I had a surprise email this week from a reader.
He happens to have been a childhood friend who I have not seen in person since 1976.
The email opened with, “Are you the same Robert Medley who grew up on NW 45….?”
Dean Riddell, a longtime Yukon resident, had found me.
My first memory was how I used to go to his house to ask anyone who was home to borrow his basketball.
Dean was a great basketball player. I also remember a lot of tackle football games in the neighborhood of northwest Oklahoma City.
And there was the day I almost lost his dog that immediately came to mind.
I replied to his email to confirm I was the same Robert Medley, and I sent Dean my cellphone number. He called right away and we talked much longer than we should have during a busy weekday at work.
Dean owns a mortgage lending business today. He raised his children in Yukon and Southwest Covenant Schools and coached them in their youth sports.
I remember Dean on a church league basketball team and watching him play. This influenced my early childhood sports career to lean toward basketball by fifth grade.
We both played youth sports in the Satellite League. Dean is three years older than me and graduated from Northwest Classen High School in 1980.
Dean has the Dean Riddell Group of SWBC Mortgage Corporation today.
His timing to call was pretty good. I have been thinking of refinancing my own home these days to make ends meet, so talking to someone on the phone I found, is the best way to get started with even thinking about such a life-changing decision.
It is better to talk on the phone with someone you know and get distracted by childhood memories than to apply for a refinance loan application online and 30 minutes later watch how the cellphone is blown up by robocalls.
Oh, and about Dean’s young German Shepherd dog. It was about 1975 when I walked along Deep Fork Creek under a bridge to get to a nearby store for gum or something to spend my dime on. His dog had walked over that day and decided to follow me all the way to the store.
There was a 3-foot retaining wall along the creek path that the dog jumped up to get atop on the way to the store, but he would not jump down when it came time to go home. The dog had waited patiently while I was inside the store. He was not a dog who ran off.
I couldn’t get him to jump down and decided to run to Dean’s house as fast as possible and explain what happened. Dean’s late father came to the door and I think we drove back to the store and there was his dog, waiting right where I left him.
Dean said, “He was the smartest dog in the world.”
It was great to grow up in a neighborhood like we had back then.
Meanwhile, homes are selling at a rapid pace nowadays in the Yukon area where new neighborhoods are being built. But many people in the pandemic are also refinancing homes so they have affordable payments.
People have been furloughed or have lost jobs or their businesses may have been down. I will check back with Dean soon to find out more about trends on the home-loan lending side of things. So, read “The Yukon Progress” and follow yukonprogress.com for local news about your community, business and sports.
And if you find a childhood friend, call or email or spend some time with your memories. They are important.
Robert Medley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org