Oklahoma City Thunder: More Thunder Alley perspective
I got an interesting email Wednesday morning from Jay Crabb, who is a tax analyst over in Tulsa and occasionally writes me. He was responding to my column in the Wednesday Oklahoman about the shootings in Bricktown after the Thunder-Laker game. You can read that column here.
Anyway, here is Jay’s email:
“I was reflecting on the goings on Monday night in Bricktown. It reminds me of my college days from OSU. The old Eskimo Joe’s anniversary weekend draws an eerie comparison. That was a great weekend to drive back up to Stillwater, see and hang out with friends for the weekend that we hadn’t seen since May and get excited about the upcoming term. A shooting ended that tradition back in 1993. It, too, had grown to such large proportions that neither the City of Stillwater nor the Eskimo Joe’s staff could control. My memory of the actual shooting and the location is fuzzy, but I thought it was up north of town (Forty North apartments maybe?) and wasn’t a part of the actual party crowd. I had graduated (1992) and left school by the time that incident came about and didn’t make the trek back over to the 1993 festivities. The Eskimo Joe’s weekend is a shell of its former self, but probably, in hindsight, for the better. Stan Clark can probably tell you that, too.
“I’m not saying I’m against Thunder Alley, as I LOVE seeing that kind of support for the team and it’s a great concept. I just see it from the perspective of liability and crowd control. I must be getting older…maybe wiser?”
Jay has its facts largely correct. Eskimo Joe’s own website touts the anniversary celebration as starting in 1976, then really exploding in 1985, when the party spilled into the streets.
“Over the next eight years Joe’s weekend became the single largest attraction to Stillwater, except for OSU football,” the web site says. “The massive street party drew thousands, literally covering Elm Street from Duck Street on the east, to the OSU campus and Gardiner Hall on the west. People came back from all over the country, and the media took notice, covering the entire event with satellite trucks and television cameras.”
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