# 395, January 25, 2006
STILLWATER, Okla.: Big news in Oklahoma is the new Miss America, from over at Tulsa. The Will Rogers Follies has been performing two weeks in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and I think they just picked out one of those Follies girls at random, and sent her out to Las Vegas to compete. Not really, but they could have. This Miss America is going to be a teacher, and her talent is ballet, which is a kind of dance that’s foreign to the Follies.
Monday I stopped at the Museum in Claremore, and they were getting all cleaned and polished; Larry Gatlin and the rest of the cast of the Follies was dropping in on their night off. Saw “my” three grandchildren who were there to kinda host the festivities, but I couldn’t stay.
Yesterday the Oklahoma Extension Service held their annual convention here and invited me to kinda kick things off. Met the university president, the new dean of agriculture and the provost, all fine folks. This Oklahoma State University is growing, and for the moment this school is flush. Boone Pickens gave $165 Million to the athletic program, and that’s after they already named the football stadium for him. Governor Henry got so excited at the news he promised to donate $250 Million (courtesy of the taxpayers) to cover the various parts of Oklahoma education from grade school through college that Boone doesn’t touch on. I suggested the president ask Boone if he was in 4-H as a boy, and therefore he might want to kick in another $10 or 20 Million in loose change to help out Extension.
Some of you may remember that back in November I told how warm and lovely, and dry, it was in Oklahoma. Well it still is. The drought and all the grass fires you see on television is sure hurting the farmers. All this warm weather may be good for tourists, but Oklahoma would gladly trade a month’s worth of sunshine for a solid week of good steady rain.
I got to visit one of their fine grade schools in Stillwater, Will Rogers Elementary. They are a wonderful bunch of students, full of questions and curiosity.
Have you been hearing about this writer James Frey. Seems he can’t decide whether he is a fiction or non-fiction author. They’ve been arguing for weeks about his Million Little Pieces, but they keep buying ’em by the millions. Oprah finally weighed in on it, declared he is a liar, and now the big argument is over who gets to tell us what books to buy, Oprah or Osama bin Laden.
Frey never learned that non-fiction authors are not expected to embellish the truth. Someone who embellishes the truth is called a humorist, but only if he’s funny. If it’s not funny then you call him a politician.
“Memoirs… means when you put down the good things you ought to have done, and leave out the bad ones you did do.” (Saturday Evening Post, March 12, 1932)
“I never saw it fail; when a man starts selling his memoirs he is about through.” (Life Magazine, November 23, 1922)
I watched a little of the American Idol last week and I heard later it was the #1 show on television, even beating out football. The show reminded me of something “I” wrote about Vaudeville, “With all the different grades and classes of Vaudeville they have nowadays, its almost impossible to have an act so poor that somebody hasent got a Circuit that will fit you.” (How To Be Funny, Sept, 1929).
Ford is laying off 30,000 workers. They came up with a perfectly logical way of deciding who stays: the ones that don’t drive Ford cars will be let go. Today you’ve got some Ford workers scouring used car lots looking for any old clunker they can find that says Ford on the nameplate. Even Edsels are being towed away at a record pace.
(I added this on Jan. 26…) That terrorist group Hamas won the elections for Parliament in Palestine. This will be the first time in world history the majority of a legislative body shows up for work wearing masks. The way things are going in Washington perhaps some of our Congressmen should try it.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
“(We’re) at the Oklahoma A. and M. at Stillwater, (the best A and M College in America). I had never been there and always wanted to go, because I had a Nephew [Maurice Rogers McSpadden] graduate from there and he has turned out mighty good, and it’s a great school. They win more prizes for Cattle than any other Agricultural School in the U.S. There is an animal Man there named [Warren] Blizzard. He showed us all their fine cattle.” WA #426, Feb. 22, 1931.
Note: Oklahoma A&M is now Oklahoma State University. And, who knows, some day it may become Oklahoma Pickens U.