We're b-a-a-a-ck. Tuzigoot spent the winter in storage, but we fired her up last week for a trip to Oklahoma. My sister, Connie, and her husband, Tom, who live in Edmond, OK, have six sons. Two big family happenings over the weekend. Number 4 son, Chris, married Cari (sons 1-3 are already married), and Number 6 son, Peter, who is a HS senior, gave a piano recital. No. 5 son, Caleb, is getting married in June, so we'll go back for that.
In between events, I took in a couple of historical sites: the OK History Center and the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum (formerly the Cowboy Hall of Fame). Susie said she'd rely on me to report the highlights and bring back pictures, so she relaxed at the RV park while I did my Oklahoma heritage thing.
We left Cedar Crest on Tuesday, 4/22, spent the night in Amarillo, then got to Twin Fountains RV Park in OKC the next day - two fairly easy 250 mile days. Very windy but something of a tailwind.
My sister, Verla, came to the RV park after work and the three of us went to downtown OKC for their annual art show. Pretty big deal, with lots of things to see, and that was just the food tents. We stopped to talk to a New Mexico artist, David Vega Chavez, and as we talked and looked at his work, it slowly dawned on us that we have one of his paintings - in our bedroom, we walk past it every day on the way to the bathroom or closet! It's a painting of the California ghost town of Bode, located east of Yosemite, which we had visited on one of our early Tuzigoot I trips. Doh! If you go to his website you can see many of his NM scenes, and others. Also, he describes his interesting and unique water color technique.
Thursday morning: the Oklahoma History Center
Way back in the 1970s my dad was Executive Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society and the OK State Museum in OKC was part of his responsibility. That has been replaced with a spectacular new facility, the OK History Center.
(I'm composing this on my recently acquired iMac computer and have not learned much about editing and arranging pictures, so I have not edited these.)
Here's the view looking across to the capital.
That's a replica of Wiley Post's airplane, the one he and Will Rogers perished in.
One exhibit area featured OK on stage and screen.
There are a lot of exhibits pertaining to Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory which were combined to make the state of Oklahoma - you can google up all you might want to know about that. I did find out that the Tonkawa tribe, from which my OK hometown got its name, has a creation story that says they emerged from a mountain in Texas. I don't know how soon or by what route they made the move to OK (though as a callow youth I was told that the Tonkawas were cannibals, so maybe they were asked to leave Texas).
(Here's a joke about OK, told to me by a Texas Aggie: Oklahoma license plates say, "Oklahoma is OK." Do you know why? Because they can't spell mediocre! Pretty funny, huh. You can see why the tribe left.)
One other interesting collection of exhibits came from a Century Chest, buried in one of the OKC churches in April, 1913, and opened in April, 2013. The chest was a large metal box, eight feet long - bigger than your average cornerstone. It had quilts, pictures, letters that church members had written to "the children of my children," recordings, dishes, and other memorabilia. The museum had cards on which a person could write a message that would be read 100 years from now. I couldn't think of anything to say, so I won't be passing along a card to my distant descendants, such as grandson Jason's grandchildren, not to be opened until 2114. What would you say? And to whom? What would you put in today's Century Chest?
Thursday night was rehearsal dinner. A couple of pix:
Tom and Connie:
Cari and Chris, with a Navy buddy (Chris is in the Navy, stationed now at Norfolk):
Incidentally, I started a Words With Friends game with Cari the week preceding all this. Haven't heard from her for several days - must be busy. The wedding was Friday night and they left Saturday for Norfolk. I can't help mentioning, though, that I fell into the word SEQUINS for lots of points, early in the game. Welcome to the family, Cari!
Friday morning, time for more history and the updated Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Verla said, "Be sure and see Dad in the drawer." She was referring to a drawer in a cabinet holding laminated note cards for the many founders of the Hall - back in 1955. Here's Dad:
I couldn't take the card out of the drawer for a full picture. The card describes his background and even lists his children, so I'm immortalized in the drawer, too!
The Hall houses a large, dramatic, heart-rending sculpture, End of the Trail. (Found this picture online.)
Hurley was born in Tulsa, then lived in New Mexico, went to and graduated from West Point, flew in the Army Air Corps, settled in Albuquerque, worked as a lawyer, and even as an engineer at Sandia Labs, before going full-time as an artist, at age 40. He died in 2008 Here's his obituary.