I will be in Nowata from 11-1 today for a book signing-hope to see you all there-and by the way their food is great!
Just got back from another visit to OKC…..
Welcome back. How lucky we are to live in a part of the country that has such high quality museums around almost every corner. Before I get to Part III of the Crossbell Incident, I’ll start with a brief story about a museum I just discovered. Founded in 1986, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame is located at 4040 Lincoln Boulevard, just a stone’s throw from the state capitol. The museum features exhibits about the lives and accomplishments of 152 of Oklahoma’s greatest sports figures as well as 2 “teams of legend”. The exhibits are housed in a beautifully designed building and with an 18’ giant bronze statue of Jim Thorpe standing out front it’s hard to miss. Once inside, the layout of the building draws a visitors immediately into the exhibits and if you are a sports fan, it’s easy to lose track of time. These exhibits are guaranteed to bring back memories for a lot of us. I was there for the opening of a new exhibit about rodeo legends which included Clem McSpadden whom I hope most of you remember. Rubbing elbows with about 150 people, many of whom were members of the Hall of Fame was great fun. I also got the list of this year’s inductees: Jimmy Houston, Brian Bosworth, Scott Verplank, Joe Dial and posthumously, Bob Barry, Jr. and Leon Heath. The induction ceremony and banquet for this group will be held on August 1st at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. Friends it’s going to be some night and I plan to be there to tell you all about it. For information about the event call the Sports Hall of Fame at (405) 427-1400 and if you’re in the vicinity of the state capital, check this place out. Admission is free, the building is handicap accessible and there’s no charge for parking.
Also this past week I had the opportunity to attend the Saturday and Sunday performances of bull riding the PBR way at the Chesapeake Arena where as many of you know the Oklahoma City Thunder play. The arena is smack dab in the middle of downtown and it’s quite a treat just to drive by it. Once inside its very impressive with state of the art audio/visual effects, excellent seating and a whole range of amenities for attendees. With that said, here’s a little history about the PBR.
According to their website Professional Bull Riders, Inc. was founded in 1992 by 20 riders who left the traditional rodeo circuit to establish bull riding as a stand-alone event. Each rider invested $1,000 to start the organization. Today bull riding is the fastest growing sport in the country and those $1,000 investments are worth millions. The fellows who ride the bulls in today’s world also earn millions. For example, the 2016 World Champion J.B. Mauney, has won $6,683,283 during his career, not counting what he won in Oklahoma City this past weekend which was a lot. But it’s not only the bull riding cowboys that are making big money. The stock contractors who own the bulls can make it as well. According to the media guide, an average PBR bull is worth $10,000 but the highest quality bulls can bring $50,000 and the owner of the famous bull Bushwhacker turned down one million for him. The 2015 World Champion bull is Long John and his owners are from Ardmore, OK operating as D&H Cattle Co. They have several bulls in the top 10 and are set to break some records for money made with their stock. As for me, after seeing the beating those cowboys take, I’ll just buy my ticket and watch.
Now onto Part III and the actors Don Hawks has selected to play the main leads in his film, The Crossbell Incident. If you missed the first two parts of this series, the E/E has hard copies at the front desk. For E.C. it was veteran actor Jeff Osterhage. Well known for his parts in True Grit and The Sacketts, Osterhage also appeared in more TV series than I have room to list. The part of Chub was to go to Terrence Stamp who had played many tough guys in his career and had a wall full of awards himself.
I hope you have enjoyed this bit of history I discovered in the cardboard box Dale Kurtz gave me back in 2007 when I was just starting to write Footprints in the Dew which according to the Oklahoman is still the number 2 bestselling non-fiction book in Oklahoma
Till next time, I’ll see ya down the road…..