Categories
3_USA 8_Nostalgia Family

James M Patterson

Damn! My Host Dad and good friend Jim died.

James Merrell Patterson Obituary

July 24, 1936 – May 28, 2021 (84 years old)

We are sad to announce that on May 28, 2021, at the age of 84, James Merrell Patterson (Apache, Oklahoma), born in Lawton, Oklahoma passed away.

He was predeceased by: his parents, James Earl “Buck” and Merrell Fleta Patterson (Dietrich); and his sister Molly (Sybil). He is survived by: his wife Katie; his children, Mary Kate and Jimmy (Cyndi); his grandsons; his sisters, Patsy and Lotsee; his nieces and nephews; and his great-nieces and great-nephews.

~~~oo0oo~~~

Jim, you were a legend. The kindest, best, funniest Dad a seventeen year old could have wished for. I still tell people how you taught me to go ‘countin’ fence posts’ in your red pickup truck, cooler box filled with Coors as we drove around while you taught me about life. Katie too, taught me about life: Peter, who do you think chooses their partner? ‘Why, the man of course, Katie!’ – gales of laughter. Lemme tell you Peter, when Jim walked into the bank I said to my girlfriends, ‘I’m gonna marry that man.’

Fifteen years later I introduced Katie to Trish – who had chosen me. They got on like a house on fire, those two wimmin!

~~~oo0oo~~~

Today is gonna be a sad day of reflection for me. Also wonderful memories. Great fondness. I must get hold of Katie and Mary-Kate.

~~~oo0oo~~~

I see Peggy Manar (83) and Eugene Mindemann (85) also died – both in October 2020. And so things change. Like Jim and Katie, they too (and their spouses Tom and Odie) were wonderfully kind to me in my year in Apache back in 1973. As were the Hrbaceks, the Paynes, the Crews, the Lehnertzs, the Swandas, the Rotary club, the school, everyone. A magic year, 1973.

So many memories. I’ll come back to this post and add over time.

~~~oo0oo~~~

Another Jim moment: Jim was asking me what subjects I was taking in my senior year at Apache High School.

But first lemme explain: I had finished school back in South Africa. I was done. I was here to have fun and learn new things – things other than school. So I told him: I had to take American history as I was a foreigner; I had to take English as I spoke the Queen’s English and that needed fixing; Then I took Ag shop, Annual staff, Phys Ed and Typing.

He looked at me in amazement: (or was it envy?) – ‘What? They didn’t have Basket Weavin’?!’ he asked with a huge grin.

~~~oo0oo~~~

Categories
3_USA 8_Nostalgia

Old Apache Selfies

Found some old pics from Apache Oklahoma back in 1973.

Dragging Main with my Olympus camera

Dragging Main in a Ford Mustang with my Olympus camera – and taking original 1973 selfies!

Next, a self portrait at the Swandas home – my last hosts in Oklahoma.

ApacheOK73 (8)

Their farm outside Apache was called ‘The Swandarosa’ – kidding!! Not really – that was Robbie Swanda’s joke. But can you hear the theme tune?

– Bonanza – and the Ponderosa Ranch –

~~~oo0oo~~~

Well, can you believe this!? I was narrowly beaten to the prize of taking the world’s first-ever selfie! In fact the first photographic portrait ever taken might have been a ‘selfie.’

Taken in 1839 by an amateur chemist and photography enthusiast from Philadelphia named Robert Cornelius. Setting up his camera at the back of the family store in Philadelphia, Cornelius took the image by removing the lens cap and then running into frame where he sat for a minute before covering up the lens again.

~~~oo0oo~~~

And hey! Cornelius himself was also a johnny-come-lately! Selfies were started way earlier . .

Categories
3_USA 8_Nostalgia travel

Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains

All above are internet pictures. These next I took on a visit in 1973 with fellow exchange students and my Apache host brothers. From left: Dayne Swanda, Kent Swanda, Helen Worswick from Marandellas, Zimbabwe, Jenny Carter from Bromley, Zimbabwe, Jonathan Kneebone from Australia, Evelyn Woodhouse from Durban, South Africa and Robbie Swanda.

Bison, elk and deer are protected on the 23,880 ha wildlife refuge. The refuge also manages a herd of longhorn cattle. The peaks are capped by 540 million-year old granite. Here you can see where the mountains are in SW Oklahoma. Apache is just a few miles north.

Wichita Mountains-001.jpg