Almost March Madness

One of my favorite sports seasons……

Welcome back.  With the end of the regular college basketball season fast approaching I took this week to catch several games starting with the Golden Hurricanes playing Cincinnati on Thursday night. It was a good win for Tulsa that night and as I got to the game early I had a chance to look over the ever growing campus that surrounds the Reynolds Center at the University of Tulsa. Friends it wasn’t that long ago that the property to the north and the west of the area was in bad shape but not now. New student housing has sprung up everywhere and construction is still going strong. Take a look around the next time you’re in town, it’s quite an exciting time for the University and the City of Tulsa.

That was Thursday. On Friday Oral Roberts’ Golden Eagles were playing their last home game of the season against Denver. Once again the fans weren’t disappointed. It was a close game from start to finish and I had the opportunity to sit next to Ted Hillary who is one of the regional advisors for referees of men’s basketball. Ted was in town to grade referees on their performance before selecting referees for the upcoming tournament. I watched this game from a completely different angle, through the eyes of a real pro. The game was played in the Mabee Center which still looks as beautiful as the day it was built.

After the game I took a midnight drive to Stillwater where the Oklahoma State Cowboys desperately needed a win on Saturday. As a “wanna be” student, I lived in this college town for several years in the mid-seventies and I can tell you it’s not the same old place it used to be, its better! New buildings have been built all across this campus as well and others are under construction. Even as a veteran of the college scene back in the day, I could still get lost out walking in the mornings on this new, expanded campus. I remember in the 1970s it was Bartlesville native Kenny Fox who was the king of the night spots in Stillwater.  I just did a story a few months back about Kenny having bars in all the big eight college towns but that was then. Now it’s Eskimo Joe’s and from the looks of things Kenny’s friend  and the owner Stan Clark is still going strong but there seems to be a new bar and restaurant on every corner. I also recently found out that Premium Beers which supplied Kenny with the brews for his bars just sold out. The history of this company, and its founder Denny Cresap, is quite the story. I’ll just be scratching the surface of this man’s interesting life but back in 1968 when he heard that the Budweiser distributorship in three counties including Washington County was for sale he and a personal friend Frederick Drummond, bought it for $26,000. Three years later Denny bought Frederick out and over the last forty plus years he ran the company as Premium Beers. In 2011 Denny sold out the beer business for a reported sum of over $180,000,000! What began as a one route, one employee business had turned into one of the country’s top Anheuser Busch distributorships. I recently had lunch with Denny over at Grand Lake where he has a home or should I say homes, and I’ll have more to tell you about this fellow in the near future.

Moving forward, many people have been asking me where they can purchase a copy of my book Footprints in the Dew in the Bartlesville area. Jude’s on Washington Boulevard and Yokam’s Custom Leather on Highway 60 are both selling it.

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