The largest casino in Oklahoma is the 219,000-square-foot Riverwind, owned and operated by the Chickasaw Nation.
Rumors are flying that a bigger one is being planned in Oklahoma, that will dwarf the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, which is currently the largest casino in the United States.
Downwind of my small town a spell is a casino owned by the Cheyenne / Arapaho Tribe. From miles around, in the deep darkness of the Oklahoma prairie night, the mega-gigawatt glow of the search lights, parking lot lights, and the million or so bulbs covering the exterior of the casino illuminate their unnatural brilliance onto the surrounding flora and fauna.
At all times of the day, any day of the week, weekends, holidays, birthdays and bar mitzvahs, the parking lot is occupied with cars, trucks, minivans and Peterbilts.
The C/A Tribe is making a killing.
Was watching the John Ford/John Wayne technicolor classic, "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," the other night.
I've seen it at least a dozen times in various venues as a casual couch spud viewer but also with a more academic eye as well (a film genre class called "The American Western" was a popular sign-up in grad school).
But this last time, I saw it with a slightly different twist of view.
An important scene involves John Wayne and his troop coming across what seems to be the entire Arapaho Nation, on the move. They're making their way towards the encampment in Monument Valley where the Cheyenne Dog Warriors, the Kiowa, Souix, Apache and the Comanche are all holed up, celebrating the recent defeat of Custer, and prepping to stage for an all out war with the American Calvary.
The dichotomy between this fictional celluloid image of the Arapaho nation making their slow trek across the prettiest scenery in Utah, and the flow of cash moving in and out of the "Las Vegas-ian" C/A Tribal casino a few miles south of my small town, is irony worthy of an Alanis Morisette musical ditty.