Losing a city father
My father-in-law in Enid has referred to those in charge of Enid, whether elected or not, as their “City Fathers.” They are referred to as if they are living from on high, dictating the city’s course.
It struck me as odd I guess because growing up, my own father and his friends and other folks I knew were, I guess, the city fathers. But to me they were just men who spent their free time trying to plot a course for the growth and potential prosperity for Sallisaw to an extent, Sequoyah County.
But George was more than just one of my dad’s friends, he lived down the street from me and then later was my insurance agent. Then for several years when I came back to Sallisaw as an adult, he was my next-door neighbor.
I first remember seeing George Glenn donned in a silver fire-fighting suit, in July. He set off fireworks for the annual city fireworks show. This was back when the show took place at Perry F. Lattimore Stadium with the shells being set off from behind the visitor bleachers.
My dad was in charge of the order the shells went off, so I was back there hanging out, or getting in the way. As an aside, during the intermission, we kids would be asked to hold the shells while riding in the back of a truck as it drove around the track to show the crowd the size of what was being shot off.
When I moved back to Sallisaw in 2003, Glenn was still in the silver suit setting off each shell with a flare. When he would take a break, he looked like the hottest person in town — the suit, plus a warm July temperature must have been brutal.
The first time I remember really talking to Glenn was as a 16-year-old. I wanted to get a car and knowing that I would be paying the insurance cost, I would go by his insurance office weekly to do my research.
This being in the 1980s, instead of an instant quote from a computer, there were code books that broke down rates by driver, vehicle, etc. After taking too many trips to their office and asking too many questions, George and his right hand, Marilyn Craghead, taught me the code system so I could look up my own rates and stop bothering them.
Losing George Glenn should serve as a marker for remembering that hard work can yield great results. Glenn volunteered his time as mayor because he wanted improvement in the place he lived. We should take a lesson from him and do our part to improve our town.