niece Betty Ann Rodgers of Poteau, OK; a granddaughter Karen Page Patrow and grandson in-law James D. Patrow both of Phoenix, A.Z.; a grandson, Christopher A. Milam and his wife Michelle Milam of I.A. a grandson Scott A. Milam of S.C.; four great-grandchildren, Savannah P. Milam, Colton J. Patrow, Christian A. Patrow and Scarlett R. Patrow; numerous friends and loved ones.

Memorial service will be 2:00 p.m. Sunday July 17, at the Poteau First Baptist Church with Rev. Phil McGehee officiating. Reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall.

Mike Kolovich

Merlin Blackburn, John Barnett, Tom Neilson, Darrell Bearnson

Remo Spigerelli, Wally Baldwin, Merlin Blackburn, John Barnett

Louise King

Louise King, 83, of Poteau, OK passed away Sunday, July 10, 2011 in Fort Smith, AR. Louise was born January 9, 1928 in Gilmore, OK to Charley & Carrie Barnhill. She was a homemaker and a member of First Baptist Church in Poteau.

Survivors include her husband, Carl of the home; son, Larry W. King of Livermore, CA; 6 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 10 am, Thursday, July 14, 2011 in Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow in Oakland Cemetery, Poteau, OK.

The family will be at the funeral home on Wednesday evening from 6-8 pm to visit with friends and relatives.

Ophelia Irene Plummer

Ophelia Irene Plummer, a beautiful Christian woman passed into eternal rest on July 9, 2011. She was born April 23, 1924 in Hon, AR to Eliza & Claud Latta. She attended school in Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma. She met the love of her life, Derrell Plummer while attending high school. They were married November 7, 1942. This autumn they would have celebrated their 69th anniversary. Ophelia always had deep appreciation for the arts. She and her sister Emma (“Jimmie”, “Judy”) were frequently asked to sing duets at church services and gatherings.

During World War II, her husband serving overseas, Ophelia was a volunteer at the USO. As a vocalist, she sang familiar songs of home for the troops. After Derrell finished his service in the Navy, the young couple returned to Oklahoma to the educational field. Although Ophelia was not a teacher as her husband was, she supported him and became chaperone, counselor, and confidante to many students. Ophelia and Derrell are members of the OSU Alumni Association. She excelled at cooking, canning, sewing, and maintaining an immaculate home. She always was a gracious hostess, and when visitors stopped in, she welcomed them with a pot of coffee and slices of apple cake. She enjoyed telling amusing stories of their travels and escapades, particularly about the two years they spent in Venezuela. Ophelia was preceded in death by her daughter, Connie; her parents; sisters, Marie Edwards, Beatrice Parks, Odell Skinner, Emma (“Jimmie”, “Judy”) Baldwin, and brothers, Andrew Latta, Allen Latta, Carnel “Carl” Latta, Clifford Dean Latta, all who were residing in Oklahoma at the time of their passings.

She is survived by her husband, Derrell Plummer of Idabel, OK; sister, Jean Shaw of Lafayette, CO; brother in law & sister in law, Bob & Wanda Plummer of Claremore, OK; numerous nephews, nieces, and dear friends O.L. & Joyce Childs, Leon & Barbara Blake. She will be greatly missed by all.

Services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow in Oakland Cemetery, Poteau, OK. Pallbearers will be Larry Baldwin, Dustin Van Hook, Billy Baldwin, Kaleb Baldwin, Brandon Baldwin, Jacob Baldwin. Honorary pallbearers will be J.P. Baldwin & John Robert Baldwin.

Norway Goes Continental

The buzz in Norwegian newspapers this week is that Norway is now investing in some upscale properties in France and England. Why would the Norwegian government be buying up properties on Paris's Champs-Élysées or London's Regent Street? Because the managers of Norway's mammoth oil fund recently got permission to invest as much as 5 percent of its total assets in real estate.

The fund, officially known as the Government Pension Fund Global, has a current value of around NOK 135 billion (approx. USD 25 billion), and in June was named the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. As of March, the fund had invested only 0.1 percent of its assets in real estate, according to an article from News and Views from Norway. This means the country is in the market for more property, and the article predicts Germany's largest cities are also considered prime real estate by fund managers.

Since the goal of the fund is to spread risk by diversifying the country's wealth, current law requires all but 4 percent of its value be invested outside of Norway. Some Norwegians disapprove of this policy, and would like to see more of the money spent on Norwegian infrastructure, education, research and tax relief.

To read more about Norway's ongoing oil fund debate, look for Jack Gordon's feature story in the upcoming August 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 1-58.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Enzo Ferrante.