KENNETH WAYNE SEELY (WE KNOW HIM AS KEN DEWBRE)
 was born in 1953, (one of ultimately more than a dozen siblings) in the Texas panhandle town of Wellington....a ranch and farming community of 3,000 people back in 1953. That was the high water mark for Wellington and its population has slowly declined to about 1900 now. 



Ken said that his first words spoken as a child were "Let's move to OKLAHOMA!"

(Ken shown in a moment of rare smile!)
Sadly, the Seely family disintegrated and Ken was adopted at age 7 by a family that gave him love and stability. He changed his last name to Dewbre. The family moved around in Oklahoma a bit, but always stayed in the sooner state. Duncan, Fredrick, and Billings were spots that Ken lived while growing up. He went to elementary school in Duncan and high school in Billings (think north of Perry). Ken's high school graduating class was a whopping 16 students. Ken played both football and basketball at Billings H.S. and was nominated for "all conference" center. His head was in the game. Actually his head was usually over the ball.

Early work experience was mostly rural in nature, hay hauling and moving furniture. Following high school he decided to attend East Central in Ada and so he spent a year deciding that he really did not want to go to college. Once this momentus decision was reached, the next step was easy. It was about 1972 and the USA was still mired in Vietnam and so Ken enlisted in the United States Army and did his basic training at Ft. Polk, Louisiana. He found a specialty in refrigeration, heating and air, and took advanced training at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and was subsequently assigned for the rest of his enlistment in Stutgart, Germany. An exce,,ent assignment given the scope of the war. A photo of Stutgart base housing is below.


Somewhere well before that he had met this young gal named Kim and for 5 years they had dated and so marriage seemed the right thing and so they married, Kim moved to Germany and that was 44 years ago. They have one daughter, Kaci, born in 1983 on July 4th, a "little firecracker" as Ken said.  They also have two "apples of Ken's eyes - granddaughters" More about grands later.

Following his enlistment, Ken and Kim returned to Oklahoma where Ken worked as a farm hand in eastern Oklahoma near the Talimena drive. figuring it would be a good idea to continue the skills that he had trained for in the Army, Ken enrolled at OSU Technical in Okmulgee where he continued learning about refrigeration.

following OSU tech, they moved to Norman and have never left. Ken worked for a few years at Gordon Specialty (now Service Experts) and hired on with OU for the next 30 years. He retired from OU a few years ago, spending most of his career in the air conditioning/ mechanical department .

Ok - so that is part one.......his first car was a 1955 Chevy, metalflake blue, a $29.99 paint job from Earl Scheib! If Ken could have any car in the world it would be........a 1956 Chevy Nomad with a 396, 4 speed...the color is irrelevant.

Ken was driving a 1963 Ford (yes, a FORD!) custom that kept breaking down so he went to test drive a few cars, one of which was a certain 1976 Camaro which he fell in love with and still owns after 45 years.

Ken didn't know to stop with one Camaro, so he now has 3. The 1967 shown above, a 1989 RS (black) and an IROC z-28 (red).

Now what don't we know but probably suspect about about Ken is that he likes to collect things, Johnny Lightening cars........or old cameras.........or a collection of shot glasses even though he rarely drinks. Lot of collections. A fun hobby.

Ken and Kim  recently collected a "new" (for them) 1993 Sedan de Ville Cadillac with only 45,000 miles on it. Kim is driving in style these days.

Ken and Kim are charter members of our club. 10 years as members and still going strong. Ken's favorite pastime is getting to take care of his two granddaughters. we are sure that the girls look forward to a long visit with Granddad as often as possible!


The color of our background today has to be Ireland's "shamrock green" as we take an end of the year opportunity to interview our club's "parade coordinator", Terrance James O'Dea, or as we know him -  "Terry".

Our big mustached smiling Irishman who knows everyone in town, was born in Saint Anthony's hospital in Oklahoma City. "Terrance" was named after the first O'dea who immigrated from Ireland. Terry's branch of clan O'dea immigrated from the old country about 1863 and ultimately found their way to Oklahoma City. The O'dea coat of arms is shown below....and they even have the ruins of a castle in County Clare.

Terry's dad, WWII Veteran, began a midwest outpost for this branch of the O'Dea family, a true first generation Okie, having served in the U.S. Army at Fort Sill.
 
Terry grew up in the OKC-Norman area and attended Harding High School in OKC, graduating in 1966. He enrolled at Central State and spent a year, but college was not his thing and the Vietnam war was raging 
 - so he enlisted in the United States Navy Reserve after a year at Central. 

Vietnam was in full call-up during those years and his reserve unit was activated. They say, "Join the Navy and See the World"......well this is true. Coronado Island, California was his first stop - for "survival school". {Editor's note: Whenever you are going to a place where you need survival school, that is not always a good omen} 
True to form at that time, our hero landed in Vietnam, as many of our cRc members did -Punque Island, Vietnam as an Engineman. The photo below, was taken in 2017 and Terry can STILL FIT INTO HIS NAVY UNIFORM........
  So now we see how he came to love engines. That and working in one of the best jobs in his life, the full service Skelly Gas Station, like the one shown below, but on Classen. Terry loved the full service aspect of the Skelly station. This employment was just as his reserve unit was called up.

After two tours in Vietnam, Terry was discharged in 1970 and naturally returned to his hometown of Norman where the future Becky O'Dea was patiently waiting and so they married in 1971. At that time, Terry had employment as a local driver and dock worker for Oklahoma's MISTLETOE EXPRESS from 1970 until 1973. That job would change his life.

 During his amazing 42 year driving career, he worked for several trucking companies including CHIEF FREIGHT, {Reference: Ed Smith obituary: this truck company grew and grew until it became the largest family owned truck line in the Midwest. It was called Chief Freight Lines with terminals in Tulsa, Kansas City, Dallas, Ft. Worth and Oklahoma City.}
  Terry also worked for CHURCHILL trucking, and finally he drove a long stint with ROADWAY EXPRESS. In all cases he was one of their local driver team members. Terry still maintains his Class 1 lisc, and in retirement has driven busloads of seniors (Rivermont and Full Circle) as well as school children in and around Norman.

Let's talk cars......Terry's first car was a 1941 Chevrolet pickup, bought in 1963 to haul lawn mowers. Did we mention that Terry had a yard business? 

While the pickup below is not Terry's actual pickup, it is much like his original....an original he still dreams about owning. Don't be surprised if we see one at coffee call one day. 

He kept that  '41 Chevy for a while, and wishes he had kept it forever (Don't we all wish we still had those golden oldies)....but then, Terry was a Chevy guy and so he bought a '47 Chevy 2 door sedan, similar to the one below....

If he could have any car in the world, it would be to have that 1941 Chevy pickup as a fully restored vehicle. In 1981, he stayed with the Chevy theme by purchasing "OLD YELL'R", his beautiful 
canary yellow and white 1955 Chevy 2 door. Old Yell'r is a great authentic restoration with a sweet 235 six under the hood. She purrs....


One day a few years ago, when he got middle aged crazy, he bought and then sold a 1929 Model A pickup, and currently owns a 1929 Model A Ford "Special Coupe", reportedly to be Henry Ford's favorite body style. Complete with rumble seat and other goodies, Terry is hopeful he will sell the Model A "Henry" because he knows where there is a 1941 Chevy just waiting for him.

Terry and Becky have a son named Ryan and a daughter named Molly as well as a lot of red headed grands. We also know "Gabby", Terry's 5 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback who loves a road trip on Saturday morning with Terry to Midway.  Gabby will sit patiently for hours in the model A, waiting for dad to return.

Terry loves to:
1. Spend time at his Colorado mountain home near Buena Vista...
2. Spend time renovating buildings in the old Colorado ghost town of Saint Elmo, where Terry knows everyone (all 30) and is his car is usually one of the 8 entries in their July 4th parade !

And their lovely home in the rockies...a home away from home....

Terry is a charter member of the cRc and is our parade coordinator as well as the liaison between the club and the city of Norman for the Veteran's Day ceremony. He also is liason with the city of Noble for their Rose Rock parade.

He is a volunteer with a big heart....spending days as a school "WATCHDOG" at Monroe elementary school, and occasionally driving a school bus for All-Saints Catholic School. Becky also does lots of volunteer work at St. Vincent de Paul, Kindergarten at Monroe, and is retired from Hospice as a clinical social worker.

And finally, we continue to await that beautiful Irish tenor voice which we know lies deep within him, as he is a charter member of everyone's favorite Christmas party singing group, the cRc singing DIPSTICKS. And that my friends is Mr. Terrance O'Dea! Thank you Terry, for being a member of the cRc!
BILLY HENRY

BILLY CECIL HENRY was born an OKIE. Born in 1939 in Dorgherty (Murray county), Oklahoma to Cecil and Ada Henry, the Henry family were farmers, and Billy was the 3rd child of 3.

At an early age, the family moved to Wynnewood and then to Norman, about 1-1/2 miles from Hollywood Corners. Perhaps that is why we usually see Billy on Thursday nights at the cRuise-in there!

Sooner of later his dad quit farming and went to work at a feed store and then at an ice plant. Billy meanwhile continued his education in the Norman public school system at Jefferson elementary, and the old Norman junior high, and finally Norman high, graduating in 1957.

The Air Force sounded pretty good and so in he went. Following basic training he was married to Mary and they have been together ever since. Billy moved to Charleston, S.C. as a radar electrical power production specialist – where he learned some of his good engine skills. Speed skills were to come later. They lived in Charleston for 1-1/2 years, Fire Island, Alaska for 1 year, and then were transferred to Eagle Pass, Texas for 1-1//2 years. During that time, Mary gave birth to twin girls.


Once his enlistment was complete, Billy and family returned to Norman where Billy ran ‘Henry’s Ice and Beer to go” up on North Porter. The site has since been cleared and a Farm Bureau business sits there. He bought the ice business from his dad, and then in 1966 bought a Fina gas station, also on Porter. This building still exists as a flower shop just south of Van’s BBQ. In 1969, he joined Coors Brewing Company where he found a good home, good advancement, and worked there for 31 years.


In retirement, Billy used to buy wrecked Hondas from insurance companies and mix and match the cars back together. He did this for almost 14 years. I suppose that if you ever wanted to know anything about a Honda, well, you should see Billy first.

Example...Honda before Billy:


Honda after Billy:


WHAT WERE YOUR EARLY YEAR CARS? 

“My first was a 1949 Ford that was totaled in a slight head on collision with a highway patrol car. I then purchased a 1952 Ford convertible, followed by a 1955 Ford and then a 1957 Ford convertible.” Billy is a confirmed Ford guy, as well as a lover of convertibles.


Floyd Yates is Billy’s cousin, and those of you who know Floyd, know his 1963 white Ford Galaxie XL – well Billy had one just like it and both he and Floyd purchased these cars within a week of each other! As the story goes, Billy ordered his in November and was waiting for it. When it arrived, one week later Floyd bought his off the showroom floor. Billy hopped his up and decided to use this family car as a dragster, racing it weekly in Ardmore or at the strip up in OKC at the fairgrounds.

“I don’t think that transmission was ever built to stand up to my racing. I think Ford rebuilt my transmission a number of times. Much of it was still under warranty. They finally convinced my to keep that car off the track.” Billy said.


So Billy decided to make the 1963 back into a family-mobile, and he went out and purchased a 427 engine to put into a dedicated drag car. And hot it was. When he first started running it, it was turning a 13 second ¼ mile, but when he finished – well, it was a 10 second car.


IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY CAR YOU WANTED……”I already have it” Billy told me. “It is my 1955 Thunderbird convertible.”



WHAT DO PEOPLE PROBABLY NOT KNOW ABOUT BILLY HENRY?

“Well, I was a scuba diver for a good while, and I used to water ski competitively. We built a competition ski jump over in Lake Thunderbird and held ski competitions there.”



“When I was younger, I went through a motorcycle phase and a group of us would gather in the flood plane near Lake Thunderbird at dusk. We would then ride the dirt bikes looking for Jackrabbits. Back in the day there were many. We would stir up a Jackrabbit and the chase was on, the rabbit cutting back and forth and the dirt bikes zig zagging left and right to try to keep the rabbit in the headlights. Jackrabbits can go very fast for a short period of time but the tire pretty easily and so in a few minutes the rabbit would tucker out and just stop cold. We would stop also and reach down, and pick him up and pet him, passing him around among the chasers, and then set him carefully back on the ground and go try to find another one. We never harmed any of them, just chased and petted them.”


His current fleet consists of the 1955 bird, a 1966 Thunderbird, and a 2004 Thunderbird. But just then you think he is a has Ford tattooed on his forearm – his family car is an Acura! He was an early member of the cRc and we see Billy and Mary in their 1955 at most club events.


“We also love Colorado, especially the Lake City area where we like to go and ride 4-wheelers. We went there for 16 years in a row. As you know, Mary and I have been going to south Texas since 2005, spending part of the winter in Mercedes, Texas. We have gradually built an entire set of friends down there from all over North America.”

Billy and Mary are faithful members of our club, always willing to pitch in and lend a hand of run a project.


MICHAEL DEAN FAIN AND BIG M


Michael Fain was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, way back when Phoenix was just another midsized town in midwest America and had yet to experience the explosive growth that it has seen recently.


Michael was a middle child and attended grammar, middle, and high school in Phoenix. By all respects a normal childhood in a normal city. But wait! Sometime in 1956, his dad drove home in a 9-month-old green and cream 1956 Mercury, and that has been a game changer for Michael ever since.

Following high school, Michael hung around and attended and graduated from Arizona State University in Tempe with an undergraduate degree in Speech and Theatre Education. He continued at ASU and received an MAE which is a Master in Arts Education.

After a stint teaching high school classes in theatre, English, speech, remedial reading, as well as breaking up fights in the parking lot.  He thought…” maybe a different degree will allow something of a change.”

So it was off to New Haven, Connecticut where he enrolled and graduated from the Yale  School of Drama with a second master’s degree – this one an MFA with a concentration in Technical Design and Production. Following graduation, he worked with the world renowned  Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, Connecticut.

The roots of the great southwest were strong and Michael and spouse Carol were lured back to New Mexico to spend years teaching in various colleges and universities in Santa Fe and other areas of New Mexico.

While in Santa Fe, an old childhood friend arrived into the family in the form of his father’s 1956 Mercury Monterey – and Michael has owned it ever since.  The rare footage below is of Michael preparing the parking space for BIG M by shoveling horse droppings from his designated parking spot at the Cleveland County Free Fair. As we said, BIG M wants for nothing!

“BIG M” as it is known, has always been a weekly driver, but an example of one which is meticulously maintained. There is the recent new dash, as well as a complete new custom interior – one whose fine work caused Marsha Burnett club member and classic interior specialist to proclaim…”That is the last car interior I will do….that was so difficult I think I will retire!”

Several times during their 14 years in New Mexico, the University of Oklahoma invited Michael to interview…and 3 times he declined. The 4th time was the charm and the Fain family moved to Norman in 1996 and after a full career in academics, retired from OU in 2014.

What you probably don’t know about Michael:

-If he could have any car in the world, it would be a 1968 Midnight Blue GTO convertible with a black top….nothing too specific here!



Michael and Carol enjoy river cruising in Europe on those long boats of Viking Cruise lines.

- In high school, he acted in a number of plays. His favorite character? DRACULA which he played. He has acted in more than a dozen different shows.


- He once played with the Denver Symphony Orchestra. I asked him what instrument he played, thinking Trumpet or maybe Saxophone (Michael seems like he could play a mean Sax) …..he looked at me with amusement and said….”CANNON.”  I said “Excuse me?”….he repeated quite clearly as if there should be no mistake…” I played the Cannon” …and I thought "Oh yes the William Tell Overture".  

Michael continued….” In one indoor performance I needed to play 24 rounds and the theatre had a smoke evacuation system that failed to activate properly…..and all the smoke slowly settled down to the expensive seats. “It was so thick you could see nothing at all”, Michael said with his wry smile..


Sometime 9+ years ago, the Canadian River Cruisers were trying to organize a little car club, and we are proud to proclaim Michael, Carol,  and Big M as charter members.  



The cRc member we know as CAROL HOFFMAN was born into this world Carol Odom, of Union City, Tennessee.  Carol Odom liked Union City at the time she was growing up so she hung around her parents house and stayed there all through elementary, junior high and high school.

But she left Union City for good, around her 17th birthday when she packed up and left for college. Her parents still live in her childhood home, and her dad, who is 90, still cuts the grass and does a daily workout. Good genes.

She travelled a whopping 47 miles from Union City, and landed in Murray, Kentucky where she enrolled for undergraduate classes. She earned her B.S. in Speech Pathology from Murray State. A Master’s degree would be nice so she stayed in school and got her masters at Murray State also. Carol describes herself as a very serious student at that time.

She remained in Kentucky for an additional 4 years following college, but longed for a change of scenery. She registered for employment in Oklahoma, and to her mother and father’s dismay, she landed a job in Norman at the J.D. McCarty center.  A nice pay raise and she was off and driving towards Norman, despite her dad suggesting that “Oklahoma was just dirt and rocks and nothing much more  was there!” She needed to learn what was there first hand in the form of a life adventure.


Her dad’s advice did not slow her down one bit, and so Carol arrived in Norman at her new apartment in 1983. And both the cRc and Jim Hoffman are glad she did!

“Jim was the first person I met” said Carol. “He had an apartment in the same complex. I saw him the second day I moved in.”  Soon they began dating and were married 3 years later in 1986. They have 2 children, a boy and a girl. Their daughter lives with them and attends OU, their son lives near San Antonio.

Carol’s first car was a pea green 1976 Maverick with a vinyl top, plaid interior and bucket seats. While she claims not to be a girly gEarhead, she is always present at coffee call, is co-treasurer of the club's sacred funds, does our cRuise program, and can be seen on events like the Powertour and other long haul cruises riding shotgun in their big black Buick. Carol’s personal car is a 2001 BMW convertible shown above.


She has always loved her work, and has been a speech pathologist for 38 years. She is currently employed in the Newcastle school system. Speech Pathologists work to diagnose and treat speech related disabilities that can result in social or communications problems for children or adults.

She and Jim love the outdoors and recently - hiking. In the past few months, they have been hiking the trails in the Wichita Wildlife Refuge and have completed almost all of them. In addition to hiking, they both enjoy ballroom dancing. Carol loves most 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s rock ‘n roll music, but country tunes don't appeal to her. They are both serious foodies and enjoy dining out at a variety of restaurants. Carol said...  "There is little I won't try at least one time. About the only food on my "NO NO" list is liver. (join the club)

Quiet and unassuming, Carol is always working behind the scenes, willing to lend a hand with any cRc project. We are fortunate to have the Hoffman family as members. Her dream vehicle?

A PLEASUREWAY 19' VAN - this took her no time to reply to the question "If you could have any vehicle in the world....what would it be?" Carol said after she gets her fill of work, she can envision Jim and her in a van like this, roaming about the country and enjoying the outdoors.

While we wish Carol success in her dream of the van, we are a bit selfish in not wanting to lose them to a roving lifestyle - at least not for a few years yet!

Ed Paulus - 

KOREAN WAR VETERAN, MASTER MECHANIC, 
FAMILY MAN, charter cRc member.

London, Oxford, Dublin, Athens, Marseilles, Toledo,  Moscow, Vienna, and Amsterdam are all names of cities in Ohio…             Russia, Ohio  is also there and it is possible to drive from Russia to Versailles in just a few minutes. 

And so right at the beginning of the worst depression the USA has ever known, EDDIE PAULUS began his richly rewarding life of 89 years (to date and still going strong)  on July 03, 1928.  Eddie says he had a normal childhood, growing up on the family farm in Russia, attending grammar school in Russia  (we’re still in Ohio remember). But in 1939, the beginnings of World War II changed everything.

Sadly, Ed’s family lost their family farm and as Ed said….” We moved a WHOPPING 4 miles away”.  Ed and his family moved to their new home in Versailles (Ohio). Ed attended high school in Versailles, and graduated in 1947. He enjoyed Industrial Arts classes the most. (duh!)

His first job at age 15 was to tie wires on bales of hay, 
not far from his family farm.


This lasted a season and Ed decided that working around his neighborhood SOHIO service station was far more to his liking and so until he was 23, he spent every moment pumping oil, washing windows, changing tires and oil, and doing mechanic work. 

The automobile was to become Ed’s life’s calling and beyond a few years of dedicated service in the military, Ed has never ventured far from a sure thing. He can still tell you that a 1936 Chevrolet needed an extra 10 foot pounds of torque on the front part of the head, or that they used to have to drill 3 small holes in the right rear door sill to keep the door from rusting out.


Too young for World War II, but just right for the Korean War, Ed joined the Ohio National Guard in the late 40’s and as luck would have it, his unit was activated for the Korean War in 1951. He served with distinction in the artillery at Ft. Bliss, Texas, during the entire war. Discharged in 1952…..but wait!



Did we mention that Ed and Miriam went to high school together? They were married in 1950 and soon son John was born. But war does not respect families and so Ed served his time in the Army, and was discharged in  September of 1952 where it was back to the SOHIO station. Late in 1952, Ed landed a job with SWS Chevrolet in Dayton, Ohio and worked in new and used car prep. He worked there for years, and then between 1960 and 1962 owned his own transmission shop. In the meantime the family grew. Gayle was born in 1952, Chris in 1953, and Gene on  April 5, 1955. 

In 1963 it was back to work for Chevrolet as the SWS group opened their 2nd dealership, this one in Tucson, Arizona. Ed spent 10 years in the service end of the business there, and ultimately a job at Adams Chevrolet in Norman brought the family here. We are all thankful it did!

In 1991, MASTER TECH opened at its current location and the rest is history. Master Tech is jointly owned by Miriam, Gene, and Eddie as partners.


CARS:
Ed’s first car was a $25 1928 Model A Roadster he pulled out of a farmer's field and quickly had running. 

His second one was a 1936 Ford Coupe and then a ’36 Ford 4-door……..if Ed could have any car in the world free of charge, he would pick one within the club. In fact the car is Koy Floyd's 1936 Ford – certainly a compliment to Koy’s fine ride.


Over time he has personally restored a 1970 El Camino, a 1967 Camaro which most of us remember, and a 1974 Chevy Caprice Convertible.

Ed turns 90 years young this next July 3rd......a charter member of the club, we have all grown and profited from his membership in the cRc. Ed still goes to MasterTech every day and opens the shop. Master Tech hosts our annual cRc Christmas party. Ed is a proud member of the singing "DIPSTICKS" the cRc acapella group.


Dan Haggerty.........

Born Daniel Aloysius Haggerty in Massachusetts, Dan was named for his uncle Aloysius Haggerty who had the unfortunate distinction of being the first American soldier to fall in 1914 during the brief Mexican-American War. This took place in Veracruz, well before Dan came on the scene.

Dan originally hails from Cambridge, Mass, but like a lot of us.......he got here as quick as he could!
Growing up in Cambridge, he attended Rindge Technical High School and after graduating, enlisted in the United States Air Force where he was trained and sent to Vandenberg AFB in California as a high pressure boiler operator. 

Following his enlistment, it was back home to the Boston area and 4 years with Western Electric. Remember them? They leased you every telephone you ever had while you were growing up and until the government opened up competition from much cheaper phones. They are long gone now. Anyway, Dan spent from 1964 to 1968 with them, and gave up a career there, dropped everything and moved to Oklahoma where he opened a window cleaning business - and he has owned that business since 1968. ABILITY WINDOW CLEANING COMPANY will celebrate its 50 years in business event in 2018.

Dan's company has cleaned windows in more than 18,000 homes and countless businesses. 

Let's talk about cars:
His first one was a 1949 Chevy, followed some years later by a 1956 Oldsmobile and then a 1963 Impala hardtop S/S. Somewhere around 1963, Dan married his dream girl "Flo" and like his window cleaning business - they have been going strong ever since. The marriage did have an early impact on his cars however. After their marriage, a daughter came along, so the 1963 Chevy became history and they purchased a 1972 Malibu station wagon...ummmmm!

This is not Dan's car but I just could not resist! If Dan could have any car in the world, he would have that old 1963 Impala hardtop back again. Recently, he came pretty close with the acquisition of a 1962 Chevrolet Impala convertible.Dan and Flo have a son, who works in the business and a daughter who is a retired U.S. Army Colonel.

Dan is a serious coin collector of U.S. minted coins, and said that he would like to try sky diving - at least once! Dan joined the cRc in 2016, after having some work done on his vintage black Chevrolet at MasterTech. Eddie and Gene wanted to know why he wasn't a cRc member, and the rest is history. We hope Dan stays involved with the club like his business and his marriage....at least 50 years!


Bill McBee:    
You will quickly notice why we picked the blue background for this edition of "know your members".....
but first to Bill....
In Bill's own words he was "born under a large rock in Frederick, Oklahoma in 1949". 
He said "Yikes, I was almost a Texan it was so close!"

Early years:
Bill lived in Frederick and went all the way through high school there. His dad thought working was a much better idea than letting Bill loose on the streets in a hot rod, so Bill was not allowed to buy a car during his high school and college days. Bill attended and graduated from the University of Oklahoma where in 1971, he received a double major and double minor, all in the Finance and Economics areas.

1st car: 1972 Olds 442 Bill says "This was a Cutlass Supreme with a 442 package. The car was Viking Blue with white interior......sound familiar! The car had 350HP coupled with a 400 Turbo transmission and a 2:73 rear end. Bill said that it would really really fly in the top end!

Armed with his BBA from OU, he ventured off to graduate school and spent two years working towards is MBA in finance. He moved to Colorado and worked for Dun and Bradstreet as an analytical report writer. His most interesting company was the Coor's Brewery in Golden, Colorado.  Sometime after joining the company and sitting behind the desk day after day - he knew he must get a job outdoors, or he would go "postal".

Sometime along the way he bought his second car, a1961 TR3A white with red interior.....

IF BILL COULD HAVE ANY CAR HE WANTED, IT WOULD BE A 1967 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE WITH REMOVABLE HARDTOP, 427 4 SPEED WITH AIR. BLUE WITH A WHITE INTERIOR. BILL ANSWERED THIS QUESTION IN LESS THAN A SECOND, HE REALLY DID NOT HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT.

Over his career, his most rewarding job was working with SW Bell wireless and building out their tower network. Bill has always loved construction projects and today in semi-retirement, manages a group of rental properties around Norman.

LITTLE KNOWN BILL MCBEE FACTS:

He "chopped cotton" as his first real job.

Bill was a DJ at KTAT AM radio in Frederick........1520 on your  AM dial.

He built and licensed a radio station in Anadarko, OK.

Bill's third classic was the blue with tan interior 1969 TR6, which many of you in the club remember. I remember it also as I helped him install a new slave cylinder!

Finally, his 4th classic, which is now for sale on the club website is the...get ready...BLUE with WHITE interior 1971 442. Notice a trend here. How DID that little red TR3 get in the mix!

A few other tidbits about Bill you might not know:

1. He is an avid downhill skier......

2. He says he has "the disease of golf".....

3.He is a certified NRA shooting range instructor.

Bill has been a member of the cRc for about 8 years. He and Joyce are at most of the club events. Always smiling, always affable, Bill enjoys everything life has to offer.










VAN HARRINGTON:

Just about as certain as there is to be coffee on Saturday, members will find one of Van Harrington's Corvettes parked at coffee call and Van inside visiting with other members.

Born in Orange, Texas in 1953. (He notes with pride that he and the Corvette were born in the same year, 1953) 

His dad was a school principal in Orange. At age 14 the family moved to Waco, Texas where Van attended and graduated high school. At age 15, he bought his first Corvette - a 1961 Vette.

 "Dad had one and my brother had a '63, so I just fell in love with them. I drove both my 1961, and also my brother's 1963 all over the area, putting thousands of miles on them. I consider my brother's Vette to be my 2nd Corvette."

Van graduated from high school in 1971 and went immediately into the U.S. Air Force and following recruitment camp, was stationed in Wichita Falls at Sheppard AFB where we worked as a mental health tech.
His 1st son was born while he was stationed at Sheppard and his 2nd son was born while he was at Norton AFB in California. In 1978, he changed from hospital care to data systems and was stationed at the Air force data systems facility in Montgomery, Alabama.

A relocation to Germany brought a top secret security clearance, Nancy his wife and a 3rd Corvette. This one was a 1979 model.

Returning to stateside to Langley, Va. a first daughter was born. Additional assignments in data intelligence , in the D.C. area afforded a stint at Andrews AFB where the Air Force 1 is based.

While at Andrews, a third son was born. Van retired in 1991 and he and his family (his wife was also career Air force) moved to Biloxi for her final assignment) and then in 1996, they came to Norman, Nancy's home. 

Meanwhile, a 4th Vette had been purchased, this one a 2000 year model - unfortunately it was totalled in Norman in 2005.

Van and Nancy live west of Norman in what is known as the nine mile flats. A 5th Corvette was purchased , but Van did not like this 1996 C-4 and sold it shortly after buying it. Then there was the 6th Vette - a 2005 and a 7th Vette, a 1971 C-3 (which was the year of Van's graduation from high school).

Van got his mechanical ability by the well tested "trial and error" method.


Some of the interesting things you probably do not know about Van are:

- He has his hang glider license.

- He learned to water ski at age 6.

- His favorite sport is NASCAR racing.

- He likes to race ATV vehicles and has raced on the National ATV racing circuit. He even built an ATV track at his house in Virginia.

An active member of the cRc, Van joined the club about 2012.