Finally: the last chapter.
On Saturday, MH, C, and I went back downtown to visit the OKC Museum of Art, which featured a visiting exhibit on Hollywood costumes and a resident exhibit of Chihuly’s blown glass, most of which closely resembles various seaweeds. The costuming exhibit included costumes from Gone With The Wind (I still say Carol Burnett did it better with the drapery dress), Sundance’s corduroy jacket from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Heston’s toga from Ben Hur, and a couple of the kids’ uniforms from The Sound of Music.
J and MC called to tell us to go ahead and get something to eat and they’d meet us at the Will Call window at the ballpark. So we got on the trolley at the MOA (after enduring a test of the tornado siren) and headed over to Bricktown and wandered over to Spaghetti Warehouse, which really occupies the ground floor of a former warehouse. They have an excellent sourdough roll there.
Then it was time to wander back over to the ballpark for the charity baseball game between Mark Harmon’s celebrities (Frank Marshall of Indiana Jones producer fame) and athletes (former Angel Wally Joyner and Cy Young Award winner Rick Sutcliffe, along with a bunch of football players including a longtime friend and classmate of Harmon’s from UCLA) against a team featuring local doctors and other medical professionals whose organizations benefit from the bowling event and the ball game. The batboy was a young cancer survivor. I didn’t try to get in the line for autographs and photos, but thanks to J we had prime seating for getting pictures of Harmon—who batted three times but never did get a chance to take the field to play in the game—while he signed autographs.
The Bombers (Harmon’s team) took an early lead, but the OSSA Outlaws staged a mighty comeback to win with a walkoff double that drove home both the tying and go-ahead runs. Yes, I actually did watch the ballgame! And it’s a beautiful little ballpark. J says the design is basically the same as the Big Club’s ballpark in Arlington, but on a somewhat smaller scale.
Very homey basebally little field, and it even has a playground out in right centerfield. Then it was back to the Spaghetti Warehouse for J and MC to have dinner, along with a couple of other NCISers we picked up at the ball park, one of whom we knew from last year’s FanFest.
C, MH, and I just had dessert while the others had their suppers. S was suffering from the effects of flights gone bananas—she’d made a last-minute decision to attend and had flown from Tampa to Houston, where they circled for half an hour then backtracked to New Orleans where they sat on the tarmac for a couple of hours to take on more fuel, then headed back to Houston, where they had to sit and wait for the connector to OKC. She finally arrived with just enough time to spare before game time to freshen up a bit in their hotel room before heading out to the ballpark.
In a couple of hours J will be picking us up and we’ll head for Dallas, where MH, C, and I will be playing tourist on Monday before we all head for home on Tuesday.
Had I known about the bison parade in OKC, I'd have searched out the bison. As it was, I only saw three and only photographed two.
Once we got to the Dallas Fort Worth area, J promptly took us on a driving tour of Fort Worth, which I’d dearly love to see again on an early Sunday morning by bicycle. And, of course, there’s the Trinity River MUP (Multi-Use Path—bike trail, footpath, etc), which I’d also love to ride!!
There are some really beautiful buildings in Fort Worth! Our roamings also included a trip to the Texas Rangers’ home field, which is easily as beautiful as the AAA club’s home on OKC. Beautiful brick classic baseball stadium, and I’d love to see a game there.
The Cowboys’ stadium is unspeakably ugly and should be razed, particularly given that the city has done so much to keep the area around the Rangers’ ballpark in the same theme. The other stadium, in the same area, is a jarring eyesore. It might be comfortable for watching football, but then the Disney Concert Hall in LA is acoustically exquisite. It, too, is an unspeakably ugly eyesore.
On Monday we all got together again, along with J’s friend who is a student of the JFK assassination and who gave us a guided tour of the area where the assassination occurred, including the parking lot above The Grassy Knoll and the train switching house where two rail employees witnessed the whole thing, and the rail bridge over the street where the shooting occurred
(photo above shows Dealey Plaza from the rail bridge; the school book depository is just out of view on the left; the motorcade would be traveling toward the viewer)
(perfect position for a spotter to see all the way across Dealey Plaza and up the street the motorcade came down).
(photo above shows the grassy knoll; the motorcade turned left at this intersection and headed away from the viewer's position)
Then we toured the Sixth Floor Museum, which tends to stick to the Warren Commission’s version of the story, which apparently does NOT include interviews with all the witnesses.
(School book depository from the rear, showing the gift shop and entry compex and the elevator to the museum; the Grassy Knoll is just beyond the trees on the right, and the sniper's nest is cattycorner across the building)
Lunch was at a delightfully off-the-wall place called Dick’s Last Resort,
and we actually went there between the tour of Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum, since the SFM doesn’t open until noon on Mondays and we were finished with the Dealey Plaza tour around 11. After the visit to the Sixth Floor Museum we headed back to our hotel, where we parted company with our tour guide and the rest of us—J, MH, MC, C, and I—headed into the bar area off the lobby to rehydrate and gab until time for dinner.
After dinner we returned to the hotel and said our goodbyes to MC and J and went up to pack. Couldn’t get online again because we couldn’t justify paying for an extra day of internet access since we wouldn’t be using it for more than a handful of hours and none of us was up to wandering back downstairs for the free access in the lobby area. We did go back downstairs to use the internet access there to do our online check-ins and print our boarding passes. I didn’t sleep worth a damn Monday night. MH, C, and I have also decided that if we come back next year, we’ll add a couple of days to our trip so that we have more time to see the museums and historical sites in OKC and nearby. None of us expected that there’d be so much to see. And we learned that the three of us are museum junkies. And a couple of days more on the Dallas end of the trip, too, for seeing more of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I know I could spend hours and hours on a bicycle in both OKC and DFW. We’re also considering other trips during the year, particularly if FanFest does not continue after this year. Already on our list: Boston, NY, Chicago, Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Denver.
Sucky part: I have two dear friends in the Dallas area and failed to take time with them into account when I planned this venture.
I also can't thank J enough for arranging the tour with her friend, and can't thank the friend enough for the gift of his time and studies.