NORMAN — Lifelong Norman resident and OU professor Bob Goins has been selected as grand marshal of this year’s ‘89er Day Parade, committee members announced today.
Goins will lead the 10 a.m. April 20 parade on Main Street. The annual event celebrates Norman’s founding on the anniversary of the land run of April 22, 1889.
An OU architecture graduate, Korean War veteran and resident of Norman for more than 80 years, Goins’ earliest memories are of his family home on Gray Street, where the library is located now. He played a key role in the design and implementation of Legacy Park and the plazas that tell the story of Norman's founding and growth, of the statue of his friend James (Bumgarner) Garner, and of a memorial to the men and women from the Norman area who have served in the armed forces.
“It really was a surprise. It just blew my socks off,” Goins said. He assumed the call from Bob Thompson was to request help judging the parade.
“You know this is a little bit like Mayberry,” he said. “Because the guy that has the carriage and the horse has been my barber for 35 years. If that isn’t Mayberry, I don’t know what is.”
Goins will get in the carriage just a few blocks west of where he grew up.
“I’m just really honored and can’t believe it,” he said. “My parents would be so proud. They had no idea this kind of thing could ever happen to their son.”
Committee chair Charles Hollingsworth said the committee was thrilled with the selection of Goins as the 2013 Grand Marshal.
“One of the first thoughts I had after his acceptance was how wonderful it will be to see the Grand Marshal Black Surrey with the fringe on top, which will be carrying Bob and Juanita Goins, approach James Garner Plaza as he played such a key role in the design and implementation of that Plaza, as well as, Legacy Park. His boyhood friend James ( Bumgarner ) Garner will certainly be pleased with the committee’s choice.”