On April 22, 1889 the first land run took place in Oklahoma, opening up restricted land in the United States.
In a mad (and sometimes deadly) catastrophic disaster, men women and children would madly rush by or on foot, wagon, train, or sometimes even bicycle through Oklahoma to stake out a claim at a specific location.
On April 30th, 2011 a wedding will take place in the suburbs of Moore. My brother Robert will be marrying his fiancee Nicole, a native of Oklahoma.
Call me crazy, but I sense a similarity between these two events. You see, there are MANY Slattery’s, and only one destination. Last Summer when Kate was home on a family visit, all of us (Cale included), managed to make it down to the Coon Valley park which is approximately a grand total of 10 miles down the road, for a fun evening of grilling, swimming and basketball.The fact that we managed to traverse down several windy hills with food and a basketball was a huge break through for this disorganized, gregarious, Irish family.
When my brother announced his engagement last September I had to keep myself in check and congratulate him before blurting out ” and Leanie (Colleen) and my dog and I are getting to Oklahoma SEPARATELY!!!!
My introverted soul bleeds at the picture I will virtually weave of this OK family bonding trip:
My family is taking a 15 passenger van. My Grandmother who is hard of hearing, has little sight, and is in poor health will be going.
My cousin Gregory and brother James will be aboard. They are both in full fledged guys in midst of teenage adolescence glory.
Christopher is also along for the ride. He is my wonderful cousin with a lively spirit and cerebral palsy.
There are few things Chris loves better then hanging out with James and Greg and matching them in levels of noise and humor.
Peter Drake will be on the Slattery caravan too.
I am wondering how this will work, for the great Drake has yet to make it through a Sunday sermon without hitting up the bathroom in the church basement. His trips to the restroom are as consistent as the transubstantiation. No doubt they will remain as constant on this southern venture.
My brother Gabe has permission from his wife Aurora, to ride with Robert to the wedding, thus meaning that Aurora will be bringing their 4 children along with in the van.
I love my nieces and nephews X 100, but it is much more fun to chase them around their house then to ride in a moving vehicle with them. The “duck guys duck!” game is a traveling system that happens in worst case scenarios for this branch of the family. It involves squealing unbuckled kids taking vanishing cues when a car of question approaches. Aurora has already confided in me that she has a feeling by the time she sees Gabe in Oklahoma, she will hand him over their brood and have no interest in keeping a land claim with him……!
Colleen will be flying into Dallas before the wedding. She will later ride with a few of the UD Slattery boys to Moore. She expressed to me that she thinks that she might die or kill somebody if she were to make the trip with the rest of the Wisconsin pioneers. Apparently, this trip is reaching Donnar Party drama!
On the bright side of things, my father and mother are thrilled to embark on the Slattery caravan adventure. Whenever Dad goes someplace in the spring, he always ends up bringing a black garbage bag with fresh asparagus in it and ice dripping in pools that manage to leak from the hot black plastic. Generally, warm cheese is also stored in a suspicious bag. Seeing as he is not flying, it’s bound to be less exciting then when he transports this cargo in the airport. Maybe driving will enable him to have the freedom to take a live free-range chicken or two?!? They could roost near James, Christopher and Gregory and cluck and squawk along with those boys.
To tie this post together, I’ll just end by mentioning that on Wednesday, the 27th of April, I am headed to stake out my claim in the Oklahoma suburbs. I will beat everybody there. Not on Mars, or running, or biking, or taking the Slattery caravan. Nope you all, I am flying.
The pioneer spirit in me is not alive I guess, so I will just have to leave all those aboard the Slattery Caravan to have the best Oklahoma land stake experience they can.