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    Published 10--2019

    Phase 4: Treasures in Oklahoma City

     

    Oklahoma City is filled with treasures I discovered yesterday and probably many more I did not have time to visit.

    My stay began at the historic 21C Museum Hotel. This early 1900s building earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places by being a former Fred Jones Ford Motor Company assembly plant that crafted Model Ts. The hotel is a 5 star one and the art museum which is an integral part of the hotel is unique and fantastic. The hotel is home to a flock of limited edition Purple Penguin sculptures by Italian artist collective Cracking Art Group. The large birds seem to mysteriously move around the hotel. For dining at the hotel, Mary Eddy’s Kitchen and Lounge, is presided over by executive chef Jason Campbell.

    The Centennial Land Run Monument commemorating the opening of the Unassigned Land in Oklahoma Territory with the Land Run of April 22,1889. It was probably the largest group of people that had assembled up to this time in the U.S. It was a little confusing to get to using my Google map. The parking lot is at 200 Centennial Ave, off Reno Ave, between the Bass Pro Shops and the Residence Inn Hotel. . It’s a city park that’s open to the public year around. There is a beautiful walkway on both sides of the sculpture.     

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    The monument consisting of 47 statues, the largest series of sculptures in the world, spans a distance of 365 feet.  They begin with the cannon and man who fired it to start the run.  Then there are the people, horses, three wagons, a cannon, a dog, and even a jackrabbit rushing to get out of the stampede.  All are cast in dark bronze, at one-and-a-half life size. The detail is so realistic. The artist, Paul Moore’s, great-grandfather participated in the Land Run.

     

    National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum was my favorite. If you are an art lover, you will love it. If you are a history lover, you will love it. If your inner kid longs to go back to the thrilling days of yesterday and ride the range with Roy and Gene, you will love it. Movie fans will thrill to seeing the old Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Westerns.

    Prosperity Junction is a recreated frontier village. You can visit the schoolroom, banks and many other buildings that made a town in Oklahoma's early years. .  

    Native American culture is not ignored either. In short, it has something for everyone.

    Oklahoma History Center is another must see. It takes you through the state’s history from the Native Americans to present day. There’s the steamboat era, commerce, warfare, and even the musical Oklahoma represented here.

    For something a bit different, I visited the American Banjo Museum. It is filled with some of the most beautiful and rare instruments I have ever seen. There is a lot of background on players and the history of the banjo. It portrays its humble beginnings in the cabins of the enslaved people playing on southern plantations. On to modern day from Earl Scruggs who along with his partner, Lester Flatt, played the iconic theme song for The Beverly Hillbillies, to jazz and folk singers who played the instrument.

     

    I’m always looking for really weird and I found it here. I visited the Oklahoma City Rattlesnake Museum. We had snakes as pets as kids courtesy of my brother collecting them. This museum had so many different kinds of snakes. Not just rattlers but cobras and the biggest python I ever saw.

     

    The most moving museum in Oklahoma City is the Oklahoma City National Memorial. It commemorates the tragic events of April 19, 1995 in what came to be known as “The Oklahoma city bombing.”  Built on the site of the bombed Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the museum tells the story in a way that made me feel like I was there that terrible day. The most moving exhibit is the devastated rubble that was once a building filled with people going about everyday business.

    There will be much more about these places in the following weeks.

     

     

     

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