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September 9, 1995

We are just one week away from the annual Cherokee Strip celebration and the old town is taking on a festive look. The Noble county free fair also opens next week, and that means a lot of things will be going on to entertain and enlighten this community. Fair and celebration week always point the way to the arrival of a new season, a slight chill in the air, the need for transitional wardrobes, the return of football (hot dog!), and divisional playoffs in baseball's big leagues. Great time of year.

Many store windows around the square are being decorated with articles to remind us of the 1893 land run when Perry was born. One of these is at Foster's Corner Drug, where the Otoe War Mothers have placed authentic Native American apparel and other items from their heritage. The window is decorated in memory of attorney Paul W. Cress, a particular friend of the Otoes who died earlier this year. We don't have too many chances to see such things any more, so I recommend you take a look at Foster's window. While you're at it, tour the rest of the square and see the interesting objects on display. This is another traditional part of our celebration.

The other day I wrote about the recent turnover in TV news people on the Oklahoma City channels, and that brought a query from Dorothy Lampe of the Sumner community. She wonders what's happened to the McCain brothers, Butch and Ben, who used to be the hottest duo in this market? Also, Dorothy is curious about Wayne Shattuck, the former Channel 4 weatherman. Where's he gone?

I don't know the answer to either question. I remember several years ago, when the McCain brothers first joined Channel 4, Ben as a reporter and Butch as a weather forecaster. They were teamed up in an early morning news/weather/feature format which quickly became the top-rated show in this area. Then they packed their bags and moved to Channel 5 where they continued to rule the ratings. The brothers also filled a lot of engagements as country and western singers around the state and even took a shot at Nashville. Then one day it was announced they were leaving Channel 5, and poof! They were gone, but I did not hear where they were headed. Some said their ratings had skidded alarmingly and some said they just wanted to pursue full-time careers as balladeers.

Wayne Shattuck seemed to be the No. 1 weather prognosticator at Channel 4 for a while, then Mike Morgan joined that station after a successful stint at Channel 5. Both brought us the weather reports for a while, but it seemed that Wayne was being eased out and now he is indeed gone. Likewise, Robbie Robertson left the Channel 4 sports desk and seems to be well situated as a pitchman for a major OKC car dealer, along with other enterprises. Robert Allen, another former Channel 4 sports guy, is doing OK as the voice of some area pro teams.

I'm really not trying to keep track of all those people. It just seems to me that the stations ought to tell us what's going on when one or more of their touted TV personalities is bounced or takes off for greener pastures. After all, they expect us to welcome them into our homes day after day, and that familiarity develops into a kind of proprietary attachment which seems violated when they are suddenly not there. It's a withdrawal syndrome that could easily be avoided with just a little understanding and communication from the TV poobahs.

At the birthday bash for Henry Bellmon the other night, guests were invited to come attired as their favorite politician. I saw David Dolezal, our county assessor, wearing knee-high leather boots and riding breeches. With his ample mustache and those dazzling white teeth, he is a dead ringer for Teddy Roosevelt. One thing, though. He needs to work on saying "BULLY!" in the explosive way Teddy did it. David's version is much too tentative.

It's good to see the city is continuing to clear out stumps and other unwanted growth from along the creek bed that drains across the north side of town from Fifteenth street out to the Perry stadium area. This project was started last year and it has gone a long way toward improving the flow in that creek after some heavy rainfalls. In addition to that practical aspect, the aesthetics are better, also. Our thanks to those responsible for carrying out and continuing this project. Jobs like that are the same as housework -- they just go on forever, and sometimes no one even notices.