A country boy from Oklahoma has an exciting day in the big city……..
Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale
Welcome back. As you might imagine, whenever I’m traveling I have the opportunity to meet interesting people and I find this to be especially true whenever I’m in New York City. Either walking the streets, riding the subway or just taking it all in at Central Park, you never know who you’re going to run into. The following is a true story about a very well-known person who I met in New York last month and I hope you will find it entertaining.
It was five a.m. on a Monday when I caught the Metro North commuter train at the Greenwich, CT Cos Cob station and the day was already warm. I had a meeting set-up with a man whose resume was full of successful publishing projects and who I knew had been instrumental in establishing the careers of many prominent writers. After I arrived at Grand Central Station, I caught the subway to Union Square and in all it took a total of two hours to reach my destination.
I had been there before and I found the small park which is about the size of a city block in fine shape, nicely landscaped with a couple of dozen trees, park benches and numerous food wagons. It seemed to me like small oasis in the midst of the bustling city.
The man I was meeting, who for now shall remain nameless, had told me he lived just three blocks from Union Square and with address in hand I quickly found his building, easily making our 10 a.m. appointment. The apartment building itself was a six story brick structure and appeared to be very well kept up. It was located next to a large Catholic church and there was a spacious flower garden between the two buildings which made a nice break from the monotony of rows of buildings.
Security is tight at many buildings in New York but my name was already on a list at the entrance and after checking my ID the doorman let me in. When I got to the apartment I discovered the type of unit that is common for business folks in the city who frequently have another home outside of New York. I learned that this apartment was around six hundred square feet with a small bedroom, living room, kitchen and bath. My host also told me that the unit was worth $800,000!
Our six hour first meeting began with a discussion of the famous writers and publishing house my host had worked with as well as the many films he had been involved with. It was fascinating to hear these stories from the lips of a seventy year old man who has been in the book world for over fifty years and witnessed many great changes in that world. After around two hours we both knew we had made a connection. It was lunchtime so he suggested we go out for a bite and then walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to see some other parts of the city. The bridge had just been on the morning news because someone had climbed to the top of the twin towers in the middle of the night, lowering the two American flags that always fly there and replacing them with white flags.
As we started out I noticed it was getting hotter and after grabbing some fruit we took the subway to Chinatown and then hiked at least three miles across the bridge from there. I was buying water from every vendor we passed but my companion, who looked to be in pretty good shape, said he wasn’t thirsty.
After crossing the bridge and resting up a little, we walked back to another subway entrance and by now I was almost completely lost. This is where the real story begins as we passed under the Hudson River heading back to Manhattan in a standing room only subway car. I had sweat dripping off me but although the air conditioned subway was packed with people at 6’2” I stood above most of them and was able to suck down some cool air. At about 5’8” my friend wasn’t as lucky and not ten minutes into the ride trouble set in. His voice was weak when he spoke and his color wasn’t good. My first thought was to look for some assistance but I couldn’t even move in the crowded car. My new friend told me in a faint voice that he felt dizzy and then his chin dropped to his chest and he whispered that he might faint. By now I held his arm with one hand and I grabbed the back of his belt with the other. The first stop coming up was Union Square and after was 42nd Street so I had to get him out of this car. If we went on to 42nd I would be lost for sure and he would probably be totally unconscious.
Next week is it the end or just the beginning?
On the local front, although cold weather set in on Youth & Family Services big event Friday night it was successful on many fronts. Over 200 guest enjoyed music, Chef Caleb Sparks’ outstanding food and the beauty of Woolaroc. Let’s hope for another show next year!
Coming up it’s the time of year Dewey, Oklahoma loves. It started with a rodeo back in the early days of statehood when thousands of people would flock to town and it continues today. I’m talking about Western Heritage Days in Dewey. Featuring a longhorn cattle drive and parade down Main Street along with a big show out on the beautiful grounds of Prairie Song, this is one party you won’t want to miss.
Till next week and the ending of the Union Square story in New York City, I’ll see ya down the road……………….