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On The Bricks Archives

May 12, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a great day to be on the bricks.

May 8, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations to you all! We WON!

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

We have wonderful volunteers. Thank you to you all.

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

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

See you on the Bricks!

April 29, 2014

Attending Rotary last week was a lesson in hilarity. Bob Burgess gave the 17th Reading of the Ode to the Barbecue. “It’s not easy being Barbecue Bob,” he said as solemn as can be. “I’m to be commended.” That you are, Bob!

With over 1,800 people served at the annual Rotary Barbecue on the Friday of Pioneer Days (this week), generally in less than an hour and a half, it is a sight to behold. And the organizer of the shindig is Barbecue Bob. And he does it with a straight face and sarcasm that makes us all laugh.

I love being a Guymon Rotarian.

I love Pioneer Days.

There are so many things happening this week … take a look for Thursday:

  • Chicken and Noodle Supper at the Pentecostal Church, 1009 N Ellison; and
  • Meet the Rodeo Queens lunch at Epic Touch, Northridge Shopping Center.

On Friday:

  • Miss Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo Pageant Breakfast at Ambassador;
  • Kid’s Clown Contest at Big R Standard Supply at 10:30;
  • Spikes and Spurs Golf Tournament at 11:00;
  • Rotary BBQ at 11:30 at Texas County Activity Center;
  • Mutton Bustin’ at 6:45 at the Arena; and
  • Rodeo at 7:30 and it’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink night.

On Saturday:

  • Old Timer’s Breakfast by Seaboard at Fairgrounds, 5:30;
  • 5K Run / Walk behind Activity Center, 7:00 am;
  • Pancake Eating Contest and Entertainment, 7:30 at Commercial Building;
  • Mercantile Arts and Crafts Show at Activity Center, 10 am to 7 pm;
  • Parade at 10:30 am;
  • Lunch for Seniors, Potluck at No Man’s Land Center 15th and East St.;
  • Lunch for Veterans at the American Legion;
  • Mutton Bustin’ at 1:15 at arena;
  • Rodeo at 2 pm;
  • Tractor Pull on south side of fairgrounds, 2:30 – 5 pm;
  • Mutton Bustin’ at 6:45 pm;
  • Pioneer Day Dance at Senior Citizens at 7 pm; and
  • Rodeo at 7:30 pm.

On Sunday:

  • Cowboy Church at the arena, 10 am;
  • Mercantile Arts and Crafts at Activity Center, 11 am – 5 pm;
  • Mutton Bustin’ at 1:15 at rodeo arena;
  • Rodeo at 2 pm; and
  • Boats and Trains at Sunset Lake from 2 pm til dark.

Have a great time celebrating our Pioneer Heritage this week! And when you see one of the hundreds of Pioneer Day and Chamber volunteers that make this happen, you give them a pat on the back. They deserve it. Few communities have such a wonderful celebration as this and those volunteers deserve our thanks.

See you on the bricks!

April 28, 2014

Recently on a website entitled “I Own Downtown” was an article that I found enlightening at times and entertaining at other times. “This is Why Merchants are So Angry, Grumpy, and Irritable” was the title of the article posted by Ben Muldrow.

It was posted in 2013 and I don’t know where the author was from, so his cost quotes might be different here, but the whole concept is really good, I thought.

“The average downtown retail space in America is about 2,000 square feet. The average downtown rent in America is about $16.40 per square feet. That means that the normal downtown retailer is paying about $32,800 a year in rent.

“So, without standard market up of 50%, the retailer needs to sell $65,600 worth of product just to break even. For rent. Alone.

“Okay, a little more math. Let’s get slightly more complicated now. Did I mention my mom taught math in high school?

“Ok, back to class.

“You need lights and heat. Average monthly bill of $674.09 x 12 = $8,089.08. Need to sell another $16,178.16.

“Insurance is $1,458.00.

“Phone, fax, internet is $218 x 12 = $2616.

“Security is $54.18 x 12 = a$650.16.

“Window Washer is $12 x 24 = $288.

“Cash register tape, shopping bags, toilet paper, etc. is $28.68 x 12 = $344.16.

“Total is $5,356.32.

“Need to sell another $10,712.64.

“Grand total of $92,490.80 simply to exist.

“WAIT!!! So, if you process credit cards, it will cost you an additional $2,034.79 to process all those payments.

“96,560.40.

“But people should make money, even a little money, right? So let’s add in the average starting salary for a teacher in the lowest paying state in the union, Montana.

“$26,734.

“That brings it to $150,028.40.

“At this rate a downtown business needs to sell $577.03 every single day that it is open. Every single day, simply to be compensated the same as America’s lowest paid teachers. And this is all in a perfect vacuum. This assumes that every product you buy, you sell. There are no sales. Nothing is shoplifted. Nothing is scratched, dented, rotten, or ruined. Yet, we wonder why those merchants are so grumpy. We wonder why when we walk in their store, they always seem to expect us to do something for them. We have to make a change. The time is now for the rebirth of the Merchant Class. We need to elevate the role of local business owners. Elevate the independent thinkers, and the creative risk takers. Empower the future to own downtown, and make a good living doing it.”

So often we don’t consider others, we only consider the outcome we wish for ourselves.

The answer to putting on your event is not to have the businesses give you the money to do it.

The answer to going to your conference, class, contest is not for the business owners to pay for you to go.

The answer to your banquet, awards, dinner is not to have the local businesses owners donated and give so it costs you nothing.

The answer to your community event is not to get businesses to sponsor so that you have lots of money to give to someone else … if they wanted to give to cure stupidity or whatever other cause, they could give to that. Only ask for help on the help you need, not to pad your budget.

The answer to you having a fund raiser is not to compete with the very business owners that you have asked for your school events, your school trips, your school scoreboard, your school awards.

The answer to saving $5 on your concession stand cost is not to purchase 100 miles away rather than at the very businesses who have supported your endeavors.

The answer to your program is not to assume the businessman wants to pay for it so that the participants don’t have to.

The answer is what do you think the businessman needs to want to be a partner with you? How can you work it so that you’re both being helped?

We need to wake up and realize having a grocery store in town is important. Important enough to support them by purchasing from they so that they can stay in business.

We need to wake up and realize that ordering online does not bring in for the Kid’s Inc. youth program, the Chamber of Commerce, the local sales tax that pays for your running water, your roads, and keeps your toilets flushing.

Let’s appreciate what we have and utilize what we have. We don’t want to lose it.

As Kevin Ngo said, “If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a LOT of time dealing with a life you don’t want.”

And as we’re working to make our community stronger, remember “Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already,” said Dave Willis.

See you on the bricks!

April 19, 2014

I am in the midst of an Earthquake Survival Leadership Course. What is the chance that I would be sitting next to someone from San Francisco? How cool is that?

When starting I wondered if I would survive. I did survive, but I certainly as far from the best. What did we learn? Here’s a fact stated that I think matters every single day, “Panic causes people to react, not act.” And we don’t make good decisions when we are reacting. We need to work on acting and being ready for things so we don’t react. Think it through and stand your course.

In the survival training the teams all worked well together. In fact, I thought it was totally fun. We ranged in age from 54 to 16 years! Three were outstanding in their individual scores. And, funny enough, each was on a different team. The three were a 36 year old female, 21 year old female, and 22 year old male. None of them grew up here. I think that shows we need to be glad we’re getting new folks in!

The training took place on Good Friday of Holy Week.

I talked to someone the day before who is a spiritual person, yet does not profess to be a Christian. I wonder if he has his kids go to Easter egg hunts.

Is an Easter egg hunt purely social or does it have spiritual significance to most?

Easter matters to me, but I do realize that it doesn’t to everyone. Even some who would check the “Christian” box don’t really think on the Easter story when they have the family over for dinner and hunt eggs.

When you think about Easter and Holy Week what’s your first thought? I have to admit that having the family dinner is what I cherish the most. I love any reason to gather my kids and grandkids around the table.

I also like the Friday Fish Fry at the Catholic Church. This is on a social level for me, but it’s great fun.

I love the happy Easter story. Being told someone died for you. You … that’s wow. Hearing someone raised from the dead. That’s also wow. And if you don’t believe those things, the Easter dinner is wow if you go to someone’s house who is a good cook … or they’re good company.

Hope your Easter weekend was wonderful, whether you enjoyed the dinner, the coloring of eggs, the story, or the egg salad sandwiches.

See you on the bricks!

April 7, 2014

An exceptional employee is not always an exceptional business manager or owner. A study from The Hay Group lists traits that separate business leaders from others:

  • Confidence. Exceptional business leaders reject failure as an option. Best of all, their “do or die” attitudes prove contagious and boost organizational performance.
  • Integrity. Most exceptional business leaders are unwilling to set aside their principles for financial gain. They also work to foster a business environment where people are not castigated for occasional mistakes or for criticizing the status quo. These leaders stress the importance of rewarding employees whose work and ideas produce bottom line improvements.
  • Initiative. Exceptional leaders understand the need to monitor the marketplace in a search for opportunities to expand their businesses. They note that change and growth are keys to success, and focus their attention on innovation that will matter over the long term instead of fly – by – night novelties. According to the report, “Successful entrepreneurs can spot the hot issue and always see a new idea through to fruition. Their ability to turn what are often simple ideas into profits is usually based on their own personal or business experiences.”
  • Selling. Successful business leaders operate with a passion and can convey their unbridled enthusiasm to potential clients. Their ability to communicate ideas with drive and commitment represents an essential part of their sales arsenal.
  • Commitment and capacity for hard work. True business leaders understand success requires commitment. As a result, they pour their energy into every endeavor – often to the detriment of their personal lives.
  • Drive and determination. Excellent leaders are willing to sacrifice all (sadly this includes friends and family) to achieve success in business. They are also more willing to take risks and facilitate decision making or defuse organizational politics.
  • Decisiveness. Business leaders constantly evaluate their organization’s performance and take steps to correct personnel issues, address inefficiencies, and correct shortcomings. The goal is to eliminate complacency and create a challenging work environment.
  • Influence: Great business leaders can inspire people to follow their lead and take initiative in the workplace. Moreover, those who perform well, help improve the bottom line, and show loyalty and support are always rewarded.

I believe what I found interesting is that in no place did this study reveal that a great business leader does not have a huge ego, a higher IQ, nor drive a fancier car. Nor do they dictate to their employees, always making sure they understand who is the boss and who will never be the boss.

I’ve had several bosses that were exceptional. They found out what I did well and found ways for those things to be worked into the daily grind more. They learned what I didn’t do well and helped me get better at them. They met me with a smile in the mornings and I always felt like I mattered to them as a person.

Don’t know about you, but I found several things on this list that I find myself needing to work on. You know, too, it isn’t just about being a boss in a business … it’s also ways to be as a parent and as a friend.

We can always do better.

See you on the bricks!

April 1, 2014

There is this liquid soap that I have at my bathroom sink. In the mornings I wash my hands and that soap smells soooooo good. It just starts my day off with a grin. It’s a real tropical flowery smell. My dad is visiting. I wonder if he likes the smell as well as I do. He really isn’t very flowery.

Talking about smelling … whew. I have overwatered a plant of mine here in the office and today I noticed. So I poured out the standing water. Poor plant was flooded. Oh my gosh, it was that sour, nasty smell that you can’t get out of your nostrils. When I finally quit smelling it, my hand went in front of my nose and phew. All over again. Need my smelly soap here!

And with thoughts on smelly. Have you ever thought about how smelly people must have been when Guymon first was settled? Not only do we have really hot summers, but they had way too many clothes, and not near enough water or easy water, anyway. It must have been rank. But maybe if everyone was it wasn’t so obvious?

Those western movies never quite give you the truth on that count, does it?

What is your favorite western movie?

True Grit is a good one, no doubt. Did you know that it takes place in Oklahoma? There are some really fantastic books written by Oklahoma authors and / or that take place in Oklahoma.

I recently read, “True Grit is an ideal Oklahoma read. Much of the action takes place in Indian Territory, specifically the Choctaw Nation. The quest for justice, the adventure in a lawless frontier, and the unique and compelling characters come together to make this novel a classic of American Literature.” It is a book for all ages.

Take a moment and read a little more about Oklahoma. Go check out True Grit from the library, order it for your Kindle, or do whatever it is you do for a book. We should learn more about our fascinating state! Or if you’re from Texas, you should learn more about your fascinating neighbor!

And reading a western is a good idea to get ready for the upcoming OPSU Rodeo! Yes, that happens this month, April 25 and 26. There is an OPSU Rodeo Round – Up (Reunion) for past rodeo team members and supporters that you need to be sure to attend. That is on the 26th at noon in Bob’s Cowboy Bar. For $10 you’ll get lunch and some of the best company you ever heard! Come and join everyone.

For those who are always wanting to learn more about taking photos and the stuff that goes along with it, there is an Intro to Adobe Lightroom class on April 14 from 7 to 9 pm in the Guymon Public Library. This class is being presented by the Main Street Shutterbugs and instructor is Shutterbug Stanley Harper. The class covers the capabilities of Lightroom and how to implement it into your photography workflow.

There is to be several practical exercises for attendees. You’re encouraged to bring a laptop and Adobe Lightroom program with three RAW format images to take part in the practicum.

The Bugs stress that anyone is welcome to attend and if you’re planning to come, be a little early because the library closes at 7 pm and you’ll want to come in before the doors are locked. This is a free class.

Hope your world is smelling fine.

See you on the bricks!

March 31, 2014

Lots of people are worried about the bees. I know that local honey is really popular because I’ve seen when Dean McFadden shows up at the Farmers Market. His supply of local honey is gone in a heartbeat.

Well, it seems that bees are having a little trouble.

The life of a bee is fairly simple. A honeybee looks down, banks hard in flight, and lands in a colorful weave of zinnias, salvia, and cosmos in a sidewalk planter. She enters the flower blossom for a sip of nectar and exits dusted like a sugar donut. She’ll leave a smidge of pollen in each flower she meets; then she’ll go.

This pollination is vital to our plants.

Yet bees face many threats such as parasites, pesticides and sickness. Other threats include concrete cities, manicured lawns, and acres of one – crop fields that leave little food for the pollinators.

There is a simple solution … plant flowers.

Bees appear in spring, when temperatures remain above 50 degrees, and a small garden can fortify a colony. Even a single potted pansy serves up a buzz of energy. What we need are hundreds of backyard gardens and flower pots strung across the nation like a chain of food courts, feeding every pollinator for miles around.

Check out Helm’s Nursery for the most beautiful pots and flowers around. Let’s feed a bee. Take our pollination seriously. Make a difference. Who ever thought you could feed a colony all by yourself? Go forth and fortify.

We have new bricks laid in the plaza in front of the Main Street Guymon office. The new ones are:

Jimmie Draper
“Paps”
We love you
12/25/2013

Jody Ran a Good Race.
Joann Adams
11/14/2013

Precious Angel
Hallie McIntyre
B. 11/24/99
D. 3/16/00

Geo. WJ Shearer
Born June 1954
1102 N Main St.
In Guymon, Okla

Mike and Lori Shannon
Feb. 23, 2001

White Family
Charles, Ethan,
Courtney, Emily

In Honor
Glade & Phyllis
Johnson
M. 10/29/1949

Come by and see the new memorial bricks. It makes for some pretty good reading! And if you have a person or a date or a place that you would like to have remembered, come by and visit about having a brick done. The cost is $100 per brick. It’s a cool gift.

It’s going to be a great week on the bricks!

Wishing you always … Walls for the wind, a roof for the rain, and tea beside the fire. Laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all that your heart may desire.

March 27, 2014

Had a conversation with a friend this morning and we discussed those who complain about things and those that do things. There is such a big difference. Negative vs. positive and it can be on the same issue! Which are you?

Now, nobody is supposed to fix the whole world, but if each of us just did one thing …

“People need to think about something other than them,” she said. And I followed with a big ole “AMEN.”

Recently we taped the April “On the Bricks” TV show (PTCI’s local channel) and the people who were guests are always busy doing things for others. Robert Etbauer, who is Assistant Coach of the Oklahoma Panhandle State Rodeo Team and a two – time World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider, didn’t really enjoy the camera or the interview, but he would do it for those OPSU cowboys and cowgirls. And he won’t brag about himself but he has no problem bragging about the team.

During the years that he and I served on the Pioneer Day Rodeo Committee Robert wore his boot soles to a sliver walking the streets and gathering sponsorship dollars for our local rodeo. He and Craig Latham and Danny Etbauer visited a little boy who loved rodeo in the hospital, he visited a classroom of special needs kids. He did and did and did. And it wasn’t for personal gain.

Robert knows how to do and he certainly doesn’t waste much time talking about it.

Rick Furnish came on the show and talked about the upcoming benefit chicken fried steak chuckwagon feed that Bob’s is putting on. Rick and his crew go to a lot of work and none of that goes in his pocket. At Bob’s they know how to do and to give.

Rick is also involved in the OPSU Rodeo Team Reunion (we actually call it the Rodeo Round Up) that takes place on April 26th at Bob’s Cowboy Bar. It is a fun time for past participants in the OPSU Rodeo Team and their supporters. You should join us! We have lunch that costs $10 a person, sit around and visit, and then everyone heads to the OPSU Rodeo at 4 pm.

Jada Breeden and Earl Helms talked about the upcoming Pioneer Days. Wow. You talk about a lot of volunteers, it’s absolutely amazing how many people do and give for this wonderful community event put on by the Chamber of Commerce.

Then OPSU Football Coach Russell Gaskamp talked about the OPSU Belly Open Golf Tournament that happens on April 26 (yes, you can golf, reunion, and rodeo watch all in one day!). All those who work the golf tournament and participate are giving to the OPSU athletic programs. Do and give.

Gaskamps football boys and a bunch of other OPSU athletes also work many other Pioneer Day events as volunteers. They are such great help. Learning how to be doers and givers.

Another TV show interview was with Nancy Davis about the Iron Thunder’s Five State Motorcycle Run. That is a phenom event that happens the weekend after Pioneer Days. And every dollar gained from that event goes to help someone or something in the community. Doers and givers.

It was humbling to be with all those folks in the room. I respect each and every one of them and what they do for others.

Let’s see, what other happenings are coming up?

The Main Street Shutterbugs are having a Photo Adventure to Kenton on April 5. For more information, contact Arlene Winfrey at 562.277.5468 or Beth McKee at 580.651.7694.

Facebook 101 to learn the basics is a class being taught by PTCI on Thur., April 17 from 5:30 – 6:30 at 2222 NW Hwy 64.

The Main Street Dementia Support Group is brining author Tam Cummings for a free Dementia Education Seminar on Tues., April 29. The seminar is from 9 am to 3 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church. Please RSVP if you are wanting the lunch, which is provided at $10 a person, to Dorothy Countryman at 580.651.4645.

And be thankful for all the people you know who are putting these things together! For all those doers … It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy!

“May neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, the angels protect you, and heaven accept you.” I love how the Irish use the words!

See you on the bricks!

March 13, 2014

The International Day of Happiness is March 20. You’re supposed to give free hugs away. On a personal note, I don’t believe I have ever bought a hug, they’ve all been free. Just saying …

Are you happy? Have you made someone else happy recently?

Happy is a word that is loosely thrown about. Recently I’ve learned a couple things about happy.

The businesses that had teams run in the Livin’ Green race seemed happy. Bank of the Panhandle, Guymon Physical Therapy and Wellness, Tri – County Electric, and Urban Bru all had people smiling as they prepared to run. Were they happy because they were supported by their employers? Were they happy because they were doing something with friends? And maybe they were just happy when it was over. But they seemed happy.

Jada Breeden recently put on the Total Living Show with her fellow Lions. Jada was happy she had bought some shoes at Merle Norman before the show that had memory foam in them. Not only was Jada happy, her feet were, too. She also said it was a very happy experience sitting in the massage chair Reid Furniture brought. I’m going to have to go check that out. She said if you have poor circulation, you really need to go take a look at it.

Some study was done and reported in my Rotarian magazine. They found that 83% of people said their biggest regret was passing up an experience they could have had. The study reported, “experiences are more likely to make us feel connected to others.”

They also found that people who watch more television are less satisfied with their lives than people who watch less. Their explanation is “mainly because TV takes us away from other people …. Social relationships are emerging as the foundation of happiness.

In another study, when people received a gift certificate with instructions to spend it on either themselves or someone else, people who’d spent the money on others were measurably happier than those who hadn’t. The ones who were happiest were those who bought a coffee for someone and spent time with that person.

Who should you have a cup of coffee with? Why put it off?

Think you could improve your social interaction? Consider joining a civic group. Consider volunteering for some of our community activities. Join a Bible study. Join a zumba or spinning or ceramics or bridge group. Step out and make a move towards more happiness. What would you enjoy? What would you like to try? Name your experience and get a move on it.

“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right,” said Nelson Mandela. Don’t waste your time, do something that matters to someone else. He also said, “Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.” Fuel your flame. Do something for someone else.

Don’t know what you want to do? Call me. I’ll probably tell you what to do … and where to go. I’m smiling as I add “in a good way.” Number is 338-6246.

Take responsibility for your own happiness. It is not someone else’s job to make sure you’re content in life. Only you can do that. If there need to be changes, take them one step at a time. Just do something.

“May the blessing of the rain be on you – the soft sweet rain. May it fall upon your spirit so that all the little flowers may spring up and shed their sweetness on the air. May the blessing of the great rains be on you, may they beat upon your spirit and wash it fair and clean, and leave there many a shining pool where the blue of heaven shines, and sometimes a star.”

See your happy self on the bricks!