Category Archives: Genea-bloggers

A Rare Beauty: CoG 74

A Rare BeautyCog74 05-10-22 (36)

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.

cog 74 sm


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Wordless Wednesday: That still, small voice

Still small voice

“Still small voice, an unintentional double exposure” Scanned Image. Photographed , ca1945,  Farmville, VA. Privately held by Richard O. Cheek, Midwest City, OK, 2009.

Wordless Wednesday


Posted by on 25 February 2009 in Cheek, Genea-bloggers, genealogy, wordless Wednesday


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Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt #5

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.A significant portion of our family

Mangum is filled with memories for my brother and I. We lived there several times when we were growing up, spent entire summers there several times. It was where we went “over the river and through the woods” to grandmothers’ houses. It was home to some of our favorite relatives.  It was where we went each time our soldier father went off to war. It was these memories that my brother wanted to share with his grandchildren.
One of the first things we did was go to Grandma Cheek’s old house.  It was quite a shock and certainly not what it looked like when she lived there.  She was always an immaculate housekeeper and a wonderful cook.  Her neat, little, white frame house looked like a shack. We were glad she is not around to see what has become of it.

Grandma Cheek's house

Grandma Cheek's house

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.

Cheek family farm

Cheek family farm

If you are in Mangum at lunch time there is only one option-the Hamburger Inn- right on the Square.

Hamburger Inn

Hamburger Inn

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.

Lunch at the Hamburge Inn

Lunch at the Hamburge Inn

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.

Mangum Star photos

Mangum Star photos

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.

Old Greer County Museum and Hall of Fame

Old Greer County Museum and Hall of Fame

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

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.

Three Cheek gravestone

Three Cheek gravestone

Notice that the stone includes not only Robert and Carrie, but also Robert’s sister, Columbia Cheek.

Our grandparents, Marion and Anna Cheek.

Grandma and Grandpa Cheek

Grandma and Grandpa 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.

Grandma Orand-Bex-Smith

Grandma Orand-Bex-Smith

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.

Lugert revealed.

Lugert revealed.

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.


Posted by on 11 February 2009 in Cheek, Genea-bloggers, genealogy


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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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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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