Guthrie and Beyond October 2013

I loved the lines.
High on a hill east of Guthrie.

Mrs. Okierover and I love a good road trip. So when our oldest daughter (Fireball) told us our oldest grandchild (Pistol, aka Tater) was cheering in Guthrie, Oklahoma, we had to go. Guthrie holds a special place in our family’s history. Fireball was proposed to in this city by our now son-in-law J-man.

From our home in Norman, Guthrie is a solid one hour drive on the interstate. The first grade football game began at 0830. This meant both Fireball and her brood would need to roll out of their racks around 0630 in order to be more or less on time for the game. It’s no small task to haul a 6, 4, and 9 month old anywhere let alone at 0630. I’ve done it, alone, with only 6$(US) in my pocket, so I know. (A story for another time.)

I am not fond of “rolling out” at 0730 on my only “sleep in” day of the week. Add driving an hour on the interstate on a OU home football game weekend. Not fun. So I ponied up the money for us to stay in Guthrie over night. The grand kids had never stayed in a hotel so we knew they would have fun.


The hotel situation in Guthrie that weekend was ridiculous. We couldn’t stay in a Holiday Inn Express where I had plenty of points to make the rooms free. It was booked up. I called the hotel asked what was up with that. They had two wedding receptions, highway crews, lots of travelers, etc…

So we stayed in the only hotel not booked for the weekend, Sleep Inn. I certainly would not be able convert that name to the literal, but I would be minutes from my destination and not rushed. Mrs. Okierover and I got a later start than Fireball and thusly we ate a late supper of very average take-out Chinese food. My daughter didn’t order well or there was a translation issue. 45$(US) later and literally 3-4 pounds of extra rice we arrived at the hotel to eat together. We had so much I took 2 pounds of rice and an entire meal of sweet-n-sour chicken down to the night clerk. Josh was very thankful.

The rooms did not have a table. So I ate my meal sitting next to the sink in the bathroom. These were basic rooms and not equipped for family eating. We should have eaten in the dining area.

We had breakfast and went to the game. The predicted rainy weather held off and we enjoyed yet another Newcastle Racer 1st Grade Football team win.

When the game was over the Mrs. and I planned on making a day of it in Guthrie and then heading up to Mulhall and watching the game at Lucille’s. But first I had a prank planned.

I have a good friend (Pawnee Matt) who lives in Guthrie so it was a moral imperative to toilet paper his house. This is a classic prank. Doing anything mischievous with Mrs. Okierover is usually futile. She is like the good angel hanging over your right shoulder. So I had to change my plans of toilet paper domination. A general policy of détente exists between Pawnee Matt and I so I felt escalating our relationship to this level would make me the defacto Soviet Union and as we all know…they lost. “Mr. Gorbachev come back and tear down this toilet paper.” echo’d in my ears.

So we wandered back down to Oklahoma avenue and took in a few antique stores (bought nothing).

We stopped at Rick’s Chocolates and Coffee. I had a coffee and Mrs. Okierover had a Coke. We had some chocolate and generally enjoyed the relaxing pace of doing absolutely nothing.

You could fill a 32 gigabyte memory card with pictures from this great town. There is so much history in this town that you could study it for 10 years and not know it all. The great state of Oklahoma started here. The constitutional convention was held here and our state’s first capitol was here before it was moved to Oklahoma City.

My father was a Scottish Rite Freemason. This was his home lodge. It is a magnificent building and I was privileged to get a tour back in 1995. They knew my dad’s name and that of my uncle Bob too. He was driving the Shriner’s bus to Houston for them back then. It is a magical place and the architecture is amazing.

We piddled around for quite a while and it was getting on past lunch time and we still had a short drive up to Mulhall to go. So we left Guthrie and ventured up highway 77. We pulled into town and parked next to the bank. If you do some research one of the tornadoes that struck Oklahoma the night of May 3rd, 1999 believed to be an F4 possible F5 struck Mulhall and destroyed 80% of the town. (Wikipedia)

The bank survived which at the time housed Lucille’s Restaurant. The town of Mulhall is named for Zach Mulhall and his daughter Lucille was a famous rodeo star in the early 1900s. My friend Larry at my day job, was born in Mulhall as was his mom. His best friend Don owns and operates Lucille’s Restaurant. I’d heard so much about the place we made that our final destination.

Using an old term from the land run days we originally planned to “squat” on a table and watch the game while being served several courses of fine vittles. As it turned out my friend Larry had called Don to tell him we were coming and to have the OU game on.

I made it a point to meet Don. He was just as friendly as Larry is. He talked about the old days when he and Larry were kids growing up. He described Larry thusly, “You know you have those friends that will come and bail you out if you get thrown in jail? Larry is the friend you will be in the jail with.” A great friend indeed.

While demolishing a plate of cheese-fires we learned the OU-Texas Tech game was delayed by lightning in Norman. We called home to see what was going on as it was sunny when we pulled in to Mulhall and was just starting to become partly cloudy at game time. There was no lightning but they didn’t want to risk it. The last time Texas Tech was in Norman, a thunderstorm wailed on the stadium. The game was delayed and when it was all over the then ranked #3 OU Sooners had lost to Tech. So I was leery this was happening again! This time Tech was ranked #10 and OU #15. (At the end of the night OU prevailed and swapped places in the ranking with Tech with the next BCS poll).

We decided to have some pie and call it a day. Mmmmmmm pie. So good (drool). We decided if the game was indeed delayed we could jaunt home and still catch it. So we did.

There were two unique things on the old bank building. Larry had told me about one of them so I had to see it. First was the U.S. Geological Survey Benchmark on the side of the old bank building. Believe it or not finding these things where ever they are is someone out there’s hobby. Geocaching fun for someone.

I don’t know what to say about this last one. You can look all that up on the internet. It would require a wadding out into philosophical waters and I think I’ll just let you have fun with that. Don had a crew working on the roof of the old bank. Losing this classic building would be a real shame.

I know that was long post, but it was a great trip and I didn’t want to leave anything out.

I had some good correspondence with fellow Range Rover owners recently, I think I’ve blogged most of that already.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

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