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The Valentine Birthday Boy - Owen Lee Martin

Updated on June 24, 2017
Gail and Clyde Martin with their son, Owen.
Gail and Clyde Martin with their son, Owen. | Source

My Brother Was Born on Valentine's Day

Owen Lee Martin was born in Emporia, Kansas on February 14, 1946. For Gail Lee (McGhee) and Clyde Owen Martin, Owen was their first child. Eventually Owen would have five sisters (Susan, Virginia, Cynthia, Karen and Shannon).

Notice that Owen's name was a clever combination of my mom and dad's middle names. Of course, they doted on their Valentine's Day baby.

If you know Owen, you'll enjoy the photos showing different stages in his life. If you don't know him, I think you'll find him an interesting guy.

Source

Graphic on a Zazzle t-shirt: Baby Valentine Red Heart by valentinesday

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Owen Lee Martin.... Little Boy - Click on each photo to see it larger and to read the captions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I have no idea why Owen, Susan and Mom were posing in a wheelbarrow for this picture.Owen and Susan with Aunt Carol McGhee.Owen in his cowboy outfit. There was an old saddle on the fence railing at his grandparents. He liked to play on it, but it tipped off one day, falling on him and he broke his arm.Owen and his sister Susan. Probably 2nd grade for him and first grade for her at Madison, Kansas.Owen and Susan MartinOwen with four of his sistersOwen, Susan and Ginger MartinOwen learning about Indians in Oklahoma
I have no idea why Owen, Susan and Mom were posing in a wheelbarrow for this picture.
I have no idea why Owen, Susan and Mom were posing in a wheelbarrow for this picture.
Owen and Susan with Aunt Carol McGhee.
Owen and Susan with Aunt Carol McGhee.
Owen in his cowboy outfit. There was an old saddle on the fence railing at his grandparents. He liked to play on it, but it tipped off one day, falling on him and he broke his arm.
Owen in his cowboy outfit. There was an old saddle on the fence railing at his grandparents. He liked to play on it, but it tipped off one day, falling on him and he broke his arm.
Owen and his sister Susan. Probably 2nd grade for him and first grade for her at Madison, Kansas.
Owen and his sister Susan. Probably 2nd grade for him and first grade for her at Madison, Kansas.
Owen and Susan Martin
Owen and Susan Martin
Owen with four of his sisters
Owen with four of his sisters
Owen, Susan and Ginger Martin
Owen, Susan and Ginger Martin
Owen learning about Indians in Oklahoma
Owen learning about Indians in Oklahoma
Owen Martin with his fellow boy scouts (and his sisters).
Owen Martin with his fellow boy scouts (and his sisters). | Source

Owen Martin... the Scout

Owen did the usual boy activities like cub scouts. Mom was the den mother and planned activities for them like making animal head slides out of plaster of paris to pull their yellow scout kerchiefs through. There were bear heads and wolf heads.

At Christmas time, they painted nativity set figurines made of plaster of paris. The camels were a problem with their long skinny necks. I remember Mom putting a toothpick in the neck of the camel molds to try to strengthen them. Another time, the boy scouts took a train trip. The sisters got to go along for the experience.

Source

Graphic available from Zazzle: Cub Scouts Logo Mousepad by boyscouts

Owen Martin and a friend in Germany
Owen Martin and a friend in Germany

I've written a series of tributes to the men in my family who served in the military. The earlier articles honored Civil War and World War One veterans. The one featured here is more recent.

He is my older brother and he left college to enlist in the army during the time of the Vietnam War. Many of his friends were drafted but the thinking was that by enlisting he would have more choice of how he would serve.

Fortunately he ended up spending much of his enlistment in Germany where he was safe from the horrors that soldiers experienced in Vietnam. It was a happy day in our family when his four years ended and he returned to Kansas and to college.

When he first went into the U.S. Army, he trained at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri. This photo shows Owen with a friend in Germany where he was stationed during the Vietnam War. We all felt so relieved that he wasn't sent to Nam.

Here's Owen Martin in the Army

If you know Owen, even just very casually, send him a card to brighten his day.

His address is:

Owen Martin

Wheat State Manor

601 S. Main

Whitewater, KS 67154

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Owen Martin....Master Carpenter

After being in the service during the Vietnam War era, Owen returned to college. His major was engineering, but he thought about switching to teaching. He ended up not completing the degree and took a drafting job. Later he decided he wanted a hands-on kind of job and took up carpentry.

He built many custom cabinets for luxurious kitchens in the El Dorado area. This picture shows the gazebo he built in a park in El Dorado. You can see his carpentry in the lobby of the Susan B. Anthony Hospital in El Dorado and in J. Bryan's Pub in El Dorado.

Owen Made Trunks for All of His Sisters One Christmas

Owen Made Trunks for All of His Sisters One Christmas
Owen Made Trunks for All of His Sisters One Christmas

Owen the Woodworker

My brother, Owen, loved working with wood. At Christmas, it was a great treat to see what he had made that year. Once it was a wonderful walnut frame for a large mirror. That looks great on the wall. Another time he made wooden frames for hand mirrors.

The time he really outdid himself was the Christmas with the small humpbacked trunks. I can't imagine how he found the time after his full day's work as a carpenter. Somehow he did and his gift was a big hit.

Making a trunk doesn't seem like that big of a deal until you take into consideration that Owen had 5 sisters and our mom on his gift list. That year, he also made handcrafted wooden gifts for some of his nieces as well.

Do you have a woodworker in your family? I hope so.

Owen .... the Reader - He's a John McDonald Fan, Particularly the Travis McGee Stories

I've never read any Travis McGee mysteries but my brother is a fan and so were Mom and Dad.

Owen reading the newspaper.
Owen reading the newspaper. | Source

Another Favorite Author of Owen's Is Dick Francis

If you are a fan of horse racing and of mysteries, then these are the books for you. Owen sure enjoys them.

Owen Martin with His Essex That He Fixed Up

Owen Martin with His Essex That He Fixed Up
Owen Martin with His Essex That He Fixed Up

Owen Martin ... Car Buff - Click on any photo to see it larger & to read the caption

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Owen heading to the Osborne Rod Run a few years ago.Clyde and Gail Martin with Owen's forty Ford roadster.Owen's car at the Starbird Show in WichitaOwen's yellow 1927 Essex and his dad's 1928 Model A FordOwen and old car
Owen heading to the Osborne Rod Run a few years ago.
Owen heading to the Osborne Rod Run a few years ago.
Clyde and Gail Martin with Owen's forty Ford roadster.
Clyde and Gail Martin with Owen's forty Ford roadster.
Owen's car at the Starbird Show in Wichita
Owen's car at the Starbird Show in Wichita
Owen's yellow 1927 Essex and his dad's 1928 Model A Ford
Owen's yellow 1927 Essex and his dad's 1928 Model A Ford
Owen and old car
Owen and old car

Owen's Favorite Magazines

Looking for a birthday present for Owen? A subscription to one of these will brighten his day when it shows up in the mail each month. He keeps a stack of old ones on his bookshelf to look through, but eventually they wear out/fall apart. It's easy to order them through Amazon.

Hot Rod
Hot Rod

This has all the news and photos of great hot rods. It's a classic of car info for those who restore and change old cars into hot rods like my brother loved to do.

 

Owen Martin.....Stroke Survivor

Several years ago, Owen had heart surgery in Wichita, followed by an episode of cardiac arrest at his parent's, after which he had a defibrillator implanted to prevent it from happening again. He survived that and following lots of rehab, was able to return to work. Then he suffered a stroke at his home in El Dorado.

Since then, he has put a lot of effort into regaining the ability to walk. Mostly he has to use a wheelchair, but can walk a short distance with some difficulty. The paralysis is on his left side. He now lives at Wheat State Manor in Whitewater, Kansas.

Owen Martin - October 2009 (at his mother's book signing party)

Owen Martin - October 2009 (at his mother's book signing party)
Owen Martin - October 2009 (at his mother's book signing party)

Owen's Favorite Music

He loves Margaritaville. Here are some Jimmy Buffet albums that he enjoys listening to.

Source

Visiting Time with Owen

Owen is usually in El Dorado on Tuesday evenings. His sister, Susan, picks him up from Whitewater and they come back to El Dorado for supper, usually at True Lies or wherever the car club is eating that evening. He really enjoys it when friends can join them to visit during that time.

Just call Susan Leigh to check the time and location, so you can meet with them.

You can also catch him free-wheeling in his motorized wheelchair at some of the car shows around Kansas.

Owen's Photo Gallery - Click to enlarge any photo of Owen Martin

The Many Faces of Owen Martin

It was fun bringing out all the vintage photos and to see all the changes in hair styles over the years. As you can see, sometimes he wore a mustache, sometimes a beard and sometimes neither.

Here's a challenge for you: Can you put the photos in order by age? Which is the youngest and which is the most recent?

Do You Know Owen Martin?

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    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      I have not had the privilege, but you've done a lovely tribute to him here. Reading his history and seeing the photographs, I feel almost as if he were the boy next door.

    • Onemargaret LM profile image

      Onemargaret LM 4 years ago

      Nice lens!

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      @mouse1996 lm: He's a great example of living a life doing the things you love. He still attends car shows using a mobility scooter. My sister picks him up from the nursing home and they go to car shows all over central Kansas.

    • profile image

      mouse1996 lm 5 years ago

      Owen has had an amazing life. He must reflect fondly back on his years. I hope to have had such an exciting light when I reach his age. The chests he made his sister for Christmas were just amazing, and I'm sure they loved them and are still cherished.

    • FantasticVoyages profile image

      Fantastic Voyages 5 years ago from Texas

      This is a wonderful tribute to your brother, Owen. I like that you have included his address, as I know that those in nursing homes don't get much news. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      What a great tribute to Owen! Love the captions on the cowboy outfit picture! Sister Susan in the picture with the two of them reminds me a WHOLE lot of myself at that age.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 5 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Belated Happy Birthday to your brother, Owen.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      @anonymous: Great to hear from you, Rick. I know you've been a good friend of Owen since way back. I've recently reconnected with your sister on Facebook.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Omar was instrumental in starting the "El Dorado Area Street Rods" club. It apparently was renamed El Dorodders. He helped a lot of folks get their street rods built. He never hesitated to help anyone, including me.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      @Nancy Hardin: He looks forward to the mail delivery every day, so if you mention that you know me, that will give him a point of reference. How nice of you to think of it.

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      Wonderful tribute to your Valentine brother.

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      Wonderful tribute to your Valentine brother.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      What a wonderful tribute to your brother Owen. I may just send him a card, even though he doesn't know me. Do you think that would be okay...just to say hello and that I know his sister, Virginia? I have a niece born on Valentine's Day also, she lives in Vermont.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      @heytoto: Thanks, Karen, I checked with Carol. She says the captions are correct. The two do look a lot alike at that age for sure.

    • heytoto profile image

      Karen Kolavalli 7 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      Ginger, that may be Aunt Carol in the wheel barrow photo (rather than Mom)...take another look and see what you think. Karen