Thousands of Silver City children and their mentors have created 60 art murals around this southwest New Mexico town of 10,000. Their art celebrates the town’s rich history and culture and stunning natural setting. And more murals are in the works by the Mimbres Region Arts Council’s Youth Mural Program and others.
More than 3,000 children and volunteers worked together to create a ceramic-mosaic mural depicting the great floods of 1895 through 1903 that nearly killed the town.
Creating The Big Ditch mural combines art, environmental education and community-building.
In 1955, Tulsan Ann Patton graduated from high school. In the 62 years since, she has done many things — helped transform Tulsa’s flood management system to one of the best in the country, written several well-regarded books, and raised four children.
One thing she didn’t do? Earn a college degree.
Until May 15, that is, when just weeks shy of her 80th birthday, the 79-year-old Tulsa treasure leaned on a walker to make her way slowly across the stage to thunderous applause and cheers at the Oklahoma State University-Tulsa graduation to receive, as the announcer called it, “a bachelor’s of everything!”
Commencement speaker Mayor G.T. Bynum cited Ann as an example of how one person can truly change their community. “Ann Patton has made a difference in this city for more than four decades,” Bynum said, encouraging her younger classmates to follow Ann’s example of working for things they believe in.
Ann Patton never gave up on her dream to graduate from college.
Now, 62 years after she completed high school, her perseverance is about to pay off. Patton will receive a degree from Oklahoma State University-Tulsa on Monday night at a graduation ceremony in The Pavilion at Expo Square.
“I wanted to finish to show my grandchildren you should never give up on your dreams,” said Patton, who is just a few weeks away from her 80th birthday.
Patton spent years becoming a well-known journalist, author and activist in Tulsa.
But she didn’t really have the option of attending college when she graduated from high school in 1955. The choices of going the University of Tulsa or traveling out of town for school were simply too expensive.
“The next thing you know we have four children and Bob (her husband) and I both were working two or three jobs,” Patton said. “So it wasn’t possible.”
But she never gave up on her dream to graduate from college.
When Tulsa author Ann Patton graduated from high school in 1955, college was not an option for poor kids like her.
“The University of Tulsa was the only option for students who could not leave Tulsa, and it might as well have been the moon,” she said.
By age 22, Patton was married with four kids. Growing up in west Tulsa, Patton was taught that education is the preparation for complete living. So she never gave up on her dream of earning a college degree.
On May 15, Patton will participate in the OSU-Tulsa’s graduation ceremony after four decades of earning “a crazy-quilt collection of college hours from several schools that I always dreamed might add up to a degree.”
She will receive her bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. The ceremony is just weeks before her 80th birthday in July.
A new day
Five issues that should be on Tulsa’s radar in 2015
BY RAY PEARCEY
Jan. 7, 2015 – Tulsa Voice
2 // A critical river review
We need sensible, achievable, affordable objectives for making the Arkansas River a greater asset. We also need clarity on the cross-impacts of the damming/engineering schemes under consideration, particularly as they affect Tulsa’s ever-present floodplain management challenge. Veteran engineer and former Public Works director Charlie Hardt is also a hydrologist. Prior to his tenure at City Hall, Hardt spent much of his career in engineering, consulting for flood management in U.S. cities. Along with land-use planner Ron Flanagan and writer and public policy expert Ann Patton, Hardt has played a major role in Tulsa’s decades-long flood management efforts. Patton wrote the book, “The Tulsa River,” an extremely thoughtful meditation on Tulsa’s intimate and longstanding connection to the Arkansas River, which I highly recommend. Recently, Hardt has spoken publicly about the dangers of over-developing the river. His conclusions are sobering and ought to play a hefty role in the ongoing deliberations about the future of the river and the various capital projects being discussed.
The Arkansas River has brought up recently and over the years questions about Tulsa’s history, environmental stewardship, and urbanization. Join us with Ann Patton, a Tulsa-based writer and consultant specializing in disaster management, social justice, and urban affairs. Ann will be speaking about the legend and lore of the Arkansas River at Tulsa. She will share some of the images from her book, The Tulsa River, which is a book of stories and pictures about the river, “which lured mankind to this spot on earth and has influenced our community in profound ways.”
Come and share about your upcoming sustainability events. 1st Thursdays! is a great place to network and connect. Join us January 8th (And yes this is the second Thursday of January, but you would be in your jammies on the 1st !)
Local leaders will join author Ann Patton for informal “conversations about the river” at December 2014 book signings for The Tulsa River book.
Dec. 5, 11 am to 1 pm, Sam’s Club, 6922 S. Mingo Rd, including informal conversation with in-coming Dist. 7 City Councilor Anna America.
Dec. 6, 1 to 3 pm, Sam’s Club at Tulsa Hills, 7757 S. Olympia Ave., including informalconversation with Dist. 2 City Councilor Jeannie Cue.
Dec. 10, 4-6 pm, Ida Red Boutique, 3336 S. Peoria Ave, with informal conversation with Dist. 9 City Councilor G. T. Bynum, who also chairs the Arkansas River Infrastructure Task Force that is examining river development options. Singer-songwriter-pianist Jay Lesikarwill perform an eclectic mix of jazz and classical music. Refreshments will be served.
Dec. 12, 11 am to 1 pm, Sam’s Club, 4420 S. Sheridan Ave., including informal conversation with Dist. 5 City Councilor Karen Gilbert, who serves as current Council Chair.
Dec. 13, 11 am to 1 pm, Sam’s Club, 12905 E. 96th St. N., Owasso.
Dec. 13, 5 pm, DECOPOLIS Books, 607 S. Boston Ave., with former Mayor Rodger Randle; Michael Patton, Metropolitan Environmental Trust director; and Josef Glaudeon solo guitar. Refreshments will be served.
“We’re delighted to partner with community leaders and businesses to offer these pre-holiday events,” said Ann Patton. “There’s a lot of talk about our river now. At these book-signing events, people can visit informally with their City Councilor and other leaders about the river or whatever they want to chat about. Our hope is that this book will help, in small ways, broaden grassroots conversations about our river and our community’s future.”
The Tulsa River is a new book of stories and pictures about Tulsa’s heritage and future with the Arkansas River. The book team includes photographer Vernis Maxwell and editor Tracy LeGrand. Available now in a limited first edition, the coffee-table-style book has 110 full-color photographs and a foreword by former Mayor Robert J. LaFortune.
Drawings will be held at each event to give away free 16” x 20” reproductions of book photos by photographer Vernis Maxwell. The Tulsa River also can be purchased from the website TulsaRiver.net.
On this edition of ST, we welcome Robert J. LaFortune, a former Mayor of Tulsa, and Ann Patton, a locally based writer, activist, and former journalist. Patton has a new book out, for which LaFortune wrote the Foreword; it’s a collection of essays on and photos of the Arkansas River, and it’s called “The Tulsa River.” But to what degree is Tulsa truly a “river city”? And are the age-old questions about riverfront development in this community changing — or else taking on new meaning — given the eventual creation of A Gathering Place on Riverside Drive? And, when it comes to planning to develop any of the Arkansas River as it runs through the City or County of Tulsa, to what extent should Mother Nature be our guide? And what about all those threats of mega-storms and/or flooding? Today’s show looks at Patton’s book while also looking at the history of Tulsa’s river more generally — from the river’s first-ever bridge (which was basically a toll bridge over to where the oil fields were situated) to the establishment of River Parks in the 1970s.
Book signing and forum –6:30 p.m. Mon., Nov. 17, Tulsa Historical Society, 2445 S. Peoria.
Former Mayors Robert J. LaFortune and Susan Savage will join retired Public Works Director Charles L. Hardt and author Ann Patton in “A conversation about our Tulsa River heritage.”
Mayor LaFortune wrote the foreword to The Tulsa River, and interviews with Mayor Savage and Mr. Hardt are featured in the book. Speakers will share their stories about growing up in a river town, historic events such as the creation of River Parks and the 1986 flood, and their visions for the future. All will join photographer Vernis Maxell and editor Tracy LeGrand for book signings.