Ronnie Oldham - Growing Up in Oklahoma
Bethel High School, Shawnee, Oklahoma

    During my junior and senior years, I lived with my aunt and uncle near Shawnee Lake.  I went to Bethel High School, a small rural school west of Shawnee.  These were somewhat wild years for me, but they were also a time when my mind was turned on.  Luckily, my aunt and uncle were there to reign me in.  Three Bethel High School teachers, in particular, had a significant impact on me as well.   Mrs. Snider was my junior English teacher, a lovely woman with a wonderfully positive contagious attitude.  She raised some questions concerning the bible that I had never heard before, causing much thought on my part.  Mrs. Vernon, my senior English teacher, was a rabid democrat, but she taught me to love literature.  Mr. Yeisley, the ag teacher, is well-respected for the positive impact he had on students and the community for decades.  They were all wonderful people, who really cared about their students. 

   [FFA Emblem] I joined FFA while at Bethel, primarily because it was the only way to compete in public speaking contests.  Good move, even though the initiation was quite severe.  I evenwpe8.gif (200439 bytes)wpeB8.gif (27937 bytes) raised a pig named "George."   I also joined the Agricultural Economics or Farm Business Management contest team.  The team won many awards and I usually placed high in the individual competition, including first place at the state contest.  The team traveled all over the state to competitions.  We even went to the national competitiion at the National FFA Convention in Kansas City in 1978.  While there, Keith Butler and I wanted to see President Carter, but the crowds made it quite difficult.  We climbed up the fire escape and climbed into the President's floor.  Of course, we were immediately nabbed by the Secret Service.  While we were being shaken down, the President walked around the corner.  He came straight up to us, stretched out his hand, and started telling us of his own FFA experiences.  Pretty cool story.

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Finally after 20 years I made it to the Carter Library and managed to find the proof.

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      As I came to Bethel with several years experience playing saxophone, I was also a leader in the newly formed Bethel Band. 
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Graduation in 1978

10 Year Bethel High School Reunion
Class of '78

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Copyright Ronnie Oldham 1998. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 01, 2011.

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