More than two years ago, our family made a decision to move to Duncan from Madison, Miss.
It was, admittedly and perhaps selfishly, at my urging since I had lived here throughout the decade of the 80s and had found the experience remarkable and refreshing, both personally and professionally.
It was a good decision then.
It remains a good decision today.
Horrific events of the past week – the fatal and senseless shooting of a collegiate baseball player from Australia – don’t change that.
Duncan retains it reputation as a classy community, one stronger and better than a single incident orchestrated by young, aptly named “thugs” who callously ended a young man’s dream, shattered his girlfriend’s future and twisted us all into a startling world of anger, disbelief, shock and sadness.
An innocent Christopher Lane deserved far better than that deathly fate on Country Club Road.
So, too, does our city.
Duncan, I told Julie and Grant as we considered our move, is a delightful place to call home, a small self-contained community recognized for its class and envied for its commitment to rising above similarly sized areas, to embracing a can-do spirit and creating a quality of life linked to excellence.
I mentioned well-kept neighborhoods, beautiful homes, good schools, a degree-granting branch of a regional university, supportive churches, an innovative and modern library, an incredible local hospital with impressive and diversified ancillary services, a specialized children’s health clinic, a workforce-driven technology center, a recreation, aquatic, meeting and theatrical facility the equal of any in the southwest, a tree-lined park that is home to a volunteer community band, a historic downtown, a championship golf course, historical museums and other amenities likely to please.
I shared with Grant, then an eight-year-old, the charm of a centrally located amusement park, the 100-year-old elementary school previously attended by his older brothers, storied Halliburton Stadium, Friday night football, youth programs, a multi-faceted sports complex and the one-of-a-kind indoor pool, gymnasium and exercise facility.
But more than places and things, I told them they would most enjoy meeting my friends, making their own friends, building new relationships, getting involved in a variety of activities and having the opportunity to help make a good community even better.
In a world full of takers, I said Duncan has many givers.
It was easy to list an arms-length long collection of worthy causes supported by our people, to cite endless examples of charitable work that aid those less fortunate, to note the presence of agencies and organizations here solely to address needs and concerns and to recognize efforts to build unity in our community by seeking ways to maintain a get-it-done spirit and attitude that has always been our trademark.
None of that has changed.
Duncan is the community I told them to expect.
We are not perfect, not without flaws, not without opportunities to improve..
Recent years have caused us to be more blue collar than white. Our conservative nature has embraced more Republicans than before. And our retail service segment has been altered by economics over which we’ve had little control.
But the core fiber of our beloved Duncan, America, remains solid and sturdy.
Through no fault of our own, we have been slapped by an isolated heinous act, the likes of which we have rarely imagined much less seen. We have been thrust in the middle of global politics and sensitive issues sharpened by competitive differences in culture, opinion and emotion.
We have been given a moment in the spotlight, the chance to properly respond, to set an example and perhaps to even bring a sense of normalcy to what has become a complexand compelling situation.
Let us meet the challenge and rise above any obstacles.
Let us continue working together to ensure our community truly reflects our values, our respect for life and our commitment to each other as we combat rumors and attempts by those who don’t know us to tarnish a reputation many worked so long and so hard to pridefully develop and project.
Duncan, I told Julie and Grant, was a marvelous place to call home.
It still is.
580 255-5354, Ext. 130
More than two years ago, our family made a decision to move to Duncan from Madison, Miss.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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- Governor, state Legislature have misplaced priorities