Great state: Woodward roadside monuments built to start conversations
WOODWARD, OKLAHOMA — It's a roadside monument that gets more interesting the closer you are.
"A lot of families like to stop here," says property owner Randall Gabrel He put it up next to his oil business a few years ago.
The life-size Stegosaurus gets attention from visitors first.
"We got a momma and a baby," he beams.
Then folks see the little girl happily riding on its back.
"It's just subtle," he insists.
About that time people who stop by spot the signs that insist this scenario could actually have happened.
Gabrel believes in a literal translation of the Bible that calculates the earth as being thousands of years old instead of billions.
"I do believe it's possible that humans lived with dinosaurs."
The other monument on the lot almost seems like an afterthought.
It's a copy of the Ten Commandments carved in marble.
Gabrel says, "I do believe the Ten Commandments is our moral law, where our law comes from."
The offices of B and G Productions just happen to sit on Woodward's busiest street.
He owns the lot, and he owns a lot of other age unknown fossils too.
All of them speak to his fascination with history and the Bible, and of his wish to talk about his ideas.
"I enjoy it," he says. "Debate is healthy."
Other that a little grumbling from some visitors there is no raging controversy about whether Randall is allowed to keep his monuments.
Gabrel himself offers a challenge to would-be supporters of other religious monuments in the news.
"I feel we have no right to say, 'put this up at the court house' if we're not putting it up on our own property."
Gabrel built a coffee shop behind his dinosaur so people could come in and debate over a hot mocha.
The signs say you can't ride this dinosaur, but he's already ridden both monuments to some great conversations which is why they're here in the first place.
The dinosaur and Ten Commandments structures are located on Oklahoma Avenue and 10th Street in Woodward.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court is currently reviewing the issue of whether to allow the Ten Commandments monument that sits on state capitol property now.