It looks like the best weather in years so come out and party at the historic Cross Bell Ranch! There’s still time to get tickets at (918) 336-8500 or www.eldercarebbq.org
Welcome back. The Tulsa, Oklahoma County Courthouse buts up to the Tulsa Convention Center, the newly renovated Mayo Hotel is close by and so is the old Tulsa YMCA building. The YMCA is no longer in the building which is undergoing a complete renovation and as you can imagine it has a rich history which I hope to write about at a future date. All of these buildings are in downtown Tulsa which was my location last week on the fifth floor of the courthouse where Tulsa County’s Sheriff’s Office Reserve Deputy Robert Bates was on trial for second degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Eric Harris.
Court usually started around 9:00 AM and reporters for all the major networks arrived about an hour early hoping that their film crews would get a shot of Bates and his family or Harris’ family as they got off the elevator on their way into the courtroom. As you can imagine there were lots of cops and I had to pass through several metal detectors. Once inside I found that the courtroom was quite small. The spectator seating consisted of three rows of church pew type seats and the first row was reserved for the Bates and Harris families. That left two rows with fourteen seats each for reporters, friends and spectators. At the far end of one row sat Evelyn Petrosik, a professional artist who was hired by the TV networks to paint pictures of the courtroom proceedings as cameras of any type, including cell phones, were not allowed. Reporters filled over half of the other available seats. Of the remaining seats, maybe four or five were taken by general spectators and the rest were occupied by an assorted group of lawyers and paralegals.
After asking around I found these folks were watching the trial because of the defense that Harris had actually died of a heart attack. I also discovered that defense attorney Clark Brewster was a drawing card for spectators. Brewster is a frequent face on the TV news and he also plays a role in my newly released book, Footprints in the Dew which according to The Oklahoman became the #1bestselling non-fiction book in Oklahoman a couple of weeks ago.
By now you know that Bates was found guilty of manslaughter but it’s not over. Brewster has said that he is looking into appeals and the Harris family is also suing. Bates will learn his fate at the sentencing hearing on May 31st and I plan on being there.
On the local front, it’s time to get out your cowboy boots and your best western duds to head out to the Mullendore Cross Bell Ranch for the 18th annual The Good, The Bad and The Barbeque on Saturday night. As you drive past hundreds of horses and cattle on the three mile road leading into the ranch you will experience the beauty of one of Oklahoma’s foremost ranches which dates back to statehood. The event benefits Elder Care and the services they provide for seniors and caregivers in our community. For tickets give them a call at (918) 336-8500 or visit eldercarebbq.org
As for me I will start off Saturday at a big gathering in Talala where Mid America Feeds is hosting their annual customer appreciation day in the morning. Last year there were close to a thousand people there. In the afternoon I will be at Dewey’s new store “The Market” during the Stray Cats Car Show. If you haven’t been to Dewey lately let me tell you every building on the main street is filled with unique shops and with the car show in town it would be a great time to check things out.