06 August 2018

Celebration of Life - Dorthy McGill (1943-2018)

Everyone needs a DoRight Dorthy. The strength and resolve of Dorthy’s soul soars with the eagles over the Li’l valley of Vallecito Lake, North of Bayfield, Colorado, that she loved. Dorthy McGill passed away at 2:08am, Saturday, 14 July 2018. She requested to be cremated and we promised her - no funeral services, tombstones or obituary. We met Dorthy’s wishes to some extent (half-way) as we celebrate her life through pictures, memories (good and bad) throughout her life. - Celebration of Life - Dorthy McGill (1943-2018) OR - check out the updated link Dorthy's Celebration of Life (1943-2018).

It was 74+ years ago, 31 August 1943, a young girl was born to Gene M. and Vada E. (Paris) McGill, in NW Oklahoma. Dorthy was the second daughter of four daughters born to this rural farmer/rancher and his wife, who had a ranch 10 miles North of Waynoka, and also resided in Alva, Oklahoma. Some might remember Dorthy as DoRight Dynamite Dorthy. Others might remember Dorthy as C.O.A.D. (Crazy Old Aunt Dorthy) with fond memories. You might have your own nickname for Dorthy. We would love to hear your stories of how she came into your lives and made a difference.

Dorthy grew up and attended school in the rural community of Alva, Oklahoma. I remember Dorthy telling a story of her first day in class, sixth grade (Washington Elementary School) with Mr. Lee Haley as the teacher. Mr. Haley ask his students to tell what their hopes and dreams were when they grew up. Dorthy stood up and said, "I am going to be a lawyer." Most of the whole class laughed at her, but Mr. Haley came to Dorthy's rescue and said, "Dorthy can be whatever she wants to be."

In 1957, Gene and Vada McGill and family of four daughters traveled to Alaska from NW Oklahoma by way of a two-tone Plymouth station wagon pulling a very small teardrop trailer used for sleeping two adults inside. It had a back end that opened upward to reveal a kitchen type cabinet of cooking supplies, which turned it into a cooking area. It was one of Gene's ingenious inventions. While Gene and Vada slept inside the trailer, the four girls slept in an old army-type tent; on a blanket spread out in a pasture or alongside the road; or were crammed like four sardines into the back of the station wagon with the back seats laid flat.

Then there was the time Gene flew his family of six out to Los Angeles, California in his Cessna airplane for the Democratic National Convention of 1959 for JFK and LBJ convention. We were crammed in the plane. Some of us got a bit air sick (me). In the aftermath of all that, Dorthy lost a shoe somewhere over Arizona when Dad opened door so slightly to throw out the bag of vomit.

It was in June, 1960, Dorthy attended Oklahoma Girls State, at Oklahoma College for Women, Chickasha, Oklahoma. Dorthy was one of nine listed as a Supreme Court Justice of Girls State that year. During this same period (1960), Dorthy served as an intern for US Senator Stuart Symington, in Washington, DC. Dorthy left Alva to attend her senior year of high school (1960-61) at Greenbriar College for Women, in Lewisburg, WV, where she graduated with honors. If you click on the image, look towards the second row from top, 7th from right side, you can spot Dorthy standing next to Rosanna Bouziden. Marilyn Marcum is on the front row, 1st one on the left.

After graduation, Dorthy came back to Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma State University (OSU) and Northwestern State College. After college graduation, Dorthy was employed at Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, from 1966-1977, as a Contract Negotiator responsible for writing contract requirements, negotiating contract terms and provisions. Dorthy was also an Inventory Manager responsible for computing requirements and controlling allocations and distributions of parts and equipment. At one point Dorthy became a whistleblower on one of the TAFB Generals who was procuring items for himself.

In 1977 to 1988, Dorthy came back to her hometown of Alva, Oklahoma, receiving training in Oil & Gas records searching and leasing from a semi-retired landman and attending numerous seminars. In 1989, Dorthy McGill, Esq. received training and mediation skills to receive her certificate in the State of Oklahoma as an Agricultural Loan Mediator, 22 April 1989.

We all know Dorthy McGill for her strengths of Diligence, Dedication, Drive, Determination and Lots of Nerve. If the first four “D” alliterations did not work, then there was always the old stand by: “Lots of Nerve.”

After Dorthy’s divorce from her husband in 1983, Dorthy at the age of 40 years of age, put herself through law school at Oklahoma City University (OCU). Dorthy passed the Oklahoma Bar in 18 March 1988, in the upper 90%. From then on Dorthy’s legacy as Dynamite, DoRight Dorthy took on a whole new meaning, leading her on a path into Democratic politics in the conservative, men oriented, rural communities of NW Oklahoma to “Make A Difference.”

By the way, it was Dorthy’s ex-husband who once said, “You’ve never learned to suffer in silence.” Dorthy’s reply, “You got that right.” Dorthy was a force to be reckoned with and an independent woman.

Dorthy went through good and bad times throughout her life just like everyone else. It was Dorthy’s bad times that helped strengthened her resolve to stand up and lend a voice with determination, diligence and to make a difference in others lives. Whether it was running as a Democratic woman candidate in conservative, rural NW Oklahoma; being a whistleblower on a General at Tinker AFB; protecting her younger sisters; or the tumultuous family probate from hell, 1992-1999.

It was the Spring of 1988 that Dorthy, as a Democratic candidate in Northwest Oklahoma, ran a grassroots campaign for State Representative District 58, to "Make A Dynamite Difference for NW Oklahoma.” It was a close race, but Elmer Maddox, GOP candidate from Woodward won that seat. In 1990, Dorthy’s diligence and determination kicked in again as she continued her campaign for State Representative District 58 with the Slogan: “We Can! We Will! Do Right with Dorthy. An Open Honest Effective Voice for NW Oklahoma.”

That campaign ran short of its goal in the conservative, rural northwest Oklahoma, but that did not stop Dorthy McGill from making a difference. My oldest son, Michael, reminded me that after losing the 1988 election, Dorthy felt vulnerable and was afraid she let her supporters and family down. Dorthy was reminded how much she influenced those who voted and campaigned for her. Dorthy wanted people to remember a good thing and a bad thing. Dorthy realized even the bad things helped her to make a difference in others’ lives.

Why and how did Dorthy end up in beautiful Vallecito, SW Colorado? It was a 2000 Fall travel expedition to find a retreat to recover from a tumultuous family probate from hell of 1992-1999. It was the familiarity of the Lake Vallecito area that drew her back to her old cabin that she feel in love with in the late 1970s (or was it early 1980s); finding it standing empty in 2000; and her nephews promising her they would find away to get her back to the cabin. Little did they know the Fall of 2000 adventure with Dorthy, her sister Linda, brother-in-law David and nephew Robert looking for a retreat in the Durango and Lake Vallecito area they would find her old cabin standing empty and unoccupied.

It was through chance and happy coincidence, that we met up with Jack Riddle having breakfast alone at a separate table at Marilyn’s restaurant by Lake Vallecito. It was within a short time, Dorthy knew that Jack’s property (Dorthy’s old cabin) was exactly the retreat she was seeking. You see, Jack Riddle was the one who had purchased Dorthy’s cabin in the late 1980s. It was in those next few days, in the Fall of 2000, that Dorthy and her family negotiated rent on Dorthy’s Colorado retreat. In the Fall of 2000 November with help from her family, Dorthy had successful moved back to the "Li’l Valley" of Vallecito Lake, North of Bayfield, Colorado to the cabin she fell in love with in the late 1970s. And … that is how her nephews, Michael and Robert Wagner, got their Crazy Old Aunt Dorthy back to her beloved SW Colorado Cabin at Vallecito Lake.

There is a poem by Rudyard Kipling, entitled “IF” that I found amongst Dorthy’s possessions. Here is a quote from that poem:  "If you can keep your head when all about you | Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, | If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, | But make allowance for their doubting too; | If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, | Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,"

A strong, determined soul soars with the eagles over this Li’l Valley at Vallecito Lake, North of Bayfield, Colorado. Dorthy requested to be cremated and absolutely no funeral services, tombstones or obituary. So we abide by Dorthy’s wishes, to some extent (half-way), and celebrate her life through pictures, memories (good and bad) of her life. Dorthy wanted us all to remember a good thing and a bad thing. How did Dorthy make a difference in your life?

26 April 2018

My Hurt Legacy

My Hurt Legacy through John James Hurt and Mary Mrkvicka shown at their homestead, seated in chairs. Not sure who the young lady is standing behind them.

 According to research I have found so far, my great grandfather Joseph P. Hurt was born in Bohemia (a part of Austria-Hungary) to John James Hurt (Hurtosci, Hurtoovi, or Hurtosic, not sure of the spelling) and Mary Mrkvicka. Joseph came over with his parents, an Uncle Anton and Eloize Hurt) and John and Anton's nephew (Vaclav Hurt). They boarded the ship Weser and left Bohemia and landed in New York on 14 March 1876. Then they headed Westward towards Nebraska and settled in Posen (now known as Farewell), Nebraska. 

 More HURT Family Photos:




 Anna Hurt married Victor Shilhan, in black hat, holding baby Anna Shilhan (1927); holding hand of Alice Shilhan and Helen Shilhan in dark coat standing beside her mother Anna Hurt Shilhan a year before Anna died in 1928.

18 June 2017

Above the Tall Pines, Vallecito, Colorado

Above the Tall Pines, Vallecito, Colorado

P4 drone view over cabin, Vallecito lake, Colorado. My first high flight above the tall pines at cabin, northend of CR 500, Vallecito Lake, Colorado. Learning camera and finding out where I need improvements. Need to slow down on span horizon. Don't get dizzy watching.

18 December 2016

We are in the process of publishing this weeks OkieLegacy Ezine/Tabloid. A new issue has been added by the NW Okie.  You may now read it and post comments at The Okie Legacy:  Volume 18, Issue 45 published on  2016-12-18  
 http://okielegacy.net/journal/tabloid/index.php?iss=45&vol=18   http://okielegacy.net/journal/ezine/index.php?Issue=45&Volume=18  

15 December 2016

The Daily Show - Trump Lets the Truth Come Out Post-Election

LOL ... Have you had your belly laugh lately? You got see Trevor Noah's take on President-elect Trump's "Than you Tour."