It was boomtime Tulsa, the summer of 1941. Close to war, patriotism was at a fevered pitch and so was the oil business. The International Petroleum Exposition held here was a major international event, and to the big boys in the petroleum industry, oil really could be personified as a "goddess." A symbolic figure holding aloft a flame was what they wanted, and Marjorie Morrow Anderson had a face and shape for it. ... "I wanted to take art lessons, and decided if I got the job posing I'd use the money to pay for them," she said. She was working two other jobs at the time. She was born on Bruner Hill in a house with no indoor plumbing, she said. She knew what it was like to grow up hungry, and she always had to earn her own way. Having known poverty, she didn't like it.
Tulsa was once called "America's most beautiful city," and the "Paris of the Midwest." The oil barons wanted to use their new wealth to create a city that could stand shoulder to shoulder with the great cities of the U.S. and Europe. ... Downtown was a beautiful, walkable, urban village where people could work, live, go to school, and play. Some even envisioned our city as being like Florence: a center for the arts and culture. ...
Yet now, a promising new wind stirs the air. Carried on this new wind is a familiar sound. The sound of people wanting spaces where they can live, work, shop and play within a beautiful shared environment. People are pushing for Tulsa to be great again. ... The "Goddess of Oil" is not only a testament to a cherished vision from the past, but also reflects a newborn appreciation of that vision today.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.