John Vannatta is 2008 SFTD

Parade Marshall

The 2008 Santa Fe Trail Days Parade Marshal is John Vannatta, of Keyes.

“I think this is quite an honor. I really didn’t expect it,” Vannatta said.

John was born July 30, 1920, in a four-room house on his mother’s homestead, just west of Keyes, to Oscar Willis and Sylvia Hazel Vannatta.

Vannnatta is living proof that lightning will strike twice in the same place.

“I’ve been struck by lightning twice and shot twice, (a home invasion), and I’m still here,” Vannatta grinned.

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“I was a senior in high school the first time I was struck. I was with Dutch Behrendt down at the Willowbar Cemetery. We were digging blow sand out of the cemetery, and the lightning struck somewhere nearby, went down our shovels and into the ground through our legs and feet.”

“Dutch looked at me, and said, ‘Did you feel that?’ I said yessir I did.”

“The second time I was struck was in an old stucco house out west here a couple of miles. I was watching a thunder storm and had turned to turn off the light. The lightning struck the transformer and went right through me, knocked me out for a while.”

John attended several different schools.

“I started school being taught by my mother in a little one-room schools at Willowbar and another called Excelsior, just northwest of our farm. She taught me for three years and I rode to and from school with her in a buggy.”

“The fourth through sixth grades I attended school in Albuquerque, N.M., because I’d gone out there to live with my dad, since he’d moved there for his health.”

John’s dad died when he was 12 so John returned to Cimarron County long enough to move to Goodwell to attend the seventh and eighth grades.

“We moved to Goodwell because my sister Fay wanted to attend Panhandle State, then I came back to Keyes for high school.”

John’s mother still had a farm to run, and she never remarried. Her brother, Burr Key, moved to the farm and helped her run it.

“He moved into the house and he raised me,” John explained.

John graduated from Keyes High in 1939 and attended Panhandle State, with the intention of becoming an electrical engineer.

“I got a job in the college cafeteria, serving ice cream,” John smiled.

But by then Europe was at war.

“I was out in the field shocking feed with my uncle Burr, a Navy veteran of WWI, and I asked him, do you think we’ll get into another war?”

“He said, ‘Yeah, but I wouldn’t worry about the Germans as much as the Russians.’ “

When John enrolled in classes, at Panhandle State, one block of study was for civilian pilot training.

“I completed airline basic training, and I missed a job with Pan American Airlines because of a miscommunication,” John explained.

With the two years completed at Goodwell, John had to transfer to O.S.U. to become an engineer.

“I was sitting in the lounge in the girl’s dorm, on December 7, 1941, when I heard about Pearl Harbor. We were at war, just like I knew we would be.”

When he joined the civilian pilot’s program, John had joined the Army Air Corps.

He was already a certified powered pilot, but volunteered for gliders, because they offered him all the tech schools he wanted.

He trained at South Plains Airfield in Lubbock, Texas, before going overseas.

Before leaving for Europe, on July 18, 1942, John married Margaret Smith, of Dalhart, Texas, a young woman he’d met in college.

“I flew gliders in Europe, but never made a combat landing in a glider,” John remembered.

“But I did fly, (in a powered aircraft, a C-47), gasoline to Patton up in Germany. We hauled gas in five-gallon Jerry cans all lined up in rows. Once we landed in a cow pasture, the other time on a German air strip. By that time we had air superiority so we saw no German fighters.”

When the war was over, John, gave no thought to pursuing his

flying and engineering career ambitions, choosing instead to return home and farm. As for more flying as a civilian, it was an expensive hobby, and Margaret didn’t share his love for it.

“I took her up once. I had to tell her each time I was turning the plane, taking it up, taking it down, and besides, I didn’t want to have to clean up the inside of the plane,” John laughed.

John worked 40 years as a farmer near Keyes, and of those forty, had a carpentry business on the side for 30 years, working and building the Keyes Methodist and Church of Christ, the Methodist parsonage, and in 1957, the Keyes High School.

“I also built a couple of houses and did several remodels out in the country.”

John and Margaret had three children, Judy, Jerry and Connie, seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren

 

 

 

 

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Lois Garner Reigns Over

SFTD 2008

 

 

 

 

The 2008 Santa Fe Trail Daze Queen, Lois Garner was born in Stratford, Texas, in 1925. She and her twinLouis, were the ninth and tenth children of Walter P. and Mettie Taylor James, and the only ones of the children not born in Oklahoma.

Her first connection to Oklahoma was starting school at the Husdson School in Cimarron County, after moving from Stratford to their home five miles west of Kerrick, Texas.

She attended the rest of her school in either Kerrick or Stratford.

During WWII, and after two years of college she taught grades four through six for one year.

She married Carl Garner of Dalhart in 1947.

He was a district electrical engineer for Westinghouse, but he wanted to own his own business. In 1951, he and Lois’s brother Andy A. James bought the John Deere Dealership in Boise City.

Carl later served on several boards and was mayor of Boise City in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Carl died in 2003.

They were both active in the First Baptist Church, and activities in the Boise City School system.

Lois served on the Yucca Girl Scout Council, and was a leader until their daughters, Patricia and LeAnn, graduated from high school. Patricia and Joe Fowler live in Orange Park, Fla., and grandsons Caleb, Shane and Jenny and Chris and Rachel, all live in Florida.

LeAnn and Terry Judah, live in Yukon, as do their daughters Tacey and Rodney Zimmerman, and grandchildren Gavin and Maleah, and Lesley and Joshua Ogle, Ben and Jan.

Lois continues to live in Boise City.

 

 

 

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Sr. Citizens’ BBQ & Dance to

Kick Off 2008 SFTD

The Senior Citizens will kick off the 2008 Santa Fe Trail Daze on Wednesday, June 4. The BBQ meal will be served from 5:30-7:00 for a donation of $8.00 for adults and $6.00 for children 12 & under. Following the meal, a dance is planned to begin at 7:30. “Goin’ for Broke” (Wes Coates’ band) will perform until 10:00 pm. Donations will be taken for the entertainment.

This fundraiser is a favorite that kicks off Cimarron County’s annual festival. The Senior Center must sponsors various fundraisers and rents their building in order to make the funds necessary to pay for the maintenance and operation of their building, thus keeping the “doors open”. Very little, if any, federal money pays for the maintenance and operation of any Senior Center.

Community support is vital for the future of this important facility. Please support our senior citizens by attending and supporting each fundraiser. So, come out and have a good meal, dance, and support our senior citizens!

 

 

RESERVATIONS FOR THE BCHS

ALUMNI AND FORMER STUDENTS

REUNION

ARE COMING IN FOR JUNE 7, 2008

The Boise City High School 2008 Alumni and Former Students Reunion set for June 7, 2008 will be here soon. Letters and reservation forms have been sent and need to be returned as soon as possible. Several classes are planning special get-togethers, The meal has been ordered, the tour of the Kenton area is on tap and there will be lots of activities with Santa Fe Trail Daze. So it is all shaping up to be a great reunion.

Send your reservations and payment for your meal to Cleo (Smith) Camilli at PO Box 994. Boise City, OK 73933. To see a schedule of the Santa Fe Trail Daze activities you may access the Chamber’s website at http://www.ccccok.org/santa_fe_trail_daze.htm The following is a list of reservations received so far. We hope to add your name to the list soon.
HOPE and PAT WELDON, TEACHER, JOHN and JANETTE COLTHARP, TEACHER, DORIS SMITH, TEACHER, BILL TERRY, TEACHER, JAN TERRY, TEACHER, FRANCES FOWLER DICKMAN, FORMER STUDENT, KAY FOWLER STINER, FORMER STUDENT, ELIZABETH BAUER HINDERLITER 1940, DOROTHY STRONG JAMESON, 1940, JOHN D SELLERS, 1940,HERSHEL THOMPSON, 1940, DORTHA CLIFTON KINCANNON, 1940, SALLY PALMER PARKER, 1941,DON WELLS, 1943, EARL RAY DAVIDSON, 1943, BETTY JANE JOHNSON GARRETT, 1943,ELVIN MILEY, 1943, MARIE BURGESS MILEY, 1943, MARGIE BAUER MOORE, 1943, ALMA LAMBERT McKINNEY, 1943, CHARLOTTE WILLIAMS, 1944, JOHN ATKINS, 1945, LEE AYCOCK, 1947, ROBERT L. BOCOCK, 1948, HAROLD McCUNE, 1949, STAN SHRYOCK, 1950, MARY LEE BARNES McCUNE, 1950, FRED OTTINGER, 1951, GEORGE NALL, 1951, KENNETH WELLS, 1951, LYNN CRABTREE WELLS, 1951, EVERETT FORD, 1952, DELBERT REED, 1952, ALBERTA TEVEBAUGH SHANNON, 1952, LAMOINE HATHAWAY JAMES, 1952, RONNIE HENSHAW, 1952, CHARLOTTE DAVIS TAYLOR, 1952, DONALD BRAKHAGE, 1953, CHARLES DOTSON, 1953, PAT TURNER FRANCIS, 1954, BEATRICE STRASBURG REED, 1954, BOB JAMES, 1954, ERNEST HENLEY, 1954, CHARLOTTE JARNIGAN SMITH, 1954, DOROTHY FOWLER FERRANTI, 1954, DERRELL PARKER, 1955, EDDIE SNAPP, 1955, ED FRANCIS, 1955, AMELIA SKELLEY IRLBECK, 1956, BETTY HENSHAW, 1956, MARVEL DRAKE JONES, 1956, GILBERT SPARKMAN, 1957, JUDY SNAPP JAMES, 1957, BENNY JOE MILLER, 1957, DOUG CHENAULT, 1957, LOIS PHILLIPS BURKHALTER, 1957, JERE MESSERSMITH, 1957, BOB D. WHITE, 1957, LEON LABRIER , 1958, D’ANN NOBLES LABRIER, 1958, KAY COMBS WHITE, 1958, CHUCK OGSTON, 1958, JAMES HALE, 1958, ROY N. TAPP, 1958, VERNON POWERS, 1958, VINOLLA LOVETT CHENAULT, 1958, MARY MALTBIE WINKLER, 1958, BARBARA PARKER MESSERSMITH, 1958, KATHEY DAVIS VILLANUERA, 1958, BILLY GANN, 1958, JOYCE IMLER FINGER, 1958, PAUL SMITH, 1958, TOMMIE JEAN EILAND OGSTON, 1959, RUBY RICE GORE, 1959, BOBBY G. THOMPSON, 1960, GENE DRAKE, 1960, PAULA HART WHITE, 1960, PAULA HART WHITE, 1960, CHARLES TAPP, 1960, DARLENE JONES COX, 1960, CHARLENE COMBS STEINER, 1961, SUE WARREN ALDRIDGE, 1961, BILL COOPER, 1961 JOHNIE BAIRD, 1962, DON SECHLER, 1962,CLAUDENE PRUITT COOPER, 1962, MICHELE FRENCH JAMES, 1962, DARIUS MALTBIE, 1963, DENNIS THOMPSON, 1963, SHERRY ETLING HARALSON, 1963, SANDRA COMBS BAIRD, 1964, SANDRA THOMPSON CHENAULT, 1964, CAROL IMLER HARPER, 1964, LINDA WINGERT TAPP, 1965, SUSAN STRONG FARMER, 1966, KAY SKELLEY PRATHER, 1967, TOM JAMES, 1967, JENNE CONGER DRICKEY, 1967, DEBBY COLTHARP OWENS, 1968, GLADYS WILSON MILLER, 1968, WESLEY COX, 1968, RONNY LATHROP, 1968,LEROY RANDOLPH, 1969, PHYLLIS WELLS RANDOLPH, 1969, JANICE STRONG SMITH, 1969, PEGGY MAY, 1969, SHELLEY MOSES HICKS, 1970, DEBRA STRONG JONES, 1970,CLEO SMITH CAMILLI, 1970, CATHY CRABTREE RICHARDSON, 1970, PAUL COE, 1970,DONNA HOLLOWELL HAMM, 1970, STEVE JOHNSON, 1971 GARY KINCANNON 1972, DIAN LIKE WHEELER, 1972, ROGER OTTINGER, 1972, BUDDY CAMILLI, 1972,MARLENE ADEE DE ANDA, 1972, RICK BRAKAGE, 1972, DEBBIE HEGWOOD JAMES, 1972, DENNIS SMITH, 1972, TOM WELDON, 1973, JOHN SMITH, 1973, DEBBIE BURDICK KINCANNON, 1974, STAN HOLLOWAY, 1974, CAROL SANDOVAL, 1974, LYNNA ALEXANDER BRAKHAGE, 1976,MARK SHANNON, 1977, BENNY MARTINEZ, 1977, KIM ALEXANDER, 1977, JANE LOOFBOURGH 1978, STEPHANIE NALL HOLLOWAY, 1978, JILL ALEXANDER LINDSEY, 1978, JEFF WARDLAW, 1978, MIKE JONES, 1978, ELAINE AYCOCOCK HENSLEY, 1979, KIM SECHLER WARLAW, 1981,LISA MESSERSMITH, 1982, LORI BROWN, 1985, FRANKIE HOLBERT READ, 1985, LYNN DAVIS, 1986,CURT SPARKMAN, 1986, PATTY MALONE HILL, 1987, CHRISTINA ISSACCS LUCERO, 1987, BOBBY THOMPSON, JR. 1987, SHELI HOLBERT MILLS, 1987, TRACY HUGHES, 1987, SHELLY DAVIS WORM, 1988, KELLY DAVIS, 1988, JERRILYNN FARMER SMITH, 1988, DANNESSA HARKINS LAMBDIN, 1988, STACY WARDLAW SPARKMAN, 1990, DELANE HOLBERT BOADIN, 1990, WES WOOLMAN, 1991, BRYAN TRANTHAM, 1991, TONI HARKINS TRANTHAM, 1991, TRACI BAKER WOOLMAN, 1992, BRENT TRANTHAM, 1992, MYRANDA LATHROP WILHITE, 1993, JOSE GONZALES, 1995, CINDY ESPARZA GONZALEZ, 1996, MYRON LATHROP, 1996, EUGENE SOELL, 1996,BROCK TERRELL, 1997, ALISHA MYERS TERRELL, 1997, CARA GILLESPIE SOELL, 1997, LORI CRABTREE STEWART, 1997, KIZZI SMITH NEELAND, 1998, LINDSAY STRASIA FITZGERALD, 1998, CARMEN TOOLEY DADISMAN, 1998, JOHN TERRELL, 1999, RHONDA WORM, 2000. KRISTA GILLESPIE CRABTREE, 2001, KAMBRI SMITH HARLAND, 2002, TIA KINCANNON, 2002, CLAY CRABTREE 2003, SCOTT LATHROP, 2004, KASSIDI SMITH, 2005,

 

 

 

 

 

 

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