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Six years ago, it seemed there was a common attitude that Mustang was 12 square miles. You were in or you were out. At the time it kind of miffed me because although we lived within Mustang School District boundaries and had a Mustang mailing address, the fact we lived outside those limited borders was some kind of distinction.
That has changed.
Mustang has embraced the scope of its community and its influence. From city leaders to school administrators and beyond, people have recognized that the city is more than just a map – it’s a place that’s considered home by a diverse group of people who have a stake in making Mustang a better place, not just the growing “bedroom community” it once was labeled.
That was illustrated, for me, last weekend by a single person, a high school student who showed just how great Mustang really is. With Mustang High School’s band coming back from its first national competition, J.D. worked to spread the word about the band’s return from Indianapolis Sunday afternoon. Sure, he knew a lot of those band members and some of them were friends. But this boy worked to gather support for a group of people he largely didn’t know and then gave time from his own Sunday off – when he could have been playing video games or hanging out with his family or friends – to stand on a street corner and offer a warm welcome. He wasn’t a band parent or a band booster. He was just a good guy who gave of himself for others.
He’s not alone. Mustang is full of people who work tirelessly to help others. From the Kiwanis and Masons to American Legion Post 353, these groups are made up of individuals who are always there to lend a hand. Individuals like Dana Hall, who loves the people she cares for at Willowood Assisted Living so much she is constantly thinking of ways to make their lives better; there’s Don Kuntze, who attends memorial after memorial – no matter how sad – and who works to remind others how lucky we are to be Americans; and Dolly Priest, who has touched the lives of almost everyone I know in Mustang, make Mustang a better place – and those of us who are blessed to know them, better people.
We are Mustang.
That reminds me of the film, “We Are Marshall.” That was the story of a college and a town that endured and rose from the ashes of an unspeakable tragedy. That certainly isn’t Mustang because we have been so lucky in our fortune over all. But we still can rise above some issues that plague us, we can all be a J.D. or a Dana, Don or Dolly.
We still have bullying, certainly people live here who are cruel or unkind to others. That’s the challenge to us as we near Thanksgiving and take stock of our blessings. How can we make Mustang, and ourselves, a better place?
I guess the answer to that is to do the right thing, no matter how difficult that might be. Look for ways to help others – from giving some time at the senior center to showing support for a friend or colleague who is having a hard time. With a school district now topping 10,000 students, there are some who can use support. It might just be a smile or a shoulder to lean on, it might mean finding a way to provide a hot meal or some warm clothes.
It’s not New Year’s, but for me it’s time to make a resolution to try even harder to make Mustang a better place to live, to be more like J.D., like Dana, like Don and like Dolly.
We are Mustang. We are a community. And I am thankful to be a part of it.
Either way, this season has been a tremendous success in the first year of the Jeremy Dombek era at Mustang.
No one knew what to expect coming into this season after spending the past decade and more with Ty Prestidge and Todd Dilbek calling the shots on the Bronco sidelines.
Now, we all have more of an idea at the direction Dombek and his staff want to go with Mustang football. The destination has gold written all over it as the Broncos will be vying for state championships for many years to come under the direction of Dombek.
Some of you may be asking how I could come to this conclusion following a 6-4 regular season and a 4-3 mark in district play, barely sliding into the playoffs as the fourth seed in their district.
It’s simple, it’s the attitude Dombek has instilled into this program. Mustang won a thriller of a football game last Friday night when the Broncos overcame a two-touchdown deficit to beat Norman North 44-37 in the first round of the playoffs.
I believe in the past several seasons when the Broncos would get down 21-7 in the first half on the road as an underdog, Mustang wouldn’t have had the mental toughness it takes to weather the storm and make a valiant comeback against a worthy opponent.
They did just that. It’s almost as if the Broncos glanced at the scoreboard, snickered and said, “Two touchdowns? Is that it?” They went to work, dug themselves out of a hole and here we are talking about their chances Friday night instead of recapping the season.
This Friday will be a little tougher test for Mustang as Broken Arrow comes knocking on Mustang’s door in Bronco Stadium. The Tigers are clear-cut favorites, but if there’s anything sports can teach us, upsets happen all the time.
I’m not going to sit here and predict a Bronco upset against Broken Arrow, but would it shock me to see Mustang’s score be a little bigger than BA’s on Friday when the clock hits zero? No, it would not.
The team is full of players who are easy to like and easy to pull for when you watch their games.
Senior leaders such as Frankie Edwards, Colton Hadlock, Joey Snodgrass, Tristan Hill, Tanner Robertson and Garrett Hudson to name a few have paid their dues in their careers at Mustang and deserve this opportunity.
Underclassmen such as Chandler Garrett, Zach Davis, Cutter Smith, David Parker, Jakolby Long and Kiante Miles are up and coming stars in the Bronco football program and will help carry this team to the next level.
The atmosphere Friday night at Bronco Stadium needs to be electric. Broken Arrow needs to know they are on the road in a hostile environment. I know it isn’t Yukon and it’s not 80 degrees outside anymore, but Mustang nation should make this about them.
This community, this school district, this fan base has been waiting for this game for a long time. Well, it is finally here and now it’s your job Stang Nation to step up and support your team like you never have before.
Regardless of the outcome of the game, this team and this program has made big strides toward their future, which looks brighter and brighter by the day.
Wanda Mae Melton, age 91, died peacefully on Monday, Nov. 18 in Plano, Texas. Mrs. Melton was born June 23, 1922, in Russellville, Ark., to John L. and Emma (Fisher) Giles. She had lived most of her adult life in Oklahoma City and Hinton, before moving to Mustang in 1972.
Wanda worked more than 20 years at Wilson Packing Co. before retiring several years ago. Wanda was a 39-year resident of Mustang, where she was very active in Chisholm Heights Baptist Church.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Claude; one sister, Arizona; seven brothers, Aude, Vernie, Clyde, Houston, Tess, Ted and TJ; and son-in-law, Joe Rodgers.
Survivors include four daughters, Carolyn Sue Dean and husband, Jim of Sulphur, Patricia Ann Rodgers of Mustang, Janice Lynn Dunkin of Yukon and Christy Rae Harms and husband, Mark of Plano, Texas. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
Services were held Nov. 26 in the Chapel of The Good Shepherd at McNeil’s Mustang Funeral Service, with interment in Resthaven Memory Gardens in Oklahoma City.
Online condolences may be made at www.mcneilsmustangfs.com.
Linda Marie Long, 56, was born June 7, 1957, in Boston, Mass., to Dale Cox and Shirley (Carey) Carlson. Linda passed away Nov. 19 in Oklahoma City.
Linda is survived by her father, Dale Cox; mother, Shirley Carlson; brothers, David Cox and Mike Cox; sisters, Mary Douglas and Bobbie Alongi; sons, Shawn Long and Patrick Long; and grandson, Jacob Long.
She was preceded in death by her sister, Gail Cox.
Memorial service and interment will be private. Arrangements are under the direction of Yanda and Son Funeral Home, Yukon.
Online condolences may be signed at www.yandafuneral.com.
Peggy Ann DeWolfe, age 68, died peacefully at her home in Yukon surrounded by her son, Brock, and her beloved pets, Abby and Lacy, on Friday, Nov. 15.
Peggy was born July 27, 1945, in Oklahoma City to Walter W. and Jesse Margaret (Kerlee) Loveless. She grew up in Oklahoma City and was a 1963 graduate of Northwest Classen High School. She continued her education, receiving a bachelor’s degree in fashion marketing from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in education from Southern Nazarene University. She began her teaching career in 1983 as a second-grade elementary teacher at Putnam City Schools and was a reading specialist in Yukon Public Schools until her retirement in 2002. She was also an adjunct professor at Redlands and OSU-OKC. While teaching at Yukon Public Schools, she wrote and obtained many grants for education at the school.
She was a devoted animal lover and volunteered at Pets and People, making sure every animal was given to a perfect, loving home. Though she had no denominational ties to any church, she was a very dedicated Christian.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Phillip.
She is survived by her son, Jonathan Brock Loveless of Yukon; brother, Lynn Loveless and wife, Liz of Oklahoma City; nephew, Lon Loveless and wife, Susan, and niece, Lori Whaley and husband, Mark and their daughter, Julia Madison; and last but not least her four-legged babies, Abby and Lacy.
A memorial service was held Nov. 26 in the Chapel of The Good Shepherd at McNeil’s Mustang Funeral Service. Her remains will be placed with her husband, Phil in his crypt at Fort Sill National Cemetery in Elgin.
Lois Earlene (Bassett) Cox, age 90, died Friday, Nov. 22. Mrs. Cox was born Jan. 7, 1923, in Granite to Earl and Evelyn (Caddell) Bassett. After her time at Central State University in Edmond, she married Charles Edward Cox and together they owned and operated several businesses throughout the metro Oklahoma City area, most notably The Hub and Sooner Superette across from OU’s stadium in Norman. She was a member of the Mustang Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Lois was an artist, from oil paintings to ceramic dolls and crewel. One of her favorite things was being outdoors and enjoying nature. Family was everything to her, she was the anchor of love and support to them.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Charlie; parents; brothers, Bob and Harold Bassett; and sisters, Melba Fuller and Marilyn Haynes.
Earlene is survived by her son, Jim Cox and wife, Teri, and her daughter, Charlene Thompson, and husband Buddy, all of Mustang; also by her granddaughter, Angela, and great-granddaughters, Elizabeth and Catherine.
Services were held Nov. 27 at McNeil’s Mustang Funeral Service with private family interment at Sunnylane Cemetery in Del City.
Online condolences may be made to www.mcneilsmustangfs.com.
Mustang Public Library is getting ready to move back into its newly expanded building.
From Dec. 2 through Dec. 14, library hours will be 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday at its temporary location in Classroom E at Mustang Town Center. That area will house a small collection of books, audio books and movies until the library is formally reopened, which is expected to be Monday, Dec. 16.
The library is closed on Sundays.
Activities will continue to be held through Dec. 14 in meeting rooms C and D at Town Center.
The library continues to be without direct telephone service until it reopens. Please leave messages and staff will return phone calls or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The library’s telephone number is 376-2226.