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Donna's Journal
Pawhuska for a Change

At last, the moods of old man winter are threatening to shake us out of our happy moments of living days doing pleasured chores about the property.

We knew we were stealing precious time before we would have to awake one morning to the cold realities of the season. Sure enough, a dear old friend shows up at my door and although she is dressed in warm clothing with a matching hat I’m aware she is waiting with head and shoulders pulled down as if trying to dodge the old man’s blast.

“Are you ready for the drive to Pawhuska?” She is cheerful and brave.

And, I’m thinking, “How far is it to Pawhuska? After all these years I don’t, really know for sure. Is it 50 miles, or 60? Oh well! No matter.”

“Yes!” I tell her while I’m trying to remember what I know I will forget. My camera!

On the drive over Rhonda and I enjoy a great opportunity to visit together with our friend while we talk of the ranchers and people of our childhood, who own the ranches along the highway. She actually grew up in this part of Osage County so her memory was a joyful reminder of when my Uncle or Dad always spoke of one or another of the families, too. She took the time to leave the beaten path so we could see the old Pawhuska Lake which I never knew existed.

“This terrain always makes me so homesick,” I admit to her.

“Yes, yes,” she agrees, and I wonder what thoughts must be flowing through her mind. She is a recent widow and sadness this lady hides from the world. It was the way of the pioneer women and their descendants have learned it well.

The Kiwanis came out even through the rain and seemed to enjoy my short presentation. The theme was to discuss how inspiration was a way to reach young people. The writing of my book was essentially to inspire the youth of my family if I could at all.

It seemed to me their faces relaxed a bit as they enjoyed the wonderful meal of good country home cooked prime rib, potatoes and gravy along with excellent prepared vegetables.

I tried to keep the talk to a folksy kind of format even though there were bankers, ministers, businessmen and other well educated people looking back at me. The ancient, massive stone buildings and photograph of a prize Morgan Horse, Mr. Correll, Superintendent was “reining in” caught their attention and why wouldn’t it? The old school was of a by-gone age. Its grandeur was of interest.

Briefly, the goals accomplished were outlined and the audience seemed to understand what a united, Alumni was trying to accomplish. To save the school as a living museum so that Americans could, after over a hundred years of being kept off the grounds, finally see, and understand what was accomplished on that campus. Doctors, lawyers, Senators, Congressmen, nurses, psychiatrists and too many more to mention all had their roots in the grounds of the Chilocco campus.

My friend is an excellent driver while she valiantly braved the picking up winds, rain turning to ice, and slow-moving traffic with not a problem. It, all and all, was a wonderful break away from being shut in for the day. Rhonda, and I along with my friend enjoyed it immensely. Almost makes me want to finish up publishing on my second book. Almost.

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