The Mayan Calendar

This week’s post is full of information about Christmas events in my hometown but I’m sure all of you readers have similar activities in your own communities that are part of your holiday traditions.

                     Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 Welcome back.   It’s December 19th and if the Mayan calendar is correct we have but two days left until some kind of world ending event takes place. That’s just 48 hours to travel or do something special before the end. Maybe take in a big time Christmas show, visit a friend or call relatives you haven’t spoken to in a long time. You may want to hug your dog and pet your cat. Pay back a friend you owe money to or just sit in the backyard and look at the stars.

If you stay in the area you might want to go out to Woolaroc and take in their beautiful light display and Christmas decorations and then drive through Fantasy Land in Johnstone Park where this year’s display is bigger and brighter than ever. Follow that up with a delicious dinner at Sterling’s or another of our great local restaurants and then go up to the top of the Price Tower for a night cap. You might even want to splurge and spend the night at the Inn or at another hotel in town. These days we have plenty to choose from including the Fairfield Inn and Suites, Best Western and the Hilton Garden Inn to name just a few.

The annual holiday events we all enjoy and take for granted take on a special significance if you think you might be experiencing them for the last time. If your kids are looking for a fun time while you’re contemplating check out the Buckaroo Christmas hosted by the Bartlesville History Museum on December 20th from 1-2:30 PM. This event is for kids age 6-12 and prizes will be given for the best Buckaroo costumes. Santa will be visiting and refreshments will be served. For adults, the local downtown pubs have organized a pub crawl which includes drink specials, prize drawings and awards for best costumes in several categories. The crawl takes place on December 20th and kicks off at the Hilton Garden Inn. Two Sisters Pub and Grille, Frank and Lola’s, Angelo’s Tavern and the Solo Club are all participating and this year all the proceeds will benefit Casa Hispana. For more information contact any of the pubs.

Under the circumstances you won’t want to neglect your spiritual life. Most of our churches will have special services which offer the place and time to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday and of life in general. This year more than ever we have reason to be grateful for our family, friends and community.

There is good news amongst all these grim predictions. I’ve been a member of the Chamber of Commerce for 18 years and I am listed in the member directory as the area’s only translator and interpreter. I have found a flaw in the translation of the dates in the Mayan calendar.  Now you can go out and enjoy all these things knowing that the Original Buffalo Dale says the world will go on for several hundred more years.


On another positive note, the Aunt Pearl Cookie Project benefiting the Lighthouse was a runaway success and plans are already underway for next year’s event. I can tell you first hand that the cookies were wonderful and it was a special treat to have Joe Sears as “Aunt Pearl” signing autographs. Joe has been called a “National Living Treasure of the American Theater” by the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post and we are lucky to have him back in Bartlesville doing good works for the community.


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

P.S. I’m going to wait until Monday to pay my bills just in case I’m wrong…












Ski New Mexico

Due to requests for information regarding an upcoming skiing trip in New Mexico here’s the scoop:

The ski resorts at Angel Fire and Red River are both now making snow 7 days a week. December 14th is the official opening day for both resorts and Red River is already open on weekends.

Rooms at the historic St. James Hotel in Cimarron are $79 per night for two including a full breakfast buffet every morning. For reservations call  (575) 376-2664. Angel Fire is 30 minutes from the hotel and Red River is 45 minutes away, driving through some of the most beautiful country you’ll ever see.

If you go, tell em the Original Buffalo Dale sent you.

Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster and Other Myseries

Welcome back. The Loch Ness Monster, Yeti and closer to Oklahoma, the mutliated cattle myseries and recently a sighting of “Big Foot” in the southern Rocky Mountains have all been on my mind. The people who investigate these other worldly occurences are called cryptozoologists and after my visit to San Luis, Colorado to investigate a calf mutilation I guess I may be part one, too.

I am bringing this up because during a recent trip to the Sangre de Christo mountain range in New Mexico with local photography guru Jerry Poppenhouse we discovered a hidden underground stream in a remote area. We wanted to explore further but the sun was setting on the last day of our trip and time ran out. I guess its just the cryptozoologist in me but I have to go back.

This is the official announcement that Jerry will hold his second free photo workshop on the 200,000 acre UUBar Ranch on June 13-15, 2013. I am looking forward to returning. Whether its the photo workshop, looking for traces of early mankind or maybe discovering the fountain of youth, I don’t think you’ll want to miss this. There will be limited capacity so call Jerry at (918) 333-9507 or check out the poster on this website.

Another trip that’s coming up is Loretta’s annual Christmas  ski trip to Angel Fire and Red River. For new skiers, these two ski areas are the closest to northeastern Oklahoma. The family friendly Angel Fire has easy slopes for every level of skier and offers activities in the club house for all ages. Red River offers a more challenging ski slope and a charming Swiss Mountain syle village filled with shops and restaurants. After a recent snow storm both ski resorts are making snow for opening day. I can’t wait. Expect a snow report from now until Christmas.




   Something that’s been on my mind lately………..

Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

Welcome back. This week’s story started two years ago in Taos, New Mexico. While visiting the area movie star Dennis Hopper died. People from all walks of life came to Taos which is where Hopper wanted to be buried. Although he was not originally from New Mexico he had fallen in love with the Taos community years before while filming the cult classic Easy Rider in the area. He eventually bought a home there and spent as much of his free time in Taos as possible. But this story is not about Dennis Hopper’s death, or Taos or the mountains. It is about timber; pine to be exact.

With all his success Dennis Hopper could have been buried like Michael Jackson whose casket cost an estimated $30,000 but Hopper chose a plain pine box.  His brother runs a jewelry shop on the Taos square and he and I became friendly several years ago. He told me Hopper could have been buried anywhere in the world and in any kind of casket but he wanted something simple.

His burial in a pine box interested me at the time and with the recent passing of several friends I decided to do some investigating and see what I could learn about this very basic approach to burial.

I learned that while some states require a more sophisticated casket in Oklahoma you can be buried in a pine box. All of our local cemeteries require a concrete liner to put the box in except for Ochelata Free Cemetery. After checking local casket prices I found they can range from $2,000 to $5,500 for standard caskets.  The cheapest caskets are made in China and look like wood even though they are actually a type of plastic?

Cloth caskets are also inexpensive. On the other end of the spectrum are custom made caskets covered in cowhide, alligator and just about everything else. These can run into the thousands.

If that’s not your style, there’s a “green” cemetery in Stillwater where they simply dig a hole and lay your body in it, wrapped only in a biodegradable sheet.

I also discovered that you if want to be buried in another state you can pre-arrange to have your body driven there in a friend’s truck or van. Another question you may ask is can you be buried on your own land? In Oklahoma the answer is “yes” but your surviving kin will be required to disclose this if the land is sold.

After checking further I found out that you don’t have to buy your casket from a funeral home. I spoke with several local contractors who all assured me that for $500 they could build anyone a nice pine box, with or without handles which is fine with the funeral homes. At Overlees Woods Lumber I estimated that a person could build their own box for less than $150 and that’s also OK in Oklahoma.

The bottom line is build your own box, buy a shovel to dig a really deep hole and leave instructions that you are to be buried with 24 hours to save embalming costs and that there should be no marker. The entire burial should be less than $300 if your friends fill in the hole.

I leave you this week with shovel in hand. Till next time I’ll see ya down the road…







Baltimore and Points East

 I am sorry that I have not been posting lately. I have been on the road but I’m home now and will posting something new for the next few days. Thanks for your support.

Welcome back. This week I’m taking you along on my travels to the port city of Baltimore, Maryland where I have just arrived as you read this. The city was named for the Englishman Lord Baltimore who was one of the founding fathers in 1729 and served as the first Proprietary Governor of Maryland. Baltimore played a key role in the American Revolution and also during the War of 1812 when the English called the city “a nest of pirates.”

After the British army burned Washington, D.C. they sailed and marched to Baltimore where they met strong resistance from both militia forces and residents who bombarded them with pots and pans after their ammunition ran out.

When he made land the British Commander General Ross told his men “I will win this battle or I eat dinner in hell tonight.” He was killed a few hours later.

Francis Scott Key was a witness to this battle inspiring him to write the poem which later became the lyrics of our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.”

In the following years the city grew as commerce increased with both Europe and the west. During the Civil War Maryland remained part of the union and slavery was outlawed in the state in 1864. Then in 1904 a tragic fire (The Great Baltimore Fire) destroyed over 1500 structures, in 30 hours. Remarkably the city was rebuilt within two years and was once again a prosperous shipping center.

Over the years the economic base in Baltimore has shifted from manufacturing to service oriented businesses. The redevelopment of the inner harbor created an important draw for tourists and the city is also home to Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital and Medical Center attracting students and patients from around the world. The University was founded in 1876 with a mission to advance research and scholarship. Today Johns Hopkins remains a world leader in teaching and research. Together, the University, Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Medical Center are Maryland’s largest employers and contribute over $10 billion annually to the state’s economy.

First up on my itinerary tomorrow is a visit to the Medical Center and then I plan to tour the harbor area. I have visited many seaports and I understand that Baltimore’s is second to none. After that I plan to check out some of their great museums.

I’ll be here a few days so next week be looking for more info from this historical town. If all goes well I hope to be reporting from the north shore of Long Island

Sound next week where the fall foliage is just starting to bring in “ tourists from all over. The colorful leaves, the smell of saltwater and the natural beauty of the Connecticut shore have made the historical town of Madison a destination for travelers, going back to the Revolutionary era when the British tried to take it too.

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


Sources:  and










2012 Telluride Film Festival

While I was making my travel plans for the film festival a car wreck let me without a vehicle to get there-fortunately Enterprise Rent-A-Car came to my rescue. Stay tuned for more information about the history of this great company.

          Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

Welcome back. This week I’m introducing my own quality rating system which I will be using to score the films I saw at the 2012 Telluride Film Festival. The system uses a sliding scale of 1 to 5 buffalo with 5 being the best rating and  1 being the worst.

“At Any Price” tells the story of a fourth generation farmer who resorts to “scams, bribes and under-the-table deals” in order to hold onto the family farm. Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron star in a film that explores both a troubled family relationship and the impact of globalization and large corporations         on farming in America. I give it 3 buffalos.

Marilyn Monroe may be even more famous today than she was at the time of her death in 1964. “Love Marilyn” is a documentary featuring readings from her personal diaries which provide insight into the many dimensions of this complex person from her creative drive to her difficult relationships with men. The film includes never-before-seen footage from the estates of playwright Arthur Miller (Monroe’s third husband) and Truman Capote. In my opinion this is a must-see for die hard fans but it’s a 2 buffalos for your average viewer.

“Rust and Bone” is a love story about the romance between a single father(Matthias Schoenarts) struggling to care for his young son and a young woman (Marion Cotillard) who suffers a crippling injury.  The film is worth seeing for the setting on France’s Cote D’Azur alone. It is in French with English subtitles so it can be hard to follow at times but I still give it 3 buffalos.

“The Central Park Five” is the true story of a white female executive who was assaulted and raped by five teenage black boys in 1989 while jogging in Central Park. Written, directed and produced by Ken Burns with his daughter Sarah Burns and David McMahon. “The Central Park Five” reveals the details of a terrible crime, a highly biased investigation and tense race relations in New York City. 3 ½ buffalos.

Reviews were mixed for “A Royal Affair”. Set in 16th century Denmark, the film is based on a novel by Bodil Steensenleth about an adulterous affair between the court physician and the Queen. Despite many plot twists and turns and the historical interest of the piece it rated 2 buffalos.

The title “No” was taken from the slogan developed by a Chilean advertising executive as part of a campaign to defeat the dictator Augusto Pinochet during the 1988 elections. “No” is in Spanish, again with English subtitles, but it is worth the price of admission just to see the guts it took for the Chilean people to defy Pinochet. Another 2 buffalos.

If you like murder and lots of it  I hear you will definitely enjoy “The Iceman”, a realistic depiction of a man leading a double life, on the one hand a devout Catholic and devoted family man and on the other, an assassin for the Mafia who is responsible for over 100 murders. The cast includes Michael Shannon, Ray Liotta and Wynona Ryder. It looks like it will do well at the box office but the folks I talked to you have it 2 buffalos.

Bill Murray is President Franklin Roosevelt in “Hyde Park on the Hudson” based on the diaries of Roosevelt’s cousin and mistress Margaret Stuckley. Laura Linney as Margaret outshone everyone else in this film which is both funny and touching. For the historical content alone its gets 3 ½ buffalos.

I did not have time to see all of the films at the festival but these are a few others that I heard were good: “The Gatekeepers”, “The Sapphires,” “Amour” and “Barbara”.  “The Attack” which is a new film directed by Ben Affleck, is also creating a lot of buzz and I heard it is definitely worth 4 buffalos.

If you love movies you won’t want to miss next year’s festival.  2013 will be the 40th anniversary of the festival and they are adding an extra day of events. Hope you can make it.

From Telluride I went on to the UUBAR Ranch to lead a group that was touring the area. While I was there I saw Johnny Depp was in the area filming “The Lone Ranger”. From what I heard about his portrayal of the famous Indian Tonto it will be another interesting film.

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










Chub Anderson Mystery Continues

An interesting article appeared on the front page of  the Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise this past Sunday, August 26th. Chub’s old friend Kent Tibbetts and Chub’s brother Duane Anderson gave a lengthy interviewed in which they contradicted the version of events presented in Behind Mansion Walls.

You can check it out at

Behind Mansion Walls

I have been contacted by a number of people regarding an episode about the Mullendore murder which recently aired on Behind Mansion Walls on the Investigative Discovery channel. The producers contacted me about this project last year and I declined to be interviewed. Based on my review of other episodes I believed that their treatment of events would be lurid and I think I was right. In addition they did not attempt to contact the family and therefore did not get the facts.

My project is much broader in scope and deals with much more than this one tragic event.  Thank you for your support, Dale Lewis.

Will Rogers, Tracy Letts and Terrence Malick

Welcome back.   It was 1931 when Will Rogers gave his famous speech about employment on the radio and I quote: “There is not one unemployed man in the country who hasn’t contributed to the wealth of every millionaire in America.” Rogers died at 8:18 on August 15, 1935, 77 years ago today. Last Sunday at his birthplace in Claremore, the legendary Dog Iron Ranch, traffic was backed up for miles all morning as people waited for their chance to celebrate his life with hundreds of  other Will Rogers fans. The celebration included dozens of vintage planes that lined the grass air field by the original ranch house. There were airplane rides, kid’s games, a car show and several speakers. Will’s niece, Bartlesville resident Coke Meyer was there autographing her book about her renowned uncle and several Will Rogers impersonators were also on hand. Truly a wonderful day to remember a great Oklahoman the likes of which we won’t see again.

Another Oklahoman making his mark in the movies business is Tracy Letts. Letts is a Tulsa born actor and playwright whose most recent play, August Osage County, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. As you may have heard, the film adaptation starring Meryl Strep and Julia Roberts will begin filming in the area in September.

August Osage County started as a small production at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater before it moved to New York where it played to sold out audiences. After a rave review from Oprah Winfrey the play was performed in cities across the country. It has also been successful internationally, with productions in Australia, Germany and Israel and many other countries where no one had ever heard of Bartlesville or Pawhuska, Oklahoma before.

The film production and the presence of big name movie stars are putting Bartlesville in the spotlight again. Sources tell me that auditions for extras are coming up so its time once more for “Lights! Camera! Action!”

Also going on is a display at Gilgrease Museum called “Discover the Real George Washington.” This interesting historical exhibit highlights Washington’s private life at his home Mt. Vernon. After touring the exhibit with my daughter I’d say it’s a must see for school kids of any age as it offers insight into a more human side of our first President.

To The Wonder directed by Terrence Malick and filmed here will be premièring worldwide this month. August Osage County by Tracy Letts begins filming this fall and  the real George Washington at  Gilgrease Museum. Its all happening right here.












One more date to mark in your calendar is September 21st, the first day of autumn.

This is the opening day for the Oklahoma Indian Summer Festival at the Bartlesville Community Center, the Tulsa Fly-in at Phillips Airfield and Western Heritage weekend in Dewey. The National Speedboat races will be held at Copan Lake the same weekend

and the organizers tell me they expect 25,000 people to attend. If you need a hotel room you’d better book it now!



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

Carlos Marcello and President Kennedy

My research takes me to strange places….

                         Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

Welcome back.   If you follow this column you know that I usually write about all the good in the world and despite current events I believe that the good really does outweigh the bad. This week’s story however is about the dark side and a man who many believe may have changed the world back in 1963.

Carlos Marcello was born in Tunis, North Africa in 1910 and immigrated to the United States in 1911. He began his criminal career as the mastermind of a crew of teenage gangsters who robbed banks in the New Orleans area before he was captured and did five years in prison for armed robbery and assault and battery. In 1938 he was arrested again for the sale of 23 pounds of narcotics and received another prison sentence along with a $76,830 fine. Marcello served just 10 months in prison and upon his release he became associated with Frank Costello, the leader of the Mafia in New York. By the late 1940s, Marcello had taken control of the Louisiana gambling industry and with his partner Meyer Lansky began buying up the big gambling casinos in the area. Marcello became the Godfather of the New Orleans mafia soon after, a position he would hold for thirty years.

On March 24, 1959 Marcello was ordered to appear before a Senate Committee investigating organized crime. Serving as Chief Counsel was Robert F. Kennedy, brother to then Senator John F. Kennedy. Marcello refused to answer any questions relating to his background, business activities and associates and during the hearings he developed a lifelong hatred of Robert Kennedy. After John Kennedy was elected President, Marcello stated that he planned to have the President murdered and that then his brother, who had become Attorney General, would no longer be a problem.

On April 4, 1961 Attorney General Robert Kennedy had Marcello arrested and extradited to Guatemala- the country he had falsely listed as his birthplace. Before long Marcello was back in the US where he told several under cover informants that President Kennedy would soon be dead and his brother would be out of a job.

G. Robert Blakely, Chief Counsel to the House Select Commission on the assassination, published a book in 1981 called “The Plot to Kill the President.” In the book he says that just before Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, another mafia leader associated with Marcello, Santos Trafficante supposedly met Jack Ruby in New Orleans to visit about “a problem” that Marcello was having. This meeting was followed by another meeting with alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Blakely claims that there was in fact a conspiracy and that both Lee Harvey Oswald and another unidentified gunman killed the President following Marcello’s orders.

Soon after his appointment as Attorney General, Robert Kennedy had singled out Jimmy Hoffa, Sam Giancana and Carlos Marcello for prosecution. He planned to make an example of the three as part of his campaign to destroy organized crime. According to Blakely his three targets had laid out a plan for the President’s assassination.

Marcello was reputed to have called Bobby the “tail of the dog” and John the head, saying “if you cut the head off a dog the tail will die but if you cut the tail off the dog can still bite.” Their hatred toward the Kennedy brothers had gone far beyond business and become a matter of honor, a Sicilian vendetta against their enemies. In sworn testimony

Undercover agents said that Marcello had uttered a traditional Sicilian curse when talking about the Kennedy brother, “take the stone from my shoe” along with several other death threats.

After President Kennedy died the FBI investigated Marcello and he stuck to his story that he wasn’t an organized crime figure at all but just a plain old tomato salesman and real estate investor. However a story that appeared in the New York Ties on January 14, 1992 claimed that Marcello and Jimmy Hoffa had both been involved in Kennedy’s assassination.

In 1981 Marcello was indicted for racketeering and mail fraud in a scheme to bribe state officials and he was imprisoned in 1983. After suffering several strokes, he was released in 1989 and spent the rest of his life in his white marble two story home overlooking a golf course in Metairie, LA. He died on March 13, 1993.

The Warren Commission investigating President Kennedy’s death had long concluded that there was no direct link between Ruby and Marcello, or was there?

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