I grew up in Apache, Oklahoma. The air there is thick with Oklahoma culture; tribal Pow Wows, local rodeo hands, Mo Betta western wear, grazing cattle, sweeping wheat fields, Friday night football and salt-of-the-earth people. These things describe my childhood home.
My dad was the town barber. As the shoe-shine boy and floor sweeper I spent hundreds, probably thousands of hours in Caldwell’s Barber Shop of Apache. I learned to appreciate community and I met a lot of wonderful characters. It seems like yesterday and at the same time it seems like another age.
In my dad’s shop, and around the town, I saw a lot of business deals, from renting pasture and horse deals all the way to car trades and services to be rendered. The transactions were typically hinged on a final understanding: knowing whose word to trust and when bovine excrement was in the mix. And I learned that a man was “as good as his word.”
In the beginning was the Word – the Gospel of John
Even before time and existence the Word is. The Gospel of John, in poetic form, unveils the declaration of eternal reality. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. This passage does not refer to “In the beginning” of all time and created existence. It refers to what is without beginning, the Infinite; In the beginning God . . .
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)
full of grace and truth.
If you want to touch truth, if you want to inhale grace, you have to take God at his Word. That phrase, “dwelt among us” is particularly a part of the disclosure of God. It refers pitching his tent, coming into our midst to abide.
Nelson Mandela noted, when we speak to someone in a language he understands, we reach his head. If we talk his language, we reach his heart. God spoke our language when the Word became flesh.
My drive from the Oklahoma State (OSU) v. Baylor game this afternoon to Guthrie provided the best hour of my week. You KNOW that’s saying a great deal since I’m such a huge OSU fan – and we beat the pants off Baylor today. Mick and I had driven to the game separately because I had an early appointment this morning, and then I left after the third quarter because I tend to get antsy when I sit still for a very long period of time. He stayed ’till the glorious end of that fine, fine game.
Don’t doubt my team loyalties, though…I DID listen to the game on the radio through the very last play.
I was on a mission. Pick up a bucket of chlorine treatment tablets for our aerobic septic system. We have to buy one about every eighteen months. No one carries the product within a 50 square mile area of our house except the Ace Hardware in Guthrie. I would not fail; I would accomplish my goal and meet my hubby back at home.
But then I got sidetracked. I saw another hay truck and it was broken down on the side of the interstate. I had to go take pictures! The driver and his daughter were from Apache and she had brought tools to the site so he could make repairs. I just wanted to get close to the load on that truck and smell the hay! They good-naturedly agreed. So, stop one in Logan county…broken down hay truck. I REALLY wish I could provide you with the scent of that beautiful cut hay aroma filling my lungs while I snapped away.
I thanked the driver and his daughter, turned around, and saw some cows in a pen I thought might need their family portraits taken. So I provided that service, free of charge.
I headed down the highway, got off on Highway 33, and drove into Guthrie. Before reaching the hardware store, I stopped to walk around a bit. I noticed two things on my stroll. 1) There are lots of American flags hanging from the homes and businesses there; and, 2) if it weren’t for the cars, the calendar could easily have been somewhere between November, 1880 and 1950.
Next stop, Ace Hardware (OHC Supply). I appreciate this place for all the reasons you’re getting ready to see. I love the Tractor Supply Store in Edmond, but I think I love this place almost as much.
Okay, time to leave the store. On my way out I cleaned off my lens because I thought there might be a few shots left of something I’d like to share with you from my journey through Logan County. There was.
On my way home I took Waterloo Road (the county line between Oklahoma and Logan counties) on a back-road route because I really needed some farm raised eggs. We were down to one, and if I eat one more runny store-purchased egg I’m going to throw a fit. Unfortunately, the egg sign was down. That’s country talk for, “None right now. Check with me later.” So, I drove the last few miles home.
But then I stopped again. I saw Ferdinand sitting under his cork tree. Okay, it wasn’t Ferdinand the Spanish Bull from the well-known children’s book, he didn’t have long horns and it wasn’t a cork tree. But it was a black Angus and he was looking pretty majestic under his beautiful tree this afternoon.
Well, you’ve seen about 25 of the 100+ shots I took…all reasons why I love Logan County. I hope next time you’ll see a photo of me buying fresh eggs and celebrating because the chlorine tablets are no longer $56.00 per bucket. Either way, I also hope you enjoy your own drive through this area sometime. And if you do, please send us a photo and tell us about the treasures you found.
Showcasing Red Dirt culture ~ authored and managed by contributors with connections to the great state of Oklahoma.