We had a fun day of visitors not too long ago! The McBrayer cousins came to visit!!!
Nancy called one morning and we had a great visit. She mentioned that she had picked up some cars for the antique Lionel trains that her brother Andy collects and needed to meet him to deliver the trains. We quickly decided that since she’s in Tulsa and he’s in Edmond that it made perfect sense for them to meet in Okmulgee at The Mac! I could hardly wait!
They arrived bearing gifts. Treasures that had been part of The Mac for years that they brought back home. There are two framed prints of President’s Wilson and Roosevelt that were from their grandfather’s office, along with a ledger book tallying rent that dates back to the early 1920’s. Then Andy pulled out a block of wood with a key attached. It was the key to the Men’s restroom upstairs. I flew upstairs with key in hand and was so excited that not only did the key fit in the lock but it all still worked!!!
It’s so much fun when they visit and start telling stories about memories of their “Gampy”. They always go straight down the hallway to his office. They feel close to him in this space that he was in daily for so many years. This trip, their eldest cousin, Tom Bingman took a stroll over from his law office in the McCullough Building to see what was going on. He was quiet and just looked around upon arrival, but it wasn’t 2 minutes before he started telling his stories. You see, he would come to The Mac every day after junior high and high school. His granddad had Parkinson’s and it was hard for him to get up and down the stairs, so Tom would come after school to be “his legs” and run errands. He bet that he went up and down those stairs a thousand times. Tom also recalls that one could get a divorce from Mr. Peterson, who rented the front office at the top of the north stairs, for $25 back in the mid-40’s. We learned that the office suite on the west front of the building was always rented by the Democratic Party for their campaign headquarters.
Rob asked Tom that day why he thought these downtown office spaces were abandoned. He replied with the following : “no air conditioning”, “they weren’t modern”, “the staircases…people couldn’t walk those stairs” and “the roofs…..if you put the gravel on top of the tar roofs, that would provide some protection from the hail, but if there was a leak, you couldn’t find it”.
I cherish these living history lessons about our girl. I can’t wait for the next time the cousins come to play.