CLAREMORE, Okla.: Claremore never looked better. Business is booming, folks are happy, and the suburbs are growing (including Tulsa).
You may remember a year ago I told you about the big parade down Will Rogers Blvd. Well, it was kinda cramped at only 5 lanes wide, so they added 5 more. The expansion is appreciated, not only by the marching bands and float builders, but by all the folks who have bought so many new automobiles at zero interest.
These new car owners figured they had an unbeatable bargain of historical proportions. But it looks like Mr. Greenspan will cut interest rates another half percent, so they are lining up to refinance.
These folks put on a wonderful birthday celebration again this year. After 122 of ’em, they are well practiced. I wrote a young niece in Tampa last week to ask if she was coming to the party. She wrote back, “No, I’m waiting for your 125th birthday.” Well, I kinda wish she had come this year, but I appreciate her confidence and optimism in my endurance.
The whole celebration started off at the ranch at Oologah yesterday morning. It was raining, so they moved everybody inside the barn. And because it rained, the electricity went off. We were in the dark, except for one window. Nobody could locate any kerosene lanterns.
No one complained because they needed rain more than they needed electricity (or even another birthday celebration). The Oologah school children sang for us. One little girl sang “America The Beautiful” in Cherokee, and, Lord, it never sounded better.
The grand marshal of the parade this afternoon was the talented actor, James Whitmore. He’s starred in so many good movies he has his own section at Blockbuster. And you can see him on television selling that Miracle Gro fertilizer. (In case you had not heard, he has ‘retired’ from doing his renowned one-man show portraying a gum-chewing Oklahoma cowboy humorist.) Toward the back, I just walked along greeting folks sitting on the curbs. The parade is about two miles long, but going back and forth across those 10 lanes, I felt like I walked a marathon. Sometimes I would hop on the running board of Gene Pyeatt’s Ford. Last year he drove a 1921 Ford, but this year he brought his newer car. A 1925 model.
Did you watch the World Series? One of the most exciting ever. First time it was played in November, and, just think, to have Game 7 on ‘my’ birthday. The Yankees did their best to win it for New York, but those Arizona boys know how to pitch. And hit. If Mayor Giuliani invites them they’ll be honored to fly up from Phoenix to help out the city. Same as the Yankees would if they had won.
P.S.: If you want to improve airport security, the lady who checked me through Tulsa would be a good one to put in charge of the training. She could straighten out O’Hare single-handed by noon, and Boston by supper time.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
“This is Claremore, Okla., a town in physique but a city at heart.” DT #272, June 5, 1927
“See where a lot of cities are kicking on their census, blaming the government because they haven’t got more people. Claremore, Okla., come through with a 254 gain. That’s not per cent, that’s people. Folks make towns, not numbers. If Cleveland, Ohio, keeps dropping they will lose their postoffice and county seat.” DT #1184, May 12, 1930