Time for a shout-out to a great tradition in my neighborhood: The Mesta Park Home Tour.

It’s being held December 1 and 2, so come on down to see what a great old neighborhood has to offer. This year there are five homes: 900 NW 18th (home of Larry & Beverly Walker); 1005 NW 18th (home of Michael Khoury); 521 NW 17th (home of Tim & Bridgid Cook); 900 NW 16th (home of Floyd & Corinne Simon); and 513 ½ NW 18th (home of Darden White). Refreshments of coffee, cider and cookies will be served on the front porch of Jim Pickens at 801 NW 17th. Tickets will be available at the tour. The Candlelight tour will be held Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; the afternoon tour starts at 1 p.m. Sunday and lasts till 5 p.m.

There have been articles about the tour in various news outlets, so I won’t duplicate details. However, I do want to point out that this is a milestone of sorts for the tour: It’s 35 years old!

The Oklahoman had this to say about the first tour in a May 14, 1978, article (Yes, the home tour was not always at Christmas. Bet you didn’t know that. It switched over to a holiday tour in 1982.). In describing the first tour (held on May 21, 1978), the article stated:

A walk through Oklahoma City’s “Victorian” neighborhood and a tour of five homes built during the early 1900s will be just about the most pleasant way of spending next Sunday afternoon, members of the Mesta Park Neighborhood Association tell us.

There were lots of things planned at the “Walking and House Tour,” as the event was called. Visitors would receive area maps which noted special points of interest in the neighborhood. The neighborhood also blocked off the 900 block of 17th for “special functions.” Park benches were placed along the walking area. The article promised that “big ole fat sugar cookies like grandma used to make” would be available at an old-fashioned gazebo, along with a book booth, balloons for the kids, a T-shirt factory, and house tour stationery notes and envelopes.

Homes featured on that first tour included 601 NW 17 (owned then by Wayne and Vicki Bartels), a home purportedly lived in at some point by G.A. Nichols, of Nichols Hills fame); 629 NW 17 (owned by Barbara and Jim Wommer); 701 NW 16 (owned by Judge George Pendell); and 1001 NW 17 (owned by Jack and Beverly Davis).

So spend some time with history this weekend and visit us. It’s always worth the trip.

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The Oklahoman, May 14, 1978, page 84.