The Norman Transcript

Business

September 30, 2012

Keeler is parks and rec crew chief

NORMAN — Norman Parks and Recreation Crew Chief Jerry Keeler has been working for the city since 1971. He oversees one of two crews that maintain over 50 city parks and other properties including mowing and other maintenance.

For Keeler, a job at the city meant more stability and better benefits for himself and his family.

“I was working at a filling station on Lindsey,” he said. “I was fixing to get married and the city offered insurance and benefits. It was a step up. A steady job and benefits meant a lot back then.”

Keeler was hired on to Parks and Rec and he’s still there.

“At that time, it also included road and channel division and forestry,” he said.

Mowing drainage and maintaining the roadside was a big part of the job in those days. The departments were split up in the 1980s Keeler said, and for a time, he went with roads.

“In ‘97 I came back over to parks,” he said. “At the most, we had 10 or 12 parks back then.”

Those were mostly the main parks — Reaves, Andrews, Griffin and Lions.

“Brookhaven addition was out there but there was no park,” Keeler said.

Growth in the park system closely followed growth in the city and neighborhood parks began cropping up as developers dedicated land as part of the city’s green space requirements.

Another memorable marker for Keeler was the Kid Space at Reaves Park.

“We had a lot of volunteers come out and help, and we had a lot of tools and equipment donated to get that done,” he said.

Norman parks have evolved with the times. In addition to neighborhood parks, the city now has three or four frisbee golf courses, and two splash pads have replaced the wading pools of previous decades. In 1971 the fire station at Lions Park became the Firehouse Art Center.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business
  • Candy Basket celebrates 25 years

    Perhaps it’s the chocolate covered blueberries whose deliciousness still lingers. Or maybe it’s the blood orange and wild honey white chocolate ganache that won’t soon be forgotten by your taste buds. At The Candy Basket there is decadence ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Bramlett & Associates adopts new name reflective of business

    Bramlett & Associates Multimedia LLC (Bramlett Multimedia), 215 W. Main St., announced this month that the company will change its name after 12 years in business and will do business as BOLD-Multimedia. The announcement, made first to ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Toothpick holders convention coming to Norman

    Lynne Ryan has been collecting toothpick holders her entire life. “My parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. ‘Bud’ Gibbs started our collection in 1936,” Ryan said. Ryan was born in 1940, and she grew up crawling around toothpick holders, as have ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Protect your online banking, shopping with encryption

    In my free, one-night class called “Fight the Internet Bad Guys and Win,” I teach everyday computer users how to stay out of trouble on the Internet. How to avoid virus infections, how to discern between the genuine and counterfeit, and ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tourism in Okla. creates $17.2 M in economic benefit

    A new National Park Service report shows that the 1,108,103 visitors to Oklahoma’s national parks in 2013 spent $17.2 million and supported 176 jobs in the state. Oklahoma’s three national parks include: Washita Battlefield National ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Norman United Wayboard gets to work

    The United Way of Norman Board of Directors for 2014-15 has met for the first time. Leading the group as chair was Steve McDaniel of Oklahoma State Bank....

    July 20, 2014

  • Family tragedy opened one woman’s eyes to the need of the disabled

    Jean Bayles had a dream. The dream was to provide a fully accessible home for rent in Norman. Her brother, Terry Abbott, was injured when he was 15 and has been a quadriplegic since....

    July 13, 2014

  • HeyDay brings Boomerang back to Norman

    Boomerang Grille was a family-oriented, iconic restaurant for many Norman residents for many years. Few are the people who have not slid into those vinyl seated booths, picked up the red phone and ordered a Theta burger and onion rings or ...

    July 13, 2014

  • Residents serve Leadership board

    Four Norman residents are serving on the board of Leadership Oklahoma....

    July 6, 2014

  • Bellhops offer moving help to Norman

    Founders Cameron Doody and Stephen Vlahos launched Bellhops at Auburn University in 2011. “Our first year, we set a goal of 25 moves, and after three days we had moved 230 students during the college move in season.” Doody said. “That’s ...

    July 6, 2014