Books That Inspire 2007

Mex Frates: Lifetime Volunteer
Joan Gilmore

One of my favorite things to do on any given afternoon is to drift to my local public library. During such adventures, I often discover authors friends have suggested, deliciously linger with treasured 'gardening picture books' which might inspire backyard cultivation, or browse by the 'new book section' for a broadened focus. Why come home with just one book, far better to have a pile... don't you think?

Mex Frates was a book I discovered one afternoon such as these in the 'new book section.' It caught my eye and I let out a chuckle...­.that name was familiar. Service was a way of life in the household I grew up in: licking envelopes for the betterment of the "League of Women Voters" of which my mother lobbied and chaired, decorating rooms for the symphony fundraiser only yesterday, organizing little league physical examinations my Dad had done Sundays, campaigning for OKC's first woman mayor in such wickedly poor neighborhoods.

And, the name Mex Frates was an Oklahoman synonymous with the service-oriented life. Mex Frates arrived in Oklahoma as a young girl and her early 'service' learning began right here at OU (Theta Sorority President). Her method of volunteering was realistic and bold, broad and interesting -my reason for submitting this biography representing a spirit of service here in Oklahoma.

Marjorie Callahan
Assistant Professor