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Friday March 22nd 2019

Lessons I Learned From RAYMOND

Raymond McAlister

by Randy Pennington

(Lawton, OK) Raymond McAlister
December 18, 1957 ~ January 10, 2018.

Our first article about Raymond was in 2012 and no doubt, it has been one of our more popular archived pieces. If you aren’t from the Lawton area, you most likely have no idea who Raymond was but to us he was larger than life. Raymond taught those that became his friends and family how to appreciate life and live it to the fullest.

An introduction to Raymond McAlister as published in OKIE Magazine. For the full article, click I Am Raymond here.

Born Raymond McAlister on December 18, 1957, he has become a staple of the City of Lawton and for over half a century, in his own unique way, he has been leaving his mark on the community. While many have seen him, few really know him.

“I remember the first time I really met Raymond”, says C. H. Brazzel, a long-time friend. “I was working security at an Eisenhower-Lawton High football game at Cameron Stadium in 1978.” Brazzel, a Sergeant with the Lawton Police Department, remembers that encounter well.

“He walked up to me as he was leaving the game, and introduced himself. ‘I am Raymond, I need to come see you.’ I introduced myself and told him that would be fine, and he said, ‘Give me one of your cards.’”

Brazzel was unsure why Raymond singled him out among all of the other officers that were working that night long ago, but that encounter led to a friendship that has lasted almost 35 years.

“He showed up at my office the following Monday morning,” recalls Brazzel, “he walked in and said, ‘I need to use your phone’, and he began to make calls.” Who was he calling? “I don’t know,” says Brazzel, “but he was calling somebody,” exhibiting a smile reflecting both humor and admiration.

Randy Pennington wrote the original article and as a tribute to Raymond, he submitted this piece just yesterday.

Lessons I Learned From RAYMOND
By Randy Pennington

Never get so wrapped up in the score that you forget to enjoy the game.

Life is a parade; if you don’t see where you fit, make your own category…and wave and smile when people watch you go by.

People will criticize you; if you choose not to listen to them…they won’t matter. And you’ll matter more.

If you want to get somewhere and no one offers you a free ride…start pedaling.

You don’t have to look the same as others…just treat others the same.

If you smile and wave…most people will smile and wave back.

Show up. No matter what.

If you don’t write like anybody else…no one can write like you.

You can be a rodeo cowboy, a grand marshal, a race car driver or an athlete anytime you want. Just believe.

Saying, “I like you. You’re nice”, is a great way to start a conversation…and a friendship.

If you ever need to find a purpose…offer to help.

If your photo appears in the newspaper for participating in something fun and positive…it’s okay to brag about it.

Life isn’t always easy…but it’s always an adventure. Live it.

Raymond will be missed and will forever be a legend in Lawton, Oklahoma. Rest now my friend.