What a Dirty Shame!: 100 Unforgettable Place Names of Oklahoma, By Jim Marion Etter
2006 [ISBN: 1-58107-122-1; 248 pages; 5 ½ x 8 ½ inch; softcover] $19.95
There is probably not an Oklahoman or a visitor to Oklahoma who hasn’t wondered about the meaning or origin of the names of many of our cities and towns and other landmarks. Those names mirror the 46th state’s diverse culture and unique history. They sing with the beauty of American Indian languages, reflect the hope or earthy humor of early settlers, or ring with the energy of entrepreneurs.
In some instances, the record documenting the birth of an Oklahoma place name no longer exists – if it ever did. In others, the “official” version varies from local legend – or is greatly enlivened by it!
Respected Oklahoma author Jim Etter examines both history and folklore – and that intriguing blend of both – in this work that results from his years as a journalist whose work has taken him to hundreds of Oklahoma communities where he talked with – and listened to – thousands of Oklahomans.
The result is a book that is both informative and entertaining and quintessentially Oklahoman – part fact, part fiction and bigger and better than either.
J. Blake Wade, Executive Director, Oklahoma Centennial Commemoration Commission
“WHAT A DIRTY SHAME!” is further proof that Jim Etter is a master storyteller.
Dennie Hall, Book Editor, The Sunday Oklahoman
What a dirty shame that this book is not twice as long. Jim Etter has a genius for unearthing such marvelous tales as these and writing them up with humor or a historian’s touch – most often with both.
Dale L. Walker of El Paso, Texas, Western historian and past president,
Western Writers of America
What a dirty shame to drive across Oklahoma and not know the story behind these many names. Jim Etter has dredged them all up in this wonderful book. It’s funny, tragic and historical.
Dusty Richards of Springdale, Arkansas, Auctioneer, rodeo announcer and veteran novelist
Jim Marion Etter is a retired, award-winning reporter for The Daily Oklahoman whose offbeat, folksy writing about his home state has earned him the reputation as “Oklahoma’s master country storyteller.” A writer of both fiction and nonfiction, he’s the author of five books and a contributing author of four others, and has written for numerous magazines including Persimmon Hill and Western Horsemen. A native of the small Muskogee County town of Oktaha, he now lives in Oklahoma City. He’s also been a newspaper and television reporter in Laredo, Texas – “El Charro Flaco” – and has served as a military journalist and translator in Latin America.