Honey Springs 150th Anniversary, Going Home – Part 4 (Post #413) 11/14/2013

After I finished checking out the 1960’s Series 88 inch, I got the Range Rover back on the road and sorted out my route home.

I wanted to head for Dripping Springs State Park. It is a heavily wooded park with a small but idyllic lake. I knew the trees had recently begun the change and thought I could get a couple of nice pictures. I started out of Rentiesville and headed north on a two lane blacktop N1040 aka North Broadway street. I took it up to what is called County Line Road  aka E1010 road. This road is the border between McIntosh (Wikipedia:History) and Muskogee (Wikipedia:History) counties.

It was a rutted dirt road and I thought it perfect for a “shakedown” of the Range Rover. This is a representative picture of what I drove for a dozen miles or so. Continue reading “Honey Springs 150th Anniversary, Going Home – Part 4 (Post #413) 11/14/2013”

Where is everyone? (Post #407) 11/6/2013

This is the 42nd block of North Western in Oklahoma City. If you are a familiar with this block you have Beck’s Garage on one side of the street on the other you have VZD’s. I eat lunch at VZD’s every Monday. FYI: If you want to talk Land Rovers look for me on a bar stool between 11am and Noon.

I have never pulled up there before and seen it so empty. Not a single car in the parking lot or on the street in front. Very odd. So I snapped a picture.

Next door to VZD’s is a “salon/day spa”. So normally there is at least one or two cars parked there for the women who “do” salons/day spas. And normally Teresa Wall is parked out front as well. Teresa owns 42nd Street Candy Company. This is where I stop and pick up those fancy chocolates and candies that gets me nominated for Husband of the Year by Mrs. Okierover. I highly recommend you stop in and say hi to Teresa and get some bon-bons. You won’t regret it.

This neighborhood is known as Crown Heights. My biological mother lived at the corner of N.W. 39th and Western before I was born. How do you know that? Good question! I looked her up on the old Criss-Cross directory at the Oklahoma City Public Library. I was probably conceived in the apartment there above the house. (You probably didn’t need to know that.)

I’ve always loved this neighborhood and the great old homes found between Shartel and Western. One house on N.W. 41st street has a terracotta dragon sitting on top of the chimney.

Back to the Range Rover. I’ve got a very noisy left front spring. I think I’ll need to get it up on a lift and look at what’s going on. It’s annoying and since I just got those springs under there I should find out why it’s making those noises. Every thing else is going well so far.

I am going to the Battle of Honey Springs this weekend. So the Range Rover is going on a long drive Friday after work. I’m going to take the “Blue Highways” instead of the interstate. I’ve been listening to William Least Heap-Moon’s Blue Highways from audible.com. I’m enjoying it very much and thinking of a similar trip for some day in the future.

I used the roof rack as a platform to take a picture of our Halloween Block Party. Paradigm Church has had a trunk-or-treat set up each of the last two years. We set up games for the kids and hand out candy. We are getting quite the reputation for our “carnival”. We even have a competition between the bible study groups who theme their trunks each year.

My team has won both years. Last year we had a panel of judges, this year we let the kids/parents decide. We decorated as pirates the first year complete with a cardboard pirate ship and this year we had a Despicable Me (2013) themed trunk. We built a Gru-mobile and the shrink ray from the movies.

Everyone had a great time and the weather was perfect.

Good grief that post was all over the place! I could have made it two, perhaps three different posts.
Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Family and Finally a Garage Day! (Post #328) 4/13/2013

Finally I have a Garage Day! The weather is cooperating and my schedule is clear. I am asking no sympathy for my schedule I do it to myself.

I took the Range Rover to Dibble, Oklahoma to watch my grand daughter play T-ball. I love the two lane highways in Oklahoma and this was an opportunity to drive on them. Specifically highways 39, 76, 74b, and 24. 74b between Goldsby and the intersection with 76 just past Cole, Oklahoma has those great “lose-your-stomach” peaks on the hills.

I rolled into Dibble and they had blocked the parking lot at one end forcing me to either drive a few blocks around to the other lot or just go off the road and turn around. Of course, I picked option two. When I turned in to the lot it was a steep ditch, the approach angle was fine, no worries there, but when I tested the departure angle I contacted the ground. No damage that I can tell, but it was enough to make a furrow in the ground as evidenced by the dirt on my hitch.

I got a picture of our number 9 on third. The weather had just turned with a cold front passing through. Amazing how many Okies attending the game were totally unprepared for a serious change in temperature. Think 81 F to 61 F in three minutes with a 15-20 mph north wind. Making windchill something like 55 F.

We had family pictures this week. We went over to the University of Oklahoma campus and took pictures of my wife’s family. We spotted this Mediterranean House Gecko on one of the columns in front of Evan’s Hall.

Unfortunately for the gecko a Mockingbird had also spotted him and as soon as we were done, the Mockingbird swooped in and had a snack. Much to the chagrin of the grand kids. As we reminded them of the circle of life. They then told us of watching a hawk destroy a squirrel. They thought it was cool.

After this year, I may attempt to see how many different species of reptiles I can see in the wild, instead of birds. I’ve also thought of a quest of mammals.

Mrs. OkieRover with RovErica. That’s her dad Grady on her right. Although he was a Navy man he’s alright with me. His sense of humor is top-notch. He served on the USS Essex back in the day. He started out with a stint with the Oklahoma National Guard at age 15. He told them he was 18. Funny how times have changed.

This is my son-in-law Justin and my oldest Lecia whom you’ve heard referred to on this site as Fireball for her propensity to throw softballs hard enough to register on the Richter scale when you catch them.

Justin you have seen in my historical pictures. Although his people are Pottawatomie and mostly “uncivilized”, he has not totally shunned me teaching Cherokee words to the grandchildren.

Here we have the grand children and my son Diet Mountain Drew. Just out of frame is the princess Prestyn in her baby bucket.

I am greatly blessed by these people and proud of each and every one of them. I couldn’t ask for better people if I made them myself…

The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege.
Charles Kuralt

I couldn’t agree more Chuck. If you need me I’ll be in the garage.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Christmas Snow, No Pudding For You (Post #309) 12/27/2012

Merry Christmas everyone.

I had thoughts of posting another series of posts on the 12 days of OkieRover Christmas and the Festivus holiday tradition of the Airing of Grievances but was just not motivated to do so this year. School was hard on me this semester and my writing energy was hammered by the class.

Also, one of our four-legged children has been down all week and her injuries have me mostly depressed. We are treating her with drugs and hope she can heal. I hate it when we have an injured pet.

After a lovely Christmas dinner at the children’s aunt and uncles house. We took my Father-in-law home (that’s him in the A-Driver position). The roads were no where near as bad as previous years. The most trouble we had was getting the doors on the Range Rover to open with the handles. UGGGH! That is not going to be a fun job to fix. I also heard some suspension noise from the left front. I’m guessing springs will be coming sooner rather than later. And that shock mount I found that was busted will need some welding.

My wife’s sister Aunt SuSu (Susan) and brother-in-law John cook a mean turkey and SuSu’s dressing rivals only that of my wife. SuSu’s banana pudding was pretty good too. My oldest daughter Fireball still has the market cornered on banana pudding. But with the weather such as it was and her with a bun in the oven with only 5 minutes left on the timer, J-man with a wonky back and single digit wind chills they wisely stayed home with my favorite holiday banana pudding. Insert unhappy face here.

The Ford Exploder they drive is 4×4 but has the wrong tires on it for any prayer of staying un-stuck. If you remember the infamous Snowpocalypse of 2009 I had to extracted them from a snow drift in our neighborhood with the then front-wheel drive Range Rover. If you recall, I had a then unknown broken rear axle shaft. The Best 4x4xfar even when limping on a single axle.

It has been a long time since the four of us were in the Range Rover together. I asked RovErica to take some action pictures. The three of them then began mocking me with every turn, exaggerating the effect of the minimal G-forces being exerted on us at 15-20 mph. Good times, good times.

RovErica then got everyone in the back to ham it up for some snaps. It seems like we see the kids only when they need something these days. I guess I was the same way when I was their age. Now I understand the looks on my father’s face and the tone of his voice when I called home “just to say hi” and to let them know “I was still alive”. His tone to me when I hadn’t called home in three weeks pushed all the Catholic guilt buttons on the console. I’d be a basket case if we didn’t have cell phones.

Thanks for reading, Merry Christmas, and Happy Rovering to you all.

Seven Stages of Car Ownership (Post #306) 11/29/2012

This is what my car looked like. I wish I had one today.

The Art of Manliness has hit another home run with a post titled, “How to Be Happy with the Car You Drive“. Its written by guest writer Marcus Brotherton about the seven stages of car ownership men go through in their lives.

The post ends by asking what was your first car and what do you drive today? My first car was the 1965 Pontiac Tempest station wagon. I paid 150$(US) for her in 1980. That was two summer’s worth of saving from odd jobs. I bought it when I was 15 and half in anticipation of a successful driver’s test. We all called it the Millennium Falcon.

Terry and Sherry Bates were with me when the engine blew on the way home from Oklahoma City crossing the South Canadian River bridge on highway 62. I was pretty sad about that as  you can imagine.

Today, I am somewhere between
5. Cars for Work and
6. Cars of Arrival

I drive a 2007 Honda Civic on my daily commute, mostly for the gas mileage. It is a totally loveless car. And as all of you are aware I own a 1993 Range Rover which was originally purchased to haul kids around and has since been turned into an adult-sized Tonka toy or hobby for me in lieu of a motorcycle as is seemingly normal for men my age.

I hope you enjoy the post as much as I did. Happy Rovering.

PS The post time is no accident. 20:05 = 19:65 in homage of my first taste of freedom.

Tornado, Danger Close, Family Now Even Closer (Post #289) 4/17/2012

Many of you may have seen the news about a recent Tornado outbreak in Oklahoma. We had some tornadoes that’s for sure. We even had one in Norman. Yes, the town that NEVER has tornadoes had a small one on Friday evening. I was driving home when it went through town. I arrived home only minutes after it went through the First Courthouse neighborhood south of my house. 2500 feet is about what we figured the distance at. RovErica and Mrs. OkieRover watched it track past the back of the house. Stupid as it sounds, its what most Okies do.

I think it will be considered and EF1, if even that. We did not get the houses flattened and widespread damage you are accustomed to seeing when our state is portrayed on the news after a twister. Woodward, Oklahoma on the other hand got it bad, again. My adopted mother lost five (5) cousins (it might have been seven I can’t remember) in the 1947 Woodward tornado that killed one hundred and seven (107) people. As of this morning six (6) people have died in this recent storm. Many more are in critical condition in local hospitals.

It was an exciting evening with lots of wall clouds forming, rotation of clouds on the bottom and that eery feeling something was about to happen. Once the power came back on we watched on and off coverage of the weather until late. A second line of very menacing looking storms was scheduled to blow through at 4:00 am. They turned out to be lots of lightning and a little rain. Generally nothing to write home about.

On Sunday it cleared up and we took my mother’s ashes to the Glenwood Cemetery in Perkins, Oklahoma. We made contact with the family that I never knew. They were all so excited to meet us. It was a bit overwhelming. I got to meet a high school friend of her’s and so many 2nd and 3rd cousins that I lost track of who was who.

After the ceremony, if you could call it that, we went back to a cousin of my mother’s to have fellowship and a meal. It was fun to watch the grand kids knock about on the farm. We chatted until it started getting on into evening. My sister-in-law came along and we all had a good time.

There is a Courtwright family reunion coming in June and I was enthusiastically invited several times. The Gates family reunion isn’t until next year. I don’t think it will be that long before I hear from that family again.

Thanks for reading, say a prayer for those affected, keep your head down and your eyes on the sky, and Happy Rovering.