Tulsa: April 2010 Archives

This Land Press

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By now you've surely heard one of the wonderful podcast tributes to recently departed Tulsans at Goodbye Tulsa. But Goodbye Tulsa is part of something bigger. This Land Press describes itself:

As a collaboration of Oklahoma's best writers, thinkers, and artists, the aim of This Land is to deliver engaging content that's relevant to Oklahomans, and to encourage a richer sense of community through our various projects.

The project is attracting a growing number of contributors, including some names you've seen on bylines in the local alternative press. For example, my friend and former colleague Erin Fore is writing about her new, simpler, nicotine-, booze-, and car-free life in Norman. Photographer Michael Cooper is posting portraits of fascinating Tulsans. He's posted a great shot of musician and sometime politician Rocky Frisco and one of Melinda and Marcia Borum making the mugs that are used to serve coffee at Melinda's Shades of Brown. Josh Kline is writing about movies. Ray Pearcey's first piece for This Land is about the Fab Lab in Kendall Whittier.

Some interesting things are happening at This Land Press. Keep an eye on it.

I forgot one of the fun things I don't get to do this weekend:

Tulsa's Admiral Twin, our only surviving drive-in theater, celebrates its 60th anniversary tonight with a showing of The Outsiders, Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Tulsa novelist S. E. Hinton's first and most famous book. The Admiral Twin was one of the filming locations, so tonight you can go to the Admiral Twin and see what it looked like in 1982 when they were trying to make it look like it did in 1965.

A special screening of the 1983 film The Outsiders will be presented at the Admiral Twin Drive In on April 24, 2010 in conjuction with the 60th Anniversary of the Drive In. The Outsiders Drive In scenes were filmed at The Admiral Twin in 1982. This is a rare event and The Outsiders has not been shown at the Admiral in a long time so lets make this a celebration! Representatives from The Official Outsiders Website will be on hand for information and the Pre-Party begins at 6:00 PM Sharp till the movie starts so come out early and meet the local Tulsa Actors, Crew people, Tulsa Greasers and Soc's who were a part of the film, music will also play from the movie. Memoribilia will be on display with rare pictures, posters and movie props from The Outsiders. Anyone who owns a Vintage car is encouraged to come out. Costume contest for the best dressed Greaser or Soc with a prize giveaway. Gates open at 600pm and it is recommended that you get there early.

Stay gold, Admiral Twin.


Joshua Blevins Peck has a story in UTW about the Admiral Twin. He'd like them to bring back the big speakers that you'd hang on your car window. Personally, I'd rather them bring back the seats in front of the concession stand.

Stephanie Stebbins enthuses about the Admiral Twin on FilmSnobbery.com. (She needs some better info, however, if she thinks that "there really isn't THAT much left in operation on Route 66.")

There are some exciting events in Tulsa over the next few days, but because of a heavy and strange work schedule I won't be able to make any of them. But that doesn't mean you have to miss them:

Friday, April 23, 2010: National Fiddler Hall of Fame Gala, Tulsa PAC, 7 pm. Two of my favorite bands are performing, both with Tulsa ties. The main act is Hot Club of Cowtown: Brady Heights resident Whit Smith on guitar, Elana James on fiddle, and Jake Erwin on bass, a trio that brings together western swing and gypsy jazz, Bob Wills and Django Reinhardt. (Not that they were far apart: Curly Lewis, fiddler for Johnnie Lee Wills and His Boys, said at the first NFHOF gala that all the western swing fiddlers wanted to play like Hot Club de France jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli.) The opening act is Rockin' Acoustic Circus, a group of talented young musicians that brings together bluegrass, jazz, blues, swing, classical, and rock-n-roll and which features (I say without fear of contradiction) the prettiest bluegrass cellist on the planet.

Saturday, April 24, 2010: QuikTrip Air and Rocket Racing Show: Fly-bys of military and civilian aircraft, including a B-2 Stealth Bomber! Rocket races! Aerobatics! Wing walking! Channel 2 Weather Show! World War II warbirds!

Already sold out, but worth a mention for future events:

Thursday, April 22, 2010: Blogger meetup at Siegi's Sausage Factory: Wish I could be there because the food's on my diet and the speaker is my good friend Erin Conrad. Watch TashaDoesTulsa.com to learn about future blogger meetups.

Friday, April 23, 2010, Saturday, April 24, 2010, Sunday, April 25, 2010: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Augustine Christian Academy, 30th Street west of Sheridan. This little classical Christian school does a big musical every spring. Performances sold out, but they have a waiting list for tickets. Call 832-4600 to put your name on the list. (My wife and oldest son will be playing fiddle music at a pre-show buffet Saturday. )

The "Money Belt" made an appearance, under a different name, in an article in the Sunday paper about the different sections of Tulsa and where the dividing lines are. It came in an observation from southeast Tulsa resident and downtown Tulsa worker Brice Bogle:

A math lover, Bogle tried to teach us about the golden rectangle, which is supposedly the "perfect rectangle," he said. Citing Wikipedia for part of the definition, "many artists and architects have proportioned their works to approximate the form of the golden rectangle, which has been considered aesthetically pleasing."

Midtown is like Tulsa's golden rectangle, he said, an area he defines as from the northwest corner of the Inner Dispersal Loop to Skelly Drive in the south, and Harvard Avenue on the east.

"When the leaders of Tulsa talk about doing things for the benefit of Tulsa, it seldom means an area outside of the golden rectangle," Bogle said. "To many outside of the rectangular area, it often seems that those inside the area do not think of Tulsa really being anything beyond it."

I would adjust his boundaries slightly -- shave off the less prosperous parts of southern and western Brookside and northeast of the Broken Arrow Expressway -- to come up with what I call the "Money Belt," but the attitude Bogle describes is spot on, and it manifests itself in election results, mayoral appointments, council-packing schemes, survey results, even water usage. That's not to say that all Money Belt denizens are afflicted with this insular attitude, or that those who are are bad people -- they just need to broaden their horizons. To them, the rest of Tulsa is something you drive through to get to Grand Lake or the airport.

But Money Belt blindness to the needs and concerns of the rest of Tulsa has real consequences. It's why it's important to provide some geographic balance on the city's boards and commissions, rather than drawing most appointees from this golden rectangle. It's why it's important for city councilors to advocate forcefully for their district's concerns; no one else in a position of power will. I applaud the councilors who rejected yet another golden rectangle resident for appointment to the planning commission and are pushing for representation on the commission from other parts of the city. (Oklahoma City's planning commission has a member from each city council district.)

(P.S. No, I don't think the Money Belt is a conspiracy. It's a demographic phenomenon, a mindset, a subculture. What makes it especially interesting is that it's a subculture that wields a good deal of political and economic power.)

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa category from April 2010.

Tulsa: March 2010 is the previous archive.

Tulsa: May 2010 is the next archive.

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