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Ramblin’ Joe: The Summer Season on Route 66

Bison Blinds

by Joe Baxter

Happy Wednesday!

Just hanging out, pounding coffee, and watching the weather. Getting our late Spring rain dump, thank the lord.

Last week, I didn’t contribute my weekly Ramblin’ Joe column to The Luther Register because I was too enraged and heartsick to pretend that everything is A-OK in the good ol’ USofA. I was afraid my broken heart would bleed all over the page, and maybe turn to seething anger (like it always does) and come flying out at readers like word bullets. 

Wanna know what The Problem is? It’s BAD politicians, selling their votes. They represent the people who give them campaign money, NOT US. When you listen to them talk, look at their eyes and see if you can tell they are lying. A sure-fire way to tell is that their lips are moving. I support the right of Americans to keep and bear arms, but since the 2A folks refuse to regulate their damned “militia,” and obviously approve of trading children’s lives so they can continue to buy assault weapons, I hope the Gunz Folks aren’t too surprised when their worst fears become reality and the ‘gubmint’ finally DOES “take our guns,” like so many have been stupidly and mistakenly whining about for years. I’ll leave that here.

Visiting with Mother Road Travelers

Back in the CIVILIZED world, I had a ball running the Round Barn gift shop yesterday. Tons of international visitors traveling the Mother Road, so far this summer. We LOVE it! It is VERY heartening to see folks out seeing the world after surviving the Plague. 

I greeted a  motorcycle tour from Czechoslovakia, and met a couple from Luxembourg. Then there were the first folks I’ve ever met from Gabon, on the west coast of Africa. I have fun asking folks if I can “move to their country.” The gal from Gabon told me I’d be better off staying in the USA. I tend to take peoples’ word about such things, but my curiosity was peaked, so I did what mom taught us to do. I went and “looked it up”. The lady was right. I’m better off here in Oklahoma. I’m just not too froggy about living in a place where there’s a president “for life,” and the wealth disparity is 75%. But it was very cool meeting them. The lady spoke excellent English. I’m always tickled when the English-speaking travelers hear me speak and get that look on their faces like, “What kind of language is THIS guy speaking?” Heh, heh…. So I try to speak proper English and enunciate my consonants, etc. Like all Ugly Americans, I am always tempted to speak LOUDER, as if that will instantly make my Red-Neck-ese clearer and easier to understand. Sigh. Fortunately, most of our international visitors speak English a heck of a lot better than we speak French, or German, or Chinese, so communication with these folks is very feasible, and a LOT of fun, and I enjoy it very much. I try hard to represent Oklahoma and the USA in a good light, without actually SCARING anybody.

Speaking of Route 66, the big AAA “Route 66 Road Fest” is happening on June 18 & 19 in Oklahoma City. This is a run-up to the Route 66 Centennial celebration in 2026. This year, there is a huge multi-day event out at the state fairgrounds, celebrating the legacy of the Mother Road and featuring booths and displays by various attractions and businesses along the Route. There are outstanding music concerts scheduled at both the OKC event and the Tulsa one the next weekend. Check it out. We are hoping for a bunch of extra 66 travelers and Round Barn visitors. In Arcadia, the wonderful Tulsa band “Gypsy Twang” is scheduled to play on Sunday, June 19, and the Round Barn Ramblers might just make a special appearance on Saturday, the June 18. Stay tuned, OK?

One of life’s little truisms – If we aren’t going forward, we’re backing up!

Ramblin’ Joe

Looking forward to the opening of the new “Chicken Shack” in Arcadia. My sleepy little Old Retired Guy hideout on Route 66 is booming. I’ll miss those peaceful, sleepy, hot summer and cold winter days, but we must progress. One of life’s little truisms – If we aren’t going forward, we’re backing up!

Playing some shows coming up. If you want to keep track, check my music page: “Joe Baxter Music.” I try to keep things updated. Come out and see me play. Without you, I wouldn’t be here at all.

Hey, have a good’n. I’m gonna. jb

RESIST – A closed mind. If we disagree, let’s figure out why, instead of just giving up on each other……. (Unless you support theo-fascism. That’s not negotiable in JoeWorld.)

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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