The Boy Scouts and St Valentine’s Day

Headed out to Tulsa and Stillwater for meetings and basketball at TU and OSU!!

Welcome back.  I’ve mentioned in one of my earlier columns that I have always regretted not being a Boy Scout in my youth. I’ve also mentioned my visits to the Philmont Boy Scout ranch in New Mexico on numerous occasions and how inspirational the ranch is to me. As you may have guessed with my love for this organization and the kids involved I could probably write about them every week if I had fresh material and this week I have! On February 25th the Friends of Scouting Annual Patron Dinner will be held at the Bartlesville Community Center at 6:30 PM. By attending this shindig you’ll be helping the 3600 kids and troop leaders who are involved in scouting right here in northeast Oklahoma. Always a very rewarding evening, this year looks especially interesting as Dr. Everett Piper of Oklahoma Wesleyan University is the keynote speaker. I’ve heard this fellow on several occasions and he is an excellent presenter no matter what the topic. It will be a great night for sure and helping the boy scouts along the way just makes for a feel good evening.

Another story I stumbled across this past week is a battle over authorship of the “Pledge of Allegiance” and it’s happening just a few miles north of Bartlesville. In a recently released book author Joyce Long claims that a fourteen year old boy from Cherryvale, KS named Frank Bellamy wrote the pledge in 1890. His words were published in an 1892 magazine article but he was not given credit. In 1923 an employee of the magazine Francis Bellamy, who was not related to Frank, claimed he wrote the pledge. Joyce is an English teacher in Cherryvale and she has done extensive research for the book.  She explains in factual detail why young boy from a small Kansas town should be given the credit for writing what has become an important part of American life. The book is titled “Be the Jury, Be the Judge, Who Wrote the Pledge of Allegiance” and it’s available on

Moving on, this past Sunday was of course Valentine’s Day which I found out started back in 1382 when Geoffrey Chaucer memorialized the feast day in his writings about wine, women and song. Valentine’s Day or Saint Valentine’s Day as it was called hundreds of years ago, is celebrated not only here in the U.S. but around the world. Today people spend millions of dollars on cards, flowers, candy and other gifts and my friends I did my part as I am sure you did as well.

Another date that is fast approaching is April 15th which as most of you know is the date when the IRS wants all of us to settle up on last year’s taxes. I’m working on mine and I did a little research into the selection of the April 15th date. I found that it was February 3, 1913 when Congress passed the 16th Amendment which created the national income tax. The deadline wasn’t always the 15th  and the story of how the income tax system came into being makes an interesting break from trying to find all the receipts that we all through into a shoebox every year.

Till next time I’ll see ya down the road……