By Richard Thackray, Cushing Pride Executive Director

(Cushing, Okla) — If the Covid19 Virus has taught me one thing is that people CAN be convinced to alter their lives. Just a month or so ago it would be hard for you to convince me to wear a face mask under any circumstance. Mowing the lawn – “Wear a mask!” Spray painting my lawn chairs – “Wear a mask!” With a bit of encouragement, like the threat of extreme sickness, all of a sudden I’m out hunting down elastic so that my wife’s home factory of mass producing masks keeps plugging along. Human conditioning takes just a bit of encouragement to instill its importance especially when it affects a multitude of people.

What will it take to change our habits of littering? Do we care that litter affects our community’s image in the eyes of people passing through? Do we care that property values go down in communities that look like they don’t care? Do we care that our children mimic our actions when they toss a cup on the side of the road because they see that their parents do similar things? During these times of family togetherness let’s make lemonade out of these lemons. Take the time at dinner to talk about this one article that I am posting right here. Ask your kids if they litter and ask them why. Talk about how wildlife die among some items that are tossed and about streams that are polluted from litter that makes its way there during rain and runoff. Better yet, take a family walk with some bags in hand and start “Plogging.” (Plogging is a Swedish exercise trend that combines jogging with picking up litter.) I’m sure you must have a few hundred Walmart bags in your closet, use them. Make it a fun outing by looking for the strangest piece of trash found on your walk.

Recently I received a call from a Cushing Pride member asking if I could supply her with two pick up sticks as she wanted to walk with her son on South Battle Ridge between Texaco and Eseco Rd and collect some trash. The duo hauled in 4-5 full size trash bags in just a short walk. This woman is known to many around Cushing and most likely in a volunteering fashion. As co-recipient of the 2018 “Volunteer of the year” award she is also well known as leading a hundred or so volunteers in United Way’s “Day of Caring” as well as organizing the “Black Cat” golfing fundraiser. This week’s “TRASHY” award goes to Mrs. Latina Simmons and her son Phenix!