As a child, T. Boone Pickens wrote his name in cement at his grandmother’s house next to his childhood home in Holdenville. The signature has been cut out of the driveway and moved. Photo by Bob Melton, Holdenville Daily News
Oklahoman T. Boone Pickens’ signature slab removed from home
Holdenville man says he plans a lawsuit against billionaire
BY SONYA COLBERG
Published: July 14, 2009
HOLDENVILLE — A man here said crews pulled up to the driveway of a home he owns, cut out a slab containing T. Boone Pickens’ signature and drove off.
The roughly 3-by-5-foot concrete slab was taken to the Pickens ranch in the Texas Panhandle.
"I was in shock and started talking to my neighbors. I couldn’t imagine who would actually come and cut my driveway out or when it had happened,” David McCart said.
Pickens spokesman Jay Rosser said in a statement, "The small section of cement was removed recently when Boone was in town to inspect enhancements to a family plot at the Holdenville cemetery.”
McCart said he’s planning a lawsuit to get back the concrete signed by the billionaire oilman.
"Right now I’m pursuing criminal charges against T. Boone Pickens,” McCart said Monday. "It will be for theft and vandalism.”
Rosser, in his statement, said, "We are clearly open to any thoughts the McCarts might have regarding how to best commemorate his association there for their purposes.”
As a youngster, Pickens scratched his name in the cement driveway in 1946 at his grandmother’s house, now owned by McCart. Pickens has frequently checked on the house when he visited Oklahoma.
On June 22, McCart stopped by the unoccupied house so he could mow. He saw a hole where the signed concrete had been.
A neighbor and passersby said a large truck with Texas tags stopped at the two-story house four days earlier. Three men with cement saws and pry bars cut out a chunk of cement and loaded it into the truck bed, McCart said he was told.
McCart called police and filed a report, he said. Police Chief Jerry Young didn’t return calls for comment.
Someone put new cement in the driveway after he reported the incident to police, McCart said.
McCart said he contacted Holdenville Daily News reporter Bob Melton to get photos of the signature. It had been published in the paper with a 2008 story about Pickens’ wife buying his childhood home, the one next to McCart’s, and moving it to the 68,000-acre Texas ranch for Pickens’ birthday.
The paper then ran a story saying the historic piece of concrete had disappeared.
Rosser’s e-mail continues, in part: "There is no one prouder of his Holdenville heritage than Boone. He carved his name in that cement 70 years ago, in his grandmother’s driveway.
"It means a lot to him, and is now with his childhood home, which has been carefully restored and relocated to his ranch in the Texas Panhandle to help commemorate his Oklahoma roots.
"He’s pleased to learn that the neighborhood he grew up in and the cement markings were so popular in Holdenville.”
McCart said Police Chief Young visited the property at 211 N Kelker, looked at the driveway and said the missing slab was between the sidewalk and street, so it was city property.
McCart contends the improvements — the driveway — made on the easement belongs to his family.
He said his family maintains it.
When Pickens bought his childhood home next to the McCart house, his workers wanted to move the house across his driveway.
The McCarts didn’t allow that for fear the concrete would crack, he said.
McCart said he bought the house 19 years ago, mainly because of Pickens’ signature in the concrete.