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Ramblin Joe: Wednesday’s Child, Gas Prices and Calendars

Bison Blinds

by Joe Baxter

Wednesday’s child is full of woe. Don’t ask me why. It’s just an old nursery rhyme, intended to help teach children the days of the week. I don’t know the complete doggerel. Friday’s child is full of beans, for all I know.  According to what I’ve read, this rhyme first surfaced in written form in the 1820s. Maybe in those days, Wednesday’s child really WAS full of woe.  You never can tell. Might have been a lot more to be woeful about, back then. I’ve been watching episodes of “The Addams Family” on OPTV (Old  People TV). Wednesday Addams is likely the most famous Wednesday I know of. She’s less full of woe than one might suspect a genuine Wednesday to be. One thing for sure, if Wednesday had a child, the kid would be a bona fide Wednesday’s Child.  

We had a Spring weather teaser last week, now it’s back to the Canadian cold fronts. Speaking of Canadian cold fronts, tornado season approaches.  I’m writing this at the Round Barn, and I just got through having a long discussion with a nice Israeli couple, all about tornadoes. Travelers seem to be fascinated with Oklahoma’s tornado legacy. We do have quite the tornadic history. Interestingly, anyone who has lived here all their life can attest to the fact that, in recent years, “Tornado Alley” seems to have spread to the east. It may have actually MOVED east. The scientists  (remember “scientists”?) say that, globally, the fronts are getting bigger,  more frequent, and more intense. This is causing more and larger hurricanes and tornadoes, at increasingly various times throughout ALL of the seasons. It’s not just Springtime Tornado Season in Oklahoma, Kansas,  and Texas anymore. It’s December and January Tornado Season in  Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Now we are seeing cyclonic weather activity in places where, historically, there simply haven’t been that many tornadoes. I’ll leave this here. Folks can deny climate change all they want, but they’d better have a good storm cellar if they want to live in Oklahoma or Kentucky or Pennsylvania.

Arcadia Round Barn
Arcadia Round Barn Joe Baxter

Today’s tempest in a teapot: Gas, gas, gas. I remember paying 32 cents a gallon when I was first learning how to drive. Different times back then. There are more than a few reasons why gas is spiking at the pump,  but if you want to know the main reason, you don’t have to look any further than the board rooms of the major oil companies. That’s where the price is set. OilCo is using international strife as an excuse to raise prices at the pump. There’s a term for this. It’s called “Price Gouging.” It used to be illegal. To add insult to injury, they are hitting us while we are down; NOT  doing their part, even while our nation desperately needs to shut off the import tap from Russia. This situation essentially negates ANY argument from the oil and gas industry about how they are being prevented “by the government” from tapping new wells and developing additional supply sources. It also belies their rubber stamp public relations “oil-is-patriotism”  shtick. It’s all about that m-o-n-e-y, Jack. I’m curious as to how many folks reading this have money invested in Big Oil. I know that quite a few of my  Oklahoma friends owe their living to the oil industry. Nothing wrong with that. A paycheck is a paycheck, and worker bees don’t make the greed-based decisions that impact the entire world. I’m hearing that the OilCo CEOs are just not making any plans to increase U.S. production. Why should they, when they can simply raise OUR price? Americans are suckers, and we are spoiled rotten. We drive gas guzzlers and complain about gas prices. We ignore the possibilities of public transportation and high-speed rail. That’s pretty stupid, really; it’s just more short-sightedness and an alarmingly narrow worldview. Europeans and other places around the globe have been paying three times what we pay for gas, for years. My fellow citizens seem to need some perspective. There ARE people who  CAN afford to put 6$ gas in their Suburbans. There are people who cannot afford it. Follow that money. Look close. Can you see where it’s going? I  can. It’s going straight to the top, and the folks at the bottom can’t afford both the drive to work AND groceries for the family.  

NONE of this means that ol’ Joe is “Anti-Oil.” Don’t think that for one single second. I know what’s up. I’m not a fool. On the contrary, I am painfully aware of what oil means to our society and to our economy. What I AM is “Anti-Billionaire.” The Big Boss Man doesn’t care about us po’ folks. Never has; never will.  

Oh, well, I’m sure that things will turn out all right, and even if they don’t,  we’ll get used to it all somehow. We always do. 

Ramblin’ Joe

Y’all check those calendars! There’s a BUNCH of fun stuff coming up this  Spring and Summer! Y’all know me; I’m mostly all about the music, so I keep my ear to the ground along those lines, but man, I’m talking car shows, art festivals, charity marathons, family reunions, fishing, camping, hiking,  BASEBALL. Schedule well ahead. It might be necessary this year so we can make sure we can afford the *&*^&$% gas!

Schedules? I am very low-tech on the schedule-keeping. Mrs. Baxter picks me up a freebie Hallmark datebook at Alray’s Cleaners in Midwest City, and  I make dates, and I just pencil them in. I’ve been doing this for music biz purposes for a couple of decades. I actually have a cigar box full of those old datebooks going back to the early 1990s. One of those kinds of things you can’t bring yourself to chuck in the trash. Someday, I’ll go back through them and see how many of those old bars and dance halls we played in are still in business. I DO try to transfer my schedule from the handy-dandy datebook to the Jean Baxter Master Plan Desk Calendar. (JBMPDC). It’s where the Important Stuff goes. I have not yet seen fit to utilize calendar programs on my cell phones, though they are good apps, and I should probably be using them. Just never felt like fooling with it. Besides, I know  SO many people who use their phone calendar/scheduler and STILL fail to keep things straight. Truth be told, my main reason for not using my phone calendar is that I don’t trust electronics all that much. Get the darn thing wet, and there goes your schedule, all your phone numbers, your Garage  Band tracks, and the two hundred-plus dog and kitty pics you’ve saved since your last upgrade. And this is not to mention all the other bad things that can happen to your phone. I’ve seen them dropped out of moving vehicles, run over by forklifts, stepped on, dropped in toilets, flung across parking lots, struck with heavy objects; (accidentally and on purpose,) fried by power glitches while charging, dropped in the lake, virused up so badly that even your 16-year-old grandkid can’t reset ‘em. You get the picture. One of my own favorite little sayings is, “We are at the mercy of our  electronics.” And so we are. Those of us who functioned as adults back before personal computers know; ALWAYS have a backup. (I also keep a  spiral notebook.)  

So make that schedule, but once it’s as full as you’d like it to be, write it all out in felt tip (or Crayon) on a nice piece of construction paper and stick it on the front of your refrigerator. If you are like me, you approach the fridge about a hundred and fifty times a day, so the schedule is easy to see, and you will be reminded 150 times that this coming Saturday at 10:30 AM, you are going to run by and get some donuts and come up to the Round Barn to listen to the Round Barn Ramblers play.  

 Hey, y’all be good, if possible. Hope to see you soon. JB  

 RESIST – Taking the easy way out. Most times, the results don’t turn out as good.

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! Let’s insert here that Joe’s comments might not “reflect the views of staff and management,” or they might. All views, musings and submissions are welcome here on these digital pages where we don’t kill trees or buy ink by the barrel! 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! Y’all ENJOY! – dawn

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