chelsea headingYES, I have told the story of the German Joyful Singers a few times. OK! Maybe more than a few times. Other than having children, not enough grandchildren and then some Greats (!), this is one of the nicer things I have experienced. Since I told you of it last week, I shall refrain from repeating, but, if you would like to hear Chapter Two, write me and I shall comply;This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Most of you know I volunteer at the information desk at the Tulsa International Airport. I enjoy it as I get to help several people on every shift I am there. We volunteers get to wear a red jacket which makes us look important – and knowledgeable. That last part is not always correct but we don’t talk about that. There is something about helping people that makes the day a little better. 99.9 per cent of teachers feel the same. We Americans are a helpful lot, with or without an information desk. Volunteers from the USA are all over the world doing a zillion different ways of helping people. As you probably know from your reading, many time they are in dangerous places doing difficult work. Many times they get shot at and have their lives at stake. Then, after the shooters have left or been captured, they come out of hiding and start again.
One instance happened very recently. A lady from a town near here had a hive of bees trying to live in the upper art of her house: her outside chimney. Some mutual friend contacted me to see if I could help. I am a heighth atheist as I do not do heights. I posted her need of help on our bee club web page and Facebook page. Within an hour there were multiple responses. One man lived close and was also the first to contact me so I “gave” him the responsibility. Now, do not say he did that to get something from it. That is only partially correct. A lady was having a problem and he was in a position to help. Many other Oklahomans would have done the same. Yes, he wanted the bees but crawling around on a roof two stories off the ground is going above and beyond. We are people who like to help people.
You will hear some people harshly ask, “Why in the #@**! Would they do that?” Sadly, there is no answer to satisfy those who question a helper. Americans love to help. If this ever changes then the spirit of America the world admires, will have changed. The Trodglamytes will have taken over and we all will be the poorer for it. No, not all will be financially poorer. The Trods will still be mega-rich and more powerful. The one-percent will still have more finances than the other ninety-nine per cent. One of them now have more money than most small towns combined. Most have more money than the combined total of most Oklahoma counties.
But enough about them! Those “people” are like most hogs in a stock pen. They want what they have and will try to get what the others have. They can never get enough.
On a lighter note, spring is here! Glorious spring with flowers, birds, buds and my bees are bringing in pollen. Somehow I got a weak hive through the winter and it is now big enough to split. Also, I am hoping someone calls to tell me of a swarm so I can increase my hive numbers. It takes a great number of bees to make a jar of honey. It takes a great deal of honey when one has several grandkids.
Among the more interesting facts about honey is it never spoils. I have personally tasted honey that was estimated as over fifty years old. This fact you can easily check with Safari/Google. It was reported that cone was found in King Tut’s tomb. Yessir, it was still good. That honey was older than me, not much, but some older. My former students think I am at least that old.
But it is spring. In Oklahoma that means today may be ninety degrees, tomorrow in the thirties, the next day a tornado. Things are seldom boring in Oklahoma. Come visit sometime.
Comments are welcome at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The House has been hard at work since we started session in February, and we’ve accomplished a lot since then. Both chambers have already passed numerous bills, many of which have already been signed into law by the Governor.Logan Phillips
The House recently began the process of hearing bills passed by the Senate. Each bill goes through committee before being eligible to be heard on the floor, but bills with a financial impact must pass through a relative subcommittee and then the entire Appropriations and Budget Committee first. When a bill passes committee, it’s eligible to be heard on the House floor.
Since the House is hearing bills already passed by the Senate, most bills that pass the House floor will advance directly to the governor’s desk. However, many bills have passed their chamber with the title off, which means that the details were still being discussed when it passed. Bills with the title off will return to the chamber they originated in for another vote to confirm the final language.
A few weeks ago, I joined my colleagues in the Legislature to honor our state’s veterans for Veterans Awareness Day. We met in joint session to recognize the sacrifice of these brave men and women and were joined by Gov. Stitt and Lt. Gov. Pinnell. The ceremony was attended by many veterans, service members, supporters and family members, who packed the House floor and galleries to show their support.
Our veterans sacrificed an extraordinary amount to serve our country and state, and we owe them a debt that can never be repaid. Their selfless sacrifice cannot be overstated, and I’m proud to represent many veterans who reside in the community of District 24.
As we draw closer to the end of session, the budget discussion has taken front stage. After years of budget cuts for our agencies, we have a surplus this year of roughly $574.6 million. This is great news, as it indicates how well our economy is doing, but the Legislature still has to decide where that money should go.
State agencies have requested an additional $1.2 billion in funding, and unfortunately we don’t have the money to meet all of those needs, so we are being very judicious with our budget proposal. We’ll continue to examine how we can best serve the people of Oklahoma as we hammer out the budget details.
We are hopeful that both legislative bodies will provide more classroom funding and another teacher pay raise, but we are also mindful of the hundreds of state employees who are equally deserving of a long-overdue cost-of-living adjustment.
In the meantime, I encourage you to reach out to my office with questions or comments on legislation and budget discussions. Thank you for the privilege of serving District 24 in the House.

Recently, I played the golf course at Henryetta Golf and Country Club and had the nicest experience. The course was in excellent condition and the clubhouse staff could not have been nicer.
Your town is most fortunate to have this golf course designed by Perry Maxwell in 1923. For people interested in knowing more about Perry Maxwell, information can be found online with a Google search.
In the opinion of this high handicapper, the Henryetta golf course is a fun, challenging gem of a course.
Yours truly,
Susie Mosley
Mena, Ark.

Editor's Note: Henryetta's golf course is  a challenging nine-hole course that was designed by the amed course architect in the 1920s. At that time, the news of his involvement in the project was of such importance that it was carried state-wide in newspapers. He later went on to be a designer of the Augusta National Cource in Georgia.
His life and list of famed can be found by clicking HERE.

chelsea headingRecently, Herself and I took a small trip to Europe. It was a very good trip with mostly college students and a few adults. We walked across Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
OK, maybe not all the way but it felt like it. Fortunately, we had enough warning that we attempted to get our “walking legs” in order.
There are so many things to see and places to visit that traveling in a tour bus or an automobile, looking out the window, is just not adequate. We walked miles every day.
OK, kilometers as we were in Europe where distances are different. It still seemed like miles. And no, it wasn’t bad because we were in good company and we wanted to be there.
One of the best-things-ever happened on our last afternoon. It still seems unreal so I better explain.
Herself, Jerm and I skipped the tour of Heidelberg castle and walked all around the city central. (Oh, I got to talk to a beekeeper lady who was selling honey & bee products.) We kept seeing this group of young ladies who were having way too much fun. One had on a bridal tiara which we assumed was a prop. When we got to the designated meeting place, they were there singing. Kids making music, what a great way to end our tour. I stood there entranced.
They were led by the bridal girl and were singing A Capella, without written music and with no set program, plus! they sang in unaccented English.. They were singing for the joy of singing. Good? That doesn’t come close. The leader would start a song and everyone would join without missing a beat.sing group
They did an A Capella “Amazing Grace” that equaled any version I have ever heard. To use a common expression, I was blown away! I have directed, played it in band, sung it in a choir, heard it done by professionals, but (again), I have never heard it done better.
Two pretty girls were standing next to me (strange how that happened.) I One had a camera and, of course, was taking shots of the group. I asked, “Do you speak English?” Looking at me like, “Old man, you have got to be kidding, “ she answered “Yes” and, yes, I felt dumb. Then another DUH on my part. “Are you with this group?”
Being very polite, she merely said she was and I started telling her some of my music resume and my great feelings about how good the group sang. I asked her to please tell the group. When the group quit, she told them. To my delighted surprise, they surrounded me and machine-gunned questions and had me repeat several times that I was serious. During this, I had to tell them why I was there and who I was with. I pointed to Herself who was sitting on a bench several meters away with other tour members. I told the girls they should go sing for her. They got very excited, delighted and were over there within seconds.
After fifty or so, “What can we sing?,” I had them do one they had done called “Happy Days.” Not the TV show, but a religious tune. They immediately started and I tapped Herself on the shoulder and said, “This is for you!”
After the song, there was more happiness, questions, giggles, laughter and great feelings. I gave one my email address to send the video one was making with her phone. I haven’t gotten that but I did hear from the camera girl. She sent some great pictures of all those beautiful girls and even me. The bridal girl was getting married in a week.
I wish there was a way to get that group over here to show that young people are not the end of the world but a great beginning. They could sing in many churches and raise spirits all over wherever they went. But, alas, retired teachers cannot pull that off. You all are missing a great thing.
Yessir, I am back to writing and furthermore. If you like it, write and tell me. If you don’t, write and tell me why and maybe I can change. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Steven B. Guy
Things that need to change, don’t until someone decides to make the effort, and joins their effort with other like minded people. For example, a bill currently making its' way through the Oklahoma Legislative process.
HB 1276, whose current author is District 30 State Representative Mark Lawson, is summarized as follows: requires the court to grant equally shared parenting time, if requested by a parent, unless it finds doing so would not be in the child's best interests. If the court deviates from shared parenting time, it must approve a plan that maximizes the amount of time each parent has with the child.”
Morris area resident Chris Rainbolt, is a disabled military veteran, whose struggles against the current system have, over five difficult years, merged with the legislative efforts to change the status quo.
Rainbolt visited the offices of the Morris News Tuesday morning to tell us a little about himself and more about the situation that has led to HB 1276.Rainbolt
“My parents lived five miles south of town. I went to high school at Preston, ended up in the military did seven years in the military including one tour each in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once I got out of the military, I decided to have a family, which I did.”
Rainbolt did his tour of duty in Iraq in 2006 for 15 months. “I was stationed, pretty much in central Baghdad. I was part of a private security detail, looking after the President and Prime Minister of Iraq, a lot of the High Council. Afghanistan was in 2011, nine months, as a route clearance operator. Basically our job was to find IED's (improvised explosive devices).”
As noted earlier, Rainbolt returned home and started a family, which eventually included one child, a son.
“I ended up going through the court systems here. As soon as I walked in, I realized that I didn't stand a chance when it came to my parental rights. It was so one-sided. Whether you represent yourself or are represented by an attorney, it just didn't matter.” “Ninety percent are fathers and ten percent are mothers because this issue isn't necessarily just a man's right issue, it's a children's rights issue.”
Asked about his connection with the beginnings of what would become HB 1276, Rainbolt explained, “I started working with an organization called Americans For Equal Shared Parenting through Facebook. The leader of that organization, Mark Ludwig, has been in politics, nationally, for almost 30 years. I reached out to them because I was curious to see if there were more people out there like me who wanted to do something about, instead of just complaining and whining.
“Mark told me we needed to start, at a 50-50 rebuttable presumption. Several states had already done it.
“That puts you at a starting point that can't be taken away from you. Both sides go in equal.” Rainbolt stated.
In regard to HB 1276, Rainbolt noted the original author was District 5 State Representative Josh West, veteran and Purple Heart recipient. “Before I had a meeting with Scott Fetgatter (District 16) and Mark Lawson, Josh West had already filed this bill. Since Rep. Lawson is currently Chair of the Family and Childrens' Services Committee, it was decided to have him take over the authorship of the bill. It couldn't have turned out better.” Rainbolt remarked, “He's done amazing with it.”
HB1276 was determined to have no fiscal or revenue considerations for the State. In other words, it wouldn't cost the State anything to implement.
The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee by a unanimous 17-0 vote on February, then moved to the State Senate. “We will have a hearing in two weeks.” Rainbolt said. He added there are several other bills relating to parental rights, noting one in particular-SB 65. `”SB 65 relates to the Court putting findings into the final divorce decree. Many times, when you go through divorce, there are no findings given. So if a judge wants to take away time with your children, they need to explain why they are doing it and let you know so you can appeal it.” Rainbolt stated.
He went on to say the rare objection to the bill it is simply “a bunch of angry dads who don't want to pay child support.”
“That's not necessarily true. We just want more time with our children. That time is important.”
Rainbolt is optimistic that HB 1276 will make it all the way through the process and lauded the efforts of Rep. Fetgatter. “He was the one who took it on himself to get hold of Mark Lawson. He was the one that got everything organized.”
This entire process has energized Rainbolt's efforts on behalf of veterans and children. He is currently Legislative Lead for “Parents Fight Together”, an organization which can be found on Facebook.