Category Archives: General

Hard red winter wheat

Wheat harvest began on the family farm today. We are luckier than many Oklahoma wheat farmers; it has been dry this year, but not as dry as it’s been further north, west and south. We’ll have a crop. Maybe not a great crop, but a crop.

The hard red winter wheat grown in Oklahoma and the rest of the southern plains is descended from a tough strain, sometimes called Turkey red, brought to this country in the mid-19th century by Mennonite immigrants from the Crimea. According to tradition, the first kernels were smuggled into the United States inside two little girls’ dolls. From those two dolls, the story goes, came America’s amber waves of grain.

Hard red winter wheat is planted in the fall and used for grazing during the winter and early spring. Or was, before the prolonged drought and crop failures of recent years played havoc with the cattle business. The wheat grown in Oklahoma is used mostly for bread and baking.

Further north, wheat is planted in the spring and harvested in the fall, and generally used for pastas.

So there you have it. Nothing too exciting. But for the next several weeks farmers in the western half of the state, those lucky enough to have crop, will be working day and night to bring in their crops of what and barley so the rest of us can east toast every morning.


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June 3, 2014 Links

As this blog develops, we’ll continue to add links to a variety of news and information sites. Today I’ve added the Tulsa World’s web page for the 1921 Race Riot. It includes front pages and stories from the time of the race riot, a time line and other useful information. I’ve also added the Tulsa Historical Society. Let me know of any sites you’ve found useful.

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June 1, 2014

Since before anyone now living can remember, the little church I grew up in has set aside the first Sunday of June as “Children’s Day.”  Instead of the usual Sunday regimen of Sunday School and preaching, the children of the congregation put on a short program, then everyone retires to somebody’s pasture for a potluck picnic lunch, a softball game and homemade ice cream. It is a ritual that continues to span generations, bringing back families that moved away generations ago. As far as I know, Children’s Day is a unique observance; I have never heard of anything comparable.

Today, my son, my granddaughter and I joined my parents for another Children’s Day. It was a pleasant day, warm but not overly hot. Lots of homemade ice cream. More young children than I have seen here in many years.

I like to think Children’s Day is one of those rare anachronisms that survives our impatient age of air conditioning and inertia. All those little ones give me hope.


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May 30, 2014

This blog is an experiment — but also, I hope, the beginning of a correspondence. For the past forty years, I’ve been able to meld a newspaper career with an abiding interest in history and politics. As I develop this site, I hope it becomes a place where ideas and information on Oklahoma’s past, present and future are exchanged and discussed.

I’m just getting started, so bear with me. And feel free to chime in.


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