A Ringing in the Night

Seventy-five years ago, the phone rang.

In the middle of the night, September 20th, 1941, the phone rang at the Bivans’ residence in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping ‘cross the plains.

Sprawled around that phone, on a bed, on chairs, and on the floor, were six females: Elizabeth, Dot, Ruth, Florence, Violet, and Grace. They ranged in ages from 8 years old (Grace) to 18 (Liz). Some were asleep, others awake, waiting for the fateful call in the dead of night.

They were sisters, the children of John and Willie Bivans, and they were waiting for a call from their father, who was himself waiting for news from the delivery room at the local hospital.

What would it be?: another sister? or that illusive being, known as a brother?

Six girls in a row. No boys. The clock on the wall ticked away the minutes.

Then the phone rang. One of them answered, “Hello!?”

The phone hit the floor, and the room erupted, “IT’S A BOY! IT’S A BOY!”

The girls ran around and around and around, jumping on the bed, over chairs, knocking over furniture, “IT’S A BOY!”

For on that night, a boy was born: Samuel John Bivans. My dad.

And what a dad he is, and a grandfather, and great-grandfather. There’s never been a better one, and never will be.

Happy 3/4 of a century, dad. I love you, and we all love you!