Our choice for the Top 4 Great State stories from 2019

Great State
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The Great State list of top stories isn’t completely shorn of violence.

After all, we did bring you a clown pie fight in January.

“It’s a promise and the title,” said the head clown Ben Doray.

We had some blood too, but in the love story of the Mathisons, Tim and Julie, who met in 1987 by pure chance when he stopped at the Oklahoma Blood Institute to give blood.

Julie described their courtship as, “A whirlwind romance.”

One of our Top 4 stories did come from the field of medicine, and from the story of a birthing doctor, David Kallenberger, who helped deliver future doctor Kristen Cheatwood.

He hired her on as a partner in his OBGYN practice 33 years later.

Kallengerger recalls her saying, “When I grow up I want to do what you do. I remember that vividly.”

Another of our Top 4 stories came from a hospital too, a small town one with a single doctor performing hundreds of ‘plastic’ surgeries.

Dr. Neil Vitale’s patients are all named Joe.

His GI Joe hospital is dedicated to saving as many of these soldiers as he can.

His museum is full of successful cases sent back to the front line of play.

We’re not saying Great State 2019 wasn’t wild.

We encountered snakes and bears.

We traveled to Buffalo too.

But this Top 4 story selection didn’t have any bison in it, just flowers, acres and acres of Purple Prairie Clover grown by George Shaw as a valuable cash crop.

“Out where they say there’s nothing,” he told us.

Wheat pasture turned to royal grandeur, a bumper crop of Great State.

Some stories come at you with force or from the heights, maybe even from a dream.

But our final Top Story from 2019 came from the kitchen of Glenda Outhouse in Butler, Oklahoma.

That’s where we met her and a twin sister Brenda.

With a last name like Outhouse you can understand why Glenda’s nieces and nephews might call her Aunt Poopie.

“She’s just Poopie or Aunt Poopie,” explained Brenda.

Anyway, everyone liked her salsa recipe, and that’s how Poopie Salsa got started.

It’s a hot seller in western Oklahoma way outside of Butler.

Glenda told us, “Okay. Well I’ll just own it.”

The Poopie name holds top spot with us partly because it tastes good, but also from its sense of humor, from a family with the kind of healthy perspective that saves room for laughter no matter what kind of year you might have had.

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