Rick Wells, News On 6
CLEVELAND, Oklahoma -- Back in the early days of KOTV, in the spring of 1950, we held a contest for Mother of the Year. Marguerite Dennison was the winner, and when one of her children contacted us and told us she was still living up in Cleveland, Rick Wells thought he ought to meet her.
KOTV went on the air in November of 1949. We were Tulsa's first television station and perhaps the first contest was one for Mother of the year in the spring of 1950.
"Shoot we ought to write in for our mamma 'cause she did a lot of things," Charlene Ready recalled thinking.
Included in what they wrote was that their mom worked nights in Tulsa and didn't get home until after midnight.
"When she gets home she get our brothers and sisters clothes ready for school the next morning when she gets up in the morning she fixes four lunches and helps fix breakfast; for these reasons we think our mother should be television mother," Charlene read from the note. "And we signed it Charlene and Mary Dennison."
She won, but when the station called to notify her she didn't believe them.
"You won the mother's day contest, I didn't enter a contest," Marguerite recalled. "Well your children did; you won and you have to be on TV."
There were prizes: a vacuum cleaner and some other stuff she can't remember. That was the first and last time she was on TV, until now. The Tulsa World published a small article about her; she was pretty famous and the head of a big family.
"I had 4 children, I had 16 grand children, 42 great grandchildren, 42 great-great grandchildren so I've got a big family," she said.
If you add all that up, it's more than 100. For them, she was mother of the year in 1950 and every year since.
Marguerite Dennison is 95 years old. Her 96th birthday is May 2nd.