For those who don’t know, Sapulpa Times began as a Facebook Page created by longtime journalist Don Diehl. Since SapulpaTimes.com didn’t even exist until late August 2015, Don relied solely on Facebook to get the local news and his weekly columns out to the citizens of Sapulpa. Here are the top five stories he shared with you last year.
A Tribute to Tom DeArman
SAPULPA CITY HALL, November, 2015 — The people here who worked for him — and with him — loved him. You hear it in their voices, you see it in their tear-filled eyes as they reflect.
Thomas Milton DeArman, III, was captain of Ship Sapulpa — city manager here for more than two decades. In fact, this month would have marked 21 years — a record for this city and way beyond the average time for city manager stays across the country.
Passage of major bond issue would do much for Sapulpa
Passage of a bond issue by Sapulpa voters on March 3 will build the city a new animal shelter, rescue a lake that’s in trouble, repair a serious sewer leak mandated by state and federal environmental agencies and provide youth with a new sports complex — all without a tax increase.
There’s still time to wish Frank Gierhart a happy birthday
Last year, when Frank Gierhart was closing his Frame Shop and moving from his apartment in Downtown Sapulpa, we featured him and long-time friend Ronnie Gibson to launch our online newspaper Sapulpa News & Views. In January, we nominated Frank for consideration as a Main Street Hero in the state’s recognition program. Today [April 15] is Frank’s birthday [a date he shares with Roy Clark]. Frank may have not made the state cut, but ‘round here’ he’s our hero. Happy birthday Frank.
What makes Cindy McDonald a True Downtowner?
When Cindy Lawrence McDonald was a little girl — not very old and not very tall — a stack of wooden soda pop cartons were arranged behind the counter at City Drug so she could operate the cash register.
It was a family business. Everyone in the family had a part to play. She was the youngest of the three children of the drug store’s proprietors Jack and Peggy Lawrence. Older brothers were Larry (who just recently passed) and David “Skip”.
Cindy Lawrence McDonald is the granddaughter of pioneer businessman and the store’s founder, Arthur Lawrence. (Yes, the one of Lawrence Cigar fame. He made and branded his own cigars and pioneered other retail innovations one can recognize at places like Walgreens.)
Home For Christmas
“I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams,” goes the lyrics of an old Bing Crosby song. But this one is no dream — or better, if it is a dream it is one that has come true. The story would make a good Hallmark holiday movie for sure.
A hometown girl moves away, grows up, succeeds as a single mom distributor and representative with Mary Kay Cosmetics, starts her own company, develops it into a multi-million dollar enterprise . . . and a generation later returns with her family to buy an historic acreage near where she grew up and plans to build a dream home.
Joni Rogers-Kante spent most of her girlhood in Sapulpa. She attended school at Washington Elementary and Sapulpa Junior High before moving to California in 1973 as a 15-year old.