If you start thinking about good events or even days you have experienced during a given month, you will find the more you think about good happenings, the more you will find.

This is true for October. 

Oct. 4 brought one of the best fall dinners – the Cherokee Home and Community Education Group held their annual Cottonwood Center Chicken and Noodle/ Beans and Ham Dinner. Unfortunately, my high school reunion started on the same evening. I won’t miss the dinner next year!

On Oct. 12, the American Legion members hosted their annual breakfast. If you have never attended this event, plan to go next year. It is a great way to help the American Legion as well as meet new people and visit with long-time friends.

The breakfast took place on two floors. My friend Laurie and I went to the first floor gathering. The Legion may advertise all-you- can-eat pancakes with sausage, but one large pancake is a lot of pancake. 

We first sat across from Bennie and Darla Trout. They were involved with activities with grandchildren that day. Every time Bennie starts to even mention retiring, I have to tell him he cannot retire while I have a car. What would Stillwater do without Trout’s? Before we took the cars to Bennie, we took them to his father.

Then Bob and Susan Cox sat across from us. They told me they have lived in Stillwater for almost 30 years, but I had never met them. An added benefit of attending events like this breakfast is meeting Stillwater residents you haven’t met before. In a community the size of Stillwater, think of all the people you have never met.

I do not know how we got on the subject of the Gudgels but Bob and Susan told me their neighbors had been Floyd and Vi Gudgel. Any longtime resident will remember Col. Gudgel and Masako Kuguu at the Aqua Mart. Masako was the Gudgels’ Japanese friend who became part of their family. 

The Gudgels always had funny stories to tell. I remember in particular Col. Gudgel telling me about transporting some gerbils one cold winter night. The gerbils got loose in his car and were running up and down his pant leg. I worked with Vi at H & R Block. She always had some amusing tale to tell.

The Aqua Mart was a wonderful shop. Are there any shops like Aqua Mart now? 

Then Tom Williams came and sat near us. Since we have Wales in common – my father’s ancestors emigrated from Wales as did Tom’s parents – we talked about Wales and poet Dylan Thomas. 

I also enjoyed brief visits with Val Sims and long-time American Legion member Dewey Clapp. 

See what a good time one can have at the American Legion Breakfast – meeting new people, encouraging Bennie to keep working and discussing a Welsh poet – all at the breakfast. We might have visited with the rest of Stillwater if we had made it to the second floor.

OSU gave us plenty of entertainment since October included OSU Homecoming. I don’t know whether OSU/City have a way to calculate attendance at the walk-around and the parade, but it seems to me this must have been one of the largest crowds ever. I base this upon the difficulty I had in attempting to drive anywhere in the area from Ninth to the campus. 

A house on University Circle known for its homecoming decorations had a sign as part of its display stating Cowboy Dispensary Coming Soon. I asked the owner whether the dispensary would be dispensing medical cannabis. The owner said it might be a dispensary for wisdom. 

Speaking of cannabis dispensaries, does anyone know how many Sitllwater now has? I am guessing the dispensary sign on University Circle promising a dispensary soon may actually be long in coming, if ever.

 The Stillwater Jazz Band performed Oct. 10 at the Stillwater Community Center. If you enjoy jazz, you will love that band. They are a talented group! Morgan Reynolds, their vocalist, is an exceptional performer. 

The very next night gave us an opportunity to hear an organ concert at First Presbyterian Church. Michael Bedford, organist/choirmaster emeritus at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Tulsa and current American Guild of Organists President performed in a recital entitled Soli Deo Gloria Music. 

Good news on the Legislative front – Stillwater Rep. Trish Ranson is one of four Democrats appointed to the Legislative Working Group on Health Care. Since the Legislature has a Republican majority, 14 Republicans were appointed. It’s impressive for our first term representative to be one of the Democratic appointments.

I hope you attended the OSU event on Oct. 22, “Memories of my Grandfather” with Winston Churchill’s granddaughter Celia Sandys. What a wonderful opportunity OSU gave to Stillwater residents and OSU students to hear her speak as well as view the McKnight Center. What a magnificent auditorium! 

If you didn’t attend, OSU now has the program as a video on OstateTV.

As far as City news – I had an opportunity to witness first hand the efficiency of the City’s emergency personnel when an accident happens. On the evening of Oct. 23, I was driving east on Ninth. A minute after I drove through the intersection of Ninth and Duck, I heard a loud crash. I stopped to see what had happened. Two vehicles had a collision in the middle of the intersection. I immediately called 911. It was amazing as well as reassuring to see how quickly the first police car arrived. In a matter of a very few minutes, at least four police cars as well as an ambulance and a fire truck had arrived. They already had the intersection blocked off to direct drivers to detour. The quick response was impressive.

On Oct. 27, my friend Shirley and I toured the Wondertorium’s planned facility. The building had been Mojo’s, one of Stan Clark’s restaurants. The Wondertorium Staff and Board have great ideas – best wishes to them for accomplishing what will be a great facility for children.

Saving the best for last – you remember our neighbors Gerry Auel and Steve Hallgren? They are the ones who just completed two years in the Peace Corps in Tanzania. One of the highlights of their stay included climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa.

They have returned to Stillwater – looking younger than ever. They are about to become first-time grandparents. We are glad to have them back in the neighborhood. 

What is noteworthy about all the events/activities I mentioned is they are all free with the exception of the Cottonwood dinner and the Legion breakfast. Those two meals are certainly worth the money. You can have an enjoyable time in Stillwater without even spending any money.

One last footnote – We had good weather for trick or treating.

Now it’s your turn to think of good October happenings. I am guessing you will think of several more events. 

Julie Couch is a longtime Stillwater resident.

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