Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Every day has held some adventure and excitement in some form or another. Duplicating Bud and Temple, we didn't "ride" on Sunday. It was a laid-back day. We visited with Grandmother and Papa. Grandmother does grandmothers proud the world over. We've eaten more in a day than I usually eat! I'd forgotten people were supposed to eat three meals a day. The food has been delicious. Don't tell anybody, but the healthy food has not sent me into shock. Maybe because it was so good or it could be attributed to the good company. Grandmother has taken really good care of us. Most attempts to help out have met with some resistance, but we've tried our best to do so. Grandmother and Papa are Melody's grandparents, but maybe, if I'm really good, they'll adopt me! I think Grandmother's already forgiven me for the grounds in the coffee.

On Monday we went to the Chisholm Trail Museum in Duncan. We were greeted at the door with a poster of Bud and Temple and the book "Bud and Me". Is this a sign or what? After letting the woman in the gift shop know what we were up to, she enthusiastically called the director over and told him what we were doing. We were given a tour of the museum and allowed to wander around for a while. My favorite was the interactive movie of the trail drive. They had it set up to where you felt you were part of the drive. You could actually feel the high winds, the rain falling, and even smell the coffee from the chuckwagon, not to mention feel the vibrations from the pounding of the hooves during a stampede. While touring the museum we ran across a fun part, getting to push a lot of buttons and hearing about different aspects, from the roles on the drive (I became a veteran trail boss!), to the chuckwagon, telling ages of cattle by horns and teeth. There was a statue of a steer. Wouldn't you know, there was a sign that said not to climb on it! Not far away a saddle was set up. I asked Melody if she thought it was set up for people to try. She said probably not. I then inquired what the reason for the stepstool was and she said maybe it was set up for kids to try. By this time I was beginning to mount. She said "or maybe Donna." It didn't stop her from taking pictures. It might be funny, but they may be intended for blackmail as well. They even had a rope for ropin'. Luckily, Steve had given me an introduction into this about a week ago. So I had to try it. They had a sign saying we couldn't climb the steer. There wasn't one saying we couldn't rope it! Why would they put it so close to the saddle and rope if ropin' wasn't part of the plan? I tried and missed, but it was LOUD! I coiled the rope and hopped down. It was time to move on. After the museum, we went to find a bite to eat. We're hoping to eat at local places, not chains, in the hope of finding a story. We finally came across Jay's Drive-In. We could smell the grease before we walked in the door. I really got excited! The owner, Glen, was the only person there at that time, so we got a chance to talk with him. His family had had the place for 32 years, but he thought it had been in existence since the 1950s. No frills, but good food. Glen's main interest in history is WWII. His father fought in that war. An interesting comment he made was that the world had been having wars since the time of ancient civilizations. He figured there would always be a war somewhere at some time. It's just the way things are. About the time wer were leaving, people were starting to arrive. We had hit Jay's during odd hours. If you are ever in Duncan, make sure to stop there. There aren't any huge signs to point out where it is, so keep your eyes pealed. It gives you that nostalgic feeling, not to mention good cheeseburgers and fries. On our way home we drove through Medicine Park. Most everything was built with cobblestones. Hopefully everything will be put back to its former glory. One thing of interest was the art some people displayed. One yard had a totem pole. Animals made out of car parts was another example. A very quaint looking place. We had another bridge experience. This time I had the problem with it. Melody planned to drive across what looked to be an old wooden bridge. I wouldn't have walked across it! She reassured me it would hold 5,000 pounds. And this wasn't even the oldest bridge there!

Today, Tuesday, June 10th, we had to make another adjustment. We had our calendar days mixed up. Matt is still in Texas, so we won't be heading toward Santa Fe until tomorrow. Never fear! There's still lots to do. First thing we did was to go to the Apache Museum. Not many things to touch and couldn't take pictures. You know by know how I like to touch things. The museum had a lot of neat things in it. I wondered how young students would enjoy it. If you're ever in the situation where you find yourself thinking, "This is just a lot of old stuff", then try to place yourself at the time these items were invented. Somebody once looked at this "old stuff" and thought, "Wow! I've got the newest and the best now!" And the clothes? They were the top of the fashion industry at one time.
A little later we arrived at the library and gave them a "Bud and Me" book. They were very pleased. Speaking of old things earlier, the library actually has a card catalog! I had to open the drawers to see if it was real. Here I am, touching things again. The librarian is still in the process of getting all the cards in. She says it will come in handy if they ever lose power. Yep! You can't beat the old card catalogs!
Melody took a picture of the park which is located where the Levite's store used to be. Remember, we're thinking this is where the boys got their blanket. It's sad to see where so many buildings have been torn down or are in disrepair. It makes you wonder what stories are disappearing with them. Speaking of stories, I was thinking today that many answers lead to even more questions.
We met Mike in Chandler. He was our Superman and had the computer up and running and delivered it to us, together with Mexican food for dinner. Thank you again, Mike, for everything! On our way back to Apache, we stopped in Arcadia to see the round barn. It was built over 100 years ago. It was built round to help withstand the winds, and are there ever some strong winds in this area, even on a beautiful day. We also stopped at Pops. Fuel, Food and Fizz. Oodles of different kinds of soda pop. The pictures seem out of place with all our other pictures, because it has more of a futuristic look.
The biggest highlight of the day! We got to meet Henry Park, grandson of Quannah Parker! He had lots of stories to tell and had us laughing often. It surprised us to find out he didn't know Quannah was his grandfather until he was studying Oklahoma history in third grade. He never met his grandfather since Quannah died in 1911 and Henry was born in 1930. He asked his mother if Quannah was his grandfather, this according to his teacher, and she nonchalantly said yes and kept working on whatever she was working on. He talked about his grandfather joining the white man's world. He had seven wives and was told that since he was living in the white man's world now, he could only keep one wife and would have to tell the others to leave. He looked at them and said, "You tell them." That was the end of that story. Wise man, don't you think? Henry also talked about his father going to the white man schools and such things as being punished for speaking in his native language. It's sad to see some of the Native American heritage being lost. Henry showed us some pictures. Before we arrived at his home, I was a little nervous. But, Henry Parker is just good people. It reminds me of what the gentleman at the capital told us about meeting the governor. He puts his pants on one leg at a time, just like you. Yes, Henry Parker is good people, and I am extremely happy to have met him. We didn't want to overstay our welcome, then realized we had already been there for an hour and a half. Time had flown. I could listen to his stories all day. Oral history is something I try to teach my students about. Too many times I hear people comment about wishing they had listened more to the stories of their grandparents and asked more questions. Many times this comes when it is too late to remedy the situation.

Listen close, for there are many stories to be told!

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