Monthly Archives: June 2010

Modern day techno Girl Scout

(Sung to the tune of Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley)

Buffalo mayor, she walks downtown,
There was a buffalo mayor, in the heart of Bartlesville
Bartian and Fabulous,
Woolaroc Wiley
Said she’s a buffalo mayor, she walks downtown
Buffalo mayor, in the heart
of Bartlesville

One of the new and interesting things we learned at a recent meeting of the Bartlesville Marketing and Communications Association was about geolocation services, most notably Foursquare.I had heard of Foursquare prior to that and I think that the advantages and customer service perks that can be had by a brick and mortar business are great. But the pageant is an event and I really didn’t want everyone knowing where I am all the time so I hadn’t done anything with it.

As Scott Townsend (fabu and oh so smart!) explained to us, you don’t have to let everyone know where you are. You can choose whether or not you want them to know. He talked about the cool badges and points you can earn.

What? Badges? Points? My ultra competitive interest was piqued!

Pretty soon, I was out collecting mayorships and badges like a modern day techno Girl Scout. (Check out my Super Mayor badge. It has a crown and is my favorite.)

I knew that my first Mayorship would be at the Bartlesville Public Library and I was right. I am there almost every day. I was keen to oust Scott as mayor of the US Post Office but I actually ousted him from the Kicks 66 station on Adams first. (Ousting the mayor is the Bartlesville way.)

Scott has a great idea involving the buffaloes that are popping up all over the ‘Ville. He thinks that the buffaloes, combined with foursquare could make a really fun walking tour of Bartlesville. So he has begun entering them into the system.

I am currently the mayor of the Bartian and Fabulous buffalo,

the Woolaroc Wiley buffalo,

the Frank Lloyd Wright buffalo,

and the OK Mozart buffalo.

Incidentally, I’m also the mayor of the 66 sculpture but that’s a blog for another time.

Every time I walk downtown now, I hear the song Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley in my head and I make up new words to go with my buffaloes. Foursquare is fun and I suggest you give it a whirl. Especially if you have a business. There are so many ways you can use it for customer perks!

Out of the blue in left field

Last fall I attended a meeting of the Bartlesville Marketing and Communications Association where I am a member. The speaker that day was talking about communicating change within your company. It was a really interesting presentation and she showed us a tool she used called a communication message wheel.
At the end of the meeting, they asked if anyone had any announcements. The Symphony had an announcement and the Community Center had an announcement. I thought, “why not?” and announced that we did not have a Mrs. Bartlesville for the 2010 pageant and that we were accepting applications. Everyone laughed. I was hurt.
My friend, Lee, was at the meeting. He doesn’t usually come but he was there that day. The next day, out of the blue, he called.
“Have you used that change wheel for your pageant yet?” he asked.
“Why?” I said.
“Well isn’t it obvious?”
And there it was, out of left field, an idea whose time had come.
Lee went on to say that he knows what my pageant is about because we have lunch here and there and we talk about it. But he wondered how many other people were hearing my message?
As the director of the Mrs. Oklahoma International pageant, I’ve always felt it was my role to stay in the background and promote the platforms of my State and local titleholders. But Lee was right. Who is telling the story of the pageant?
Today, I was asked to speak at the Bartlesville Kiwanis Club meeting. I got to tell the background and information about the state and National pageant. Interspersed with the details I got to share a lot of the amazing things that my titleholders are doing. It was awesome. My biggest fear was that I would cry. I really am so proud of the women who compete in our pageant that I get choked up sometimes when I watch all of the incredible things they are accomplishing around the state.
I was blessed to introduce Mrs. Bartlesville 2011 who then shared a little about her platform and why she decided to enter our pageant. It was wonderful to see how receptive the group was to her message.
I hope to be able to share the pageant story with various groups around the state. I think they will be surprised by what we like to call the journey that changes lives.
As it changes my titleholders lives, so does it change mine.

OMG I found it!

Jesus Christ Superstar rocks Bartlesville
Lauri Rottmayer

Originally posted to, April 28, 2009

Jesus Christ Superstar was on the stage Monday night at the Bartlesville Community Center. The role of Jesus was played, as it has been on and off for nearly 40 years, by Ted Neeley. In his own words, this is “absolutely remarkable”.

Neeley headlined the first touring company of the musical in 1971 which opened in New York and starred in the movie that hit the screen in 1973. Neeley credits the longevity of the show to the story.

“No question, it’s the story. Absolutely it’s the story, ” said Neeley. “Everybody has a space in their heart that is so warm and wonderful with praises for this story.” The story takes the last seven days of the life of Jesus Christ and tells through the eyes of the people that surrounded him, how they were influenced by his presence. Neeley points out that the audience is able to see Jesus as a man who walked on the earth with all the foibles that men and women have.

Told for years by fans that they discovered the base of their own spirituality through watching the show, Neeley himself has found an amazing depth of spirituality that he was not even aware of prior to playing the role. Raised as a Southern Baptist, he was in church more than he was in school by choice and not by force. He had a pretty good idea of what Jesus was about. “However for me,” said Neeley “Jesus was always a stained glass window. Jesus was this beautiful stained glass window, magnificent painting, portrait. Not someone with whom I could sit down and talk with.” Superstar brought the human element of Jesus Christ to Neeley and he hears from people all that time that it is Superstar that helped them to understand the story in the Bible.

The musical was the first collaboration of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber to be produced on the professional stage. According to Neeley, Webber and Rice were in New York like any other tourists who were amazed at what the city was all about and overwhelmed that someone was doing their project as a Broadway show. Even today, the two remain involved in the production. “It’s their baby,” said Neeley describing the supportive and talented duo. “It’s their first one.”

The tours of Superstar, which are usually set to run between three and six months, have gone on for several years. The current tour has been on the road since 2006 and the prior tour ran from 1991 through 1997. With the sheer number of performances, a performer might start feeling stale but not Neeley. “I still feel like a little child at Christmas with new toys,” he said “because I know that every night when we do this, sometimes twice on Saturday and Sundays, there are going to be children in that audience who are seeing it for the very first time and are going to see something that will last the rest of their lives.” More so than anything he has ever done, Neeley feels that this opportunity is remarkable. He knows that the children will go to church on Sunday or where ever they go to praise and they’re going to take the truth with them.

The current tour ends this week and Neeley does have two other projects that he has been pushing back to continue in this role. He doesn’t confirm or deny internet rumors of more stops on the current tour but says he has no need to stop. Humbly speaking about all of the attention he receives as the show’s central character, Neeley credits the wonderful cast and crew with working their hearts out every night. “You see the enthusiasm up on stage every night,” he said. “When the music starts, magic happens.”

Full circle

I just finished watching Jesus Christ Superstar on TV again and it reminded me of a really cool thing I got to do. Last year I did a brief stint with KJRH, setting up and providing hyperlocal coverage of what was going on in the ‘Ville.

I knew that Jesus Christ Superstar was coming to the Bartlesville Community Center but didn’t think a lot of it until station manager, Mike Vrabac, suggested that I try and get an interview with Ted Neeley, the star who has played the role of Jesus since the beginning.
I humored Mike, thinking that there was no way they would ever agree to my interview so I would try and that would be that.
Wrong. I got a phone call from Ted Neeley’s manager asking when we could set up the interview and covering some other details I needed.
OMG! I’m going to interview TED NEELEY! (extra excited) OMG! I’m going to interview TED NEELEY! (utterly terrified) And so it went for the intervening weeks. The fear of actually being in the presence of Ted Neeley woke me up some nights in a cold sweat and panic.
Let me give you a little background. My mom loved to take us to the theater when we were kids. She took us to see Jesus Christ Superstar at the Schubert Theater in Chicago when I was 12. Coincidentally, or not, that was the first year that the show was on tour and the star of the show was, yep you guessed it, TED NEELEY!
The year after we saw the show on the stage, the movie came out and we went to see it. My sisters and I became huge Ted Heads, although they didn’t call them that back in the day. I will tell you that I learned there is a huge community of active Ted Heads in the present day.
So on the fateful day, I drove to the hotel to have my 30 minute interview with Ted Neeley. I’m not going to lie, he was great. We had such a good time that I think we ended up talking for an hour over my 30 minute time. He said I reminded him of his sister, to which I replied it must have been his goofy, gabby sister.
At the end of our time, the tornado siren went off. I started looking for the escape hatch. He leaned over, put his hand on my arm and said, “What’s wrong? It’s going to be okay.” I said, “It’s going to be okay because I’m talking to Jesus? This is Oklahoma in April and THAT is the tornado siren.”
My back was to the window and when I turned around I saw the deep purple sky. I was totally freaked out. Ted laughed. He said, “We are in hotels all over the country and you never know what is going on in the hallway. I thought that was the vacuum cleaner.” We both got a big laugh out of that and, in the end, we did not get blown away by the tornado and we were able to go see the show that night.
David had never seen Jesus Christ Superstar, not even the movie version. He was skeptical. But by the end, I think we had a converted Ted Head on our hands. We were able to go backstage afterwards because Ted really wanted to meet David. He was so nice and gracious and I was really beyond thrilled that I had gotten an opportunity like this one.
I asked David later if he thought that we had moved to Oklahoma so that I could complete the full circle and he just laughed to think that I thought that Ted Neeley was my life’s purpose. But meeting him, talking to him, hearing how this show has impacted him over the almost 40 years he has performed it was not only a career high point, it was a personal high point in my life.
P.S. I wrote a great article, one of the favorite things I have ever written that I thought would be on the internet forever and I’m sad to say that it’s gone. I’ll make sure to keep copies next time. 🙂
Update 6/9/10 – While looking for something else, I found the article I wrote! Click here to read it.

All alone in the car

What do you do when you are all alone in the car? When no one can see you (or so you think)?

I listen to Rage Against the Machine. Every song that comes on the radio from start to finish.

I love mangling the lyrics:

Feeding all my family
With a pack of taco shells

(real lyrics)

They rally round the family
With a pocketful of shells

and seat dancing to the noisy, funky beat prevalent in each tune.

David knows country music.

He doesn’t know any of the music I listen to (everything but country) with the exception of Rage. When it comes to songs by this band, David can name that tune, or at least the band, in one note. It’s the one thing he absolutely, positively, refuses to listen to.

I’ll never forget how happy I was when I heard a Rage song, the whole thing, and realized I didn’t have to turn it off at any point. Happiness.

So, what do you do when you’re all alone in the car? Do you have as much fun as I do? 🙂