Okay its not THE Pond - as some call the ocean. And it is not just A Pond - as in smaller than a lake. It is a lake! I enjoy living on it and spending time on my back porch listening to music, gazing at the lake and pondering.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


It has been just over two months since our mother died. That was the hardest sentence I have typed in a long while. She was a fantastic mom to my sisters (Trisha Wright and Sandra Edmounds) and me. She and our dad gave us a great life grounded in Christian faith and love of God and country.
Anyone who knew my mom will remember her most as she is seen in this last professional photograph taken in the middle of 2013 (above). Nice smile, right? She had one that would light up a room. And her laugh would cause any sourpuss to finally break out into a grin (at the very least). My mom had a great sense of humor. No matter the circumstance she looked for the bright side of the situation and chose to keep a positive attitude about life.
In the five (5) years she lived after her husband of sixty (60) years and our father's death mom continued to be positive and active in her retirement community and church (29th & Yale Church of Christ). She opened a Facebook and email account and stayed active with both of those. We know she missed dad but lived bravely on. Perhaps her Facebook account password reflected her Christian faith and gives us some insight into her belief about the LIFE waiting on the other side of time  - it was simply: "reddytogo".
Christmas was a favorite holiday of mom's. She and dad hosted the family Christmas gatherings from 1963 until 2003 at their home in east Tulsa. I did not realize - until I just typed it - that it was an even 40 years of laughter and love. In the summer of 2004 they moved into a retirement community.
Mom and dad were always generous with gifts as we grew up and as grandchildren were added to the Christmas crowd they found ways to include them too as mom made each their own stocking and filled them with goodies before we opened presents under the tree. She had an annual tradition of giving my brothers-in-law jars of olives and me jars of Heinz Ketchup. I am not sure how that tradition started but us guys always had to pretend we did not know what those presents were - even though the gifts were heavy as bricks.  
In their retirement years mom and dad began a Christmas tradition at the end of the exchanging of gifts. It was one we grew to LOVE! Mom would call Trisha, Sandra and me to stand in front of the tree and she would present us with the next year's calendar and on the page with our birthday month would be an envelope with a check. The check was not a huge check by Kennedy or Rockefeller standards but it was generous amount. On years their retirement investments allowed them to take a cruise or two our check would be a bit smaller. We teased with them on those years that they were spending our inheritance. We did, however, truly enjoy seeing our parents enjoy their retirement and trips with their wonderful friends! 
In late September 2013 mom began to have a series of infections and strokes that - no matter how she tried - kept her from being able to regain strength or the active lifestyle she so loved. She tried for a long time but in the last few months seemed to give up. As a matter of fact the cause of death listed on her death certificate was "failure to thrive". That is spot on. Because our mother did not just live - she THRIVED throughout all her life!
In the last year or so of her life she expressed to my wife Debbie, sister Sandra, and me her desire to give each of her grandchildren a monetary gift (again, not huge but meaningful). After her death we kids knew what needed to be done.
At Christmas 2014 mom played the part of Santa again. At the end of the Christmas gift openings with each of our families mom gave one more gift. We had calendars made with a picture of mom or dad or both in each month on the calendar. Each of their 10 grandchildren received a calendar and in it was an envelope with a monetary gift. So finally they did not have to watch their parents receive a final gift. They got one!
I have to believe mom smiled her magnificent smile once more on those 10, much loved grandchildren listed here:
Shane Edmounds
Julie Traynham
Brian Edmounds
Katherine Fromm
Amanda Friberg
Becky Prine
Amber Clanton West
Cheryl McFaddin
Bradley Wilkerson
Alex Wright

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day 2013

My grandson, Maverick, wrote this for Veterans Day assignment at school

William Ellis Clanton (1920-2009)

By: Maverick West

William Ellis Clanton was my great grandfather. He was in the navy. He served in World War 2 from 1944 to 1948 and was a Seabee. Seabees went to islands after a battle and built barracks and other buildings for the army. He was stationed in the South Pacific Ocean and islands. His job rate was an AS. The navy website states AS stands for “Aviation Support Equipment Technicians. Their job is to operate, maintain, repair and test automotive electrical systems in ground equipment, gasoline and diesel systems, and associated automotive, hydraulic and pneumatic systems. They also maintain gas turbine compressor units, ground air-conditioning units, perform metal fabrication, repair and painting of tow tractors and other aircraft servicing units.

He told us some very interesting stories. One of the stories he told was when he went to a loading dock to get ready to haul supplies. He had to parallel park a flat bed truck. The thing that was really amazing was that he parked it perfect the first time (He admitted it was luck). The Naval officers were watching as he did his magic. Because of the perfect park he did, he got a job to transport the officers every time they visited the islands.

 The next story he told us was something a lot of soldiers go through. One Sunday during the war he was a little homesick. He was a Christian so he wanted to go to church. One Sunday he heard some men singing a hymn. He followed the sound into a tent. In the tent he found 5-6 men singing the hymns. After this occasion these men and he met every Sunday and had church.

The last story I have to tell is a love story. He was in Detroit Michigan in 1942 for training. He went to church one Sunday. After the service the preacher and his wife invited him to their home for lunch. When he arrived at the house he met the preacher’s red-haired daughter. Five years later after he was discharged from the navy he met her again in Tulsa, Oklahoma and they married in 1948. That marriage lasted sixty years until his death in January 2009.

My great grandfather also served in the Korean War from 1950 through 1951. He was the first in Tulsa to be reactivated into service.

I want to say thank you to all veterans for sacrificing years of their lives to help our country.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Three Year Anniversary of My Dad's Heavenly Birthday.

Dad's 87th birthday - February 2007
   It has been three years today since Dad said goodbye to us and rolled over to say good morning to God (01/29/2009). I can solemnly swear there is not one day that goes by without me thinking of him. At any time remembrances can make me a little sad, bring a smile or chuckle, cause me to walk a little straighter, or think about what Heaven will be like.

   One of those chuckles came a few days ago. Maverick had a basketball game in Catoosa. As we made our way from the pond to the game we drove past the Port of Catoosa. I was reminded of a time before the port was a port. Dad would take my friend Mike Heaps and I in the 1965 Ford Falcon station wagon and we would head to that area of the county. Mike and I would take along our Daisy BB rifles.

   Once we were out on the narrow country roads Mike and I would get to sit on the tailgate of the car and Dad would slowly drive up and down those roads while Mike and I took shots at tin cans, bottles, birds, tree trunks, signs and the like. I am pretty sure if this took place today the three of us would have our faces on every news service website and be in our own episode of 20/20. Dad would be quoted as saying, "I wasn't going more that 10 MPH and with the back end of the car bouncing up and down those boys couldn't hit the broad side of a barn!"

   I am very proud of my dad on so many levels. He was a sincere Christian, devoted husband and father, a patriot (serving in two of our nations conflicts) and a honest employee. The standard he set for me and my sisters was so very high and noble. I still gauge my progress in life by looking at his shadow.

We miss you, Dad!

"God only cries for the living,
'Cause its the living that are left to carry on.
And all the angels up in Heaven,
They're not grieving because they're gone.
There's a smile on their faces,
 'Cause they're in a better place than
They've ever known!
God only cries for the living,
'Cause its the living that are so far from home."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Baseball Memories

The Saint Louis Cardinals' win of the 2011 World Series brought back a lot of memories for me.
I had a friend on Facebook ask me why I am a Dallas Cowboys fan and not a Rangers fan. There are two simple reasons:
1) The Tulsa Oilers were the AAA farm team for the Cards until A. Ray Smith took the team and left town in 1977.
2) The Texas Rangers were not until 1972 or there abouts and I had already been a Cardinal fan for 18 years.
I actually worked for A. Ray Smith's Tulsa Oiler baseball club in the early 70's as the scoreboard keeper. I got paid to watch Tulsa Oiler baseball! I was paid $5 for a single game and $7 for a double header. I would listen to Len Morton and Mack Creagor call the game on the radio and took my cues from them as to when to hang a new square metal painted number in R, H, E columns and the Inning boxes.
When an Oiler would hit a homer fireworks would be launched from 3 metal tubes on a level above me in the fence in Center field. I would then have to go up, pour sand and water on the fire started by the sparks on the wooden structure. I am pretty sure the fire-hazard story would have been big on CNN if it had been around in those days. I would then load the pipe with more fireworks and plug it into electricity so someone elsewhere launch them next time they were needed.
At the end of the game it was my responsibility to take down and fold the American flags in Center field, and the two that flew from the roof of the stadium. I would run into to A. Ray Smith from time to time and he would always say hello.
I actually got a shout out from Jose Cruz in Center field before he was called up to the Cardinals. Kind of my claim to fame as lame as it is.
Great memories. But the fantastic September and October comeback of the Cardinals will be a memory and one for the record books for the ages.
Now, let's get Pujols signed and keep him in St. Louis where he belongs.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

SnOklahoma 2011

Cabin Fever has been running rampant at the pond these last couple of weeks. Bitter cold and snowy conditions have kept Shianne (our 1 year old Golden Retriever) and me from our appointed walks. Week days we walk in the early mornings and evenings. On weekends we can usually have a middle of the day longer walk. These past few days we've just looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and eaten another cookie.

The beauty of the snow and the fun out in it cannot be denied. Here are some photos taken at my place on the pond over the last two weeks: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2109461&id=1407710638&l=6e13c82006

Being a life long Okie I am used to snows being here for 2 days and out. If you want to build a snowman or do any sledding you best do it in the 3 hours after snow fall ceases or it begins to melt away. Since Al Gore discovered his Inconvenient Truth about global warming snow storms have become stronger, colder, deeper, longer. That has become our inconvenient truth.

Another day or two and Shianne and I will be able to venture out without the muck and slush and sloppy run off of the snow. I'll be able to look up at the sky again to see the moon and stars instead of looking down to avoid the ice.