Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mid-Town + Elitist = Mid-Town Elitist

Despite the fact that the proponents of the far-fetched project, "The Channels," are asking the taxpayers of Tulsa County to pony up over $600 Million, word has gotten back to me that John-Kelly Warren, the titular leader of these new "visionistas," is stinging over the criticism they have received from skeptics such as myself.

Note to Mr. Warren: Politics ain’t beanbag and you’ve drifted, however good-intentioned, into the political realm.

Despite this obvious fact, I have been shocked at how civil the discourse has been to this point. So far, things have gone along so civilly that the only conclusion I can draw is that nobody thinks The Channels has a chance of ever being approved, so no one has been willing to expend the effort to spew any vitriol.

The accusation that I’ve heard which most upsets J-K is that he and his friends are “Mid-Town Elitists.” Given the thousands of wannabees that flood Queenies and Suede in order to be thought of as potential Mid-Town Elitists, I’m shocked J-K and Co. aren’t comfortable with the moniker. For my part, I’ll gladly accept the title “Nay-saying South Tulsa Populist.”

Why? Because it’s synonymous with “South Tulsa Conservative,” which is what I am.

For the record, anyone that heads a multi-million dollar charitable foundation founded by his oil tycoon grandfather is going to have a hard time positioning himself as a “regular guy.” Regular guy foundations are “cracked and sagging,” not charitable.

So having established that Mr. Warren is among the elite, that then leaves the second modifier in the pejorative term that has given him so much reflux; “Mid-Town.”

Well, some of us got to wonderin’. Just what part of Tulsa have the Tulsa Stakeholders put up stakes? Are they as diverse in geographic residency as their opposition? Well, I did a little research and the answer is “no.”

Fact: All of the Tulsa Stakeholders live in an area that should be defined by even the most elite-minded as “mid-town.”

Fact: The farthest any Tulsa Stakeholder (Tom Cooper) lives from the proposed location of The Channels, is 2.8 miles. To give you some contrast, I personally live more than ten miles away. In fact, Cooper must be considered the “South Tulsan” of the group, as he lives all the way down there on 37th Street. Hang in there Tom, I’m sure you’ll get to move north into a tonier neighborhood soon.

Fact: The closest a Tulsa Stakeholder (“Rusty” Patton) lives to the proposed site of The Channels is less than two city blocks.

The map I’ve provided shows you the exact locations of the residencies of the five known Stakeholders [Warren, Cooper, Patton, Lambert and Salisbury]. The Stakeholder homes are notated with green arrows. For grins, I’ve thrown in two bonus locations, which are notated with red arrows. These are the homes of the two Robert Lortons [Jr. and III], publishers of the city’s daily “The Channels marketing brochure,” better knows as the Tulsa World.

It should come as no surprise that J-K, Robert III [the current publisher], Robert, Jr. [the former publisher] and Salisbury [the husband of Robert III's sister and Robert, Jr.'s daughter] all live within blocks of each other.

Heck, I wish my immediate family lived so tightly packed. It would make the commute on Thanksgiving delightfully brief.

Of additional interest is the fact that of the five central players, four of them [all but Patton] were born within two years of each other [1962-1964]. I would love to know, but haven’t been able to find out as of yet, whether or not they all went to the same high school. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did, given that The Channels has possessed the eerie sense of being a wealthy kid’s class project.

The plain fact of the matter is, that the five central players in this very expensive proposal come from a very different place than the bulk of us who are being asked to foot the bill. Their Tulsa is different from the Tulsa--or more accurately, Tulsas--that most of us know. As such, they’ll see both the problems facing our city’s future, as well as the solutions to address those problems, very differently from the rest of us.

So far, everyone has remained reserved and respectful, leaving their criticisms in the realm of good-natured humor. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Primarily because, that would mean very few are taking this thing very seriously.


Anonymous said...

Isn't hal salisbury married to tracy lorton salisbury?

Anonymous said...

Is harold salisbury, sec of the tulsa world board of directors, the same person as hal salisbury?