Spirit of Texoma

Published 01/13 2010 12:00PM

Updated 01/13 2010 02:05PM

 THERE ARE SEVERAL RETIRMENT VILLAGES IN WICHITA FALLS AND QUITE A FEW OF THEM HAVE DRIVERS WHO GET RESIDENTS TO AND FROM APPOINTMENTS AND SHOPPING EXCURSIONS. BUT OUR SPIRIT OF TEXOMA AWARD WINNER THIS MONTH GOES FAR ABOVE AND BEYOND HIS CALL OF DUTY...AND FOR THAT WE HONOR JOHN GUSTAFSON. SOME DAYS THIS WHEEL GOES ROUND FOR NEARLY 100 MILES ALL AROUND TOWN...FROM PLACE TO PLACE ALWAYS WITH HIS EYES ON THE ROAD AND A SMILE ON HIS FACE. I'm the one they trust when they leave the building. Alot of families here are out of town or state so they are not here to take them so they trust me to take care of them. THAT EXTRA CARE IS SOMETHING 93-YEAR-OLD WILMA HOLLAND APPRECIATES WHEN SHE TRAVELS AWAY FROM HER HOME HERE AT LAKERIDGE PLACE. I've been all over the states on buses but he beats anything that I've ever seen. THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR JOHN TAKES WILMA BY THE ARM AND IS THERE EVERY STEP OF THE WAY TO THE BUS. THEN HE JUMPS IN HIMSELF AND HITS THE ROAD...((NATS OF BUS DRIVING)) BUT WHEN THE BUS COMES TO A STOP JOHN IS ONCE AGAIN THERE TO LEND A HELPING HAND. I take them all the way in and take their paperwork with them a list of their med sheets to show the doctor and nurse and then get them my business card. So they call me to come and pick them back up, it's just that extra mile to take care of them. AND RESIDENTS GET TO TRAVEL THAT EXTRA MILE FROM TIME TO TIME WHEN JOHN TAKES THEM ON HIS COUNTRY CRUISES...THEY TRULY ENJOY JUST TAKING IN THE SCENERY. They love them, we all love them. We have lots of fun, see lots of things. AND FOLKS ARE ALWAYS QUICK TO LET JOHN KNOW THEY SURE ENJOY THE RIDE. When they thank me I get more out of it then if someone gave me a raise. WILMA CLAIMS IF HE EVER DECIDES TO HANG UP HIS KEYS FOR GOOD...SHE IS GOING FOR MORE THAN JUST A BUS RIDE. I tell everybody if he ever leaves, I am leaving too. (laughs) AFTER TWELVE YEARS BEHIND THE WHEEL JOHN PLANS TO KEEP HIS SPIRIT OF TEXOMA AND THE WHEELS OF THIS BUS GOING ROUND AND ROUND FOR MANY MILES. THE UNITED WAY CONGRATULATES JOHN ON HIS AWARD FOR DEVOTED SERVICE TO OTHERS... AND IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO DESERVES THIS AWARD NOMINATE THEM NOW.

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