Fishy at Fairgrounds
In response to "Something Fishy at Fairgrounds," (UTW, 5-11 April) Mr. Bates, I was at that meeting too and I believe you were told by the TCPFA that the
reason for Bell's leaving was that their contract was up.
There were general reasons given such as upkeep and safety issues as well as a late and unacceptable business plan. You were told that the details involving this were not available at the discression of the Bell family.
If you wanted to know the real details, you could have asked them as they were present at the meeting too. The bottom line is that their contract was up and it doesen't get much more transparent than that. You and Roscoe seem to be stirring the same kettle of fish.
Brady Owner Writes
I have noticed recently that there are some stories circulating in the media about a "new ownership" of the Brady Theater. I purchased the Brady from The City of Tulsa in 1978 and currently still hold the title. In the Summer of 2005, I signed a lease, with an option to purchase with Old Lady on Brady LLC (the new lease holders).
At that time, OLOB LLC was excited to have the opportunity to lease and operate the theater on a day-to-day basis, something I had been doing since 1978, bringing hundreds of shows to Tulsa during the 27 years I operated it. They told me that they were intent on exercising the purchase option.
At present, they are still in the money raising process. As owner, I believe that Tulsa's original Convention Hall (renamed Brady Theater by yours truly in 1982) needs a major upgrade in renovation. To give you an example, The City of Oklahoma City spent more than $60M several years ago renovating their great old theater, the Civic Center Music Hall.
It's very expensive to tackle these types of renovation projects and usually are left to Municipalities and bond issues etc. If the lease holders are able to complete their purchase option and renovate the venerable Grand Old Dame, I would support them.
Tulsa and the Brady District would be the better for it.
Owner, Brady Theater
Likes Big City Feel of UTW
I would like to offer a "thumbs-up" for your accomplishment bringing the big city papers of California to Tulsa.
My family moved here from San Diego and San Francisco to get away from the filth, depravity and lewdness.
People told me this is the "Bible Belt". Yet no one can tell me what that means, as far as being different than any other state. I think I know now. NOTHING!
My wife picked up a Urban Tulsa Weekly to see what was going on during her birthday week. What she found on page 11 was a shock to her. "Why, in this state is this allowed?", was her question to me. I told her that the young college graduates hired by the paper have an agenda of their own. BRING FILTH TO TULSA! You have accomplished your goal. Now, the article I refer to is found in the March 22-28 issue. ASK A MEXICAN under the heading of FOR AMNESTY second paragraph. Large print.
Sorry to bother you,
Editor's Note: Yes, we like "Ask A Mexican", too. Actually, author Gustavo Arellano will appear at a local bookstore soon signing copies of his new book.
Loves Our Coverage
"Living in Fear," (UTW Cover Story, (29 March--4 April) was a great article. Thank you so much for getting the word out that Child Abuse and Neglect in OK is such an issue.
If readers would like more information about The Parent Child Center or if you would like to do a follow up article on the specific programs we offer for parents and children, please feel free to contact me anytime.
Thanks again for speaking out on this issue; this community needs so many more voices like yours.
Parent Child Center
A strong Nation is built upon principles such as inclusion and not exclusion.
Response to Cherokee Freedmen
I know a young Cherokee girl who drank herself into darkness and while driving killed another young girl. I know a young Cherokee man who after his third failed marriage, drank himself into darkness and went to work as a nurse, and was fired. He works at odd jobs now and again. I know a young Cherokee man who has days that he can't cope and cries himself to sleep or drinks himself into a darkness that last for days. But, let's focus on the Freedmen!
I respect many of those involved on either side of the issue consuming my people; but, I don't respect their choices. To choose the expulsion of others from our Nation, while there are issues far reaching and that have plagued not only the Cherokee, but many indigenous Americans - alcoholism, depression, drug abuse, poverty and many other social and cultural devastations is irresponsible of those chosen to lead and sad that it is the primary concern of citizens.
And then to base a point, or argument, on the fact that "you" never knew a Freedmen, a black, somehow belittles the issue. Not knowing, or admitting ignorance, of Freedmen or sharing culture with them on your level or in your neighborhood really misses the point and side steps the issue facing us.
I remember black people coming to our ceremonial ground when I was a child. I didn't know what a "Freedmen" was then. I never thought anything about them. They were just other people coming to our "Ground," there to dance and worship like all of us.
I never saw many of those who are playing the "don't share our culture" or "didn't share our traditions" argument at the Stomp Grounds or in my community. Does that somehow qualify them as individuals who should be removed from citizenship in our Nation? You didn't, and don't, share "my" culture. We, the Cherokee, are a diverse and blended people.
To attack an individual fighting for beliefs and understandings that they hold and ignoring the issue(s) is only a distraction tactic that will not work, and should not work. My Nation has taken a road that should not be traveled. And, for good reason? To hide one's fears and ethics in a shroud of indignation toward others is a sad place for any individual, but a crime for a Nation and its leaders. We have embarked on the greatest threat to our sovereignty in our modern Nation's history, and for what? And, where is the voice of the Cherokee people?
Past treatment of Native Americans is a black eye for U.S. history. Unfortunately, many of the misunderstandings and stigmas formed during those times survive today. It is our duty as open-minded people, individuals seeking enlightenment and education, to combat such labeling. We have a hard time of doing that when there are those of us focusing on such trivial matters as who we should throw out of the Nation. A strong Nation is built upon principles such as inclusion and not exclusion.
Let's focus on the important things. Remove those who don't share what we believe to be "Cherokee." And let us not waste valuable time on the trivial things. Specifically, don't develop and strengthen native consciousness and fellowships; training and developing native leaders; and do not encourage contributions to the life of the Nation and the world. Key to the important issues facing Cherokees today is ignoring contributions that Cherokee culture and spiritual expression bring to the whole of society, with the ignorant idea that following a white path, a path of enlightenment and goodness woven throughout our lives, could bring a wholesomeness and goodness to our lives.
Cherokees are traditionally an oral people, which means that a lot of our best work is inside our best people. Let us ignore those things in our children, while we formulate the criteria for expulsion of a few, who "just happen to be" black.
The intent I have often had was to build a conduit to enable those good words hidden away in the hearts and minds of talented Cherokees to flow out and be shared with the world. I'll forget all those lofty ideas and concentrate on removing the few "I" don't believe belong.
And, I hope we will not waste time focusing on the Cherokee community, and any hope of finding and helping to set free those voices in Cherokees, specifically the young, or that elder who lives in substandard housing, or the diabetic who will have a leg amputated, maybe both.
The Cherokee have found vehicles for examining their life, their communities, their spirituality and culture in the most honest, searching way, and from that decided our energy is best spent focusing on false blood quantums and expulsion of the Freedmen. While the Cherokee inheritance in life is filled with many good and noble things, it also includes challenges that include high rates of alcoholism, substance abuse and poverty and low levels of education, but let us keep our focus - We must amend our constitution, bring it to a vote, remove the Freedmen.
We are wrestling with the inheritance that has come from culture clash, cultural misunderstanding and the sense of depression that comes about in a people that are regarded as persons of conquest, but keep the Cherokee focus. The mascot issue in which many sport teams use nicknames and images of Native Americans that degrade their culture that's not as important as removing the Freedmen.
Now, my attempt at sarcasms will end.
Within the Cherokee community it is increasingly challenging for me to understand our division, our priorities, and our leaderships lackluster faith in all that is good about people. In history, people came to the Cherokee with the message that "if you don't look like us, talk like us, live like us, accept all of our values, then you are not fit to come to share the bounty and equality of life, liberty and happiness." The challenge has been to "unwrap and offer of ourselves to those who have shared the most horrific time of our ancestor's lives, they were there on the Trail, they were there laboring for us, and then with us, in government, in culture, in life - now why can we not focus on the future and give up of our lives as embracing, celebrating and walking within our own most Cherokee culture."
When all people are able to celebrate who they are without feeling ashamed of any part of how the Creator created them, then we have made an amendment to our Cherokee constitution that not only works, but saves generations from the evils a world and people can inflict upon each other. Why can't we focus? We don't have the leadership to take us there.
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