Oklahoma has lost a public television legend.
We have learned that OETA Movie Club host B.J. Wexler passed away yesterday at the age of 83.
For those who are either not from here, too young to remember, or were fortunate enough to grow up in a household that had basic cable, B.J. Wexler hosted the OETA Movie Club – a Friday night program that would air old classic films, and in more modern times, movies that embarrassed bashful Oklahoma legislators – for 30-years from its launch in 1988 until he stepped away in 2018.
B.J. had an honest, affable and endearing charm. He would welcome viewers into his studio, bucket of popcorn in hand, and prep them on the classic movie they were about to watch. In segments interlaced throughout the broadcast, he’d share trivia questions about the actors, fun production facts, and most importantly, read some viewer mail – a segment where grandparents from across the state would send B.J. letters, photographs, and movie memorabilia to share with other warm, cozy and probably elderly viewers on Friday night.
Because he was an Oklahoma-only icon with great hair and a good name, B.J. became a go-to TLO pop-culturish Easter egg reference for us over the years. He made the list of Oklahoma men more handsome than Blake Shelton, got a TLO write up about his own celebrity sandwich, and even snuck his way into a list of people you don’t want to see on a doorbell camera. In 2012, he upset Mary Fallin in the first round of Ogle Madness V as a 14-seed, only to fall to the Devon Tower in a close second-round matchup. Hell, he even snuck his way into a graphic for a Lost Ogle Show episode I recorded with Jason and Royce over the summer:
I dunno if y’all have been outside. I sure as hell haven’t, but as we touched on earlier, the newsfolks tell me it is cold as shit out there, and we’re going to have some record lows coming up, as well as a mountain of snow to cover up the ice that’s turned our roads into a skating rink.
Yep, there’s a chance you’re gonna be stuck at home for a bit, just like you have for the last year. There’s nothing better to defeat cabin fever than knocking back a few good local brews. Here’s some real local favorites that will warm you up:
Last week, The Oklahoman put a report behind their paywall on the status of the once lavish, now barren, Chesapeake Energy campus that many of us impoverished plebeians very rarely ever get to see.
The gist is Chesapeake is hoping to “lure one company (or maybe more) that would commit to making part of Chesapeake’s home their own.” In this post-pandemic world, where more and more people are working from home in their pajamas, and big fancy corporate campuses seem to be on the way out, that seems more like a prayer than a hope.
With that in mind, Patrick and I thought it would be good to come up with a list of better, more practical uses for the campus. In no particular order, they are:
This Valentine’s Day weekend, most of the metro is expected to get 2 – 20 inches…of snow. On top of that, we are still in the middle of a goddang global pandemic. While some may take this weekend’s weather and COVID conditions as a sign to skip the hoopla of this Hallmark holiday, we’re a little more optimistic here at TLO. So here’s 7 ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day this weekend!
Cuddle by Candlelight
As I’m sure you know by now, the OKC TV weather hypers have been hard at work over the last 24 hours irresponsibly ramping up fear – and social media shares and TV ratings – with an apocalyptic winter weather forecast that predicts anywhere from 10 – 20 inches of snow will fall across the state Sunday through Monday, leading to an early run on milk, bread, snow shovels, kitty litter and Tauntauns at retailers from Williburton to Slapout and everywhere in between.
I guess they could be right. From inland hurricanes to epic floods to prolonged droughts to maxi-wedge mega grinders dancing across the prairie, extreme weather is always a possibility in Oklahoma, but as the surprise ice rink that descended on the metro this past Monday morning reminded us, winter weather is incredibly unpredictable in these parts. It’s a challenge for a meteorologist to forecast what’s going to happen in a couple of hours, much less four or five days in advance.
I’m not the only one sounding the “Hey, let’s not freak out yet” alarm. Dan Threlkeld – a former KFOR weatherman who now prances in front of the greenscreen at KTUL Channel 8 in Tulsa – provided this bit of commentary during a newscast, calling out some of the Oklahoma City weathermen who “like to scare people.”