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PONCA CITY resident is Conoco model

Updated:
(PONCA CITY) - One day Muriel Goll of Ponca City was having ``grandma pictures'' taken and the next thing she knew she was a model for a worldwide color advertisement for Conoco.

The Wall Street Journal full-page color advertisement appeared May 7 and was a great day-late birthday present for 80-year-old Goll, and wonderful publicity for the town.

The ad's message is ``Very soon the world will descend on Ponca City, Oklahoma.'' And Goll is depicted as the welcoming hostess. The longtime Ponca Citian, and former Conoco employee, is shown holding a decorated cake with the greeting ``Say Hello to Ponca City.''

``I'm so pleased and gratified that this happened to me,'' Goll said. ``Appearing in the Wall Street Journal has been a marvelous experience,'' she added.

Not only did the advertisement appear in the Wall Street Journal, but also in other well known publications including the New York Times and Barrons, on May 7 and May 14.

The advertisement showed up in Business Week three times, and in Forbes once. Also in the Northeast regional issue of Fortune, and twice in Institutional Investor and Pensions & Investments, and once in Oil & Gas Investor and Leaders magazine.

Focus of the Conoco ``Think big. Move fast'' advertisement is the company's Ponca City project: Development of breakthrough carbon fiber technology.''

The ad ends with ``To find out more about the latest breakthrough from Conoco, log on to conoco.com. Or, even better, swing by Ponca City. We'll save some cake for you.''

For Goll, the adventure began with a phone call from her lifelong friend June Evans, who wanted her to go with her to have ``grandma pictures made'' at RSVP. When they got there a lot of ``older ladies'' that she knew were waiting in line to have ``grandma photos'' taken.

She had no idea that they were being screened for an ad, but did think it odd that the form she filled out asked for her dress size.

``Which I thought was a little strange,'' Goll said.

The ladies posed holding a little square cake. She didn't know why the cake was important, but thought maybe it had something to do with Mother's Day coming up.

This was on a Monday in March. On the next Wednesday, she was working outside and when she went inside, Marie Trenary from RSVP, called her. She had been looking for Goll, calling her friends and the bank.

It was then that Goll realized she was being interviewed for an ad. She talked to ``Linda,'' who wanted her to be photographed for a Conoco ad. Linda asked her if she could get her hair done on Thursday and be ready for a ``photo shoot'' on Friday.

At this point Goll was wondering if this was a scam and had no idea what a ``photo shoot'' was about. Linda and an agent and photographer, went to her home Thursday evening to look at some of her Sunday dresses.

However, Linda had brought a dress from Dillard's along and that is the attire that Goll wore for the ``shoot.'' The ad agency decided that a perfect setting was in front of the historic Civic Center.

On Friday, Goll went to the Chamber of Commerce, where she was to change her clothes. When she came in Betty Culver of the chamber staff said, ``So you're the Aunt Bea,'' and Goll said, ``I guess I can be.''

The morning photography session began at 9 a.m. and lasted until 11:30 a.m. when they broke for lunch. The cake wasn't real, but the Candlewick platter it was placed on was not only real _ it was heavy, according to Goll.

``We had fun doing it (the shoot). I would tease them saying ``Do you suppose someone glamorous will see my picture and think I need to be in the movies?' or ``Do you think an old boyfriend will see it and contact me?'''

When they stopped for lunch, Goll went home and then returned for another two hours of ``shooting'' from every angle that afternoon. When the shoot was over, she was told the dress was a gift, plus she was given a check.

One of the crew asked her if she had any connection with Conoco?

Goll answered, ``I worked for them and retired in 1972. My husband worked down there for 40 years.'' She said ``the fellow from Conoco said, 'I sure am glad.'''

Later, she began to get calls from her friends who had seen the ad. So she made a trip to the Ponca City Library and looked up the May 7 issue of the Wall Street Journal. Sure enough - she was featured in a full page advertisement.

For Goll, who has lived in Ponca City 60 years, 35 of those in the same house, it seems like modeling for the big time ad turned out to be ``a piece of cake.''

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