The Mystery Lunch in December turned out to be a special day for the Town Center residents, in many ways. Because of the holidays and several independent residents going out of town to visit family, we had a small group which is often more comfortable and fun. We could talk across the table to everyone and jump from one topic to another. We shared many Christmas memories, talked about friends we grew up with who had unusual names…which also included most of our family members. Becky, Community Life Director, chose the Metro for lunch which was intimate, cozy, and beautifully decorated for Christmas. They have special seasonal items and many of the residents tried the butternut squash and apple soup which was a big hit. They have delicious salads and sandwiches. The curried chicken salad, which is the recipe from a former well-known restaurant here in Oklahoma City called The Cellar, was another dish some of us ordered. It brought back memories of going downtown to eat at The Cellar, all dressed up in our gloves and hats, which was a special outing back in the 50’s and 60’s.
After lunch, we boarded our bus and all of a sudden, Coach Barry Switzer came up the steps with a football in his hand, wishing us all a Merry Christmas. The looks on everyone’s faces were priceless! He saw our bus when he drove in to park to go into the restaurant and thought he would step on and just say hi to all of us. Now if you don’t know who Barry Switzer is…(you can’t be from Oklahoma and not know this man), here are a few statistics about his accomplishments. He is a former All American football player and coach at The University of Oklahoma for 16 years. He took the Sooners to three National championships in 1974, 1975, and 1985. He has one of the highest winning percentages of any college football coach in history, which also included a Heisman Trophy winner, Billy Sims. He was head coach of the Dallas Cowboys for four years and lead them to the Super Bowl playing against the Pittsburgh Steelers and winning the Super Bowl. He is known for perfecting the Wishbone offence, which is still used in football today. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and in 2004 he received the Jim Thorpe Lifetime Achievement Award. Barry is known for his kindness to the recruits and their families, especially through hard times. He is involved in many charities in Oklahoma and speaks throughout the country still today, at the age of 80. As OU goes to the national championships this weekend in the Rose Bowl and after our Quarterback, Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy this year, (the most recent of six total Heisman Trophy winners from OU over the years), we all shared a sense of pride in our Sooners. Barry certainly made our day and gave us one of the biggest surprises we’ve experienced in a long time. He could have walked right by our bus, but said he just wanted to jump on and say hi and Merry Christmas to our seniors…what a nice guy and a special memory for all of us!