LOYAL TO OKLAHOMA: THE BANCFIRST STORY
H. E. “Gene” Rainbolt and his son, David, created the BancFirst Corporation during the energy bust of the 1980s, when bank failures set the tone for a decade that Oklahoma bankers would just as soon forget. Where others saw only problems, the Rainbolts perceived opportunities. Combining their disparate, yet complementary skills, father and son committed themselves to building Oklahoma, one community at a time. Highlights in BancFirst’s colorful history include Gene Rainbolt’s unique strategy of assembling banking interests and managing them through Thunderbird Financial Corporation; the energy bust of the 1980s, heralded by the catastrophic failure of Penn Square Bank in July 1982; and David Rainbolt’s success in developing policies and strategic plans to complement his father’s entrepreneurial energy.
FRONTIER FAMILIES: THE RECORDS AND JOHNSTONS IN AMERICAN HISTORY
MidFirst Bank was founded in the early 1980s when George Records, then president of Midland Mortgage Company, bought a savings and loan in Stilwell, Oklahoma. He and his father-in-law, Ross Johnston, had plenty of precedent in entrepreneurship. Their ancestors were pioneers in the classic mold who moved with the tide of westward migration. Tempered in the crucible of the frontier, generations of Records and Johnstons embodied the qualities that we associate with America’s foundation story, including boundless optimism and courage in the face of adversity.
INVENTING TRADITION: COWBOY SPORTS IN A POSTMODERN AGE
In what began as sport and ended as a doctoral dissertation at UVA, Michael competed in dozens of cowboy contests and collected data on a group whose members (himself included) he dubbed “Old Dominion cowboys.” Through a close reading of his fieldnotes, he identified themes that emerge from a typical day of penning, sorting, and cutting cattle. He analyzes these themes in the context of frontier history, identity formation, the Western genre of entertainment, social memory studies, and sport sociology, all to situate cowboy sports in a cultural and historical context. Today, cowboy sports serve as avenues of identity formation and cultural expression in ways that are both representative of and resistant to postmodernity.