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On the Road: Will Rogers Memorial

Posted at 10:52 AM, Nov 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-12 11:52:01-05

He was the original American pop star.

And that's the challenge at the Will Rogers Memorial.

In his day, Oklahoma's Will Rogers was the most famous man in the world.

Radio and film star, author, humorist, cowboy, man-about-the-world.

But for the most part, his legacy is a black-and-white one - which is why children's laughter sounds so sweet to Jennifer Rogers-Etcheverry, Will Rogers' great-granddaughter.

"Well, it is a challenge because as the generations go on, less and fewer people know who he was," Rogers-Etcheverry said.

Growing up in California, Jennifer didn't know much about her great-grandfather.

Then her grandfather, Will's youngest son, took the family to New York to see the Will Rogers Follies on Broadway.

"I had no idea, and even though that was a musical and a little fiction in there, I just wanted to learn more," Rogers-Etcheverry said. "And I came back to California and started shadowing my grandfather."

Now, she's in Claremore at least four times a year, taking a leading role in overseeing the Memorial, which is about to enter a brand new phase.

A modern future for a beautiful 70-year old building and the Oklahoman it celebrates, who once commanded the world.

The Memorial's about the enter its winter schedule when it's closed on Monday and Tuesday.

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