01 May 2021

RAPEA - Day 17 - Glenpool OK - Day of Rest

Aaahhh! A day of rest and recuperation. Just what the doctor ordered. No traveling. No taking pictures. Just a day to stop, reflect and recharge my creative batteries. Today's blog will be about random things. Sights, people and places.

While in Cyrus Avery Centennial Park yesterday I noticed the homeless weren't the only inhabitants living under the overpasses. When I looked up under the bridge I noticed what appeared to be a community of large dirt dauber nests. Upon closer inspection I discovered they were bird's nests. What an odd place to build a nest. The traffic above created immense noise and vibrations. Yet the birds appeared to be drawn to it. Fascinating! When I returned to my room I did some research to identify them. They're called Cliff Swallows.

I'm still kicking myself for missing an opportunity to take a picture of the Arrowood Trading Post , formerly known as the 'Chief Wolf Robe Hunt Trading Post' in Catoosa just across the road from the Blue Whale. It has a story all its own.

Chief Wolf Robe Hunt was the brother-in-law of Hugh Davis who owned the Blue Whale. He was a Native American painter, illustrator, silversmith and sculptor of the Acoma nation. Born at the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico in 1905, his family eventually left the Pueblo to travel with a Wild West show.

After his marriage he settled in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he owned a shop on 11th Street (Route 66) and sold the silver jewelry he made to tourists and Tulsans alike. After the freeways caused traffic to bypass his shop, he opened a trading Post in Catoosa, Oklahoma across the highway from the Blue Whale water structure. There he continued selling his jewelry until his death in 1977.
After his death the building sat empty for several years. The Arrowood Trading Post opened in 1990 as a gift, novelty and souvenir shop and closed in the late 1990s. In 2011 it was an auto repair shop.

Chief Wolf Robe Hunt illustrated The Dancing Horses of Acoma, and Other Acoma Indian Stories by Helen Rushmore where he created  750 of the 805 illustrations in the books.

In the mid 1950s, in a short lived partnership with Hugh Davis the name was changed to the Catoosa Indian Trading Post and pumps selling Phillips 66 gas were added. A cafe was also added at that time. 

When you're traveling an iconic part of history you're bound to run into like minded individuals traveling the same path at various well publicized stops along the way. Such was the case yesterday when we stopped at the Blue Whale of Catoosa.

I met a lady on a road trip with her daughter who was from Bedford NH. That's only an hour from where I spent nearly 14 years in Dover NH.

The volunteer from the gift shop, Linda, a brave and wonderful lady, was saying she was going to retire next year and devote herself full time to writing. She has several children's books on Amazon under the name of Linda Ross-Hobbs and a detective series for adults under the name of Gale L Rossi. She provided me with a wealth of information on the Blue Whale. She's a strong, beautiful cancer survivor with a wonderful way with words. Show her some love people!

A beautiful antique custom Chevy with TX plates pulled in while we were in the parking lot so of course I had to go snap some photos and talk to the driver. Turns out the driver was even more interesting than the car. Jim Zak is a man who has provided life long service to his community. He has been a County Constable, a Medic, a Firefighter and a minister and now having just retired he has decided to travel Route 66 in his show car. And if that's not enough, his neighbor is Frank Beard, one of the founding members of ZZ Top whose Top 40 Ranch is just down the road.

As we were having our dinner yesterday I happened to be reading a framed news article that was on the wall and discovered the restaurant was owned and operated by the former six year Mayor and Vice Mayor of Glenpool OK whose first name is Momodou but since the English pronounced it Mamadou that's what he named the restaurant. After a Google search I determined his was an immigrant success story well worth mentioning. From Gambia West Africa to OK Politics. Later during our meal he came in and cleared our table. Turns out his wife Mamie was our waitress. Help is hard to find here as well. He said he's had a Now Hiring sign up for 6 months and not a soul has applied.

And of course no travel blog about Oklahoma would be complete without mentioning their favorite native son, Will Rogers. OK's reverence for Will Rogers is evident everywhere you look. There are streets, roads and highways and turnpikes. Libraries, stadiums, museums, schools, event centers, campgrounds, trails, hotels, casinos, etc all have incorporated the Will Rogers name.

Back on the road tomorrow. Next stop - TX!

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