Will Rogers and Wiley Post

Welcome back.  When he was born on November 4, 1879 in the Cooweescoowee district of the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory, just outside of the present day town of Oologhah, Oklahoma and given the name William Penn Adair Rogers, little did the parents of this baby boy know how famous their newborn son would become.

Four years later on January 19, 1883 on a lonely Iowa farm a mile east of the town of Conway a pair of twin boys were born and given the names Wiate and Waite Phillips. Wiate was the oldest, having been delivered just a few minutes before Waite.  Sadly, on July 16, 1902 Wiate died of acute appendicitis when he was just nineteen years old. Like William Penn Adair Rogers, the remaining brother Waite went on to achieve greatness like few others have.

These two men would meet often during their lifetimes, sometimes in Bartlesville, sometimes in Cimarron, New Mexico establishing a friendship that lasted until their deaths. Rogers was killed in a plane crash in Barrows, Alaska on August 15, 1935 and Phillips died from a heart attack on January 27, 1964 at his home in Bel Air, California. Both men did a lot for the state of Oklahoma and both were frequent visitors to Woolaroc, Waite’s brother Frank Phillips’ ranch.

I often refer to epigrams written by Phillips and Rogers and with the 85th anniversary of Rogers’ death coming up this weekend here are a few that they wrote and lived by. I hope you will find them as inspirational as I do.

The only things we keep permanently are those we give away. – WP

The man who never makes mistakes never makes much of anything. – WP

The most effective sermon is expressed in deeds instead of words. – WP

Greediness, in all its various forms, is one of man’s worst enemies and also the source of many others. – WP

Wishful thinking consists of dreaming without doing. It’s a useless habit. – WP

A college education is beneficial if the student continues to learn after he graduates. – WP

A man can fail many times but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame someone else. -WP

It takes a strong character not to be demoralized by either sudden success or failure. -WP

We do our best and most constructive thinking when alone because it is only in silence that God speaks to us. -WP

The trouble with many of us is we would rather be ruined by flattery and praise than saved by honest criticism. -WP

Real philanthropy consists of helping others, outside our own family circle, from whom no thanks is expected or required. -WP

To hate is to hurt- not the hated but the hater. Fortunately, I have learned by experience to reduce the hate factor to that of simple disapproval. -WP

We all make mistakes which, if admitted, adds to our judgement and strengths our character. To deny or try to defend them produces the exact opposite results. -WP

No one should boast of being honest, dependable, courteous and considerate because these are fundamental qualities essential to good character that everyone ought to develop and use. -WP

Even if you’re on the right track you’ll get run over if you just sit there. -Will Rogers

Look for a few more of Waite’s and Will’s epigrams next week. Till then I’ll see ya down the road….

P.S. The Branson trip and follow-up story have been moved back some but are still coming.

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