Special to The City Sentinel
Two new books from local publishers illuminate Oklahoma City history in unique ways. One is A pictorial history of Oklahoma City’s downtown “film row.”
One depicts the story of a corner of community history that was nearly forgotten before a recent renaissance “Oklahoma City: Film Row” is a pictoral history. The other tome is an evocative, authorized biography of one of the state’s most legendary prosecutors.
“Oklahoma City: Film Row,” a new pictorial history book that tells the story of the recently revitalized Oklahoma City Film Exchange District through never-before-seen vintage photographs, was published Monday, Aug. 15. Author Bradley Wynn held a book signing party Saturday at Joey’s Pizzeria, 700 West Sheridan Avenue. Steve Lackmeyer, an award-winning reporter for The Oklahoman whose “beat” concentrates on the downtown area and the business community, wrote a preface to Wynn’s book.
Film Row once flourished as a sales hub for theater owners needing films, posters, and concessions. Film exchange offices along this three-square-block area housed major film production studios like Paramount Pictures, MGM, Universal, Fox, and Warner Brothers from 1907 until the 1980s. Demographics, economy, and technology changes nearly wiped their memory from the city landscape.
Now these structures and their nearly forgotten history are being rediscovered and utilized again. This book tells a story through rare images discovered in shoeboxes, back rooms, and the Oklahoma Historical Society’s archives. Most images are shared in print for the very first time.
“Oklahoma City: Film Row” became available August 15 at area bookstores, independent retailers, online retailers, and through Arcadia Publishing at (888) 313-2665 or www.arcadiapublishing.com.
Author Bradley Wynn is a native of Oklahoma City. His love of history and involvement in the film industry inspired him to study Film Row. Chancing upon a few images passed along from former Film Row employees, he became inspired to write “Oklahoma City’s Film Row.”
A former police officer, Wynn used forensic and investigative techniques to uncover the story. His efforts have supported preservation and restoration of buildings and brought Film Row’s past to life with rare and never- before seen images.
Bradley is an early advocate for the area and editor of the monthly newsletter The Row, where past and present developments about the Film Exchange District and Historic Film Row are shared.
Wynn serves on Catholic Committee for Scouting and as Assistant Scoutmaster and Merit Badge Counselor for the Boy Scouts of America.
Former Oklahoma County District Attorney Bob Macy
Forthcoming in September, from Tate Publishing, is “Bob Macy: The Man behind the String Tie.” The book is a joint effort of Patrick B. McGuigan, Chris Querry and Bryon J. Will.
The authorized biography relates the life story of former Oklahoma County District Attorney Robert H. Macy, the longest serving district attorney in state history. McGuigan, editor of CapitolBeatOK and associate publisher/executive editor at The City Sentinel, spent more than two years on the project, which flowed from meetings with Macy at his home in Newalla. In addition to lengthy interviews, McGuigan spent countless hours with many of Macy’s closest associates and allies.
Querry edited the book beginning last fall.
Publicists for Tate Publishing tout the book this way: “There are not many people in Oklahoma County who do not know who Bob Macy is. A lot of people know of Bob Macy as the white-haired gentleman who wore a western-style string bow tie who sent a lot of people to prison. Others may have thought of Bob Macy as their hero, the man who protected them and their families from the murderers, the rapists, and the robbers.
“During the 1980s, people knew there were a large number of vicious crimes happening in Oklahoma City and that Bob Macy was their guy to clean house. On the other hand, not many people know that Bob Macy was a football player, a police officer, a cattleman and a Washington, D.C., bureaucrat.
“’Bob Macy: The Man behind the String Tie’ is a journey into the life of Bob Macy, encompassing his life before his career in the law, his time spent with the federal government, the saga of his term as Oklahoma County District Attorney, and his relations with the community outside the courthouse. This paints an engaging illustration of the man.
Among other things, the book details the behind-the-scenes story of Macy’s selection as district attorney, by then-Governor George Nig. It details the events of April 19, 1995, and Macy’s reflections on many of his most challenging murder cases.
McGuigan is the author of two other books, “Ninth Justice: The Fight for Bork,” and “The Politics of Direct Democracy,” and the editor of seven books on legal policy issues, including “Crime and Punishment in Modern America” (University Press of America).
Querry is an English faculty member at Southern Nazarene University, whose previous stints in academic include time at Oklahoma City Community College, the University of Oklahoma, Rose State College and Oklahoma State University.
Bryon J. Will is an Oklahoma City attorney, and a graduate of the Oklahoma City University Law School.
Two new books forthcoming from quartet of city authors
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