Thursday, August 6, 2009


I'm not intrinsically a sad person, but occasionally I have brief spells of sadness. They rarely last more than a few hours, but this morning I had one. Why the sadness? It started with Rod Stewart singing "Forever Young" on the radio while I was on the way to Afton. That song always gets to me, and more so now that I'm older. Most people like music on their car radios. I don't. I don't even like music very much anywhere. "Normal" people like it because it sets moods, which is exactly the reason I don't care for it. I'm moody enough without it.

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.


Beth said...

Hey, that IS cool about Joplin. Looks like you've got some 'splorin' to do, Loocy! ;)

I think no matter how sunny our personalities (and you probably know by now that I definitely have one), we all have moments when it seems that the world is a heavy weight on our shoulders. I'm glad those spells don't last long for you (me neither), because I know it's not fun when it's happening.

Here's to an excellent day tomorrow! Hugs, Beth

Trevor Hilton said...

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

God will comfort you, Laurel.

I have a story for you:

My Dad's family roots are deep in Coffeyville, KS. His great-grandpa moved there from Illinoise in a covered wagon.
One day, his aunt was in a resturant there in Coffeyville (I don't know which one) and a handsome man at another table started flirting with her. She just blew him off. She later found out that was the infamous Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd.

Laurel said...

Beth, I'm surprised you didn't comment on ANOTHER Ron at Afton Station. :-) Thanks for the cheery words. I'm just fine now.

Trevor - I got over my little sad spell really fast. Thanks! I guess Coffeeville is another place where outlaws hung out. I know the Dalton Gang museum is there, and your great aunt had the moves put on her by Pretty Boy Floyd. That's so funny!

Becky said...

Laurel- I've always envied your cheery nature. I don't think I've ever seen you sad... of course, I usually only see you at those wonderful Route 66 gatherings!

I'm taking a lesson from you and not allowing myself to stay in a funk longer than a couple of hours (Monday it was all day... my office door was kept shut to protect the cheery ones in the outer offices!)

I have a story for you, too. My great grandpa Ransom played Poker with Billy the Kid in a secret hideout (someone's house, I'm sure) near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Grandpa Ransom said that his dad made sure to never win a hand...

Enjoy your week-end!


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