by Dwain Sehon
The switch for the leg lamp was recently clicked on Chickasha. It seems that opinions are divided on the new attraction. After talking to a wide range of people in different professions in conversations it seems that the opinion is slightly negative (maybe 42%) with about 20% in the Don’t Care camp. An exception was former military pilots that were mostly opposed. A proposal to cover the light posts downtown with lamp shades to tie in with the leg lamp was voted down unanimously by the City Council on Oct 17th after receiving negative citizen comments and glowing recommendations from the Chamber of Commerce. The proposal was again brought up for a vote in the November 7th council meeting with similar positive and negative comments with the city attorney recommending not doing it. It failed on a 4/4 vote that seemed to be proportional to the opinions about the leg lamp that I heard. Some of the people that were opposed to the shades on the light poles said that they had faced ridicule, intimidation and abuse from the proponents of the lamp shades. They were very polite at the first meeting and didn’t say anything like “You can shove that leg up your lamp” so the treatment they received was out of line. One person (that was in favor of the shades) saw a lamp shade mounted on the street after the lamp shades had been voted down the first time and it upset him. He thought that the policy set by the council had been ignored. He asked “what had changed?” when it came up for the second vote. His point was reflected by one councilman earlier in the Oct 17th meeting that said “why are you asking, you are gonna do it anyway”, which probably reflected the opinion of his constituents. The best comment from the council seemed to be we have bigger problems to solve than this, don’t let it divide us.
My view point is to listen to everyone and solicit their opinions – not to deride them for having the courage to speak up in a public meeting. No matter what side of the issue they are on. The idea that a few who think they control what happens – have to approve, holds their city back from its true potential. The opponents of the lamp shades might now favor the construction of a flagpole that is refrigerated to below freezing all year – so the proponents of the lamp shades (that gave them a hard time) can stick their tongues to it just like in the movie. It seems that the leg lamp steamroller inadvertently tapped a reservoir of resentment over the location of the Christmas Tree at any spot other than the original location at the East end of Main Street, where the “Tracks of Time” (aka Cow-Catcher) sculpture now resides. It could be moved in front of the Transportation Museum – Depot (to a more suitable location) and the Christmas Tree location restored next year, which would make many happy. But you might have to convince a few (Scut Farkus type) wealthy YOBs that they could make a buck from it first.
Pictures of the Chickasha Main Street with garland lights extended across the street have recently surfaced after a long search. It used to be a Christmas Town for real. Maybe someone could Click the switch on a project to find and install new ones. It seems to be a popular idea with the citizens there.
(YOB – A British term, antithesis of what a good boy should be – rude, obnoxious, bully, etc.)