BYNG — I am always glad to get news about former Byng students.  When they have been recognized for something worthwhile, it is a pleasure to rejoice with them and share their news. If things are not going well for them, I and  their fellow classmates extend the hand of friendship and say “Sorry you’re having a rough time.  I’m glad to call you my friend.”

News I heard this week about Glenn Tiger told about heroism and courage, but also told of multiple health problems that are heart breaking to those who care about him. Many of you will remember Glenn, graduate of the class of ’69.   Quiet, and possessed of a dry sense of humor, Glenn was well-liked by all of us.     Three of the Tiger kids attended Byng:  Edmund, who died last year and Theresa who is director of medical records at the Indian Health Center in Pawnee. I had lost touch with them until a few years when Theresa moved back to the Byng community for several months. We got re-acquainted when we both walked at 5 a.m. at the Byng track.

Theresa called me this week to bring us up to date on Glenn. He has been her mentor all her life and she had nominated him for a service award from Indian Health. Her nomination was not received in time for him to be considered, but Theresa thinks that all of us who know and like Glenn  will be interested in knowing about his bravery, courage and determination.   A note or phone call from some Byng people will be an award in itself.

Glenn is a Vietnam war veteran, serving as a medic on a heliocopter that swooped down on battle grounds and took wounded servicemen to the nearest medical facility. On one of these flights, an airline staff member began choking.  Glenn administered an emergency trachectomy, saving her life. He received a letter of commendation for this act.

Glenn trained as a Registered Nurse. He worked for Indian Halth Service at the Carl Albert Indian Hospital in Ada during the 1980’s. He worked in Dallas at the Intertribal Health Center and at Parkview Hospital until diabetes, from which he had suffered for many years, caused him to become a double amputee. He is still a dialysis patient three times a week. Last  year  he had a colon re-section which required a temporary colostomy. Last month he had a gall bladder attacked which required surgery.

Glenn’s determination to maintain a quality standard of life despite his many health problems is the attribute Theresa thinks is most admirable. He is unfailingly optimistic; however, he told his sister after his last bout that he is “getting tired.” He and his wife, Marie, have two children and live at Grand Prairie, Texas. 

Glenn enjoys reading the Ada News on-line, and when he read about the recent 1967 class reunion, he called Curtis Frazier, Houston, Texas, to ask if he had attended. Curtis and his wife, the former Freda Byars, another Byng alumni, live in Houston.

It would mean a great deal to Glenn if some of his former friends would contact him. His address is 1130 Santa Fe Trail, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; his telephone is 972-522-1588,  and his e-mail address is GEDWARD@sbcglobal.net.

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We sometimes complain about having so many blood tests when we go for a routine checkup, but Sterling Henley is not one of the complainers. He went recently for a routine check-up and blood tests were ordered by the doctor. He did not order a check on blood platelets, for there was no indication that there was a problem. The technician doing the tests, however, included the platelet measurement. The normal healthy person’s count is between 300and 500,000 platelets. Sterling’s test showed 800,000 platelets.   The doctor suggested waiting a few weeks and repeating the test. This time he registered 961,000, alarming high. When the count gets to a million, strokes are likely. An appointment was arranged with an oncologist for a bone marrow test.   Naturally, an appointment with a cancer specialist is cause for worry and concern and several things caused the Henleys to stress about it. They waited several days for results on the test, but the tests were incomplete and a bone marrow aspiration was required.  Several more days of waiting were required.

When the news arrived, however, it was good. He was diagnosed with thrombocythemia which can be controlled with medication. He takes a chemo pill twice daily, and is feeling much better. He was extremely dizzy for a few days, but he says the dizziness has passed, and he believes he is on his way back to good health. Needless to say, he is grateful to the doctor and the technician who went beyond the required testing to discover his problem.

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It was like old times at New Bethel Church last Sunday. We were observing World Hunger Day in our usual fashion—by eating. We had as usual a simple meal: stew, beans, rice, corn bread and a few desserts. Each family brought food for the potluck dinner and contributed to World Hunger the amount they would have spent if they had eaten in a restaurant. At last count, they had raised $333. After the noon-time meal the group returned to the sanctuary for a praise session. The 6 p.m. service was dismissed.

Our retired pastor, Joe Dixon, agreed to come back to preach for this special occasion. His nephew, Joe Dixon, who is Sunday School director, commented that the prospect of a church dinner would bring Joe out every time. Brother Joe retorted that the late Dr. J.T. Roberts got away with being our guest anytime we were eating, and he saw nothing wrong with following Dr. Roberts’ example.

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We had a surprise visitor this week. Don Tucker, who worked at the Ada News with George more than 40 years ago made a trip from Oklahoma City to see him. Don was still in high school when he worked after school and on Saturdays at the News. He and George became friends. After college, Don moved to Oklahoma City and has established a printing business there. He and his wife have five sons, three of whom are in business with him. Tucker had learned that George is ill and he made a special trip to renew their friendship. We appreciate you, Don.

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If any of you want to send items to me for the newspaper, please note that I have a new e-mail address.  It is as follows: gdmilligan@sbcglobal.net.

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