The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

March 15, 2014

Place ‘Boomer’ in significant location

Twenty-seven years ago, Oakwood National Bank (now NBC Oklahoma) donated the sculpture “Boomer” to all citizens of Enid. This life-size sculpture was created by Enid’s own, renowned artist Harold Holden.   

When “Boomer” was placed outside of the then new Cherokee Strip Conference Center, I am sure none of us dreamed such an icon of Enid history would become controversial.

Artwork can tell a city’s history. “Holding the Claim” (Dillingham Gardens), “The Homesteaders” (at the museum) and “Boomer” are our story of the largest, most spectacular competitive event in man’s history.

Of the five land “runs,” the second and largest was ours, the race for the Cherokee Strip!

My family came to Enid in 1969. Enid was chosen for a number of wonderful reasons, not the least of which was my grandfather’s participation in the run of 1893. When I look at “Boomer,” I see my grandpa.

My family and friends have worked on a number of events over the years to promote our community, and “Boomer” has always been an asset.

“Boomer” was utilized in our “Great Land Run Bicycle Race,” the Covered Wagon Rendezvous and the much-televised Centennial Cattle Drive. We were proud when President Bush viewed “Boomer” on his walk around the square.

As the iconic identifier of Enid, “Boomer” deserves a place of honor for our visitors to admire. Those of us close to Enid by birth, family connection or just time itself are proud of Enid’s history and would like to see this beautiful sculpture placed in the significant location proposed by Councilman Ron Janzen. It is the planter next to Independence Street, north of Convention Hall in the plaza area.

The vote is Tuesday night in the City Commission meeting. Please contact your council member in support of Janzen’s proposal. Our community, our citizens, “Boomer” and our resident artists deserve no less.

Dr. John C. Ogle

President, Cherokee Strip Booster Club

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