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Ahpeatone community continues to influence David Gammill

Now 61 years old, David Gammill has school, farm and organizational ties to Walters and his insurance agency is in Grandfield. In his heart, there’s still a lot of the little Ahpeatone.
by Bryan Painter Modified: August 16, 2014 at 11:19 pm •  Published: August 17, 2014
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A community doesn’t have to be on a map to leave a memory or several memories.

During David Gammill’s youth, Ahpeatone was down to only the school and the church that met in the school on Sundays.

“But it was also a strong and vibrant farm community with a strong German influence,” Gammill said. “Neighbors were close in distance and close in heart. Death or sickness always brought food and visits from friends nearby. The farm wives would be ashamed if there wasn’t five times more food than the grieving family could ever eat.”

Gammill remembers with pride how good it felt “when my dad sent my brother and I to plow a neighbor’s fields when he had a heart attack.”

The tables eventually turned, but the response remained the same.

“I still tear up remembering how it felt when a neighbor’s tractors and drill showed up in our field as I struggled to plant our crop after my dad’s heart attack,” Gammill said. “Whether it was floods, tornadoes, or snow, everyone looked out after the people and livestock around them.”

‘I am truly blessed’

Now 61 years old, Gammill has school, farm and organizational ties to Walters and his insurance agency is in Grandfield.

However, Ahpeatone is still in his heart.

The school closed after Gammill’s fourth-grade year. But today he’s the head deacon and primary maintenance man for that Ahpeatone church.

And another thing that hasn’t changed is that help quickly appears when needed.

“A neighbor got sick during calving season last year, and me and several others made many a trip to pull calves and walk up a cow in labor,” Gammill said.

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by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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