Readers frequently ask me just how I come up with topics for my weekly “Time Out” installments, especially since this has been a regular labor-of-love for me since August 2015.

Truth is, I utilize multiple idea sources; very understandable, with all the various topics presented to readers each Sunday morning in Our Town’s favorite newspaper. Simply put, multiple thoughts produce multiple topics!

I regularly get suggestions from readers, and this week’s writing contribution comes from my lifelong friend, Hayes Greenwood. He responded to one of my earlier installments with an excellent idea. His thought involves two of my favorite passions, day dreaming and daily physical exercising.

Wow, what a dynamic duo comprising an idea! More specifically, Hayes’ idea made me think about who I would like to take a neighborhood walk with, and what topics we would talk about. 

Because I have been the eternal journalist most of my full life, conversation has always been a strong suit of mine. For those of you who know me well, you certainly know I am always full of questions. 

For simplicity’s sake, I will only list three individuals, and briefly give a description of some topics I would like to discuss during our 45-minute stroll on the beautiful sidewalks of Our Town. Remember folks, this is only my list. Maybe, just maybe, it will assist you in day dreaming with your own list of characters you would pick, and chats you might have.

No. 1: President Theodore Roosevelt. I am confident “TR” would be on lots of people’s short lists because he was such a colorful person with so many varied interests in life. TR’s love of adventure and the out-of-doors parallels some of my life’s passion. 

I would probably ask him which of all the natural wonders he visited in our vast country, he admired the most, and, of course, why? I’d also try to sneak in more questions about his love of travel, a huge part of my life, past, present and future.

No. 2: Football star Barry Sanders. Why and how did he approach playing the great game of football, and did he get lots of joy from the game, just as I did in watching him perform his on-the-field craft? 

I vividly remember (it seems like yesterday, although actually was 35 years ago??) when I came home from officiating an Oklahoma State spring football scrimmage, and told my bride, Debbie, I had just seen the greatest player to have ever played the game of football that afternoon. 

When I explained to her it was Barry, I also explained he was a little known athlete from Wichita, Kansas, but he would be known to millions as time went forward. Of course, the rest is history, and today, I firmly stand by my earlier feelings concerning his football fame. I told his son, Barry Jr., that brief scrimmage story about his father, as I escorted him out to mid-field for a high school playoff game coin toss at Oklahoma City’s Heritage Hall a few years ago. 

I officiated his Heritage Hall football victory over visiting Chandler, and Barry’s son, like his champion father, played an absolutely incredible game

No. 3: Ms. Lillis Lawhon. This dynamic woman was my third grade teacher at Westwood Elementary School in 1955-56. She was an absolute disciplinarian, and didn’t tolerate much “nonsense” in her small classroom. Needless to say, I frequently caused her distress, as I “acted out” behavior issues, and my father was required to come to the school for several parent/teacher conferences. 

However, Ms. Lawhon always had strong faith for my adult future. It all came full circle when she came to me for many medical care visits during her senior years. I returned to Our Town in 1981 to practice my trained profession, and was blessed to have her as a regular patient. Today, during our fantasy walk, I would ask her just what it was about 8-year-old Robert she saw in her crystal ball way back then? She was certainly an incredible positive influence on me then, and I have been forever grateful to this great educator. Thank you for being “all in” for me, Ms. Lawhon!

My walking list could go on, and on, and on. I’m sure your list could, too. Isn’t just the thought of these fantasy walks an entertaining idea?

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