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The Glove Man

Every town has their own personalities. Those folks who are a little different. In my town it was a man everyone called Glove Man. I remember him often coming in to the place I worked (A fast food restaurant during my high school years). He was harmless but he did scare me a bit. I never knew his name, or what happened to him. I found this obit/write up of him today….Rest in peace James.

07/24/1995 “Glove Man” Dies; by Robert Medley

NORMAN – On the streets and sidewalks of Campus Corner, James Pitman became known as “The Glove Man” to those who crossed his path. During the past two decades he might have been seen wearing black gloves as he directed traffic in the street. He might have been seen arguing with a utility pole or hurling an angry fist at the sky. But Pitman had no arrest record and, while he may have startled some, he had no record of violence or assault against anyone, said police Lt. Dean Vassilakos. Pitman, 59, died in his south Norman apartment, 1427 S Jenkins Ave., Apt. G, on or around July 11, a police report states. Investigators found Pitman dead in his bathroom after a Department of Mental Health caseworker reported he had not been seen in a few days, the report states. The body was found July 13 and officials have ruled he died of a heart attack. While Pitman was best known as a Campus Corner character who often wore two black gloves, he may have suffered from schizophrenia, said his father, Earnest H. Pitman, of Norman. James Pitman was at one time a good electrician who worked in both Oklahoma City and Norman, Earnest Pitman said. His sister, Dorothy Rames, said she has had trouble dealing with the death. “He was a smart and brilliant man,” she said. James Pitman graduated from Manual Training High School at New York City and attended the University of Oklahoma briefly in the 1960s, his father said. James Pitman served in the United States Navy 1955 to 1959 on a destroyer escort ship in the Atlantic Ocean and the Virgin Islands, his father said. He was discharged before the Vietnam War. Earnest Pitman believes his son was deeply affected in November 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. James Pitman, a Catholic, identified with Kennedy and admired the president, his father said.

Kennedy also served in the Navy.

James Pitman never acted the same after Kennedy’s death, and Earnest Pitman believes the trauma triggered a latent mental illness. Born in Chicago, James Pitman spent time in what is now Griffin Memorial Hospital, but doctors only recently told Earnest Pitman his son suffered from schizophrenia, he said. The mental illness and James Pitman’s notoriety as the Glove Man has been slightly painful for his surviving siblings to handle, Earnest Pitman said. Earnest Pitman said his wife, Ella Mae Pitman, died three months ago and one of his sons had to be hospitalized briefly after arriving in Norman for a private funeral for James Pitman. “We have had some bad luck in the family,” Earnest Pitman said. But he said his son’s life was no embarrassment. “He was a town character, I realize,” Earnest Pitman said. “But I considered him a good electrician. He had not worked in years. “James Pitman was perhaps the most well-known of eccentric Norman street personalities, who have included “Crazy Craig” and a woman who used to sit naked in a Campus Corner Laundromat while her clothes washed. A local band recently named themselves Glove Man. Police said James Pitman sometimes swung his electrical tools in the air, frightening a few people. Not long ago, Vassilakos said he saw Pitman walking along a Norman street, but he was not wearing any gloves.


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 My grandmother, 11 May 1924.

Rainbow dance 1921, Louise
We’ve been going through the old family photos. Wish I knew them then.

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Some birds of Oklahoma

Here’s a Tufted Titmouse waiting for its turn at the blackoil sunflower seeds. In the winter they form a feeding group with the nuthatch, and chickadees. They will hunt for nuts and fruit together, which is pretty cool to watch.The Belted Kingfishers are everywhere lately. Every time we visit the lake we see at least one. A lot of the time I hear them first, although they have a very distinct shape.  The Yellow-rumped Warbler is one of our winter guests. Some people call them butter butts because of the yellow feathers on its rump. In this photo, you can see the yellow on its rump as well as on its side. They flit around the trees looking for insects and any remaining fruit. At Lake Thunderbird, here in Norman OK, there are wild persimmon trees. Not only do the Warblers like them the Cedar Waxwings and Robins find them easy eats in the winter. My sister-in-law is going to try to grow a persimmons tree. I’ll keep you updated on this adventure.

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Woodpeckers at the Cross Timbers

So I have a new term for where I’ve been going birding for years. A  local photographer called it the “Cross Timbers”, hell, I was calling it Lake Thunderbird. Cross Timbers sounds so mysterious…So I did a little research. The Cross Timbers stretch from Southeast Kansas through Oklahoma and into North Texas. Washington Irving and other early travelers through this area are credited with giving this area its name. Alrighty then….Here is a Red-headed Woodpecker, it is an immature one. It’s just starting to get its red head. I think it has a piece of wood in its mouth.We’ve been seeing a lot of Northern Flickers (Red-shafted) lately. Here in Oklahoma we get both the red and yellow shafted flickers.This is where we see most of the flickers, on the ground, hunting for treats. They are very photogenic. These are the Yellow-shafted Northern Flickers.

Today I saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker for the first time this season. A few years ago we were seeing tons of them on our bird walks. It was actually pretty thrilling.

More from the Cross Timbers soon….

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We had our first snow of the new year. It won’t last long… a few days. It was a fluffy dry snow. A kid in the neighborhood was able to build a snowman on day two, after the snowed warmed up enough to pack it.The photos here are of snowflakes on my car. After I was brushing the snow off of it I noticed them. I love the snow ang snowy days. It will be nearly 70• later this week, and then the bottom drops out again. But I will enjoy the snow while it’s here.

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Dark-eyed Junco

We get to enjoy the Dark-eyed Junco during the winter months. In fact, they’re usually the first bird of winter that we see. Out of all the Sparrows I like the Junco the best… with a close second being the Lark Sparrow.

The photo above was taken yesterday at our local lake. There were a dozen, or so, Juncos in a tree. The birds were gathering to roost for the night. They all took off ( like they do) with their high-pitched call and this is the image I caught. We have such great birds here and are on the pathway of fall and spring migration.

More photos to come….

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Christmas 2016 and a dream…

My plans, like ever Christmas, is to cook, cook, cook. To create a variety of cookies, candies, and other treats of the season is my goal. I made these gingerbread men one evening. They were gone before the icing hit their cute little bodies. Yes, I know they are a bit unusual, but they are soooo cool. A dia de los Muertos cookie cutter was used. I also made apple empanadas and enchiladas for our Christmas Day dinner. For our dinner we do SW Mexican food, we’ve  done it for years.

While cooking I also made two small blueberry pies and an apple tart. My goal was to make a lot of treats… It just didn’t happen this year. Not even my traditional english toffee was made. There’s always next year.

My sister-in-law and I were talking, as we do often, about farms and B&Bs. The dream of owning one (of each) and running of them. The animals we’d have, the products from, the gift shop, the organic and GMO free veggie stand, and the food we would cook.  I went on-line and scoured cook books to come up with a list of foods to offer in the B&B. I have to admit, this is so much fun! I even found gluten free and vegan recipes that I want to try out. I looked for dishes that would also work with what I would be growing on the farm. Oh what a dream. I printed out the recipes that I’m going to try out in the months to come. When my garden is active again and I start getting the produce, I will try other recipes. Nothing is as good as fresh!

Like I said, this is just a dream… but it’s fun to try new things.