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Tales from Camelot

Remember our post last week on our Camelot Room? One reader saw the post and chimed in with her own memories of the late Tulsa landmark. Norma Sue Carpenter worked at the Camelot after her freshman year of college, when it was still called the Camelot Inn (the name was changed to “Camelot Hotel” later). Carpenter recalls meeting celebrities, from actor George Peppard to Vice President Spiro Agnew, whom she describes as looking “like an ‘old-time’ mobster, never smiled”; dealing with obnoxious guests; and being called in to work at 3 a.m. when a fire broke out in one of the hotel rooms.

There were unnerving moments:

Once had a huge Bowie knife pulled on me at the front desk about 3 am by a green-toothed trucker. Wilma and I levitated backwards; he’d just wanted it from his lockbox, which was behind the front desk. No malice on his part. But scared the Bejesus outta us!

And more unnerving moments:

Windows were broken out, sheets were actually TIED together, hanging down. When I got inside, most everyone was in the lowered, “conversation pit,” including my two friends from Phillips U. for whom my mom had “comped” the rooms the day before. They, as did the others, looked stricken, and had soot on their faces.

But all’s well that ends well:

The big-wig men were in my mom’s office – she too had been called in. One of the men pulled out a wad of $100 bills, stuffed them into my hands, and told me to take the “stewaredesses” to St. Francis. American Airlines had an entire floor blocked off for their crews, whether ocuppied or not. The “flight attendents” were a hoot, albeit shaken. One had brought her train case, and pulled a bottle of vodka out of it. We all took several swigs as I drove to St. Francis.

You can read Ms. Carpenter’s story — which includes some great details about the late ’60s and early ’70s, during the Camelot’s heyday — here.

Thanks for sharing your memories with us, Ms. Carpenter!

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