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…….