Thursday, September 30, 2010

John's Reflections of his Dad and the State Fair

Once again, State Fair time has come and gone and as always we made sure that we purchased our annual Shriner's photo button. I will scan and post this year's image very soon, but today I am going to share a personal narrative family essay that John wrote about our annual tradition, specifically how much it meant to him the year Andy died.


Every fall since 1987, it has been a family tradition in my family to go to the State Fair of Oklahoma and get our picture taken at the Indian Shrine Clown photo booth. That tradition was on the line in 2002 and I was full of concerns. Would the tradition be condemned because Dad had passed away at the beginning of that year? Would I be ready to take the picture without him by my side?

It was a beautiful warm and breezy September day. It was the day to spend at the fair. I was so ready to get through that gate into the sea of excitement and good spirit that the fair brings the state year after year.

“The whole gang is coming; we can’t go just because you’re ready.” Mom reminded me as I mercilessly nagged to leave. Before we left she decided that everyone would wear one of Dads hats in memory of him. She assigned me the job of passing them out. As I handed them to Shelby, Bear, Kelly, Mom, Uncle Terry, Lesley, Kendy, Chris, and Logan; each hat brought back memories of better times. When I stepped back and looked at everyone smiling I knew everything would be alright.

On the way I buried myself in thoughts. My mind was overflowing with questions and worries.

“It’s not going be the same without him” I repeatedly told myself. I knew how much this meant to him so I was overwhelmed, as well as terrified that it wouldn’t go like he would have wanted it.

I knew we were almost there as soon as I could see the space needle towering in the distance. I was running short on time to collect my thoughts. “What am I going to do?”

We pulled into the gate 23 parking lot and parked in the paid section. I knew that meant it wouldn’t be long until we were in. As I handed my ticket to the taker I decided it was time to suck it up and snap to reality. When I got through the gate I looked left and right but I couldn’t decide which way to go. Instead of wasting time contemplating, I just went with my first instinct and went right. Reflecting back on that now I regret that decision because the booth was right around the corner to left. That being the case, it wasn’t until we walked completely around the grounds that I saw a clown blowing up a balloon animal. My eyes lit up and without even thinking about it I dashed as fast as I could to the booth. I was so excited that I didn’t even stop to think that my whole family wasn’t running as well. I had to wait as they lollygagged their way over to the booth. Mom and I gathered everyone together on the side of the booth because there were too many of us to take the photo inside.

Limbo the clown came out with the camera and asked “Is everyone ready?” “Say Limbo!” I had to squint as he snapped the picture because I the sun was blaring down on the side of the booth. I knew that wherever Dad was he had a grin on his face because it went exactly how he would have wanted it.

The rest of the night was fun, but nothing could compare to the perfect picture and a tradition perfectly kept alive by love and devotion by my family and our love for Dad. Even still the tradition is kept alive for him, and every year we take something to represent him in the picture. Our newest picture was taken on 9-26-2010. Dad will never be forgotten and he will always be my hero. A tradition should never die because someone is no longer with us.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Follow me?...

A little note to my online community:

Recently, much to my dismay, released a statement that they are closing down the Bloglines site. This created a dilemma in my life; how in the world am I going to be able to keep up with my blog subscriptions??? How will I know when one cyber friend gives birth? How can I see the wedding pictures of another, or try to give comfort to a blogger who keeps a grief journal, if I no longer have that wonderful tool that organizes all my reading material into one simple place?

Not only that, how would my two or three regular readers be able to find me? They would forever wonder whether Shelby graduated from college and married her high school beau, or did she decide to enter a convent instead? Did John succeed in getting his driver's licence, how many grey hairs did he give his mother in doing so, and did he become a major league ball player? I CAN'T desert my faithful friends!

I pondered and searched, but the only rss readers I could find were complicated and had to be downloaded, unlike my beautiful, simple Bloglines! But, Eureka!!! Tonight, with the October 1st deadline looming on the horizon, I have found one! So now, my two or three regular readers, you can subscribe HERE!:)

Add to FeedShow

Or if you are on Facebook, you can subscribe via Networked Blogs: Click here.

Goodbye Bloglines. I'm sad to see you go. :(

This has been a public service announcement. You may now return to your regular internet surfing!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering the emotion after 9/11

It is often difficult to go back and capture feelings from the past. Even the happiest occasions or the most tragic events in our lives have their poignant edges sanded and softened by time, and the feelings become a shadow of the original.

But then there is music. Music always has a way of putting me back in the moment, and this video is a perfect example. This is the original performance of "Where were You," performed by Alan Jackson at the CMA Awards, three weeks after 9/11. He later recorded it in a studio, but the studio recording lacks much of the emotion of this one. When I watch it today, I am transported back to that night when a grieving country sat mesmerized as the simple, but powerful, words he sang helped unify us in spirit.

"Faith Hope and Love are some good things He gave us...and the greatest is Love."

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Old School Pirate Band

Last night was the debut of the Pirate Band's 2010 marching show. It made me realize that I have been a band parent for a long, LONG time!!! :) Let's see... Jimmy graduated in 1997, so 4 years of high school and 2 years of middle school band... WOW It's been since fall of 1991! Almost 20 years of non-stop percussion. And you all wonder why I am crazy??? :-)

I am very proud of all my band kids, but today I'm putting the spotlight on Jimmy. This is a video from when he was in Jr. High in 1993... specifically what is now Capps Middle School. (Cooper had not been built yet.) He is the slightly nervous musician playing keyboard.

And this is the Pirate Marching Band 1996-97 Jim is the tall guy on the snare line.

Long live Band.... and Band Parents!!!