Fireplace 2.0

Breathing New Life into a Midcentury Fireplace

Our FireplaceA few years ago we discovered the fireplace flu in our 1964 ranch home was unusable. Cracks in the flu pipe allowed smoke to leak into our attic– and eventually the living room. Yuck.

This discovery was followed by a quote for more than $3,000 to repair it! Double-yuck. Time to explore some options. Continue reading Fireplace 2.0

Tulsa’s Airship Terminal

A Legend That’s Lighter Than Air

Courtesy of the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical SocietyFor decades I have heard the stories about Tulsa’s dirigible mooring mast. But lately it seems to have gained traction, despite a lack of any real evidence. Numerous websites, newspaper articles and Wikipedia all mention the mooring mast atop the 320 Boston Building. But is it true?

Continue reading Tulsa’s Airship Terminal

Find: Space Needle Hand Towel

I had the Space Needle on my mind last night after perusing the souvenir edition of the Seattle Times from April 1962. I dropped in on eBay to see what sort of Seattle memorabilia might be available.  Turns out ephemera from the worldly fairs actually has a category on eBay. Who knew!

Cool Stuff on eBay

Check it out- a 50 year old towel.

But not just any towel- it’s a souvenir from the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle! Very cool graphic featuring the space needle and the monorail.

This year happens to be the 50th anniversary of the “Century 21 Exposition.” Check out this classic space-age towel here…

Seattle World’s Fair Hand Towel

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Bad River Development Idea No. 24

Everyone agrees that Riverside Drive is one of Tulsa’s most unique and beautifual assets.

Why then are so many people dead set on screwing it up? Over the years I have heard some of the silliest ideas pitched as “river development” along the Arkansas. Skyscrapers on a sand bar, a miniature Branson next to a refinery, sailboats beside the Pedestrian Bridge, a shopping center with no shopping… oh, wait, that one actually happened.

photo courtesy Hammerhead Bicycles

Then today I came across a new kooky idea: build an amusement park on Turkey Mountain! Yeah, the lovely urban wilderness where people love to run and ride bicycles would become (drum roll, please): Tulsa Harbour.

It must be classy because they put a U in harbor. And this isn’t just some Photoshop ha-ha. Here’s a rather disturbing post I found on the Turkey Mountain events calendar– Avid Hiker writes:

Just a note to all of you that enjoy Turkey Mtn – this small bit of “urban wilderness” that we are so blessed with in Tulsa: I ran into a group of developers in the parking lot today. They are wanting to develop the lower SE corner of Turkey Mtn. from 71st to the south end of the trails into an amusement park similar to Frontier City with hotels. It would take up 140 acres. It would be called Tulsa Harbour. You can verify this with Jeannie Cue, District 2 City Councilor, and Nick Lombardi, Stan Frisbie Real Estate.

This isn’t just a bad idea. It’s a terrible idea. I’m all for development and better utilizing our riverfront’s natural resources- but screwing it up to do so seems a little short-sighted.

Save Sixty Years

As you enter Oklahoma on I-44 in the northeastern corner of our state you pass a sign. It’s an official highways sign, but it’s really an advertisement. It’s an advertisement for the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority touting the benefits of traveling the Will Rogers Turnpike. It shows an I-44 marker and says something like “save two hours, follow this sign.”

Follow this sign, save sixty years.
Why not "advertise" our culture instead of our turnpikes?

Many years ago I imagined a similar sign that should be posted along that same stretch of highway. I sketched it on a long-forgotten paper device known as a “sketchbook.” I recently created the digital version you see here.

I was prompted to share this after reading a Tulsa World article about a new task force dedicated to helping Tulsa promote its Route 66 history. I wrote a short article about the topic for our Two Wheel Oklahoma blog:

Task Force Promotes Route 66 in Tulsa

Oklahoma has more miles of Route 66 than any other state and Tulsa has lagged in her efforts to market this rich history. I hope this endeavor gains traction.

Memories of the Kon Tiki

Jackie discovered this vintage postcard from the Kon Tiki Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. On the back it explains the Kon Tiki offered a “fabulous Polynesean (sic) atmosphere in the midst of Phoenix.”

Kon Tiki Hotel in Phoenix

Back in 1989 we made the trek to Phoenix, Arizona for the U.S. Grand Prix. Now as Formula One Grand Prixs go it was a mediocre affair- the course was set out on the streets of downtown Phoenix and, needless to say, it was hotter than hell. And yes, it was a dry heat.

One of the non-automotive highlights of that trip for me was our accommodations. A friend from Spartan had told me about a unique hotel at the corner of 26th and Van Buren. “You’d love the place,” were his words, “And it’s across the street from the State mental institution.”

Hmmm, lovely. Not knowing much more than that I dug around and found out a hotel called the Kon Tiki was located at 26th and Van Buren. Turned out it was a mecca of island kitsch, soaring Fifties rooflines and orange Trimline phones. It was also smack in the middle of the red light district- but that’s a story for another day.

“Come to KON TIKI and take away a life long memory.”