My sadness continued during the ride, thinking about things. My dad would have been 90 years old today if he were still alive. My ex turns 65 today. For some reason, that saddens me. My friend's wife was diagnosed with cancer. Obviously, that saddens me, too.
There are people in the world who make me sad, too. Currently, the incredibly ignorant folks known as "birthers" just refuse to get out of my mind. I feel sad for people whose lives are so narrow that they have nothing better to do than to try to disprove proven facts. How about using your time more creatively, people? Restore an old building. Take your family on a vacation. Volunteer somewhere. Stop being jerks.
Just in the nick of time, my first visitor to the Station got me out of my funk. (I told you they never lasts very long.) He was Ron Jones, but not our Ron "Tattoo Man" Jones. This Ron Jones was from Vinita, but he grew up in Afton in the '40s and '50s. We had a wonderful chat, in which he told me a few interesting Afton stories. One story took place in the '50s, when a guy with a gun stood on the balcony across the street (see picture) and, for a very long time, waved the gun around threatening to kill somebody. He never did, but Mr. Jones said it kept the whole town occupied for many hours.My next visitors were from Southhampton, Great Britain, a young couple on an 8-week odyssey through the U.S. which is also including New Orleans and New York City along with Route 66. Later guests came from Gardner, KS and more folks from Vinita, OK. Neighbor Mike stopped by to tell me he's sold his house and plans to leave town. It wasn't a busy day.
Joplin, Missouri is the closest "big city" to Afton, just about 42 miles via Route 66. Yesterday Betty brought me an incredibly interesting article from the Joplin newspaper about Joplin's criminal history. Bonnie and Clyde (and the rest of the Barrow gang), the Jesse James gang, "Machine Gun" Kelly and his crew, and the notorious Ma Barker and her four sons all hung out in Joplin at one time or another in the '30s. Bonnie and Clyde gunned down two lawmen at this Joplin apartment, which in now on the National Register of Historic Places. Joplin was known to be a "safe" place for the gangs, as there were several people in the town who harbored them. This is so interesting! When I lived up in Grove, Joplin was my go-to place for shopping, but I never knew about this. Now, I must take a trip up there and check out this significant landmark of criminal history.
Bonnie and Clyde apartment in Joplin, MO
Photo du jour:
The once-neon lit Elms Motel sign in Claremore. I like it.