By BRIAN SMITH
Representatives from the Committee to Remember Larry Hagman spoke before the Weatherford City Council Tuesday night to give ideas on how to remember the Weatherford actor, who passed away last month.
Sherry Watters, a friend of Hagman’s for more than 20 years, said people have been getting on board with the idea of honoring Hagman with a statue, a street name and signage since the committee was formed after his passing Nov. 23. Watters was invited to a memorial service for Hagman recently and spoke to many of his fellow actors at the service and they were very much behind what the committee was trying to do.
“(Co-star) Linda Gray wanted to be here tonight,” Watters said. “She said she would be at any event or ceremony honoring him.”
Hagman’s generosity and pride in his hometown has spawned people wanting to do something to remember him.
“He has done so much for our community with his donations to the Doss (Heritage and Culture) Center, the cancer center and others,” Watters said. “This city is not over him. He was so proud of his town.”
Heather Castagna, executive director of the Doss Heritage and Culture Center, said the committee has reached out to the center to help raise funds for the project and the center is glad to help.
“It fits into our mission perfectly,” Castagna said. “We would be honored to have a statue of Hagman placed on our grounds and will be happy to help raise funds in anyway we can.”
The Doss Center is home to the Mary Martin and Larry Hagman Gallery, which has Martin and Hagman memorabilia items as part of the display. Watters said several citizens she and other committee members have spoken with many residents who would like to see some sort of memorial to him. Sculptors have been hired and some very basic sign designs have been discussed but nothing has been decided on yet.
Fred Ryle, president of Civic Development, Inc, which has worked on a number of city projects, said any opportunity to honor the lives of Hagman and his mother Mary Martin would garner the group’s support.
Council members appeared to be behind the project. Mayor Dennis Hooks said, that “it was a shame we waited this long” to do something.
Hooks asked if members from the Parks and Recreation board and other city entities could be placed on the committee, which seemed to gain member approval.