News On The Bricks

February 1, 2021

          Starting your own business can be an intimidating endeavor. Any type of business, whether you’re providing a service or it’s a retail business, one that you have to have a building open to the public, one from home, or one that is industrial – there are a lot of things that you should consider before jumping in to such a project.

          Those who do plan well have a better chance of being successful. They also have a better chance of getting funded.

          The Main Street Guymon Business Development Committee would like to help those who have thoughts about being their own boss.

          Starting on March 23 they offer a workshop, one evening a week for four weeks, from 7 – 8:30 pm, that addresses aspects an entrepreneur might need to consider before opening shop. The workshop is geared for all types of business ideas and is open to all ages.

          “We built our workshop around one that has been done for the past 10 years in a Kansas community,” explains Main Street Director Melyn Johnson. “And their track rate on improving the new business success rate is very impressive. Our committee chairman for this project is Davin Winger, Dean of Business at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, and a farmer / rancher who ran his own successful business for many years before taking a dip into academia.”

          The workshop addresses types of businesses, legal, financing, permits and licenses, sales tax, start up costs, demand, target markets, location, insurance, e-commerce, promotion, bookkeeping, bank services, and management. The cost is $50 per business to register to attend and this fee allows up to two people per business to attend. The maximum for attendance is 15 people, so that each person / business idea can get specific attention.

          Area business owners and managers are going to be asked to address the topics that they have expertise and experience in doing.

          “It’s important to know,” explains Johnson, “that the workshop is open to high school students and up. According to the Kansas group, some of the most successful people to come out of their workshop are high school and college students who know that what they would like to do is own their own business. Often, they have ideas for services that are outside the realm of traditional services, but that the younger people are wanting.”

          For more information about becoming your own boss, contact Melyn Johnson at Main Street Guymon, 580-338-6246 or

News On The Bricks

January 26, 2021 – Artist Reception

Reception Invitation

          It is always about the color to Leyla Bello, a Guymon artist. She notices color everywhere. She loves to combine color, whether it’s with her watercolor or in how she dresses.

          And this love of color can be seen in her art. Her watercolor paintings use softer colors, quiet colors, colors that make you feel warm and happy. Her colors surround you with good feelings.

          She says all long as she can remember she drew or colored. “I colored with my aunt and drew with my cousin in the countryside of Honduras,” she tells in her quiet voice. “I think everybody can draw. We just do it differently. I had no theory of color, I just did it.”

          Bello worked and graduated from college and then decided it was time to make some dreams come true.  She took private art lessons where she learned technique. “My teacher said I was a natural,” she says with a smile. “I just love all the possibilities of being able to create.”

          Leyla Bello was born in 1976 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and grew up with her Chinese grandfather and Honduran grandmother. Their neighbors were American missionaries and so the young girl was exposed to English early. She attended the university in the Honduras and earned her degree in social work. Leyla was a preschool teacher in Honduras and works for the school today here in Guymon. The library is her favorite place to be. She and her Cuban husband moved to Guymon, Oklahoma, in 2016. They have two daughters, Jennifer and Adrianna. Leyla’s loves working with watercolors and often depicts her daughters, which is why those paintings are signed MOM.

          You can see by Leyla’s whimsical children in her paintings, Jennifer has been her muse, or source of inspiration, for several years. Jennifer is 11 years old and has a sense of humor her mother treasures. You can see that sense of humor in each of the paintings of the young girl reading with a light under her blanket in bed after curfew, skipping through the meadow with her younger sister behind her, and peeking from behind a tree.

          Bello’s paintings are most often purchased as notecards, where she sold them as a series of five in a packet at the Guymon Farmers Market last summer. They are now on the racks being sold as singles at Stanfield Printing Company’s (SPC) WOW boutique where there will be a reception when Kayla and Amanda will introduce Leyla and Jennifer to the public on Thur., Feb. 4, from 4 to 7 pm. SPC is located on the corner of 4th and Main at 322 N. Main in downtown Guymon.

          This reception is the fifth artist reception in the Main Street Guymon Bringing Creativity Downtown program, which is sponsored by TCEC and partially funded through an Oklahoma Arts Council grant.

This is a painting of Leyla and her family by Leyla.
On The Bricks

January 26, 2021 – Community Clean Up

          It is never too early to think about getting ready for company. It’s good to get things cleaned up, working as we have time and not being is a tizzy right before they come.

          In April and May we have a lot of company coming into town. The college rodeo happens in April and we have pickups and trailers pulling into the Hitch Pioneer Arena with license plates from Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, and downstate Okies. They are always impressed by the rodeo stock that OPSU brings and by the talent and skill of the OPSU cowboys.

          It is good for us to have the town spiffed up a bit so their impression of the town matches that of the arena. Lots of the college teams and university groups like HALO help during this, cleaning up and picking up trash.

          A few weekends after the college rodeo is the Pioneer Day festivities, where more family and class reunions are held every year. It is a time to come home for a visit. It is our time to shine. The Chamber of Commerce volunteers are working hard to bring sponsors together and make all happen without a hitch, bringing in lots of groups to make it go well.

          We can at least make sure we’ve clean up our street, our alley, and the highways coming in to town. We means each and every one of us, if we all gave 30 minutes and got the whole family or the whole crew at work out, it would make an amazing difference. You know, there are Sunday School groups and church women’s groups that put the gloves on and come into the Main Street office to get trash bags to fill.

          The week after Pioneer Day shuts down, the OPSU graduation occurs and we have many people coming into town from all across the nation, sometimes from overseas. We need to try to put our best foot forward.

          Civic groups and scout troops and classrooms each year help to clean. And we all know how our Spring winds can toss trash about (please close your dumpster lids so the wind doesn’t take the trash out and blow it around … and if you would put your trash in a bag and tie it before going in the dumpster it really helps too) and it is there to pick up just days after a crew has cleaned a place.

          And then the second weekend of May is the Five State Motorcycle Run. Whether you are one of the 1,000 people riding in this event, you should be a part of it! The motels are full again, the Iron Thunder Motorcycle Club makes several thousand dollars with this event (they work hard for it, too) and every cent is given back into the local communities to help those that are in need.

          It is another reason to do our part to show a little pride and help roll out the red carpet for those coming to the Oklahoma Panhandle, staying in our motels, eating in our restaurants, and having a good time. We love having them. We should get ready and do a little Spring cleaning before they get here.

          The City of Guymon cleans the streets and repaints them … let’s match that and do our part, too!

          Main Street Guymon and the City of Guymon encourage you to be a part of this Spring’s Community Clean – Up. Officially we’re going to be asking folks to help pick up trash and do a little painting from mid-March to mid-April. Then we’ll have time to party, going to the rodeos, graduations, Outback, and motorcycle run.

          If you would like to hear more about it, contact Melyn at 580-338-6246 and we can visit where you would like to clean, how to get your trash bags, and we can get down to business! It’s fun when we all work together.

On The Bricks

January 20, 2021

          My love of the Denver Broncos might not make sense to someone who doesn’t know the whole story. It doesn’t matter if they are winning or losing, if their uniforms are ugly or pretty, I love them. When they have good coaches, I love them. When they have bad coaches, I love them. I don’t know football rules very well, but I love football when it is played by the Denver Broncos.

          The reason is simple.

          Every time I watch a Denver Bronco game, I become that young girl who had her dad right there with her for two hours, or until the time ran out on the clock. Sometimes we watched from the couch in the living room and sometimes we watched from my parent’s bedroom with pillows behind us, sitting up in bed watching the bedroom TV. Oftentimes, mama was sitting and sewing in the same bedroom while we watched football.

          My dad loved watching the Broncos and I loved that time with my dad. The Broncos were born a little more than a year after I was born and they soon were on TV and I was ready to be there with my dad, watching every down.

          Floyd Little will forever be my favorite player because when the Broncos were terrible, Floyd Little was great. And Floyd Little was always and only a Denver Bronco. Floyd Little died this year. It makes me realize that I am not a little girl forever. My dad is 82. I am 61. And we still have regular conversations about the Broncos.

          My hope is that each and every one of you has something that can take you back to a happy time like the Denver Broncos do me. Heavens, even seeing someone wearing the blue and orange makes me smile.

          On Feb. 3 the Main Street Guymon Career Focus, a professional development course for those wanting to build their professional skills begins.

          On Feb. 4 is the monthly Shop and Dine and the best part at this one is the Artist Reception for Layla Bello at SPC WOW Boutique that goes from 4 to 7. SPC will be carrying Layla’s whimsical cards to sell. What a great way to support the local business that is supporting our local artists!

          February is also the month that we vote on new board members for Main Street Guymon. We have five awesome people running for the three open positions. There are so many people who are willing to work for their community here!

          Our Pangaea International Evening is scheduled for Mar. 9 at Pickle Creek. It will be a wonderful evening. Tickets will go on sale soon.

          Be thinking about what you can do to help the Community Clean – Up and who you want to help you! We’ll be starting that in March, too.

          If you have ever thought you might want to be your own boss and start your own business, be sure to register for the Starting Your Own Business workshop that begins on Mar. 23. Another Main Street Guymon program hoping to encourage our local folks to make their dreams come true.

          See you on the bricks!

On The Bricks

January 18, 2021

This week we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and the impact he left on our country. The holiday, put in place by President Ronald Reagan, reminds us of a man that gave everything, including his life, to remind us that all have basic civil rights in the United States.

As a woman, this is important to me. It was 100 years ago that woman received the right to vote in America. Yet in 1970, women could not own credit cards in their own name. Women could not lease property in their own names. Women could be fired for becoming pregnant. Women could not be admitted into Ivy League schools, military academies, or become astronauts. No state allowed women on a jury. Women could not serve as a judge. Women could not receive direct consultation about their physical and mental health. Women could not adopt a baby as a single person. Girls could not wear pants to school. I remember those days for I was 20 years old in 1970.

Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers brought many people a life that was better with more civil rights, including those with disabilities, females, people of color, and gay and lesbian. He was a black man who was working hard for rights for the black people in America, but through his work many others gained rights they had not been granted.

Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals’ freedom from infringement by governments, social organizations, and private individuals. They ensure one’s entitlement to participate in the civil and political life of society and the state without discrimination or repression.

Civil rights include the ensuring of peoples’ physical and mental integrity, life, and safety; protection from discrimination on grounds such as race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, color, age, political affiliation, ethnicity, religion, and disability; and individual rights such as privacy and the freedom of thought, speech, religion, press, assembly, and movement.

Political rights include natural justice (procedural fairness) in law, such as the rights of the accused, including the right to a fair trial; due process; the right to seek redress or a legal remedy; and rights of participation in civil society and politics such as freedom of association, the right to assemble, the right to petition, the right of self-defense, and the right to vote.

I am proud of the changes Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers brought to us. I pray we continue growing in our humanity as a people and as individuals.

Our history is important. Who we are, every one of us, is important.

Hope to see you on the bricks!

On The Bricks

January 11, 2021

          Switzerland stays out of international disputes, so it’s ironic how its army because associated with what may be the best know, most beloved, and most commonly used pies of military hardware in the world, according to a chapter in The Book of Bizarre Truths.

          The multitool pocketknife was the brainchild of Swiss cutlery manufacturer Karl Elsener. A true patriot, Elsener bristled at the fact that Swiss soldiers go their standard issue knives from a German manufacturer. He set out to win the contract from his government.

          In the 1890s, he designed a unique spring mechanism for pocketknives that allows the handle to hold several blades. That was clever but the true genius was when he included several basic tools in his knife – a can opener, a hole punch, and a screwdriver.

          According to some, it was the screwdriver that won over the Swiss military brass. Their infantry had began using a new type of rifle and soldiers needed screwdrivers to perform basic maintenance on the weapon.

          Elsener dubbed his creation the “Soldier’s Knife” and followed it up with a lightweight version with a few more tools he called the “Officer’s and Sports Knife.” Before long, handymen around the world were carrying them in their pocket. It was in during World War II when American GIs dubbed it the Swiss Army Knife.

          Elsener’s company, Victorinox, is still in business and producing 34,000 knives a day in some 300 configurations. Almost any tool can be found on one model or another; corkscrew, wire strippers, toothpick, fish scaler, ruler, nail file, saw, chisel, magnifying glass, flashlight, ballpoint pen, or a tracheotomy knife.

          Famous Okie information: Oklahoma is the nation’s top manufacturer of automobile tires.

Keep Going on Your New Years Resolutions: Put your bills on autopay. If this won’t put you in financial stress, it is one less thing you have to think about and it will cut out those late fees.

Good advice: Never ruin an apology with an excuse. ~Ben Franklin

Made me laugh: What is the difference between a well – dressed man on bike and a poorly dressed man on a unicycle? Attire.

Happening now: Many people are getting their COVID vaccines now, but this doesn’t alleviate the importance of wearing a mask and being smart about keeping yourself safe from exposure to the virus.

Main Street Guymon is accepting applications for their Career Focus Workshop now. This is a chance for business owners to invest in themselves or their employee’s professional development. For more information call 580-338-6246 or email

          See you on the bricks soon!

On The Bricks

January 4, 2021

          As a young girl, my dad would give me $1.50 and let me go into Jonach’s and I would buy a Hardy Boys book. This didn’t happen that often, but it was a stellar day when it did. There was no problem picking out the book because I would have come in a dozen times and looked at them before the day I had money. But when I didn’t have a new book to read, I went to the library. They had so many of them and I eventually read them all.

          I read the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books. Before them was Tom Swift and his books. Tom was a young inventor who resolved crises and foiled wickedness. One book of the series, Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle, came out in 1911.

Jack Cover read the Tom Swift books growing up. In 1967, as a NASA researcher, he decided to make one of the gee – whiz gadgets from the series, explains a chapter in The Book of Bizarre Truths. He finished designing an electricity weapon he named the Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle, or TASER, in 1974. Tom Swift had never had a middle initial, but Cover inserted the A to make the acronym easier on the tongue.

Cover’s first electric rifle, the Taser TF – 76, used a small gunpowder charge to fire two barbed darts up to 15 feet. Thin wires conducted electricity from the weapon’s batter to the target, causing great pain and brief paralysis with little risk of death (except in the young, elderly, or frail). That worked fine with the police because they rarely felt compelled to take down children or senior citizens.

The police saw potential in the Taser. The TF – 76 held great promise as a nonlethal takedown tool.

Never underestimate the creativity – squelching power of government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) wondered how to classify the Taser. Because it used gunpowder, they decided to group with sawed – off shotguns, which were illegal for most to acquire or possess.

That meant you could carry a .44 Magnum on your hip, but it was a felony to possess, much less use, an electric stunner that took neither blood nor life. The BATF ruling zapped Taser Systems (Cover’s new company) right out of business.

Taser Systems resurfaced as Tasertron, limping along on sales to police. In the 90s, a creative idealist Rick Smith wanted to popularize nonlethal weapons. He licenses the Taser technology from Cover, and began changing the weapon. To deal with BATF’s gunpowder buzzkill, Smith and Cover designed a Taser dart propelled by compressed air. They also loaded each cartridge with paper and Mylar confetti bearing a serial number. If the bad guys misused a Taser, they wouldn’t be able to eradicate the evidence.

A nightstick blow to the head or a 9mm police bullet are both deadlier than a Taser. So, today the debate revolves more around police officers’ over – willingness to use the Taser than whether or not they should carry one.

Good advice: Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use.

          Famous Okie information: Vinita, Okla., was the first town in the state to have electricity. It is also the oldest incorporated town in the state.

Keep Going on Your New Years Resolutions: Talk to yourself with kindness.

Made me laugh: You don’t need a parachute to go skydiving. You need a parachute to go skydiving twice.

          See you on the bricks soon!

On The Bricks

December 29, 2020

          Looking on the bright side of things, choosing to be optimistic rather than pessimistic, is a skill. A skill that is learned.

          A person can be happier, often more productive, healthier, and at peace by practicing “conscious positivity” or choosing to look on the bright side.

          Research has shown people with anxiety can learn to worry less by adopting positive ideation. Stress can also be reduced by learning positive thinking skills. In fact, a Yale School of Public Health study of more than 4,000 people age 50 and older found having a positive view of aging can help you live longer.

          When you change your thoughts, you change your world.

          Rather than complaining, find things that you are grateful for. You can even start a gratitude journal and be sure to list your personal strengths and any acts of kindness you see or do.

          When you have a negative thought, choose to focus on something positive about your situation. When you’re nervous about a work deadline, imagine how it will feel when you finish a good product. When you’re procrastinating, promise yourself a reward for starting.

          Things won’t all go well, but you can train yourself to be positive rather than negative. Because if you allow your mind to pondering on your failure, you’re halfway to accomplishing the failure. When you hear that voice in your head, tell it to go away, take a deep breath, and concentrate on one positive thing about the situation or about yourself. Start to trust yourself.

          Simply interrupting the flow of negative thoughts can move you closer to being a positive person.

          When you feel stressed, concentrate briefly on what you are thinking and feeling at the moment – on what is causing your emotions. Then determine whether you can do anything about it. If you can do something to help it, do it. If you cannot, have the mental fortitude to let it go and not to worry about things you cannot control. Put it out of your mind. Do not allow something you can do nothing about shadow your day.

          When you can do something and do it, you are accomplishing something. You are being a person of action. You have taken control of your life. You might not solve the entire problem, but you made things better.

          You can become a calmer, happier, and more successful person simply by controlling your thoughts and following those thoughts that are positive. Quit wasting time on blame of yourself or others.

          Working hard to become positive and getting your mind off negative thoughts and in a mode to do something to improve situations soon can lead to helping other people when you’re not so busy worrying and thinking bad things.

          Pope Francis said, “Rivers do not drink their own water; trees do not eat their own fruit; the sun does not shine on itself and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature. We are all born to help each other. No matter how difficult it is … Life is good when you are happy; but much better when others are happy because of you.”

          It’s good for us to continually strive to be better versions of ourself.

          January 17 is Main Street Guymon’s Special Game Day in Goodwell. This is an event for families with special needs kids and our partners include the OPSU Baseball Team. It’s a great day and if you know someone who should be contacted about the event, please drop us a note at or call 580-338-6246.

On The Bricks

December 22, 2020

The most densely populated place on the planet, according to The Book of Bizarre Truths, is Mong Kok, a section of Hong Kong. About 200,000 people live in Mong Kok, an area just slightly larger than half a square mile. That equal out to about 70 square feet per person. Add in the building and you’ve got a district in which it is physically impossible for everyone to be outside at the same time.

Mong Kok’s bustling Golden Mile, a popular stretch of shops, restaurants, and theaters, compounds the crowding issue. A half – million or so tourists routinely jostle for a position in the streets.
Residents have reported that the streets are often completely full, with every inch of pavement covered.

The way they squeeze so many people into such a small area is that they build up. The area is home to an array of high – rise apartment buildings. Families who live in these apartments sometimes rent out rooms to other families. There might be ten or more people in a single apartment. They sometimes sleep in two or three rooms and share a small kitchen and a single bathroom. The apartments are so small that people sleep in bunk beds that are three or four tiers high, and they keep their belongings in chests and baskets that are suspended from the ceiling.

Famous Okie information: Juanita Kidd Stout is the first black woman to serve on a state supreme court. She was from Wewoka, Okla.
Keep going on New Years resolutions: Donate the clothes you never wear. If you haven’t worn it in a year, give someone else the chance to do so.
Made me laugh: Someone stole my mood ring. I don’t know how I feel about that.

Christmas wishes: For those of you who love Christmas, have a blessed holiday! For those of you that don’t participate in Christmas, I wish you a relaxing and enjoyable day. For those of you who have to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas, may God send you extra blessings for the holidays … and maybe even overtime! For those of you who are alone this Christmas, I wish you loving memories to wrap around yourselves and make you happy. Remember, it is the season of giving and each of us has much to give.
See you on the bricks, soon! Stay safe.

On The Bricks

December 11, 2020

          Juiced, roid – raged, hyped, and pumped are all words to describe the effects of using anabolic steroids. For better or worse, The Book of Bizarre Truths says steroids have invaded the worlds of professional and amateur sports, and even show business.

          Anabolic steroids (also called anabolic – androgenic steroids, or AAS) are a specific class of hormones that are related to the male hormone testosterone. Steroids have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine to promote healing in diseases such as cancer and AIDS. French neurologist Charles – Edouard Brown – Sequard was one of the first physicians to report its healing properties after injecting himself with an extract of guinea pig testicles in 1889.

          In 1935 two German scientists applied for the first steroid – use patent and were offered the 1939 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, but the Nazi government forced them to decline the honor.

          Interest in steroids continued during World War II. Third Reich scientists experimented on concentration camp inmates to treat symptoms of chronic wasting as well as to test its effects on heightened aggression in German soldiers. Even Adolf Hitler was injected with steroids to treat his endless list of maladies.

          The first reference to steroid use for performance enhancement in sports dates back to a 1938 Strength and Health magazine letter to the editor, inquiring how steroids could improve performance in weightlifting and bodybuilding. During the 1940s, the Soviet Union and a number of Eastern Bloc countries built aggressive steroid programs designed to improve the performance of Olympic and amateur weight – lifters. The program was so successful that U.S. Olympic team physicians worked with American chemists to design Dianabol, which they administered to U.S. athletes.

          The use of steroids has become commonplace in baseball, football, cycling, track, golf, and cricket. In a 2006 survey, steroid use was measured in eighth-, tenth-, and twelfth – grade students. A little more than 2% of male high school seniors admitted to using steroids during the past year.

          Steroids can promote cell growth, protein synthesis from amino acids, increase appetite, bone strengthening, and stimulate bone marrow and production of red blood cells. Side effects include shrinking testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, acne, high blood pressure, blood clotting, liver damage, headaches, aching joints, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of sleep, severe mood swings, paranoia, panic attacks, depression, male pattern baldness, the cessation of menstruation in women, and an increased risk of prostate cancer.

          Many countries have banned the sale of anabolic steroids for nonmedical applications. They are legal in Mexico and Thailand. In the U.S., steroids are classified as a Schedule III controlled substance, making possession a federal crime, punishable by prison time.

          Thousands of black – market vendors are willing to sell more than 50 different varieties of steroids. They are sold through the mail, over the internet, in gyms, and at competitions. Many of these drugs are submedical or veterinary – grade steroids.

          Lyle Alzado, the colorful, record – setting defensive tackle for the LA Raiders, Cleveland Browns, and Denver Broncos, admitted to taking steroids to stay competitive but acknowledged their risks.

          “Ninety percent of the athletes I know are on the stuff. We’re not born to be 300 lbs. or jump 30 ft. But all the time I was taking steroids, I knew they were making me play better,” he said. “I became very violent on the field and off it. I did things only crazy people do. Now look at me. My hair’s gone, I wobble when I walk and have to hold on to someone for support and I have trouble remembering things. My last wish? That no one else ever dies this way.”

          In 2008, 61 – year – old Rambo star Sylvester Stallone paid $10,600 to settle a criminal drug possession charge for smuggling 48 vials of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) into the country. HCHC is popularly used for its anti – aging benefits.

          “Everyone over 40 years old would be wise to investigate it (HGH and testosterone use) because it increases the quality of your life,” says Stallone.

          “If you’re an actor in Hollywood and you’re over 40, you are doing HGH. Period,” said one Hollywood cosmetic surgeon. “Why wouldn’t you? It makes your skin look better, your hair, your fingernails. Everything.”

          Steroids are one more medicine that does much good and is abused by humanity for vanity and competitive dominance. It proves you just can’t fix stupid.

          Famous Okie information: The nation’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City in 1935.

Keep Going on Your New Years Resolutions: Avoid people who complain a lot. It doesn’t matter how positive you are, negativity spreads and will impact your life.

Made me laugh: My boss said to me, “This is the third time you’ve been late to work this week. Do you know what that means?” “It’s Wednesday?”

See you on the bricks, soon! Stay safe.