Reconnecting with old friends is fun

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Yukon Progress, Yukon Review, Life In Narrative, Conrad Dudderar

Each week I reconnect with people I haven’t seen in a long while. Being away from the newspaper industry a couple years while living near my family in New Jersey, I came to appreciate the personal and professional relationships I built in Yukon over 25 years.

One person I saw recently for the first time in eons was Lynda Ramsey, who attended last Thursday’s Yukon Chamber of Commerce membership luncheon to accept her new Chamber member plaque.

Lynda was quite active in Yukon some 15-20 years ago. She served on the Yukon School Board, Yukon Planning Commission, Downtown Historical Committee, and several other advisory panels and was a member of groups like the Yukon Art League.

Lynda even found time to write a semi-regular article on historic barns that she’d submit to the newspaper. More than a decade ago, I helped convince her to start an organization to help local rental property owners. About the time the Canadian County Landlord Association started, I decided to sell my rental properties and invest in a newspaper.

Maybe Lynda will get back active again in Yukon? She could run for City Council next go-round when the current Ward 4 representative, Mayor Mike McEachern, is “term-limited out.”

Now that I’m a Yukon Progress staff writer, I enjoy being out of the office more and instead “in the community” covering activities and meetings.

This is the busy time of year, and it seems there is never a shortage of events to write about and photograph in Yukon.

Yesterday, I covered the 17th annual “Reality Check” at Yukon High School, the Yukon Rotary Club meeting at Integris Canadian Valley Hospital and grand opening of the new LongHorn Steakhouse in the Market at Czech Hall.

The six weeks before the end of the school year seem to be the busiest in the news business. It’s difficult for small-town papers with multiple deadlines who have small news staff yet so many events to try and adequately cover.

Going to civic activities and luncheons, I often see the same people multiple times a day. There was one day last fall that I think I saw Ashleigh McClung (she of Spraycan Creative fame) four times at four different events!

It’s been fantastic re-connecting with so many familiar faces. People who are the “movers and shakers” of Yukon … the ones you will see again and again if you attend many community events and meetings. People like Sherry Poage, Cathy Patton, Cherie Logan, Bill Baker, Pam Shelton, David Goodwin, Rick Cacini, Homer Cobb, D’Lynne McDaniel, and many others …

And there are plenty of events to attend. This Saturday is Easter On the Prairie. Next weekend will be the Iron Thistle Festival, Yukon Project Graduation’s Top Golf benefit and Yukon Compassionate Hands’ Golf Scramble. Festival of the Child then comes May 4.
Of course, May is filled with end-of-the-school-year programs culminating with YHS Commencement and Project Graduation on May 21.

One upcoming event you should mark on your calendar is the annual Yukon Mayor’s Breakfast at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 26 at the First United Methodist Church. Guest speaker Jennifer Mullins of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department will talk about travel promotion in our state.

It will be great to hear what she has to say about how Yukon can encourage even more visitors to travel here. We already are quite the tourist destination with Christmas In the Park, a summer concert series at Chisholm Trail Park, Czech Festival, Chisholm Trail Festival, Chocolate Festival, Yukon Senior Games … and the list goes on and on!

Yukon is no longer a small town. We are still the “Czech Capital of Oklahoma” but we are so much more than that. More people and more businesses mean more opportunities.
It will be interesting to see what the 2020 Census reveals. Yukon’s 2010 Census population was 22,709. I am betting it will surpass 26,000 this time around and wouldn’t be surprised of Canadian County’s population doesn’t exceed 150,000.

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The Yukon Chamber of Commerce’s “Business After Hours” is this Thursday, April 18 from 5:30-7 p.m. You can network, enjoy some libations and check out the Yukon area’s newest hotel, the Sleep Inn & Suites at 12520 NW 10th.

Speaking of a Yukon Chamber networking event, the chamber’s annual Golf Classic is Friday, May 10 at the Golf Club at Surrey Hills. Good to see Surrey Hills back in business.

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A place where I’ve closed on several real estate transactions is on the move. The Yukon branch of Old Republic Title is moving just around the corner from its office near Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital. The new address is 1601 Health Center Parkway – Building 700.

As many times as I have moved and bought and sold properties, I have gotten to know the people at Old Republic Title well over the decades. Gaye Liddle has been my “closer” quite a few times and is always friendly and helpful. I also have gotten to know people with Old Republic Title like Twyla Cobbs, Jan Foreman and new sales rep Dayna Kinder.