Retired Dentist Writes About Tulsa's Hidden History
TULSA, Oklahoma - Some people play golf or go fishing when they retire, but for one Tulsa dentist, writing about Tulsa's hidden history occupied his time.
In Steve Gerkin's basement you'll find some old wine making materials and several boxes of his new book, Hidden History of Tulsa.
It may seem like a strange combination, but Gerkin said he was writing for a wine magazine when he was approached by local publication, This Land, about writing for it.
For the past three-and-a-half years or so he's been digging around in Tulsa's historical attic looking for bits of little known history and turning them into essays or articles for This Land.
About a year ago he got a call from a publisher in Charleston, South Carolina.
"We've been following you and we think you could write a book, and I said ‘All right, I think I can,'" Gerkin said.
He assembled his essays into a manuscript, and Hidden History of Tulsa was published in May.
It's loaded with tales of the Ku Klux Klan, Tulsa's early racial tensions, oil barons, gangsters and heroes.
"There's a very rich history in Tulsa. It was a booming town, it was an entrepreneurial town. It had its troubles, early settlements. It was really the wild, wild, west until, maybe, the 40s," he said.
Gerkin said it had its characters, scapegoats, scallywags, scoundrels and good guys too; they all contribute to that rich history.
Hidden History of Tulsa is available on Amazon and iTunes, as well as Barnes and Noble and most gift stores in Tulsa.