Larry Johnson, known to friends as “Buddy,” holds degrees in history and information science and is a reference librarian for the Metropolitan Library System, where he maintains the Oklahoma Room and the library's digital history collections.
He is a frequent contributor to Info magazine and is the author of five books, including “Historic Photos of Oklahoma City.” He is also vice president of Retro Metro Oklahoma City, a nonprofit city history organization. The Oklahoman visited with Johnson about his latest project, the republishing of “And Satan Came Also …”
Q: What is your favorite story from “And Satan Came Also …”?
A: There are several small stories that come out in the notes I like best. A bar owner had to close due to Prohibition, so he moved Nickelodeons in, and he grew into a regional chain of movie theaters across the southwest. He became pretty wealthy. One day, he was in his mid-40s, he challenged a friend to a footrace at the Capitol, and he died of a heart attack. There's a lot of irony there. The city has a lot of stories like that. There was a guy who had a train car of potatoes he couldn't sell in St. Louis, so he brought it to Oklahoma City, and he ended up owning several grocery stores and becoming pretty wealthy. It shows that anybody with enough ambition could make their fortune here back then.
Q: What is the highest price you've found for an original copy of “And Satan Came Also ...”