March 20, 2011
COLUMBUS: Just returned from Oklahoma. I was down on the Texas border in Hugo, Choctaw County. This town is the winter home of circuses and is best known for its bluegrass festival and cemetery. All I know is what I read in the newspaper, and what struck me about the local daily, The Examiner, was everything in it was good news. Except for two obituaries.
The front page stories were about the local high school pageant with 11 lovely, poised, talented girls competing for a crown and $10,000 in scholarships, and an interview with the man who founded the Bluegrass Festival in 1969. There was not a single mention about any car wrecks, house fires, or political shenanigans. So, I’m following the same style in this column.
Back to Hugo. You may be wondering why the cemetery is famous. Well, it is because of the circuses. The only home a lot of circus performers know is the one where they spend each winter. So naturally this is where they choose to be buried. A whole section of the local cemetery is filled with elaborate circus-themed headstones, including stone clowns, elephants, and a trapeze. The circuses have already left town for a long touring season, but the cemetery stays put.
Also stopped at the Museum in Claremore. Last month’s snow has melted, the grass is turning green and flowers are blooming. The whole place is looking mighty spiffy.
Here’s more good news from Oklahoma. There’s enough oil stored at Cushing to get us through a short war in the Middle East. Tanks are overflowing because oil is coming in from Canada faster than the pipelines can carry it out.
Have you noticed how much oil we’re getting out of North Dakota? Add in all the reserves in Texas and Alaska and we could practically ignore Libya, Nigeria and Venezuela.
College basketball is hoarding all the TVs that aren’t tuned in to Japan or Libya. A slew of the big boys got knocked out by the likes of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth and Butler. Some of our big conferences that felt mighty proud going in are barely hanging on. We always enjoy seeing a big team upset by one of the little fellows, as long as the big team ain’t ours.
Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“There was never such an overproduction of oil in the World, and yet Gasoline was never much higher. But there you have a business that’s in the hands of a few men, and they see that the price is kept up. It’s not regulated by supply and demand; it’s regulated by manipulation.” WA #421, Jan. 18, 1931
“Ten men in our Country could buy the World, and ten million can’t buy enough to eat.” WA #451, Aug. 16, 1931