Most of us walk around with some tune or another stuck in our heads. For me, the last few days it has been the B.C. Clark jingle. Which drove me to the website and reading the history of it. Which got me to thinking about how, over the years and for us OKC natives, it has been a constant. I don’t want to to place too much importance on a silly commercial, but I think you know how a song can get
fused to certain memories.
The Jingle started when the class of ’74 was being born. It has been a constant through 10 presidencies, the Cuban Missile Crises, Viet Nam, and Desert Storm; through Urban Renewal, the Civil Rights sit-ins at Katz, just about the entire careers of Danny Williams (Dan-D-Dynamo), Foreman Scotty, and Ho-Ho; the changing of our phone numbers from WHitney to SUnset to just plain 78-something; the renumbering of our houses and streets to align with OKC proper; Saturday shopping trips “downtown” to the John A. Brown and Halliburten stores, and later to Shepard Mall and Sears, and still later to Penn Square.
And the purchase of my wife’s and my engagement/wedding rings from Jim Clark at the downtown store – still on our fingers 37 years later.
If you never left OKC, it probably doesn’t seem like much, but for us Okie expats, just hearing “the jingle” brings back many, many warm memories. And I couldn’t help but make the leap to a line from Field of Dreams.
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Ray, people will sing it Ray. They’ll sing the jingle for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll come to the mall not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive as innocent as children, longing for the past. … And they’ll walk into Penn Square; wearing Christmas sweaters on a cold December afternoon. They’ll find seats somewhere near the old Montgomery Ward, where they sat when they were children and dreamed of Santa riding a Norelco. And they’ll sing the jingle and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been the B.C. Clark Jingle. Oklahoma City is ruled by it like an army of steamrollers. OKC has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But The Jingle has marked the time. This jingle, this advertisement, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. Oh, people will sing it, Ray. People will most definitely sing it.
With apologies to James Earl Jones