Chamber Chatter & Marlow Happenings 2013

by Debbe Ridley

Chamber Chatter - December 26, 2013

 
As  Christmas 2013 becomes  “part of our past,” hopefully some day in the distant future, it will be fondly remembered and spoken about by those who were a part of it.
 
As we often have done in the past, we are able to look back at fond Christmas memories of early day Marlow through the eyes and writings of Mrs. Elsie Howard.  
 
“The fall became winter, and with it came bitter cold northers which sent the sharp wind through our clothing.  Christmas came.  Our first one in the Indian Territory was a very memorable experience.  Our excitement ran high when we were told that the Baptist Church would have a Christmas tree!  We had never had a tree in our Texas community, so we were all excited.”
 
“We learned that each family might put the family gifts on the tree, which was also different because in our Texas home we had had [sic] a fireplace with a mantel where we hung our stockings.  Here we had only the box stove, with ‘Cypress’ and the horseman on its sides.  So surely this tree was the answer for Santa Claus, and our parents said we might go.”
 
“I stared in astonishment when we got to the church.  Standing in all of its splendor of colored paper, strings of popped corn, and all the other tinsel which the town could find, was a blackjack tree.  It was bravely holding bundles and boxes, and underneath were piled toys, dolls, clothes, and shoes.  It seem to hold everything but the children themselves.  There was stick candy tied on the tree branches, and an apple and an orange for each child, in boxes under the tree.”
 
“My heart danced and then sank to my toes each time a pretty doll was held up, only increasing the heavy lump in my throat.  Finally, my name was called, and although my doll was small and didn’t have real hair, it was mine and I was happy.”
 
Mrs. Howard actually put her memories to paper for her children and family in 1968.  In 1996 the pages were put together, with a foreword written by her son,  Julian A. Howard.   He said of his mother: “She was primarily a wife, mother and homemaker.  But she was more than that.  She was a community leader, a town historian and a great story teller.  She liked to say that she was of a generation which lived during our country’s history from ‘arrows to astronauts.’”
 
He further tells us, “She was born in East Texas, to the William T. and Talulah Ward family.  She was seven when her father and mother moved their seven children in two wagons, one drawn by horses and the other by oxen, to Marlow, Indian Territory.  They arrived in early 1895.”
 
“She grew up in Marlow, finishing the eleven grades of school that were offered at the time.  She and John A. Howard were married on the last day of 1909.”
 
“Marlow was a small town, on the western edge of Cross Timbers in what was to become, after Statehood in 1907, Stephens  County, Oklahoma.  The coming of the railroad helped to make Marlow a center for farmers and ranchers to market their products.”
 
As we finish out the final days of 2013,  from the Marlow Chamber of Commerce officers and Board of Directors, many, many thanks to all who contributed to the successes of 2013 in our wonderful community, and best wishes are sent out for a happy and prosperous New Year to all!
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Chamber Chatter - December 19, 2013

 

 

Have you thawed out yet?  Congratulations and appreciation to the wonderful (and hearty!)  folks who were a part of Saturday’s parade!  In spite of the cold, cold,  and windy weather, all the volunteers did another terrific job, and huge  thanks from the community goes to them. 

 

Appreciation  to Ray Christian and Dan Eberhart for making sure Santa arrived at the parade on time, with assistance from the Marlow Fire Department.  The ladies of Delta Sigma made all the visitors feel at home with their hospitality, complete with  coffee and donuts,  as the parade entries arrived.  Thanks, as usual, goes out to the Marlow  VFW Post 4888, and American Legion Post 9  for their efforts as they led the procession down Main Street.

 

The spirit of good will in the holiday season is  alive and well in Marlow, as our  local churches, organizations, schools,  businesses and individuals are  sharing  with those who might be having rough patch this year. 

 

Let’s see how Marlow handled rough economic times when “rough economic times” were REALLY  hitting hard.  This article from the December 17, 1931 Marlow Review gives us a window to look through.  “Christmas Spirit Proves ‘Catching’ As Annual Holiday Draws Near.  Only seven more days before Christmas!  Days, hours and minutes can be announced in record time ‘till Christmas’ by most of the hundreds of children in Marlow and community.”

 

“Disappointments this year will be kept at the minimum possible.  The efforts of churches, schools, the Good Will Society, fraternal organizations and communities as a whole reveal that the spirit of Christmas is as strong as ever and that even though many sacrifices have been made this year, the holidays will be observed in a fitting manner.   In town all churches are planning appropriate observance of  Christmas, either on Christmas Eve or at regular Sunday services.”

 

“Christmas shoppers who have put off their shopping or who did not intend by buy much this year, are expected to be busy during the remaining six shopping days before Christmas, making out gift lists and doing their bit toward giving and bringing happiness with the annual coming of Santa Claus.”

 

“Including Friday, only six shopping days remain before Christmas.  Marlow stores have planned schedules to accommodate the late Christmas shopper.  Many of the firms are now remaining open during the evenings until Christmas.  Local stores have on hand an ample supply of Christmas merchandise to accommodate the people of Marlow and the surrounding communities.  The colored lights, hung across Main street, and the small Christmas trees that have been placed in front of each store, have given the city a true Yuletide appearance.”  

 

As a “commercial” of sorts, 1931 Marlow Review was helping local businesses draw in shoppers. 

 

As we prepare to bid  a fond farewell to the  commercials and catchy jingles of this 2013  shopping season, we learn from brandingstrategyinsider.com that the world’s very first singing commercial aired on the radio on Christmas Eve, 1926 for Wheaties cereal.  The four male singers, eventually known as the Wheaties Quartet, sang the jingle.  The Wheaties Quartet, comprised of an undertaker, a bailiff, a printer and a businessman, performed the song for the next six years, at $6 per singer per week.   According to history, the Wheaties Quartet is  the reason we still have Wheaties today!

 

Of course, Oklahoma’s own B C Clark Jingle wasn’t that far behind when it was written and produced thirty years later in 1956.  And everyone would agree in 2013, “It’s just not Christmas without the B C Clark Jingle!”

 

In 2013,  from the Directors and officers of the Marlow Chamber of Commerce — we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

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Chamber Chatter - December 12, 2013
 
With a predicted high of 51 degrees, and cloudy skies — according to weather.com – this Saturday, December 14 sets the stage for perfect Christmas parade weather!  (As of this writing, that is!)
 
As a reminder,  the Chamber doesn’t require pre-registration, but if you haven’t yet, we do ask that you contact the office (580-658-2212) to find out where to line up that morning.  The only restriction we have is that no “imposter” Santas are included in your float or entry.  We’ve got a hotline to Santa and he assures us he’ll be here and in the parade.
 
For more detailed parade information, please visit the Chamber Chatter page on the Chamber’s website – marlowchamber.org – and scroll down through past articles.
 
With all the talk this year of “Black Friday,” “Cyber Monday,” “Green Monday,” and most importantly of all, “Shop Small Saturday,” it is  as if the Christmas shoppers of 2013 heard the advise handed  out in the December 11, 1930 issue of The Marlow Review.
 
Here’s what editor C.M. Anthony chose to share.  “KEEP THE MONEY MOVING.  The president of the American Bankers Association said a mouthful the other day.  ‘It isn’t how much money is in circulation but how fast it circulates, that counts,’ he said in substance.  ‘One dollar will do the work of two dollars, if it moves from hand to hand twice as fast.’”
 
“Money lying idle in bank is not working.  It is only when money is being spent that commodities move, factory wheels revolve, workers are kept on the payroll.  In reaction from an orgy of reckless spending, we seem to have swung almost as far the other way, into a state of mind which can only be called miserly.  People are timid about letting go of a dollar for any purpose and in communities all over the nation able-bodied men are peddling on the streets or taking money from charitable organizations for the support of their families.”
 
“This is more particularly true in the large cities; the country regions and small towns have not felt the depression as keenly as have the large centers of population.  Yet everybody in the United  States, broadly speaking, knows that money is not circulating as fast today as it was a year ago, and that people who owe money are finding it hard to get cash with which to meet their obligations.”
 
“That would not be the case if everybody who has something tucked away would spend some of it now for the useful, necessary things which are needed and which will eventually be bought anyway.  All kinds of merchandise are cheaper now than for years.  To buy the necessary things now is economy.  There is not a home in the land in which there are not some repairs to be made, some contemplated additions or improvements to be installed, some furnishings required.  To attend to those things now means putting money into circulation at a time when it is actively needed.  Ten dollars spent today will do the community more good that a hundred dollars spent a year from now.”
 
As you are doing your part to get money into circulation during this final stretch of Christmas season 2013,  please remember to keep your dollars as close to home as possible.  Let’s watch  as “one dollar will do the work of two dollars” right here in our own community.  Shop locally first!  It’s your friends and neighbors!  It’s YOUR town!

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Chamber Chatter - December 5, 2013

 

By now you know — and are no doubt happy to have learned — the Christmas Parade has been rescheduled for Saturday, December 14, at 10:00 a.m. The Lions Club Pancake Breakfast has also been rescheduled on December 14, from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. You may have seen the bridges in Redbud Park and the gazebo in the Hole-in-the-Wall which hopefully are helping set the festive tone for the holiday season.

 

Members of the Chamber Board of Directors donned their Santa hats several days ago, and decked the halls – not with bows of holly, but with strands of cheerful mini lights. When did this holiday tradition of decorating with lights first begin? We find out at wkrq.com that decorating a Christmas tree with light bulbs began not long after Thomas Edison created the light bulb. Before Mr. Edison’s “Eureka!” moment, candles were used in the place of Christmas lights. In the 1890s the first set of Christmas lights were used as a decoration around the Christmas tree or in the house by one of Thomas Edison’s associates, Edward Johnson. The wide use of Christmas lights in homes and shops started only in 1930 because the Christmas lights created by Mr. Johnson in 1890 were very expensive. The mini lights were first introduced in the mid to late 1970's. We hope many of you will also take time to use some Christmas lights to spread Christmas cheer in your businesses, homes and neighborhoods.

 

The Marlow Chamber is sponsoring a Christmas Decorating Contest, with winners given the bragging rights for best decorated within the city limits of Marlow in 2013. The Christmas Decorating Contest rules are simple. The categories are best residential, best business category, and best-decorated neighborhood – to be won by neighbors of four or more houses grouped together. The judging criteria includes creativity of theme, originality, visibility, and use of lights. The winners in each category will have a holiday sign placed in their yard or business to announce their award, and will be featured and highlighted in The Marlow Review. All those Christmas decorations are already beginning to be merrily displayed around town. Nominations may be made at the Chamber of Commerce office, 223 W. Main, or or call the office (580-658-2212) and leave a message. The deadline has been pushed back a few days due to weather conditions.

 

While we definitely hope you’ll include last year’s winners in your get-in-the-Christmas-spirit- tour of Marlow, they’ll be bowing out this year as far as the nominations are concerned. Winners of the bragging rights last year were: Best Decorated Residence Ken and Sherrie Austin, 1101 N. Broadway, and in the Best Decorated Business category the honors went to Baby Glam & Mama Too, 226 W. Main. The Best Decorated Neighborhood winner was the 800 block of Chickasaw friends and neighbors. How about a little Christmas light trivia from isnare.com? The 2000 movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” made use of over 52,000 Christmas lights during the film. Missouri’s Silver Dollar City dazzles visitors and tourists with an over 4 million Christmas light display every holiday season.

 

As you know clear Christmas mini lights may be, and are often, used to create a festive atmosphere at any time throughout the year. With that thought in mind, in the United Kingdom Christmas lights are more popularly known as fairy lights. We’ll go with that. Redbud Park and the gazebo in the Hole-in-the-Wall are now decorated with fairy lights! 

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Chamber Chatter - November 28, 2013

 

“Shop Small Saturday” – November 30.  It’s your friends and neighbors.  It’s YOUR town.   Enough said.

 

As we pause  to give  tribute to a day for family, friends, and thankfulness, these thoughts printed  in the November 22, 1917 Marlow Review,  remain timeless.   “THANKSGIVING By Rev. James M. Farr.  Thanksgiving is not a day; it is a habit.  We cannot be thankful on Thanksgiving day unless we have been learning how every other day of the year.  There are some simple rules: Walk on the sunny side of the street; live as much as possible in the best room in the house; think about your friends, not your enemies; talk about your good luck and not your bad.  These are some of the ways of acquiring the spirit of cheerfulness which is the only soil on which the flower ‘Thanksgiving’ will grow.”

 

Encouraging  the “spirit of cheerfulness,”   the annual Christmas parade is scheduled for  Saturday, December 7th.    The parade will start at 10:00 a.m., with line up beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the area around the high school building – with one exception.  The horses and horse drawn entries will line up in the parking lot of the new City Hall building at 119 S. 2nd, to be escorted to the line up area by the Marlow Police Department.   Adding to Marlow’s “Happy Holidays!”  atmosphere, the ladies of Delta Sigma will be in the line up area to assist and provide refreshments to participants.

 

Although the Chamber doesn’t require pre-registration, we do ask that you contact the office (580-658-2212) to find out where to line up that morning.  The only restriction we have is that no “imposter” Santas are included in your float or entry.  We’ve got a hotline to Santa and he assures us he’ll be here and in the parade.

 

The parade will travel down Main Street to First Street, with the Marlow VFW Post 4888 and American Legion Post 9 Color Guard leading the way.  Prizes will include cash prizes from $25 to $100 for the top four floats, trophies for the best truck, best original vehicle, best Christmas decorated, and best-modified vehicle, as well as Best Original Tractor and Most Unique Tractor.   Rosette ribbons will be given for the best decorated bicycles for children 7 and under and 8 and over.  

 

“Best decorated motorized off road vehicle” will include such entries as golf carts, lawn mowers and other motorized off road vehicles.   Participation ribbons will be given to the kiddos in this and the bicycle categories.  First and Second place trophies will be awarded in the Individual Horse Division, and First and Second place trophies will be awarded in the Horse Drawn Division.

 

The Lions Club has invited all parade entries and fans to stop by the Lions Den before the parade for a pancake breakfast with all the fixings.  Club members will serve breakfast from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.  Tickets are $6.00, and are available from members of the Lions Club.

 

Who knew?  “Jingle Bells” was first written for Thanksgiving, and then became one of the most popular Christmas songs – so says Christmas-celebrations.com.

 

Happy thanksgiving, and happy  holidays!  And, the most important seasonal  trivia of all – let’s all remember to SHOP LOCALLY FIRST!  And, last but not least, in this merriest of seasons,   hold in your thoughts the reminder of almost 100 years ago: “Walk on the sunny side of the street!” 

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Chamber Chatter - November 21, 2013

 

Where were you when the shots rang out? 

 

From the November 28, 1963 pages of The Marlow Review: “RESIDENTS OF MARLOW AREA JOIN CITIZENS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD IN MOURNING THE DEATH OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY.   Residents of Marlow joined with citizens throughout the world in mourning the death of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who died in a Dallas, Tex., hospital shortly after being shot by an assassin while traveling in a motorcade in downtown Dallas.  As local residents learned of the world shattering news, flags were lowered to half-mast as a three-day period of national mourning began.  Flags will continue to fly at half-mast for 30 days.”

 

“Thousands watched the history making events on television sets as little old ladies wept and children asked questions about the events of the day.  Looks of disbelief were seen on faces of citizens of all ages.”

 

“Two Marlow residents were in Dallas to view the parade on the fatal day when President Kennedy and Governor John B. Connally of Texas were shot as they rode along the parade route in an open auto with their wives.  Mr. and Mrs. O.L. Smith reportedly viewed the motorcade about five minutes before the assassination occurred.  After the shots were fired, Smith reported, the street was a mass of confusion.  The Smiths drove to their motel before learning of the fate of the President and Governor.” 

 

“Flags were flown with black streamers in downtown Marlow on Monday, the day of the President’s funeral in Washington, D.C. and burial in Arlington National cemetery.  Most businesses  in the city were closed from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in keeping with the proclamation by President Lyndon Johnson proclaiming Monday, Nov. 25, 1963 as a day of mourning for the late President Kennedy.  Brief memos were delivered to the businesses by a representative of the Chamber of Commerce requesting they close.”

 

“Special memorial service for the President were held in the junior high auditorium at 12:30 p.m. Monday, sponsored by the Marlow Ministerial Alliance.  Taking part in the services were Rev. Clyde Venfris, president of the ministerial alliance and pastor of the Assembly of God church; Rev. Tal Bonham, pastor of the First Baptist church; Rev. Clarence Ball, pastor of the First Methodist Church; Rev. Charles Smith, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene, and Rev. Stuart York, pastor of the First Christian church.”

 

Also taking part were Penn Rabb, Jr., president of the Marlow Chamber of Commerce and commander of the local National Guard, who led the pledge to the flag, and a group of Marlow high school students who sang the National Anthem.  Members of the group were Donald Brent Green, Marilyn Green, Patti Lewis, Leah and Kala Turley, Robert Perritt, Donnie Christian and Bill Warren.  Accompanying the group on the piano was Jimmie Taylor.”

 

“Doors of the churches in the city were open throughout the weekend and on Monday for meditation and prayer.  Classes were held at Marlow and Bray schools on Monday with special memorial services conducted during the day.  A short memorial service was conducted in the Marlow junior and senior high schools in the morning.  The program was broadcast over the intercom system and the various students groups were encouraged to discuss the various implications under the guidance of their instructor.  The students were excused to attend the community memorial service held in the auditorium from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m.”

 

“The Marlow grade school student body viewed the burial ceremony on two television sets that were borrowed for the occasion.  School officials felt that the value of this type of memorial service under the supervision of the school would be more beneficial and respectful than dismissal of classes and indiscriminate conduct of unsupervised students.”

 

Looking back over the events of the last fifty years –  since that fateful November day – we miss you John-John...... and prayers for “our little” Caroline.  

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Chamber Chatter - November 14, 2013

 

The Chamber office has  had   THE   call from the North Pole  double-checking on  the date and time for Marlow’s annual Christmas parade,  and  Old St. Nick has assured  us he’d be spending Saturday, December 7, 2013  in Marlow.  Why don’t you  make plans to enter this annual holiday event!?! 

 

The parade will start at 10:00 a.m., with line up beginning  at 9:00 a.m. in the area around the high school building.  One exception – the horses and horse drawn entries will line up in the parking lot of the new City Hall building at 119 S. 2nd, to be escorted to the line up area by the Marlow Police Department. 

 

Adding to the famous  Marlow parade hospitality, the ladies of Delta Sigma will be on hand to assist and provide refreshments to participants.   The parade will travel down Main Street to First Street, with the Marlow VFW 4888 and American Legion Post 9 Color Guard leading the way.  

 

Although the Chamber doesn’t require pre-registration, we do ask that you contact the office (580-658-2212) to find out which street around the High School  to line up in that morning.  A restriction to remember is  no “imposter” Santas are allowed on floats or other entries.  Again, we’ve talked to Santa and he says he’ll be here in person to help us celebrate during the December 7th   parade.

 

If you are a big parade fan, this might be your year to see it from another angle – as a parade volunteer.  It takes LOTS and LOTS of folks donating their time  on the starting end to make the procession flow so smoothly.  If you’d like to get a whole new appreciation for Marlow’s parades, just call  the Chamber office and we’ll sign you up!

 

Christmas cheer in Marlow will again feature a Christmas Decorating Contest, with winners given the bragging rights for best decorated within  the city limits of Marlow in 2013.   The Christmas Decorating Contest rules are simple.  The categories are best residential, best business category, and best-decorated neighborhood –  to be won by neighbors of four or more houses grouped together.   The judging criteria includes creativity of theme, originality, visibility, and use of lights. 

 

The winners in each category will have a holiday sign placed in their yard or business to announce their award, and will be featured and highlighted in The Marlow Review.  All those Christmas decorations will soon begin  to be merrily displayed  around town.   Nominations may be made at the Chamber of Commerce office, 223 W. Main, or marlowchamber@cableone.net, or call the office (580-658-2212) and leave a message.

 

While we definitely  hope you’ll include last year’s winners in your get-in-the-Christmas-spirit- tour of Marlow, they’ll be bowing out this year as far as the nominations are concerned.  Winners of the bragging rights last year were: Best Decorated Residence Ken and Sherrie Austin, 1101 N. Broadway, and  in the Best Decorated Business category the honors went to Baby Glam & Mama Too, 226 W. Main.  The Best Decorated Neighborhood winner was the 800 Block of Chickasaw  friends and neighbors.

 

We hope you’ll decorate your home or business, or at least get out, take a look around, and nominate someone who did!

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Chamber Chatter - November 7, 2013

 

Thank you to all the local businesses who gave shoppers a head start on their Christmas gift search last Sunday! Lots and lots of folks took advantage of the opportunity find out – and purchase – what Marlow has to offer for Christmas!

 

We look forward to the opportunity to honor our military veterans this Veterans Day, which is both a state and federal holiday in all states. The fall holiday was originally proclaimed as Armistice Day by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, and President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill for the holiday into law on May 26, 1954. The act was modified later that year replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and it has been recognized as Veterans Day since.

 

In 1920, Oklahoma’s Governor took matters into his own hands. From the pages of the October 28, 1920 issue of The Marlow Review: “NOVEMBER 11 MADE HOLIDAY BY GOVERNOR. Above a world torn with four long years of war and sorrow, agonized in body and soul from the torture of prolonged battle, with hearts and homes bleeding from the despotism and relentlessness of autocracy, on the Eleventh Day of November, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Eighteen, there was born anew throughout the earth the spirit of hope and peace.”

 

“To these United States, which had entered the world struggle that the ideals of justice and truth on which our government has been founded might be preserved with honor, this day marked another milestone in the victory of humanity and Christian virtue against the spirits of evil and destruction. With a burning patriotism and love of freedom, nearly five million of the young men and women of this nation gave their unreserved service that these ideals might be preserved. In battle, on the high seas, and by disease many thousands of these made the supreme sacrifice for the great cause.”

 

“In order that these principles for which we fought may be kept ever before us, and in order that the citizens of this State may in some way pay respect to the bravery and service of these departed patriots and to their comrades-in-arms who have returned to us, I, J.B.A. Robertson, Governor of the State of Oklahoma, do hereby set aside and proclaim the Eleventh Day of November, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Twenty as Armistice Day, to be observed as legal holiday in the State of Oklahoma. May this day be spent in loyal commemoration of the dead, of the heroes of our State, and in prayer for the future peace, safety and guidance of our nation, and all the nations of the world.”

 

“IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Oklahoma, on this the 25th day of October, 1920. (Signed) J.B.A. ROBERTSON, Governor. (Signed) Joe S. Morris, Sec. of State.”

 

We now have 7.6 million Vietnam-era vets living in the U.S., with another 4.8 million who served during the Gulf War, 2.6 million in Korea, and 2.1 million during World War II. There are no living American veterans of World War I.

 

As plans are being made for the December 7 Christmas parade, which will feature the Marlow VFW Color Guard Post 4888 and American Legion Post 9 leading the procession, we should remember that Public Law 829 also tells us to salute the flag at the moment it passes in a parade. Put the right hand over the heart, or give a military salute if appropriate.

 

It’s the least we can do.

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Chamber Chatter - October 31, 2013

 

We’d like to remind Chamber members  that nominations will be accepted for new members of the Chamber Board of Directors through tomorrow, Friday, November 1.  The Board meets on the second and fourth Thursday each month at noon, so prospective Directors should  be able to attend at that time on a regular basis.

 

To make your voice heard, please drop your  nominations to the office, 223 W. Main, Marlow, OK 73055, or e-mail the office at marlowchamber@cableone.net,   or give us a call at 580-658-2212.

 

As you probably know,   several of our local merchants will be hosting holiday open houses this  Sunday, November 3, to help you get started on your Christmas shopping list.  It’s also a great time to get out and about, find some bargains, and see the wonderful holiday –  and every day – items we have right here in Marlow.  Why not take advantage of this golden opportunity to shop locally, and keep sales tax dollars close to home.

 

As the holiday season approaches the Chamber office has been receiving calls from folks asking about a theme for the December 7, 2013,  Christmas parade.  As in years past, the theme is “Christmas!”  While some towns choose a different theme each year, it has been our experience that the very best and creative floats and other entries happen when your only limitation is your own imagination.

 

The  only restriction we have is that no “imposter Santas”  be included in your float or entry.  Following tradition, we’ve already talked to old Saint Nick and invited him to be our grand finale parade entry. 

 

Christmas cheer in Marlow will again feature a Christmas Decorating Contest, with winners given the bragging rights for best decorated within  the city limits of Marlow in 2013.   The Christmas Decorating Contest rules are simple.  The categories are best residential, best business category, and best-decorated neighborhood –  to be won by neighbors of four or more houses grouped together.   The judging criteria includes creativity of theme, originality, visibility, and use of lights. 

 

The winners in each category will have a holiday sign placed in their yard or business to announce their award, and will be featured and highlighted in The Marlow Review.  Before we know it, all those Christmas decorations will begin to pop up around town, and when that happens, nominations may be made at the Chamber of Commerce office, 223 W. Main, or marlowchamber@cableone.net, or call the office (580-658-2212) and leave a message.

 

While we definitely  hope you’ll include last year’s winners in your tour of Marlow, they’ll be bowing out this year as far as the nominations are concerned.  Winners of the bragging rights last year were: Best Decorated Residence Ken and Sherrie Austin, 1101 N. Broadway, and  in the Best Decorated Business category the honors went to Baby Glam & Mama Too, 226 W. Main.    The Best Decorated Neighborhood winner was the 800 Block of Chickasaw  friends and neighbors.

 

We hope you’ll get in the Christmas spirit, and decorate your home or business, or at least get out, take a look around, and nominate someone who did!

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October 24, 2013 Chamber Chatter

 

Another event is ahead offering  an opportunity for  an extra show of support of our local businesses and to shop locally.  With Columbus Day 2013 in the rear view mirror,  and another holiday days away, the National Retail Federation describes Halloween as “Still one of the most beloved and anticipated consumer holidays.” 

 

If you doubt it, get out and drive the streets of Marlow and check out the wonderfully creative  yards and dwellings  in many parts of this community.  One has to wonder what kind of fun, young-at-heart folks live in these lively decorated homes.

 

With good news for our local retailers, in a  September 23, 2013 article, the NRF’s Halloween Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insight & Analytics, tells us nearly 158 million consumers will participate in Halloween activities, slightly less than the survey high of 170 million people last year.  They report that those celebrating will trim their budgets, with the average celebrant expected to spend $75.03 on decor, costumes, candy and fun, down from $79.82 last year.  However, they said, “Overall, average spending on Halloween has increased 54.7 percent since 2005, with total spending estimated to reach $6.9 billion in 2013.

 

In an October 7, 2013 article, entitled “Traditional Costumes Favorites for Adults, Children This Halloween,” might give some insight on what creatures to expect on our doorsteps on October 31 this year.

 

The article tells us, “This Halloween there will be plenty of pumpkins, princesses, zombies and witches around town.”  Their 2013 Top Costumes Survey reveals adults and children will look to traditional favorites for their costumes this year.

 

It says:  “More than 5 million adults plan to dress as a witch this year and 2.9 million will dress as a Batman character.  Tiny tots have exclaimed they want to be a princess (3.8 million), an animal (2.8 million) or a Bat man character (2.5 million).”

 

If you’re the kind of folks whose whole families aren’t  included unless the pets are, “Fido and fluffy will be fashionable as well: 7.9 percent of people will dress their furry friend as a pumpkin.  Hot dog, cat and devil costumes follow for pet favorites.”

 

Just how much currency  does all this Halloween high-couture circulate into the economy?  From the September 23, 2013 NRF article: “According to the Prosper Insights & Analytics survey 43.6 percent of people plan to dress up and will spend a total of $2.6 billion on traditional and awe-inspiring costumes.  Specifically, consumers will shell out $1.04 billion on children’s costumes and $1.22 billion on adult costumes.” 

 

Believe it or not, “When it comes to pets, 13.8 percent of those celebrating will take the extra time to find the perfect costume for their favorite four-legged friend, and will spend approximately  $330 million.”

 

As you stock up on your Halloween “necessities”  in the coming days, remember to shop locally!  Can you say Trick or Treat!?! 

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Chamber Chatter - October 17, 2013  

 

October translates to “Halloween” and “trick-or-treating”  for lots of folks.  Here’s a  bit of Halloween trivia from care2.com.  “Halloween traditions of trick-or-treating and jack-o-lanterns were brought to America in the 1840s by Irish escaping the Great Potato Famine.  On Halloween, Irish peasants begged the rich  for food and played practical jokes on those who refused.  To avoid being tricked, the rich handed out cookies, candies, and fruit – a practice that turned into our present day trick-or-treating.”

 

In a report  of a plant closing last year, Hallmark announced  over the past decade, the number of greeting cards sold in the U.S. has dropped from 6 billion to 5 billion annually.  Does that include Halloween cards?  Halloween is the 8th largest card-sending occasion.  The first Halloween card was made in the early 1920's, with more than 28 million Halloween cards sent each year.  That translates to $50 million on Halloween greetings, at least according to the folks at purpletrail.com.

 

Of course, the greeting cards used by most people  to stay in touch would be Christmas cards. Here we are in mid- October, so there’s no denying  the holiday season is coming up fast.  Chamber directors and volunteers have been seeing visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, and are fine-tuning happenings to add to Marlow’s Christmas cheer and holiday spirit.

 

Many local businesses will set the stage for Christmas 2013 when they host Christmas open houses Sunday afternoon, November 3,  to offer bargains and a taste of what wonderful gifts you can find right here in your own back yard.

 

The Chamber-sponsored   2013 Christmas Decorating Contest will follow  closely on the heels of Thanksgiving, and the Christmas parade will be  front and center on December 7.  Any way you look at it, it’s time to start doing some serious thinking about “decking the halls.”

 

The  fourth quarter each year also brings up  some annual Chamber business.  Under our bylaws, it’s time for members to voice their opinion concerning the leadership of the Marlow Chamber of Commerce.  Just to make sure  our new members know, here are some established guidelines for the nomination process. 

 

“The control of the Chamber is vested in a Board of Directors composed of twelve (12) members.   No member is eligible for election as a director if they have not been a member in good standing for at least ninety days prior to nomination.  Four members of the Board of Directors are elected  annually.”

 

“The nominating Committee during the month of October will cause notice to be mailed or a news story of notice to be published in a local newspaper that the Committee will receive in writing suggested candidates for the Board of Directors.  The Committee, after careful study of the membership and suggested candidates received, will select nominees from the eligible members which would be desirable for a strong, well-balanced board.”

 

Just as a reminder, the Chamber Board meets on the second and fourth Thursday each month at noon, so prospective Board members should  be able to attend at that time on a regular basis.   Please send or drop off your nominations to the office, 223 W. Main, Marlow, OK 73055, or e-mail the office at marlowchamber@cableone.net as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, November 1.  Now that we are firmly planted in the fourth quarter of 2013, there’s no getting around it.  The holiday season is right around the corner!

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October 10, 2013 Chamber Chatter

 

Everyone knows next Monday is Columbus Day.  Many of us remember reciting “Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen hundred and ninety-two” as school children.  A bit controversial today,  Columbus Day may or may not be an observed holiday in your place of business, but it’s still considered a “major” U.S. holiday.

 

Here’s an excerpt of what history.com tells us about the holiday.    “The first Columbus Day celebration took place in 1792, when New York's Columbian Order–better known as Tammany Hall–held an event to commemorate the historic landing's 300th anniversary. Taking pride in Columbus' birthplace and faith, Italian and Catholic communities in various parts of the country began organizing annual religious ceremonies and parades in his honor. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus' voyage with patriotic festivities, writing, ‘On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life.’

 

“In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday, largely as a result of intense lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, an influential Catholic fraternal benefits organization. Originally observed every October 12, it was fixed to the second Monday in October in 1971.”

 

For a local viewpoint of the holiday  –  albeit an almost 100 year old local viewpoint –  this was taken from the pages of the October 14, 1920 Marlow Review: “COLUMBUS DAY.  Columbus Day is now a legal holiday in two thirds of the states, and will be generally celebrated in all of them before long.  The people are glad of this breathing spell in the long pull between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.  They are well pleased to have a day set aside in honor of the man who opened up this country to modern civilization.”

 

“In his time Columbus was regarded as a crack brained adventurer.  The successful men of wealth, the politicians of his time, scorned him, as lacking in ordinary common sense.  Yet while they are forgotten, the name of Columbus goes down to all history as one of the great benefactors of the race.”

 

“Everyone can have in his own life a little of the Columbus spirit, the willingness to try the unknown and venture out in search of better things.  There is too much of a tendency in a settled society to follow along the same old ruts.”

 

“But people who wish to learn from the spirit of Columbus, should read his life and note what an exceedingly practical man he was.  He was no dreamer starting off in search of a new Utopia which existed only in his imagination.  He had long pursued a sea faring life.  In order to pursue his career under the most promising opportunities, he had left his home to serve in the ships of the Portugese, then the best sailors of the world.  As a skilled mariner and map maker, his opinion as to the existence of a new world was no mere fancy, but a reasoned theory built on actual experience.”

 

“If in these present times, people can combine the daring of the adventurer, with the practical knowledge of the man who goes to the bottom of his subject, they will in their own way accomplish something of the achievements of the man whose fame is observed on October 12.”

 

Happy Columbus Day!

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Chamber Chatter  – October 3, 2013

 

Looking out this Main Street window, and when out and about town for various reasons, it’s easy to feel in the air that  we’re in the middle of a real, history making, benchmark era  for Marlow. Anyone passing through town just might feel it too.

 

Are we the first to be a part of something like this time in our history?   No, of course not.  We are simply stepping up to the plate – it’s our turn at bat.

 

It all started back in 1892 when the railroad came through.  Then, by 1910, it was time to take another step forward.  The January 20, 1910  Marlow Review gives us a look at our predecessors wake up call.

 

“This is a city of schools, churches, business and good citizenship.  We are proud of it and believe our entire citizenship are also.”

 

“There is not another town in the state of Oklahoma having half the commercial value of Marlow, in which you will fail to find a good, live commercial organization, the object of which is to boost the interests of the town in every way and particularly to see that the farmers who trade in the town have good roads and safe bridges to pass over.  Marlow has no such organization, or at least if we have one it is suffering from the well developed case of ‘hookworm.’  Will the business men of Marlow allow these matters to stand as they are?”

 

“And while we are awaiting, allow us to remark that Marlow should look after the road and bridge matter in this immediate vicinity, and unless it is done the commercial interest of the town will most assuredly suffer in the very near future.”

 

“Street work is needed and it seems that the amount of money available should be spent now before the busy season comes on.  It is also a fact that more can be done now because of the condition of the soil than can be accomplished for the same money in the summer.”

 

“It doesn’t cost anything to become a town booster.  You have thousands of opportunities each week to say good things about the town, call attention to its good points, create sentiment in favor of correcting the bad.  Boost public improvements, and influence the city officials to greater activity along the lines which tend to make a good town, and all these things can be done without cost to the individual citizen.”

 

“When a man leaves town for a few days and visits other small towns in the state, towns having no greater commercial value than Marlow, and finds nice sidewalks, well graded streets, nice shade trees and pretty lawns, a strong sentiment in favor of public improvements, in fact finds all those things which, taken together, to go make a town a pleasant place in which to live, upon his return he invariably expresses the mild opinion that it is a shame the way these matters are being neglected in the good city of Marlow.”

 

It can be repeated in 2013.  “This is a city of schools, churches, business and good citizenship.  We are proud of it and believe our entire citizenship are also.”  And, in 2013 we are doing our best to  to keep it that way.

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