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Tuesday, September 11, 2007 ISSUE #471

Cowboys and Oklahomans thrill Will

#471, Sept. 11, 2007

COLUMBUS: I returned to Ohio Sunday night and read that Senator Clinton is planning to give almost a million dollars in campaign contributions to a deserving charity. Seems the money came from dubious sources so she wants to give it away, but hasn't decided who needs it the most. Well, can you think of a more downtrodden, needier bunch nowadays than the Michigan Wolverines? Next worst off might be Notre Dame.

I stopped in Oklahoma to give a lecture at Ardmore Thursday night. See, the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation presents an annual series of programs called Profiles and Perspectives, and they figured Will Rogers would be as good as anybody to lead off. They had a wonderful turnout, even set up extra chairs in the back of the theater. It was the kind of audience a speaker wants to take along for every talk.

This Noble Foundation provides great service to Oklahoma and north Texas. If ever a family lived up to their name, that one has. The Noble Foundation helps farmers and ranchers improve their breeding and raise better grass and hay for their livestock. And they're working on turning switchgrass into ethanol. They have so many down-to-earth researchers and other folks working at Ardmore it's practically a second ag college for Oklahoma. (http://www.noble.org )

Lubbock has hosted the Cowboy Symposium and Celebration for 19 years, and I finally got to go. Alvin Davis has kinda planned every one of them, bringing in an assortment of western singers, cowboy poets, storytellers, and chuckwagon cooks to entertain and feed everybody. Saturday night they put on sort of a Vaudeville show and that drew about 700. That audience was just as lovely as the one in Ardmore. If you want to see how much fun these folks can have playing cowboy, look at a couple hundred of these pictures taken by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal:

Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (see the added note at bottom)

"Every man has wanted to be a cowboy. Why play Wall Street and die young when you can play cowboy and never die?" DT #1549, July 10, 1931

(slightly edited)  "Texas is so big... There is single ranches here bigger than France and counties bigger than England.
It's so far to town that the cowboys that started in to vote for Teddy Roosevelt arrived just in time to vote for Franklin.
The lakes of Switzerland would be buffalo wallows in Texas.
If Texas had been in Europe, eighty wars would have been fought over it.
Texas is located between Mexico and the United States to keep Mexico from annexing the United States. It's the only State where a Republican has to have a passport to enter."
DT #1926, Oct. 6, 1932

Note: That was 1932. Of course today Republicans don't need passports to enter. And, really, neither do Mexicans.

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