Hope to see some folks in Cleveland this weekend….
Welcome back. Training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation or “CPR” as it’s commonly known is frequently offered for free in many places and the community officials I know say it saves lives, now I’m here to say that it can.
The setting was last Saturday in Springfield, MO and the location was the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds and Event Center. Let me tell you this place is big. Seventy-six acres of everything from farm related exhibits to dozens of small permanent structures for food vendors and there was also newly built horse and livestock barns and a giant indoor arena. At the center of this complex, which is surrounded by a giant 4,000 car parking lot and an R.V. park, is what they call the “E*plex.” which offers 85,000 s.f. of clear span exhibition space. With a ceiling higher than I can throw a baseball, the folks here can host just about any kind of show or concert that they want and from the looks of their schedule it’s rented pretty regular.
As for me, I was asked by the promoter of R&K Gun Shows, Rex Lee Kehrli, if I had the time to do a book signing at his show there this past weekend. Regular readers know I’m always looking for interesting stories and with a little digging on Rex and his gun shows I found one. A gun show promoter since 1988, Rex puts on shows from coast to coast averaging 125 shows per year and they are some of the largest in the country. Folks these shows are a lot of work as they run both days during every weekend and Rex frequently has two or three shows going on the same weekend. Las Vegas to Dallas, Nebraska to Missouri, you can just imagine how busy this guy is and observing him visiting with vendors and shoppers and you can tell he’s done this type of people work a lot. During a quick interview I also found out that Rex grew up poor on an Iowa crop farm and worked his way up in the business, becoming a real American success story,
Getting back to my story, this was the scene around noon on Saturday when the E*PLEX building was full of people and Rex had situated me in the main lobby next to the dealer check in office. I was busy signing books when 20 feet to my right a man who appeared to be in his late sixties and who I later learned was accompanied by his wife, suddenly fell to the floor. It was a heart attack and the R&K employees who luckily were right next to me immediately went into emergency management mode, immediately calling 911 and asking for a doctor over the P.A. Although I myself am trained in CPR, before I could do anything R&K staff and another couple of fellows were administering the lifesaving technique to the gentleman. Other staff members were outside clearing a path through hundreds of people and cars in anticipation of the arrival of first responders. It seemed like an hour went by as one volunteer tired and another took over, all in a real life trauma situation. My training was not needed that day but thank goodness for the others who were ready with their CPR training. The moral of this story is that CPR training doesn’t take much time to learn and you never know when you might just make a difference.
Traveling over 30,000 miles a year naturally problems come up and on this trip it was a transmission problem for me. Thanks to the Springfield Tourism and Visitors Bureau for suggesting the Marriott Courtyard Hotel by the airport or this story might never have happened. I’m not used to this kind of luxury and it was a great place to stay, hot tub, pool and all.
Many people have been asking me lately about the next showing of Footprints in the Dew: The Last Ten Tapes. Well this Saturday night March 18th the Broadway Twin Theater in Cleveland, OK will be showing the film. Tickets are $10 per person. For more information call 918-358-5264. This is a community rich in Oklahoma history and with the rolling hills and the Cimarron River flowing serenely all around the town it is a scenic place to visit.
Till next time I’ll see ya down the road…….