Time for a week’s break from the Goldenberg Saga in order to promote good things happening in Stillwater during August and September.
Congratulations to the Stillwater Community Singers! They gave their 25th anniversary concert on Aug. 22. What an enjoyable concert it was with the group featuring Broadway show tunes.
The auditorium was practically full so there was a big crowd at the reception. The Singers always have great receptions.
At the concert, previous emcee Kyle Eastham returned to co-emcee with Kent Houck. Julie and Drew Boersma attended as Julie was the first accompanist for the Singers.
Over the time I have written this column, I’ve often mentioned the Singers. Part of the reason I mention them is because I write about Stillwater. In addition though, those concerts and receptions have such a community feeling. That sense of community is what makes them special.
At the reception, I often visit with people I rarely see and people I often see. I noticed Caryl Jobe, former Westwood teacher, is a new member of the Singers. I asked Dr. Jim Baker if he’d recruited her since he and her late husband John Jobe had written a book together. “She’s in my Sunday school class,” he responded. In other words, he recruited her.
I then asked Jim whether he’s still writing. The book he and Jobe wrote is delightful. Jim said, “I don’t have time to write. I work all the time, and I don’t even get paid for it.”
I also enjoyed visiting with Singers Bill Cooper and Larry Johnson. Larry has always been my piano tuner. I haven’t had the piano tuned in years though. I have “get piano tuned” on my list. Maybe 2020.
Thanks again to the Stillwater Singers. Stillwater can look forward to their Christmas concert.
OLLI courses are starting next week. If you haven’t ever taken part in OLLI, now’s your chance. OLLI offers courses on a variety of topics. I’ve never taken one that wasn’t both entertaining and educational. Pat Dorr is teaching a music class about the best of a variety of types of music. It’s worth joining OLLI to take one of Pat’s music courses.
Speaking of Pat Dorr – this isn’t an event but a funny happening. When John moved his law office several years ago, he got a new phone number. Unfortunately, the number had belonged to a Stillwater business that specializes in swimming pools. He still gets calls about swimming pools. A couple of weeks ago, I was at his office writing a column. The phone rang, and the caller came on the line to leave a message. “This is Pat Dorr. Our pool needs to be closed for the winter. I’m wondering when you can come out. Kathy and I will be gone part of this afternoon.”
I picked up the phone and said, “Pat, John isn’t here right now, but I might be able to come out and help later. I’ve never closed a pool, but I can try.” Was he surprised! He said, “You should put this into your column.” Good idea.
Several good happenings in the City recently:
1. Resolution on Supporting Statewide Vote on Constitutional Carry – The City Council voted for a resolution to support the state question calling for a vote on the Constitutional Carry bill the legislature passed and Gov. Stitt signed. The petition drive fell short but the number of signatures gathered in about two weeks should give the Legislature pause about that vote. We don’t need to be going back to the days of the Wild West. Having citizens with no license nor training carrying guns will be a hindrance to law enforcement and a danger to all Oklahomans.
2. A Stillwater group called “Ready for 100” asked the City to consider options to allow consumers to access more green energy. According to Norman McNickle, “Staff will work with the group to explore options for providing more renewable electricity to our customers. In six to eight months, recommendations from staff and the committee will be presented to the Council.”
3. The Recycling Task Force – McNickle said the City has received 30 applications for the committee. “This is the most citizen interest in a committee in recent history,” he observed. Appointments will be made at the Oct. 7 Council meeting.
4. Help for First-Time Homebuyers – The City is formulating a procedure that will help first-time homebuyers who might otherwise not qualify. Help with home renovations for existing homeowners is also being considered. The funding comes from leftover funds from a previous similar program.
5. Yatika Fields’ design for the painting on the wind turbine on Block 34. You can’t miss it now! If you haven’t seen Yatika’s mural in the OSU Museum of Art, you must see it. Such a talented young artist and SHS graduate. His parents Tom and Anita Fields are also accomplished artists.
6. The Stillwater Library’s series Americans at War started in September. This project is being done in conjunction with the OSU History Dept.
7. The Friends of the Library’s Fall Book Sale. This is another way to visit with people you haven’t seen in a while. I always see Peter Thomas and Lise and Jerry Wichert. On Sunday afternoon, I saw Linda Sanders leaving with a cart full of sacks of books – possibly 16 to 20 sacks. She denied buying any of them – her husband did it. For you regulars, especially the cookbook buyers – have you added your new books to the ones you haven’t read yet from last spring’s sale? My finds were two mystery classic hardbacks – Erle Stanley Gardner and Rex Stout.
In the column I wrote about July, I told about our neighbors Steve Hallgren and Gerry Auel’s success in climbing Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. I suggested people 70 and older could still have such goals. If you read that statement and said to yourself you couldn’t do anything at age 70 like climbing the tallest mountain in Africa, I have a surprise for you. Gerry’s 75th birthday present to herself was climbing that mountain. 70 is still young.
The Bayou Bistreaux at 622 South Main is now open! Joe Merrifield tells me they have wonderful bread pudding.
This may be the last week for Sugar Cube Cantaloupes. Jim Motes told me last week they might last another week or two if it doesn’t rain much.
No more cantaloupes is a sign fall has really arrived.
Julie Couch is a longtime Stillwater resident.