The following is an excerpt from the forthcoming ‘Letters From Peckerneck: What the School Board Don’t Wantcha To Know!” published by the Greater Peckerneck Historical Society. Dick Doxie was already a respected businessman when he decided to open Crinkum’s Bump in 1957. An early believer in the power of advertising, Doxie developed many of the parks most memorable ad campaigns himself, including the billboards along Highway 6. The following appeared as a sidebar accompanying his obituary in the Peckerneck Picayune.
— Last year’s fire did extensive damage to our photo archives and so we ask that anyone with photos of Crinkum’s Bump, especially from opening day through 1970, please contact the Society.
In Peckerneck, did Double D, a stately ‘musement park decree.’
And with those words, Richard ‘Dick’ Doxie, opened the gates to Crinkum’s Bump Amusement Park on February 2, 1957. Built on 15 acres of barren farmland outside of town, Crinkum’s quickly became the attraction of the Oklahoma plains, drawing visitors from as far away as Tulsa, North Texas, and even Kansas City, Missouri.
As the story goes, Dick, who also owned Doxie’s Downtown Five and Dime (‘A stitch in time will save you nine, shop Doxie’s store and save 10 more!’) was inspired to build the park after visiting New York on a Businessman of the Year trip sponsored by the Peckerneck Kiwanis Club. In a 1977 interview celebrating the Park’s twentieth anniversary, Doxie recalled that fateful trip.
‘The first night we were in New York, they took us to Coney Island, where the sights and the sounds of the boardwalk just hit me something fierce. We saw museums, a baseball game, and even the Empire State Building, but nothing was as exciting to me as that park. It’s all I thought about the whole time we were in the city and all I wanted to talk about the entire train ride home. By the time we reached Norman, my wife Dixie, God rest her soul, had had enough. ‘Would you shut up already!’ I remember her saying, “If you love that stupid park so much, why not just build your own.’ And so I did.’
Dixie Doxie, who passed away in 1973, had always challenged this version of events. She claimed the only time she went to New York with Dick was a full three years after the park had opened. During a 1972 photo shoot to promote the Bump’s fifteenth anniversary, and one of her last public appearances, Dixie was overheard telling photographers that the real reason Doxie built the park was to house the carnival folk the family was descended from. Following the shoot, Dixie ran through the park shouting obscenities at minorities and telling anyone who would listen that as long as she was alive the park would never, ever, hire a Mexican.
The land for the park was once a part of the vast Crinkum estate and was notable for two things: a complete lack of oil reserves, and a series of hillocks that were believed to be Native American burial sites. A series of archeological digs were conducted in the early 50’s to determine the sites historical value. Based upon the quality of the artifacts found it was decided that the ‘bumps’ were not burial mounds at all and that the land was most likely a pre-settlement era landfill. In disgust, the Crinkum family sold the land to Doxie for pennies on the dollar.
Doxie intended to call the park ‘Doxieland’, but was convinced by Dixie that such a name was a bit too presumptuous for the plain folks of Peckerneck. She suggested that the park be named for ‘…those stupid hill-thingies’ and so it was that Crinkum’s Bump came to be. When it opened, the park featured five acres of manicured gardens, a covered boardwalk with shops and restaurants, and several pavilions for live bands and dancing on Saturday nights. There was also a carnival style midway with games and a petting zoo. By all standards, fairly common amusement park fare and nothing to write home about.
But Doxie had a gift for promotion, an uncanny knack for giving people what they wanted. At Crinkum’s, he gave them thrill rides, the real appeal of the park. Doxie, who had been so impressed with Coney Island, insisted that his park not just have rides, but ‘attractions’ and challenged his builders to build big, which they did. In the beginning there were six of these attractions scattered throughout the park. They were:
- The Beard Splitter, one of the first log flumes in the country. It closed in its second year due to poor filtration.
- The Agog-a-go-go, a wooden rollercoaster.
- Tallywagons, a bumper car type attraction.
- Rebus Monkey, very similar to octopus style rides.
- Tatadiddler, a rebranded Tilt-a-whirl.
- And Fustylugg’s Fun House.
The park was also home to the Nimgimmer Diner. In its prime, the Nimgimmer became the most popular restaurant in the city. So popular, in fact, that Crinkum’s ultimately built a ‘Dinner Only’ entrance, with a segregated dining area for visitors who came to eat, but not visit the rest of the park. Although it was never definitively linked to the restaurant, a salmonella outbreak closed the Nimgimmer in 1989. It has since been reopened as The Mutton Monger.
To this day Crinkum’s Bump is stilled owned and operated by the Doxie family having been passed on to Dick and Dixie’s granddaughter, Mopsy Doxie-Gutierrez, and her husband, Cabron, a successful landscaper.