McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

July 7, 2007

Scipio couple becomes grandparents for the first time on the Fourth of July, not only once but twice in the same day

By Doug Russell

Sometimes holidays are just kind of, well routine. Sometimes they’re not.

And sometimes they’re just really special or, as in the case of Regina and Bobby Powell’s Fourth of July, really, really special.

“We had our first and second grandbabies on July 4,” Regina said. “It was kind of a shock, but it really made for a great holiday.”

With a daughter and soon-to-be daughter-in-law both expecting babies — one boy and one girl — sometime in July, the Powells were expecting to have a busy month.

“I’ve already bought out the stores,” Regina said. “We kind of gave the girls a hard time and said if the doctors were wrong, they might have to trade the babies’ clothes.”

The holiday actually started on Tuesday evening, when the Powell’s daughter, Jessica Cook, left the Scipio home which she and her fiance, Cody Ketchum, share with her parents and went to McAlester Regional Health Center. Jessica wasn’t due to have her baby until July 18, but babies aren’t known to adhere to a strict time schedule.

Instead of waiting until his mother’s due date, Nicholas Royce Ketchum was born at 5:07 a.m.

He weighed in at 8 pounds 3 ounces and was 19 3/4 inches long.

“It made my day,” Regina Powell said, “but then the day got better.”

Her son, Christopher, and his fiance, Crystal Creekmore, were also expecting a baby — a little girl with a Wednesday due date. “They really didn’t think it would come until later in the week or early next week,” Powell said.

“They” were wrong.

At 1:07 p.m., exactly seven hours after Powell’s first grandbaby was born, Crystal gave birth to Christina Sunshine Cook.

As an added twist, Christina weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces and was 20 3/4 inches long.

“To have two grandbabies born exactly seven hours apart, who weighed exactly the same and with only an inch difference in length — that’s just amazing,” Powell said. “We’re so happy we could just bust.”

How happy are the new grandparents? Well, Bobby doesn’t usually like getting his picture taken and avoids the camera whenever possible. But “We’ve already got pictures of him holding the babies,” Regina said. “That says something right there.”

Both mothers and their newborns were released from the hospital Thursday.

Contact Doug Russell at