American Sniper Murder Trial: Day One

On location here in Stephenville, Texas it is the end of the first day in the trial of the accused murderer of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield. The prosecution opened with nine witnesses including Kyle’s wife. These are a few of the things that caught my attention during their testimony:

Accused shooter Eddie Routh started drinking whiskey and smoking marijuana early on the day of the murder.

Both Kyle and Littlefield were shot numerous times in the back and in the head with several different guns.

After the shooting Routh planned to go to Oklahoma.

The night before the murder Routh had proposed to his girlfriend Jeanine Weed and she had accepted.

Sixty-seven photos of the murder scene were shown including photos of Kyle and Littlefield. Many jurors and spectators cried.

From where I was sitting, just ten feet from Routh, I could detect no emotion on his part.

A text message from Chris Kyle sent shortly before his death said that Kyle was crazy.

Stay tuned for day two.

Stephenville, Texas

All the streets around the Donald R. Jones Justice Center are blocked off now but  I am at the center of the action, close to the courthouse  and surrounded by news trucks. This morning I was in the main courtroom  for the pre-trial hearing when they brought in Eddie Routh. He passed right by me with a blank stare, dressed in a blue suit with a burred haircut and glasses. The setting reminded me a little bit of my first meeting with Chub Anderson.

At the hearing Judge Cason approved the prosecutor’s request to photograph Routh’s tattoos.

In the morning two of Chris Kyle’s family members will be the first to testify.

Don’t forget: there are just 18 days left for the kickstarter campaign and many miles to go. If you have been sitting on the sidelines, now is the time to get on board!

From Oklahoma City to Claremore and A Visit with John Wooley

What better place to promote my project than a gathering of cowboys….

Welcome back.  A trip to Oklahoma City to promote my project had me holed up at night surrounded by buffalo in my Rialta motorhome on the grounds of one of the largest and busiest events centers in the country. Known as the “Horse Show Capital of the World” State Fair Park also hosts concerts, rodeos and lots of different arts and crafts shows. Throw in the big Oklahoma Youth Expo and the annual Oklahoma State Fair and it’s no wonder there’s something going on there constantly.

The facilities at the fairgrounds are also undergoing a major renovation and upgrade although the activities are continuing despite this work. The Express Professional Bull Riding competition was just wrapping up in the main event hall when I arrived and Montgomery Productions was already setting up a big tackle, hunting and boat show in the Cox Center. This show will be coming to Tulsa March 27th-29th and if you’re into fishing, hunting or boating this is the show for you.

Another Oklahoma City treasure which I plan on visiting soon is the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden which they claim is the number one attraction in Oklahoma and number three in the nation. Look for more on that, Bricktown, the fine museums and Stockyard City where the world’s largest cattle sale is held every Monday.

This week I also had the opportunity to attend a book signing for John Wooley’s new book Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park which is the history of a unique attraction created by Mr. Galloway when he built a gigantic concrete totem pole on his property in Foyil, OK and opened it to the public. After falling into disrepair following Galloway’s death, the totem pole has been restored and visitors can once again come to the park. Wooley’s book also offers insight into the life of Ed Galloway.

For those of you who may not be familiar with John Wooley, he is a native Oklahoman with a passion for Oklahoma history and western swing music. Wooley has written over twenty-five books, several screen plays and numerous comic strips. He was a staff writer for the Tulsa World for twenty-three years and is the host of Swing on This, a radio program devoted to western swing music which airs every Saturday night on public radio station 89.5. Among his many honors, Wooley is a member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. After reading the book, I am definitely planning a visit to the Totem Pole Park this spring.

The book signing was held in the Belvidere Mansion in Claremore. Despite my many trips to Claremore I had never been to this historic Victorian style mansion which was built by the Bayless family in 1907. The 9,000 s.f. home which includes a 3,200 s.f. ballroom on the third floor, is now owned by the Rogers County Historical Society. In addition to the ballroom which can be rented for events, there is also a tearoom and gift shop on the first floor.

Speaking of Claremore, I just learned that Woolaroc and the Will Rogers Museum have entered into an agreement to honor one another’s memberships. Now your membership card for Woolaroc will give you free admission to Gilcrease Museum, the Western Heritage Museum and National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Will Rogers Museum! You can’t get a better deal anywhere.

Moving forward, I have had many requests for updates on the future of the book I have written about the life of Damon “Chub” Anderson. I will be posting daily updates about the project on my website (www.originalbuffalodale.com) along with information about places like Ponca City where I will be speaking this Friday so stay tuned.

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

 

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Ponca City and The Famous 101 Ranch

I had a great time last night making a presentation about the book to over 100 people in Ponca City. The event was sponsored by the folks at the 101 Ranch Old Timers Association and they are a great group. More on them and the history of the ranch coming soon.

The kickstarter is picking up steam and I am very grateful to everyone who has supported it thus far! I hope everyone else out there who is interested in reading the book will get on board and help make this project a reality.

Farewell to a Good Friend, Gone Too Soon

I just learned that the services for my friend LeAnn Nelson, who died suddenly at the age of 48, will be held on Friday February 13th in Independence, KS. Her relationship with me and Chub Anderson began in 2009 when Chub moved to Regal Estate Nursing Home in Independence where LeAnn worked as the Patient Relations Coordinator. She became a friend to both of us and an advocate for Chub. Le Ann fought many battles on Chub’s behalf which are described in detail in my book. She was a wonderful person and I, along with many others, will miss her.

Footprints in the Dew: Kickstarter update

The death of my friend Lee Ann Nelson, who was an important person in Chub’s life as well, is a sad reminder that our time here is short.

The clock is ticking for the Kickstarter project too so I spent yesterday working the crowd at the opening day of the Tulsa Boat and Travel Show. Walking those concrete floors is hard on your feet and back but I met a lot of good folks.

For those of you who want to learn more about my project, come to Ponca City on Friday night. I will be making a presentation at 6:30 at 409 East Grand (the former Paris furniture store). The 101 Ranch Old Timers Association(580-763-3907) is sponsoring the event along with the Cherokee Strip Company (580-304-9721). Hope to see you there.

On The Road to Promote My Kickstarter Project I Visit the Mabee Center at Oral Roberts University

 

 

Its crunch time for the kickstarter project and I’m on the road to get as many people on board as possible. Please support the project and help me get Footprints in the Dew into print.

Welcome back. This week I’m traveling to promote my book project and as always I am interested in the history of the locations I am visiting so I will start with 7777 South Lewis Avenue in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Construction on the Mabee Center at Oral Roberts University began in 1970 and the charismatic preacher Oral Roberts was just starting in the building business when it opened in 1972.  Among his many other notable projects is the City of Faith Research and Medical Center. When it was dedicated in 1981, the Center was the largest medical facility of its type in the world.

In the 1970s and ‘80s the controversial Roberts raised millions of dollars for his ministries, reportedly bringing in eighty –eight million in 1980 alone. As for the Mabee Center, Tulsa oilman John Mabee donated a million dollars for the naming rights to the building and from the day it opened big name acts like Johnny Cash, Sonny & Cher and even Elvis Presley filled its seats. The center is not just for concerts, it has also hosted several NCAA basketball tournaments and it’s the home of the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles Men’s and Women’s basketball teams which leads me to this week’s scoop.

Got houseatosis from the cold winter weather? Check out a big time basketball game at a place where rich Oklahoma history. Tickets are cheap, parking is easy and the grub is good.

The life of evangelist Oral Roberts is an interesting one and one I’d highly recommend reading about.

While I was in Tulsa over the weekend I alsohad a chance to visit the fairgrounds where I found the much publicized Green Country Home and Garden Show in full swing. The Exchange Center Building at Expo Square was full of vendors and from what I was told the crowds were brisk on both days. There is always something going on at the fairgrounds and this weekend there was also a big flea markets as well as the big R&K Gun and Knife Show. Both events were well attended and vendors told me that gun sales were good.

Moving forward, this past week the good folks at the OK Mozart Festival announced the performers for this year’s concerts at their annual kick-off party. The lineup looks as good as its every been and I’m sure eager ticket buyers are keeping the phone lines busy. The internationally known festival is a real boost for Bartlesville and if you’re looking for great music of every type you don’t want to miss it. If you want a chance to attend some of the events for free, call the OK Mozart office and volunteer.

I’ll end this week with one more place that is well worth a drive. I know I’ve written a lot in the past about the Will Rogers Memorial and Museum but last week I had the opportunity to camp out at the Rogers ranch outside of Oolagah.  If you’ve never been to the Dog Iron Ranch you need to put it on your list. Long horn cattle roam the ranch along with goats, burros and horses. The view of Lake Oolagah alone is well worth your time but when you add in the spirit of Will Rogers which you can sense there and the experience of standing in the same house where he was born, well it may just change your life a little. Take a picnic, there’s plenty of tables and the ranch is open from 8-5 every day. And it’s free- what a deal!

Coming up an interview with music giant Jim Halsey and his wife, artist Minisa Crumbo. Till then I’ll see ya down the road…

 

 

Kickstarter and Crowfunding

           For those of you who may not be familiar with the concept of “crowdfunding” here’s a quick overview:                    

                                                         Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 Welcome back. This week I could begin with a trip I took to Pawnee, Oklahoma this past week. Pawnee is not only the home of the famous Pawnee Bill but also of the creator of the world renowned Dick Tracy character. American history is alive and well in Pawnee and it is well worth the short 85 minute drive to visit.Or I could begin with a Garth Brooks story from Saturday night’s show or a report on the ORU Men’s Basketball team and my encounter with the legendary basketball coach Eddie Sutton also on Saturday night at the Mabee Center.

With so much going on I’ll start with my book project. I have been traveling with Will Roger’s niece who was Will’s own traveling compansion Doris “Coke” Meyer. Coke has written a fascinating book of her own about her famous uncle, I Called Him Uncle Will, which was recently published and she has been helping me promote my project.

A few weeks ago I started a campaign of my own on kickstarter.com to raise funds for the publication of my book Footprints in the Dew and since then I have discovered that many people are not familiar with kickstarter or the many other so called “crowdfunding” websites which have been established to generate funds for a wide assortment of projects. I think these sites have a lot of potential to help local organizations and entrepreneurs so I thought I would give some information about how they work. My research into the history of this concept came up with a great article on forbes.com under the title “Top Ten Crowdfunding Sites for Fundraising.”

Crowdfunding is collaborative funding whereby groups of people pool funds to bring a given project into existence. These projects can be books, films, performances, new technology and even businesses. The amounts of money raised can range from in the hundreds to in the millions depending on the scope and size of the project and the amount it generates.

On sites like Kickstarter the money that people put towards a project can generate rewards at different levels but the money is not a donation or an investment. On strictly fund raising sites the money can sometimes be considered a donation. All of these sites are accessed only through the internet and money is transferred online.

That said, a few of the top sites are:

Kickstarter.com which focuses on creative projects and reviews each project before it is posted on their website

Indiegogo which promotes every type of project except investments and has a large international presence

Crowdfunder, an investment oriented site which helps establish new companies, some of which have grown out of kickstarter or Indiegogo projects

AngelList, a site which links “angel” investors with tech startups

Crowdrise, the top crowdfunding site for causes and charity.

There are lots of other sites but this should give you an ideas of how varied they can be.

According to the Forbes article in 2012 alone crowdfunding sites raised $2.7 billion for new projects and was expected to reach $5.1 billion in 2013. The success of these sites is dramatically changing many businesses, including publishing.

I’ve found that crowdfunding sites are also an exciting way to learn about all kinds of new and creative ideas even if you do not want to get involved financially. I have backed a few projects myself, including a new manufacturer of bison wool socks and I’ve had a lot of fun watching the projects grow. If you go to my website www.originalbuffalodale.com you can learn more.

 

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

 

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Come to Pawnee and Hear Me Speak About Footprints in the Dew: Damon “Chub” Anderson and the Unsolved Mullendore Murder

You can learn more about my project at this event! In the meantime check out the kickstarter.com campaign to help me publish the book by following the kickstarter link on the homepage of this website.

 

Book Promotion on Mullendore Murder

 

The Buffalo Theatre is sponsoring a Book Promotion event to be held Friday, January 16, 2015 at 5:30 – 7 pm.  Due to construction at the theatre, this event will be held at the Pawnee Nation Community Center just west of the Armstrong Bank on Harrison Street in downtown Pawnee. Millionaire Osage County rancher E.C. Mullendore III was beaten and shot to death on his ranch in Osage County on September 26th, 1970. This murder is considered by some to be the greatest unsolved murder mystery in Oklahoma state history. Writer and weekly columnist Dale R. Lewis, aka, the Original Buffalo Dale, has finished his eight years of work on this unsolved murder in collaboration with Chub Anderson who was present at the time of the murder. The title of Lewis’ soon-to-be-published book is “Footprints in the Dew: Damon ‘Chub’ Anderson and the Unsolved Mullendore Murder”   Lewis will be showing film footage and over 30 pictures of the crime scenes and other photos not seen by the general public until now.

A campaign has just been launched on kickstarter.com to help underwrite publication of the book. To learn more visit www.originalbuffalodale.com and follow the kickstarter link.

Dr. Benes, owner of the Buffalo Theatre and sponsor of the event, encourages interested parties who have a connection to the events of that time period to attend the book promotion and share their stories. There will be a question and answer portion in the program and time for public comments. For more information, visit the BuffaloTheatrePawnee Facebook page or contact Dr. Benes at DrBenes@pawneenationcollege.org.

Dr. Benes

Faculty Chair Pawnee Nation College