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Ramblin Joe: On Reading, Writing and Cheeseburgers

Bison Blinds

by Joe Baxter

Happy Wednesday, FaceReaders….. Be smart. Be literate. Read, and be happy.

I am a reader. I’ve never considered myself a writer. I’d LIKE to be a writer. I write, and I can express myself most of the time, but I know way too many excellent writers, including a few published professionals, for me to claim the art as my own.

I do, however, consider myself a songwriter. There’s a bit of a difference there, mostly having to do with rhyme, meter, melody, and the type of brain lubricant used. I’m having the time of my life writing these little Wednesday E-epistles for the Luther Register. I admit I feel like I’m cheating a little bit because I’m using my social media “daily salutations” for the “Ramblin’ Joe” pieces, but so far, so good.

Then there’s subject matter. If I trust my traditional stream-of-consciousness ramblings to fit the bill, I could easily end up in trouble for violating various media dos-and-dont’s and perhaps certain other etiquette-related restrictions. The editor has been very understanding, but I do make an honest effort not to offend or hurt anyone’s lil’ feelers. Usually, there’s enough good stuff going on in JoeWorld and the rest of the world that my ramblings are relatively benign and casually conversational, not ill-tempered and eloquently profane. This leads me to the nearly-forgotten point, which is that sometimes, the writer just gets stuck. Some days, there’s just nothing there. Sometimes, I got nothin’. Blank mind; blank slate. In order to write, you have to have something to say, in addition to having the ability to say it. It’s why memes are so very popular on the social media. Sorta like instant Hallmark cards. Sometimes it’s easier to let someone else do the work to define our thoughts and feelings, so we look for just the perfect little blurb that we can use to express our opinion.

Hey, I almost forgot! This is pretty cool! I start writing in The Luther Register and next thing ya know, I’m invited to come give a talk at a local garden club! Some folks would be all “Aw, shucks,” too embarrassed and too shy to take a chance at standing up in front of an audience and expressing thoughts and ideas without coming across as a mumbling idiot. Not me, boy. You folks who know me know me better than that. I am totally inclined to do this, and I probably will. I’ll be right proud to be a mumbling idiot. The ladies assure me that the talk doesn’t even have to be about gardening, though I fully plan on making it so. Stay tuned and I’ll keep you apprised of the latest developments

I was at the Arcadia Round Barn on a Wednesday. I traded days with Dusty Ward so I could hang at the house and coordinate with the bathroom contractors. (Thanks, Dusty!) The Barn is talking, today! That old wind has cranked up ahead of this next cold front. It’s out of the south right now, but shifting to the west, then later, to the north. You Okies know this pattern. It’s called “February”. I’ve been keeping a pretty close eye on what’s happening up and down my little stretch of The Mother Road. As the OKC suburban sprawl moves east out of the North OKC / Edmond area, more and more development is taking place on 66. Lots of construction and development going on, and things are changing fast. Tourism and interest in the Route has always been robust, but it is ever-growing. I hope that local and state shakers & movers can keep picking up their game and can continue to develop attractions. There seems to be some progressive thought concerning Route 66. Unusual for Oklahoma’s state government. It would be great if efforts include the rescue and maintenance of historical sites. Bankers and bulldozers are NOT proponents of historical preservation, but there are good things happening. The State of Oklahoma recently did an outstanding upgrade in 66 signage along the Route. It is now possible to follow the multiple historical Route 66 configurations through the OKC Metroplex simply by navigating the “Historic Route 66” signs. (Though a GPS or Atlas IS highly recommended.) Kudos to the folks responsible for this good work

Putting on a few End-Of-Winter pounds. I enjoyed every ounce of it, though, believe me. Food is not safe around me. Cheeseburger? Why, thank you, I believe I will. I am blessed with a spouse who can cook. Unfortunately, I need to shed about 15 pounds so I can start tucking in my shirt tails again, and maybe get in and out of the car without making all those groaning and grunting noises. Hey, it could happen! (Wink!)

Spring is on the way. Maybe. I bet a few of you gardeners are already making a move, aren’t ya? Them new potatoes can sure be ready along about March…… Mmmm.  OK – I’ll let ya go. You folks be good. Be nice to EVERYBODY, and there will eventually be good results, I promise. 

Love ya – JB

RESIST – Denying history. Don’t forsake knowledge of past events if you want to understand today’s.

EDITOR’S NOTE. Joe Baxter is one of my favorite people. He loves music, the Arcadia 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, and getting the band together eight days a week! Thanks Ramblin’ Joe! ENJOY! – daw

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