Posted by: an acre of oklahoma | July 24, 2010

Red Skelton’s Pledge of Allegiance

One of my father’s favorite TV personalities was Red Skelton, so this brings back many memories for me. I wanted to share this video because it represents everything we as a community feel about being a citizen of this great city, state and nation.

Ask our Nowata City Commissioners to watch this video from this great simple man who was a great communicator!

Posted by: an acre of oklahoma | July 15, 2010

Nowata Neighbor’s Tomatoes

Today I was out weed eating my ditch by the country road on the west and my closest neighbor to the north stopped and ask me if I had any tomatoes, I replied, “Only little ones right now.” She got out of the car and opened the back door and reached inside to pull on some of the reddest biggest tomatoes. I said, “There is nothing quite like a home-grown tomato!”, to which she replied “It is like eating sunshine!” I agreed whole heartly and thanked her for her kindness.

That is what living in Nowata is all about, folks! Neighbors being kind and considerate no matter what one another’s politics or biases. We as a community need to come together and move Nowata forward and beyond such negativity, narcissistic leadership, dirty politics, good old boys network and revenge agendas. Let’s ask all our government leaders to be called to the same values we are called to when being a Nowata, an Oklahoma and an America citizen. Bring the sun light into all of our actions and lives!

To our Nowata City Commissioners:

Code of Conduct

Let us act with integrity! Open our hearts and minds to listen to our neighbors and engage local residents and businesses in a professional manner and respect all of our partners and the communities they serve.

Let us strive for simplicity! Reject processes that overcomplicate and do not add value to our community, therefore, ensuring that the benefits of efficient practices are passed on to our citizens and communities. Let’s endeavour to overcome barriers to progress that truly benefit everyone.

Let us celebrate success! Have a can-do attitude and strive to achieve the very best which ensures that we are helping our employees and citizens accomplish great things. Let’s work with all of our partners to always have added value results in all our endeavors.

Let’s be passionate! Let’s always promote a creative, team-oriented and productive environment for all concerned. Teaching through our example of how to meet each employee’s and citizen’s needs and encourage innovation in all.

Let’s be accessible! Ensuring that we are accessible and accountable to our employees and citizens we serve. Let’s undertake intelligent engagement and consultation practices. Let’s avoid negative actions and dialogue with whomever we meet.

 Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am Lord.

UPDATE: A current city commissioner’s sister/ex- fire chief’s wife made a negative name calling and disrespectful comment about my recall action on this blog post; first I approved it because true character shows at the least expected times. However, since that approval I have decided to unapprove the comment. Word up people! My Blog, My Right, My Decision. Deal with it!

I started this blog in reponse to a VERY negative blog/chat room about Nowata that was being conducted in 2007. It has always been positive and it will remain positive! There are so many good things about Nowata that negativity has no place here, it is not welcomed and will never be welcome. Any reasonable, respectful, meaningful comments will be approved.

Thanks to all my readers for reading this blog and thanks to everyone who has made respectful comments!

Posted by: an acre of oklahoma | July 4, 2010

Nowata’s Poet, Marquis Heyer

Facebook is a wonderful addition to this world! I met a fellow Nowatan (?)through Facebook and Marquis and I have developed a friendship. One thing we have in common is our desire to see Nowata grow and flourish into a community that fits it’s heart. I asked Marquis to write a piece about his poetry and motivation behind the gift.

“I get my inspiration for my poetry from a variety of people and places. I take little segments of my surroundings and use them to help develop a poem. If a person was to sit down today and flip through my books, he or she would probably notice a variety of themes ranging from family, injured/fallen soldiers, nature, and other topics. Sometimes, I’ll be sitting at home in the evening trying to relax, and a poem idea will pop into my mind. I will either keep thinking about the idea to help develop it into an actual poem, or it might fade away to return again some other time. I’ve had people tell me that some of my really emotional poems are some of my best work because it captures the attention of the reader so they’ll read the entire piece. I’ve had friends/coworkers/family members tell me that after reading a certain poem of mine that it brought tears to their eyes. It is an awesome feeling knowing that I can impact a person’s life through my writing.”

“When I was a senior at Nowata High School during the 1995-1996 school year, I took a class called Creative Writing. The teacher of the class, Ms. Betty Deen, was a wonderful teacher. Before I took the class, I had always focused more on writing short stories and seemed to avoid writing poetry because I just didn’t want to have to mess with making every line rhyme or make it flow in such a short amount of space. At the time, I didn’t really consider poetry as “my thing”. While in Creative Writing under the direction of Ms. Deen, I soon learned to appreciate poetry. I think she saw a diamond in the rough and could see raw natural talent within me that I hadn’t discovered on my own in the past.”

As high school graduation approached, I still wrote short stories and the occasional poem or two. It seemed like from that point on through the present time, I have turned my attention now more towards poetry and less on short stories. If a person was to look back at some of my earlier poems and compare them to some of the poems I’ve written recently, one might notice that the poems from the past were a bit shorter in length and more open as far as topic was concerned. If one was to look at a more recent piece of my writing he or she might notice that the writing has gotten longer in length and sometimes more in depth or narrowed in topic.”

My journey of wanting to get published started out a little rocky. In the past, I had sent samples of my work to a couple other publishers and not to long after that received rejection letters from them. It seemed a bit depressing, but I knew that if I wanted to truly get published that I would have to continue searching for that door that would soon open for me. I think it was on a weekend and I had been looking online just browsing at different publisher’s websites at that time. I would check a few here and there, but you know after getting several rejection letters it got me to thinking about my writing. I was about to give up my search for a publisher and say forget it, but part of me just couldn’t give up so easily. After browsing various publisher websites, I ran across the website for PublishAmerica. I decided to give them a try and the worst they could say to me was sorry and then I’d move on with my search. I was excited and still in a bit of disbelief when they liked what they saw with my writings and wanted me to send the complete manuscript of my first book.”

The publishing process for me seemed like a slow tedious process, because it might be a few days to a week or two before moving onto the next step. The end product was well worth the wait. I was still in shock somewhat when I received the copy of my first book in the mail. To hold the book with my name on the cover was an exciting feeling. Getting published was something I had dreamed about doing but never really thought it would come true for me. In 2004 / 2005, my first book (Heartfelt Memories) was published. Then in 2005, my second book (Treasured Journeys) was brought into the world for people to read.”

Both books can be found on the publisher’s website at People interested in checking them out and wanting to order them can go to the online bookstore at the website address provided and either search for the book titles or my name (Marquis Heyer). Thank you, for more information about the books, you can go to the publisher’s website or they can email me at”

A few of Marquis’s Poems


 Last night, momma and I drove out to the country

To see the view of the town from the hillside

It is always pretty out here this time of year

With the wildflowers blooming and the trees in full growth

We decided to take a new scenic route to the countryside

Momma must have known about it, but it was new to me

 We turned off the highway a couple miles back

Onto County Road 78 past Johnson’s Gas Stop and Cafe

I could see momma had something special in mind

When she saw the cafe and gas station beside us

She looked at me and without a single word just smiled

As we proceeded down the road, we saw a few wild turkeys in the field

And had to stop to let some deer cross the road

More and more fields passed by us as momma continued driving

 I was getting somewhat bored from seeing all the fields with no other scenery

Laying my head back on the headrest of the seat, I closed my eyes and listened

I could hear momma humming a song to herself

It was a song I had heard a long time ago but could not remember the full song

I opened my eyes once again and looked over at her while she was driving

She turned for a moment, and once again, said nothing and smiled

 Up ahead, I could see a dead end sign and wondered where momma was going

Just before reaching the sign, there was a hidden entrance to a yard

The fence that once had been clear and painted white

Was now faded and covered with thick honeysuckle vines

As we drove down the tree lined driveway, I could see a big house getting closer

Somewhere in my past, I have been here, but I don’t remember when

Momma stopped the car up near two aged pine trees close to the house

I got out and took in the fresh country air and immediately I was taken back

To the memories I had stored away in my mind from my childhood

I remember this place now, but it looks so different

 The house has been empty for a number of years now

And as I soon found out from momma, the property was given to her

You could tell she cherished this place as it was her childhood getaway

It had belonged to her grandparents and has been in the family for years

Not wanting to leave the city life behind, none of the other family members

Really wanted to move out here in this beautiful, peaceful place

So momma was named as the property owner

She smiled and spent the rest of the evening here at this place

We would soon call our home

As the sun went down and the moon came up, we headed toward the car

Driving back down County Road 78 back onto the highway

To start packing for a new life

In the countryside

 Copyright©2010 Marquis D. Heyer




Posted by: an acre of oklahoma | July 1, 2010

Nowata Trade Days

Come trade, barter or sale your items at the Nowata County Trade Days, July 3 & 4, 2010. Need a few extra bucks? Come out! The event hours are 8:00am until 3:00pm in the middle building at the Nowata County Fairgrounds. The cost to set up a booth is FREE! Clean out your closets, garages and storage buildings!

Have you heard about Canton, Texas? Canton is one of the largest Trade Days in the nation. Trade Days can bring 1,000’s of visitors with money to spend on merchandise, restaurants, motel rooms, gas and much more. We are hoping for several hundred here in Nowata. There will be two trial runs for the Nowata Trade Days; the first on July 3th & 4th and the second on September 10th & 11th. The September dates coordinate with the annual 100 Mile Sale (see link in right column).

There are many other activities in Nowata on those two days. July 3rd brings the Nowata County Farmers Market which will be open from 8:00am until 12:00pm (noon) at the fairgrounds. Our farmers will be selling their bountiful gardens of produce. The Cherokee Nation will be there giving away cloth shopping bags. The Cancer Crusaders will be at the Nowata County Trade Days from 8:00am until 3:00pm. The group will be serving yummy biscuits and gravy from 8am until 10:00am that morning. There is a very tempting menu offered for lunch from 10:00am until 3:00pm. The lunch menu has ham sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, potato salad and baked beans. If you want the best baked goodies in Nowata this is the place to come.  Mouth watering Coconut Cream Pie, Layered Hummingbird Cake, Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake and now I have to stop because I am getting hungry! All profits go towards cancer research, so come out to support the Cancer Crusaders efforts!

Nowata’s 4th of July activities will be in Jack Gordon Park on that Sunday.

Nowata has much to offer this weekend in the way of family fun activities, such as, Mom can shop, Dad can trade or barter, the kids can eat watermelon, everyone can watch fireworks and much more!

Hope to see you there!

Posted by: an acre of oklahoma | June 30, 2010

OSU Extension Canning Workshop



Home Canning Workshop  

Barbara Brown, Ph.D., R.D./L.D.  

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Food Specialist  

July 8th, 2010  

10:00am until 3:00pm  

Nowata County Fairgrounds  

Cost: $15.00 (includes food, jars, most equipment and lunch)  

Come hear current and safe, research-based recommendations for home food canning. This is a hands-on workshop will address the following topics:  

  1. Selection of produce
  2. Preparation and canning of fruits and vegetables
  3. Food Safety concerns
  4. Hot packs vs raw packs
  5. Pressure vs. Waterbath Canning
  6. Correct head space
  7. And much more

Nowata County OSU Extension Service  

Megan Maxson, Extension Educator  

Family & Consumer Sciences  


612 E Roxy Street  

Nowata Oklahoma  

(County Fairgrounds)  

ONLY 14 spots available so reserve yours today!  

Some good sites to visit:  

Fresh Preserving  

National Center for Home Food preservation  

Alex says gardening is fun for all ages!

Posted by: an acre of oklahoma | June 17, 2010

Dunk A Cop & City/County Officials

This Saturday, June 19th, the Green Country Safe Communities will be hosting a fundraiser for Nowata Sheriff’s Office and the Nowata City Police Department. You will have the opportunity to dunk  a few of the local law enforcement and other officials into the tank! All in the name of fun, while supporting your police department and your sheriff’s department.

Fun Activities

  • Dunk Tank
  • DJ Woody Walker
  • Jupiter Jump

Great Food!

  • $1 pizza slice
  • $2 hot dog, chips and drink
  • $5 hamburger, chips and drink

The Nowata CAN and the Nowata Police Department will be accepting unused or unwanted prescription drugs for proper disposal.

The Green Country Safe Communities looked around the area they serve, which is Rogers, Mayes, Nowata, Ottawa, Delaware and Washington counties, and saw the greatest need in Nowata. The fact that the Nowata City Police Chief was wearing a 13-year-old used (from Bartlesville) bulletproof vest was a deciding factor in starting in Nowata.

The funds raised in this event will be applied towards purchase of bullet-proof vests and hand-held radios for Nowata Law Enforcement. I know that you want to protect our officers in their line of duty! The fire department and the EMT services are included in serving our communities, they, too, lay their life on the line many times. We here in Nowata County want our streets and communities and citizens to be safe, so let’s help support those who do that tough job on a daily basis. Basically, in my opinion, these officers, fire fighters and EMTs are at war but a locally fought one where the next corner could mean a life or death situation for someone.

So lets come out and show our support for these courageous men and women on Saturday and have some good food and great fun! I hope to see you there!

Green Country Safe Communities

Nowata County Law Enforcement Fundraiser

Saturday, June 19th

Jack Gordon Park/South Pavillion

5:00pm until 8:00pm

Posted by: an acre of oklahoma | April 27, 2010

2010 Nowata Spring Clean-Up Day

The rain held off for Nowata’s “Keep Oklahoma Beautiful” Spring Clean up Day which was held on Saturday, April 24.   Six teams totaling 34 volunteers of all ages showed up at Jack Gordon Park ready to work .


The volunteers included: Connie Pearsall, Bonnie Workman, Suzan Perkins, Nancy Oglesby, Pat Knotts, Kruz Szcentes, Nora Cothran, Manny Cothran, Wyatt Cothran, Holly Hall, Ruby Hall, Mia Cothran, Reese Cothran, Waimone Hollenshead, Miriam Hollenshead, Lee Price, Marietta Hollenshead, Cathy McFarland, Michael McFarland, Barb Hamit, Kandra Watson, Marie Lewis, Tracy Christian, Devon Schell, Trailee Watson, Donn Aultz, Mitch Lowe, Trint Lowe, Ally Whitney, Steven Perkins, Cooper Christian, Shelia Barr, Roger Hayes, Billie and Tom Roane.

Grand Lake Mental Health Team & Boy Scout Troop 29

The City of Nowata Beautification Committee and the Nowata Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the event.  Participating groups included: Nowata County HCE Domestic Divas, Cornerstone & H.I.S. Church Faith One Middle School Youth Group,  The Crew, Boy Scout Troop 29 and  Grand Lake Mental Health Center.

 Cornerstone/H.I.S. Faith One

Middle School Youth Group

OHCE Domestic Divas

The Crew

The Beautification Committee treated everyone to a picnic lunch of delicious hamburgers, hotdogs and homemade chocolate chip cookies. 


Cash prizes were awarded which included:

Cornerstone & H.I.S. Church Faith One M.S. Youth Group-Most Bags Collected

Grand Lake Mental Health Center – Most Participants on a Team

Ruby Hall-Youngest Collector

Lee Price-Oldest Collector

Kruz Szcentes-Most Unusual Found Object


The Most Unusual Item

A “Last Chance Drawing” cash prize was presented to Miriam Hollenshead.

Nowata residents took advantage of the free day  at the  City of Nowata solid waste convenience center anf filled it with more than 240 cubic yards of assorted refuse, around  150 tires, about 60 cubic yards of scrap metal and a mountain of limbs and brush.

Observations from those who had participated in the event  last year was that there seemed to be less trash on the streets this year.   A big “Thank You” to those who gave up much of their Saturday to help make Nowata a more beautiful and cleaner place to live!

Thanks to Billie Roane, Executive Director of the Nowata Area Chamber of Commerce for the above information.

Posted by: an acre of oklahoma | April 26, 2010

Historical Museum Memorial Flower Shop

The Nowata County Historical Society Museum will abound with flowers for Memorial Day on May 1st. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 1 – 4pm for normal business.  There is a variety of fantastic wreaths, arrangements and sprays for sale at the museum. The cost ranges from $20 to $1.

Members  and friends of the historical society are making the flower arrangements from flowers collected last June; each adding their own artistic touch. If you feel inclined to help with the flower project, please call Carroll Craun or Nita Wesson.

The society will also have the Memorial Flowers at the Junque Arte Festival, Saturday, May 15th at the Nowata County Fairgrounds.

Many of these flower arrangements could be used year-long in your house or place of business to add color to your decor. All proceeds will be used for the museum’s operation costs.

The following pictures are a small example of the $1.00 room!

Please come out to help support the

Nowata County Historical Society Museum!

Posted by: an acre of oklahoma | April 21, 2010

Nowata City Strives to Provide Better Service at Lower Cost

The City of Nowata breaks ground for a new City Hall/Police Department building on April 7th, 2010. Pictured left to right are Tamara Maddux, City Clerk, City Commissioners Judy Hesslen, Karen Boyles and Ruth Hill, Police Chief Rick Miller and City Manager Tom Roane. I asked Tom Roane, City Manager about how the new building saves the city money and provides better service for our citizens. Tom provided the following information:

Daily we hear about financial difficulties faced by cities across Oklahoma. Declining revenues coupled with increasing cost to provide needed services pose quite a challenge to municipal operations. Cities are looking for any means to reduce costs and at the same time deliver essential services to citizens. Nowata is not exempt from the financial pressures felt across the state and taking steps to reduce operational costs of operating the Police Department and City Hall functions by consolidating existing facilities into one location.


 Consideration of combining City Hall, Police, Fire and EMS into one location has been an issue for several years and now that construction costs are down and operating costs projected to rise in the near future now is the time to act on this cost saving project. Benefits of combining these services at one location include but are not limited to:

  1. Operational cost savings
  2. Capital cost savings
  3. Enhanced emergency operations capability
  4. Increased inter-departmental efficiency 

In addition to cost saving features of this consolidation plan there are quite a few other benefits to be reaped when the building is complete. At the present time neither the Police Station nor City Hall can operate during power outages with frequent ice storms requiring critical facilities to close for several days. After consolidation, all critical facilities would be able to operate under emergency power and handle emergencies in a timely and efficient manner.


  Customer service will be greatly enhanced. A new “drive-up window” for utility payments will allow customers to pay their water bills from their car. Also, currently, customers are asked to go to one location for pet tags, court business, police business, then go to another location for burn permits, ambulance business and fire business, and yet another location for utility bills, building permits, cemetery business and other city business. When completed this building will house all these activities and customers will be able to take care of all their business at one location.

 Currently the City operates three separate facilities to provide Police, Fire, EMS, Utility and City Administration services. This project would eliminate two of the existing buildings and put all services under one roof. The most popular location choice for this facility involves adding on to the existing Fire/EMS building rather than build an entire new facility. At this time City Hall and the Police Station occupy two separate buildings with a combined usable space of about 5000 sq. ft.. The 1100 reduction is square footage is realized from combining the existing City Court room and Commission room into the Fire Department training room and using restrooms and the kitchen/break room facilities already in the Fire Department.

 Elimination of duplicated utility and operating expenses will show an immediate reduction of spending. The City will save through energy savings by operating in a smaller, well insulated, energy-efficient building. Electric and gas consumption will be greatly reduced along with the elimination of two “monthly meter” charges from gas and electric services. The City will be able to eliminate two fax lines and their monthly charges, at least one phone line and the monthly charge, two high-speed internet connections and their monthly charge. Eliminate two refrigerators, and various pieces of office equipment including copiers, fax machines, etc. Yet another savings will be with the 25% reduction of space will also reduce insurance costs. Plans are to off set initial construction costs through the sale of the vacated Police Station and City Hall buildings, making the financial payback for this project both substantial and rapid.

  The City of Nowata is looking forward to providing better service to citizens at the lowest possible cost!

Let’s tell our City Council, Employees, Police and Fire Department, Emergency Services and City Manager good job, guys! You are appreciated!

Posted by: an acre of oklahoma | April 21, 2010

Spring Haikus in Nowata


Cute girl with blonde hair

Looks for Easter eggs blue pink

With candy surprise

…Suzan Perkins

In a vacant lot

almost hidden by tall grass

a lone daffodil 

 ….Diane West-Doran

Brown eyed girl delights,

gathers sparkling plastic gems;

With treasures untold

…Suzan Perkins

The scent of lilacs

carried on a cool, soft breeze,

remember to breathe

…………Diane West-Doran

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