The concrete slab bearing billionaire T. Boone Pickens'childhood signature is back in town. Pickens had the concrete trucked to the city from his Texas ranch, where a crew he hired had taken it in early July.
"It is not a concrete solution, but it puts us on the right path to cementing our relationship with the city," Pickens'spokesman Jay Rosser said Wednesday.
The ownership of the 3-by-5-foot chunk of concrete, which was taken from the driveway of a home where Pickens'grandmother once lived, likely will be determined in court.
David McCart, who owns the home, said he intends to request a court date to determine who owns the slab, which was in the part of the driveway that is on the city's right-of-way.
McCart contends that he owns it because of access to his property and his family's longtime maintenance of the easement.
But Mayor Jack Barrett maintains that the city owns the chunk of history because it was on a city easement.
Barrett said the court apparently will decide the issue.
"Then we'll decide whether to give it to Mr. Pickens as a gift or auction it off," he said. "If it's city property, we might have to do that. On the other hand, Mr. Pickens has been very gracious to this community."
He said Pickens has donated money to numerous local establishments, such as the hospital.
Pickens'family established its home on Kelker Street in Holdenville in the 1930s. A young Pickens scratched his name into the wet concrete in his grandmother's driveway, next door to Pickens'house,in 1946.
For his birthday last year, Pickens'wife bought the oilman's childhood home and had it moved to their 68,000-acre ranch in the Texas Panhandle.
Problems with McCart began when Pickens'crew asked for permission to cross McCart's driveway when it was moving the home.
David McCart said his wife, Saundra McCart, parked her car on the driveway to prevent the workers from doing so. He said he and his wife feared that the driveway and surrounding property would be damaged by the weight of the house-moving truck.
Things didn't improve when, as Pickens said in a statement, he "authorized" a crew to cut out the concrete slab because he was disappointed in the condition of his grandmother's former home.
The McCarts said family health and financial concerns have slowed their refurbishing of the house. They said they bought it nearly two decades ago primarily because of Pickens'signature.
The mayor said the issue has "kind of split the community. The big guy against the little guy."
"Like there's no crises in the world," Barrett added. "If you didn't laugh about it, you would get mad."