Tulsa TV Memories GroupBlog 260

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Date:   Thu, Jan 31 2008, 5:29 pm
Name:   Frank Morrow
Topic:   Old salaries
Email:   frankmor@io.com

In 1937, my Dad was lured away from Bartlesville to the booming oil town of Tulsa. He was given $164 a month, which was more more than double what he had been making. Soon lots of people were headed south from Bartlesville and companies like Phillips and Indian Territory Illumination Organization (ITIO)--later to become Cities Service (and later CITGO)--to Tulsa and to companies like British-American, Stanolin, Skelly, Sunray, D-X, Mid-Continent, and Sinclair.

After the war, salaries and wages rose. My father's net monthly income in 1948 was $385, on which he was comfortably supporting a family of five at a middle class level.

The decade of the 1950s was a time when $400 a month was a good salary, one on which you could easily raise a family without a second income. My income from the various radio stations from 1951 to mid-1907 was KAKC--$1.00 an hour to start, $1.12 after two months for 48 hours a week; KTUL--$250 per month to start, $275 after the first year for 35 hours a week; KFMJ--$315 per month for 40 hours per week; KRMG--$400-425 per month for 40 hours a week. You could support a family comfortably on that salary.

The reputed top salaries for announcers in town were for two men at KVOO (Frank Simms and Walter Teas) who supposedly got $800, but they also had to write and produce a daily comedy-variety program ("Eggs at Eight") on top of their announcing duties.

I might add that a working wife was a rarity except perhaps for some poorer families.

My next posting will show costs and prices back then.

Date:   Thu, Jan 31 2008, 10:59 am
Name:   Scott Linder
Topic:   Ike's Chili

Some time ago, I spent several weekends and lots of grocery dollars attempting to emulate Ike's Chili. Sadly, my efforts failed. I came close, but the taste just wasn't spot-on. I gave-up......

Date:   Wed, Jan 30 2008, 11:55 pm
Name:   Bat Masterson
Topic:   Public Schools
All I can say about the time I served in Tulsa Public Schools (1957-1970) was said by my old compadre, Hunter S. Thompson: "It never got weird enough for me."

An excellent ride, none the less.

Date:   Wed, Jan 30 2008, 2:01 pm
Name:   Gary
Topic:   Ike's Chili
Does anyone have a copycat recipe for Ike's chili ? Sure do miss that !!! Thanks.

Date:   Wed, Jan 30 2008, 1:20 pm
Name:   roy lee
Topic:   Guns at school
Email:   dutchtreatroy@gmaildotcom
At Hale in the late 70s, there was a kid who for some reason, carried a gun with him every day. I'm not saying that was "cool" but everyone knew about it and nobody was the least bit scared of him!

Many years later I ran into him at a bar while I was talking to a pretty good looking woman. I asked him what he was up to and he said he was a mortician. He said "you know how hard it is to get a date when you're a mortician?" She said "I know what you mean, I work in the coroner's office" I got up from my chair and he sat right down. Weird love in bloom.

Date:   Wed, Jan 30 2008, 12:26 pm
Name:   Andy Holthouse
Topic:   Public Schools 1957 vs 2007
Email:   andyocoregon@comcast.net
PUBLIC SCHOOL -- 1957 vs. 2007

Date:   Wed, Jan 30 2008, 11:57 am
Name:   Andy Holthouse
Topic:   Mowing Lawns
Email:   andyocoregon@comcast.net
I mowed many lawns as a young kid for money. Typically, Jimmy and I would mow a couple of lawns, one of us did the front, the other the backyard, then we'd take our money and go swimming at McClure Park. I think we charged 50 cents each.

I had several lemonade stands, too.

Date:   Tue, Jan 29 2008, 10:09 pm
Name:   Frank Morrow
Topic:   Cup of coffee
Email:   frankmor@io.com

In the late 1930s the Depression was still ravaging the country despite President Roosevelt's efforts. His programs like the WPA and CCC had helped, but the economy still was causing a lot of unemployment and hardship.

This was evident by the men who would come by our house at 13th and Trenton, hoping that they could make twenty-five or fifty cents for mowing your lawn. One man would come by about once a week or so and ask, "Mow your lawn for a cup of coffee?" He was shabbily dressed and always had a heavy stubble. He also had a "wandering" eye, making it difficult to decide which eye to look into when you talked with him. He seemed nice, though.

Late one afternoon he came by with his usual question. When mother said that we had just had our lawn mowed, the man said, "Oh, I'm so sorry, ma'am. I haven't been able to find a lawn to mow all day, and I'm so hungry."

Mother immediately said, "Come around to the back porch, and I'll make you a couple of sandwiches."

The man's face lit up. "Oh, thank you, ma'am. Thank you."

I'll never forget how kind and generous my mother was to this unfortunate man. Would that happen in today's world?

Date:   Tue, Jan 29 2008, 6:58 pm
Name:   Andy Holthouse
Topic:   The Tulsa Tribune
Email:   andyocoregon@comcast.net
I just remembered something some of you "older" Tulsans (like me) would find interesting. My dear father passed away at the ripe old age of 95 four years ago and we were going through his file box and I found the original issue of The Tulsa Tribune newspaper dated Friday, November 22, 1963. As the local carrier for The Trib, I had delivered that newspaper and about 100 more just like it late that day. As we all know, that was the day JFK was shot in Dallas. I had the front page of that newspaper laminated and it hangs today on the hallway wall of my home, next to a great print of President and Mrs. Kennedy I found at a yard sale many years ago.

The newspaper my father had saved is very interesting to read, especially when one realizes that President Kennedy died officially at about 1:00 PM that very day. Since The Tribune was an evening newspaper, it was usually printed and dropped in bundles at our paper stop by about 3:00 each afternoon. I'd typically ride my bicycle home from Sts. Peter & Paul School, grab my delivery bike with the huge basket and ride up to Quik-Trip to fold and deliver my papers. I usually could complete my route and get home by 5:00 or so. Well, that day, the truck didn't get the newspapers to us until about 4:00pm, but you have to realize that was quite a feat since the newspaper office had no computers, the type had to be set by hand and the presses had to run the prints. Then, the paper had to be assembled by hand, bundled with wire and trucked to all the paper stops. So, even considering this was a "Stop The Presses" event, I'd say The Tribune pulled off nothing short of a miracle getting the evening newspaper out that fateful day.

There is an incredible amount of detail in The Tribune article about the JFK assassination. I have taken pictures of the front page and have those pictures on my computer. If anyone is interested in receiving those pictures, email me and I'll be happy to email them to you. I know it's kind of a morbid subject, but even today it sends chills up my spine to read the account of that day's events.

And, of course, the webmaster has my permission to post any picture I send here in this forum.

Date:   Tue, Jan 29 2008, 6:28 pm
Name:   Andy Holthouse
Topic:   Admiral Twin and Tulsa Safety
Email:   andyocoregon@comcast.net
Lowell, I'm sorry, but I do not remember your friend Sam at The Admiral Twin. It could be a memory block on my part. I only worked there the one summer of 1967. I worked on the East Side in the concession stand at night and in the afternoons, I helped clean the grounds. Also drove the green '65 Chevy company pickup doing go-fer chores. Man, that Chevy would run! It drove as if it had a V-8, but it had the big six and a "three on the tree". It would easily get scratch in 2nd gear. And, the daytime mechanic chewed tobacco, so even though the truck was only a couple of years old, the driver's door had the paint eaten off it already.

I'll also vouch for Tulsa having been a very safe and decent place for kids to grow up. My best buddy Jimmy and I rode our bicycles about every other day the three miles to McClure Park to swim. We began riding with our older brothers when we were about 6 years old, then by ourselves the next year and thereafter. We never locked our bicycles in the bike rack at McClure and never had a problem. We "Trick-Or-Treated" each Halloween starting in kindergarten and were never molested or had anyone bother us. Our parents never wanted to go with us on Halloween and that was okay with us.

I always had at least one bicycle and rode all over the East Side of Tulsa on Admiral Drive, 11th Avenue, Sheridan, Memorial, Pine Street, out to the Airport and even a few trips downtown and back to 75th Ave. I was never hit by a car and hardly ever honked at.

In the summer, we built skateboards out of wood boards and flattened metal skates bolted to the bottom. We would zoom down "Horseshoe Hill" which was actually Marshall St and Latimer Pl just above 71st Ave. In the winter, we'd take our sleds to that hill, since it was the steepest one around.

I don't think my parents ever worried about our safety, especially in our neighborhood. We'd stay out past 10:00 at night in the summer playing Hide & Seek or some other game.

Tulsa was a very safe place to grow up in the 50's and 60's, so far as I was concerned. I don't know what it has become now, since I left Tulsa a few months after I graduated from Will Rogers High School in 1969. I joined the Navy and later settled here in the Portland, Oregon area. Been here ever since.

I have many, many fond memories of Tulsa. If only I could find a Time Machine somewhere, I'd go right back. :)

Date:   Tue, Jan 29 2008, 11:27 am
Name:   Lowell Burch
Topic:   Tulsa, Admiral Twin, Recipes
Email:   lburch3@cox.net
I, too, remember that Tulsa was a safe place to live even into the sixties. We never locked our door or took the keys out of the car. Heck, with Chevys it didn't matter anyway. One key fit all, if a key was even needed. You could go anywhere, anytime, day or night without fear. Downtown or wherever. Of course, there were some minor territorial conflicts during that time, ("What are you doing in my neighborhood?") but that was about it.

The lock down came when the population shift came in the mid-sixties. I suppose it was because people no longer knew their neighbors or their boundaries, making it easier for the criminal-types to operate.

Andy, you might remember Sam Katapodis. He worked at the Admiral Twin around the same time. I remember once when I was at the movie, he was on break so he slipped into the back seat of my car to eat a concession stand pizza. Usually, I did not see Sam while I was at the movies because we were both probably pretty busy. By the way, do you think Edmondson paid royalties to Cohen for his political jingle (Harrison)?

Mom and Dad went to Troy's Hamburger Stand on Eleventh Street back when they were first married. Burgers were .25 and they fell in love with the cole slaw. Brownie gave them the recipe. This is the same recipe that Brownie's has served for so many years at 21st and Harvard.

Brownie's Cole Slaw (1952)
1 medium head of cabbage
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 medium onion
6 tablespoons Pet milk (canned)
2 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Also I liked the Tulsa Public Schools Cafeteria Peanut Butter Squares

1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup honey combine and brought to a boil
Remove fom heat and add 1/2 cup peanut butter
Mix in 2 cups Rice Kripies cereal
Pour into a grased 8x8 pan

Cool, cut and call me over!

Date:   Tue, Jan 29 2008, 10:56 am
Name:   Jeff H
Topic:   A Safe World
Email:   Roaming the Neighborhood
Frank Morrow's post about "A Safe World" struck a chord. I was watching CBS Sunday Morning a week or two ago and there was a story about how a kid's world has shrunk over the last 100 years.

Kids were used to walking several miles to school or running errands with parents not worrying a bit about any danger for their children. I myself a kid of the sixties would roam large areas of the city, even ride a bus downtown from east Tulsa in the summer for Coney Islands and movies, I'm sure my parents did have concerns but not enough to curtail my travels.

I digress, the gist of the story was the circle of travel from home for a kid has been significantly shortened over the last 100 years to where parents worry about their kids playing in the front yard vs. the backyard.

A truly sad fact of the world we live in today, and don't get me started about armed police on the school grounds. The worst thing I saw in school was smokin' teens and tires.

Date:   Tue, Jan 29 2008, 9:41 am
Name:   Frank Morrow
Topic:   The old days
Email:   frankmor@io.com
I previously entered lots of stories about my days in radio in the '50s. I was telling Mike Ransom that I had written 780 pages of memories titled "Growing Up a '50s Generation Male in Tulsa from the mid-1930s through the mid-'50s." He suggested that I share some of these recollections. I promise not to saturate this blog with these yarns.


We had a safe world in which to grow up. Tulsa was so safe, particularly before World War II, that, when I was in the second grade, I could safely go across the street from our house at Fifteenth and Oswego and walk up to the Fairgrounds to see the Tulsa Oilers baseball games at night. I also went door-to-door selling "Liberty" magazines, not only in a mile square area around my home, but also taking the bus downtown to sell the magazines there.

When I was in the third grade we moved across town to Thirty-fourth and Riverside Drive. At night I would take a bus downtown, transfer to another bus, then go out to Texas League Park to see the baseball games. When the game was over at 10:30 or 11pm, I would reverse the procedure, finally getting off the bus at 34th and Peoria. I then would take the half-mile walk home in the dark. All this was in perfect safety.

Date:   Tue, Jan 29 2008, 7:59 am
Name:   Rick Brashear
Topic:   Big Brutus
There was one other of that model of monster mining machine, a sibling of Big Brutus. George Lucas found it up north (don't remember what state, but I think Pennsylvania). The digging assembly was removed and the front was modified with canvas and plywood for Star Wars. The machine became the Jawa transport.

Date:   Mon, Jan 28 2008, 10:50 pm
Name:   Pat McRoyne
Topic:   Two-minute Gulf commercials
Seems like one of those Gulf commercials back in the 1960s featured Big Brutus, then the largest mining machine in the world, stripping overburden from Southeast Kansas coal seams. Brutus was put out to pasture in 1974 and sat idle for a decade before becoming a mining museum. You can tour Big Brutus and the museum where it stands today, a half-hour north of the Will Rogers Turnpike Miami tollgate.

Date:   Mon, Jan 28 2008, 5:19 pm
Name:   Mike Bruchas
Topic:   Folks
Sorry to hear about Don Norton's passing - had received several cranky old guy (but funny) messages from him in the past. Sorry that I never got to meet him in person.

Re "earl company" trivia - the late, great John Doremus did the "Spirit of 76" commercials in 1976 for Union 76 Oil.

Date:   Mon, Jan 28 2008, 3:22 pm
Name:   Dan Weilacher
Topic:   Community Care Radio Theatre Axed
Email:   iraceone at hotmail dot com
Joe Riddle lost his Old Time Radio Show on KRMG 740. I called the station and found out Community Care (the sponsor) was willing to continue the program, but for some reason they shut it down.

It is a shame the Tulsa area should loose a great family and historical venue like the Community Care Radio Theatre. Maybe you folks can help by emailing or calling the program director (info at krmg.com). Joe has been a great friend to the Tulsa community and culture and maybe if enough people take notice and respond we can restore a great Tulsa fixture back on the airwaves.

Sincerely, Dan Weilacher

Date:   Sat, Jan 26 2008, 6:20 pm
Name:   Justin Smith
Topic:   Pennington's Drive-In
Email:   capcave@aol.com
Anybody know where to buy a copy of (if available) The Original Pennington's Cookbook, by Judy Pennington

I have been looking for a few years and have had no luck. Thanks.

Date:   Sat, Jan 26 2008, 5:41 pm
Name:   Gary Chew
Topic:   The New James Dean?
Email:   Just SW of the Donner Party Family Grill

I've been listening to XM Radio's Channel 27 today: Cinemagic. They've been programming music and dialogue from Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain." It's sad to hear Heath Ledger's voice speaking some of the lines.

The next Batman movie will be the hottest ticket in any town.

Delmeaux de Gillette du Coffeyville.

Date:   Sat, Jan 26 2008, 5:20 pm
Name:   Andy Holthouse
Topic:   Governor Edmondson commercials
Email:   andyocoregon@comcast.net
Does anyone remember the television and radio saturation of commercials for Governor James Howard Edmondson? Back in the late 1950s, it seemed every television and radio station in Tulsa broadcast that jingle, " E,d, m-o-n-d, s,o,n spells Edmondson...."

I suspect the name familiarity he obtained from those commercials was mostly responsible for his landslide victory. I never minded hearing them, but my mother would rant and rave every time she heard it. She claimed it played so often, it was a form of brainwashing! LOL! I remember getting in trouble more than once for simply whistling that tune around her. Of course I knew she disliked it! She was sure glad when the election was over and the commercials ended.

This was discussed in GB 224 where we saw some photos.

Date:   Fri, Jan 25 2008, 7:10 pm
Name:   John Hillis
Topic:   Gulf Oil Memory Dump Continued
Since Gulf sponsored their NBC News stuff "with limited interruption," they had two-minute commercials made that I don't think ran anywhere else.

I can't find any video on the web, but this is the soundtrack to what is probably the most memorable one:

John, thanks for filling us up, er, in.

Date:   Fri, Jan 25 2008, 6:58 pm
Name:   John Hillis
Topic:   Gulf Oil / NBC News
Gulf had a sponsorship of NBC News Special Coverage in the 60s. I think this was primarily and perhaps only for the space program, but I seem to recall that it also included political conventions, election nights, and such.

Since Texaco sponsored "the Huntley Brinkley Report" ("Good Night, Chet. Good Night, David. And Good Night for Texaco."), Gulf got the sponsorship on the other stuff and still got identified with Huntley and Brinkley.

I think down in the pile of junk in the basement, there's a publicity shot on H&B with the Gulf logo between them on the desk. I'll try to find it and put it up here.

I'd love to get a hold of that artwork....a piece of obscure history.

Date:   Fri, Jan 25 2008, 5:08 pm
Name:   Dick Garcia
Topic:   Don Norton Obit
Email:   richardjasongarcia at Yahoo dot com
Since I have not seen anything about it on this blog, I think some of you old-timers should know that Don Norton passed away on July 31, 2007 at the age of 80. I received word from Edward Dumit who was told by Don's apartment manager that he became ill, was taken to a hospital where he died. Don kept to himself pretty much and we don't really know of any next of kin.

Edward, Don and I met for the first time in 50 years at my 50th TU class reunion in 2003. We have kept in touch since then by phone and email. The three of us attended TU together in the early "50s". At one year or another, I was PD of KWGS, Don was Sports director and Edward was Music Director.

Those were what I think of as the Golden Days of KWGS when it was student operated. Many of us went on to success in the broadcast business and some were very successful like John Doremus, Harry Volkman and Virgil Dominic. Other names of classmates at the time were Bill Sheil, Bill Walker, Dave Davis, Ron Greene, Don Brewer, Nancy Greaves, Hugh Pierce, Bud Davis, Max Nalley, Ralph Bardgett....etc.

If anyone has more information on the passing of Don Norton please let me know.

 I'm sure sorry to hear that, Dick. We hadn't heard from him here for some time. I had no luck finding contact info for him. I met him at the 1999 KOTV reunion, and he contributed a lot of unique and valuable stories to this site. Rest in peace, Nortonius.

Date:   Fri, Jan 25 2008, 2:22 pm
Name:   Shane Hood
Topic:   Lortondale neighborhood jingle in the mid 50's
Email:   shane.hood@selserschaefer.com
I was once told that there was a radio jingle for the Lortondale Neighborhood in the mid 50s. Anyone elese heard this? Anybody know someone who might?

I don't suppose there is a radio archive in the city of Tulsa?


The fine folks at the Lortondale neighborhood web site might be able to help.

Date:   Fri, Jan 25 2008, 2:20 pm
Name:   Shane Hood
Topic:   Question about NBC specials
Email:   shane.hood@selserschaefer.com
Yesterday as I was leaving the office for lunch I came across an old sign that I presume was used for intro into specials segments of the news in the 50s or 60s.

The sign refers to an NBC special report presented by Gulf.

I work in the Warren Petroleum building which at one point was the Gulf Oil building.

Anyone know anything about this sign?

My dad worked there in the 50s and 60s. I don't recall any special media events myself. I wonder if it was a souvenir from Gulf's national sponsorship of a news program?

Here are two views of the Warren building, courtesy of the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa:

Warren Petroleum building
Warren Petroleum building

Date:   Fri, Jan 25 2008, 6:36 am
Name:   Rick Clark
Topic:   Omar
Email:   clarkrick@yahoo.com
Just noticed Omar Villafranca is no longer on KOTV or its website. Where`d he go?

According to the KOTV entry on Wikipedia, Omar is now at KXAS-TV in Dallas.

Date:   Thu, Jan 24 2008, 7:05 pm
Name:   Andy Holthouse
Topic:   Admiral Twin Drive-In Theater
Email:   andyocoregon@comcast.net
This is a great website! It sure brings back a lot of memories for me. I grew up on N. 75th E. Ave., right next to the old Airview Drive-In.

My first "real job", other than newspaper delivery, was at the Admiral Twin Drive-In. Several of my best buddies worked there, too. In the summer of 1967, we used to procure quarts of beer, then climb up the screen tower inside all the way to the top. It was a 2x4 wood ladder that ran straight up. The pigeons that roosted in there would scare the bejeebers out of us, but nobody ever fell, thank God. We would sit up on the roof of the screen tower and drink beer. I can remember walking right up to the edge of the roof and looking down to the parking area below. Had the manager known we did those things, we would have been fired.

Even to this day, I know just about all the scenes to the movie "The Dirty Dozen" since I saw it at least 20 times that summer.

BTW, if anyone ever got sick at The Admiral Twin after eating popcorn in the summer of '67, it wasn't my fault. There was a crazy guy who used to work there who took great delight in boxing up nice big juicy junebugs in the popcorn boxes. He'd make the boxes with the junebugs real fat and over filled. That's how he knew which ones had the bugs in them after he'd stack them. Then, he would dole out the big boxes to people and watch them go back to their cars. It's funny, but there were never any complaints about that. I suppose crunchy popcorn was indistinguishable from june bugs in a dark car.

I can still remember when Glenn's '55 Ford station wagon got away from him one day when we were picking up trash and it rolled driverless all the way from behind the concession stand to the front row without hitting any speaker poles. It actually turned and stopped all by itself down there.

Yeah, we sure had fun at the Admiral Twin. Of course, we had fun at The Airview Drive-In as well. We used to "jump the fence" at the rear of the lot and get in for free. We'd just go up and sit in the cold metal chairs in front of the concession stand and act like we had paid. Only got caught a couple of times.

Thanks, Andy. I added your story to the Twin's page.

Date:   Thu, Jan 24 2008, 4:05 pm
Name:   Steve Bagsby
Topic:   Magical History Tour
Well, I found out I'm playing this thing on Saturday. So if you see a fat guy with a blue fiddle and a coney stuck on the end of his bow, that would be me. Be kind and throw folding money (those quarters Hurt!)

Date:   Thu, Jan 24 2008, 11:33 am
Name:   David Batterson
Topic:   Magical History Tour
Email:   davidbat(at)yahooie(dot)comma
Man, that made my mouth water! Almost makes me want to grab a cheap Southwest flight from CA.

Date:   Thu, Jan 24 2008, 11:04 am
Name:   Webmaster
Topic:   Magical History Tour
A TTM-oriented event is scheduled at the Tulsa Historical Society (2445 S. Peoria), 7-10 pm this Saturday: "Delicious memories: Historical Society marks grand opening with tastes from Tulsa's past" (Tulsa World article):

"Hors d'oeuvres-sized portions of some of Tulsa's best-known foods will be served, including Pennington's Black Bottom pie and Bishop's Brown Derby with Diablo Sauce...Guests can listen to music from a Tulsa-artist filled jukebox, participate in a live auction and give three-minute recordings of their favorite Tulsa memories in a recording booth, to be preserved by the historical society."

Other foods being served: Italian Inn's Cheese Spread, Middlepath Cafe's Gumbo, Golden Drumstick's Blue Cheese Dressing, Tulsa Public Schools' Brown Bean Chowder and Cinnamon Rolls, Coney I-Lander's Coneys. Some of the recipes are here on the Woman's Page.

Date:   Thu, Jan 24 2008, 10:40 am
Name:   Steve Bagsby
Topic:   Dancin' and Drinkin"
Friday night we'll be playing a dance at American Legion #308 at Admiral & Garnett. The music is very much like a bad episode of the John Chick Show. So get in your Tuf Nut Denim Leisure Suit, spray on some Mennen for "the dry look", splash on some Hai Karate and jump in your Gremlin and drive on out.

Date:   Wed, Jan 23 2008, 3:33 pm
Name:   Mike Bruchas
Topic:   National Pie Day
Yep - it is National Pie Day again!
Go get ye a Bama Pee-can pie and enjoy!

Date:   Sun, Jan 20 2008, 8:35 pm
Name:   Lowell Burch
Topic:   Belvedere
Email:   lburch3@coxdotnot
Here is a good update on the Plymouth.

Date:   Sun, Jan 20 2008, 12:36 pm
Name:   Webmaster
Topic:   Previous GroupBlog summary
Archived GroupBlog 259.

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