Right after World War II we returned to Tulsa where both of my parents were from. The first place we lived was the Grotto Courts, which was an old motel on Route 66 (5527 E. 11th St, 11th and Hudson) where the railroad crossed. I think I was around 3 years old (1945-46) and we lived in the 3rd unit on the east side. Of course the Grotto Courts are long gone now. In 2008 the railroad tracks were still there but had not been used in a long time.
Some of my first memories are from there. They include a circus train stopping one time. There was a box car loading ramp in the field on the west side of the tracks. They brought the animals out to exercise them; an elephant got away and walked through a hedge in the back of one of the houses to the west. I can still remember a woman screaming. LOL, I would also if I were in Tulsa, OK, in my backyard and an elephant came through my hedge.
I also remember getting stung by wasps in the back of my neck after throwing rocks at a nest hanging from the eave of one of the burned out units in the back. The guy on the south side of us would catch giant catfish (3-4 feet long) and clean them in his backyard. I used to play with Barbara and the other kids in the flower bed in the front, right by the highway. There was a White Castle Restaurant across the street.
After living in the Grotto Courts after World War II, we moved to the "Veterans Project" at the Fairgrounds (now Expo Square) northwest of the Pavilion (built 1931). I have not been able to find any information on it, but I assume it was housing provided to veterans after the war, who were having trouble getting started again. These two-story wooden barracks are also long gone, but in 2008 I took a few pics of the area. The State Fair was going on so one cannot see much. We were there for ~3 years (1946-49) but had moved to the Harvard Apartments by the time school started in Sep 1949.
Memories include walking to Sidney Lanier Elementary School, even when I was in Kindergarten. It was a different world then. We just had an ice box and the iceman would deliver the number of pounds based on a sign you put in the window. I remember the rodeos at the Pavilion and we used to walk over there and watch the Brahma bulls. At that time there was a creek between the Pavilion and the Armory (built 1940-41). We found a large snapping turtle there one time. Ironically, many years later I played basketball for the University of Tulsa in the Pavilion and we practiced in the Armory. I also remember a snow that was deep enough to make tunnels (that is unusual for Tulsa).
Of course, my middle brother and I were angels (this was before my youngest brother was born). However, I remember tricking a babysitter. We ran upstairs, climbed out the window, and went down the wooden fire escape. While she was coming down the fire escape after us, we locked the doors and the upstairs window. Hey, we did not keep her locked out long and we really got in trouble with my dad when he got back home.
For orientation, Sidney Lanier was/is located at 17th and Harvard, the Pavilion at 17th and New Haven, and the Armory at 15th and New Haven. The Veterans Project was in the area bounded by 15th and 17th Streets, and Louisville and New Haven Avenues. It is now used for Fairgrounds parking. My paternal grandparents' house was on Oswego across the street from the Armory.
3.8 miles north of Highway 44 it is an easy drive to this beautiful site. I love to be outdoors so I went here with my boyfriend. I fell in love with the place. There is everything from open fields to caves and everything in between. If you just feel like excaping the city for some quiet and relaxation this is the place to do it. No bikes or pets.
Of the large creatures from the African plains, Mohawk Park is amply provided. A few elephants, a water buffalo, two giraffes, two white rhinos, and the larger antelopes like kudu are the most important members of the Elephant Encounter, the Giraffe Yard and the African Savanna. The apes can be seen in the Chimpanzee Connection.
Mohawk Park also offers a large number of cats, including two Siberian tigers (Oklahoma City has smaller Sumatran tigers). In the next pen are a lion and lioness, but here the differences between the zoos of Oklahoma's two chief cities differ widely. The paddocks in Tulsa are too concrete and contrived, but they offer wide open and direct face-to-face appreciation of the animals. Oklahoma City's paddocks are more natural, but the tigers are seen through mesh fences, and the lions through protective glass panels. Tulsa also has a pair of cheetahs in the best natural compound for cats at Mohawk Park.
Mohawk Park has a small collection of aquatic creatures, but the offerings are smart and varied. Two sea lions enjoy their own pool, and a small colony of African penguins occasionally flap away from their protective caves to splash in their own arena. In the wetlands building, Tulsa has an American alligator (Oklahoma City is without one) and tropical birds, but no hippos or dolphins (unlike Oklahoma City).
The Tulsa Zoo lies some 30 blocks north of downtown and slightly north of the airport. Comparisons between this place (called Mohawk Park) and the Oklahoma City Zoo are natural and useful. Mohawk Park offers the public two polar bears of considerable size (Oklahoma City at present has no bears whatsoever), as well as other bears in more distant paddocks (and unfortunately less natural surroundings). You can watch the polar bears from outside and from beneath the water level in their carefully controlled Arctic pool.
Woolaroc Museum Near Bartlesville, OK
Woolaroc was the country retreat of oilman Frank Phillips, founder of Phillips Petroleum Company. Has a wildlife preserve, children’s petting zoo, buffalo burgers, and a museum with American Indian artifacts and history of Phillips Petroleum. www.woolaroc.org
Brookside is a nice place. It is a string of restuarants, bars, and stores. At night its lit up and very busy.