Newspaper Archive of
The Perkins Journal
Perkins, Oklahoma
December 5, 1996     The Perkins Journal
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December 5, 1996

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5, 1996 PAGE-9 [Tom 17. Sis- lame was and Terry), by the ire- Shirley nna) were when adopted her Tam- by two when ram- Roy was ily at early fear as to a case- Opened, 0 toptive was the Okla- Where after es of the and udy, Gene, e finally Leona naines the the matched other such last family in asking if the split-up in 1951. Jim, the eldest, is located in the center. they knew the family in ques- tion. For every piece of informa- tion gathered, there were nu- merous phone calls placed to unrelated people. Mrs. Smith said it helped that four of the children were placed in only two homes. She would search for the boy, as when she could find him she knew she could find the sis- ter. She also spent many hours poring over microfilms from area newspapers and hospital records. Jim and Sam came close to finding "Beulah Mac" (Gene Uphus) first several years ago when they began their search with the help of a friend of Jim's from Whitaker. Ironically, Gene was the last to be found, located in October of this year. Leona had written a latter to Gene, thinking she had found the hus- band of Beulah Mae. Gene's hus- band, Tom, cautioned her to not get her hopes up, that it could be a seam. But when Gene called Leona, who verified information about her and her family that couldn't have been known other- wise, the last piece of the puzzle was in place. Gene was also startled, but somehow relieved, to learn that she had been born one of twins, but that her twin brother had died at birth. She related that during each o.f her pregnancies she found herself hoping for twins, and that occa- sionally she would feel an ache inside like a piece of her was missing. Terry said his adoptive mother was reluctant for him to contact his siblings, and he, too, was ini- tially skeptical. But his wife, Betty, said now it's as if "some- thing that was missing in him has been filled. When asked why she was will- ing to spend so many hours of her time to help locate they fam- ily, Leona replied, "The system can just split up families; the children don't have any choice. I'd like to see the system changed. As for me, I feel like I was put on earth to do God's work...Before we began this search we asked for God's Will to be done. They're all here to- day. I think that says it all." The reunion on Saturday found not only eight brothers and sis- ters coming together and enlarg- ing the Anderson family circle, but each of the children except Joanna, who resides now in Moore, haye families of their own: Jim rind Sam have three children and six grandchildren; Gene and Tom, living in Kilgore, Texas, have two children and two grandchildren; Chester Roy lives in Gary, Oklahoma, with his wife, Susie, and have four daughters and six grandsons; Jack and wife, Carol, makes their home in Breckenridge, Texas, with their three boys; Judy and husband, Lynn, have one girl and live in V'mita; Terry, also of Tulsa, and his wife, Betty, have four children and four grandchildren; and Vivian, wid- owed, has four children and six grandchildren. Perhaps Jack said it best for all of the family: "You hear a lot to- day about family values... Some of us were fortunate to have good adoptive families. You also hear about degenerating families." As he looked around at his broth- ers and sisters and their fami- lies he said, "There's nothing de- generating about this family!" By Mo Wassell The emotion-filled reunion this past weekend of the Anderson family was just one of several such reunions that Leona Smith of Stillwater has had the privi- lege of being a part of(see Ander- son Family Reunion story). She has assisted three other families reunite in the past five or six years. The first search began with a close girlfriend of Smith's, who wanted to locate her daughter. According to the girlfriend, at age 14 she had given birth to a girl and was told by her own mother the baby needed foot sur- gery in Oklahoma City. Once the baby was taken away from her she never saw her again. She was later told that the baby had been put up for adoption. Smith said this first search was the easiest in that it only took one week to find the information and relay it to her friend. By the time the daughter was found she was 20 or 21 years ol.d, and had been trying to find her biologi- cal mother. Two other searches Smith has assmted in have been initiated by parents searching for their children. One couple were trying to locate a son and daughter, and one couple wanted to find their son. They both were referred to Leona through mutual friends who had known of her earlier success with reuniting her friend and daughter. Since the Ander- son reunion she said she has been approached by others want- ing her assistance. Smith described the process of locating adopted children as in- volved and time-consuming. She utilizes her computer in the ma- jority of her efforts, both through the Internet and specialized soft- ware programs which compile telephone listings social se- curity numbers. But she also spends many hours searching through hospital records, court records, old newspapers, and even school records such as year- books. Occasionally those resources dry up, and it then becomes nec- essary to obtain an attorney's services to order the courts to open the adoption records and reveal the adoptive families' names. Then it becomes a mat- ter of cross-matching dates of birth with adoptive names and making numerous telephone calls to relatives and neighbors. Smith said not all states are as "ornery" to deal with as Okla- homa, which is a "closed" state. Illinois, for example, has an "open" policy where all adoptions are listed in the newspaper with names and dates part of the record: Oklahoma, on the other hand, has still refused to forward the birth certificates of the Anderson children despite a court order directing the records be released. When an adoptee is finally lo- cated she relays the information to the people searching so that "they can have the pleasure. I wouldn't want to take away that pleasure." In the searches she's assisted with, all the parties involved have been happy to be reunited and have all stayed in close con- tact since. They have all been grown children whose adoptive parents have either consented or have died. When asked what an individual could do on their own to locate biological relatives, Smith em- phasized that the easiest option is to "begin in their own home", where adoptive parents are given a six-page court order with all the pertinent information. However, for various reasons, adoptive parents are sometimes reluctant to divulge that infor- mation, or have possibly de- stroyed the papers. If outside information is needed she rect)m- "mended joining one of several organizations devoted t:o m atch- ing adoptees with biological families. A.L.M.A. oflbrs free membership and is located in most larger cities in the U.S. (check local telephone directo- ries). Two other organizations, where there is a charge for mem- bership - $45.00 and up, are: *I.F.R.R. (International Foundex Reunion Register), RO. Box 2312, Carson City, Nevada 89702; and *C.U.B. Communicator, Inc., 2000 Walker, Des Moines, h,wa 50317. Smith says "Just knowing it makes them happy ... that they can get satisfaction from life" is what motivates her to help thei search. "There's enough sadness as there is. The Andersons didn't have a thing to do with it. They always wondered what hap- pened to their sisters and broth- ers. It helps seal the gap - there's an opening and a closure." Mrs. Leona Smith and husband, Tom, of Stillwater, who helped reunite eight brothers and sisters, separated since 1951. Highway Intersection-continued from page one. December 5 meeting. He added that he will be urging the Town Board of Perkins and the Payne County Board of Commissioners to also endorse the plan. Before the project can proceed however, ODOT must find an en- tity to pay for the electricity and maintenance of the lights as well as pay 20 percent of the cost of the signal lights. Sire said that he originally thought the intersection was in the town limits of perkins, but after finding out it was actually in the county's jurisdiction, he would have to submit the plan to the county. Payne County Commissioner Carl Moreland, who was contacted by The Perkins Journal late Tuesday evening, said that he wouM have to look at the proposal before he could make any kind of corn mitment. professional approach, and that he welcomes the opportunity to grow with the challenge and be able to gdve back to the commu- nity which has given him so much. Chief Curtis Burns reported that Kathy Edwards. had been hired as the new Animal Control Officer (ACO) for the Town of Perkins. Town residents are cau- tioned that the "leash law" will now be strictly enforced as Edwards will be patrolling neighborhoods and picking up animals found in violation of the ordinance. Chief Burns reiter- ated the $20.00 fee charged, plus $5.00 per day kennel fee for each violation. Plans are underway to contract with a local veterinar- ian for the euthanasia of animals not picked up within the five-day holding period. An appearance by a resident of Perkins whose small dog had been picked up and who was unable financially to pay the fee before the expiration of the five- day period prompted discussion of the Council's inability to make exceptions to the ordinance. AS .explained by Town Attorney McMillian, the council can revise the ordinance but cannot grant exemptions. The Council may consider revising the ordinance to state "fees as determined by the Council", rather than incor- porating the set fee in the ordi- Other items acted upon in- cluded the appointment of Kim Reitz tothe last vacant position on the Perkins Park & Recre- ation Board, renewal of the agreement for "Lease of Park" with the school district, approval of an agreement with Payne County for repair and/or main- tenance of town streets and al- leys, transfer of a 1985 utility pickup to the animal control de- partment, and a directive to have OG&E install the lighting at the intersection of Hwy. 177 south and Hwy. 33. Approval was also unanimously granted for the closing of City Hall on Tuesday, December 24, 1996, in observance of Christ- mas Eve, as well as a one-time monthly wage increase to all City employees of $50.00 as a Christmas bonus. Approval was also granted to declare certain items of equipment as surplus government property so they may be sold, as well as Phyllis Stevens being allowed to work 8 extra hours during Gayle Sager's vacation in December. Action was tabled until next month's meeting on the renewal of the concession agreement with Perkins Youth Sports Organiza- tion (PYSO). It was suggested that the language of the agree- ment be re-worded to specify a percentage of profit be returned to the Town of Perkins for main- tenance and im ballfields. The council will re- view the agreement in more de- tail and consider the suggestions made during the discussion. Resolution #7-1996 was unani- mously adopted, which sets forth the meeting schedule for the Town of Perkins Board of Trust- ees during calendar year 1997 as follows: -January 6; ,February 3; *March 3; ,April 7; *May 5; *June 2; ,July 7; .August 4; *September 2; ,October 6; *No- vember 3; and .December 1, all to be held at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall, Chief Burns reported a fairly busy month. The Perkins Police Department responded to 113 calls, of which 4 wee family dis- turbances, 14 citizen, assists, and 7 othdr agency assists. They made 30 traffic stops, with 24 citations and 15 warnings being issued. Three accidents were re- sponded to, and two felony ar- rests were made, as well as 1 misdemeanor and 1 domestic disPute. The meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m., and, following unanimous approval of the same meeting schedule for 1997 provided in Resolution #8-1996 for the Perkins Public Works Authority ' Board of Trustees, as well as the minutes and all claims, the Perkins Public Works Authority at 8:45 p.m. contacted by The Perkins Journal. Part of the traffic study conducted by ODOT also included a traL tic count of vehicles entering the intersection. The count, tak(,n (m Monday, November 4, 1996, indicates a large amount of traffic en- tering the intersection over a 16 hour period. For example, 8,649 vehicles entered the intersection from ti e eas( (westbound 33); 8,023 vehicles were going north or south on US177 ; 4,273 entered from the west (eastbound 33) and 762 used the in- dustrial road. Of the 8,023 vehicles on US177, 3,129 turned left on SI133 (eastbound); and 3,985 went northbound on US 177. In other activity regarding the two major highways in the Perkins area, the Perkins Town Board and OG&E are working to get street lights erected at the SH33/US177 (Whistle Stop) intersection, well as getting the already approved street light and warnin sig. nals near the gym in operation. " The Perkins Town Board approved requesting that O G&E install four lights around the "Y" intersection near Whistle Stop #2. The Town of Perkins will pay the $75 monthly charge per pole. OG&E Construction Superintendent Larry Potter also told The Perkins Journal that a crew is scheduled to hook up the 45 mph warning lights Monday, December 9, and a street light will ais( be installed "as soon as a steel pole becomes available." OG&E crews, as well as utility poles, have been hard to come by in this area as a result of the ice and snow conditions experienced in of the state last week. PLi ces 111 ,rkins 547-2477 Open ,8-6, Saturday 8-5:30 ........ F ................................ " .................. ! :ed from Ichool in lighted as to the and en- the chal- Position. mg the that his As his per- little his Intro- as the by the ecreation of Park items for and of a new Director. Clerk Direc- ~ri Trea- Chief of Attorney AJso Mayor Hall, Longan, on , 1996, at members ; of He said that he was aware that a traffic study of the intersecti()n c. Director and Animal Control Officer Highlight Town Meeting was being done by ODOT, but was not aware of their findings until