Saturday, December 20, 2008

Light closing explained

A little bit miffed at the dark park in Chickasha that should have been lit up with millions of small twinkling bulbs of Christmas wonder, David filled out a "Contact Us" form on the Chickasha Festival of Lights website asking them why the lights were closed on Tuesday evening. Below is the email he got back from Kristi Davis, the Events Director for the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce:
From: Kristi Davis
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 11:39 AM
Subject: RE: FOL Website Contact Form

I apologize for your wasted trip. We made all the notice attempts that we could possibly make in such short notice-website, radio, television. What most people don't understand is that Festival of Light is a volunteer organization. We do not have employees that are told they have to work no matter what the conditions are. When it is below freezing with a wind chill of 15 degrees, volunteers don't come. It takes over 25 volunteers per night to run the Festival. That was only one of the many problems we had last night. Our Park Supervisor fell in the ice and had a compound spiral fracture in his leg and was in surgery, our Park Marshal has the stomach virus, and our gift shop manager was ill. With all the items listed above plus the icing still on several of the walking areas, we made the decision to close the park. Although the roads into Chickasha might have been completely clear, the roads through the park, the parking lots, the bridge, and the concrete steps around the gazebo were not. We put ourselves in great jeopardy with lawsuit when we open the park with ice on those features. The drive through was not the problem, the walk-through was and we can't have one without the other. Our decision was the right one because you would think that people would use common sense when they see ice but they do not. We must make that decision for them. Again, I am very sorry for your wasted trip but we still feel we made the best choice. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and I hope you are able to come back again. Closing the park is very unusual for us and only happens in extreme circumstances. Thank you for your understanding.
As I read Mrs. Davis' email, I can't help but recall what my old high school football coach used to always tell us when we tried to explain our mess ups on the field after the rare unusually sloppy defeat. He would look us scornfully in the eyes and say, "Men, excuses are like arm pits. Everyone has 'em and they stink. What I saw out there on the field tonight was piss poor performance which was the result of piss poor preparation on your part. Don't let it happen again. Titans don't go home losers, Titans go home winners."

And you know what? We took those words to heart and in the end, we did go home winners. We won the 5A State Football Championship three years in a row. Do you know who we beat two out of those three years in the title game? You guessed it. The Chickasha Fighting Chicks, who evidently had not had the benefit of their coach telling them about the magic 6 P formula for losing in football... and in life.

I guess I just always assumed that Chickasha's lousiness was confined to their high school football team. Who knew that it infected their whole town? Maybe next time they can look at a weather forecast, see that it's going to be too cold for their namby pamby volunteers, bundle up 25 of their best staff in their best eskimo gear, and keep from perpetuating the stereotype of their town's repuation for being lame. Isn't that what a chamber of commerce is all about any way?

My apologies for anyone reading this from Chickasha. I'm sure you're a really nice person who's done really well for yourself despite hailing from that arm pit of town. Congratulations on getting out.


  1. hahaha! I hope you at least made a trip to the DQ for a blizzard while in Chickasha.

  2. What a blog entry. I like the "6P" formula. Those poor volunteers. You should probably call them and tell them the formula.