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On The Bricks Archives

October 14, 2019

Last week had some interesting moments. First, a very nice lady came in who had questions about the veteran’s banners on Main Street. At first, she was a little nervous because she didn’t know if she was in the right place and then we got to visiting. She had a photo of her older brother who was in WWII and she had written up what his wife could recall about his service. We talked and at one point she had tears, as did I. My heart went out to her because she missed her brother so much.
It is my hope that we all love our siblings so much that we miss them as much as that sweet woman misses her brother. That we are kind and good to our family and that they mourn us when we are gone. That the memories they have bring a tear to their eye and a smile to their face. We have to work at being the person that brings this. I don’t think it’s easy, but it looks to me that it’s worth it the effort.
The same day two of the local Mormon missionary girls came in and sat down, asking about ways they could help in the community. Another example set by some very young girls, an example of who I want to work harder at being. Their eyes lit up and they smiled so big when I told them the Golden Senior Olympics was coming up (on Oct. 18) and they might need some help. They were so open to doing good deeds and it didn’t have to be on their terms or for their own ends, it was just to help people.
It was a lovely time getting to speak with these two young ladies and discuss all sorts of things happening in the community. They set my personal goals up a notch, too.
God seemed to be in the mood to motivate me to be a better person and was showing mean in a way that I couldn’t miss. He’s good that way.
On Friday, the Career Focus Professional Development class met at the library, they’re all there at 8:30 in the morning, with smiles on their faces and coffee in hand. Toni Mathis (with PTCI) always comes in first because she knows that we will need some technical assistance and she is there to help.
Nayely Mesta – Esquivel (with PCHC) comes in next and since the second class she has come in, said “Good morning” and then proceeded to go on in and make the coffee. I love someone that just helps, without making a big deal about it, without expecting any big pats on the back.
During the class, there was a little noise in the hallway and Erica Velasquez (with Brown and Associates), quietly got up from her chair, shut the door, and there wasn’t a ripple missed in the class, it was all smooth and another just taking initiative to do what needed done.
It is good to notice these people in our lives, in our days. And it is even more important to tell them thank you … and to make it a point to improve our actions. It’s never a bad time to give back what has been given to you. And for those days when we feel that there isn’t much positivity around, to be the one to bring it into the room.
Sounds easy. And some people make it look easy. Maybe it gets easier the more you do it. I hope to find out.
Here are several community activities coming up that you might consider taking part in:
• The Rocky Horror Picture Show is being shown at the Guymon Community Theatre on Oct. 18 at 7:30 pm;
• Wirtz Lumber is celebrating their 95th business birthday on Oct. 19, from 11 am to 2 pm and would love to have you come in;
• Library is having the Mystery Party at the Speakeasy, $10 per person, on Oct. 19 from 4 to 6 pm and need some men for the parts, especially;
• Chamber Banquet is on Oct. 22 at Pickle Creek and will have the Dueling Pianos perform that evening;
• Oct. 22 is the Dementia Support Group, contact Phyllis Stokes at 580-651-9132 for more information;
• And Main Street Guymon’s Pangaea is coming on Oct. 29!!!!
Hope to see you out and about and on the bricks!

September 30, 2019

There is a series of books, very simple and easy reading, called the Mitford novels that I love. The books, written by Jan Karon, follow Father Timothy Andrew Kavanagh through his days in a small mountain village in western North Carolina. Father Tim, a 60+ year old Episcopal priest is beloved by all for his unfailing concern for their needs and for his exceptional warmth, grace, and charm.
All through the book you are aware of everyone being very human and the beauty of a day filled with simple things.
If you want something to make you smile and to feel happy, check out one of these Mitford books. They make a day happy.
Here are some thoughts Father Tim shares in one of the books …
• If you judge people, you have no time to love them. ~Mother Teresa
• The poor get poorer by acting rich and the rich get richer by acting poor.
• Once the mind has been stretched by a new idea, it will never again return to its original size. ~Oliver W. Holmes
• One of the illusions of life is that at the present hour is not the critical decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
• How to keep a healthy level of sanity:
1. As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
2. Sing along at the opera.
3. When the money comes out of the ATM, yell “I won! I won!”
4. Page yourself over the intercom – don’t disguise your voice.
5. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with it.
• He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose. ~Jim Elliot
• The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket. ~Will Rogers
• Never miss a good chance to shut up. ~Will Rogers
• Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. ~Groucho Marx
• If it weren’t for electricity, we’d all be watching television by candlelight. ~George Gobel
Nothing is as good as a good book for company.
October is a busy month in Guymon. Here are a few of the upcoming happenings that you might want to put on your calendar.
• Elder is the morning of Oct. 3 at the Methodist Enrichment Center;
• Shop and Dine starts at 4 pm on Oct. 3;
• Panhandle Partners evening Rhinestones and Rawhide, is Oct. 3, starting at 6 pm, Pickle Creek;
• Oktoberfest, the fun annual event by the Catholic Church is 6-9 pm on the church parking lot;
• The BBBB with a band, burgers, and some other Bs is a fun community event, first time and it looks like a lot of enjoyable things like the car show, cornhole tournament, and much more is Oct. 5 with activities happening all day. Really, that is Bacon, Brews, BBQ, and Blues for the event.
• OPSU has a home football game on Oct. 5; and
• The fun event for kids by TCEC and PTCI, Pumpkins in the Park, is on Oct. 7.
Good times for all. Hope to see you on the bricks!

September 24, 2019

Guymon Fiesta is over and it was fun. Loved the food. Loved the entertainment. Loved all the businesses who sponsored and made it possible. Loved the volunteers that worked and gave of their time. Thanks to everyone who had a part in it. Well, except those who threw trash on the ground. Thank goodness we had the OPSU Men’s and Women’s Soccer Teams working the Fiesta. They were a Godsend. Love those kids and their coaches!

Speaking of sponsors, did you know that PTCI gives $25,000 in college scholarships a year? That is in addition to the youth leadership camps and the sponsorships they give to school and community. Awesome!

We have some great businesses in our community that support us in so many ways. Be sure to support them in turn!
TCEC is another one and one of the ways they support us is their TCEC Spotlight. In September they went to Pub on the Bricks and these are a great thing to go to. There is always a drawing for a gift certificate and lunch is provided or something similar. Love it. Watch for them!

We are so lucky to live where we do.

In Lebanon, I read that people there, including more than 1 million Syrian refugees, struggle to find clean water to drink or bathe in. The run – off from the mountains flow into decaying pipelines, sewage – choked wells, and rivers thick with pollution. People who drink the water, or swim in it, often end up with stomach or skin ailments that keep them from school or work. Clean water can be purchased from private sources but it is expensive. The average family in Beirut spends up to 15 percent of its monthly income on water.

That makes our little city water bill look wonderful, doesn’t it? We should think about that the next time we go to the sink and turn on the faucet.

We are lucky to live where we do.

The YMCA Sip and Fit is on Sept. 27 at 7:30 pm and Denise and K.C. Rothschopf’s house. The cost is $50 a person or $75 a couple. This is a fund raiser for new machines at the Y. A great event done by wonderful volunteers.

We are lucky to live where we do.

On Sept. 28 there is a soccer tournament at OPSU, it’s the Socctober Fest. This is done by volunteers, too.
And on Sept. 30 is the Support Group for Diabetics at 5:30 pm, meeting at the Heritage Community, 501 NE 15th. All are welcome.

We are lucky to live where people provide opportunities for us to be healthier.

Earlier this year 103 – year – old Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins became the oldest female competitor in the United States, after winning the 50 – and 100 – meter dashes at the National Senior Games in Albuquerque.

“My first run was at age 100,” says Hawkins, who set the world record for the 100 – meter dash in her for the 100 – meter dash in her age group in 2017. “I thought that it would be neat to do the 100 – meter dash at age 100 in under a minute, and that’s what I’ve done. When I crossed the finish line (this time),” she adds, “it felt wonderful. I wasn’t sure I could do it, but I did. Finishing the race was a magic moment for me.”

The former cyclist, and great – grandmother of three, didn’t need much training. “I’ve been running all my life,” she says. “When the phone rings, I come running to answer it!”

The Elder Fair is in Guymon on Oct. 3 at the Methodist Enrichment Center. This is a great event for our senior citizens to learn about what resources are available for them and to find activities that are also available. Be active.

Remember Hurricane Hawkins!

See you on the Bricks!

September 10, 2019

Recently asked what are some of the things I treasure, it was easy to answer.
I treasure being with my family and watching how well my kids get along. They communicate fairly well. They smile. They laugh. The love and acceptance is present. My heart swells at these times. And their children get along pretty well, too. Oh, don’t think they’re perfect … that is far from true and they all have distinct personalities, but for the most part, it is accurate.
I treasure waking up in the mornings and sitting down to enjoy a cup of coffee. That makes me happy because I know my world is really good when I have time to do this.
I treasure meeting new people and seeing new places for many years, but more and more it is my coffee and a good book at home. I love books. I love a stimulating conversation at the table. Not people telling me their opinions and trying to change mine, but the sharing of interesting information.
I treasure the Farmer’s Market for bringing people who are happy and smiling together weekend after weekend. Then when you add the contests like the Dog Parade it just makes me laugh and enjoy. The Baby Contest was fun to see so many people proud and happy. The Salsa Contest is fun and the Art Walk makes me appreciate the talent and work some folks have and do.
What do you treasure? What moments do you hope to hold in your mind for the rest of your life because they are so comforting and interesting to you?
What makes you happy?
Being around people who make laugh makes me happy.
Going to the beautiful Oslo Lutheran Church and seeing my family there makes me happy.
Having a job that is ever – changing and community – oriented, I love. And I get to meet some really great, giving people.
I love my life. It isn’t perfect. It isn’t the way I planned for it to be, but I love it.
And I love the Guymon Fiesta. The food and fun, the feeling of being somewhere other than Oklahoma abounds. I love it.
I hope that I’ll see you there enjoying it on Sunday afternoon and evening, too.
Catch you on the bricks!

September 5, 2019

When a leader loses the loyalty and support of the people that made them a leader there are several commonly accepted reasons as reported in an article entitled “Where Leaders are Made” of the July 2019 Toastmaster magazine. And they are reasons that we need to know and watch that we’re not falling into.

Complacency. Self – satisfied leaders believe they are doing the job the best it can be done, so why change? They avoid risk because it may result in failure, which can topple them from their pedestal. We need to remember that great opportunities are often clothed in risk.

Transference. Leaders can become enamored with authority and expect complete and instant compliance with their commands. They take credit for department successes but transfer the blame for failures. They don’t accept that employees’ failures are also their own.

Isolation. Some bad leaders are convinced of their omniscience, they see no reason to talk to and learn from their employees, who can offer useful perspectives. Some leaders trust only themselves instead of recognizing that, in a complex world, they must also trust many others to provide help to make the best decisions.

True exceptional leaders possess three types of awareness – (1) of themselves, (2) of others, and (3) of the broader environment – each of which enables them to lead more effectively. The same report notes that narcissistic individuals often succeed in gaining leadership roles but fail in performing the associated duties.

The answer to this problem is humility, the ability to respect and acknowledge employees’ contributions, rein in ego, and understand the need to listen – even when the message isn’t something they want to hear.

Success is seldom achieved alone. Humble leaders surround themselves with skilled people, then they delegate appropriately. They are not threatened by their employees’ expertise.

Humble leaders request and heed constructive feedback about their performance. They know they are not the only source of what is right. These leaders are comfortable in a setting in which it’s permissible to debate with a superior about ideas and plans.

Good leaders recognize and own their shortcomings and mistakes, large and small, and acknowledge them with sincerity and humility.

We can all improve our leadership (aka parenting and managerial) skills.

Another thing you might consider is signing up for the Career Focus Professional Development classes through Main Street Guymon. The classes start on Sept. 13 and they’re awesome. Call Melyn at 580-338-6246 for more information.

Mark the Guymon Fiesta on your calendar, Sept. 15 from 3 – 8 pm on the street at 5th and Main. Come by for some awesome food!

See you on the bricks.

September 3, 2019

Last week I encouraged everyone to take a day off from work and enjoy themselves on the day of my birth (Sept. 2 is my birthday). I noticed many did close shop and relax last Monday and I appreciate all those who got into the real spirit of the day.
When people are kind and caring to you, it makes your heart go soft, your eyes tear up, and you soul is humbled.
Then they have a surprise 60th birthday party for you at the Pub on the Bricks. A surprise to the extent that I was shocked. When I started opening the cards, the shock even went deeper. Almost traumatic.
“In horse years …” said the front of the card my brother, who traveled from Colorado to be there, said. “… you’re glue.”
You know, I thought growing old would take longer.
And my brother wasn’t content with the one card, but gave me another. “Just think …” said the front. “At your age, this might be the last birthday card you ever read.”
You see where the trauma was coming in? He should have given me a gift card for therapy as a present.
Don’t grow up. It’s a trap.
“You’re not old if you can still blow out all your birthday candles …” said the card my sweet children and darling grandchildren signed. “… without farting.” Oh my.
My dear friend Terry Brand gave me some very ummmm, unique, gifts along with a card that read, “Got you this designer birthday card for a fraction of what it would normally cost because it has a slight flaw in it. (open card) Merry Christmas!” Can’t fault anyone for saving a few pennies.
I loved the purple fly swatter with the big flower on it. But the unicorn horn headpiece really looking a little on the shady side. As did some other things in the sack (which all made me laugh). Terry spent some time finding those gifts, but she stayed frugal, which she knows I appreciate.
My father gave me a card (it was his birthday, too, by the way) that had an old hag on the front and it read, “Getting older has its advantages. (open card) Nobody wants to borrow your clothes.” This stems from my family always making fun of my fashion sense, or lack of it. It doesn’t help that my clothing is not the size of a normal persons, either.
You see, I broke up with my gym. We just weren’t working out.
I thought the dryer made my clothes shrink. Turns out it was the refrigerator.
Might as well be honest, being cremated is my last hope for a smoking, hot body.
My friend Jada and her husband, Robert Breeden, drove from Spearman to be there. Good friends like that are hard to find. The card Jada found for me said, “Oh please – don’t cry because you’re getting older … (inside) … cry because others are stupid and it makes you sad.”
That is funny. Especially since Jada and I every single day get phone calls from people wanting us to give them a phone number and we pick up our phone books and give them the number. Every. Single. Day. Are we the only people in town that know how to use a phone book these days? Makes me wonder.
Scientists say the universe is made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. They forgot to mention morons.
If you can’t find your phone book and don’t understand the scientist’s statement, then all I can add is “I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.”
I’m not mean, I’m brutally honest. It’s not my fault truth hurts. Here’s a band aid.
So, at the table were my friends who don’t easily get their feelings hurt, who laugh easily, and who are the best people on this earth. It was a wonderful evening. Sitting next to me was my cousin Ronda Holt and we visited and visited. We think we’re funny.
Sitting next to Ronda was her husband, Kevin. He might have said five words all evening. He’s quiet. Across the table from him was Jason Hitch. He’s not loud or obnoxious, but sort of quiet, too.
There’s a shirt I should order for Robert Breeden, Kevin, and Jason. It says, “Introverts unite. We’re here. We’re uncomfortable. And we want to go home!” I am pretty sure that everyone of them was only at the birthday dinner because their wife told them they needed to be. Love them all!!
The shirt that I would buy for myself and Jada says, “You know that little thing inside your head that keeps you from saying things you shouldn’t? Yeah, I don’t have one of those.” In fact, quite a few of my friends have probably earned that shirt.
The birthday party was an evening of wonderment. Good friends. All my children at the tables, visiting with friends. My parents. The spouses of them all. Truly the thing that dreams are made up of.
My brother’s wife is the nicest person in our family and she gave me a card that said, “If you’re wondering how the years have gone by so quickly … it’s because time flies when you’re busy bringing happiness to others and making your own special mark on the world.” That is a sentiment that should be said to all those that came, many who took the time to call and send sweet notes.
Thank you to everyone that made my birthday special. May the Lord bless you and keep you and send love and kindness to you on your birthday, too.
See you on the bricks!

August 26, 2019

Last weekend had several good things going on. Hoping that you were able to take part in some of them.
Saturday morning’s Farmer’s Market was awesome. We only have September Saturday’s remaining to embrace the market. Took home some cucumbers, pumpkin bread, green beans, okra, and cantaloupe. Was too late to get some of Sarah Wiebe’s sour dough bread. It was difficult breaking that little bit of news to my dad.
Sue Smith called me last week and said that she appreciates the Farmers Market so much that she wanted to become a Main Street Guymon member. I love that! Not just that we’ll have a new member, but that someone appreciates what our volunteers are working so hard at doing. Thanks, Sue!
Then about half – way through the morning, there at the market was the Dog Parade, part of Main Street Guymon’s Meet Me at the Market events. What a great time. Charles White Insurance crew presented this event and there were some of the cutest dog costumes and dogs you ever saw. I smiled all the way home thinking of it. Main Street Guymon’s set the registration fee to go to the City of Guymon Animal Shelter, all $39 of it! And there was April Coble taking photos at the Dog Parade for the newspaper. Yep, working on Saturday. We appreciate you, April and the Guymon Daily Herald.
The Car Show happened that afternoon.
The OPSU soccer games took place that evening, with the girls winning their first game. I remember when we had soccer on the OPSU campus in the 70s. It was pretty exciting then. Most of the team was made up of students from Nigeria back then.
Then on Sunday I hope you all went to church. I tuckered out and missed church (which my kids said was excellent) and even missed the family lunch. Feeling old can be exhausting.
The Know Your Neighbor Event about Burma / Myanmar took place on Sunday and went really well. That was a Main Street Guymon event, sponsored by Seaboard Foods.
There were probably other things happening, too, like the feeding of the animals at the Game Reserve on Saturday morning.
We finished the weekend with a friendly game of six – point pitch, my twin son and daughter and I, on Sunday.
If you didn’t have a great weekend, then join us for some of our community events that are coming up!
The City of Guymon is showing a movie on the evening of Aug. 30 at Cross Park behind the YMCA on Oklahoma Street.
Farmers Market starts on Saturday morning, Sept. 7, and the Baby Beauty Contest begins at 10 (registration at 9:30) and presented by Golden Crown.
The Guymon Firefighter Ball is on Sept. 7 at Pickle Creek.
The Meet Me at the Market events on Sat., Sept. 14 are the Salsa Contest (who is the best salsa maker?) and the Art Walk.
Guymon Fiesta happens on Sunday, Sept. 15, from 3-8 pm at 5th and Main. Lots of great food vendors and things to do.
We all have an opportunity to participate in many community activities and each and every person that attended any of the recent event, thank you. And extra thank you and blessings sent to those who sponsored these events. You’re all keeping our community alive!

August 12, 2019

Someone came up with some life lessons that they felt should be posted in all schools and work places. The writer(s) then attributed the list to Bill Gates. This seems to be a lie, but the list is interesting, and I think I’ll share it.
Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it.
Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self – esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3: You will not make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice – president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity.
Rule 6: If you mess up, it is not your parent’s fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They go that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So, before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not.
Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.
Rule 10: Television is not real life. In real life, people have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.
It seems pretty obvious that the writer is someone older and pretty grouchy that wrote this. And probably someone that is very disappointed in their children or grandchildren. But there are some good points.
There are some young people who probably should read this, but I know some awesome young folks that know how to work and appreciate their parents. In no way does it seem to me that the majority of today’s youth are lacking.
The majority of people turn out pretty much they way they are taught and the way they are treated. But the one fact that cannot be altered is that we’re all different. And stereotyping all “those people” is not going to be accurate about everyone. Ever.
Let’s hope the information I have on upcoming community activities is more accurate than stereotyping.
The next Farmers Market, Aug. 17, includes a Pickle and Relish Contest. Bring your best and enter it up before 10 am and you might win $50 in Main Bucks! This all takes place at the market in front of the Texas County Courthouse at 4th and Main. See you there!
On Aug. 23 is the next Craft for a Cause which is a yard ball sign painting. BOP puts on the event, which is a fund raiser for the OPSU SOEA (not sure what that is) and costs $40 a person, but you get your yard sign and everything needed to make it, childcare, and drinks. This time it is at the OPSU Ballroom from 5 – 7:30 pm and you get 25% off of food. They do ask that you RSVP by Aug. 16. Call 580-468-3580 to do that. Did you know that BOP has given over $13,000 to the community through this program? Amazing! And that is the truth.
The 25th of August is the Know Your Neighbor program at the Guymon Public Library from 2 to 3:30 pm in the Safe Room. This program is a documentary about Burma and then we will hear from Mang Lien, who has been living in Guymon since 2009 (and who graduated from OPSU in 2015).
See you on the bricks!

August 10, 2019

For those of us that love to read and hate tossing a book away, here is a way to pass on your paperbacks.
Operation Paperback is a non-profit organization that can help you share your gently – used paperback books to American troops overseas and veterans and military families here in the United States. Since 1999, over 2 million books have been shipped through this program.
Operation Paperback provides books to wounded warrior programs and veteran’s hospitals in the U.S., as well as USO centers at U.S. airport transit points. In 2112, they added a program to ship books to any military family.
You can go online to and click on the “send books” point and sign up to be a volunteer shipper. The volunteer shipper collects and ships their own books using the addresses they provide. The list they provide is generated by the genres you have to ship, and the program generates a customize address label to use. You label the books and insert their standard shipping letter or write one of your own. Pack the box, address it, and mail it off at the post office.
This is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization and donations are tax deductible.
And if you have children’s books, they can be donated to the Bus 6 program here in Guymon. If you have some, bring them on by the Main Street Guymon office and we’ll make sure they get to the right folks!
Talk about know, there is a program on the people from Burma (also knows as Myanmar) at the Guymon Public Library on Sunday, Aug. 25, from 2 to 3:30 pm. This is part of the Main Street Guymon program “Know Your Neighbor.” Guymon has a significant population of people who have been living in Guymon for a long time. It’s good to learn a little about why the people from Burma have chosen to move to the United States, and Guymon in particular.
The next day is Aug. 26 and the day the Diabetes Support Group meetings at the Heritage Community at 5:30 pm. All are welcome to attend this free support group that has a program each month.
Does it sometimes feel that you’re always being rejected? That everyone is always telling you “no?” You can also use these moments as learning tools. Go to and you’ll find Jia Jiang teaches individuals and organizations that the fear of rejection is usually more damaging than the actual experience. In fact, he believes that looking at rejection with open – minded curiosity can be an impressive catalyst for success.
That’s an interesting concept.
When you’re down in the dumps, you can also look at these 10 signs that show you’re doing pretty good in life.
1. You have a roof over your head.
2. You ate today.
3. You have a good heart.
4. You wish good for others.
5. You have clean water.
6. Someone cares for you.
7. You strive to be better.
8. You have clean clothes.
9. You have a dream.
10. You’re breathing.
Be thankful for the little things, for they are the most important.
I am thankful for each and every one of you that support Main Street Guymon, our local businesses, and our community.
See you on the bricks!

August 1, 2019

Today let’s just mess around with some Oklahoma trivia that is gathering dust in my “On the Bricks” folder.
Oklahoma is home to several exceptional athletes over the years. Mickey Mantle is a baseball player from Spavinaw, who hit his 500th home run on May 14, 1967, for the New York Yankees. That day he became the sixth player in baseball to hit 500 home runs or more.
Baseball catcher Johnny Bench, Binger, is also well – known; as is Time Magazine’s Athlete of the Century, Jim Thorpe from Prague; Dallas Cowboy Quarterback Troy Aikman, Henryetta; baseballer Dizzy Dean, Holdenville; and footballer Darrell Royal of Hollis.
Gymnast Shannon Miller moved to Edmond, Oklahoma, at six months of age. She is the most decorated U.S. gymnast, male or female, at the Olympic Games, with a total of 7 medals; she has 16 World Championships and Olympic medals between 1991 and 1996; is the second most decorated gymnast, male or female, in U.S. history; and the tenth most decorated gymnast from any country by her individual medal count.
Bertha Frank Teague was a basketball coach and the first woman inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame.
Oklahoma also has some well-known people in the arts. Ralph Waldo Ellison is an author from Oklahoma City best known for his novel Invisible Man, winner of the National Book Award in 1953.
Author Tony Hillerman is from Sacred Heart; Pultizer Prize winning poet John Berryman, Anadarko and McAlester; S.E. Hinton, author from Tulsa; columnist Argus Hamilton, Ardmore; and Louis L’Amour, Oklahoma City.
Maria Tallchief was an Osage dancer considered America’s first major prima ballerina. Born in Fairfax, Okla., she studied in Los Angeles, moved to New York City, spent five years with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo where she met choreographer George Balanchine who later co-founded what became the New York City Ballet in 1946, where this Oklahoma ballerina became its first star. She was the first American to perform in Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater. Before retirement she served as director of ballet for the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Brad Pitt is an American actor, born in 1963 in Shawnee, who had a leading role in A River Runs Through It, Legends of the Fall, Seven, Fight, Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, and Ocean’s Thirteen, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and many more movies. He had as wives both Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie.
This year Quentin Tarantino delivers an Oklahoma one – two punch with his newest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, starring Pitt and featuring Oklahoma City native James Marsden as part of a sprawling ensemble cast exploring the film industry of the late 1960s.
Some other notable actors are James Garner, Norman; Ron Howard, Duncan; Ben Johnson, Pawhuska; Tony Randall, Tulsa; Gene Autry, Gene Autry and Sapulpa; Gary Busey, Tulsa; Kristin Chenowith, Broken Arrow; Joan Crawford, Lawton; Chuck Norris, Wilson and Ryan; and Donna Reed, Tulsa;.
TV host Phillip McGraw, “Dr. Phil” is from Oklahoma City. Broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite also came from Oklahoma City.
Paul Harvey was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was an American radio broadcaster known for his famous The Rest of the Story segments. From the 1950s through the 1990s, his programs reached as many as 24 million people a week.
The most famous radio personality in the history of the United States was Will Rogers of Oolagah and Claremore.
Woody Guthrie is a famous Oklahoma folk singer and song writer born in 1912 in Okemah. His best-known song is This Land is Your Land. He wrote many songs about his experiences in the Dust Bowl and was nicknamed the Dust Bowl Troubadour.
A few other singers include Garth Brooks, Tulsa; Vince Gill, Norman; Reba McEntire, McAlester; Roy Clark, Tulsa; Charlie Christian, Oklahoma City; David Gates (Bread) from Tulsa; Leon Russell, also from Tulsa; and Blake Shelton, Ada.
Cartoonist Chester Gould was from Pawnee. He drew the Dick Tracy comic from 1931 to 1977.
Air and space travel includes some famous Okies. Astronaut Thomas Stafford was born in Weatherford, Oklahoma, and flew on the Gemini 6, Gemini 9, Apollo 10, and Apollo-Soyuz missions. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and is known for the “Handshake in Space” with Russian cosmonaut Alexei Lenov.
Other Oklahoma astronauts are Gordon Cooper, Shawnee and Tecumseh; Owen Garriott, Enid; Shannon Lucid, Bethany; and John Herrington.
Aviation pioneers Paul and Thomas Braniff were from Oklahoma City.
Outlaw Pretty Boy Floyd is from Akins and Sallisaw; and Outlaw Belle Starr is from Eufaula.
Financier J. Paul Getty is from Tulsa.
The two largest airports in Oklahoma are named after two famous Oklahomans who were both killed in airplane crashes. Will Rogers Airport in OKC and Wiley Post Airport in Tulsa.
Carl McGee of Oklahoma City and Tulsa invented the parking meter.
Bill Pickett of Ponca City is considered the inventor of bull dogging.
Oklahoma has a rich history full of notable people and places.
See you on the bricks!

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