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Organized Chaos


A weekly column by Citizen Managing Editor Jim Perry.
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1/14/2017 The Grim Reaper sits lurking on the western horizon. Gosh. Our only hope is that the weather guessers got it wrong. I know not what it is people like about winter. I just don’t get it. Winter would be fine, I suppose, if not for the weather. And Standard Time. And less sunlight....read more
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1/7/2017 The man. Absolutely. The man. Many would agree with me that about Gene Lewellen. I met him in the early 1990s. He stumbled into a umpiring friend of mine at the high school state tournament and said he needed help for the coming weekend. I first took the field with Gene for the ...read more
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11/5/2016 Go, Cubs, go! Go, Cubs, go! Hey, Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are gonna win today! Two weeks ago in this space I wrote that I could die in peace because my beloved Chicago Cubs had reached the World Series. My first words: “Let’s fly the ‘W’ one more time. “Truly, that...read more
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10/29/2016 One of the talking heads from behind a news desk in Oklahoma City a few nights ago dropped this bombshell on us. “Apparently most people are going to celebrate Halloween and do their trick-or-treating on Monday.” Really? Why on Earth would you celebrate Halloween on Halloween? ...read more
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10/22/2016 Let’s fly the “W” one more time. Truly, that’s all I need. I want more, surely. But all I need is to see that white flag with the blue “W” emblazoned across it flying above Wrigley Field. It was about 1980 when I fell in love with the Chicago Cubs. WGN became a regular on cabl...read more
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10/15/2016 It was Hello Apron, I think. Maybe Blue Fresh. Whatever were those scrumptious items we have pulled from our oven or stovetop the last few weeks. You know: The ones that are like Jiffy Pop. That popcorn allegedly “as much fun to make as it is to eat.” I’m still deciding on He...read more
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10/8/2016 It was perfectly Johnny Max. I pondered for an instant being angry but opted instead for a smile. And thanks. It was ages ago that my parents found their way to Dolese Park in Oklahoma City and watched me umpire a small-school state tournament baseball game. It was, if I remember...read more
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10/1/2016 The roar startled me. And I was only about a short par-3 away from it. It was 1994 during the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa. The last PGA — the one major championship he never won — for The King. He was nowhere near being in contention. At 65, he was past his prime....read more
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9/24/2016 A former publisher of mine wrote in a bit of a Bombeckian fashion. Oft she produced tomes decrying the never-ending duties of a wife/mother/homemaker. To which I oft found myself compelled to retort: “Yeah … so?” The woman who previously signed my paycheck wrote of cooking dinner...read more
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9/17/2016 Feeling blue? Got a headache? Nausea? Troubles sleeping? Double vision? Dazed? Confused? Sluggish? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you might have a concussion. Especially if you are a teenager. And involved in some sort of physical activity, be it organized football...read more
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9/10/2016 Seldom will anyone accuse me of being overly religious. Few are the times I’ve been told I attend church services too often. And rare is it for me to argue religion. Politics? Sports? The price of tea in China? All are fair game for argument’s sake. But I try my best to give rel...read more
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9/3/2016 Perhaps you are sitting there sipping your morning coffee while reading this oft-misguided missive. If so, please don’t spew it. Because at this very moment, you see, I am sipping a red beer. OK: slurping. “That’s a total waste of good beer,” the world’s wackiest brother-in-law al...read more
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8/27/2016 It was a bad idea pairing Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as opposing male and female actors. It was an even worse idea to put them on the silver screen. And have Steven Spielberg in charge of things. But in 1986, such was the case. They even had the audacity to label the worst 91 mi...read more
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8/13/2016 Nearly everybody collects something, even if all of us don’t admit it or realize it. Beer cans. Pop bottles. Trading cards. Autographs. Coins. Ex-wives. You name it, somebody somewhere collects it. Whether it be in a dusty attic, unkempt garage or neatly arranged, barometrically...read more
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8/6/2016 I tried gallantly. To no avail. If you can’t beat ‘em, I suppose, join ‘em. My efforts worthless, I will do so. The Smallville High School Class of 1976 will gather next month for its 40th-year reunion. I shall join them. The Smallville High School Class of 1975 should have enjo...read more
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7/30/2016 Three feet, it was. Maybe less. So why did the distance between the golf ball I stood over and the place I wanted it to go seem so far? Miles, I’m talking. A marathon distance. I breathed deeply. Slowly the blade of my putter began its backward movement. The ball and the hole r...read more
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7/23/2016 Remember when you were a kid and your ordered something. Through the mail, of course. T’weren’t any online ordering back in the day. You were advised in fine print to expect whatever it was you ordered in six to eight weeks. Today I am focused on the former, not the latter. Six...read more
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7/16/2016 I would write about the hottest news of the last two weeks were it not for Pokemon Go. Stop. It was late July 7 when I was headed home from Enid. I got a text from my wife — I know: no texting while driving — telling me of the ambush in Dallas. I fumbled with my radio until I fou...read more
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7/9/2016 Hey, Oklahoma City. Welcome to the big time. Yes. I know. Oklahoma City Thunder fans are feeling all bent out of shape because of the events of July 4. That’s when Kevin Wayne Durant opted out. Literally. Durant, who had seemingly sworn his allegiance to OKC, decided instead to ...read more
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7/2/2016 The building is 20 stories tall. Our lodging was on the 18th. High enough for the missus to be frightened. Not high enough for the grandsons to be worried much. Of course, looking out over the Gulf of Mexico might have something to do with the mood of the young ‘uns. That same gu...read more
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6/25/16 People will come, Ray. People will most definitely come. “They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. “They’ll pass over ...read more
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6/18/2016 Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I’ve been thinking about you plenty of late. I know you are pleased to have your lifelong mate up there and at your side. Her death has made me think so much of you. And what you would think about the man I have become. A score beyond your death and st...read more
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6/11/2016 We clashed about many things. We were from differing generations. Such was expected. But among the things I remember most about arguments with my father were about sports figures. Two in particular: “Pistol” Pete Maravich and Muhammad Ali. Or “Clay” as he called him. My father ...read more
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6/4/2016 The following originally was published on Jan. 19, 2013. The last few days, I have been in Hobart — “Smallville,” I call it — celebrating the wonderful, wacky life of my mother. Part of the trip included a trip to 1300 W. Iris, where the son of one of my high school classmates liv...read more
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5/25/2016 “Three to five days. Or less.” For perhaps the first time in my adult life, I failed to edit the words repeated to me. After all, I figured, it was at least second hand. The message, however, was equally humbling. Three to five days. Or fewer. That’s what the registered nurse...read more
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