APRIL 27 - MAY 09, 2006

DAY 10, Saturday, May 6, 2006

Stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Oklahoma City, and it was a nice hotel. I like those handicap accessibe shower stalls.... you could have an orgy in there! (I did not, by the way) Woke up to a light drizzle, which lasted my entire stay, and decided to find the Oklahoma City Federal Building Memorial first. Thought it might be a sad way to leave town, and I was right. The grounds of the memorial were serene, and the weather added to the somber mood. There is a corner of the original building's basement left in place, making for a somewhat eerie feeling. Memorial chairs march across the lawn, in the area where the building stood. There is a reflecting pool where the street was located, and is where the bomber parked the truck he used. A museum now occupies the building across from the site, it was the local newspaper's offices. Very emotional displays, done in a timeline of the event, then items found and stories from survivors and responders. I had to leave a few displays after only a few minutes, they were just too much for me to see. Very sad. The museum left one area damaged by the blast, a men's restroom that faced the Federal Building, as it was. Incredible devastation... it even lifted the building 2 inches and set it back down. Amazingly, it was still structurally sound, needing only remodling. The shortness of this writing should not be mistaken as a lack of sensitivity to the event, but an indication of how affected I was by the memorial. I had to leave after the museum visit, as it was simply too emotional for me to remain any longer. Years after the event, the site is a powerful reminder of the evil in some people.
I left the Memorial, and made my way to the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Great displays, a lot of cowboy and native american art work and crafts. Displays of a western town circa 1900, and western movie memorabilia. Got to see the original "End of the Trail" statue, and said "hello again!". I last saw it in the late 60's, in Mooney Grove Park, in my home town of Visalia, California. Looking good in the museum, a special area in the center of the building was built to house it. I wish they had taken "The Pioneer", too, but they only wanted the "End of the Trail". "The Pioneer" was lost some years ago in an earthquake, the plaster statue was too fragile from all those years in the elements, and it collapsed during a small tremor.
Long drive to Amarillo, Texas. Damn.... the plains states just go on FOREVER! Finally got to the hotel, and was going to go over to the Subway shop when I changed my mind and went into IHOP. My waitress was a ditzy little girl, whom I had to remind that shrimp came with my steak, and I needed a steak knife. After a bit, she brought out the shrimp, but no knife. I made do with the butter knife, the steak was pretty tender. She never came back to my table while I was eating (too busy flirting with the teenage boys that came in just after I did), so my Coke never got refilled. When she finally brought me my check, she said she hadn't brought me a steak knife, because they didn't have any! I'm thinking to myself "what, nobody in the kitchen can wash a knife real quick??". Well, no tip for her. I should have spoken to the manager, but I just blew it off. It's not likely anything would come of it, and I doubt I'll ever be back in that IHOP.
Stayed up later than I intended, watching "My Favorite Martian" on cable. I hadn't seen the new movie before, it was kinda cute. I enjoyed seeing Ray Bolger in it as the original Martin. Hit the road in the morning, destination New Mexico!

Day 11