Phyllis Dragus asked her friends to come about two pm Thursday afternoon. The owner of Angel’s Way Bed & Breakfast on Luther Road was grateful that she would have some help with tornado cleanup.
Her place was in the path of Tuesday night’s EF1 tornado that cut about a ten-mile path through north Luther. She lost two loafing sheds, a barn roof, some glass out of her west facing back door and lots of trees.
There were so many limbs and branches down, the entire property was covered in debris.
But when horse-riding friends Eva. Shirley, Dusty, Dave, Marjorie, Holly, Janice and Arlene showed up – MOST of the work was already done.
Thursday morning someone from the fire academy at Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center called and said they needed a mission.
“Would you be our mission?” she said they asked. They also told her not to bake cookies or lunch or provide water. They would bring all they would need.
The crew worked so throroughly and quickly, that Phyllis was able to take an “after” picture of her place less than 48-hours after the storm.
“We kind of say too much about the Oklahoma Standard, so I like to call it the Oklahoma Spirit,” said Phyllis in between trips on her four-wheeler delivering water to her afternoon crew. “There is no better place to be than in the center of Oklahoma. There’s no better place to live and be cared for.”
Eva and Shirley, as they unloaded a truckload of splintered barn wood, shingles and limbs commented they were grateful for the young men and women who came because their knees are “old.” The girls laughed, but they still kept working.
Dragus and her husband have operated Angel’s Way as a bed and breakfast and event venue for several years. But Phyllis said she has been pursuing a dream to transform the property more into a free retreat center for the families of police officers who lose an officer in the line of duty.
Phyllis and Paul lost their son in 2005. Jonathan, a member of the Oklahoma City Police Department, died in the line of duty while he was in a pursuit.
“Who better to help families than Paul and me. We’ve been through it. We know,” she said.
After today, Phyllis said she will expand her mission to include family members of fallen firefighters.
Eva and Shirley commented that Phyllis has created a haven, a quiet and beautiful retreat featuring a welcoming porch, unique rooms and lots of treats.
Phyllis made everyone take a break for snacks in the late afternoon. The friends giggled and chatted on the deck, marveling at the cleanup and the cool breeze. Phyllis commented that gestures (and hard work) like the fire cadets’ is an inspirational reminder that serving others is the best gift you can give.