Willie Keifer is a neighbor and good friend of mine. It wasn’t always that way. Several years ago, when my wife and I built our home adjacent to Willie’s, we were at odds over our road location. Soon, however, Willie began volunteering to help us with projects that my wife and I couldn’t handle alone. Initially, we were surprised at his willingness to help. We shouldn’t have been. We learned that that’s just how Willie is. Everyone should have a neighbor like Willie Keifer.
We recently began helping Willie with his campaign for Muskogee County Commissioner, District 3. As we have gone door to door meeting people and talking about Willie, it’s been uplifting to see how many nice people live in Muskogee, how many already know Willie and how highly they think of him. So many have told us what an honest and good man Willie is. I asked one successful local businessman how he came to know Willie. He said as a youth, he got into a little trouble. Willie gave him a job, helped him get a car and his life turned around.
I grew up in Muskogee and remember fondly what a bustling town it was in my youth. I remember shopping downtown with my mom, and how hard it was even to find a parking place, and how many retail shops there were. It’s easy to see that Muskogee has since declined, as other Oklahoma towns are progressing. The number of boarded-up and knocked-down buildings is alarming, as is the condition of many of our roads. Surely, we can do better.
I don’t know how to solve Muskogee’s problems. I doubt anyone does, not even a good man. But, I do know that one good man is a good place to start.