THE LAWTON TIMES, August 15, 1985 (Beth and Brett)
Beth had a successful career as a Travel Agent in Miami. She was 19 years old, and living on her own. She was away from her family and friends in unfamiliar surroundings, but she was modestly happy.
Then she received a phone call that changed her whole life.
He was an old boyfriend she thought she had forgotten. But after hearing his voice, she had to see him again.
Beth was an incurable romantic, and within three days of that phone call she quit her job, bought a plane ticket, took everything she had (in two suitcases) and was on her way to Lawton, Oklahoma.
She wanted to be with the man of her dreams. Beth and Brett rented a little house and began planning their life together.
She was completely in love; everything was so perfect.
Money was a little scarce, and since Beth was dependent on Brett, she had to get a job. She succeeded in getting a part-time job at minimum wage. It wasn’t much, but they managed to get by.
After a month of living together, things began to go wrong.
Brett decided he didn’t want to marry Beth, and wanted to break up. Beth was devastated. She didn’t know what to do, or who to turn to. Brett was her entire life.
She had no one and nowhere else to go. She was scared, she didn’t have much money, and she was sure life was no longer worth living.
Neither one of them was capable of supporting themselves, so they agreed to continue living together as friends.
They shared living expenses and tried to be civil, but ended up fighting more than ever.
It was tearing Beth apart. She couldn’t go on like this much longer. The fighting had to stop or one of them had to leave.
Once Beth realized she couldn’t change things, she started accepting Brett as a friend. She still loved him very much, but she was willing to let him go.
She began treating him differently.
She wasn’t trying to win his affection anymore. Once she began being herself again, they got along better than ever. Their new relationship as friends was better than the previous “serious” relationship.
They began to get on with their lives as separate individuals, not as the couple they once were.
They allowed each other space, and respected each other’s privacy. They developed a special friendship Beth hoped would last forever.
However, Beth was still stuck in Oklahoma, and didn’t see much of a future for herself.
She used her job as an escape.
She pushed for more hours, and strived to do something productive with her life.
She wanted to be independent and make it on her own. She needed to prove to herself that she didn’t need anyone.
She had to get out, had to get as far away from Brett and the memories of him as she could.
But where would she go? She was lost—she felt like a child, scared and alone.
There had to be a way out. She had to numb the pain with time and distance.
Beth and Brett are fictionalized characters who represent many disillusioned couples that end up in the Lawton/Fort Sill area. Hundreds of women migrate to Lawton/Fort Sill each year in search of their true love only to find that their dreams cannot be a reality.
If women find themselves in a crisis such as this, numerous agencies are available to give aid to them Some of these agencies include Crisis line, New Directions, Goodwill Industries, and the Salvation Army.
THE LAWTON TIMES, August 22, 1985 (Think Snow/Ski)
Is summer taking its toll on you? Are you tired of the hot, muggy weather? Mosquito bites? Droughts? Sunburns? Lawn care?
Let’s take a moment to get away from it all, with an anticipated and refreshing look at winter, and ski season.
Imagine a cool, crisp day out on the slopes.
The sky is clear blue, the sun is out, the wind chill factor is minimal, and perfect powdered snow has just fallen freshly on the ground.
The white, glistening mountainside is beckoning to you.
According to Adventure Travel Services, the skiing “hot spots” for Oklahomans are: Red River, Santé Fe, and Taos in New Mexico; and Vail, Wolf Creek, Steamboat, Breckenridge, Winter Park, and Aspen in Colorado.
The most popular times to go are in January, and Spring Break, in early March. But people usually begin the season as early as November.
There is an increasing demand for ski group tours from the Lawton area. The average length for the tours is four days to one week. Prices range from $99.00 for a 4 day, 3 night package in New Mexico, to $350.00 or higher for a full week in Colorado.
The package tours are usually for groups of 15-20 people, but there are deals for couples and families too.
Opinions are varied but the best brands for skis are considered to be HEAD, HART, ROSSIGNAL, and OLAN. For bindings, the best equipment comes from TYROLIA, SOLOMAN and LOOK. In boots, RAICHLE, SOLOMAN and NORDICA are considered tops.
The generally accepted best place to buy ski equipment in Lawton is Easton’s, located on Gore Blvd. Easton’s ski equipment will go on sale beginning September 1st.
Skiing can be a fun sport for the entire family. Whether you are a novice, intermediate or advanced skier, there is something for every one of all ages, talents and skills. If you like playing in the snow, enjoying the outdoors, and sliding down hills, then skiing is definitely for you.
Remember, ski season is right around the corner. The serious skier will begin to prepare himself now.
Exercises to strengthen the knees and ankles are a must. Skiers use leg muscles that are not used in ordinary activities. It is best to get in shape for skiing now.
Take your gear down from the attic, and clean off the dust and cobwebs.
Make sure your bindings aren’t too tight, your skis have enough wax on them, and your boots are adjusted properly and don’t fit too snug.
Is everything in working order? Is all gear intact? Then, what are you waiting for? Make those reservations and plans now to get out there and HIT THE SLOPES!
THE LAWTON TIMES, August 29, 1985 (Wet Tent)
Imagine this: you are sunning yourself on the romantic, tropical isle of Freeport in the Bahamas.
You are lying on the beach, in the cool shade of a palm tree, sipping a pina colada.
It is a beautiful sunny day, with a cool breeze softly blowing. You can see the white crystal sand sparking in the sunlight.
This is your dream vacation. You’ve been saving money and vacation time for ears for this trip.
You have finally gotten there, but once you get there all you can think of are the comforts of home.
You get an incurable case of homesickness. You suddenly wonder how the dog is. Did you remember to tell the house sitter to feed him twice a day? You worry and get an urge to call and make sure everything is all right.
Then, you realize that while you have been sitting there thinking about home your shoulders have been burning in the sun. You are suddenly miserable and wish for an instant that you had never left home.
Are you familiar with the clichés, “it’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there?” Or, “you can find happiness and/or a rainbow in your own back yard?”
Many people visiting new places are often disillusioned when their fantasy vacation turns into a nightmare. They find themselves missing their home, and comparing it to their vacation spot. Or even worse, the place they’ve imagined all the time, and their real vacation spot are not even close.
I remember the time I toured France and England. I was on a bicycle tour with a group of teenagers.
It was exciting to be so far away from home, and in a whole new environment. The culture was different; the language was different.
But, I also remember one morning in particular all too well. We had camped out in our two and three man tents, and as I woke up at 6 am to a rooster crowing loudly, my sleeping bag was cold and wet.
I was cold and miserable.
I crawled out of the tent to find it had been raining all night.
It was still drizzling a little.
My tent was soaked.
I went to take a nice, hot shower to warm up. The water turned out to be cold and the shower stalls were filthy.
Breakfast was left over stew from the night before.
At that moment I wanted to go home. I missed my warm waterbed, the hot shower, my color TV, and the microwave oven. I missed a roof over my head and the warmth of gas heat.
I wondered why I had just spent $2,000 to camp out in the rain. I hate rain. I hate being cold. I hate cold showers. I hate left over stew. But most of al, I hate camping.
We had to ride 100 kilometers that day, and I even hated riding my bike. I was sore from the day before beyond belief.
That was the worst day of my trip. But, I got over it. I enjoyed myself the rest of the trip. Only once in a while did I feel a few pangs of yearning for home after that.
Once I got back, I was able to appreciate all the things I had taken for granted before. All the everyday joys of being home, around the people I love, seemed special and left me with a feeling of contentment.
Sometimes it takes an eye opening experience to make a person realize how good they really have it.
Sometimes, all you need to do is look around, and you will find the best things in life are at home.
Vacations are still fun, but there really is, “no place like home.”
THE LAWTON TIMES, September 5, 1985 (School Days)
Well, summer is officially over, folks. Labor Day has passed, and the kids are back in school.
Fall will soon be with us, and with it cooler weather.
Ah yes, to be young again and back in school. I can still remember my very first day of kindergarten. It was recess and a cute five year old pushed me down the slide. His name was Timothy.
My shoe came untied and I pretended I didn’t know how to tie it. He tied it for me. He was a short blond with blue eyes. I thought he was the best thing since ice cream.
My crush lasted about two weeks, then I got mad at him one day because he wouldn’t share the building blocks with me. Alas, my first puppy love crush was over.
Then came grade school, and with it the eagerness to learn something new. In first grade I learned my abc’s and to read and write. In second grade it was 2 plus 2 and the beginning of Sullivan books. Remember Sam and Ann? All those recesses weren’t bad either.
In third grade we did art projects and reinforced the previous two years. By fourth grade I was a whiz at multiplying, dividing, adding and subtracting.
In fifth grade we learned the capitols of all 50 states and played memorization games with them. We called the games the College Bowls.
Then, onto junior high.
Sixth grade is memories of field trips to potato chip factories, zoos, and other “educational” places.
Then came the terrifying fist day of high school. As a freshman I felt small and vulnerable. I thought I’d never find my way around in that huge school.
The next three years established more confidence, and lots of memories.
High school was a time to learn and a time to play. Many teenagers searched to find their identities, and we all experimented a great deal.
Football games, dances, pep rallies, being in the school play. That first big crush and wondering who’d ask me to the rom. Infatuation, being “in love” (for the fifth time) knowing it would last forever (about two months).
Life was so easy then. But it seemed so hard at the time.
Worrying about what to wear, being popular, having friends. Getting an A in the class knowing the teacher hated your guts. Studying for the big test, the mid-term, and the final. Worrying about staying home Friday nights, wishing that cute guy in study hall would ask you out.
Worrying about winning the big game, hoping the zit on your forehead would go away before your date with Scott.
Now, I have more important worries: paying bills and taxes, what to wear to press conferences, living in the “real world.” In 50 years, I’ll most likely look back on today thinking how easy I really had it in “the good ol’ days.”
THE LAWTON TIMES, September 12, 1985 (Revenge)
Revenge—a popular ‘trend’ in the 80’s.
Revenge is used to gain satisfaction, right a wrong, get even; to make someone pay for their unjust act.
People who seek revenge often feel they have a “score to settle.” They must take matters into their own hands, in order to make the perpetrator pay for his crime.
“An eye for an eye.” If Suzie pulls Johnny’s hair, he pulls hers harder. Thus, “do unto others as they do to you.”
Whatever happened to “forgive and forget,” starting over and second chances? Now, people hold grudges and even receive pleasure from “making someone pay.”
Some forms of vindication are vandalism, inflicting bodily harm, making derogatory remarks about the person being avenged, and public embarrassment.
Other forms of paybacks are to send deliveries of flowers, pizzas, a taxi, etc. to the person’s house, in his name. Also, phone and mail orders from catalogs sent to their mailing address C.O.D.
What makes people stoop to these acts of getting even and having the last word? Has vengeance become human nature? Is it more divine to punish the person making the error than to forgive?
When I was 7 years old, my best friend, Sherry, and I got in an argument. We didn’t talk to each other for five days.
On the fifth day, I saw her playing with someone else. I was jealous and hurt. I felt betrayed.
I promised myself I would get even with her. I wanted her to feel as bad as I felt. I thought she didn’t like me anymore and that we were no longer friends. I was mad at the other girl, Dawn, for taking her away from me.
I thought that if I could make Dawn mad at Sherry, she’d have no one and be as lonely and hurt as I was.
So, I wrote the meanest, nastiest letter to Dawn I knew how to write. I called her several names and signed Sherry’s name to it.
My plan worked—they hated each other. I soon realized that I wasn’t any better off; I still didn’t have a best friend. I didn’t solve my problems by making life harder for Sherry.
Dawn’s mother found the letter (I stuck it in their mailbox). She called Sherry’s mom and Sherry got punished for something she didn’t do.
I felt awful. I told Sherry about writing the letter. Her mom told my mom and I got punished.
Eventually, we forgave each other and became friends again. Our need for companionship and having both been punished, exceeded our animosity toward each other.
The lesson I learned from revenge is that it doesn’t help me. It might ease the pain a little to hurt someone else, but it doesn’t make it go away.
Revenge can turn against you. It can be a never-ending circle to see who gets the last laugh. Really, all you end up doing is hurting another’s life. What does that solve?
THE LAWTON TIMES, September 19, 1985 (Goodbye)
It is time for me to say, “Goodbye and Farewell.” Tasche’s corner is moving back to Portland, Oregon.
I am glad I had the opportunity to write and communicate with the citizens of Lawton. You have given me a start, now it is time for me to move on.
I will miss this town and many of the people here. Right now, I’d like to thank a few of them.
A big thank you goes to my editor for giving me this column and being so patient when I turned in my articles, after the deadline.
Thank you also to Gene Norman, my manager, for hiring me and giving me a chance in the newspaper business.
A thanks also goes to the typesetter for setting my stories and getting them in on time for me. I will miss them all; they have been very good to me.
I will also miss the lazy, hot summer days, the blue, cloudless skies, the endless, warm summer nights, the snow cone stand by TG&Y.
I’ll miss seeing movies for 99 cents at Vaska Theatre, the dance clubs, shopping at the mall and seeing men with short haircuts walk around in camouflage uniforms they call BDU’s.
I will miss the friends I have made here and the interesting people I have met. I’ll miss the next-door neighbor’s dog that barks all night, the cats that live in the alley and under my house. I’ll even miss the sound the locusts and crickets make at night that I’ve grown so accustomed to.
But most of all, I will miss my very bet friend who I have grown to know so well. He has taught me some very valuable lessons in life. With his help, I have grown and changed immensely. He has given me the confidence and courage it will take to be on my own again. I am forever indebted to him, and I will always cherish our friendship.
Even though I’ll be leaving Lawton behind, and all m friends here, I have new adventures to look forward to once I go to Portland, Ore.
I will be going back to school, and pursuing an education. I will be pounding the pavement once again looking for a job (hopefully with the Oregonian newspaper staff).
There will be new places to explore, new faces to meet, and new challenges of every day, big city life.
It saddens me to leave my job with the Lawton Times, my friends, and all of the good times I had here. However, it is time I got started on my new adventure.
Thank you, people of Lawton, for making my visit here a pleasant one. I am grateful for the time I spent here and am sad to be leaving you.
I will have good memories of happy times to carry with me forever. It’s over now, but it was fun while it lasted!