Monday, December 14, 2009

This Post Brought To You By The Letter X

Tulsa A to Z

Have you ever longed for a fun, easy-to-remember list of Tulsa's most unusual sights, restaurants, people and stories? Imagine the fun you could have in this town with a list like that, chock full of things to see, things to do and things to be proud of in T-Town.

Last week I received in the mail a package from Jack Frank, one of Tulsa's favorite independent film makers, containing a copy of his newest production, Tulsa A to Z.

This show is that fun, easy-to-remember list that, just 30 seconds ago, you realized you wanted - no, needed. You must have T-Town's beauty and fun and weirdness at your fingertips. Right? Right.

Tulsa A to Z preview from Jack Frank on Vimeo.

In the 60-minute show, Frank runs through 26 unique-to-Tulsa landmarks, people and eat spots, ranging from the Admiral Twin to the Meadow Gold Sign to Zink - John Zink, that is.

Like Frank's last film, Tulsa Deco, I enjoyed watching Tulsa A to Z as much as I appreciated the content.

What I mean by that is, Jack Frank creates shows that are just plain fun to watch. They're not the kind of films that have the eyes of everyone in a room glazed over, with no one saying a word from start to finish. Instead, these shows bring something that is, at least in my mind, better: The opportunity (or, in the case of the chatty people in my household, the urge) for conversation. This film offers viewers the chance to exchange other little-known facts about Tulsa and the people and things that helped to put us on the map.

Between the 18 landmarks, four people and four restaurants featured in the film, I learned a lot about this city that, sometimes, I think I know at least a smidgen of something about pretty much everything.

I was most surprised by the attractions stood for by the letters D, I, X an Y.

D is for The Drunkard, the longest-running play in the U.S., right here in our own backyard in the Bruce Goff classic at 13th and Riverside. As one of the actors in the play likes to say, this production is some of the most fun you'll have with your clothes on. Even having seen it just once, I'd have to agree. It's a pleasure to boo and hiss the bad guy and cheer the good guys. If ever on a Saturday night you're feeling like a healthy dose of vaudeville, the Spotlight Theater is the place to be for a showing of The Drunkard. Be there at 7:30pm to catch the show.

I is for Interesting Incinerator, an abandoned city incinerator that a Tulsa artist and his wife bought and repurposed as their residence. I love what the homeowner said about how even though trash and waste used to be the byproduct of this structure, now it's a place where art is created. If that vision of sustainability isn't one to strive for, then I don't know what is.

X is for Xanthus Avenue. Yeah, so Tulsa A to Z taught me that I've been mispronouncing the name of this street for my entire life. How about you? Come on, you know you've mispronounced it, too. Help me to reinstate my pride here.

Y is for yield sign, invented right here in T-Town by a Tulsa Police officer. When my husband learned that the yield sign was invented in Tulsa, he had to go and find out all about it, the map geek that he is. In his resulting wanderings through history he figured out that Urbana Avenue is the widest residential street in Tulsa. Why? It used to be a runway. Who knew? Well, someone did.

Any history buff, Tulsa enthusiast or film fanatic would love to find Tulsa A-Z stuffed into his or her stocking on Christmas morning. Lucky for me, Santa visited my house early this year and left me with three - yes, three - copies of this film to give away to three lucky TDT readers.

And guess what. Dozens of you are already signed up to win. If you subscribe to the TDT daily e-mail, you have a chance to win one of these copies of Tulsa A-Z. If you're not signed up, don't worry. You can do so until tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 15) evening at 8pm to be eligible to win a copy of Jack Frank's newest show, whether it's to gift or to keep. Simply click the link or enter your e-mail address here:

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Plus, you'll get the latest posts on delivered right to your inbox bright and early every morning, including the weekend rundown of local events, What to Do in Tulsa This Weekend. Convenient, no? And don't worry, your e-mail address is safe with me. I promise not to sell it, trade it for cool stuff or write it on the wall at a shady truck stop.

Good luck, everybody. I'll draw a winner soon after the entry deadline with the help of the random integer generator at

If you could have been the mastermind behind Tulsa A-Z, what would you have done differently? What would you have kept the same? If you missed the film when it aired Nov. 30 on KOTV and Dec. 2 on OETA, what would your idea of Tulsa A-Z look like?

Tulsa A to Z
Steve's Sundry Books & Magazines, 2612 S. Harvard Ave.
QuikTrip stores
SpiritBank branches
Borders Midtown, 2740 E. 21st Street
Dwelling Spaces, 119 S. Detroit Ave.
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Mom Mayhem says: said...

I had recorded the show when it was on TV and just watched it -I didn't know it would be a tease-Only showing A-L! Now I really want 1!
So,much that I can relate to -Like the Drunkard I remember going to watch it when my cousin was in the play. And I am soo glad I got to see L -Lortondale! My family lived there for awhile when I was a small child and until now I couldn't remember the official name.

Becky said...

We need our relatives to see that show so they can come visit us and not think that there isn't anything to do in Tulsa in the wintertime.

Mandy said...

who won?! :)

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