>Let’s skip around this list and talk about Oklahoma City ScavenTour Winners. Because funny and doable Oklahoma City activities really were numerous in this contest, truth be told. See, the doability factor was a biggie in this ScavenTour. Plenty of things were possible, but traveling alone, few were possible to do and document.

Anyway. There were so many great ideas in Oklahoma City, and with the help of Louis Green, Oklahoma City really rolled out the red carpet for me, and I am so appreciative. Oklahoma City, it seems, really loves books and authors, let me tell you. Exhibit A, this cool poster below, fashioned by Full Circle Bookstore’s Kit Mauldin, who now has the honor of handing me the coolest thing to sign ever, ever, ever.
Oh, and speaking of Full Circle Books, Kate, who is unlinkable, suggested I pose with Pearl, the pearl-covered Buffalo statue outside of Full Circle Books, which I did, to the scowl of a building security type. So, Kate, consider yourself part of the ScavenTour winners’ circle. (This photo would only be better if I had access to a string of pearls to don while posing, no?)

(PS, just upstairs from the bookstore is a wonderful little boutique called Route 66. Do stop in and look at all of their fabulous things. Oklahoma City, as it turns out, is full of little gems. Another post to follow soon about OKC’s culinary and bar delights, as they exist in plenty, too.)

But, back to the ScavenTour at hand. We have a lot of ground to cover!

It was CheapSuits who suggested I stand in front of the Gold Dome Building in Oklahoma City, a geodesic dome in the city’s Asian District, sitting just off the site of the original Route 66, which is like a miniature version of the Casa Manana Theater’s geodesic dome in Ft. Worth, Texas. The building (the Gold Dome, not the theater) is now an Asian Cultural Center, office, a restaurant, and houses an exhibit about Buckminster Fuller, author, architect, futurist and the second president of Mensa. (I used to keep a little quote of Fuller’s on my desk. Funny coincidence, I suppose, but this trip was full of that sort of thing.)

The suggestion was to stand in front of said building and drink a milkshake, but, to make things far, far cooler, there is a giant milk bottle on an adjacent building, where a Route 66-era ice cream joint once existed (it’s an Asian food kiosk now).

So, rather than just drink a milkshake, I put the giant milk bottle on my head, Louis Green took a photograph, then we tromped across the street to catch me sassing the dome. (I don’t know why I sassed the dome.) Anyway, dear CheapSuits, consider yourself part of the ScavenTour winners’ circle club, too, despite my own interpretation placed upon your task suggestion.

Then, it was David Gianatasio (who, hello, has a brand-new book out in the world called Mind Games (Word Riot, 2008), for which yours truly wrote a blurb) who asked me to visit the OKC bombing memorial, which I did, and “do something kind for someone there”. (That jagged edge is from the original structure, will you look at that?)

The OKC bombing memorial is incredible. I went at night, and Louis Green, Amy Lamb and I had the place to ourselves, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I don’t know quite why, but I had it in mind that the memorial was small, but it’s not. It’s huge. It was still, and eerie and reverent and all the things a memorial should be. But, in the, perhaps, ethereal sense, the place was full. There are two gates, one labeled “9:01”, the other labeled “9:03”, sitting on either end of a smooth black pool of water. To one length sits rows of empty chair, each illuminated from below, and each bearing the name of someone who died in the bombing. To the other side sits a memorial orchard, a children’s art memorial wall, the lone surviving tree from the original site, and the Oklahoma City Terrorism Museum.

All of this, mind you, is peaceful and serene and sitting right in the middle of downtown, so from the overlook area where the Survivor Tree grows, it’s really quite beautiful. The pool of dark water between the gates reflects everything, and appears to be infinite, though Green and Lamb assured me the water is actually quite shallow. Anyway, we walked around for a long time, and I listened to Green talk about everything he remembers from the day of the bombing and it was chilling, to tell you the truth. And, I thought about Gianatasio’s request. Something kind? I wasn’t sure what to do. And, then I saw these marathon bib numbers and came up with a plan for a future race. One of these days, maybe next year, I’ll run the Oklahoma City Memorial Race. Gianatasio didn’t say I had to do something kind for someone physically there, so I’ll do something for the folks thought of there. In any case, welcome David Gianatasio into the ScavenTour winners’ circle.

Switching gears like a mofo, HellaSound.com’s John Frenette suggested I do some target practice at an Oklahoma City gun range, but it was Jon Fisher who wrote, “shoot off a couple rounds at a local gun range. I’ll even let you use my gun…” and offered to accompany me to an Oklahoma City shooting range, give me a shooting and safety lesson, and let me use his Springfield XD 9mm subcompact. Hello? It’s not everyday a lady gets an offer like that, so I decided to go for it. I met Fisher at the gun range (see pic of us in front of a case of shotguns, ha) and we went to work.

Fisher did, in fact, give me an excellent and detailed gun safety and techniques lesson and taught me to shoot. Then, he made a flicker set all about it which includes video. Please know that the blue paper badguy (“the smurf”) is now framed and in my dining room, making oddly cool pop art, of sorts. I’m not kidding about that.

Also, at said gun range, I met Randy, man of much gun knowledge, who was kind enough to enthusiastically field my (probably dumb) questions about ammo, guns, shooting, etc and teach me more about guns than I knew possible. Gun etiquette, even. Gun etiquette! I learned gun etiquette! So, let’s definitely welcome Jon Fisher and John Frenette into the ScavenTour winners’ circle. Also, let’s offer up a hearty “mazal tov!” to Jon, as he is getting married today!

And, it was Amy Lamb who suggested I check out a bar called Galileo, which I did and loved! (More about Galileo in a later post, I promise.) So, she get a bit of the ScavenTour winners’ circle love, too. (She designs websites and says it’s one of those situations like the cobbler’s children without shoes, so we’ll have to await her glorious site sometime in the future.)

And, last, but certainly not least, it was Gruven Reuven who made the suggestion that Louis Green and I pose together for a photograph on a river cruise. I’m not going to say we did break any tresspassing laws to capture this photograph, I’m not saying we did not break any tresspassing laws to capture this photograph, but the fact remains that this is me and Louis Green on a Oklahoma City river cruise, we maybe had to step over some chainlink to get on board, and we maybe had to replace our own chairs in order to sit down …and that makes Gruven Reuven a winner, too!

Missed the wildcard category winners? Check them out, here, and stay tuned for Memphis winners, DFW winners, New Orleans winners, Jackson winners, rural Louisiana winners, Shreveport winners and the grand prize, which may or may not require a tie-breaker!

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