OKLAHOMA ADJUSTS TO WAR
“It is important to always remember that history is not only made by impersonal historical forces; it is made by people.”
Numerous books discuss World War II’s political and military leaders and the war’s momentous air, land, and sea conflicts. No one doubts the significant impact of those events on the home front. Although this book broadly reviews those conflicts, the focus centers on the effect of America’s entry into the war during 1942 on life in Oklahoma. National war-time economic and societal adjustments to what had been ordinary life altered Oklahoma society forever.
Oklahomans had to tackle the responsibilities required by, and the uncertainties and fears arising from, war. The vast demands the war placed on society, the economy, government operations, and military material production could not avoid changing individual lives. The Oklahoma home front necessarily also had to keep adapting to policy and industrial changes wrought by the demands of war.
Oklahomans learned fur garments could be transformed into jackets to warm merchant marines carrying cargoes across the cold North Atlantic to England, women’s nylon hose could be converted into parachutes, meat fats returned to the grocer contributed to ammunition production, common household rubber items provided essential components in the manufacture of a multitude of necessary military supplies, old phonograph records could be “regrooved” to play modern music servicemen enjoyed, and donated books helped soldiers pass the time in USO facilities being constructed throughout the nation.
The war thrust on Oklahomans extensive individual and communal responsibilities. This book recounts the story of civilian Oklahomans who faced the enormous challenges of 1942 and through those sacrifices or transformed vocational or social positions helped defeat our enemies.
LOVE’S: FIFTY-FIVE YEARS OF A FAMILY’S ENTERPRISE
In 1964, with little money to invest and a growing family to support, Tom and Judy Love opened their first retail store in an old service station in Watonga, Oklahoma. It offered few frills other than “the cheapest gas in town.” Fifty-five years later, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is the fastest growing chain of fueling stations in the nation serving a combination of car and truck traffic from coast to coast. This book traces the growth of that family enterprise.
Two constants have never changed at Love’s. One is the belief that growth creates opportunities, even during the darkest hours when survival skills suggest a more conservative approach. The second constant is family ownership, supported by a strong leadership team that buys into the founding values and vision.
GAME CHANGER: OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY’S GALLAGHER-IBA ARENA AND BOONE PICKENS STADIUM
From 1995 to 2009 Oklahoma State University made a major commitment to upgrade its athletic facilities, specifically the most visible and high profile sports facilities on campus—Gallagher-Iba Arena and Boone Pickens Stadium.
The goals were to meet the demand of fans in regard to attendance, ensure that the Cowboys had the advantage in facilities when it came time for recruiting, and that every student athlete had the resources to achieve his or her full potential.
For fourteen years, University personnel, architects, contractors, engineers, donors, students, players, and coaches worked side by side to make the dream a reality.
PRACTICE: UNLEASHING THE POWER OF FAITH
What follows in this book, are not happily-ever-after fairy tales, but reminders of our own deep identity as children of God. We are not our jobs, our family, our political affiliations, our bank statements – we are believers trying to mature into the people God has created us to be.
The men and women you’ll soon meet found the strength to hold on when things fell apart. They learned lessons from life’s messes or simply showed us how to live on purpose and in love.
So whether you’re facing a mountain of problems, or simply need encouragement, begin now a routine of finding God in the nooks and crannies, in the doubts and dreams of your life.