Ryan Graduation 2019…..enjoy!
“Roy” said Rex Armstrong.
“Huh”, was my rather intelligent response.
“The name of the barber you worked for, his name was Roy.”
If I had ever heard his first name, I certainly don’t remember. Thanks Rex.
The American Legion had their family night with food, music and dancing. There was a pretty good crowd and the music was enjoyable. Thanks to Bill Roberson, Cary Gore, Gene Chesley and David Sorrell. The music for the most part was what I would call classic country. I heard songs Saturday night that I had not heard in a long time. All four band members taking turns singing lead and especially memorable was Mr. Chesley’s comedic turn a’ la Ben Colder. Ricky Martin cooked the burgers and hot dogs, he did a good job. I don’t care what Santos says’ I like my burgers thick. There was also a fifty/fifty drawing and of all people, Dustan Bryant won.
On my list of favorite books has to include, “One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw” by Witold Rybczynski. This is a very interesting book that is exactly what the title says. The author, an architect, professor and writer was asked by a magazine editor in 1999 to write a short essay on the most useful tool of the last 1000 years. Mr. Rybczynski took the job and produced a really interesting and fact filled book about the screwdriver and the screw. I know the book sounds odd but this is definitely a case of not judging the book by its cover. Another book on the list is “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway. This was the last major work of Mr. Hemingway to be published before his death. Almost any of his writing could easily make the list, be they novels or short stories, but this is one of my favorite books. As I age, this story seems to grow on me even more. There were also a couple of good movie versions of this story. The first starring Spencer Tracy and the other a made for television movie, starring Anthony Quinn. Both fine actors, in truth I would probably pay to watch either of them read the phone book.
One of the questions that I get as a reader. What do you read? The answer is almost anything. I had a wonderful teacher, Ms. Cleta Rickard. I did for the most part enjoy the part of her class that covered English Lit. No matter what else, you were going to cover Chaucer. Don’t ask me why but he bored me to tears. Maybe I’ll give it another try. The late Mrs. Rickard grew up in Ryan as Cleta Huskey. That doesn’t have anything to do with boring old Mr. Chaucer, it’s just a little FYI. I guess I approach my reading much as I do my writing. I start out one place and often end up someplace completely different. That may speak to a certain lack of direction, just don’t tell Curtis.
I am writing this on Monday evening as the storms that have been brewing all day seem to be (knock on wood) passing us by. For those not so fortunate, I hope you escaped unscathed.
Until next week.
I have been remiss in my reporting or lack there of on the activities of the Ryan Beautification group. If you have been down to the Ryan Business District on Washington then you will have noticed the new Ryan Cowpersons banners that have been installed on the newly repainted light poles. They are really nice looking, so if you see any of the folks responsible, be sure and commend them for their hard work.
The school year is drawing to a close and various groups and organizations are having their year end festivities. The sports banquet is Monday night and the FFA banquet is having theirs Tuesday night. As I mentioned in an earlier column, the Ryan School Variety show will be Tuesday, May 14th. Be sure to come out and watch the many talented kids.
On Saturday, May 18th there will be a dance sponsored by the American Legion. There will be concessions available. There will also be a live band consisting of Bill Roberson, Cary Gore and Gene Chesley. I’ve heard Mr. Roberson and Mr. Gore play and sing but I believe this will be a first for me to hear Mr. Chesley, I understand he plays a fine dobro guitar. Be sure and come out and support the American Legion, hear some good music and have a good time.
For the book portion of this column I will be discussing one author and several of her books. Angie Debo, in the early and middle part of the twentieth century wrote a great deal about Oklahoma history and also the history of the Native American People and how the government dealt with the people that were moved to make way for westward expansion.
Ms. Debo was born in Kansas and moved with her parents to Indian Territory as a small child. Her dissertation, “ The Rise and Fall of the Choctaw Republic” was published by the University Press and received much praise, but her next book, “And Still the Rivers Run” was more controversial. This book described how the Five Civilized Tribes were first moved to Indian Territory and then deprived of the very land and resources granted to them by federal treaty. With the passing of the Dawes Act in 1887, non-tribal members were able, with the help of the very people that were tasked with protecting the tribes, to swindle their way to ownership of what was formally tribal property. Ms. Debo had a hard time finding a publisher for “And Still the Waters Run”, but it eventually found a publisher with the Princeton University Press. Angie Debo went on to write among others, “The Road to Disappearance”, The Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma”, “A History of Indians of the United States” and “Geronimo, The Man, His Time, His Place”. If you have any interest in history, any or all of these books are well worth the time spent finding and reading.
Until next week.
When taking my seat for supper monday night I was once again reminded about how age can give very different points of reference. I heard a gentleman say that he was a big fan of Pistol Pete. To which a rather young Ryan alum started explaining how Pistol Pete was once the mascot for her high school. The first speaker thought this odd that a small school in Oklahoma would choose a former collage and professional basketball player that had no discernable connection to Ryan or Oklahoma as it’s mascot. Now Abe Lemons would be a different story, he at least was born in Ryan. The confusion was sorted out and all parties concerned can be forgiven in as much as the two gentlemen are not from around here and the young lady was not born by the time Pete Maravich passed away
On the drive home I was able to enjoy all the wildflowers that are currently blooming. There are spots where the Indian Paintbrush make an almost solid blanket of color broken only by the odd buttercup and the yellow of the bush sunflower.
I received a letter today from Jon Harris. It was nice to hear from Jon and feedback is always welcome. I’m sometimes concerned that I am using up too much space on personal stories and book reports. Those concerns take second place to my worry that I misspelled a kids name, angry grandparents can be mean.
I’m not going to write about the book I am currently reading, between this book and reruns of “Criminal Minds” on television, I’m lucky not to have nightmares. I am going to give another installment of my list of favorite books. Number one is a non-fiction book called “The River of Doubt” by Candice Miller. The book is about Theodore Roosevelt and his post presidential trip down the Amazon River tributary. Given Teddy’s propensity for adventure that may have had more to do with the trip than the science, although there was some of that as well. During the exploration of the largely uncharted river that was later renamed the Roosevelt River, the United States almost lost one of its most beloved Presidents. Between the river, wildlife and disease, the lives of a large portion of the party was almost lost. Number two is “The Walking Drum” by Louis L’Amour. If you have only ever read Mr. L’Amours westerns then you are really missing out. This story is about a trading caravan in 12th century Europe and the mid-east. Louis L’Amour was a student of history and an outstanding story teller and this is one of his better books.
My proof reader told me that there was not much of “Around Ryan” in this column. Au contraire, the discussion about the mascot was about Ryan. The wildflowers are around Ryan. Mr. Harris is from Ryan. And I read the books while living in Ryan, so there (I would blow her a raspberry but I don’t know how the spell it).
Until next week folks.
P.S. Happy Birthday Willie Nelson!
The Ryan School Athletic Department is having a fundraising meal on May 5th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, you can eat in or take home. The menu consists of pulled pork and smoked sausage with the normal side dishes. Join us and get some good groceries.
The Ryan School music department and the cheerleaders are hosting a school wide variety show on May 14th at 6:30 pm. Concessions will be available and you can purchase raffle tickets for a Texas Ranger game from any of the cheerleaders.
Summer baseball and softball are starting up with practice going on as I write. I will try to keep you apprised of the game schedules as they become available.
Gardening season seems to be going strong. Friends and family are posting photos on social media daily. I picked strawberries this week and man they were good. I am really looking forward to the fresh plums, apricots and peaches to get ripe.
I just finished another book. This one was written by Elmer Kelton. The title is “Texas Standoff”. If you have never read any of Mr. Keltons books, I would recommend any of his books. The first one for me was “The Good Old Boys”. This is a western set in the time when horses and buggies were being replaced with cars and tractors. The main characters are stuck in between the old and the new and trying to figure out if and where they belong. This would not make my top ten list but it is well worth your time.
Two books that should make that list are, “The Age of Eisenhower” by William I. Hitchcock. Mr. Eisenhower is not one of the presidents that I learned much about in high school history which is a shame really. He was a bit lukewarm on the subject of school desegregation but given his track record on race I think it may have been more about not rocking the boat. President Eisenhower was an effective leader in many other ways. The other book is a novel called “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn. It begins with a three line ad in the personals section, Teacher Seeking Pupil, must have an earnest desire to save the world. Every time I have read this book, I see something new but for the life of me I’m not sure I could sit down and do it justice in a book report. I think I need to read it again.
Until nest week.
STERLING – It was a short stay at the Class B District Tournament for the Ryan Cowboy baseball squad, but it came as no surprise as the Cowboys closed out the season at 0-11 – the first known winless season in school history.
Last Thursday the Cowboys were pounded by Sterling, 15-0, in the first game of the tourney and then fell in a heart-breaker to Big Pasture, 5-4, in games played here.
Sterling pitcher Lane Reynolds battled control problems early but settled down to toss a one-hitter for the Tigers.
In the top of the first inning the Cowboys put two runners on via two free passes, but ended the inning without a score.
The Tigers also took advantage of Ryan pitcher Andrew Villerreal’s lack of control in the bottom of the first inning.
After one out, three consecutive Tigers walked. Eventually the Tigers scored four runs on a two-run triple by Matas Puccio and a Cowboy miscue.
The Cowboys got a leadoff walk in the top of the second and Pacen Wiest got the only hit of the game for the Cowboys but a base runner mishap contributed to the Cowboys failing to score in the inning.
Sterling added four more runs in the bottom of the second. A single, a walk and a hit batsman to lead off the inning was followed by a two-run single by Reynolds. A fielder’s choice and another singled scored the other two runs.
Reynolds then settled into a groove for the Tigers and retired seven straight Cowboys.
Sterling padded the lead in the bottom of the third adding five runs to take a 13-0 lead.
The Cowboys tried to extend the game in the top of the fifth when Trey Bryant walked and Gunner Phillips was hit by a pitch, but the Cowboys could not come up with the key hit.
In the second game with Big Pasture, the Rangers opened the contest with a walk, a stolen base, a wild pitch and a passed ball to score one run.
The Cowboys quickly took the lead in the bottom of the first inning when Travis Fristoe led off with a double and after one out, Grayson Tomberlin launched a bomb over the left field fence to give the Cowboys a 2-1 lead.
The Cowboys added another run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Fristoe’s two-out single and two errors on the play helped the Cowboys get a run to extend the lead to 3-1.
That came after the first of two lightning delays.
In the top of the sixth inning after the second lightning delay and a brief rain shower, the Rangers mounted a three-run uprising to seize the lead at 4-3. Two errors, two singles, a hit batsman and three stolen bases produced the three runs.
In the bottom of the sixth inning the Cowboys tied the game. Carson Cooper led off with a walk and Wiest was hit by a pitch. Cooper was later thrown out trying to steal third.
An error put Fristoe on base and Wiest scored on a fielder’s choice by Phillips.
A pair of strikeouts ended the inning as the Cowboys left three runners on base. Ryan stranded 11 runners throughout the contest.
In the top of the seventh, the Rangers scored as Harley Clem led off with a single and scored on Caleb Thompson’s double. This turned out to be the winning run for the Rangers.
In the bottom of the inning, Skyler Wickware led off with a single and eventually stole second, but the next three Ryan batters went down on strikes and the game ended.
Tomberlin, who pitched effectively through most of the game, took the loss for the Cowboys. He finished with 11 strikeouts and allowed only three hits.
Tomberlin and Fristoe led the Cowboys at the plate as each had two hits. Tomberlin finished with two runs batted in.
Sterling came back to win the district title with a pair of wins over Big Pasture. The Tigers defeated the Rangers, 15-0, on Thursday and then secured the district crown last Friday with another 15-0 victory.
SEASON-ENDING NOTES: The home run by Tomberlin was his first of the season and the only home run hit this season by a Cowboy….Three Big Pasture pitchers struck out 12 Cowboys during the game – the third most strikeouts by a Cowboy team in a single game in school history…The Cowboys have now lost eight straight district tournament games to seven different teams….The Cowboys were directed by Tony Roberts and he was the third coach in three seasons for the Cowboy nine….The 11 strikeouts by Tomberlin ties for the fifth most in school history behind Coby Martin’s 16 strikeouts in a 10-inning contest against Ringling in 2010, Jason Smith’s 13 strikeouts against Byers, Texas in 1994 and Preston McCarty’s and Denver Overstreet’s 12 strike outs in 1949 and 2011, respectively….The 11 games played is the fewest number of games played since 1961 when Ryan finished 6-2 on the season….The 2019 campaign was marred by inclement weather and play eligibility problems….In an earlier game against Waurika where the Eagles mauled the Cowboys, 35-1, three school records were broken….The 35 runs by the Eagles are the most ever by an opponent breaking the old mark of 28 set by Tipton in a 1952 regional tournament game….The 31 earned runs in the game is a new school mark for most earned runs allowed…Waurika collected 23 hits in the game breaking the old record of 22 hits by Whitesboro in a regional tourney game in 2011.
I spent the afternoon watching the Ryan High Cowboys play baseball against the Waurika Eagles. Other than the bull gnats and the skimpy rations of chili and cheese on the Frito pie it was an enjoyable evening.
The Annual Ryan Town Easter Egg Hunt was a rousing success. Lots of children and prizes were on hand for the festivities. The Baptist Church is having an Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday at the Bob Givens Sports Complex. Registration is at 9:45, the hunt starts at 10:00 and the drawing for the bicycle will begin at 10:45. Come join in the fun. It seems odd to me, a giant rabbit hiding chicken eggs to celebrate a Christian holiday, but that is just me.
The American Legion of Ryan is going to start having “Family Night “, this will be a dance with a live band and concessions will be on hand. It is planned for Saturday, May 18th. I will bring you more information as it is available.
If you read last weeks column you will remember that I mentioned the survey about what books that are your personal favorites. In the category of novels, I would have to say that my all time favorite is “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Besides the nostalgia of growing up in a small town where everyone is familiar with everyone, there is the character of Atticus Finch. A man very much of his time but willing to stand against bigotry and injustice that was unfortunately still a part of everyday life in a lot of places. If you have never read this fine book, give it a try. In the category of non-fiction, my favorite is the biography called “Captain Sir Richard Burton” by Edward Rice. Captain Burton was an Irish national serving as an officer in the British Army, in itself a feat. He was highly intelligent and skilled in many languages and dialects. This enabled him to serve as an officer, spy and interpreter. He was the first westerner to enter Medina and Mecca, doing so in the disguise of a native dervish. Well worth the read. They also made a movie about Captain Burton and his partner John Hanning Speke. Between the two of them they discovered the source of the Nile. The movie, “Mountains of the Moon” is a fictionalized account but still a good movie. I could go on and on and often do, so until next week.
It was the shortest meeting of the year thus far.
There were three members of the council present – Tammy Cotton, Lynda Kafer-Cain, and David Jackson. Also present was Kenzie Wheeler the Ryan Town Attorney.
The meeting began with a presentation from Ryan Piersol from the Oklahoma Municipal Power Association.
He was there to simply give an annual report to the town council. Of the many things he reported was that the chairman of OMPA, Charles Lamb, recently passed away. Lamb was also the mayor of Edmond, Oklahoma. Piersol said Lamb was highly respected and will be deeply missed.
Council members approved the Treasurer’s Report (see below).
Next, the bills, claims, and invoices for the town of Ryan were approved for payment.
There being no new business the council meeting was adjourned.
The Ryan Public Utilities Authority was dispensed with.
The final meeting was adjourned at 6:12 pm.
Editor’s Note: Thank you for the brevity of the meeting. I was able to get back to Waurika and finish the paper in a timely manner.
Happy New Year to everyone! 2019 started out the year on a pretty cold note with some winds to make it feel even colder. We are in the season of winter, so, this is to be expected. The forecasters are predicting we might get some form of precipitation beginning on Wednesday evening, going over into Thursday, with highs of 34 degrees.
I have had Brionna with me for a good little while and took her back to the Ranch on Sunday after we got out of church. I had a lot of things to tend to at the store and I spent hours there after I got back from taking her. I went back early Monday and picked her up to come back to the store for our last day of business as a drug store. We gave and received a lot of hugs and shed a few tears in the process as we finalized our last day. We have to look forward in our lives when we make decisions that affect our own lives and, also, the lives of so many others, too. I have noticed as time travels along, our bodies and minds can’t take as much as we have grown to be accustomed to. Having an aging parent, a daughter, and a mother-in-law that has just lost her husband of 62 years, and a business that demanded a great deal of my time and efforts, this was what I felt I had to do. I have been blessed with nearly 30 years of business in this town, and Brionna has been a part of it her whole life. She has been part of this business and she has enjoyed being part of it. She hasn’t known any other way of life outside of this drug store. Time will go on and tomorrow’s will come and go, but, we need to be thankful for each day that we’ve been given and look forward to whatever is in store for the future. God has control of the fate of each and every one of us, and, that is comforting to keep in mind.
Kim’s news for this week:
What a wonderful Christmas me, Ruffy Tuffy, and Foxy had. On Christmas Day, Foxy and I went to my Dad’s, and on Christmas Eve I had lunch with Gail and Steve.
A Note from Mollye
For several years, I have made a commitment to Curtis to write an article for ‘Round Ryan News column. I took over writing when my mom’s mind began to fail her. Joyce would call me that she hadn’t gotten Mom’s article, so, there were several occasions that I would write her news for her and nobody ever knew the difference (I don’t think). Mom was at a point that she felt they needed to find another writer for the column, and then, they asked me to write the column. Now, I would like to pass on the invitation to see if there might be another individual from around town that might be willing to take on this task. I have thought of several folks that are connected to the community, but, I will see if maybe someone will come forward to volunteer to keep this column going. If someone out there is interested, please let me or Curtis know. I still plan to be an active part of Ryan, but, I just want to see if someone else might be interested.
Everyone have a Blessed 2019 and ask God to guide us throughout each day of all of our lives. I love you all!
It’s as much a part of Ryan as City Hall, or the bricks on Washington street.
Ryan Drug has been an essential part of the community since Dewey and Gladys opened the doors on January 1, 1924.
While operating the drug store, Dewey also found time to raise a farm.
The store evokes fond memories for many.
Jon Harris, former Ryan resident and Jefferson county historian, remembers Dewey and Gladys Nash.
“His wife, Gladys, was one of the sweetest, most benevolent humans to visit this earth,” says Harris.
She had been his sixth grade teacher at Ryan.
“I remember him smoking his pipe,” Harris remembered. He also remembered that you could get pipe tobacco in the store.
What Harris really enjoyed was the strawberry ice cream soda you could get at the old soda fountain.
Visiting the Ryan Drug for Harris back in the day was like stepping into a Norman Rockwell painting.
Another one of the former customers remembers seeing Dewey in the store on Saturdays dressed in his dress shirt and slacks kicked back in his recliner watching a ball game.
Harris said both Dewey and Gladys would enjoy their recliners during their later years at the Ryan Drug.
Their son, James Lyle, helped out around the store after he left social work around 1985.
They had two daughters as well. Their names were Kathleen and Juanita.
Juanita is the mother of Mollye Compton, the current owner.
Originally, the store was confined to the building on the east side of the current location. It was actually in just half of the building. The other half belonged to Peggy Baker and her dress and flower shop.
Mollye’s interest in the Drug store began when she was 9 years old.
That summer Mollye and her twin brother Mel would visit while their mom was working on her master’s degree in special education.
Mollye learned to work at the soda fountain making cherry limeades and salty dogs. A salty dog is shaved ice with a lime squeezed in and topped off with salt. She said there were lots of people who liked the salty dogs including Diane Breeze.
She would follow her grandad around the store. It was during one of those times that it began to dawn on her that she might want to become a pharmacist when she grew up.
This epiphany came to her during a time when she was exploring other interests.
Mollye had been in the band since she was in the seventh grade. This fostered her love for music during the time she was growing up in Denison, Texas.
She graduated from Denison High School in 1978. After graduation she attended Grayson County Junior College for two years and took the pre-requisites for pharmacy school.
She was accepted at Southwestern in Weatherford, Oklahoma.
Mollye earned her pharmacy degree in December of 1987.
This was an opportunity not afforded to Kathleen, Dewey and Gladys’ oldest daughter.
Kathleen was born in 1925. Once she graduated from high school she wanted to become a pharmacist, but her father wouldn’t allow it. He told her, “It’s not a career for a woman.”
Instead Kathleen became a teacher.
Mollye officially began working as a pharmacists for her grandfather on April 1, 1989. At that time Dewey was 90 years old.
She bought the store from her grandad in 1990, just after her daughter, Brionna, was born. Dewey passed away in 1991. It was before he passed that she bought the building the drug store is now in.
“I didn’t think I was going to get to buy it,” she says. She couldn’t get a loan at the time.
One day Jack Savage came in. She said, “I thought, ‘What have I got to lose?’, so I just asked him if he thought his bank would loan me the money.”
Jack asked her how much she thought she would need. She told him and he told her, “Just come and fill out the paperwork.”
Archie Fulton owned the building just to the west. He had bought it from Robert Huff. Birdie and Claude Thorpe originally owned it when it was a movie theater.
The main part of the current store collapsed in 2000 and had to be refurbished. It had to be completely gutted. Ronnie Campeche and Raymond Pollan did the work. It didn’t take them very long she says.
After the remodel, she moved the old soda fountain into the new part. It was nostalgic for customers, especially those who hadn’t been in town for years. Hershel Shoffner was the one who kept the soda fountain in proper working order.
She recently sold the old soda fountain to her nephew Brian Hander who lives in Denison, Texas. He has acquired a building in Denison to show off the fountain along with the memorabilia from Dewey Nash.
Molley has enjoyed the years she has operated the drug store. However, she is ready for the change.
“I just want to slow down,” Mollye says. She is ready for less stress in here life. However, she goes to explain, “You hate to leave something like this behind,” she says with tears coming into her eyes. It’s obvious she has a deep love for the people of Ryan and those she has served over the years.
She knows that there is a level of customer service that the community receives from businesses in a small town that they don’t receive in the larger cities.
Lanette Weatherly has worked with Mollye off and on for over 20 years. It was sad to watch her say goodbye to Mollye and Brionna Monday evening as the last shift of the store’s official business day came to a close. It was the end of an era.
Brionna has her own fond memories of growing up at the Ryan Drug store.
Brionna remembers the fun she had with Dru Harper. Dru would always stop by at 3:00 pm for their daily snack. You could say that Dru was like a second mom to Brionna.
Mollye and Brionna will pack up some of the remainder of the items slowly as they begin a new chapter in their lives.
Mollye will be working some for Biff Eck at Eck Drug in Waurika. She looks forward to less hours and less stress. However, she is grateful to everyone who was such a blessing to her. With tears in her eyes, she expresses her love for the people she has had the privilege to know. “This place wouldn’t have been around all these years if it hadn’t been for the people,” she says. She has had customers drive from as far away as Nocona, Texas.
She wants to say Thank You to everyone who has made working at the Ryan Drug a pleasure.