Day One Hundred and Twenty Eight of the Scone by Scone Book Tour

Days 125, 126, 127 and 128 WLBT

Oct. 14 and 15, Dallas TX; Oklahoma City

by David Runkel

Confusion, or perhaps an unfortunate change-up, disturbed The Tour’s visit to Dallas.  Originally, The Tour was under the impression the reading at Interabang, a year-old independent book store was scheduled for Tuesday evening.  Last week, however, we learned it would be Sunday afternoon.

We all know a beautiful Sunday afternoon with the Cowboys on the field is not the best time for a book reading.  Alas, only our friends Ginny and Dick Lombardi attended, with the wife of a store customer inveigled to listen as The Author read the scone-making lesson chapter.  Disappointed we all were, especially when we noted Tuesday night’s slot is now filled by a book about the Cowboys. By the way, we learned that the word “interabang” is when this appears on the page — ?!. We went away with interabangs dancing in our heads.

Our time in Dallas was spent with Ginny and Dick who used to make the drive from Dallas to Ashland annually and stayed with us for a number of years after deciding the 10-mile drive out to the Mt. Ashland inn at night could be passed up.

A visit to the 6th Floor Museum of the former Texas Book Depository was first on Monday’s itinerary. Elbow-to-elbow with people all over the world, we jammed in on this very rainy morning.  We spent two and a half hours revisiting the Kennedy Administration, the assassination, the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, the Warren Commission investigation and various conspiracy theories.  We stood at the window from which shots were fired at President Kennedy and looked down on Elm Street and Dealey Plaza.  Fifty-five years have passed, but memories of these events are seared in our minds as if they happened last week.  

Day One Hundred and Twenty Eight of the Scone by Scone Book Tour
George W Bush Library

We depart downtown Dallas for Southern Methodist University and the George W. Bush Library and Museum.  Hands down, it’s the best of the presidential museums we have visited.  Its centerpiece is the Decision Points Theatre where visitors are presented with six different issues of the Bush Administration, including Katrina to Iraq.  Those in the theatre at the time choose an issue and then listen to pro and con presentations by a dozen experts from various agencies of the US government or other national or international organizations.  Each person rates the degree with which they agree or disagree with each view; these are tallied; and what the group would do is presented.  On film, President Bush tells what he decided and how.

As many as two dozen can participate in this process.  What a terrific civics lesson!

Interestingly, in both decision questions presented to us, we agreed with Bush’s actions. Who knew?

This museum uses current technology to bring government alive and this is why The Tour found it to be the most interesting.  There are also amusing Bush family remembrances. No controversy is overlooked.

What a way to spend a rainy day in Dallas.  With two of the nation’s 20th century political families.

The following day as the rain continues in Dallas and The Author’s cold worsens, we depart for Oklahoma City.  The rain slows the further north we go and finally ends soon after crossing the Oklahoma border where we are greeted by the World Casino in the middle of grazing farm land.  The exterior is a menage of the world’s most historic buildings – the Roman Coliseum, Westminster with Big Ben, Versailles.  We slowed down to 70, but didn’t stop. 

Day One Hundred and Twenty Eight of the Scone by Scone Book Tour
Deedie, David and Friends

Lunch was at a Gainesville steak restaurant that turns out to be rich in local history.  The ceiling is high and made of pressed tin. The walls are covered with pictures of days past, including one of John Wayne on a local visit in the 1950s, heads of three longhorn steers, a bison head and a boar head.  It’s the kind of place where men feel comfortable wearing their cowboy hats inside while they have lunch, as several of the 8 or 10 Texas Rangers sitting at a table near the door do.

In Oklahoma City, after a rest and a post office visit, dinner is at a nearby Green restaurant.  Chicken soup for The Author.

Meanwhile, The Tour Director has been plowing through the Grant biography, coming to the horrific events in the South during Reconstruction, including the terroristic killings and intimation of blacks and white Republicans by the white southerners who lost the Civil War, but ended up succeeding in effectively overturning the war’s results.  Vicksburg is site of one of the worst killing and intimidation scenes.  While the battlefield there goes on for acres and acres, monument and monument, there is no note in the city of the post-Civil War events, at least not to our knowledge.  Grant eventually lost northern support for his efforts to protect the formerly enslaved people from these vile attacks, and the 1876 election ushered in the 90-year Jim Crow era erasing any gains for blacks from Reconstruction.  

Day One Hundred and Twenty Eight of the Scone by Scone Book Tour
Deedie at Full Circle

Haircuts, reading and rest for The Author precedes a reading at Oklahoma City’s fabulous Full Circle book store, located in a partially abandoned suburban shopping center.  It is the largest, best stocked book store we have visited.  Attending were dear old friends from Baltimore, Pennsylvania and Belize, Tanya Russ and John Spang, who missed The Tour’s stops in the east.  So they came to Oklahoma. Their son Nathaniel and his beautiful new wife Christine live in nearby Edmond, also came to the reading and all of us enjoyed a catch up dinner afterward at the Whiskey Bar restaurant.  A terrific evening. How great to see Tanya and John, whom we’ve missed.

One other guest at the reading, oh we’ll confess she is the only other attender, is a young business woman who is concerned that she is missing her chance to become a writer by working fulltime.  She was encouraged to work and to write, with Tanya urging her to look up the International Women’s Writers Guild for support.  The Tour can always throw a little group therapy in when needed.

The Tour is off today for visits to national parks in Utah and Arizona on the way to readings a week from now in Palm Springs.  If you have friends there, be sure to alert them.