On The Bricks

May 19, 2021 Yellowstone

About three million people visit Yellowstone National Park each year, a park that is a giant volcano says The Book of Bizarre Truth. Hordes of tourists sit and wait to watch Old Faithful do is thing every 90 minutes or so. They also hike, and maybe do a little fishing.

Geologists concur that some sort of volcanic activity is responsible for the park’s strange, volatile, steamy landscape. But evidence of an actual volcano, the familiar cone – shaped mountain that tells that a huge explosion once took place on the spot wasn’t a part of Yellowstone.

In the 1960s, NASA took pictures of Yellowstone from outer space. When geologists saw the photos, the saw a vast volcano, so big it was difficult to spot without the photos from space. The crater of the Yellowstone volcano includes practically the entire park, covering about 2.2 million acres. Yellowstone appears to be a supervolcano.

There is no recorded history of any supervolcano eruptions, but geologists believe Yellowstone has erupted about 140 times in the past 16 million years. The most recent blast was about 100,000 times more powerful than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington, and it spread ash over almost the entire area of the United States we of the Mississippi River. Some of the previous Yellowstone eruptions were many more times destructive.

In the past 20 years or so, geologists have detected significant activity in the molten rock and boiling water below Yellowstone. In other words, the surface may be shifting. Scientists have calculated that Yellowstone erupts about every 600,000 years. And the last Yellowstone eruption took place about 640,000 years ago.

Don’t get too worried. Those at work at Yellowstone assure us that an eruption is not likely to happen for at least another 1,000 years. And even then, any eruption would be preceded by weeks, months, or perhaps even years of telltale volcanic weirdness.

Famous Okie information: Oklahoma’s state fossil is the saurophaganax maximus. In 1931 and 1932, John Willis Stovall uncovered remains of a large theropod near Kenton in Cimarron CountyOklahoma. In 1941, they were named Saurophagus maximus by Stovall. The generic name is derived from Greek “lizard” and “to eat”, with the compound meaning of “lizard eater”. Later, it was discovered that the name Saurophagus had already been given by to a tyrant-flycatcher. In 1995, Daniel Chure named a new genus Saurophaganax. A large skeleton of Saurophaganax can be seen in the Jurassic hall in the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in Norman. Although the best known Saurophaganax material was found in the Oklahoma Panhandle, a possible partial skeleton including a femur, several tail vertebrae, and a hip bone, has been found in northern New Mexico.

Just FYI: Lightning can develop any time there is a major static charge in the atmosphere. Volcanic eruptions, snowstorms, and even large forest fires have been associated with lightning discharges.

A little more FYI: Legend has it the man who invented the lightbulb, Thomas Edison, was scared of the dark.

Keep going on New Year resolutions: Work to give out at least one compliment a day. Be sure that it is something you believe and not an empty compliment. You never know the difference a compliment might make in someone’s day.

Made me laugh: I threw a boomerang a few years ago. Now I live in constant fear.

Hope you have enjoyed all your graduations, award ceremonies, band and choir concerts, proms, confirmations, and track meets.

See you on the bricks, soon! Stay safe.

On The Bricks

May 14, 2021

It’s been a busy month with Pioneer Days, OPSU Rodeo, Five State Motorcycle Run, Community Clean – up … some of the best coming out in the community during that time. Lots of volunteers working for the community, lots of family’s having fun.

It’s a good time to learn about something most of us know little about … rain forests.

In order to qualify as a rain forest, a heavily wooded area must get at least 80 inches of rain per year, according to The Book of Bizarre Truth. Rain falls about 90 days a year in a rain forest. As much as 50% of this precipitation evaporates, meaning that rain forests recycle their water supply.

In non – rain forest areas, water evaporates and is transported via clouds to different regions. In a rain forest, however, the unique climate and weather patterns often cause the precipitation to fall over the same area from which it evaporated.

A rain forest is comprised of evergreen trees, either broadleaf or coniferous, and other types of intense vegetation. These regions collectively contain more than two – thirds of the plant species on the planet. There are two types of rain forests, tropical and temperate. Tropical rain forests are located near the equator; temperate rain forests crop up near oceanic coastlines, particularly where mountain ranges focus rainfall on a particular region.

Rain forests can be found on every continent except Antarctica. The larger tropical rain forest is the Amazon in South America; the largest temperate rain forest is in the Pacific Northwest, stretching from northern California all the way to Alaska.

At one time, rain forests covered as much as 14% of the earth, but that number is now down to about 6%. Scientists estimate an acre and a half of rain forest – the equivalent of a little more than a football field – is lost every second. The trees are taken for lumber, and the land is tilled for farming.

Famous Okie information: Oklahoma has more man – made lakes than any other state.

Tree trivia: California boasts the oldest known living tree – a Bristlecone Pine named Methuselah, which is estimated to be 4,767 years old.

Keep going on New Years resolutions: Bring a plant into your home. They might help reduce your stress and improve your productivity. Check out the plants at Helms Garden Shop in Guymon, 124 N. Quinn. It is a beautiful place to visit!

Made me laugh: You can never lose a homing pigeon. If your homing pigeon doesn’t come back, what you lost was a pigeon.

Work on your English skills: The question about the Oxford Comma and if it is needed. Here are three examples of why the Oxford Comma is good. 1) Among those interviewed were Merle Haggard’s two ex – wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall. 2) This book is dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand and God. 3) Highlights of Peter Ustinov’s global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800 – year – old demigod and dildo collector.

Look for the upcoming Tiger Hunt in Guymon, to start on May 24!

See you on the bricks, soon! Stay safe.

On The Bricks

April 15, 2021

          Sometimes we need to be reminded why we’re here on this earth. Last night I was reminded.

          Reading is something that I have loved for as long as I can remember. Going into the hardware store in the little town where I grew up, as a young kid, looking at those six Hardy Boys books for sale made me so happy. Some day ……

          And I had parents that the someday always did come. First, they introduced me to our library and the librarian, Cindy, became one of my best friends. The little library that took up one small room downtown had several Hardy Boys book and then I learned they had lots of other great books. Birthdays and special days also came along, and my papa would give me the $2.50 to buy one of the books. Life never got any better than those days.

          When entering Panhandle State University, the library was where I worked. It was a dream come true. When shelving books, there were titles upon titles that interested me and were free to me to check out and enjoy. And I did. Never had I seen such a huge room filled with so many wonderful books waiting for me to discover them. Books offer adventures to be taken when you have the time and the inclination. These adventures still beckon me on a daily basis.

          My daughter told me about a 6th grade boy who loves to read. Lisa thought I should meet Cooper. Lisa told me he read any age level of books and loved the fantasy / sci fi books the best. My grandsons already loved these books so, even though those are not my favorites, I knew there were many new series of this sort. But there were several that I considered the classics, the ground breakers for the series’ being written today. And I ordered some of them to give to this little reader.

          Two weeks ago Lisa took “A Wrinkle in Time” trilogy to Cooper. Bingo. He hadn’t read them yet.

          Last night Lisa handed me a card. Written in pencil inside was, “Melyn, Thank you for the Wrinkle in Time Trilogy. It was very nice of you. Right now I’m reading the Rangers Apprentice series. Once I’m finished I can’t wait to start yours!

          “Can’t wait to meet you, (signed) Cooper”

          So now I look forward to the adventure of meeting Cooper and talking about books. I also have three more books to give him … it’s going to be fun.

          Another fun thing happening this weekend (on Sun., Apr. 18 at 3 pm) is meeting the author Rilla Askew. Yes, she is going to be in Guymon at the Main Street Guymon office. Please come by and hear Rilla, get a chance to see the book “Kind of Kin” where she did a lot of research here in Texas County.

          See you on the bricks!

On The Bricks

April 10, 2021

         Making a difference in someone’s life really isn’t hard. When we set out to make a difference, or to help someone, it can be in a big way or a small way. Both matter.

          Making a difference could be writing a check for something that others are doing, like to the Scouts (who are having a luncheon on April 22 at noon in the Methodist Enrichment Center … all are invited) or Main Street Guymon (of course I mentioned that one). Or you might write a check and help the Lions Club with one of their projects. For 75 years the Lions Club has owned and operated the train at the park. There are costs and they do appreciate donations to help them with their many community projects (PO Box 101, Guymon if you want to donate).

          Or you might be the person that takes food to someone who has lost a loved one or who has been sick, or just to be nice.

          Or you might be the Sunday School teacher who makes the kids look forward to Sunday’s all week long.

          You could be a volunteer coach for a youth team.

          You could be someone that cleans the whole alley on your block (this IS community clean-up month) or mows lawns for some elderly folk.

          Today there were eight high school kids that came in with Summer Behne, their Business Club sponsor. That team is spending some time fixing up some parks in town. On a Saturday.

          There are many ways to make a difference. One of the best ways is to smile at people. Share a little happiness with everyone you meet. This is a concept that happy people learn. It is nearly impossible to be happy when the only person you are concerned about is yourself.

          “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

          “Selfless giving is the art of living.” ~Frederic Lenz

          True giving is with no expectation of getting anything in return.

          “It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

          “We rise by lifting others.” ~Robert Ingersoll

          In the workplace and at home, always try to help people be the best version of themselves.

          “I wondered why somebody didn’t do something. Then I realized, I am somebody.” ~Unknown

          There are times when someone notices that a certain area needs to be cleaned up, some litter picked up or something, and they ask me to set up a community-wide clean-up. Main Street Guymon asks the community to all pitch in and clean up in April and in September. So, even though I try to be nice, my question is, “Why weren’t you there at the last community clean-up? Why don’t you just ask two friends and spend a half hour and do that? Why does it have to be a big event with photos?” It doesn’t. When we notice something that should be done, we should just do it. This is stewardship. This is accomplishing something. It is the right thing to do.

          “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” ~Edward Everett Hale

          Let’s do something that makes a difference this week!

          See you on the bricks.

On The Bricks

April 3, 2021

We will soon be celebrating our pioneer heritage here in the Panhandle. Here’s a little Oklahoma pioneer trivia.

Anna Emmaline McDoulet, known as Cattle Annie, was a young American outlaw, associated with Jennie Stevens, or Little Britches. Cattle Annie and Little Britches were crack shots with both pistol and rifle. They were once among the most recognized names among outlaws in the Oklahoma and Indian Territories.

Cattle Annie was born on Nov. 29, 1882, in eastern Kansas. When she was 12, the family moved to the Osage Reservation near Skiatook in northern Oklahoma Territory, where she turned outlaw. Annie and Little Britches followed tales of the Bill Doolin gang from reading dime novels.

For two years, Cattle Annie and Little Britches roamed Indian Territory. They stole horses, sold alcohol to the Osage and Pawnee Indians, and warned outlaw gangs whenever the law was nearby. They wore men’s clothing and packed pistols on their hips. Their adventures netted headlines from Guthrie, capital of the former Oklahoma Territory, to Coffeyville, Kan.

U.S. Marshal Steve Burke captured 13 – year – old Cattle Annie climbing from a window in 1895. Marshal Bill Tilghman had a more difficult task apprehending Little Britches, who engaged in a physical confrontation with the famous lawman before he took her into custody. Annie was sentenced to one year in the Massachusetts Correctional Institution. Because of health issues, she was soon paroled. She remained in Framingham for some time, having informed corrections officers that, if she returned to Oklahoma, she would likely have fallen back into her criminal ways. In 1898, she was working as a housekeeper near Framingham. A few months later, she may have moved to New York City, where she seems to have died of tuberculosis.

Another legitimate report claims that Annie left Framingham to return to Oklahoma where she wed Earl Frost of Perry on March 13, 1901. The couple had two sons, Robert C. Frost (1903-1993) of Oklahoma City and Carlos D. Frost, later of Malibu, Calif. After the divorce from Frost, Annie married Whitmore R. Roach (1879-1947), a Texas native, veteran of World War I, and painting contractor in Oklahoma City, where they lived after 1912. This “Emma McDoulet Roach” is interred at Rose Hill Burial Park in Oklahoma City. She died in 1978, just short of her 96th birthday. Her newspaper obituary makes no mention of her early days or even the first name “Anna” but instead refers to “Emma”, the shortened form of “Emmaline”. The obituary indicates that she had been a bookkeeper in her later working career. Her services were held in her home church, Olivet Baptist in Oklahoma City.

Meanwhile, Little Britches also served a short sentence at the reformatory in Framingham, but her whereabouts thereafter are unknown. Some reports indicate that Little Britches returned to Tulsa, where she was married, had a family, and led an exemplary life.

Johnson’s 1981 film, Cattle Annie and Little Britches, features Burt Lancaster as an historically inaccurate and much older Bill Doolin, Amanda Plummer as Cattle Annie, Rod Steiger as Marshal William Tilghman, Scott Glenn as Bill Dalton, and Buck Taylor, particularly known to audiences as the blacksmith-turned-deputy Newly O’Brien on CBS‘s Gunsmoke, as the outlaw Dynamite Dick, presumably Dan Clifton, called “Dynamite Dan.”

Novelist Robert Ward, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, penned Cattle Annie and Little Britches (1977), his personal interpretation of the romantic legends of the Doolin – Dalton gang.

Oklahoma Trivia: Robert Stemmons, born and raised in Tulsa, Okla., is one of very few internationally known highly skilled whistlers. He started whistling at the age of five and after hearing the famous whistler Fred Lowery at a live concert in 1969, Stemmons decided to perfect his own whistling skills. For almost a decade Stemmons displayed his unique talent in Cirque du Soleil’s traveling production of Corteo.

Keep up with New Years resolutions: Be kind on social media.

Good advice: What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing, is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain. ~Maya Angelou

See you on the bricks soon!

On The Bricks

March 30, 2021

          Giving to others isn’t only about money, it is also about putting in time and effort. Getting involved in a local project can help you feel more connected to your community and neighbors.

          Those who volunteer often also benefit from lower levels of stress, lower blood pressure, and increased physical activity. One recent study says older adults who volunteer their time have improved cognitive function, increased physical abilities, and decreased television watching.

          That’s what I read. But I know that my blood pressure goes up when I’m working on an event. I do enjoy them and even more, I enjoy when they’re over and people have been happy that we had them.

          There is no argument though, the people who are giving and working for their community seem to be much happier.

          “Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.” ~ Sally Koch

          Help someone load their groceries, be friendly to people in the restaurant, give a smile to those you meet. Send a card to someone to make them smile.

          Kathy Holmes makes lots of people smile by her kind and caring positive comments on Facebook. She and her family are also very supportive of community happenings.

          Here’s two to put on your calendar: The Women of St. Peter’s Catholic Church will be holding their Spring Salad Luncheon on Thur., Apr. 15 from 11 am to 1:30 pm. There are deliveries and carry-out and each plate contains assorted salads, homemade hot rolls, and a dessert. The cost of a ticket is $10 and call Aggie Zac at 580-651-1608 to get a reservation. It is a win for the church women and it is a win that you don’t have to cook.

          Then on Sat., April 17, at 2 pm is a Backyard BBQ at Bob’s Cowboy Bar … a fund raiser for young Noah Patterson. There will also be a drawing for items donated by local folks (tickets are $20 each). There is nothing fun about having a young son who is sick … but it can be fun to raise the family’s spirit with a BBQ and sharing.

          “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” ~Booker T. Washington

          Get happy and join in the Community Clean-Up. Help by working with the crews on the morning of Sat., April 17, or plan a time for you and some friends to get together and give an hour for the Spring cleaning of our town. Clean your alley, pick up litter in a spot that you notice, help someone with their tree limbs, do something. When we all do a little bit, a lot can get done. And have fun when you’re doing it!

          “Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.” ~William Arthur Ward

          This is Holy Week and Easter is here on Sunday, a day of true giving.

          See you on the bricks!

On The Bricks

February 12, 2021

          A giraffe’s coffee would be cold by the time it reached the bottom of its throat. Ever think about that? No. You only think about yourself.

          This makes me laugh. And laugh. And laugh. It is outrageous. But it is also true. Most of us spend a lot more time thinking about ourselves. To the point we even pay therapists so we talk more about ourselves.

          Now, I’m not saying that a bunch of us don’t need therapy, but it is a bit ironic, don’t you think?

          My family taught that when you are blue, it is best to help someone else and this will pull you out of your shadows faster than anything. It has worked for me for over 50 years.

          Keep your therapists, if you need them because it is good to work through our problems with someone who knows how to teach you to deal with problems. But throw in some helping others and let’s see what happens.

          Need some ideas?

          Heritage Community is where some of our elders live. They have been isolated from their families and friends for quite some time through COVID. But their caretakers are doing some fun things with them such as BINGO. Go shopping and get some fun prizes for them to use in their BINGO games. Things like word search puzzle books, pens and / or pencils, small note pads, air freshners, body spray / perfume / cologne, small bags to hold prizes, individual yogurt or chocolate covered raisins packages, sugar free candy packets, cheese and peanut butter cracker packets, etc.

          Go to the store and get some note cards or greeting cards and send cheery notes to people you love / you miss / you think have done a good job. Tell your kids they make you proud. Tell your neighbor you love their flowers and admire the work they do in their garden.

          It’s community clean – up time pretty soon. Go clean up your neighborhood alley. Walk the streets and pick up trash. My father is in his 80s and when it’s decent weather he walks his block and alley and picks up all trash. The walk makes him feel better and doing something for the good of all makes him feel better. Now you also know who taught me that doing something for others is important.

          Ask about volunteering in the community. If you want ideas on that, come by the Main Street office and we’ll talk.

          Work every day on being more positive and more helpful. Before you get out of bed think of one thing and thank God (or whomever you wish to thank) for that. Then several times during the day notice something that is beautiful, something you are thankful to have, to see, to be.

          Every morning when I drive to work I say a prayer for the Main Street Guymon members who support the organization and give me the opportunity to work with the community. I love my job. I know I would not have this job without those members and volunteers that make it all possible.

          Let’s do this. We can work on becoming a better person. And when we need a laugh … think about the giraffe and his coffee.

          The Career Focus is going great. We have 17 people in the class from Guymon, Hooker, Beaver, and Perryton. They are awesome! And they are working to become better people, better managers, and better employees. Say a prayer for each of them and for the wonderful local people who give their time to teach in the class.

          My board of directors is in the process of giving out the winners of our Main Street Guymon awards this month. I appreciate and thank each of those board members and committee chairmen who are doing the presentations since we are not having the meeting in person. I also thank God for each of the individuals and members who are getting the awards. They are helping Guymon be a better place to live and work and shop.

          Keep your head up and I’ll see you on the bricks!

On The Bricks

February 10, 2021

We should all strive to do more than is expected of us. Here is one Okie that did that. You might not agree with his methods, but this man from Oklahoma left a real mark.

Patrick Jay Hurley was a highly decorated American soldier with the rank of Major General, statesman, and diplomat. He was the United States Secretary of War from 1929 to 1933. He was a  self-made man born on Jan. 8, 1883, in a log cabin in Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory near Lehigh, Okla. Hurley worked as a coal miner and as a cowboy who had often hunted with Choctaw Indians during his teenage years before he saved enough to go to college. He graduated from Indian University, now Bacone College, in 1905 and received his law degree from the National University School of Law in Washington D.C. in 1908.

He started a law practice in Tulsa in 1908, one year after statehood. He was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court in 1912 and was national attorney for the Choctaw Nation from 1912 to 1917.

He received a second law degree, from George Washington University, in 1913. While he was enjoying much success as a lawyer, Hurley had become active as a Republican in Oklahoma politics. Hurley also served in the Indian Territorial Volunteer Militia from 1902 to 1907 and in the Oklahoma National Guard, from 1914 to 1917.

During World War I, Hurley served with the Judge Advocate General’s Department of the 6th Army Corps, American Expeditionary Force, in France. He thus received the Army Distinguished Service Medal. In November 1918, Hurley was detached to the 76th Field Artillery Regiment and participated in the battles near Louppy-le-ChâteauFrance. Hurley voluntarily conducted a reconnaissance despite heavy enemy fire and so was awarded with Silver Star for gallantry in action.

After the war, he attended George Washington University. Active in the Republican Party, he was appointed Assistant Secretary of War by President Herbert Hoover in 1929. He was later promoted to Secretary of War and served in Hoover’s cabinet until 1933.

Hurley received a promotion to brigadier general (from colonel in the reserves) in 1941 when the United States entered World War II, and General George C. Marshall dispatched him to the Far East as a personal representative to examine the feasibility of relieving American troops besieged on the Bataan peninsula. Dwight Eisenhower, a staff officer in Washington, sent Hurley to Australia with $10 million in cash, to arrange supplies and charters for the Philippines. He was successful in delivering additional food and ammunition to the soldiers on three separate occasions but could not evacuate them.

After the conclusion of this mission, he embarked on a series of assignments as a personal representative of President Franklin Roosevelt. He served as minister to New Zealand in 1942 and then flew to the Soviet Union, the first foreigner to receive permission to visit the Eastern Front. Over the next two years, he visited the Near EastMiddle EastChinaIran and Afghanistan on behalf of Roosevelt.

Hurley was assigned by Roosevelt to be his personal representative to Joseph Stalin in November 1942.

The first and potentially only high – ranking U.S. military officer to be granted access to Soviet combat operations on the Eastern Front, Hurley reported amiable relations with Soviet military officers.

When Hurley arrived in Tehran, he made a great impression by wearing cowboy hats and rejecting normal diplomatic protocols, with many in the Iranian élite used to strict diplomatic protocol saying they had never met a diplomat like Hurley. An Iranian-American historian, Abbas Milani, described Hurley as “an odd and eccentric character” who was “horrified” by the “abject poverty amongst the people and arrogant disdain for the populations by the British and Soviet ambassadors.” Hurley often met with Iranian officials, especially the young Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who had inherited the Peacock Throne only two years earlier. Hurley had the responsibility of organizing preparations on the American side for the Tehran summit in November 1943.

He was appointed U.S. Ambassador to China in 1944. Despite being a Republican, Hurley had often worked with Roosevelt. On Nov. 26, 1945, Hurley submitted a scathing letter of resignation, two hours after he met with President Truman. 

In 1950, when Senator Joseph McCarthy accused the State Department of being ridden with Soviet spies who were all “Communists and queers” and were the ones responsible for the United States “losing” China, Hurley publicly endorsed McCarthy in a 1950 speech. Hurley was the Republican candidate for a seat in the United States Senate for the state of New Mexico in 1946, 1952 and 1958, but he lost all three attempts against the Democratic candidate Dennis Chávez.

Both contemporary and modern assessment of Hurley have not been kind. Aside from Hoover himself, Hurley was the last living member of the Hoover administration. He died on July 30, 1963.

Major General Hurley served in two World Wars and received many decorations for bravery and distinguished service, including the Army Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, World War I Victory Medal with three battle clasps, Army of Occupation of Germany Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European – African – Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with two service stars, World War II Victory Medal, and Order of the White Eagle.

Keep on those New Year’s resolutions: Join a group or get involved with a program that has you make new friends, meet new people, do new stuff. This can help you blossom this year!

See you on the bricks!

On The Bricks

February 5, 2021

          One of my kids’ friends was pregnant and she and her husband were ecstatic. They had several miscarriages prior to this pregnancy, but it appeared this one was going to help their dreams come true for a family. Miscarriages are not uncommon, but we don’t know the pain people have gone through because of them because this isn’t something we tend to talk about unless we know someone really well.

          Problems are usually like that … we don’t know other people’s hurts and challenges. They usually don’t know ours.

          When the friend was at 20 weeks, she and her husband learned the baby had something wrong with it and would likely not live. She carried it for 18 more weeks and at her appointment there was no longer a heartbeat. They induced labor and their little boy was stillborn.

          How many of us assumed, seeing the pregnant young lady, that she and her husband were happy?

          How many of us have any idea what it is like to carry a baby for 18 weeks, knowing that you won’t be giving that baby a birthday party?

          Recently she was on social media and saw a post by someone that said something along these lines, “My husband and I just found out that our baby is a girl. We are so heartbroken. We want to have a boy so badly.”

          I have no words for this mess.

          My prayer is that you find the strength to face your problems and you find the compassion to know there are many who have bigger challenges than you.

          My friend Jada says too often we let “third world problems” get us down when we are lucky to have them. We could have first world problems where we are worried about food and a safe shelter to stay alive.

          Are you more interested in learning about other people’s challenges in our community and nation? Please consider attending Challenging Conversations, a program sponsored by the Guymon Rotary Club on Tuesday evenings at 6 pm in the Guymon Library. The start on March 16 and run for eight weeks. It can be that you might find out more about yourself in being a part of these evenings. For more information, contact Melyn at Main Street Guymon, 338-6246.

On The Bricks

February 1, 2021

          To try each day to be a better person than you were yesterday can be a challenge. But the things you do to improve don’t really have to be big.

          Tip your server better. Return your shopping cart. Pick up a piece of trash. Hold the door for someone behind you. Let someone into your lane.

          Small acts can have a ripple effect and can change the world.

          Main Street Guymon is starting their Career Focus, a professional development course for people wanting to improve themselves in their workplace, this week. We have 15 people who are attending. They are employees from Dizzy B’s, First National Bank of Hooker, Golden Mesa Casino, PCHC, PTCI, TCEC, and Urban Bru. All businesses that have chosen an employee(s) to invest in this year.

          This program is a personal favorite of mine. We have local people who come in and share what they know. Every single one of them has something we should all learn. We started Career Focus in 2015 and I have attended almost all of the sessions. Some of the sessions have been held every year and yet I learn something every year.

          If we think we have nothing to learn, no way to improve who we are, we probably are either really arrogant, really boring, or ready to kick the bucket because things can ALWAYS get better, as can we.

          Here’s something I read on the internet that gives a harsh lesson to us as Christians:

          “A man went to church. He forgot to switch off his phone and it rang during prayer in church. The pastor scolded him. The worshippers admonished him after prayers for interrupting the silence. His wife continued lecturing him on his carelessness on the way home. His face showed the shame, embarrassment, and humiliation for his mistake.

          “After that day, he chose to not go back to church.

          “That same evening, he went to the bar. He was still nervous and trembling. He spilled his drink on the table by accident. The waiter apologized and gave him a napkin to clean himself. The janitor mopped the floor. The manager offered him a complimentary drink. She also gave him a huge hug and a peck while saying, ‘Don’t worry. Who doesn’t make mistakes?’

          “He has continued going to that bar since that time.

          “Lesson: Sometimes our attitude as believers drives people away from Jesus. You can make a difference by how you treat people, especially when they make mistakes.”

          Let’s all improve ourselves together.

          Shop and Dine is on Feb. 4 from 4 – 7 pm in downtown Guymon. The best part is artist Leyla Bello’s reception at SPC WOW Boutique. It is a great time to stop by and meet her and see the cards she has for sale there. And you can sign up for the Shop and Dine prize, too!

          Eggs and Issues is a morning we can come together and learn what is currently happening from our politicians. It’s a great morning at Hunny’s at 7 am on Feb. 5.

          Pangaea is an evening when we can learn more about our neighbors in the community. It is happening on Tues., Mar. 9 at 6 pm in Pickle Creek. Main Street Guymon will have tickets to sell soon.

          And mid-March is when we start working for our Community Clean – Up. Do you have some folks willing to do 30 minutes to an hour of clean – up with you?

          Hope to see you on the bricks!