Holiday Giving

Welcome back. I find many of my stories while I’m traveling up and down our country’s highways and as it happened one came to me this past week on my way to Oklahoma City. It’s actually an old story, something I’ve written about before at this time of year. It is not about a famous murder, or a long forgotten town. There is no breaking news on the Cindy Kinney disappearance of 1976 or on the recent death of someone who played a big role in people’s lives like Donna Chaney. This week it’s not about giving to the needy or donating to charity because we all do what we can in our own way. So, with all that said, how about a gift to yourself that will last all year? I’m a member of several not for profit organizations including Woolaroc and the Frank Phillips Home and I’ve found that membership programs are especially common among museums. From the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western History Center in Oklahoma City to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City these programs offer free entrance to exhibitions usually with a guest, special discounts at their gift shops and reciprocal agreements for free entrance to other museums around the country. I think one of the best benefits offered by these membership programs are the members only events. Locally both Woolaroc and the Frank Phillips Home have great Christmas parties with wonderful decorations and delicious food. Although these organizations hold many other events throughout the year for members, I always try to catch a couple during the Christmas season because you never know who you’ll meet. Think about a gift of a membership for yourself this year, it’s money well spent. This coming week takes me to Oklahoma City once again where I’m meeting up with a bestselling Oklahoma author, lawyer and historian for a book signing at the renowned Full Circle Books which is located on Northwestern Boulevard among miles of shopping centers. Kent Frakes has written two volumes on “Oklahoma’s Most Notorious Cases” and both made the bestseller list. I’ve traveled with him before and I can tell you he is quite the investigator when it comes to researching information for a book as well as a very interesting speaker. Have you ever heard of Ardmore millionaire Jake Harmon? Here was a guy who made millions in shady deals and then lost it all. After rebuilding his fortune and going into politics, he was even mentioned as a possible presidential candidate at the 1920 Republican Convention. A married man, Harmon paid his nephew $10,000 to marry his secret mistress, a woman who would eventually shoot and kill the well-known politician. Kent’s books have around thirty of these stories about Oklahoma’s most famous murders, some dating back to statehood and others more recent like the murder of prominent Tulsa businessman Roger Wheeler who unknowingly tangled with Boston’s Winter Hill Gang. Gang leader Whitey Bulger ordered a hit on Wheeler and for thirty years it was one of Tulsa’s most famous unsolved mysteries. These books are a must read for anyone interested in true crime. There will be five of us bestselling authors all together at Full Circle on December 14th from 3-4:30 and it should be a lot of fun. Till next time I’ll see ya down the road……

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