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December, 2002

Hello Friends -

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and remembered to give thanks to our Lord for His many blessings.

I am so pleased to announce the publication of a new book, titled "Distinguished Oklahomans". The book features stories and photos of many well known and successful Oklahomans. I am honored and thrilled to be included. (In alphabetical order, I follow Vince Gill). The book may be ordered from Brace Books and More in Ponca City, OK (580-765-5173).

This year we have released two new CDs. First, with just my guitar, I recorded an updated version of "Oklahoma Pride" featuring stories and songs about famous Oklahomans who have made major contributions to Country & Western Music. It is also available on video.

My newest CD, with a great studio band, is "My Special Memories". It includes 15 songs and numerous comments about the song or original artist which relate to personal experiences of my early years. It is very nostalgic and will bring back a lot of memories. Three of the songs are originals, reminding us of the hard days as well as the joys of our youth.

The fall of 2002 has probably been busiest ever for our music schedule. It started in early September at the Funk Ranch in Yukon, OK with the great Baxter Black. He is such a talent and a good guy.

Our thanks go to the folks in Latimer County, Oklahoma for their hospitality in mid September, where I did four school shows and a public concert at Eastern State College.

Can you believe I have been out of high school for 50 years? The Ardmore, OK Class of '52 had a reunion and I provided the entertainment. Our most famous classmate, Rue McClanahan was not able to attend due to her TV and Movie commitments but she sent greetings.

We love Herington, Kansas. It was there that I had the most wonderful experience with school kids. From four different schools, filling a 500 seat auditorium, they sang those old cowboy songs like an experienced and well train choir. And the folks who came to the Saturday night Tri-Country Jamboree and the Sunday Gospel Show were so very responsive.

The Cowboy Film and Music Festival in my hometown of Gene Autry, OK was the best yet. This was the 11th year for the festival and featured Rex Allen, Jr., Roy (Dusty) Rogers, Jr., Johnny Western, Jody Miller, my band and I, plus many others.

My band and I spent almost the entire month of October in Branson. We did 3 shows per day at Silver Dollar City, Oct 1-26. We did 69 different shows, taking requests and having fun.

The folks in Moberly, Missouri were so gracious. We had lots of laughs together and shared lots of memories. Our special thanks to the Clovers and the Wilsons who came all the way from Iowa for our two shows in Moberly.

I love the people and the prairies of Southwestern Oklahoma. Our thanks to the folks in Altus for the reception we received there. And the same goes to the folks who came for our appearances in Stephenville and Gainesville, Texas. If you don't know about the best kept secret in Texas, it is the beauty and the warm and friendly people of Lake Kiowa, Texas.

As mentioned in my previous newsletter, I am now offering a discount on all my cassette tapes. The new price is $5 each at our shows or $7 each by mail, postage paid. So if you are thinking about Christmas presents or your own collection, let me know which ones and how many you would like to order.

Now, to repeat the message from Martha. As a result of so many requests, she has decided to publish her fourth cookbook. (She says it will be her last, but she said that last time.) There are many of you who have told her how much you regret not having sent a recipe last time for her 3rd book. So now is your chance. Please send several of your favorite recipes ASAP, even if you are in her previous books. And to quote her again, "THIS MEANS YOU!!"

Martha and I want to wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Thanks for your support.