Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Doug Dawgz Blog Is Three

This blog began on July 15, 2006, with the post Getting Started and it is now three years old. Other than a required change of uniforms (above) it has pretty much stuck with its intended plan: Present for any that want to read Oklahoma City history (past, present, future) and well as OKC in the NBA. I won't claim that my research underlying the articles is flawless — I learn something new most every day — but I do claim that I make every effort to thoroughly research what I write about and that the written articles produced here are as accurate as available sources will allow.

Jump to the parts of this article that may interest you, below:

This Year's Stuff   The Blog's History
Blog Statistics   My Top 10 Favorites

THIS YEAR'S STUFF. Much if not most of the articles done during the past 12 months are "buried" in a pair of off-blog collections but which are accessed via the blog: The Ultimate Deep Deuce Collection and The Vintage Clickable Map. So, if you never enter those areas, there's lots that you will not see. For a slide show which contains one graphic from each of about 140 items done this year, click the button below and the flash file will load. It's a bit big at 14.6 MB, so be patient while it loads. Turn off your sound if you don't like the Flaming Lips' Do You Realize, the state's official rock song despite Oklahoma House Republicans' efforts to avoid that. Unless you interrupt it, run-time for the flash slide-show is about 7 1/2 minutes. You can jump around by categories (general history, Deep Deuce, clickable map, books, today, miscellaneous, and Thunder) and you can stop the video any time you like.

BLOG HISTORY. Earlier, I posted a 1st year retrospective and then a Year 2 In Review article, and this one is the 3rd such commemorative. At least in part, the inspiration for this blog were the posts of the "Downtown Guy" in a now-distant past. Will the Downtown Guy ever come back? Will he ever reveal his true identity? Will he ever again leap tall buildings in a single bound? One day, I hope that he will do all three. In my estimation, at an earlier time the Downtown Guy's blog posts were the primary internet stimulus for interest in Oklahoma City history. Come on, Clark, it's time to come out of the closet!

Oh, well, back to topic. I said in the beginning that the blog's focus would be Oklahoma City history, with a sub-interest on Oklahoma City's involvement with the NBA. With occasional diversions, I've not often veered from that focus.

3rd YEAR STATISTICS. The blog's statistical history is graphically shown below (click on graphics for a larger view):

Graphically that detail is shown below:

In the main, the blog's "hits" and "page views" have shown a healthy progression ... each year more than the last. The past year almost doubled the hits during the 1st two years combined. It's hard to complain about that, with the immediate past 12 months averaging 7,152 hits and 11,971 page views per month. The 3-year cumulative totals are (using the past 12-month average to extrapolate for the full current month of July) 157,559 visitors and 237,536 page views.

MY TOP TEN PERSONAL FAVORITES. It's kinda hard to pick — should such a list be (a) those I enjoyed doing the most, or (b) those which I perceive to have added the most to Oklahoma City's reservoir of available on-line history? Dunno. The list below is probably a blur between the two criteria and is in random order.
  1. Vintage Clickable Map. If you know the name of the building you're wanting to track down, it might be simpler to use the Vintage Map Index Page. This is a long-term project. Presently, the Vintage Map includes mini-articles (some are larger) on between 80-90 buildings or areas in the vintage map which is bordered by N. 18th Street and S. 15th Street on the north and south and by Klein and Stonewall on the west and east.

  2. Ultimate Deep Deuce Collection. This project was actually a spin-off of the above and includes about 33-34 mini-articles in or around Deep Deuce, all of which can be accessed by an interactive flash-map or by using a linked index. Unlike the more general Vintage Map Collection, the Deep Deuce Collection is done (unless/until I learn more to add, of course).

  3. Angelo C. Scott's Story of Oklahoma City (complete book). I have scanned all 208 pages of this delightful and incisive history by land-runner Angelo Scott and it is completely available to you in two formats -- html and a downloadable PDF file so that you can stick it on your own computer, if you want. Scott and his brother produced the very 1st newspaper published in Oklahoma City on May 9, 1889. Scott went on to garner numerous other accomplishments and was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1933. About the book, Bob Blackburn, without peer in the list of Oklahoma historians, said, "Angelo added to his contributions by writing one of the most touching histories of Oklahoma City ever published." This was actually intended by be a gift to my blog's readers today, but I couldn't wait and jumped the gun on June 21, three weeks ago. The book covers Oklahoma City's first decade or so.

  4. Population & Area Histories of OKC are two companion articles about the size of our town. The population part traces official census information for 1890 through 1970, inclusive, and contains extracts from official census records which pertain to Oklahoma City as well as Oklahoma, generally. The second article is about space and answers this question in great detail: "How did Oklahoma City ever get this sprawly-big?" -- roughly, that's about 39 miles east-west and 28 miles north-south, with lots of pockets which are not part of Oklahoma City proper.

  5. John A. Browns. In addition to the mini-article in the Vintage Clickable Map, there's this major article which traces in detail the once fabulous John A. Brown Department Store from its earliest roots until its eventual absorption by Dayton Hudson and last to Dillards. The downtown Brown's was the largest in the state and occupied about 3/5 of a city block. We ain't never gonna see anything like Brown's again.

  6. Famous Kiltie Band (also, see Famous Kilties In Shamrock). While many have seen picturesque postcard of the "Famous Kiltie Band" at the Civic Center, most probably don't know much about them -- and that they really were indeed famous. The band served as Oklahoma City's popular ambassador from 1922 until 1990 or so and this article tells the story about the band and its leader Capt. Everett G. Fry who was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1938.

  7. Devon Tower. Oh my god. I'm still having to pinch myself about this one to be sure that it was and is real! Construction of the new headquarters of Devon Energy Corporation is scheduled to begin this fall -- it will be a 54 story, 925' iconic skyscraper that will be the tallest building in Oklahoma and cost at least $750 million! As a guest of my good friend Steve Lackmeyer, I got to sit right there with him in the front row (just like a real Jimmy Olson cub reporter) and watch the August 20, 2008, announcement and presentation which left those in attendance with no ability to speak and their jaws locked wide open.

  8. Oklahoma Skyscraper City Circa 1931. This article is sort of a companion piece inspired by the above. It describes Oklahoma City's downtown building history generally but focuses on 1931's "Great Race" between the Ramsey Tower and First National Bank. With these buildings completed, Oklahoma City was tied with Philadelphia for 12th place in the rank of cities with buildings of 33 stories or greater -- which is to say, only 11 U.S. cities (in order, New York, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, Detroit, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Baltimore, Houston, and Kansas City) had buildings having a greater number of stories than Oklahoma City did and Oklahoma City truly was, at that time, Skyscraper City -- it having two buildings taller than were present in any of the following: Boston, Minneapolis, St. Paul, San Fransisco, Dallas, Memphis, Los Angeles, Miami, St. Louis, Providence, Milwaukee, Denver, Ft. Worth, Tulsa, Atlanta, New Orleans, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, Sacramento, and San Diego, which rounds out the top 35 in ranking order.

  9. The Civic Center. Inspirational credit for this article goes to the outstanding blogger Blair Humphreys and his great imagiNATIVEAmerica blog. The article traces the development of the Civic Center, an area running along Couch Drive from Broadway to Shartel in the days of the Great Depression. Couch Drive replaced the east/west Rock Island and Frisco rail tracks which divided downtown from its early days until 1930.

  10. Jim Crow In Oklahoma City. This article traces in considerable detail the racial discrimination enforced upon black people by white people by "Jim Crow" laws in Oklahoma generally and Oklahoma City particularly, including but not limited to the imposition of martial law on Oklahoma City by Gov. Alfalfa Bill Murray in May 1933. It is not a happy story, but it is finally a triumphant one in the end.
Another personal favorite and one which I take no credit for is the article which presented the beautifully stunning view of Oklahoma landscapes by In fact, it is so good I'll embed the video here, one more time:

I thank each of you for visiting Doug Dawgz Blog during the past year and I hope that you'll keep on coming back for more Oklahoma City history.

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NR said...

CONGRATS on making it to 3 years Doug! You've been the posterboy of consistency on the blogosphere, something that's difficult for those of us that tire out after a while and then get fired back up again and then tire out and then so on. LOL

Doug Dawg is the place to go for anyone who wants to learn way more than they ever wanted to about OKC history! Keep up the great work Doug.

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, Nick.

Andrew Black said...

Doug, you've created quite a legacy. I'm proud to call you my friend.
-Steve Lackmeyer

Doug Dawg said...

Me too, you.