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Comments or Suggestions? PO Box 2405 Ada, OK 74821 (580) 421-7874









m uN I T Y L Com IFE



If you are a Pontotoc County, OK resident, you are eligible to receive a free subscription of the Ada Hub community guide. Email us at to request your free subscription.

features 6 THE HOLIDAY SHOPPER The single most important shopping day of the year for retailers.

9 FIRST NIGHT ADA Sounds like they’re off to a great start, again.

departments 5 EVENTS 10 BOOKS 15 CLASSIFIEDS

12 SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS This year’s event marks the 21st Spirit of Christmas Celebration.

Disclaimer: The Ada Hub community guide is published monthly by Bolitho Ventures, Inc. Copies are distributed FREE throughout the Pontotoc area. The publication is also available online at It may be viewed online or printed from our website for easy use. All rights reserved, none of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without the written consent of the publisher. Neither Bolitho Ventures, Inc. or the advertiser will be held responsible or liable for typographical errors, misprints, misinformation, etc., herein contained.


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December 08

events Live Music

■ 5 Kevin Pickett & Southern Rain (Red Dirt & Country) @ Legends $5 Cover 235-0050 ■ 6 Arlis Moon (Rock) @ ABC Sports Center $5 Cover 332-7070

■ 6 Brian Milson (Red Dirt & Country) @ Legends $5 Cover 235-0050

(Rock) @ ABC Sports Center $5 Cover 332-7070 ■ 14 Edgar Cruz (Guitarist Extraordinaire) @ St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Prelude to Christmas: A Festival of Lessons and Carols. Oklahoma’s top performing acoustic performing acoustic guitarist for over 10 years is coming to Ada. Cruz is an accomplished solo guitarist and instrumentalist who performs more than 200 times a year and tours USA, France, Italy, Mexico, and Peru. His work includes 16 CD’s and 2 DVD’s. Event is open to public, 5pm, free admission reception to follow.

■ 20 Jason Stringfellow & the Ordinary Cowboys (Red Dirt & Country) @ Legends $5 Cover 235-0050 ■ 20 Cross-Eyed Jack (Rock) @ ABC Sports Center $5 Cover 332-7070


■ 4 Valley View Annual Christmas Tree Silent Auction @ Main Street ■ 4 Holiday Parade: Parade of Lights @ Main St. 7PM call Cari Gray 4361600 ■ 6 All Nations Indian Pow Wow @ Agri-Plex

■ 12 John Kiley & the Light Horsemen (Red Dirt & Country) @ Legends $5 Cover 235-0050

■ 12-13 Battle of the Breeds Dog Show and Hunt @ Agri-Plex

■ 13 Arbuckle Express (Red Dirt & Country) @ Legends $5 Cover 235-0050

■ Special exhibit from artists Bill Roach (jewelry) & John Boettcher (painter) @ Old Bank Gallery: meet the artist party Dec. 6. 332-2781

■ 13 Shut Em Down Productions


■ 19 Fat Dixie (Red Dirt & Country) @ C4 $5 Cover 235-0336


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The Holiday H Shopper

by Roy Deering



arly morning, the waiting mobs outside the door, the rush at opening time.... they call it Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, and it’s the single most important shopping day of the year for retailers. For shoppers, it’s the most exciting shopping day of the year, and one that can – at times – get a little out of hand. “It gets pretty wild sometimes, but we’ve taken steps the last few years to kind of keep things under control a little better,” said Marilyn McElhannon, manager of the Ada Staples store. “We used to just open the doors and sort of keep out of their way,” she joked. “But then we started handing out tickets at the door for all the sale items, and things started calming down just a little. It’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s a day that all of us in retail know is going to be pretty wild.” This year’s Black Friday was November 28, and it once again “officially” kicked off the holiday shopping season. Hundreds of shoppers ventured out before daylight in search of bargains – braving cold temperatures and long lines. Most larger stores open early that day, some well before daylight – as early as 5 or 6 a.m. By the time the doors open, many shoppers had already been waiting outside their chosen store for several hours. “It’s a day nobody gets off work,” said Travis Tindle, manager of the Home Depot store in Ada. “But it’s also a day I really enjoy. It’s one of my favorite days of the year because it’s fun, it’s fast-paced and it’s exciting. We start getting ready a week or two before, getting in the items from the sale flyer, and then we get here really early that morning and get everyone ready.”

Both Travis and Marilyn said customers (of course) enjoy good weather when it comes to their Black Friday morning shopping. But the greatest majority of those shoppers will brave whatever elements greet them when it comes to the big day. “It’s usually pretty cold that morning, because it’s really early and the sun’s not up yet, and because it’s late November,” Marilyn said. “There are even bigger crowds when the weather is really nice, but even when it’s cold, or rainy or worse – the people still come out because it’s a big shopping day.” Ron Frizzell has been through more than his share of Black Fridays. This year’s event was the 18th for the JB Lumber and ACE Hardware store manager. “I don’t guess it ever gets old,” he said of the “Black Friday Mad Dash”. “We open at 7 a.m. and do about 300 or 400 transactions in the first two hours, which is really, really unusual for a store our size.” All three store managers laughed when asked to describe the typical Black Friday shopper, being careful not to offend those people who venture out before daybreak to hunt down bargains for the holidays. “It’s kind of funny sometimes to see men who come in with a flyer in their hand, or a list written out for them,” said Ron. “You can tell a lot of times they’ve been told by their wives to come in here and get a specific item or two, while their wives are off somewhere else getting other things.” Travis said he is amazed at the “transformation” that comes over some people on that special shopping day.


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firstnight A New Year’s Party for the Whole Family! by Roy Deering

“Not only did we have some terrific talent last year, and some really great activities for the entire family, but we had a peaceful, uneventful celebration last year,” and artists will highlight the evening that ends up with a fabulous laser light show at midnight. Last month, First Night Ada organizers made a special announcement that will likely draw an even larger crowd to this year’s event --- FREE ADMISSION. “We made that decision in hopes that we could draw even more people to the First Night celebration,” Tommye said. “It’s a big, big move by the board of directors, but I think it’s a great move. It will bring in a lot more people, make it an even more amazing celebration, and it will make the event even more memorable.” Nationwide, more than 85 percent of First Night celebrations are funded by their various host cities. But Ada’s event is entirely funded by community donations, making its success even more amazing. More than 2,000 people attended last year’s event on the ECU campus, and organizers are hoping for twice that many this year. Ada’s First Night event is the only one in Oklahoma, and Tommye said she and other board members expect the out-of-town crowds to grow as word leaks out about the success of the Ada event. “Not only did we have some terrific talent last year, and some really great activities for the entire family, but we had a peaceful, uneventful celebration last year,” she said. “The ECU police chief told me it was the quietest New Year’s Eve he’s ever had, even with 2,000 extra people on campus that night. As a parent, that’s the kind >

To the outside observer, the people in charge of planning this year’s second annual First Night Ada celebration must seem a lot like a little kid who keeps getting on the same terrifying roller coaster. She jumps on, despite the apparent danger, then realizes what she’s gotten herself into and begins to think she might never do it again. Then, having survived the whirlwind experience, she jumps off and runs to the back of the line to go one more time. Tommye Rafes and the other members of the First Night Ada planning committee don’t QUITE see it that way. They enjoyed the frenzied pace of last year’s planning, were thrilled at the event’s New Year’s Eve turnout, and were eager to jump right back into planning this year’s event. “It is a lot of work,” she admitted, noting that dozens of people helped throughout the planning process on the First Night Ada Board of Directors. “But we had so many volunteers through the year, and so many more that actual night of the event. It was better in many ways than we could have hoped for, but there were a few things we saw that we wanted to change – and we have. “That, we hope, will make this second year even better,” Tommye said. First Night is an alcohol-free, family-oriented celebration focusing on the use of local talent for entertainment. Local restaurants will be on hand to provide food, and dozens of local performers



of the month

A Letter to America Written by David Boren

David Boren is well known in Oklahoma. He was a Rhodes Scholar and the longest-serving chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee. The former U.S. Senator and Governor of Oklahoma has served as President of the University of Oklahoma for the past thirteen years. Boren begins A Letter to America by saying that our country is in danger of declining as a nation. “How can the United States, with only six percent of the world’s population, remain as a global superpower?” Boren thinks that major reforms are needed “to restore the ability of our political system to act responsibly.” He thinks, “One of our greatest shortcomings as Americans is our failure to be intellectually curious about what is happening to our people.” Many citizens do not participate in our political process or understand how it works. Some no longer trust government officials to do the right thing and have become cynical. National interests should be part of an ongoing bi-partisan effort to unite our country. Boren has many thought provoking ideas and most include working with other countries to better understand the rest of the world and to find common goals and joint solutions to problems such as the environment and world order. Boren says that “we must continue offering access to our universities to the best and the brightest international students and allowing many of them

to remain in this country after they are trained.” He proposes the formation of an International Peace Corps and a standing military force of leading nations to deal with international emergencies and enforce the work of international weapons inspections. This is a book for everyone to spend time with. It is a small book but with big ideas to stimulate thinking, creativity, and caring about our country, our world, and ourselves. “A nation that does not know how it became great will not remain great.”

Too Many Toys Written by David Shannon

Spencer, like many children, has too many toys. His mother and father trip over them. Toys are everywhere and he must part with something. When it finally seems that Spencer has been convinced to place some of these special treasures into a box to be given away he finds that the toy he can’t part with is the box. Spencer’s imagination and a box are better than all the toys. David Shannon is an excellent children’s author and illustrator who has written many children’s books including: No David, Good Dog, Fergus, The Rain Came Down, and David Goes to School. He has been awarded the coveted Caldecott Honor for his work. David Shannon lives in Southern California with his wife and daughter.

Check these books out at the Ada Public Library (580) 436-8125

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continued from pg. 9

of thing that excites me.” Among last year’s “big name” performers who will return this year are the McSwingers, Moonlighters and Chris Capstone. Moonlighters is a local big band group who will perform in the Stanley Wagner Ballroom where people will have an opportunity to dance, if they choose. Capstone, whose magic act last year left many residents wondering “how he did it,” will put on his amazing display in the Estep Center inside the ECU University Center. Once again, there will be arts and crafts and other activities for the younger attendees. Professional storytellers will be on hand to entertain the kids, and there will be an obstacle course and a “Science WOW” set up in the McBride Gymnasium as well. One of the most popular aspects of last year’s event also returns this year with the Battle of the Bands, although the 2008 version will be changed a bit to make it more exciting. “This year, we’re charging each band a minimal fee ($30) to perform,” Tommye said. “That’s really not much, but what it does is allow us to offer a sizeable cash prize to the winning band, since they get the whole pot. “I think that will help draw better bands to the competition each year as we continue, and therefore bring us better entertainment.” East Central officials have also announced they will make dorm space available this year, enabling more out-of-town performers a chance to attend the event – and perhaps even enticing more ECU students to stay on campus and participate in First Night competitions. Perhaps the most intriguing new addition to this year’s First Night celebration will be the Talent Show, to be held in the Dorothy Summers Theatre. That event is open to anyone willing to pay the $10 entry fee, fill out the paperwork to enter, and take the stage. The overall winner will have the chance at a later date to perform as a featured entertainer at the McSwain Theatre

when that theatre reopens in downtown Ada. Other featured performers on the slate for the 2008 First Night celebration include Okemah Native and recording artist Shawna Russell. The big night will end with an exciting midnight laser show. All in all, Tommye and other board members and event organizers have put together what promises to be a tremendous evening of entertainment, offering area families a safe, exciting and fulfilling event that seems to have grown tremendously in just one year. “I hope this community appreciates all the work the board and other volunteers have done to put this together,” Tommye said. “With so much financial help from the citizens and the businesses and organizations in this city, and with such incredible local talent taking the stage, this really has exceeded our expectations. Now, we just want it to keep growing and getting better.” Sounds like they’re off to a great start – again.


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Spiritof Christmas C e l e b r at i o n

by Roy Deering

“You know every year that this is something special, because you see children enjoying themselves who might not otherwise have a Christmas at all,”



One of the most touching images of the holiday season is the smile of a child at Christmas. Children around the world cherish those special moments -- the chance to sit on Santa’s lap ... the opportunity to unwrap a Christmas gift ... a chance to laugh and enjoy the spirit of the season. In Ada, the annual Spirit of Christmas Celebration offers those “special moments” to hundreds of area children again this year on December 16th at 6 p.m. This year’s event marks the 21st Spirit of Christmas celebration, and organizers say they hope this year’s gathering is bigger than ever. “You know every year that this is something special, because you see children enjoying themselves who might not otherwise have a Christmas at all,” said Shelly Bailey, city of Ada employee and member of the event’s planning committee. The event is under the direction of the City of Ada Recreation Department, headed by Dempsey Miller. “Each and every year, I cry when I watch the children who have the chance to take part in the Spirit of Christmas event. But this year, with the economy down so much and so many people having a hard time financially, we as a community have an even greater opportunity to do good for what is sure to be a lot of children.” Each year since the early 1980s, the Spirit of Christmas Celebration has offered a chance for area residents and businesses to “spread good tidings” by donating new toys that are then given to area children who come from financially struggling families. This year, the donation gathering began long before the holiday season

arrived, with committee members sending out hundreds of letters to members of the Chamber of Commerce. “We sent our fundraising letters to the people on the chamber’s mailing list, and that helped us get started,” Bailey said. “But, if there are people or businesses out there who didn’t get one of those letters, we certainly don’t want them to think we don’t want their participation. We invite anyone and everyone in the community to get involved and help us make this a great Christmas for these kids and their families.” Last year, more than 400 children had the chance to attend, each receiving a present, enjoy some tasty snacks and sit on Santa’s lap. This year, Bailey said workers would be on hand with digital cameras to take each child’s photo with Santa, and those photos will be printed out on site so that each child can take their photos home with them. Residents and businesses can donate new toys to the event, or they can also make monetary donations that will go toward the purchase of toys and also to help pay for snacks given away at the December 16th event. There is also a rather sizeable expenditure each year for wrapping paper for all those presents, as well as other expenses that have to be met through the group’s fundraising efforts. Money is truly important for the Spirit of Christmas effort. But Bailey said there are other ways residents can help, as well. “If people can’t donate monetarily, or don’t want to, they can also help at the actual event,” she said. “A lot of times we have civic groups, community groups, church groups or even



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continued from pg. 12

groups from local high schools who come and work tables – handing out presents, or working the snack table that night.” Bailey and other committee members are thrilled that the Spirit of Christmas has survived for more than two decades, but she said community participation is essential each and every year to make sure the event returns the following holiday season. “I’d be devastated if we had to stop doing it,” Bailey said. “It’s so very heart warming to see the smiles on the faces of these kids – sometimes to see the tears of sheer joy when they get to open the only Christmas present they’ll have all

year.” “For some of them, the Spirit of Christmas event is the only time they’ll ever get the chance to sit on Santa’s lap, too. So that’s something really special.” “It’s just a great event, and it depends entirely upon the good will and the generosity of the people to keep it going every year,” she said. For more information on donating or attending this year’s event, phone the City of Ada Recreation Department at 436-8101. This year’s celebration will be on December 16th, 6 pm @ Irving Center, 704 N. Oak

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1977 CJ5 Jeep 304 amc V8, 3 spd manual trans. Needs carb and rear-end work. 33 x 12.50 x 15 $3,000 O.B.O. (580) 399-3701

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new years resolutions

All Emergencies............................................... 911 Toll Free Health & Human Services Info.......... 211 Police Dept. ............................................332-4466 Fire Dept .................................................436-8076 Ambulance..............................................332-1334 American Red Cross .............................332-2402 Ada City Hall ..........................................436-6300 Public Information Office ........................436-8113 Ada Chamber of Commerce ...................332-2506 Pontotoc Co. Court House......................332-0341 Ada Post Office.......................................332-6124 Ada Public Library ..................................436-8124 Call A Ride ..............................................332-7950 Water, Waste Disposal: Ada City Utilities .....................................436-8140 Electric: OG&E ........................................... (800) 272-9741 Report Power Outage ............... (800) 522-6870 PEC .............................................. (580) 332-3031 Report Power Outage .............. (580) 272-1500 Gas: Centerpoint Energy....................... (866) 275-5265

next month...


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