6 Days in Oklahoma City --------------------------------------
Meandered up from Hugo and got to the house of the brothers Friedman (Gabe and Micah) with the late afternoon clouds rolling by. Amazing old farmhouse with one of Oklahoma City's last freestanding barns out back.
Somebody'd been mulberry picking that afternoon so we scratched up a pie.
Learned something about taxidermy from Micah who had a whole bundle of roadkill pelts. He'd also amassed near to 30 deer hides that he'd dumpstered from the back of butcher shops during hunting season and was tanning them into buckskin.
Passed a warm evening in the yard sipping mint juleps and listening to crickets.
Gabe took us mulberry picking in the morning, but they all got eaten in the process.
Hot days and no swimming holes means a lot of hosing down in the yard.
Borrowed bikes and rode around the neighborhood which was close to the Paseo and full of beautiful old houses falling into disrepair.
Motulenos for breakfast at an amazing Guatemalan Restaurant. So cheap and tasty we went back two more times for the exact same thing.
Lots of old signs and closed up shops, like things had been abandoned all at once and just left to the elements.
Got to visit Gabe's Grandma's shop, a vintage store she started in the 70's called Sparkle Plenty. A whole room of clothing from the 20's, 20's and 40's just sitting there collecting dust and waiting to be given new life. I swear it's like I died and went to heaven.
Franklin ran off and joined the circus.
Spent a few warm evening hours watching the dudes do their thing while Gabe's lady and I drank wine on the bleachers and chatted with high school girls.
Drinks and rummy at the Hi Lo.
Took a little field trip to the stockyards and had a good old steak and bloody mary lunch at Cattlemen's. Hot day empty streets made Stockyard City look like a scene in "The Last Picture Show".
Started feeling bad about the steak, but it was just so damn tasty.
Drove out of the city to Thunderbird Lake on a tip from the nice cashier at Langston's (where Franks picked up a handsome pair of dark gray Wranglers that I still need to hem).
Sat around getting warm in the sun and wading in the water, such a nice feeling after all the heat shimmering asphalt.
Another piece of advice led us to the Silver Stallion bar in Mustang, just outside OKC. Ten bucks for a bucket of 5 beers and some ridiculously talented karaoke-ers.
Walked outside to crazy skies full of lightning crackles and distant thunder.
There's something so magical about dry lightning.
Went out to Mary's swap meet the next morning and picked through piles of goods. I love it when you can find a mint green gas can, a bunch of old keys and an umbrella with a wooden duck head for a handle and not even spend 5 bucks.
Maybe someday we'll buy a chicken or two.
Ate a tasty lunch at VZD's. Black bean burgers and fried okra equals yum.
Took another out of city day, this time to some land Gabe's family owns out in the country. Nice mellow drive along Route 66 and lots of pretty fields.
The red dust makes the water everywhere seem muddy, which I have a hard time with. Kind of creepy not being able to see what else is in there.
Hiked around, made a delicious salad and read in the sunshine. Not a bad way to while away the hours.
Got to meet the amazing Bill Daniel who was out showing "Who is Bozo Texino?" the documentary he made about railroad graffiti (to relegate it to a two-word nutshell). It was too hot to sit inside and pay attention so we walked down to the tracks and Franklin shot some portraits while I got shy instead of grilling him about his adventures and the how-to's of hopping trains. So many things I wish I could just do instead of getting scared or feeling like the opportunity's passed by already.
Found us a Colossus of Roads which seemed a good omen.
Good night, sleep tight, Oklahoma I think I like you.
Are you reeling in the years? Don't know why that seems appropriate, there's just a mellowness about our visit to Oklahoma City that stands out more than anything else. Warm nights and lightning bugs, but somehow more industrial or city-like than most of my mid-western visits. I think I hadn't expected it to be so big. It also seemed so empty, but maybe that was just the area we were staying in (which we generally didn't leave unless it was to go pretty far afield). I don't think we even saw downtown or anything and I managed to forget all about the bombing until we drove past the memorial one morning. Strange how a place is little more than what you make of it, a tangle of memories, souvenirs and half-missing maps. Weird, I think I may have finally had an "a-ha!" moment with Edward Soja's concept of Thirdspace. Too bad its 7 years late...