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IMG 2832 Picture left to right: Lion Dean Craig; Valerie Russell, booking agent for Beth Rengel; Lion Heather Sumner, program chairperson; Beth Rengel; and President Duaine Janzen.

By Dean Craig - Okmulgee Lion

Tuesday's joint Lions-Rotary Club meeting with Beth Rengel, former news anchor for Channel 8 (and later Channel 2, KJRH, and Channel 6, KOTV) could almost be titled "a blast from the past" or even "the success of failure". However, it certainly was not a failure because she commanded our rapt attention from her opening remarks. In fact, I was so intent from listening that, at times, I would forget to jot down notes for this article. But not to worry because most of what she told us is included in her book, "Anchored in Illusion", which most of us purchased.

I had never thought of life or events of being an illusion but Rengel says it best in her book's introduction, and I quote: "My life hasn't turned out the way I planned it, maybe no one's life does. We buy into the illusion we face every day--illusions of the happy family, the flawless body, the picture-perfect marriage, the thriving career. But then we hit that inevitable brick wall of reality, and those illusions shatter. And then what? When that curveball comes straight at you, the question is: do you duck, swerve to the side, or stand firmly and try to catch it?...but I've come to believe that failure itself is an illusion, one that covers up the next success--just a correction in course that can redirect us to what really matters in life. We have to take risks to live by what's truly important.

Mae Beth Comany and her sister, Elaine, grew up poor in South Texas, where her father was a used car salesman and her mother was a housewife, only working outside the home during the Christmas busy-time at the Green Stamp Store so she could buy Christmas presents. The mother was an accomplished seamstress and made all the girls' clothes until Beth began entering beauty pageants. Of course, she suffered through the taunts of female classmates regarding her "home-made" clothes. And her senior year, her dad told her she had three choices--get a job, get married, or get a scholarship. She said she wasn't ready for any one of the three choices. Her sister had set the bar high by getting a four-year scholarship to North Texas State in Denton on her beautiful vocal talents, and later, by singing at the Metropolitan Opera and in Europe as a lyric soprano opera singer.

A flyer was left in their door in Wichita Falls,Texas announcing the Miss Astros contest, an annual promotion for the Major League Baseball team. Even though she was a cheerleader for Rider High School, Rengel was not into beauty pageants. There was no talent involved. The contestants--from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and New Mexico--were judged strictly on looks and the interview, which purported to reveal their charm, intelligence, and personality. The flyer revealed that the prizes were enormous: a four-year college scholarship, a brand new Toyota, a Rolex watch, a wardrobe, a trip for two to Puerto Vallarta, and pink Samsonite luggage. She took one look at it and went to the kitchen and put it in the trash. Her mother retrieved it from the trash and began her trio of clichés, "You know what I always say, Mae Beth, you'll never know until you try. Your grandmother always said, 'You don't regret the things you do but the things you don't do'. And as far as your dad, 'Well, hell, if you fail, it's better than a kick in the a--'. Do you want to live the rest of your life wondering what might have been?" Rengel won--Miss Astros, Houston Baseball Team 1969-1970. And this was only the beginning.

Losing her first Miss Texas pageant to Phyllis George (who won Miss America), Rengel won Miss Texas (1972), and finished third in the Miss America Pageant (1973). By placing in the top five, she was selected for the USO tour. And because Terry Meeuwsen had won Miss America (1973) and was the lead singer with the New Christy Minstrels and had to resign, Rengel replaced her as the lead singer for the musical group.

During her reign as Miss Texas, Rengel had met and became good friends with Dallas Cowboys defensive end Larry Cole at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and asked Cole to get her a date with Dallas Cowboy quarterback Craig Morton. He refused but said he had another friend for her, Mike Rengel, New Orleans Saints football player, whom she later married. This marriage failed after four years but was a major event in her eventual move to Tulsa. When she came to Tulsa, she became a part of KTUL Channel 8's "Dream Team"--with the legendary, handsome Bob Hower; beloved weatherman Don Woods; and charismatic, brilliant Chris Lincoln. An on-air mistake caused her to be replaced on Channel 8, and she moved to Atlanta. Her marriage to Milton Berry, a Tulsa oilman, resulted in her move back to Tulsa, where her daughter, Ana, was born. But to say the rest is history would not be true. History is for those who quit, and quit is not in her vocabulary. One of the quotes in her book says, "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up"--Thomas A. Edison. I don't know whether Rengel was the inspiration for the song "I've Got A Tiger By The Tail" but I'm certain she could fit in there somewhere. She still seems to have that fire in her spirit and we were blessed to have her come and "light our fire". She is available for speakings by contacting Valerie Russell, 918 519-6795

On a related note, centennial certificates of membership and centennial pins were awarded to three new members and their sponsor by Immediate Past President R.C. Morrow: David Fetgatter, sponsor of James Gray; Charles Otto, sponsored by Pat Higgins; Anthony Nieto, sponsored by Gary Volz. We still have room for a few more good men and women. Think about it! "WE SERVE".  See photo below.

(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig, with excerpts from the book, "Anchored in Illusion", by Beth Rengel).

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Beth Rengel and Heather Sumner

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IMG 2823On Centennial certificates of membership and centennial pins were awarded to three new members and their sponsor by Immediate Past President R.C. Morrow: David Fetgatter, sponsor of James Gray; Charles Otto, sponsored by Pat Higgins; Anthony Nieto, sponsored by Gary Volz.


1    David Dunlap       Coach--Okmulgee's Baseball Academic Champions
                                   R.C. Morrow, Program Chair
8    James Gray          15 minutes-of-fame
      Anthony Nieto         "      "         "    "
                                    David Fetgatter, Program Chair
14   Board Meeting     Noon
15   To Be Determined
22   Clay Ballenger      Oklahoma Boys State
                                     Anthony Nieto, Program Chair
29   Jana Martin           OSUIT Nursing Program
                                     Dr. Tom Alexander

Saturday, 15 July 2017 16:29

Patricia Jane Patterson obit

Patricia Jane Patterson, 86 year old resident of Okmulgee, died Tuesday morning, July 11, 2017 at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa.  She was born October 14, 1930 in Fremont, Nebraska to the late Kenneth and Norma (Southard) Brown.  Arrangements are pending with the McClendon-Winters Funeral Home of Okmulgee.  www.mcclendon-winters.com

Okmulgee, Okla. -- Are you and your family enrolled in CodeRED?

CodeRed 198x98What's CodeRED? CodeRED is a FREE emergency notification service provided to all residents within the Okmulgee County and all the communities of Beggs, Bryant, Dewar, Grayson, Hectorville, Henryetta, Hoffman, Liberty, Morris, Nuyaka, Okmulgee, Preston, Schulter, Twin Hills, Wilson and Winchester that will notify you of emergency, weather warnings and general information through phone calls, text messages, emails and/or social media.


or go to www.OkmulgeeCountyEM.com and CLICK ON the tab at the top of the page labeled CodeRED.

EVERYONE WELCOME -  Open @ 9:00 am; Serving @ 11:30 am
~~Dine-In or Carry-Out (918-827-6828)~~

Here is the JULY 2017 menu for the Mounds Senior Citizens center:
Thur, July 6 - Chicken Casserole, Mixed Veggies, Dessert
Tues, July 11 - Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Green Beans , Dessert
Thur, July 13 - King Ranch Chicken, Vegetables, Dessert
Tues, July 18 - Smothered Pork Chops, Roasted Potatoes, Veggie, Dessert
Thur, July 20 - Chicken A La King, Veggie, Dessert
Tues, July 25 - Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Salad, Dessert
Thur, July 27 - Beef Taco Casserole, Salad, Dessert
Thur, June 29 - Frito Chicken Casserole, Salad, Dessert

Thursday, 06 July 2017 13:30

Diapers and Fireworks

By: Tina Pierce LMFT

Summers can be hard and fun all at the same time. I enjoy getting more time with the kids but then I find myself running ragged trying to do all the things we do not typically have time to do during the school year. Between diaper changes, library visits, splash pad play dates, and church who has time for anything else. I caught myself one day wondering when my husband would come save me from the needy toddlers. As he walked through the door I am sure I looked like a mess. The kids and I had just came home from the pool. I was slightly sunburnt sitting on the floor changing the baby’s stinky diaper while all three kids were whining about being hungry and thirsty. The first thing he did was come give me a kiss and ask what he could do to help, as if he had not been working hard all day himself. But I have to say that selfless attitude does not come naturally to either of us. Amazing marriages take hard work, day after day.

I am so blessed to be able to celebrate an 8th anniversary in a few weeks. I know some of you are thinking we are still newlyweds and others are saying they made it past the seven year itch. Either way I can attest that no marriage worth having is made without hard work and perseverance. So set aside the diapers and make time for the fireworks. Tell her she is just as beautiful now as she was the day you married her. Tell him he is an amazing leader for your family and you admire his strength and courage. Give her a hug without expecting anything in return. Bake him some cookies just for fun. Put the kids to bed a little early and spend time talking about something other than the kids. Make your spouse a priority because in reality they came before the kids and if you want them to still be there when the kids are out of the house you better invest in that relationship too. Besides the fireworks are worth the investment. So put down your phone and give him a kiss.

Tina Pierce LMFT
You Place, LLC

The You Place offers Family, Marital, Pre-Marital, and Individual Counseling Services for people struggling with a variety of mental health problems including anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, OCD, and more. The You Place also offers consultation and training services and LPC supervision. For more information call today. 918-777-6045.

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Pictured left to right: David Fetgatter, R.C. Morrow, Craig Brydges, Dean Craig, Philip Wright, Ron Martin, Leroy Parker, James Thompson, Mike Keaton, Tim Walker, Duaine Janzen, James Gray, Cassandra Northington, Jim Vaughn, Gary Volz, Jim McClendon, Anthony Nieto, and a truck load of fireworks.
(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig).

Tuesday's Lions Club meeting brings to a close our calendar year for the "changing of the guard" and marked the final meeting for R.C. Morrow's year as President. It has been a remarkable year but he is just continuing what has been the "norm" for the past number of years of outstanding leadership for our club. The meeting place was changed from the First Baptist Church to the fireworks tent on Highway 75 north of town to show off our vast array of fireworks. This is our biggest project and ALL of the proceeds go back into the community and that is why we ask you to PLEASE buy your fireworks from the Lions. Of course, everyone gets the "family discount".

We welcomed our two newest members: Anthony Nieto, General Manager of the Okmulgee Times; and James Gray, Shelter Insurance, who has been a previous member and served as President of the club in 2000-2001. We still have a few more spots for a few more good men and women--just give us a call and we'll reserve your spot. "WE SERVE".

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The City of Okmulgee Fireworks Extravaganza is bigger and better this year. This free event is always a lot of fun for the whole family and something the citizens of Okmulgee don’t want to miss. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to the City Municipal Park and celebrate America’s Birthday together with your family and friends. At 7:00 pm the celebration will begin with free hot dogs, chips, popcorn, bottled water and this year they are adding free snow cones. There will be a live band with great music and the children will enjoy a water slide/bounce house, face painting, sand art, a petting zoo and a circus train. There is a shuttle service from Walmart if you want to avoid parking.

City of Okmulgee Emergency Manager, Kenneth Anderson, the lead Licensed Pyro Technician, has an extraordinary fireworks show choreographed to music that is amazing and keeps the crowd excited throughout the whole event.

Anderson said, “The fireworks event starts the planning stage eight months in advance and it takes a lot of departments to prepare this show for the citizens of Okmulgee.” City of Okmulgee’s Technology Services, Okmulgee Police Department, Okmulgee Fire Department, Public Works, City Hall Employees and of course the Okmulgee City Council work hard to provide this outstanding demonstration. Many thanks go to the generous sponsors of the show, including CP Kelco, Okmulgee Chamber of Commerce, Polyvision, Muskogee Creek Nation, Harlan Motor Company, First National Bank, First Family Credit Union, Loves Travel Stop, McDonalds, B & C Mechanical, Okmulgee Tag Office, Morris State Bank, Okmulgee Main Street, Better Built Structures, M & M Machining, Jimmy Jones Electric, Stone Horse Construction, Mabrey Bank, Scott Wallick and Taylor Made Graphx.

Anderson said they try to make it bigger and better for you each year and this year’s choreographed music will include Martina McBride, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Rodney Atkins, Broadway cast of Oklahoma, John Phillip Sousa, Mariah Carey and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “The Star Spangled Banner.” The fireworks show will begin at 9:30 p.m.

Anderson has four teams of Pyro Technicians who build this magnificent show for you, working all night to put together the fireworks display of over 1000 shells. You can see it from a lot of locations in the city, but there is nothing like being right there to hear and see it up close; an event you will remember all year. Come out and join the celebration and wish America a Happy 241st Birthday.


By Wesley Coburn - ONN

The Fourth of July is almost here, and for many, that means shooting off fireworks. Within Okmulgee city limits, fireworks may be legally shot off from 3 p.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, July 3-5. Here are the rules spelled out by the city’s fireworks ordinance:

A permit must have been purchased at City Hall, and this may be done until 4 p.m. Monday afternoon. They cost $20 each and must be purchased by an adult (18 and up).

The permit holder needs to be physically present and within one hundred feet of the display to allow another household member to set them off.

Fireworks must be set off on a noncombustible surface at least fifty feet away from buildings, and at least five hundred feet away from churches, crops, hospitals, schools, and any locations where fireworks are sold or may reside in large quantities.

Fireworks by private citizens may not be shot off in any city or county park, nor can they be fired on any highway or street wider than 26 feet.

Debris caused by firework displays is expected to be cleaned up by the permit holder, failure to comply will result in a $225 fine. Any violations of the rules listed above will also result in a $225 fine, and use of fireworks outside of the designated times could be punished with a $550 fine.

Okmulgee County Republican's welcome the general public to a special meeting, no matter the political affiliation:

Special Agent Darrin Collins with Homeland Security Investigations in Tulsa, Oklahoma will be our guest speaker for the July 11 meeting of the Okmulgee County Republicans.   Agent Collins works a variety of investigations, most which include Narcotics Smuggling, Money Laundering, Child Pornography, Human/Sex Trafficking, and Immigration Fraud.  Agent Collins will be specifically informing us about sex trafficking nationally, in our state and in our region.  He will give statistics, what is being done to help victims after recovery and what is being done to catch and prosecute predators and traffickers.  This is an opportunity to learn from a specialist about this horrific issue.  The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the conference room of the student center at OSUIT located at 1801 E 4th Street in Okmulgee.

Reminder that our business meeting will begin at 6:30 before the regular meeting.

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