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.
firstname.lastname@example.org 580-255-5354, Ext. 130
A community project birthed in 2004 has been revived and seems headed for completion.
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.
Bennett’s example a model for teachers
While there are a number of teachers within the Duncan Public Schools System worthy of attention for their work in the classroom, the selection of Tammy Bennett as teacher of the year for 2013-14 is no surprise.
Nominated by her peers and selected from a group of nine quality candidates, Bennett may well be a mold for teachers in the future.
Blessings surround us all daily
It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving Day is less than a week away. It seems like only yesterday we were all planning summer vacations, getting ready for a new school year or marking down key football games on a fresh, clean schedule.
Now, you’re looking forward to a nice visit with your family or relatives you don’t often see. Visions of that traditional, bountiful meal, stimulating conversations and a day far from the pressures of work are on your mind.
Giving thanks for things I ‘don’t’ have
Thursday, we’ll gather once again around the turkey, ham, clove-spiked chunk of Spam or whatever dish is the traditional family entree in your tribe.
It’s good we set aside at least one day each year to pause and draw strength from one another, and to give thanks for what we have.
However, on Thanksgiving Day 2003, I’ll be breaking with the tradition of acknowledging what I have and instead, I’ll be giving thanks for what I do not have. See, in the universal scope of have-ness, it’s the things I do not have that make me most thankful.
Special thoughts for Thanksgiving
As we enjoy the splendor of a beautiful holiday season, one that can’t be spoiled by recent dreary weather, let us all find peace, joy and comfort in the holiest of words taken from The Reformation Study Bible.
New owners offer stability, optimism
The acquisition of automobile dealerships for Chrysler-Dodge-Ram-Jeep and Chevrolet-Buick-GMC by Randy Byford and David LeNorman is good news for Duncan, Stephens County and southwest Oklahoma.
- More Opinion Headlines
- Affordable healthcare is here