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Ramblin’ Joe: Twisters and Pools

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by Joe Baxter

Lightning strikes at 6 am make me nervous. Was in the act of pulling the living room curtains open just as a close-by strike occurred with one of those loud “crack/boom!” hits. Scared the bejeezus out of me. Weather aside, we’re looking forward to a beautiful May. Still a little cool for my taste, but we are starting to see some of those really pretty May days. 90’s on Sunday.

Every May, I think about my Other Life, when I had one of those “job” things that I still hear people talk about so much. In a few of the summers of my youthful prime, in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I was The Pool Man at Tinker AFB. This time of year, at Tinker, I would begin getting the two big swimming pools ready for the summer. In 40 years of working for a living, this was probably my #1 Favorite Job-I-Ever-Had. Tons of hard work initially, but by opening day, around Memorial Day weekend, we were ready to go. The Bosses left me alone to come and go as I saw fit, which was wonderful. With a big pool operation, the day starts at daylight and ends at dark. The schedule depends on the weather. Hot & sunny, or cool and rainy; all weather conditions have an effect on proper pool operation. I was usually at the pool at daylight and after dark. I was on call during long holiday weekends. There were many gorgeous summer mornings and evenings spent adding and adjusting chemicals, cleaning, backwashing pool filters, and making repairs. It was pleasant, low-key work. I was left alone to freelance because I worked well by myself, and because I knew my job. I kept those pools NICE. It was one less thing the base Civil Engineer had to worry about. That’s what Management likes, right? Am I bragging? Heck, yeah. I was GOOD at what I did. But I’ll never forget the late Spring weather; I sure enjoyed those mornings. In May, in Oklahoma, the air smelled like flowers. (And chlorine. LOL)

Tim Blake and I had an amazing morning at the Round Barn Tuesday, hosting Parkview Elementary teacher Katlyn Beddo’s 4th graders. These kids have been learning about Woody Guthrie! They were SO COOL. They were INTO it. Public education continues to plod along, despite the best efforts of corporate America and crooked politicians to privatize it for money. Teachers like Katlyn are heroes. I wish I’d had more teachers like her. I posted a little vid in the “Arcadia Round Barn” group. 

Speaking of the Barn, things are picking up on The Route! We visited with some lovely English folks yesterday. I’m looking forward to greeting more foreign visitors this season than we’ve seen in the past few years. Check our Facebook group! And, if you haven’t yet, go get vaccinated.

Help Wanted TSD Supply Co. Now Hiring

The Blue Door is Back

Shout out to one of my favorite Music Folks; Greg Johnson, the owner of the world-renowned Blue Door in OKC. Greg, like so many of us, wisely laid low in the midst of the horribly dangerous pandemic mess we were in the last couple of years, but now he has announced that he has gotten his cool old facility over at 28th & McKinley back in shape; upgraded and up to snuff for MUSIC. He is now geared up to re-open his outstanding music venue this June. We’ve missed the Blue Door and our Blue Door friends. You folks who have never listened to beautiful acoustic music in a room set up specifically for that purpose owe it to yourselves to go see a show; see what you think. Several of my Top Ten all-time music shows have been at The Blue Door. This news makes me happy. SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC! 

So, I had heard that my neighbor Curtis was buying a pontoon boat. That was quite an understatement. He didn’t just go buy ANY pontoon boat. He came rolling up yesterday afternoon with a RANGER pontoon boat, of all things. A brand NEW Ranger pontoon boat. A NICE BIG Ranger pontoon boat. Heck, I didn’t even know that Ranger built pontoon boats!!!! Summertime never looked better.

Dang storms. Not supposed to shower when there’s lightning going on, so I guess I won’t be winning over any hearts and minds out there today. 

Whatever you Okies do the next few days, do NOT ignore the weather threat. It’s that crazy time of year. Adjust your activities accordingly. Don’t get caught out in it.

Hey, who loves ya? Me, that’s who. jb

RESIST – ANY politician who tries to tell you that they know what’s best for you. That is NOT their job. (They don’t have a clue, anyway.) Their job is to facilitate YOUR decisions about what is best for you, and then adjust to accommodate the majority, within the dictates of our Constitutional rights.


Dawn Shelton and Joe Baxter

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. 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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