“In those days, we bicycled everywhere,” Beth remembers about her childhood in Ponca City. “There just weren’t as many cars so it was no problem for me and my friend to bike to the gym.” Beth’s father was the head bricklayer for the company and her eldest sisters eventually worked there as well. “During the summer days we would go swimming in the indoor pool, then play badminton and if we still had time, we’d roller skate for a while before heading home.”
By the time Beth was at Ponca City HS (or ‘Po High’), she had recognized her natural eye for art and was a part of the Art Club. After graduation, she took classes at Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha with a major in art. “I never really was a classical painter or anything like that but I loved the design and arrangement aspect of it,” she points out. And design she did. On her return to Ponca, she worked as a display artist for a shop downtown. And it was while she was working there that she met her husband Jim. He and his brother and father had a furniture business and after they married, Beth became the buyer for the gift, accessories, and bed and bath departments of the store.
Throughout her sixty years in Ponca City, she was always involved in community activities as well. “I loved being a part of the 20th Century Club,” she recalls. “When the city was putting up a vote on whether or not to buy the Marland Home, I worked there day and night as a docent giving tours of the home.” The Marland Home was a special place to Beth and Jim. His uncle actually owned the home early in their marriage and they would play bridge there often. “I remember loving to play there because we and the other couple could bring our kids and each one could have their own bedroom to take a nap in so they wouldn’t wake each other up.” Thanks to the efforts of Beth and other Ponca citizens, the Marland Home is now owned by the city and is a great piece of Oklahoma history to visit.
After Continental closed their offices in Ponca, the local economy took a dive and the Paris’s moved to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. They enjoyed their time there, but it had always been Beth’s dream to live in New Mexico. So after many years of driving through the area on their vacations to the West, they settled down in Las Cruces and built their home in a small community going up in the foothills. “We did have to watch for rattlesnakes out there but that was far outweighed by the beauty of the sky and landscape there.” While in their desert home, Beth went through a Master Gardener course offered at New Mexico State. Their eight years there were a great adventure but in August 2014 they moved to Tulsa to be closer to their three children (Lynne, Leslie and Chip).
Beth now lives in one of the Country Club Cottages. “I like working in my garden but my neighbors, especially Logan and Joyce Boltz really outdo me,” she says with a smile. Beth is also a fan of the Walk This Way exercise class and values the convenience of meals and transportation. We are so honored that she has chosen to make the Country Club her home.
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