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Will The Real Musk-ogee Please Stand Up?

Will The Real Musk-ogee Please Stand Up? image Will The Real Musk-ogee Please Stand Up? image
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MUSKOGEE. Okláhoma -- In the top country music song of 1970, Muskogee, Oklahoma is portrayed as the model city of the silent majority. Muskojeeans, according to the Merle Haggard song, don't smoke marijuana, don't (continued on next page) (from preceeding page) take trips on LSD, don't wear sandals, beads, or longhair. and "white lightninii's still the biggest thrill oí all. " Haggard recently gave a concert here, and 10 percent of the town's 37, - 000 residents turned out te whoop it up. The immense cheers ior two performances of "Okie" appeared a bit forced. No wonder. Muskogee is no model city; its pig department is going crazy and is on the verge of collapse. While Haggard was singing the city pólice -- those'who haven't been dismissed or suspended - were standing guard at the homes and businesses of City Councilmen and other officials. State troopers are patrolling the city, taking the place of the local pólice. And a group of angry pólice wives were demanding the ouster of the pólice chief. All this has been building up for some time. A new pólice chief, George Kennedy, was hired last year. Two previous ones had quit. One af ter his automobile was bombed and one after his home was fired into. So f ar, Chief Kennedy has dismissed nine men. This prompted the policemen's wives to picket City Hall, demanding Kennedy 's ouster and asking for an investigation of the city administration. The City Council promised an investigation but postponed it four times. On Dec. 10, Chief nedy announced that he had been inf ormed of a plot "by underworld elements" and city policemen to burn the music store of City Councilman Frank Broek. Brock's store burned to the ground the morning of Jan. 3. Firc Chief John Stevens said it was aïson. The f ir e was seen spreading through the building at 4:20 A.M. , and a pólice car was seen leaving the scène five minutes earlier. Soon afterwards other Council members reported receiving threats. Something weirdissure going on. Seems like it's tough, being an Okie. Maybe they just need sorae dope.