Land run, Hawaiian war chant, new GOP chief, a visit to Dustbury

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It's been a busy but fun couple of days.

Friday was "Oklahoma Day" for my son's grade -- they spent the day at a little farm in the south part of town, reliving the days of early Oklahoma Territory. There was a re-enactment of the 1889 Land Run, complete with covered wagons.

When my 3rd grade class had a land run (34 years ago, on the football field at Holland Hall's 26th and Birmingham "Eight Acres" campus), it was every man for himself. Chip McElroy had a motorized covered wagon, which he built with his dad. I think I pulled my little red wagon.

My son's school was much better organized. They put the students together in "families" of three or four. My son's "family" staked one of the nicer claims in the territory, a shady spot for the picnic. The girl in the "family" was supposed to be his pretend wife, but she opted to be his pretend daughter instead, which was fine with him. (The opposite sex is still cootie-infested at that age.) The girl had an era-appropriate explanation for the lack of a mother in the family: "She died in childbirth."

After a dinner out with my in-laws, in honor of my wife's recent birthday, the in-laws headed back out of town, and our family headed up to the Osage Casino north of Sand Springs to hear Bob Wills' Texas Playboys, one of a series of free Friday night concerts. Even though kids aren't allowed in the casino, they were allowed at the concert, and I was happy that my kids got to see these legendary performers in person.

It was mainly the same line-up that played the Bob Wills' Birthday Bash at Cain's Ballroom back in March, headed up by vocalist Leon Rausch and guitarist Tommy Allsup. (Here's Leon Rausch's tour schedule for the rest of the year.)

The steel guitarist this time was Bobby Koefer, who played with Bob Wills in the '50s. (If you've seen some of Wills' musical short subjects from 1951, that's Koefer on steel. I googled and found this comment on Koefer's style: "The amazing Bobby Koefer plays bare fingered, with an odd shaped bar.")

It was a thrill to get to see and hear Koefer play. Because I was holding a baby, we were allowed to sit right on the front row. My wife was concerned about the speaker volume at that distance so before long she and the baby sat in back while the big kids and I sat up front. It was fun to watch my kids' smiles as they recognized the intros to familiar tunes (familiar in our house, anyway) like "Cherokee Maiden" and "San Antonio Rose".

As old as some of these fellows are, they still have a lot of energy to put into their music. It was a wonderful performance. It was a hoot to hear Bobby Koefer sing "Hawaiian War Chant" -- he really threw himself into it.

This morning I fulfilled my duties as one of about 400 members of the State Committee of the Oklahoma Republican Party, as we elected a new State Chairman to replace Gary Jones. Former State Auditor Tom Daxon won out over State Reps. Doug Miller and Forrest Claunch. The consensus seemed to be that there were no bad choices in the bunch.

The State Committee is made up of the chairman and vice chairman of each county party, plus a state committeeman and committeewoman from each county, and every elected Republican who serves at the State or Federal Capitol. Miller seemed to have the support of many legislators, but Daxon evidently had the support of the grassroots party officers.

Over the course of the meeting, we heard speeches from Sen. Jim Inhofe, the many candidates for the 5th Congressional District, and several candidates for the legislature. There was a gubernatorial debate at lunch between U. S. Rep. Ernest Istook, State Sen. Jim Williamson, and Tulsa businessman Bob Sullivan -- more about that tomorrow.

One of the pleasures of the meeting was getting to reconnect with fellow activists, including several folks I got to know through the 2004 Republican National Convention. (Today I wore my official 2004 delegation blazer -- navy blue with the Oklahoma Osage peace shield on the breast pocket.)

After the meeting I reconnected with Charles G. Hill of Dustbury fame, and we had a pleasant and wide-ranging conversation, as you would expect if you're a regular reader of his blog. (If you're not a regular reader of Dustbury, you're missing a treat.) Our chat made this week's Saturday Spottings, his regular roundup of observations around Oklahoma City.

1 Comments

D.Schuttler said:

Would that be the same Daxon who is on his way to trial?

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 22, 2006 11:04 PM.

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