When Jack Money and Steve Lackmeyer heard rumors several years ago that Devon Energy Corp. was looking to build a new headquarters for its workforce, which now numbers about 1,700, they knew they needed to tell the oil company's story.
As the authors noted, throughout Oklahoma City's history dating to statehood, a new building in the business district “would generate an incredible amount of excitement among the community,” Money said.
In the months that followed Devon's 2008 announcement it planned to build a 50-story tower and related energy center, Lackmeyer and Money got to work on research for their new Oklahoma City history project, recently released as a book, “Operation Scissortail: Building a New Home for Devon Energy, Building a New Heart for OKC.”
The pair interviewed Devon executives and key players, members of the architect and design teams overseeing the energy center's construction and Oklahoma City officials who had an interest in how the project would turn out, whether their focus was on managing traffic in the area or in the Myriad Gardens across the street.
Money's and Lackmeyer's narrative about Devon progressed as construction on the tower did, and their book, released the same year the tower opened, is a 241-page coffee-table book that reads like a novel. It is filled with photos, documents and even artists' renderings of potential buildings at sites Devon considered before deciding on a spot north of the Myriad Gardens.
Throughout the book, the authors focused on the personal stories of the people involved in making it all happen as well as the developing project.
The book is available locally at bookseller Full Circle Bookstore and in the Aravalli Coffee Shop Devon inside the Devon building.
“Operation Scissortail” is the third book from writers Lackmeyer and Money, and they consider it somewhat of a sequel to “OKC: Second Time Around” and “Skirvin.”
The book touches on the start of Devon in a single office in Liberty Tower in 1970 and takes readers through surviving the oil bust and failure of Penn Square Bank, the code name for the new headquarters project years before it was announced — “Scissortail” — and the construction and transformation of that area of downtown Oklahoma City.