Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Best Part Is

Melody says Yes! We actually made it to Kingfisher. Although our time of arrival was not very accurate we arrived safely! It started as a very cool day, and rapidly became very hot! Patriota is the best...he just keeps trucking along...the scenery is so much wheat along the way that is turning a breathtaking golden color! There are so many Centennial Farms between Guthrie and is amazing that they have been in one family for at least 100 years..Marla took lots of pictures of the wildflowers as we went along...thanks matt for finding a cheapo camera...
At one point I actually rode at least 1/2 of a mile by myself when donna and marla looked for the cell phone Marla dropped!
And for that time there was a donkey that brayed and ran the fence line trying to intimidate Patriota, but he would not be intimidated...he just showed off and walked/loped really fast and kicked his feet in his wonderful gaited walk!!
Hey Gordon and Mike...hope you are enjoying the cool air conditioning... Super fun to see the Bunch family...thanks for coming all the way to see us and hanging out until we arrived...Christine Reed from the Kingfisher Times and Free Press was so super to talk to! Thank you for meeting with us to hear our story and for arranging for Emelia Turner ( what great comments and how cool that you have an Apache connection) to meet with us so we could give a copy of the story to the Kingfisher students....
Jim Savage thanks for hooking us up with the rodeo arena...that is a lifesaver.....also a shout out to Eric Gilbert for helping the PR man (aka Matt) get his tire fixed so he could roll again...and he even did it after hours...thanks so much...
When we arrived in Kingfisher we saw a young man named Nick Horton....he knew all about the Abernathy story because he is from Tipton...thanks for taking your time to come out and talk to us! (uncle justin was his ag teacher!)
What a super day...I can still walk...but we will see about tomorrow....Watonga and Roman Nose--here we come....

Hey, everybody! Yes, as Melody has already let you know, we are alive and well in Kingfisher The journey would have been a lot shorter, and we would have been less sore, if we had traveled by car, but ohhhh, the beautiful land that would have been ignored or barely gotten a glimpse of. Horseback is the way to go if you really want to take in your surroundings. Speaking of horses, Rocky and I are getting along fabulously. He has a lot of patience with me. I still haven't gotten the hang of riding at any kind of speed without hanging on for dear life, therefore, he is putting up with me learning how to rein him in...quickly! He doesn't really like to lead, so it's usually one of the other horses that gets him in the mood to pick up the pace. Melody and I were supposed to keep heading towards our destination when Marla needed to go back and find her cell phone that dropped out. Rocky had other ideas and wanted to stay with Little John. He got his way. After all, he does way several pounds more than I do! He's a BIG horse! We found the phone were Marla suspected it had fallen out, but still came close to it being stomped on.
It's a great feeling to accomplish our first day of travelling. We're tired. Slightly sore and wobbly. And I have a sunburn to show I wasn't thinking very brightly about taking care of myself. I'll be covered up tomorrow and drinking plenty of water. We have five days to go. We plan on making it all the way! We've met a few people today and hope to meet many more on our journey. Most people have been friendly. And the majority of motorists have been courteous.
Don't forget to keep in touch with us! Got to go. Sleep is calling our name!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tomorow Is The Big Day

Wow!! Tomorrow we are leaving from Guthrie at 7:30 We will be staying the night in Kingfisher. I will tell more when we arrive.

Happy Trails


Today Donna and I had the privilege of being interviewed by News Channel 4 reporter Galen Culver. He asked us many questions and seemed to know a little about the Abernathy brothers himself. The interview aired tonight during the 6:30 news program, on the"Is This a Great State, or What?" portion of the show. If you didn't have the chance to see the news tonight you can watch it online at Results&activePane=info&playerVersion=9&hostPageUrl=http%3A// Results&activePane=info&playerVersion=9&hostPageUrl=http%3A// Thanks Galen and News Channel 4!!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

10 Miles and Still Standing!

Saturday, Patriota, (the Peruvian I will ride to Frederick) and I had the chance to ride for 10 miles!!! Donna rode Rocky, whom she has nicknamed Gabby, because he likes to talk to everything that comes along in his path. A perfect pair I think.... Also, Gordon went along with us! I think he did a great job for someone who had never ridden a horse. I think he is a "little" sore today! Of course Marla was with us on Little John. And believe it or not, I made it up to the 3rd floor of the Baptist church twice on Sunday......
It was so much fun to ride. We saw such an abundance of wildflowers. I am thankful they will be in bloom during our ride. It is so hard to believe that we will be finished with our second day of riding a week from now. It is getting much closer.....May 31st is the big day....we will leave Guthrie around 7:00 AM .....
I have lots of riding to do between now and then.

More soon.....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thanks Lee Denney!

Today was a fabulous day! It has just been crazy trying to get ready to go on our trip, but oh so fun! Today, Donna and I took six students to OKC to the Capitol. After a few misadventures with our transportation, we were on our way! Thanks Mr. Roy, you are the hero of the day. We appreciate you driving the bus for us.
Last night, I drove to OKC to my Great Aunt Elizabeth's house to pick up our Mo' Betta shirts! They are so beautiful! Thank you Nancy. We almost look like real cowgirls. Thanks Grandmother and Papa for delivering them to the City.
So, a little after eight o'clock we headed south. Jake, Juanita, Shane, JR, Brooke, and Jon were the students that represented our school. Our appointment with the Governor was scheduled for 10:15. Thank you Lee Denney and Zach for making our meeting happen. It was a privilege to present Gov. Henry with the Abernathy coins and postcard that was beautifully matted and framed. This was provided by the Frederick Chamber of Commerce. The students signed on the back, and we included the "infamous" quote we have lived by all year--- "....far better it is to dare mighty things.... by Teddy R. They also sent a T-Shirt with the boys' picture on it...
Gov. Henry was not familiar with the story, but we feel he was intriqued by the boys. He asked a couple of questions about them.....the students are hoping that he will do some investigating and learn about these two Oklahoma wonders.
It was a lot of fun watching the students while we waited for the Gov. to arrive. The room was pretty empty when we first got there, but slowly others began to trickle into the empty seats. Pretty soon a couple dozen Pages came in, and although the Blue Room is enourmous, the area was feeling a little bit crowded.
Jake leaned up to me and said, "Do we have to talk to him in front of all these people? And I replied..."No!" Which technically wasn't a lie, because I knew a couple of them would probably be gone before we talked....but mainly I was just trying to put him at ease. I think he was already feeling a little uncomfortable because he had great issues getting through the metal detector when we first arrived....Which is another story for another day.
Well, in another minute or two, without cracking a smile, Jake declared, " I'd rather talk to him than wear something like that!" Well, he was talking about the bright pink square dancing costumes on the people sitting across the room from us!
Lt. Gov. Askins heard us talking to one of the security people, who told the students that Gov. Henry was just like them. He advised, "Don't be nervous. He puts his pants on just like you, one leg at a time." I did not get to hear the man's name, but I was so thankful that he told our students that because we talked a lot about this same attitude when we were reading about Bud and Temple. The famous and important people they met, were after all, just people. And ordinary people can and should interact with a variety of people everyday. Lt. Gov. Askins thought that we might be from Frederick when she saw the boys' picture. So, I had the opportunity to talk to her for a few minutes which was a super experience. And then when I was busy talking to her, Gov. Henry arrived. We was very gracious to the students and listened to our story! He evened signed my copy of Bud and Me . After posing for our pictures, we trudged up to the fourth floor to see Rep. Denney. As always it was a delight to see her. She is so great with the students and interacts with them so well. We posed for more pictures! You know, it is my favorite thing to do. Rep. Denney suggested we go down to the third floor to see Rep. Don Armes of Dist. 63. He is the Rep. of Tillman Co. and some of Comanche County. To our surprise, he was there and we had a great visit. He was thrilled that our students were studying the boys from his district. We were surprised to find a statue of Bud and Temple in his office---it is just like the one in the courthouse yard of Tillman Co--only smaller! I think he was surprised that I knew Dr. Gardner, the sculptor. He signed my book and the students noticed his copy of Bud and Me on his shelf.
It was great visiting with Rep. Armes. All of the students were impressed with his powerful handshake!!
Rep. Armes says he will see us at the Crossroads Ranch Reunion. I know that I look forward to talking with him again. However, I warned him that I might not be as cheerful then as I was today, after our long ride! LOL

After looking around the Capitol a little longer, we headed north. We stopped at Cracker Barrel, and the kids had a great time playing the games and shopping while we waited on our food. The host was a friendly guy, and we talked to him about our morning adventures. His question, like so many other people's is, 'where are you going?' Well, people want a one word answer, and we have a story! He told us that he thinks this should be in the paper, and we told him to keep an eye out for information about the trip.
May 31 is getting closer and closer......

Thank you again Sharon at the Frederick Chamber of Commerce! You did a fabulous job on the gift for the Governor! See you soon.

P.S. I think that Temple and Bud would have laughed if they could have seen Jake as he was "going" down the "stairs"---or maybe they would have joined him. :)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Meeting with Molly

Donna and I hurriedly left school Monday, May 5 to travel to Norman to meet Oklahoma author and publisher, Molly Levite Griffis. What a fun time we both had meeting her. What a gracious and charming lady. When I was reading the book about the Abernathy boys to my students, the thought occured to me that Temple might have bought his expensive Indian blanket in the town of Apache, because he bought it shortly after turning north from Lawton. So, I was talking to my Grandmother about the possibility that Temple would have purchased the blanket in Apache at the Levite's store. Well, Grandmother said "I just happen to have Molly Levite Griffis email". This started a wave of correspondence via email that has been "remarkable". Molly is the granddaughter of the original owner of the Levite store, and her publishing company became known as Levite of Apache. Until I emailed her, I didn't know that she had published "The Remarkable Ride of the Abernathy Boys" by Robert Jackson in the late 1980s. She was a wealth of help and encouragement to me as I continued to study this story with my students. She even told me of a movie that was being made about the boys! She so graciously let me "drop" her name to obtain a ticket to the premire! How amazing! Even though she knew my family, she hadn't ever met me! So in early November, I stepped out of my ordinary life and attended the premire of "The Grand Ride of the Abernathy Boys" produced by Shawnee Brittan and Joanna Champlin. While I was there, I received another wonderful surprise! After the movie, people were encouraged to stay and chat, and I was able to meet Temple's daughter, Marilyn. She was so warm and friendly while I rambled on to her about how much my students and I were touched and inspired by the boys' story. Thanks again Molly for making that happen for me!
Our Monday night visit with Molly went entirely to quickly. Donna and I are eagerly awaiting the next opportunity we will have to visit with this wonderful storyteller. Thank you for all of the information and books you allowed us to borrow for our research!
There is another interesting thread that is woven in here. Earlier this school year, I received the best birthday present ever. My Dad bought me a print of the old Levite store and had it framed with a frame that one of my grandpa's had made! It hangs proudly in my classroom! My students and I love it! Thanks again Dad! Thanks again, Molly.....oh, and I will be taking another riding lesson tomorrow....This time with Mrs. Hewitt and and the horse I will be riding to Frederick.
I better go so I can rest up! I will report back soon!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

There are quite a few people that are helping us get ready for our trip that we need to say thank you to.
First of all, I had my first lesson from Jake. Thanks so much for being a good sport about all of this. I think you would do a much better job of riding than I will!! Your horse was very well behaved, and oh wait, I didn't even fall off.....But getting up on the horse was a whole different matter! I have promised Matthew lots of stuff if that video doesn't make it to this blog!! But hopefully, there will be a little video of me riding, just not of the struggle to get on the horse!
Next we need to say thanks to all the people who have donated meals and clothing for our trip!
*Chick-Fil-A Stillwater
*Red Lobster--Stillwater
*Mo' Betta-- Apache (shirts)
*Goody's --Stillwater----lots of cool OSU gear to wear!
*Frederick Chamber of Commerce--Abernathy Coins

Lots of people are excited about our trip! Everyone is amazed that 2 little boys could accomplish so much! Thanks again for listening to our story.