Author Archives: cheekfam

Wordless Wednesday: The Day the Library Flooded

MLC Auditorium Flood

MLC Auditorium Flood

 “MLC Auditorium Flood.” Digital Image. Photographed , 3 January 2005. Privately held by Richard O. Cheek, Midwest City, OK, 2009.

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by on 11 February 2009 in Uncategorized, wordless Wednesday


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Smile for the Camera-Cheek Family Portrait

I look forward to the  Smile-for-the-camera Carnivals  because of


 the challenge of selecting just the right picture(s) for the category. I regret that time constraints have made me miss the last few. This time it really was easy and I didn’t have to look very deep into the family archives. In fact the picture was as close as the top of the page.  My header picture, a family portrait of my great grandfather Robert Bruce Cheek’s family takin in Mangum, Oklahoma Territory, around 1903. There are many more pictures in my treasury that would fit, but I have always been fascinated by the sartorial contrasts in this family portrait.  


Cheek Family Portrait-ca1903

Cheek Family Portrait-ca1903

The patriarch is wearing an obviously well-worn standard suit of the era. The mother, Carrie Savanah Adams Cheek, obviously took a little more time to get ready for the photographer, what doesn’t show with her hands folded across her lap, is the presence of the final member of the family, Roy Bruce,  who will be born later in the year.  The stars are obviously big brother, Joseph Marion (my grandfather) and big sister, Bertie Columbia.  They are definitely stylin’. The other boys are not too impressed with the whole process and would obviously prefer to be somewhere else.  I really like the haphazard buttoning of the jacket on my great uncle Robert Luther. Unfortunately a few years later he would be killed in France in “the war to end all wars.”  The best dressed of all may be the doll held by Annabelle, but I just couldn’t enlarge enough to be sure.


 I am eagerly anticipating the next carnival.

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Posted by on 10 February 2009 in Cheek


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New Puppy


“Hope.” Digital Image. Photographed by Richard O. Cheek, 22 January 2009. Privately held by Richard O. Cheek, Midwest City, OK, 2009.

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by on 4 February 2009 in Cheek, wordless Wednesday


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42 Years Ago Today

Open Wide

Wordless Wednesday


Posted by on 21 January 2009 in Cheek


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Blog Action Day: Biblical Teachings on Poverty and Wealth

I heard a speaker say recently that the Bible has around 3000 references to caring for the poor.  I haven’t personally counted them but I know there are certainly a lot of them. For many believers the few passages in the Old Testament, primarily in Proverbs, which indicate that wealth is a blessing from God somehow gives them warrent to ignore the overwhelming amount of biblical teaching that wealth is not a good thing unless it is being shared with the poor.  Or they will take Jesus’ statement that there will always be poor people as an excuse for not doing anything about it.  They ignore the fact that Jesus is quoting a familiar passage from Deuteronomy 15 which says:

Give generously to him (your poor brother) and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.

There is no place that this teaching is more clear than in Jesus’ dealing the the so-called Rich Young Ruler.  After accepting the young man’s statement that he had kept the commandments, Jesus said:

 “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  Matthew 19:21

To a man who is self-satisfied and content with his wealth (sometimes referred to as Bigger Barns), he said:

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

 Luke 12:20-21

Later in that same passage he talks about treasure saying:

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

 Luke 12:32-34

Other teachings on wealth and poverty are:

“I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything — all she had to live on.” Mark 12:43-44


“I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23-24


No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money (mammon). Matthew 6:24

Many like to point to the passage where it says that it is “the love of money” not money itself that is evil. And somehow that relieves them of the clear biblical mandate to care for the poor and needy.  I challenge anyone to try and find a single time when Jesus had anything good to say about someone who was rich.

We live in a country that is richer than any other country in history and somehow miss it that Jesus’ teaching apply to us.  Just in case there are some out there who don’t think they are wealthy, I encourage you to go to the Global Rich List and enter your income to find out where you rank in relation to the rest of the world.  Just as a warnig, I entered the current poverty level in the US which is $22,200 for a family of four.  At the level you are in the top 11% of the world’s wealthy.  That means there are over 600 million people richer than you but there are 6.2 billion people poorer. 

I don’t say all this to send anyone on a guilt trip, but to show you that if you want to demonstrate your love for God by your obedience to his commands, there is no command that shows up with more frequency in the Bible than the command care for the poor.  I will end with the clearest definition of religion that can be found anywhere in the scriptures. James 1:27 says “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”




Posted by on 15 October 2008 in Genea-bloggers


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Wordless Wednesday: Not a Grandchild But Still Cute

My son’s librarian wife

Wordless Wednesday


Posted by on 8 October 2008 in Uncategorized


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Yearbook: I Really Do Remember the 60s

Just for fun before I show you how I might have looked in the 60s, this is my real 1962 yearbook photo.

And this is what I might have looked like in the 60s

But it was fun to look at the possibilities.

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Posted by on 30 September 2008 in Genea-bloggers


Getting To Know Me, Getting To Know The Cheek That Doth Not Fade

Getting To Know Me-1
I am a librarian, a grandfather, an Army brat, a fairly good photographer, and a rather undisciplined genealogist. I have very eclectic taste in music, but 60s style folk is my favorite.  I read adventure novels for relaxation. I collect old camera. I married my high school sweetheart 41 years ago and she is still my best friend and the love of my life. I have 6 children, 1 girl and 5 boys (aged 19 to 38) and 3 granddaughters (ages 14, 11, 9). I am a Vietnam veteran who is radical about peace. I was in the chorus at Lyric Theater in OKC in its very first year. Basketball was always my favorite game to play and football (both kinds) my favorite game to watch. We served as missionaries for the Southern Baptist Covention in Indonesia and Malaysia. I have been a seminary teacher and a college teacher. I have made five significant career changes. I guess it took me that long to find the right one because I absolutely love working in libraries. I was formerly director of the Guthrie Public Library in Guthrie, Oklahoma and am currently the Dean of Library Services at Oklahoma Baptist University. 

Getting To Know Me-2
My father was always interested in his family history but never had the opportunity to study it very much. So when I had to learn something about doing genealogy to help some of the patrons of my library, I immediately discovered a new avocation.  My greatest regret is that my father is no longer around to appreciate the fruits of my labor.  He would be pleased to know that we can trace the Cheek family back to the 1600s in Maryland and Virginia. He would be intrigued to discover that he had cousins living just a few miles away that he never knew anything about.  He would be sorry that the family story he always told turned out to be a myth.  After 15 years of working very hard on the all of our family lines, I had gotten a little burned out.  Especially, since the most common response I got from most of my family was, “Oh, that’s nice.”  Sharing with the rest of you genea-bloggers has rekindled my interest and I thank you for that.  Now I’m waiting for it to cool off a little so I can get back out into the cemeteries.

Getting To Know The Cheek That Doth Not Fade
Cheek is one of those unique names that has multiple meanings and shows up in some of the most interesting places.  The title of the blog actually comes from the Keat’s poem, Fancy. The full poem can be found at

O sweet Fancy! let her loose;
Every thing is spoilt by use:
Where ‘s the cheek that doth not fade,
Too much gazed at?

I actually began to blog in order to publish family information, comment on contemporary issues, and respond to the culture around us.  So the content will always cover a wide variety of subjects.

The Bright, Breezy, and Beautiful
 I have never been a very good rule follower so I will not go with the superlatives, but with three articles that at least fit the categories.

The Bright
A Frightening Observation 23 February 2008
A comparison of two books about two remarkable women which warns about the dangers of absolutism and represents my interest in literature, religion, and popular culture.

The Breezy
My Favorite Photograph 10 August 2008
After doing three weddings in two years humor is definitely where you find it and this is the best of the memories.

The Beautiful
Leavin’ On A Jet Plane. . .3 August 2007
With apologies to Dickens, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times and needs no other comment.

My only advice would be to write what you care about, write what means something to you.  That way the task is its own reward and if someone else appreciates what you have done, it’s a bonus.

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Posted by on 27 September 2008 in Cheek, Genea-bloggers, genealogy, John Keats


Smile for the Camera: Crowning Glory

The last Smile-for-the-camera Carnival was impossible because any attempt to choose a favorite picture had to leave too many out and could only be true for the picture selected at that time and place. Five minutes later, I probably would have changed my mind. The Crowning Glory theme was a lot easier because it gave me some boundaries that I had to observe, but I was pretty sure what my final selection would be before I even started looking. Still there was that part of the instructions that said, “Don’t limit yourself to just hair fashion through the ages, got a great photograph of a hat, helmet, bonnet, or some other interesting headgear? Share!” That opened up lots of possibilities, so rather than limit myself to one, I decided to share some of the great pictures that fell into the “also ran” category.

The first three are pictures of my wife’s mother, her little sister, and my wife.

 The next group includes my son Rick as Aslan, my son John with really pretty hair, and son Mark with his best Jesus look.

Next in the classic headgear category are my great, great, great grandmother Dicey Mitchell Ball (the camera didn’t catch her with her eyes closed, she was blind), my mother with her big brother, and my wife’s mother with her big hat.


In the next group are another shot of me and my big brother (obviously no longer in the Philippines), a shot of my wife on the way to do a little shopping, and one of my wife’s cousins with the cutest little hat.


 The final group displays the glories of my son Bob, doing his Johnny Appleseed impression, and my three grand daughters looking oh so cute in their pink trucker hats (gifts from their uncle John who got cut out of the picture because he is not nearly as cute as they are.)

The runner up picture is another shot of Emma and Eliza who are very excited about their wonderful hair.(I still can’t believe their friend was patient enough to braid all the girls hair that day).

The winner is the shot of three brothers-Matt, John, and Bob-sans hair. A few years ago their sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. An experienced friend advised her that it is a lot less traumatic to just go ahead and cut your hair off rather than waiting for it to fall out.  When her brothers found out, the told her to let them know when she was going to shave her head and they would join her. This picture is the result-the Crowning Glory of “philadelphia.” 


Of course following that, she got to wear a wig and they just had to wait until it grew out. Just in case you were wondering the middle brother is the same one with all the beautiful curls up in group two. 

This carnival has truly been a joy to participate in and believe me there were many more pictures that didn’t quite make the final groups.  I am eagerly anticipating the next carnival.

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Posted by on 8 September 2008 in Cheek, Genea-bloggers


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Wordless Wednesday: Chickenpox



“Chickenpox.” Digital Image. Photographed by James E. Cheek, Philippines, 1949. Privately held by Richard O. Cheek, Midwest City, OK, 2005.

Wordless Wednesday


Posted by on 3 September 2008 in Cheek, Genea-bloggers


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