More views from our trip to Chickasha, Oklahoma to see our son who is attending college there.
We spent some time at Shannon Springs Park which started out as a stop on the Chisholm Trail during the post Civil War years. The trail was how cattle got from Texas to railheads in Kansas. Shannon Springs was a major source of water on the trail.
It became a city park and later enhanced by the WPA. The city has continued to add to and maintain the park and it is quite attractive.
It is the site of the Chickasha Festival of Lights held during the Christmas season every year. I’m guessing the tower above is a big Christmas Tree.
I puzzled over this thing for quite a while and don’t know what it is. Do you suppose it represents a Loch Ness monster of some sort only in the park’s lake? Nah, I don’t either.
I loved the stone caretaker’s cottage. I don’t think it is occupied any more.
To end the post, this is the Wolf Moon, or Snow Moon last week. I love taking moon photographs.
It’s been cold here and I’ve been cooped up. Sunday morning I went for a walk around Lafortune Park, a 3 mile trek around a combination golf course, library, playground, tennis complex, and little league ballparks. One of those huge rambling urban parks that I tend to love. I’ve been around it hundreds of times over the years and of course I took my camera and I took this photo just focusing on the water and not paying attention to the sky. I was pretty happy with the result. I got a pretty good walk in also.
Saturday the family headed out to the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow to check out their “Chalk it Up Art Festival” held in conjunction with the Broken Arrow Rose Festival.
The event is held on Main Street in downtown Broken Arrow (aka the Rose District). Contestants use chalk and create their works right on the street. It is pretty amazing and it looks to me like a lot of work.
They had a lot of entries, maybe over thirty or so. The only other time we came was years ago and they had maybe a dozen.
They were very colorful and showed a wide variety of themes.
Unfortunately it started sprinkling when we got there so I turned into a man on a mission, photographing almost all of them before it started raining so I was not able to go back and study them in more detail. Plus there were a ton of vendors set up in tents selling all sorts of interesting arts, crafts, and other things. We usually try and check those out also but not this time.
So just as I finished it started sprinkling pretty heavy and we had parked a ways away so we headed back to the car. Turns out that maybe we should have not left so quickly but oh well. I didn’t care if I got wet I was more worried about my camera.
I liked this one showing some of the flora and fauna of Oklahoma.
Saturday, my wife Heather and I went to Tulsa’s Woodward Park. I wanted to check out the Azaleas. That’s Heather above with her hands on her hips like she is ready to do something. She is always ready to pitch in!
The Azaleas were nice but not like last year but we loved it anyway. Above is a photo using my lensball. It is a spherical piece of glass that I keep in my car. It sure makes for nice photos, once I learned how to use it. One trick is that most of my photos with are inverted since it inverts the scene in front of it.
Here is a two tone photo of Azaleas in the shade. I have learned how to do manual exposure and blah, blah, blah with my camera but I forgot to set the white balance to shade and it is hard (for me) to correct for that after the fact. Oh well, I’ll take it anyway.
The Linnaeus Demonstration Gardens at Woodward Park had a butterfly garden. Heather had her notebook out and was making notes. I think we might have one in the near future.
Woodward Park had some iris’s also. I love them!!
We saw lots of flowers, and stopped and chatted with a couple from out of town who asked about what to see in Tulsa. A great time was had by all!!
The best part of the news is that they want input from everybody including the general public. They have hired Micahael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc to develop the master plan. They are the landscape architecture firm that designed Tulsa’s Gathering Place.
A series of public meetings have been scheduled. (Check the Tulsa World story for details.) And if you can’t make it the meetings or if you just cannot wait to participate, you can make comments on the web here.
You may remember the events of three years ago when Simon Malls announced plans to build an outlet mall of all things on Turkey Mountain. A small cadre of people who founded the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition stood up to them and said No. They were able to mobilize the general public and community leaders to save Turkey Mountain and Norton decided to build somewhere else (and they haven’t built an outlet mall in Tulsa yet) and funding was found to buy the private tract and eventually it will be transferred to the River Parks and preserve it from commercial development.
And all that is great but this latest effort is needed to come up with a plan for Turkey Mountain. What does the community want Turkey Mountain to be. The threatened mall awakened the community and now the Mountain has more visitors than ever but there is no one person in charge of it and there is hardly any budget to maintain it.
This master plan is a first step to defining what we want for public mountain and how to go about funding it. I’m pretty pumped about it actually.
Right after Christmas me, son Logan and brother Bob visited the Woody Guthrie Center in downtown Tulsa. The center is the archive for almost everything Woody Guthrie and they have a small museum showing off some of his papers, musical instruments, artwork, and of course his music.
They have on display lots of his papers with lyrics and notes, letters and such.
He put his stamp on his musical instruments including woodburning and ink. You may notice that on this violin he says it helped kill ten fascists. He was in the merchant marine during World War II and served on three ships that were sunk. (If I remember right.)
He wrote on all sorts of materials. You can tell he hated fascism. One interesting segment is that he lived in an apartment owned by Donald Trump’s father, Fred Trump in New York. Woody didn’t really care for what he considered racist housing policy.
The museum also has a Virtual Reality experience of the dust bowl that is very eerie. Here are brother Bob and son Logan with the VR goggles.
The center also has a small space for special exhibits. This time they had a lot of memorabilia from John Cougar Mellencamp including recordings of his songs and quite a bit of material of Mellencamp talking about his music. I found it quite interesting.
As part of the Mellencamp exhibit was this reel to reel recorder/player. I tried to explain to my son how cool these things were and how expensive they were and then to why a ipod touch like mine totally outclasses these things. Reel to reel tape machines are still very cool in my book!!
Check the centers web site for information on hours, location, and exhibits coming up. They have an exhibit on Leonard Bernstein coming up in January. I’ll be checking it out. I got to see Bernstein at the premiere of one of his operas in Houston back in the 80’s. Everybody in the crowd was yelling “Bernie” like they knew him or something.
I suscribe to Philbrook Museum‘s instagram feed and for weeks they have been posting images of a new “Installation” in the gardens at Philbrook of a 19th century cabin shingled with plasticized clothes and a fireplace made out of books. So I have been muttering to myself this whole time, “What are they up to now??? a cabin shingled with t shirts???” Them crazy artist types at it again.
So I ventured over there last week. We have a family membership thanks to Nana, the world’s greatest MIL. So I can check on those artist types whenever I want.
And yep, it is true. Philbrook has built a cabin out in the back 40 of their acreage and it has plastisized tshirts for shingles on the roof, and chinking in the logs, along with some LED lights. And a fireplace made out of books.
And they have some beautiful stained glass windows and some great many lights in the ceiling made out of found glass. And you know what it all works. It was a dark, overcast day outside but inside it was bright and sunny and just plain wonderful. My iphone pics do not do it justice. It was a very bright happy place. Light was coming in everywhere but the floor!!
The artist behind all this is Karl Unnasch, who specializes in stained glass and all things considered with light.
This whole”Installation” thing is something new to me and it seems that Philbrook is doing more of these. They seem to be temporary and not meant to last forever and you know somehow it works for me. So I guess that I approve of this cabin and what the artist types are up to.
This installation is called “Slumgullion (The Venerate Outpost)” If you know what that means, please let us know. Or at least let me know since everybody but me seems to think it makes perfect sense.
Check out Philbrook’s web site. They got all sorts of info on hours and what they are doing, which is considerable. You know they have two sites now, right?
This past weekend son Logan and I decided to take a walk around Tulsa’s Lafortune Park. Lafortune Park has a big playground, picnic areas, tennis courts, a high school, baseball parks, and two golf courses with a walking path about 3 miles long winding around it all.
I didn’t bring my camera, just my cell phone. Luckily there were some pretty decent skies.
Part of the trail was a little muddy. In the 26 years we have lived in Tulsa I bet that I have either walked or run around Lafortune hundreds of times.
I love pedestrian bridges. Logan is now 20, when he was about 3 he liked to go hide under this bridge and pretend he was a troll. The kid used to drive me crazy!! Perfectly good playground 100 feet away. Oh well.
There he is. He lags a little behind but it works out because I take pictures and study on things and eventually he catches up to me.
Saturday, September 8 was a big day in Tulsa. A Gathering Place, our new $465 million privately financed public park opened up. Seven years in the making, over three years of construction, including shutting down a one mile stretch of one of Tulsa’s busiest streets, Riverside Drive, came to an end (kind of they still have a some final touches to do.) And they took down the barricades and told everybody to come on down and check out your new park and despite the sometimes misty weather people did.
The Architect who designed it is Michael Van Valkenburgh. He and his firm have designed other parks and he came well recommended. He spent a lot of time just listening to the people who were financing the park about what they wanted and he came to Tulsa and looked at the city and the surrounding region and tried to capture the soul of the city.
One article I read talked about his visit to Chandler Park and how struck he was with the “lost city section” with the stone making seeming streets and alleys and he incorporated that concept into the park.
The place is full of details. I think they spent a fortune on landscaping, including many wildflowers.
And stuff to do? My gosh their is a lot to do there. Especially if you have kids. I think this log course above might be something I could try.
They have a lot of areas for relaxing and will have several restaurants. This a nice area that is well shaded. I love the wood furniture.
This is view from the the previous area down to a bridge across a pond.
And this is from the bridge back up to the eating area. This is the ONEOK Boathouse. My employer paid for it. (I’m so proud, really, I am.) What a legacy. (And yes ONEOK is all caps, you pronounced it One Oak.)
The heart of the park is a huge playground for kids of all ages. Oh man, for the first time since I was a little kid, I wanted to be a little kid. This looks fun.
And so does this. I would settle for having an eight year old again. Son Logan was with me, but he is 20 years old and 6’3″ tall.
Kids were having a blast. Talk about a bunch of places to climb into, climb across, slide down. It is the ultimate “do touch” place. And yes, it is all free. There is no charge. In addition to the $400 million is money for security and maintenance. What a gift to the city.
The concept of A Gathering Place is that is a place for the whole city to come and reconnect from each other. I think we need it. A little known secret is that Tulsa is home of the worse race riot in US history, the Tulsa Race Riot, now increasingly known as the Tulsa Race Massacre. Read about it here.
In my opinion, the city has never recovered from that and the wounds still exist. There are still survivors of the riot alive in Tulsa today. Anyway, the New York Times has a pretty good, if a little more than slightly condescending article on the park, and the riot. Read it here.
Read the comments also. I know us Okies get a bad rap and my favorite comment was from a New Yorker who said she would never visit the state because she hates us Okies because of the hate we have in our heart. (Huh).
Be that as it may, the park is fun, and great. And I expect to spend a lot of time there especially when the hubub dies down a little bit. It is only a couple miles from downtown where I work. I figure during the day the kids will be at school, so I can come and try out the banana slide for myself.
Pooh!! I know it is probably not officially a Pooh bear, who could afford the licensing fees. It has a nook inside just right for several kids and an adult reading a story.
There was a steel drum band playing. I love steel drum bands.
My favorite place is probably the Williams Lodge. It is like a ski lodge in the Rockies. The woodwork is superb.
I loved the ceiling!!
The guy behind the park is a Tulsa Oilman billionaire philanthropist named George Kaiser, who over the years has been very generous to Tulsa through his George Kaiser Family Foundation. He is in the oil business and obviously has done very well. I know several people who have worked for and with him and they credit him as being a very good but tough boss and also thinks very out of the box. I get the impression that he is playing chess when everybody else is trying to figure out checkers. He has several hundred million dollars invested in the park and was able to convince lots of other companies to contribute as well.
The fireplace is a favorite.
The designer of the place had to contend with something. Most of the land was on one side of Riverside Drive and the Arkansas River was on the other side. He wanted to integrate the park with the river so he used “land bridges” to link the park with the river. There are two of them and they are genius.
I am just glad the running/biking trail is back in business. It is all new. For three years we have contended with the one mile gap, now we don’t any longer. And the trail integrates well with the park.
Sports is a big thing in America and Tulsa and the park has tons of sports courts of all kinds. Logan and I sat down and watched the ladies play 3 on 3 basketball. They were very very good. The park plans on having lots of sports programming.