Around Town 2013 Year in Review, Part 2


If you found the last section of my Jan. 1, column a little confusing, it’s because my notes for today’s column were inadvertently included. This mishmash of information (including misspelled words) was actually the beginning of my research notes to produce today’s column.

With that said, this is a recap of 2013 happenings in the Arts in the Osage, Artists ‘n Authors, Local Recognitions, Celebrity Visits, and Preserving History.


The Historic Constantine Center continued its mission of providing community-wide cultural and educational events with an un-ending round of activities. Big screen movies included The Hindenburg, Les Misérables, Walt Disney’s Cinderella, Friday the 13th, Part 2, and Scrooged. Local talent joined forces to produce an extraordinary lineup for an outstanding variety show along with entertaining plays which included The Ransom of Emily Jane and Princess and the Pea. Their contributions were recognized during the 4th annual Sassy Awards in October which beautifully mimicked the Hollywood Oscars complete with a red carpet entrance.

Toe-tapping, hand-clapping songs and music of the 1950s was the venue when the Constantine brought Hankerin’ 4 Hank to Pawhuska, an amazing tribute that traced the life of Hank Williams, Sr. beginning when he was eight years old.

Since the theater is self-supporting, these events would not have been possible without the belief and support of the community. These patrons were recognized and honored in December during the theater’s “Membership Appreciation” open house.

In May, local 11-year old Jentry Thorne held two roles in “The Music Man, Jr” which was sponsored by Classical Conversations of NE OK, a home-centered Christian education movement.

In August, with less than a month of voice training, 9-year old Bryanna Swan began the first of three competitions. Culminating her journey was the American Kids National Competition in Branson, Mo. where she ranked in the top 10% of performers 5-18 years old.

In August, after six months of rehearsal, the youth at Lynn Baptist Church presented a musical entitled “My God is So Good.” Except for the name, no one, including Pastor Roger Clark, had any idea about what the program would entail. Cast members ranged from 9 months to the 8th grade.

Launched in 2012, the Osage Ballet “Wahzhazhe,” continued to entertain audiences in 2013. Through dance and hauntingly beautiful music, the ballet tells the history of the Osage people. In March, the Wahzhazhe performed at the Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian in Washington, D.C. Upon returning to Oklahoma, three more performances were held in Tulsa and Bartlesville.

The Osage Tribal Museum celebrated its diamond jubilee in May with two fun-filled days of activities relating to the history of the Osage Nation, the birth of the world’s oldest tribal-owned museum, and one of Oklahoma’s oldest museums. Activities included a two-part symposium tracing Osage ancestral paths, recognition of contributors to the Wahzhazhe ballet, a preview of the troop’s performance in Washington, D.C., and reenactment of the Museum’s 1938 grand-opening parade.


In early February, an Oklahoma City based movie studio transformed the Historic Constantine Center back into time for filming of “Army of Frankensteins.” The scene filmed was April 14, 1865, when President Abraham Lincoln and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln were attending a performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater. Several locals were cast for the filming and numerous others served as extras. Targeted release date was last October.

“To the Wonder” premiered on the big screen in mid-April. Filmed in and around Bartlesville and Pawhuska in 2010, the film includes local scenery and even some recognizable local faces

Hollywood came to Pawhuska with the filming of August: Osage County which hit the big screen on Christmas Day. In late November, Frenchman Dominique Pitoiset visited Pawhuska as part of his research in translating the play for French audiences.

Pawhuska was once again in the spotlight when film crews begin shooting footage for “Playground of the Native Son” about the Hominy Indians’ 1920s barn-storming football team.

Pawhuska native, Jeana Kelley-Farrar, appeared in the new feature film Pruning the Family Tree. This family drama, sprinkled with dark comedy, was a collaboration of Bartlesville filmmakers.

In June, Osage Artist and fashion designer Wendy Ponca introduced her interpretation of the Osage Creation story with “Wedding Clothes of the Earth and Sky People.” Her clothing designs represent the type of garments that might have been worn by Osage people pre-European contact as well as clothing worn by people who ‘floated down from the stars’ to intermarry with the earth people.

The generosity of Ponca and other Osage County artists was reflected throughout the year as many donated their time and talents to benefit nonprofit causes such as the Osage Tribal Museum, Historical Society Museum, CASA, Quilts for Valor, Hearts & Hands, and more. The amount of incredible talent in the Osage was the inspiration for the launch of Clifton’s Art and Jewelry which showcases various media concepts of watercolor, tempera, gouache, casein and acrylic.

Pawhuska and Osage County were the subject of several books in 2013. These included a delightful new children’s book, “Frybread for Addie.” Written by Mindy Standley and illustrated by C.R. Redcorn, the book is a tribute to Standley’s grandmother, Addie, who grew up on the Osage reservation in the late 1930s.

Oklahoma native Mary McIntyre Coley’s newest suspense novel “Cobwebs” is set in modern-day Pawhuska. Many well-known historic sites were drawn into the story, including the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, the Osage Tribal Museum, Osage County Historical Society Museum, Williams Park, Pawhuska Library and Pawhuska Cemetery.

William Least Heat-Moon’s latest book, “An Osage Journey to Europe, 1827-1839” offers a compelling story and a glimpse into 19th century and cultural exchanges.

Native Pawhuskan Dr. Joe (Bob) Surber released early paperback copies of his “Today’s Tomorrow.” The official release is set for February.


In February, Jennie Lee Wright was named 2013 Pawhuska Teacher of the Year. Wright is a PHS Language Arts Teacher and Junior Class sponsor with seventeen and half years of teaching experience.

In March, Eileen Monger was honored by GFWC Heeko for her 50-year membership and contributions to the Pawhuska community. She, along with husband, O’Dell, have been strong supporters of Pawhuska for years and owned and operated Mongers Bros. Auto until their retirement in 2003. Monger became a member of GFWC Heeko in 1962. She was chair of the Free Enterprise Educational Project in the 1980s when GFWC Heeko took first place and she was awarded with a Steuben crystal eagle.

In March, 9-year old Kaitlyn Dawson was selected to compete in the National American Miss Oklahoma. Abby Camargo won Pom Championship during the 2013 National Dance Association competition held at Florida’s Universal Orlando Resort.

In April, PHS chose two students as valedictorians and one student as salutatorian for the 2013 graduating class. Co-valedictorians are Arin Anthony and Jeni Hendricks. Salutatorian is Hunter Sutherland.

In May, PHS students Erin Long and Austin Waddle were selected to serve as honorary mayor and vice-mayor, respectively. Their day-long agenda included tours of City facilities and a lunch with City officials. Jeffrey Todd Nance, son of Felix and Casey Nance of Hominy, fulfilled his lifetime goal of becoming a Catholic Priest.

Also in May, Caroline Perrier of Pawhuska Indian Camp won 2nd place in the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board’s Well-site Coloring Contest. Her drawing was chosen from a total of 3,255 entries.

In May, the Osage County Historical Society recognized City, County and dozens volunteers for their help in saving the Museum following the January fire.

In June, Jim Jacques and the late John F. Murphy were inducted into the Osage County Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame for outstanding contributions to the cattle industry.

In July, Barbara Strahm was named Oklahoma CattleWoman of the Year during the 61st annual CattleWomen’s luncheon held in Midwest City. For over forty years, Strahm has been an outstanding promoter and educator for the beef industry and served as president of the Osage County CattleWomen and as treasurer for the Oklahoma CattleWomen.

In July, former Pawhuskan Dr. Freeta Jones-Porter was selected for the Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame. The daughter of J.T. and Murphie Stokes, Jones-Porter attended elementary school at Booker T. Washington and Pawhuska High School, graduating in 1972.

In September, Joyce Allen chalked up an impressive array of awards at the Osage County Fair. Out of 51 entries, she garnered 31 Blue Ribbons, 15 Reds and 5 White. This multi-talented woman submitted entries in baking, gardening, canning, crafts, sewing, oil painting and photography.

In October, Julia Wilson and Charles Lookout, members of the Osage Nation, were honored at the 5th Annual AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors. The event was held at the Oklahoma Cowboy Hall of Fame. They joined a distinct group of Native Americans who were recognized for their contributions to their respective Tribes and communities.

In November, Osage Veteran John Henry Mashunkashey and Osage Congressman John Maker were invited to the White House to receive the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal honoring World War I and II veterans who, as code talkers, spoke Osage over military radio during combat. Code talkers from more than 35 tribes were honored.

In November, Osage County ranchers John and Macy Strom were named Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s Farm Family of the year. The Strom’s were one of six OKFB district farm family finalists, chosen for their ability to best represent farming and ranching and the spirit of Oklahoma agriculture.

In December, a local social gathering honored longtime area Boy Scout leader Joe Long who was celebrating his 95th birthday. Long has been active in Osage County scouting for the past 80 years. Also in December, a pre-parade reception was held to honor the Christmas Parade Marshalls and two of Pawhuska’s most beloved citizens, Dorsey (Sonny) and Mary McCartney.


In February, Oklahoma Baptist University’s Bisonettes, a premier women’s glee club, performed a concert at the Pawhuska First Baptist Church.

In March, the Assembly of God Church hosted acclaimed Christian recording artist and composer Gordon Jensen for two concerts. A five-time nominee for Gospel Songwriter of the Year, Jensen has enjoyed enthusiastic response throughout the U.S. and internationally. Two cultures were bridged when Alejandra Rodriguez of Mexico’s National Forestry Commission visited Pawhuska and the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.

Also in March, Lynn Baptist Church hosted 75 members of the Singing Churchmen. These men came from 38 different Oklahoma cities and towns. Cumulatively, the troop traveled over 7.000 miles at their own expense; the farthest from Guymon.

In June, youthful soccer players of all ages filled the PHS football stadium as famed golfer Notah Begay kicked off the Osage Nation sponsored Soccer & Healthy Living Day Camp. The free event was sponsored by the Osage Nation for all youth between the ages of 5-14 in partnership with the Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3F) Soccer Program.

In July, Pawhuska’s Grandview Inn became a temporary home for nine visitors from Montauban, France. The delegation was a part of the Pawhuska-Montauban Sister City pack that was created in 1991 through the Oklahoma-Occitania II Association, also known as OK-OC. The highlight of their visit was the unveiling and dedication of a monument commemorating the long-standing friendship between the Osages and the French. Their week-long agenda was filled with activities sponsored by the Pawhuska Sister City Association.


In February, Pawhuska’s Masonic Wah-Shah-She Lodge No. 110 began extensive renovations to save their 1906 building. Their primary focus was to repair broken support beams and a leaking roof. A big crane was bought in to install two massive steel support beams. Hardwood floors were sanded, stained and sealed. Ceiling tiles bearing an embossed Masonic crest were re-purposed behind the north and south altars. All updates complimented the lodge’s beautiful oak furnishings which are the envy of lodges throughout the United States.

In November, the Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center opened the Annette (Moncravie) Gore Osage Genealogy Library to the public. Its extensive collection holds assorted oil history records, photographs, Carlisle Indian School records, copies of the Osage Murders FBI files, copies of books by the late Osage historian Louis Burns, digitized copies of the Pawhuska Journal Capital newspapers, and Fold3 which is a sister site to Ancestry.com.