We have been to Vian, Oklahoma before, yet despite this, we went again!
And, we were welcomed again!
Just kidding, of course. Dear friends Lynn and David Gray (also former members of Town Club – where I have stepped on Lynn’s toes at more than once dance…) live on a beautiful (if somewhat remote) ranch. Even if Vian didn’t sit virtually in the middle of the USA both north-and-south AND east-and-west (so, for the Bus ALWAYS on the way to/from somewhere), we would undoubtedly visit with regularity.
And this time, by complete coincidence, also-Town-club-dance-friends Wes and Betsy Westermeisenheimerfield (not really their name, but Dave’s conglomeration of their names) happened to be travelling thru after visiting family in New Orleans and Houston.
Our arrival at Vian needed to be coordinated carefully with Dave’s schedule, because he needed to meet us at the gate. Dave is a trader “at” the Merc, so he is pretty tied up ‘til the markets close. His Merc office (in the shed by the house in Vian) looks like mission control with all the screens. Anyway, our arrival was set for an hour or so after that. Then, instructions go something like this:
“Turn RIGHT at the ONE STOP SIGN in “downtown” Vian.
Drive 2 miles to the Red Gate.
I will meet you there.”
Problem is, we preceded Dave to that gate by 30 seconds, so we saw his truck (and he saw us) just as we were driving past.
BTW, the gate is only “Red” in contrast to the rusty green one adjacent to it.
It took us 5 miles to find a place sufficient for us to turn the bus and toad (short for “Towed” Clown Car) around and return. There were plenty of driveways with room, but they all had sort of flimsy-looking metal culverts from the road. The LAST thing I wanted to do was to collapse one (we weigh almost 30K lbs). Not only because we would then be seriously stuck, but also because how would you like a complete stranger (who happens to be a Yankee, and from a BLUE STATE) doing this to the only entrance to your home?
A Cosmic Sign not to be ignored…
And, I guess full disclosure, meeting Bes and Wetsy (our conglomeration of their names) at Vian on this weekend was not a COMPLETE coincidence. Lynn and Dave, alerted in advance to our possible penetration into Red-Oklahoma, mentioned they attend their dance club’s “Diamond Dance” at the Ft. Smith Arkansas Fraternal Order of the Eagles Aerie every third Friday. The Meisenwesterfieldheimers and the Harrises took this as a cosmic sign that our intersection MUST therefore occur on the third Friday of April.
Lynn apparently has the metabolism of a hummingbird…it was a sight to behold!
The dance at the FOE Aerie was AWESOME. Huge floor, good playlist, friendly folks. And afterwards, Sundaes at Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Burgers. I should say Liz and Dan and Wes and Betsy had Ice Cream. Lynn had a Double-burger and Fries AND a Sundae. As did Dave, who I am pretty sure just did so to keep Lynn company. Now we did NOT miss dinner that evening (just before the dance, actually); Lynn apparently has the metabolism of a hummingbird…she is gorgeously petite yet ate WAY MORE than I could even consider doing. It was a sight to behold!!!!
Per Lynn: Always order the double burger… the single has so little meat you can hardly taste it. (It looked more than big enuf to taste to me!)
Making me very grateful for my spousal-situation
At the dance we met a friend of the Grays (also a dance student), Randy. He was fascinated not so much by our lifestyle as by the mechanicals of our ride. Cat 3208? WOW. Allison Transmission? THE BEST. Randy and I had a great conversation…he wanted to get an RV and do some travelling – had his eye on a “Monaco” before he became aware of the wonders of our Bluebird. But I got the idea that his wife was not on board with this (making me very grateful for my spousal-situation). Randy talked up a classic car show taking place the next day in Ft. Smith.
We seriously considered it, but the next day was predicted to be VERY rainy and the show was outdoors. So instead we decided to drive to the nearest City…Tulsa. Tulsa is the BIG SMOKE in the Vian area, about 80 miles away. In Tulsa we had brunch at a BBQ place…excellent. We visited impressive Boston Avenue Methodist Church…which is huge and very Art Deco. And we learned that there is a LOT of Art Deco in Tulsa featuring some fabulous buildings built by Mr. Phillips (of Phillips Petroleum).
According to Dave, you did not have to be very smart or very lucky at all to make a VERY good living in Tulsa in the Oil Industry, until the past several years, which have been BRUTAL on the local economy. The buildings around town reflect this prosperous past. Despite the doldrums, Tulsa seemed pretty urbane…arts area, coffee shops, restaurants and the aforementioned very cool art deco CBD buildings.
Timing is everything!
There is even a GREAT art museum, the Philbook (again, Mr. Phillips was involved – the museum is in their former home!). This museum was, in fact, our primary destination on a rainy day. But because “Antiques Road Show” was in residence for that day (timing is everything!) all the streets around it were blocked and no public entrance was allowed. Rats…we should have driven to Tulsa in the bus – they would have welcomed us in!!! But because of this unforeseen occurrence, we got to do all that other stuff in Tulsa. As I said, timing is everything!
On our last night in Vian, we went to “Bubba’s Dairy Bar” just down the road from the Gray’s ranch. I had an EXCELLENT Malt and Liz’s sundae was Lynn-sized and excellent. Warning to the Grays: We shall be back!!!
First, we’ll diet a bit so we can keep up with Lynn.