The true spirit of Christmas all year long

Staff Writer

Donning his Santa Claus cowboy hat and infectious smile, Jim Norris, former Mayor of Guymon, received a Kudos award from Melyn Johnson of Main Street Guymon for his selfless work in implementing the Veterans Banner Program to honor local veterans Tuesday.
Norris, who helped put out over 900 flags on veterans’ graves this past year began to wonder why there were no veteran banners in the city with so many men and women who had served our country past and present in town. He then partnered with Chet Krone, City Council member, who invited Norris to the next American Legion meeting to discuss the project and after that it just took off - with a lot of help from Norris.
“It’s easy to forget about them once they are gone,” Norris said speaking about the veterans. He went on to state that he gets involved because he wants to make sure that the veterans are always remembered and honored for their service.
The first banner was placed on Main Street on August 11, 2017 in honor of James Darden, a B-29 Super Fortress Pilot who called the Panhandle home. There are now a total of 30 banners in Guymon and they will be hung each Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day.
The Veterans Banner Program is for any past or present veterans with an honorable discharge. To order a banner family members can visit There is a one time fee of $150.00, an application that must be filled out with as much information as you know about the veteran and a picture. The fee covers the cost of one street sign and one 11 inch by 18 inch banner.
Norris pointed out even if you don’t know all the information needed or have a good picture of your veteran not to worry because the program can pull the needed information from an online DD-214 form and even offered to walk anyone who needs assistance through the process. Norris can be reached at (580) 651-1018 and said he would be more than glad to help.
Despite health problems of his own, Norris also volunteers his time with Meals on Wheels helping to deliver nutritious food to seniors four days a week and was instrumental in getting the American Legion painted through the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful Fresh Paint Days, not to mention many other good works for the people of Guymon that he prefers to remain anonymous about.
So if you see a tall, thin man wearing a cowboy Santa hat this holiday season you may just be encountering the true spirit of Christmas embodied in a mere mortal man who cares about the city of Guymon every day not just at Christmas time.