The Norman Transcript


September 9, 2012

City built Teen Center to keep kids drug-free

NORMAN — The 1970s were tough times for Norman’s youth. The drug culture that filtered down from college students into the high schools scared parents stiff. Something, they said, must be done.

That something was construction of a place for teens to just “hang out.” A drug-free zone where kids could relax, away from their parents, far from the police and their teachers.

The “Teen Center” concept had been tried in other communities. Churches and YMCA’s had experimented with the concept but it never really took hold. But that didn’t stop the Norman’s City Council from building one on the south side of Reaves Park.

The building, designed by RGDC, Inc., was built at the corner of Jenkins Avenue and Constitution Street. It included pool and ping pong tables and had an “early cave” design, meaning there were few windows. It’s now used as a garden center.

It was next door to the old “Building 92” recreational hall left by the Navy. Now that was a teen hangout. It had a gym floor and a cavernous design that included crawl spaces, hidden closets, stored Navy leftovers and lots of equipment, books and photos that no one knew what to do with when the base shut down.

n n n

Keith Parman has a treasure trove of similar artifacts, albeit these are family ones. He is going through photos, 8mm movies, newspaper clippings, old advertisements and other such memorabilia left behind by his late mother, longtime Oklahoma school teacher Lauretta Parman who died in 2010 at age 96.

“I’ve got pictures, pictures and more pictures,” Parman said.

A homemade movie, “Super Keith,” made with Parman and a sister made it to Youtube. A play script, “Oklahoma town,” was adapted by his brother Frank Parman and performed at the Renegade Theater on Main Street in 1976. His father, the photographer and educator, loved to incorporate visual aids in his teaching. His mother taught in western Oklahoma before coming to Norman in the late 1950s.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Why Comcast-Time Warner deal makes sense

    Say this about the deal announced Thursday for Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable: It’s big. Big price tag of $45 billion. Big combined subscriber base of 30 million households. And big risk of a veto from government antitrust regulators....

    April 12, 2014

  • Solid evidence within ice record

    In his November 10 Letter, Gary Reynolds misstated information in the October 27 op-ed by Catherine Hobbs, “New report says global warming is “unequivocal.” Mr. Reynolds incorrectly stated that Dr. Hobbs cited evidence from the 2007 UN ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Times two during April tax season

    Each April, it matters about which column the numbers fall into. Jerry’s first surgery for cataracts occurred in November and the other, December. “How’re you seeing now?” friends say....

    April 8, 2014

  • Soldiers home but not yet safe

    March ended with this uplifting news: For the first time in seven years, no U.S. soldiers died that month in combat. Not one....

    April 7, 2014

  • Fred Harris still sounds like a presidential candidate

    A tourist who happened to wander inside the Kerr Auditorium at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History Friday afternoon missed the introduction but caught the tail end of Fred Harris’ lecture....

    April 6, 2014

  • Latin inventors thrive — in U.S.

    If you think that Latin America is doomed to remain behind in science, technology and innovation — as one could conclude from the latest international rankings of patents of new inventions — you should meet Luis Von Ahn....

    April 1, 2014