It’s fun to read good things about our community, our state, our country. And sometimes it’s even more fun to share them. So how about sharing some great Oklahoma trivia for a bit?
The design chosen for the National Native American Veterans Memorial, which is set to open on Veteran’s Day 2020 in Washington DC, is Warriors’ Circle of Honor. The artist who designed the memorial, Harvey Pratt, was born in El Reno Okla., and is part of the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. He joined the Marine Corps as a young man, where he served in Vietnam. Then as a civilian he served in law enforcement, first with the Midwest City Police Department and later with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Along the way, Pratt discovered he had a knack for turning witness descriptions into suspect sketches. He extended into other forms of forensic identification as well, and his career includes a long list of high – profile cases, including serial killer Ted Bundy and the Murrah building bombing. He retired from the OSBI in 2017.
Just reading about this Okie, whom I’ve never met, makes me feel proud.
The Lion King is being redone in live – action format by Disney and is supposed to come out on July 19. It features Tulsa native Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, mother of Simba. Woodard is an exceptional actress that Wikipedia says, “Alfre Woodard; (born November 8, 1952) is an American actress, producer, and political activist. Woodard has been named one of the most versatile and accomplished actors of her generation. She has been nominated once for an Academy Award and Grammy Award and 18 times for an Emmy Award (winning four) and has also won a Golden Globe Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.” Impressive.
Those two Okies have made a mark on a national scale. But we have impressive people who have made a mark here in our own community that deserve some recognition too.
Recently an obituary ran in the Guymon Daily Herald for Dorothy Lois Williams. My world stopped for a moment as I read the obit. My mind went back years ago when Dorothy Williams made such a strong impression on me. I placed foreign exchange students for over 30 years and met some of the greatest kids on earth, learned about and visited places that I should have only been able to read about, and met the nicest families in the Panhandle area, families that were unselfish and caring and interesting. All were interesting.
Dorothy Williams was one of those. But she stands out amongst the hundreds of families I met. When I called Dorothy, she was the principal at Yarbrough School. She said she and her husband would be happy to host two boys, but if I was willing to come to Yarbrough, she would bring together several good families that might be willing to host. Which she did.
We placed 5 students in Yarbrough that year, I believe. And the kids loved their year on the Oklahoma plains. But, even more interesting, Dorothy knew that the state would be counting the number of students and she was always working to make sure the Yarbrough School was not closed.
Dorothy was smart. Dorothy cared. Dorothy did more than just talk about it.
That wasn’t the only year that Dorothy or her employees or family members hosted. And every year. I suspect Dorothy Williams legacy will live long past her years on this earth.
May each of us do something with such love during our time.
On July 17 the Chamber of Commerce is having a Summer Celebration in conjunction with Channel 10 News out of Amarillo. It takes place at Thompson Park from 4:30 – 7 pm. Stay tuned to find out more of what will be happening and meeting the News Crews!
Texas County Children’s Health Fair is on July 18, 4 – 7 pm at the Texas County Activity Center.
The City of Guymon is hosting a summer movie in the area by the YMCA and the Guymon Library on July 19. The movie starts at dusk, but there are other fun things happening before the movie. Check their facebook page to see more. It’s a Luau that evening with the movie being “Moana.”
Go have fun with family and friends.
See you on the bricks!