Life on Council House Square

Those of you who read this column each week (thank you!) may remember that around a month ago I hinted about an upcoming podcast I’m partnering together with the Okmulgee Times on. I’m excited to tell you it’s nearly here! In fact, one week from today you’ll be able to listen to the first session!

Because I’m such an original person (LOL), the name of the podcast will be ‘Mic on Council House Square’, and I’m hoping it will be a positive voice for our community, just as I hope this column has been. While exploring new ideas for this column, I began entertaining the idea of interviewing some of our citizens who have been in this area for decades. I want to ask them about their memories of our downtown, when every building was full. I want to know the history they’ve experienced firsthand! I once wrote about this concept, calling it ‘Share Your Story’. I think it will work much better as a recording than a written article.

Once I had the idea for interviews, broadcasting became something I wanted to pursue. Because our Okmulgee Times General Manager, Anthony Nieto, is so awesome, it turns out we had some similar ideas for what we could do with broadcasting and the podcast started to become a reality! Anthony will not only be helping me produce the podcast, but he’ll also be recording alongside me as we interview some of our citizens. The podcast will be a weekly feature on the newspaper’s web page and the upcoming community app, ‘Okmulgee Now’. (You’ll hear more on this soon!) The interviews won’t just be nostalgic, but I also want to hear citizens’ opinions about our town. Even opinions I may disagree with! Some people have voiced concerns that our town is dying, and others have strong, negative feelings about our public-school system. If that’s YOU, I want to talk with you regarding those things! I want to hear your thoughts, and I want to have a heartfelt discussion about our town. I don’t want to argue, but listen to your thoughts and ideas to see if we can move past the complaints to find solutions!

Let me tell you, without the support of our paper, and good friends, this wouldn’t be happening! I have a great friend, Cherish Arias, who learned the basics of design at our very own Green Country Technology Center, and came up with the logo for the podcast. Because she has many talents (Come to Together Church and hear her sing!), she also created the music intro that will play at the start of the podcast too!

I’m hopeful this podcast will be a great new resource for our community. I’d love to spotlight the many new things happening here, and feature owners of new businesses. We’ll have the ability to present a lot of things I already do in this column in a different format that may reach a different audience. And don’t worry, I’ll still be writing this column every week – it’s one of my favorite things to do!

I want to hear from you regarding ideas you have for this. Do you have some strong opinions you want to share? As long as we can have a productive conversation, I’m looking forward to sitting down with you! Maybe you’re trying to get something started in our community, and you just need an audience to get it out to. Get in touch with me, and let’s work together to get the word out. Businesses, you can advertise in a whole new way for only $50 on the podcast! The podcast will only run 15-20 mins each time, so I hope you’ll tune in on your way to work!

Email me anytime at:

*Additional (and awesome) contributions were made to this article by Kasey Bowers.

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Richard Larabee is an Okmulgee downtown resident. He serves as President-elect of Main Street, and Chairman of The Roger Brooks Okmulgee Task Force Committee under the Chamber of Commerce. He is an Independent Petroleum Landman whose office is located in the McCulloch building across the street from the Grand Old Post Office building in downtown Okmulgee, where OSUIT students will soon be moving in!

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