Category Archives: Every Point on the Map


_DSC0215Mother’s Day Eve, 2014, was full of more emotion than I would have liked.

Rachel and I had just finished our conversation in Boley and were cruising north on Highway 48.  We were running out of daylight, and had thought we might get to Bristow in enough time to find a good dinner.  We needed to debrief; our heads were full of pieces of life that needing sorting. Continue reading EPOTM: IXL, OK

EPOTM: Payne, OK

_DSC0150I could tell by his face that he wasn’t inclined to speak with Rachel and I.

Our first official “no” was discussed as we exited the driveway.  Glancing back at the two-story white house, I knew the owner had a story to share.  But there were hints of physical frailties, and wrinkles on his brow that, coupled with his own perspective, kept those stories from strangers. Continue reading EPOTM: Payne, OK

EPOTM: Preview of Dibble, Criner and Payne, OK

As Rachel and I sat on a porch in Dibble, on another porch in Criner, and in the living room of a couple who had been married 65 years in Payne, we weren’t aware of something that had been happening.  Our brains had been filling up with stories of the Oklahomans with whom we were interacting.  They were filling up with the histories, and mysteries, of those we had just begun to know. Continue reading EPOTM: Preview of Dibble, Criner and Payne, OK

EPOTM: Next Steps for the Team

Okay, so we completed our pilot run.  I mentioned we had a few hiccups.

That was probably an understatement.

Going into a project as a novice, I knew there would be corrections.  In order to be completely open about our learning curve, here’s the list:

  1. Problem #1: I ordered an HD camera I thought was a good deal.  The camera was high quality, but didn’t have the capacity to record directly onto a SD card.  It used tapes, and had to be converted to digital files.  This would have cost us a huge amount of time in transferring files.  So, we sent it back.  That mistake cost the project $70 is shipping penalties.  OUCH.
  2. The fix for #1: The first video was shot completely using an iPhone and a condenser mic.  We were actually pretty pleased with the quality, but we may also order a GoPro Hero 4.  I’m not ordering it until I make sure we can get the sound we want, because evidently they don’t have a portal for lapel mics and we’ll need to make sure our condenser mic will work as well as it did on the iPhone.  If we rule that out, we’re back to the drawing board on a larger Sony HD camera again.  I just found that it’s laborious setting up so much equipment, and timing is a key issue.  However, with larger cameras, you can set them on your shoulder and take video while walking without bounces.  You might notice several bounces in our first piece.
  3. Problem #2: Rachel’s first try at the large format film may not have worked.   Continue reading EPOTM: Next Steps for the Team

EPOTM: Carney, Oklahoma

The learning curve was steep.  Our final cut isn’t where I’d like it to be.  But, our first documentation piece for Every Point on the Map has reached the “good enough” standard.  Now, we’re ready to share it with you.

We’re grateful to Assistant Volunteer Fire Chief Robbie Clark, and self-described “rookie” Micheal “June Bug” McCorkle for their time and thoughts.  And, we hope you enjoy this glimpse into the lives of two citizens of Carney, Oklahoma.


If you’d like to read more about Carney, check out THIS LINK written on Carney history from OSU.  To read demographics about the town, and other general information, here is the Wikipedia link.  And, here is a KOCO video of the tornado from last year.

For other Every Point on the Map posts, click here.

Every Point OK Food: Ya-Ya’s in Carney, Oklahoma

_DSC0015Julie Kennedy was wearing an orange and white Chevron print apron her grandmother had made her when she took our order for breakfast.  She welcomed us warmly, accommodated all our special requests, chatted about the restaurant and quickly went about her business.  It was Saturday morning, and Ya-Ya’s Place in Carney, Oklahoma was filling up fast.

It wasn’t long before our order came, and I must say, the food rivaled any breakfast cafe around the area.  The décor was managed with a sense of humor  The kitchen was clean, as was the bathroom.  And, we were checked on during our meal not too many times, and not too few.


Julie’s husband and child were in one of the booths enjoying their own breakfast.  Her mother-in-law owns the business, and her sister-in-law was cooking that morning.  I think it’s safe to say the entire family is invested in making Ya-Ya’s succeed.  The locals appeared comfortable and were all cleaning their plates as the morning progressed. Continue reading Every Point OK Food: Ya-Ya’s in Carney, Oklahoma

EPOTM: Pilot Day

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly were all part of our pilot run to Carney, Oklahoma this past Saturday.

Rachel has some beautiful photos, we have some very special video footage, and we’re working diligently to honor the essence of our first “point” on the Oklahoma map.  While those pieces are being polished, however, we thought we’d share this little “behind the scenes” video about Pilot Day.  Enjoy!

[kelly] & Rachel Apple

EPOTM: Doorbells Ringing; Mailboxes Bursting

photo(1)As a family scientists, I’ve written for – and received, over 1.5 million dollars in federal funding to run theoretical or applied research.  Some scientists reach the hundreds of millions by the time they retire.  There are also, however, new scientists who are just starting their careers and dreaming of their first grant award…and that’s where I come in.

Standing in front of classrooms full of graduate students, I have painstakingly answered questions on what it takes to write a successful grant proposal.  And, during the budgeting information, I ALWAYS tell them this:  “Please…please for the love of all that you cherish, build in some breathing room.  No matter how detailed and accurately you think your budget has been prepared, you will run into surprises.  And, sometimes those surprises are costly.”

I had flashbacks to those classroom sessions when I opened our camera case this morning.  In the case was everything I had ordered and paid for.  One camera; some wires to connect to a computer; one battery.  Wait.  ONE battery?  Oh, this can’t be good…

A few minutes go by while I order a package of back-up batteries and a car charger.  We’re going to be miles from people and plug-ins.  We need a car charger.  I completed my order and went back to the camera case.

A tripod.  I need a tripod.  I KNEW I needed a tripod, but for some reason when I made my list of inventory and sat down to research prices and place all the orders, tripods just didn’t come up.  Cripes. Continue reading EPOTM: Doorbells Ringing; Mailboxes Bursting

EPTOM: Varuca Salt We’re Not, But Maybe We Are…

veruca-salt-2The cyclothymic process of rolling out our “Every Point on the Map” project is wearing me down.

To begin, we followed the Kickstarter suggestions to the letter.  They suggested we run our campaign for no longer than 30 days so as not to wear down those who might support the project.

Okay, well…we probably DID wear our friends down, but we got it done.

But then, there was the matter of the fine print.  The fine print which eluded me.  The fine print which was evidently on one of the several pages…of the several agreements…wherein I clicked the “Yes, I agree!” box.

Oh, the limits of what a person will click know NO bounds when they want something good to happen.

So, somewhere embedded in that fine print was this message:  You don’t get your money until 16 business days after you’ve completed your Kickstarter campaign.

Meh.  I have begun to identify with Varuca Salt in the 1970s Willy Wonka movie:  “I want it NOW!” 

I want to order our equipment.  I want to roll out our pilot run.  I want to see what it’s going to be like for the next ten years.  I want to see how hard it is to approach a stranger and ask them to open up to someone they’ve never met.  I want to see Rachel’s photographs.  I want to hear the stories. And…

I want it NOW!

But, we’ll have to wait three more business days.  And THEN, we’ll begin making progress.

Love, kisses, and cyclothymic tendencies…

[kelly] & Rachel J. Apple

P.S.  We thought our pilot run would be this upcoming Saturday, March 1.  Evidently, it won’t.  It will most likely take place 1-2 weeks after that date that we wanted NOW.  However, we DO know that Carney, OK is our first stop.  We know that won’t change…right?

EPTOM: What is a Sonic ID? Why do we care?

rachel selfie sonic id storyFive minutes into our meeting with Rachel Hubbard of KOSU, I had almost finished my oatmeal.  I glanced at Rachel Apple sitting next to me, and she had barely started her flaxseed banana bar.  She was listening.

(see photo at left: Rachel Apple)

Rachel Apple, my daughter and partner in the “Every Point on the Map” (EPOTM) project, excels at listening.  Her large brown eyes fixate on the source of information, and there is no breaking that “listening-beam.”  At this moment, her listening beam was directed toward Hubbard talking about the art of sound gathering.  And, about “Sonic IDs.

Sonic IDs are a format developed by Atlantic Public Media.  They are a derivative of the wildly popular Moth Radio Hour, only very very brief.  Generally, 60 seconds or less.

Public radio stations have begun to use them for small fillers between regular spots.  They’re stories told at “sonic” speed.  And, they were the initial thought Hubbard had when she considered how we might partner with KOSU once we begin our journeys.

We learned about particular microphones we might order and attach to our iPhones.  We learned that video files can be used for audio files if necessary.  We learned that the new KOSU studio on Historic Film Row in Oklahoma City has a cool vibe.  And, we learned that there might be something of value we could share on the radio from our project.

That’s what Sonic IDs are.  That’s why we care.  And here’s how you can help us raise our last $450 dollars in the next 62 hours to fund our project…so we can begin sound gathering.  And listening.

[kelly] and Rachel “Listening Beam” Apple

EPOTM: Good News, Bad News, Medium News, and Newsy-News


Happy news: we’re 78% of our goal. Scary news: we have 4.5 days left in our campaign! (CLICK HERE TO PLEDGE yo dollahs!)

Medium news: our meeting with KOSU was cancelled by the weather.  Good news: it was rescheduled for this week!

Cool news: we were sent a suggestion to use a new software available to the public called “MapJam.”  No-so-good-news: it didn’t quite have the capacity we needed to manage our whole project.

REALLY GOOD NEWS?  The CEO of the company is calling me tomorrow, wants to partner with our project, and thinks we can work our the kinks in order to add all the sub pins (little posts for each spot we visit) we need, as well as attach all the media we are using.

And THAT, our dear readers, is the end of this update.

Have a good one…and please share our info with your friends who might be interested!

Love, Kisses, and Happy Travels – [kelly] & Rachel

P.S.  The “Oklahoma” photo above is a small section of the new TravelOK 2014 guide.  Beautiful, eh?

EPTOM: Not-So-Slow and Steady Gets the Job Done

 Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 11.01.13 AM

I just checked our Kickstarter crowd funding site for “Every Point on the Map” (EPOM).  When I look at the Dashboard information I feel mixtures of fear, hope, anticipation, motivation…and then a wave of calm washes over me.  I let those feelings go and my tense spine relaxes.

“It’s fine,” I tell myself.  “We were going do this whether we get the money or not.”  I lean the top half of my body from an upright position toward the back of my chair.  “Now, what else can I do to drum up support?”  And then I begin thinking.

We have conducted a small TV appearance.  We have set up a meeting with an associate producer at KOSU who is interested in some audio pieces from our work.  We’re working with Oklahoma Horizon TV who has offered training and technical assistant to help capture good quality video for future feature work.  And, long-term I’m going to investigate turning EPOTM into a non-profit entity so I can apply for grants.

So, what about right now?  Well, I know from studying the topics I have that most of the projects supported, or events attended, or products purchased are due to “word of mouth.”

So, since you have a mouth, please share the good “word” about Every Point on the Map.  Seven-hundred dollars worth of good words, and we’ll be on our way!

[kelly] & Rachel J. Apple

EPOTM: The Escapades of Amateurs Managing a PR Campaign

Using my lunch hour efficiently, this Thursday I managed to get to the KSBI-52 studio, complete a short interview, and get back to the precepting room at work with a little time to spare.  But not without sweating a few bullets.

I’ve only been on TV three times in my life.  The first was when Cherokee Ballard interviewed me at my home because there was “a rash of car thefts” in the area where we lived.  I won’t mention that the main reason our car was stolen was that I left the keys in the ignition and didn’t quite close the doors.  Therefore, the overhead light was a beacon for the thieves, and when they peeked in – bingo! Keys!  I did get a little ticked off when two nights later they came back and stole my husband’s truck as well.  But, they had the keys and I can hear their logic:

Hey – we’ve got this set of keys and need two cars…

Are you thinkin’ what I’m thinkin?

Yeah.  Let’s go back and steal that truck.

Like taking candy from a baby…

Later I had a chance to say my piece to the thieves as they sat handcuffed in the back of a police car.  The cops had called after finding my car at a 7-11 and “could we come and identify it?”  As Mick and I pulled into the parking lot in our rental, I felt compelled to walk up to the window and make darn sure the thieves knew “that truck was my father-in-law’s, and he just DIED a few months ago!”  Well, I told them, huh?  I will say the one closest to the window looked a little frightened. Not sure if it was because he just got arrested or because a crazed person just verbally accosted him about his bad deeds…

Where was I?  Oh yeah…TV.  I’ve only been on TV three times.  So, number one was about car thefts.

Numbers two and now three were on KSBI covering information highlighted right here on the Red Dirt Chronicles.  This week it was about Every Point on the Map (EPOM).  Number four will be next week.  Our friends at Oklahoma Horizon TV will be covering EPOM in a slightly different way, and they’ll be partnering with our project by lending us a bit of equipment.

In case you missed it, here’s our piece on KSBI: Continue reading EPOTM: The Escapades of Amateurs Managing a PR Campaign

Every Point on the Map: Do We Have Personal Buy-In?

Two days ago we launched our “Every Point on the Map” crowd funding site.

It was a big step, more than a little scary, and now the hard work begins.  We need to raise $3100 in 30 days or we get nothing.  It’s that simple.

Or, maybe…it’s that hard.

Since the first year of my marriage I’ve been buying cookies from Girl Scouts, and buying popcorn or sausage from Boy Scouts.  We’ve donated money to our children’s schools, to our church, to organizations we believe in… but I’ve never personally had a project where I ask for money.  I’ve never personally had to tell people:  “Look, I really believe in this project.  Would you be willing to support it?”

I’ve never had to learn how to ask.  You have to have personal buy-in at a level where no doubt exists.  We’re there.  Now we need to convince other people we’re there.

Giving is so much easier…

Our goal is relatively modest.  We asked for just enough money to get through the first year.  We’ll have a better idea of the costs at that point, but to roll out the project we know having support will free us up to focus on achieving our goals.

So, for those of you who are reading this post, please know this:  We’ll take care of your money.  We’ll do the very best we can to achieve optimum “Every Point on the Map” with minimum monetary expenditures.  And, we’ll do all we’re able in order to produce read-worthy, think-worthy, consideration-worthy, life-changing-worthy pieces.

We believe in this project and we’d love to have your support.  Really, truly, genuinely.

Love and gratefulness for any money you can pledge to our project, (click this link to support us!)

[kelly] and Rachel Apple

“Every Point on the Map” – Fair Questions and the Nitty Gritty Details

It’s only been a few days since we announced Every Point on the Map, but we’ve been asked quite a few very good questions.

These range from the, “Where are you going to start first?” types (geographical) to the “How are you going to decide who to interview?” (logistical) kind.  Here are a few others we’ve encountered:

  1. How are you going to fund this project?
  2. Who have you contacted to publicize your work?
  3. What kind of documentation are you going to do (I like video best; or, I like photos best; or, you’re going to write, right??)?
  4. Could I ride with you during one of your trips?
  5. Are you going to write a book?  Make an installment at a museum?
  6. What about passing along a gift from one stop to the next, kind of like geocaching, only different?

Holy Road Trip, Batman –  we have some decisions to make, eh?

I will say that we’ve begun to sort many of these decisions out.  For example, we’ll be rolling out a Kickstarter fundraising opportunity to bankroll our first year on Monday of next week.  We’ve been working with Tree & Leaf designer Dusty Gilpin on our project logo.  And, we’ll be introducing the project on Oklahoma Horizon TV and through other media or publication outlets as we are ready.  I’ve even outlined various legs of the trip so we can be efficient, cover a good amount of ground, and locate places to spend the night from time to time if needed.

In other words, the answers to these questions are coming together, slowly but surely.  And, we’ll cover each of them in individual posts as they are ready to share.  But there is one we’re still mulling and we could quite frankly use your help.  Here’s the deal… Continue reading “Every Point on the Map” – Fair Questions and the Nitty Gritty Details

“Every Point on the Map” or Why My Heart Has the Flutters

Have you ever had an idea spark at some point in your brain, move from the incubation stages slowly and deliberately, then continuously remerge in your consciousness until it demands to be reckoned with?

I would imagine those types of ideas are the fabric from which “Bucket Lists” are constructed.  They’re the kinds of ideas that send little currants of electricity down your spine, or through your teeth.  They’re the visions that, when played out in your head, give your heart a little flutter, or awaken the butterflies in your stomach.

They’re the kinds of ideas that aren’t uttered aloud until you can own them.  And, until you can own the results of your utterances.

One such result might be that by uttering your idea aloud, you’ve implied some kind of social contract with the person who heard you.  Or, perhaps a contract with yourself.

Some people blurt their ideas in the early stages, before they’re fully developed.  Others harbor them covertly until they’ve weighed every risk associated and every aspect or contingency.  I fall more into the second camp.  And that’s why it’s not until NOW that I’ve decided to publicly announce a project I’ll be starting in February called, “Every Point on the Map.”

Every Point on the Map will be a ten year journey to visit each one of Oklahoma’s 593 townships or cities and have a meaningful conversation with one person in each place.  My daughter will be traveling with me, documenting the journey through two types of digital video and with two different cameras.  Every Point on the Map is something of a “bucket list-type” idea that has been incubating for a while, and by virtue of writing this beginning post – to me – it’s like forming a social contract with Oklahomans at large.  To me, it’s like the beginning of trying to introduce the idea.  And, to introduce you to the “why” behind the idea. Continue reading “Every Point on the Map” or Why My Heart Has the Flutters