Oklahoma State Fair

Welcome back. Campus Corner in Norman on Saturday morning is where I’ll start. I arrived at 8AM and with a 5PM kick-off time I found a parking spot on the street two blocks away which was free! The streets would be closed an hour later and by noon a large crowd was already gathering. As I’ve mentioned I will be at every OU home game this year signing books and getting to hang out with Coach Switzer and Thomas Lott, the great former OU quarterback who went on to play pro ball. These two are continuing their live TV play by play on Campus Corner and I can tell you they are happy to provide free photo opportunities to onlookers. Next up for Barry and Thomas is the OU vs. Iowa game and I hope to see you there.

Sunday found me in the midst of another big crowd in Oklahoma City as day four of the Oklahoma State Fair was going on. They had a big midway with more food vendors and rides than I could count including the largest portable Ferris wheel in North America but that’s not why I was there. Disney on Ice was there with Mickey and all the rest of the Disney cartoon characters and the big Bennett Event Center was open and full of exhibits- and do I mean full. Dozens of people were there shoulder to shoulder selling everything you can dream up but that’s not the story I was after.

You regular readers know that history has always played a big role in my weekly column and one particular exhibit caught my attention; Jim Warlick’s JFK exhibit. This guy owns several gift shops in prominent US cities including one right across the street from the White House and he is well known for his collection of political memorabilia, especially things related to President John F. Kennedy. According to a press release from the fair organizers, his exhibit of real JFK artifacts takes up 15,000 square feet making it one of the largest displays at the fair in recent memory. Yes for history buffs like me this was going to be good but once again that wasn’t the reason I had stayed an extra night in Oklahoma City, getting up at 5 AM. The reason was to watch a horse and wagon competition that started at 9 that morning.

The event was called the North American Six Horse Hitch Classic and the finals took place on Sunday. Twelve final teams consisting of seventy-two horses. Percherons, Belgians and Clydesdales all pulling fancy reproduction wagons, executing maneuvers based on what the old time drivers and horses had to do back in the day when horses and wagons delivered the goods people needed around the country. It was all quite amazing to watch and that’s where I’ll start this story about a horse they all called Aulie.

It happened last week. She was the lead horse of the North American Champion Express Ranch team of horses and was called by the owner ‘the smartest horse he ever had.” Coming soon when the owner and driver of the team have recovered from their grief enough to be interviewed its Aulie’s story.

Locally, for you sports fans the reunion of the legendary Phillips 66ers happens this weekend, starting with a meet and greet at Arvest’s Friday Forum at the Eastside Branch. An old basketball man myself, I’ll definitely be there.

I’ll also be hanging out with some outlaws Saturday in Dewey where Western Heritage weekend is happening. There’s lots to do starting with breakfast at the Dewey Fairgrounds, my film Footprints in the Dew, The Last Ten Tapes, good food and plenty of shopping. Then Sunday it’s off to Prairie Song for a real Wild West Rodeo. Till then, I’ll see ya down the road….

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