View Full Version : Tell me stories about Bill Atkinson's Oklahoma Journal



Steve
04-21-2009, 10:48 PM
Go ahead ... I'm waiting...

papaOU
04-22-2009, 01:03 AM
I was a carrier for the Oklahoma Journal. Not at the very start but during the mid and late 60's. Hated those Thursday afternoon freebies that went to everyone. I even threw the Journal and Oklahoman on the same route at the same time.

andy157
04-22-2009, 04:01 AM
I was a carrier for the Oklahoma Journal. Not at the very start but during the mid and late 60's. Hated those Thursday afternoon freebies that went to everyone. I even threw the Journal and Oklahoman on the same route at the same time.Where was your route? Mine was from S.W. 67th to 70th between Walker and Western back in 65 & 66. We picked our papers up at the Phillips 66 at S.W. 59th and Walker.

Doug Loudenback
04-22-2009, 07:18 AM
I was a carrier for the Oklahoma Journal. Not at the very start but during the mid and late 60's. Hated those Thursday afternoon freebies that went to everyone. I even threw the Journal and Oklahoman on the same route at the same time.
Me too (Oklahoma Journal only), second semester of 1st year in law school (spring term 1966). Aside from getting up at a god-awful hour to pick up the papers, etc., an event, actually the only event concerning the Journal, remains burned into my memory.

While running the route north of the OU campus (which I did by car), I got hassled by the Norman police after a woman, around 6 am, called the police and said that a guy had been peeping into her window without proper invitation and that a car fitting my car's general description (her report was a purple ford, mine was a mauve Plymouth Sport Fury ... loved that car ... how anyone could confuse my car with a crappy purple Ford, I don't know). A policeman waived me down along my route and I was invited to have a conversation with him in his car, which I did. I had to sit in the police car for several minutes while being interrogated by the officer. He wanted to know where I'd been and what I'd been doing that morning but he refused to tell me why he was questioning me and I was getting nervous. Seeing that, he had a mental epiphany which only occurs in those who are truly intellectually gifted and it was then that the idiotic asshole said something like, "Why are you getting nervous? Are you guilty?" ... of who knows what, he wouldn't say ... and even at that young age I'd been guilty of at least a few things ... but I supposed he meant something that had occurred that morning. On that particular morning I had been a very good boy, doing nothing worse that delivering the damn Oklahoma Journal, and by this time it was getting nearer the time for the start of my 8:00 a.m. Torts 2 class for which I was probably not prepared.

At least, on a different day for that same 8:00 a.m. class in that same semester, I had not read the cases on the assignment list that day ... so I was not prepared. Law school classes typically use the Socratic teaching method ... questions, responses, more questions, more responses ad nauseam, and never a lectured presentation in which everything is nicely laid out -- that would be too easy ... it doesn't teach you to think. Basically, it's a Q & A hotseat type of thing, and this teacher, Prof. Herb Titus, never veered from that approach. He called on me right after the 8:00 a.m. bell to discuss a particular case on our assignment list -- and there was no way to fake it if you hadn't read the case -- so I just said, "Not prepared, sir" (at least I remembered my manors). He replied, "What are you, Mr. Loudenback, an intellectual leech?" Those were his exact words. The class got a good laugh at my expense and that is probably what kept me from getting kicked out of class that day. But, I digress ... back to the Journal story.

Finally, after sitting in the car with the Mensa patrolman for what seemed like an eternity, a ranking officer came by whom I'd met before, and he told me what the woman had said. Finally, I knew what what was going on. I said, "Well, why don't we go the place (which was on my route) and let her have a look at me," and that request was granted.

We drove to the place on University a few blocks north of Boyd, a cottage-apartment layout -- you could drive into it, as I had done that morning when delivering to 4 customers there ... 43 years later, the place still exists ... today's Google image is shown below.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/misc/normanapts1966.jpg

So, I had been there in my fabulous mauve Plymouth Sport Fury with bucket seats and black vinyl top while delivering the Oklahoma Journal. The woman's cottage was the elevated "X" toward the back. Notice the white car in the drive ... that would be where my car would have been about 43 years ago on that disgusting morning. I stayed in one police car while the officers and the woman had a conversation toward the background in front of her cottage but with their steely eyes pointed in my direction in the police car near in the foreground near University. Following the conversation, I was informed that she was not able to identify me as the guilty person one way or another and that I was free to go.

The next day, with the papers I delivered in that cottage group, I left a note with each paper explaining what had happened the morning before and informing that I would no longer be delivering papers to anyone in that little group of cottages.

And, that's my "best" Oklahoma Journal memory from times gone by. How'd I do?

Postscript: This was my 1st instance in being hassled by the men in blue. The next occasion, and so far the last, would occur in the Ford Center when taking too many pictures and being too interested in the Hornet's Honeybees decades later, a story that I have previously reported in another thread here somewhere quite a long time ago.

USG '60
04-22-2009, 08:12 AM
I have a complete first issue. I think I also have the Last issue.

Steve
04-22-2009, 08:57 AM
USG 60, I have the first issue. I'd love some photos of the final copy to include in my upcoming post on this. Do you have the ability to do that?

papaOU
04-22-2009, 02:45 PM
Where was your route? Mine was from S.W. 67th to 70th between Walker and Western back in 65 & 66. We picked our papers up at the Phillips 66 at S.W. 59th and Walker.

Ran S.W. 23 to S.W. 29th. S.W. 23rd and 24th ran from Walker to Lightning Creek. S.W.25 was from Walker to Western. 26th to 28th was Robinson to Western. Bundles were dropped at S.W. 25th and Shartel next to a church. If the route looks strange it's because I was delivering both papers.

Could really get some speed on my bike. Lots of hills. I remember tooling along and listening for the paper to hit the porch. If not I went back and put it on the porch. Worst sound at 5:00 in the morning: not hearing the paper hit the porch. Instead the sound of breaking glass. Did not happen often but once is more than enough.

Generals64
04-22-2009, 04:43 PM
Ran S.W. 23 to S.W. 29th. S.W. 23rd and 24th ran from Walker to Lightning Creek. S.W.25 was from Walker to Western. 26th to 28th was Robinson to Western. Bundles were dropped at S.W. 25th and Shartel next to a church. If the route looks strange it's because I was delivering both papers.

Could really get some speed on my bike. Lots of hills. I remember tooling along and listening for the paper to hit the porch. If not I went back and put it on the porch. Worst sound at 5:00 in the morning: not hearing the paper hit the porch. Instead the sound of breaking glass. Did not happen often but once is more than enough.

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Didn't do anything with The Oklahoma Journal....But, at the age of 15 i trade W.P. "Bill" Atkinson out of a Shetland Pony....My Grandad took him home with him and sold him....But the trade was made.....

windowphobe
04-22-2009, 05:04 PM
This isn't exactly a story from when it was Bill Atkinson's Journal - think 1979, by which time I'm pretty sure he'd sold out - but it goes with the narrative.

The publication of legal notices is mostly overlooked, but it's a revenue source for newspapers, and the Journal wanted a piece of the action, going so far as to sue the city for not letting it bid for them, on the basis that it was really a Midwest City newspaper. The Journal won, but the decision was reversed on appeal.

Incidentally, the closing of the paper was mentioned in the Oklahoman, or maybe it was the Times, at the tail end of the business section, under the headline "Midwest City Paper Folds."

papaOU
04-23-2009, 01:50 AM
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Didn't do anything with The Oklahoma Journal....But, at the age of 15 i trade W.P. "Bill" Atkinson out of a Shetland Pony....My Grandad took him home with him and sold him....But the trade was made.....

How much did your Grandad get for Mr. Atkinson?

Was that the reason The Oklahoma Journal went out of business? :kicking:

papaOU
04-23-2009, 01:55 AM
Incidentally, the closing of the paper was mentioned in the Oklahoman, or maybe it was the Times, at the tail end of the business section, under the headline "Midwest City Paper Folds."

That's almost as good as a headline for a story in the Oklahomans Women section concerning ultrasounds:

"Womb with a View"......................................

I kid you not!! :LolLolLol

andy157
04-23-2009, 02:10 AM
Ran S.W. 23 to S.W. 29th. S.W. 23rd and 24th ran from Walker to Lightning Creek. S.W.25 was from Walker to Western. 26th to 28th was Robinson to Western. Bundles were dropped at S.W. 25th and Shartel next to a church. If the route looks strange it's because I was delivering both papers.

Could really get some speed on my bike. Lots of hills. I remember tooling along and listening for the paper to hit the porch. If not I went back and put it on the porch. Worst sound at 5:00 in the morning: not hearing the paper hit the porch. Instead the sound of breaking glass. Did not happen often but once is more than enough.I had to replace a window or two myself. Hazzard of the job I guess. But still, those were fun times.

papaOU
04-23-2009, 02:22 AM
I had to replace a window or two myself. Hazzard of the job I guess. But still, those were fun times.

Yeah! Isn't it funny that the weather did not matter?

Remember those freebies on Thursdays? The paper started a contest that included random numbers for prizes in the paper. You could win money, bikes, and other good stuff. The Journal caught a couple of guys who were not delivering that paper, but rather took the bundles off somewhere, checked the numbers for winners and had a friend or relative turn in the winning number for the prize. They got caught because a district manager began to notice that he could not find the guys on their routes when they should have been and he could not spot any papers where they should have been if delivered. Since they were minors they couldn't do anything legal to them at that time.

papaOU
04-23-2009, 09:24 PM
I know two people who were reporters at the Journal and they said they were not told anything. Showed up for work, doors locked. Looked inside and the typewriters and all office equipment were gone.

USG '60
04-24-2009, 09:13 AM
USG 60, I have the first issue. I'd love some photos of the final copy to include in my upcoming post on this. Do you have the ability to do that?

I'll look for it, Steve. If I find it I'll holler atcha.

RealJimbo
02-16-2010, 04:13 PM
Two stories:

My brother-in-law was a district manager which meant he spotted the papers every day and had to throw any for which a paper boy didn't show up on a give day. Did this through part of his college days.

I worked for a short time at the Oklahoma Press Association. It was well known that there was no love loss between the Gaylords and Atkinson. One morning I came in to work and the Executive Director, Ben Blackstock, was roaring. E.K. Gaylord had died early in the morning hours "he hated the Journal so much he waited 10 minutes past press time to die and it is on the front page of the Daily Oklahoman!!" I remember that as if it was yesterday.

skyrick
02-16-2010, 04:52 PM
I threw the Journal in '65-'66. NW 32nd, NW 33rd, NW 34th, between N. Western & Classen. Basically from The Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help to Memorial Park. Tony Venters was my district manager. He had the coolest yellow '63 Impala SS!

I was selected as one of 5 "Carriers of the Month" once.

The free Thursday editions were called Green Sheets, and about half the time I ditched mine (oh, the shame); there were a lot more non-subscribers on my route than subscribers, and every non had to get one.

I remember two things from my route that made a huge impression on me:

1.) Music. Whoever the overnight DJ on KOMA was, he deviated from their widely varied playlist, which normally consisted of pop songs for the elders (Dino, Frank, etc) mixed with R&R for us youngsters. He threw the pop songs right out the window and played rock from 3 am to 5 am. I remember the first time I heard "My Generation" on my pocket transistor while throwing papers. This DJ said, " Toward the end of this song you'll hear what sounds like interference. It's not. It's the guitar player rubbing the neck of his guitar up and down the microphone stand and smashing it into his amplifier." I first heard The Who, The Byrds, The Yardbirds, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, Count 5, ? and the Mysterians on KOMA beteen 3:30 and 4:30 in the morning.

2.) Astronomy. I personally witnessed on November 17, 1966, the Great Leonid Meteor Shower. An unbelievable display that has not been equalled since. Sources I've read since estimate 40 meteors per second in dark skies. Light pollution in OKC was nothing in '66 like it is now, so I'll guess that I was seeing at least a hundred per minute. It was the most awesome thing, to this day, I have ever seen.

papaOU
02-16-2010, 09:33 PM
Green Sheets we "ditched" by most carriers. They always had contests within the paper. There were random numbers within the paper and also listed winning numbers and prizes won for each number. Some carriers got into trouble because they would take the paper to some location and look for winning numbers. They would get a friend or relative to collect the prize and then split it with them. $50 I think was the top prize. Good money in the mid-60's. Good money today

Soonerus
02-16-2010, 11:33 PM
He started it over his disdain for the Oklahoman's treatment of him in his Governor's race...It was a spiteful move but I loved it and respect him for doing it...

Generals64
02-17-2010, 04:50 PM
He started it over his disdain for the Oklahoman's treatment of him in his Governor's race...It was a spiteful move but I loved it and respect him for doing it...

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Yeah and if you bought a house from him he'd give your kids a Shetland Pony....

Wambo36
02-17-2010, 10:12 PM
When I was growing up in MWC in the late 60's and 70's my father took all 3 papers (the Journal and the Oklahoman in the morning, and the Times in the evening) at least for a while. After my father passed away last year my brothers and I found a Journal calendar from the last year they were in business while cleaning out his garage. If memory serves right, this is where Al Eshbach got his start in their sports department. Had a friend in H.S. who did some photograghy work for them. I really enjoyed having dueling papers for the balance.

skyrick
02-17-2010, 10:25 PM
Anyone remember the Oklahoma Advertiser? A weekly (Wednesdays) that stopped publication in the mid to late '60s.