“Scott Zarrow, a Tulsa attorney who as a member of one of the city’s most prominent oil-industry families not only served as legal counsel for many of its enterprises, but carried on its famous commitment to charity as well, died Sunday in Tulsa.
“He was 54. …
“A trustee of the Maxine and Jack Zarrow Family Foundation and the Zarrow Families Foundation, Scott Zarrow had also served on the boards of the Tulsa Housing Authority, Hillcrest HealthCare System, the Morningside Foundation and the Mental Health Association.
“In his service to Tulsa’s Jewish community, Zarrow was a patron almost without peer.”
My first memory of my friend Scott was when I was in 9th grade, in a student council meeting in the junior high cafeteria at Edison. Who was the smart-assed skinny 7th grader in the horn rimmed glasses? Scott stood out of the crowd because he was unafraid to argue a point with older smart-asses, like me.
We became friends during my senior year at Edison, through our mutual friend Jeff Levinson. That friendship continued throughout my college years with a circle of friends that included at various times Wyatt Morgan, Steve Glazer and Doug Hott.
For all the crazy and stupid things we kids did, these connections did shape my adult life. I’ll never forget the examples of kindness, hospitality and generosity displayed by Jack and Maxine Zarrow and Sil and Harriet Levinson. They might easily have perceived me as a bad influence from the wrong side of the tracks; if in fact they did, they never showed it. Their homes were always open to us, and their pantries always full of Dr. Pepper.
We attended each others’ weddings. My favorite story from Scott and Hilary’s wedding was when the U of Texas crowd requested the (predominantly-Italian) orchestra play “The Eyes of Texas”. Everyone on the dance floor waved the “Hook ’em Horns” sign, which as a hand gesture has a totally different meaning in the Italian culture.
We grew up, grew our families, and grew apart. The last time I saw Scott was in Tulsa, five years ago just before Jeff’s death. We shared a few drinks (probably diet Dr. Pepper this time) and tried to remember the old stories as best we could.
The boundless generosity of the remarkable Zarrow family has been a true blessing upon the City of Tulsa, and it is a legacy that will outlive all of us.
Good bye, old friend.
P.S. Somewhere among Scott’s personal effects someone may find an old cigar box. Inside are some 1970s-vintage Radio Shack switches and other electronic gizmos, crudely connected by amateur wiring. If you find it, don’t ask what it was used for. I’m sworn to secrecy.