On The Bricks

December 4, 2019

Reading something on Facebook, I realize the likelihood that the story might not be totally true, the person named with the quote has a good chance of not being accurate. But there are some great stories, whether they are real or made up. Some that have a good lesson. Like Aesop.

Here’s one that I read that I think is good.

“’Dad, I think I’m old enough to know now,’ says the son. ‘Is there a Santa Claus?’

“Not being the world’s fastest thinker, I stalled for a time. ‘I agree you’re old enough, but before I tell you, I have a question for you. You see, the truth is a dangerous gift. Once you know something, you can’t unknow it. Once you know the truth about Santa Claus, you will never again understand and relate to him as you do now. So, my question is, ‘Are you sure you want to know?’

“’Yes, I want to know,’ the son answered.

“’Yes, there is a Santa Claus,’ explained the father, ‘but he’s not an old man with a beard in a red suit. That’s what we tell the kids. Kids are too young to understand the true nature of Santa Claus, so we explain it to them in a way they can understand. The truth about Santa Claus is that he’s not a person at all; he’s an idea.

“’Think of all those presents Santa gave you over the years. I bought those myself. I watched you open them. And did it bother me that you didn’t thank me? Of course not! In fact, it gave me great pleasure. You see, Santa Claus is the idea of giving for the sake of giving, without thought of thanks or acknowledgement.

“’When I saw the woman collapse on the subway last week and called for help, I knew she’d never know it was me who summoned the ambulance. I was being Santa Claus when I did that.

“’Now that you know, you are part of it. You have to be Santa Claus too. That means you can never tell a young kid the secret, and you have to help us select Santa presents for them, and most important, you have to look for opportunities to help people. Got it?’”

Enjoy the magic of Christmas. And share the magic of Christmas.

Consider taking a moment to attend a church of your choice during the Advent season. I know Main Street member churches St. Peter’s Catholic and Victory Center would be happy to see you there.

Consider attending some of the Christmas programs going on about town. The Christmas Open House, Shop and Dine, Christmas Tree Lighting (and Santa coming to visit) are all happening on Fri., Dec. 6. Bring the kids down and have hot cocoa and cookies at City Hall. Enjoy being part of the community during this fun time. There are carriage rides available, the Guymon Community Theatre is having “The Nativity” production at 7 pm that evening. Loads of fun downtown on the 6th.

The next day you can have photos with Santa at Back on the Rack, 120 NW 10th.

On Dec. 10th is the great fun at the library, “A Dicken’s of a Party” that includes Christmas book reading for the kids, Christmas music from locals, and fun. That runs from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

The OPSU Christmas Gala, with the Chamber Singers and guests performing, with a dinner on Dec. 13 and 14. Get your reservations at

The Nativity is also the weekend of 13, 14, and 15.

Lions Shopping Spree happens early the morning of Dec. 14 and they need volunteers to help the kids shop. What a great way to help!

That same day from 9 am to 5 pm is the Christmas Village with gifts and more to see and buy at the Connection Church, 1901 N. Lelia, and the Nazarene Church, 2214 N. Sunset.

The Methodists have the Christmas Cantata “Sing and Shout for Joy” at their 10:50 service on Dec. 15. They invite all to come and enjoy.

Be a part of the magic. Get the Christmas spirit and remember the story of Christmas … and the one of Santa Claus.

See you on the bricks during this holiday season!

On The Bricks

April 5, 2019

Volunteer clipartYou can be a gift to your community.

Every person that gives of their time to do something good for their community or neighbors, with no expected return, is a gift to the community.

Most volunteers begin their work as a volunteer by being asked to help on a project. Often times they are voluntolds, being told to help by family members or employers.

But what usually happens is that a person learns how good it feels to be a giver. They learn the feeling of accomplishment when a project helps someone out. And they learn to appreciate what they have when they’re working to help where help is needed.

Some have missed that chance of being told or asked. Especially those who move into a community and don’t know the organizations that they can help. Some have been helping in some ways but would like to expand their focus into more areas.

Whatever your thoughts are on volunteering in the Guymon area, you have chance to ask questions and learn about opportunities here where people can help. It might be helping at a one – day event or being on a committee that plans an event or helping with some of the traditional events that always need helpers. You might also decide to join a club or organization that works at doing things all year long. Those organizations might be the community theatre, helping run the Lions train at Thompson Park, or just a two – hour stint helping at the Iron Thunder Motorcycle Run banquet.

Come to the table for the discussion on Volunteering at the Main Street Guymon office. It’s scheduled for the lunch hour, noon to 1 pm, on Friday, April 12. Attending will not mean you’re automatically committed! You can call Melyn Johnson at 580-383-6246 for more information.

On The Bricks

October 31, 2017

We recently finished a series of eight Breakfast and Business that had various speakers and topics geared to help business owners and managers. One of those meetings was about retirement. Actually, more like getting ready to retire and having a retirement for your employees and such. It was a good meeting and I learned a lot. But that’s not difficult. When talking about almost anything with numbers, I know very little. So, it isn’t hard for me to learn something.

Sitting there in the meeting, for some reason I just thought I had to join in the conversation. It doesn’t make sense, but it happens all the time. I like to talk. And so, I mentioned the article I read about teaching your children how to save on the 80 – 10 – 10 method. Only I said 80 – 20 – 20. And I am sure I spoke with the utmost confidence.

After the class I made the comment about me not really understanding numbers well. David Winger, who I have known for 30 years or more, piped in, “I noticed. You know that 80, 20, and 20 is 120, don’t you?”


Did I mention that the classes were taped by PTCI and will run for the On the Bricks programs on Channel 2? Oh, yeah.

When I asked Winger why he didn’t correct me, he mentioned something about the TV camera. Ummm hmmmm.

Reminds me of the saying I recently read, “Some things are better left unsaid. Which I generally realize right after I have said them.”

My life.

There has also been a really fun happening in my life recently. My orphan Neptune (the former OPSU football player, now an alum) had his Naturalization Ceremony in OKC on Oct. 27. I got to go with him. Such an honor for me. It was a small group, only 50 plus a few. Twenty – two countries were represented by those taking the oath. Have you ever heard what the immigrant or new citizen says?

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

Neptune, who moved here with his family from Haiti when he was in second grade, has been legal all these years and the road was expensive and time consuming, but not difficult, to citizenship. But while he was there he met a young man who had been trying for 13 years to get his citizenship and had spent over $60,000. We should appreciate what so many are working so hard to get.

America isn’t perfect. No way. Each of us needs to appreciate it and work to make it a better country.

Neptune’s English is his third language. And he speaks it with no accent at all. I admire this so much. I am so proud of him.

My life.

What else is happing in our lives here in Guymon?

Shop and Dine is Thur., Nov. 2, from 4 – 7 pm and you can win a great swag bag worth $250 in a drawing. Visit SPC WOW Boutique, Golden Crown, Merle Norman, La Amistad, and / or Beauty and the Beast to learn more. All this on the fourth and fifth blocks of Main Street.

Then on Nov. 4 are several great happenings. You can learn more about the Medicaid prescription plan and more at enrollment in the Library from 10 am to 3 pm. Free help and they won’t be trying to sell anything to you. That same day is the Benefit Arts and Craft Bazaar at the Guymon High School Commons Area from 9 am to 6 pm. This same Saturday starts the Pumpkin Patch weekend, great arts and craft vendors at the Texas County Activity Center from 9 am to 6 pm on Saturday and 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday the 5th.

OPSU has a free play happening on Sun., Nov. 5 at 3 pm and at 7 pm on Nov. 6 and 7. It happens at the Centennial Theatre in Goodwell and is titled “No One Cries in this Play.”

Starting on Nov. 6 and every Monday evening in November is the class “Control Your Diabetes for Life.” This starts at 6 pm in the Texas County OSU Extension Office, 301 N Main in Guymon. The program is based on food choices and meal planning for those with diabetes or someone preparing food for a diabetic. For more information on this, call 580-338-7300.

See you on the bricks!

On The Bricks

October 16, 2017

The article “Teaching Generosity” that ran in the October 2017 Living Lutheran magazine was worth repeating parts.

Scott Seeke wrote, “My grandmother taught me the ’80 – 10 – 10’ method: live off 80 percent of your earnings, save 10 percent and give 10 percent to God. By following this method, I, too, have come to love being generous and giving to God. Teach your children about giving early and they’ll received the gift of giving, which will give them joy for their entire lives.

“The first step in teaching generosity to children is to give them their own money to manage – an allowance. For each paycheck I receive, each of my children gets a dollar for every birthday they’ve had. This may not work if you get paid weekly, but it works well if you get paid semimonthly or monthly. The amounts are small enough that they can’t make a big mistake, but big enough that they have decisions to make.

“Next, help your child make three piggy banks: a ‘spend bank,’ and ‘save bank,’ and a ‘God bank.’ For ours, we used glass jars wrapped in paper that my children had decorated. Then it’s time to explain to your child that every time they get an allowance, they are to put 10 percent in their God bank, 10 percent in their savings bank, and 80 percent in their spend bank.

“They can use their spend bank to buy whatever they like. Have them set a goal for a large item they want to buy with their save bank. They can take their God bank to worship whenever they like and put its contents in the offering plate.

“Through these practices my children have learned to love giving, and that’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever given them.”

Seems all good to me. What do you think?

I think there are a bunch of fun things coming up around here.

Breakfast and Business is on Wednesday morning at the Bank of the Panhandle board room from 8 to 9 in the morning.

OPSU Football game at home on Saturday, starting at 2 pm. And did you hear that OPSU is ranked #20! That is great news.

There is also a dance at the No Man’s Land Sr. Center on Saturday evening the 21st from 7 to 10.

And for those who are required to have a HIPAA training, Main Street is offering one on Oct. 24. Just call 338-6246 to get your seat reserved for the 9 am – noon class.

That evening on the 24th is the Chamber of Commerce banquet, with a 70s theme this year. That starts at 7 pm and you probably ought to buy a ticket.

It’s a great month and I hope to see you on the bricks!

On The Bricks

April 26, 2017

Change makes people nervous. And it seems to scare some people. Others it just makes mad. But change happens. Sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes it’s not considered a good thing, but it is inevitable. Nothing stays the same. Someone dies and someone is born. Even that small happening brings immense change.

No more can a person walk into Wolf Creek Mini – Mall just to have a little bit of Johnni sunshine into their life. That’s change that hurts. And her family is probably hurting more than I can imagine. To have someone so special that is part of you, is wonderful, but saying goodbye to them has to be much harder than losing someone that isn’t that great.

Good – bye, Johnita Gloden. You are already missed more than can be imagined. But change happens. Each of us needs to act a little nicer, a little less judgemental, and smile a little more just to make up for the absence of Johnni.

Our Pioneer Day Parade is also beloved. And there’s change happening with it, too, this year. First, it will start at 9:30 am, an hour earlier. Deal with it. It is still going to be wonderful. Second, there is a fee to enter of $20. That’s so there can be awards given out. Skip your daily soda this week and the $20 will be there. Third, the parade route is changing. It starts at Northridge Shopping Center on Highway 64 North and travels down Main Street to North Fifth Street (Long and McKinnon, City office, RC Party) and they turn right and go straight on to the Texas County Activity Center. There is a jog cut out, much to the relief of some of the drivers.

As people have found out about the changes, as is normal, some have been quite irritated and vocal, too. One such person called the Chamber, all up in arms, and ranted a bit. She/He was also confused and incorrect, thinking the parade was going over the railroad tracks and on south. Really? There certainly wasn’t much thought in that rant. Over the railroad tracks? And what would we do when a train comes through? Politely ask it to wait? Shees.

Sort of makes Mark Twain’s comment come to mind, “Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.”

But, in all fairness, we all have our moments when we don’t think things through. Certainly is true for me. And think on it, it can be said of the church, too. Some churches are against surrogate mothers. Good thing they didn’t have that rule when Jesus was born.

Last Saturday was also a time of change. More than a hundred people came out and helped with the Main Street and City Community Clean – Up. What makes someone come out and help others, cleaning up someone else’s trash? Some came because their coach told them they had too. Some came because they told their teams they were required. Some did because they have advisors and mentors that are trying to teach them the importance of service.

Each and every one of them deserves our appreciation and gratitude. And if you were home sitting on your tush, you need to ponder the thought of why these youngsters (by far the majority) were there, pitching in and smiling and making a difference and you weren’t. If each of us receives in accordance to what we give, those youngsters are going to be cashing in while some of us are still playing couch potato. It is what it is.

The Rotary motto is “Service Above Self.” My selfish self tries to remember this often and I aspire to get better at it. We all should.

Signing off, I wish to send blessings to all those who helped with the Community Clean – Up. And while doing so, to also ask for peace for the family of Johnita Gloden who was one of our county’s greatest helpers. May we all receive some of the blessings like Johnni gave.

See you on the bricks!

On The Bricks

March 7, 2017

Interesting conversation last night with a young man. He’s one of my “orphans” as Paul Stavlo calls them, OPSU students that my family has befriended. Orphan Nate had seen the article in the Guymon Daily Herald about me and an award. He had also been to the award presentation in Amarillo last year.

Nate asked if the awards were important to me.

That is a pretty loaded question. After thinking on it, my answer is this … it is nice to be appreciated for something you’ve done. But nothing that I get done is done by myself, so realistically all those who help deserve the recognition with me. What is important to me is having friends and family there to help you celebrate when something good happens. Those are the same people that are there to visit with when you’re lonesome, the same ones that are there to help when you’re needing assistance, the same ones to laugh with you when something great happens.

Then I wondered if I was there for my friends when they needed me. I’m not very good at that and it’s a shame because I have friends and family that are great with it. I usually partake of celebrations (well, not showers and weddings), but you need friends who are there for the bad and the good, don’t you?

Guess I need to improve.

We all need to improve. All great changes begin within us.

Read a story in the Rotarian magazine about a guy who loves birds. He says, “I have bird feeders in my backyard, and every morning is a miracle. … I don’t know what it is about them that makes me so happy, gives me such peace, and fills me with such wonder.” This guy, Tony Fitzpatrick, draws pictures with the birds.

Talking about his art, Fitzpatrick says, “Often there is a silhouette of a woman in my drawings. That woman is my grandmother Mae, who, every morning, would toast a couple of pieces of bread and put jelly on them. She would then dice them up and toss them out the back door for the birds. When I asked her why she was giving our bread to the birds, she would hold a finger to her lips and tell me, ‘Listen.’

“When I did, I heard blackbirds, mourning doves, warblers, finches, and sparrows. My grandmother would look down at me and tell me, ‘For a piece of bread, you can hear God sing.’”

May this week find you with friends and family there for you, and find you listening to God sing.

See you on the bricks!