Claremore school district voters are facing a March 5 bond issue vote which brings to mind more than one historic story. Claremore voters know there was a time when Claremore was dotted with prefab buildings. Thanks to foresighted school officials and a committee of concerned citizens, a massive bond issue paved the way for what is now a model of school facilities.

But the time has come for more needs and next week is the opportunity to provide for Claremore children’s future.

I have always lived in the Sequoyah school district, but because of transportation needs and my work schedule, my sons attended Claremore schools. There was a time when both districts were having a bond election.

I made a deal with then Sequoyah superintendent, Olan Graham, who lived in the Claremore district. I would vote for his issue if he would vote for Claremore’s. It was a running joke for us for many years.

For those who might think because their children and even grandchildren are all out of school and they don’t need to approve this issue, I am reminded of a letter to the Chelsea Reporter in 1913-or ’15, by Will Rogers’ sister Sallie Rogers McSpadden, according to a Memory Moments story by Kathie Manning in last week’s Chelsea paper.

Known to scold citizens when the were remiss in their duties of voting, she boasted of the “source of greatest pride to every citizen of Chelsea is the magnificent high school building which crowns the hill at the head of main street.”

Seems they were getting ready to vote a small millage of additional tax for maintenance of the high school and the “well taught” grade school — and less than 50 citizens responded.

“It matters not if you are or not a parent, you should be found on the side of moral betterment of the town and it is your duty to carry this issue through,” she wrote.

I am proud of what I have witnessed in what the Claremore school system has done with their bond issue dollars. I have told superintendents here I wanted to follow the last pre-fab out of town. Hope we never have that situation again.

I’m with Sallie Rogers McSpadden. Don’t forget your privilege and right. Although I have taxable property in the Claremore district, I still live in the Sequoyah district and can’t cast a vote on March 5, but I would make the same deal with the likes of the late Olan Graham again in a heartbeat.

Pat Reeder

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