The Norman Transcript

Opinion

October 2, 2012

Area needs to find solution

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Although I never worked at Food and Shelter, I have had the opportunity to be a “friend” the shelter has served to include sleeping on a cot there on some cold nights last winter.

I met Mike last spring. I listened to him one day out at Andrews Park as he acted out a story akin to the Knights of the Roundtable. Mike was in charge and would direct his knights, often scolding them or laughing at their jokes. His hands and arms would flail about and he would lunge and even hit objects (not people that I ever saw). The sad part is the story never ended for Mike; he never took a bow, curtain call or heard the applause of adoring fans.

Mike never jumped in his tour bus or car and never returned home to his family. Mike had serious problems and did not belong on the street, but he — like many others — was caught in a “no man’s land” right smack in the cusp of the dividing line between church and state.

For some, we remember or learned about the Kennedy administration and the changes that came about because of the inhumane treatment at asylums and other facilities housing the insane and mentally infirm.

The doors were opened and those facilities were closed. Nobody wants a return to a “A One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” era, but maybe a smallish college town in Oklahoma can find some local solutions.

Many churches and Food and Shelter in Norman feed people, give clothes, provide assistance for emergency bills and provide temporary housing for families, but on a cold night, even a sober, somewhat sane man cannot always find a warm place to sleep ... that is a fact.

I’m not advocating, nor am I angry ... I’ve learned to accept things for what they are and I’m truly grateful for my life and for the circumstances that led me to meet Mike. My rock bottom of self-pity and loathing was Mike’s opportunity to teach me how fortunate I really am to have a sound mind and body and to have that in my children as well.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • A raise for troopers, but what about others?

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could see an increase in their paychecks during the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July....

    April 17, 2014

  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014

  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Protect your home from wildfires

    To most people, fuel is what you put into your gas tank. To firefighters, it means something altogether different. To people who make a living putting out fires, fuel is that material that feeds wildfires — and there is an abundance of it ...

    April 12, 2014

  • League of Women Voters meeting

    Editor, The Transcript: On Saturday, May 10, the Norman League of Women Voters will hold its annual meeting at the Memorial Presbyterian Church, 601 24th Ave. SW, Norman, OK, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm....

    April 12, 2014

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014

Video
Facebook