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October 24, 2014

Torment Relieved in Song

by Cheryl Pallant

On October 25, 1914, banker John Allyn Smith and schoolteacher Martha Little welcomed their first…
Professional fisherman and Wagoner, Oklahoma native Tommy Biffle discusses his life on the water and…

May 8, 2014

Episode 3: Sports!

by This Land

The NBA Playoffs are underway, the NFL Draft begins tonight, baseball is in full swing,…
ShopGood OKC brings the best of This Land’s issue covers to life with this milk…

10/23/2014 | Original Okie

Allison Hedge Coke

By Shane Brown

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke lives with her mustangs, dogs, and 92-year-old father in an old rock house just south of Guthrie, Oklahoma, where she sleeps in a moriche palm hammock and is regularly awoken by earthquakes. Allison is musician, filmmaker, and writer who says she’s inspired by nearly everything. She studies change, motion, and migratory b…

10/22/2014 | Okiecentric

John School

By Marcos Barbery

On Valentine’s Day 2012, Jarrae Estepp climbed into the passenger seat of a white Ford pick-up. She was five months pregnant and holding a long-stemmed rose. The truck picked her up from the 3800 block of Oklahoma City’s South Robinson Avenue, drove a dozen blocks, and turned into the Catalina Motel. After the driver registered at the front desk, the pai…

10/21/2014 | Okiecentric

Suspicious Mind

By Matt Lardner

The November race for Oklahoma’s 3rd Congressional District, which spills out of the Panhandle and fills the western half of the state, is rated a “safe Republican” contest by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Thus, the Republican primary, in June, was the de facto election. The district elected Democrats through most of the 20th century…

10/16/2014 | Okiecentric

Hard Times Oklahoma: A Russell Lee Photo Essay

By Catherine Whitney

Seventy-five years ago, in April of 1939, John Steinbeck published his fictionalized account of the severe hardships facing Oklahoma’s rural poor. His novel, The Grapes of Wrath, told a story of “exodusters” forced from their homes by economic and environmental aftershocks of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. Inspired by Steinbeck’s tale, s…

10/14/2014 | Okiecentric

Capitol Coercion

By Brian Ted Jones

Texas Governor Rick Perry’s recent indictment by a grand jury in Travis County, Texas, might seem familiar to the people of Oklahoma County, if they’ve been following the case of Albert Gustava Gerhart, founding member of the Sooner Tea Party. These cases call into question the definitions of blackmail and coercion—and whether those words ought to…

10/13/2014 | Okiecentric

An Interview with Ralph Ellison

By This Land

Ellison was not known for giving interviews, but in 1966 he sat down at his home in New York City with Robert Hughes. The video of their conversation shows Ellison dressed in a sweater vest and dark-framed glasses. He’s in his element—an office decorated with stacks of books and Buddhist statues. When answering questions about American society, Elliso…

10/13/2014 | Poetry


By Ken Hada

 For Uncle Max Greed, I guess—my father answered me uncharacteristically critical of our ancestors, their impulsive move to New Mexico Territory stopping somewhere around Clayton where nothing worked out. When the horses died from grazing locoweed they loaded their sparse selves in a wagon and bleakly headed back to northwest Oklahoma—the grass…

10/03/2014 | Okiecentric

The Cathedral Cruiser

By This Land

When GM decommissioned the Parade of Progress, 12 Futurliners went up for sale. We know that a couple of them found their way to the Michigan State Police and were used as traveling exhibits for fairground displays. We also found out that at least one Futurliner found its way into the hands of the Oral Roberts and was utilized in his popular evangelical crusade…

10/02/2014 | Okiecentric

This Is My Beloved Son

By Kiera Feldman

The fall of the first family of televangelism came swiftly. Two Oral Roberts Ministries employees crouched on a desk on their hands and knees, their heads sticking through a hole in the wall. The voices of the Oral Roberts University Board of Regents on the speakerphone conference call one floor below carried up through the thin ceiling panels. Patriarch…

09/30/2014 | Poetry

Three Sonnets

By Randy Roberts Potts

1. Richard Roberts, ca. 1954 He used to hold her down (my mother used to say) and lick. His long, pink tongue would dart from chin to forehead as snail trails cruised along her face, her eyes part-way closed, part- way opened. His face, suspended art- fully like the moon, watching, waiting, hoping that she would cry, but not too loud. Tears smart- ing, fury gathe…

09/29/2014 | Original Okie

Sam Gillaspy

By Brooks Nickell

Sam Gillaspy has lived in Arcadia, Oklahoma, for 88 years. He’s devoted the last eight of those to giving tours at the Round Barn of Arcadia on historic Route 66. To folks who visit the antique attraction, Gillaspy is known simply as Mr. Sam. Tourists and locals alike have made it a mission to stop in an hear Mr. Sam recount the time the round barn collapsed…

09/23/2014 | Okiecentric

The Red Shift

By Larry Guthrie

North of the Red River, in the “Land of the Red Man,” on the iron-rich red soil and matching dust, with red Russian wheat waving, and rose rocks abounding, and red-tailed hawks circling, and redbuds blooming, the red “46” state flag was flying over the 1914 State Capitol, and inside were six Socialist Party legislators.[1] Our Populist foundin…

09/22/2014 | Poetry

An Apparition and a Refuge

By T. Allen Culpepper

  It’s one of those buildings that everyone has seen and many have noted, but hardly anyone can locate. Even those who pass it daily on the local streets hesitate when asked precisely which one it’s on, exactly what it’s called. From the highway, only the cupola and spire are visible for fleeting seconds, an enigmatic vision, an apparition, like J…

09/19/2014 | Original Okie

Marcello Angelini

By Brooks Nickell

How long does it take to dance from Italy to Oklahoma? For Marcello Angelini, almost 35 years. He began studying ballet as a child in Naples, Italy, before graduating from the Kiev Institute of Dance in the former Soviet Union. He wound up in Tulsa after a bout of tendonitis pulled him off the stage for weeks. Sidelined and restless, Marcello applied for the pos…

09/18/2014 | Okiecentric

Signs of Forgotten Times

By Adrian Margaret Brune

In a small meeting room in a Unitarian Universalist church a few miles north of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, people of different races and age groups gathered in late 2001 to pore over the large and comprehensive “Report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot.” Between bites of doughnuts and sips of coffee, they strategized a way to comme…