Today marks the Centennial of Oklahoma statehood. Why does this excite me? Because I call myself an Okie! I was born there, spent most of my growing up years there, graduated from high school there and got married there. I enjoy a lot of paternal family hertitage in Oklahoma as well.
I love the stories of Oklahoma. I enjoy reading about Indian Territory, Geronimo, Stan Watie, and Will Rogers. I especially enjoy the stories about the 1889 Land Run. I have particular interest in the land run, because my ancestors participated in it. My parents still own the luggage trunk that made the land run with my ancestors.
When I think of Oklahoma statehood, it reminds me of my Grandpa! Grandpa was a wonderful, godly man. He was a great Grandpa, and I was so proud of him. He was a preacher in the state of Oklahoma for more than 50 years and even served as the President of the Oklahoma Baptist State Convention. Many people sat under his preaching and/or knew who he was. It was a common occurrence for me to be asked, "Are you Anson Justice's granddaughter?" I was always proud to acknowledge that I was.
But those aren't the reasons the Centennial of Oklahoma statehood makes me think of Grandpa. It's because Grandpa was born one month before statehood. He was born in Indian Territory in October of 1907. This fact has always fascinated me. This fact also caused Grandpa some problems. The first time he traveled overseas, he had trouble getting a passport, because he had no birth certificate! :) Grandpa lived a long life filled with service to God and love for his family. He witnessed a lot of change in the state of Oklahoma before passing away in 2003 at the age of 96.
I am grateful for my home state's 100 years, and I am grateful for the family heritage with which God has blessed me!
*This creative title is not original with me. It is the title of a musical that will be performed at my high school alma mater next week in celebration of the centennial.