Donna and I hurriedly left school Monday, May 5 to travel to Norman to meet Oklahoma author and publisher, Molly Levite Griffis. What a fun time we both had meeting her. What a gracious and charming lady. When I was reading the book about the Abernathy boys to my students, the thought occured to me that Temple might have bought his expensive Indian blanket in the town of Apache, because he bought it shortly after turning north from Lawton. So, I was talking to my Grandmother about the possibility that Temple would have purchased the blanket in Apache at the Levite's store. Well, Grandmother said "I just happen to have Molly Levite Griffis email". This started a wave of correspondence via email that has been "remarkable". Molly is the granddaughter of the original owner of the Levite store, and her publishing company became known as Levite of Apache. Until I emailed her, I didn't know that she had published "The Remarkable Ride of the Abernathy Boys" by Robert Jackson in the late 1980s. She was a wealth of help and encouragement to me as I continued to study this story with my students. She even told me of a movie that was being made about the boys! She so graciously let me "drop" her name to obtain a ticket to the premire! How amazing! Even though she knew my family, she hadn't ever met me! So in early November, I stepped out of my ordinary life and attended the premire of "The Grand Ride of the Abernathy Boys" produced by Shawnee Brittan and Joanna Champlin. While I was there, I received another wonderful surprise! After the movie, people were encouraged to stay and chat, and I was able to meet Temple's daughter, Marilyn. She was so warm and friendly while I rambled on to her about how much my students and I were touched and inspired by the boys' story. Thanks again Molly for making that happen for me!
Our Monday night visit with Molly went entirely to quickly. Donna and I are eagerly awaiting the next opportunity we will have to visit with this wonderful storyteller. Thank you for all of the information and books you allowed us to borrow for our research!
There is another interesting thread that is woven in here. Earlier this school year, I received the best birthday present ever. My Dad bought me a print of the old Levite store and had it framed with a frame that one of my grandpa's had made! It hangs proudly in my classroom! My students and I love it! Thanks again Dad! Thanks again, Molly.....oh, and I will be taking another riding lesson tomorrow....This time with Mrs. Hewitt and and the horse I will be riding to Frederick.
I better go so I can rest up! I will report back soon!
6 years ago