My travels this week showed me the best of people and the worst….
Welcome back. Saturday morning found me at the Regional Food Bank in Oklahoma City where I had heard there was going to be a big food drive and volunteer event. Their massive distribution center is located just a few miles south of town on Purdue Street. When I got there Express Employment Professionals had a team of over 150 staff, family and friends, along with CEO Bob Funk, who were getting ready to work. The volunteers unloaded trucks, prepared and packs meals and baked bread and then they cleaned up the place. It was quite a day’s work but everyone left with a smile on their face. While I was there I learned that Express has been sponsoring this event for four years. Known as Brand It Blue day, this year the event provided over 50,000 meals in the Oklahoma City area alone. Express offices also donated 1,700 pounds of food and a cash donation of $6,633. In the past four years they estimate that Brand It Blue Day has provided 265,000 meals in the United States and Canada.
A few years back I wrote a story about Express and Bob Funk and their outstanding support of causes not only in Oklahoma but all over the world. I also knew of their support locally for Elder Care but I was not familiar with this event or the food bank. According to their website, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma serves 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. Through a network of community based hunger relief agencies they feed 116,000 people every week! In our area, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma operates in a similar fashion, distributing food and other grocery items to partner agencies in 23 counties, including Washington County. Both food banks depend on private donations and when you see these numbers you realize how great the need is across the state. For someone who knew very little about this situation it was quite the eye opening experience. I’ll leave you with the motto of the Regional Food Bank: “Fighting Hunger, Feeding Hope.”
From Oklahoma City I went on to Pawnee, OK and the home of Gordon W. Lillie, or as the world now knows him, Pawnee Bill. The Pawnee Bill home, museum and ranch is open 7 days a week during the summer and folks if you don’t know about this man’s place in American history you need to learn. Trapper, buffalo hunter, interpreter, teacher and cowboy, he traveled the world with his Wild West Show and teamed up with Buffalo Bill to have the largest and fanciest show of its time. This weekend was the reenactment of his show and the promoters told me it was one of the biggest ever, playing to a full house. If you missed the show this is a must see place and one of my favorites. When in the area, check it out.
Moving from two positive stories to Monday’s wrap up of a trial dealing with mass murder, torture, drugs, prison gangs and jailhouse snitches. The verdict in the so called Cathouse Murder Trial brings an end to one of the bloodiest crimes in Oklahoma City’s history and I myself am glad it’s almost over. If you haven’t been following my coverage of the trial over the past three weeks you can check it out on my website www.originalbuffalodale.com or pick up back issues at the offices of the Examiner Enterprise.
Till next time, I’ll see ya down the road…