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50 States, Day 333

  Oklahoma City Capitol, Western Museum and Cowboy Hall of Fame, 50 Miles

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can achieve greatly.” 
~Robert F. Kennedy

We visited the Oklahoma Capitol and the place was full of many important people, the men looking like penguins with their suits and oxygen choking ties, the women wearing nice dresses. Today must have been health day, as the third floor contained kiosks touting ways to be healthy, half of them dedicated to smoking cessation. With all the energy directed to eliminating smoking for decades, why do we still fight this battle? Let's just make it illegal, punishable by death. Oh, that's right. It's a source of tax revenue. 

The place rates an average on the outside but looks much better inside, and the Hall of Governors, with busts of all their past govs, was a first and first class too. All but one were made by one sculptor. Must be a really old sculptor, as the first gov served in 1903. 

I appreciate a building that's working, and we felt like biker trash, rubbing elbows with deal makers. No matter, I led QG to the Senate and walked in like we owned the place. No problem. 

The paintings, a plethora of them, are almost all twenty years old or less, the original building pretty austere. Now historic depictions grace the walls. We missed the 11:00 tour, and the next tour would be 1, so we toured ourselves and bugged out. 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we held low expectations for the Western Museum and Cowboy Hall of Fame. Wrong! First we were stunned with the statue, 'Last Ride,' the Indian riding with his head bowed, such pain. Another familiar statue of Lincoln seemed to indicate him weighed down by the tremendous load on his shoulders. 

The first hall featured award winning paintings. Every year they hold a contest and the winner gets a place in the exhibit. Magnificent paintings of the Grand Canyon, cowboys at sunrise, a woman peering out a cabin window at daylight, a grandpa holding a peace pipe and telling stories to his grandchildren, one after another of paintings that take you somewhere. We took our time and marveled. 

A special events hall featured five paintings, three to a panel sixteen feet high, depicting Lower Yellowstone Falls Utah, the Grand Canyon, the California coastline, New Mexico Plateaus, and Mexican mountains. The painter took five years to complete them. The Cowboy Hall of Fame featured displays of saddles, famous cowboys, Hollywood stars, and a rodeo exhibit. I decided that riding a motorcycle is adventure enough, thank you. Those guys riding bulls are 8 second crazies.

The place is privately funded, amazing, certainly worth the trip and a good value for the money. Because we spent so much time there, the OKC Bombing Memorial will have to wait for our return visit. 

And now, looking awesome with boots and spurs, Quilter girl!

I had my own adventure today, losing Kevin in a race to catch up with the 11:00 tour.  The man finally shrugged and gave up looking for Larry.  I caught a glimpse of Kevin as the elevator doors closed, taking us to the 2nd floor so I waited there thinking he would be up on the next elevator.  Wrong, but I met a gentleman with a huge camera that gave me all sorts of interesting info about the state and the Capitol Building.  There was a big flap over the painting in the governors' gallery.  The artist was originally from Mexico, now an American citizen, but some didn't want his art in their capitol.  I liked it, but who am I?  He also mentioned that Oklahoma would be a rich state but all the oil went to Texas and Pennsylvania corporations.  I guess the same could be said for Nevada and California corporations.  It was better than a tour.  I did find Kevin after that.  He was right where I left him.  

At the Cowboy Museum I really enjoyed the art gallery.  Western art has never been one of my favorite types of art,but this collection was outstanding.  The museum was truly worth visiting, even for non cowboy people.


Tomorrow, Mount Scott.


Mel said...

Be on the lookout for a apparently intoxicated person with a Sharpie... someone's been scribbling all over Libby's side again!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

We suspect it's the illustrator for the 'Family Circus' comic.