Monday, June 20, 2011

Magical Mystery Tour

Too bad that tag is taken--them danged mop-headed Beatles--because it sure fits this present phase of the BallisticTour.
I'm still in Ponca City, and I could easily fall in love with this town. No explanation for that, but I kind of like this middle of nowhere area. Besides they have a Lowes and a good shoe repair shop. Not to mention the two spiffy lakes nearby.

It appears that, if one isn't picky regarding employment, jobs are no so hard to find here. Cost of living is not bad, and having free wifi throughout the city, that would cut some costs. The place is small, but large enough that opportunities abound. My attraction to certain places does not follow formula or reason, just how it makes me feel. I never can say exactly why.

All day was spent in Foraker which is legally a town, I think, but only a few old dwellings are there, and a church, and lots of horses and cows. The last six miles of road you travel to get there is barely two lane, no lines painted on it--as basic as it get before you resort to dirt or gravel.

My parents grew up there, with my mother being valedictorian of the largest senior class in their history--either 12 or 14 students. Her sister's class had 5. My mother's parents and their parents also were from this area and put in many years in Foraker. Some of the coolest, real deal cowboys ever were in that group, like Uncle Charlie and Uncle Don, who gave me a lariat rope when I was seven or so.

I spent the day talking to Charlie's last wife. She's in her early 80's. Charlie like them a ot younger than himself when her met her, hence he kicked and she's been around long since. Not everyone in the family was that keen on Janette, but I alwas liked her. Her mind is pretty sharp and I liked spending the day discussing, life, death, health sickness, and books with her. She's read plenty and was a great one for talking to about writing and reading. Her little dog, Monet, was kind of fun, too.

It was definitely a surprise when I showed up because I gave no warning. I didn't even knw where she lived, however it wouldn't have taken lng to knock on all the doors in town. I didn't though. I encountered an elderly couple on one of the two or three little streets. He was working on some farm device he was planning to sell for scrap, and she almost walked into serious collision with my car. My cat-like reflexes saved her very life.

They were great people and knew my great or grand(?) aunt and where she lived. Of course all they had to do was point to "that white house over there". They even knew her well enough to assure me that she'd be happy fr me to go knock on the door. They were right. She said she wouldn't have ever expected to see me show up but she had no hesitation recognizing my name and knew my brother's name without prompting. I guess word travels so she knew a little of where I'd lived over the years and whatnot. At least she knew I had lived in North Carolina.

It was another magic experience. I think I saw the house where my mother lived and I know I saw the foundation of what used to be my Grandpa's general store close to a hundred years ago. Their life back then was so different from what we know. It stil is to a degree. Back then it seems that one's purpose was more basic and more evident. Survival was more directly linked to your effort and a bit more primal, yet in many ways people were more civilized.

People being people, you always have the judgements, opinions and things that aren't pure harmony. Still, there was a sense of honor and character that gets a little convoluted as our civilization evolves--or devolves, depending on your outlook.

It was a last minute decision to come here. Only minutes before leaving Dallas did I decide to take this route rather than heading toward Amarillo and points beyond. My path toward Taos my take me close to some scary fires so that chapter will also be written on the fly.

Severe thunderstorms were predicted with possible elephant sized hail and probable Armageddon. The 89 year old woman I met at the shoe repair place said it would probably pass us by like last time "they predicted all that mess". She was right, but I've never seen such heavy dark clouds that looked like these; all covered with stripes and a well defined edge. Dark as night to the west, covering the sun but blue with happy white puffs to the east. Very weird effect.

So much of this trip has become happy coincidence and unexpected encounters. It's almost scary. I'm convinced it has been well worth the blind leap of faith based on I don't know what.

It gives me pause that I find towns like Ponca City to be so appealing. I mean, I grew up in Miami, have lived in the DC area, and am a lad of exotic places and ocean sides. It makes no sense. Yet, I often am drawn to the less populated, less self congratulatory towns. Those places that think they are chic and sophisticated are generally shallow, mean, and uglier than they know.

1 comment:

  1. I concur with you on the simplicity and genuine nature of smaller towns. Some are fantastic...


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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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