News & Events

“Crossroads” by Jo Ratliff

Jun 30th
Posted in Uncategorized

Lecture & Book Signing

Crossroads at Miller Ridge by Jo Ratliff

Saturday, July 18th, 11:00 AM


“Crossroads at Miller Ridge captures the humor and pathos of life as experienced by an Oklahoma family and its neighbors.”

About the book

CrossroadsCover0001 (525x800)Jo Ratliff is her family’s story keeper—the repository of the folklore and facts surrounding her family’s Oklahoma roots. In Crossroads at Miller Ridge she hands down the tales her mother told her of growing up at Miller Ridge, once referred to by one old-timer as the “flower garden” of a region rising out of the bottomlands of the Arkansas River west of Fort Smith, Arkansas.   When Ratliff’s great-grandfather, Arthur William Miller, a proud Confederate veteran headed west, carrying a Winchester rifle, some apple seedlings, a medical book and a wagon load of kids drawn by a team of oxen, the land where he settled still belonged to the Cherokees. Twenty-two years later, when Oklahoma became the 46th state, a gaggle of grandchildren were in attendance at the one-room school house known as Miller Ridge, standing across the road from the Millers’ log home.

Traipsing across the fields over barbed wire fences and tiptoeing through rocky streams, the children of Miller Ridge thrived in a community where the wagon didn’t roll out of the gate without everyone within a three-mile radius knowing where it was headed. Idyllic as it may sound, the community was not without its share of danger and uncertainty. World War I, the 1918 flu epidemic, Prohibition, and the Great Depression disrupted plans and dismantled dreams. All the while the folks at Miller Ridge married, had children, raised crops, built barns, played music and danced to the tunes of their time.

Pulled from a library of recollection that that has long since been closed, woven from the collective history of a region where the stake marking its birthplace remains today, Crossroads at Miller Ridge captures the humor and pathos of life as experienced by an Oklahoma family and its neighbors. More pointedly, it traces the steps of its primary character, Lillian, as she negotiates the hazardous road that leads her from girlhood to womanhood.

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Author: Jo Ratliff

About the author

Jo Ratliff holds a B.A. in American Studies from Oklahoma State University. She is the author of Headed Home: A Collection of Family Recipes and former editor of The Villa Voice, the quarterly newsletter for DaySpring Villa, a domestic violence shelter for women and children.

As a sideline to her quest to capture the life and times of people she holds most dear, she endeavors to keep family members informed about their Oklahoma roots and encourages them to stay connected through a periodic newsletter called The Miller Times. Circulation now stands at 175 family members. Although she was born in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, she has spent most of her life in Tulsa where she resides with her husband, Alan.


Boomtown: An American Journey

Jun 16th
Posted in Uncategorized

Tulsa Historical Society and Kirkpatrick & Kinslow Productions


Boomtown: An American Journey

This documentary focuses on the history of Tulsa, a city known for extremes, from its resilient citizens and indomitable leaders to its troubled cultural past and economic roller coasters.

Boomtown Poster“Boomtown showcases our city’s heritage of prosperous oil years, wealth, architecture, flourishing arts and philanthropy,” said Michelle Place, executive director of THS. “Interwoven in the film are the storied struggles of our community through the century – from the trials of the Muscogee Creek people during removal to Indian Territory in NE Oklahoma, through the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, to the hardships of economic downturns. The film answers the question, ‘Why is the study of history important?’”

Local business and civic leaders, authors and philanthropists featured through interviews in the documentary include:  Sharon King Davis, Linda Frazier, Hannibal Johnson, Phil Lakin, Bill Major, Dennis Neill, Teresa Pena, Ian Swart, Clifton Taulbert, Robb Trepp and Michael Wallis, as well as the late Herb Fritz.

Tulsa composer & musician Aaron Fulkerson created the original score for Boomtown, whose music was performed and recorded at Tulsa Community College Recording Studio by the Signature Symphony at TCC.

“Our vision for a short, five-minute promotional film for the museum began on New Year’s Eve 2013 after a conversation between myself, Michelle, and my fellow Boomtown executive producer, Andy Kinslow,” said Russ Kirkpatrick of the production company. “The initial goal was to create messaging that would explain the mission and programs to museum donors. Soon after we started filming, we knew we had a bigger story. We are thrilled to have collaborated with Oklahoma filmmakers and musicians, along with historians and technical advisors who spent nearly two years working on the film.”

“This project has been an amazing collaboration with so many Tulsa organizations,” added Place. “Our special thanks will be in the film credits, but I’d be remiss without mentioning the generosity of time from the Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, Circle Cinema, Greenwood Cultural Center, John Hope Franklin Center, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the Perryman Family, Signature Symphony at TCC, Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Public Schools, Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, and the City of Tulsa.”

How to see the film:

On Saturday, August 1st, the film will be shown every hour, on the hour, starting at 10 AM, with the last showing starting at 3 PM at the Tulsa Historical Society, 2445 S. Peoria. Free with museum admission ($5 adults, $3 seniors, free for members and students).

Showings of Boomtown will be offered at the Circle Cinema, located at 10 S. Lewis Ave, showtimes to be announced.

Boomtown will debut on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. on RSU Television, a public broadcasting network. The documentary will encore on RSU TV on Aug. 14 at 10 a.m. and again on Aug 17 at 11 p.m.

See the Official Trailer:

Official Trailer HD – Boomtown: An American Journey from Kirkpatrick&Kinslow Productions on Vimeo.

Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park

Jun 2nd
Posted in Uncategorized

Discussion & Book Signing
“Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park”
By John Wooley

Saturday, June 13th, 11:00 AM


The story behind one of the greatest folk-art attractions on America’s Mother Road.

About the Book

Just like his famous Totem Pole, Nathan Edward Galloway was one of a kind. Before he’d even mixed his first batch of cement for his most famous work, Ed Galloway had gone from hardscrabble farm in rural Missouri to a war in the Philippine Islands, and then to Sand Springs, Oklahoma, where he’d distinguished himself for many years as a manual-training instructor – and father figure – to the students at oilman Charles Page’s famous Sand Springs home.

Here, for the first time, is the full story of this soldier, artist, teacher, sculptor, and visionary, a man as fascinating as the park that bears his name.

About the AuthorTime Changes Everything6102 (427x640)

John Wooley is the author, co-author, or editor of more than 30 books, several of them dealing with Oklahoma’s popular culture, both past and present. His “Shot in Oklahoma” received the 2011 Outstanding Book on Oklahoma History Award from the Oklahoma Historical Society. The first writer to be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, he has also written several documentaries and the feature film “Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective.”


May 4th
Posted in Book signing, books, Events, Gift Shop, Uncategorized

Discussion, Reception, & Book Signing

Citizens Creek by Lalita Tademy

Monday, May 11th, 6:00 PM

A fascination with her ancestry as the descendant of Creole slave women set Lalita Tademy on a journey to write the critically-acclaimed historical novel Cane River, which went on to become both a New York Times bestseller, and an Oprah Book Club Selection. Her follow-up, Red River, based on real evens during the Reconstruction after the Civil War, also received its fair share of praise. Many have longed for her next book, and the wait is now over. In CITIZENS CREEK: A Novel, Tademy continues to shine a spotlight on important moments in American history, and the impact they have on all Americans, of color or not.

About the Book

Citizens_Creek_Cover.FinalLalita Tademy brings us the evocative story of a once-enslaved man who buys his freedom after serving as a translator during the American Indian Wars, and his granddaughter, who sustains his legacy of courage.
Cow Tom, born into slavery in Alabama in 1810 and sold to a Creek Indian chief before his tenth birthday, possessed an extraordinary gift: the ability to master languages. As the new country developed westward, and Indians, settlers, and blacks came into constant contact, Cow Tom became a key translator for his Creek master and was hired out to US military generals. His talent earned him money—but would it also grant him freedom? And what would become of him and his family in the aftermath of the Civil War and the Indian Removal westward?

Cow Tom’s legacy lives on—especially in the courageous spirit of his granddaughter Rose. She rises to leadership of the family as they struggle against political and societal hostility intent on keeping blacks and Indians oppressed. But through it all, her grandfather’s indelible mark of courage inspires her—in mind, in spirit, and in a family legacy that never dies.

Written in two parts portraying the parallel lives of Cow Tom and Rose, Citizens Creek is a beautifully rendered novel that takes the reader deep into a little known chapter of American history. It is a breathtaking tale of identity, community, family—and above all, the power of an individual’s will to make a difference.


Author: Lalita Tademy

About the Author

Before writing full-time, Lalita was Vice President and General Manager of several high technology companies in Silicon Valley, spending over a decade running business units within large corporations. Featured in Fortune’s “People on the Rise” list, as well as Black Enterprise and Ebony, in 1998 she was named an African-American Innovator in the New Millennium at the Silicon Valley Tech Museum of Innovation. But her own interest in a family’s roots, and the ongoing issues of racism and women’s empowerment, led her to focus all of her energies on her second career – writing.

She has been featured in People Magazine, O Magazine, More Magazine, Good Housekeeping, The Today Show, The Early Show, CNN, and the Oprah Winfrey Show, and has appeared as a speaker for the Library of Congress and National Book Festival, the California Governor’s Conference for Women, African American Librarians – Black Caucus, Louisiana Library Association, Professional Businesswomen of California, National Association of Principals for Girls, and as a San Francisco Library Laureate.

Born in Berkeley, California, far from her parents’ southern roots, both her mother and father made sure their household (Louisiana West) maintained a definite non-California edge, including a steady supply of grits, gumbo, cornbread, and collard greens, and a stream of other transplanted southerners eager to share their “back-home” stories. Some version of those tales seem to steal their way into whatever she writes.

Lalita lives in northern California with her husband, Barry Williams.

Music at the Mansion

Apr 14th
Posted in Uncategorized

Music at the Mansion

Thursday, April 16th, 1:30 PM

University of Tulsa Chamber Groups with Harp

CLICK HERE to view the full program and performer bios.

Oklahoma Military Academy Day

Apr 8th
Posted in Uncategorized

Oklahoma Military Academy

Documentary Showing, Panel Discussion, and Exhibit Opening

Saturday, May 16th, 10:00 AM – 2:30 PM


Schedule of Events:

10:00  Oklahoma Military Academy exhibit opens
11:00   Showing of the documentary OMA: West Point of the Southwest
12:05   Opening ceremony
12:15   Panel Discussion with Phil Goldfarb, Gene Little, John Wooley, Shawnee Brittan, and Danette Boyle
1:30     Second showing of the documentary OMA: West Point of the Southwest

Oklahoma Military AcademyOMA(Color)

From 1919-1971, the Oklahoma Military Academy enjoyed a hard-earned reputation for excellence, becoming known as the “West Point of the South West.” Today, the campus operates as Rogers State University, but the OMA tradition has not been forgotten.

Life on “The Hill” for an OMA cadet was one of discipline and self control. The schools core values-Courage, Loyalty and Honor-were instilled in the life of every cadet. Over 10,000 young men attended OMA with 80% having served our country in time of war as well as peace…the highest percent of any school in Oklahoma.

Documentary OMA: West Point of the Southwest

RSU Public TV, in conjuction with the OMA Alumni Association and Rogers State University, has produced a documentary telling the unique story of the Oklahoma Military Academy.

The documentary features the narration of national award-winning journalist Bill Kurtis and was written by author John Wooley, who has extensively researched OMA’s history. OMA alumnus Shawnee Brittan ’53, who has received more than 40 international film award, served as the producer/director.


Dr. Danette Boyle -  Danette Boyle graduated from Chelsea High School and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northeastern State University and her doctorate from Oklahoma State University.  She began working at Claremore Jr. College, now Rogers State University in 1973 as the Director of Admissions/Counseling. In 1977, Boyle was promoted to Vice President for Development and served in that capacity until July 2011 at which point, she decided to serve as the Executive Director of the OMA Alumni Association.

Among Danette Boyle’s numerous awards and achievements as the Vice President at RSU, her number one accomplishment was the development of the OMA Alumni Association.  She has led the efforts in many fundraising efforts of the OMA Alumni, including efforts last year to partner with RSU TV to make the made for television movie: Oklahoma Military Academy: West Point of the Southwest.

Shawnee Brittan – Shawnee Brittan came to OMA in the fall of 1950 and graduated from high school in 1953. Brittan has received international acclaim in a career that has spanned many years in film and video production. He worked in Hollywood throughout the 1960s, where he was vice president of Celebrity News Service. In 1967, he co-founded Media Research Associates.

He served as Filmmaker-in-Residence and Visiting Professor at the University of Oklahoma from 2001 to 2011. At OU he created the Independent Film Project, an independent motion picture production program.  He currently serves as vice president of Hollymount Pictures, and is a consultant to the History Media Foundation. Brittan served as the producer and director for Oklahoma Military Academy: West Point of the Southwest. 

Phil Goldfarb – Phil Goldfarb graduated from the Oklahoma Military Academy and then received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Science from Oklahoma State University. A history and biography buff since he could first read, Phil’s hobby for over 30 years has been history and genealogy as he is the Founding and current President of  a local Genealogical Society.  He has lectured extensively on various topics in genealogy and has written two books titled “A Page of History: Passport Applications 1851-1914” which came out in 2014 and a second book “A Page of History: Passport Applications Volume II 1915-1925″

In 2014 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Military Academy Hall of Fame and is the President of the OMA Alumni Association. He sits on the Board of Trustees for several non-profit organizations in the Tulsa area. Phil and his wife of 39 years have two children and two grandchildren.

Gene Little – Gene little attended three years of High School and two Years of College at Oklahoma Military Academy. After Classes at Oklahoma A & M and Tulsa University, Little was offered Navy “A” School in Electronics and Enlisted. At Navy Boot Camp in San Diego, Little won the American Spirit Honor Award at Final Parade. Little finished his Navy tour in 1962 and spent his career at Philips Semiconductor as a Fabrication Planning Manager. Little Retired after 21 Years and moved Back to Oklahoma in 2003.

In 2004 Little took over as Curator of the O.M.A Museum in Claremore. With the help of his wife Charlotte, helped renovate the Museum. Little received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008 and the Lt. Gen. William E. Potts Award for Excellence in 2011.

John Wooley – John Wooley is a writer, lecturer, and radio host who specializes in the movies, literature, and music of the 1930s and ‘40s as well as other pop-culture history. He has written, co-written, or edited more than 30 books and  has scripted a number of documentaries, including Oklahoma Military Academy: The West Point of the Southwest.

He currently hosts the public-radio series Swing on This, co-hosts the Forgotten Horrors podcasts, and serves as a contributing editor and columnist for Oklahoma Magazine. Wooley’s writing has earned him induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Cartoonists Hall of Fame, and, most recently, the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame.