June 19, 2019, Joplin MO-
The title refers to August 10, 1861, and I will elaborate, momentarily. My Juneteenth began in Amarillo, with three surly drivers edging towards road rage, within a span of an hour. The first one zipped around the corner and found me in his way, so the horn blew and the fist was pumpin’. I got off the road and waited a bit. Then there was the woman who was off-kilter because I went straight when there was no “left turn only” indicator. Still no harm, no foul. Finally, after my Planet Fitness workout, across town, I was screamed at, for driving across a parking lot and not stopping at each point where the road intersects with said lot. This is, apparently, an Amarillo thing. (In Arizona, every parking lot intersection has a STOP sign. We must be spoiled.)
With all that, I left the city behind, and waltzed on over to Shamrock (See Ernest Tubb’s “Waltz Across Texas”). There is a place there, called Big Vern’s Steak House. Aram and I had lunch there, in 2011. Vern no longer opens for lunch, so after looking around and asking the kind cross street neighbour as to whether Vern was okay (He is; he just opens for dinner only, is all.), I checked out a place called Rusty’s. The perky owner told me she wouldn’t be open for another week or so, but if I went north a piece, I’d find a nice little place called Mesquite Canyon Steak House. I did, and it filled the lunch bill nicely.
Next to Rusty’s is Spinning Jenny’s House of Music. If I’d been in a better mood, I’d have popped on in there. Rusty and Jenny are both pretty and vivacious ladies, with good product, so it’s likely I’ll stop in Shamrock, next time I’m in the area.
I recall June 19 as Juneteenth, the day that Texas slaves received word of the Emancipation Proclamation: June 19, 1865, when the Union forces landed in Galveston and spread the news. This was 2 1/2 years after President Lincoln issued the Proclamation. Today, many people are still not free of their own limiting mental chains.
“Waltz Across Texas” became “Zumba Across Oklahoma”, shortly thereafter. I have a breakfast meet-up with one of my cousins, who lives near Joplin, early tomorrow morning. So, there were no Sooners on my schedule, this leg of the trip. I took the I-40 to 44 and onward straight-away, finding that the long-standing detour through the east side of Tulsa has been eliminated. It’s all freeway, from Erick to Miami, so I found an hour had been shaved off the drive. There was a minor rush hour jam, near downtown OKC, but that was all.
Once in Joplin, I found Motel 6 was reasonable, and that this franchise owner has a high-tech system, reminiscent of the European hotels I used, in 2014. Keyless entry and paperless registration are here in the Heartland.
NEXT: The Battle of Wilson’s Creek