I was born late in life to my parents, so many of the stories I heard growing up where the same depression era stories my friends grandparents told. Even as a child I was fascinated by the toughness of parents generation; first they struggled through the dustbowl of the 30’s, only to fight a world war in the 40’s. So when I had the chance to sit down with 89 year old Jack Givens I jumped at the chance to talk about his life.
Born outside of Mangum, Givens remembers the black blizzards of the dustbowl that blotted out the sun. His college days at Oklahoma A&M where interrupted by Pearl Harbor. In ROTC, given was off to officer candidate school, only to find himself on the beaches of Normandy in June of 1944. Givens likes to say he walked and crawled across Europe dodging bullets. What he is reluctant to tell you in doing so he earned 3 purple hearts and a bronze star.
After the war Givens found his way back home to run a family farm. His operations grew and so did his success. So much he was inducted into Oklahoma’s Ag Hall of Fame by Governor Fallin.
At 89 his mind is sharp and health remarkable. While we were shooting our story with him, I had to ask to ask him to slow down when we were doing our “walking” shots because he kept speeding out of frame.
In this week’s video blog I want to give you just a glimpse into a life I believe is well lived.