Saturday, 2 August 2008

Day Thirteen - Thursday, 3 July

Did the washing and packing routine again, but this time we were actually leaving and going up to Lamont. The RV came for me this time and Bob and Bill helped load up the bags of jewelry and belts that I had collected in the back bedroom. Bill and Jack stood in the drive talking and I was struck with the realization that the trip had actually come and was leaving OKC without Rita having been a part of it. Also that though it still looked like Rita’s house, there was every likelihood that it would be changed the next time I saw it.

We stopped at Guthrie on the way to look around and have lunch at a microbrewery Bill remembered from our last trip; turns out the Saloon isn't open for lunch anymore.

We’d actually looked at a house to buy in Guthrie the last time we were there, but I don't think it was meant to be. It's hard to say what is so appealing about the place. Bill couldn't nail it down to more than the fact that it has sidewalks and lovely olde houses with big front porches within walking distance of the town centre. The people tend to be quite friendly as well, but one could say that about most Oklahomans. Oh, and it has the world's largest Masonic temple that Bill always has to drive past. It is a truly awesome building; one day we'll have to take the inside tour. As attractive as Guthrie is, given the opportunity to live in the US we'll likely choose Salt Lake City because I already have a house there.

The Tourists had arrived before the RV and picked out a Victorian tea room for lunch.

Personally, I thought it was a bit strange of the woman to do her normal spiel about Earl Grey tea to a table full of Geordies, but if they could be so tolerant I figured I should be as well.
As I was looking around I was reminded that over-the-top Victoriana was very much the in style here in the US about the time I left. Rita’s d├ęcor leaned in that way before Jack's preferences moved her in the SouthWest direction.

The kids decided they didn’t have time to go see Tulsa as well as seeing Guthrie, which disappointed Chris. I had thought they were going to Tulsa instead of Guthrie, but Bill apparently waxed so enthusiastically about the place they were persuaded to check it out, to the detriment of their Tulsa plan. I would imagine that Tulsa is a wonderful place as well, but big like OKC; I've no idea what there is to do there our how to 'see' it in a couple of hours. I never spent much time there.

After lunch some of us visited the drugstore (a term which Brits find very amusing; they go to a pharmacist or a chemist, never to a place that sells drugs) museum which was wonderful as always and they have added an herbal garden since our last visit. I thought it was fun to spot the Lydia Pinkham products. In one of Mom's letters in 1944-5 to Daddy in Italy, she mentions that her grandmother used to say 'there was a baby in every bottle'. Turns out this was the advertising campaign, which is very interesting.

I had thought it had something to do with releasing inhibitions in a pre-contraceptive era.

We arrived at Lamont about tea time (that's late afternoon in American) and Pat had a sign “Welcome to the Colonies” on his front door.
I kept meaning to photgraph the thing, but apparently forgot in all the excitement of our stay in Lamont (no joke!). The two cars arrived within minutes of the RV and I’m sure we made the gossip network sing with our arrival. The kids sat out on a blanket in the front yard and noticed a police car passed twice, along with an unusual number of other vehicles, but that may have been an exaggeration – or not. Pat did warn us that the locals might need to come check out the action. He says Lamont is a town of about 450 ‘deliriously happy people’. We unpacked and settled and then it was time to go to Tonkawa to watch a play rehersal. We all wore our special shirts for the occasion; they say

Bill's Birthday Tour
Lamont Oklahoma

Pat and playhouse friends (as that how one would put it?) are involved in a national competition. Their chosen piece is a one-hour version of the play Suburb. Tom, the director, explained there is a strict hour time limit and the songs are very difficult. They were distraught that 3 of the cast didn’t show up for the rehersal and at the end it was something like 30 seconds over. In addition to not having the voices and the lines, they didn’t have as many bodies for the very complicated set changes and so I’m sure the time limit will work out. Unfortunately Pat's part didn't make a lot of sense without the absent cast; I'm sure all those silly gestures actually do mean something, really.

After the play we left while Pat and the rest were doing a debrief. We literally took over his kitchen and half a dozen of us prepared meat for the BBQ, made salad, shucked corn for corn on the cob, etc. It was a feast I was sure he would enjoy returning to. We sat out in the back yard enjoying our meal and Pat’s banter. I just knew I took some pictures of the whole thing, but probably I was too busy stuffing my face...

1 comment:

Rick Stone said...

You didn't mention that the Masonic Temple in Guthrie was our first state capitol building. Don't you remember your 9th grade Civics/Oklahoma History class?