**For Immediate Release**
Gerald Dixon - Area Citizen, Supporter, Leader and Friend
- released by OPSU Campus Communications 10-31-07
By Scott Puryear
Goodwell, Okla. - There are few people anywhere more interesting to visit than Gerald Dixon of Guymon. His Main Street office is a mixture of the old and the new with worn leather and strong wooden furniture still in wonderful condition after decades of use and a large collection of books, photographs (many autographed by famous people), paintings, hats, buttons, tools, and photos of his family as well as his racehorses (he currently owns four). There is also a 1949 Royal typewriter which he uses daily.
Recently, Dixon talked about his experience in working with Timothy Egan, while Egan was writing The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Stories of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl. The book was published in late 2005 and Egan (also a New York Times correspondent) tells the story of the devastation, grief and hope of the “Dust Bowl Days” of the 1930s in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Kansas. In Egan’s stories about area residents of that time, he details their sacrifices and hardships, but also writes of the strength that the human spirit has to offer. According to Egan, during the years 1932-1939, millions of acres of what was once fine grassland in this region was nearly totally eradicated resulting in severe hardship for thousands of families.
While accumulating a vast amount of research, Egan spent many hours in the areas where the events actually happened and as part of that research he relied upon the recollections of many people, and Dixon was one of them.
In the Acknowledgements section of the book, Egan wrote: “During a reporting trip for this book I arranged to meet a man about town in Guymon, Oklahoma, one of the little communities in No Man’s Land that was hammered during the Dust Bowl. Gerald Dixon was well past eighty, a vigorous and bright-eyed man with a droll sense of humor and a quick step. We met in his cluttered office, a museum in itself, where he dabbles in just about every business in Guymon.”
Egan goes on to describe a very informative and enjoyable day with Dixon. Dixon’s autographed (by Egan) copy of The Worst Hard Time is displayed prominently in his office.
Dixon’s life experiences are interwoven with the tragedy and triumphs of the hard working people of this area who made it what it is today – THRIVING. He lived and worked though the Depression years with his family and in the 1940’s began to make his own mark in farming and business. He is proud of the fact that he recently celebrated his 60th year of being in business and he still maintains his real estate license. He is also a student of history and is an avid reader who also served on the board of directors of the No Man’s Land Museum (in Goodwell) for 35 years (ten of those as president).
Living all of his 85 years in the Oklahoma Panhandle, Dixon has been an eyewitness to many, many things. He said he likes the way that Oklahoma Panhandle State University has moved ahead in recent years and is especially complimentary of the leadership of current OPSU president Dr. Dave Bryant.
Optimistic about life in general and seemingly on the go all the time – Gerald Dixon, himself, is one of the treasures of the Oklahoma Panhandle.