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Trail Rides: Living on Tulsa Time

Paul Marchant for Progressive Cattleman Published on 05 January 2018

In December, I made the trek to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to check out the Tulsa Farm Show. Oklahoma, in its best effort to make me feel at home, welcomed me with temperatures colder than what I left at home in Idaho.

The touch of humidity in the air made the cold seem, to me, more frigid than it actually was and exposed me for the pansy I am when it comes to dealing with any sort of extreme weather. It really wasn’t too bad and, as is generally the case at any large gathering of rural folk, my faith in a sometimes-sketchy humanity got a booster shot of hope.

I visited with a steady stream of dirt and cow people from southwest Missouri, northwest Arkansas, northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas, most of whom were as nice and friendly as the Golden Driller (stationed in front of the Spirit River Expo) is tall. He’s a big dude. Look it up. I consider him the Statue of Liberty of Tulsa.

Jackie and Ronda Coltrane of Coal Valley Angus in Cherokee, Kansas, are pretty good ambassadors of all that is good about cattle people. Upon hearing of my battle with the airlines – in which my luggage took a detour to Lima, Peru – Jackie insisted on driving me to Drysdales and Cavender’s so I could pick up another pair of Wranglers and a new shirt.

My new wardrobe, coupled with my ability to do laundry in the hotel sink, allowed me to come out smelling like, if not a rose, then something less odiferous than what might have been.

The next night, on the recommendation of someone who was “in the know,” a friend and colleague of mine from Mountain Grove, Missouri, and I accompanied Jackie and Ronda to White River Fish Market, where I nearly foundered on a pile of tasty fresh seafood, a good portion of which was deep-fried. If it isn’t beef, it might as well be deep-fried.

Since I had forgotten to get my picture with the Golden Driller, I posed for a portrait with the 7-foot penguin that greeted us at the door. It was cool (as you might expect from a penguin) but only about a tenth as cool as a picture with Mr. Golden Driller would have been. (That’s your hint as to how tall he is.)

Perhaps my proudest achievement of the trip, despite my general ineptitude regarding punctuality, was: I beat my luggage home by three days. I think I’m OK with Tulsa Time.  end mark

PHOTO: Paul Marchant, with his new shirt and penguin friend, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo by Paul Marchant.  

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