These men of our family are precious to me for the service they gave to their country. This spans from WWII to present. And introducing our first woman of the family, Jamie Allen.
GODWIN SIDE; WAYNE BEARDEN MARRIED TO CHARLOTTA GODWIN,DELMAR KISER MARRIED TO MILDRED GODWIN, GILBERT “GABE” GODWIN SON OF AGRIPPA AND AMY GODWIN, JERRY LYNN KISER IS SON OF MILDRED GODWIN KISER AND DELMAR KISER.
JACK MARRS, SON OF ARTHUR AND RHODA MARRS: JOHNEY CECIL MARRS,SON OF ARTHUR AND RHODA MARRS.
Johney Cecil Marrs at “The Wall” via an Honor Flight from Texas. He was honored, and grateful, for the opportunity.
Jerry Hogue and Ty Marrs
JEPPIE NEIL HOGUE WAS FATHER TO MY COUSIN JERRY HOGUE. I AM RELATED THROUGH MY BIOLOGICAL GRANDMOTHER ESTELLA FRANCES HILL MARRIED TO MY GRANDFATHER AGRIPPA WESLEY GODWIN.
ELVEN ANDREW MARRS , “UNCLE BUD” IS RELATED THROUGH THE MARRS FAMILY.
MY STEP-FATHER, CAPTAIN WILLARD M. SMITH
MY SISTER TRULA’S SONS, JASON, DARRIN AND BRADLEY TANNER
MY BELOVED FATHER-IN-LAW ALBERT HARRY “BILL” GRUBBS.
SGT. JASON WILLARD TANNER RET’D. Served in Somalia and Afghanistan.
SGT. JASON TANNER SERVED IN AFGHANISTAN AT TORKAM AIR BASE
Nephew Scott Grubbs, son of Jackson Ross Grubbs and Vickie Pittman Grubbs Waggoner. He had a distinguished career in the U.S. Air Force and amazing tours in Afghanistan/Iraq retiring Master Sgt..
Husband of Nancy Snyder Neese, Daughter of Sylvia “Sib” Godwin Snyder. Max Neese served in the U.S. Air Force
PROUDLY ACKNOWLEDGING OUR LONE FEMALE, JAMIE ALLEN WHO IS THE DAUGHTER OF JOHN MARRS, AND GRAND-DAUGHTER OF JOHNEY CECIL MARRS.
WE ALL TRY TO “SERVE AND SUPPORT” IN OUR OWN WAY, AS I DID AS AN AUTHOR.
I was honored to co-author a unique novel with my grandson Justin Jeffrey Grubbs. When my nephew was deployed to Afghanistan we had “fair warning.” to prepare.As a morale “booster” I began to write a novel to tell of the some of the deployment challenges in uprooting one’s life to to go to a place once considered, while he was there at Torkam Air Base, “The most dangerous place on earth.” I would send chapter by chapter as I wrote it; and soon, he requested I include some of his unit in the novel. I was happy too. They would read it as “content readers” to be sure I did credit to the Army.
Pictured is my “co-author” who had been to a Leadership Forum sponsored by General Tommy Franks. When he heard him speak, Justin was inspired. He contributed some invaluable content ideas for the format of the storyline. Justin Jeffrey Grubbs was a freshman at the University of Minnesota at the time.Note he is wearing his shirt designating General Tommy Franks
The novel was printed using two different covers; one with the “Infidel” shirt (a private unit shirt reminding them how they were looked upon by the enemy) and one with a plain black shirt for the novels shipped to Afghanistan for the soldiers. This of course a safety measure in case of seizure or a find by the enemy.
- I stood in the shadows of the mountains of Tora Bora where Bin Ladin planned his deeds.
- I have said ‘lets go’ and ‘move out’, when other Americans would rather quit and go home.
- I have pushed my 40 old body to surpass the 20 year old ones around me.
- I have looked my son in his eyes and told him that I will be OK knowing that I truly do not know that answer.
- I have fought the urge to say “F” it, and I lead my men to drive on.
- I have dealt with the lonely nights and slept without the caress of my girl.
- I stand next to men every day that do the same thing that I do and that fight the same demons that I fight every day.
- I drive on when I am hurt and cannot stand from the pain.
- I smile and say I am OK when I am ready to break.
- Hurt or sick, well rested or not, mentally straight or a mind of cluster, I drive on.
- And then someone will ask me why I do what I do if it causes so much pain. Most of the time I tell them, as I tell my son, if not me then who? Someone has to defend this country so it may as well be me.
- But after our last few e-mails Aunt Joyce, you need to know that it is for the 89%(who do not serve).
- It is for a retired history teacher, or so an old man can have his garden.
- It is for a hard working father or mother so they don’t have to leave their kids.
- It is for the student that just hasn’t figured out yet where they want to go.
- And it is for the author so she can have a story to tell.
- You see Aunt Joyce, There are many reason that I do what I do, and most of the time I don’t understand them, and maybe like my Mom’s kids, mine have suffered some too. I do what I do because it is what I am good at and all I know how to do, it is the only thing that brings me pride besides my kids. When my days are over if someone were to ask me then,” Would you do it again?” I would say yes. As long as every adversity that has come my way stands in front of me again, then yes But only if you don’t change one moment of the pain or one moment of the fear or loneliness. I will do it again. These are the things that have made me who I am and what I am.
- Some of these things are not good, but they are still me. I may not be able to stand next to a more perfect man, but as I said I have stood in some pretty good places that other men will never stand; some men would be afraid to stand, and other men would never try to stand.
- At the end of it all when I look back at things I have done, I get one thing out of it, pride. But you have to go through the “suck” before you get there.
[WITH HIS PERMISSION IN REPLY TO MY EMAIL CONCERNING HIS BIRTHDAY}
THE GOAT MAN (A LEGACY STORY)
“Do as I say, not as I do” is a wonderful title that would have fit this story so well. But to be specific, I had to use the one that truly reflected the story. I must say that if you believe in Karma or that “what goes round comes ’round” then you can sort out the point of my sick sense of humor in telling the story at all.
During the course of raising children there will usually arise some differences of opinion. My husband and I were not exceptions. Usually if I said left, he said right and so on. I distinctly remember when the two older children were going to church camp I sat down and told them some of my “better” stories about the ‘ornery things I did when I went to church camp and further, how I got away with it all. My husband soundly took me to task for “putting ideas in their heads” and gave me a patronizing lecture about how parents should notdo things.
It was my misfortune to have our children follow in my footsteps. I got a call at 10:30 at night mid-week from the camp pastor detailing the deeds of my misguided and inept tricksters. I had to force myself not to laugh as I assured him in serious tones that I was sure their intent was to have fun, and not to be perceived as “acting out”. I made a mental note to “educate them further” in the skills of the trade before the next camp.
Meanwhile the “I told you so’s” were flying all around me. It wasn’t that my husband had never been naughty, Lord knows that he had. He just never had the chance to do it at church camp, never having attended church camps, scouts or any retreats. He also had the theory you shouldn’t “tempt kids by weakening your image” with them. So, for the most part, these Legacy Stories will be the first his children, let alone grandchildren ever hear of some of his less than “straight laced” behavior.
I think, therefore, this story of the “Goat Man” is appropriate, as years later after we were married, we had to have and care for goats to provide special milk for our youngest child. When she was born I was hospitalized and could not breast feed any longer. I came home to a “fresh” goat to milk. Then other goats were added to make a “herd” for milking and eating. The adventures of goats loose and running in the neighborhood, butting heads with the children, and just in general the demands of their care, were just his “karma” coming back. (That’s my story and I am sticking to it.)
My hubby has been honest about his youthful escapades knowing they are to be entered into the Legacy Stories, but when asked about this one he denied it. I mean if you’ll own up to sneaking up to the Nazarene Church and locking the worshippers in during the Sunday service, why would you deny the Goat Man story? But deny it he did and he wouldn’t agree to me telling it until it was validated. He didn’t “remember” doing it. His youngest brother first told me the story, then one of his friends who helped my husband “do the deed” validated it as well.
It seems that my straight laced husband, who always preaches “no tricks” on Halloween, did not practice what he preached. In his small hometown the young people were always hoping to do new and original things at Halloween. You can only run off with so many outhouses and do the normal things, for so long before it gets old. But, this particular Halloween they were looking for something that would be the talk of their little town yet not get then arrested. The only “record” my husband had with the law in his youth was when he was arrested on a complaint of setting off fireworks in the city limits. It was held over his head for years worrying him when it asked the question on job applications. (And yes Karma has repaid him for that too with neighbors who celebrate the 4th with gusto.)
It seems that on the corner of Main Street, at the main intersection, there was a hotel. Now in the fifties in a small town of about 400+ people, the hotel also was a place where some people, especially old people lived. And being a small farming community it shouldn’t surprise me (but it did) that there was an old man who lived there, in town at the hotel, that had about six or seven goats penned up in the back. He was known to the town and the youngsters as “The Goat Man”. Original, right?
On this particular Halloween it took ingenuity to think up something original in such a small community. They decided to pay the Goat Man a visit, but not one he would know about or expect. In the dead of night, when the sleepy little town had put the young ghouls and goblins to bed, the boys waited until the night watchman would be making his rounds. When his vehicle moved away from Main Street it would be safe.
The watchman was someone hired to be aware of the traffic that might come in or out of town during the night when people were sleeping. Someone had to mind the businesses and check to be sure the doors were locked. While not a police officer, the boys knew the Watchman could still “nail them” if they were causing trouble, so he was someone to be avoided. These young guys knew he’d squeal on them if he identified who they were. They wanted to be sure he was out of the line of sight and not going to respond too quickly. (No one could call the night watchman when he was on his rounds. In those days, there were no cell phones and he patrolled in a car. There was one pay phone in the community.)
Well after midnight, the would-be pranksters made their way up town on foot and kept to the shadows. They were quiet so as not to get the animals stirred up and cause them to react. A bunch of goats could be as good as a watch dog. The hotel was quiet as everyone had settled in thinking that the Halloween celebration was over and had gone pretty well. The boys sneaked into the easily accessed goat pen. Like most small towns, the hotel back door and front door were unlocked. After all, they had a night watchman to look out for the town and this was “home” to those who lived there.
The clandestine group managed to grab on to one or two goats each, and stealthily, they led them into the hotel. Now I only have “hear say” from the culprits who “remember”, but I understand the small hotel was overrun by goats. Once set free and in unfamiliar surroundings, the lights were switched on and the goats were not as quiet and calm as in their pen. They also were not as contained so they were not so easily caught. The boys of course took off undetected and the patrons and night watchman spent some time rounding the agitated goats up and getting them back into the pen outside.
I am sure there was little doubt who did it, but once again proof wasn’t there and probably the patrons laughed at the ingenuity of the boys. They did accomplish their goal to do something new and different that year. Even though one of the culprits conveniently forgot it, the others have not. I am sure they still grin when they see goats or think of Halloween.
I am sure my husband, now the “outed” prankster grandpa, had his true nature revealed to our grand kids in this legacy story. Now they too can “trick” without guilt during the holiday. After all, that is their grandpa’s legacy for Halloween.
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING (A LEGACY STORY)
In life we tend to “outgrow” our siblings and search for friends and colleagues as we spread our wings and move on in to professions and jobs. It’s okay and it’s even probably a healthy sign of maturity. Whatever our motivation to move on outside of that family circle, its part of the evolutionary process called life.
My husband has two brothers. As he entered his senior year of High School, his big brother was in college and living away from home. Like most siblings they were from a family where you might not “run” with your sibling, you might even pound or pummel him occasionally if he needed it, but no one else better touch them or they answer to you.
This was never so apparent as when my husband was playing basketball for his high school and went to play an away game near the college where his older brother was. No longer playing sports his older brother and his roommate, also from the same hometown, determined it might be worthwhile to go see the home team play. The hometown was smaller and the underdog and it should be a good game.
From the git go, I have it on great authority it was “dirty ball”. My very serious and straight laced brother-in-law is not given to exaggeration so, for once, I should have no challenges as to the accuracy of this particular Legacy Story. He definitely remembers the occasion as does my husband. (Figures he’d remember a sports story but not some of the great stories of our courtship romance.)
The Big Brother and his roommate arrived at the game early picking a seat well up into the bleachers. The two college students weren’t the kind to tolerate fools blocking their views by standing up and getting in the way so, they went high enough not to be bothered by the “front row crowd”. Climbing had been an effort for the Big Brother wasn’t yet recovered from a recent hernia surgery. The younger brother arrived and joined them in the stands. The three got ready to watch some serious ball.
It was a packed house, as was the tradition for any given game in Oklahoma. Small high school or not, you supported your team. Being a fan was almost a pledge to a blood sport, and this night it would become literal.
My Husband’s team was made up mostly of farm boys and outdoor kind of guys. No sissy players on that team. And due to having few players everyone had to play and not get injured. There was no question you had to give a minimum of a hundred percent to keep the team alive. The same went for the hometown fans. They weren’t near as plentiful but if grit and commitment meant anything, it was the stronger fan base.
From the first whistle when the players took the floor there was an evident trend of foul play developing and it wasn’t even being masked. The opposing team was playing dirty and the concern was that the referees weren’t calling them on it. The Hometown team continued to play tough Oklahoma ball but, were still playing fair because they had “that kind” of coach. That would come to an end for the sake of survival if nothing else.
By the time the game was in the fourth quarter The Hometown team was ahead but, not by much. They had begun to return the punishing elbows and the bruising collisions matching the opposing team blow for blow. It became a game of power and punishment and not a player on the court had been spared.
I am told my husband was one heck of a player. One of my favorite pictures of him from high school was of him flying through the air with the ball in his hands, headed for the basket. Of course for me, I look at the picture taking time to assess the tight satin short shorts he was wearing. And, in light of all the modern day scandals, I note the bulked up muscles that never knew steroids but certainly defined one powerful and beautiful male body.
In the fourth quarter of this punishing game, my husband got the ball again and was doggedly headed down the court. He was picking up speed when suddenly the ball went airborne having been stolen by the other team. He turned to quickly retrieve it and gave his greatest push of the night to speed down court. Suddenly, it was he that went airborne and not of his volition. He had been deliberately tripped. Landing on the hard slick surface of the court, his exposed skin seared into the floor.
I am sure it was pain, fatigue and just plain Oklahoma pissed off attitude that brought him up from that floor with a new strategy in mind. He admits his very private thought at that moment was, “Okay you ba- – – -ds, let me see if you know how to play football”. Yes, I said football.
The rage that had built up from the first whistle propelled him. He literally dropped down to his football stance. With everything inside of him he drove himself toward the player he believed had offended him and now had the ball. The offending player received the brunt of my husband’s powerful shoulder and it sent the player sprawling along the floor.
The crowd erupted. The Superintendent of Schools for the opposing team ran on to the court. There was a momentary lull as the crowd tried to hear him and what he was saying to the upstart ball player. My husband had just laid out one of their own and yet the Superintendent was ignoring the culpability of his team’s involvement in all the previous cheap shots by them. The fact the blow was in retribution for the three quarters of unprecedented battering and pounding they had laid on our home team, seemed to escape him.
As for the Big Brother he had seen this moment coming from his perspective high above the court. He had seen that deliberate trip cause his brother injury and he knew his brother well. A Grubbs will take just so much, then he’ll take control.
Seeing fans from the opposing team moving toward the chaotic court he quickly got to his feet. The Big Brother had anticipated his brother would “go for it now” and he wanted to be sure someone was covering his brother’s back. Not waiting for the younger brother or roommate, he forgot his personal surgical pain and made quick strides down the bleachers and on to the court. Our Home team crowd was outnumbered and he knew the blow wasn’t going unanswered by the fans of the opposing team.
He was on the court and almost to my husband when he saw the Superintendent on the court. His thought was “No one touches my brother” but sure enough someone did. At that moment the Superintendent grabbed my husband in a manner that was not restrained or professional. The bleachers on both sides continued to clear out and fans surrounded the scene taking place on the floor. There was shouting, pushing and shoving leaving my husband isolated from his team .
The Big Brother struggled to reach his brother before a blow was struck. He did manage to prevent the Superintendent from doing any real damage beyond grabbing the brother. Without hesitation, Big Brother took care of business. Family business.
My husband felt himself being wrestled from the Superintendent’s grasp as he was being pulled and yanked forcefully away. At that moment he realized his Big Brother was sending the Superintendent of Schools sprawling onto the floor. One blow had done it. As it sunk in what his brother had done there was a momentary sense of relief and pride. Then, there ensued a melee’.
For my husband the rest was a blur. In his recounting to me of the incident, my brother-in-law indicates the crowd was fully “in to it”. But, my husband’s total focus and recall was based on one action. His big brother defending him.
The game was an end. There was enough anger to warrant a quick closing of the event and to get the team out of town as quickly as possible. But, that night would live on in infamy in the family folk stories and in the Hometown team lore. They might be a small community but they were a united sports community and no one messed with their team. No one was going to be blamed or punished beyond that night for what had transpired. My husband, in the estimation of his team, coach and community, had done the “right and honorable thing.
The younger brother had seen just a hint of what he would face in the years that followed when he would play ball for the Home team. He would also remember that brothers stick together and they take care of each other no matter what. It doesn’t matter who is the one in trouble, the others would be there for you in the drop of a hat. He would relearn that lesson at an Alumni dance in a few years, but that’s another legacy story.
In the years ahead my husband would became a most dedicated teacher and coach. He developed great team discipline. He grew to be an outspoken critic of the damage of referees who will not fairly and adequately call the plays and games by the rules.
Long after retirement he would agonize as he watched his beloved Sooners get ripped off, yet again, by the almost blatant prejudice of some referees. Though they were later reprimanded and transferred, my husband pointed out the damage that had been done. The game score was not corrected thus, the standings were affected. The players didn’t get their fair recognition for their outstanding plays, thus their stats were affected. Some would say, “It’s just a ball game”. In Oklahoma, there is no such thing as “just” a ball game.
Author’s note; while names of teams, towns etc are not noted in the story, it is out of respect for those who, like most Okies, still have “fervor” about past incidents and happenings. All things sports related are that important to us. Just FYI