This month Bud Barker and Ann Trumbly will tie the knot at St. Mark The Evangelist Catholic church in Norman.

by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

Excitement is buzzing up and down the halls at Village on the Park in Oklahoma City.
The retirement community is atwitter over what is expected to be the blockbuster event of the summer – the wedding of residents Ann Trumbly and Bud Barker.
“He caught me in a weak moment,” the 84-year-old Trumbly smiled when asked what led to the upcoming August ceremony.
Both currently reside in separate cottages at Village on the Park and each lost spouses in the past.
Neither ever dreamed they would remarry.
“We just clicked, we really did,” Barker said. “We weren’t expecting it but it happened.”
The couple’s first official date came last October when a group of Village on the Park travelers went to Royal Bavaria restaurant in Moore to celebrate Octoberfest.
For weeks Barker had been telling Marketing Director Karen Proctor that he planned on “bringing a friend” but declined to say who it was.
“And forever they were just going to be friends,” Proctor said, unfolding the story.
The couple agreed to go out once a week for dinner. One week Trumbly would pay, the next Barker would pick up the check.
“Somewhere along the way they shocked me,” Proctor said. “They’re both educated. They both love music and they both just love talking to each other.”
A few months ago the couple pulled Proctor aside to tell her the big news.
“I just cried and cried and cried,” Proctor said. “I was shocked. They had kept saying over and over it was nice to have a good friend.”
But both agreed it was great to have a best friend again.
“Everybody’s so excited,” Proctor said. “We’ve had residents who have gone and bought dresses – even though it’s going to be super casual.” Everybody feels a part of it because they knew them with their other spouses and were so sad when their spouses passed away.
“It’s been fun to see them have so much fun.”
Cake and punch will be served back at Village on the Park.
“Real simple. That was Ann’s orders,” Proctor said.
She helped the bride-to-be shop for a wedding dress – all without ever leaving Village on the Park, helping Trumbly navigate the Internet for the perfect gown that was delivered to her house.
“They’ve got about 50 flower girls,” Proctor joked.
Barker swears he’s not nervous.
“Everybody has been fantastic, they really have,” Barker said. “Our children – she has a son and daughter and I have a son and daughter – and they’re all tickled to death. They could see we needed somebody.”
The couple doesn’t plan on registering anywhere, in fact, it might be the first wedding in history where guests receive all of the gifts.
The bride and groom are currently trying to downsize their respective cottages so that they may move in with each other after the wedding.
Once the nuptials are complete the two will fly down to Ft. Lauderdale to embark on a Caribbean cruise honeymoon.
But do the two have any skinny-dipping plans?
“I don’t know about that yet,” the 87-year-old Barker laughed. “Age is funny.”
Both are excited for the date to finally get here later this month.
They say planning – even a simple ceremony – doesn’t get any easier the second time around.
“Sometimes I wonder how we’re going to get through this. It’s not the marrying him (part) it’s about all the stuff you have to go through,” Trumbly said.
Trumbly has always been sort of a mother-figure for Proctor so it was Proctor who sat the couple down early just to make sure they had their bases covered.
The two had already discussed it with their respective families. A Sunday compromise was struck, with the couple attending Trumbly’s Catholic mass on Saturday nights and Barker’s Baptist church on Sundays.
Barker says he may be getting the better end of the deal, especially since Trumbly’s cottage has a washer and dryer as well as a covered carport for his Lincoln.
“There’s a lot of advantages for me, I don’t know about her,” he teased.
But the groom has shown he may be handy in the kitchen.
“I fixed her a bacon and tomato sandwich last night,” he said with pride. “Someone gave us a real nice tomato out of the garden and we stole some bread and bacon out of the kitchen and I cooked it in my room.”
It’s moments like those both were missing.
And they never expected to find them again.
“This is a marvelous place here. Everybody here is family,” Barker said.

Dawn Anita Plumlee walks the stage as newly crowned Ms. Oklahoma Senior America 2017, crowned during the annual pageant, held at Oklahoma Christian University.
Dawn Anita Plumlee walks the stage as newly crowned Ms. Oklahoma Senior America 2017, crowned during the annual pageant, held at Oklahoma Christian University.

Dawn Anita Plumlee Named 2017 Winner

story and photos by Traci Chapman

The Ms. Oklahoma Senior America Pageant isn’t just about beauty or talent, but a celebration of women who have lived a live full of love and meaning, who exemplify all that seniors can be and all they can offer – and the women who this year competed for the crown showed there are no limits for those who are willing to step beyond their daily confines.
“Life is a gift – open your heart and your mind to all life has to offer,” Dawn Anita Plumlee said.
Plumlee received another gift during the July 29 pageant, as the Velma, OK country singer and songwriter was named Ms. Oklahoma Senior America for 2017.
“I am so honored, I’m so happy and I look at my fellow contestants and that makes me feel even more special, because they are such wonderful women,” Plumlee said after the event. “They are all queens to me.”
Plumlee was one of nine contestants who competed this year for the honor, someone who is not new to the pageant – she was named first runner up in both 2012 and 2013. Flipping through the photos of past Oklahoma events, it was clear she was not alone.
“This event is something that brings out the best in everyone who takes part in it,” Plumlee said. “It’s an experience none of us ever forget and it really can be a life-changer, not only for the one who walks away with that crown – that’s the reason why so many of us stay active in the organization.”
The contestants
Ms. Oklahoma Senior America 2017 – Dawn Anita Plumlee
Dawn Anita Plumlee said she has “just always been a singer,” someone who not only draws on her country roots but also celebrates them. That was on show during Plumlee’s talent entry, her rendition of “Love Sick Blues.”
Plumlee life has always centered around music – after her family, she said. After turning down an RCA record contract when her children were small, she continued her work in the music industry on a smaller scale until they were grown; she has had three charted country records and has won several songwriting and performance awards, including Oklahoma Opry’s Female Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year. The new queen also wrote “Gift of Life,” a song aimed at promoting organ donation.
Another of Plumlee’s passions is horses, and she has won several shows, as well as embarking on a horseback journey from Oklahoma to Nashville with her husband of 59 years, Jerry.
First Runner-Up – Susannah “Sam” Koebrick
Susannah “Sam” Koebrick was the first female masonry instructor to work in the Oklahoma Career Tech System, instrumental in both designing and promoting the Oklahoma State & Education Employees’ Insurance Program.
A Bethany resident, Koebrick performs in Oklahoma Seniors’ Cabaret and El Reno Community Theater, as well as with her husband, Richard, in a variety of venues across the state.
“Keep an active mind, an active body, smile, have a sense of humor and treat everyone as you wish to be treated,” Koebrick said.
Second Runner-Up – Kathryn Gordon
Kathryn Gordon has had a varied career – as a typesetter, legal secretary, teacher, business owner and more. But, at age 62, Gordon decided to make a change, graduating from cosmetology school and now working as a hairstylist and nail technician.
Gordon, who graduated from University of Central Oklahoma and University of Oklahoma, was also a gymnast in the 1950s and 1960s as a member of the state’s only gymnastics team, Oklahoma Twisters. She won Junior Olympic Tumbling state and national honors, was a member of the 1966 Pan American Gymnastic Team and a 1968 Olympic gymnast. Gordon, who donates time helping children involved in gymnastics, showed her skills during her tap dancing talent entry, which included a cartwheel and handstand.
“Every day is an adventure,” Gordon said. “Every day I get up and put on my medals – humility, forgiveness, joy, faith and trust – and go out into the world, looking for the best in everyone I meet.”
Third Runner-Up – Carla Joy
Carla Joy is also an entertainer, something she started at age three when her parents put her onstage during a movie house intermission to sing. Performing this year at the Oklahoma Senior Follies, Joy also sings for fundraisers and at nursing homes and helped Las Vegas’ Harrah’s Casino begin a trio of karaoke shows.
Joy worked for 38 years in real estate, beauty and fashion and continues her interest in those endeavors, always trying to encourage others, she said.
“Get up, get dressed, show up and never give up,” Joy said.
Marilynn Blackmon
Marilynn Blackmom said that in a sense her life began at 60 – she went back to college, becoming certified in workforce training and development and working as an adjunct instructor at Eastfield College, located in Mesquite, Texas.
After battling low self-esteem for many years, Blackmon works to help others, teaching classes and obtaining her certification as a master coach in self-esteem elevation for adults and children. Her journey conquering self-esteem issues also led Blackmon to found her own business, “Fly Without Baggage.”
“Soaring, falling, daring to soar again anyway to soar and soar again,” she said.
Boonie Mason
Boonie Mason’s life changed in 1980 with a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis – a situation she used to help others as she became peer counselor and Co-Chairman for an Oklahoma City MS support group. In 2004, Mason was awarded MS Society’s chapter President’s Award for Volunteer of the Year. She said those with MS and other similar diseases should never give up, showing her determination by performing a tap dancing routine during the pageant’s talent portion, despite walking with a cane.
Mason attended Oklahoma State University and worked as Yukon Chamber of Commerce manager, First National Bank public relations officer and an Oklahoma City doctor’s office manager.
“Remember how short life is – and for my MS friends, I want to let them know that life is not over,” Mason said.
Barbara McMullin
Barbara McMullin is the mother of five grown children, two of them deaf. That led McMullin to move her family to Oklahoma City so the two – Pam and Jeff – could attend OU Medical Center’s John Key Speech and Hearing Center.
McMullin worked and traveled overseas for many years and enjoys volunteer work and genealogy.
“I challenge myself today and tomorrow is my reward,” she said.
Sharon Moore
Born into a family of 11 children, Sharon Moore said faith and family have remained her focus throughout her life. At 69, she retired from a 31-year career at Legal Shield, and Moore said she decided to enter the pageant to find a new lease on life after the recent death of her husband.
Moore helped raise eight children, and now has 15 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. She plays piano, sings and dances and enjoys writing poetry and journaling.
“Never stop learning – give your compassion and grace,” Moore said.
Gayle Orf
At 69, Gayle Orf took up the ukulele, a skill she exhibited during her talent performance of her own composition, “Lola La Spud.” That spirit of never slowing down helped land Orf a recent contract to do print modeling with a national agency; she teaches healthy living and entertains patients at a local cancer hospital and at senior venues.
Orf became the guardian and surrogate mother – at 60 – to a nine-year-old girl living in a children’s home after the death of her mother. Today, that daughter is a self-supporting college student.
“Life is to be enjoyed,” Orf said.
The Pageant
Ms. Senior America was founded in 1971 by Al Mott, who first started the contest in a New Jersey nursing home. At the time, a few contestants took part; the non-profit foundation now gathers hundreds of seniors annually to take part in pageants across the country, as well as the national pageant, held each October.
Before the day of the pageant, judges conduct interviews with each contestant. The event features talent and evening gown components, as well as the chance to share a 30-second “Philosophy of Life” with the audience.
“This is simply a celebration of beauty and accomplishment, as with any beauty pageant – but it’s a way to show that life is only beginning at 60,” Ms. Senior Oklahoma Foundation Administrator Ladell Maxwell said. “These ladies really do embody our philosophy of grace.”

Article by Nikki Buckelew, Buckelew Realty Group’s Mature Moves Division with Keller Williams Realty. www.okcmaturemoves.com


In generations past, there simply weren’t many options when it came to where one would live out their retirement years. In fact, there were basically three choices: 1) Stay put in your own home, 2) live with your kids, or 3) move to a nursing home when “it was time.”
The landscape has certainly changed significantly in the last decade. Not only are people living longer, but retirees have more options than ever before as it relates to housing options. So many choices it can make your head spin!
Fewer people as of late are opting to stay in a home that is too large, too costly, or losing value due to neighborhood decline. Even fewer are electing to move in with their adult children. More and more seniors are taking a proactive approach concerning their retirement lifestyle, with the trend toward community living designed to support and encourage the independent lifestyle they value.
The new normal
Included in the available stock of senior living options are upscale luxury apartments catering to the active 55 and older crowd, as well as all-inclusive resort style properties resembling a cross between 5-star hotels and country clubs. Private residences including duplexes, cottages, garden homes, and villas are also on the rise, boasting neighborhood club houses with fitness and media rooms, walking paths, organized activities and trips, and more. All this and they even take care of your yard and maintenance.
For those needing a bit slower pace and maybe even a little help from time to time, there are supportive housing communities designed to help people remain autonomous and independent by providing non-medical assistance. Key attractors to these communities include 2-3 prepared meals a day, housekeeping services, rides to the doctor and local retail and grocery stores, and 24-hour concierge access. When needed, many of these communities can provide or arrange for assistance with dressing, bathing, and medications.
Of course there are still the communities equipped to care for those with chronic medical or mental illnesses or degenerative diseases. Unlike the independent and assisted living communities mentioned above, however, these longterm care facilities are ‘chosen’ by default only after other options have been ruled out.
Comparing options can be complicated
With all these options, especially the all-inclusive ones, the challenge is figuring out which communities have what you are looking for. More importantly, what services are offered and what the fees include. Each development has varied unit sizes and meal options, as well as ever-changing, healthcare options and activity programming.
Ownership may belong to a for-profit enterprise or operated by a not-for-profit organization. Some are affiliated with churches, universities, and local municipalities and each has it’s own unique philosophy of property management.
Taking proactive steps
The key to finding the right fit is investigating the various options available well in advance – long before you are ready to make a change. By doing so, you remain in the driver’s seat when it comes to your lifestyle choices, rather than leaving it to chance (or up to your kids).
Fortunately, senior adults have a variety of free educational opportunities in the metro area to choose from when it comes to learning the ins and outs of 55+ living options. Some events are hosted by senior living communities who offer optional campus tours directly following the educational program and others are held in event centers. The goal of these organizations and associated expert speakers is to help older adults and their trusted advisors navigate the sea of information related to senior living.

Below is a list of a few upcoming events (advanced registration required):

Candid Conversations: Senior Living Options – Epworth Villa Retirement Community – August 15th at 10am RSVP: 405-752-1200
How to Pay for Senior Living – Spanish Cove Retirement Village – August 31st at 10am RSVP: 405-354-5906
The Truth About Senior Living – OptionsMAPS3 Health & Wellness Center – September 14th at 10am & 2pm RSVP: 405-563-7501
Getting Real About Real Estate after Retirement – Concordia Life Care Community – October 24th at 2:30pm RSVP: 405-437-1414

Article provided by: Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Southwestern Regional Medical Center.
Tulsa, OK


As seniors draw closer to retirement, being strong and as healthy as possible to enjoy their new “free time” becomes ever more important.
According to Dr. Sagun Shrestha, a medical oncologist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, you are never too old make a few lifestyle changes to improve your daily health and help reduce the risks of future illness, including cancer. She recommends: Lather up.
From gardening to shopping, use 30 SPF or higher sunscreens. Broad spectrum lotions protect you from the sun’s harmful UVB rays. 1
Load up on fruits & veggies.
Eating brightly colored vegetables, berries and fruits is helpful in maintaining a healthy weight and contributes to lowering your risk of some cancers by as much as 30 percent2! So fill your grocery basket with fresh fruits, seek out seasonal berries, and order a side of veggies with your next lunch or dinner.
Keep moving.
Did you know that up to one-third of cancers may be prevented by just staying fit? That doesn’t mean you have to sign up for a marathon (unless you want to), but you should get moving for at least 30 minutes a day3. Find something you enjoy, grab a friend and get moving.
Drink up.
Staying hydrated benefits every organ of your body and has also been known to help you stay more trim. According to scientific reports from the American Institute for Cancer Research/World Cancer Research Fund International, drinking coffee in moderation may help to lower the risk for two cancers, endometrial and liver4. Follow that during the day with several glasses of water and your body will thank you.
Make a date…with your health care provider.
Just as important as planning a family birthday or holiday get-together, you should make a date with your health care provider for regular check-ups. Routine medical exams increase your chances for early detection of cancer or other health problems and provide a good time for updated information on prevention steps and screenings.
Ready, set, go!
Dr. Shrestha encourages her patients to take “baby steps” when implementing a new, healthy change. “Set a reasonable goal and stick to it,” she adds. “And, if it’s too much of a challenge, revise your plan with a smaller step. The most important thing is to at least start making healthier options.”
To learn more about cancer prevention, visit cancercent.com/tulsa.

Anita Kelley, community relations director; Larry Griffin, and Alun Skitt, executive director of Stone Creek Assisted Living and Memory Care, enjoy the new facility.

The new Stone Creek Assisted Living and Memory Care land was once a farm.


Almost every footstep brings a memory for Larry Griffin, who was raised on the bygone Griffin Farm. He had chores before and after school.
Griffin is pleased that Stone Creek Assisted Living and Memory Care is now on the southwest corner of NW 178th Street and Western in Oklahoma City because the old farm site continues the compassionate legacy of his family.
Stone Creek Assisted Living and Memory Care opened in late June. The grand opening is set for August 10th from 5-7 p.m. at the complex nearby Edmond.
“We’d love for folks to stop in and see us then, enjoy some entertainment and free food and a chance to look around,” Kelley said.
As an assisted living and licensed community, they are able to help people with bathing, dressing, activities of daily living and medications, said Anita Kelley, community relations director. The complex has 56 rooms in assisted living and 36 in memory care.
The 183-acre Griffin Farm was built in 1905 and was later owned by Griffin’s parents, Melvin and Anna Mae Griffin. Larry still lives nearby the Stone Creek Assisted Living and Memory Care where he is a frequent visitor. The original white two-story farm house was removed in 1958, Griffin said.
“We tore down that house and it had square nails in it,” Griffin said.
His parents bought the farm in the late 1920s and Larry, two sisters and his parents lived in the house until 1958.
“My dad taught me responsibility. He taught me a work ethic,” Griffin said.
If he did something wrong, his dad would ask him what he learned from his mistake.
Two productive oil wells were constructed on the property in 1958 and the family built another house.
“But my dad was such a giver he used money to help people,” Griffin continued. “He helped his two brothers through college and helped his mom and his sister. He used all that money he got every month to help people out.”
“In fact when he died, people came to me and told me — some of them were crying with tears and said, ‘Your dad helped us out when we were in trouble,’” Griffin said.
A few years following 1958 Griffin brought his dad a royalty check, but Melvin tore it up and said, “No. God gave me those wells. I didn’t have to work for them. You keep that money and keep going,” Griffin recalled.
“He was a giver,” Griffin said.
Fifty acres of the farm was wheat. Griffin helped plow the fields, helping his dad. The land under the footprint of Stone Creek Assisted Living and Memory Care was once one of two pastures.
“We had dairy cattle, beef cattle; we had a couple of horses, and I had 35 head of sheep,” Griffin said.
Before July 4 would come, he would help his dad fill buckets of water to place in the back of the family pick-up. Always at the corner people would shoot rockets and fireworks.
“They’d set the grass on fire,” Griffin said. “So we’d have to go down there and beat it up. And if it got out of hand we’d have to call the fire department.”
His dad always plowed back for or five feet to ward off grass fires at one side of the pasture.
Stone Creek Assisted Living and Memory Care now has neighborhoods nearby where Griffin would run around as a boy.
“I got to talking to my dad for a month and a half before he died. He had cancer and was 90,” Griffin said. “He gave my sister and I this farm. I tried to get him to sell it years ago and move to Edmond. He wouldn’t do it. He said, ‘I’m going to die here on this farm.’”
Griffin told his dad they would do something nice with the farm. Twenty acres at the corner was already zoned for commercial use. His dad always prepared for the future. His dad gave three acres to Trinity Christian Church to build the church on Edmond Road before he died in 2004. Griffin’s mom died 11 months later.
Larry Griffin is retired now. After leaving the farm he attended the University of Oklahoma for two years, but was drafted to join the war effort in Vietnam. He was gone for a year and returned to work on the farm. And he continued his education at then-Central State College (UCO) and earned a marketing degree. He worked at a medical company for three years before he was hired to be a hospital manager. Soon Griffin became a regional hospital manager over five states for 29 years before he retired in 2008.
His wife Sharla passed away ten years ago, but he still has three adult children. His daughter is 30 and his two sons are 40 and 43.
Today, he says the Stone Creek Assisted Living and Memory Care is a beautiful place.
“Like I said, My sister and I were going to have nice things along here along these 20 acres,” he said. “This will be very nice.”

Darlene Franklin is both a resident of a nursing home in Moore, and a full-time writer.

By Darlene Franklin

Fifty books in with her latest novel, “Mermaid’s Song,” historical author Darlene Franklin is still going strong and looking forward to another fifty titles.
“I love finding a historical tidbit and teasing it into a story,” Franklin said. “I love growing a story from a character, an idea, a setting, an event. There is never enough time to tell them all.”
Franklin recently celebrated her Jubilee title, “Mermaid’s Song,” with 500 supporters joining her in an online Facebook gathering July 10.
The well-received story is an imaginative retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, set on the shores of historic Maine with a shipwrecked Acadian beauty and her rescuer.
Franklin’s storytelling career took off in 2005 with “Romanian Rhapsody.” Her first historical novella, “Dressed in Scarlet,” finaled for the 2008 American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award as part of the Barbour novella collection, “Snowbound Colorado.”
“That gave me the courage to continue, and the market was wide open,” she said.
While relishing the afterglow of celebration, Franklin is committed to five additional novellas over the next year and will be contributing devotions to an upcoming nonfiction collection.
“At the moment, I’m writing this year’s Christmas romance, ‘The Christmas Child,’ to be released by Forget Me Not Romances this September,” Franklin said. “Apart from that, the door is wide open. I’m looking at writing a single-author devotional book, and maybe contemporary romance or a cozy mystery.”
When not writing best-selling fiction, Franklin pens a column for Book Fun Magazine, “The View Through My Door,” her unique perspective on life from a nursing home. Franklin’s titles are available at online retailers as e-books and in print. Her complete list of fifty, as well as dozens of collections to which she contributed, can be found at https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Franklin/e/B001K8993A.

Photography and Text by Terry “Travels with Terry” Zinn t4z@aol.com

Having recently returned from a trip of a lifetime, in 1980 touring of ancient Egypt icons, I found exotic culture back home in Colony, Oklahoma at the annual Cheyenne and Arapaho Labor Day Powwow.
As I reported in 1981, “Faces of men painted red and yellow, and brown bodies clad in numerous combinations of colors, feathers, and animal skins rhythmically dance out of the dark and into a dimly lit clearing beneath a giant canopy of cottonwoods.”
“Ladies in pure white buckskin proudly keeping in step as their shawls and fringe swing hypnotically in the moon light. Very young braves of 7 or 8 years, dressed in colorful fancy dance dress feathers join in the ways of their elders.”
As a result, I humbly photographically documented the weekend, and returned two more Labor Day weekends to try and capture the thrill and unique authentic Cheyenne Arapaho offering. While most of the dances are held at night, and with the movement of the dancers I could not use dim available light but had to use flash for my black and white negative exposures. The challenge was not to invade or disturbed the reverential dance with the bright flash in the darkness of night, but it was the only way to get an acceptable photograph. I guess I accomplished my goal as I was not admonished for my flash.
This Labor Day Colony’s Native American powwow homecoming continues as it has each year since the end of World War II with added interests. This year the Colony Gallery of the Plains Indian will host two photographic exhibitions of Native Americans proud of their heritage. The Gallery has always encouraged Native American art and artists. The Gallery is reborn with the showing of The Last Powwow ~ the result of my three-year visits ~ and Red Earth Spirit, ~ formal double exposure color photographs made during the Oklahoma City Red Earth Festival. While many of these images have been in exhibitions during the 1980s this is the first time since then that some are on public view. Some have never been seen before as the complete portfolios are too large to mount in one exhibition.
After seeing The Last Powwow exhibition at the Center of the American Indian back in 1983, the then Director of Photography, L.L. Smith, at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center, endorsed the exhibit when he wrote, “I was most impressed with the quality of your work and the dignity of your subjects. Your devotion over the years to this event is quite evident in your work. As a cultural document, I believe certain prints will stand the test of time.”
The renovated petite Gallery of the Plains Indian and the historic town of Colony is a treat to those travelers willing to turn off Interstate 40 at Weatherford and head south.
Justice Yvonne Kauger, a native of Colony, had long wanted a small gallery in Colony to exhibit Indian art and in particular Cheyenne Arapaho artists which would coincide with the annual powwow. The gallery building on the main street was built by her Grandfather, Fred Kauger in 1923 and served as post office until 1960 when it was used for storage..
Through the efforts of Yvonne’s parents, John and Alice Kauger, and family and friends, the old stucco structure was remodeled into a functional art gallery. The gallery had its first showing in 1981. Both exhibits this year are dedicated to Yvonne, John and Alice Kauger and all who help preserve and promote Indian heritage.
“I grew up to the sound of the powwows as a little girl,” Yvonne Kauger explains, “My father was raised by Cheyenne nannies and had a very deep respect for the Cheyenne which he passed on. In fact, until the sixth grade I thought I was Indian.”
In 1984, the Cheyenne-Arapaho adopted Yvonne Kauger as a member of the Standing Bird Clan.
Since the late 1880’s this area has been the tribal land of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Indians. Just west of Cobb Creek, teepees were first erected in a hardy grove and became home and gathering place for the Cheyenne-Arapaho powwow.
Colony’s Mayor Lonnie Yearwood is an active member of the community and an integral part in the rebirth of Colony with restoration projects. One project is the corner building in Colony which is destined to become a museum, and another is the Church Parsonage, a two-story stone structure from 1897.
Mayor Yearwood’s great grandfather John Seger, brought the Cheyenne-Arapahos to Colony to establish an Indian school.
“My great grandfather wanted a post office in Colony in 1896,” says the Mayor, “But there already was a post office west of here, and it was called Seger. If that was not already established the town might have been called Seger instead of Colony, as it was known as John Seger’s Colony.”
The Mayor continues, “Colony has more history than any other town in the county, as Colony started before there was an official county.”
Colony is in a renaissance with not only the Mayors projects but some homes are also being restored, upgraded and preserved. Someday the restoration projects may be on a town tour. The Mayor may be reached by email for more information on the town and the gallery accessibly during the Labor Day Weekend powwow.
Mayor Lonnie Yearwood: yrwd19@gmail.com
Since the authentic powwow activities, dance and singing, continues deep into the night, a planned overnight stay in Weatherford, Oklahoma is recommended.
I plan to be in attendance, not only at the gallery but at the powwow grounds. For a gallery appointment time email me before August 29. I continue my enthusiasm as I reported in my 1981 article, “Had I secretly crept upon this trial meeting on the great western plains of Oklahoma some hundred years ago, I could not have been more excited!”

Mr. Terry Zinn – Travel Editor
Past President: International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association
www.new.seniornewsandliving.com www.martinitravels.com

Teri Round, MS, BSN, RN, NE-BC, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing executive director of Clinical Operations Case Management

story and photo by Traci Chapman

As healthcare becomes more complex and treatment more expensive, patients of all ages and conditions have found themselves in a no man’s land where they find more questions than answers.
That’s where care management can lift the mists obscuring the answers those patients – and their families – are searching for, helping them improve their health, while avoiding at least some of the stressors that come with high medical bills and navigating the healthcare system.
What is care management?
Case managers are tasked with helping patients, caregivers and families find the most effective way to manage health conditions, while also focusing on potential medical cost savings. Several studies found in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, overseen by the National Institutes of Health, concluded care management can improve patients’ quality of care in the long-term, as well as positively impacting the cost of that care.
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing’s Care Management program has been providing community-based healthcare management services since 1995.
Seniors and Disabled Patients
OU’s Nursing Care Management program provides care management services to patients of all ages, conditions and income levels. For Karissa Maddox, RN, BSN, CMC, many of the people she’s spent the last 15 years of her career treating and guiding through the healthcare maze are seniors, elderly and disabled individuals who are deemed ADvantage-eligible by Oklahoma Department of Human Services. Maddox is also the program’s private care management services supervisor.
Oftentimes, multiple doctors treat patients, who also might be facing a myriad of conditions. That’s where a case manager comes in, serving as a central information hub and helping to coordinate care, Maddox said.
“It just relieves the stress and helps the family try to live a normal life, especially if loved ones live at a distance,” she said. “We are often the ‘professional advocate’ helping manage care – while communicating with family members and providers, in addition to coordinating all health care needs.”
OU Nursing case managers first provide an assessment, allowing them a comprehensive look not only into a patient’s medical issues, but also other challenges facing that patient – and their family. As hospital stays get shorter, Maddox said these assessments are crucial, providing the proper care plan and a bridge to medical providers, while also allowing patients to save money.
“You see the education you provide, the stability you provide – and being an advocate for them is huge,” she said. “Sometimes people don’t have anybody else to speak for them.”
OU Nursing Care Management has four office locations in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Lawton and Elk City, providing services across Oklahoma to patients and their families.
Maternity Coaching and Education
OU Nursing recently unveiled new services geared specifically for pregnant women and new or expectant parents. This service provides supportive coaching and education to clients to help with the life transitions that come with the addition of a new baby, their communications with health care providers — also helping them to determine the best resources for their individual needs.
“The focus is on the client and personalized according to what is most important to her,” said Margaret Back, RN RLC, ANLC, maternity coach and consultant. “The tailored plans and education materials prepare the client to anticipate changes and to minimize the stress of transitioning through the stages of pregnancy and the ‘4th Trimester’ of life with a new baby.”
Services also benefit anyone feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about maternity health-related issues, Back said. “New or single parents working through the transition back to work and adoptive parents or grandparents caring for their grandchildren can also find support, guidance and assistance,” she said.
While services offered by Maternity Coaching and Education are not a substitute for a doctor, midwife, lactation consultant, childbirth educator, therapist or doula, those will be accessible to participants, Back said. It offers Bump to Baby & Beyond Bundles, as well as a la carte options, all designed for flexibility and to address the changing needs of individuals and families, both during pregnancy and after childbirth.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to share the knowledge and experience I have acquired during the past 30 years as a nurse,” said Back. “I truly enjoy helping expectant mothers and new parents navigate through the exciting but sometimes overwhelming transition to parenthood and newborn care.”
Teri Round, MS, BSN, RN, NE-BC, executive director of clinical operations, cited OU Nursing’s multi-faceted approach to care management, which allows patients to move through every chapter of their life – and healthcare – with support and guidance.
“We have been in the business of providing care coordination for more than 20 years – Our case managers are experienced professionals who are able to care for others across their lifespan, but who specialize in the care of seniors and helping them age in place,” Round said. “We have developed other business lines, which work to support care transitions using CTI, an evidence-based model that helps individuals control their chronic conditions at home versus hospitalization or ER; with OU Physicians in the Bedlam L Clinic, in a team effort to improve quality of life in those with little or no insurance and chronic conditions; private care management performing all of the above; and maternal-child health, our newest addition to our group of services.”
For more information or a professional consultation for private care management, contact Lisa Macias at 866-416-4980 or via email at lisa-macias@ouhsc.edu.

Grant County resident Francie Tolle has served as Agricultural Liaison to Congressman Brad Carson, Director of Agritoursim, Legislative Policy Analyst for the Oklahoma Farmers Union/American Farmers and Ranchers, State Director of Farm Service Agency and is now currently the Regional Director of the Risk Management Agency serving Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas.

Whether it’s climbing into a combine to harvest the wheat or walking into a congressional meeting to discuss farm policy, Francie Kucera Tolle remains focused on one goal—“It’s the legacy of it.”
Rather than a legacy of how Tolle will be remembered, this is one centered on how others will value and appreciate agriculture as a result of her family’s stewardship.
Having been born on a family farm and now farming with her husband Chuck, Tolle knows the importance of agriculture. She has been a resident in Grant County her entire life and laughed as she reminisced growing up on a farm with her three sisters.
“My dad brought a bottle calf home one time and we thought it was the greatest thing ever and asked for a few more. The next day we had 30 bottle calves and would be mauled when we got to barn,” said Tolle. “A year later we wanted some feeder pigs and my dad brought home a whole truck load. Next, we thought we would like some sheep and our dad said, ‘Really?’ We changed our minds pretty quick.”
Tolle spoke about the daily life lessons that were learned among the cattle and in the wheat fields. The greatest of these was work ethic and faith.
“You have to have faith because there is no telling what the weather will be,’’ said Tolle. “You use your work ethic and do everything you can but in the end you have to have faith.”
Growing up, Tolle did everything the hired hands did on the farm, saying it was expected of her and her sisters. She started driving the combine when she was 12 and basically lived in the barn with the stocker cattle during the winter. She went on to college with no plans on returning home. But as fate would have it she started dating a local farm boy and married him in 1990.
“I didn’t really have plans on marrying a farmer,” laughed Tolle. “I was a business major and liked marketing. But then I started dating Chuck and I came back to agriculture pretty quick.”
They moved and started their own operation in 1992 in Grant County with a quarter of land, mainly growing wheat and running a cow-calf and stocker cattle operation. Their little operation began to grow as Tolle had two boys, Clint and Cole.
Tolle laughed and said her boys never wanted to drive the combine growing up because that was her thing. Now her boys are growing up and making their own legacy. Clint is married and will graduate college soon, with plans on returning to the farm. Cole just graduated high school and is beginning embark on his college journey studying construction management.
In addition to raising two boys and operating a farm, Tolle also works tirelessly to carry on the legacy of her dad, who taught her the importance of agriculture through policy.
“I got my love for policy from him,” said Tolle. “He never went to college but he was the smartest man I ever knew.”
It was not uncommon for Tolle and her father to be talking about world trade, farm policy and commodity markets. This sparked her interest and she began her work in farm policy in 2003 as Director of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association.
From here, many doors began to open for Tolle as she served as Agricultural Liaison to Congressman Brad Carson, Director of Agritoursim, Legislative Policy Analyst for the Oklahoma Farmers Union/American Farmers and Ranchers, State Director of Farm Service Agency and is now currently the Regional Director of the Risk Management Agency serving Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas.
When asked about her most rewarding experience, there was no hesitation as she recalled the implementation of the Livestock Forage Program, which resulted in paying over a billion dollars to farmers and ranchers in Oklahoma affected by the three year drought.
“I saw people literally cry because they were saved… I will never forget. That was pretty impactful,” said Tolle.
Although she stays busy with policy and farming, she never forgets why she does it. Tolle is proud to say that she is only the second generation born in the United States.
“It’s the legacy of it. My grandparents came here for this reason. Here I am fulfilling the dream they had. I don’t want it to die,” said Tolle.
Again, even though Tolle has left a legacy in what she does, this was not her goal in an individual sense. Instead, she hopes that through her work, people will know and understand the complexity of farming and in agriculture in general.
“It’s not easy,” said Tolle. “Yes it is rewarding but it is the hardest job you will ever do. If you don’t love it, you won’t do it. There is not another job where you work as hard as you do with farming.”
Tolle is also quick to give credit to her husband for all of her success saying he is extremely supportive of everything she has done. Even with all of her accomplishments, her greatest one is building a legacy with her husband to make sure that others will value and appreciate agriculture as a result of their stewardship.
“My goal is to leave a legacy,” she said.

A special day long seminar will help persons losing their sight or blind and their families and friends. The Heartland Council of the Blind will present the Coping with Vision Loss Seminar on Saturday, August 19, 2017 in Oklahoma City.
Vice President of the Heartland Council of the Blind is Sandi Webster of Oklahoma City who lost her vision in 2002. Sandi said the seminar will provide essential tools and encouragement for persons losing their vision and their families and friends. “These people go through the stages of grief, but there is help,” Sandi said.
A previous seminar participant says she used the provided helps right away. “It was like attending a one stop shop. We met Vision, Mobility and Technology Specialists and were introduced to Support Systems. Break-out sessions are: Advocacy, Training for Family/Friends, Just for Men, Just for Women, Technology, Deaf/Blind Information and Visual Services Information. Cost of $20 for the seminar includes lunch, a Resources Notebook and a CD. Registration forms are available at www.hcbokc.org. Or register by calling Heartland Council of the Blind President Frances Poindexter at 405-642-1068. Registration must be received by Wednesday, August 16th. The seminar will be at the New Hope United Methodist Church at 11600 N. Council Rd., OKC, from 9 AM to 4 PM. Check-in begins at 8:30 AM.