Remembering the 'Trib'

A look back at the colorful newsroom staff of the former Tulsa journalism institution the Tulsa Tribune.



This sign on U.S. Highway 75 points east to what was formerly known as Riverside Airport.

Zipping north on U.S. Highway 75, thousands of commuters pass the “RL Jones Jr Airport” sign with an arrow pointing east. Few know who Jones was, much less the company he headed.

For “RL Jones Jr” was Richard Lloyd Jones Jr., and Riverside Airport was renamed following his death in 1982 to honor his longtime aviation advocacy. More importantly, he served for many years as the publisher of the Tulsa Tribune, a Tulsa journalism institution that printed its last edition 21 years ago this September.

Jones’ reign encompassed the last days of an era when computers had not yet replaced the rat-a-tat-tat of typewriters and newspaper offices looked more like Hollywood sets from “Front Page” than bank loan departments. His colleagues, and Jones himself, could have been sent from Central Casting.

Jones, the son of the Trib’s original editor and publisher, was silver-haired, tall, distinguished and looked every inch a leader of industry. When his brother, the long-time editor of the paper, Jenkin Lloyd Jones, would stand beside him, “Super Jenk” (as he was known in the newsroom) looked positively dumpy. That is not a mean-spirited commentary on Jenk Jones. Cary Grant would have looked dumpy standing next to
Richard Lloyd Jones.

The newsroom denizens carried the kinds of names found in a pulp novel. Around the city desk were Lit Roper, Nev Black and Ernie Keen. They reported to Gordon Fallis, who, in contrast to the generally wrinkled attire of many in the newsroom, was always impeccably dressed.

Located on the fourth floor of the building on South Boulder Avenue between East Third and Fourth streets, the newsroom overlooked the Jefferson Hotel, which occasionally provided X-rated views. The sharp-eyed church editor, Nell Jean Boggs (one of two women in the newsroom — the “society” section had offices elsewhere in the building), was often the first to alert fellow reporters to amorous activity through open curtains at the Jefferson. The other female in the newsroom was the receptionist, Margaret Bailey — the first line of defense any visiting public relations person had to pass.

In the southwest corner was Managing Editor Harmon Phillips. “Phil” wore glasses as thick as the bottom of an old green Coke bottle through which he would scrutinize the final home edition of the paper.

Tom Birmingham was city hall reporter. Joe Looney (you can’t make up names like this) covered the county courthouse, and Robert
Henderson
had the federal court beat. A man with a name more fitting of royalty, Windsor Ridenour, was police reporter, and David Lloyd Jones (son of Jenkin) was entertainment editor. (His brother, Jenk Jr., would later become managing editor.)

Legendary Crime and Politics (often one in the same in Oklahoma) Reporter Nolen Bulloch sat toward the back of the room. Nearby was “Oil Page” Editor Marion Cracraft, a dead ringer for Mr. Bluster from the old “Howdy Doody Show.”

Other reporters and editors included Dick Suagee, Jim Downing, Kyle Goddard, Jay Cross and many others who deserve to be remembered.

Reporters and editors wore ties each day — even the sports writers, Bob Cobb and Jimmie Menzies, and Sports Editor Mal Elliot. The exception was Jack Charvat — but he also smoked Fatima cigarettes and could wear anything he damned well pleased. 

Then, most everyone smoked and a gray haze covered the newsroom by the late morning deadlines.

Those days came to an end with the move across the alley to a new newsroom in the building overlooking the Main Mall.

And, alas, it would all come to an end for a variety of reasons.

When you pass the “RL Jones Jr Airport” sign, think not only of aviation, but also of a great American newspaper and a remarkable time in Tulsa’s history.

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August 2019

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The Mabee Center will come alive in a colorful expression of dance, drum music, and song as members of tribal nations from around the country gather to honor, strengthen and share traditions with...

Cost: All Weekend Pass = $20 | All Day Pass = $12

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 South Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Join us for Victory Conference, hosted by Pastors Paul and Ashley Daugherty at Victory Church.  This year’s free conference is jam-packed with an amazing line up of speakers including...

Cost: Free

Where:
Victory Christian Church
7700 S. Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74136
View map »

More information

BROKEN ARROW COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE Presents “The Wizard of Oz” (R.S.C.1987) By L. Frank Baum With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg Background Music by...

Cost: $22-$25

Where:
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
1800 S Main St
Broken Arrow, OK  Broken Arrow
View map »


Sponsor: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Telephone: 918-258-0077
Contact Name: 74012
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

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Tee off at Cedar Ridge Golf Club to support Operation Aware’s 13th Annual Golf Tournament. Proceeds fund prevention education courses for schools in Tulsa Metro and beyond. Clean your clubs,...

Cost: 350

Where:
Cedar Ridge Country Club
10302 S. Garnett Rd.
Broken Arrow, OK  74011
View map »


Sponsor: Operation Aware of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-582-7884
Contact Name: Jennifer Barnett
Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Join us on Wednesday, August 14 from 6:30pm - 8:30pm for our weekly Dog Days of Summer! This special event will feature Tyler Jones with Tulsa Caricatures - come get a caricature done with your...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Sweets & Cream
1114 S Yale Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74112
View map »


Sponsor: Sweets & Cream
Telephone: 918-633-3182
Contact Name: Lori Moore
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Third Thursdays in the Rainbow Room returns for second season  Third Thursdays in the Rainbow Room returns for its 2nd season in the Lynn Riggs Black Box Theatre at OKEQ with the hilarious...

Cost: $10 General Admission / $15 Bistro seating

Where:
Lynn Riggs Theatre at OKEQ
621 East 4th St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahomans for Equality
Telephone: 918-637-2866
Contact Name: Pat Hobbs
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Once again the skies over Muskogee will be glowing with an array of vibrant color as the Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning descends upon historic Hatbox Field August 16 and 17.  The...

Cost: $10 per car

Where:
Hatbox Field
4000 Border Street
Muskogee, OK  74403
View map »


Sponsor: Muskogee Parks & Recreation
Telephone: 918-504-3255
Contact Name: Carol Matza
Website »

More information

Happy Summer! $30 for members $35 for non-members you must RSVP online or on the phone before the event. Must RSVP before event, These have been very popular this Summer and space is limited....

Cost: 30

Where:
The Little Gym of SE Tulsa
6556 E 91st St
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: The Little Gym
Telephone: 918-492-2626
Contact Name: Scott Kindred
Website »

More information

BROKEN ARROW COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE Presents “The Wizard of Oz” (R.S.C.1987) By L. Frank Baum With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg Background Music by...

Cost: $22-$25

Where:
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
1800 S Main St
Broken Arrow, OK  Broken Arrow
View map »


Sponsor: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Telephone: 918-258-0077
Contact Name: 74012
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Gathering Place is grilling-up a new barbeque tradition in Tulsa! Riverside Ribfest is a day of grilling, chilling and challenging some of the top BBQ masters in the region! Think your secret rib...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gathering Place Great Lawn
2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The Kiwanis Club of Tulsa is pleased to present Chili on the Green, the State of Oklahoma Chili Championship. All proceeds from this event go to Kiwanis Key Club Scholarships and Special Olympics...

Cost: Free Entry. Tasting kits are $10 for 1, $15 for 2 and $20 for 4.

Where:
Guthrie Green
111 W Brady
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Kiwanis Club of Tulsa Foundation
Telephone: 918-849-0464
Contact Name: Brian Walker
Website »

More information

Chili On The Green is the State of Oklahoma Chili Championship sponsored by The Kiwanis Club of Tulsa and sanctioned by the International Chili Society. Chili cooks from across the country will be...

Cost: Admission is Free and Tasting Kits can be purchased: 1 for $10, 2 for $15 and 4

Where:
Guthrie Green
111 E MB Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Kiwanis Club of Oklahoma
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Join the Oklahoma Aquarium for its first annual Salsa Festival! Take part in the hottest event of the summer by tasting a diverse selection of salsas from vendors and enjoying the diverse marine...

Cost: General Admission

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Dr
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Telephone: 918-528-1507
Contact Name: Liz
Website »

More information

Come join us for delicious vegan pastries and beverages at Chimera Cafe, all while taking action #ForTheAnimals! RSVP here as well: https://tinyurl.com/thlchangemakers The Humane League exists...

Cost: Free

Where:
Chimera Cafe
212 North Main (Tulsa Arts District)
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: The Humane League
Contact Name: Dara Homer

More information

America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
Website »

More information

Once again the skies over Muskogee will be glowing with an array of vibrant color as the Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning descends upon historic Hatbox Field August 16 and 17.  The...

Cost: $10 per car

Where:
Hatbox Field
4000 Border Street
Muskogee, OK  74403
View map »


Sponsor: Muskogee Parks & Recreation
Telephone: 918-504-3255
Contact Name: Carol Matza
Website »

More information

BROKEN ARROW COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE Presents “The Wizard of Oz” (R.S.C.1987) By L. Frank Baum With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg Background Music by...

Cost: $22-$25

Where:
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
1800 S Main St
Broken Arrow, OK  Broken Arrow
View map »


Sponsor: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Telephone: 918-258-0077
Contact Name: 74012
Website »

More information

Offbeat: Crazy and Hilarious Stories from the People that Lived Them Presented by Story Club of Tulsa and Blue Whale Comedy Festival Ready for some wild and crazy stories told by the funniest...

Cost: https://www.storyclubtulsa.com/

Where:
Duet Jazz Club
108 N. DETROIT AVENUE
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Story Club of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-596-2008
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Where:
Ninowski Rec Center
1367 E 71st St
Broken Arrow, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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