Dedication: The Legacy of Fletcher Hardware

The arch over the entryway to Stilwell’s new Fletcher Park

A couple of years ago I did an episode about my hometown’s oldest business, Fletcher Hardware. Today the store is gone, but in it’s place is Fletcher Park. The park became a community vision on ground donated by the Fletcher family, a family that’s been dedicated to that community since it’s start.

In honor of the dedication of Fletcher Park, I revisiting the interview from that previous episode. Although the store may be gone, the dedication to things that made it a landmark still ring true.

1972: Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Vote

The election of 1972 ushered in the age of 18 year-olds casting their ballots and having their say. It was a tumultuous time in American history, one that reverberates to this day. We visit with Randy Pease, then an Indiana college student and one of the 18 year-olds voting for the first time that year. Our conversation casts light not only on 1972 or elections, but much more.

Our Kate: Ninety Pounds of Dynamite

Kate Barnard was elected to statewide office in Oklahoma before she could vote for herself. She was a young, progressive reformer applying her vision of society to the new state government…and making it stick. She became known as St. Kate to those that benefitted from her policies, but she was thorn in the side to those who sought to use their positions to enrich themselves. Hear the story Oklahoma’s pioneering reformer.

Bohemians West: A Story Of Political And Personal Freedom

Charles Erskine Scott Wood (we’ll call him Erskine!) and Sara Bard Field were introduced by none other than Clarence Darrow as progressives that should know each other. They both individually were activists for worker’s right and women’s suffrage, but together they advocated for Free Love. Their story spans many years and thousands of letters that reveal much about them and their struggles and the times in which they lived.

“Bohemians West: Free Love, Family and Radicals in Twentieth Century America” by Sherry Smith covers the story. The author spoke to us about the central characters, the correspondence and the writing of the book.

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