Trip to Bartlesville

Part 3 - Remaining Highlights

We now conclude the trip to Bartlesville with a few remaining events. It cannot be stated firmly enough that the subject of Fred the Deceived Dog is much too deep to wade far into. However, the word "wade" brings to mind one episode which should be mentioned, as it occurred on the infamous trip.

Among the myriad of happenings at the Shinn farm and associated territories was the tractor-getting-stuck-in-the-edge-of-the-pond event. Now what we were doing with a tractor on this camp out is completely beyond the scope of my memory or imagination. But I can plainly see this red tractor sitting with its right side (passenger side) buried in the mud about knee level in the water at the edge of the pond. A great assortment of college boys, myself not included, were wading around in the water and smacking around in the surrounding mud pushing on the tractor, officiating, or simply viewing the spectacle from a comfortable, squishy standpoint.

Fred the Deceived Dog can by no means be left out of such a sporting venture. It was Fred's task to encircle the tractor, particularly the side which was in the drink, yell at the tractor and at everyone else in the three-state region, and insure that each participant was splattered from head to toe with red mud. Fred was a consummate worker, and his task was duly carried out with utmost zeal. And with this anecdote, we will refrain from speaking further about the lunatic sheep herder of Deutschland.

A particularly hazy memory concerned the graphic injury of Jack Shinn, proprietor. I believe Jack was chopping firewood for the outing when he somehow inflicted a wound upon his person which required a trip to the emergency room. Sounds like a kindred soul of Lee Tate. I have a vague recollection of walking with him across the pasture towards the house and wondering what Mrs. Shinn's reaction would be. It seems as if neither one of them considered the matter to be particularly newsworthy.

Finally, and with this we will close, there comes the story of the return trip home to Norman. Upon passing through Tulsa, our caravan stopped off at Hardee's (the predecessor to Carl's Jr.) for lunch to go. I was sitting in the rear passenger's seat of some forgotten vehicle. Kevin Shinn was sitting in the rear driver's side seat in his own car, known as Luke Four Eight, with someone else at the controls.

We were already on the turnpike by this time, and most of us were quietly partaking of our meals when Luke 4:8 (the official spelling of the name) pulled up beside us in the right lane (we were in the left). Drawing attention to himself, Kevin Shinn, who was one of the group leaders, I should point out, proceeded to one-bite four Hardee's hamburgers with his face to the window for all of us to see.

In those days Hardee's had a minute hamburger for kids or adults who were not very hungry or for kids who should have been adults or for adults who still acted like kids, much like the ones at McDonald's. Thus, it is not too difficult to imagine a grown man of the approximate age of twenty-one stuffing an entire hamburger of this sort into his mouth all at once. But we watched in amazement as Kevin did this stunt with four. I'm pretty certain it was four. It might have been three, but I think it was four. Ah, no matter. It was a feat of magnificence, and we were all impressed up one side and down the other.

© 2015 Dane Tate