Fast Cars, Farms and Oklahoma

Oklahoma / April 29, 2012 / by Gelb
Fast Cars, Farms and Oklahoma

It's been a long, varied week as the team headed North up to Oklahoma from Texas. We started the week at the Chin's house in Houston and end it at the tail-end of our visit to Norman and the Oklahoma City area.

On Sunday, when we were supposed to film a story that had to cancel last minute, we instead went to get Fish Tacos with Amy's friend Evan. We drove under a bridge to an old bar/hangout called Outriggers to try out their fare. I was a bit apprehensive - I've never had fish tacos before - but they were absolutely delicious. That added to the Gumbo was, frankly, amazing. In the evening, Chris came back from his cross country whirlwind trip visiting with old college friends, and we were whole again.

Monday morning at the crack of dawn, I went out to get the van serviced. Bright and early for everyone else, by 0930 we were out the door headed to our first story inside a hospital - Purple Songs Can Fly. Anita and the others at Purple Songs and the Texas Children's Hospital were so accommodating, especially since we only secured the story a couple of days prior. It was really wonderful watching them work. Purple Songs Can Fly allows kids in the hospital's hematology ward and their siblings the chance to compose, write, and record songs. I can't wait to share this story.

Monday afternoon was spent cleaning the bus and getting ready for our evening drive up to Austin. After thanking the Chins for very generously putting us up for several days, we headed out.

Tuesday was looking like a very uncertain day when I woke up, as I didn't really know if our story on Your Ride Is Here was going to happen. Ken Adams, the founder had been trying to see if we were going to be able to come and have something to shoot, and let me know that morning that we were a go. Amy Wallace, Steven and Chris were pretty psyched because of the setting. Your Ride Is Here is a non-profit that provides rides to cancer patients in order to get them to and from their treatment. The catch? They do it in Aston Martins, Bentleys and Rolls Royces. It was a really fun time. Unfortunately, Amy Chin was feeling a bit unwell and didn't come along. Getting to meet Ken was a great experience, and seeing his excitement for the project was certainly infectious.

In the morning, we took the bus to a local International dealer to get it serviced. While Stanley was getting a look-over, we drove downtown to find a coffee shop to get some work done. Unfortunately, we couldn't see more of Austin as we were on a tight schedule, but it looks pretty impressive. As soon as the bus was finished, we high-tailed it back and were on the road again.

We were driving to Sand Creek Farm to see the Godfreys - the ones we bought the bus from! The thought of how far Stanley had come from Amy, Henry's, and my trip out to Texas last August to get a quick driving lesson and to be sent on our way with a 40 foot school bus. It was fantastic to see them and their wonderful daughters. We proudly showed them the bus, and they gave their seal of approval to the new paint job and interior work, but agreed that it was 'basically the same' as it had been. They treated us to a very delicious meal and afterward, we joined the whole family in some berry picking. Their farm, the Sand Creek Farm produces raw milk and no preservatives or artificial fertilizers are used in any production. They are one of the only raw milk producers in the state. We got to hear all about how their year had been with the ending of the year-long drought that plagued Texas when we were there last.

In the morning, they gave us a delicious breakfast and put us right to work. We picked lettuce, arugula, turnips, beets, radishes, carrots, you name it. They gave us a big box for us to fill to the brim with food that could then take with us. I had big plans for the stew that was to come from that little harvest…

We said goodbye about late morning and were on our way. I hope the Godfreys will be able to come to DC so we can show them some hospitality of our own! We had a great time.

Onto Oklahoma! We drove all the way from Sand Creek, which is near Cameron, TX to just outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Thursday. It was a long drive and we were all exhausted by the end of it. After pulling in, we all promptly rejoiced in the air conditioning and relaxed. I, as ever, was the first to fall asleep while the others worked.

Friday was spent feverishly working on our latest stunt - GoodStuffHappens. We were making videos and trying to get our social media push ready for the coming day. We are asking everyone we know to make short 10 second videos about something good that happened to them in the last week and share it with us online. We've bought T-shirts and stickers to try and help get the word out. It's our way of encouraging others to get involved with our mission of highlighting positive things that are happening across the country and all over the world by first highlighting it in their own lives.

After working hard the whole day, I set to work on that stew from the vegetables we had all picked. It was a pork stew with anything we had harvested from the farm. I had never before tried golden beets - we had several. Mixed in was carrots, a turnip, beets, and some watermelon radishes. It was delicious if I do say so myself. We all went to bed sufficiently stuffed.

Saturday was a big day. We woke up early and got the bus ready to depart. We drove up to Norman, OK for the 98th Annual Oklahoma University Powwow. The Powwow is one of the longest running in the country and the longest running at a university. We were there to do a story about the powwow and the history behind it as well as to try and get the word out about GoodStuffHappens. We filmed several videos of people telling us about the GoodStuff in their lives and we were able to tell loads about what we do and why. It was a very interesting experience getting to watch a powwow and learn about the significance. I think the story will be really interesting when released.

We are now still on the outskirts of Oklahoma City, recovering from several days' worth of constant movement. Tomorrow it is our longest driving day yet - we set off to New Mexico! We're going to try and make it all the way to Roswell in one day. You can always keep up to date with our progress by visiting http://www.bus52.com/live

Over and out!

Gelb

Mileage:89126