News from Voices of Oklahoma…

Olympian Bart Conner

As we enjoy the Summer  Olympics in Rio, we are reminded of our nation’s most accomplished male gymnast, the only American to win gold at every level of competition. Bart Conner talks about the moment he knew he wanted to be a gymnast and about his wife Nadia Comaneci.

Listen to Bart’s story here.

This oral history should be shared with every young athlete you know.  Bart is a great example of hard work, leading to a high level of success.


Vice President–Voices of Oklahoma

Since it is presidential convention time again, Voices of Oklahoma looks back to the 1968 Democratic convention when twice elected to the U.S. Senate from Oklahoma, Fred Harris was considered to be the vice-presidential running mate with candidate for president Hubert Humphrey.

Listen to the drama of that selection here in Chapter 20.

The entire oral history of Fred Harris is fascinating listening as he talks about his time in Washington D.C..

Share with your friends.  

Robert L. Parker–Voices of Oklahoma

Robert “Bob” Parker was an international oil and gas leader who brought western drilling techniques to Russia and China. He purchased Parker Drilling from his father in 1954 and took the company public in 1969. You can listen to Bob tell his story on Voices of Oklahoma here. Bob was 92 when he died July 9, 2016.

Listen to Rev. Wishard and Wanda Lemons talk about working for Bob Parker in Chapter 8 here.

 Share these oral histories with friends.


Bob LaFortune–Voices of Oklahoma

Tulsa Mayor- elect G.T. Bynum says he will seek advice from his grandfather Robert LaFortune. In his oral history for Voices of Oklahoma, you can learn of the challenges Mr. LaFortune faced when he was mayor of Tulsa.

The former mayor talks about his entry into public service here in Chapter 5. Listen and share with your friends.

Sixth Anniversary of Voices of Oklahoma

April marks the SIXTH anniversary for Voices of Oklahoma. We launched the website April 10, 2010, with the oral history of Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. She died April 6, 2010, and so we honor her life and observe our anniversary this month. You can listen to Wilma tell her story here.

We thank our donors who were with us from the beginning and the University of Tulsa for providing many resources to sustain our mission: preserving Oklahoma’s legacy, one voice at a time. And we thank our many visitors who listened and referred VOK to their friends. Be looking for many more interesting Oklahoma life stories in the coming year.

Thank you,

John Erling

Founder and Creative Director

Chester Cadieux–Voices of Oklahoma

Chester Cadieux, co-founder of QuikTrip, died March 14, 2016, at the age of eighty-four. In his interview with Voices of Oklahoma. Chester talked about a $5,000 loan he received from his father to help launch QuikTrip’s  first store.

Listen here to his great sense of humor as he described those early days.

Recently, QuikTrip was named to Fortune‘s Best Places to work for the fourteenth year in a row.

Bob Dylan-Voices of Oklahoma

The Bob Dylan archives have been acquired by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Tulsa. One of the reasons Bob Dylan agreed to this acquisition was because of his admiration for Woody Guthrie.

Listen here to Nora Guthrie, the daughter of Woody Guthrie, talk about Bob Dylan in Chapter 17 of her Voices of Oklahoma oral history.

OSU Plane Crash

Fifteen years ago on January 27, 2001, Oklahoma State University lost 10 men from the basketball program in a plane crash outside of Strasburg, Colorado. Coach Eddie Sutton talks about that night here in Chapter 20 of Voices of Oklahoma. 

Share with your friends,

John Erling

I Love Lucy Christmas Special

CBS Television presents an “I Love Lucy Christmas Special” with two very memorable episodes starring Lucille Ball. It will be seen Wednesday, December 23, at 7 PM. Oklahoman Wanda Clark worked for Lucille Ball as a special assistant for twenty-five years. Wanda’s interview gives us behind the scenes stories about Lucille and the special relationship the two woman enjoyed. Listen to Wanda’s story here on Voices of Oklahoma.

Miss Jacksons-Voices of Oklahoma

With the closing of Miss Jacksons, Voices of Oklahoma visits the story behind the store. It was a banker who saved the name of Miss Jacksons and ultimately the store. Our storyteller is Bill Vandever of Vandevers Department store. Bill is no longer with us but his voice and story are preserved forever.

Listen to Chapter 5—Miss Jacksons here for the name of the banker who saved Miss Jacksons.

Preserving Oklahoma’s legacy one voice at a time.