Aftermath of the Trump Rally in Tulsa

Welcome back. President Trump didn’t show up at the Tulsa Fairgrounds where I was autographing books on Saturday but everyone else did and the well-advertised gun show drew one of the biggest crowds in years. The show was held on the lower level of the big Expo Center and the Spring Home and Outdoor Living Show was on the upper level which the organizers told me was a bit slow. Live horse racing was also going on at the Fair Meadows track on the fairgrounds and they have had a bit of a crowd but employees tell me it could be better.

All of this was going on Friday and Saturday but for you and me the real story this week starts early Sunday morning at the BOK Center where the night before thousands of people had been inside the Center and thousands more outside, all getting ready for the President’s campaign rally.

I wanted to see what it looked like after a big event like this so I showed up Sunday morning around 9AM and the ten-foot-high steel fences surrounding the BOK along with barricades blocking streets were still up. I saw dozens of volunteers picking up trash and outside the perimeter of the fences which encompassed a four-block area more people were dragging trash sacks to already full dumpsters. A third group of folks was dismantling the fences and stacking them up for pick-up by the city on Monday. When I investigated a little further, I learned that these people had just seen a need and gone to work on it. Some people were part of the Black Lives Matter group, some were local residents and others were just plain old do gooders.  It was inspiring to see all these folks working together and they certainly saved the City of Tulsa thousands of dollars in labor.

As I drove around downtown, I found that all the Quik Trips in the area were still closed and boarded up and many other stores had also covered their windows and doors with plywood for safety’s sake. The blank plywood had attracted a lot of street artists so there were beautiful drawings all over the place from the BOK to the Greenwood district. It was all pretty cool and I am also happy to report that I didn’t see any vandalism at all. Although there were still a lot of people on the streets everything was peaceful. Except for the fences and the good Samaritans picking up trash it seemed like a normal Sunday morning.

I had arranged for a visit to the thirtieth floor of the Bank of America building because the view took in most of downtown Tulsa and no matter what direction I looked from there were no fire trucks, ambulances or even police cars. As far as I could tell this big pep rally that most experts were saying had the potential for trouble stayed calm which is a good thing and says a lot for Oklahomans.

As for me and my hopes for a sit down with the President so I could sell him a book, maybe next time. At least for now things are loosening up a bit so I’ll be doing some appearances around the four-state area including Lorec Ranch in downtown Pawhuska at noon this Friday and Saturday. Then over the weekend of July 10th-12th I’m looking forward to a trade show in Guthrie which as many of you know was Oklahoma’s first state capitol.

Thanks for reading and till next time I’ll see ya down the road………….


Oklahoma Coming Back To Life

Welcome back. Brenda Maness from Franklinville, North Carolina got one, so did Katie Craft from Eastlake, Ohio and Lynn Smith in Hamilton, New Jersey got one as well. For me, what was going to be a four-month book signing tour on the east coast starting in May turned into a book giveaway for nurses all around the country. From Angela DeBlasio in Martinez, Georgia, Anne Baird in Hudsonville, Michigan and Lisa Mathison in Neenah, Wisconsin, all told close to twelve thousand dollars worth of books, along with free shipping, went out across the country. According to my latest report last week from Best of Books owner Nan Hight there are still about fifty books left so here’s the scoop: If you are a nurse or know a deserving nurse email or  call (405) 340-9202 and have one mailed at no charge. You can select either a paperback copy or a copy of the recently released audio book while supplies last so don’t wait and the next time you see a nurse, thank them.

As for me, this Saturday will find me in Tulsa where, unless Mayor G.T. Bynum shuts the town down, I’ll be at the reopening of the Tulsa Fairgrounds which has been closed for over thirteen weeks due to the pandemic. A big gun and knife show, a yard and garden show and the return of horse racing should make for a big crowd. When you throw in President Trump’s visit to Tulsa on Saturday maybe even at the same place where I am, who knows what to expect but one thing for sure Tulsa’s not big enough for the two of us, so you’ll hear all about it right here next week.

Also coming up, my column about property rights for anyone living outside the Bartlesville City limits and here’s a little preview. The Washington County Board of Adjustment which I was President of at one time, has been dismantled. Basically, this means that someone can buy a piece of property in the county and put any type of business they want on it without any input from neighbors and without submitting any plans to either the city or the county.

As an example, when the SPCA built their new facility on highway 75 south they submitted all of their building plans drawn up by a local architect for review and neighbors had an opportunity to give feedback to the Board of Adjustment. Not everyone was happy and the SPCA took their feedback into consideration and made modification to their plans. When they had met all these requirements their plans were approved by the five members of the Board of Adjustment and their project went forward. This process is no more and I will have more on this subject in the near future as I research it further.

The recent passing of Bartlesville icon Mike May whose estate sale was held this past weekend and now with the death of Del Dutcher have left many of us old YMCA guys with just memories of what they meant to us. As a child attending the Y I used to see both Mike and Del almost every day and like many other kids I looked up to them. Along with Ken Dunlap, Dick Kane and Derry Ebert, Mike and Del set a good example for both sportsmanship and service to the community that should not be forgotten.

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


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

Coming Back to Life

Welcome back. Trade shows at the Tulsa Fairgrounds are starting up again on June 20th with a big two-day gun show and I’ll be there to give you all a report not only on the size of the crowd but also on all the coronavirus prevention measures being put into place. The Spring and Outdoor Living show is also going on that weekend and horse racing has started back up so look for my report on all these events as well.

In Oklahoma City the state fairgrounds will be busy hosting An Affair of the Heart on June 12th, a show which always draws a lot of people. On June 27th the Cowboys of Color Rodeo will be held there and then the R&K Gun takes place the following weekend.

In Springfield, Missouri the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds has also reopened with the Monster Ford Truck Fest on June 13-14 followed by the Ozarks BBQ Festival from June 19-20. The R&K Prepper Show will be held there on June 27-28 and if it is anything like my experience there last year doing a book signing, I look for a big crowd.

The event centers in the Kansas City area are the same; trade shows and other events are coming back as we all try to pick things up again.

Here’s another report from Pawhuska where I spent the last two weekends autographing books. Businesses are all open including Ree Drummond’s Mercantile where a two and a half hour wait to eat was normal on Friday and on Saturday it was three hours. They are only seating 40% of their normal crowd at a time so plan ahead. The same is true at her pizza place although the wait was not quite as long there.

The Ben Johnson Museum is another Pawhuska attraction that is bringing folks in again and I’ve been told they have plans to open a small movie theater inside soon. Yes, friends we are living through a moment in history that we will all be talking about for a long time to come.

In Bartlesville I’ve noticed many businesses and not-for-profits are carefully resuming their operations. From Woolaroc and the Price Tower to Elder Care and the United Way, everyone is working hard to serve the community as safely as possible.

I also want to mention that the original Bartlesville Magazine will soon be on the racks and you Sunday paper subscribers will get it first. I know the staff at the Examiner-Enterprise appreciates your business and they are doing their best nto keep you informed on details you can only get from a hard copy of the newspaper.

On another note, coming up is a story about the dissolution of the Washington County Board of Adjustments and what that means for residents in the county. What are their options if someone decides to put an objectionable business next to their property? I will be bringing you my personal experience and perspective.

Also coming up, stories of the men and women who have made a difference in the lives of hundreds of children, not for glory, fame or money but out of love and compassion. We should all remember their deeds.

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

Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Welcome back. In 1875 Pawhuska got its first post office and not long after that what had been Indian Territory became the State of Oklahoma. in 1909 one of my favorite organizations, the Boy Scouts of America, established its first troop in Pawhuska. The town is also the capital of the Osage Nation and there is a very nice informative museum there about Osage history and culture.

Home to the National Indian Taco Festival, the Ben Johnson Memorial Steer Roping competition, the International Round-up Club’s annual Cavalcade which is the largest amateur rodeo in the world and a dozen other events, Pawhuska always draws a crowd. When you add the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile, which just reopened last week, to the mix and its no wonder new businesses keep popping up. A new bank, a new dentist’s office, a furrier and the newly reopened Ben Johnson Museum, well friends I can tell you from my recent two-day visit signing books there this past weekend, the town is busy once again.

I’ve also noticed that Pawhuska offers a lot of interesting free attractions. The Immaculate Conception Church which was built in 1910 is known around the world for its spectacular stain glass windows depicting real Osage people from that era. Admission to the Osage Nation Museum is free as well and it is the oldest museum of its kind. The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is a protected tallgrass prairie ecosystem and has one of the largest herds of free ranging bison in the country. There is no charge to visit the preserve where you can also see a wide variety of birds, small mammals and lizards in addition to many species of wildflowers and native grasses. Then add the Osage County Historical Society Museum to your list of interesting, free places. At this museum you’ll learn about the great ranching empires that started here along with the bad boys, bank and train robbers, bootleggers and murders who hid out in the area.

Another cool thing to do is to walk over Oklahoma’s only swinging bridge. The bridge goes over Bird Creek and crossing it is especially exciting when the creek is high but I warn you it’s a bit scary. Trust me, a visit to the swinging bridge will keep you talking about it for a long time.

Do the names Elizabeth Marie (Maria) Tallchief and Marjorie Louise Tallchief ring a bell to you? If they don’t, they should because back in the 1930s these two Native American sisters made history together. Maria was the first American to dance with the Paris Ballet, the Ballets Russes and the Balanchine Ballet Society, becoming the first Prima Ballerina in America. Maria’s little sister Marjorie was also a renowned ballerina in both Europe and the United States. Both women were members of the Five Indian Ballerinas of Oklahoma all of whom are featured in a mural at the Oklahoma State Capital. They are members of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and Maria also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center among other awards.

Another name you may hear in Pawhuska is that of John Stink, an Osage Indian with the power to rise from the dead. It’s true, this guy was pronounced dead twice and even buried under a pile of rocks on his property yet he came back to life and continued to walk the streets of Pawhuska until he was 75. Although he had money, he preferred to live as a hermit and some say he still walks the tallgrass prairie at night.

With both old and new attractions, Pawhuska is now officially reopened for visitors.

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