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Tecumseh Golden Age Center

 

The Center remains closed at this time.

Recently, I read that cowboy singing star Gene Autry's home, a gated mansion of 13,000 square feet in Palm Springs, CA, sold for $7 million this year. That name brought back memories for me when I watched "The Gene Autry Show" on TV in the early 1950s.

He and his horse, Champion, starred in 79 films between 1935-1952 and 91 TV episodes from 1950 to 1956. His signature song was "Back in the Saddle Again," but he was best known for "Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer." There is a small town in southern Oklahoma near Ardmore named Gene Autry after this singing cowboy who accompanied himself on guitar.

In 1939, Autry bought 1200 acres west of Berwyn, OK as headquarters for his rodeo stock for the Flying A Ranch Rodeo. The town officially changed its name when he moved there in 1941. My family, the Haneys, owned a grocery store there for many years. Autry joined the Army in 1942 during WWII which changed his plans forever. He never came back to Oklahoma to live, although he had been raised here.

He retired in 1964 from performing with five stars (the most of any movie star) along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted into Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1991. He died in 1998 at the age of 91, leaving an estate worth $320 million.

He had no children, but certainly left his lasting impression on me and other children who loved his Westerns. I hope this stroll down memory lane raises y

What kind of peaceful memories will my grandchildren have as seniors? Hopefully, they will have good ones with their dad, my son Anthony, as I do with my dad, Kenneth Stanley, who was a long time resident (65 years) of Tecumseh. He was a good husband (to Thearl Myers for 67 years) and father who provided for us (Arthenia and Thearlene) by working at Tinker Field Air Force Base for 35 years.

I jokingly said he could fix anything with a piece of string or baling wire. He served his God as a deacon and an elder for the Church of Christ where our family were active members. He served this community as a volunteer fireman and an election inspector for 20 years. He served the Golden Age Center by delivering meals to homebound for 20 years.

He could not serve his country in WWII because he was deaf, but he never let that disability stop him. His passion was baseball which he played until he was 45 years old. Happy Father's Day to all of you men who are raising your children to be responsible, kind, dependable, strong men and women, regardless of your race

 

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