Louise Speaks: We had one last stop in Amarillo, TX before continuing east. As you are traveling on I-40, along the frontage road is one artist interpretation of a “Stoner Patriot Peace Garden of All Faiths.” Story is that an artist had a statement to make and he asked some close friends to help. It looks like the attraction is meant to convey that no matter what your lifestyle , there’s support and love. There s a large “peace” symbol from the hippie days and a large cross. There are benches where you can sit and pray or just think. Random signs are placed throughout the area saying “Support Our Troops”, “POW and MIA” signs, as well as quotes and life date ranges. All these signs are done in metal. The garden was very clean with freshly mowed grass and no debris of any kind. A quirky stop, but one with lots of meaning. Once again as we were leaving…another car was pulling up to take pictures as well.
We then proceeded east. I had a list, by state of all the quirky things to see by city. Once we crossed into Oklahoma we came to the town of El Reno, home of the Squawk-N-Skoot Chicken...yep you heard me right. Turns out there a several quirky things to see in El Reno, but there was a street festival going on so many of the streets were closed off.
El Reno does have a very special place in town honoring those that have served. It is called “Hero’s Plaza”. The Plaza is one of those heartfelt memorials to veterans which one finds throughout small town America. The arched gate in the front is made of memorial bricks depicting service men and women from all our major wars starting with the Civil War. The Native American on the piece is in honor of the Code Talkers and the many who fought in the Civil War. The plaza also contains free-standing monuments dedicated to each of America’s wars and conflicts, starting with World War I. The names of locals lost during each war are inscribed. Perhaps the saddest are the monuments to current conflicts where you wonder how many names will be added before it is done.
From El Reno, it was off to Oklahoma City. Once again this is, OK, not our first time stopping in OKC, but there are many quirky things we have missed. The first on are list, is yet another form of art. It appears that an architectural firm, Fitzsimmons Architects decided to place a piece of his art work out where everyone could see. One of the architects took the original spiral staircase fire escape from the historic 1909 Marion Hotel and hung it across a street. The spiral staircase is suspended in mid-air between two buildings, and resembles a DNA strand, hence the name “Architectural DNA”.
Along with many other famous country singers like Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood, Vince Gill is from Oklahoma City. In front of the high school auditorium, of NW Classen High School where Vince Gill attended school and graduated, stands a 9 1/2 foot tall bronze statue of Vince Gill. On Oct. 29, 2014 Vince Gill won his 20th Grammy Award. Sculptor Jack Nortz created the statue along with Vince Gills 1952 Fender Telecaster guitar, to honor his accomplishments.
Our last stop for Oklahoma City is in front of the Brick town Ballpark. Mickey Mantle, the famous New York Yankee switch-hitter, really had no connection to Oklahoma City. But he was from Oklahoma, so he merited a statue outside of the states triple-A minor league ballpark. The Mickey Mantle larger than life statue is across from the Mickey Mantle Steakhouse and is surrounded by other bronze busts of famous baseball players.
Our plan was to stay overnight here in Oklahoma City, but since my brother, who lives here is out of town, we decided to drive to our next stop of Bartlesville OK. tonight to give us a head start in reaching Thelma’s cousin in Springfield, MO.
So today was a very long day. 446 miles and 5 stops, but stops that took us through down town OKC…good thing it’s Saturday. We made it to the Riverside RV Resort in Bartlesville while it was still day light, but barely. So far our 4 day total is 1,398 miles and 26 stops, through 4 states. There are 21 stops that we had planned to see, but either ran out of time or just couldn’t find them…oh well, I’m sure another trip through these 4 states will be in our future.
So now it’s time to hit the sack, and get ready for another adventurous day tomorrow.