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Ramblin’ Joe: Voices in the Wind

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Do you read? I’ve had to retrain myself to put down the social media and pick up a book. I’ve been rereading my own library for months. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy reading. This ol’ world needs a little more reading and a lot less “reality” TV. Reading allows us to use our imaginations to picture people, places, and action, using only the descriptions provided by the writer. I believe that we are witnessing the absence of that connection in today’s society.

NOT knocking TV. Lord knows, I spend enough time in front of ours. Even with 500 cable channels plus streaming services, it seems that we have come to a place where the majority prefers the type of entertainment that leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. Most of us old Boomers grew up on TV programming that told “stories.” The programs had plots and characters and many times, a message or a “moral.” Now, it’s just a vast tangle of personality cults. People talking, arguing, singing, dancing, running obstacle courses, baking cakes, remodeling houses, or eating bugs and running around mostly nekkid on some island where they’re supposed to be “stranded.” (Except for the camera and lighting crew.) People talking, arguing, gossiping. Yawn! It’s not hard to make the connection between this lack of depth and content and our modern societal ills …

As you can tell, I’m not a big fan of mainstream entertainment. One of the things about getting a little long-in-the-tooth is that pop culture is not only uninteresting, it seems mostly ridiculous. There ARE TV dramas and some sit-coms, but even some of those are so-called “reality” programming. Hey, I don’t CARE about watching some other family or some random bunch of fools go about their own daily drama. They got nothing compared to the stuff most of us have to deal with. An age-old human foible is that nothing relieves our obsession with our own problems like immersing ourselves in someone else’s.

DON’T get me wrong – If reality TV is your thing, then more power to you! I don’t judge the viewers, only the panderers, and actually I DO understand how folks can relate to those characters. I see the attraction.

My point is – Let’s don’t just forget about literacy. Can Little Johnny read? Uh, huh. Teach your children. Teach them well.

That big round domed building actually breathes when the wind comes up … snoring loud and not going anywhere.

Joe Baxter
The beautiful loft of the Arcadia Round Barn is available for weddings and other special events. Photo by M. Tim Blake

Strange weather for December. There was snow on the ground this time last year. It’s balmy out there as I write this. Took Charlie out back this morning and we both enjoyed that warmish breeze. That wet south wind is just whistling across the prairie. I prefer a south wind to a north wind, any day. How about you? Anyone who ever worked outdoors during a hard Oklahoma winter should understand. This is more like late March weather than December. Y’all shoulda heard that old Round Barn creaking and groaning yesterday! That big round domed building actually BREATHES when the wind comes up. The wind goes around it and past it and over it and through it, while the Round Barn comes alive. It grumbles and huffs and sighs. It settles into its spot there on the bluff above Rt. #66 like an old dog settling into his rug for a long, curled-up dog nap; solid, old, well-seasoned, snoring loud and not going anywhere.

I hear voices, sometimes, when that hard wind hits the Barn. No visitors, parking lot empty, all buttoned up. The wind blows and gusts, and you can hear people talking. Low, but clearly voices. Can’t make out what they say, but that’s okay. Back in territorial days, out on the prairie, the wind drove the settlers crazy. I can see how that might happen.

Speaking of the Arcadia Round Barn, it’s Christmas on The Route! We’re OPEN every day, except Christmas Day, and there are some GREAT Christmas treasures for sale in the gift shop! Our 11th Annual Round Barn Rendezvous Christmas jam was last Sunday. A good time was had by all. The Round Barn Ramblers will continue to play on Saturday mornings in the gift shop throughout the winter. If you haven’t been out to visit the Barn and listen to the The Ramblers, you should make plans to drop in. We crank it up about 10:30 am on Saturdays. Bring us apple fritters, or cookies.

I hope everyone is getting their Christmas Stuff done! Just take it easy out there. Enjoy the season. Pray for peace and seek serenity. Remember: In giving, we receive.
Love y’all – jb

RESIST – Infatuation with slogans, symbols and caricatures. Seek the underlying facts. The truth may indeed be stranger than the fiction, and thus, even more entertaining.

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EDITOR’S NOTE. Joe Baxter is one of my favorite people. He loves music, the Round Barn, his wife Jean, a club sandwich from Farmstead Cafe, Route 66 and America (not in that order). A songwriter and musician, he has a way with words and can turn a phrase such that you want to listen, or in this case, read for a while. If you are one of his “face friends” on social media, you know he can get you thinking with his posts and musings. He’s letting us post them here on The Luther Register! We’re trying something new. Find Joe at the Arcadia Round Barn where he is the head conversation aficionado catching stories from Route 66 travelers from all over the world. Thanks Ramblin’ Joe! ENJOY! – dawn

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