George Washington Santee and Mary Bell (Higginbotham) Santee

George Washington Santee and Mary Bell (Higginbotham) Santee

by Tim Benjamin and input by family members

George Washington Santee attended school and graduated with a degree as an educator.   He was a teacher, principle and later the superintendent of Nash county Enid Oklahoma.

Marriage and family

George Washington Santee and Mary Bell (Higginbotham) Santee

George Washington Santee and Mary Bell (Higginbotham) Santee

George Washington meet and married his wife Mary Bell Higginbotham.  For money reasons the couple did live in Kansas for a brief period.  Their children were Mary Margaret (adams)Santee (m. Erle W. Adams), Harold Santee, John Wesly Santee (m. Flossy), George Winston Santee and Nelly Elizabeth (Lee, Barber) Santee (m. Keith Barber, m. Harold Lee).

Fire and Honor

"Fire and Honor"

"Fire and Honor"

As Henry Charles Albert David stood by his brother William at Wembley Stadium July 1, 2007, held by the brothers as a tribute to the 46 th anniversery of their mother Diana Princess of Whales birth, he spoke of his mother and a shout out to his brothers in arms fighting in Iraq.   The young prince has hada history of rebellious behavior and the only thing that has kept the firery red head in check is his undying loyalty to the military.

Originally not given permission to leave for a tour in Iraq with his company due to his status as the third in line for the crown of England would create concerns that included Harry being a high-value target (as several threats by various groups have already been made against him) and the dangers the soldiers around him would face should any attempt be made on the Prince’s life or capture. Clarence House made public the Prince’s disappointment with the decision, though he said he would abide by it. He felt that he would put his comrads in danger however he felt he was not living up to his responsibilities as a military man by staying behind.

‘Fit’ Prince William leads homeless teens up peak

I posted the article below for it has to due with the subject matter of some of my artwork: Where there is a Will there is a Way

LONDON, England (CNN) — Britain’s Prince William went hiking Friday with a group of homeless teenagers on a picturesque peak in northern England to raise awareness for two charities he patrons, spokespeople for the prince and one of the charities said.

Prince William, right, joined a group of homeless teams on a mountain climb in the UK.

Prince William, right, joined a group of homeless teams on a mountain climb in the UK.

William, 27, was joined by six teenagers from Centrepoint, a charity for homeless young people, as they walked up Helvellyn, a mountain in the Cumbria region of northeastern England.

Leading the group were members of Mountain Rescue, a volunteer-run charity. Prince William is the patron of both charities.

The aim of the walk was to provide some of Centrepoint’s homeless teens with a memorable and challenging day, and also to have an event that both charities could participate in together.

Each teenager was paired with a Mountain Rescue volunteer as they climbed the mountain, said Andy Simpson, a spokesman for the charity who was on the walk.

After days of spotty storms, the group got lucky with the weather and had sunshine and big, billowy clouds for much of the two-hour climb, Simpson said.

Water Polo Match 2004

Water Polo Match 2004

He described Helvellyn as a moderate mountain that requires a certain level of fitness.

The prince, however, did very well — not surprising, given his military training.

“He’s a very fit bloke,” Simpson said. “I had trouble keeping up with him.”

The location of Friday’s hike was kept a secret until the last minute. That meant other climbers on Helvellyn had no idea they would encounter royalty on an otherwise-normal day out.

“One or two of the people were quite surprised, to say the least, to see the future king of England coming the other way,” Simpson said.

William stopped to chat to the people he met, he said.

“It was nice to see him engaging with so many members of the public. They just happened to be out for a walk and it’s just made their day,” he said.

Partway up the mountain, by a lake called Red Tarn, the prince flew a flag for the London 2012 Olympics, Simpson said. Monday marks three years until the Opening Ceremony of the Games.

Prince Harry becomes a birthday millionaire

I posted the article below for it has to due with the subject matter of some of my artwork: Fire and Honor

from CNN/London

harry2-1LONDON, England (CNN) — Britain’s Prince Harry turned 25 Tuesday in the knowledge that he is now entitled to part of the multi-million dollar inheritance left to him by his late mother.

Harry was just 12 years old when Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

His mother left an estate worth £21 million ($35 million), but more than £8 million ($13.31 million) was paid in inheritance tax, leaving around £13 million ($21.6 million) to be shared between Harry and his brother William, who is second in line to the throne, the British Press Association reported.

Much of that money is thought to have been invested but it is not known if the economic downturn has affected the amount.

Both princes are prevented from spending the lump sum of their inheritance until they turn 30. But Harry will pocket all income generated by his portion of the estate — around £300,000 ($500,000) a year.

Prince Harry joined the British Army in 2006 and served in Afghanistan for more than two months from the end of 2007 to early 2008, before being withdrawn after news of his secret deployment leaked out to the media.

There had been fears that Harry, who is third in line to the throne, could become a target for Taliban militants.

According to British media reports, the prince’s deployment was subject to a news blackout deal struck between the Ministry of Defence and newspapers and broadcasters in the UK and abroad.

He received a promotion to the rank of lieutenant in April last year and is now training to become a helicopter pilot with the British Army’s Air Corps.

The young royal has also created a few negative headlines, particularly in Britain’s tabloid press, in recent years.

In February this year, he was formally disciplined by his Army superiors after videos surfaced showing him using offensive language — referring to a fellow soldier as a “Paki” and another as looking “like a raghead.”

A spokesman for the prince told CNN: “Prince Harry has apologized for his comments and has been subjected to normal Army disciplinary procedures. The matter is now closed.”

In a well-publicized gaffe in 2005, Harry apologized after he was photographed wearing a Nazi uniform at a party.

“It was a very stupid thing to do and I’ve learned my lesson, simple as that really,” he said in an interview marking his 21st birthday. “I’d like to put it in the past now. What’s done is done. I regret it.”

Mary Margaret (Santee) Adams (November 7, 1920 – October 3, 2009)

by Tim Benjamin

Mary Margaret (Santee) Adams

Mary Margaret (Santee) Adams

Through out my entire life I had only one grandmother and that caring spirit was Mary Margaret Adams who always greeted me with a hug and a smile.  When we would speak, my grandmother would happily pat my hand in love and the whole world was full of magic and peace.

Mary Margaret Santee was born in the fall and died in the fall.  She loved the weather of autumn, the birds that would sing and the colors of nature that came with this time of the year.  On November 7, 1920, the superintendent of Nash county Enid Oklahoma, George Washington and his wife Mary Bell Higginbotham celebrated the birth of their daughter Mary Margaret Santee.

Erle Wilbert Adams (Senior year)

Erle Wilbert Adams (Senior year)

Growing up in a small town, Mary Margaret had a slight problem in school in that her father was the superintendent that led to few altercations with misbehavior. Mary Margaret was considered quite the catch by the local males of her community and was named homecoming queen in her junior year of high school.  Mary Margaret and her older sister by eleven years, Nell Santee did help each other as much as possible.  In fact, walking the sidewalks in the town side of Enid, the two sisters noticed a young good-looking man sweeping a porch area outside the Adams general store.  Older sister Nell pointed the young man out as a fine looking catch to younger sister Mary Margaret.

M.M. Adams

M.M. Adams

Later Mary Margaret was properly introduced to the young general store shop boy who revealed his name as Erle W. Adams.  After a few successful dates young Erle went off to College A.N.M. an Agricultural college that later changed its name to O.S.U. one the biggest state Universities in the country.  While attending A.N.M., Erle had begun to realize that his thought were of no one other than Mary Margaret Santee and decided that on March 8, 1942 in Stillwater Oklahoma, he would marry Mary Margaret.  This marriage lasted sixty-seven years.

1st Colonel Erle W. Adams

1st Colonel Erle W. Adams

During the war, the married couple traveled with Erle W’s stationing as a instructing and training men for combat.  However, when they did settle down in Tulsa Oklahoma by buying a home with a loan of two thousand dollars, the young couple was able to purchase a home for seven thousand dollars.  This home of theirs is the one the live in for sixty-seven loving years.

In 1944 when the war had settled down and the world seemed less dangerous, Mary Margaret and Erle W. Adams had their first son Michael Kent Adams at Wesling

M.M. & E.W. Adams at their home

M.M. & E.W. Adams at their home

Hospital, Wshita Kansas.  To equal out the equation the new parents had a second child in December 8, 1946, Mary Lynne Adams. At St. Johns Hospital in Tulsa Oklahoma.  The young family spent many car trips visiting aunts, uncles, cousins and grand parents on holidays and special occasions.  Family was important to Mary Margaret and she stressed this to her children to be kind and in touch with your family.  Having both Mary Margaret’s parents and Erle W.’s parents alive meant a headache when it came to holidays like Christmas when you did swap years for who you wanted to visit.  Then you drove to one parent’s home in the mourning and then drove to other parents’ home in the afternoon.

After the war, Mary Margaret began her long association with T.U. as a secretary to the Economics department and gained great esteem and respect in her work.  Her husband had a very prestigious career with Flint Steal where he works dutifully for his family.  Mary Margaret was a fantastic cook and was a superb hostess.  Always dressed up for occasions and had a magnificent figure to show.   Money was tight in the family and having two adults who grew up in the depression, saving as much money as possible was foremost important to their

way of life.

Mary Lynne and Ann on the 57 Chevy

Mary Lynne and Ann on the 57 Chevy

On the eleventh Birthday of daughter Mary Lynne, her mother Mary Margaret had some surprising news for her.  It was not a present but an unexpected baby sister.  There had been some surgical work done to Mary Margaret in the moment in time.  Despite the medical miracle of Mary Margaret and Erle W’s third child, Ann Merdeth Adams was born in Hillsent Hospital in Tulsa Oklahoma on August 10, 1957.

She donated to many animals, environmental and Democratic charities and graduated from Tulsa University enjoying a career at the TU Economics Department.  The president of TU hand wrote a letter to my Grandfather, Erle, of condolences on her passing.  In their home hanging next to a charcoal portrait of my Grandfather is a letter from candidate Barrack Obama thanking her for her contributions.

Ann and Mary Lynne

Ann and Mary Lynne

The first grandchild to Erle W. Adams and Mary Margaret was Michael Todd Adams born on August 13, 1966 to Michael Adams and his wife Diane Marie (Box) Adams.  Later Grandchildren were Jeffery John Benjamin born on April 29th, 1976 and later than that was Timothy John Erle Benjamin both to parents Mary Lynne Adams and Michael John Benjamin.  Youngest daughter Ann and husband Bob Lewis had the only granddaughter on July 23, 1985 and the last grandson was not born until 1990 when Adam Keith Adams was born.

E.W. & M.M. in France

E.W. & M.M. in France

Retirement seemed a natural for Erle and Mary Margaret as they bought a small camper than later a larger camper trailer that they traveled all over the United States as they embarked on their dreams of seeing the county side.  Occasionally taking their grand kids around with them and for a while their home of 566 was a staple of summer vacations for the grandchildren.

Family was important to Mary Margaret as she took care of her brother suffered from shell shock from WWII and took care of her older sister Nell after the death of Nell’s second husband Harold.

The Burial of Mary Margaret

The Burial of Mary Margaret

Attending her funeral was her three children and their families as well as   Friends of the family and honored guests.  She was laid to rest near her grandson Michael Todd Adams who died the previous year.

The pallbearers were mainly the grand children of Mary Margaret.  Grandchildren were Michael Todd (in honor), grandsons Tim Benjamin, Adam Lewis and his sister Jessica Lewis.  Grandson Jeff Benjamin was not in attendance due to his obligations to his three children.  Mary Margaret’s daughter Mary Lynne’s son Jeff had the only great-grandchildren in Mary Margaret’s lifetime and they were three girls.  These great-grandchildren are the following: Vivian Ashley, born in 2000 in Hawaii, Sedona Nell born in 2002 in Oregon and Hannah Ann in 2007 in California.

Son Mike and Nephew Spence "Lawrence" Adams

Son Mike and Nephew Spence "Lawrence" Adams

All her children were important to Mary Margaret and all those that were related to her took equal importance and caring.  When the siblings of Mary Margaret and Erle W. passed away it was the nephews and nieces and children of fallen neighbors and friends from the generation of Mary Margaret and Erle W. that gravitated to these two parental figures in a need for advise and caring.

Mary Margaret’s caring for music was apparent in her love of bird songs and the small creatures that lived in their yards.  Always wanting to pet an animal, Mary Margaret always said cautiously as she would place a hand on a head of a cat or dog that she was only going to try and be friendly.  All animals would have liked this spirit that was Mary Margaret if she would only believe it herself.

Her brother played many musical instruments and had the craft for the musical talent where Mary Margaret had an ear for all music.  Always watching live musical productions on television and always playing music from all sorts on the wireless.  Her collection of many musical genre’s included: flute, classical, country, Elvis, big band and even a little rock and roll.

Mary Lynne and sons Jeff and Tim in the 57 Chevy

Mary Lynne and sons Jeff and Tim in the 57 Chevy

Her grandson Jeff played the guitar and piano and would perform the latest Van Halen song for her and Mary Margaret would sit, close her eyes and tap her foot in enjoyment.  Her other grandson Tim would put Cd mixes together of all the ends of the music canvas from hard rock to polka, from soul to alternative and Mary Margaret would sit and listen to them all in great enjoyment.

My only regret as Tim the music man was that only in her later years, Mary Margaret was introduced to Enya late.  I would have liked to give her the entire collection by Enya.

Like her sister, Nell, Mary Margaret was a patron of the arts and fully promoted her grandson Tim the artist in his endeavors.

6982752_10062009At the viewing of the funeral of Mary Margaret Adams, my grandmother, I walked up to the casket and wanted to thank her for all her love, help, understanding, encouragement and shared love of music, however when the time came and I looked upon the face of the one and only grandmother I had all my life and very essence of what a grandmother should have be like, I was unable to speak.  Planning on saying only anything to my self as I gazed upon her for the last time, I only managed a few jumbled thoughts with words like “Thank you,” “Miss You,” “Music,” and “Good bye.”  With all that I could muster in notions of verbal thought scattered and used, I patted her hand lightly as a final good bye and the magic had gone.

Bill making violence against gays a hate crime headed to White House

The hate crimes bill is named for Matthew Shepard, pictured here. (AP Photo)

The hate crimes bill is named for Matthew Shepard, pictured here. (AP Photo)

The Senate approves the measure, 68 to 29, and Obama is expected to sign it. The legislation, previously passed by the House, is named for Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr.

House OKs measure to make anti-gay violence a hate crime

By James Oliphant

October 22, 2009 | 7:08 p.m.

A bill to make violence against gays and lesbians a federal hate crime cleared the Senate on Thursday and headed to the White House.

The 68-29 vote was a victory for civil rights groups that have long sought to expand the federal statute beyond attacks motivated by religion, race, color or national origin.

art.barack.obama.cnn

President Obama has said the country must make significant changes to ensure equal rights.

The bill, which President Obama is expected to sign, includes penalties for assaults based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender, disability or gender identity.

Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., whose Justice Department would be charged with enforcing the provisions, praised the bill’s passage.

“There have been nearly 80,000 hate-crime incidents reported to the FBI since I first testified before Congress in support of a hate-crimes bill 11 years ago,” Holder said.

Recent incidents — such as the June shooting death of an African American security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum by a white supremacist — “demonstrate that there are still those for whom prejudice can translate into violence,” he said.

The legislation also would give federal authorities more power to help state and local law enforcement officials investigate hate crimes and would expand the federal government’s ability to intervene. About 45 states have hate-crime statutes.

The bill, which was attached to a $680-billion measure outlining the Pentagon’s budget, was passed by the House on Oct. 8.

Some of the 28 Republicans who opposed it said they didn’t like being forced to vote on the issue as part of a defense bill.

“It’s a shame that this piece of legislation was added to a bill that’s supposed to be about supporting our troops,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)

The defense bill includes $130 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and authorizes a 3.4% pay raise for the military.

The bill would also make it a federal crime to attack members of the military because of their service.

art.1751.shepard.kare

The bill is named for Matthew Shepard, a gay teenager who was beaten to death in 1998.

The hate-crime measure is named for Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming who was beaten to death in 1998, and for James Byrd Jr., an African American in Texas who was chained to a pickup and dragged to death the same year.

"Mathew Sheppard"

"Mathew Sheppard"

“It has been more than 10 years since the senseless and brutal death of Matthew Shepard,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), “and I look forward to watching President Obama sign this much-needed legislation into law.”

joliphant@latimes.com

Robert Erle Man of Many Talents

Robert Erle and Stella Marie Adams

Robert Erle and Stella Marie Adams

An amateur actor, mailman, sandwich maker in a bar run by his father and a general store owner, my great-grandfather, Robert Erle Adams was a force of nature.  His father owned a pool hall that served sandwiches that were eventually made by the young Robert Erle.  In the twenties, Robert Erle’s pool hall did or did not serve alcohol, as it was the prohibition.

While in the pool hall, whenever Robert was asked to make a sandwich he would cross the street to the grocery store to get the ingredients and in time he developed an idea of going into the grocery store business store himself.  When my grand father Erle Wilbert Adams was two, his father Robert opened the Adams store in Nash County Lemont Oklahoma and thus continued on as a pillar of the community.  Robert

The Adams Family

The Adams Family

Erle delivered mail in a model T Ford in the rural area of Lemont.  His two aunts and an uncle lived on a farm in which Robert Erle delivered to.  In his youth, Robert Erle would work on his relative’s farms and whenever it rained in the area his aunt would say, “Well it is good for the wheat.”  However a cabin fevered Robert Erle would say to his aunt that it might be good for the wheat but is not good for him.

While working behind the counter of the Adams

The Adams Store

The Adams Store

store, Robert Erle would sell candy, bread, pop and do all that is expected of a general store including carve meat in the back room.  Gypsies would travel through the town and would have a tendency to take items without paying.  Wearing aprons these gypsies would simply walk into the Adams store and put items in their aprons as they browsed then buy something small and inexpensive.  Wearing a butcher’s apron, Robert Erle watched these strangers from the back of the store as he chopped meat.  Not wanting to get his long black hair in the way he would tie it back and resemble his Cherokee background.  His apron would be covered in a bit of blood from the meat Robert was cutting and would walk out looking like a head hunting Cherokee worrier and coolly said to the gypsies, “You can either pay for what is in your aprons or leave now.”  They left in a hurry.

In the Adams store there was a couple rows of theatre seats at one side.  This was an aspect of Robert Erle showing itself that later came out as he wanting to be an actor.  The town had a few amateur plays in the theatres and wanted actors and Robert Erle was all too willing to addition.  Getting the parts in various plays and in much subject matter, Robert was actually considered quite good at what he did.  The only evendence of him being a descent actor was that he kept being called back.  Acting aside, Robert had a tendenciy to only dress in shaggy pants, shirt and hold a cane.  No matter what the play was about, Robert would stagger out on stage and act as an old man.

In the end, Robert Erle was a man greater then any words could describe.

Pearl Jam is back with Backspacer

Eddie Vedder

Eddie Vedder

Pearl Jam’s new CD in a hard bound book/Pizzoli style package. 2009 release from Eddie Vedder and the boys, their ninth album overall. For Backspacer, the lasting Grunge rockers decided to do it big. They left label J Records and decided to release to album themselves, since the certainly have enough money to do that. They also hooked up with ’90s Alternative Rock producer du jour Brendan O’Brien (Korn, Bruce Springsteen), the first time that the band has worked with O’Brien since 1998’s Yield. The music on the record features a sound influenced by pop and New Wave.

pearl_jam_backspacer

2009's Backspacer

On a personal note, Pearl Jam’s Backspacer came at a time of great need in my life and “Just Breath” was a wonderful tune to listen to as I had to deal with two deaths in my family.  Having the same producer as Yield makes all the sense in the world in that Yield has the same musical dynamic as Backspacer.