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2006: Mother helps family's American dream

by Berry Tramel Modified: May 9, 2009 at 11:02 pm •  Published: May 10, 2008

Julie grew up the daughter of a seamstress and a contractor. Grew up around family in the little hamlet; 15 brothers and sisters, counting the eight from his father's second wife, taken to keep the family going.

Julie left her home 22 years ago. Came to Oklahoma with her two small children and a husband seeking an education.

They landed in Guthrie, went to university at Langston and eventually settled in the metro.

"We didn't know any person," Julie said. "It took me awhile to adjust." She had lived where relatives were just a stone's throw away; now she lived where phone calls would have to suffice.

They always planned to return home, to the family they left behind. But the kids grew to like Oklahoma, and two more kids came along, and soon enough Julie grew roots here.

Besides, she decided this was a land of blessings. Julie always wanted three boys. Her mother had three boys, her mother-in-law had three boys, and Julie figured three boys were the perfect number. Good for teamwork.

"I begged God for three boys," Julie said. "I believe God blessed me with what I wanted."

In Oklahoma, Julie gave birth to her final two sons to go with the son and daughter she brought with her, and the home in Edmond became a happy, hopping place.

Julie's children call her a kind person and a great cook. The friends of Julie's daughter still recall the food Julie produced with a touch of this and a tad of that. The fufu, a mashed-potato dish, and the okra soup and the macaroni and cheese.

Julie is working on her nursing degree at Metro Tech and works in nursing at an assisted living center.

"She studies hard; she studies harder than anyone I know," said the daughter, no slouch herself on studying, if you've seen her head in a book even at her brother's basketball games.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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