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On The Bricks Archives

Monthly Archives: July 2019

July 23, 2019

There are few dreams that I recall having … and even fewer nightmares. Pretty much all of them have snakes in them. And they often happen after seeing or reading about snakes. Seems there is a very deep – seated fear in me of those slithering reptiles.
Recently my father gave me his latest Smithsonian magazine to read, which I enjoy. Lots of great articles in those bi – monthly magazines.
The July – August issue had the very lengthy story entitled “Bounty Hunters and Biologists Wade Deep into the Everglades to Wrestle with the Invasion of Giant Pythons Threatening Florida’s Wetlands.” Holy Toledo, Batman, reading that article may have scarred me for life.
The article had statements such as, “Given the python’s survival advantages, they will never be eliminated.” Just what I wanted to hear.
It also told us, “No one knows how many pythons are out there now. Estimates run from 10,000 to perhaps hundred of thousands. A problem with trying to count them is that they’re what scientists call ‘cryptic’ – hard to detect. Their black – brown – tan camouflage fits perfectly in the marsh, as well as in the higher sandy ground that makes up another part of their range. They are good swimmers and can stay underwater for half an hour or more.” Oh, Lord help us.
Some of the snake hunters use their feet in the water to search for the pythons. That is a nightmare in itself.
Here’s another quote to take from the article, “Twelve thousand five hundred pounds of Burmese pythons have come through that door (speaking of the lab) in the last six years. And we caught all of them within 55 square miles around Naples. The Everglades ecosystem is about 5,000 square miles. Consider that fact when you’re wondering how many pythons might be in the Everglades.” Oh, I’m considering … lots of things.
In a part of the story, they describe the how one python female had 43 eggs in her. Yep, that’s really scary. Every female has over 40 babies a year?
Really want me to continue sharing?
How about, “Now that the snakes have devastated the population of smaller animals, they appear to be moving to larger ones. … pictures he had taken last year of a python in the process of swallowing a fawn. The python weighed 31 pounds, the fawn weighed 35.” Yikes.
“…I heard some of Donna’s snake – hunting stores – about the python she caught that, when she cut it open, had a domestic cat in its stomach, and about the huge python that came at her with fangs bared and she shot it and it got away … and about the one she caught and then let go of its tail, so she could answer her phone, and in that moment the snake slipped its tail around her neck and started squeezing and would have strangled her if the friend who was riding with her hadn’t pried it off.” Oh, my heavens.
And I haven’t even told you about the photos in the article.
Scarred. I will never be the same.
Nor will I ever visit the Florida Everglades. Ever.
Enjoyed sharing with you today.
Enjoy your summer and I’ll see you on the bricks!

July 19, 2019

Summer is the time for class reunions. And some reunions have some real surprises for us.
You get me?
Harvey Deutschendorf wrote, “For much of the 20th century, we assumed the person who was the smartest, or had the highest IQ, would be the most likely to succeed. That’s what everyone thought when I went to school. However, after attending our high school reunions, many of us realized this wasn’t always the case.
“Of course, having a high IQ – receiving a high score on an intelligence test – is still a good thing. But social scientists now confirm that strong social skills are a key element to success and that humans are born with the potential for EI (emotional intelligence). This inborn capacity may be damaged or highly developed, depending on a person’s life circumstances and experiences. However, the wonderful thing about EI is that with work and awareness, we can rebuild or enhance EI regardless of our backgrounds.
“In 1990, two American professors, Peter Salovey and John Mayer, coined the term “emotional intelligence” to identify a type of self – awareness they believed had greater influence on human behavior and life outcomes than pure brain power.
“In 1995, a science journalist Daniel Goleman expanded on the concept in his seminal work, Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More than IQ. The book was a fixture on bestseller lists for nearly two years and was translated into 40 languages. Among other insights, Goleman notes three levels of EI: (1) recognizing the emotions of others; (2) feeling what others feel; and (3) understanding others’ motivations and emotions so well that a respectful, trusting connection develops.
“… Goleman’s book says in essence ‘your intelligence can come to naught when emotions hold sway.’
“… Harvard recently released results from a 75 – year study, looking for the single most important and reliable predictor of happiness. The answer? Our connections with others ….”
Deutschendorf proceeds to explain in this article in the July 2019 Toastmaster magazine, the importance for EI of Listening; be fully present, put yourself in their shoes, let the speaker know you understood, practice active listening, and curate curiosity.
Lofty personal goals in that short paragraph, but ones that make sense.
You get me?
One thing that is true, in my opinion, is that I can always improve myself. Lots of room for that! And life is more interesting when we have challenges.
Hope your days are filled with happiness and fun challenges to meet.
See you on the bricks.

July 15, 2019

You ever have those days that you just wake up and you aren’t really fit company for anyone? Nothing has gone wrong out of the norm, you aren’t sick, you just need to be away from people because you’re not feeling very friendly. Those days happen and then you read something like this on Facebook:
“I went to the Walmart today, and I was there for literally five minutes. When I came out, there was a state trooper writing a parking ticket for being parked in a handicap spot.
“So, I went up to him and said, ‘Come on, buddy, how about giving a guy a break?’ He ignored me and continued writing the ticket. So, I called him a pencil-necked cop. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for worn tires!
So, I then asked him if his psychiatrist makes him lie face down on the couch cause he’s so ugly.
“He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket. This went on until he had placed five tickets on the windshield … the more I insulted him, the more tickets he wrote.
“I didn’t care. My car was parked around the corner.”
How in the world can you have a frown on your face after reading something like that?
Here’s one I read in Reader’s Digest: “My boss told me to have a good day. So, I went home.”
That’s what I’m talking about … funny.
Here’s another recent read that sums it up pretty well, “Some people could be given an entire field of roses and only see the thorns in it. Others could be given a single weed and only see the wildflower in it. Perception is a key component to gratitude. And gratitude is a key component to joy.”
My life is blessed by the many friends and acquaintances I have with a great sense of humor and who share positive thoughts and ideas. For these folks I am grateful, and my life is blessed to no end. Smiles abound.
Share the smiles and gratitude and consider attending some of these community happenings:
The Children’s Back to School Health Fair is July 18 at the Texas County Activity Center from 4 to 7 pm. Lots of fun things, free hot dog meals, free back to school supplies and much more.
The City of Guymon Free Movie Night at Cross Park (behind the YMCA) is Sat., July 19, with the movie starting when the sun goes down. It’s a Luau Night and the movie is “Moana.” There are also food vendors and fun happening before the show.
Barn Quilt Door Sign and Punch creative project class is Fri., July 26 at 7:30 pm in the American Legion building. The cost is $40 per person and you take your beautiful art project home with you. The entire $40 is donated to Kid’s Inc. because the supplies and refreshments are paid for by Bank of the Panhandle and childcare is provided at the YMCA for 6 months to 12 – year – olds. That’s a heck of a deal … and it’s a great example of folks working together to make Guymon a great place to live and work.
Don’t forget the Guymon Farmers Market is happening every Saturday morning in front of the Texas County Courthouse, starting at 8 am.
It’s a good place to be, in Guymon, Oklahoma.
See you on the bricks!

July 11, 2019

Lately the definition of success has been a topic of several conversations for me. It’s interesting. And then I read this, written by Coach Keith, an assistant coach in the OPSU baseball program who recently resigned. Coach Keith is the one that made Main Street Guymon’s Special Game Day happen.

What Coach Keith wrote says what I believe so well. I think he wrote it to other OPSU staff.

“I’ve worked here for 6 years. And seeing this university grow has been exciting. But seeing young boys turn into men by making mature decisions, on and off the baseball field, has been the most rewarding goal in my young life. Having a young man from half a world away, tell me ‘thank you for everything’ and having his family embrace me as one of their own trumps any amount of money an individual could get paid.

“We often think of happiness and wealth as money or success. But to be a positive influence in a human being life is worth more than its weight in gold.

“Helping a young man pass a test when 5 months ago he could barely speak English, is a reward.

“Allowing a young man, the opportunity to play college baseball at a competitive level, is a reward.

“Having a young man be the first to graduate college in his entire family, is a reward.

“Coaches, parents and mentors: do not take for granted the impact you make on a young person’s life, and do not overlook the impact they make in yours.

Players: play for a coach who you make you a better person, father, brother, sister, mother, aunt or uncle. Because you are as rewarding in a coach’s life as he/she is to your own.”

There are many teachers, youth leaders, coaches, and others who have figured this out. I know many of them, I’m related to several of them, and I have Main Street Aggie Families who live by this. Those kids that enrich our lives aren’t related to us by blood, they’re probably not known to us until we start to work with them. But they give us the true richness our souls are made to crave.

Thank you to every Coach Keith in this world. You make this world a better place.

Good luck to Coach Keith in his future endeavors.

See you on the bricks.

July 10, 2019

It’s fun to read good things about our community, our state, our country. And sometimes it’s even more fun to share them. So how about sharing some great Oklahoma trivia for a bit?

The design chosen for the National Native American Veterans Memorial, which is set to open on Veteran’s Day 2020 in Washington DC, is Warriors’ Circle of Honor. The artist who designed the memorial, Harvey Pratt, was born in El Reno Okla., and is part of the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. He joined the Marine Corps as a young man, where he served in Vietnam. Then as a civilian he served in law enforcement, first with the Midwest City Police Department and later with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

Along the way, Pratt discovered he had a knack for turning witness descriptions into suspect sketches. He extended into other forms of forensic identification as well, and his career includes a long list of high – profile cases, including serial killer Ted Bundy and the Murrah building bombing. He retired from the OSBI in 2017.

Just reading about this Okie, whom I’ve never met, makes me feel proud.

The Lion King is being redone in live – action format by Disney and is supposed to come out on July 19. It features Tulsa native Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, mother of Simba. Woodard is an exceptional actress that Wikipedia says, “Alfre Woodard; (born November 8, 1952) is an American actress, producer, and political activist. Woodard has been named one of the most versatile and accomplished actors of her generation.[1] She has been nominated once for an Academy Award and Grammy Award and 18 times for an Emmy Award (winning four) and has also won a Golden Globe Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.” Impressive.

Those two Okies have made a mark on a national scale. But we have impressive people who have made a mark here in our own community that deserve some recognition too.

Recently an obituary ran in the Guymon Daily Herald for Dorothy Lois Williams. My world stopped for a moment as I read the obit. My mind went back years ago when Dorothy Williams made such a strong impression on me. I placed foreign exchange students for over 30 years and met some of the greatest kids on earth, learned about and visited places that I should have only been able to read about, and met the nicest families in the Panhandle area, families that were unselfish and caring and interesting. All were interesting.

Dorothy Williams was one of those. But she stands out amongst the hundreds of families I met. When I called Dorothy, she was the principal at Yarbrough School. She said she and her husband would be happy to host two boys, but if I was willing to come to Yarbrough, she would bring together several good families that might be willing to host. Which she did.

We placed 5 students in Yarbrough that year, I believe. And the kids loved their year on the Oklahoma plains. But, even more interesting, Dorothy knew that the state would be counting the number of students and she was always working to make sure the Yarbrough School was not closed.

Dorothy was smart. Dorothy cared. Dorothy did more than just talk about it.

That wasn’t the only year that Dorothy or her employees or family members hosted. And every year. I suspect Dorothy Williams legacy will live long past her years on this earth.

May each of us do something with such love during our time.

On July 17 the Chamber of Commerce is having a Summer Celebration in conjunction with Channel 10 News out of Amarillo. It takes place at Thompson Park from 4:30 – 7 pm. Stay tuned to find out more of what will be happening and meeting the News Crews!

Texas County Children’s Health Fair is on July 18, 4 – 7 pm at the Texas County Activity Center.

The City of Guymon is hosting a summer movie in the area by the YMCA and the Guymon Library on July 19. The movie starts at dusk, but there are other fun things happening before the movie. Check their facebook page to see more. It’s a Luau that evening with the movie being “Moana.”

Go have fun with family and friends.

See you on the bricks!

July 5, 2019

My recent road trip, the route was figured out online with the motels considered via google and then reservations made online. When in any of the towns, google was checked once again for local restaurants and their ratings were given careful consideration. When I was in the motel by myself and didn’t want to get out after one day, I even googled “restaurants with delivery, (town name and state)”. And then I hit the “call” button and ordered.

No place to stay or eat was given any consideration because it wasn’t on google.

Once we arrived in Myrtle Beach, the same method was used to find things to do like go to the Aquarium.

Then I get home and go to work, my mom brings a friend over who is visiting from Maryland. Yes, they did almost the same road trip and they looked on their cell phone to decide where they would stop.

My serious question to our local merchants is this: While these friends were here, if they were to look up on the phone great places to visit, to stay, to shop, or to eat … would your business come up? Would our favorite restaurants have reviews? We can all leave reviews.

This is an issue that Taos McIntyre as a transformer during his high school years had as a project. He looked up businesses (first were the Main Street ones that are more apt to draw someone traveling off the highway) and offered to help them get their information updated on Google. He would bring his laptop in to the store and he didn’t charge anything.

And said people said, “No, thank you.”

You don’t have to be computer savvy to update Google. Especially if Taos is helping you. Why would you not take the 30 to 45 minutes to possibly bring new customers in?

It’s a puzzlement to me.

And then I recall the various things that my kids want me to do with my phone, my banking, etc., and I just nod and smile and never plan on doing it. And it probably would be easier. And it probably would save time. And yet I don’t do it.

So, that just happens, I guess.

What else is happening?

On July 15 during the lunch hour the OSU Extension is holding a class on “Eating Healthy on a Budget.” Call 338-7300 to reserve a spot.

The Texas County Children’s Health Fair is happening on July 18 from 4-7 pm at the Activity Center.

The City sponsored summer movie at Cross Park happens when the sun goes down on July 19 behind the YMCA.

And on July 22 is another OSU Extension class, this one on “Tips for Losing Weight and Keeping it Off.” This one is also held during the lunch hour.

Hope your Fourth of July was wonderful and it’s my hope that you were able to watch the beautiful City Firework display. How fun was that?

See you on the bricks!

July 1, 2019

June was wonderful. A two – week vacation got me relaxed, had time to visit with some old friends and some family, and then as I drove those last miles home feeling thankful to be back. Then on Monday morning I woke up wanting to come to work and be productive. June made July looks so good … and so fun.

During the two weeks I drove to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. That’s a long way. Lots of road time to listen to my music and sing to it when I wanted, and time to have quiet when I wanted to rest my mind. The first day I drove across Oklahoma. The second day I drove across Arkansas. The third day I drove across Tennessee, which I had been looking forward to because I’ve never explored Tennessee.

That whole exploring Tennessee still wasn’t marked off my bucket list when I crossed the state line into North Carolina. Interstate 40 is not conducive to exploring. And there’s no looking at the scenery because there are so many blamed trees that you can’t see the scenery. But I had a drive back to remedy this poor performance, so just mark it up to experience rather than adventure.

Going through North Carolina and arriving in South Carolina, I had the absolute pleasure of spending my best friends 60th birthday with her. We’ve been best friends (there are four of us) since first grade and all of us attended Panhandle State together. Having some time with Nancy was worth every single mile.

The next day after a few more hours on the road, I picked up my daughter Lisa and her friend Lisa (we call her GoGo) in Charleston. There we had our first meal of the anticipated seafood diet at a wonderful restaurant in the middle of downtown Charleston. And we stayed in a boutique inn there a few blocks away. Oh, my, it was fabulous. Our room was two – story and had two bathrooms and three TVs. I could go on, but just say it was a good call to stay there.

Then we drove to Myrtle Beach, SC, where we watched son – in – law Keith’s last baseball game and they won big time. The coast had cooled down because it was cloud covered and the humidity was unbelievable. GoGo and Lisa went to the beach and I stayed in the hotel enjoying my quiet time. And then we enjoyed all three days there.

After dropping Keith and the Lisa’s off at the Charleston airport, my road trip west began. This time I traveled the smaller roads and I seemed to weave from South Carolina into Tennessee and Mississippi and back and forth between the last two. I might have even been in Alabama for a moment, or not far from it. My roads were slow and gorgeous. I drove through where the Civil War Battle of Shiloh took place and through the Appalachian Mountains. At one point there was a mower going in front of my lane of traffic and since we couldn’t pass, it was at times stand still on the road. Nobody seemed to be nervous or cranky. We could see a beautiful and big river flowing below over the rocks and we were in the shade of the mountain. So, I rolled down my window and had that cool breeze and listened to the river. It was a highlight.

Eventually I arrived in Chattanooga and then on into Fayetteville, fulfilling my Tennessee adventure. In Memphis, the evening was great because I had supper with another old friend. It wasn’t his birthday, but we celebrated anyway. Lots of laughing and another highlight in Tennessee.

Soon I was traveling across Arkansas again and into Oklahoma, where the trees thinned out and the are thinned out. I could see better and breathe better. My heart (and lungs) were happy when I finally got home on Friday night.

Saturday was great because I could get the car cleaned out, the laundry done, sleep in my own bed. And on Sunday at church and for lunch was with Mama, supper with my daughter Missy and her family. Still need to catch up with work, with Papa, and with Justin … but there is time.

They’re all doing well, and life is good.

Hoping that your June was filled with highlights, too.

Now it’s time to make some Main Street Guymon highlights … like the Farmers Market on Saturday! I love the Farmers Market!

See you on the bricks!