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Saturday, November 06, 2004 ISSUE #342
 

Will Rogers celebrates another birthday

# 342, November 6, 2004

CLAREMORE, Okla.: I've been our here a few days, first at Tahlequah, home of the Cherokee Nation, then Claremore and Oologah. This election has been kinda rough on some of us. (Remember one of "my" little sayings: "I'm not a member of any organized political party... I'm a Democrat.")

We have all these commentators talking about red states and blue states. But till you see a map that's colored by county, you don't get the full brunt of the catastrophe. You could take all the counties that voted for Senator Kerry and they would fit into an area the size of Texas. Of course Texas don't want them, so they're scattered across our various states. Except for Oklahoma and Nebraska which are solid red.

The last time Oklahoma was this "red" it was still Indian Territory. Even the Legislature went Republican for the first time in state history and broke a losing streak longer than the Red Sox. It may not be easy being a Democrat for a while, but don't look for any of them to hit the road for Canada. The last time Okies left in droves was during the Dust Bowl, and most of 'em that ended up in California wished they had stayed and taken their chances with the drought.

On Thursday they had a big birthday celebration, starting with the dedication of a mural at the Claremore Post Office. But really, it was a re-dedication of a big painting that had been hidden away for thirty years and they restored it and it looks good as new. You know, if your picture is gonna hang on a wall at a post office, make sure it's a painting.

Then out to the ranch at Oologah where fifty or so elementary school students sang a few songs. Lynn Doughty was there, cooking beans and biscuits behind his chuckwagon the way they did it over a hundred years ago. And Kalvin Cook put on a great show. He is a grand champion trick roper, whip cracker and gun slinger. Then everybody hightailed it over to the school auditorium at noon where there must have been two hundred students that put on a delightful new musical production called "The Life and Times of Will".

If that weren't enough to exhaust a fellow on his 125th birthday, then it was back to the Museum at Claremore where the Cherokee Women's Pocahontas Club conducted their annual tribute, and dedicated a new bronze plaque. Next time you go through Oklahoma stop in and see it, and the exhibits, pictures, movie posters, and even saddles, at the Museum.

After all the celebrating was over with, one wonderful lady told me, "For 125, you look mighty well-preserved. You must drink formaldehyde for breakfast." Well, right there she uncovered one of the secrets of long life. And it don't taste bad mixed with orange juice.

It sure was good to see so many family members, over a hundred of them. Some of them said they’ll be back for the 150th. Now, brother, that's confidence.

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

"Democrats give me a birthday yesterday, Nov. 4. I was 51 years old, and they elected fifty-one Democrats. When I am 90 we will be running this country. The Republicans carried California, but lost America." DT #1337, Nov. 5, 1930.


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