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Welcome back. This week I’m traveling to promote my book project and as always I am interested in the history of the locations I am visiting so I will start with 7777 South Lewis Avenue in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Construction on the Mabee Center at Oral Roberts University began in 1970 and the charismatic preacher Oral Roberts was just starting in the building business when it opened in 1972. Among his many other notable projects is the City of Faith Research and Medical Center. When it was dedicated in 1981, the Center was the largest medical facility of its type in the world.
In the 1970s and ‘80s the controversial Roberts raised millions of dollars for his ministries, reportedly bringing in eighty –eight million in 1980 alone. As for the Mabee Center, Tulsa oilman John Mabee donated a million dollars for the naming rights to the building and from the day it opened big name acts like Johnny Cash, Sonny & Cher and even Elvis Presley filled its seats. The center is not just for concerts, it has also hosted several NCAA basketball tournaments and it’s the home of the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles Men’s and Women’s basketball teams which leads me to this week’s scoop.
Got houseatosis from the cold winter weather? Check out a big time basketball game at a place where rich Oklahoma history. Tickets are cheap, parking is easy and the grub is good.
The life of evangelist Oral Roberts is an interesting one and one I’d highly recommend reading about.
While I was in Tulsa over the weekend I alsohad a chance to visit the fairgrounds where I found the much publicized Green Country Home and Garden Show in full swing. The Exchange Center Building at Expo Square was full of vendors and from what I was told the crowds were brisk on both days. There is always something going on at the fairgrounds and this weekend there was also a big flea markets as well as the big R&K Gun and Knife Show. Both events were well attended and vendors told me that gun sales were good.
Moving forward, this past week the good folks at the OK Mozart Festival announced the performers for this year’s concerts at their annual kick-off party. The lineup looks as good as its every been and I’m sure eager ticket buyers are keeping the phone lines busy. The internationally known festival is a real boost for Bartlesville and if you’re looking for great music of every type you don’t want to miss it. If you want a chance to attend some of the events for free, call the OK Mozart office and volunteer.
I’ll end this week with one more place that is well worth a drive. I know I’ve written a lot in the past about the Will Rogers Memorial and Museum but last week I had the opportunity to camp out at the Rogers ranch outside of Oolagah. If you’ve never been to the Dog Iron Ranch you need to put it on your list. Long horn cattle roam the ranch along with goats, burros and horses. The view of Lake Oolagah alone is well worth your time but when you add in the spirit of Will Rogers which you can sense there and the experience of standing in the same house where he was born, well it may just change your life a little. Take a picnic, there’s plenty of tables and the ranch is open from 8-5 every day. And it’s free- what a deal!
Coming up an interview with music giant Jim Halsey and his wife, artist Minisa Crumbo. Till then I’ll see ya down the road…