Brooks & Done….Horton Hears a Who


For many years, Yukon had a skinny, little man with a raspy and pronounced voice who looked like he could play the role of a burglar or Alcatraz inhabitant who was plotting an escape.

I mean to tell you, this old guy had that look and I was really drawn to him and became very good friends with him every time he came to work on our newspaper racks or change the locks on our doors whenever we had a personnel change.

Now for those of you who haven’t figured out yet who I am describing, let me tell you that even though he might have told you so, he was not related to Garth.

Longtime owner of Brooks Lock and Key, Mr. Gene Brooks had a knack for tinkering with mechanisms, deadbolts, door knobs, safes and newspaper racks like no other person I have ever known. I can remember calling Gene down to the office so many times, especially whenever the State Fair was in Oklahoma City and their villians roamed the metro looking for quarter targets, to repair so many of our newspaper racks that had been vandalized.

Gene would always answer the phone with that unique sounding, “Brooks Lock and Key” voice then just light-up over the phone when I told him we had a big job that needed his expertise. Gene would roll up in about 15 minutes driving that old rusty Chevrolet van that carried every tool imaginable, then walk right through the lobby to my office for his assignment.

Gene and I were friends for years and he knew he didn’t even have to knock on my door-he could just walk on in with that special smile of his to get his assignment.

I lost track of Mr. Brooks and never really got to finish my friendship with him. I moved away for several years but I often thought about him. I think that old Chevrolet van or at least his tool belt belong on a frame hanging on the wall here at the newspaper or in the Canadian County museum.

He was G. Brooks before Garth was G. Brooks. He visited more Yukon homes than Santa Claus. He made a living helping dumb asses like me get in my car when I locked myself out. He put 250,000 miles on that old Chevy van and did it about five miles per round-trip and he was liked by everyone.

Finding good business people who provide excellent service is tough to do these days. I’m just glad I have been able to model some of my habits after the great Gene Brooks of Yukon’s Brooks Lock and Key.

I always knew when I needed quick lock service, it was always…….Brooks and Done!

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I received a unique response to the question I asked in last week’s column about who was Yukon’s all-time greatest athlete? The following was received earlier this week.

I saw an article in Saturday’s paper talking about Yukon athletes.   The author said to email him and let him know who we thought was the best, However, there  was not an email address in the article.  Therefore,  it’s going to you.

I coached Yukon High School Football and Track during the early 80’s.

By far, the most talented 2 athletes that I ever coached in Yukon were Matt Uhr and Bo Mathews

Matt Uhr was the most talented  Football Free Safety in the conference and absolutely the hardest hitter that I ever coached,  BAR NONE!!!   He would knock unconscious any back that tried to turn the corner on a run.  I’ve seen him do that numerous times.   His speed and athleticism allowed him to have the most interceptions on the team and maybe the conference.

Matt’s speed and athleticism in baseball was a huge factor in Yukon’s 1982 State Championship Baseball season.

Bo Mathews was an outstanding tailback on the Yukon Football team.  His prowess was his speed and size.  If an opponent thought they could tackle Bo, he would either run over them or outrun them.  Extremely gifted athlete!!

Then on the track team,  Bo ran the sprint races 100yd, 220 yd. and the 440 yd relay.


Craig Horton,  Yukon, OK
I responded to Coach Horton about Bo and Matt’s whereabouts. Our longtime Yukon sports editor Chuck Reherman is checking on these guys and we hope to give you an update on their lives and maybe print some old Yukon photos of these guys in action.

Coach Horton has that specialized, Mike Gundy/Kliff Kingsbury knack for knowing good athletes when he sees them. For him to have recalled these boys almost 40 years after their heyday probably means he did in fact see some special and rare athletes.

Thanks Coach Horton for the update. We are on it. Horton Hears a Who now has a new meaning to me today on the birthday of the famous Dr. Seuss!

Thanks so much for reading. I will see you next Saturday. Would you like a Progress?