Pittsburg resident Sam Pickel and his wife, Carolyn, have lived in Pittsburg for eight years and said he has been keeping up his home at 1004 Kelly Drive “just about as good as I can do it.”

Pittsburg resident Sam Pickel and his wife, Carolyn, have lived in Pittsburg for eight years and said he has been keeping up his home at 1004 Kelly Drive “just about as good as I can do it.”

So when he found out he was the recipient of one the two residential Pittsburg Beautiful awards for the month of September, Pickel was surprised and honored.

“It felt good. Real good,” Pickel said. “I appreciate the sign they put in the yard.”
Pickel said he keeps the grass cut and trimmed, and tries to keep the flowers watered.

“I just try to keep the place up,” he said.

Frank and Lillian Emmel, of 606 S. Georgia, were the other residential recipients. They’ve lived in Pittsburg for 16 years after moving from Wichita. “We like Pittsburg, we really do,” Lillian said. “We do all of our own work in our yard. When they came by to put the sign in our yard we felt honored to receive it.”

Lillian said that, sometimes, people stop by just to tell them they want to stop and admire their flowers. 

“Even though there's a lot of other yards we think are prettier than ours, a lot of people have said you need to get an award for all the work you've done and how pretty it looks all the time,” Lillian said.

Instead of installing porch railing on their 40-foot front porch, Lillian said she decided to plant plants such as mandevillas and petunias.

“We try to make a color scheme with them,” she said. “I love flowers, and like neat-looking yards.”

Lillian also is proud of her royal empress tree, which buds in the fall and blooms in the spring.

“The flowers smell like a mix of gardenia and jasmine,” she said. “People say it's a traffic stopper, so to speak. If I cut it down all the way to the ground, it will come up again. It’s a fast-growing but strong tree.”

September’s business award went to Relaxation Station, at 204 W. Fifth in downtown Pittsburg.