The Duncan Banner


December 1, 2013

At least there’s a music soundtrack for Black Friday

DUNCAN — When I started to spoon out some dressing from the Thanksgiving turkey, what came out was a dollop of the sticky notes that serve as my memory. Talk about dry — but they were well-seasoned:

Count me among the folks who would rather be tossed naked into a briar patch than spend one nano-second in the Black Friday mosh pit that has eliminated “thanks” from the Thanksgiving holiday. (OK, I’ll pause a moment to let you erase the vision of me naked from your mind’s eye!)

Anyway, I’m not much of a shopper to begin with, and the thought of participating in the Black Friday is less appealing than drinking gasoline to cure strep throat. But I did find one thing that was kinda cool about this shopping insanity. It was a list called the Top 20 Songs for Black Friday, which was compiled by Michael Saltsman for the Wolfgang’s Vault website.

Creating a soundtrack for the shopping madness, Saltsman suggests The Loading Zone’s version of Shop Around is No. 1 on the list, although I’d prefer the version by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. At No. 20 is Young and Rich by The Tubes.

In between are money-themed classics like: Pink Floyd’s Money; Rich Girl by Hall & Oates; Dire Straits’ Money for Nothing; Free Money by Patti Smith; Eat the Rich by Krokus; Money To the Rescue by Clarence Clemons and the Red Bank Rockers; Culture Club’s Black Money; Poor Little Rich Girl by The Romantics; and of course, Can’t Buy Me Love by that British band that was supposed to be just a passing phase.

• Sherry and Bill Gossett have produced two of the finest voices to come out of these parts. Daughter Laura’s singing voice sparked awe during her years in Duncan’s school system and continues to do so. Meanwhile, son Jeremy is host of the program Backstage Jazz, which you can hear on KCCU at 9 p.m. on Fridays, as well as other public radio stations around the state. Also a Duncan High grad, Jeremy’s voice is casual and rich — without the affectation of some disc jockeys — which is a good combination for a narrator and interviewer, and his knowledge of jazz is impressive.

• When he first emerged as an 18-year-old fresh out of Okemah High, John Fullbright seemed to lean toward the folk side of red dirt music. But as an appearance in the Chisholm Trail Arts Council’s CTAC Live concert series and the 2012 Grammy-nominated album From the Ground Up revealed, this cat’s amalgam of folk, rock, country, blues and pop can’t be pigeon-holed.

Coupled with lyrics that go beyond his 24 years, Fullbright may become one of those singular artists who are a genre unto themselves.

• Fullbright, who seems to be one of the new breed who realize there was music before they were born, scored points by playing my two favorite Hoyt Axton songs Never Been to Spain and Jealous Man. It showed he’d done some homework and knew Axton spent some of his childhood in Duncan.

• Used to be I thought having one of those day-by-day pillboxes was a sure sign of slipping into senility. Now I just think it’s a necessary part of getting through the day without screwing up my meds.

• A survey of Pop Warner Football leagues nationwide reports participation in the youth football program is down 10 percent in the past year. As more focus is put on head injuries at all levels of the sport, expect the non-participation percentage to keep rising.

• It’s been 24 years since Ken Burns’ The Civil War documentary series was released, but it should still be mandatory viewing for all American high school students. Nothing in our history better illustrates what happens when an inability to compromise paints politicians and the populace into a corner from which they can’t escape.

• “Hitting the mute button is not the answer to the questions confounding our political system today.” Ira Glasser, executive director of the ACLU, said it.

• Anybody else notice a distinct rise in the number of millipedes and centipedes crawling across the floor of their home in the past few months? What’s that all about?

• Although he does commit some bonehead plays at times, often when trying to do too much on his own, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo is the NFL’s most productive fourth-quarter QB. Since 2009, Romo’s quarterback rating of 109 in the fourth quarter is the best in the league.

• Black Friday: Only in America do people who brag about having more stuff than any society in history trample one another trying to get even more stuff — cheap.

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  • Governor, state Legislature have misplaced priorities

    If the Oklahoma State Legislators and our Governor spent less time interfering in women’s rights to manage their bodies, creating ways to lay more taxes and fees on the middle class in order to generate more tax breaks which benefit only the wealthy while also conceiving methods with which to fill Oklahoma’s for-profit prisons, they would be doing all of us a favor. Instead, why not work to enhance funding for our schools and wage increases for all school employees? While reforming the state’s educational budget, why don’t they approve wage increases for our Oklahoma State Troopers and enlarge their Academy to insure qualified individuals are ready to fill the upcoming vacancies as many of the older force retire?

    April 9, 2014

  • Self government key to keeping politicians in check

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that federal campaign laws that limit the total amount of money donors can give to political parties, committees and candidates for federal office (U.S. House, Senate, and President) was unconstitutional. The ruling will not increase the current $2,600 limit on how much a donor can give to a federal candidate in each primary and general election or the $32,400 limit that can go to a national party committee. Those limits are still in place.  The ruling will instead remove the limit on how many candidates/committees to which a donor can contribute.

    April 9, 2014

  • Legislative goals crucial to priorities in education

    I am a member of several professional organizations where I attend regular meetings, network with colleagues, and stay abreast and informed on education best practices.  The Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, better known as CCOSA, is a nonprofit organization that establishes close and continuous communication and cooperation between educators, taxpayers, and legislators to improve the effectiveness of professional school administrators and to communicate the needs of schools. Attendance this time of year is especially critical because legislators are in session.

    March 28, 2014

  • An impressive ranking that could be better

    That Duncan was named one of the best 15 communities in Oklahoma by Movoto, a national Real Estate company, is news worth celebrating.
    Of 43 places with population of 10,000 or more, as determined by the U.S. Census data, Duncan finished 15th. Norman was first, Edmond second, Yukon and Moore tied for third and Bethany was fifth.

    March 9, 2014

  • Kids shouldn’t have to pay for having punster parents

    Friends and neighbors, I’ve been cloistered in my Thought Chamber for the past few days, contemplating many high-brow philosophies and haughty hypothesis that we who think on a different level use to exercise our finely-tuned minds and remain intellectually superior to the Great Unwashed.
    As you see, the time alone has been intellectually beneficial. I just composed an opening sentence (what we in the journalism dodge call a “lead”) that’s 46 words long.

    March 9, 2014

  • The blissful serenity of No-TV Land

    Life without TV is possible. Maybe you should try it. I did. It’s a do-able thing, I tell you. I’m still here, no worse the wear, no oozing wounds, no serious loss of brainwave activity except for the slow, inexorable downhill decline that already started when TV viewing was a daily occurrence.

    Granted, two months without the tube is quite likely not a scientifically acceptable sample from which is to hold forth. But it’s the best I can do, so deal with it.

    March 9, 2014

  • Cooper’s message is to remain active

    Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the Dallas physician who coined the phrase “aerobics” more than four decades ago, who has become a world leader in physical fitness and who has saved, literally, thousands of lives by promoting the value of an active lifestyle, shared his philosophy of life here last week.

    March 9, 2014

  • Time to take the “B” out of the “Three R’s”

    Our young folks are hitting the stretch drive toward the end of another school year, during which they’ve been taught “Three R’s”, which are not really “r’s” at all.
    In case you missed it, reading is the only one of the “Three R’s” that actually begins with the letter “r.” Writing starts with a “w” and arithmetic begins with the letter “a.” There are two reasons we drop the “w” from “writing” and the “a” from “arithmetic”: 1. For poetic flow in the age-old saying; and, 2. many people have a secret yen to talk like the Beverly Hillbillies.

    February 23, 2014

  • Thank you for lettin’ me be myself again

    Friends and neighbors, hope I don’t sound like the biggest egomaniac since Donald Trump, but you know, I am the most interesting person I’ve ever known.
    Forgive me if — on first blush — that sounds like the most totally self-aggrandizing statement you’ve ever heard. And if you’ve headed to the restroom to express an editorial opinion about the statement above, I’ll stop for a couple minutes.

    February 15, 2014

  • Buzz misfired in Vanity Fair body slam of Duncan

    As the new kid in town, I’m reluctant to leap atop the ramparts to defend the honor of Duncan, Okla., my new adopted hometown.
    But to heck with that. When an out-of-towner comes into your house and soils your rug, it’s on.
    I speak, of course, about the article in Vanity Fair magazine about Duncan and the  killing last year of Chris Lane, the Australian who was gunned down in August.

    January 24, 2014