Addie Roanhorse speaks about the importance of family, her connection to Osage murders, her art and work for the Osage Nation

By: Roseanne McKee

Republished with permission of the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise

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Addie Roanhorse at Bartlesville Art Association’s ArtNight, February 2019.

Artist Addie Roanhorse spoke for the first ArtNight of 2019 in February at the Bartlesville Art Association’s design center.

Roanhorse, who works for the Osage Nation as a graphic designer and photographer, gave a slide presentation highlighting the breadth of her work in graphic design, painting, photography and mixed media.

She covered too much ground to be written in one article, so in the E-E, the articles were split into several columns. Here, three are combined into one. However, there will be one more to be published next week.

Roanhorse began with the importance of family.

“My family is obviously number one for me. My family is why I’m an artist. The Killers of the Flower Moon book — I have a relation in the book,” said Roanhorse.

Slides provided examples of her work in progress and completed pieces.

“Family is the most important thing as an Osage. We’re always taught that our elders and our children are the most coveted thing. They’re precious and we can learn from both. So, of course I would start out with my family.

“My mom, her name was Gina Gray. She went to the Institute of the American Indian Arts, and she also went to CalArts,” she said.

Roanhorse grew up mainly in Santa Fe but traveled back to Pawhuska to see grandparents.

She moved back to Oklahoma to finish her degree at Rogers State University in Claremore. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer, Roanhorse moved in with her to care for her. Gina Gray died three months later.

“I believe everything happens for a reason. … I would never in a million years think oh, I live in Pawhuska, but here I am living in my mom’s house.

“It was kind of therapeutic in a way because I got to work on the last projects in college. It was bittersweet. …”

Upon graduating she went to the Osage Chief and pointed out that the tribe had no artistic position — no graphic artist. Chief Standing Bear agreed that there was a need.

“He said, ‘when do you graduate?’ I said, ‘on Saturday.’ He said, ok, be here Monday and I started work on Tuesday. They literally created the position for me, and I’ve been there ever since,” she said with a smile.

She showed slides of her mother’s art. “She did watercolors,” Roanhorse said. “She did a lot of warriors. … Now I actually do a lot of strong women. … She always represented parts of our culture — different bands and clans and just kind of brought our people into our artwork. That’s a huge indicator of my artwork too. It’s who I am. If I were a writer, I’d be writing about the Osage people and our culture.”

She described her daughter, Anya, age 11, as the Tiny Indian. “That’s her nickname.”

She showed her work at the SantaFe art market. She got a ribbon and sold out and this was at age 10. Anya has also taken up photography.

“The local newspaper pays her $40 per print so any big event she’s always out there being the on the beat person.”

“This is [Anya’s] latest venture. She’s doing embroidery on canvas. She put a little bit of black paint on the canvas and said, ‘it’s mixed media.’ So, she’s learning, but I’m super proud of her.

“My brother Danté, he’s an artist as well. He’s an oil painter. It’s almost like if you took my mom’s artwork and split it in two. I took one side, and my brother took the other. His artwork is very — it’s dreams.

“He’s a combat vet from Afghanistan, and we’ve had him home now for four years so it’s really nice that he’s started to paint again. I believe Pendleton Blanket has picked up this piece. …”

Her grandfather, who passed away when she was about 10, was a full-blood Osage.

“Everything I remember about him is just so vivid. Everything he taught us about Pawhuska, our culture and being a small business owner. He was a really great guy.”

She showed a photo of him in regalia during the In Lon Shka dances held each June in Pawhuska.

Her grandmother was mostly Osage but a little bit French, she said.

“Her mother was Grace Roan and Grace’s father was Henry Roan. … that’s the connection to Henry.”

He was one of the Osages written about in the book “Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Grann.

“We went to the book signing of David Grann in Pawhuska … he looked up at me and said ‘…I just want you know there are going to be things in this book you probably have never heard’ and he was absolutely right. It took me several months just to get through the first section of it. I’m glad the story is finally out there.

She saw a friend in who had read the book and said, “I’m sorry. … Being just in Bartlesville, this close, and nobody’s ever talked about this. No one knew about this. …”

Recently, while acting as the Osage Museum’s acting director, museum she received questions about her great-great grandfather.

“It’s uncomfortable sometimes … because people want to know uncomfortable things about what happened. … I want to educate them, but it’s gone a little too far sometimes with the questioning. I just try to be polite, and do the best I can.”

She shifted topics to her paintings.

Roanhorse has integrated oil lease maps into her art.

She showed a painting of an Osage woman and said, “There’s nothing more of an indicator that connects Osage people to their land then oil. I’m also a seamstress so I decided to cut the maps up … I’m making a shirt out of it.”

The forehead of the woman’s face was red. Roanhorse used red tissue paper to create this effect. She used molding paste and acrylic paint applied in beads from a cake-decorating bag to give the art more dimension.

Roanhorse showed a slide of another piece that she said was reminiscent of screen printing.

She showed another portrait of a woman with Prismacolor on canvas with ledger paper from 1897 utilized for clothing.

“It’s pretty delicate but when I get it down, it’s nice.”

She showed another portrait containing actual Pawhuska phone book strips.

She explained, “in Pawhuska the first three digits are always 287. Growing up visiting Pawhuska, I just thought it was the funniest thing when somebody gave their phone number — they’d just give the last four digits.”

She showed a painting of her grandfather, which included Osage orthography.

“I created stencils and spray paint to kind of give it a different effect. And then that’s an actual photograph. …”

On the next slide, she showed a painting of her grandmother, which she described as “more calm” than the one of her grandfather. At the bottom of the painting were red hand prints in a row.

“Those are my daughter’s handprints from when she was five. “The red hand represents friendship on our blankets that we make,” she said.

She showed a painting of her great-great grandfather, Henry Roan.

“Now that you get access to everything on the internet, I stumbled upon the FBI files. You can literally pore through documents and so I started printing off documents … there are actual pieces of the story. Western Union communication back and forth with Hoover. So, I thought that was an interesting way to present it, and you have to get up close to it to see it — to read it.”

For another of her paintings she went to her elders committee to ask for permission to depict tattoos.

“My biggest fear is that someone will see it and be like, ‘oh yeah, I’m going to go get tattoos,’ but these are warrior tattoos. I got the clearance from them. … It’s another opportunity for me to talk about my people and get firsthand information. … With the internet people just assume they know what they want to know about us but if you open a dialogue with people that ask questions about it — I think that’s the best way you can.”

In another painting she uses stippling to create the look of a lazy stitch used in Osage beadwork.

“I just liked the effect … when we were in Santa Fe there were people who thought it was real and they came up and tried to touch it — like real beadwork.”

Regarding her graphic design, she said she does a lot of logos.

“There’s a lot that I have access to so I started to incorporate the photography in and again this is a flyer but if you look closely it’s actually the back of a girl’s shirt. There’s the stitching. It’s a ribbon that goes down and there’s the button that holds the ribbon together. So, it’s just kind of always trying to weave my culture into it.

She said that when Osages see it they recognize what is being depicted.
“It makes me feel good.”

For the Osage Attorney General’s logo she incorporated the scales of justice into the Osage orthography.

For the Oil and Gas Summit she included Osage ribbonwork.

“I get access to moments that most people don’t get to see. When the Killers of the Flower Moon production company came they were cedaring off everybody. She photographed a moment when Chief Standing Bear was being cedared off.

Another photo she had taken was of an eldest son, phonetically “ee-low-mpa” in the Osage language, going to the arbor to dance at In Lon shka for the first time.

“He had a little skip in his walk, and he was proud.”

One day she accompanied the Wildland Fire Department as they fought spring wildfires in the Osage.

She was in a fire truck between Hominy and Skiatook.

“There were fires all around, and it was quite the scene. It was exciting. This was kind of the aftermath.” Fire Chief Ross Walker was in the photo and through the landscape and smoke there was an oil rig in the background.”

Finally, she showed a photo from behind of Chief Standing Bear with his grandson talking to him about getting ready to enter the arbor and be roached, a ceremony in which an eagle feather is placed on the headdress. His uncle Joe Don Brave’s hands are shown assisting with the placement of the headdress.
Another photo she showed was of the first time they brought in the bison on Bluestem Ranch, which is owned by the Osage Nation, and prayed over them, she said.

“The sun was setting and the natural light worked with it.”

“This was at our dance as well. This is one of our elders about to lead all the men into the arbor into our dances — every June.”

Another photo was of the drum being brought to the arbor.

“Each district had their own drum and so it’s very poignant moment to see all the men coming with the drum.”

Crystal Bridges is building a new performing and visual arts complex. Closer to the town square is an old Kraft cheese plant. They’re keeping the structure … but they are completely gutting it.

The director contacted her.

“I was asked if I could design a pattern to be etched on glass that would go on the façade of this building. … I’m honored to do it,” Roanhorse said.

She went to Bentonville, Ark., and the director said, “I just want to honor the people who were here pre-colonial. … It felt really good that they wanted to honor Osage people. That was our hunting territory way before any of this.”
She named the design “sway” explaining her intention that the design would suggest movement and be based on the finger-woven belt worn in Osage women’s regalia.

The belt that is fixed at the waist of Osage women’s regalia, and flows down the back.

“Women wear it, and when you dance, it starts swaying. And when I was a little girl, I used to think that was the coolest thing. I’d be with my aunties, and we’d be dancing … it’s just this moment and this feeling that, again, only Osages would truly understand.

She simplified the design in the belt and created the suggestion of movement in the design.

“The entryway of the design will actually go up and over in a very large scale. Then there’s the façade on this side and it goes up five stories. So, it will have the design, really tiny, going all the way up. … At night they’ll shoot movies on it.

“It’s way bigger than I could ever … and when I went and saw it, it was amazing what they’ve done. I got to work with architects in Chicago. … It’s just been a great experience. … They plan on opening February 2020.

Barbie Turns 60: Fun Facts and Memories

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Sunflower Barbie in her Country Living Home

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Barbie in business attire in her Country Living Home living room

By: Roseanne McKee

Republished with permission of the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise

My favorite childhood toy, Barbie, turns 60 on March 9. To celebrate this milestone, I wanted to share some of my memories and some fun Barbie facts.

The first Barbie I received, at the age of four, was a hand-me-down Barbie with the eyelashes that were part of the mold. She always looked angry to me and her hair was curly and matted from years of use. I did not bond with her.
My second Barbie was much better in my opinion. She was Malibu Barbie. She was tan and had painted on eyelashes, bright blue eyes and she arrived in a one-piece light blue bathing suit with a yellow terrycloth towel. I have a vague memory that she also had round tinted sunglasses, which were soon lost. Malibu Barbie was my first, and forever favorite, Barbie. She was a reflection of what I wanted to be.

Soon I began accumulating other Barbie dolls and accessories. One that I recall being a favorite was Barbie Sweet 16, which came with a compact filled with real blush in tawny and rose colors, a brush, a comb, barrette and stickers. I also received Mod hair Ken, who had real black hair instead of molded hair and several stick-on mustaches and sideburns. So fun!

Life got even more exciting when my Uncle Bill departed from his usual robot Christmas gifts and gave my sister and me each our own Barbie campers when I was in 3rd grade. The just-out-of-the-box new plastic smell represented the scent of happy times ahead.

Opening that camper is still one of my best-ever memories. The orange camper had a fold out tent on one side, a folding camp-style chair and stickers to put on the camper.

My sister and I also got the Barbie Airship to share. When we found it recently going through my mother’s possessions, she claimed it, and I let her.

However, I proudly brought home the Barbie Country Living Home. The campers were nowhere to be found, I am sad to report.

When I was in 4th grade, a friend was moving to California and her mom put her Barbie Surprise House in their moving sale. Mom wouldn’t buy it for me but in the end the mother gave it to me. I was over the moon!

It was my first Barbie house, but I don’t recall much about it except that it had two rooms on the first floor and one on the second.

The next home I acquired was The Country  Living Home (or Country Livin’ Home) consisting of three rooms, which folded up and had a handle for easy carrying. This house had furniture for a living room, eat-in kitchen and living room.

During my childhood, I also acquired the Barbie Townhouse, which had three floors and an elevator, a Barbie pool and a Barbie bicycle.

Now, here are some fun Barbie factoids I found.

Barbie’s official birthday represents her public debut at the 1959 American International Toy Fair in New York.

However, many may not know that Barbie was based on a racy, grownup German doll, marketed to adults.

According to the website http://mentalfloss.com/article/21036/facts-about-barbie-doll, the concept for an adult doll came from Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler. While in Europe with her children, Handler came across the German Bild Lilli doll, a high-class call girl who began her life as a comic strip and was sold in smoke shops and adult toy stores.

Handler had pitched the idea of an adult doll to her Mattel exec husband before and although her husband had initially rejected at the idea, seeing the Lilli dolls changed his mind.

Bild Lilli’s manufacturer sued Mattel for patent infringement, and the case was eventually dismissed. Thereafter, Mattel officially bought the rights to the doll for $21,600.

The first Barbie retailed for $3. Today, the same Barbie, in mint condition, is worth $27,450, according to the mentalfloss website. The website also states that Barbie was created by an engineer who had previously worked for the Pentagon.

The engineer, Jack Ryan, is the so-called “Father of Barbie”—also helped design the Chatty Cathy doll, which my husband got as a Christmas gift — not his favorite but he adapted by making Chatty Cathy go fast in his fleet of toy trucks.

Here are some Barbie facts from the website the historyofdolls.com.

• One Barbie is sold somewhere in the world every three seconds.
• Barbie has three sisters Skipper, Stacie and Chelsea.
• The first clothing that Barbie had when she appeared on the market was a black-and-white striped swimsuit.
• Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, and both Barbie and Ken were named after the son and the daughter of Ruth Handler — Barbara and Kenneth.
• Barbie’s parents are apparently George and Margaret Roberts from Willows, Wis. Other family members include her siblings: Skipper, Tutti, Todd, Stacie, Kelly, and Krissy. Tutti and Todd are twins — but so are Todd and Stacie, apparently (at least according to Todd’s box). She also has cousins named Francie and Jazzie.
• Only adding to that whole twin sibling mystery: Tutti mysteriously disappeared in 1971, so we can only assume that Stacie (introduced in 1992) is Tutti reincarnated.
• Mattel, manufacturer of Barbie, sued MCA Records, for whom band “Aqua” recorded song “Barbie Girl” because they allegedly violated the Barbie trademark. Mattel lost.
Over the years, there have been some Barbie missteps. Here are two.
• In 1963, Barbie came with an accessory book titled “How to Lose Weight” on the back of which was printed “Don’t eat.” In 1965, same book came together with accessory scales which were permanently set to 110 pounds.
• A doll that arrived on the scene in 1975, when I was 10, was Growing Up Skipper. Skipper, Barbie’s kid sister, had been introduced in 1964 by Mattel. This Skipper grew taller and sprouted breasts with the twist of her arm. Yikes!

When I was a child, Barbie’s focus was personal style and fashion and while it is true that her first career was as a teen model, in years since Barbie has pursued many loftier careers for which I am proud.

Here are a few of them — flight attendant, ballerina, tennis pro, executive, candy striper, astronaut, surgeon, Miss America, gold medal gymnast, actress, aerobics instructor, reporter, a rock star, a UNICEF ambassador, an army officer, a journalist, chef, police officer, baseball player, U.S. Air Force Thunderbird Squadron Leader, a paleontologist, a NASCAR driver, a pilot, a sign language teacher, a presidential candidate, an American Idol winner, a zoologist, a Space Camp instructor, teacher and Canadian Mountie. This list is by no means exhaustive. Barbie has had more than 100 careers so far.

 

American Indian Style Show – Part III

By Roseanne McKee
Republished with permission of the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise

This is part three of a column a style show presented by Osage elder Margaret Bird to Tulsa tourists at the Community Center in Pawhuska on Oct. 26.

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Samantha Good Eagle in a jingle dress with buckskin leggings.


Samantha Good Eagle wore a jingle dress, which is heavy because of the metal jingles. She also had buckskin leggings on. Bird shared that as told to her by a northern tribe the jingle dress originated from a dream by an elder father following prayer due to the sickness of his daughter. The elder who had the dream instructed that the dress be made. The girl wore the dress, got better and started dancing, she said. The jingles on this dress were made from snuff cans that had been rolled, Bird said. Several tribes wear this dress, but this one is for the Menominee tribe, she said.

“In the jingle dress they don’t carry a shawl when they’re dancing. They usually have a plume in their hair and a fan,” she said.

Jacquelene Kemohah, who is Osage and Creek, wore a Navajo velvet shirt with silver sewn into it and a necklace of turquoise before it turns blue. She carried a wool shawl. The velvet worn is not like velvet as we know it, Bird said.

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Jacquelene Kemohah, who is Osage and Creek, wore a Navajo velvet shirt with silver sewn into it and a necklace of turquoise before it turns blue. She carried a wool shawl.

“It is fine velvet, and they will take this shirt with all this silver on it, and they will wash it in a pan. They’ll hang it up and they’ll put it on. … They’ll have a big concho belt that they’ll wear with it. There is a binding on the inside of the hem of the velvet skirt, which they call their slip,” Bird explained. Kemohah also wore a necklace of turquoise before it turns blue, and she carried a wool southwest shawl, Bird said.

Kimberly Brave wore “an old-time, on-contact Cherokee dress. When they saw the Cherokee Indians on first contact, this is the kind they wore. … She’s got a necklace with a spider — the Cherokee know about that. … She’s carrying a fan out of turkey, and it’s a quill work on birch bark fan. … She’s wearing a wrap-around moccasin … and this is the purse they would carry,” Bird said referring to the turtle shell purse Brave carried.

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Kimberly Brave in an on-contact era Cherokee dress.

“We don’t go out and kill things to make things, we find them already dead. There were bells, so they had contact with the white people because they had hawk bells,” Bird said. The hawk bells were little brass bells the Europeans brought to trade, she said.

In the Carolinas there was a white bird, a Lune, and they took the fluff from the bird and used pitch, or tar, to attach the feathers on the dress, Bird said.
Referring to beads traded with Europeans, Bird said, “a lot of the beads they traded weren’t good for you. When you put the beads under a black light, they just shine. … the beads would have some kind of chemical, but the Europeans didn’t know that. Just like the ribbon had acid in it. After 50 years, the old silk ribbon deteriorates. The colors of the ribbon were also limited not all the vivid, bright colors we can get now.”

Next, Melissa Murray wore a purple Winnebego dress. “She’s got a silver broach. … They put a lot of silver work all over and silver washer pins. They embellished clothes and leggings with silver work and ribbonwork,” Bird said.
Murray also wore leggings that matched the dress, moccasins and carried a shawl and a fan.

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Melissa Murray in a purple Winnebego dress.

American Indian Style Show – Part I

By Roseanne McKee

Republished with permission of the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise

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Princess dress worn for tribal princess competitions. Margaret Bird is behind the model narrating the style show.

“There’s no museum in the world that has all the Indian clothes. I have 50. The collection is stored in Tulsa and is insured,” said Osage elder Margaret Bird as she prepared her models for a style show at the Community Center in Pawhuska for 20 Tulsa tourists.

“I’ve been working on these since I was a fifth-grader. … I used to dance. I always hung around the elderly people and they would tell me the real deal. … You don’t just do things about traditions without asking.”

As an adult Bird went to the elders of each tribe and asked for detailed information about their regalia and for permission to reconstruct and show them.
“I’ve had only one tribe that said I couldn’t show their clothes. They made me a dress, but I don’t ever show it.

At this style show 13 models wore tribal regalia as Bird narrated and answered questions.

Several male and female models wore Osage regalia and one wore a traditional Osage wedding coat. Additional details will be in next week’s column.

After the style show, the models were transported to Indian Camp for an Osage lunch of fry bread, corn soup, chicken and noodles.

In an interview at Wakon Iron, the community center building in Pawhuska Indian Camp, Bird said, “I really want to stress that I don’t think people should get things out of a book. They should ask permission.

Bird’s accuracy has given her credibility with the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

“The Smithsonian came to Caney, Kan., at my home and come to me to make Delaware clothes and they have them there [at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution].”

Although she is not Delaware because of her expertise, Bird was asked by the Delaware Tribe, also called Lenape, living in Canada to teach them how to construct their regalia.

There are three groups of Delaware, Bird said, concentrated in Anadarko, Bartlesville and Canada, Bird said.

“They’d been dressing like other tribes from up there, and they were Lenape. But, they didn’t know how to dress. So, they commissioned me to go up there to show them how to do the men’s clothes and the women’s clothes,” Bird said.
“I drove up there with my sewing machine and my ribbons and I taught them. … That whole gymnasium was full of Indians — men and women. Well, they all wanted to learn to sew their Indian clothes. We showed them a film of the Delaware down here. Then we got our materials. … We worked two to three weeks every evening. … People brought their sewing machines. We stayed on a bed and breakfast on the res. We taught them everything they needed to know.”

A year later the Delaware Chief invited her to attend their dances in Canada.
“I was amazed at that powwow. All those people had their Native clothes on. I was just shocked. I cried. In two years they wanted it so bad and I asked ‘how many years have you been dressing like these other tribes,’ and they said, ‘we didn’t know.’”

“I had a good mentor, Nora Thompson Dean. Her Indian name was Touching Leaf,” Bird said.

Upon retirement “I’d like to get someone younger to hand this off to,” she said.
To learn more about having a style show hosted by Margaret Bird, contact Danette Daniels, owner of The Water Bird Gallery in Pawhuska at 918-287-9129.

Part II and III of the style show will follow on Sundays Jan. 13 and 20.

Eva Glass

By: Roseanne McKee

Republished with permission of the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise

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The late Eva Payne Glass, wife of oil business magnate Julian Wood Glass, was an art aficionado with a gift of hospitality who lived in Nowata. She was a founding member of the Tulsa Opera.

Also, a founding member of the Tulsa Ballet, Eva Payne Glass paid to bring the “Nutcracker Ballet” to the Nowata Public School to be performed by the Tulsa Ballet at Christmas, said Nowata Historical Society President Carroll Craun.

Glass enjoyed sharing the arts with her neighbors and so she brought the Tulsa Philharmonic to her outdoor backyard balcony to play on a number of occasions, Craun said. She was a founding member of the Tulsa Philharmonic as well.

“She loved Halloween. She’d sit at the front door on what they called her throne and she’d invite the children in and give them large-sized Hershey’s chocolate bars,” said Craun.

As an extrovert, Glass loved people and young people.

“She would make egg or chicken salad sandwiches for the kids who visited and sit with them on the patio,” Craun said.

Glass was also a co-founder of a Nowata chapter of an international women’s service organization, General Federation of Women’s Clubs known as GFWC La-kee-kon. La-kee-kon means “good reading” in the Cherokee language, said Craun, who is the group’s most recent past president.

Glass stood a diminutive four feet six inches tall. Eight of her formal dresses and coats are on display for the Christmas Open House, which continues today from 1-4 p.m. weather permitting, Craun said.

Known as the longest continuous GFW member at the time, Glass became a GFWC Ameritus member for Oklahoma in 1957 and was given the title the “Jewel of Oklahoma,” a title rarely conferred, Craun explained.

As a young woman Glass was married and living in Hope, Ark., when her husband, whose last name was Payne, was taken ill and died from the flu. Glass was then pregnant with her daughter.

While her daughter was yet an infant, Nowata resident Roberta Campbell invited her for a visit. Campbell, who later co-founded GFWC La-kee-kon with Glass, introduced her to her future husband, Julian Wood Glass.

The couple married on Dec. 21, 1904 and went on to have one son, named Julian. After their son Julian was raised, the Glass Mansion was built and the couple took up residence there.

Unfortunately, her husband, J. Wood Glass, died of a massive heart attack in 1952 long before Eva Glass, who lived until 1983, and who died just two weeks shy of her 102nd birthday, Craun said.

Glass enjoyed piano music and hired a local high school student to play for her every afternoon for an hour and a half while she took her nap.

Terry Jordan, a high school student who also did yard work for her, played piano for her for a three to four years time span during the 1970s. When he played, Jordan was instructed to enter through the French doors near the piano so that he would not track mud over the carpet, said Evelyn Jordan, Terry Jordan’s mother.

Terry Jordan recalled that the performer Beverly Sills was invited to have lunch with Glass a year in advance so that the dining room could be repainted in Sills’ favorite color — red.

Glass’s favorite color was pink — of any shade, Craun said.

“Her house is baby’s breath pink because of this. A lot of rooms in the house have a pink tone to them. The kitchen has furniture in a shade of pink. Her bedroom is pink and so is the wallpaper,” she said.

Another quirk of Glass’s was that she did not believe in televisions because she thought they taught bad manners. She did not allow them in the house, and there has never been one in the house, Craun said.

She did allow her nurse to have a TV in the garage apartment as long as Glass could not hear it.

Glass was a good cook. Although for special occasions she had someone come in to prepare food.

“I have some of her handwritten recipes,” Craun said. “We’re thinking about doing a cookbook. A lot of her recipes are older style — beef tongue, egg salad.”

For the holidays Eva Glass and her son, Julian, would sometimes travel to the Glen Burnie Home, an ancestral home of the Glass family in Winchester, Va.
The Glen Burnie home, built by Robert Wood Glass starting in 1794, on property originally surveyed by James Wood Glass in 1735, was renovated by Eva Glass’s son, Julian Glass, and his best friend, R. Lee Taylor.

Craun described Taylor as “an exquisite miniaturist from Winchester, Va., who made sequined Christmas tree ornaments for Glass” on display from time to time at the Glass Mansion.

After the death of Julian Wood Glass Jr. in 1992, and as a condition of his will, the house and gardens were opened to the public on a seasonal basis in 1997. They are now an important part of a year-round regional history museum complex known as the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.

No doubt Glass would be glad to learn that her tradition of hospitality and appreciation for the arts are being continued at Glen Burnie, which will hold a holiday tea and watercolor exhibit on Tuesday. This year’s holiday tea at Glen Burnie in Winchester, Va., took place on Dec. 11, featuring blended teas, chicken cashew in phyllo cups, tea sandwiches, cookies and brownies.

After the conclusion of the Christmas Open House, the Glass Mansion will be closed except for pre-arranged tours. To schedule a tour or to rent the mansion for a special event, call the Nowata Historical Society Museum at 918-273-1191.

Childhood Memories

By Roseanne McKee

Republished with permission of the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise
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One evening when I was in Tulsa with my friends Mark and Linda Simms, they took me to Coney Island — a family-owned restaurant established in 1926. They said the restaurant had special significance for Mark Simms. We agreed that one day he would tell me the story, and I would write about it. On Oct. 19, I arranged to meet him to hear about the important part the Coney Island Restaurant and its staff had played in his childhood.

“It started when mom took me to the Coney Island, and we stopped there and we ate. There was a long line, and we had to wait. … I used to watch people come in … they had kind of school-like benches.”

These were simpler times, when children were free to explore. As a child, Simms, remembering the location of the Coney Island he had visited with his mom, decided to venture there one his own one day.

“I was real young and I’d ride the bus downtown. When I got downtown, I’d walk to Coney Island,” Simms said. “I must have been in grade school. I don’t remember the exact age. Anyway, I knew all the bus routes around Tulsa, and I knew how to transfer. All the bus drivers knew me. It was real easy to get down there and get home because I knew the bus routes.

“Well, one day I ran out of money and I didn’t have enough money to buy lunch. So, I asked the owner, ‘could I work to get me a coney,’ and he looked at me and he said, ‘yeah, you can.’ He said, ‘if you’ll sweep the floors, mop, clean the desk and clean the bathroom, I’ll give you free chips, pop and a coney — as much as you want.’ At that time, that was a big deal for me.

“Anyway, this went on for a while. … and I got real familiar with him and his workers. If he was off, they would still give [lunch] to me.

“It got toward fall. I swept, mopped, and I went to get my coney and I couldn’t swallow. … So, I started crying. The owner came out and said, ‘what’s wrong, and he looked at me and felt my neck and said, ‘I think you have the mumps.’
“So, he called my mom, and they rushed me to Hillcrest. Of course, I did have the mumps, but I was still crying because I’d worked and didn’t get my coney,” he said with a laugh.

“The owner kept saying, don’t worry about it, you can still come over and get your coney. But that didn’t soothe me. I was still cryin’ cause I couldn’t eat my coney,” Simms said laughing.

“Time went by and I came in several times, and he served me a coney without working. Finally, I got to where I could work again and continue my coneys.
“I never did know his name … I just called him the Greek. He had those real thick eye glasses. He didn’t remember my name either. He’d say, ‘was the little Indian boy through yet?’ I knew him as the Greek, and he knew me as the little Indian boy. At that time we didn’t know each other’s name.

His daughter, Georgia Tsilekas, confirmed in a phone interview that her father who founded Coney Island, had worn thick eye glasses and his name was Christ Economou.

“Finally, we moved away from Suburban Acres,” Simms said.

He grew up and didn’t have much time to think of Tulsa and the Coney Island. He attended college, served in the Army and started a business in Bartlesville.
Years later on a day trip to Tulsa, Simms and his wife passed by the restaurant. It was open and so they went in.

“Everything was pretty much the same. I was going through the line, and there was a real pretty Greek girl. I told her the story and she said, ‘I’m the granddaughter.’ … While I was talking to her, her mother walked up and said, ‘I’m the daughter.’ As I’m going through the line she said, ‘he doesn’t have to pay for it.’ So, she gave me a free pop, chips and coney. She said, ‘I was a little girl, but I remembered something like that.’

“Later it closed and they opened in another location. … They had the old pictures on the wall. I couldn’t remember their names, but I recognized them. Linda took a picture of me out front.

“We still go to the new loctation, but my fondest memories are from the original little location downtown. That was my first job,” Simms said.

The family still owns Coney Island at the northwest corner of Archer and Main in the Brady District of Tulsa, and they still have the same school-style seating.

“My dad bought them used in 1926. They were restaurant chairs from the east,” Tsilekas explained.

Economou originally had 26 restaurants. Once established, he would sell each of them to an immigrant and move to another town until he arrived in Tulsa and decided to put down roots, she said.

“He had stores from Pennsylvania to Nebraska to Dallas. His cousin said, ‘I’ve heard Tulsa is a nice town. As soon as he got off the train and looked around, he said, ‘that’s the place where I want to be.

“He went back to Greece in 1929 and married my mom and brought her back,” Tsilekas said.

The Economous had three children — Georgia Tsilekas, Pope Kingsley, who owns the Coney Islander in Owasso, and James Economou, who owns the Coney Island in the Brady District — managed by his daughter-in-law, Vicki Economou.

Gold prospecting for profit and fun

By Roseanne McKee

Reprinted with permission of the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise

When Mike Grim retired, he had no idea what adventures lay ahead for him. One small decision changed the course of his retirement — he joined the GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America).

“They had a big dig in Montana in 2011. That was the first year I went prospecting and I’ve been going there ever since.”

This spring he brought back 16 buckets of concentrate, each weighing 80 to 100 pounds. The concentrate consists of dirt, rocks and gold. “I bring it home and go through it later in the year, but we’ve had a really nice August,” Grim said. “So, I’ve started working it just for the heck of it.”

He demonstrated the process with his Omni Fox brand gold machine. Water flows over the concentrate he feeds into the machine one trowel at a time.

“What I’m gonna do with this is run it through the [machine]. This will allow me to separate the gold from the rock. As the water carries it down, these rubber riffles will stop the gold from flowing out. Gold is heavy, so it stays. Rocks and water run by. A gallon of gold weight 160 pounds. Water weighs about eight pounds. Rocks weigh less than gold, so they and the water will run out of the sluice box,” he said.

He also said he has “eight, five-gallon buckets of concentrate that came out of an open pit sapphire mine outside of Helena, Montana,” and he’s excited to see what he will find.

If he gets tired of processing concentrate, he will go on another kind of adventure.

“This fall I plan on going to Arizona, and I’ll metal detect in the desert. My most expensive investment has been a metal detector. If I had to get rid of everything, I’d keep my metal detector,” Grim said.

“I find things every time I go out with it. I’ve found old silver dollars, some rings that I sold to Treasures Jewelry in Bartlesville. It was a diamond ring set in platinum,” Grim explained.

He’s dug a foot deep when he metal detector went off indicating there was something there. He also uses the metal detector in Montana.

“When you’re in gold country, you want to dig everything you find,” Grim said.
With a gleam in his eye Grim provided some Montana history. In the early gold prospecting days, Chinese immigrants, who worked in the mines, were known to bury gold in glass jars. Then, later they would come back and dig it up. Today, with a metal detector, one might find gold left behind a Mason jar somewhere, he said.

The first year prospecting, Grim had a bit of beginners luck. He found a gold nugget. Grim didn’t have to wait long to find a buyer. Back at this camp, the first person he showed it to asked to buy it for several thousand dollars.
Along the way Grim has also found sapphires, garnets — even a diamond. Grim acknowledges that gold prospecting is a time-consuming, meticulous pastime. Each bucket of concentrate must be processed several times before the gold is fully separated out in tiny flecks, but at $1,200 per ounce, Grim says his search for gold is well worth it.

“I’ve been a member of the GPAA for roughly nine years and they’ve opened doors for me. They have thousands of claims throughout the U.S.
— that’s worth the cost of membership and more,” Grim said.

For $84.50 the first year, GPAA members receive the GPAA Claims Club Membership Mining Guide, the bi-monthly publications the Pick and Shovel Gazette and Gold Prospectors Magazine. Members are also able to network by posting and conversing at the GPAA on-line forum with special members-only area.

For those interesting in prospecting, Grim recommends, “watch, look and learn before you begin. On the metal detector don’t cut corners — get a good one.
“I could do this from now on. I don’t drink, don’t smoke. It just fascinates me when I find a nugget.”