by Pablo Angulo-Gonzalez
Note: the Water Taxi blog “The Wheelhouse” was begun in early 2022 to share the experiences and perspectives of our crew, who we believe serve as front line “ambassadors” for the Oklahoma City community. Our guests count on us to interpret and explain the past and present of our city and state, and within this blog we hope to provide the same service to you, our readers. Besides sharing stories about our some of our industry partners and attractions in Bricktown, downtown Oklahoma City and beyond, we will also be introducing you to some of our crew members. Today’s entry tells the story of one of our team; retired Oklahoma City Fire Department Major Mitch Brown.
Mitch Brown loves his job. In 2021 he became a Bricktown Water Taxi Ambassador, a perfect job for – as he describes himself – an “Oklahoma-City-guy all the way.” His role at Water Taxi just enables him to brag a bit on his hometown.
His family moved back to Oklahoma City when he was only a 2-year-old boy after spending some years in Wichita Falls, Texas. He grew up in the capital of Oklahoma where he found a true passion for wrestling early on in life.
Mitch also became an Oklahoma City firefighter, and served the community in that manner for 26 years, later retiring as major.
You can find his name on the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Mitch began wrestling when he was six. His talent got him to the podium as a state high school champion after years of training and competing.
After he finished school, Mitch then began coaching for various high schools in Oklahoma winning Assistant Coach of the Year 7 times.
“I have either wrestled, coached or officiated for over 50 years. So yeah, wrestling has been a
lifelong passion.” He also coached for Oklahoma City University, and officiated in both wrestling and football.
Nowadays, Mitch still referees wrestling matches and was recently honored with the 2019
Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award by the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of
Mitch is first and foremost a family man. He’s been married for almost 18 years and has 2 teenage children, who he loves profoundly.
There are more than a few things Mitch likes about being a Bricktown Water Taxi Ambassador.
“I’m a talker, so I enjoy visiting with people, he said. “I like staying out on the dock, checking people in and finding out where they’re from. I’m always interested in other people’s backgrounds. It’s honestly
as enjoyable as anything to me.”
He also likes his co-workers, the positive working environment and the way in which managers
and co-workers all cheer for each other and want the best for everyone. “They have a great team spirit here,” he said as he praised the way in which the operation is being run and managed.
At the helm he’s usually wearing a Water Taxi ballcap and friendly smile. The area around Chickasaw Plaza and the Centennial Land Run Monument on the South End of the canal is his favorite segment.
“I like to tell the story of how Oklahoma became a state and how Oklahoma City got so big.”
One of the most memorable experiences he’s had on the canal happened last season. He was giving his regular tour when we met a woman from Pennsylvania who was on her way to Duncan, Oklahoma to be seen by experts about her leg amputations. Mitch and her bonded over a life-saving story where a firefighter saved the woman’s life by pulling her out of a car.
“I’ll remember her more than everybody else I’ve met,” he said while showing a photo of them together at the dock.
Mitch loves OKC and has definitely accumulated a whole lot of experiences of the city and its development through the decades. As a wrestler, coach and retired firefighter, Mitch can share really cool stories and knowledge about the city which saw him grow up and become the wise-yet-friendly “people person” that he is.
You can catch his tours on the Bricktown canal multiple times a week.