GUTHRIE — The pistol shot didn't exactly go off on time Friday morning, but no one seemed to care. "It's wonderful,” said a smiling Dorothy Noble, 80. She got up at 4 a.m. and came from Snyder with her daughter to watch the re-enactment of when statehood was announced 100 years ago. "We love it,” she said. A crowd — on the brick streets outside the State Capital Publishing Museum — cheered as Hugh Scott fired a blank round just a few minutes past the official time of 9:16 a.m. "Oklahoma is now a state!” he shouted. Peter Lucht, 10, and his sister, Rebecca Lucht, 7, of Oklahoma City got to skip school to watch the fun. They weren't quite sure what to make of the re-enactment of the marriage of Miss Indian Territory and Mr. Oklahoma Territory on the steps of the Carnegie Library. The wedding didn't even have a kiss at the end. Peter said, "Nice actors.” Rebecca said softly, "She was pretty.” University of Oklahoma fan Kenneth "Happy” Batiste worked his way to the front of the crowd for the re-enactment ceremonies at the library. He pumped a beat-up OU football helmet up and down in the air any time there was applause. "Looks like it might have been used in 1907,” quipped one man who saw the helmet. "That's my team. That's my team,” said Batiste, 49, of Guthrie. "I had to bring it.” Plenty of people in Guthrie dressed in the clothes of 100 years ago. Andrew Winn, 10, of Tulsa wore black suspenders and knickers. He also got to wave Oklahoma's first flag, a white star and No. 46 on a red background, even though the flag was not actually adopted until 1911. "It was pretty fun,” Andrew said of dressing up. "Hey, you said you hated it,” Caroline Coatney, 9, of Tulsa said teasingly. Andrew denied ever saying that. "I love this,” he insisted. "This is fun.”
Who attended, who didn'tFormer state Rep. Frank Davis of Guthrie got to dress up as the territorial secretary and read the statehood proclamation signed by President Theodore Roosevelt. Davis said he was ready for the stiff wind. He had glued the pages of the proclamation to a folder so it wouldn't blow around. Coming from McAlester was Allen Cherry, 86, a friend and driver of former state Sen. Gene Stipe, who's had his share of legal troubles lately. Cherry's wife was Miss Semi-Centennial 50 years ago. "Gene wanted to come, but he couldn't,” Cherry said. "He's on house arrest. ... He really wanted to come to this.” The parade began with four jets zooming overhead at 11:30 a.m. "Scared me,” a boy said. Then came the motorcycles, the bands, the antique cars, the American Indians, the cowboys on horseback, the floats, the waving politicians, the siren-blaring fire trucks, the tractors and the square dancers. There were even nuns in this parade. And people stood for the American flag and for military veterans. The state song "Oklahoma!” could be heard at least 18 times. Mickey Kalman of Guthrie rode his antique bicycle in the parade. It's a high wheel with no brakes and no kickstand. He calls it a boneshaker. He, too, dressed in period clothing, a piece picked up here and a piece picked up there. His striped pants were his father-in-law's, who was a Baptist preacher. Some didn't have to come far for the events. The residents of one Guthrie assisted living center simply walked outside to watch the parade. Ruth Hopfer, 84, and Cledith Ochs, 85, said they loved the bands the most. "It was all great,” Hopfer said.
Frank Davis of Guthrie re-enacts reading a proclamation declaring Oklahoma a state Friday at the centennial celebration in Guthrie. BY DAVID MCDANIEL, THE OKLAHOMAN Oklahomans celebrated the state's centennial Friday with music, parades and re-enactments of the day 100 years ago that Oklahoma became the nation's 46th state.