Oklahoma Roses a tourist’s companion romance


The book, “Oklahoma Roses, a tourist’s companion romance”, a 350-page, Christian romance novel set in the present day, which takes place in Hominy and the surrounding area, is available for purchase at Cha’ Tullis Gallery on Main St. and The Frederick Drummond Home on Price Ave. in Hominy for $15.24 (tax included).

The book contains scenes in historic downtown Pawhuska at the Constantine Theater and Bad Brad’s Barbecue.

In Hominy scenes take place at The Drummond Home, the Mexican Restaurant in the Train Depot, the Cha’ Tullis Gallery, the Marland Station, Hominy City Council and Vintage Treasures. There are also many other scenes that take place throughout Osage and Washington Counties at spots locals love and tourists will enjoy.

The book is sold in Pawhuska at: Sister’s Attic, Krazy Kow, The Funky Pearl, and Hair Razors. The Osage County Historical Society Museum has signed copies for sale.

The book is sold in Bartlesville at Moxie on 2nd, Price Tower Gift Shop, and in Dewey at The Vintage Loft.

The book is also available for purchase on Kindle at Amazon’s website or by mail to Roseanne McKee, PO Box 1273, Pawhuska, OK 74056 for $18.57 with tax and shipping included.

Here is a sneak peak (chapter one):

Noelle Sanders, a willowy blonde with straight, shoulder-length hair and blue eyes, walked quickly to her car as the Oklahoma wind rustled autumn leaves at her feet. She drew her red scarf closer with one hand and searched in her coat pocket for her keys with the other.

It was a Wednesday and Noelle headed west to the convenience store for a late afternoon cappuccino to warm her up – a midweek treat.

She was just placing the lid on the takeout cup when she heard a voice behind her.

“Noelle, how are you?”

She whirled around and saw his handsome smile. She recognized him from her high school days. It was Taylor Nolan. All six feet of him in a business suit that couldn’t hide the muscles from hours at the gym. Noelle drew a breath of expensive cologne as he moved closer.

“Doing well. What brings you back to town? I heard you’d moved to Houston.”

“I did, but I just took a new position at Drent Oil and they wanted me to be here. It’s closer to family, so I’m good with that.”

“Well, congratulations,” Noelle said with a smile.

“We should get together. What’s your number?” Taylor asked as he readied his cell phone for the number as if it were a foregone conclusion that she’d agree.

Internally, she paused, but he didn’t notice.

She gave him her number.

“I’ll call you soon,” he said and touched her elbow.

Noelle made her way to the checkout as Taylor disappeared into another part of the store.

What had she just done? She was already interested in Grayson, the handsome, dark haired cowboy with green eyes, whom she had met recently. True, they had not yet gone out on their first date, but it was scheduled for Saturday.

She drove home on automatic pilot.

As Noelle turned onto her street, her mind shifted. What did she have in the fridge? She made a mental checklist: romaine, tomatoes, feta, olives. Greek salad with her homemade vinaigrette sounded perfect after a long day of serving customers at the credit union.

She  laid down her purse, keys and cappuccino on the foyer table, slid off her coat and scarf, hung them on one of the rows of wooden pegs along the foyer wall and headed to the living room where she lit the fireplace. She loved the high stone fireplace exterior and rough-cut wood mantel. This fireplace was something she loved about the house she had inherited from her grandmother.

She knew it was early in the season to be using the fireplace, but she hadn’t adjusted to the sudden temperature change that was typical of Oklahoma weather on the open plains.

After warming up, she returned to the foyer for her cappuccino, which she finished as she thought about the events of the day. Her contemplation was interrupted by a text from her Aunt Julie asking if they were still on for lunch on Saturday. She texted back that they were, and that noon would be fine.

She turned her attention to making the Greek salad. The salad was soon ready, and she sat at the wooden kitchen table, said grace and began pouring her delicious, home-made red wine vinaigrette on the salad. Still her favorite, the secret ingredient was a spoonful of spicy horseradish mustard.

After putting the dishes in the dishwasher, Noelle studied the kitchen calendar, which held all of her appointments. Her date with Grayson was handwritten on the calendar for Saturday night at 7 p.m. They were to meet at a local downtown restaurant, Frank & Lola’s.

Should she tell him about Taylor? If Taylor didn’t call, she wouldn’t need to… but what if he did call. Noelle had never dated two men at once. How would that work, she wondered?

Just a friendly date — what’s wrong with dating both of them? She didn’t have an easy answer.

The house was warmer, so Noelle turned off the fireplace and headed to the bedroom where she changed into workout clothes, got out her exercise mat and started the VCR. After her strength and stretching work-out, she always felt revived.

Time for some herbal tea and a few chapters of the novel she was reading. Old fashioned, she preferred reading from an actual book rather than an electronic device.

After a couple of hours, she took a shower, got into her cornflower cotton pajamas and drifted easily to sleep in her antique cherry sleigh bed under the patchwork quilt made by her late grandmother Ruth.

The next morning on her way to work, Noelle found herself thinking of Grayson Whelan, the handsome cowboy who she had met recently at the annual Cow thieves and Outlaws Reunion dinner at the estate of the deceased oil tycoon, Frank Phillips, who was largely responsible for putting Bartlesville on the map. The estate, just outside of the city, named Woolaroc, had become a museum and wildlife preserve. Each fall since 1927, Woolaroc had hosted a party on the shores of Clyde Lake for cowboys, socialites, thieves, bankers, and lawmen.

Noelle was a loan officer at the local credit union and so she was lucky enough to be offered one of the coveted tickets to the event. Grayson introduced himself during the cocktail hour and they soon struck up a conversation.

What she learned was that he was the owner of Whelan Ranch near the city of Hominy in Osage County. Grayson had been educated at Delaware Valley University in Pennsylvania and had earned a B.A. in History.

“You didn’t study ranch management or agriculture?” Noelle asked.

“No, my dad taught me that and I’d always wanted to study world history,” Grayson explained. “I figured I’d settle here, but I wanted a bigger world view, you know? I try to save up and go somewhere I haven’t been about every other year.”

“Where have you been?”

“Well, my family is part Irish, so I started with Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. We’re also Native American and that’s why I decided to go to Pennsylvania to college. That’s where my mom’s tribe, which is Lenape or Delaware, is from. The Delaware lived in the region that is now the Delaware Valley in Pennsylvania and in the state of Delaware before they were forced out and settled in Oklahoma.”

“That is really interesting. It’s meaningful to know your ancestry, isn’t it?”

“Definitely. Have you traveled?”

“No, my family used their extra money to send me to college, and didn’t travel until they moved to Vail, Colorado, because of my mom’s allergies.”

“Where would you go if you could?” he asked.

Noelle thought for a moment and said, “I think the Scandinavian countries would be interesting to visit, Norway, Sweden.” She paused, “I’m of Norwegian descent, so it would be fun to see where my ancestors came from. Like you did.”

“That makes sense. Travelling to those places definitely added a new dimension to my life,” Grayson replied looking across the evening landscape as if he were picturing Ireland.

A band started and Grayson asked, “Would you like to dance?”

“As long as you understand that I’m not that good at two-stepping, sure,” Noelle said, feeling bold.

Grayson took her hand and led her to the outdoor dance floor. Soon they were laughing and two-stepping to the fiddle of a local country band.

“You’re better than you think,” Grayson whispered to her.

Noelle smiled to herself remembering the moment.

It had been a good first meeting and she had said, yes, without hesitation when he had asked if they could go out sometime.

With Grayson in the picture, it really didn’t make sense to go out with Taylor. But, in her many discussions with Aunt Julie, she had always been advised to play the field before making a decision. So, she reasoned that it only made sense to get to know both men better before limiting herself to just one of them.

Arts Adventure in the Osage, a 3-day celebration in downtown Pawhuska Oct. 20 – 22

Press Release By: Bruce L. Carter 

‘Arts Adventure in the Osage’ is a three day celebration of the arts, culture and history in Pawhuska, Okla. Scheduled for October 20 – 22, 2016, the event is planned to be fun for all ages. 

The ‘Adventure’ starts on Oct. 20 with a preview party for the ‘Art Bank’ art show and sale in the historic First National Bank building, 100 E. Main. The art show will continue Friday, Oct. 21 from 10 am to 8 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 8 pm. This show will feature the work of several regionally  and nationally known artists and fine craftsmen. There is no admission charge and the public is invited to attend the preview party. 

On Friday, October 21, the Osage Nation Museum will host ‘A Night at the Museum’. The museum will show the movie ‘A Night at the Museum’. Food vendors and popcorn will be available. The Osage Nation Museum will also be open during this fun event. Gates open at 7:30 pm and the movie starts at 8:00. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and snacks and enjoy an outdoor movie at the oldest tribal museum in the United States. 

On Saturday the fun really picks up with events scheduled throughout the day. From sidewalk art contests for all ages to ‘Saddles, Spurs and Sculptures’, the Ben Johnson Memorial fundraising chuck wagon dinner/dance, there are plenty of activities. 

From 8:30 to 9:30 am, visitors can visit the ‘Registration Station’ for the ‘Finding Pawhuska’ scavenger hunt. Participants will be given a passport with clues to 14 historical locations in Pawhuska. The first player to finish the hunt by visiting all 14 locations and having his ‘passport’ stamped will receive the first prize of $500, second $300 and third $200. The scavenger hunt will end at 12:00. 
 
Guests may also register for a ‘Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest’ from 8:30 to 9:30 at the Registration Station. There will be three categories, age 5 to 13 (first prize $50), 14 to 17 (first prize $150.00) and Adult (17 and over first prize of $500.00). Sidewalks will be marked for each artist to work in with chalk provided. Artists will have from 9:30 to 3:00 to complete their works with the theme ‘The Real West’.  

Tallgrass Art Gallery will sponsor a plain air painting contest from 9:30 to 3:00, with registration from 8:30 to 9:30. Artists may work in any media and any genre to create their work. All artists will need to bring their own supplies for a day of plain air in historic Pawhuska. At the end of the event, works will be judged. A prize of $200 will be awarded to the best portrayal of Pawhuska and a second prize of $200 for best piece of the day. Artists may choose to sell their works that evening at ‘Saddles, Spurs and Sculptures with 70% going to the artists and 30% going to the Ben Johnson Monument. 

Saturday ends with the ‘Saddles, Spurs and Sculptures’ chuck wagon dinner, dance and auction. Hosted by Miss Lily, the evening has an old west theme, with saloon girls, sheriffs and an art/cowboy gear auction. Tickets for this great evening in downtown Pawhuska are available for $45 each or $500 for a corporate table of 8. The ‘Ole #1 Firehouse Tent Saloon’ on Main and Kihekah will be the location for this event. Chuck wagon cooks will be cooking downtown all day to prepare the evenings meal. Guests can also view the ‘Ben Johnson Memorial Project’ located across the street to view the memorial and talk to the working sculptors. Tickets are available from the Prairie Dog and Tallgrass Art Gallery in downtown Pawhuska, Oklahoma, or online at http://www.artsintheosage.org.
 
Shuttles will be provided between the various event locations, the Osage Nation Museum, the Osage County Historical Society, Historic Downtown Pawhuska and the Osage Casino.  This event is sponsored by the Osage Nation Museum, Osage Casinos, Pawhuska Merchants Association and for more information on Pawhuska, visit http://www.pawhuska.org, http://www.artsintheosage.org or http://www.pawhuskachamber.com.

We welcome you to Pawhuska, Oklahoma, your regional destination for the arts, culture and history!

For more information, contact Bruce Carter via e-mail at bruce@tallgrassgallery.net or by phone at 580.304.8731.

New Art Gallery Opens in Pawhuska

By: Roseanne McKee
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Bruce Carter, owner of the Tallgrass Art Gallery at 521 Kihekah Ave. spoke to the Kiwanis Club recently about his new gallery, the path he travelled to become an artist and what led him to choose Pawhuska.

“When I was in high school I took art. I was really fortunate that my high school had a residential artist supplied by the state arts council come to our school for six months and totally changed the future that I would take in life. I was going to be a welder.”

Despite his plans to become a welder, Carter decided to take a six-month detour to take silversmithing classes at Northern Oklahoma College.

“At that point welding looked real big and silversmithing looked real small,” he said.

Nonetheless, Carter decided to pursue silversmithing as an art form.
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“I’m a self-taught artist. In the art world that’s called someone from outside the academic background. I am a traditional silversmith, which means I use no mechanical tools. I do everything by hand. I’m also a traditional engraver, which means I carve all of the old cowboy patterns and things you see on work before early 1900.

“The gallery, I’d like to say it was planned, but it wasn’t. I had moved to Pawhuska and I decided I’m going to go back to silversmithing, which I had quit for 13 years.”

“I wanted to get back into the arts. I have always loved Pawhuska. I’ve driven through here. I’ve stopped here, I have visited Pawhuska. I was at a point in my life when I decided, I want to do what I really want to do and do it someplace that I really want to do it at. Hence, my move to Pawhuska,” Carter said.

Initially, he was just looking for a ten by ten space in which to do his silver work.

“The gallery kind of took shape after talking to lots of people in town…There’s a big push in Pawhuska to make it a center for the arts, to encourage the arts, to encourage artists, to encourage galleries.

We don’t sit on a major highway. We’re not a great place for industry … but we’re a great tourism destination. The number one reason people come to a destination is shopping, number two is history. Pawhuska has history.

Once he decided to move forward, he obtained building space at 521 Kihekah Ave. in Pawhuska, next door to Osage Outfitters and across the street from Ree Drummond’s building at the corner of Main St. and Kihekah.

“Three weeks later, [in July] we opened with 11 nationally known artists. That’s unheard of.
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“Artists in this area were ready for a gallery. They believed in Pawhuska … and they were ready to come in and make that work. They also share my vision.

“Artists believe Pawhuska is a great place for art. If you’re an artist the tallgrass is a great asset. They love the Osage Hills, they love the ranches in this area.”

Of the 14 artists now represented in the gallery, Carter said that two of them have given exclusive rights to their artwork to be sold in the gallery in Oklahoma.

“That’s huge for Pawhuska,” Carter said.
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It means if you want to buy a Burneta Venosdel, you have to buy it here. Burneta is a sculptor from Tahlequah has won several national awards, Carter added.

“If you want to buy a Carolyn Mock, other than from the artist herself, you have to buy it in Pawhuska.

Describing his approach, Carter said, “[a]lthough I am the owner, we run the gallery as a co-op. All the artists get a voice in what we do. For example, if we decide to advertise, we all get a voice in what venue we think is the best for that advertising.”

The artists are also in the process of forming an art guild in Pawhuska.

“One of the things the artists have consistently told me is that they want to teach sculpture and painting. They want to teach other professionals, so we are putting together an art school for professionals…. Professional artists spend a lot of money going places learning to paint and sculpt. They stay in a town up to a week at a time, so the artists have decided that we need a school,” Carter explained.

To that end, “the Oklahoma Sculpture Society will be coming to Pawhuska Oct. 19. Burneta Venosdel will be teaching a class to professional sculptors that day on the streets of downtown Pawhuska and at Liberty Ranch, a huge draw for Pawhuska, a huge draw for tourists.
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“People sometimes have a misconception that galleries bring artists. That’s not how that works. Artists bring galleries.”

Carter cited several cities known for art as examples: Eureka Springs, Fredericksburgh Tx., Santa Fe and Red River.

In addition to his own move to Pawhuska, at Carter’s suggestion, two of the artists whose work is represented in the Tallgrass Art Gallery hope to move to Pawhuska, so Pawhuska is on its way to becoming an artistic hub.
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Carter is sowing into Pawhuska by his presence and by his sponsorship of events. The Tallgrass Gallery plans to change the artwork exhibited monthly, have monthly receptions and establish “Women, Wine and Art” on the third Thursday of each month.

In addition, Tallgrass Art Gallery is sponsoring a street dance on Kihekah Ave., ‘A Night in Ole Pawhuska’ on the evening of Oct. 3 after the Indian Taco Festival in Pawhuska. All donations and proceeds will benefit The Pawhuska Arts and Preservation group. There will be music by Jimmie Johnson, community art projects, artist’s demonstrations, gallery opening and the grand opening of the Tallgrass Art School.

Carter is also planning a children’s art show in December in which there will be no prizes, but children’s artwork (8.5” by 11”) will be displayed and offered for sale at $25 each with the proceeds going toward arts and preservation.

The Tallgrass Art Gallery is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and by appointment.

To learn more about the upcoming activities of Tallgrass Art Gallery visit their Facebook page, visit their website http://www.tallgrassgallery.net or call them at 580-304-8731.

For information on classes and Tallgrass Art School, visit http://www.tallgrassartschool.com, Tallgrass Art School on Facebook or call Kenyon at 918-728-0804.

Pawhuskan speaks at Okla. Historic Preservation Conference

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By: Roseanne McKee

Oklahoma Preservation Society has asked Bruce Smith of Pawhuska to speak on June 4 at 3 p.m., about his rehabilitation project in historic downtown Pawhuska at the State of Oklahoma’s 27th annual Historic Preservation Conference being held June 3 – 5 in Bartlesville.

“I have one of the smaller buildings in the state that’s been redone. There have been some hotels and big projects. I’m one of the few that have done a rehabilitation, and have been qualified by the state of Oklahoma to receive tax credits and receive federal tax credits through the National Park Service. Everything we did was done in compliance with a plan by the National Park Service about what would qualify…everything we did was all about telling the plumber, electrician and the contractor — the right way to do things,” Smith said.

He compares the renovation process to taking a test and working backwards to determine, “what can we do?”

20140813_113657The building, located at 536 Kihekah Ave. in Pawhuska was constructed between 1907 and 1912, he said.

As a preview, Smith, who is also a Kiwanian, gave his presentation to members of the Pawhuska Kiwanis Club on May 27.

His presentation included a circa 1900 photo of the building and the adjacent buildings on Kihekah Ave.

In this photo, Smith pointed out a two-story gazebo, which is where the Triangle Building sits today, he said. He explained that oil and gas headright checks to Osage allottees were given out on the first story of that building.

“If you think of Pawhuska, the only reason it’s here is because of those headright checks,” Smith said. “Maybe the building was round so that there could be several lines where people formed lines to get their checks.”

The Osage Mercantile was established across the street, so that Osage allottees would have a place to spend their checks, said Jenny Perrier, Smith’s Assistant on the project.

Before the project began, the National Park Service required that Smith provide maps and historic photos of his building.

Pawhuska Public Librarian Yvonne Rose did a lot of work to find the required Sanborn Fire maps, Perrier said.

The 1907 Sanborn Fire Maps, shows a place for the building, which had not yet been constructed. However, the 1912 Sanborn Fire Map shows “Drugs and Jewelry” on that spot and the corner building listed as “The General Store.”
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“At the building’s entrance, I left that original mosaic tile from the early 1900’s and it still says ‘Drugs,’” Smith said.

Based on Smith’s research, OTASCO (Oklahoma Tire and Supply Company) was located there from 1942 to 1985. Later, an insurance company occupied the space followed by and a gift store called The Plum Tree and Stiches, which has since moved to another location in Pawhuska.

OTASCO, JCPenney and several other local businesses, went out of business when Wal-Mart located in Pawhuska.

Later, when Wal-Mart closed and Pawhuskans had to once again being efforts to attract small business to Pawhuska.

Smith hopes his renovation will contribute to economic development in Pawhuska.

Smith, who is a financial advisor, has his office on the mezzanine level of the building and The First National Bank of Sedan has a production office on the first floor. Smith has room for one or two more tenants, who must pass all of the background checks, he said.

The first floor has two offices and a conference room finished in oak with oak crown molding with glass partitions above that.
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The original ceiling tiles have been restored and painted white with light blue accents to reflect additional light.

Smith’s brother, who was the contractor for the renovation, Mark Smith of Mark Smith Contractors, LLC, designed a glass and wood guard rail on the mezzanine level, which allows natural light to stream in from windows on the mezzanine level. The mezzanine level had been closed with drywall, which was removed as part of the renovation, Smith explained.

In 1985 the downtown area in Pawhuska was deemed to be a historic area, Perrier said. “The leg work to put the downtown on the National Historic Register of Historic Places took a lot of effort,” Perrier said.

DSCN1621“Without a historic downtown, this type of rehabilitation wouldn’t work. Pawhuska is unique in that regard. Smith’s building is on the National Register of Historic Places along with other downtown buildings,” she added.

Smith encourages the public to stop by and see the completed renovation.

To register for the Historic Preservation Conference taking place in Bartlesville June 3-5, or to see a list of speakers, visit http://downtownbartlesvillleinc.org.

Secrets of the Pioneer Woman Building

By: Roseanne McKee

As renovations of the Pioneer Woman Deli and shop building progressed, the building began to share its surprising secrets with those working on the project.

General contractor, Terry Loftis of J. L. and Associates, LLC, revealed some of these secrets.

Pioneer Woman Building interior renovation

Contractor Terry Loftis shown on left describes the renovations.

A. J. Hamilton and her crew started the project in summer 2012, and have done 90 percent of the demolition, Loftis said.

Loftis said that the south side of the building, where the Osage Mercantile was originally located, is built on a crawl space.

“Most people don’t believe that but if you go right underneath that plywood right there and I stand on the dirt, the finished floor below the building, it hits me about waist high,” Loftis said.

“Both buildings the last 40 ft. have full basements. What most people really don’t know is that … those were speakeasys in the back of here,” Loftis said.

Prohibition, resulting from the passage of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibited the manufacture, sale, transport, import, or export of alcoholic beverages. Illegal nightclubs called “speakeasys” flourished during Prohibition, which lasted from 1920 – 1933, when it was repealed by the 21st Amendment.

After the speakeasys closed, some interesting items were left behind.

“If you go down into the basement, and up over the retaining wall, you cannot crawl six-inches without hitting 15 empty liquor bottles that start at the retaining wall and come all the way to the front. Those will all be removed, because this side will actually have the heating and air conditioning ducts under the floor in that crawl space coming up through the floor. So we’re going to take all those out,” he said. Many of these bottles will be washed and put on display in the new Osage Mercantile, he said.

Another wonderful find, on the south side of the building, was a large granite column, uncovered when they were working to restore the original entrance to the Osage Mercantile.

“We found an old black and white picture that showed this diagonal entry. Sometime after that, they squared it off and covered up this granite column. We started tearing that out, were fortunate enough to find the granite column in pretty much the original shape it was, except for the top and bottom.

Original granite column found beneath facade at Pioneer Woman Building.

Original granite column found beneath facade at Pioneer Woman Building.

Regarding the column, Loftis said, “we found a gossip column in, get this, two daily newspapers that existed here in 1912 talking about the setting of the column. It came from a quarry in Maine by a train from Maine to Tulsa, by buckboard wagon from Tulsa to Pawhuska. It weighs almost 6,000 lbs., 18 ft. tall, almost 30” around, it took 14 men to set it, and cost the owners and astronomical $495!”

In addition, several pieces of antique furniture found in the building are being refinished with plans to put them back into use.
“That table you see was actually found in here under a pile of rubble. Along with the two benches, it was sanded, that was just stained yesterday,” Loftis said. The table and benches will be used in the conference area of the second floor offices, he said.

This restored piece will serve as the conference room table in the Pioneer Woman Building.

This restored piece will serve as the conference room table in the Pioneer Woman Building.

“Over here you’ll see the old original display cases from the Osage Mercantile. These are going to be broken down, refinished and they will be put back downstairs for merchandise display,” Loftis said.

Items found in the Pioneer Woman Building will be re-purposed.

Furnishings found in the Pioneer Woman Building will be refinished and put back into use.

He motioned to the southeast portion of the building, and said that during the work, “we found an entrance that none of us knew existed, this entry back there was probably covered up for almost 70 years. We found it and said, ‘make it match,’ so now you’ll have this entryway all the way around.

As our time drew to a close, Loftis revealed one last secret. The building has many nooks to explore, but the Drummond boys’ favorite is a little room near the commercial kitchen, adjacent to the freight elevator, underneath the stairwell.

Area below these stairs in the Pioneer Woman Building is a favorite hiding spot of the Drummond boys.

Area below these stairs in the Pioneer Woman Building is a favorite spot of the Drummond boys.