Descendants of Clarence Ray Long
and Odie McLaughlin Long
Odie McLaughlin Long (1888-1976) and Clarence Ray Long (1889-1935), of Tulsa, Oklahoma, had four children. Separate sections of this report address the McLaughlin and the Long families. For further details, see these links:
Clarence Ray Long
Children of Clarence and Odie Long
William George Long
Samuel W. Long
Samuel Parker Long
Parkers and Vanderfords
Miscy / Misey Family of Milwaukee
Neil Boyer's Family History Page
This section focuses on the descendants of Clarence and Odie Long. Here is a list of the first two generations:
Children of Odie and Clarence Long:
William Charles Long (1916-1988)
Wife Mildred Hipsley (1920-2008)
Children of William and Mildred Long
David W. Long (b. 1941)
Norman Charles Long (b. 1944)
Phillip Long (b. 1953)
Vallance McLaughlin Long (1917-1975)
Wife Faith Flickinger
Children of Vallance and Faith Long
Sandra Alice Long (b. 1943)
Michael Gordon Long (b. 1952)
John Vanderford Long (1920-2004)
Wife Nicole Denier (1921-2013)
Children of John and Nicole Long
Olivier Denier Long (b. 1951)
Sylvia Vanderford Long (b. 1956)
Rachel Louise Long (1924-2004)
Husband Edward Gabiel Misey (1918-2009)
Child of Rachel and Edward Misey
Johanna Louise Misey (b. 1961)
Below are these sections on the children and their families:
Life with Four Children
Clarence and Odie spent a major amount of their time with their four children, and this is reflected in how much of Clarence’s letters to Mary Jane Vallance was about the children.
Appreciating Nature. In one letter to Mary Jane, Clarence said: “About Nature magazine – we do enjoy that, almost as much as our beloved Nation and Living Age, and the boys enjoy it still more. For interest and real enjoyment, it is much superior to the National Geographic.”
In particular, Clarence enjoyed being out of doors with his gang, and their rented cabin in Locust Grove was the site of many adventures. The photo at left shows Clarence (with cigarette) and his three boys, Val, Bill and John, and their family friend Donal Holway. Clarence wrote on the back: "John as usual has his mouth open. He never gets thru talking. The Holway boy was with us all summer. He and Billy were not back in town once. Val is the McLaughlin of the family, as you can see by the hair and the features."
In June 1932, Clarence wrote:
My groceries are all bought and all the various things gathered together on the dining room table ready to load into the car. . . . By five thirty I should be sitting on the porch of the cabin enjoying the cool of the evening and the song of the summer tanager who is nesting again in the tree by our porch. . . . The boys are swimming down under the cliff in what we called the diving hole, this side of the big bridge.
Sunday we are planning to make a trip over to Watts on the Illinois River where I hear an Indian graveyard has fallen apart, and it is possible to get skulls and arrowhead and wampum. Mrs. Mays [a neighbor] said she wanted me to bring her a skull and she could put a pie in its mouth and set it on the mantel piece, and believe her husband was home during the day.
Observing nature, at the camp or in the city, was a normal part of Clarence’s activity with the children. At Christmas 1931, he wrote, “we took the bird census for the northern half of Tulsa County – saw about 7,000 birds of 56 different varieties.”
Exciting Outings. Clarence’s letters to Mary Jane Vallance were full of details of adventures he took with Odie and their four children.
In August 1927, they went toward Salina to look at a piece of cheap land “that lies on one of those beautiful creeks in the Ozarks of Eastern Oklahoma, about 55 miles from here.” He went on:
We found the stream . . . and at one place it was necessary to ford the stream, but the ford had moved since the high water this year and looked rather dubious, especially as the creek was still very high compared to normal flow. Everybody got out except Vallance, who is always the sport, and I tried it, got about half way, drowned my carburetor, had to wade out with Vallance, and the car sank in the gravel up to the headlights.
John and sister were just inconsolable, and Billy was quite beside himself, while Odie kept calm, and Vallance and I enjoyed the experience. . . . A man with a wagon and good team of mules came along and he pulled me out on the bank in the hot sun where I could open up the car and dry it out.
Then the mule wagon took us and our food across the stream to a beautiful spring along the bank under a sycamore tree, where we ate a most scrumptious dinner and watched a full blood Cherokee Baptist church baptizing, and the old gray-haired preacher certainly ducked them in the cold water. The boys all had their bathing suits, and I waded around in my old shoes and white duck trousers, and we had a glorious time. . . . We are going back next Sunday, and this time we are going to find that land. I think I could have made the ford it I had tried it backwards.
In June 1928, the family had another exciting experience, which had them all quite frightened, despite the beautiful surroundings. This is part of Clarence’s colorful description:
We went to the Ozarks and got caught in the rain but had a good time anyway. . . . We saw some wonderful mountains and could see the ranges rolling away on both sides, with ribbons of streams threading the green chasms. It was so beautiful and so reminded us of West Virginia where we used to tramp together as children that we nearly cried. . . .
We started home and drove through the clouds for miles and saw wisps of vapor against the black of wet tree-clad slopes and outlines of mountains appear and disappear like phantoms while water dashed past us down the chasms on each side. It was an awesome business. We went around hairpin turns with slick mud under the wheels and fearful drops behind, and I had the accelerator
clear to the floor in low but the little old Nash walked up the road without a swish, while the family sat and held their breath and avoided looking where the mist hid the landing places if you happened to slip. . . .
We had 120 miles of mud and detours when I drove in second or low continuously, and we got home at ten at night after driving without a stop of more than five minutes for 14 hours. And I felt just fine the whole day. I guess what I need to cure me is danger and a hard life. To me, that trip, especially the mountain part of it, was glorious and I would do it again in a minute.The Snakes. In May 1927, Clarence told Mary Jane the family had a menagerie. “The boys kept finding snakes in the field and had a box with seven in it. On one of our trips, we caught one of those huge lizards. As an experiment, we put one of the snakes in with the lizard, and the lizard ate it. He ate seven snakes in less than two hours and then was so full he could hardly wriggle. The boys then decided he didn’t look happy and turned him loose.” Clarence went on:
We put Billy to bed one day because he had a sore throat, and he had the lizard in bed with him. It jumped over on the dresser once and saw itself in the glass and nearly had a fit trying to fight the other lizard. . . . Odie has had quite a time with the boys keeping them from carrying snakes in the house in their pockets, and when people came to call, Sis was liable to come walking in with a snake in each hand as an entertainment for the visitors.
The boys had a new game with them. One of them would start a snake up his sleeve and try to stand still in spite of the tickling, and the other two would guess where he was coming out. Odie has been quite heroic about it and can now contemplate a snake in the woods and hear about them at home without getting the shakes, and that is saying a good deal for an Irisher.
Two months later, Clarence said that “John has a worm colony in a big jar, and some of them are certainly fearfully and wonderfully made. Yesterday, he had a big red one with rattlesnake markings which appeared on the dining room table at dinner riding in sis’s little toy automobile.”
The Eye Business. “This eye business is a great nuisance,” Clarence wrote in March 1928. “We had to get glasses for John last week, and I am sure we are going to have to get glasses for Billy soon.” He continued:
John has a sty on one eye now. He reads so rapidly and in all sorts of places, like the bus coming home from the library, that it is not surprising his eyes will not stand the strain. I think our brilliant sunlight is hard on the eyes here, as all the glasses we have had are equipped with cruxite lenses, which shut out the infra red rays.
John looks so peculiar with glasses. Vallance seemed to have a face that was incomplete without them, and indeed we would feel he wasn’t Vallance without them (and so would he). But John has such a big round head and a face like a moon, which he is always stretching wider with that contagious smile of his, so that he looks like an amiable and cherubic owl. The glasses seem to be merely perched in the middle of his face rather insecurely.
Games. Clarence and Odie taught the children to play many games, including checkers, chess, backgammon and chess. It appears from his letters, that they were all very good players. “I have been teaching the boys to play contract bridge,” Clarence wrote in 1929.
The New Britannica gives directions, and so we have been playing a game or two every night. They find it very fascinating. . . . The boys are so different. Billy remembers the cards well and understands the game. Vallance is much the best player, however.
John will never be a good player because he talks too much, and by the time he has all his cards, you know pretty much what he has in his hand. He is so like his grandfather. He will use the same expressions and the same phrases that I have heard his grandfather use playing bridge when he has never seen his grandfather play a game of cards. It is very funny. Vallance is like his grandmother, says nothing and saws wood. You can’t tell what he has.
Many years later, Val’s daughter, Sandra Long Clark, remembered that, when Val and his wife Faith played in a bridge club, Val had the reputation of keeping the best poker face when he looked at his dealt hand, a skill learned in childhood.
The Interacting Children. Clarence was very proud of the way his children interacted with each other, and he felt badly for families that had only one child, for he was an only child himself. In December 1929, he wrote:
I made Boston cookies after Rachel had spent hours picking out the nuts and breaking them up in small pieces. She certainly is the most persevering piece I ever saw. She wakes early and calls to John, then she paddles into John’s bed and for the next hour they say verses and sing songs. They need you to teach them how to sing rounds. I don’t know where John learned about rounds, but the two of them have been trying to do “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” etc. and it is rather pathetic. I can’t sing those things.
I never saw two like that in my life. Just think what I missed by being an only. I feel sorry for people with one lone chick or two so far apart. Its worth a good deal of trouble to hear that pair in the morning. After they sing a song, they kiss. It is most amusing.
A few months later, Clarence told about John and Rachel preparing to go to a “picture show” at the school.
You should have seen John and Rachel getting ready. They were told to clean up, but the next we heard was splashing and they were both in the tub scrubbing each other’s backs and saying, “John, you just look grand,” and Rachel, you just look beautiful.” They went off hand in hand, both of them proud of each other. They are a great pair.
Death of a Friend. Clarence and Odie were very generous with their time, and on several occasions took in boys who were close in age to their own, bringing them into their house and taking them to the cabin in the Ozarks in the summer. They were very close to the Comfort family, since Odie had known Mrs. Comfort in Bradford, Pennsylvania. In March 1934, it was a tragedy for both the Comforts and the Longs when young David Comfort apparently stumbled while walking through the woods near his home in Tulsa and accidentally shot and killed himself with a .22 rifle. He was one of Val’s classmates and best friends, both of them about 17. “We haven’t been able to discuss it among the family,” Clarence wrote:
It’s too choky. Mr. Comfort wanted the boys as pall bearers but after talking it over a bit we didn’t dare let them. . . . Val is awfully hard hit. . . . I guess I have sat here thinking about David for half an hour. John brought me to, asking me what I was thinking about, and when I said David, he said “I thought so.” . . . We can’t talk about it. As summer comes on, maybe it will be easier, but the country [the cabin in the Ozarks] is going to be full of David. . . . Maybe if we all got together and had a good cry it would help to break the ice. We are all so afraid of showing our feelings.
The Short Wave Radio. They boys got excited about building a short wave radio, and worked with an expert on radios who lived nearby and volunteered his time to help the boys. In March 1932, Clarence told Mary Jane:
The boys have been listening to all sorts of short wave stations up in your neighborhood [Rochester] now that the set has been finally revised, I think for the last time. . . . They can even listen to ships talking to each other on either side of the Atlantic ocean. They have rigged up a set so they can practice code signals and are learning the code very fast in anticipation of building a transmitter.
Clarence added that “Vallance is always the one who knows what is wrong with it when something goes amiss and can always fix it.” By November 1932, Clarence wrote that “the boys are really fixing up a grand radio set this time.”
They expect to have it finished during the Christmas holidays. Then they plan to build a broadcasting outfit and get a radio amateur’s license. Then they will be able to send you messages thru the amateurs in Rochester. Don’t be surprised if someday you are called to an amateur’s radio station to talk to Billy. . . . I wish I could build a room on the back of the garage for them their radio. That room of theirs is the worst sight you could imagine these days with all this radio business going on. . . . It is bad but it is theirs and I don’t see that we should interfere as long as they clean it up into some semblance of order once in a while. . . . John is the one who is really careless. Sometimes we think we will simply die at the things he does. He can’t let anything alone.
Sometimes the boys had to make up their own amusement. In the summer of 1930, Clarence wrote that, for the first time, all four of the children would be starting school together. In the meantime, John was spending the day traveling with the bookmobile, having been invited by the librarian to ride along and help her collect books. The other boys amused themselves by “tying a string on a pocketbook from which some imitation greenbacks protruded. I think fifteen different people stopped to get it, including a policeman.”
In October of 1929, Clarence recounted with pride how he had taken his boys and some of their friends to the Petroleum Exposition. “I wish you had stayed over for that,” he told Mary Jane:
It was worth seeing. We had a great time. The next morning we took out for the hills, equipped with candles and flashlights and explored the cave of the three goats. . . . Rachel went part way, but when the ceiling got so low, and we had to crawl out on our bellies, she backed out and helped her mother build a fire for lunch. . . . We finished the afternoon by gathering a couple of bushel of black walnuts on the banks of the Spavinaw creek. . . .
The Grandchildren and Other Descendants
The four children of Odie and Clarence had nine children of their own. Details on these grandchildren, and their descendants, are included below.
The Long Cousins (in order of birth)
David Woodward Long (1941-)
Sandra Alice Long Clark (1943-)
Norman Charles Long (1944-)
Janet Louise Long (1950-51)
Olivier Denier Long (1951-)
Michael Gordon Long (1952-)
Phillip Long (1953-)
Sylvia Vanderford Long Batzler (1956-)
Johanna Louise Misey Boyer (1961-)
William Charles Long (1916-1987)
William Charles Long was born on February 2, 1916, in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, the first child of Clarence and Odie Long. Clarence later remembered the day: On “Groundhog Day, 1928,” Clarence wrote that “12 years ago today Odie and I were two tired humans, and the new third human was quite red and wasn’t pleased with his new surroundings. Now he is four feet nine inches tall, weighs about 90 pounds or more, his hair is fair, and his eyes are blue, and when he smiles, he makes you too, and his cheeks are red as red.”
The new baby apparently was named for his grandfather, William George Long. Throughout Clarence’s letters, he is referred to as “Billy.” Odie and Clarence did not believe in sending their children to the public schools of Tulsa, especially because the school board and school policy were being controlled by the Ku Klux Klan. As a result, they home-schooled Billy over the objections of his grandfather but with the reluctant cooperation of the office of the school superintendent, who personally met with Odie to review her reports on Billy’s progress. School policy required that all children be in school at least from the age of eight, but it appears that Billy was being home-schooled beyond that age.
Many of Clarence Long’s battles with the school board and with individual teachers, recounted in the section on Clarence, were focused on what he regarded as the maltreatment of Billy in the public school.
The Facts of Life. In November 1923, three months before Rachel was born, Clarence wrote that “it seems to be settled that Rachel Louise is to be the name.”
I think Billy [age 7] could pass an examination in obstetrics now. If there are any questions unasked and unanswered, I cannot imagine what they could be. The two older ones think the details are wonderfully interesting, and Billy insists that he wants to be present when the baby comes. He is satisfied, though, with the promise of seeing the umbilical cord.
Billy and the Cart. Earlier, in 1925, when Billy was nine, he threw a scare into the family. The boys had been talking about trains and apparently wanted to go off to see some real ones. “Billy bought a box, and with some rope and wheels, he made a cart, and he talked a good deal about hitching Gypsy [the goat] to it.” Clarence went on:
Last Thursday night, Odie got up about three to take a look at the boys. She called me in great excitement, saying that Billy was gone. I got up immediately and we found that not only was Billy gone but the cart and Gypsy were gone too. She called the police but did not get very much satisfaction out of them, they explaining that a boy with a cart down town would not be noticed at that time in the morning because so many boys with carts arrived about that time to get papers for delivery from the World office.
Then, while I started downtown on foot, Odie called grandfather. . . . But before grandfather got to the house, Billy and Gypsy showed up looking quite fresh and frisky, and Billy was sound asleep by the time the car got there. Dad then came downtown and picked me up and brought me home. The next day we discovered that he had carried this cart, which weighed not less than twelve pounds, for six blocks, to keep it from squeaking, and then had left it because it got too heavy. He has complained of his arms hurting ever since. He also says that he got up at 12:39. He claimed he went down college ave, which is cut straight thru to the Frisco tracks, and then gone along the tracks east for quite a distance before turning back. He told of seeing a passenger train go by and also a freight. He said he came back because Gypsy was afraid of the trains but would not stay off the tracks.
The cart was recovered by grandfather the next day, and grandfather also could not be content but had to put the thing in the paper. He took some pictures of Billy and the cart, but I headed off any attempt to put that in the paper. The only redeeming feature of the trip was the fact that Billy had no notion of being scared at anything and considered the walk quite a lark. He said he met one Bulldog but he was very friendly. He also mentioned various stars he knows and their position in the sky, which indicated that he had been up as long as he said he had. You can imagine that Odie was wild for a little time and upset the next day.
Romance? At the beginning of 1933, when Billy was 17, Clarence was worried about romance. Two of Billy’s friends were taking dancing lessons, “but for no persuasion could we get Billy to do it . . . . I am not so sure but what he is right. Knowing Billy and his intense preoccupation with whatever he does, I would just as soon he had his first case of calf love somewhere else and when he is old enough to be somewhat grownup about it.” A year later, Billy had been persuaded by his friends go on along to dancing school. “He considers it a great trial,” Clarence wrote.
He says, and I think he is quite sincere, that he has not seen a girl at high school that he would look at twice. His special bete noir is red hair – and that is quite unfortunate because two very nice girls and friends of the family are both red headed and both would be crazy about Bill if he would give them a chance. From reports I hear from other parents, I suppose we should be thankful for what we have been spared.
“Billy is still handsomer than ever,” Clarence wrote in early 1934. He is having a very good time in school this year. His teachers are fond of him and think well of him. His love this year has been the head of the history department, who is as radical as we are. She is coming out to dinner Friday. She practically invited herself. Bill had her curiosity aroused so much that she had to come see what his parents were like!” Clarence also wrote that Billy had written a very fine speech on equal opportunity. “He is now fearful it is too good and he will have to learn it and present it. It’s full of socialism and communism.”
Bill’s Education. When Bill finished high school, Clarence arranged for him to go to Antioch College, in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He was accepted in July 1934, and in September, when he was 18, Bill sent home a first letter that was filled with enthusiasm for his new surroundings, and Clarence was pleased.
“I feel pretty good, myself,” Clarence wrote. “It was all so exciting because he was excited. It is an unusual bunch of students and an unusual college. The college pastor is Bill’s advisor and he is an Episcopal bishop, or acting bishop, and he makes socialist speeches. Bill has already joined the socialist organization, and they are campaigning for a Negro for state representative from that district.” Bill was also working with another boy to build a college short wave station. “They expect to be on the air soon,” Clarence wrote. “Val has his outfit ready and waiting for Bill to tune in.”
Bill’s upbringing in Tulsa was reflected in his application essay. “The field of social engineering is practically untouched,” he wrote.
Somebody will have to take the lead in bringing about a society in which there will be real equal opportunity for everyone. A society without class distinctions, made by wealth for the few and poverty for the many. Somebody will have to supervise the production of every industry. I will take college men to do this. Future ambassadors will be awarded their position not through patronage but by merit. Political offices will no longer be held by scheming politicians but by men and women who have been trained to fulfill that particular job.
Bill told Antioch that his reading consisted primarily of technical books and social and economic philosophy.
All the technical books and periodicals concern radio and light, two branches of physics. I have found the articles in the Encyclopedia Britannica quite complete on the theory of light propagation. Besides those books already mentioned, I am reading Leon Trotzky’s History of the Russian Revolution.
Bill mentioned high school friends with whom he had extensive daily discussions. He said they talked about:
. . . everything from chemistry and physics to socialism, communism and religion. Nearly everybody who has spent much time with us in our discussions have become socialists. At first our discussions were capitalism versus socialism. Now we discuss various plans and methods for bringing socialism into reality. Some of us believe that class war is a necessity while others believe more peaceable methods will work.
The admissions application also made the point that Bill was very interested in the amateur radio station that he had constructed and operated, and he said that a 1,000-word theme he had written was one of 30 to be selected from among 3,000 to be given before civic clubs and churches.
But the Antioch experience did not last long for Bill, and he lelft the school at the end of April 1935. While some school officials reportedly expressed surprise at Bill's departure, his campaigning for an African-American political candidate apparently was not well-received. At the end of the school year, he was back in Tulsa. Clarence wrote that Bill would like to go to Buckhannon and live with his grandfather and go to West Virginia Wesleyan. “We don’t favor that,” he said, “because it is a bum school for one thing and I don’t think Bill would be able to stand Buckhannon and the fundamentalist atmosphere of the place. Bill is a very different boy from the Bill that went away to Antioch and he has gotten the hitchhiking out of his system.”
Bill wanted to go forward with his education, and with financial help from “Aunt Mary Jane Vallance,” he left in September 1935 to attend the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville, about 120 miles east of Tulsa. Clarence wanted Bill to work and get some practical experience before going on to college. “He is only 19, and an education won’t spoil for the keeping,” he wrote. “But you know Odie. Bill is her ewe lamb and the apple of her eye. There isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for Bill. I think Bill will work this time and get whatever is to be gotten at Arkansas, such as it is, which is perhaps as good as is to be gotten at any average state college.”
Clarence said he had instructed Bill to register as a special student, taking with him a letter from the dean of freshmen at Antioch. “Theoretically,” Clarence wrote, Arkansas should not give him credit for what he did at Antioch, nor would Antioch give him a clean record from there, but I believe in taking the bull by the horns and have instructed Bill to lay the case before the Dean over there and see what comes of it. Bill, with all his faults, is a past master at the art of making people believe the moon is made of green cheese, and everybody falls over themselves to do things for him.” Two months later, Bill’s father, Clarence, died in Tulsa.
Bill’s Career. Ultimately, Bill went back to college, at the Capitol Radio Engineering Institute, in Washington, earning a two-year degree in 1938. Shortly afterward, he moved to Baltimore, Maryland. He worked for Bendix Corporation and later for Westinghouse, where he worked on development of radar systems that contributed to American victories in Europe and the Pacific during World War II. While at Westinghouse, Bill became active as a labor organizer in the International Electrical Workers Union and developed strong socialist leanings. Controversy over this activity is what led him to leave Westinghouse.
While living in Baltimore, Bill met Mildred Dorrida Hipsley. She had been born on January 19, 1920, in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of Frank Woodward Hipsley (1898-1974) and Marguerite Dorrida (1897-1994). They were married in Tulsa in February 1940 and returned shortly thereafter to Baltimore. The first two sons of Bill and Mildred -- David and Norman -- were born in Baltimore. Their third son, Phillip, was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In 1950, Bill left Westinghouse and drove west with his wife, Mildred, and two sons, David and Norman, to his birthplace in Tulsa. This began an odyssey that involved frequent moves and many jobs. In Tulsa, Bill worked for American Airlines as a radio technician in their airplane repair facility. In 1952, he moved the family to Pryor, Oklahoma, a small town on the Grand River about 50 miles northeast of Tulsa. Bill worked there for the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA).
In 1953, Bill moved his family back to Tulsa and a new job working for a radio and television repair shop owned by RCA. In 1954, he was selected by RCA to attend a corporate training program in the new field of microwave communications. Shortly thereafter, he worked on the nation’s first car-to-car radio communication system using microwave relay stations along the Oklahoma Turnpike for the State Police. In 1955, RCA chose him to lead a team installing a nationwide microwave telecommunication system in the Dominican Republic. The project lasted 18 months, with his family living on that Caribbean Island in the capital city of Ciudad Trujillo, named after the then-dictator of that nation. While he was there, he received an amateur’s radio operator’s license with the call letters HI8WL. Bill’s son Norman recalled that this caused quite a sensation because there were few if any ham radio operators in the country given the control exercised by the dictator.
After the overseas assignment, Bill returned to Tulsa, but stayed only six months. This time he moved to Ventura, California, a coastal city some 60 miles north of Los Angeles, where he became supervisor for RCA for a microwave communication contract with Union 76 Oil Company.
The family stayed in one location through 1962, the year Bill’s second son, Norman, graduated from high school. Bill and Mildred, and their youngest son, then moved to Bakersfield, California, with Bill taking on another assignment for RCA. This lasted until 1966, when Bill, Mildred and Phillip moved to the Simi Valley of California. They stayed until Phillip graduated from high school in 1971. Bill’s last stop on his life-journey was in Buellton, California, 30 miles north of Santa Barbara.
Bill’s Retirement and Death. Bill retired in 1980, and then turned to his first love, amateur radio. When he died in 1987, an extensive obituary in the local newspaper showed a picture of Bill with amateur radio equipment and was headlined “William C. Long, Ham Operator.” The obituary said he received his first amateur radio license in 1930. He would have been about 14 at that time. The newspaper said that Bill’s amateur radio call could be heard throughout the Santa Ynez Valley, as he gathered with other “hams” each morning at the Donley Doughnut Shop in Solvang. Bill worked with other “hams” at the local heart association bicycle races and other public events. He also helped establish an amateur radio class at the Santa Ynez Valley High School, which led more than a dozen students to pass the exam and obtain their FCC licenses.
Bill died of a heart attack in Buellton on May 2, 1987, at the age of 71. His family believed that Bill’s doctor had missed a diagnosis that could have prevented such an early death. The doctor put off a detailed examination so that he could attend a golf tournament, and Bill died before the doctor returned. Mildred continued living in Buellton until July 2005. At age 85 and in declining health, she moved to Mesa, Arizona, to be cared for by her son, Norman Long. She died on February 25, 2008, in the Springdale West nursing home in Mesa. She was 88. The ashes of Bill and Mildred were buried at sea, in the Santa Barbara Channel, on March 19, 2008, from a 41-foot sailing yacht.
Bill and Mildred Long had three children:
David Woodward Long (1941-)
Norman Charles Long (1944-)
Phillip Long (1953-)
A. David Woodward Long was born in Baltimore on May 16, 1941. He lived with his parents during their stay in the Dominican Republic. Family members recalled that he tried to “run away” from the Dominican Republic. He talked his way onto an airplane, but he was stopped by airport officials in Miami and sent back.
David enlisted in the Marine Corps on his 17th birthday, May 16, 1958, when he was a junior in high school, with a deferred reporting date after he had graduated. He reported for recruit training (boot camp) on December 3, 1959, and was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Pendleton, California, where he spent the remainder of his infantry active duty. After 1962, he was in the “inactive reserve,” and he received an honorable discharge on May 16, 1966. His highest rank was that of Lance Corporal. David later said his time in the Marines was a defining period in his life, providing discipline, focus, teamwork and an ethos of unit and buddy ahead of self. He believed this experience was what permitted someone who did not attend college to succeed in law school and in a heavy litigation law practice, and to become the presiding/supervising civil judge of a court of 28 judges and four magistrates.
With the family then living in California, David graduated cum laude from the Ventura College of Law in 1983, following a 17-year career as a casualty insurance claims adjuster and executive, and seven years as a para-legal investigator for the oldest law firm in Ventura.
After ten years in practice, primarily as a civil trial attorney, David was appointed a Commissioner of the Superior/Municipal Courts in Ventura County. Two years later, Judge Long was appointed to the Municipal Court bench, where he covered misdemeanor arraignments, felony preliminary examinations, and criminal jury awards. In 1997, he was named Municipal Court “Judge of the Year” by the Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association. That same year, he was elevated to the Superior Court. He continued to hold that position in 2007, with offices in the Hall of Justice in Ventura. His license plate and his E-mail address were both “AWLRIZE,” in honor of his profession. Like his father, David was an amateur radio operator, and he also played tennis. In 2006, he lived near Ventura, about 60 miles north of Los Angeles.
In March 2011, David decided to retire from the bench, effective on May 16, 2011. Vincent J. O'Neill, Jr., the Presiding Judge of the Ventura County Superior Court, made the announcement in a press release. Judge O'Neill wrote the following:
Judge Long served the court for two years as a
commissioner and two more on the Municipal Court before being appointed to the Superior
Court by Governor Wilson in November of 1997. His contributions to the civil
and criminal divisions of the court have been exemplary. He has enhanced our
court's reputation by devoting countless hours of his own time to judicial
education, statewide committee work and many county bar activities.
Judge Long has been a loyal friend and mentor to many of us. Please join me in wishing Judge Long and his wife Shirley many happy years in the future.David Long’s first wife was Judith Henson, and they had three children: Lynette, William and Nancy. After they divorced, Judith married a man named Gunn. Judith Gunn did substantial research on the Long family, and this was later carried on by her daughter Nancy Long. David’s second wife was Shirley Moore Critchfield, who had been born October 23, 1926, in Enid, Oklahoma. She had four children from a previous marriage; in 2009, they were living in California.
The three children of David and Judy Long were these:
(1) Lynnette Long was born on May 28, 1963, in Merced, California. She was married to Keith Justin Hayes, and they had a child, Keith Justin (KJ) Hayes. Later she married Glenn Fisk, who adopted Keith, and they adopted two other children, Bobbie and Brian Fisk. About 2009, Lynnette married Michael Shimmin, and they lived in North Salt Lake.
(2) William (Bill) Charles Long II was born on February 18, 1965, in Merced, California. He first wife was Pamela Sovern, and they had two children:
-- Nicole Suzanne Long was born on February 14, 1986, in Oxnard, Ventura County, California.
-- Bradley Clinton Long was born on September 8, 1987, in Ventura, California.
Later, Bill married Lee Long.
(3) Nancy Robin Long was born on February 19, 1969, in Merced, California. In 1988, she lived in Chatsworth, California. Nancy did extensive research on the Long family, together with her mother. She married Anthony Christl, and they had three children. In 2009, all three children lived in Layton, Utah. Nancy Robin Christl died in Layton, Utah, on June 22, 2009, at the age of 40. Her children were these:
-- Brianna Leann Long was born on September 19, 1992, in Ventura, California.
-- Samantha Christl, born about 1992, was adopted.
-- Ryan Woodward Christl was born in 1997.
B. Norman Charles Long, second child of Bill and Mildred Long, was born on June 27, 1944, in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended five schools in his first six years of public education. The first was in Baltimore in 1949. When the family moved to Oklahoma, he attended three different public schools in Tulsa, another in Pryor, and then he attended another school in the Dominican Republic. In California, he attended three different public schools, graduating from high school in 1962.
In his high school years, Norman was active in student government. He was student body president as well as the Cadet Commanding Officer of a local Civil Air Patrol Search and Rescue Squadron. Norman graduated from Bakersfield Community College in 1965 with an AA Degree just prior to being drafted into the military, where he served in the U.S. Navy. After the military, Norman returned to college in 1972, graduating cum laude from California State University at Humbolt, and then he attended the Graduate School at Cornell University in Chinese Linguistics.
Norman spent his professional career in his own international business development firm, with ventures in Europe and Asia, contracting with various “early stage” venture capital investors and guiding ventures to public listings. He was the founder of ALM Consultants, in Scottsdale, Arizona. In 2010, he was working on revision of an electronic book (E-book) that he first wrote in 2003. The first version was titled "Pre-IPO Investing: The Journey from Start-Ups to Public Listings." Norm cared for his mother during her final years in Arizona. Then in 2009, he went to Ecuador and bought a house. Later, he bought a small ranch in Texas. In 2011, he was continuing his writing. He and Carolyn were dividing time between Cuenca, Ecuador, and their ranch in Texas.
Norman was married to Melody Cederquist of Selma, California, for seven years, ending in 1978; they had no children. He married Marianne Macinata of Arcata, California, in 1979. The marriage ended in divorce in 1995. Norman and Marianne had two daughters:
(1) Sarah Janine Long was born on March 21, 1980, in Ithaca, New York. She moved with her family to Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1985, where she attended public schools, graduating in 1999. Sarah graduated from Syracuse University in 2003, receiving a BFA Degree in Technical Theatre. She graduated summa cum laude in Stage Management. Sarah worked for the Goodman Theatre in Chicago upon graduation and then moved to New York City in 2004. In December 2006, she was living in Brooklyn and working in New York where she was stage managing off-Broadway plays and pursuing a writing career.
(2) Catherine “Cassie” Lee Ann Long was born Lee Chi Yung in Seoul, Korea, on December 27, 1983, and adopted by Norman and Marianne Long in March 1984. She moved with her family from Ithaca to Scottsdale in 1985, and attended public schools there, graduating in 2001. Cassie was a competitive club gymnast from age five through high school, rising to the highest club level, Level 10. She attended UCLA in Westwood, California, graduating in 2005 with honors in physics, and in early 2007, she was attending graduate school.
C. Phillip Dorrida Long was born on May 8, 1953, in Tulsa. His middle name is also his mother’s middle name and the maiden name of her mother. Phil graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1976 and received a Ph.D. in biology from Penn State in 1982. After later professional involvement with biology, he became interested in computer systems in universities and began working in this field at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000. In 2008, Phil became professor and founding director of the Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology at the University of Queensland, in Brisbane, Australia. He also continued his connection with MIT as a Visiting Scientist at the MIT Center for Edcuational Computing Initiatives.
Phil was married to Florence Nelson on May 24, 1975. They had a son, Brian McLaughlin Long, who was born on September 19, 1983, in Morristown, New Jersey. Brian graduated from the University of Denver in 2006. Phil and Florence were divorced in 1989.
On June 17, 1990, Phil married Maryann Hodge, who had been born in Elmira, New York, on August 29, 1951. Maryann’s daughter from her first marriage, Johanna Margot Bromberg, was born in New York City on January 27, 1977. She was married to Wesley Craig, and they had a daughter, Zara Finn Craig, born on June 27, 2005. At the end of 2011, Phil and Maryann lived in Indooroopilly, Queensland, Australia.
Vallance McLaughlin Long (1917-1975)
Vallance McLaughlin Long, second child of Odie and Clarence Long, was born on July 16, 1917, in Tulsa. He was named in honor of Mary Jane Vallance, the close friend of Odie and Clarence who lived in Rochester, New York. His middle name was his mother’s maiden name.
Clarence made notes about Val in letters to Mary Jane. In 1925, Clarence wrote, the family went to the countryside and the boys went off for a walk in the woods. Billy and John were afraid of the cows, he said, “but Vallance carried a stick and feared nothing. And it was Vallance who knew his directions and led them back the right way. He certainly is a calm sensible piece.” Val was eight years old.
Just after Val’s ninth birthday, in 1926, Clarence wrote that “we made the trip to Spavinaw his birthday gift and used your check to get him an Ingersoll Radiolite watch. He says now that he has his flashlight and his watch that he can hardly think of anything he wants very badly. He is the best camper in the outfit and is a joy to have along on a trip. Nothing ruffles him, he is always ready to help and knows how to help, and he has a good time.”
In 1927, Clarence wrote that “Vallance is a great help and knows more about entertaining sister and children about her age than most grown-ups. He is becoming more and more enamored with his music and really plays very well. He is also getting a better idea of mathematics at home than Billy is getting at school. The chief trouble with him is that he is timid and afraid to do things before Billy for fear of Billy’s laughter. He is getting over that, however, since he has learned to read better.”
Val’s schoolwork always got extensive attention in Clarence’s letters to Mary Jane. In January 1931, when Val was 13, Clarence wrote:
Your namesake Val got all A except in gym and music, and he got B there, and the gym part was because he lost his gym key. The music because he can’t sing for sour apples, or at least thinks he can’t. He was quite proud of his report card. . . . You might tell him you feel hurt that Rochester was not included in the list of cities he said he was going to visit. This was said to David [Comfort] the other evening at supper time. He said very nonchalantly that when he was old enough to get married, he was going to visit Miami, Paris and Hollywood. As I understand it, the idea was to pick out the most beautiful lady obtainable. Knowing Val, I should say that the lady he marries will have pulchritude and know how to wear her clothes.
In November 1933, Val, 16, was having a number of health problems, including his eyes, his teeth and his skin. “Val is already two inches taller than I am,” Clarence wrote, “but he does not have Billy’s weight and strength.
On the back of a family photo taken at the Locust Grove cabin about 1934, Clarence wrote “Val is the McLaughlin of the family, as you can see by the hair and features.” While Bill was studying at Antioch in 1934, Clarence wrote that Val, then 17, “is getting handsomer and handsomer, but I know he is lonesome for Bill. Did Odie tell you Val went to Oklahoma City last week and took his radio license examination?” Val was 18 when his father died in 1935.
After Clarence’s Death. Val was married to Faith Alice Flickinger, who had been born on September 19, 1919. The wedding was in Trinity Episcopal Church, in downtown Tulsa. Faith’s family also had been involved in the oil business. Her mother worked for Fred Phillips, the youngest of the five Phillips brothers who created Phillips Petroleum, later Conoco-Phillips.
About 1943, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Val and Faith were living in an apartment in Tulsa. Val did not want to be drafted into the Army and so enlisted in the Navy. He was first stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Faith moved there with him. When Val was sent to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, Faith was pregnant, and Sandra was born while Val was away in September 1943. Faith and Sandra moved in with Faith’s parents, the Flickingers, in Tulsa. Sandra remembered going swimming in a nearby park with her cousins David and Norman Long.
When Val returned from Alaska, they bought the Tenth Street house from Odie. Sandra remembered having a swing set in the back yard, and that Val had a garden where he loved to grow tomatoes. About 1954, they sold the house and moved to 41st Place in Tulsa. Sandra also recalled that Val was opposed to guns, but his daughter had a Hopalong Cassidy gun and holster set and loved to pretend to shoot people, and his son also had toy guns and later was a deer hunter.
Val worked for Standard Oil, first in Tulsa and later in Chicago. In Tulsa, he worked in both the Philtower and Philcade buildings – important architecturally for the Art Deco style -- and Sandra remembered often having lunch with Val in the Philtower Grill.
Val's Death. Val died of a massive heart attack on April 28, 1975, in Chicago, at the age of 57. He was he first of the Long children to die, and it occurred 18 months before the death of his mother, Odie Long.
After Val died in Chicago, Faith lived 22 more years. She moved back to Tulsa and died in the St. Simeon’s Episcopal Home there on February 17, 1998, at the age of 78. The ashes of both Val and Faith were placed in the Columbarium at Trinity Episcopal Church in Tulsa.
Val and Faith had three children:
Sandra Alice Long (b. 1943)
Janet Louise Long (1950-51)
Michael Gordon Long (b. 1952)
A. Sandra Alice Long was born on September 24, 1943, in Tulsa. Sandra lived with her family at 2827 Tenth Street, in Tulsa, the same house that was owned by Clarence and Odie Long before Sandra’s parents bought it. Sandra remembered that the house was near the University of Tulsa and its football stadium, and she and her friends would charge 25 cents for the right to park cars in the driveways. Since Odie had rented the house furnished, Sandra was familiar with all the furniture that Clarence described in his letters, including the glass-fronted bookcases and a round oak pedestal dining room table. Sandra also remembered going out to the countryside around Tulsa to gather up pecans and take them home for use in her mother’s famous pecan pie.
Sandra went to public school in Tulsa. When she was in the sixth grade, Val and Faith sold the house for a newer one on 41st Place. Sandra got a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, in 1965, and then she joined the U.S. Peace Corps and spent two years in Sierra Leone, 1965-1967. She spent six months in Paris on her way home from Africa and became fluent in French. When she returned to the United States, she got a Master’s degree in French and education at the University of Wisconsin. In the fall of 1969, she got a job teaching French in a private school in Briarcliff, Westchester County, New York.
In New York in 1970, Sandra met Peter B. Clark, an attorney who was working for a law firm in New York. He moved to Washington in the summer of 1971 to work for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Sandra moved to Washington in June 1972, and they were married on October 14, 1972. The ceremony was performed by Judge Carl Moultrie, the first black judge to be appointed to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The wedding took place in front of a group of bushes outside of the courthouse.
After the wedding, Sandra went to work for the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), based first in Washington and then in Rosslyn, Virginia. During her 24 years there, she developed training programs and launched the National Strategic Planning Center for Education, which she said put strategic planning on the map for school superintendents. After leaving AASA, Sandra did freelance projects and worked as a volunteer. In August 1999, she went to work for the National Association of Counties (NACo), based on Capitol Hill in Washington, near the townhouse where Sandra and Peter lived. NACo is primarily a lobbying organization that serves elected and top appointed county officials in some 2,400 counties across the United States. Sandra organized leadership training programs for the county officials. She retired in July 2008.
Peter Clark was born in 1939 on Long Island, New York, but moved to New Jersey when he was still in elementary school. He graduated from Brown University in 1962 and from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1965. After law school, he worked with a New York law firm on securities, real estate and tax litigation, and then moved to the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington.
In 1977, Peter joined the U.S. Department of Justice, and during Jimmy Carter’s presidency was instrumental in the writing of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that became federal law. He also brought the first prosecution under the Act. He was given the position of Senior Litigation Attorney and later served as Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division.
The April 2005 issue of the newsletter The American Lawyer described Peter as “Mr. Clean” and “America’s Mister Corruption, or rather Mister Anti-corruption.” In January 2005, at the age of 65, Peter left the Department of Justice to join the Washington law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft, as a partner in the litigation department.
B. Janet Louise Long was born in 1950 and died in 1951.
C. Michael Gordon Long was born on June 28, 1952, in Tulsa. He was about two when his parents moved from the home of Odie and Clarence to a newer house on 41st Place in Tulsa. He moved with his parents to Chicago and attended Knox College for two years and then the University of Illinois. He was 22 and in graduate school at the University of Illinois when his father died.
Michael is in the fifth generation of Longs in the oil and gas business. In 2006, he was working in Houston, Texas, as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Edge Petroleum, an independent energy company that focuses on exploration, production and marketing activities in “selected onshore basins” in the United States. Mike married Kathleen Ann Morgan in 1974 in Chicago. They met at a high school dance when Mike was a senior and had just moved from Tulsa. Kathy, a ninth grader, asked “the new kid” to dance. Mike and Kathy had three children:
(1) Andrew (Andy) Morgan Long was born December 2, 1987. At the end of 2006, Andy was a freshman at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.
(2) Matthew (Matt) Gordon Long was born on June 4, 1990. At the end of 2006, Matt was in the eleventh grade in a Houston school, taking International Baccalaureate courses.
(3) Rebecca (Becky) Anne Long was born on November 25, 1991. A the end of 2006, Becky was in the ninth grade and taking an agriculture course, hoping to become a veterinarian.
John Vanderford Long (1920-2004)
John Vanderford Long, the third child of Odie and Clarence Long, was born on June 11, 1920. Family members understood that John was born in Tulsa, but his sister Rachel believed it was in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, about 15 miles west of Tulsa. As a child, John was a steady reader and talker and comic, and these qualities are evident throughout his father’s letters.
Up to his Armpits. In March 1925, when John was still only four, Clarence wrote that his children had wonderful behavior. “They have manners and they can talk, and you will find few children anywhere who can walk into a gathering and be more at their ease than Billy and John.”
As for John, he is irrepressible, his tongue is never still, and I believe that he knows more people by name than I do, including several policemen. Which reminds me that we nearly lost him last week. An old cesspool on the lot across the alley had some time or other been roofed with boards. The boards had rotted, and the three boys were walking along there one day when suddenly John sunk down to his armpits. The other boys pulled him out, and then we discovered this old cesspool was there, twelve feet deep with four feet of water in it. If he had gone on down, he would unquestionably have been drowned before anyone could have gotten him out. It was a narrow escape, and Odie was nearly sick about it.
Fun with Grandfather. On the day before Christmas in 1925, when John was five, the boys were taken out shopping by their grandfather, Bill Long. “Billy got a coat and all the boys got sweaters,” Clarence wrote. “On the return, they ran into a Ford, and John, who was in the front seat, pitched forward and got his nose scratched. His head hit the windshield so hard that he cracked it (the windshield), but he had a heavy toboggan cap on so he himself did not get hurt.”
Who is Harriet? In October 1926, when John was six, Clarence reported that “John has a steady flame, Harriet, daughter of Professor Foster at the university.
We heard of Harriet last summer when he was going to summer school. This fall, as soon as he started to school, we heard of Harriet again and shortly after he told of being invited to see Harriet’s new baby brother. . . . Since then, the two go to school and return together as far as the corner of Evanston above us. . . . She does not allow any of the other boys to pick on Johnny. If they do, she tells the teacher on them. At recess, it is a great sight to see the two of them dancing on the playground hand in hand. John will even stand still to be scrubbed on the score that Harriet’s mother wouldn’t like her to play with a dirty boy.Three weeks later, Clarence wrote, “yesterday the phone rang and a small piping voice said, ‘Is Johnny sick? It’s very lonesome at school without him. Could I come over and see him? This is Harriet.’ She was promised that she could see him later when he was better, but not now. Billy in the next room said, ‘The wedding is postponed. The groom couldn’t come.’”
Birthday Gift. For his seventh birthday, in 1927, Clarence wrote, “What do you suppose he wanted me to get him? A back scratcher! On of those ivory hands on a stick. I got it for him and I think it caused more merriment and has been enjoyed by John and the family as much as if it was a present costing many dollars.”
The Adventure with the Drunk. When John was eight, in August 1928, the Long family and the Cooper family went on an outing to Salina, near Locust Grove, Oklahoma. John rode with the Coopers. When the Long family arrived at home at the end of the day, the Coopers were not around. Where were they? Clarence explained:
Not until the rest were in bed, did Mrs. Cooper call up very excited, saying that she and the boys had come home on the bus. And where was Mr. Cooper? She didn’t know. It turned out that Mr. Cooper had somehow been given some bootleg gin (we didn’t know he drank at all), had tried to drive, and driven all over the road, and Mrs. Cooper had gotten out with the boys and refused to go with him. Later, Mr. Cooper arrived with his car being towed in, smashed up and hobbling on a cut leg. He had run into another car, gone into the ditch, and had to be pulled out, and he had no recollection of the afternoon at all until the crash.
John told it all very dramatically, and with a wealth of detail. He was much concerned but had kept his head, and evidently had kept the nervous Mrs. Cooper right side up and steered the party after it broke up. Capable John with his wise little head. . . . The other [Long] boys know nothing of this except that Mr. Cooper got sick and John came back on the bus, and John has never mentioned it to them and very cleverly parried their questions the next morning.
The Pranks. John was often up to pranks with other people, even strangers. In early 1929, Clarence wrote to Mary Jane:
What do you suppose is John’s latest? We caught him the other day calling somebody he did not know on the phone and scolded him for it. It seemed to be some doctor and he was playing the radio for him over the phone. A few days later, one of our PBX operators upstairs [at the oil company] called me and asked if I had a little boy about nine and if he was a blonde with blue eyes. They she said she had been flirting with him over the phone.
So I called home and asked Odie about it. She immediately turned on John and quizzed him. He turned all red and finally admitted that he had been carrying on a conversation with her for several weeks, usually in the afternoon. That he called himself Jean Welsh. That this particular day, she had kept asking him what his real name was and he said he would tell her if she would still like him. Then she thought of me and asked if it was my boy.
In early 1931, when John was 10, he had to go into the hospital to have an operation, possibly to have his appendix removed. Clarence wrote to Mary Jane:
He is home again. The doctor had us bring him home yesterday so we would not have more fees to pay when he took the stitches out. John felt quite peeved. He liked the hospital and has had one of the finest times he ever had in his life. The young things in training just hovered over him and told him all their troubles and fed him ginger ale and grape juice, hiding the bottles in his closet so other patients wouldn’t get them. He had his mouth organ, and a red-headed boy across the hall had a mouth organ. They played duets and the nigger who swept the halls did double shuffles for them. As soon as he gets well, he plans to go back and visit the nurses. They all made him promise to come and see them as soon as he could. That’s John – he’ll get along in this world.
John was very close to his sister Rachel, and they spent much time together. In September 1934, Clarence wrote, “Just now John is having one of his spells of being nice to Rachel, and to Rachel that is heavenly.”
Clarence described John in 1934 as “a very systematic bird. I wish you could see his room,” he told Mary Jane. “He has his maps pinned on the wall, and he has his table with his typewriter and his chest of drawers where he keeps his information and material, all arranged in the neatest of order. On the table, he has a card index of all his possessions with the drawer where they are to be found.” Family members remembered that John set fire to the dilapidated building behind the family house. Clarence thought the building was an eyesore and one time said it would not be bad if the building burned down. John, who was then only 6, saw that his dad’s wish came true.
John’s Political Views. John’s opinions on political issues were probably picked up at home. In March 1934, Clarence told Mary Jane “John says to come down here, he wants to talk to you about Norman Thomas and socialism and disarmament. He can’t find anybody outside of his own family that he can talk to.” A few months later, Clarence wrote that “John just now is trying to organize a Young People’s Socialist League, and he has been invited by the president of the Tulsa local to come down and talk it over with the meeting Sunday night.” John was 14.
On the back of a family photograph taken at the Locust Grove cabin in 1934, Clarence wrote that “John, as usual, has his mouth open. He never gets thru talking.”
John’s left-of-center opinions were bolstered in the summer of 1935, when he attended a two-week camp at Commonwealth College, a school in Mena, Arkansas, aimed at recruiting and training people to take the lead in socio-economic reform and prepare them for unconventional roles in a new and different society. “It was just the kind of thing that suited him down to the ground,” Clarence wrote.
He was taken in and treated as a grown up [John was 15] along with the other grown-ups. There was another boy there, two years older than himself, who was on a scholarship given by Norman Thomas, and they seem to have become fast friends. John cleaned up everybody playing chess, learned a world of things about history and the labor movement that he had never heard of before, and more than ever has a purpose in life. . . . [There was a] crowd of communists from New York and socialists and labor organizers of all description with ages from 15 to 50. Everybody called everybody else by their first name, took their work and their study seriously and their fun joyously. It was a great experience, and John is quite ready to go back next year for the whole summer.”
After Tulsa. John was only 15 when his father, Clarence Long, died. John completed high school in Tulsa, then graduated from the University of Chicago with a bachelor's degree in sociology. Not surprising, given his early views on socialism and disarmament, John declared himself a conscientious objector and refused to carry a gun during World War II. He was jailed for these views, and his sister Rachel remembered taking a long bus ride from Tulsa to visit John in prison. The military then agreed to release him from jail if he would serve as a medical officer. John was placed in the Army medical corps, arriving in France at Omaha Beach shortly after D-Day. He later worked in France for the Army's international graves registry.
While in Paris in September 1946, John met and married Nicole Denier, a resident of the city who served in the French Underground during the war. Nicole had been born on January 27, 1921, in Brittany, France. After they moved to the Washington area, Nicole was a professor of French at Mount Vernon College in Washington.
In 1951, after the war, John graduated from the University of Chicago Law School. He moved to the Washington area in the early 1950s and was a legal adviser to the chairman of the National Labor Relations Board. He then entered private practice, specializing in labor law and representing, among others, the Bakers Union and Teamsters Local 639. In the early 1970s, he worked at the Washington law firm of Bridgeman, Long & Pyeatt and did pro bono work for the American Civil Liberties Union, including a number of housing discrimination cases.
John developed a specialty in family and domestic relations law, including international child custody, and was a fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He co-authored two legal texts, Marriage and Family Law Agreements (1984) and Dissolution of Marriage (1986), published by McGraw-Hill Book Co. He was a regular contributor to domestic and international law journals. He was an adjunct professor at Ohio State University's law school and at Catholic University. John was also chairman of the District of Columbia Bar Association's Domestic Relations Committee for five years and a member of the American and Maryland bar associations. While living in Bethesda for nearly 25 years, he was active in the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee, of which he was a precinct chairman. He was a member of Rockville United Church. After his retirement, he lived in Alexandria and Leisure World in Silver Spring and moved to Fairfax Station in May 2004, a few months before his death.
John died on November 28, 2004, in Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in Vienna, Virginia. He was 84. He died just 11 months after the death of his sister Rachel and was the last survivor of the children of Odie and Clarence. John had practiced family and labor law for more than two decades in Bethesda and Washington. His ashes were buried at the Rockville church where his funeral service was held.
After John's death, Nicole went to live in northern Virginia with her former daughter-in-law, Lucia Rapazzo. Nicole died at Reston Hospital Center on August 24, 2013. She was 92. This obituary was published in the Washington Post.
John and Nicole had two children, both of them lawyers, both practicing in areas of family law, which had occupied much of John’s career:
A. Olivier Denier Long was born in Paris, France, on December 13, 1951. He spent his senior year of high school in Paris. He received a high school equivalency certificate from the University of Chicago, and a high school diploma from the State of Maryland after successfully completing his first year of college. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in Human Development in 1973 and then graduated from law school at George Washington University in 1976.
Like his father, Olivier also had a general civil practice concentrating in family law, and worked with his father until the mid-1980s. He then went into practice in Fairfax, Virginia. From 1986 to 2006, he has been a solo practitioner in Tysons Corner, Virginia, licensed in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He also provided legal services in French, and was approved counsel at the French Embassy Consulate in Washington, D.C. His website in 2009 was http://www.ezjustice.com/index.shtml.
Olivier was married in 1986 to Lucia Rapazzo, who had been born on September 22, 1955. They were divorced about 1992, and Lucia married Casey Jason, M.D., around 2005. Olivier married Karen Leeds, a graphic designer, in Leesburg, Virginia, on June 29, 1997. They were divorced about 2003. Olivier and Lucia Long had two children:
(1) Alexandra Denier Long, known as “Alex,” was born on June 25, 1988 in Arlington, Virginia. She graduated from Bishop O’Connell High School in Falls Church, Virginia, and in the fall of 2006, she began studies at the University of Chicago, where her father and grandfather also studied. In the fall of 2008, she was majoring in film and media studies and planned to spend an academic quarter in Paris.
(2) Joseph (Joey) Vanderford Long was born on February 6, 1990 in Arlington, Virginia. At the end of 2006, he was a junior at Bishop O’Connell High School and was interested in creative writing and the performing arts. He starred as the Mad Hatter in the school’s production of Alice Through the Looking Glass. In the fall of 2008, he began studies at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. His primary interest was in theater, and he was the lead actor in the first play of the season, Forever Waltz. In the summer of 2009, he was in acting school in Los Angeles.
B. Sylvia Vanderford Long, second child of John and Nicole Long, was born on December 21, 1956, in Washington, D. C. She graduated from Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1975, and from Lawrence University with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1979. Sylvia was a newspaper reporter for six years and then returned to school in 1985. She received a J.D. degree in 1988 from the University of Maryland School of Law, and was sworn into the Maryland Bar in December 1988. She joined the District of Columbia bar in 1990, and served a circuit court clerkship in 1988-1989 with the Harford County, Maryland, Administrative Judge before entering private practice.
Sylvia was a law firm associate in private practice, focusing on divorce and bankruptcy, for three years in Montgomery County. In July 1991, she joined the Maryland Office of the Public Defender's Child in Need of Assistance Division, the year the division was established. At the end of 2006, Sylvia was the Supervising Attorney of the Western Maryland Unit of the Division, located in Rockville, Maryland. Her office represented parents accused of abuse and neglect in five counties. The office covered Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegheny and Garrett Counties. Besides supervising the other attorneys and staff, Sylvia personally carried a heavy caseload. A number of her office’s appeals over the years resulted in reported opinions that were regularly cited in her area of the law.
In August 1988, Sylvia married Lloyd Batzler. Sylvia and Lloyd had met at a press conference in the Mayor's office in Frederick, Maryland, in September 1983 when they worked as reporters for competing newspapers. Lloyd had been born on October 4, 1958. He majored in journalism at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. He was later a radio reporter and anchor at WFMD-AM and WFRE-FM stations in Frederick and news director at Z-104-FM. He was also a reporter at WASH-FM in Washington, D. C.
About 1996, Lloyd joined the staff of the Montgomery County, Maryland, Gazette to start the business and technology section of the Friday newspaper. He then transferred to Tech Media, where he was a magazine and Internet editor for our years. In 2004, he returned to the Gazette, working as editor of the Gaithersburg-Montgomery Village edition and authoring most of the county and statewide editorials and overseeing development of the Gazette on-line operations.
In 2006, Lloyd was named Managing Editor of Post-Newsweek Media Community Newspapers, which publishes the Gazette newspapers. The announcement said that Lloyd was a proven journalist and editor who always looked for ways to improve the organization and its service to readers. Although the announcement said that Lloyd would report directly to the Executive Editor, the individual holding that position left shortly afterward, and Lloyd became the top newsman for the entire newspaper group.
Lloyd’s parents came from a community of assimilated German immigrants on the west side of Baltimore City. His mother, Evelyn Greisz Batzler had been born in Baltimore on August 8, 1923, and was a homemaker. She and her husband had been married for 60 years in June 2006. She obtained her B.A. degree from Hood College after her children were grown.
Lloyd's father, Louis Richard Batzler, was a United Church of Christ minister. In 2006, at age 84, he was still active as an interim minister, performing weddings and funerals, and doing emergency counseling work on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, at hospitals near their home in Kill Devil Hills. Lloyd’s father had been born on September 27, 1922, and had a B.A. degree from Franklin and Marshall College, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as well as a degree from Loyola, an M.A. and Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University, and a Bachelor's of Divinity degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary. By 2007, he had had written eight books and many articles, and was contemplating writing another book.
Sylvia and Lloyd lived in Rockville, Maryland, and had two children:
(1) Richard John Batzler was born on August 19, 1992, at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland. In late 2009, he was a senior Pre-International Baccalaureate student at Rockville High School in Rockville, Maryland.
(2) Katherine Denier Batzler was born on September 12, 1997, in Silver Spring, Maryland. She attended Flower Valley Elementary School in Rockville.
Rachel Louise Long Misey (1924-2004)
Rachel Louise Long, the fourth child of Odie and Clarence Long, was born at the Long home on East Tenth Street in Tulsa on February 4, 1924, in Tulsa.
The Young Rachel. Several months before her birth, Clarence was telling friends that the new baby was to be named Rachel Louise. It is not known how in 1924 the gender of this child had been determined, and it was later speculated that this was just “positive thinking.”
“So much has happened,” Clarence wrote four days after her birth, “that I hardly know where to begin. Odie and Rachel Louise are well and happy, and I really believe that this little body is going to live off its mother instead of a bottle. This baby has the loveliest looks of any little baby we have had unless it was fat Johnny. The doctor had to spank her in a lively fashion to get her crying properly.”
Years later, Odie explained how Rachel was named. When Odie went to New York state, she became friends with members of a Dixon family. They lived in West Bloomfield, New York, “tiny village in a beautiful countryside not far from the Finger Lakes. There were four Dixon children all near my age: George, Louise, Rachel, Walter. That is where Rachel Louise got her name: Rachel Louise.”
In fact, while the three boys were known by their names in Clarence’s letters, Rachel was almost always described as “sister.” Clarence was very proud of her, constantly remarking on her good looks and her cleverness.
When she was only two, in May 1926, Clarence wrote that “Sis is taking charge of the family now.”
She gives everybody orders and never cries except when she can’t have more strawberries than are good for her. Yesterday noon, I heard her through the telephone ordering her mother to let Johnny in. She was in the bathtub, and Johnny had shaken the locked back screen, and she knew what the sound was and who was in the backyard. . . . She never comes into the house without saying on the way “Here comes Rachel Louise Long” or “Here comes Sissie Long.”
In March 1928, when Rachel was four years old, she was learning to write. “She can make about all the letters now,” Clarence wrote, “and looking over her mother’s shoulder the other evening at the rapid scratching, she observed gravely, ‘You didn’t cross that T and the R runs down the hill. I think you have better rub all that out and start over again.’”
She is fat and her cheeks stick out in red balls, and her hair is as fair as ever, and her skin is a soft as rose leaves. She never was so well and so happy and so energetic (and so hard to manage) in her life. She is good, though, in spite of the sometimes torrid language she has learned from the crowd of boys that spend their spare time “at the Longs.” If she sees that she is not going to win her point in spite of all fervid declarations, she will give in most gracefully and smile at you.
“We had to get rid of Galapagos, Rachel’s green turtle,” Clarence wrote in the spring of 1934, “because he was eating fish at an alarming rate, so all we have in the pool are goldfish and one tiny frog who sits all day on a lily pad.” Rachel apparently continued her fascination with turtles, because late in her life she had a number of pet turtles – Darius, Thomas, Edgar Allen, Timothy and Roxie – in her back yard in Bethesda, Maryland, and she regularly cut up food for them.
In June 1934, when Rachel was ten, Clarence wrote that she was involved in “one of those typical Oklahoma stunts – 110 pianos playing together in a concert at the coliseum. I don’t know whether it will sound like anything or not, but Rachel is playing in it, so we are going to hear her. She has a new pink net dress to be worn over a white slip that Mrs. Byrne made for her, and she looks so lovely in it that I think we will have her picture taken. Afterward, he wrote to Mary Jane Vallance: “You asked if Rachel was as beautiful as the picture. The photographer did well but he couldn’t show that peaches and cream complexion. She really is more beautiful than the picture, and I greatly fear we are going to have one H of a time because of it.”
When she was eleven and a half, Rachel went by herself to visit the McLaughlins. “Rachel came home rather thin,” Clarence wrote in September 1935, “after having a gorgeous time in West Virginia. In fact, she had too gorgeous a time, in my opinion. Odie was right when she said in the beginning that Gertrude did not know how to take care of children. . . . Apparently Rachel never went to bed before midnight, went to all the picture shows, drank “cokes,” ran around with the boys in their dilapidated Chevrolet and ate a very unscientific diet.”
Rachel was only 11 when her father died in 1935. She finished high school in Tulsa and then attended the University of Tulsa from 1941 to 1943. She received a bachelor's degree in history from West Virginia University in 1945 and a bachelor's degree in library science from Columbia University in 1946.
Meeting Edward Misey. While attending Columbia, she met Edward Gabriel Misey, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and on April 5, 1947, they were married in the Rectory of Notre Dame Church, 405 West 114th Street, New York City. Edward had been born on October 1, 1918, in Milwaukee, one of eight children of John Miscy (1888-1978) and Pauline Catharine Fojut (1890-1971). He was an attorney with the Department of State. See more on the Misey family here.
Rachel and Edward moved to the Washington area in June 1947 and lived there for the next 53 years. The family lived first in the District of Columbia, then for 26 years in the Drumaldry section of Bethesda, Maryland. They moved to Rockville in December 1999. They also lived in Geneva, Switzerland, and Manila, the Philippines, while Edward was on assignments for the Department of State.
For about 15 years after their move to Washington, Rachel was employed as a children's librarian in the District of Columbia Public Library system in a number of libraries, including the Anacostia branch and the Central Library. After the birth of her daughter, Johanna, she volunteered part time in school libraries in the District and Montgomery County.
Rachel also was an avid reader and a dog enthusiast who showed her Australian terrier in local competitions. She and Edward also were active members of square dance clubs in the Washington area. Rachel also did extensive research into the various branches of her family tree, and that research is reflected in this report.
Rachel's Death. Rachel died of a stroke on January 3, 2004, at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, at the age of 79. She died just 11 months before the death of her brother John Long. A memorial service was held for her at the University Club of Washington, D. C., on March 20, 2004. Rachel’s daughter Johanna, other relatives and friends spoke about her life. In May of 2007, her ashes were buried at Rose Hill Memorial Park in Tulsa, in the grave of her parents, Clarence and Odie Long. Given that there had been no marker there previously Johanna arranged for a new marker noting the lives of Clarence, Odie and Rachel. After Rachel died, Edward remained living in an apartment in Rockville, Maryland, and in October of 2006, he moved to the Riderwood Retirement Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. He died there on July 22, 2009, at the age of 90.
Rachel and Edward Misey had one child:
A. Johanna Louise Misey was born on November 23, 1961, in Washington, D. C. She graduated in 1979 from Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland, and, in 1983, from Carleton College, in Northfield, Minnesota. She worked for about 20 years as membership manager for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA). At the end of 2004, she left NASAA in order to spend more time with her father and to begin a consultant business, JMB Arts Management. Her web site is http://www.jmb-arts.com/.
On April 4, 1992, Johanna married Neil Arthur Boyer in a small ceremony at the Henley Park Hotel in Washington. The ceremony was followed by a reception at the home of Johanna's parents in Bethesda, Maryland. For a wedding ring, Johanna used the wedding ring of her great-grandmother, Jennie McClurg McLaughlin. Also in April 1992, Neil and Johanna bought a house in Silver Spring, Maryland, from which both commuted to work on the Washington Metro.
Neil had been born on April 22, 1938, in Easton, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1959 and from New York University School of Law in 1962. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia from 1962 to 1964 and worked for the Bureau of International Organization Affairs of the Department of State for almost 40 years. He retired in 2003, and in his retirement did genealogical research and published many of the results, including this report, on the internet.
Neil had two children from a previous marriage: Sabrina Nicole Boyer was born on August 23, 1979, and married Matthew Foster on July 10, 2004. They lived in Charlottesville, Virginia. Gary Steven Boyer was born on November 6, 1983. In 2009, he was working with Americorps in Asheville, North Carolina.
For more on Johanna and Neil, go here.
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Clarence Ray Long
Children of Clarence and Odie Long
William George Long
Samuel W. Long
Samuel Parker Long
Parkers and Vanderfords
Miscy / Misey Family of Milwaukee
Neil Boyer's Family History Page
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