The ‘Top 4’ stories from 2021, Great State style

Great State

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Way in the back of the 2021 freezer there are lots of goodies still preserved and ready to heat up.

Remember that bitter cold snap?

Jim Stepp might, but to his herd of bison last February was just another month.

“Don’t try this at home,” he laughed while petting the haunches of a huge, tame bull bison.

We had interesting animal sightings in 2021, at a goat party near Guthrie, at a swim party for dock diving dogs, even at a squirrel video watch party.

“She’s just glued to the screen as long as there are squirrels on it,” said Lisa Sorrel of her dog Miley.

But one of our Top 4 stories for this year involved a bear, a guy in a bear suit named Jesse Larios who took a long walk inside his 78-pound costume all the way from Los Angeles to New York, and along Highway 11 in Oklahoma.

“You’re not scary looking,” we observed.

“I am at night though,” laughed Jesse.

Bearsun raised a lot of money for charity, and a lot of eyebrows along the way.

We had to dig for the really good stories in 2021.

Ask Sean Dickinson if good sand plums just fall out of the sky.

Ask Ava Forester at 103 if it was easy selling Fuller Brushes door to door as a single mom of 3.

“I once sold a comb to a bald-headed man,” she chuckled

You might also ask McKenzie Summers how easy it was to dig out what might be the world’s largest, single rose rock.

This story made our Top 4.

The heavy ones always do.

“The rocks have a story,” she assured us.

We met interesting people this year, our 30th on a unique reporter’s beat.

Sharina Perry invented a biodegradable plastic.

Ed Burden took over the care of a Civil War veteran’s grave in a remote section of the Oklahoma Panhandle.

Kris Morgan made his 1,000th Flag 4 Vets.

R.D. Lawrence stepped off the farm in Wakita, and out of the WWII ball turret of a B-17 bomber to receive the French Legion of Honor, that country’s most coveted honor.

The ceremony in Enid, and our conversation with R.D. made our Top 4 list.

“What do I think of all this,” he wondered before the ceremony? He laughed and told us, “I’d rather be at home.”

A lot of milestones in a year.

Oklahoma City’s new convention center opened.

So did a new airport terminal with Matt Goad’s artwork all over the floor.

“My joke,” he told us, “is that everyone who comes to Oklahoma City is going to walk all over me.”

The Denison Dam on Lake Texoma turned 75.

Tinker AFB got a new control tower.

And the fourth of our Top 4?

The Spirit of St. Louis flew again.

For much of the past 20 years Robert Ragozzino has been building a replica airplane, the same one that Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic nearly a century ago.

Robert’s aircraft finally flew in 2021, another milestone in a year full of them if you take the time to look from a bird’s eye view, and making for a soft landing in 2022.

Great State is sponsored by WEOKIE Credit Union

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