How do you make a “positive disruption” in a small town like Okmulgee, Oklahoma? That seems to have been in my mindset for the past 22 years. I’ve tried the traditional methods; getting involved in civic organizations like Okmulgee Service League, Chapter Z of PEO, Chamber of Commerce’s Pecan Festival and Okmulgee Main Street. I’ve volunteered to serve on fund-raising campaigns to build the YMCA Aquatic Center and the restoration of the Okmulgee Public Library. I’ve spent countless hours in our public schools and working on the board of trustees of the Okmulgee Education Foundation. Every one of those have given me so much joy and satisfaction; leading to life-long friendships and acquaintances while enhancing the quality of life for many aspects of Okmulgee.
Then there was the phone call last Fall………”hey Margaret……Rusty…..I want to ask you something and I really want you to think about it before you say yes”………would you consider serving a 3 year term on the Okmulgee Main Street Board?”
I’ve actually learned how to say “thank you but no” over the past few years. It’s getting easier to say every time I do. This one was different…….this one was a request from a lifelong friend and when I say lifelong, I truly mean lifelong………Rusty is a friend and classmate of my brother. They also grew up in the same neighborhood in Okmulgee. He was at the hospital when I was born and I found a picture last month of us at my 1st birthday party……so lifelong is not an understatement.
So as all of the reasons I was going to decline this invitation ran through my head, my mouth opened and I spoke the word yes……………
“Great, plan to come to our annual lunch meeting and presentation next week…..Linda Barnett from the Oklahoma Main Street is the speaker and you can sit with me.”
UUUUUuuuuuuuggggghhhhhhh………..what had I just gotten myself into??????
Little did I know, that lunch meeting was going to change my life……….