Monday, July 4, 2011

Tulsa - Mrs C

My primary mission in Tulsa was to see one of my dearest and oldest family friends, Mrs. Eleanor Clinton. Early in my life, Eleanor was a large influence  - one of the 1st radical women that I ever interacted with. Mrs Clinton was humorous with a dry wit, generous, and the life of the party. My father did decorating work for her and her husband and over the years they became grand friends. Some of my earliest memories circulate around trips my family took to visit the Clinton's either at their home in Tulsa or on their ranch on Ft. Gibson Lake in Oklahoma. Fireworks, ping pong, the jukebox,  water skiing, yachting, tennis, pinball, ice cream sandwiches, and swimming off the dock were all on the table when at the ranch.
Eleanor and I take a walk.
A few years ago as my mother was ailing, I reconnected with Eleanor and have been staying in touch ever since.. Mainly a call out of the blue or on a holiday. Late last year I had told her that in the spring, I was coming over for a visit and she hadn't forgotten. I arrived at her home in Tulsa right after lunch and I found her out on her stoop conversing with her across the street neighbor. We talked and talked and talked and then took a stroll around the neighborhood. That evening we went out for a salad and then stopped into the grocery store for ice cream!
Eleanor and I do the shopping.
And finally we ate some ice cream. Eleanor was insistent that I sleep in one of the guest bedrooms and thus far on the trip, I'd only slept in the van. I was proud of this fact and wanted to keep a perfect record, but there was no convincing her and she can be very stubborn and I wasn't going to argue so I slept in a bed that evening. (editor's note: to this day, that was the only night I didn't sleep in the van)

Eleanor and I ate ice cream.
The next morning we had a light breakfast and I took her to an early lunch at Be Le. Either she was really gracious or really liked the fake pork. We came back to the house and had more ice cream and I was off......She wanted me to stay another night but realized that I was anxious to get to Kansas to see Kerry and the kids. I can't tell you how NICE and REFRESHING it was to have so many wonderful chats with Eleanor over those 30 hours. There are few people in my life that know what my parents were all about. Eleanor has only the fondest memories of my father and it was outstanding to get to rehash those thoughts.
Mohawk Skatepark, Tulsa, OK.
 The rest of the afternoon was spent working... visiting the shops and skateparks and linking up with Matt Phipps, local filmmaker. As I was rapping out with Matt at the van outside his home, a gorgeous young lady approached and asked us what we were doing. "Slinging DVDs", was my answer and we got to talking from there.... Turns out that Matt casually knew Margaret. They were all talking about the local Cinco de Mayo festivities happening in downtown and I was quick to ask Margaret if she'd like to take me down to see the Mexican Wrestling and to get a bite to eat. Surprisingly she said she'd love to and that she'd be back in 30 minutes to collect me.
Margaret elected for two patches out of the Free Box
Sure enough, 30 minutes later, she strolled back up to the van. After a brief visit in the free box we were on a walk into downtown. Dinner at Elote - locally sourced Mexican cuisine and home of the local Mexican wrestling league. The place was packed for the festivities, but with a little sleight of hand Margaret found us a table and soon our order was in.
Epic dinner at Elote with Margaret.
I was getting nervous about loosing daylight for some pictures, so once we heard the wrestling begin, I ran out and snapped some pics.
First the parking meter maid was on top.

Then all of a sudden the PANDA POWER made her move.
We watched several different wrestling matches after dinner including a high intensity doubles match. We leisurely strolled back toward her house enjoying great conversation the whole way. I didn't want the night to end and stated my thoughts and Margaret, very diplomatically, suggested an early morning bike ride!
6:30am we are both wearing helmets!
Margaret had talked the previous evening about the bike trails along the Arkansas river. I was particularly psyched because this was the first time my bike made it's way outside of the van. We set out on time for some early morning adventure. We ended up at her favorite coffee shop and I watched her drink coffee and sat in some neat outdoor chairs. Ultimately we ended up back at Margaret's dwelling and soon she was making us pancakes!
First homemade pancakes of the trip!
Time went on, the pancakes were delicious, and then it was time for Margaret to get ready for work. And I was off back to the van after a short piggy back ride. Thanks for such a FABULOUS time, MARGARET!

Next stop - Norman and then meeting up with my aunt and cousin in OKC.
Ripley lives in the backyard at Margaret's pad. Super chill!

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