Alva Review-Courier -

Lucky to be alive


It was a quiet Sunday afternoon at the newspaper. I was working on the next week’s schedule for news and doing some bookkeeping. Becky Tyree was collecting news items to freshen up our website while listening to music, and her young granddaughter was busy doing artwork.

Our radio scanner picked up a call for an ambulance in the 600 block of 4th Street in Alva. A man had fallen from the attic through the ceiling to the floor below. I asked Becky if her husband Jay was working in the attic. She said yes, but the address was wrong for their residence. Just then the scanner corrected the address to hers. Becky immediately called her daughter who was there with her baby. She verified her father Jay, Becky’s husband, had fallen.

The Tyrees live in what used to be the Otterbein Methodist Church at the corner of 4th and Center. The attic Jay fell from is about 20 feet above the hardwood floor below. All the doctors say he’s lucky to be alive. He and his family attribute his survival to God watching over him.

The Alva EMS took Jay to the emergency room at Share Medical Center. After Dr. Michael Lawrence assessed his injuries, he kept Jay immobilized overnight at the ER. The next day, it was decided he needed to be transferred to St. Mary’s in Enid. The Tyrees had insurance coverage for AirEvac so Jay was treated to an air lift to Enid, a much shorter and easier trip. Jay has expressed how much he appreciates the care he received at the Share ER.

Jay is now installed in Room 408 at St. Mary’s in Enid. His left brow is decorated with a big white bandage covering a bunch of stitches he received at the ER. His left shoulder joint is broken. He had surgery Monday to move his arm back into position. He’ll be facing another surgery to stabilize the break once they figure out exactly how to approach it. The surgery could be this week or next.

Jay also has a broken left ankle, now in a boot, as well as two breaks in his pelvis and a broken rib. His pelvis and rib are positioned like they should be. More x-rays were being taken on Tuesday to make sure no other injuries were missed.

Becky is staying at Jay’s side at St. Mary’s; the doctors want her there. Various staff members at the paper are picking up her responsibilities. Jay Tyree is the minister at College Hill Church of Christ in Alva and also teaches some classes at NWOSU so a lot of places will need to be filled. There is rehab in Jay’s future, but it could have been so much worse!


Is there a place, a song or a photo that brings you memories of happy times? Nostalgia is the theme of the spring issue of Popular Science. The magazine used to be published monthly but it appears they are switching to a quarterly schedule. It’s one more indicator of the struggle magazines are experiencing in keeping readership.

Paging through the issue, I found a section titled “One and Done.” It features several inventions that got it right the first time with no need for upgrades or reinvention.

The first is sliced bread. Otto Rohwedder created the first machine to slice bread. Only a few cities were able to enjoy this convenience until Taggart Baking Co. made Wonder Bread nationwide.

The cinder block, breeze block or hollow block was first made in 1890. Harmon S. Palmer developed a process for using coal cinders (hence the name) to create something lighter, more insulating and easier to work with than solid blocks.

The Piper J-3 Cub aircraft was a cheap, simple and quick machine with two seats placed one behind the other inside a tubular steel frame wrapped in cotton fabric. Nearly 20,000 of them rolled out of the factory before the company upgraded the plane in 1947. Many still fly. I experienced my first loop and roll in a Piper Cub, probably a later version, flown by my flight instructor.

Paper clips were born in the 1880s. People used to use pins, ribbons, string and other methods to secure sheaves of paper. Britain’s Gem Ltd. is credited with the two narrow concentric ovals that made up the clip. Connecticut entrepreneur William Middlebrook patented a clip-winding machine in 1899, and American Clip Co. started cranking out the indispensable office supply four years later. Today its factory in Mississippi spits out 1,600 of them every minute.

Other one and done inventions featured in Popular Science include Zildjian cymbals, the Berkel flywheel meat slicer, the adjustable wrench, the Kitchenaid tilt-head stand mixer, the Honda Super Cub, the Leica m-series camera, the Porsche 911 and the Swiss army knife. The magazine is entertaining reading!


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