Saying ‘goodbye’ to a great, trusted friend

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Our good friends Bob and Sally Felts are moving today to a retirement village in Oklahoma City. It’s difficult to say “goodbye” to such a nice couple and such valuable community servants.
When Bob and Sally moved to Cushing, some 20 years ago — an estimate — he was already white-headed. I was on my way there.
When I first saw him, he looked so familiar. I’d seen him before. But where?
We had travelled in some of the same circles for years. He had worked on staff with former Third District Congressman Bill Brewster, from Marietta.
Bob had attended some of the Oklahoma Press Association winter conferences at the Lincoln Plaza in Oklahoma City, where the congressional delegation would update their newspaper friends on what’s happening in Washington, D.C.
Bob had been involved in chamber of commerce and economic development work and we had probably bumped into one another during these activities.
He also has extensive experience in banking and finance.
I don’t believe this area is where our paths crossed.
Although Bob had worked in leadership positions and very competently held positions of leadership in Cushing — economic developer, chamber executive — he has been happy and satisfied to be a dependable, hard-working volunteer for whatever organization happen to need him.
When we were without a chamber exec, Bob would step up and keep the office open and make improvements to the organization until a suitable replacement was selected.
When the chamber needed volunteers to park cars at Bar-B-Q & Blues Festival, Bob eagerly took the task and handled it with efficiency and organization.
Also, at Bar-B-Q & Blues, Bob, more than once, took the thankless job of managing the trash detail. He probably did the best job ever at making sure the trash at the event was never a problem for anyone.
There was no job too large for him to handle and no job too small or menial to be beneath his dignity. If it needed to be done and he was in the spot to do it, he handled it and gave dignity to every task. That is Bob.
While some people seek a position that gives them dignity, Bob lends dignity to each and every position no matter how small. That defines a valuable community servant and there are too darn few of them around. We hate to lose him.
He served Cushing as our economic developer in a position determined to be part time. But Bob is not a part-time guy. He’s a 100 percenter and though was paid for a part-time position; he gave it everything he had.
We live only a block from the First Christian Church. That’s Bob’s church. Every Sunday morning Bob was in town, his was the first vehicle in front of the church. He enjoyed serving his church just as he enjoyed serving his community through many activities.
He served on John Bryant’s rodeo committee. He attended most, if not all meetings and helped to organize activities or assist with whatever was needed.
Bob was a Rotarian for some years. He still is a Rotarian in heart.
Rotary is not a civic club, it’s an international service organization and from the moment he joined until the moment he left the club, he served. He has been faithful to attend and help out at every function in which the club was involved.
It’s always been a pleasure for Bob to come to the newspaper office whether he was using our graphic skills to layout the Festival in the Park map or to talk about community challenges or just to visit.
He has been a friend of the Citizen. Though white on the head, his brain and his body act pretty young sometimes. He’s eager to learn about new technology.
When we began to offer electronic subscriptions to the paper, Bob was among the first to take advantage of it.
I think he still likes the hard copy of the paper coming in his mail but sometimes the mail is not fast enough. He wanted the electronic version so he could read it before it even came off the press.
Many times, I’ve received email comments from Bob regarding one of my columns and I’d receive it when I thought our staff was still working on the paper.
To sum up the Bob Felts I know and love, he’s a faithful servant. Faithful to his wife and family, serving them with all he has whenever assistance is needed. He’s faithful to his church, his community and his state.
Our friendship will remain but his visits to the Citizen office and his phone calls will be fewer. I’ll miss him.
Cushing will miss him.
There is one thing of which I’m certain. I don’t remember the name of the retirement village where he and Sally will be living but I do know the operation will improve the longer Bob and Sally will live there. There are some people who just can’t seem to stay out of the service scene and Bob is definitely one of those.
He doesn’t want the limelight. He doesn’t need attention or strokes. He just wants to help make things better and always has an idea of how.
Bob Felts is a practically perfect example of the kind of servant’s heart all communities need more of.

A word from AT&T
Will they accept a high “D” or go for a strong “A?”
In a recent column, I mentioned that, although the AT&T cell tower just west of Walmart has improved cellular reception inside the Walmart store and we suspect it has improved service in the new middle school, we continue to hear complaints that reception has not improved east of Cushing in the Dripping Springs area or the area north and west of Buffalo Rock Golf & Gun Club.
So I called. I called the office of Oklahoma President Steve Hahn and visited with Mandy, who promised to check it out and advise. I also called the company to whom they’ve contracted corporate communications, Price Lang Consulting in Edmond.
I called and left message with Emily Lang with whom we’ve visited several times.
Directly an email reply from Emily Lang for AT&T: “For competitive and other reasons, we do not share specific network investment upgrade plans for a market in advance of the work being completed. An official announcement will be shared once the tower is fully operational, which we anticipate being sometime in the second half of this year.”
There you have it.