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A Big Vision Pitch: More Golden Drillers

KWGS News photo
The Golden Driller on the Tulsa State Fairgrounds

What if Tulsa had more than one Golden Driller? One voter thinks that would put us on the map.

"A series of statues the size of the Golden Driller spread throughout our community would be unique, odd, memorable and affordable," said former environmental trust director Michael Patton. "It would inspire travel magazines to write of road trips and tourist selfies in front of the largest examples of art in our country."

Patton pointed out the current sales tax set aside $1 million dollars for the Meadow Gold sign on Route 66.

"That Meadow Gold sign is the perfect example of the amount of space we need for a statue," Patton said. "There's not another idea you hear that will need less maintenance dollars than these. For budgetary reasons, I'll go with that: $1 million per statue, complete — parking, plaque, statue and gold paint."

He envisions gold-painted statues 75 feet tall that reflect Tulsa’s history and their location, such as a fisherman at the Arkansas River, a Woody Guthrie near the Woody Guthrie center or a Judge Amos T. Hall in north Tulsa.

Patton pitched the idea as a private citizen. He is married to City Councilor Anna America, who said she would recuse herself from any discussions of the project.

America left the council chambers during Patton's pitch.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.