Tulsa Straight Ahead

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You may have noticed an addition to the header. There's a subtitle -- "Tulsa straight ahead" -- and next to it, on the home page, is a little button. Press the button, and you'll hear Leon McAuliffe and His Cimarron Boys perform a tune of that title, written by one of McAuliffe's fiddlers, Jimmy Hall, on the band bus coming back from Wichita. (That's Hall on the vocal, too.)

Here are the lyrics:

There's a detour sign
o'er a road that winds
out on the broad highway.
But the place for me
is the sign I see:
T-U-L-S-A, straight ahead!

There's a railroad crossin'
and the bus a-rockin',
just takin me away.
Well, I'll pass the time
'till I see that sign,
T-U-L-S-A, straight ahead!

Gonna settle down
when I reach that city fair.
I'm homeward bound,
and I know I'll soon be there.

Where the tall corn grows
and the black oil flows
in old O-K-L-A
In the middle of it all,
I hear that call,
T-U-L-S-A, straight ahead!

Gonna settle down
when I reach that city fair.
I'm homeward bound,
and I know I'll soon be there.

Now there's no use talkin'
'cause I'll get there walkin'
if there's just no other way.
'Cause I read that sign
on the old state line,
T-U-L-S-A, straight ahead!

I've decided to adopt the song as BatesLine's theme song and the title as the site's motto. (I even asked to use the phrase as the name of my weekly column in Urban Tulsa Weekly, but they prefer the more generic "Opinion/Editorial.")

The phrase can have dual but complementary meanings. By itself it suggests our city progressing in the right direction. It can also refer (as it does in the song's lyrics) to Tulsa as a desirable destination, "that city fair," a great place to live.

While many people seem to think I'm all about opposing progress, my aim has always been to encourage genuine progress that improves our quality of life and helps us reclaim the title of America's most beautiful city. In that pursuit, I won't hesitate to oppose the detours, diversions, and dead ends that are often touted as the only way to move forward. It's my hope that this site and my writings elsewhere will help move Tulsa straight ahead.


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 2, 2008 1:53 AM.

Martinson to Chamber: "an incredible level of arrogance" was the previous entry in this blog.

Tulsa windstorm debris pickup is the next entry in this blog.

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