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Where in the World is Smokey?

Smokey's Livin' on Tulsa Time

Jeffrey A. Nichols earned his doctorate in mathematics from UT Knoxville in 2008. He now lives in Knoxville and works at Oak Ridge National Lab on a post-doc research assignment in carbon-cycle research.

He sent this photo from a visit to Oklahoma in March 2009.

“The Council Oak is considered the birthplace of Tulsa,” he said. “It is the tree that is directly behind my head.

“I was born and raised in Tulsa until I was 13 when we moved back down the Trail of Tears to Alabama. For this recent trip we were returning home for my grandmother’s 90th birthday.

“I remembered going to this tree when I was a kid.”

Here’s a blurb about the tree taken from

“In 1836 Archie Yahola, a full-blood Creek, presided over the region’s first council meeting, held under an oak tree that came to be known as the Council Oak. The tree still stands in Tulsa’s Creek Nation Council Oak Park.

“The settlement convened at the Council Oak was first named Tallassee-Lochapoka, for the Alabama regions the Creeks had left behind; eventually it became known as Tulsey--or Tulsee--Town. The name Tulsa became official for the settlement in 1879 with the establishment of the post office, which also marked the beginning of Tulsa as an economic force in the area. When a railroad connection reached Tulsa in 1882, the town began to supply beef and other staples to the East, South, and Midwest. Ranching and farming--mostly by Creeks or Cherokees--flourished. Tulsa grew steadily and became incorporated as a municipality on January 18, 1898.”

The round apartment building in the background was in the 1983 movie adaptation of “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. This movie featured several young actors including Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise.

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