Welcome back. Traveling the country I have often visited towns that have revitalized their aging downtown districts. Durango, Colorado is one community that comes to mind. After years of decline its busy again thanks to the commitment of local citizens who had a vision of what the town could be. I see Bartlesville in the same way with all the recent growth downtown. If you haven’t been lately there are lots of new shops and a restaurant on every corner. From the historic Bartlesville Print Shop building up and down the street owners are spending money renovating their buildings, preserving their historical character while bringing new life to an area that had been in decline.
New specialty shops like Moxie’s where I will be signing books on Saturday are springing up alongside well established businesses like McCoy’s Jewelry. If you’re looking for a place to eat you can take your pick from a wide variety of establishments. Or if you’re looking for a little exercise after Thanksgiving a walk through town or a spin around the holiday ice skating rink might be just what you need and of course parking downtown is always free.
The downtown area also offers several interesting museums including the Phillips Museum, the Bartlesville History Museum and the Price Tower. The Frank Phillips Home is another great place to visit during this time of year when the house will be completely decked out for the holidays. Whatever you are looking for check out downtown Bartlesville, I know you will be glad you did.
I can’t leave this subject without mentioning downtown Dewey. From the old hotel and the Tom Mix Museum to the many shops, this is a place I often visit as well.
Down the road has become much more than a phrase for me lately. You might say I’m wearing out horses as I travel from Bartlesville to Oklahoma City, Ponca City and Tulsa. Then it’s Edmond, back to Oklahoma City and on to Claremore, Pryor and Nowata. The towns have gone by in a blur since Thanksgiving and there’s no end in sight. As usual I will be bringing stories from the road.
Last week I gave you a brief introduction to Bill Creel, a 1946 graduate of College High School who went on to help lead the Bredero Price Company to unimaginable heights. I knew Bill and as my friend Marilyn Tate out at Prairie Song said, his devotion to the city of Bartlesville and its citizens was unwavering until his death.
I also ended my column with a bit of mystery around the identity of Carol Cecile Lusk and what was so special on Thanksgiving Day November 22, 1951 that Harold Price and his sons flew to New Orleans. In my research I discovered that the purpose of this trip wasn’t for a meeting with business leaders, it wasn’t with the governor or a senator or even for a make or break pipeline deal. This was a wedding and Harold’s son Joe Price was a groomsman. On that day Carol Cecile Lusk married Bill Creel and became a Bartlesvlle resident helping him with every venture.
Although I am still going through the files about Bill’s accomplishments, my friends this is a couple that Bartlesville should never forget.
Till next time I’ll see ya down the road……