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Oklahoma Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff - P.J. Lassek



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Insiders' Guide

Tulsa World journalist P.J. Lassek chronicles some out-there, out-of-the-way sites and Sooners around our state in "Oklahoma Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff." It's hard not to lose big chunks of time when thumbing through this one, as even native sons and daughters are bound to come away with ideas for day trips they never knew existed.

Readers probably know of the Round Barn in Arcadia, but what about the National Lighter Museum in Guthrie? Most have heard about the "World's Largest Peanut" monument in Durant, but there's also a two-headed calf at the No Man's Land Museum in Goodwell.

Lassek also turns her spotlight to some decidedly oddball festivals, like the annual Master Works Sawdust Festival in Bennington and the Ultimate Cow Tongue Tournament in Durant. Other page-long entries profile colorful citizens, from catfish noodlers to crazed collectors.

Supplemented with lots of photos, "Oklahoma Curiosities" is a lighthearted guide to the happenings of the state that don't always get press from the travel and tourism department. But the author makes a massive misstep in including an "Okie Talk" sidebar, in which words like "fired" are mangled into "farred." Such a list is quite the stereotype-perpetuator; to include it when the state is trying to combat long-held misconceptions is, to borrow the book's own word, "ignurunte."

"?Rod Lott

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