Lulu at Big Texan Steakhouse in Amarillo
Welcome to Beaver Oklahoma - population 1500
Lulu's promise to visit 35 school libraries in 35 different states is winding down.
Today - she visited a town called Beaver in Oklahoma. The town is on the Beaver River in Beaver County. What is so remarkable about it is that "you can't get there from here."
She left Tallahassee Airport at 4 PM yesterday - Sunday. She had to fly to Dallas - then with a big layover she flew to Amarillo TX - getting there about 5 minutes before midnight. Then after a 2 and 1/2 hour drive - she arrived at her hotel in the middle of the Oklahoma Panhandle - nothing for miles except grain elevators and oil rigs. After spending the night - if you call from sleeping from 3 to 6 AM a night - she had to get up - and drive another hour to Beaver - population 1500.
The Beaver School District has 400 kids from K to 12 all in the same building. About 30 years ago - they build a big field house - and put the library in the old gym. This is where she made the presentation to the top school library and librarian in the state.
After that - she drove 3 hours back to Amarillo - but she has to spend the night because the next plane to Dallas is 10 AM tomorrow - Tuesday.
Back in 1977 - when we made the 30 day cross country trip with our Chevette and Scamp trailer - we spent a night in Amarillo. The highlight of the town for me was the Big Texan Steakhouse. The place held maybe 400 people - and they offered a 72 ounce streak for free - if you ate the whole thing in one sitting. If you didn't - you paid for it. Lulu said the place has not changed much in 34 years. She is spending tonight right down the road along old Route 66 passing through this Texas Panhandle town.
Tomorrow - she will fly from Amarillo to Dallas and finally back to Tallahassee arriving about 4 PM - 48 hours - door to door to door.
The Vision Tour can be followed at "outstandingschoollibraries.org" - she has 3 more legs - two I will go along. In two weeks we will do Colorado - New Mexico - Arizona. Next Nebraska - South Dakota. Finally in May - we will visit all the New England states.
I really admire what Lulu is doing on these trips. She is drawing a lot of recognition for school libraries. Everywhere she goes - the legislatures and news media follow along. In a few cases the tour has saved jobs. After her visit to Oregon - a school district voted to restore a position they were cutting.
Personally - I will be happy when it is all over. She spends many a hours alone in airports - or on long drives on strange roads. She has been lucky so far with weather and plane schedules - but every hotel room starts to look the same about now. It gets to the point where you say things like "Amarillo" and she says "pineapple shampoo."
12 more schools - but who is counting.
After the BP Oil Spill - the embroiled oil company president said, "he would like to have his life back." I feel the same way except, "I would like to have my wife back."
I am really very proud of her.