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October 14, 2012

Signed book makes its way back to Norman

NORMAN — Tim and Georjana Mauldin’s family copy of First Lady Michelle Obama’s new book, “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America,” finally arrived in Norman this past week after a cross-country journey of about 2,300 miles.

Mauldin bought the book at a local book store and took it with him to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., hoping to get Mrs. Obama’s signature on the book. That was the first 963 miles. A DNC staffer picked up the book at an Oklahoma delegation breakfast and vowed to get the signature.

The staff member didn’t get the signature at the convention but didn’t give up. He sent the book to Chicago and Obama’s campaign headquarters, another 620 miles. It was there that she signed the book.

The Postal Service took it from Chicago to Norman, another 713 miles.

The Mauldins will put the book next to a personally signed copy of the President’s book, “The Audacity of Hope.”

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The new head of Boeing’s Oklahoma operation had a bet with a co-worker. One said only about 5 percent of the California Boeing employees who were offered transfers to Oklahoma would accept the offers.

Mahesh Reddy thought it would be closer to 10 percent. To date, about 54 percent of those workers have taken the plunge and moved from the Long Beach plant to Oklahoma. It’s kind of Grapes of Wrath in Reverse.

A big selling point was a visit by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and other dignitaties. They flew into Long Beach and spread the word about the good things happening in Oklahoma.

Some of the workers for Boeing’s C-130 Avionics Modernization Program will come from other Boeing plants and others will be hired locally. They expect a total workforce of up to 2,000. In California, Boeing works with the local schools to help teachers train students in practical aspects of science and math. Look for similar efforts in Oklahoma.

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