NORMAN — The C.R. Anthony store in downtown Norman has always been of interest to me. It carried Cub Scout and Boy Scout uniforms, blue jeans and plaid Cowboy shirts with real snaps instead of buttons.
It had a series of air tubes that somehow transported your sales ticket and your cash to an unknown person in a secret room. A few minutes later, your change and a receipt would return in that same tube. It just seemed so Jetsons to a 10-year-old.
But the real draw to the store was its escalator. To my knowledge, it was the only one ever installed in Norman.
On a campaign stop, Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony came to Norman and also recalled that escalator in his family’s store.
Later, kids rode escalators at Penn Square Mall and at the Oklahoma City airport and in other cities but none were as exciting as that first one-floor ride at Anthony’s. The building is now used by Arvest Bank and the escalator is long gone.
The Citizens Advisory Board for Cleveland County helps make life as normal as possible for the more than 500 children in the Department of Human Services custody here in Cleveland County.
The children are often bumped among foster homes and don’t always get a normal Christmas. Foster families are wonderful but can’t always provide gifts and other special needs.
In 2012, the CAB spent nearly $90,000 for basic needs such as food, clothing and medications for the kids. The Secret Santa program, lead by the head elf Jaci Williams, is asking the community to help provide gifts and special needs for the children.
Donations can be mailed to the Citizens Advisory Board at P.O. Box 1087, Norman, 73070. They’re also looking for Secret Santa shoppers and donors. Call 321-5999 to receive a Wish List.