A couple of weeks ago I was privledged to bring you the story of Jim Brewer. No, not the latest controversy over parking or whether development is going too slow, but rather, the story behind the man himself.
It’s provoked an interesting discussion on the story comment section, and one part of it is rather intriguing:
I built houses for 15 years in South Oklahoma City. I went in halves on the Haunted House with Jim and Patsy Brewer. We flew on his Jet to different football games together. Checked out other cities that had haunted houses and I even went to a concert in Dallas with Patsy and our kids Brent and my oldest son Cheyenne to see “The Boss”. I spent time with them in Las Vegas when Jim Brewer was judging a Hawaiian Tropic Beauty Pageant. He screwed alot of people!!! I still, have the corporation commission papers on the Haunted House… My ex-husband was listed as the President! Jim, I’m sure you remember!
Candace, Lakeland - Jul 6, 2008 7:39 AM
I never saw a dime from the “Haunted House”. That money would have come in handy cause my kids are all going to college… Jim could still help alot of people if he would make one of those old buildings a place for homeless people to find shelter and to get back on their feet! Life is not all about making money. Everyone is put here on earth for a purpose…
Candace, Lakeland - Jul 6, 2008 10:54 AM
I don’t know Candace. I’m not taking sides on whether she’s right or wrong. But there is some more history on Jim that I wasn’t able to include in the story, due to space limitations, that may be relevant here.The Haunted Warehouse, as I mention in the story, was Jim’s big break in Bricktown. It was when he realized Bricktown could be branded and turned into a destination.
What I wasn’t able to get into was that he wasn’t alone in that venture. The whole idea began when he and Craig Brown (who in some ways was to the revival of Deep Deuce what Jim was to Bricktown) toured the old Pittsburgh Plate Glass Building and saw all the antique furniture left behind by original Bricktown developer Neal Horton. They began talking about how the place reminded them of a haunted house, and it was then that Craig commented that he had a friend in Kansas City who operated a haunted house. Brewer, who liked to fly out to OU games, suggested he fly Craig and some others out to the OU game in Manhattan, Kansas, and then check out the haunted house nearby.
All of this story is retold in the book Jack Money and I wrote about the history of downtown, “OKC Second Time Around,” and it was interesting to hear Brown and Brewer tell almost identical accounts of this because their partnership ended badly.
To get things started, they teamed up with two other people - home builder Rick Garrett and real estate investor Bruce Thompson (Thompson would later run into trouble over controversial purchases of inner-city properties).
The partnership among the four ended up falling apart with lawsuits filed and quite a bit of unhappiness.
I don’t know Candace. I don’t know if she was related to one of these men. But the timeline of events she recalls seem to fit into the overall history of a very complex man.
During my last visit with Jim Brewer, I asked him about Craig Brown – does he harbor any bitterness against him? By all accounts, it’s doubtful the men have even spoken a word to each other in some 20 years. No, he said – he actually admires what Craig has accomplished in Deep Deuce and has no annomosity at all toward his former partner and friend.
Truth be told, Jim and Craig are not perfect human beings. They’re the first to admit so these days. Over the years I’ve been greeted with genuine praise from Jim Brewer for my writing and reporting on Bricktown. He’s also yelled and cursed at me to an extent pretty much unrivaled by anyone else that I’ve dealt with when my stories weren’t to his liking. It’s fair to say there’s a bit of craziness with these men – and it’s that very quality that led them to take risks and get things done. Did they offend some people while getting things done? Oh yeah. Would I have done everything they did? No.
But isn’t that how history is made?