Literary Landmark–Wilson Rawls

I love my job.  Every week I get to meet people who know significantly more about something than I do.  I once heard Bill Moyers liken it to walking on the shores of others’ oceans of knowledge.  That is why in 2005 we started a PBS television show called Oklahoma Horizon,  to discuss the issues and visit the places that give our viewers context to our changing world.  From an awful time slot on a single station, we have grown into a show now seen in 40 million homes across the U.S. and in 17 countries around the world.

The stories we tell from week to week will range from economic and social trends to just plain ole feel good stories about life in a state we all love and want to see be the very best.  This week we begin our postings with a story about a story.

Native American legend has it that a very long time ago, a little boy and girl were wondering through the Cherokee Hills when they were caught in a blizzard.  It was not until the following spring their bodies were found lying next to each other, their hands still clasped together.  Between the two little ones, an unusual red fern had sprouted, leaning its vast shade over the two tiny bodies.  It is a legend that influenced an Oklahoma boy to start writing stories he wanted to read and eventually pen the classic “Where the Red Fern Grows.”  We debut our Red Dirt Chronicles blog with a video trip to Tahlequah, Oklahoma to visit the festival that honors Oklahoma author Wilson Rawls.

Rob McClendon


Literary Landmark–Where The Red Fern Grows from Alisa Hines on Vimeo.



5 thoughts on “Literary Landmark–Wilson Rawls”

  1. From one Rob to another, welcome to the RDC! So glad you guys are on board, and looking forward to reading and seeing more from the Oklahoma Horizon team! I hope you will enjoy being a part of this site as much as I have!

    – Rob Loeber

  2. I love the Oklahoma Horizon show! I always learn something new or think about something in a different way when I watch it. I’m looking forward to reading/watching more on the RDC page. Welcome!

  3. Dear Rob and OK Horizon TV team – welcome!

    Today I was driving down 2nd street after having just purchased some new sunglasses. I put them on because I kept getting little tears in my eyes remembering the Red Fern story, then thinking about the clips on this show w/the little puppies. Once my family was driving back from Houston reading that book aloud and the entire truck-full of us couldn’t hardly finish one of the chapters! I especially loved the tidbit of information about how Rawls destroyed the transcripts, then rewrote them again at the urging of his wife.

    Looking so much forward to more great posts! ~ Red Dirt Kelly

  4. Rob and everyone at Oklahoma Horizon,

    Welcome to the RDC! I look forward to learning more about this great state through your postings. “Where the Red Fern Grows” was the first book to make me cry (not the last, however!) and I remember dreading in-class readings because I knew I would fall to pieces in front of my classmates. However, I loved the book and read it several more times throughout my youth. Thanks for the story behind the story!

    Kendy Cox, Woman2Woman

Comments are closed.