This year, the fair is dedicated to Bob Maples and Jolene Reid.
Bob Maples came to Bryan County in September 1986 with Farm Credit Services where he served the farmers and ranchers of Southeastern Oklahoma. In 2004, he joined Landmark Bank and continues to assist the people of Bryan County as a vice-president of lending.
Upon arriving in Bryan County, Maples became involved with the Bryan County Fair and the Bryan County Jr. Livestock Show. He has been the sheep superintendent at the Bryan County Fair and the Bryan County Jr. Livestock Show for many years.
Helping out 4-H and FFA members at the stock show is nothing new to Maples. After graduating from OSU, he started his career as a 4-H agent in Kay County and remained there for three years before beginning work with Farm Credit Services in Enid. While in Enid, he was the Northwest District Livestock Show beef superintendent.
When asked why he is involved with these organizations, he modestly says he is thankful to give something back. As a youth, he grew through the experiences he had in these organizations. He is grateful for the opportunity to serve today’s youth and applauds the life skills that involvement in these organizations help youth develop skills such as responsibility, decision making, teamwork, networking, public speaking and bookkeeping.
For years, he has served on the Ag-Industry Expo committee and on the Bryan County Health Department Board of which he is the current chairman. He is active in the Kiwanis Civic Club, serving as president in 2007. He was recognized as Layperson of the Year in 2006 and as Kiwanian of the Year in 2008. During his presidency, the Kiwanis Club provided $50,000 in funds to the city of Durant for the building of two playgrounds at the Durant Multi-Sports Complex. This donation was possible thanks to the work of dedicated Kiwanis members and to community support of the annual Kiwanis Pancake Day fundraisers.
He was also involved in the original planning committee of the Durant Multi-Sports Complex, serving as secretary. He received the Honorary State FFA Degree in 2008. Maples currently serves on the Durant Parks and Recreational Advisory Board.
He is married to Donna (Sleeper) Maples, who is the Bennington Public School counselor. His daughter, Amanda Maples, resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she submits press releases for concerts and art shows for a cooperative group of young artists of which she is a part. Maples is a member of the First Baptist Church and helped teach the fourth-sixth grade boys’ RA class from 1998 to 2007. He has been involved with the annual First Baptist Church Wild Beast Feast, an outreach event for sportsmen and women.
Jolene Reid has served as a superintendent for the Bryan County Free Fair for more than 14 years. She helps set up the community building for the open class exhibits and she puts in many hours and long days right up to dismantling the exhibits on Saturday night.
Those who have entered items in the Home Arts Department probably know her well, and Bryan County youth know her for helping with the cutest, best dressed and most unusual critter contest and the watermelon seed spitting contest.
Reid served on the Fair Board for three years. She is currently serving her second term as OHCE county president. Jolene is a member of the Mead OHCE Group where she is currently vice-president and has held many different offices and leadership positions. She has been a member of OHCE for 17 years.
The Reid family, Hank Jolene and son Jimmy moved to Willow Springs permanently in 1977. They turned their weekend cabin into a home. Hank retired from the Oklahoma City Police Department, joined the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and was assigned to Texoma Lake Patrolmen. Hank died in 1994. Jimmy is married with three daughters and one son and lives in the Oklahoma City area.
Reid graduated from Myrtle Beach High School in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She received her associate degree in retail designs from Michigan State. Jolene’s dad was a career military man having served in the Philippines, Bermuda, Greece, Hawaii, Florida, South Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma City. Maybe that’s why she never meets a stranger. Her dad Joe lives at Willow Springs also. When her dad was stationed in the USA, they would always come back to Roberts and Clarks reunions in Durant.
Reid said that being a member of Bryan County OHCE is what really helped her when she found herself the chairwoman of the newly formed Willow Springs Sewer System in the late 1990s. Through OHCE she met State Senator Billy Mickle, State Representative James Dunegan, Congressman Wes Watkins, and County Commissioner Dwayne Simpson. She credits them for making it possible to buy land from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, set up meetings with the Oklahoma Rural Water Association and get a quarter-million dollar grant for a new sewer system at Willow Springs. Those who know Reid know she worked tirelessly on this project.
The last eight years Reid has been one of the counselors at the Bryan County Pregnancy Center. In the last five months, the center has doubled in size and is going “medical.” The center sponsors the baby crawling contest during the fair.
Reid is an active member of Streetman Road Baptist Church in Mead, serves as church clerk and teaches a Sunday School class. She is a member of Eastern Star, having served as Grand Representative of Oklahoma to Scotland. Currently, she is a district deputy of District No. 29.