Oklahoma, Here I Am!

Oklahoma, Here I Am!
From Oklahoma City, OK to Tulsa, OK
Este artigo pode ser também encontrado em Português.

My nephew Samuel Politano

After my arrival in Oklahoma City, precisely in the small town of Guthrie – the first capital of Oklahoma, where my brother Bruno lives, I was able to spend a few days with them, also enjoying my sister-in-law Anna and my lovely nephew and niece Samuel and Julia Politano.

A few days later, I left Guthrie towards Tulsa at the same state, one hundred and twenty miles away, aiming to enjoy the ride, no hurries of getting there soon, just like the way Route 66 trips are now meant to be. I had lunch at Pops (Route66.com), a very well known restaurant in the region and for the Route 66 travellers, famous for an enormous variety of soda pops – more than five hundred different kinds of it! A true Brazilian like me would certainly search for some “guaraná” flavor, the popular Brazilian soda flavor and I actually found at least three different kinds of it, some brands that I’ve never even heard of. The taste? It was ok, let’s put it that way…!

Guaraná soda pop

The Arcadia Round Barn

Next I stopped in front of the Round Barn (Arcadiaroundbarn.com), famous for its unique shape like a dome on its top, one of the many landmarks of the Mother Road. Miles away later next to the town of Luther, I pulled over my car so I could also take some shots of this old filling station from the twenties, famous for the following story: Back in the days when Al Capone was terrorizing folks in Chicago, a so-called salesman came by the station offering to sell the owner a way to make a lot of money – a set of plates for counterfeiting $10 bills. The owner was convinced and bought the plates. He built a small room behind the station in which to hide the printing materials and a place to work. The only entrance into the room was through the window you see on the back wall today. A solid wood covering was kept over the window and most customers never knew the room was back there.

Old filling station

He would press one plate on a piece of paper with green ink and let it dry for 24 hours. Then, the next day, he would print the back side. One day, someone was caught passing one of the counterfeit bills. With identification in their pocket, they were traced back to the Luther area, and back to the station. The plates were found and the owner was taken to jail. The station closed and never re-opened.

I keep on driving across Route 66 and enjoying my way, pulling my car over the shoulder whenever possible, taking some shots of this immense rural area, just like some many others that I have been through on this trip. I couldn’t help to notice kids getting back from their schools and asked myself what kind of life perspective they had, their daily routine, a life without stress comparing to those living in the large metropolis, but there’s one difference if I compare to the same kind of life of those living in my home country – Brazil: Even in the countryside in America you got plenty of consumer product goods and services, something that in Brazil, it will take many years to occur even with the country’s economic growth.

The Shoe Tree

I took a two hundred yard detour to get to this Route 66 landmark: The traditional Shoe Tree, a real tree where travellers of the Mother Road from many countries are able to hang their shoes and make a whish. I noticed many locals don’t even know about the Shoe Tree, once I arrived in Tulsa to visit my friends Josue and Laura Araujo – they told me they had driven through Route 66 from Tulsa to Oklahoma City a few times, instead of taking the turnpike, but they had never seen it! Well, I guess they were still in such a hurry, they weren’t able to notice it! “Route 66 is not about the trip, but it’s about the journey”

Tulsa is known as the “Oil Capital of the World”, due to the fact the city was as a major oil producer in America nearly a century ago. Today things have changed, a vast portion of the consumed oil comes through exploring the ocean deepness, but Tulsa is still home for some important oil companies.

Next stop: St. Louis, Missouri – Mississippi river, here I go!

Leo Politano.


7 responses to “Oklahoma, Here I Am!

  1. Pingback: Oklahoma Aqui Estou! | Route 66 Coast to Coast·

  2. Hello! I made the Union Jack shoes you took a photo of! I left them in September 2011 – I am so pleased they were still there when you went!

    • Hello Rachel! Wow! So great to meet the one who made it! Cheers!!! That photo was actually taken in the end of that same month, back in 2011… I’ve actually been to the same spot a few times after that day (I happen to have a sibling who lives nearby, in Oklahoma City) and unfortunately the Union Jack shoes weren’t there any longer, perhaps extreme weather conditions and Mother Nature took care of it… Anyways, thank you for stopping by and leaving a message!!!
      Your friend from Route 66,
      Leo Politano.

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