(Editor’s note: During the 1990s, Snider was identified at the end of his twice-weekly column in a blurb that called him simply “a local retired newsman.”)
Topeka Capital Journal
April 30, 1990
It has been ordained that I be identified at the end of these columns, that there be some line there explaining who I am, in case somebody might be wondering. It is a good idea. You have every right to know who is responsible for what goes on here. Continue reading →
(Editor’s Note: The 100th anniversary of Dick Snider’s birth is March 20, 2021)
Topeka Capital-Journal March 27, 1992
I had a birthday a week ago, on the first day of spring, as usual, but it went largely unnoticed. A few days before the date, I mentioned my birthday on the phone to two of my children, but to no avail. One of them said, “When is it?” and the other said, “When was it?” Neither sent a present.
Five heartless children have caused me to grow old and weary before my time. They make me remember what my mother used to say: “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth is the sting of an ungrateful child.” Of course, she wasn’t talking about me when she said it.
My wife, who knows me best and obviously thinks of me as a pillar of strength, gave me a card, along with a nice gift. But other than that, the only card I received from anywhere in the family came from my brother, and it wasn’t what you’d call a joyous greeting. Continue reading →
When my brother Al and I planned our trip to western Oklahoma, we knew we’d see the place where we were born, and places where a lot of our ancestors are buried. What we didn’t know is that we’d also see Rollin Shaw, our next door neighbor more than 70 years ago in Oakwood, our birthplace.
We hadn’t seen him since the Sniders moved from Oakwood in the mid 1920s, but shortly before we headed back down memory Lane, Al’s daughter Claire, found him on the Internet, listed him as a resident of Dewey County and giving a phone number.
From left: Dick Snider, Al Snider, Rollin Shaw, Dan Snider circa 1925
We called him and he remembered us, and after he recovered from the shock we arranged to meet next day at the Phillips 66 station in Oakwood. We had lunch, he took us on a tour of what’s left of the town, and then we went to the farm home where he has lived for the past 57 years. Continue reading →
We buried my mother, Leona Frances Shively Snider, last week in Oklahoma City. Her grave is on a wind-swept hill near the chapel in Resurrection Cemetery, beside my dad, her husband of more than 50 years, Daniel William Snider.
He was buried there in 1968. He died at 88, she at 96.
Their children were there, and a lot of their grandchildren, and even a couple of their great-grandchildren. They all came, from coast to coast, to say goodbye.
The priest who said the funeral mass is the chaplain at St. Anne’s, where my mother lived her last 13 years. He said she showed great courage, faith and patience in the last few months of her life.
I disagreed. Courage and faith, yes, patience, no. She was impatient with death. She prayed she could die and join my dad. I have the feeling that at least three times a day she looked God squarely in the proverbial eye and said, “what are you waiting for?” Continue reading →
This being black history month, what follows is some black history from a personal viewpoint:
In Oakwood, Okla., where I was born, and in Veteran, Wyo., where I lived for a time as a very young lad, there were no blacks. But, in Veteran, we learned something about mixing and getting along. At sugar beet harvest time, many Mexican families came north to work. They were called “beet toppers” and they brought along young kids my brothers and I played with as both sides overcame the language barrier.
In Britton, Okla., where I did most of my growing up, I remember hearing black people talked about, and always referred to with the “n” word by young and old alike.