Started here:

Sayre, Oklahoma
Missing States I
Day 12 - Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Ended here:

Russellville, AR

T o d a y ' s    N a r r a t i v e
There were four items on my to do list today. But a fifth item got added.

First thing was to stop in Elk City, OK where the National Route 66 Museum is located. I am considering a trip to follow the old Route 66 and wanted to see if the museum had anything to help.

But on the way into Elk City there was a Wally World so I stopped to get some coffee and produce. I noticed a Boston Terrier running/wandering around the parking lot. I could see that it was a neutered male, that he had on a collar and that there was a tag hanging from his collar. But he never got very close to me so I went in, bought my stuff and left.

As it turned out, the museum was right around the corner and it wouldn't open for 30 minutes. So I sat down on the edge of a big flower pot to wait. (Ready? Here comes the extra item added to the to do list :) In a few minutes I saw the Boston Terrier again running across the parking lot. I called to him and he came right up to me. Practicing "strange dog" protocol, I just sat there to see what he would do. He sniffed my shoes and walked around me a couple of times. Then he licked my leg (I was wearing shorts). So I cautiously offered him my closed fist. He licked that too. So I scratched his ear a little and then stopped. He pushed his head against my hand as if asking for more. So I scratched his head a little more. Then I felt comfortable enough to look at his tag. It was a typical vet rabies tag. I wrote down the vet's phone number.

Then the museum opened. I was hanging on to his collar so he wouldn't run away. I wanted to go into the museum but didn't have a way of containing him. I finally used The Navigator's flexy lead and left him beside the van. Of course The Navigator, who was in the van, was very interested in all this.

I went into the museum and explained the dog situation to Maxine, the lady running the museum. She called Animal Control. And while we were waiting for them to show up I bought some research materials on Route 66.

The Animal Control folks showed up in about 15 minutes, looked at the tag, said they knew where the vets' office was and would take the dog there. I got in the van and hit the road. See pix below.

I suppose everybody has had at least one traumatic event in their life. For me, an event occurred here on I-40 in late summer 1964. I was moving from River Edge, NJ to take a job at a TV station in Amarillo, TX. I had virtually all my possessions in a VW Bus. I was tooling down I-40 West when I got caught in a microburst. Except back then they called it a Dust Devil. It forced the bus off the pavement into the grassy median. The bus rolled over at least once and landed on it's wheels in the East bound lanes. It knocked me out. I came to laying out on the back seat. There was blood everywhere. There was a lady there who said she was a nurse. She said I was banged up pretty good but no broken bones. She helped me into her car and she took me to the hospital in Elk City.

The van was totaled and most of my stuff was destroyed. I stayed in the hospital about a week recovering. The van had windows all around and the oblong port hole windows in the roof beside the sun roof. Every window was broken. And I was covered with glass cuts, most of them minor.

Several days after the accident, my Uncle Bill drove from Amarillo to see me. On the way he had stopped at the garage where the van was towed. Before I left River Edge I had made a cardboard sign that said "Amarillo Texas Or Bust!" and taped it to the rear bumper. When Uncle Bill walked in to the hospital room he was holding the now mangled sign and said, "Well, I guess you're busted!" A great joke, but it hurt to laugh :)

The accident happened somewhere near Hydro, Oklahoma. See pix below. Taking that pix was the second thing on the to do list.

Third thing on the list was to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial, better known perhaps as the place where the Murrah Building was blown up. 168 people we killed that morning. So the memorial is a very sad place. See pix below.

Fourth and last item on the list was to visit Stigler, OK which is about 20 miles South of I-40. They have a Ten Commandments monument that has become controversial. See pix below. At first, in November, 2004 when the monument was unveiled, the ACLU said it wouldn't object to the monument. Last fall, the ACLU changed it's position and filed suit. More info here. Today I spoke with a gentleman who said a judge has heard arguments in the suit and would make a decision by the end of June. I hope the monument stays. And hope y'all feel the same.

It has been a long day with lots of driving. We're camped in a Flying J Travel Plaza in Russellville, AR. This is about half way between the OK/AR state line and Little Rock, AR. Looks like we'll be home some time Friday.

T o d a y ' s    P i c t u r e s
Click on a pix for a larger view
The Boston Terrier. He's a cutie and a sweetie. A nice addition to the to do list :) The Route 66 Museum on US Route 66 in Elk City, Oklahoma. They are a great resource for materials about the "Mother Road". This wind turbine farm is on the south side of I-40. I counted at least 80 turbines. Impressive.
My accident happened somewhere near this exit sign. The OKC Memorial. There are two portals. You can see one in this pix. I am standing in the "doorway" of the other one. The reflecting pool is where the street in front of the Murrah Building ran. The Murrah Building stood off to the right. Each portal has a time engraved above the opening. The one in this pix has "9:01" engraved. The one where I'm standing has "9:03" engraved. The building was blown up at 9:02am. This lawn, which is to the right of the reflecting pool, is where the Murrah Building stood. There are 168 brass and glass chairs here, one for each person killed. The person's name is engraved on the translucent glass base. It's kind of hard to see. This one says, "Julie Marie Welch." There is a light in the base of the chair that lights up at night.
Life goes on even in this solemn place. More chairs. The smaller chairs are for the children in the building day care that were killed. A very sad place. I was glad to leave.
This is the Ten Commandments Monument. The Mayflower Compact is inscribed on the reverse.

T o d a y ' s    S t a t s
Begin: 7:30am
End: 8:30pm
Net (includes stops): 13 hrs, 0 mins
Begin odometer: 158,627
End odometer: 159,097
Net miles today: 470
Average MPH: 36.15
Total trip miles: 4,801

     Price: $2.599/gal
     Bought in: Oklahoma City, OK
Food, ice, etc.: $12.00
Lodging: $0.00
Other: $40.00 - $5, Internet access; $35, Route 66 materials

T o d a y ' s    T h o u g h t
From Soul Seeker in WA:

Good men don't wait for the polls. They stand on principle and fight.

T o d a y ' s    J o k e
From Leo in NJ:

A fiesty 80 year old woman was arrested for shop lifting. When she went before the judge he asked her, "What did you steal?"

She replied, "A can of peaches."

The judge asked her why she had stolen them and she replied that she was hungry. The judge then asked her how many peaches were in the can.

She replied, "Six."

The judge said, "Well, then, I will give you six days in jail."

But before the judge could actually pronounce the punishment the woman's husband spoke up, "Your Honor, may I say something?"

"Yes, what is it?"

"She also stole a can of peas."

N a v i g a t i o n
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