It’s been a minute since we’ve written anything about our old pal Jenni Carlson.
Back in the old TLO Brah Stool days, she and her mind-numbingly boring sports columns at The Oklahoman were frequent targets of our well-deserved lampooning and criticism, but over the years, as her relevance and visibility – thanks, social media algorithms! – has withered away like The Oklahoman reader base, our interest has left with it.
Knowing that, I was a bit surprised but not surprised when I discovered yesterday that Jenni’s expanding her role with the new and improved Oklahoman, and now covering a beat that’s more her style – writing vague and meandering pieces about old chunks of concrete found in historic Oklahoma City neighborhoods.
Via The Oklahoman_:
The waist-high concrete post sits near the curb along NW 20. It’s as thick around as a dinner plate and painted gray nowadays, and the iron rings that long adorned the top rusted off a few years ago.
But what exactly is it?
I have been asking myself that question for more than a decade. That’s how long I’ve regularly seen that post as I’ve run through the Linwood Place Neighborhood nestled between May Avenue and Interstate 44. It has been a curiosity the entire time.
I figured it was a hitching post for horses, a relic of a long-passed era of Oklahoma City’s history when residents still used four-legged creatures to get around.
But was it?
Back in the olden times, we created the word “Carlsoned” to describe what happened when you clicked on a semi-interesting sports headline at The Oklahoman only to learn it was a one-sentence-paragraph by one-sentence-paragraph Jenni Carlson piece astutely explaining that the Thunder will need to play well to win a playoff series.
That’s a bit of what happened here.
I lived in Linwood Place for a minute back in the mid-aughts, so I’m actually familiar with the concrete post from my dog walks through the neighborhood. Since it was in front of an old fancy-looking house, I figured it was the base of a missing historical plaque or decorative lantern like you see in front of some old houses in Heritage Hills.
When I saw the headline and the photo, I figured old Lackmeyer was on the scene and on the story, and would provide a brief history of the concrete slab. Instead, I was treated to 500+ words of Jenni Carlson investigating the possible origins of the mysterious post, providing more questions than answers, and wrapping up the case like a Spencer police detective.
“There’s no number or anything on it,” said Brent Weathers, who bought the house with wife, Jamie, a few years ago.
The post doesn’t look to have been made by a machine either.
“It’s not perfectly formed,” Brent Weathers said. “It’s kind of crooked and uneven. If you look at it from the top, it’s wider over here … ”
He pointed to one side.
“ … than it is over here.”
So, what is it? Who put it there? And what purpose did it serve?
“Another possibility could be that it was decorative,” Pearce said.
Or maybe it was something the builders or the Morse family thought would be used, but by the time the house was finished, the use of horses was being phased out.
We may never know the answer entirely.
Yep, we may never know what are why someone made this giant concrete column 100 years or so.
Or will we?
I’d encourage Jenni to stick with this story.
It seems more her style.
And maybe she’ll find the answer.
Or maybe she won’t.
Either way, I’ll probably follow along – one brief sentence after one brief sentence – for old times’ sake.
Stay with The Lost Ogle.
We’ll keep you advised.