Back to the Enchanted Circle

This week I am back in the beautiful Enchanted Circle region of New Mexico which has been a source of inspiration for my writing and has played an important in the development of Footprints in the Dew.  Merry Christmas to you all!

Welcome back. Mine Shaft, Powder Keg and Bad Medicine, there’s only one place in the world where you’ll come in contact with these bad boy ski runs and that’s coming down from the top of the 10,350 foot mountain range called Red River.  The history of this old mining town starts with the gold rush but nowadays its tourists that bring in the gold and with plenty of snow this year the local merchants should be hitting the mother lode.

Here are a few facts about a town that has a year round population of 600 but plays host to thousands of visitors each year: There are 41 lodging establishments, 16 restaurants and 25 annual special events including “Mardi Gras in the Mountains”, “Rivers & Brews Blues Fest”, and the “Harder than Hell” mountain bike race. It is also the only ski area I know of where elk, deer and yes sometimes bear walk right down the main street.  When there is heavy snow this is often the only pass open through the mountains.  Another great thing about the town is once you get there you don’t need your car because the ski lift sits right in the center of town surrounded by shops and eateries. Red River is 168 miles from Albuquerque, 260 miles from Denver, 285 miles from Amarillo and 612 miles from Bartlesville.

Once again Loretta and I will be adding a touch of mystery to our trip when we spend time with a ghost who was recently spotted roaming the halls of the historic St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico. When I passed through here a few months ago some paranormal investigators had bugged the place from top to bottom, making me afraid to even take a shower. Apparently things have been getting weirder there as they have recorded some more distinct but ghostly images.

I’ll be here and at the Angel Fire Resort for Christmas and I’ll be sending in a report on the snow conditions, the number of visitors and the beauty of this area called the Enchanted Circle next week.  Since our first visit several years ago Angel Fire Resort has been steadily growing and improving both their trails and their ski season activities. They have added a new C-4 Black diamond trail and have opened a Nordic Center for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Snowboarders will find more than a dozen freestyle features including reconfigured jumps and transitions. In addition I understand that they will have a torchlight parade and fireworks on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve which should be beautiful. They are also offering special lodging and skiing packages and will be serving gourmet Christmas and New Year’s dinners in the Elements Restaurant at the Lodge.

But first I’ll be stopping at a place that former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating and his wife call “God’s Country.”  The beautiful forests and alpine meadows that are filled with wildlife made Keating declare that “the UUBar is more like a state than a ranch.”  The UUBar lies next to the Philmont Scout Ranch and also shares a border with one of Ted Turner’s ranches. All three ranches are managed with an eye to conservation of wildlife habitat and the wildlife corridors between the three ranches. Good stewardship of their resources and the goal of protecting these spectacular places for future generations are the guiding principles for these owners and land managers. Along the way I expect to see plenty of elk and pronghorn antelope along with many other creatures that call this area home.

The Enchanted Circle also includes Taos, New Mexico where Easy Rider was filmed and where actor Dennis Hopper who recently died is buried. Off the road a piece between Red River and Taos is San Luis where the mutilated cows have been showing up and I know it would be interesting to spend more time there if time allows. The Continental Divide is to the west, the Carson National Forest is north, the Turkey Mountains are east and so my friends for the next two weeks you are in the Sangre de Christo mountain range where the average snow fall is 188 inches.  Till then I’ll see ya down the road….



Christmas in Oklahoma

The flow of a river is sometimes wide and slow moving and other times narrow and moving violently. This project is much like a river and so for now I hope you will enjoy a few Christmas stories from my weekly column.

        Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

Welcome back. With the holidays officially here this week found me at a number of grazing areas, commonly known as Christmas parties.

First up on December 1st was the Chamber of Commerce’s monthly members gathering which was held at the Johnstone Apartments which we locals know as the Hotel Phillips.  When the Hilton Garden Inn was completed last year, this elegant hotel was converted into a 55+ living complex and they are now renting out apartments.

During a tour of the building I saw some very nice (and affordable) multi-room apartments with full kitchens, computer hook-ups, good sized baths and everything else you might need for easy living. The newly re-opened Grille 66 also caught my eye and I discovered that it is open to the general public as well as to residents of the apartments. If the excellent chicken wings they served at the reception and the over the top friendly staff are typical of the restaurant I can’t wait to try it!

This was hard to beat but after the Business after Hours Dr. Everett Piper and his lovely wife Marci were hosting the annual Christmas party at Oklahoma Wesleyan University which also included a feast prepared by their outstanding food service company.  If you didn’t already know, the college also has a great cafeteria that is also open to the public. The food is wonderful and very affordable, and the cafeteria has a great setting right in the middle of the campus.

The party was held in the renovated La Quinta building which is now used for office space, meetings and special events. This building is the original H.V. Foster mansion and from the moment I set foot in the building I felt his spirit.  In the 1930s successful oil man Foster built his estate, which he called La Quinta, on 52 acres at a cost of $500,000. Edward B. Delk was the architect for the project and he became quite famous in his own right designing many other well known buildings including Country Club Plaza, Philbrook, Villa Philamonte and the Philtower.

After Foster’s death, his daughter Marie lived here and then an organization called the American Boy Academy rented the home. In 1941 the American Military Academy moved in and then in 1948 the facility was closed. In 1950 Central Christian College, an arm of the Church of Christ, took over the building but they soon moved.

Colorado Bible College from Colorado Springs took over in 1959, reopening La Quinta as Central Pilgrim College and a year later they merged with a college in California becoming Bartlesville Wesleyan College. Several years ago the college was renamed once more as Oklahoma Wesleyan University in recognition of its growing statewide and national reputation.

By now I think you all understand why I had to check out this beautiful historical building and the tour didn’t let me down. La Quinta has been restored from the basement (where I understand there used to be some big poker games) to the second floor bedrooms. The ornate carved woodwork,  period rugs and paintings along with original photos from a bygone era have been loving restored and contribute to a sense of authenticity so strong that I had to turn around twice to make sure old H.V. wasn’t standing there waving goodbye as I left. (source: Washington County A Centennial History.)

The Bartlesville library has a lot more information about La Quinta and the Foster family so if you’re interested, check ‘em out. As for me I wrapped this week’s festivities at the Members-only shin-dig at the Frank Phillips Home. As always the house is beautifully decorated, based on family photos taken when the Phillips still lived here. I get the same feeling here as at La Quinta when I walk up the stairs to the front door, half-expecting Frank and Jane to be there welcoming everyone inside. History is still alive here asmany of the members knew the famous oil man and his wife personally. We can not thank this group enough for their donation of not only time and money but the heart and soul they pour into maintaining the home so beautifully for visitors. The festive atmosphere, great food and drink and the camaraderie among the guests made me happy to support them. The home will be open through the holidays so don’t miss the chance to stop by and see the beautiful decorations.

And speaking of support: December is the official month for giving and yesterday I was incarcerated as part of the annual Muscular Dystrophy fundraiser. There are many worthy organizations in the community that need both time and money and there is no more generous place that I know of in America.

Till next week I’ll see ya down the road….


Christmas in Branson Part I and Upcoming Travels


I will be making several trips related to the project in the upcoming weeks and will continue to post my weekly columns. Stay tuned.

Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

Welcome back   As you read this, Loretta and I have completed a quick trip three hours east to Branson, MO which will be the kick-off of several travel adventures during the upcoming holidays which I hope you will find interesting.

Today I’m at the Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation family park or as we all know it, Silver Dollar City. I’m sure you have seen the TV ads showing the millions of Christmas lights decorating the park. You may also have seen excerpts from their Christmas shows and highlights from the numerous special events and giveaways they are featuring for the season. You may also be thinking that it might be too cold for a fall trip to the park so here’s a tip I learned on a trip there a few years back.

The Ozark Mountains trap heat in the valleys and Silver Dollar City also provides hundreds of outdoor heaters throughout the park so it is actually much warmer than you would expect, adding something even more magical to this place that has been making memories for families since the first show opened down in the holler.

Next week I’ll be bringing you the full story about sharing Thanksgiving in Branson with thousands of fellow Americans. Following that we will be returning to Austin and Dora Padilla’s place in San Luis, CO to do a follow-up on the story about mutilated cattle I wrote three years ago. While we’re in that area of Colorado and New Mexico along the Continental divide we’ll be stopping a night at the Hotel St. James in Cimmaron, New Mexico which paranormal experts all agree is haunted by ghosts from the past. We are also planning stays in Angel Fire, Eagle Nest and Red River, NM which is Prairie Song owner Marilyn Tate’s favorite place in the world.

If you missed the story I wrote awhile back about Angel Fire here are a few quick facts:

Ø      The base elevation of the slopes is 8600 ft. with a climb to 10,677 ft.

Ø      They can cover up to 52% of the mountain with manmade snow and have 5 high speed lifts and two sun kid wonder carpets

Ø      85% of the trails are groomed for beginner and what I call family skiing that everyone can handle

Ø      Angel Fire has the only nighttime skiing in New Mexico and has a shuttle service proving easy pick-up and drop off at different locations throughout the resort

Ø      The resort also features a ski in/ski-out lodge, top of the line food joints and short life lines, all within a short ten hour drive.

This New Year I am looking forward to bringing you more interesting and historical stories from places near and far. Till next week I’ll see ya down the road….















Roy Rogers 100th Birthday

This week I do not have any tangible news about the Australian film crew except that they did come to town and are still interested in the project. I will be giving you updates as soon as I learn more. In the meantime I will continue to post my weekly articles. I am getting ready to do some more traveling so I hope you’ll stay tuned.

   Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

Welcome back. Last week I mentioned the three day celebration held in Claremore to recognize what would have been Will Rogers’ 132nd birthday. Will was born on November 4, 1879 and on November 5th the birthday of another one of my idols rolled that I just couldn’t pass up writing about so this column is dedicated to him.

Leonard Franklin Slye was born on November 5, 1911 and would have turned 100 this year. Born and raised in Ohio, he worked alongside his dad as boy, doing farm work at first and then graduating to factory work and working as a shoemaker for the United States shoe factory in Cincinnati in 1920.

Looking for better work the family moved to California following the American dream but instead they ended up picking peaches for a nickel a load. The move did allow young Leonard to pursue his love of music and he joined his cousin Stanley Slye in his first musical group “The Slye Brothers.”  Leonard had learned to yodel in Ohio which was unusual in California and after The Slye Brothers band broke up in 1933; he brought that talent to several other western bands. The Rocky Mountaineers, International Cowboys, O-Bar-O Cowboys all led up to the formation of the Pioneer Trio in late 1933. When KFWB Radio host Harry Hall mistakenly called the group “The Sons of the Pioneers” history was made.

The group was instantly popular and in 1935 they records a song written by Bob Nolan entitled Tumbling Tumbleweeds for a Republic Pictures soundtrack. The film starred Gene Autry and before long the Sons of the Pioneers were on the fast track in Hollywood.  Leonard also began doing bit parts in Gene’s films and changed his name to Dick Weston. Then during production of Under Western Stars Autry suddenly dropped out and the directors were in a panic to find a new singing cowboy.

Leonard got the job and he gave himself a new stage name, taking the name of a man he admired who had just been killed in a plane crash in Alaska.  It would only be a few years until Republic Pictures and the rest of the world would know Leonard as the “King of the Cowboys.”

By now I think you all know I’m talking about Roy Rogers and yes he would have been 100 years old on November 5th. When he met Dale Evans, his third and last wife, he was already quite famous. They married at the Flying L Ranch in Oklahoma in 1947 after Roy’s second wife Arline died giving birth to their son.

The Roy Rogers show on NBC starred both Roy and Dale and ran from 1951 to 1957. This is where Trigger “the smartest horse in the movies”. Bullet, Roy’s German shepherd, Buttermilk Dale’s horse and all the other characters came to be famous.

I’ve interviewed Roy’s son Dusty several times in Branson and he told me his dad spent close to thirty years working with Trigger every day. He also told me his dad had two other Triggers, one for stunts and one for traveling as the original Trigger aged.

When the Old Man, as Roy called his horse, died in 1965 at the age of 33, Dusty said his dad just couldn’t part with his friend so he had Trigger mounted. When Bullet and Buttermilk died they were mounted as well.

You may have read that Trigger and Bullet the Wonder Dog were recently sold to RFD-TV to be the centerpieces of the Happy Trails tour crisscrossing the country. In celebration of Roy’s 100th birthday they will also appear on a float in the 2012 Tournament of Roses parade lead by 100 golden palominos and featuring Dusty and Dustin Rogers, singing Happy Trails. Roy was a parade rider for years and in 1977

He and Dale served as the Grand Marshals for the parade so this is a fitting honor for his birthday.

Roy made his last movie in 1976 but he continued to make guest appearances both in person and on the big screen until his death in 1998. Dale died three years later in 2001 and the pair are buried in Apple Valley side by side under a simple headstone.

Before closing this week I’d like to wish Will Roger’s grand niece Coke Myers who was born ninety- two years ago on November 12th a big happy birthday too! Till next week I’ll see ya down the road…




Chub Anderson and Gary Glanz

I think all of you who have been following this case will be interested in this article, particularly if you didn’t see the piece in Oklahoma Magazine. Things may finally about to break in the next few months. Stay tuned.

Welcome back.  The October issue of Oklahoma Magazine featured an article about unsolved murders in Oklahoma and in it private investigator Gary Glanz is quoted regarding the tragic beating and shooting death of E.C. Mullendore on September 26, 1970:

“We have got the answer. There was another man with Chub on the night of murder who helped cover it up. I am working with the D.A. in Osage County to resolve it.”

The article stated that an indictment could be pending.

Did Glanz get a death bed confession from Chub Anderson as he states in the article?

Did he and Anderson have the type of relationship that would lead Anderson to reveal his 40 year old secret to Glanz? And if he did, why didn’t the cops make an arrest if there was a co-conspirator in the murder as he stated. Well, this information and more may all come out in a new documentary that is scheduled to begin filming in the area next week. The film crew is from Australia and they produce a show with over 77 million viewers around the world which will be shining a light on this famous unsolved crime.

After I was subpoenaed by the Attorney General to appear before a multi county Grand Jury my own attorneys have recommended that I not comment on what I know or reveal my role in the story. What I can do is give you a little history on just who Gary Glanz is and how he came to be involved in this case.

Glanz started his career on the Tulsa Police force in the 1960s where he built a reputation for having a sixth sense about crime. Before long he decided that his true calling was in the P.I. business and with not much more than his instincts he went into business for himself in the late ‘60s. He received a call from E.C. Mullendore’s widow’s attorney just four hours after the murder and the three of them drove out to the ranch together early the following morning. This was the start of Glanz’s investigation of the murder, a crime he has said many times in print should have been solved within the first 72 hours.

“This was never a contract hit” he has stated, adding that he knew who killed E.C. and for $100,000 could prove that Mullendore had not committed suicide or arranged to have himself killed in order for his heirs to collect his life insurance. At the time his death benefit was thought to be the largest ever paid in the history of the insurance business. Although the murder investigation continued for the next three years, Glanz went on solving other cases and in 1973 the Wall Street Journal published a front page profile of him calling him a “Super Sleuth” and the best P.I. in the southwest.

As you might expect from a man who thrives on getting the job done no matter what the cost, Dirty Harry is his favorite movie and the weapon he carries is a Browning 9MM 15 shot  automatic customized with an inch and a half cut off the barrel and Smith& Wesson sights. He has said that he also packs a Walther 9MM 7 shot automatic and that neither gun has a safety. “If you’re going to pull a gun you have two choices, use it or eat it.” Now 72 years old, Glanz has traveled around the world working on everything from high profile cases to simple thefts and divorces usually solving his cases and solving the Mullendore murder would put the lid on his most famous case!

With all that said, I couldn’t leave you this week without mentioning the three day celebration in Claremore of the man who in my opinion was the greatest Oklahoman who ever lived. Will Roger’s birthday was this past weekend and the occasion was marked with parades, children’s theater, dinners with his relatives and much more. I think it would have made him happy to see how his memory and his influence have lived on. My friends Coke Meyers and Jennifer Rogers whom I met in August at the Rogers Ranch in Santa Monica were both there along with thousands of Will’s admirers of which I am one.

“They may call me a rube and a hick but I’d a lot rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the man who sold it.” Will Rogers.

Me too Will. Till next week I’ll see ya down the road…..



Ted Turner and The Land Report

This week’s post highlights information from The Land Report’s annual listing of the top 100 Land Owners in the United States which I find fascinating and I hope it interests you as well.

 Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 Welcome back.  You may have heard that old expression about land that “they’re not making any more” and this week after a recent visit with Eric O’Keefe I found out about some people who have taken that saying to heart.

Eric is the founder and editor of “The Land Report”, a quarterly magazine that is read coast to coast.  Stories about land stewardship and nature make for good reading and the real estate ads for property around the country feature prices that will make you happy to be right where you are.  Once a year it also includes a listing of the top 100 land owners in the country.

The big news that Eric was telling me about will appear in this quarter’s issue which is that Ted Turner is no longer the largest land owner in America.  John Malone, a 70 year old Denver businessman and chairman of Liberty Media, topped Turner’s little over 2,000,000 acres with total holdings of 2,200,000 acres! Eric says that the two are good friends and that Ted not only inspired John to be a good steward of his land but has also encouraged many of the other owners on the top 100 list to be responsible land managers as well. As three Oklahomans are on this list, as well as several other names you might recognize, I thought I would mention some of the highlights.

Number 7 are the King Ranch heirs with 911,215 acres. Today in addition to ranching and other interests, they operate their School for Ranch Management and their graduates are in high demand.

Number 10 is Stan Kroenke with 740,000 acres. He is also the owner of NFL’s St. Louis Rams, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Rapids and many sports franchisees. Look for Stan to be moving up the list!

At number 17 and based in our area, is the Drummond family with 400,706 acres. 100 years ago brothers Cecil, Gentner and AA started something special when they founded a ranch that today is part of a family dynasty that includes multiple ranches in Oklahoma alone. Conservation is an important part of the family’s cattle and farming operations and they have also become known for their community service.

Former Reebok Chairman and CEO Paul Fireman is listed at number 37 with 247,000 acres which is Jimmy Stewart’s old ranch, the “Wine-Gamble” in Nevada.

David Murdock who is one of the principals in Dole Fruit Company, owns 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lanai as well as thousands of acres on Oahu and holdings in California earning him the number 40 spot with 238,138 acres.

The Hunt family, whose oil business was founded by H.L. Hunt in 1934, is listed at number 51 with 190,000 acres which brings me to another Oklahoman who calls Yukon home.

Last week Bob Funk was quoted in an interview with The Oklahoman as saying that his Express Employment Professionals offices are on track to bring in 2.1 billion dollars in revenue providing job placement services. That my friends is a lot of people put to work! His interest in sport franchisees in Oklahoma long with his philanthropic activities would keep a man half his age busy. As the owner of several ranches in Oklahoma and the famous UU Bar in New Mexico, number 55 with 175,000 acres is Robert A. Funk.

The Piedra Blanca Rancho where the famous Hearst castle is sited comes in at number 63 with 153,000 acres. The Hearst family has become known for their grass fed beef cattle that graze along the coastal prairie.

The Bass family is listed at number 65 with 150,000 acres that include the former Chapman Ranch north of Pawhuska.

Number 90 is the Robinson family with 103,000 acres encompassing the entire Hawaiian island of Niihau and holdings in Kauai.

Last at number 100 is another Oklahoman with 90,574 acres. Aubrey McClendon is the Chairman and CEO of Chesapeake Energy in Oklahoma and this is his first appearance on the list of America’s 100 largest land owners.

Three Oklahoma families among the 100 largest landowners in the whole country, how about that!

That wraps up the largest land owners report from me. Let me know if I left you out.

Till next week I’ll see ya down the road….


P.S. After this article was published a member of the Drummond family contacted me, saying that The Land Report had made an error. Apparently all of the family’s holdings together come to about half of the 440,000 acres mentioned in the story.







Will James

This post highlights the life and work of artist Will James, the famous author of Smoky the Cow Horse. I had the rare opportunity to see a self portrait that James painted on the wall of a remote cabin in the mountains of New Mexico and that sparked my interest in his life and work.

Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

Welcome back.  After a recent excursion to a remote cowboy cabin located in the mountains at an altitude of 10,000 feet on Waite Phillips beloved UU Bar Ranch outside of Cimarron, New Mexico, I became interested in the life of Will James. James was a cowboy who had worked cattle on the ranch at one time and he had stayed in the cabin with other hands. A large self portrait that he drew on one of the inside walls was proof that he had in fact been there, along with other men some of whom simply carved their names on the surrounding timbers. “Chope Phillips 1939” is clearly engraved on the inside of the door as were the names and dates of others who are now just memories to everyone except the occasional guest at this historic cabin which was built in the days of the real cowboys.  There is no electric or running water here and at this altitude summers are short and winters are tough. My guide told me that 60 foot drifts are not unusual but no one stays up here in the winter except for hunters and at times the remote cabin on this part of the ranch can be completely inaccessible. I was also told that this rugged area is used for troop training by our armed forces because it resembles the mountainous terrain in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The ranch contains literally thousands of acres that are untouched by mankind and will probably never be developed in our lifetime.

Now that you have the setting back to just who was Will James?

According to the Will James Society, Will was born Joseph Ernest Nephtali Dufault in 1892 in Saint- Nazaire -d’Acton, Quebec, Canada. As a small child he began drawing on the floors of the family home but he always wanted to be a cowboy. When he was grown he moved to the western province of Saskatchewan where he learned to be a western cowboy but around 1910 he was accused of stealing cattle and fled to the United States.

In the states he changed his name to William Roderick James and began drifting from ranch to ranch doing cowboy work. After a brief time in jail for cattle rustling he found work as a movie stuntman and then enlisted in the U.S. Army from 1918-1919. Throughout these years he continued to draw and also to write about his experiences.

His first book, Bucking Horse Riders was published in 1922 and it was followed by several short stories and books, giving him enough money to buy a small ranch of his own and concentrate on writing and drawing full time. His most famous book, Smokey the Cow Horse was published in 1926 and three film versions were made of the story.

James also wrote a fictionalized autobiography, Lone Cowboy in 1930 which became a Book-of-the Month Club bestseller. His last book The American Cowboy came out in 1942, the same year he died in Hollywood, CA. In all James wrote and illustrated 23 books about the west and ranch life.

Till next week I’ll see ya down the road….



Waite Phillips and The Spirit of Generosity

Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

Welcome back. With the recent discovery of archaeological artifacts which were found last week during the remodeling of the Philtower in Tulsa along with the ongoing restoration of several buildings in downtown Bartlesville which are related to the Phillips brothers I thought a little history might be in order this week.

The year was 1932 and Waite Phillips had put together a 300,000 acre ranch just outside of the rough and tumble town of Cimarron, New Mexico.  Edward Buehler Delk, a soon to be famous Kansas City architect, had already started the process of designing and building what would become known as Villa Philamonte for Waite and when he was done Will Rogers, Wiley Post and many other celebrities of the era became regular guests.

The magical place that Waite and his family called home in New Mexico was also a working ranch and ran 3,000 head of registered Hereford cows and 9,000 head of Corredale sheep. The horses he raised were known throughout the west and there was a farming operation providing feed that made the ranch self sufficient. Waite’s original brand had been WP but after he found out that another ranch was already using that brand, he came up with the idea of cutting the “W” in half to make a “UU” placing a bar beneath it and so the UU  brand was created.

Waite believed that the place he had created and called Philmont was meant to be shared, not only with family and friends but also with kids. He had watched his son Chope and his friends grow up on the ranch, gaining the character and values he  felt were essential for young people and so in 1938  he deeded 35, 857 acres on the northern part of the ranch to the Boy Scouts of America. That same year he and his wife also donated their Tulsa home, Philbrook, to the Southwest Art Association to become a museum.

Three years later, after watching several groups of kids go through the scouting program at the ranch and being impressed with what he saw, Waite decided to donate the ranch headquarters, Villa Philamonte and an additional 91,538 acres on the mountainous western side of the property  to the Boy Scouts. He also gave them the Philtower, his 23 story office building in downtown Tulsa, as an endowment for the ranch.

This generosity is in keeping with one of Waite’s favorite epigrams: “The only things we keep permanently are those we give away.”

Today although the Philtower has changed ownership, the scouts still own Philmont and over 100,000 acres of land around it. Waite’s beloved UU Bar Ranch  butts up to Philmont and had been part of the original historic Lucien Maxwell land grant in New Mexico. The UU Bar was saved from development in 1996 by Oklahoman Bob Funk who to this day allows the boy scouts to have 24-7 access to the high point on the ranch that Waite Phillips wanted them to experience just as his son Chope and he had.

I’ll leave you with another of Waite’s favorite sayings: “ Real philanthropy consists of helping others outside our own family circle when no thanks is expected or required.” And with that I’ll see ya down the road….







What Really Happened…….

As the one year anniversary of Chub’s death approaches the interest in his life and his role in the murder of E.C. Mullendore III has not diminished. A recent article about famous unsolved murders in Oklahoma includes the murder and some possible new information about the case. In addition I have just been contacted by an international film company interested in filming a documentary about the case here. Myths and rumors continue to swirl around this forty-one crime, making me more convinced than ever that the truth needs to be told. In the meantime if you are curious check out (October 2011 Cold Case Oklahoma and look for an upcoming article in the Bigheart Times .

2011 Tulsa International Film Festival

This week I’m bringing you my weekly column which includes a report from the first annual Tulsa Film Festival. Films by James Cameron and Wes Studi were among the many new works featured at the festival.

             Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

Welcome back. I couldn’t let this week go by without mentioning theupcoming Cow Thieves and Outlaws Reunion which will take place on October 1st at our own national treasure, Woolaroc. You may have already read or heard about the great entertainment and good food at the event so that’s no secret. You might also guess that many of the attendees represent a “Who’s Who” of  local movers and shakers, a kind of rich and famous of Bartlesville and that is also true. But as a guest on this wonderful evening you will experience more than that. You will sit under the same bright stars that Frank and Jane sat under on their beloved ranch back in 1926when the first Cow Thieves and Outlaws Reunion was held.

Frank Phillips wanted this party to be an event that people would always remember where they could rub shoulders with real cowboys as well as rich businessmen and yes even outlaws. The business tycoons of the era, movie stars and outlaws such as Al Spencer and Henry Wells all enjoyed the beautiful view that you too will have eighty-five years later. The benches you will sit on down by Clyde Lake during the party once held the likes of Will Rogers, Tom Mix, Rudy Vallee  and any number of the hundreds of famous, and infamous, guests that Frank and Jane entertained at Woolaroc.

The party was also intended as a thank-you from Frank to the local community and that tradition still lives on. I hope to see ya there.

Speaking of special places, several friends just came back from The Canebrake in Wagoner and though its been some time since I’ve been down there for a good dose of relaxation, they tell me this unique, Santa Fe style resort just keeps getting better. If you haven’t been there yet, The Canebrake is a hotel, meeting center and restaurant near Lake Fort Gibson. The resort also offers spa services (which I’ve used and they’re great!), yoga classes and special events such as music and art exhibits. The restaurant showcases locally grown and raised produce, meat and poultry and the menu changes seasonally which is kinda cool. The rooms are in stand alone buildings with spacious private porches that are ideal for relaxing and enjoying the peaceful, natural setting on acres of woods and fields. But what truly distinguishes The Canebrake is the helpful, friendly and professional service guests receive. The owners, Sam and Lisa Bracken and their staff do their utmost to make every guest feel welcome and pampered. So the next time you need a relaxing weekend away check ‘em out. In the meantime you can find out all the details on their website,

I’ll wrap up this week with some details about the very first Tulsa International Film Festival which I attended this past weekend. There was a total of 180 entries including feature films, short length films, documentaries and youth entries. Having just returned from a much larger and well established film festival, I can tell you that that is a very respectable number of entries. Altough the attendance was somewhat low this first year, the festival organizers told me they had expected that. The folks who were there found themselves in for a real treat as many great films where shown, many of them for the first time.

Smaller crowds also meant it was possible to have one on one conversations with some of the directors and stars and having attended a few of these festivals I have discovered that they are usually very friendly and personable.

Now for a few of the winners:

 v     Best Actor:            Stephen Chamber for his role in The  Corridor

v     Best Actress:                Se In Kim for her role in Chung-A

v     Best Feature Film:         Face to Face which was filmed in Austria and is due for release here in October

v     Best Documentary:       Bringing King to China

Next week a little information about the “Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program” and how Oklahoma is missing out on millions of dollars in possible film production revenue.

Till then I’ll see ya down the road….