ON TO OKLAHOMA!
Grampa tells his grandchildren a tall tale about the booming of the Oklahoma territory in the 1880's.

 


ACT ONE:

Grampa is telling George and Alice, his grandchildren, a "windy" about the booming of the Oklahoma territory in the 1880's. They don't want to listen, but agree to when Grampa tells them they can be in the story. It is the aniversary of the great Run to the Promised Land in 1889.

Dave Payne is gathering folks to cross the border illegally into Oklahoma to boom the land by forcing the government to open it for settlement. He, his comon-law wife, Anna, their son George, and Bill Couch sign up Frank McPherson and his children, Sarah nad Alice. Marsh Murdoch scoffs at the notion, but Payne thinks he has the man who will make thousands follow him: Pawnee Bill. At the last moment, Pawnee joins Buffalo bill's Wild West show instead, but Frank knows the way and the expedition is on.

Meanwhile, two cowboys, Jim and Dusty Dan, come in from the range. Jim meets Sarah, they get off on the wrong foot, but Sarah is eventually won over enough to share her dream with Him: planting an acorn on her own special spot in Oklahoma. Jim is torn between his growing love for Sarah and his knowledge that nesters like her will destroy his way of life forever.

In a saloon brawl, Jim saves the life of an Indian, Lone Wolf, when Jake Adams, Jim's rival for trail boss, tries to stab him. Lone Wolf promises to repay the debt someday.

Out on the prairie, Jim, Dusty, and Jake show the cavalry where the boomers are camped. Jim is forced to identify Payne, thus sending him to prison and driving a wedge between him and Sarah which Charlie Wickmiller, a photographer from Back East, is happy to fill.

Charlie's pictures make Payne's movement to settle the Oklahoma terribory nationally known. The President and congress are forced to deal with Payne's demands. They do so in typical Washington fashion: passing the buck. Payne, disgusted, returns to Wichita to organize another expedition and learns that his fight in the courts has paid off: a judge has declared that settling Oklahoma is no longer illegal!

At this point, Ben Miller, the cattle baron, takes matters into his own hands and has Jake Adams deliver Payne a bottle of poisoned whiskey. Tragically, Payne dies-on the verge of realizing his dream.

At the funeral, Jim tries to explain his behavior to Sarah, but she won't listen, so he decides to join Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show and get as far away from Sarah as possible. Now who will lead the settlers into the Oklahoma Territory? As Payne's coffin is lowered into the grave, Bill Couch steps forward and promises to lead the Boomers to the Promised Land.

ACT TWO:

Lone Wolf, who has followed Jim into the Wild West Show, convinces Jim to return to the Oklahoma Territory and leave this mockery of things they both hold dear. Once there, Jim spends with with Lone Wolf and his father, Eagle Chief, gaining a new appreciation for the land as something more permanent than a place to drive cattle over.

Jim tracks down Sarah, only to learn she is married to Charlie and they are making the Run. Jim decides to claim a special spot only he knows about and give the land to Sarah.

In a musicalized ballet, the Boomers reenact the Run of '89. Jake kills Charlie in a land dispute, and Jim seeks frontier justice with his gun. Jake has Jim in his sights and is about to pull the trigger, when Jake suddenly falls dead. Lone Wolf steps out of the shadows: his debt is repaid.

Jim finally gets up his courage and asks Sarah to marry him. She accepts, and Gramps-who is Jim gown old-finishes his "windy" by dividing his claim in two and giving half to each of his grandchildren, passing the sacred land on to the next generation.