Monthly Archives: September 2008

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.

Leave a comment

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.

1 Comment

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.

Leave a comment

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


Tags: , ,

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


Tags: , ,

Show and Tell – What Crack?

55th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy

The postings for this carnival can be found on the Creative Gene blog at  The subject for the 55th Carnival is “Show and Tell.”  I was one of those kids who really didn’t like Show and Tell.  I always had some great stuff and some great ideas but always stressed out that the other kids wouldn’t see how cool my stuff was.  I needed a lot of affirmation in those days.  Who am I kidding I still need a lot of affirmation (hint, hint).  So at first I really didn’t intend to take advantage of this opportunity to show some of my cool stuff.  I finally convinced myself, that I was a big boy now and I could handle it.  So with that not too subtle disclaimer, here is my offering.

Item #1

We have a lot of old pictures from my dad’s family because one of his aunts owned a photo studio in Mangum, Oklahoma.  Because my father was the oldest son of the oldest son of the family, he got a lot of attention. The picture I am sharing is a baby picture of Dad when he was less than four months old. We know that because he was born in August, 1911 and the picture is dated ’11.  We know that it was taken at the Yoder Studio in Mangum, because his aunt, Minnie Yoder Cheek was the photographer.  But to our sorrow at some point in it’s 80 year journey from the studio to us, the picture was bent leaving a large crack all the way across the front.  You can tell from the header picture on the page, someone along the way did not take very good care of the family pictures.  I have done a lot of photography, both behind the lens and in the dark room and I did not know of anyway to repair the damage that would not do more damage in the process.  So the picture stay safely put away in order to preserve it from further damage.  That was until I discovered Adobe Photoshop.   I have worked with a number of graphic programs in the past 15 years but none that really let you do much with photographs. But now here was a sophisticated tool that approached giving you the same kind of control over image quality that you have in a good dark room as well as a number of very useful digital tools.

After discovering some of the features I decided to jump right in and see how it would do with a really difficult project. Just how well would I be able repair the damage to Dad’s picture digitally. After carefully scanning the picture in to several high resolution tiff files, I started to work. My first few attempts were not too successful, but I was gaining confidence and hopefully some skill with each new attempt. I was excited to see the old picture finally begin to look like new again. While it is not yet perfect, notice the irregularities around the frame, Item #2 is of sufficient quality that I was willing to share and made copies for most of the family.

Item #2

I’m not sure how Dad would feel about all of the world seeing him wearing a dress, but I know Aunt Minnie would be proud.


Posted by on 1 September 2008 in Cheek, Genea-bloggers, genealogy


Tags: , ,