Back in 1990 I met an older
gentleman by the name of Raymond Mann. I had just moved to Tyrone, Ok and
had not made any friends. Mr. Mann saw my mother, sister and I at the
Library researching our Scottish ancestry. He stopped me one day at the
local coffee shop and began asking me who my ancestors were.
Raymond was from the old family of Tyrone, Texas county, Oklahoma. They
had been there since 1890. He was in his 70's and sharp as a tack. Mr.
Mann was also the head of the Mason lodge in Tyrone. We would sit for a
few hours over a cup of coffee discussing my great grandfathers.
Everyday I visited with Mr. Mann. We would talk about anything and
everything. I soon became attached to this wonderful older gentleman. He
was very active in the comminity. Raymond always had time to help the
school or church out. We attended the same church. He was an Elder of
Several ladies from the community wanted to charter a chapter of the
United Daughters of the Confederacy. I was very interested for all of my
scottish ancestors were from the South. I had 8 great grandfathers who
were Confederate Veterans. I went to Mr. Mann and told him what we were
doing. We needed a place to hold our Chartering Dinner or High Tea.
Right away he gave me permission to hold the High Tea at the Mason Lodge.
The morning of the very special occassion, Raymond met me at the Lodge to
give me the key to get in. He had made a special trip there just to make
sure it was nice and clean. He even got out the best china the lodge had
for us to use.
The State of Oklahoma let the Tyrone School district know that they would
be shut down and consolidated with the Hooker schools if Tyrone did not
build a new larger library that had the satilite classroom availability.
Right away, I dived head in! Mr. Mann found out what I was doing. He
came to my front porch and informed me if I needed any help just to give
him a call. The Mayor of Tyrone had met with a group of us citizens about
the State ruling. He told us we may use the old City Cafe building if we
could get the funding. A group of eight including Mr. Mann and myself
went on the quest to get funding for the library.
While the quest was on to save the school, the Masons wanted to build a
baseball field for the Little League. Mr. Mann asked me to take the
pictures and write the story for the local newspapers. Without hesitation
I did exactly what Raymond asked of me.
This lead to me becoming the Tyrone Correspondant for the newspapers. Mr.
Mann told me I was a good writer and needed that exposier. He always
believed in my abilities. The Baseball Field was built and there was a
terrific front page story on all three newspapers that I submitted the
story to. The progress of the Library was much slower than anyone had
imagined. I was getting very frustrated. Mr. Mann knew I was getting
discouraged so he kept my spirits up by having me tell him about my great
grandfathers. he knew that was my one true passion.
The town desided to build a brand new library. It was complete in the
autumn of 1995. I had moved away from Tyrone because of the job situation
but Mr. Mann found a way to let me know that my work was not in vane.
I came to Tyrone to visit my brother, I went to the new Library as soon as
it was day break. Mr. Mann came driving by. He realized it was me and
stopped to talk. Mr. Mann said,"Here it is and all because you had the
fighting spirit of your great grandfathers." Tears ran down my cheeks as
I stood there smiling at the new building. I looked at his big smile and
told him, "Yeah, but YOU kept me going."
Raymond Mann passed away in September 1998. He was a Knight Templar. My
sister-in-law called me as soon as she heard the news. She knew I was
attached to Mr. Mann. I cried when she told me. He was 87. Raymond was
one of the nicest, kindest men I had the honor to meet.
I believe that the Scottish Rite that Mr. Mann practiced was very evident
in his treatment of me. He had found out 9 years ago that my great
grandfathers were jacobites who were bannished to the Colonies after
Culledon. I guess one might call our relatioship a Scottish thing!
Now, I want to say Good Knight Raymond Mann, you will always be in my