HOW I SEE IT
October 29, 2020
Shamrock More than Lucky in 2020
By Michelle Fishburne
Published in County Star-News (10-29-20)
Even before the COVID spring and another summer devoid of rain, Shamrock was struck in February with the demolishment of its community center in a fire that shocked everyone. The community center was the hub for many important activities in Shamrock, including Meals on Wheels.
That night, as the fire raged, Noel Walton and Eva Joyce Morgan were planning where they would cook the next day’s meals for the 40 people they serve. The community support was quick. There was never a shortage for a kitchen and the town, as well as the county, rallied to build Meals on Wheels its own building.
The year 2020 has brought a pandemic to Shamrock, a catastrophic fire at the community center, and the continuation of a relentless, devastating drought. Through it all, Shamrock’s luck has held out. It’s not the Blarney Stone kind of luck, though, it’s the luck that comes naturally from being a close, knit-together community of people who support whoever is in need.
“Throughout all this, from the fire in February to the ribbon-cutting of our new building in October, we never missed a meal,” Walton said. Not a single one. That is more than luck.
Morgan, who grew up in Shamrock, credits the community’s support for one another, “Just loving one another. This world should be this way. We should be helpers of one another.”
Shamrock’s luck has extended to its business community as well in 2020. Clifford Oldham, who sold his feed yard after 40 years, opened the town’s first new building in a long time in the heart of downtown.
“We had the ribbon-cutting last week and the paper said about 100 people came,” Clifford said, “They said it was the largest one Shamrock had ever had." If you spend some time talking with Clifford, you will quickly understand why so many people attended. He doesn’t see people as customers, he sees them as friends, long-time friends.
Even when you spend a minute talking with the young new owners of C&H Supply Inc., you can hear in their voices, tell by their words, the close connection they feel to their customers. When asked about Shamrock, Bailey Troxell’s first words were, “They are always there to help each other, especially when things are tough.” She said that sense of community, of helping each other, will get them through the drought, just as it has for more than 100 years.
That sense of perspective, of knowing the town can get through anything, is alive and well at the U Drop Inn. Shamrock ambassadors Patsy Williams and Oleta Stone had been concerned that the summer tourism through Shamrock might be disappointing this year, due to the pandemic. They were set on making the best of it. They were in for a surprise, more Shamrock luck.
“The traffic through our visitor center has been huge ever since we reopened in the spring,” said Williams. “Do you see these maps on the wall? They are loaded with pins." In fact, with airline travel almost nonexistent and travel abroad shut down, families and couples and international college students took to the roads, and their favorite was Old Route 66.
So what is the Shamrock luck? According to Stone, it’s community, “If you need something, small communities are right there. You don't ever have to ask.” May it continue always.