Archived News 2010


Seniors will gather at the center at 7 pm tonight to celebrate the ending of 2010, the first year in the Medicine Park Community Center, and the beginning of 2011, hopefully the first year in our own building. Cards, dominoes, and finger foods are in store for those who gather. Gary Howell has taken the initiative to arrange the get together and will be in contact with others for final details. Everyone invited!


Don Hawthorne, incoming County Commissioner, met with Alon Williams and Tom Spears at the vacant American Legion Building for an initial walk-through. The visit was the first time that Commissioner Hawthorne had been in the building. He left the keys to the building with Tom Spears so the seniors can get estimates on the cost of getting the building converted to a full Senior Citizen Center, meeting with electricians, plumbers, insurance agents, and the state fire marshal personnel and can have seniors visit the building and make plans for the move from the Medicine Park Community Center. Commissioner Hawthorne cautioned that giving the keys to the seniors was only for those purposes. He relayed a message from Commissioner Ron Kirby, "Don't start moving in until we have signed an agreement!"


Eva Williams announced on Tuesday that the center will not meet next Monday for the weekly potluck. "We had our Christmas party last Monday. We are taking Christmas week off." She said. If domino and card players want to use the center on Monday night, access can be arranged.


While 80 visitors to the center to enjoy Indian tacos is a decent number for the monthly fundraiser, center members have been spoiled by last month's 144. As the serving line opened at 11 AM Saturday, the first customer was waiting. There was a slow but constant stream of people, most repeating their monthly trek to the center, until about two o'clock, when the parking lot emptied and the flow stopped. The volunteers began to clean up, put up, turn off the fryer, bring in the highway signs, and shut down the serving line as the clock pointed toward four o'clock. The possible move to the center to the American Legion building, hopefully before the January Indian Taco sale, was a consistent topic of conversation among the visitors and the center members. Several people repeated an often-stated criticism of the Medicine Park Community Center building: "With no parking near the building and the long walk up that hill, surprises me that anyone ever comes back!"


Ken Jones, Chief of Supportive Services, Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments, and Dan Lowrance, Delta Nutrition Services, met with Center President Eva Williams, Facility Manager Cecil Gardner, Public Relations Officer Tom Spears, and member Alon Williams, to discuss the moving of the senior center from the Medicine Park Community Center to the recently vacated American Legion building. He reviewed the progress of the center in the Community Center building and studied the Legion building for mission adequacy, center ability to manage the tasks and expenses associated with both moving to the new location and adapting the senior programs to the new facility, and size and adequacy for handling the food preparation requirements of the Comanche County seniors nutrition program. While the center officers felt the visit will have a positive impact on the county commissioner's decision to make the building available to the senior center. The true result should be known next week.


At the regular monthly meeting tonight the members of the senior center voted to study how the move to another building would impact to the success of their program. The vacancy and probable availability of the American Legion building six miles east of the current location caused consideration of moving the center to that location. The building is owned by Comanche County, and Commissioner Ron Kirby has stated that the Wichita Mountains Area Senior Citizens Association could have a no-cost lease to the building if the seniors wanted to take on the full responsibility for the building. During the seniors meeting the positive and negative arguments to attempting such a move were made. By the end of the meeting all members enthusiastically voted to make the move to the new location if the officers of the center, after additional study, consider the change beneficial to the seniors of the area. (A document is being prepared to detail the beneficial and detrimental impacts. The document will be posted on this web site shortly.)


Sixteen people people joined Mary Ann Pitchford as she led an introductory class in the health-sustaining exercises called Tai Chi. The 50-minute class demonstrated to the participants various exercises with emphasis on deep breathing, low impact moving and stretching, balance, and control. Mary Ann said that she will be back in the area in December and will offer another free class. After that she will see who wants to engage in a series of classes that she will offer. The classes will be sponsored by the center for the benefit of the center, offering the class to all who want to enroll. More information will be presented on the Activities page as it becomes available.


After finishing the potluck meal at the regular Monday night meeting, a most irregular thing happened. Eva Williams introduced Mary Ann Pitchford, a natural healing and life counselor and Director of HealthQuest. Mary Ann got most of the members on their feet, and they followed her lead through the various low-impact, confidence-raising Tai Chi movement and breathing exercises. Mary Ann noted that Tai Chi can help sufferers of arthritis, diabetes, anxiety, and depression among other infirmities. Mary Ann announced that she will provide a full 50-minute Tai Chi class for the center members and their guests on Saturday at 10 am.


The seniors fed 121 people at the Indian taco sale today. The vast majority of the patrons arrived at the center prior to 2 PM. When the OU/Texas Tech football game started at 2:30, people ceased to arrive, in spite of the fact that the ball game was being shown in high-definition at the center. Sale of the tacos brought in $510.00. There were donations of $19.00.


The Medicine Park town clerk called Tom Spears around 11 AM telling him that she had scheduled the building for a memorial service for Charley Wright's sister-in-law, who had died the previous Thursday. Tom told her that according to the building-use agreement, the town could not schedule the building if the seniors had legitimately scheduled an advertised event. She said that it was an emergency, the building-use agreement had never been signed, and she is the building scheduling authority. The matter was unresolved when she hung up. Tom called Paul Fisher, who had authored with Tom the building-use agreement. Tom also talked to councilman Gordon Dye and to Charley Wright. The dispute was settled later tonight when Charley scheduled his ceremony at a local restaurant. Saturday's Indian Taco Sale will take place as scheduled.


Following up on a lead from Alice Law, Tom and Jo Ann Spears traveled to Altus today to check out, and eventually buy if the system looked worth the price, a sound system for the Senior Center. Since the town of Medicine Park removed the building sound system in May, the seniors have been relying on Alice and Jim Law to bring their personal amplifier/speaker sound system with them from their home in Roosevelt for the monthly An Evening of Country Music. Alice had called earlier in the week, referring Tom to Calvin Gipson, an Altus country musician, repairman, and dealer in a large variety of used machines and equipment. She told Tom that Gipson has purchased a used top-of-the line Behringer powered mixer with other equipment and would sell it reasonably priced. She said that Jim and she had bought a lot of music equipment from Gipson and trusted his professional judgement and honesty. Tom found that the package Gipson was offering included a 14-channel Behringer power mixer, a 600-watt line Behringer amplifier, two 15-inch Behringer speaker systems, four 12-inch Behringer speaker systems, a TEC CD player and cassette player, five Shure microphones, four boom microphone stands, two music stands, and two guitar stands. Tom traded a $1,250 senior center check for the equipment.


One hundred and nineteen country music lovers visited the center and enjoyed the last country music show of 2010. Ninety-two burger-in-a-basket meals were served, and $323.00 were donated to the center during the evening. Louretta Borsos sold an additional thirteen $1.00 raffle tickets for the Indian Maiden quilt, which was raffled off during the show (see below). An Evening of Country Music will return to the center on the last Friday of January, 2011 (Weather permitting -- The first scheduled country music show was to occur on the last Friday of January, 2010, but was cancelled due to a record- breaking ice storm.)


A beautiful little four-year-old girl drew the winning ticket for the Indian Maiden quilt, recently completed by the Tuesday's Quilting Group. The winner of the quilt is Dortha Biggs from the Medicine Park area. She was not in attendance at the country music show. Tom Spears, MC for the evening, immediately called Dortha with the news of her good luck, but was referred to voice mail. He left a message for her to arrange for her to pick up or to have it delivered to her home. A picture of the quilt can be found in the

News item dated August 10.


The Senior Center's monthly fundraiser, An Evening of Country Music, will have its final program of the year on the 29th of October. Advertised as occurring on the last Friday of each month, the event runs into serious conflicts with the November and December holidays. The last Friday of November is the day after Thanksgiving, not a day when the musicians nor the volunteers would want to obligate their time, even if there was an audience for the show. This year the last Friday of December falls on News Year Eve. The night before the New Year begins also begs a different kind of celebration, especially for the senior volunteers who prepare the event. After coming together on the 29th of this month, the senior volunteers and the country music providers will meet again on January 28th, 2011. <October Flyer>


A record of 166 signed into the senior center today, consuming or taking out seven hundred and seventy dollars worth of Cecil Gardner's delicious Indian tacos. Louretta Borsos, at the door, also sold seventy-five raffle tickets for the Indian Maiden quilt which the center crafts group finished several weeks ago (see picture on August 10). The winner of the raffle will be drawn at eight pm on October 29, during The Evening of Country Music. In addition to the sale of tacos and raffle tickets, generous patrons dropped thirty-two dollars into the donations jar.


Center President Eva Williams received the annual grant letter from the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments. Along with approval of most of the center's request for its annual operating funds, ASCOG outlined record-keeping requirements and its possible enforcement auditing efforts. The center's request for purchases of food, utilities, and insurance was fully covered. The amount approved for equipment should cover kitchen drawers, storage cabinets, a building sound system, and an industrial-sized vacuum cleaner and cleaning supplies.


Only 43 people attended An Evening of Country Music this Friday night, and that number included six musicians, three singers, and six kitchen workers The dismal showing was blamed on the multitude of events going on in the area, high school football games, Lawton's annual International Festival, a bluegrass gathering in Duncan, and the State Fair in Oklahoma City. The Center's Public Relations Officer, Tom Spears, reported that his submission to the Lawton Constitution was not published on Tuesday. income for the night was $114.00 donations and $36.00 in raffle ticket sales for the Indian maiden quilt. The raffle drawing for the quilt will be at the October country music event.

September 20, 2010 -- CENTER GETS WI-FI HOTSPOT

With Jo Ann Spears donating her old desk-top computer, and MPTelco giving the DSL modem and wireless router, the Community Center is now a Wi-Fi hotspot. Tom Spears brought the 1999 Windows 98-based Compaq to the Center and connected the monitor, keyboard, and mouse and applied power. Just in time for the arrival of the Medicine Park Telephone DSL installer, the computer began to operate correctly, ready to host the equipment the installer brought with him. Almost magically the installer mated the outdated and the advanced. the hotspot was ready for use. Tom tested the range of the equipment on his laptop as he drove from the building. He was almost at the highway before he lost the signal, proving that the nearby parking areas are withing the hotspot cone. Medicine Park Police Chief Rod McGee said that the hotspot will be especially helpful for his patrolmen, who access the Internet often to check information, write reports, and input data. He said the patrolmen can observe a broad stretch of State Highway 49 from areas near the building. For members interested in taking computer and Internet classes, the new connection makes that activity possible.


A group of thirteen seniors gathered at the Center for a Keno Party at 7 pm. With lots of fun and little conversation (Keno players are a serious group, looking for the prize.), the game got underway at 7 pm, and after a break for a plate of Cecil Gardner's brownies, finished up about 10:30. Everyone brought a $5.00 gift, providing the focus for the play. The activity lead was Gail Nix (529-2146). It will be a monthly affair, every third Thursday. She is inviting everyone who might want to play this bingo-like game to join the group for the October 21st second session.

September 15, 2010 -- ASCOG METES 2011 GRANTS

Initial reports from Tuesday's grant allocation meeting at the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments say the center will receive $10,370.00 of the $11,338.00 requested. Exact items that were approved for purchase have not been identified, but the center leaders assume the highest priority items have been funded. The full request submitted to ASCOG is itemized in the News input on September 3.


Mike McGowen brought a large set of drawers to the center this afternoon, each drawer crammed full of yarn, threads, needles, and craft boards. Mike explained that he had bought a Medicine Park home in which a lot of items had been abandoned. The crafts material was among those items. He contacted the center to see if the crafts material could be used in the seniors program. All items were enthusiastically received.


For a little bit of money and ten quilt raffle tickets, Louretta Borsos bartered for two sewing machines to be used the center's Quilting Circle activity. To this time, the quilters have been bringing their sewing machines from home every Tuesday to complete the quiltwork that is not done by finger and needle. Wanting to minimize the bother and extra labor of transporting and lugging their machines each week, Louretta somewhere found a person willing to sell two working sewing machines for thirty dollars and ten raffle tickets for the Indian Maiden quilt. The drawing for the quilt will take place at the October Evening of Country Music.


Lawton's primary senior citizens support agency has included the Wichita Mountains Area Center on their activity distribution list, giving the center members information about their Creative Traveler activity. CCL activities are now being highlighted on this sites Activities page


The senior center volunteers worked without break to satisfy the demand that continued throughout Saturday for Cecil Gardner's savory Indian Tacos. The 143 visitors to the center were many more than were planned and prepared for. The serving line was closed an hour and a half earlier than scheduled because meat, tomatoes, lettuce, and sour cream were completely used up. As the exhausted volunteers began to clean the kitchen and put away the few remaining food items, Tom Spears and Leo Whitley rushed out and removed the Indian Taco signs showing the way to the center. The Indian taco sales brought in $595.00 with additional money dropped into the Donations jar and dozens of quilt raffle tickets being sold.


The telephone line provided to the Community/Senior Center by the Medicine Park Telephone Company was finally terminated when Tom Spears brought one of his old desk phones from home and activated the line. He also installed an answering machine to accept voice messages. The phone number is 580-529-3585 and will be listed in the next issue of the telephone directory under Town of Medicine Park as the Community Center, and in the alphabetical index under Wichita Mountains Area Senior Center. The number is also on the Home Page of this web site.


Last month the production of ice from the center ice machine began to slow, some seniors expressed concern that the relatively new device was beginning to malfunction. Since the Town of Medicine Park, Public Works personnel use the ice for their coolers, they, too expressed concern about the meager supply. "You know those things need maintenance." Tommy Brock, Public Works Chief. "You get us a new water filter, some ice machine cleaning solution, and sanitizer, and our guy will get that thing back to working." With the new filter recently installed adequate ice production returned. This week, the Public Works employee disassembled the device and cleaned and sanitized it. Now there is not only a lot of ice, but it is also clean, pure, and healthy.

September 3, 2010 -- 2011 GRANT REQUEST SUBMITTED TO ASCOG

Center President Eva Williams formulated and submitted the grant request for the next year to the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments (ASCOG). The following list of purchases was derived from recommendations from center members.

First priority is food, consumables, electricity, and insurance.

Second priority is to furnish the center the way we want it with:

2ea stainless steel drawers for kitchen tables

2ea Stainless steel 6ft wire shelves for storage

Industrial-sized vacuum

Cordless telephone w/3 handsets, vmail

Third priority is equipment to support our fundraisers:

A sound system for the building for Country Music, bingo, etc.

2ea Floor fan on stand (to cool music and work area)

5ea Domino sets with counters

Fourth priority is support to future center activities:

Desk-top computer screen and printer

Horse shoes, badminton, foldaway table-tennis table

Piano keyboard

Ken Jones, ASCOG agent for CENA, will score the request and defend it to the ASCOG Grant committee. He has said that, because of the weak economy in Oklahoma, only high priority items will likely be funded.


Louretta Borsos announced at the 10 am quilting bee that the quilters, having finished the Indian Maiden patterned quilt last week, is starting a new quilt with a different pattern, called a String Quilt. Rita Worthington and Rita's mom, Eva Williams, Cecil Gardner, and Louretta worked on the new quilt. Loretta said that they finished four of the required sixty-four blocks during the session, calling it a "very productive" session. Since the quilt face is not yet on the frame for the final quilting process, the ladies from Elgin took their talents to Darny Hudson's quilting group. Loretta said that only two domino players showed up, Alon Williams and Kenneth Hilliary.


The center Board of Directors tonight voted to buy a half-page advertisement in a cookbook being prepared by local author and Internet-site designer David Lott. At the end of the Monday potluck dinner, center president Eva Williams called an impromptu meeting to let David talk to them about the project. David presented his plan to write and publish the cookbook, having it ready prior to the

Christmas buying season. "This one will be a 6" x9" just like my "Medicine Park - Oklahoma's First Resort" history book - and actually serve as a companion book. The publisher tells me the history book has already sold over 1000 copies since coming out mid-June. Christmas will bring a lot more sales. I wanna "piggy-back" on its success with the new cookbook." David told the board. "Advertiser supported, it will be 100-128 pages, heavy cardstock full color cover, perfect bound (like the history book), full color inside covers, black and white interior. (see cover sample above) The recipes will predominantly be fun recipes for grillin' stuff, game day parties and dinner parties from my collection and others. "Puttin' the Party in Dinner Party." Plus some local professional chef's are doing a special chapter on theme party recipes." The board agreed to place an ad in the cookbook and to sell copies of the book at center activities, including at the Indian Taco sale and the Evening of Country Music. The center's 52-inch flat screen television was purchased with proceeds from David Lott and Louretta Borsos' cookbook efforts in 2008, when they collected and published recipes submitted by local Medicine Park residents.


While the number of country music lovers attending the Center's Evening of Country Music did not reach the building capacity of 140, a large and enthusiastic crowd far

out paced the number that was expected and prepared for by the volunteers of the Center. Louretta Borses, who tended the door, reported that a hundred and two people signed in and that she knows that there were ten or so that had not provided signatures. By the end of the evening the donation jar contained four hundred and thirty-nine dollars and more than thirty quilt raffle tickets were sold. The record for country music attendance occurred in February when more than 150 people signed in. With much smaller numbers the past two months, Cecil Gardner, Food Service Manager, decided that planning for forty-percent more burgers than was served in last time would surely be sufficient for the August function. James Williams said that he had cooked ninety-two burger patties, all of which were served by seven-thirty O'clock. Those who came in after seven-thirty were relegated to only desserts, coffee, iced tea, and pink lemonade. Observing their tardiness, President Eva Williams exclaimed, "Let them eat cake!"


Workers from Medicine Park, using a front loader and a small tractor with a rear scoop, expanded the east parking, removing brush and rocky mounds and smoothing the accesses and washed out roads and approaches. Several loads of surfacing rocks, which had been dumped at the east end of the parking area, were spread over the newly graded areas and smoothed. Parking at the evening's event, An Evening of Country Music, was greatly eased even with the unusually large, and unexpected crowd.


Jackie Silverhorn came to An Evening of Country Music with more than a yen for traditional tunes. When Tom Spears, self-appointed official greeter for the music event, approached the Silverhorn van, expecting to tell the driver where to park, Jackie asked if the "Library Man" was there. Tom told her that Gary Howell had not come to the building yet, Jackie said, "Oh, my. I have a ton of books for his library. Tom, Jackie, and her husband lugged the three containers of books through the music-engrossed crowd and placed the many books into a recently-donated and still empty bookcase. The Silverhorns stayed on for hamburgers and music.


Gordon (Buddy) Dye brought a treadmill by the center, leaving it in the foyer of the building. "It is relatively new." He said, "But it does need a little repair." He said that the motor stops after a few minutes of running. "I figure some of the smarter senior citizens can figure out what is wrong with it and fix it." He explained. Tom Spears tried the machine when he discovered it newly added to the building inventory. "It didn't stop while I was on it." He gasped, "I must of gotten tired before the motor did."


After substantial discussion, Gail Nix accepted the nomination for Senior Center Vice President and was elected unanimously. Gail is not shown in the picture at the left because she was busy in the kitchen.The large group that assembled for Monday's potluck dinner enthusiastically discussed the upcoming submission of the request for next years grant from ASCOG. That list is due to ASCOG by the end of the month.


The monthly fundraiser takes in $526.00 in taco sales and $23.00 in additional donations. Louretta Borsos sold 10 raffle tickets for the next quilt raffle. Concern that the 108 degree heat of the day might keep a crowd away from the center, but the kitchen volunteers were consistently busy from the eleven O'clock opening until the doors closed at 5:30.


Tom Spears received a replacement for the failed water filter for the ice machine. He immediately went to the building and inserted the new filter into the water line connection. Medicine Park Public Works troubleshooters had left the internal water feed to the ice-making mechanism disconnected, so water sprayed inside the machine, in effect purging the new filter and cleaning the ice basket. Tom reconnected the feed line, turned the machine to the Ice Making position, and saw that the freezing fins were receiving water. He reported to Eva Williams that the ice machine was again making ice.


Seven ladies worked on the Indian Maiden patterned quilt on Monday, progressing enough to mount the quilt cover on the quilting frame with the backing and the batting. Stopping at noon for a light lunch provided by the center, all expressed satisfaction with the quilting effort and joy to Louretta that the quilting group has been formed. (Photo shows Louretta Borsos, left, and Cecil Gardner, right)DOMINO PLAYERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TUESDAY OPEN BUILDING

Besides Gary Howell, there to open the building, make the coffee, and get the building ready for the quilting group, four domino players showed up to take advantage of the open center, playing dominoes for several hours and enjoying lunch with the quilters. Eva Williams, center president, said that the building can be opened more often as the needs are expressed by center members.


The senior center annual officer election was held on Monday. Eva Williams was reelected as President by unanimous consent. The members decided that since the primary role of the Vice President is to sit in for the President during his or her absence, Alon Williams did not stand for reelection. No person present wanted to hold the office of Vice President, so the election of a member to that office was deferred until next Monday, August 16. A search for candidates will take place during the week. Puddin McKenzie was elected Secretary. Louretta Borsos was reelected Treasurer. Tom Spears continues to be the Public Relations Officer, and Cecil Gardner remains the Facility and Foods Manager.


Gail Nix suggested that interested center members gather once a month for an evening of Keno, a bingo-like game played with regular playing cards. The idea gained enthusiastic agreement from those at the Monday Potluck. She will include the activity on the seniors calendar as soon as all the details are worked out.


Tom Spears, at the building to put up the Indian Taco Sale sign, found Medicine Park Public Works personnel trying to determine why the seniors ice machine was not producing ice. Tom told them that the seniors had noticed reduced amount of ice being produced over the past several weeks, but had not called to have the machine serviced. A Public Works employee later called Tom saying that the water filter in the water supply line had become blocked by prolonged use. He stated that the filter must be replaced for the ice machine to work properly. Tom ordered a filter from Premier Sales, a California firm, found on the Internet. Delivery was promised on August 12, in time for the ice machine to refill the ice basket for Saturday's Indian Taco Sale.


A meager crown showed up on Friday evening for the July Evening of Country Music. With the amount of advertising and publicity that had taken place during the week prior to the event, Tom Spears, ever optimistic, had predicted twice the number that were entertained by the gathered musicians. Fifty-six people were in attendance. Several of those came late, saying that, the visit being the first time at the community center, they could not find the place and could not find a Medicine Parker who know where the community center was located. Some had even stopped and had eaten before arrival at the seniors' building. Of the fifty-six, seven were musicians and eight were senior volunteers working in the kitchen and the door. Only $165. 73 was received in the donation jar. The comforter was raffled off, that going to Neiva Walbrick. A total of $25.00 was raised from the evenings raffle-ticket sale. Other money, from earlier ticket sales is not counted in this total.


Several center members brought food to the center to serve the Louretta Borsos's family as they gathered for the burial of Louretta's Brother. Thursday evening fifteen people were served a supper meal. Thanks go to Cecil Gardner, Eva Williams, Dora Hilliary, Joy Willingham, Jeanie Hutchenson, and others for the contribution of their kindness.


Gordon Dye, Medicine Park Town Councilman, reported this week that Paul Fisher, the town grant writer, has told the town council that the 2008 state grant that provides money to finish of the outside of the building and the parking areas is very close to being available. Dye said that Fisher assured the council that the cobblestone contractor will begin the installation in early August. Soon after the building is cobblestoned, the town Public Works employees will install sidewalks, a patio at the rear of the building, and finish the grading and surfacing of the parking lots.


Tom Spears met the Dish Network repairman at the center today. The repairman discovered that the original installer had failed to tighten a critical bolt at the top of the outside dish. Winds and weather since the installation of the system last September have gradually moved the dish to a position that totally interrupted the service. He told Tom that it is likely the center has not has access to two of the three satellites since soon after activation. Since most of the programs the seniors watch and all local channels are carried on the remaining satellite, the service degradation as likely not noticed, or the viewers did know what channels to expect. Full service is now available.


The ladies of the quilting circle (no gentlemen have joined the quilting circle yet) today turned on the TV's Dish Network and found that it would not work. Gary Howell was in the building continuing to establish the Lending Library. They asked him see if he could get the satellite service established. He could not. The TV kept showing "Attempting to connect to satellite" status. Gary called Tom Spears, asking him if there is a secret to getting Dish to come up. Tom told him that he had learned of the problem on Monday, had contacted the Dish servicemen, and expected to meet them at the building on Wednesday to get the service working again.


As the time for the submission of the 2011 grant application to ASCOG nears, Eva Williams, Center President, is asking for ideas for next year's activities, Center needs, and operating improvements that can justify additional funds for the grant request. ASCOG's Area Agency on Aging funds a portion of the Center's food, supplies, and operating expenses with its annual grant. Eva will be collecting ideas and recommendations at upcoming pot-luck suppers and other activities. Call her with your ideas, or send an email to


A steady stream of hungry people visited the Senior Center today. Many were return visitors, having enjoyed Cecil Gardner's wonderful Indian fry bread based tacos over the past few months. While there was not a big crowd at any time, a table or two were continually occupied. First-time visitors all indicated that they will be returning for future Indian Taco events. Asked what drew them to the fundraiser today, most of the first-time visitors said that they were going to Medicine Park's 102 Birthday Party or to the Refuge, saw the signs at I-44 or the SH58 intersection and decided to stop in. A total of four hundred and eighty-nine dollars was collected for taco tickets, thirteen additional dollars were donated to the center, and thirty-three quilt raffle tickets were sold. "All in all," Cecil said, "This has been a successful day. Our kitchen and our volunteers could have handled twice as many people, but the last of the ones who came just about used up the dough I had made."


After the poorly attended June Indian Taco Sale, Leo Whitley suggested putting small road signs at heavily traveled road intersections with arrows pointing toward the Senior Center. Tom Spears took on the task of making the signs. Leo said that he would place and remove a sign at the intersection of I-44 and SH 49. Alon Williams said that he would place a sign at the intersection of SH 49 and SH 58. Today Tom Constructed two wooden signs with hinged tripod legs. Several people agreed that placing the signs at critical traffic points should improve attendance.

June 26, 2010 -- The Evening of Country Music on Friday was successful with sixty-two people enjoying the burger-in-a-basket and two and a half hours of wonderful country music. Donations totaled $226.30 (Looks like the day of the thirty-cent hamburger has returned!). The quilting bee had donated the product of their first effort, a large comforter, to the center to be raffled off. Raffle tickets were sold at the last Indian taco sale and during the country music. A total of $58.00 was taken in through the quilt raffle.

At an 8:00 O'clock break in the country music, the raffle drawing took place. Justine Wolf had the winning ticket. She and Bob had left early, but Tom Spears called the Wolfes and promised to deliver the comforter on Saturday. When Tom contacted Justine on Saturday morning, she told him that they had just bought the tickets as an additional donation to the senior center, that they had been giving stuff in their house away because they had accumulated too much, and that they already had enough bedding, so they wanted to donate the comforter back to the center so that it can be raffled again. Tom called an elated Louretta Borsos, who is looking forward to beginning to sell tickets for the re-raffle.

June 20, 2010 -- Medicine Park Telephone Company and Wichita On Line, both owned by the Hilliary family, notified the center that the two companies will donate their services to the senior center. Wichita on Line will install a DSL modem in the center with a WiFi hub, making the center a WiFi hot spot. Seniors (and others who want to bring their laptops to the building) can have free Internet access. The senior center will set up computers with log-in access and e-mail accounts for seniors who want them. The telephone company will install local telephone access at the building with the number listed under the names of both Wichita Mountains Area Senior Citizens Center and Medicine Park Community Center.

June 12, 2010 -- Fifty-nine people came to the center and enjoyed Indian tacos and desserts during the day. The food brought in $298.00. Louretta Borsos' Quilting Bee had decided to raffle the first product of their labor. Thirty one-dollar tickets were sold on Saturday. Sales of tickets will continue through the Evening of Country Music, with the drawing being conducted prior to the end of the evening's music program. The attendance was somewhat more than expected because the notice to the Lawton newspaper did not result in a mention of the Indian Taco event, as was expected.

June 11, 2010 -- Cecil Gardner, Eva Williams, Puddin McKinsey, and Dora Hilliary got together to begin preparation of the food for Saturday's Indian Taco Sale. They cooked and seasoned the ground beef, prepared the lettuce, onions, and tomatoes for serving. Puddin, as always, will bring the beans.

June 10, 2010 -- Tom Spears installed a lower shelf over the kitchen's prep table on the east side and attached a stainless steel drawer to hold the food-preparation utensils. At the suggestion of the people using the kitchen, he had purchased a set of shelves to help organize the supplies, provide more table working space, and move the two microwaves into a more usable position. Tom assembled the wire-frame shelves and put them into the four-foot space between the prep tables and the north kitchen wall.

May 31, 2010 -- Twelve members enjoyed left-over hamburgers at the regular Monday pot-luck supper.

May 28, 2010 -- Puddin McKinsey suggested last week that a collection of quilts be hung on the meeting room walls prior to the next Evening of Country Music. Tom Spears and Alon Williams met at the building at 9 AM. They hung a wire on the north wall and half of the south wall on which quilts were to be hung. They also hung the four 10-inch speakers that Puddin had given to the Center on the north and south walls and speaker wire to connect the speakers to the old amplifier from the old building. Tom sat up tables and chairs for eighty people. Other sittings will allow 146 people to enjoy the hamburgers and music.

While sixteen music makers showed up to entertain , only thirty people were in the audience. The music was great; the best ever due to the echo suppression quality of the fourteen quilts provided by Puddin and three provided by Leo Whitley. Tom had not connected the four ten-inch speakers correctly so they did not provide the boost in volume at the kitchen end of the meeting room, as hoped.

The quality of the music was also enhanced because Jim Law, the music manager for the Evening of Country Music brought his personal amplifier and speakers. The quality of the spimd far exceeded the quality of the house sound system, provided by Medicine Park. The house sound system had been borrowed by the town for their Mayor's Red Dirt Ball, a three-day, nine-band extravaganza. The size of the crowd at the town function and people going other places for the Memorial Day holiday weekend might have been a contributing factor to the small number of people showing up at the Center's event.

May 24, 2010 -- Leo Whitley and Tom Spears installed pulleys and ropes so the quilting rack can be pulled to the ceiling when the quilting groups are not in session. The quilt that is now being worked on was on the frame. The quilters have started tieing tying the quilt top to the batting and backing.

May 20, 2010 -- Puddin McKinzie is donating four ten-inch speakers to the center hoping the music played at the Evening of Country Music will have less of an echo factor in the cavernous meeting room.

May 17, 2010 -- Gordon Dye brought a set of his grandmother's quilting rack by the center and donated them to the quilting group. Tom Spears cleaned and fitted the rails with pegs. Plans were made with the quilting activity lead, Louretta Borses, to hang the rack from the ceiling of the meeting room. They hope have the rack ready for use by the next quilting session, Tuesday, May 25th.

May 8, 2010 -- A few more than 80 visitors enjoyed the $5.00 Indian taco platter. More than four hundred and forty dollars was collected for the taco tickets and donations. Puddin McKinzie brought a large prize basket to be raffled off during the day. The raffle was a success bringing in more than thirty dollars. Dora Hilliary's name was drawn at the 5 PM drawing, and she won the basket.

May 7, 2010 -- Cecil Gardner and others met at the center at three PM to prepare some of the foods for Friday's Indian Taco Sale. Meat was fried, cheese was grated, and the kitchen was prepared.

May 4, 2010 -- Louretta Bourses is setting up a quilting bee to meet each Tuesday. Today was to be the organizational meeting. She was disappointed that only two people came to the meeting. Not deterred, she stated that she will call others who have indicated an interest in the Crafts and Quilting program and hopes for a better turn-out on the eleventh. The three who were there spread the quilt material out on available tables and quilted for six hours, including their break for lunch.

April 30, 2010 -- Another evening of great music was enjoyed at the senior center. Beautiful weather, however, did not encourage more participation. A few over one hundred visitors listened to the twenty-or-so musicians. The hamburgers and fries were excellent as Cecil Gardner got more comfortable with the operation of the griddle on the electric burners of the Garland range. The disappointment of the evening, according to Treasurer Louretta Borses, was the dwindling donations from the attendees. "The first evening in February had the attendance at 138, " She said, "with an average donation of $4.85. March brought in nearly 150 visitors with an average donation of a little over $4.00. Tonight's one hundred people barely gave three dollars each." The center officers will meet soon to determine if the donation philosophy should change to a charge per basket.

April 26, 2010 -- Tom Spears completed closing the gapeing chasm to the equipment space in the attic, hanging the doors he had constructed on Saturday. A layer of foam insulation is still needed on the back of the doors. The insulation will be added when the attic wall is insulated. That task was not accomplished when the building was insulated during constructed.

April 24, 2010 -- Tom Spears constructed two doors to cover the attic opening. Starting with a two-by-six board, he laid a sill to support a ladder and to protect the wallboard at the bottom of the opening. He added a one-by-two board below the sill to hide the wall damage resulting from previous ladder use. He then framed the opening with one-by-fours. The two doors are fashioned from cedar plywood, strengthened on the back side with one-by-four pine and on the front with one-by-four cedar board. Tom ended the day placing two of four hinges onto the right-side door and placing the left-side door into the attic opening. He plans to finish the task on Monday.

April 22, 2010 -- Tom Spears, preparing to build a door on the cavernous hole between the main room and the utility area of the attic, bought wood, hinges, screws, and latches. He will seek reimbursement from Medicine Park for those expenses after the FEMA funds are received. He intends to start work on Saturday.

April 20, 2010 -- The cost of correcting the under-powered state of the building will cost in excess of $11,000.00 to correct. Bob Dillard's list included laying copper cable in a PVC conduit from the Cotton Electric transformer to the building, a complete replacement of the 200-amp "residential" circuit-breaker box with a custom-made 400-amp commercial breaker box with a 400-amp main breaker included, a shut-off at the transformer, and a manual connector box on the outside of the building for emergency generator tie-in. Tom took the list to the Medicine Park Town Council meeting where Councilman Gordon Dye presented the project to the council. After a comprehensive discussion, the council voted to delay the repair until the town's financial situation has improved (Medicine Park funds had been depleted paying for the recovery from the January ice storm, and the town management is waiting for FEMA and state reimbursement with allocated emergency funds. That reimbursement should be completed within two months.) Gordon Dye said that he will contact other electrical firms to see if the job can be done cheaper, once funds are available.

April 19, 2010 -- After meeting with Tom Spears at the Community Center building and their discussing the problem of the under-powered building, Bob Dillard said that he will give Tom a complete work list and cost. He will email the list to Tom on Tuesday.

Loretta Borses is organizing a quilting and crafts group to meet on Tuesdays from 10 am to 4 pm. She has placed the activity on the schedule and started recruiting people interested in joining the activity. She said that quilting will likely attract more women than men, but she hopes that men will take advantage of the building being open and come by and play dominoes or pool.

April 16, 2010 -- Tom Spears finally got in touch with Bob Dillard and discussed the work needed to be done to increase the power available to the building. The two will meet at the building on Monday, April 19.

April 14, 2010 -- Bob Dillard did not call Tom yesterday to set up a meeting time. Tom left a voice mail for Bob to call him.

April 12, 2010 -- Tom Spears met at the building with engineers from Cotton Electric to discuss the procedures to upgrade the power available from the existing 200 amps to the next higher available step, 400 amps. The engineers said that Cotton Electric does not install service from the transformer to the building. A licensed electrician must do that. After a line, parallel and of equal size to the existing one, is buried from the transformer and connected to a main breaker at the building, Cotton Electric personnel will connect the increased capacity to the transformer. Tom call Bob Dillard (Dillard Electric) to discuss their performing the work. Bob said that he would meet with Tom on Tuesday to plan the installation. He said that his company will dig the trench, if Medicine Park officials want him to, other wise the town will need to do the digging. Bob is to call Tom to confirm a time to meet.

April 10, 2010 -- There was no information about Saturday's Indian Taco Sale in the Saturday Lawton Constitution. Louretta Borses said that since there was such a good turnout at the March Indian Taco Sale, she had not called her telephone list to encourage a good attendance. Cecil Gardner said that she had not called her telephone list, either. As the Indian Taco Sale began, everyone realized that there had been no publicity, other than word-of-mouth and the road sign for the activity.

Very few people arrived to enjoy Cecil's Indian Tacos between 11 am and 12. By one only thirty customers had eaten. With a second sign added to the west side of the road sign to supplement the east-pointing sign, a more consistent flow of diners arrived at the center. Many of the mid-afternoon visitors were drawn in by the sign on a spur-of-the-moment decision. One group of seventeen people were from New Mexico, Kansas, and towns in Oklahoma. They had been to the top of Mount Scott for a memorial service and to scatter the ashes of a young relative. While returning to Elgin, where the group was staying, occupants in the lead vehicle saw the sign and decided to stop for a meal.

The day ended with 86 people having been fed tacos. While the sale is considered less that successful, the joy and appreciation of the visitors to the center was a heartening to the volunteers.

April 9, 2010 -- There was no information about Saturday's Indian Taco Sale in the Friday Lawton Constitution.

April 8, 2010 -- There was no information about Saturday's Indian Taco Sale in the Thursday Lawton Constitution. Thursday is normally the day when activities like the Taco Sale would be mentioned in "Things to Do this Weekend" section of the paper. Tom Spears telephoned Brad, the reporter, to see when the notice would be published. Tom was told that Brad no longer worked at the Constitution. Brad's replacement for the Medicine Park beat is a reporter named Judi. Judi said that she would try to get a mention of the sale in the Friday or Saturday paper.

Cecil Gardner and Eva Williams bought all supplies and food stuffs for the upcoming Indian Taco Sale.

April 6, 2010 -- Tom Spears delivered Indian Taco Sale fliers to local businesses, restaurants, the town hall, and the post office.

April 5, 2010 -- Tom Spears sent a press notice to Brad, the reporter from the Lawton Constitution who had provided great publicity to previous senior center functions; the Open House, both Evenings of Country Music, and the March Indian Taco Sale. The press release asked for publicity of the April 10th Indian Taco Sale. At the Monday evening pot-luck dinner, members discussed the tasks and schedule for the upcoming Saturday function.

April 4, 2010 -- Tom and Jo Ann Spears mounted the road sign for the next Saturday's Indian Taco Sale.

March 27, 2010 -- Tom Spears and Larry Harris cleared the tables and chairs, stacking everything against the walls, there being no storage rooms in the building. They swept the floors, collected the trash, washed the griddle, and mopped the kitchen floors, ending the Evening of Country Music's second monthly event.

March 26, 2010 -- Tom Spears and Larry Harris finished setting up the meeting room for the Night of Country Music. Cecil and kitchen volunteers began to prepare the meat for the hamburgers. A major problem occurred with the building power, however. With the range working correctly and the fryer heating, the building began to use more amperage than was available. All power failed. Alon Williams discovered that the 200 amp main circuit breaker, located on a pole half way down the hill, had tripped. Dillard Electric was contacted. Kile and Bob Dillard recommended a power shedding technique to allow the preparation for the evening event to continue. Tom Spears contacted Cotton Electric Co-op, He was told that the only permanent solution is to have a power line able to carry 400 amps and a 400 amp breaker installed to the building.

After completing the power-shedding procedures, no further problems were experienced. People started arriving for the Evening of Country Music, the performers first and then, just before 5 pm, a crowd of more than 150 people, the legal capacity of the building.

Music, enjoyed by all, was played until 8:30 pm, ending a very successful fundraising event.

March 25, 2010 -- Kyle from Dillard Electric installed an electrical work-around to the electric range so that it will function correctly during the cooking of the hamburgers tomorrow. Joy painted and hung a backdrop depicting Mount Scott and Lake Lawtonka with the title "Wichita Mtns Area Senior Citizens." It hangs behind the musicians seating area.

March 24, 2010 -- Kyle Dillard called. He will be at the building tomorrow to fix the underpowered panel and power provided to the stove.

March 14, 2010 -- The first Indian Taco Sale was a booming success. One hundred and six tacos sold for $5.00 each (Now the staff has to determine what it costs to deliver a taco, drink, and dessert.)

Gordon Dye announced that he had a tremendous day at his favorite fishing hole earlier this week. He is bring catfish fillets for all. Cecil will deep fry the fish and french fries. Meet between 5 and 5:30, the kitchen window is open at 6 pm. This is a SENIORS only event.

March 5, 2010 -- Kyle Dillard inspected the stove and the cabling. He said he will return with the proper corrective equipment and have the stove ready for the next burger fry.

March 4, 2010 -- The Country Music Evening last Friday was totally successful. Around 100 people attended. Parking was a worry, every space was taken (and a few cars parked on some grass they found). Thirteen musicians came and played. Everyone totally enjoyed the evening. All are looking forward to the next evening on the 26th of March.

A problem with the current to the stove was discovered during the cooking on the griddle. The main breaker kept popping. Tom Spears called Dillard Electric, asking for help to correct the problem.

March 4, 2010 -- (Sorry for the delay in updating this site. Computer stolen and now replaced... but replaced with Windows 7, different keyboard, slow learning curve.... But News Update is back!.)

February 22, 2010 -- At the pot-luck this evening, the seniors will complete plans for the Country Music Evening that will take place on Friday, the 26th. Cecil Gardner and Eva Williams will organize the kitchen help and clean up. Tom Spears will discuss setting up the meeting room earlier in the day on Friday, handling the parking problems, and main room clean-up.

February 21, 2010 -- Tom Spears wrote a press release announcing the Country Music Evening on Friday and sent it to four newspapers; the Lawton Constitution, Elgin's Comanche County Chronicle, Walters Herald, and the Altus Times. He finished preparing the flyer for the program. The flyer will be distributed on Monday and Tuesday to area businesses.

February 9, 2010 -- Tom Spears purchased three more mirrors for the building restrooms, to be reimbursed from the ASCOG annual grant. He will install one of them in the Men's room soon and will install the other two (one in the ladies room and one in the men's room) as ADA-approved slanted mirrors appropriate to wheelchair-bound individuals.

February 8, 2010 -- Five visiting tree-trimmers, living at the emergency shelter join twenty Seniors at the weekly pot-luck supper. Eva Williams still does not have power at her house. She and Alon are living with their children in Elgin. The group decided to not have the Indian Taco Feeding on Saturday as planned. They will begin their emphasis on planning for the Country Music Evening on February 26th.

January 31, 2010 -- Town of Medicine Park declares the Community Center building an emergency shelter. Senior Citizens open their food lockers, refrigerators and freezers to the public. FEMA delivers a power generator to provide power to the building.

January 29, 2010 -- Ice Storm felled electrical poles and trees. Building out of power and road to the building is blocked.

January 27, 2010 -- The National Weather Service has issued a serious weather storm warning for the next two days; freezing rain, sleet and icy rain, and snow with the precipitation ending around noon on Friday, the 29th. Since the high temperature on Friday is to be only twenty-two degrees, there is a near certainty that icy roads and bridges, power outages, and dangerous conditions will continue into Friday. Eva Williams decided the January Country Music Evening should be cancelled.

January 26, 2010 -- With many people who came to the January 16th open house in attendance, the regular Monday Pot Luck Supper turned into a planning session for Friday night's Country Music Jam Session. Cecil Gardner explained to those who will be helping in the kitchen what she expects to be done, preparing the condiment, drinks, and dessert tables; readying the fries and patties for frying; delivery of the food to the waiting customers; and so forth. Tom Spears asked for volunteers to help with the parking and keeping the lanes of traffic clear. Since snow is predicted for Thursday and Friday -- one TV station forecasting up to 5 inches of snow falling over an inch or two of ice in the Wichita Mountains area -- all of the planning is highly tentative. If the first Country Music Jam Session is weathered out, there is another chance on February 26th, it now being a monthly event.

Several people volunteered to be at the building on Thursday (weather permitting) to finish the restroom installation, clean the meeting room, and arrange the tables and chairs for Friday Night.

January 25, 2010 -- Tom Spears was at the building when the road grader from the county showed up to prepare the parking lot for Friday night's Jam Session. Wet ground and a continued drainage from higher on the mountain slowed the preparation of the surface of the intended parking area. Tommy, the Medicine Park Public Works, will have several loads of gravel delivered on Tuesday so the county workers can make more progress on the parking lot.

Tom Spears continued work on the restrooms, installing some of the mirrors and soap and paper towel dispensers.

January 21, 2010 -- The mayor of Medicine Park, Dwight Cope, met Tom Spears at Sam's Club this afternoon for the town to buy tables and chairs needed to finish equipping the community center. They transported ten 8-foot tables and eighty chairs to the building (along with a lockable storage container in which the town's sound system can be securely stored). The chairs will be removed from their cartons during the next week by the seniors. They will arrange the new table and chairs and the existing furniture to get ready for Friday's Country Music Jam Session.

January 16, 2010 -- Seventy people attend the Open House on Saturday, enjoying beans and cornbread and a wide variety of desserts. Eva and Alon Williams, along with Cecil Gardner and Tom Spears, explained the senior program that is being implemented at the center. Twenty of the visitors signed registration cards, and indicated their desire to help with the developing program. The donation jar was also well fed.

Jim and Alice Law, from Roosevelt, OK, came to the Open House to get a preview of the building and its sound system. They have volunteered to manage and emcee the center's monthly Country Music Jam Session. The couple has played for several years at music events at other senior centers, with the band at the Cooperton, OK Seniors' weekly dance, and many other venues.

January 15, 2010 -- Tom Spears, working with town councilman Gordon (Buddy) Dye, brought the town's sound system to the community center, where it will be permanently stored and used. Tom rearranged the tables and furniture in the meeting room, preparing for tomorrow's open house. Toward the end of the day, he took flyers announcing the open house to local meeting places.

January 13, 2010 -- There will be an OPEN HOUSE st the Senior Center on Saturday! Public is invited to visit! --see the building --discuss the senior program --eat! Membership drive is starting with this open house. Food available from 11:30 to 3:30! Center open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

January 12, 2010 -- Tom Spears again talked to the organizers and masters-of-ceremonies of the country music jam sessions at the Senior Centers at Tipton and Warren Oklahoma. Many of the musicians that play at those centers are planning to be at the kickoff of the WMASCC Jam Session on Friday, January 29th. Food at 4:30 pm. Music at 6:00 pm.