The new Robson PAC

An evening, a performance, and a grand opening that will be remembered in these parts for a long, long time.

“Beauty and the Beast” was an opportunity to sit back in comfortable seats, watch a troupe of energetic young thespians do their thing on a gigantic stage, and listen to beautiful music delivered via a fantastic sound system.

That was the grand opening of the Robson Performing Arts Center in Claremore last weekend.

Frank and Ludmila Robson presented the $13 million facility to the Claremore public school system, the largest single gift ever given to an Oklahoma public school. Frank, with his family in attendance, including sister Helen Walton of Bentonville, Ark., cut the ribbon in time for the curtain to rise on time.

The Center’s inaugural performance, “The Beast,” by the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival based at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, ran for two packed-house nights and two matinees, and they were splendid.

While the musical was wonderfully entertaining to see, the Center itself stole the show.

From a huge, graceful entry to hands free restrooms, not a single detail seems to have been overlooked. The 70,000 square foot Center includes seating for 1,100, with not a single seat more than 85 feet from the 45x114-foot stage. There simply is not a bad seat in the house.

From the first note out of the sunken orchestra pit it is obvious that the Center is equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system. For the performers, there is not a weak spot on the stage. The sound, lighting and technical equipment is designed to accommodate any type of a production.

There are other performing art centers in Oklahoma, but there is only one Robson Performing Arts Center, and thanks to Frank and Lu Robson, it’s right here in Claremore.

For Pete Regan

So few are the bright faces on Oklahoma’s political horizon, but one shining star as a leader for today and the future is Pete Regan, who faces a run-off for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.

With a fine intellect, quality schooling and a burning passion for good government, Pete Regan holds the potential for long public service. The office of lieutenant governor, a suitable training ground for knowledgeable leadership, suits Regan’s already impressive preparation for leadership.

As an aide to former Govs. David Boren and George Nigh, Regan worked intricately with State Senate leadership including Claremore’s own Senator Stratton Taylor while he was president pro tem of the Senate.

Hard working, a bootstrap gentleman who has made his way into government leadership, Regan also was an effective chief assistant to U. S. Congressman Dan Boren during a critical learning period in Washington.

Regan was born, reared and lives in northeastern Oklahoma. But his perspective and experience has been in the highest places including personal studies abroad. In a shrinking world, Oklahoma must have leaders who understand the world market and international scene. Pete Regan fits that challenge.

In the primary run-off, Regan faces a well financed and wealthy challenger in Jeri Askins, the present minority leader in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. She is charming, squeaky clean and highly intelligent. Her qualifications as a former judge, state official and lawmaker are indisputably good.

But Pete Regan, on the other hand, owns charisma, ability and a passion for greatness that Oklahoma votes must recognize because of his incredible “come from behind” race during last month’s primary that placed him into the run-off with Askins.

With Donna and George Nigh as campaign chairs and former football Coach Barry Switzer endorsing Regan, the glow of greatness becomes a testimony from some of the most astute judges of character and leadership within Oklahoma.

Pete Regan should become Oklahoma’s lieutenant governor. Only the voters can decide.

The old curmudgeon

Astronomers say the universe may be 15 percent larger than earlier believed.

Do you think it would be possible for our astronomers to let one day go by without finding something that makes us feel even less significant than we did the day before?

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