As 2018 draws to a close, I looked back this week upon events, happenings and occurrences that made 2018 such a great year not only in my personal life but here at the Yukon Progress, Piedmont Gazette and Okarche Warrior newspapers corporate office.
I reflected upon the many Yukon residents I talk to everyday at the post office, who I see at Homeland and the many folks who have come in to see us for everything from back issues of a particular newspaper to hand delivering a family member’s obituary.
So, for this final column of the year, I am going to take you back for about four minutes and reflect on some of the best memories of the past 8,760 hours.
We started in January with the world famous Ground Hog dinner at the Yukon First United Methodist Church. I remember going over to one of the tables and delivering 25 slices of desserts to Canadian County Sheriff Christ West, State Representative Rhonda Baker and John Paul Jordan. After all, 2018 has been a huge campaign year and these elected officials needed extra calories for all the campaigning they were about to do. God Bless my old friend Boss Hog!
In February, we made our way to the Dale Robertson center to indulge ourselves in the annual Yukon Chocolate festival. Former Yukon Mayor insisted that I buy all the remaining special silent auction items and I did my best to take home many good ones and run up the prices to help all the ladies involved with Friends of the Park and the Ladies Library Club. I love our Yukon parks and love old books so it was very easy for me to obey our former Mayor. I dream of Genie!
March rolled in and taught us all about rallying around our Yukon school teachers who went on strike. I watched these hard-working educators stand on many busy corners holding their signs and asking us to honk and support them. It worked!
April brought us a very admirable city council race that taught us a lesson about civility and sportsmanship. Shelli Selby defeated her neighbor Erick Westfahl who graciously congratulated her while she applauded him for a very clean, stick-to-the issues campaign. Selby and Westfahl are two of Yukon’s best if you ask me.
In May, Yukon was represented multiple times on Oklahoma City television stations by former Oklahoma Highway Patrolman Mike Grimes and his wife Susie as we looked back upon the 40th anniversary of Mike’s brother Pat being killed in the line of duty. I took video of our interview with Mike as he reflected upon the darkest day in OHP history. It is very moving. God Bless Mike and Susie Grimes for what they mean to Yukon, Oklahoma.
June rolled around. And I do mean rolled… as we saw a large number of Yukon Democrats and Republicans make State Question 788 (Medical Marijuana) the law of the land.
Freedom Fest was the crown jewel of July and Yukon school teacher Rebecca Oglesby was named as a state finalist for the Teacher of the Year award. And while we are talking about crown jewels…she later won the crown!
By the time August arrived, we were seeing Canadian County Commissioner Jack Stewart being heavily challenged by Calumet’s Daniel Pugh for the District 1 seat. Stewart and Pugh should probably have held an MMA match in downtown Yukon with all proceeds going to one of our local charities. There are two songs that remind me of these two fierce competitors. Elton John singing about “Daniel my brother” and Steely Dan’s “You get back, Jack, Do it again!”
A September to remember as we saw beer shelves empty at all local retailers as they sold the last of their 3.2 beer and prepared to sell high-point beer and wine. Homeland, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and CVS had no beer for sale during the last college football weekend of September! My friends, we have not seen anything like that since Prohibition and we never will again!
It’s now October. It’s Czech Fest time. It’s Marjorie Jezek time. It’s time to put this beautiful woman’s name on our new water tower. Marjorie runs the Oklahoma Czech fest. She is highly organized, very creative and looks good waving to everyone when she rides in the parade. Thank God Marj is in charge!
80’s Rock-n-roll band Guns and Roses sing about the November rain. Thirty years later Jay Steagall begins his reign as our District 43 state representative. Steagall is popular. He loves Yukon. He loves this country and his family. Steagall is going to be a good one. AC/DC will probably come out of retirement and write a hard rock song in his honor called Regal/Steagall.
And finally, as we look back upon the past 29 days, I want to congratulate OUR Southwest Covenant football team for their excellent season. These fine young men gave everyone in this community something to cheer for. This newspaper has been honored to provide coverage for many Southwest Covenant accomplishments and the great works of all these young people. Their parents and grandparents are also to be highly commended and congratulated.
Thanks so much for reading. I will see you next Saturday. Would you like a Progress?