Sunday, June 3, 2007


The fair city of Tulsa, Oklahoma turned fifty years old in 1957. The City, named by Time Magazine as America's Most Beautiful City, staged a Golden Jubilee to celebrate. The city fathers, looking ahead to Tulsa's Centennial only 50 years hence, decided to create a very special memento to the future- a time capsule. Not to be satisfied with any ordinary footlocker dipped in wax, they chose a most unusual commemoration of Mid Century Tulsa Living- they buried a brand spanking-new 1957 Plymouth.

Yes, a Plymouth. At the City Fathers' request, a Belvedere Sport Coupe in Desert Gold and Sand Dune White was donated by the Plymouth Division, no doubt imagining all the goodwill they would derive from the promotion and how it would most certainly spike sales of the 2007 Plymouths after the unveiling. Oops. And not to be content with just a car, they added ephemera of everyday life in Tulsa. A case of Schlitz beer. Home brewed gasoline and oil. An unpaid parking ticket. Even the contents of a lady's purse- cigarettes, tranquilizers, tissues, and all. Sort of a Valley of the Dolls Time Capsule.

Outside the Courthouse Building, the City Fathers created a Vault for the handsomely accessorized Plymouth. Lined with concrete and Gunnite, it was not so much a burial vault as a swimming pool. The car was lowered onto a steel framework by a crane and a (hopefully) watertight lid was fitted and sealed, then the entire vault was covered by three feet of topsoil.

On Friday, June 15, 2007, the capsule will be opened and the Golden Belvedere exposed to sunlight for the first time since the Eisenhower Administration. The car should be in fabulous condition, if everything behaved according to plan. Or the swimming pool could be full of water, as swimming pools sometimes tend to be, and there might be nothing left but the beer and the tranquilizers. Not to mention that some of the other contests are less akin to a time capsule and more along the lines of an EPA Superfund site. Fifty year old Gasoline. Yeah, right.

The point of this all is that my buddy David (the one I can usually talk into crazy things) and I have realized that we cannot possibly continue living if we are not there to witness the event, s0 we are driving to Tulsarama. We're going to witness the opening of what may be the most unusual Time Capsule ever created. It could only come from the fifties. We've elected to drive for the authenticity of it all, and because we both love a good road trip. While in Tulsa, I insist we visit the Golden Driller (a 76 foot tall golden statue of an Oil Driller that's been part of the Tulsa Fairgrounds since 1966) the Lortondale Neighborhood, and the Admiral Twin Drive-In, one of only eight left in Oklahoma. I'm scanning the 'net for authentic Roadside Diners.

I'll be travelling with laptop so I can blog en route. If anyone has suggestions of fabulous Fifties Tulsa architecture that I should not miss, please drop me a note. I'm totally excited about Tulsa- one has to love a community that buries brand-new 1957 Plymouths and erects 76-foot tall Golden Oil Driller statuary. If only Los Angeles were so forward thinking.

1 comment:

BigAssBelle said...

jeff! the hole's got water in it. no news yet as to whether the plastic protected it. . . . boo hoo hoo :(