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Ramblin Joe: On Water and Music

Bison Blinds

by Joe Baxter

Finally getting some good rain. Too much drought, They’re running plumb out of water in the West. That’s not Fake News. That’s a fact. We were getting a little dry in Central Oklahoma, but it’s never been particularly rainy around here, anyway. The farmers just hope for enough rain at the right times to get the wheat to grow. City folk hope for enough rain to wash the funk off the streets and grow the trees, grass and flowers. I just hope for enough rain that the aquifers recharge, the lake refills, and we aren’t drinking sludge water from the bottom of the local reservoir. It happens. Just ask folks up who live up around Lake Hefner.

I worked maintenance for a couple municipal water departments when I was a lad. One of my first bosses, a real character named Lester “Hag” Haggins, told me, “Joe, folks can do without a lot of things, but water isn’t one of them.” Hag was right. I’ve never forgotten that. Did you know that water is a finite resource? Once we finish completely interrupting the rain/evaporation cycle and we have depleted the earth’s fresh water supply, that’s it for us. At home, folks take running water for granted. We turn that tap, and it’s just like ….magic! We just KNOW that water WILL come out of the faucet, and it will be clean and safe and not taste too bad, depending on where we live. It’s right at the top of the list of things Americans take for granted. One of the miracles of modern living is running water, but it’s not really a “miracle,” The quickest way to find that out is to not have it. Ever had your water shut off for a day? Two? Three? You get in touch with your animal-survival side real quick. BUT, it all starts with how much moisture is on the surface, and how much goes into the atmosphere as eventual precipitation.

Did you know that foreign investors and billionaires are buying up water rights all over the world right now, as we speak? Do you know why? Because they intend to sell it to us like they sell us gasoline. Heck, they already do. That’s why I say my little prayer when it rains: “Rain, blessed rain.” Push comes to shove, I can always build a cistern, but STILL, there has to be rain.

HEY! Guess what? Friday is going to be a beautiful day, and I’m going to be LIVE on KUSH RADIO at 9 a.m. – Friday, March 25th. KUSH is a lovely classic mid-century local radio station on a hill up above beautiful Cushing, Oklahoma, the Oil Crossroads of The World. KUSH is at 101.5FM and 1600AM and at 

I’ll be meeting up with The Fiddler, Andrea MacMullin, and we’ll be hanging with Ms. Molly, live. We’ll be having on-air-fun and working hard not to say anything that you’re not supposed to say on the radio. I love to drop in at KUSH and talk about everything that’s going on at the Round Barn and in JoeWorld. It happens to be a LOT, this year. I haven’t been up to KUSH since before the Pandemic set in, so this will be nice. Ask any musician, there’s just something completely satisfying and quite enthralling about sending our songs out into the universe. I love thinking about broadcasting music live. Other planets have probably been monitoring Earth’s radio waves since way before the first DJ spun a wax cylinder. Don’t ya think that they are fascinated by what they hear? Well, OK, maybe not, but perhaps they HAVE been listening to the KUSH, and they like what they are hearing, and maybe they are trying to decide whether to come visit us! They’ll catch a Red Dirt show somewhere, grab a beer, leave us the Secret Of The Universe scribbled on a bar napkin, kidnap your idiot brother-in-law for a little probe action, and then scat back to their home planet in Alpha Centauri. Hey, seriously – I’m happy if just ONE PERSON happens to have their old kitchen Philco tuned to 1600AM and hears the show. THESE are the folks I want to reach, and we are looking forward to reaching.

The Round Barn is starting up our 2022 music season with TWO special shows. THIS SUNDAY, March 27th, we’ll host one of my favorite songwriters, the legendary Steve Spurgin, for a Sunday afternoon show, indoors in the acoustically marvelous upstairs loft. It starts right around 1 p.m. and will go till 3 p.m. There is a suggested $10 donation. BYOB. This is going to be an awesome show, I can feel it in my bones. 

On Saturday, April 16th, the wonderful Nellie Marie Clay and her able accomplice, songwriter Joe George, will do an early evening show, also upstairs in the beautiful loft. The show starts at 7 p.m. and will go till around 9 p.m. There is a $20 suggested donation at the door for this show. BYOB

Outdoor Sunday Elm Tree shows begin May 1st, and go through September.

Saturday Morning Music Sessions continue with The Round Barn Ramblers downstairs in the gift shop; Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. til around 12:30 p.m.

THIS WEEK – March 26th – The Ramblers welcome the STAGE 5 CREW, from the Walnut Valley Folks Festival! Y’all ever been to Winfield? Then you know … If you’ve been thinking about dropping by the Barn for Saturday Morning Music, trust me, this would be a good one.

 AND DON’T FORGET: The Arcadia Round Barn’s 30th Reopening Anniversary Celebration! APRIL 10th, Sunday, ALL DAY – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. We’re gonna have Big Fun. Music all day, Free hot dog roast, vintage cars, activities for the kids. Come see us, and help celebrate a true miracle of historical preservation – the world-famous Route #66 landmark Round Barn.

Looks like Spring; sneaking up on us. 80 degrees this Sunday. Here it comes!!! It’s TIME to go drive the Route! Have you ever traveled Route 66 just for fun? I have. There’s cool stuff out there. I know gas is expensive right now, but it’s sure a lot more fun burning gas while we’re out having fun than it is to burn it driving back and forth to work. Am I right? Let’s enjoy the season. Oklahoma’s transition seasons can be very short, so don’t blink, or it’ll be summer all of a sudden. 

 Y’all have a great rest of your week. Love ya – Joe

P.S. – BE WEATHERWISE. Don’t get caught out in a tornado.

RESIST – Placing the blame. As adults, we must take responsibility for our own actions. Those who fail to do that cause the most problems for the rest of us.

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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