After cycling through alternating spells of busyness, procrastination, and back again, I finally return to this blog. There’s no way I can account for everything that’s happened since my last post in a single entry, but I will make a good faith effort to cover some of the ground. I’ll then likely make a shaky promise to do better and be more consistent, only to delay another two years or so as is my all-too-evident modus operandi.
First things first, about that Western Heritage Award. After three postponements I was finally able to fly down to Oklahoma City in September of 2021 to accept the Wrangler that I was first scheduled to receive eighteen months earlier. They ended up presenting two years’ worth of awards in one weekend, and I must say that the wait was certainly worth it. The National Cowboy Museum is a world-class organization with an amazing venue to host an event like this. I spent a full day wandering through the endless exhibits and around the grounds outside. I know I still have not seen it all. While they make a considerable effort to be respectful to Native Anericans in their displays, I will admit to struggling at times with the celebratory emphasis on “winning the west” that is often taken there.
While there, we were given an early-bird peek at the new First Americans’ Museum on the night before its grand opening. It is also a very special place and I wish I had been able to spend more time there but the weekend was too tightly scheduled to allow for it. What I was able to see in the time that I was there was breathtaking. Next time I go I’ll be sure I’m operating on NDN time and really immerse myself.
My wife, Connie, was unable to make the trip because the third reschedule put it on a weekend that she had another obligation scheduled. She was a bit heartbroken to not be able to see her childhood crush, Kurt Russell, but, as it turned out, Kurt couldn’t make it either. Shortly after I arrived, I found myself calling my sweetie to inform her that her old crush didn’t show because he was scheduled for some hip surgery. Clearly, fate is as fickle as our bodies are frail.
Speaking of frail bodies, 90 year-old Robert Duvall was there, (suck it up Kurt) along with George Strait, Reba McEntire, Bruce Boxleitner and a few other sorta-well-knowns. I was invited to one elbow-rubbing affair, but I tend to avoid the bar scene these days. I did make several new friends though, and will actually be working with one of them on a project of theirs in the near future.
The statue sits on my bookcase now. Every time I look at it, I shake my head in disbelief. It seems that, this time, I got the award AND the girl.