I’ve had a unique guy on my mind the past few days, in fact, every time I think about this “spicy cat” I try and figure out a way I can recruit him back to Yukon or at least find time to pick up the phone and call him. This man’s brain is so creative and when you couple that creativity with his faith in the Lord and his entrepreneurial spirit, you really end up with some unique creations.
How many of you remember “Italian Jim’s Pizza?” Yes, I am referring to Chris McGahan. Some of you refer to him as Pastor McGahan. Some of you might remember him as the guy who created “the Ross Hill super pepperoni pizza” at his former Yukon location at Reno and Czech Hall Road some 25 years ago. I remember Chris and what he did in downtown Edmond, when he started Italian Jim’s restaurant with his very rare live glass blowing shop Bella Forte’ right next door!
It was late 2006, and I had taken the advertising director job at the Edmond Sun. As I got out and about the community to shake hands and introduce myself, I ran into my old Yukon buddy Pastor McGahan. Chris was always so nice to me and easy to talk with. I could always test him and his knowledge about current events, politics, the Bible and of course how to advertise his business and church. Chris would always call me at 5 p.m. on Thursdays (deadline) and tell me what he wanted in his weekend newspaper AD and I always knew it would be something unusual.
One day about 25 years ago, he called me all excited, to tell me that Donna Douglass was going to be giving her testimony and singing, at his Yukon church The Father’s House. Now, for many of you who like to drop names, let me tell you something. I have interviewed everyone from Garth Brooks, Magic Johnson, Brett Michaels, Jeff Pilson and Don Wallace but when he said, “Elly May Clampett is coming to my church Anderson!” he really had my attention. Many of you remember Elly May from the old television series the Beverly Hillbillies. I grew up watching that show and I loved Elly May, just like you did! Chris sent me a photo of her along with her biography for his AD, and needless to say, he had a really great turnout of Yukon folks. Mrs. Douglas died January 1, 2015 and when I heard that news it reminded me of Chris and that time he brought her to Yukon.
Anyway. I have been thinking about a unique business we could bring to downtown Yukon to fill the now vacant and historic Mulvey Mercantile building. I have been wondering what it would take to get Chris McGahan to bring his Italian Jim’s restaurant and Bella Forte’ glass blowing business into the downtown Yukon area? Do you think our community would support it? Would it be something we could use as a tourist attraction? Could Chris sell enough Italian food and unique pieces of custom blown glass? I think he could! I believe that once we get our downtown parking garage built, get some advertising out along I-40 and all go there and taste his excellent food that we could have the home run we need in our downtown area.
Let me know what you think about Chris, his unique pizza and his glass blowing business. If he brings it to downtown Yukon you can just about bet that Charles Barkley, David Letterman or even Donald Trump will be making an appearance!
Isn’t it unbelievable that almost 50 years ago the music group Chicago released the song Saturday in the Park?
Those famous lyrics, I think it was the Fourth of July will stay with you all day long if you start singing them! What a great song and what a great day to celebrate our country.
The next time you get a chance, ask one of our Canadian County commissioners, Jack Stewart, Dave Anderson or Marc Hader who they have on their radar for the first concert or event inside the new arena that is being built. I am afraid our Canadian County Free Fair is going to be canceled this year due to COVID-19 but I am optimistic our County leaders have something in mind for the grand opening next year. My hope is for us to do whatever it takes to get Garth Brooks and Tricia Yearwood here for a grand opening celebration and concert. Now you talk about a tailgate party and concert celebration that would be! I believe Governor Stitt could get President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania to attend that deal!
Speaking of Pizza. I am writing a letter to Shaquille O’Neal and asking him to visit Yukon’s Papa John’s pizza franchise. Shaq is now on the board of directors of Papa John’s and an investor in nine Atlanta, Georgia locations. I am working on a newspaper circulation promotion that includes free pizza and if Shaq could visit Yukon the next time the post game show Inside the NBA is in OKC for a Thunder game would really be something special.
Who knows? Maybe if you take the paper you will be taking home a Free Shaq-a-roni!
Thanks so much for reading. I will see you next Saturday. Would you like a Progress?
Yukon Progress Publisher Randy K. Anderson can be reached at (405) 517-5168 or Randyk.Anderson@sbcglobal.net