The Duncan Banner


May 12, 2013

Final tribute to Capers fitting

DUNCAN — A community project birthed in 2004 has been revived and seems headed for completion.

Plans, started with a Reunion Dinner long ago, to create a photo, program cover and memorabilia collection to recognize permanently and prominently the contribution of Duncan’s Civic Auditorium Foundation Inc. and specifically, its 40-year series of 19 Civic Capers productions, is active again.

A steering committee, headed by Bob Schick and Sue Beall and including Sharon Schick, Tommy and Kaye Jones, Shirley Richardson, Bud and Martha Burger, Dwayne Brittain and Fluff Dixon Smith, is determined to make it a reality. Soon, they hope.

It is a display long overdue.

The foundation provided the foundation, if you will, for what is now the L.B. and Ola Simmons Community Activities Center.

A 1960 magazine article about the Jerome H. Cargill Agency of New York in the old Saturday Evening Post peeked Sharon Schick’s interest enough to share the idea of a community talent show with the achievement committee of the six-club Duncan General Federation of Women’s Clubs as a way of generating monies for a badly needed theater for performing arts here.

The agency, the article explained, would provide a theme show, music, costumes and a director. The community would provide a performing site, talent, a stage crew, behind-the-scenes support and enthusiasm.

Committee approval helped the Civic Auditorium Foundation Inc., which was formed in 1960, create a Broadway-like production, Civic Capers, and commit to an aggressive goal of raising enough money to build an auditorium.

The first Civic Capers was in 1962 at the old Duncan Junior High auditorium. The last was in 1999 at the Simmons Center. In between, and usually in the Duncan High auditorium,  hundreds performed on stage in shows that became biennial, thousands of appreciative spectators enjoyed their talents and monetary progress, though small and slow, was steady.

When community direction shifted to a multi-purpose design and concept, the foundation gave land it had purchased as a site for its auditorium to the city. Cameron University’s branch is located there now. And, overall,  it donated $286,169.77 to the 750-seat Simmons Center theatre.

Sharing that story, forever, is the committee’s goal.

Plans call for a collage of photos from Capers’ performances, of special folks responsible – Jim Clary, Mildred Weedn, Marian Brown, Nell English and dozens of others -- for the program’s success, program covers, newspaper articles and appropriate memorabilia to be displayed on the west lobby wall, just inside the main entrance to the theatre.

Previous attempts to gather that type of material were successful. But most of what was collected has been, inadvertently, lost or destroyed.

So, as the committee intensifies its work, it seeks your help.

It needs crisp photos from Civic Capers’ performances. It needs group photos of participants. It needs program covers and newspaper articles. It needs copies or duplicates instead of originals, unless you’re willing to part with the original. It needs color shots, if possible. And while it seeks identification of those in the photos, it is more interested in the photo than the names if that’s an issue.

Items should be submitted to the executive director’s office at the Simmons Center. A June 15 completion goal has been set.

All of what is collected will, hopefully, be turned over to a creative artist who, with help from the committee, can assemble the package and create a meaningful, professional and historic first-class display.

The once vibrant Civic Auditorium Foundation Inc. deserves no less. Neither does the Civic Capers series and those entertainers who breathed life into the remarkable productions.

It is a project long overdue, but it also one richly anticipated as a fitting tribute and a final chapter to a glorious era.                                                                                                       580-255-5354, Ext. 130

Text Only
  • Modern version of ‘Telephone’ hangs up on the truth

    Couple weeks ago, I stopped at a popular morning spot to get a caffeine infusion and encountered a meeting of a chapter of the Coffee Club Geniuses of America.

    July 20, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Zamperini, the Olympian and POW, was a hero because of his faith

    Louis Zamperini collected many accolades as an Olympic distance runner and brave bombardier who spent a month adrift at sea and two years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. But faith and forgiveness are what truly distinguished him.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff's helicopter could be put to good use in water crisis

    A story the other day in which Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney explained the advantages of having a helicopter gave me a chuckle.

    July 15, 2014

  • Technoman offers help on combating viruses

    Good day, Earthlings and others inhabiting the third rock from the Sun. Once again, 21st Century Technoman has dropped in to see what condition your condition is in. So, how are you surviving in cyberspace?

    July 15, 2014

  • Territory impressive as well

    For the next seven days, the world of golf will focus on Edmond, Oklahoma in general and Oak Tree National in particular as the revitalized club and course hosts the prestigious 2014 U.S. Senior Open.

    July 6, 2014

  • Our division is not as dire as some insist

    Am having an Independence Day hangover — and no, it’s not because of any libation I may have consumed during the holiday weekend.

    July 6, 2014

  • Election shared few surprises

    There were no significant surprises or huge upsets in last Tuesday’s election,  but there were some twists and turns of interest locally and statewide.

    June 29, 2014

  • Other voices talk about us and our nation

    It’s almost Independence Day and I could wind philosophic and poetic about this country I love and into which I was lucky to have been randomly spawned.

    June 29, 2014

  • Technoman is relishing art of daydreaming

    Friends and neighbors, greetings again from 21st Century Technoman, and please forgive me if it seems I’ve been ignoring those of you who need a little human contact in their otherwise techno-dependent lives.

    June 22, 2014

  • However dubious, Cooter is a famous American

    His name is indelibly etched in the American experience. For generations, his reputation has crossed political, social, ethnic and regional lines.

    June 15, 2014


Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

     View Results

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.