Original Okie: Scott Smith

by Michael Cooper


Three years ago, I lived in a dilapidated old yellow house in Crosbie Heights (on the west side of downtown). At the time, the neighborhood was kind of a scary place. I remember that you could sit on the porch and watch my neighbors walk down the sidewalk to a nearby bar. Loud bass from passing cars thumped down the street, and I had a really friendly gay couple that lived next door (we lovingly called them our “gaybors”).

Looking at that neighborhood now, you would hardly recognize it. Sure, the old yellow house is still crummy, now with a couch on the front porch that looks mold-infested. But there’s a change in the air, and I hold one man and his business partly responsible for bringing new life to the place.

That man is Scott Smith and his business is The Blue Jackalope. Smith is a guy with an apparent love for making all things old, new again–and a community has grown around him. In partnership with a neighborhood community garden and organizations like Sustainable Tulsa, Smith has been able to keep his business alive through the gracious word of mouth and unique community events. This past weekend, for example, Smith officiated the wedding of a local couple–and the ceremony was held in the grocery store.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Blue Jackalope’s low-key building helps make it one of Tulsa’s best-kept secrets.

True Tulsa is a weekly project that highlights the people and places that make our city great.