Follow MSG


On The Bricks Archives

Monthly Archives: May 2014

May 29, 2014

I have been slammed at work recently. Either I have become less efficient, more important, or I’ve recently traveled from my happy little fantasy land to reality. My bet is on the last option.

There are some excellent projects we’ve been working on here at the Main Street Guymon office. Fund raising efforts are at an all – time high.

Mark June 30 for the Main Street Taco Dinner and Bingo Evening at the No Man’s Land Center at 5:30 pm. The tacos are served at 5:30 and Bingo begins at 6:30. The cost for a taco plate (that includes homemade salsa) is $7 and the cost for a bingo card is $1 per game. The prizes for the bingo winners is half of the pot collected. Sometimes that is paid in cash and sometimes it is paid in Main Bucks, which can be spent at 30 different Main Street Guymon member businesses.

We’re asking for hamburger, homemade salsa, and dessert donations. Feeling helpful?

On July 21 is Main Streets first Wit and Wisdom Talk Series, another fund raiser for our Main Street programs. John Board is going to give the talk and the dinner is catered by Virgil Gibson. It is $20 a person and it all happens at Pioneer Hall (next to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church) at 1803 N Lelia. This begins at 5:30 pm.

Working on these makes me recall, “The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off due to budget cuts.” How sad. Support our Main Street fund raisers so our light isn’t turned off!

In OKC next week there are a couple of us attending a meeting about the Museum on Main project that we applied and were chosen for. This is a project headed up by the Guymon Public Library and is going to be a blast. I’m hoping these meetings don’t follow the saying, “A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.”

If you work with youth in any way, you might consider attending the free Magical Mentoring Luncheon on June 12th in Guymon. Once again it is being held at Pioneer Hall, 1803 N Lelia, from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm. There are some great mentors coming in to mentor us mentors. To register, give a call to Melyn Johnson at 338-6246. It’s a start for some of us … those of us that come to mind when you read “She should go far. The sooner she starts, the better.”

Take a gander to the YMCA at 1602 N Oklahoma on June 26th from 5:00 – 6:00 pm and register for a chance to win $100 in Main Bucks. That’s $100 you can spend at any of 30 different Main Street Guymon member businesses. You might find yourself taking home some other goodies that encourage you to have a healthier lifestyle. I think I would be healthier with $100 in Main Bucks!

At a recent drawing by the OPSU Business Club, Mary Blagg won a basket of Main Street member items (gift cards, items, etc.) and $440 in Main Bucks. And Mary hadn’t even bought a ticket! I’ll tell you the secret. Sometimes if you really want to feel good, buy tickets for some drawing and write down names of people who help you out, who are there when you need a helping hand, a smile, or an encouraging word. I’m here to tell you, it feels great and you’re the only who knows you did it so it doesn’t even inflate your ego any, which goes to making you insufferable. THEN if one of them wins, it is like a warm and fuzzy all over. But sometimes you have to explain because the winner doesn’t see how they can win a drawing they didn’t buy a ticket for. And sometimes you tell about it in the newspaper and that inflates your ego. Am I insufferable yet? If not, I’ll just work on it a little more and we’ll be there.

We need to value other people’s efforts more.

We want to be valued and that doesn’t start until we do the same for others.

Send a card to someone that is deserving. Take some flowers by someone that makes you grin. Share your appreciation of something someone has done. Make the world a happier place.

Speaking of a happier place, I recently read some comments that would be great to use when you’re being asked to give a reference for someone you aren’t particularly impressed with. Try some of these on for size:

“She works well when under constant supervision and corned like a rat in a trap.”

“She slipped into the gene pool when the lifeguard wasn’t looking.”

“He hit rock bottom and started to dig.”


Go forth and be someone who gets a good reference.

See you on the bricks!

May 17, 2014

A little rain. It settles the dust. Reminds us that we need get a new windshield wiper. Cleans everything. Smells so good. And it will bring our spring wild flowers to bloom. What a wonderful gift for this Holy Week.

Holy Week. You know, some of our churches make up for not meeting on Wednesday all during the year with Lent and Holy Week. We tend to have something every day. But it is like the rain and reminds us of a wonderful gift that clean and settles. Hope you all have a Happy Easter. And if you don’t believe in Easter, I hope you enjoy the egg salad sandwiches.

Here’s a thought for those Easter Egg hunts with plastic eggs. Put a nickel or a penny in those eggs. It’s cheaper than candy! And they don’t usually rot the teeth.

So Easter is the new year for the church. It can be a new start for us too. What do we need to work on? What should we do differently?

I hope you’re thinking of ways you should prefer to work on, rather than ways you think I should work on. If you are … that’s the first think you need to work on. Quit judging. Look at yourself rather than others.

And we really should start treating others the way we want to be treated. Not the way you think they deserve. Just time to be respectful. I read one time that if we would treat our spouse and children like we do company, then there would be a lot fewer problems today. Ouch. That hits home, doesn’t it?

Betty Smith who wrote “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” said “Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first time or the last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”

It is a fact that not all of us can accomplish great things, but we can all accomplish small things that make a great difference. Kindness matters. Empathy matters. Patience matters. Being there matters.

Every day I have the chance to see someone who is making a great difference in some way. Last Tuesday was stellar in that department. Met with a group of ladies who are starting a mentor program for young girls. Their goal is to help these youngsters realize their self – worth. Remember, that we are all worth something. All of us. This is just beginning and it is going to be wonderful. I can’t help but know that each of these young mentors that gives two evenings a month to mentor is going to learn and be blessed even more than the girls they’re there for.

That’s how it works. When we give much, we are given much.

Then Tuesday evening I attended the meeting on the potential Community Health Center. For a fact, I know that Monica Ronne and Dianna Brown are seriously concerned about the entire community. They have those who do not have insurance at heart and want them to have a better life. Those who are on Medicare and Medicaid who have a hard time getting a primary care doctor or in to see the doctor are at their heart, too. They’re stepping out and helping others who need help. Whether you agree or disagree, they are giving of themselves and working hard for what they see as the better good.

And last Friday I had the honor of attending the Leadership Guymon Class of 2014 graduation, a program through the Guymon Chamber of Commerce. The class is made up of people who are taking their time to learn more about their community and they have a class project to do some renovating at the Oaks of Mamre. Go get ‘em, guys. I pray they take what they’ve learned and step out and make this community a better place to be.

Each of these folks has a boss, a business generally, that has ponied up and paid for them to attend and lets them take time off work to do it. I believe those businesses deserve the right to be noticed because those managers and owners are working hard and giving to the community, too. Here’s their list:

  • Bank of the Panhandle;
  • City of Guymon;
  • First Presbyterian Church;
  • High Plains BioEnergy;
  • Lumber Mart;
  • Oklahoma Panhandle Partners;
  • Oklahoma Panhandle State University;
  • PTCI;
  • Seaboard Foods;
  • St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church;
  • Texas County YMCA; and
  • Tri-County Electric.

There are certain businesses that always seem to step up. That actually read emails sent to them and respond back in a timely manner. The ones who seem to care. We have an opportunity to attend a leadership training class this week and the Chamber and Main Street Guymon members were invited to attend. Those who have employees signed up so far, are:

  • Bank of the Panhandle;
  • Main Street and Chamber volunteers;
  • Main Street Guymon Transformers;
  • PTCI; and
  • Seaboard.

There certainly is a pattern, isn’t there? Now, you have to admit, if you have more than one employee it is much easier to take part in such things! So there are some simple logistics that have to be considered. But rather than looking at who isn’t there, take a look at who is there and give them a thumbs up next time you see them!

Don’t forget the Free Dementia Education Seminar by the nationally acclaimed author of “Untangling Alzheimer’s.” It is Tues., April 29, from 9 am to 3 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1212 N. Crumley in Guymon. Please call Dorothy Countryman at 580-651-4645 if you are going and tell her if you want the $10 lunch from Hunny’s. It is going to be a blessed event.

The benefit run for Lynn Schaffer is April 19. Call the Fire Department for more information. Don’t call them on the 911 number, please. Shees.

It’s a good day and there are good people all around us. Try to blend in and be good, too.

Wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you.

See you on the bricks!

May 12, 2014

Last weekend the family and I went to the Guymon Community Theater presentation of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” My mom and stepfather from Boulder, Colo., even got to go with us. They loved it as much as I did. The cast was fabulous. They made me laugh. And I respect each and every one of them for their hard work in making such a thing happen. Way to go, guys!

I did notice in the program that many of the actors were in a production for the first time. I applaud them for stepping out and trying something new. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed watching you all!

Talking about doing something new … have you ever thought about hosting a high school foreign exchange student? Give Mary Ann Shaddy a call if that is something you might consider. My family hosted 18different students and loved most of them! It is certainly a way to travel the world without having to buy a ticket. The number to call is 580-651-1957. They’ll try hard not to get you a student that when you give him a penny for his thoughts, he gives you change.

Here’s something new that I learned when the Governor was here talking: 45% of the students going into college are having to take remedial classes. That is almost half of the students. And if you figure most of the bad students aren’t even enrolled in college, this is a bit frightening. My thought is that it is time for parents to stop making excuses for your kids. They need to do their homework … themselves. They need to go to class and be on time. They need to write their own essays. Hire a tutor if your kid is having trouble because it’s cheaper than paying for a year of remedial classes in college.

If you’re not willing to do their work for them when they get a job, buy their groceries and pay their rent when they get a family, then quit letting them get by when they’re younger. It isn’t helping them. Now, I don’t remember if the Governor was talking about Oklahomans or nationwide, but I don’t think it really matters. Even if the percentage is a bit exaggerated, it is still scary.

Wow. I need to step down off my soap box before I realize that I’m standing up there … I just hate heights! And this whole topic so fits the quote, “There’s an idiot somewhere deprived of a village.”

At the recent Dementia Education Seminar that the Main Street Dementia Support Group sponsored, having author Tam Cummings in Guymon to speak, she spoke some words that have really stuck with me. Tam asked the group what Dignity of Life was. The group was quiet and then several people gave their thoughts, but it boiled down to being treated with respect. We should all treat people with dignity, with respect. And we should let them die with dignity. And we should treat those who are left living with dignity. Even children.

Tam said, “If you are old enough to love, you are old enough to grieve.” She was making a point that when someone dies, we shouldn’t sugar coat and wrap up explanations for children in confusing inane remarks. If we say “they went to heaven” the child might want to go there too. If they are “in their favorite garden” the child might wonder why they would rather be there than with them. Be honest. Be frank. And quite confusing everyone because you don’t want to say the word “die.”

I am going to remember this. Everyone deserves to know the truth. And if you handle it well, the children probably will, too.

There’s a quote that kind of fits this new rant of mine. “We have paralysis by analysis.”

Speaking of analysis, we have had such a wonderful good time with our Cash Mob that goes once a month and mob shops at a Main Street Guymon member retail store that we’re starting a Lunch Mob! The Cash Mob promises to spend a minimum of $20 at each mob, but the Lunch Mob just promises to buy lunch at the mobbed member restaurant. At this time we have three restaurants as members. They are Pub on the Bricks, Urban Bru, and Vallarta. Oh, yes, and Dizzy B’s serves a great lunch, too. We hope that it is fun for the mobsters and that it encourages new members! We love giving back to our members and this is such an enjoyable way to do it.

Mitchell Theater came in as a new member, so I think we’re going to have the two mobs mob the theater. Another fun time to be had! Call if you would like to join the Cash Mob and / or the Lunch Mob, 338-6246.

Epic Saturday classes and events coming up on the 17th are Scrapbooking at The Studio from 9 am to 5 pm (call Denise Gebara at 339-4851 for more information); Gaggle of Geeks from 1 – 3 at the Main Street Guymon office; Dementia Support Group from 4 – 5 pm at the Main Street Guymon office; and from 8 – 11 pm is a country and western dance to the band “Calhouns” at No Man’s Land Center, 15th and East. Join any of these that interests you.

You should also mark on your calendar that the Pink Heals Tour is in Guymon on June 21 and there is a Professional Bull Riding Event and Motorcycle Run on July 26.

It’s a great day to be on the bricks.

May 8, 2014

The evening brought such pride to my heart. Main Street Guymon volunteers won their first Oklahoma Main Street Award. After 650 of us went through the banquet line, heard Governor Mary Fallin speak about how wonderful the program is for our state, we finally got to the announcing of the award winners.

Main Street Guymon was up for five awards. The Premier Partner Award was for PTCI and their wonderful work with Main Street Guymon. The disappointment in not winning was not obvious on my face, I hope.

The Community Education Award for our On the Bricks column in the Guymon Daily Herald and the On the Bricks with Melyn TV Show on PTCI’s Channel 2 came next. Beat again. Dang. I am pretty sure my face showed my thoughts that time.

The third award on screen was the Main Street Volunteer Development Program for our Transformers. Shoot. We didn’t get to bring home that one. Hoping the wrinkles between my eyebrows wasn’t pronounced.

I tried to act like I was happy for the ones who won. But at the time, I really wasn’t. In fact, I didn’t like them at all.

Several more awards were given and then it was time for the Creative New Event. Yes! We won. Beat out two Tulsa Main Street programs. And all those others that didn’t make the final three. And it was even better than just winning.

Seaboard was the presenting sponsor of the Azuma: An African Celebration event. David and Jennie Watkins with Seaboard had brought Fidel Lual, an African refugee who was so instrumental on the Azuma committee. He was overwhelmed. “From the village to this,” he said softly. “It is like a dream.”

The winning took backseat in my love of how Fidel and Seaboard were such fabulous representatives of Guymon, of Texas County, of the Oklahoma Panhandle, and of the state. And I remember reading a letter to the editor who said Seaboard just made burgers. They knew so little when that letter was penned.

So we won. The Azuma committee, sponsors (Seaboard Foods, Bank of the Panhandle, and City National Bank, and several churches and individuals), and volunteers won. Those that attended also won. Without everyone … no award.

Congratulations to you all! We WON!

At the banquet Guymon’s Main Street program had also made it to the Top 10 Communities list. Laverne won that one. This award is strictly based on points from attending trainings, meetings, Main Street Day at the Capitol, man the Oklahoma State Fair booth, and so forth. We made Top 10. That was a first for us, too. And I have to take the time to say many volunteers did those activities that brought points. Terry Brand attended the Preservation Conference in Perry for Main Street Guymon, Arlene Winfrey and Deb Drees and Terry Brand manned the Oklahoma State Fair booth, Dalia Estrada put together our booth for Main Street Day at the Capitol and she and Juan Estrada set it up and manned it that day.

We have wonderful volunteers. Thank you to you all.

And if you haven’t jumped on the Main Street Band Wagon, it’s not too late! Join the Cash Mob that meets the second Monday at 5:30 and shops a Main Street Guymon retail store. Join the new Lunch Mob that meets once a month and has lunch at a Main Street Guymon member restaurant. Work at the Outback, Fiesta, Azuma, Livin’ Green Race, Oktoberfest, Five State Motorcycle Run, or other events with Main Street volunteers. Be a Shutterbug. Attend the Dementia Support Group. Help with the Community Clean Up (which is going to be monthly this year). Join one of the committees.

Become a member. A business membership is $200 a year and an individual can join as a “Friend of Main Street” for $50 a year. We would love to have you join us. Or be a sponsor of a Main Street program like the Transformers, Cassie’s Project, Lunch and Learns, and the soon to be announced Healthy Moments. You might end up on the TV program or in the column, but you’ll get over it!

See you on the Bricks!