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.
A Christmas ride to remember
Eighty-year-old Gerald Marlar hasn’t ridden a bicycle regularly for decades, but he and five of his buddies are making certain Duncan children get that opportunity this Christmas.
It’s just one of many behind-the-scenes stories that makes The Toy Shop, started by Church Women United in 1944, a special place where magical things happen and selfless, giving deeds create bright, toothpaste smiles each holiday season.
Marlar, Bill Cope, Glen Peterson, Tom Stone, Ron Coon and Joe Norton have become modern day elves, logging hours in The Toy Shop’s busy bicycle room on Ninth Street, assembling two-wheel masterpieces of all sizes and colors for good little boys and girls and adding a dash of love with each one.
Whatever you call him, Santa is loved by all
Boys and girls of all ages, here is some festive poetic verse I know we all have stored in our memory banks. So, feel free to recite along:
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Generous Pho Pho...
Generous Pho Pho?
Fiscal impact of state question 766 for counties, schools, and career technology centers
On November 12, 2012, S.Q. 766 was on a ballot and went to the vote of the people to eliminate tax assessments on intangible personal property. What you might not know is that prior to the vote of S.Q. 766, legislation was already in place to prevent any NEW tax assessments on intangible personal property.
City’s new budget our plan for future
All eyes should be focused on members of the Duncan City Council and its professional staff as work continues in putting together a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
It is an important document.
It is a large document.
It is an expensive document.
It affects us all.
A word of thanks for unsung heroes
Conversations the past several days have centered on the weather with emphasis on bitter cold temperatures, treacherous driving conditions, inconvenience and a forecast that calls for little change in the immediate future.
Now seems an appropriate time to express our appreciation.
Affordable healthcare is here
The Republican Party’s angst against the colloquially named “Obamacare” is probably due to the millions of dollars they have wasted demeaning it. Whether they like it or not, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) can only be reversed if voters become lazy and allow Republicans to gain control of all three branches of our federal government. What both parties should do is look ahead to when the PPACA is fully implemented. Then, evaluate the final results when affordable healthcare for everyone is completed. A negative critique of a project at its inception is a wasteful effort in futility, politically and financially.
Ruling is in the hand of God
Last week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby, the landmark lawsuit addressing the constitutionally guaranteed rights of business owners to operate their company without violating their religious convictions. No date has been set for the case to be heard, but it is expected to be decided by June.
Decades later, shock remains
The memory is still vivid. Nov. 22, 1963. Shortly after 1 p.m. A Friday. Sophomore year in high school. Walking down the second floor hallway to an English class.
Over the public address system came a familiar voice, that of the principal. The announcement was shocking. President John Kennedy had been shot, possibly killed.
Laughter stopped. Jokes subsided. Conversations ended. Girls cried. Disbelief reigned.
Last week, visiting Dallas, I relived the horror and the feeling was much like that I recall 18 years ago. I was limp.
At least there’s a music soundtrack for Black Friday
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.
Filing opportunity opens for leaders
The opportunity is here. The window of time is brief. The importance of consideration is critical. And the decisions are important.
It is filing time for political offices, time for current leaders to re-commit, time for people with a vision to emerge, time for citizens to pay their civic rent.
The process begins tomorrow.
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- A Christmas ride to remember