The Pam McKissick Kaleidoscope
Every individual is a fascinating kaleidoscope of images and experiences which are each original, blending every experience, family influence, learning and personal genetics.
My grandparents had 3 children, my father, Williams McKissick Jr., was the middle child. Dad went off to Missouri Military School at a very young age. Graduated and joined the army.
(Photo #7). Caption: Pam’s father is his early teens at Missouri Military Academy.
(Photo #38). Caption: Pam’s father was an officer in the United States Army stationed in Germany during WWII
Before Dad died, I asked him to dictate his military career. He said the following:
In 1946, I was a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. I was commissioned in the Regular Army but in the Reserve because of Military School. I graduated from Missouri Military Academy as Battalion Adjutant at age 16, responsible for all the details of the Battalion.
I was a parachute officer-airborne, trained at Fort Benning, Georgia in OCS and Parachute School. I was sent to the 9th Division, 160th Infantry Regiment F Company of the 2nd Battalion. My Regimental Commander was Williams S. Westmoreland who was a full colonel at age 29. My real “boss” was the equivalent of a Brigadier General in Munich. I was Provost Marshall at Dachau. There were 33,000 people in cages…displaced persons, Wehrmacht or regular German Army, SS Troops…it was a high security section. Most of them were tried at Dachau in war crimes trails and sentenced to Landesberg and hung. I had “The Bitch of Belsen” (Ilsa Koch) whose son was given a rifle for his 12th birthday and fifty prisoners to shoot. When she found a tattoo she liked, she’d kill them and make gloves of their skins. She was mistress of the camp commander. I had Sepp Dietrich (General of the SS.) who during the Battle of the Bulge commanded the 6th Army Corps. from the Russian Front. I was in charge of “warehousing them.”
I had a stable at Dachau and I was the Stable Officer over seven or eight horses and three Olympic raiders who were instructors. We had a Dressage Instructor, Jump Instructor and Hand-and-Seat Instructor. I was Company Commander of F Company and Post Investigative Officer. Westmoreland wanted me to stay in the army.
In 1950 I was asked to go back in as Captain and promised I would be a Major in 18 months. Judd Miller who asked me to stay retired as Major General. William Harper McKissick Jr. dictated 1997.
(Photo #12). Caption: Pam’s dad with one of their palominos.
Dad always regretted not staying in the military, but he focused on our palomino horses and working in the oil business. He was always studying the geology of a drilling site, or pitching investors on partnering with him.
(Photos #13 & 14). Caption: Pam’s dad in his late 60s still drilling for oil. This time on their own ranch.
Dad was a big dreamer, big cusser, big drinker, although he stopped drinking when I was in high school and devoted the majority of his time to helping alcoholics through A Journey Called Recovery; a program he designed. It wasn’t unusual to find him making coffee in the kitchen at 3am for some stranger trying to sober up in our living room. He was educated and article and could be hilariously funny. He adored my mom, AND because he could dance, sing and make women laugh, to my mother’s consternation, the ladies loved him.
My mom, Louise, was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. Her dad worked at the bakery and later her family would own and operate several shops in the neighboring towns. Of the four children, she was the child chosen to care for her dying mother through a long illness. When her mother passed away, mom ran away and joined the Army where she met my dad. She worked in the camp kitchen and, preoccupied with thoughts of my dad, left dozens of meringue pies in the oven while she went off to do her hair! A massive meringue fire ensued and Technician Fifth Grade Women’s Army Corp Louise was re-assigned away from kitchen duty.For his part, my young father (Lt.) was busted, losing a stripe for going “over the wall” to see my mother. They had a military wedding June 3rd at Fort Benning, Georgia. It was supposed to be June 2nd but my dad missed his train and the wedding, leaving my mother literally standing before the altar. She forgave him and they were married the next day before my father was sent oversees as a WWII paratrooper.
(Photo #8). Caption: Pam’s mom and dad at their wedding at Fort Benning.
(Photo #9). Caption: A Tulsa newspaper photo of Pam’s mom in her uniform announcing the marriage of the female Corporal to the young male Lieutenant.
I was their first born. I arrived March 8th, politely nine months and five days after the wedding. (Because in those days everybody counted.) For four years, I was their only child and got the benefit of full military training regarding manners, organization, timeliness and tactics.
When I was only three, mother, who knew nothing about horses, took me to a pony farm, sat me up in the saddle, handed me the reins, and gave the startled horse a loud slap on the butt. The horse took off; my father trailing behind yelling at my mother that she was going to get me killed, as mother insisted I would be fine. There seemed to be a theme among the women in the family that continually placed me around horses.
(Photo #11). Caption: Pam with her mother. This is the way Pam’s mother would look when Pam complained, and she’d say, “Well, little darlin’ what are you going to do about it…because you must go up, up, up!”
Mom was a 98 pound, five foot three inch fireball with a progressive way of looking at life that was far ahead of her time. She once played her young Boy Scout troop a recording from Africa involving the “dance of the circumcision.” One mother in particular shouted, “You’ve given my son nightmares!” Mother hung up irritated, “What’s wrong with that woman! Doesn’t she want him to learn anything about the world?”
People automatically loved mom because she cared. And her hot button was justice. As a little kid, I remember her marching me to the back of a segregated bus, and plopping me down next to surprised African American passengers. When I asked why all the white people were up front and the black people were in the back, she replied loudly, “Because very stupid white people put the black people there.” I remember being terrified when she drove me through North Tulsa where a smoldering cross was on a front lawn and she told me stories about the Klan. And I remember when we stopped to eat at a diner on our way to our cabin in Minnesota, and the owner came over to our table and said the black woman traveling with us had to eat in the kitchen. My mother told us all to get up, saying loudly to everyone in the restaurant, that if “she” wasn’t allowed to eat at our table then we didn’t need to eat at his.
Mom spent 17 years selling for a specialty gift store where she knew customers and they always asked for her. She loved talking to people and she loved beautiful things. She was outspoken and iconoclastic. She wore high heels and watched her weight until she died at 84. She was a champion of children and animals and the elderly. Mom loved books and read incessantly. She loved taking pictures of clouds. She loved Native American prayers and African American spiritual music. She also loved throwing parties and wanted life to be one. Most of all she loved music and dancing. Dad often said of heaven, “If there isn’t singing and dancing, your mother’s not going.”
My parents had five children. My sister Karen died at birth. My brother Greg died in his early 40s. He had an IQ so high it was debilitating. He was the kind of guy who could become fluent in a foreign language while en route to the country, and by the time the plane landed speak it well enough to land a teaching job at their University. He was highly religious and spent time in a Kibbutz in Israel.
(Photo #15).Caption: Pam and her brothers.
(Photo #18).Caption: Pam’s brother Greg with his someone removed. If one of the kids stopped dating someone, Pam’s mother immediately got the scissors out and cut the offending “ex” out of every single photo.
My brother Bill is a recluse and a flower child, a gentle soul with an off-beat sense of humor. He wore his hair in a long ponytail, mystical jewelry on his arm and had a mellow way of looking at the world.
My sister, DC, was the baby…funny, talented and pretty. She was in the ad business, then radio for years, and then she was a Channel 8 KTUL TV reporter and anchor. She now works for our company as head of Distinctive, International and Charitable Trust sales. She has our mother’s sales genes, able to make people love her because she really cares about them and wants to help them; and she has our dad’s quick wit and outrageous sense of humor.
(Photo #19).Caption: DC in an ad for Tulsa’s Top Morning Team.
(Photo #29).Caption: When Pam went to work at the Disney Studios she decided to change her look. She wore Laise Adzer because her dramatic clothes looked like dresses but were actually pants.
Cheryl and I moved to LA and started a production company where, for eight years, we developed and wrote movies of the week and theatricals which we optioned to independent film companies and television networks. We worked with Chuck Fries, at CBS with Carol Burnett and Marcia Brandywynne, with producer Cheryl Abood, Columbia with Christina, and MGM on NFL animation. When both of our dads developed cancer, we were spending most of our time traveling back to Tulsa to see them. We decided to move home.
Tulsa was challenging. After months of trying to find any kind of work, I finally joined United Video Satellite Group, which quickly became TV Guide. I was named President of the TV Guide Television Group. We bought a small home and finally bought a larger home in Southern Hills.
(Article).Title: Local Film Duo Putting LA Experience to Work
(Photo #37).Caption: Pam and Dean at the office celebration of Pam’s new book, Auction Your Home? Absolutely. An Inside Guide to Real Estate Auction.
(Photo #50).Caption: Pam getting ready to attend the 2012 Women Count in Oklahoma Politics
While careers always sound glowing on paper, a very tough personal or financial crisis between each success necessitates reinvention for survival. The ability to reinvent myself and to teach others to do the same as been the hallmark of what continues to be an exciting career.
My Most Significant Professional Accomplishment:
My most significant professional achievement is the reinvention of the way auction business is conducted via Auction Network, a company I conceived of and created with the financial support of my business partner, Dean Williams, and a dedicated senior staff. Auction Network is a live, interactive, bidding network that allows people from around the world to bid in real time with people who are attending the auction live on the lawn.
The Auction Network streams live at www.auctionnetwork.com. Sister company Williams & Williams Auction sells hundreds of properties each month all across the US through our auction teams that travel to those locations. Now each of those auctions is carried live and accepts live bidding through Auction Network.
The auction world didn’t readily accept the idea that something as valuable and important as real estate could be sold remotely and interactively. The Auction Network has helped change that perception. To date, people from over 200 countries and territories have participated in our auctions. The network has raised the high bid across the board on all of our sales by an average of nine to eleven percent. Twenty-two percent of our high bidders win through Auction Network on properties ranging from fifty thousand to well over two million dollars.