Category Archives: Cheek
A Rare Beauty
As soon as I saw the subject for this carnival I knew there was only one picture I needed. To the best of my recollection I never saw my mother, Lois Orand Cheek, in a swimsuit. The only evidence to the contrary is this photo. As you can see she was not even Dad’s major interest in this shot and could easily have been cropped out. She did not particularly like the water and was never again photographed in a swimsuit.
I am the younger boy in the picture, two-three years old, and do not remember this day at the beach. I don’t know if my big brother James remembers anything about that day or not. I’ll give him a chance to comment on this after it is posted.
The beach is in the Philippines and was taken around 1947. Dad, an Army major, was transferred to the Philippines shortly after WW2 and we joined him there in 1946. I do have a few other shots taken that day, but none that actually show the swimsuit. The jeep in the background was our regular transportation.
Unfortunately, I have very few memories of our time in the Philippines, most of my Army brat memories came after this. But I do have most of the slides and pictures that Dad took to help me connect to that time in our life. And fortunately, Dad was a prolific photographer.
“D*** Puppy” Digital Image. Photographed , 03/03/09, Midwest City, OK. Privately held by Richard O. Cheek, Midwest City, OK, 2009.
“Still small voice, an unintentional double exposure” Scanned Image. Photographed , ca1945, Farmville, VA. Privately held by Richard O. Cheek, Midwest City, OK, 2009.
Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt #5-Another generation of Cheeks comes to Mangum
Prompt: Talk about your genealogy adventures while on vacation. Doesn’t everyone plan a little genealogy visit during vacation? Take your readers along for the ride.
I haven’t gotten to do as many of these as I intended. In fact this is the first one of the weekly prompts that I’ve had time to post. So much for good intentions. A couple of years ago, my older brother who lives in SC came back to Oklahoma for Christmas along with his wife and two grandchildren. He doesn’t get back this way very often so we tried to do as much as possible in the few days he was here. One of the thing he really wanted to do was visit our father’s hometown, Mangum (Capitol of Greer County), OK. The “Capitol” thing is something I will have to explain later. So two days after Christmas in 2007, we set out. Our party consisted of my brother, my two sisters, myself, our four spouses, a daughter of one sister, and the two grandchildren.
Just north of town is the farm where our great grandfather Cheek homesteaded before 1903. We have never been able to do more than see it from the road. One of these days I will find out who owns it and get permission to go out to the farm house.
If you are in Mangum at lunch time there is only one option-the Hamburger Inn- right on the Square.
We were a little late for lunch and they were going to close soon so we had to chose from a limited menu. But we had a great time and enjoyed examining the antiques? collectables? memorabilia? junk? on the floor, the walls, the ceiling, the tables, etc.
One of the group went exploring and came back saying, “You all have got to see this.” Most of the tables had old copies of the Mangum Star covered with plastic along with other items from the past. And one of the papers from World War 2 had a front page story about officers from Mangum in the 45th Infantry Division. Among the officers was our father, Captain James Edmon Cheek.
Dad is the second from the left. That find was certainly worth the price of gas for the trip.
Our next stop was the Old Greer County Museum.
This is one of the truly unique, local museums in the country. It is housed in the old hospital building, staffed totally by volunteers, and filled with the treasured artifacts of hundreds of families and communities. Each of the old patient rooms is sponsored by a different family, community, or organization. For more information about the museum go to their website at http://www.oldgreercountymuseum.com/index.html
The picture at the top of the article was taken on the stairs at the museum by one of the friendly staff. The real find at the museum was in a back room where they had hundreds of old photographs and negatives from the Fike Studio, an regular part of Mangum life for many years. During one of our stays we lived next door to the Fikes and my brother and I spent many hours playing with their daughter, Susan. To tell the whole story of the museum is way outside the scope of this article, but I promise a follow-up not too far in the future.
Of course no visit to Mangum is complete without going to the cemetery. We no longer have any relatives living in Mangum but we do have a lot of them in Riverside Cemetery.
Our great grandparents, Robert Bruce and Carrie Savannah Cheek who are in the blog’s header picture.
Notice that the stone includes not only Robert and Carrie, but also Robert’s sister, Columbia Cheek.
Our grandparents, Marion and Anna Cheek.
There are many more Cheeks in the cemetery but I don’t want to neglect our mother’s family, some of whom also lived in Mangum. But only her mother and one of our uncles is buried there.
Her name was originally Paralee Tennessee Lancaster. She married an Orand, then a Bex, and then a Smith and decided she liked Pauline better than Paralee.
If you are ever in Mangum when the lake is down it is obligatory on your way out of town to stop and see the remains of the town of Lugert which was covered when they built the lake. But this being Southwestern Oklahoma, the town reappears from time to time like Brigadoon.
Look carefully and you can see the foundation and floor of one of the houses. When we got down to it we discovered it had a cellar but after a little digging, we decided we were just not equipped to do a “dig.”
It was a great trip which give my brother and I the chance to relive a lot of old memories. Our sisters are both much younger and never lived in Mangum or knew very many of our relatives who lived there. But it is a very important part of our family history and I was glad to be able to share it with another generation of Cheeks and with you.
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.
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.
“Hope.” Digital Image. Photographed by Richard O. Cheek, 22 January 2009. Privately held by Richard O. Cheek, Midwest City, OK, 2009.
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 http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~cheekfamok/johnkeats.html
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.
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.
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.
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.