Tom Arnould, Bob Merrill, Sheriff Lewis Hawkins


Yukon’s Good News Church Pastor Tom Arnould called me Monday, the first Monday after Czech Fest, like he has done the past couple of years since we began publishing the Yukon Progress. Tom always gets my attention by asking me, when I answer the phone, “Is this Randy Anderson?” I think he does this because he likes to scare me into thinking that he is a revenue officer with the Internal Revenue Service, a high-ranking Government official from Washington, D.C. or director of security for the Holy father! Anyway, Tom gets my attention and I like talking with him. It’s not just because I really like the name of his Church, “Good News Church” but because the guy is genuine.

He always takes the time to tell me how fortunate Yukon is to have a community newspaper that contains so much local content that people really need to know.

Tom told me he was about to get on a plane and head to the Czech Republic. He said he was taking the Wednesday edition of the Yukon Progress that contained all the photos our staff shot during last Saturday’s Czech Festival. He wanted to make sure a lot of his friends saw those photos. Those words are always music to my ears and I always tell him how much he is appreciated. Tom’s church’s website carries videos of so many of his messages for everyone to watch in case they can’t make it to church and forgivably must forsake the assembly that week! I watched one of his videos and it gave me an idea that I need to have his (and all our other churches) videos on our Yukon Progress website. We have so many older readers that can’t make it to church and it just seems like the thing to do to make church possible anyway possible!

I think guys like Tom Arnould are what hold this community together. His random acts of kindness, by just calling me and giving me a compliment, really go a long way. Tom and I have so much in common. I work all week to bring you all the local news. Tom works all week to bring you the Good News. Let me tell you something. The News that Pastor Tom Arnould brings you is much more important than the News I bring you! Go to and see for yourself!

Speaking of the Holy Father……

Last Saturday, I was talking with Czech Festival Chaplain Bob Merrill like I usually do every year. Bob likes to visit with me then scurries over to his organ to begin playing his polkas and schottisches before heading out early to listen to the OU football game. Many of you that know Bob know that he is the brother-in-law of former Canadian County Sheriff Lewis Hawkins. Bob told me Lewis was having some health problems and that he was scheduled this week to have some arteries in his heart checked out.

I have been very concerned this week about Lewis. I always liked him. I still like him. I called Bob Wednesday evening and Bob said they sent Lewis home and are making him come back in a few days for some more tests and procedures. I am going to contact the “old Sheriff” this weekend and visit with him. I just have a feeling I can remind him of some stories that will make him laugh.

Let me tell you a serious one, real quick.

Lewis Hawkins came into my office at the Yukon Review about 20 years ago. He had on his black cowboy hat, his black Johnny Cash shirt, his black trousers and his black ass-kickers (boots). I looked across the desk at him and asked him about the one memory in his career that stood out the most.

Lewis told me that one day they had to transfer a prisoner at the Canadian County jail. The prisoner in question, who was to appear in front of the judge on that day, was the notorious killer Floyd Allen Medlock. Medlock was the son-of-a-bitch who had killed 7-year old Katherine Ann Busch of Yukon. Lewis told me that the way Medlock had tortured and murdered this little girl was very, very troubling to him. Lewis said he personally handled the transfer and personally handled Medlock.

I asked Lewis on that day in my office what he was thinking as he handled and transferred this monster. Lewis just sat there for a minute, he looked up at me and said, “Run.”
He didn’t have to say anything else.

We just sat there and looked at each other for about a minute.

I would hate to think what Sheriff Lewis Hawkins would have done to Floyd Allen Medlock if we would have been back about 140 years ago in the wild west. Can you imagine staring down the barrel of Lewis Hawkins 45? Justice would have come swiftly and would have been severe.

I have always remembered that story Lewis told me that day. I’m glad he was my Sheriff.
Say a prayer today for the great Lewis Hawkins.

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