Another Report from McAlester State Prison

Welcome back. Thousands of tons of concrete were poured to build the walls of McAlester State Prison and this week my story on the execution of Julius Jones is not from inside those walls but rather from outside the walls where a huge crowd had gathered in protest. I was standing on the corner of Short Stonewall and West Street just a half block from the main gate of the prison when down the street four hundred people screamed in unison. Yes friends, at 12:10 PM just a few hours before Jones was scheduled for execution, Governor Stitt granted Jones his life to be served behind the walls forever. I’m sure you’ve heard this story so who’s up next on Oklahoma’s execution list and when? That would be Bigler Stouffer for the murder of Linda Reeves in Oklahoma County in 1985. Stouffer has been on death row for 36 years and I plan on bringing you his fate from the prison on his execution date, December 9th.

Now onto another story involving concrete but in a good way. I often write about interesting places I come across in my travels and here is one close by I think you might enjoy traveling to check out yourself. Located on the west side of Skiatook right on Highway 20 it’s called the Skiatook Statuary. Covered with all sorts of statues and lawn ornaments, this place sits on twenty acres plum full of everything you can imagine all in concrete. I can also tell you that the owners, Chet and Jeannie Reyckert, are making art in concrete and they have sold their works all around the world including Russia. With a ten-ton hippo along with well over four thousand other concrete sculptures Skiatook Statuary is the largest operation of its kind in the world. So even if you don’t need a bird bath or lawn ornaments, put on your walking shoes this place is worth a visit just to look around.

Another fun place to visit especially at this time of year is the Frank Phillips Home in Bartlesville and on December 5th they will be hosting the annual members only Christmas Party. Want to meet some of the people who make Bartlesville work?   Or how about hanging out and enjoying great food where Frank and Jane Phillips called home?  For as little as fifty bucks you’re invited and not just for Christmas, you can visit the home for free all year.

If you miss this party Woolaroc members have their own Christmas party coming up on December 16th.   The party is held inside the museum itself where you will be treated to a full dinner and some lively entertainment all in a setting like none other. Membership also gets you into dozens of other museums around the country.

A couple of great parties I guarantee you will like. I, along with all the hard-working committee and board members for both organizations, hope to see you there.

Till then I’ll see ya down the road…….

McAlester State Prison

Welcome back. Over the last three weeks you, my regular readers, have traveled with me to the state prison in McAlester, Oklahoma. Unless Governor Stitt grants clemency to Julius Jones it looks like I will be making a return trip on November 18th so I thought a little history about the prison might be in order.

Nick named “Big Mac”, the prison in McAlester first opened in 1908 to house 50 inmates who were transferred from Lansing Correctional Facility in Kansas. Situated on 1556 acres of land, the facilities were built with the same design as Lasing using prison labor. The West Cell House and Administration buildings were built first and the complex was known as the Territorial Prison. These early buildings have since been abandoned and are located on private prison grounds where they have been hidden from view for years.

The construction of additional cell houses soon gave the prison the capacity to hold up to 750 male offenders. Home to the baddest of the bad, the prison turned especially deadly during the early 1970s when 19 violent deaths, 40 stabbings and 44 serious beatings were reported there. In 1973 alone there was a prison riot during which 3 people were killed, 12 buildings were burned down and 21 inmates and guards were injured. Another riot took place in 1985 when inmates took over cell blocks A and C causing $375,000 in damage. Today however Big Mac is a different place with much less crowding and an industrial work program for inmates.

The history of imprisonment in Oklahoma didn’t begin in McAlester though. In the early days back when Oklahoma was known as Indian Territory convicted criminals were sent to the Lansing Correctional Facility which is still in operation.

Located northwest of Kansas City Lansing was established in 1859 and housed convicts from both Kansas and Oklahoma until 1908.

I’ve been behind the walls at Lansing many times doing research. Built by President Abraham Lincoln, the prison is laid out on 2,314 acres and many of the cell blocks still in use actually date back to the civil war era. The ethnic make-up of the prisoners usually runs around 54% Caucasian, 36% African American, 5% Asian, 2% Indian and 3% “other.” Although I haven’t been there for a few years, at the time David McKune was the warden and I found him to be very fair which the inmates I spoke with did also. I would imagine that opinion of him was very important in keeping order in the prison.

Lansing has four levels of custody; special management, maximum security, medium security and minimum security which is the level at which inmates are allowed to work and make money. There is a chemicals divisor, a metal shop and carpentry and embroidery shops. Pay is low but it does provide enough income for inmates to purchase essentials at the prison store. Like McAlester Lansing offers medical services to the inmates as well.

If you visit a prisoner at either Lansing or McAlester the procedures are the same, you must go through a series of pat down searches before passing beyond several locked doors. Once you are on the grounds inside the prison walls you are in their place as inmates walk around freely but always under the watchful eyes of the guards patrolling the walls.

Yes friends, this is the prison where Richard Hickock and Perry Smith spent their last days on earth before they were hung for murdering the Clutter family in 1965. Truman Capote made their story famous with his best-selling book  In Cold Blood. He frequently visited Hickock and Smith at the prison, sitting in the same cell where I have sat but that is another story for another day.

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

Behind the Walls at McAlester State Prison in Oklahoma-Part One

Welcome back.   Twenty-one-years and counting down to October 28th. It’s the day when Gay Carter ‘s family expects that justice will finally be done at the state prison in McAlester, Oklahoma with the execution of John Marion Grant. Executions have been on hold in Oklahoma for the past seven years following a botched lethal injection but now state officials believe the process has been perfected.

I have applied for a press pass to witness the execution but my thoughts about following the story are up in the air. I frequently turn to my book of epigrams that Waite Phillips and Will Rogers wrote for guidance on difficult issues but searching for their thoughts on capital punishment or justice in a matter of murder so far, I have found nothing to help me.

I’ve seen death before but to be a witness at a man’s execution is something different even though this is a man who was found guilty of a viscous murder that was witnessed by several people. He was also refused clemency by the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board and at this point the victim’s family, the Assistant Attorney General Joshua Lockett and the Attorney General John O’Conner all want to see the jury’s death penalty sentence carried out.

With that said this part of the story will focus on Gay Carter who was a state employee in the cafeteria of Connor Correctional Center in Hominy when it happened. Sixty-year-old Gay was described as friendly and outgoing and someone who respected the inmates, always treating them fairly. On November 13, 1998 she was supervising inmate workers in the kitchen when John Grant stabbed her sixteen times resulting in her death. We will never know exactly why he did this because Grant has twice refused to appear before the Pardon and Parole Board and now unless Governor Stitt grants him clemency, he will be injected with a mixture of drugs causing his death.

My research indicates that lethal injection as a form of capital punishment was first developed in the United States but it has since been adopted by other countries. China, Thailand, Guatemala, Taiwan, Nigeria and Vietnam all employ lethal injection in death penalty cases although execution by firing squad or electrocution is not uncommon in[DL1]  some of these countries.

I have also learned that since 1976 Oklahoma has had the highest number of executions per capita of any state in the country and in 2010 was the first state and the first jurisdiction in the world to adopt lethal injection. Since 1990 Oklahoma has carried out one hundred and nine executions and according to the prison information website there are currently forty-four men scheduled to be executed in the near future. There have been a few cases when the Governor has granted clemency to an inmate but Governors rarely reverse the Pardon sand Parole Board. As the Board has already ruled against Mr. Grant any action by Governor Stitt is very unlikely. It is worth noting that the death penalty was approved by almost a 70% majority of Oklahoma voters.

Osage County D.A. Mike Fisher will be attending Grant’s execution and I have contacted him for his thoughts and advice. Look for a follow-up story from him and me after October 28th.

I’ll end this week on a brighter note which is the publication of a new cookbook by Ree Drummond which will be available on October 19th and she is having a book signing in Pawhuska on the 30th.

See ya there or till next time I’ll see ya down the road….



History in the Making

Welcome back.   I often write about towns like Coffeyville, Kansas whose history, including the famous shoot-out with the Dalton Gang, has made the community a popular place for tourists. Dewey, Oklahoma is another place that draws tourists who come to see the Tom Mix Museum and the Dewey Hotel with all its memorabilia which I personally enjoy. The replica frontier town out at Prairie Song is also a great spot to visit if you’re interested in the old west.

Bartlesville has its own share of historic places that make you feel you are stepping back in time. The Phillips Petroleum Company Museum downtown is one place I often recommend along with the Bartlesville History Museum next door and of course the Frank Phillips Home and Woolaroc which are favorites of both locals and tourists.

Now there is another piece of history in the making that we may not live to see become a tourist destination but which will definitely become one over time so here’s the scoop. A multi-million-dollar upgrade to Highway 60 between Bartlesville and Pawhuska not only opened up beautiful scenic views of Osage County but also made this part of the county more accessible for businesses. Several weeks ago, I told you about the new Osage Casino and Hotel being built two miles outside of Bartlesville on Highway 60 west. Sitting on top of a hill overlooking the town, it will be a draw from the opening day.

The Osage Tribe has also broken ground on another big casino and hotel along Highway 60 just about one mile east of Pawhuska in an area where you will also find a new bank next to a new dentist’s office near Sonic, McDonald’s and a Dollar General.

Yes Highway 60 will never be the same and there’s more. In downtown Pawhuska new out of town money has bought up several vacant buildings which are being renovated. It’s all good but for you older locals who may remember that sleepy little county road called Highway 60 winding its way up and down through the hills of the Osage, well it’s gone! Driving around Bartlesville and Pawhuska you will see many cars with out-of-town plates and you will find these people buying gas, eating out and filling the hotels. Again, it’s all good but this growth has especially transformed Pawhuska bringing as you well know much needed tourist dollars.           

This week I’ll end with a profile of one more new business I just discovered along Highway 60 that is benefiting from this economic development. It’s called the Dam Place General Store and Campground and their buildings are on the highway going toward Ponca City just a block north of Kihekah Street. The store is in a new metal building and it is filled with food and snacks for travelers.  They have very clean restrooms and across the street there is an RV campground complete with three cute little cabins which overlook the valley below. I am giving the Dam Place General Store and Campground this plug because this is not your everyday enterprise. No friend, the organization behind this business is Helpwork, Inc. a not-for-profit that helps adults with disabilities in Pawhuska. They are currently assisting thirty-five people some of whom work in the store and at the campground. I’ve also seen these folks picking up trash on streets and sidewalks downtown. This is a great new organization giving a helping hand to those that need it so I hope you will check them out the next time you’re in town.  Bartlesville has a similar program called AbilityWorks of Oklahoma which offers quite a bit more in training, employment and housing for folks with disabilities. They also run a giant resale store and shredding service at 501 S. Virginia that is well worth a visit.

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

Woolaroc’s Cow Thieves and Outlaws Reunion

Welcome back.   Last week I told you about the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum’s annual Western Heritage Awards which is always one of my favorite events during the year. If you missed the article, the E/E still has papers available or check out my website

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend another big gathering a little closer to home out at Woolaroc when they held their own annual fundraiser . Frank Phillips started this gathering back in 1926 as a thank you to the many local people who frequently helped out on the ranch. Grit Graham, a former sheriff who had become the ranch manager, put everything together for the event, even offering invitations to known outlaws with the promise that they would not be arrested while they were there. As a precaution, guns had to be left at the entrance gate and no fighting would be allowed.

Frank invited lawyers and bankers as well as close personal friends such as Will Rogers and Gordon Lillie (aka Pawnee Bill) who ran a famous wild west show with Buffalo Bill. Leaders of the Osage tribe who had made Frank an honorary member also attended bringing a group of ceremonial dancers with them. With this diverse group of guests, the party was immediately a big success and became an annual event at Woolaroc.

Known as the Cow Thieves and Outlaws Reunion, the gathering grew from three hundred to over one thousand guests with many politicians and industrialists coming from as far away as New York City to attend. Workers would start at sun-up grilling buffalo down at Clyde Lake which lies below Frank’s Lodge. Trick ropers and riders from the 101 Ranch and Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show would also start showing up along with Osage Indian dancers all of whom were part of the entertainment that Frank and Grit had arranged for.

I couldn’t find the exact date but after many years it appears that the Cow Thieves and Outlaws Reunion came to an end sometime after Jane died in 1948 or with Frank’s death in 1950  Moving ahead in time 47 years, when planning began for Bartlesville’s Centennial Celebration in 1997 several of the committee members including Bill Creel and Tom Sears remembered Frank’s party and decided to revive it just for that year. With a generous grant from Dorothy Glynn Adams, they were able to recreate the fun and excitement of the earlier events complete with a wonderful barbeque dinner and live music from Michael Martin Murphy all held at Clyde Lake.

The Centennial event was so popular that the Board of the Frank Phillips Foundation, led by Bob Kane who was the Board President at the time, decided to continue the party as a fundraiser for Woolaroc. Ever since then it has become one of the best parties of the year, usually attended by around nine hundred people. Last Saturday was no exception as there was a big crowd on hand to enjoy good food, live entertainment and best of all a wonderful setting out at Clyde Lake.  I can tell you Frank Phillips would have been happy and if you missed it don’t worry planninghas already begun for next year.

Before I close, I want to mention the OSU Dental Hygiene Clinic is open again at Tri County Tech and folks this is great news for anyone without dental insurance. The clinic provides cleaning and x-ray services at a fraction of the usual cost and will also refer you to area dentists if you need additional work. I recently went to the clinic myself and the only drawback is that it may take a bit longer. However, with a licensed dentist supervising I felt comfortable and safe throughout the process so if you’re due for a check-up or know of someone this could help give them a call.

Another wonderful community resource is the OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) program offered in Bartlesville by Oklahoma State University. Through this program you can take classes in everything from cake decorating to American history. Courses are offered both in person and online at little or no cost so this is an easy and affordable way to expand your horizons. The Bartlesville Library has all the scoop.

Till next time I’ll see ya down the road………………… P.S. If you want to learn more about Woolaroc Gale Kane’s t book Frank’s Fancy which has been sold out is being reprinted and will be available in the Woolaroc gift sho

The Cowboy Way

‘Welcome back.   I lived the cowboy way of life this past weekend along with actor Robert Duvall, singer George Strait and the great Red Stegall just to name a few so here’s the story of how it all happened.

First up is a brief history of just a few of the celebrities who attended this year’s event. Robert Duvall of course is an Academy Award winning actor and filmmaker whose movies include The Godfather, Lonesome Dove and True Grit among many others. The standing room only crowd of over 1,000 was completely transfixed as he told them that receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award was just as memorable as getting an Academy Award.  George Strait also received a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award and he gave a moving acceptance speech as well while many in the crowd sang his songs in harmony. Reba McEntire and her two sisters were on hand to represent award on behalf of their mother Jacqueline McEntire who passed away last year at the age of ninety-three. Jacqueline and Jim Shoulders’ widow Sharon were both recognized for their legacies and their support of the institution.

The presenters of the dozen or so awards included many people who you may have heard of. Actor Barry Corbin who may be best known for his roles on Dallas and Northern Exposure but who also appeared in Lonesome Dove, Wargame, Urban Cowboy and at least a dozen other productions was always available for an autograph and a photo with fans. John Wayne’s son and daughter Patrick and Marisa Wayne were also easily available to visit with. Patrick’s movie credits include nine films he made with his father and many more with another big star, James Stewart. Bruce Boxleitner, another star of many films, the legendary stuntman Dean Smith, two of John Wayne’s daughters and Jennifer Rogers-Etcheverry who has some of Will Rogers’ blood in her were all presenters and this gives you an idea of how special this event is. Yes, some of the most accomplished people in the entertainment industry come from around the world to participate.       

So, who was the Master of Ceremonies for this star-studded event you may ask and the answer is none other than Oklahoma native and actor Rex Lin who by the way is dating Reba Mc Entire another born and bred Oklahoman.  Rex was actually born in Spearman, Texas in 1956 but the family moved to Oklahoma City when he was twelve.   After graduating from OSU, he had a successful career in banking and then found a position with an energy company in western Oklahoma. At the same time, he was pursuing work in film and TV. Commercials and bit parts came and went until 1989 when he got his first major role in Night Game. From then on Rex has remained busy, appearing on both the big screen and on TV, most notably in CSI: Miami. With his easy-going personality and great sense of humor Rex Linn is the perfect person to emcee the Western Heritage Awards and he is coming back next year so I recommend you don’t miss it.

I’ll end where I started- if you want to be a cowboy even if its just for one daylike I did check out the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum anytime. It ‘s easy to get to and their collections of cowboy history and memorabilia are extraordinary.

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

UFOs, Nuclear Waste and More from New Mexico

Welcome back. As I look back at my atlas road map retracing all the places, I’ve traveled over the last three weeks it might appear to you that I was lost but not so. With my tent and supplies I set up camp near the Continental Divide for several days while I searched for signs of the UFOs that had been reported in the area. I went from Regina, New Mexico (pop. 99) across the divide to Lindrith (pop.224) and back again. I passed through small villages in the high country of the Santa Fe National Forest with names like Coyote and Youngsville that were basically ghost towns where abandoned buildings lined the streets and there were no stores or gas stations.

The daytime temperatures were pleasant, running in the mid-eighties with no humidity and dipping down into the fifties and even forties at night. The weather was the same when I stayed in Abiquiu, home to the famous artist Georgia O’Keefe. Although I enjoyed my stays, I could not find signs of UFOs in either of these remote areas.

Chasing a lead up highway 25 to Denver, Colorado I again turned up empty on the UFO side but I did discover another interesting story. I found out that the powder form of plutonium is being carried by semi-truck along New Mexico Highway 599, Interstate 25 and US Highway 285 on a regular basis and who knows what other highways besides these. All of this plutonium is being shipped to a secret shaft in New Mexico which by all accounts is already full. Another shaft is being hastily built to handle the plutonium that is still coming into the New Mexico site. According to my research if one of these trucks was involved in an accident the clean-up would take hundreds of years. So, no space creatures but a scary story from Los Alamos National Laboratory where the hydrogen bomb was created.

Back in Santa Fe for a return visit it seems my three-week trip has flown by. First it was the world’s richest cow sale and a visit with Governor Stitt and his wife. Former Governor Frank Kedy and a handful of other big names were also there and after the sale the Oak Ridge Boys entertained everyone. It is called the Express Ranches Big Event and that it was.

The Big Event was followed by my travels in New Mexico but all that is in the past now. Coming up for me next weekend is the Western Heritage Awards at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Robert Duvall and George Strait are being inducted this year and both will be in attendance along with more celebrities than you can count and I will be there to tell you all about it.

Football season is also coming up and that means I’ll be traveling with OU football greats Joe Washington who hosts alumni tailgate parties before every game and Thomas Lott who along with Coach Barry Switzer has the televised Coaches Cabana pregame show. I’ve been invited to both events again this year and hope to cross paths with former OSU coach Pat Jones as well.

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

New Mexico’s Enchanted Circle

Welcome back. Somewhere between the sun and a man’s last breath lies a stretch of land in north central New Mexico that many think is enchanted and many others consider to be heaven on earth.

Traveling up into the Sangre de Christo Mountain range you first come to towns with names like Angel Fire, Taos and Red River. This area is called the “enchanted circle” where the mountains contain lush valleys filled with trees and green grass. As you pass over the mountains going west the landscape on the other side slowly changes to a desert terrain and big rocks replace the trees. These are huge rocks hundreds of feet tall, shaped by thousands of years of wind and rain and colored in shades of purple, pink and bronze. Santa Fee is 100 or so miles to the south of this area and Pagosa Springs, Colorado is 105 miles away on the north border.

In the past people came here to mine copper and silver but now the area depends on tourism. Instead of miners looking to strike it rich, locals depend on visitors looking to ski in the winter and hunt and fish in the spring and fall. Summer brings lots of hikers and campers to the mountains as well. At 8,750 feet, a person can enjoy the scenery at any time of the year and many people come just for the views. The 484 people who live in Red River full time know what pays their bills and friends when you visit their town it’s all about you. They offer skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling in the winter and hiking, fishing and horseback riding in the summer. Good food is plentiful of course and watching deer and elk walking right down the middle of Main Street is a favorite pastime and I’ve seen lots of them myself.

It’s well known that the Plains and Pueblo Indians were the first to cross this land looking for buffalo. Reading up on local history, I found that there were many Indian trails and passes through this part of the mountain range. According to local history, the old Kiowa and Taos trails were intended for horse and foot travel. Wagons, usually full of supplies, took the Cimarron Trail which ran along what is now US Route 68. I know it may be hard to comprehend reading all this but when you see the rough terrain people had to cross just to get here you know they had to be both tough and skilled at handling teams of horses.

You can’t go to Angel Fire and Red River without visiting the town where the cult film Easy Rider was shot so I’m hanging my hat in a town the natives call “the place of red willows” which nowadays is better known as Taos, New Mexico. Home of the famous Taos Pueblo which has been inhabited since somewhere between 1000 and 1450 AD, today it’s said there are around 150 people living in the Pueblo. The Pueblo is a very special place for sure but there are also three art museums and over 80 art galleries in Taos. The town also hosts community arts events, numerous musical performances and even shamanic rituals. Yes, Taos is an artistic town but there is more. The golf, fishing, rafting and hiking here is rated as some of the best in the country as well  the top-notch skiing. If you go to Taos, Angel Fire, Red River or any of the small towns along the Enchanted Circle plan on a long stay because there is just so much to see here.

Till next time I’ll see  ya down   the road

A History of UFO Sightings

Welcome back.  With the recent sighting of an unidentified flying object or “UFO” by an American Airlines pilot in the skies above Clayton, New Mexico, I’m headed that way. You regular readers know that I have been planning this trip to search for more information about UFOs in the north central New Mexico region and to follow up on the discovery of mutilated cattle that might be related to them. Over the next three weeks I will be sending you reports about what I learn but first a bit of history on these strange events.

UFOs were first spotted in the United States in 1896. Then in 1897 a Dallas-Fort Worth newspaper journalist reported that a UFO had crashed in Aurora, Texas and the alien pilot had been buried in the local cemetery. Another crash occurred in Cape Girardeau, Missouri in 1941 where first responders and a Baptist minister saw the crashed aircraft and the bodies of aliens. In Los Angeles, California in 1943 the strategic air command got involved in the pursuit of an unidentified flying object firing thousands of rounds at them and raising the wartime alert status for the state and there’s more.

In 1947 there were several UFO sightings, the most famous of which was the so-called “Roswell Incident” when the United States Air Force announced the capture of a flying saucer near Roswell, New Mexico. There were additional sightings through the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s right up to today in Clayton.  The people who have seen these flying objects aren’t deranged folks either, quite the opposite. U.S. Air Force pilots, college professors, cops, even President Jimmy Carter had a UFO experience.

More recently people have been abducted by alien visitors as was a Marshall County, Minnesota deputy sheriff. This doesn’t just happen in the United Sates, in Poland, Peru, Russia, Mexico and just about every other country in the world there have been reports of encounters with aliens and now there’s one in Clayton where there have also been a bunch of unexplained livestock mutilations over the years. My research has shown that these mutilations regularly coincide with the sighting of mysterious flying objects and parts of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado were hot spots for cattle mutilation back in the 1970s.Were these attacks the work of some strange cult or were they committed by a demonic animal as Utah rancher Terry Sherman claimed. Sherman lost several head of cattle and said he had seen a wolf like creature three times the height of a man eating his cows.

There have also been stories about the so called “giant midgets’, a family of people with small heads and short arms but otherwise normal bodies said to roam this part of the world. I’ve learned something else unusual about the little town of Clayton (population 3,000) which could have a bearing on all this. The “Bravo Dome” which is a million-acre carbon dioxide field is located on the outskirts of town.  The Capulin volcano is close by as well and some people think these two things together could play a role in the flying saucers that are spotted in the area.

Stay tuned and till next time I’ll see ya down the road…

Another Great Oklahoma Museum

Welcome back.  There is so much going on this week that my problem is deciding just where to start. Should it be with Pawhuska where the final days of shooting on Martin Scorsese’s well documented movie are just wrapping up? I know spending three hundred million on a film in Oklahoma is big stuff but so is a cow sale coming up in Yukon, Oklahoma next week.

Yes, as you regular readers know I’ve written about Express Ranches’ Big Event Cow Sale as it’s called for several years but for new readers let me tell you this cow sale is not like any other. 100,000 a cow or even more is not unusual at this sale, and after the sale the buyers are treated to a steak and shrimp dinner with live entertainment. A big-name country act is always the headliners and this year it’s the award-winning Oak Ridge Boys. You may say you have never heard of Express Ranches so here’s the scoop. In addition to being a leading cattle producer with ranches in both Yukon and Cimmaron, New Mexico as well as several other states, Express Ranches is also a primary sponsor of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) which just held a competition at the BOK Center this past weekend.

Express Employment Services which has 33 offices in Oklahoma and many more around the world, and Express Ranches are both owned by the same man, Bob Funk.  He is a person who is known as much for his philanthropy as his business accomplishments and he is a very generous support of the FFA and other programs for young people.

The Big Event Cow Sale August 20th, I’ll be there and that means you’ll be there with me so stay tuned in for a future story about the sale.

I also want to mention an event at the J.M. Davis Fire Arms and Historical Museum in Claremore. They have just opened an exhibit of firearms that have been featured in the movies including examples of guns from the Dirty Harry series, True Grit, the James Bond films and many more. This is a very interesting place and Claremore, which is also the home of the Will Rogers Memorial is always fun to visit so check it out!

As for me, I’m packing my bags for an adventure in the oldest capitol city in the United States which you may be surprised to learn is Santa Fe, New Mexico. Founded in 1610, Santa Fe was the northern most outpost for the Spanish back in the day but they weren’t the first people to discover the magic of this area. Native Americans settled throughout this part of New Mexico hundreds of years before the Spaniards arrived and made major contributions to the arts and culture there. Yes friends, Santa Fe was founded ten years before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock and it has always been a popular destination for travelers, especially artists. I’m looking forward to my trip and bringing you some good stories.

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