Search This Blog

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rodeo Rodeo

What a day it has been. It started with the 101 Ranch Wild West Rodeo Parade downtown this morning. It was a first parade for us, and knowing what we know now, would have done some things more effectively, but then serendipity happened. We had decorated Steve's big John Deere tractor with flags of USA and OK. On the front was a sign that said, "My J.D. works hard for me. I'll work hard for you. We had two escort 4 wheelers and 8 walkers who threw candy for the kids. The kids were thrilled but not half so much as a 67 year old kid. Friend Johnny Shaw has a retarded brother who is 67 who still lives with his mom. The family was there and waving. And we are not quite sure, we think it was Diana who made a special point to hand deliver a tootsie roll. Johnnie's mother was so impressed with that gesture that she talked about it all afternoon, Johnnie said. Among other things, I think we won a vote.

As the parade was about to start, a young guy in fatigues ran up to Steve. He was supposed to be the color guard but there were no flags. Where were the flags? Maybe this guy on his tractor with so many flags would know. The announcer was already talking and clearly something had gone amiss that no color guard was in the front. Steve just said, "Climb aboard and you can be my color guard." So Alan Pierce, war hero and honoree jumped up on the fender of the tractor and we started down the street. Now this is ironic. Steve wanted to use his support of the military in his campaign early on, but we couldn't figure out how this would be important in a State House run. But there was Alan yelling out to the crowd, waving, saluting folks and they were saluting him back! Steve had unknowingly given a seat to a celebrity. So how did Alan know so many people? "Aw, I know everybody," he laughed good-naturedly. Well they certainly knew him.

For 3 straight nights, Steve and family and I and Nancy Mayfield have handed out cold bottles of water at the rodeo grounds. We had a truck and a trailer full of ice chests and gave out about 1300 bottles of water. Were the people happy? My goodness, the delight was palpable. But considering that it was 102-107 at 5 o'clock each evening, an icy bottle of water goes pretty well. How well? Mayor Homer Nicholson grinned and told us we were doing a real service to the community. And yes, we spotted the rival Democrats many bottles of water as they all worked around the front gate for their politicians. Steve was concerned that they weren't following the rules of staying away from the gate 50 feet. That is, until an old guy, perhaps on the organizing staff told Steve he was going to change his vote because Steve was obeying the rules. It always pays to do the right stuff.

Public events like this are often associated with campaigns even though in actual fact they build more goodwill than votes. Yet they are fun in the weirdest ways. I hardly notice the heat when I can stick my hands continually in a cold ice chest to fetch bottles. Steve gets intensely involved with about 10 people over the course of the evening and I know he is talking issues. Little kids think it is so cool to be given their own big jug. And remember to vote for Steve when you turn 18.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Steve's Watermelon Feed

Steve's Watermelon Feed at Kaw City/Kaw Lake's Christmas in July was a smash hit. Steve didn't know if he got a single vote but there sure are a lot of watermelon eaters on the beach. I thought it was great fun, although the temperature was 102. Didn't the Beatles have a song that goes, "When I get home at hundred and two, will you lock the door?" One of the major attractions was people sticking their arms in the 60 degree water of the stock tank we were cooling melons in and going "AHHH!"

Reminds me of Bill Clinton. I never thought I would say this but I actually feel for him. $3-5 million for Chelsea's nuptial gig! And then it turned out that the guests were mostly her friends, not A-list celebrities. So were those college kids who just purchased their first neck tie? 500 people. I asked Miss Shirley how many guests we invited to our wedding in 1976. 425. So how much did it cost? She thought about 1500 bucks. Maybe I could give Slick Willie some tips for cost containment. Our guests weren't A-list celebrities either. $800,000 for food and beverages. Must have been some super eats! Steve got his melons given or at extraordinarily low cost by supporters--Josh Clinton and his grandpa, Doug Klufa and some lady at the Waverly fruit stand who said they just wanted to support his campaign.

Speaking of Clinton jokes (Gosh I miss 'em!), we heard a good Obama joke from one of our booth patrons. It seems that Obama's relatives from Kenya sent him a lion skin. Barack got excited and had always wanted a lion skin coat. So he took the pelt to a coatmaker in DC. "There is only one problem," the coatmaker said sadly. "You don't have enough here to make a coat once I match the fur colors and use the mane for a collar." Dejected Obama went home. But the next day he was scheduled on a flight for Oklahoma so he took the lion skin with him. He had heard about an Okie in Tulsa whom it was said, could make a coat out of anything you could shoot--possum, squirrel, anything. So he stopped in to see the guy. "Well sir," the Okie said, "You've got enough fur here to make not only yourself a coat but also one for the missus and the two kids." Obama was astonished and he said, "But a famous furrier/coatmaker in Washington told me he didn't have enough." The Okie looked him in the eye and noted, "Well out here in Oklahoma, you ain't near as big as you are in Washington."

And if you give Steve Vaughan for State House a donation, we will let you dive into that cool tank along with the watermelons.