Happy Halloween from Oklahoma City

Hallo thrill-seekers and flesh-eaters from Oklahoma City and the desk and chair of Pookaverse located in this hotel.

One section of the lavish Halloween Display in the Bellagio Hotel and Casino Foyer in Las Vegas, NV

Just returned from Downtown Oklahoma City and a poignant visit to the National Memorial and Museum for the victims of the 1995 Oklahoma bombing. From a walk around the Memorial Park itself where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building used to stand with The field of 168 chairs each one for a Man, Woman and Child (the children’s seats are appropriately 1/3 the size) killed in the Bomb Blast. The Gates of Time over looking the Pool of Reflection  combined on a warm and sunny afternoon to provide a genuine sense of peace.

A talking tree wishes you “Happy Halloween” and then mumbles something else punctuated by crackles and pops in Bellagio Hotel and Casino Foyer, Las Vegas, NV

Pookaverse also visited the excellent Museum adjacent to the park. Very much a living tapestry of that morning of 19/04/1995. One exhibit that you enter as a timed party includes a desk with a mono-cassette recording on it. A recording taken from a meeting that occurred two blocks away from the site.

Alison sports the latest purchase from the Big Texan Steak Ranch, Amarillo, TX

A business meeting where the female chairperson records the start of the meeting at “09:00”. The minutes are read until 09:02 when the deafening blast from the bomb squelched the recording and the screams of the meeting participants – their shock and terror can be heard.

At the point of the blast the lights in the room fail and on a long glass screen opposite the benches the faces of the 168 victims are briefly illuminated. You exit from a different set of door from the ones you came in to the first of the blaring news reports on the bombing.

And then, chronologically. Sometimes minute by minute you wind your way through the aftermath. Through all the individual tales of survival, heroism of the response teams and their voices as the timeline extends to the building and commemoration of the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial on April 19, 2000 the fifth anniversary of the attack.

Two for the Price of One…a B-29 Superfortress and a B-52 Stratofortress at the thoroughly superb National Atomic Museum in Albuquerque, NM

Including the recovery of bodies, gathering of evidence by the Federal Authorities and the arrest and detention of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols – the perpetrators. There are only two photographs of McVeigh in the display, a video of his transfer from Perry, Oklahoma to the Federal authorities and various court sketches drawn through his trial. The museum choosing to focus more appropriately on the lives affected by this tragedy. Timothy McVeigh was executed by Lethal Injection at 7:14 a.m. on June 11, 2001. Terry Nichols is serving 161 life terms without the possibility of parole.

‘Fatman’ and ‘Little Boy’ wish you Happy Halloween from the National Atomic Museum, Albuquerque, NM

The scenes of the devastation and rescue were oddly prescient to the 09/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre. That 6 years before the attacks in New York, America reeled from what at first was thought to be an attack from a foreign enemy on American soil. But later turned out to be an attack from ‘inside’ from one of its own citizens.

…and “Don’t forget me on this Happy Halloween Night”….squeaks ‘Little MIRV

In Great Britain, Pookaverse would argue that we were dulled senseless by IRA terrorist activities through the 80’s and 90’s. So much so that it almost became incidental to the life and times of those turbulent decades.

Where up until the Oklahoma Bombing, America (acknowledged in several statements and exhibits in the museum) perceived that terrorism happened in other parts of the world. Just not here.

A worthy place of remembrance and the actual field of 168 chairs is beautifully and thoughtfully created from from glass, bronze and stone.

Definitely worth a visit, as is Oklahoma City itself. Pookaverse spent the rest of the afternoon in Bricktown.

On a lighter note, Pookaverse will be going 25 miles towards Tulsa tonight to spend Halloween at Pops on Route 66 to attempt to try at least some of the 400 different types of Soda available here. Oklahoma City is Pookaverses last stop on Route 66 before it winds itself North through St Louis, Missouri and ending in Chicago, Illinois.

In total, excluding diversions to Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, Pookaverse has travelled 1261 miles and crossed 5 states in 6 Days on Route 66.

Tomorrow Pookaverse travels East to Little Rock,  Arkansas for an overnight stop after a drive of 367 miles taking over 6 hours – the longest drive of the journey so far. Pookaverse just has to ‘get across’ quicker in order to make our flight from Atlanta International Airport to Fort Lauderdale, Florida on 07/11/2012. Calling at Little Rock, Memphis, Chatanooga and Atlanta.

More on that later as well as a Route 66 retrospective.

In the meantime and for our friend Anne Jones, Pookaverse has included several pictures of the Halloween celebration here in the United States. It is a big thing here as the shop fronts, hotel lobbies and just about anywhere you can sit a pumpkin will testify.

To all our friends and family, from Central Standard Time (we think)  – Happy Halloween from Pookaverse!!!!

You have now travelled over 8,ooo miles with us.

Are you done yet? Or are you hungry for more?

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4 Responses to “Happy Halloween from Oklahoma City”

  1. Thompson Says:

    Definitely hungry for more. Thanks for a great blog and some wonderful photos. Nice hat Alison!

  2. Rach Says:

    Ewwwwwww! That talking tree is one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen (and I’ve actually met Timmy mallett so there is some serious competition!!!!!
    The hat was a stroke of genius Ali – Loveit love it love it!!! 🙂

  3. jose Says:

    Having just done 6,000 miles in 11 days (not driving) finally up-to-date with your blog, its been a marathon morning ! really missed your blog.

  4. Terri and Andrew Says:

    Love your hat, Alison, watch out or you will need a big hat box like me!!!

    Andrew

    keep travelling carefully, we’re loving the postings. Hope you get to the flight on time too.

    Love.
    Andrew and Terri

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