Stephenville, Texas

All the streets around the Donald R. Jones Justice Center are blocked off now but  I am at the center of the action, close to the courthouse  and surrounded by news trucks. This morning I was in the main courtroom  for the pre-trial hearing when they brought in Eddie Routh. He passed right by me with a blank stare, dressed in a blue suit with a burred haircut and glasses. The setting reminded me a little bit of my first meeting with Chub Anderson.

At the hearing Judge Cason approved the prosecutor’s request to photograph Routh’s tattoos.

In the morning two of Chris Kyle’s family members will be the first to testify.

Don’t forget: there are just 18 days left for the kickstarter campaign and many miles to go. If you have been sitting on the sidelines, now is the time to get on board!

From Oklahoma City to Claremore and A Visit with John Wooley

What better place to promote my project than a gathering of cowboys….

Welcome back.  A trip to Oklahoma City to promote my project had me holed up at night surrounded by buffalo in my Rialta motorhome on the grounds of one of the largest and busiest events centers in the country. Known as the “Horse Show Capital of the World” State Fair Park also hosts concerts, rodeos and lots of different arts and crafts shows. Throw in the big Oklahoma Youth Expo and the annual Oklahoma State Fair and it’s no wonder there’s something going on there constantly.

The facilities at the fairgrounds are also undergoing a major renovation and upgrade although the activities are continuing despite this work. The Express Professional Bull Riding competition was just wrapping up in the main event hall when I arrived and Montgomery Productions was already setting up a big tackle, hunting and boat show in the Cox Center. This show will be coming to Tulsa March 27th-29th and if you’re into fishing, hunting or boating this is the show for you.

Another Oklahoma City treasure which I plan on visiting soon is the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden which they claim is the number one attraction in Oklahoma and number three in the nation. Look for more on that, Bricktown, the fine museums and Stockyard City where the world’s largest cattle sale is held every Monday.

This week I also had the opportunity to attend a book signing for John Wooley’s new book Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park which is the history of a unique attraction created by Mr. Galloway when he built a gigantic concrete totem pole on his property in Foyil, OK and opened it to the public. After falling into disrepair following Galloway’s death, the totem pole has been restored and visitors can once again come to the park. Wooley’s book also offers insight into the life of Ed Galloway.

For those of you who may not be familiar with John Wooley, he is a native Oklahoman with a passion for Oklahoma history and western swing music. Wooley has written over twenty-five books, several screen plays and numerous comic strips. He was a staff writer for the Tulsa World for twenty-three years and is the host of Swing on This, a radio program devoted to western swing music which airs every Saturday night on public radio station 89.5. Among his many honors, Wooley is a member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. After reading the book, I am definitely planning a visit to the Totem Pole Park this spring.

The book signing was held in the Belvidere Mansion in Claremore. Despite my many trips to Claremore I had never been to this historic Victorian style mansion which was built by the Bayless family in 1907. The 9,000 s.f. home which includes a 3,200 s.f. ballroom on the third floor, is now owned by the Rogers County Historical Society. In addition to the ballroom which can be rented for events, there is also a tearoom and gift shop on the first floor.

Speaking of Claremore, I just learned that Woolaroc and the Will Rogers Museum have entered into an agreement to honor one another’s memberships. Now your membership card for Woolaroc will give you free admission to Gilcrease Museum, the Western Heritage Museum and National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Will Rogers Museum! You can’t get a better deal anywhere.

Moving forward, I have had many requests for updates on the future of the book I have written about the life of Damon “Chub” Anderson. I will be posting daily updates about the project on my website (www.originalbuffalodale.com) along with information about places like Ponca City where I will be speaking this Friday so stay tuned.

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

 

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Ponca City and The Famous 101 Ranch

I had a great time last night making a presentation about the book to over 100 people in Ponca City. The event was sponsored by the folks at the 101 Ranch Old Timers Association and they are a great group. More on them and the history of the ranch coming soon.

The kickstarter is picking up steam and I am very grateful to everyone who has supported it thus far! I hope everyone else out there who is interested in reading the book will get on board and help make this project a reality.

Farewell to a Good Friend, Gone Too Soon

I just learned that the services for my friend LeAnn Nelson, who died suddenly at the age of 48, will be held on Friday February 13th in Independence, KS. Her relationship with me and Chub Anderson began in 2009 when Chub moved to Regal Estate Nursing Home in Independence where LeAnn worked as the Patient Relations Coordinator. She became a friend to both of us and an advocate for Chub. Le Ann fought many battles on Chub’s behalf which are described in detail in my book. She was a wonderful person and I, along with many others, will miss her.

Footprints in the Dew: Kickstarter update

The death of my friend Lee Ann Nelson, who was an important person in Chub’s life as well, is a sad reminder that our time here is short.

The clock is ticking for the Kickstarter project too so I spent yesterday working the crowd at the opening day of the Tulsa Boat and Travel Show. Walking those concrete floors is hard on your feet and back but I met a lot of good folks.

For those of you who want to learn more about my project, come to Ponca City on Friday night. I will be making a presentation at 6:30 at 409 East Grand (the former Paris furniture store). The 101 Ranch Old Timers Association(580-763-3907) is sponsoring the event along with the Cherokee Strip Company (580-304-9721). Hope to see you there.

On The Road to Promote My Kickstarter Project I Visit the Mabee Center at Oral Roberts University

 

 

Its crunch time for the kickstarter project and I’m on the road to get as many people on board as possible. Please support the project and help me get Footprints in the Dew into print.

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…