you can['t] come home again

Why Finding 1950s & 1960s Tulsa Is So Hard

Two words. URBAN.  RENEWAL.  

North Tulsa is well acquainted with the concept...Historic Greenwood was demolished to place a highway like an arrow straight through the heart of one of the busiest residential and commercial areas of the city.

However, as often talked about was the twin project taking place in Downtown Tulsa at just about the same time.  And, voila!, Tulsa of the 50s and 60s, North and South became history....history that is very hard to find in photographic form.

Tulsan, Wayne Robinson, made a short trip here with his children, Wayne Robinson, Jr., Pearce Robinson, and Akira Robinson.  Luckily, former TPS educator JoAnn Guilford provided insight into North Tulsa of the 50s and early 60s, but, finding solid evidence, buildings, landmarks....good luck.   

before urban renewal



It's like the theme song to Green Acres.

The stores, the magic. Downtown Tulsa in the 1950s and 1960s was the place to be.  And, of course, it will be again.



GREENWOOD....The Black Wall Street lost multiple streets in the effort to build an expressway.



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Share your memories and photos of Tulsa...North, South, East or West in the 1950s or 1960s at NORTH TULSA magazine on Facebook or Twitter.

Coming This Month


BTW grad Sharon Galloway will walk us through Greenwood and North Tulsa of the 50s and 60s....sharing her memories.



PLACES MATTER.  The recent efforts of author Michael Wallis and others to celebrate Route 66 are important. 




Tulsa in the 1950s



 Owen Park was the first city park in Tulsa and let's just say it began with a bang (literally!). Take a look at the bizarre story of how this historic park's pond came into existence. In 1904, a man was delivering nitroglycerin to an oil company at West Edison Street and North Quanah Avenue in Tulsa.Nov 19, 2017 

Before Mohawk became a park, it was a town from 1906 to 1915, with many of the residents working at a ranch owned by W.E. Halsell. The town Mohawk had a post office until July 1915. In the early 1920s, the city looked at the land to build a reservoir, water treatment facility and city park.Jun 7, 2006 


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my early memories of wayne



My first trip to Los Angeles began on a Summer Sunday afternoon...


Wisdom beyond measure

Accomplished, Skilled Treasure...


My early memories of Wayne...

To be continued....

Remember Wayne Robinson and the 1950s and 1960s in North Tulsa?

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My Early Memories of Wayne


My first trip to Los Angeles began on a summer Sunday nite after I had (I thought) already gone to bed. Enter mom beckoning me to get up and ride with Wayne to California. Really??? Just like that???? No pre-planning, no pre-thought, no telling my friends I’m heading to California…nada, zip, nope. Just up and out like a thief in the night. The year was 1967, the summer prior to my Junior year of High School. Although my bottom lip was stuck out at the late nite intrusion (DUH…a girl’s gotta have her beauty sleep) the perk was getting to ride in my dear brother’s light green 1865 Pontiac GTO with the cream interior. How I turn THAT down? So, across country we stuck out…and the rest is history. Always Mr. Popularity, Wayne was my big brother hero during his school years, particularly High School. A great deal of my memories of my upperclassmen stem from his friendship with siblings of my classmates. Barbara (Bob) and Francis Cato were older sisters of my classmate John Cato. Twins Edward and Ramsey lived on our block on Quaker, grew up with brother Wayne, along with Pat, George and Fred Woodard, and are forever in the walls of my memory, as are the names of many of brother Wayne’s friends and classmates, including Jabo, Jeep Combs, Scooty, Bo Lyons, Ann and Sam Henderson, David Coleman, Arthur and Jean Clay, Dimples, the Jackson twins (Elores and Delores), Okemah Tecumseh, Lewis Thurman (brother to my classmate Speedy Griggs), Rhonda Mann, Priscilla Griffin, Melody Eason, Charles and Marie Darwin, Mike Mims, Edgar Moore, Leon Rollerson, Sandra Shumate, Addie Archer, DeArnetta Crutcher, Lena Wright, JoAnna Burns, Vickie Beck, Elmer Lee Davis, James Farley, Gwendolyn Wilson, Beverly Johnson, Edwin Hayes, J.C. Woods (brother to my classmates Earl, Jackie Don, and Ruth Gray).

And how could I ever forget Ms. Beverly Battle (Aunt Maude), and Jean Harris (Honey) and the little white Corvair with red interior in which I practically learned to drive. A fond memory of Brother Wayne’s glory days took place on North Peoria where Monday thru Friday he would, like clockwork, come in from BTW, post up on his “throne” reading the newspaper, and send one of us (usually me) to Naifee’s grocery store to get him a “Bama Cherry Pie.” Nevermind the fact he’d passed the store on his way home!!! Then there’re the long tall tales of Gene hitting him in the head with the telephone and Grady Barrens diverting his trajectory of crime…wink, wink…call me, I’ll tell you.

To this day, Brother Wayne and I both share a passion for keeping up with friends and old school chums, and former classmates. We’re the two family members who attend class reunions and school gatherings on a frequent basis, albeit he more frequently than I. This brings us to the here and now. Brother Wayne, I know you thoroughly enjoyed BTW Class of 1964’s 55th class reunion that culminated this past weekend, and are looking forward to sharing your memories of North Tulsa-Then and Now’ with your “chirren” this weekend. Enjoy your walk-back through time remembering, reflecting, and sharing life as it was in the good ole days.’ 

They finished up the Ellis Walker Woods Memorial just in the nick of time (THANK YOU, COUSIN BERT!!!!) 

Love You to the Moon and Back Your #1 Sis…..Rhondalyn

PS. I’ll be headed that way in three weeks for the Class of ‘69’s 50th Class Reunion.

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Take a look at the BTW Class of 1969.


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the sound of the 50s & 60s




My Early Memories of Wayne


Wisdom beyond measure

Accomplished, a skilled treasure

Youthful as he moves about

Noteworthy without a trace of doubt

Encouraging us to do the best we can

After all he’s the head of our man clan….

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(It was even the first thing HIS MOTHER remembered about his teen years.)





My Early Memories of Wayne


My Early memories of Wayne. Being locked in the closet by his girlfriend. Getting a whupping because someone broke Mom’s angel after his friends had visited and we didn’t know who did it, and ohh yeah the time he and Jr. were swinging me by my hands and legs and Wayne let of hands and I hit my head hmmm I think it was an accident, lol. 

Just truly Proud to call you My Brother Love You Tweety

Tulsa McLain HS

Check out Tulsa McLain's 2019 Football Schedule....& don't forget to get your season's ticket.