I lived 'Grapes of Wrath' back in Oklahoma

Aug 26, 2008 7:00 PM

Back in the Saddle by Johnny Hale | Carol, it was good to return to the green grass of Oklahoma.

There was so much rain that all the lakes and ranch and farm ponds were either full or overflowing. The grass was up to the belly of the cattle. If the ranchers wished to, they could harvest another cutting of the hay.

Itís wonderful being in the heartland of the USA. I saw the biggest, brightest harvest moon positioned just above the eastern horizon of the hills of the Arkansas razorback country.

My mind would go drifting back to the bad times in the 1930ís when Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and Texas, along with other central states, were so dry that eight-inch wide cracks would appear in the bottom of the creeks.

Everyone had to pull up stakes, and most headed to California. I was about 10 years old and witnessed the trek of Model A Fords and old beat-up pickups of every description.

The folks would load all they could haul, squeeze in grandma and the kids for a trip down the main street of America Ė old Route 66. Itís now known as Interstate 44, which leads to the land of milk and honey Ė California.

My dad remodeled our car into an RV with a little pull down table on the side so that mother and the girls could cook supper when we stopped along the road for the night.

If you have not read The Grapes Of Wrath get a copy of John Steinbeckís book. He tells it like it was! I do not need to read the book, I lived it and overcame it, being one of the folks that came back home to Oklahoma and rebuilt the state.

In those days there were strikes and riots. Yes, poker was played and guns and knives were used. But we overcame it.

Oklahoma, is A-OK today and everything is up to date in Kansas City!

With oil selling at $150 a barrel even the abandoned old oil wells have started up again! Yes, even the little oil tank farms are once more operating.

The old oil wells could only pump three or four barrels a week, but four times $150 per barrel is enough to make a lot of money. If you own eight or 10 tanks, that adds up to $6K a week.

We flew into Oklahoma City to help out with the MDA charity poker tournament that we were invited to attend by the Firelake Grand Casino in Shawnee. The good folks at the casino picked us up in Oklahoma City in a shimmering 30-foot long, big black limo!

Yes, the slots say thatís a dollar; thatís a dollar somewhat like the old pumpers of the oil boom days! I guess I was the only one that remembered the days of Dadís old homemade RV.

The poker players of the world who are members in good standing of "The Seniors" WCOP helped out the MDA charities with a check from "The Seniors" Charities for $1,500 donated by the membership for the benefit of the special children of the MDA.

We were proud to be part of this huge, successful charity event.!

OK-J Tip of the Week:

When you are playing in a poker tournament you are the general in charge of your army of chips. Your chips are your troops!

Unfortunately, some of your chips are expendable and you must choose which blinds you wish to defend or die on. As famed author Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, "You cannot run away from a weakness; you must some time fight it out or perish!"

Until next time remember to Stay Lucky!!