The Norman Transcript

Columns

August 18, 2013

A tribute to a small town and growing up in Oklahoma

NORMAN — Like most children of the Depression, Frank Heaston learned to stretch a dollar, enjoy simple pleasures and save what he could for later. Fortunately, he saved a bookload of memories about growing up in rural Oklahoma.

His book, “A Paean to Pocasset, A Tribute to a Small Town” was published this summer. It chronicles his upbringing in the small, Grady County town nestled on Highway 81 between Minco and Chickasha.

Although the setting is defined, it could have been any small town in rural America. The morality and the values learned there stuck.

He views the community through three seminal periods — the Depression, Dust Bowl and World War II.

“It was a simple life and I’m glad I experienced it,” says Heaston, now 87 and a retired OU journalism professor. He writes of church revival meetings, working in his family’s grocery store and dedicated teachers who didn’t think twice about slapping kids who got out of line.

———

His book came about after his 50th high school reunion in 1993. He had penned some memories of the Class of 1943 to share. Stories like the spiked punch at the junior dance, keeping stats for the basketball team, day-long dirt-road hikes, late-night movie runs to Chickasha and porch time with neighbors.

“Later on I started looking at it. I wanted to put on paper the things that really shaped my life. I kept putting it in the computer and one day a friend of mine said I ought to make a book out of this. It’s about Pocasset but really it could be any small town.”

At a signing in Pocasset, he saw few of his generation. More likely, he saw their children and grandchildren who wanted copies. Some of the older folks bought multiple copies to send to their children. Lots of book buyers had questions about the town’s history.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Porch leap looked muchbigger as a kid

    It’s no secret that porch designs have changed over the years. Drive through new Norman developments and look at the porches. Most only have room for a potted plant and a spot to drop those UPS packages, no place for a porch swing or ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014