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July 11, 2014

Douglass alums start gathering for weekend reunion

DUNCAN — Douglass School alumni reminisce about playing sports, buying candy for a nickel  and relaxing in the local dancing spot.

The Douglass school, which opened in 1937 before integration and closed in 1968, now serves as the Douglass Senior Citizens Center.

Alumnus Marcell Gigger, who enjoyed a meal at the center Thursday, graduated from Douglass in the mid-’50s.

While at Douglass, Gigger participated in basketball, football and track.

Gigger went on to attend Cameron University in Lawton to study biology and become one of the first black teachers hired in Duncan Public Schools.

He’s continued living in the Duncan community since graduation.

“It’s a good place to live and raise a family,” Gigger said.

Alumna Carol Martin traveled from Colorado to attend the school’s biennial reunion this weekend at the center.

“My teachers were compassionate,” Martin said. “Douglass was a fun school.”

Martin remembered watching Douglass drama teacher Robbie Hayes’ plays and the time magicians came to the school.

She said she moved to Denver in 1973 to help take care of one of her sisters.

“I come [to the reunions] for the fun and the laughter,” Martin said. “The first one was fun, colossal, people came from all over.”

Etta Jackson said she was raised in Duncan and also active in basketball at Douglass.

She said she moved to Texas for a while and came back to Duncan in 1985 to take care of her father. She said she enjoys attending the reunions.

“I enjoy seeing the people that have been gone a long time,” Jackson said.

Annie Newman, dubbed the songbird of Duncan by Martin, said she actually enjoyed her food at school, served by the home economics teacher, and playing basketball.“Douglass was the highlight of my life,” Newman said. “Douglass at the time was one big family.”

 

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Duncan Vice Mayor Mike Nelson talks during Wednesday's Duncan Rotary meeting.

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