|We left Altus and headed for Claremore with a stop over at Rockwell for one night. The RV park at Rockwell had a buffalo herd. They had some pens with a bull and a couple of other buffalo in another pen. They had a tall privacy fence around most of the park so you could not see the herd. I did not understand that but whatever. The parking spot we had was under a very pretty large tree and it was a nice park.
We moved on to Claremore and stayed at a nice park owned by the Claremore Expo Center. Most of the people we have met in OK have been very friendly and helpful and this park was no exception. The lady who was the park host went out of her way to be helpful.
The next day we went to the Will Rogers Memorial, burial site and museum. It was very large and nicely done. They covered about anything you would want to know about Will Rogers. He was a much loved man by literally the whole world. He was part Indian and loved horses and was an expert horseman. He also did trick roping. He was probably one of the best with rope tricks. He made many silent movies and when talkies came along he became even more popular because it was talking that he did best. He was a humorist and always said the right thing to make people laugh and still get a point across about the politics of the day.
He had a wife named Betty whom he adored and four children, one who died at age 2. They told of how he avoided tourists who would come to his home to try to see him. He loved to play with his children on the lawn along with the neighbor kids. They would be outside playing and he would hide behind the bushes when a car came down their lane. The children would tell the tourist that if they drove on up to the house they could take pictures of the folks strolling on the grounds. They would rush up to the house and take pictures of an actor and actress who he had hired to portray he and his wife. He and the children could continue playing.
He wrote a daily column for the newspapers which everyone loved and read. He traveled the world and met many world leaders and was loved by them also. He was killed in a plane crash in Alaska in 1935 and the world mourned. His most famous saying was, "I never met a man I didn't like."
Then we went out to the ranch which was his birthplace and boyhood home. The original house has been moved from the spot where is sat because they made a lovely lake. They cut the house in half and moved it from the low area that is now a lake up on high ground overlooking the lake. When we got out of the car the wind was blowing and the weather was perfect with a landscaped yard and the house facing the most beautiful scene. I just had to stand there a few minutes and look. I could not imagine waking up to this scene every morning. There is a caretaker who lives behind the big house and does get to do that very thing. They have recreated the barn and sheds to resemble the original. Will Rogers's father was an important judge and the house was very large and nice for the time. He got his Indian heritage from his mother's side of the family. She died at 50, wore out from taking care of a large family. Will was young and he said the house was never the same after she died. She played the piano and entertained not only the family but visitors often. The ranch is a working ranch and had goats, horses and chickens that we could see.
We also went to see the Davis Gun Museum along Route 66 which goes right through Claremore. It is a very, very large collection of any kind of gun you can think of. They had collections of other things also. We did not even start to see it all.
Anyhow, we did have a very good time learning about the life of Will Rogers. We will move on Arkansas. More later.