Grady Walker

by Michael Cooper


Entering the home of Grady Walker is like stepping into another century.

As he guided me through several meticulously decorated rooms, Walker pointed out one of the pieces he was the most proud of: an exotic dining room table imported from Turkey almost two centuries ago. Some might simply call his home rustic, but it felt more like a museum. For decades, Walker held a career as a professor of English Literature at Oral Roberts University, and according to former students, he was just as much an anachronism as his home suggests.

Now retired, Walker is a pillar of the Owen Park community, familiar to and respected by all, but loved to the point where everyone calls him by his first name.

“We all know and love Grady,” said one of his neighbors. “He’s lived here longer than all of us, and he’s seen the community change and grow around him.”

Though a memorable teacher to some and a good neighbor to others, what makes Grady Walker a True Tulsan is his simple ability to sit down with you and have a good conversation. If I wasn’t keeping a schedule that day, I feel like I could have spent another hour sitting on his porch, simply enjoying more of his stories.

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