Everything that fits is at Steve’s Sundry in Tulsa

May 24, 2007 22:17 UTC

steve5.JPGOn the outside, Steve’s Sundry, Books & Magazines on South Harvard Avenue in Tulsa’s midtown neighborhood, doesn’t look like much. But just as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, don’t write off Steve’s because of its modest curb appeal and its location in an aging strip mall.

Step inside, and you quickly discover why, in an age of, Borders, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million, locals love this quirky, 60-year-old independent bookstore.

It’s called Steve’s Sundry, Books & magazines, so it’s best to take things one by one.  

First, the sundries. Steve’s stocks all kinds of items you wouldn’t expect to find in a bookstore, including denture powder and a variety of products for the feet.  “As long as it’s legal and our customers want it, we’ll sell find it and sell it,” says Joanie Stephenson, the wife of Steve Jr., the founder’s son. The foot-care products — some of them hard to get — are there, Joanie says, because someone once asked for them and Steve’s obliged. Then area podiatrists found out and began specifically referring customers to the store.

Also in the sundry category, the old-fashioned soda fountain in the back of the store, which sersteve1.JPGves shakes and simple sandwiches all day.  Hence the store’s motto: “Whether it’s Shakes or Shakespeare, Steve’s is the Place.”  

Different state, different town, same problems for Route 66 motels

May 24, 2007 21:51 UTC

HOTEL.jpgLike a number of towns along what was Route 66, the motels here in Lebanon, Missouri thrived on the through traffic. And like many of those same towns, when Route 66 went away the motels were among the first to suffer.

Here in Lebanon they line old Route 66 away from the center of town, on what feels like a near-forgotten stretch of road. The signs are faded, but they are still in business.

This is in part because unlike some of the other towns along the way such as Tucumcari, New Mexico where many of the motels have gone under because of the loss of Route 66 when it was decommissioned in 1985 Lebanon has a lot of tourists who come to this area to go fishing.

Checking in with Carlton Pearson – who doesn’t believe in hell – in Tulsa

May 24, 2007 19:34 UTC

Pearson2.JPGCarlton Pearson doesn’t believe in hell. And he’s pretty uncertain about heaven as well. Which wouldn’t be all that exceptional, really — except Pearson is an ordained Pentecostal minister and a former protégé of Oral Roberts, the Tulsa-based televangelist. So when the Route 66 Team passed through Tulsa this week, we spent an hour with Pearson in his offices on the 29th floor of a downtown skyscraper. 

Pearson, 54, wasnt always so unsure about core doctrinal issues. In the 1980s and 1990s, he ran Higher Dimensions Family Church, a Tulsa-based megachurch that hewed to a much more unforgiving and traditional view of the afterlife.

He also served on Oral Roberts Universitys board of regents and was one of the first African-Americans to be a regular guest on mainstream religious TV programs.

Galena, Kansas: Old mining town gets that ol sinking feeling

May 24, 2007 18:51 UTC

This town was made for lead and named for lead. Occasionally, bits of it still sink into the ground because of lead.

This is what made this town what it once was, said Ken Oglesby (left), 52, owner of the Main Street Deli in the center of town, shaking a small glass jar nearly full of small scraps of bluish-grey lead.

From time to time, tunnels in the mines that used to produce it collapse and take parts of Galena with them.

A brief jaunt along Kansas 13.2 miles of Route 66

May 24, 2007 17:48 UTC

Galena2.jpgThere are, or were, only a few miles of old Route 66 in Kansas, down in the far south-eastern corner of the state, but this short stretch of road is considered by many fans to be about as close to the original state of the road as you can get.

But be advised to take a good map with you and watch where you are going, as the dozen or so miles of Route 66 still here 13.2 miles, to be precise is also notorious for getting people lost.

The highway passes through pleasant, green wooded, farmland and small toBush Creek bridge2.jpgwns like Baxter Springs, Riverton and Galena (pictures on left), all exuding a faded rural charm.

Linking family with sepia images from the Osage American tribe

May 24, 2007 17:34 UTC

redcorn.jpgOn June 2 1907, the Osage American Indian tribe divided up the land on their reservation, an event that had held up Oklahomas bid for statehood for a decade. This June 2, the tribe will open an exhibition on those who received that land.

The allotment of 2,229 plots of land to divide up the reservation, which the Osage had bought in 1870, was eventually forced by an Act of U.S. Congress in 1906 to bring the tribe in line with the rest of the aspiring would-be state (Oklahoma became a state on November 16, 1907).

Kathryn Red Corn, director of the Osage Tribal Museum here, says she has spent eight years collecting photographs and information on as many of these people as possible. She describes the process here

When is a star a superstar?

May 24, 2007 11:03 UTC

Anyone compiling a Cannes survival guide for journalists may want to consider the following:

1. There are parties and there are parties. After I got an invite to a major Hollywood bash at this year’s festival it quickly became clear that while it may get you through the door, it won’t get you to where you want to go. Hoping to check out the magnificent building at the end of a large garden where most the guests had gathered, my path was barred by two burly security guards standing next to a sign saying “limited access” (or some such). So that must be where the great hang out, while the merely good, and the journalists, mill around on the lawn.

2. There are stars and thereCannes9.jpg are superstars. While the stars generally hold court in Cannes, more often than not on a swanky hotel balcony or the beach itself, the superstars have a habit of demanding much more of your time and effort. The really big productions, and those that feature top Hollywood actors, often hold their interviews at the exclusive Du Cap hotel located about 30 minutes’ drive from Cannes. So I travelled there to meet Angelina Jolie for “A Mighty Heart” while a colleague did the same to interview Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon et al for “Ocean’s Thirteen“. Although the surroundings are pleasant enough — manicured gardens, azure seas, towering palm trees plus the odd paparazzo bobbing up and down in a nearby boat with an ultra-along lens — the waiting can be tedious and the temperatures draining.

Can you help me become famous?

May 24, 2007 10:25 UTC

A young man in a black suit pokes his head around the corner of our little office at the Cannes film festival and asks whether I can help. Im an actor, he says. Im not well known at all. No-ones ever heard of me. Can you help me become famous?

He explains he is sleeping on the beach and bluffing his way into receptions by dressing like a security guard. Ill do anything, he says.

I never discover his name but he embodies a phenomenon that is almost as integral to the Cannes film festival as the red carpet and the stars, namely the desperate struggle of the unknowns.

What is it with Dakotas?

May 23, 2007 19:33 UTC

Just a thought, but are dark forces at work in Hollywood to ensure young girls cast in major roles in blockbuster productions have to be called Dakota? Judging by the length of her career summary on the imdb movie Web site, Dakota Fanning is a film veteran at the tender age of 13. Then along comes Dakota Blue Richards, who at the same age has just landed her big screen debut with the central role of Lyra Belacqua in “The Golden Compass”, a $180 million adaptation of the first book in Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy. She was selected from around 10,000 young British girls who auditioned for the part.

As I watched the latter Dakota take questions from reporters in Cannes at a roundtable discussion to promote the film, I found myself pondering whether I would want my child going into movies. Sure, the money is good, but do the long days on set and the attention and fame mean that growing up into a balanced adult is more difficult? Any thoughts, readers?

The movie business has plenty of stories of kids who grow up too fast, or never grow up at all. Then again, the majority actually end up reasonably balanced individuals. And not that there was any suggestion that Richards was heading for trouble. She impressed us all with her composure and honesty. Unlike some supposedly more grown-up stars hiding behind dark glasses and looking bored, she looked straight at her questioners, smiled and spoke of wanting to be a part-time actress while finding time for a “real job”. When asked a question a second time, she politely answered it again. But after spending six months away from school during filming, having a private tutor to teach her and approaching a time when she could become a widely recognised face, she may be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed.

Osage tribe keeps culture alive by dancing

May 23, 2007 17:07 UTC

Kathryn Red Corn.jpgDancing is ”the glue that holds (the tribe) together, said Kathryn Red Corn (pictured left), director of the Osage Tribal Museum here. 

Starting the first weekend of June, the Osage will hold a series of tribal dancing ceremonies called the In-lon-shka (the first n is virtually silent). 

Three villages in the county Pawhuska, Hominy and Fairfax take it in turns to host four days of dancing , where members of the tribe camp out and dance twice daily. Julia Lookout.jpg