The Five Tribes

October 20th, 2005 No comments

The Five Tribes are five Native American nations which lived in Southeastern North America: the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole. Each of them had advanced systems of government, education and law enforcement.

In the first half of 19th century, the Five Tribes were deported from their traditional homelands east of the Mississippi and forced to settle in Indian Territory, in present day Oklahoma.

The Five Tribes remained independent until 1907, when Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged to create the State of Oklahoma.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Far and Away

October 16th, 2005 No comments

[Far and Away]

What they needed was a country big enough for their dreams… that’s the tagline of “Far and Away”, a 1992 movie directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

Cruise and Kidman play Irish immigrants seeking their fortune in 1890s America, eventually taking part in the 1893 Oklahoma Land Run.

To follow their dream, they decide to join the wagon trains and arrive in Oklahoma Territory just in time for the big race. Don’t miss the following Land Run scenes!

By the way, Ron Howard was born in Duncan (OK) and is of Irish descent. He is currently filming “The Da Vinci Code”, based on Dan Brown’s best-selling novel. The movie is scheduled for release in May 2006.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Tex Willer

October 14th, 2005 No comments

[Tex Willer]

Tex Willer is the longest-lived character of Italian comics; his stories have been published uninterruptedly for over fifty years, since 1948.

Tex is a real tough guy, ironic, anti-racist and enemy of all kinds of injustice. Tex is a Ranger and, after his marriage with the beautiful Lilyth, daughter of Navajo Chief Red Arrow, has become the honorary leader of the Navajos, with the name Eagle of the Night. Tex was deeply in love with his wife, and after her death has never become involved with any other woman.

In his many adventures (in Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico) Tex can always count on two close friends: Kit Carson, an older Ranger, and Tiger Jack, a silent Navajo warrior. Tex and Lilyth’s son, Kit Willer, has later joined the trio.

Often Tex, Kit Carson, Tiger and Kit end up in a world of magic, where the western scenario mixes with horror, fantasy, and gothic themes. So Tex enemies are not only outlaws and rebels, but also black magician Mephisto, his son Yuma, or misterious secret sects.

To learn more, you can visit the site of the publisher, Sergio Bonelli Editore.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Columbus Day

October 10th, 2005 No comments

[Three ships]

On October 12, 1492, Italian navigator Christopher Columbus reached the New World.

The first celebration of the discovery of America was organized by the Italian population of New York City on October 12, 1866. The next year, more Italian organizations in other cities held banquets, parades and dances on that date. In 1869, when Italians of San Francisco celebrated October 12, they called it Columbus Day.

Certainly Columbus, perhaps against his will, opened the door to European colonization, the exploitation of native peoples and the slave trade; but I’d rather view Columbus Day as the historical meeting between European and American peoples, symbolizing the meeting of all the Continents to live and prosper peacefully together.

Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October (October 10th this year). For more information, you can visit the Wilstar Holidays site.

Categories: Oklahoma!

A fried okra recipe

October 5th, 2005 2 comments

[Okra pods]

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh okra
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup flour, 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Fried okra is part of the official Oklahoma State meal. There are many fried okra recipes, I found this one in the Cook’s recipes site.

  1. Wash and slice okra into 1/2 inch thick rounds; pat dry with paper towels;
  2. Combine eggs and buttermilk; add okra, and let stand for 10 minutes;
  3. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and pepper;
  4. Drain okra, small portions at a time, using a slotted spoon;
  5. Dredge okra, small portions at a time, in flour mixture;
  6. Fry in 2 to 3 inches of oil at 375*F (190*C), until golden brown;
  7. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

An even simpler variant requires just to mix cut okra with flour mixture to coat, then fry in 1/2 to 3/4 inch of oil until golden brown.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Okra

October 2nd, 2005 No comments

[Okra flower]

Fried okra is part of the official Oklahoma State meal. Okra (also known as gumbo), is a tall-growing annual vegetable from the same family as hibiscus. The immature pods are used for soups, canning and stews or as a fried or boiled vegetable.

The hibiscus like flowers and upright plant (3 to 6 feet or more in height) have also ornamental value for backyard gardens.

If interested, you can visit “A Guide to Growing, Storing and Preparing Vegetables” by the University of Illinois Extension and the “Vegetables” pages by the Purdue University Horticulture Department.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Labor Day

September 5th, 2005 No comments

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It recognizes the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, and other industrial cities started to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date.

This year Labor Day is celebrated on September 5th. For more information, please visit the Department of Labor.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Route 66

August 28th, 2005 No comments

[Route 66]

Old Route 66, long replaced by Interstates, goes from Chicago (IL) to St Louis (MO), to Tulsa, Edmond, Oklahoma City (OK), to Amarillo (TX), to Albuquerque (NM), to Flagstaff (AZ), to Los Angeles (CA).

Route 66 was commissioned in 1926, picking up many pieces of existing roads. Only 800 miles of the total 2,500 were paved at the time, and only in 1937 Route 66 got paved end-to-end.

Route 66, the Mother Road, provided hope to the farmers of the Dust Bowl era going to California to find a new life, and to post World War II Americans moving west. Route 66 symbolizes the road to opportunity, to freedom and adventure.

Current maps do not include old Route 66, but many parts of it are still available to adventurous travelers. For a virtual tour, or for planning a real one, you can visit The Road Wanderer and Historic Route 66.

Categories: Oklahoma!

The Indian Blanket’s legend

August 26th, 2005 3 comments

An old Indian blanket maker produced such beautiful blankets that other Indians would travel many miles to trade for one. When the old blanket maker realized that he had only a short time left, he began weaving his own burial blanket.

When the old man died his family dutifully wrapped him in this blanket, which was to be his gift to the Great Spirit. The Great Spirit was very pleased because of the beauty of the gift, but also saddened, because only those in the Happy Hunting Ground would be able to appreciate it.

So, He decided to give this gift back … and the following spring, wildflowers of the colors and design of the old Indian’s blanket appeared in profusion upon his grave, to bloom and spread forever.

I have found this legend in the Oklahoma Department of Transportation website. In the last 15 years, ODOT has planted more than 2,000 acres of wildflowers along Oklahoma’s roadsides.

Categories: Oklahoma!

The Indian Blanket

August 25th, 2005 No comments

[Indian Blanket]

The Indian Blanket (Gaillardia Pulchella), also known as Firewheel, is the State wildflower of Oklahoma.

The Indian Blanket is an annual wildflower native to the central United States, common along roadsides and in prairies. Its brilliant red flowers with yellow rims bloom in June and July, but can also be seen from late spring to late fall.

Often planted as an ornamental, the Indian Blanket requires just a little attention to flourish. If interested, you can visit the Wildseed Farms, where you can purchase wildflower seeds direct from the grower.

Categories: Oklahoma!