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More on the Fretwell Family and Sycamore Square

by Steve Lackmeyer Published: January 9, 2014
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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, FRIDAY, 5/13/2005, SYCAMORE SQUARE RE-VISITED;    Ed Fretwell stands just inside the pool area in the private interior courtyard area at Sycamore Square in downtown Oklahoma City.  Photo by Roger Klock
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, FRIDAY, 5/13/2005, SYCAMORE SQUARE RE-VISITED; Ed Fretwell stands just inside the pool area in the private interior courtyard area at Sycamore Square in downtown Oklahoma City. Photo by Roger Klock

In today’s Oklahoman, I have a story about the sale of the Sycamore Square apartments. I appreciate that Leslie Fretwell Hester was kind enough to share her family’s story with me, and some of that is in today’s story. But as with every story, there is more to be told. The following history was provided by Leslie, who kindly acknowledged there might not be room for the entire story

“… Once I started writing, I couldn’t stop,” Hester explained. “I cried a bit too, especially about that damn chair.”

Thanks Leslie. Your family has a great legacy. And there is no shame in crying over a chair when it had such a great owner….

Here’s is more from Leslie Fretwell Hester:

We have had three generations of our family working, and in some cases living, on the same piece of downtown property. Our grandfather purchased that entire block at NW 4th and Shartel for his Chrysler Plymouth Dealership, and after selling that business in 1969, he sold the land to Urban Renewal. Dad moved their offices to their British Leyland dealership on may avenue. In 1990, after our grandfather had passed away, our father sold the may avenue dealership, and purchased that same piece of land that his father had first owned and upon which Sycamore Square had just been built.

That story has always held a little bit of magic for me. Living and working at Sycamore Square made me feel closer to our father, who sadly passed away in 2006, and to our grandfather, who I never had the opportunity to meet. When Dad passed away, I took over his office at Sycamore, and managed our family’s properties for the next 8 years. Sitting in his leather chair, which he had brought with him from the may avenue dealership, I almost felt like he was still here.

It was very hard to move Dad’s chair out of that office and say goodbye to everyone at Sycamore. We have had the privilege of serving the best residents anywhere in Oklahoma, and we will miss them dearly. For now, Dad’s battered chair is crammed into a corner of my home office where it happily overshadows everything in the room. But I know that chair still has a lot of miles left on it.

Leslie Fretwell Hester

Fretwell Chrysler-Plymouth, NW 4 and Shartel:

 

 

 

 

by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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