Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial

Oklahoma City National Bombing Memorial

This past Saturday my cousin Jill and I went on a road trip. We wanted to end at the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial and take some pictures. We picked up my daughter and went to observe a moment in history that you may or may not be familiar with. As an Oklahoman this Memorial has very special meaning to me. My community sent fellow police and fire rescuers to assist in this tragedy. It consumed my life for days, weeks, and I guess even years as I am still so affected by it. I can remember going to sleep with the TV on so if I would wake up in the night I would know what was going on. This went on for a very long time. We heard story after story of the people who died all because of the hatred of one man to the government. 168 lives were lost that day, and thousands of people survived or were affected by this dastardly act. Remember how 9-11 touched your life? Well that is how 4-19 affected, changed, Oklahoma forever. I want to share a some pictures that I took, I don't know all the history so I will try to share it to the best of my memory.
"We Come Here To Remember"

This is what you see when you walk towards the memorial on the west side. You park out on the street, cross at the light and are greeted by this huge granite wall starts the process of remembering.

Welcome and come with me to reflect.
The fence is a part of the healing process. Soon as the bombing occurred people all around the world left things on the fence. The building you see behind the fence says Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Museum. Everything from the fence was saved and still is to this day. If it placed there by a survivor or family member it stays for 30 days or until they ask it to be removed. Otherwise items stay for a couple weeks to a month. All items are tagged, recorded and logged into storage for the museum. This is what each visitor is greeted by.

This fence is to the south where the previous picture is the fence

to the north of the entrance wall.

Once you enter in you see the wall on the other end .

Notice the steeple and cross in the right hand corner?

This was a very cloudy day so it is a little hard to see.

Offers some peace doesn't it?

The time, the minute, before the world changed forever.

The time, the very minute AFTER the world was changed forever.


In between the two walls of time is a reflection pool.

The water is always flowing, the sound of peace and tranquility.

The water is 3/4" deep, but represents the mysteries of life.

Inside to the south are the chairs, each one represents a person who died.

No longer to sit at the dinner table of life with their family and loved ones.

They are at the place where the rental truck parked to blow up the building.

There are nine rows to represents the 9 floors of the building.

Each person is placed in the row of the floor they died on.

The little chairs are for the children, either in the daycare or with their parents.

Most of the children were killed on the second floor.

These five chairs are separated from the other just a little.

They are for the five people who lost their lives out side of the building.

This is the chair of the little girl that was on the cover of the
magazine where the fire fighter carried her out of the ruble.
Yes, she died. Little Balee Almon.
Many tears stream when people see that powerful picture.
It is sad to remember, but important.

The "Survivor Tree"
This tree actually survived the blast. You can see the char to this day.
The tree is a 90 year old American Elm with seeds taken every year and planted.
This tree by all rights should have perished, but it "survived".
Offers hope, peace, and faith.

Here is the survivor tree with the Journal of Records building behind it.

This tree was just across the street from the blast.

You can still see damage to this building and this

building is now the museum.

This message is written on the wall of the above building.

This was written by team 5 who were searching for survivors of the blast.
This is an apartment building just to the west of the memorial.

It was occupied at the time of the blast and suffered damage.

It is still lived in today and repairs have not been made. Scary huh?

This building has the actual recording of the van pulling up, parking,

and Timothy McVey running away. It also recorded the blast.

So that would be the 9:03 wall you are looking at. The times are

on the inside of the walls, not facing the street.

A view of the Memorial from the Survivor Tree area

And looking at OKC skyline.

These ladies are there to remember.

I wonder are they survivors, family of victims,

or like me, there to pay respect?

The chairs in their rows.

When you think of Oklahoma, please don't think of us as that state
that had the bombing, how tragic.
Think of us as that state that is strong,
can overcome, and come together in times of need.
Whether it is bombing, a tornado, or a bridge collapsing.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

More Favorites of Today

It Was A Fun Day
Kids viewing the historic sites. I love how the colors of their shirt match
the flowers in the window box. I bet it was planned!!!! NOT

The Round Red Barn
Cool isn't it?

A willing victim of the shutterbugs!

Love it when they let you torture them!

And then in a field of clover. SWEET!

Some of My Favorites

Some Shots On Route 66

Just wanted to encourage anyone that is wanting a fun trip to "Get your kicks on Route 66!"
One day I want to drive all the way on this beautiful attraction.

A mural along the way.

Another stop to take shots of antiques.
Glad I didn't have to farm using this!

And this was a two hole outhouse.
A real his/her bathroom!

What's left of an old historic site. I will have to tell you story about this house later.

More old houses.

An old Oil storage unit. I haven't seen one like this before. And it is HUGE. Those are full grown, large cedar trees at the base.

One of the many braces holding this big boy in place.

I can not believe this old hand water pump was still on the property. A tree is growing beside it and will soon cause problems I am sure. But old near an old cellar (storm or storage, I am not sure) this pump is with in feet. We figure there was an old house here at one time but could not find the footing or any other signs. Getting to this pump and the oil tank took climbing over gates, fences, and tall wet grass. It was cold damp and dreary this morning, but not a bad day for taking pictures.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I Love TV

Good morning all, my Internet was down for a while yesterday, don't know why, haven't read the paper yet this morning. It doesn't really matter why, it just means I didn't get to spend my evening on the computer. But as I was sitting here reading my morning blogs which I must do first thing every morning, I have my TV on. I got to thinking that I watch way too much TV. But I love it. And what is even more silly/sad, is that I love to watch the commercials.

If you know anything about me at all you know I am a retired police officer of almost 22 years of service. I spent many years in the classroom teaching the DARE program an anti drug program that teaches not only how to stay away from drugs, but what a kid can do instead and many life skills. I love this program, and of course it depends on the teacher both classroom and DARE officer, on how effective it is. But one of the lessons we teach is about the media. I truly believe the media has a great influence on us. Especially as young people. Not only does it influence how they talk, dress and act, it also affects their value system, their belief system. Are you old enough to remember as a child the commercials about Parkay Butter? Or Aunt Jemima Syrup? I will never forget believing with all my heart that the syrup bottle could really talk to me in the morning if I just tried hard enough. Was it Parkay butter that you would get the crown on your head when you ate it? I remember the Parkay butter dish also used to talk to you. No, the crown was Imperial Butter, that's right, Imperial. Oh and what a crown you would have on your head. But my mother refused to buy it and I was soooo disappointed in my young life to not be able to wear the royal crown. I was scarred for life. Kids don't think they are influenced by the media. I just laugh. Look at what they wear, and how they talk. The media's main job is to influence and persuade. That is what it is suppose to do. It is all about the money, the almighty dollar. Remember when Bevis and Butthead come out on TV? That stupid laugh that they would do??? Oh how the kids loved to imitate that laugh and oh how irritating it was!!! Especially since I was teaching 30 classes a week and each class had to do that laugh. Why? Because soon as you mention it all the boys would start doing the laugh.

Now even though I was the DARE officer, I have to tell you I love the beer commercials. Even though I don't drink and never have had a beer to the day in my life (can't get past the awful smell of it, and there are other reasons I can blog about at a later date). Plus I am proud that I can say I have never had a beer, not even in college or high school. but then I love being different! All of this to say, I just love watching commercials and the beer ones are among my favorites. Remember the frog saga for Budweiser? Then add the ferret and lizard and the story went on for years. I used to laugh so hard at them. And of course I had, HAD to watch the Super Bowl just to watch the new episode of the Budweiser Frog Story. And how can you not just love the Budweiser Clydesdale's or the Dalmatian or the Donkey that wanted to be just like the horses? Oh and how about the horses out playing football, the two men leaning against the fence watching when one horse kicks a conversion and then one guy says, "do they always do that?" meaning play football, but the other guy says, no, they usually go for two. Meaning they usually run the ball in after a score not a kick. I love that one. And have you seen the one where the zebra is the ref, and he goes to the playback booth to watch a replay? OK, I watch tooo much TV. But now I have to tell you, my favorite commercial is Happy Cheese Comes From Happy Cows and Happy Cows Come From California. I LOVE these commercials. There are about fifteen of them and I could sit here and name each and everyone of them. I love the one of them playing "Marco"-"Polo" in the fog, or the earthquake and they call it a foot massage. Oh my gosh and the one about hitting the snooze alarm means kicking the rooster out of the barn!!!! They are some of the funniest commercials I have ever seen. Sad, I live a very sad life where commercials bring me joy and happiness. I stop what ever I am doing to watch those stupid commercials and I don't even eat cheese!!!!
Happy TV watching and have a great weekend. I hope to post pictures of the Oklahoma Bombing Memorial next week if I get to travel there this weekend. I will share the pictures and the story if you don't know it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We Bought Grass

Drug Dealing At It's Finest!
(rated F-funny again!)
I was reading my blog from last night still laughing at one of my finer moments. Thinking how cheesy it was and that you all probably think I am pretty lame. Sorry about that. This won't help that image much either. But it makes me laugh too. I guess that is a lot what police work is about, laughing. We laugh at how stupid people really are. The average person just doesn't see this part of society thank goodness. And not that I am trying to show only the stupid stuff, but you have to admit it is more fun, and more interesting to hear about this stuff than the average run of the mill day to day boring life stuff. Right? And then again, I hope you can find the humor in this stuff and that I am not so warped that only I (and maybe other officers) find it funny. But here goes another one. This is really short so don't expect too much OK?
Being one female of only about five on our department I was selected to work with the narcotics unit from time to time. If we had a female informant that had to have a female officer to strip search the informant and to wire her up. (To record the transaction) OK, side note here. I have a lot of respect for the narcotic officers. They have the worst job in the whole world. Their hours are horrible, the people they deal with are some of the lowest, sickest people in this world and if you know ANYTHING about drugs, you are dealing with a drug not a person. That person has no control over their lives any longer. I have so much sympathy for people on drugs. I feel so bad for them and their families. It is not a pleasant life, one of drug or alcohol abuse. So when I am asked to work with the narcs I do so for I respect those guys, but I honestly hate that part of the job. People get killed, they DIE because of drugs and there is nothing to say one night on a drug buy that won't happen to me or you. Narcotic officers are sick sick people as well, but they have a job, a horrible job to do!!!
OK, back on track here. We were working a deal one night and it goes something like this:
Phone call, informant to dealer.
Informant: Hey man do you have any grass? I want to buy some grass.
Dealer: Yeah I've got some, how much do you want?
Informant: Oh I don't know, maybe just a dime bag. When can we meet up?
Dealer: I am getting ready to leave so it will be later.
Informant: No, man I need it now, I can run by now to get it.
Dealer: No, I am leaving. I'll tell you what. I will leave it at the bottom of the stairs on the underside. (they were outside stairs leading up to the second floor of this little old house.) I will leave it there and you can leave the money there under the rock. I will be back later to get it.
You better not (screw) me over.
Informant: No man, I wouldn't do that to you. You know me, I have always been up front with you. Now is this some pretty good grass?
Dealer: Yea, this is some good grass dude.
Informant: OK
So we go and buy our "grass" for $35.00 bucks. Then we have to test it to make sure it was actually was. It was Bermuda grass!!!!!! We got ripped off big time. $35.00 bucks for some marijuana mixed in with Bermuda grass. Bermuda grass that you grow in your front yard lawn and mow. Bermuda!!!! I still laugh at that. OK, we got ripped off, but it didn't matter. It was the same as if they had sold us the real stuff, for they presented it as marijuana, but we paid $35.00 for GRASS. I still laugh out loud at that one. What, you mean you can't trust a drug dealer????

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

One of My Finest Moments!

This is a Great Moment!!!
(rated F for FUNNY!)
You know, there are just some things that you do better than others. I am not a good speller, sorry, but I spell how I hear it and that has been proven to be terrible for the English Language. Thank goodness for spell check. But I do other things well, I have a great heart for children, I am very good at my job (well when I had a job, before retirement!) I am a very good teacher, a really good friend, a pretty good listener, and a great advise giver. Not so good at telling people NO when I don't want to do something, (middle child syndrome!) and I try to please everyone. That can't be done, big failure at that one!!!! But sometimes I have these moments that I am really proud of. Here is one that to this day I am still very proud of.
One night while on patrol I get a call to a hotel where the manager advises they believe kids are there partying, you know, drinking underage. It is not very often we could catch the kids in the act of drinking at the hotels, it is rather hard. And I didn't figure this night would be much different. But just in case...... I did park my car where it was not seen from the hotel window. The room happened to be on the second floor and all doors are on the outside, this was not a very big hotel. So I park my car, get out and head up to the room number given. Now I need to move fairly quickly so not to be spotted by anyone looking out, or anyone coming and going. I luck out and make it up the stairs without being discovered. I peak in the window still not discovered by the kids inside and I can see they are having quite the little party. A pretty good size party at that. It is loud, they are busy, and I am feeling lucky tonight. I get to the door and knock on it when I hear someone say "Who is it?", "it's me, Lisa, hurry up and let me in". "OK", the door opens and to their wonder stands a police officer blocking the door in all her glory. I am grinning. It worked, they really just opened the door and let me in. Oh my gosh. That was too stinkin' easy. Like shooting fish in a barrel. I just can not believe this. They can't go anywhere for we are on the second story and there are no outside windows that they can get out of. There is alcohol everywhere and they are BUSTED!!! A lot of the kids know me for I patrol the main drag known as Van Buren. But I am just so tickled that I actually caught them. I tell them to just have a seat on the bed, or floor and we would get this all straightened out. Two guys were from Texas, they had come to visit "grandma" and were staying in a room a couple doors down. They were just invited to come party by someone while walking up the stairs together. They said sure and now I have to arrest them for they don't live in town or the state for that matter. Oh momma is not going to be to happy about this visit I bet. Another couple had just walked in and had not even started drinking. Everyone said Officer Jobes, they had not had anything to drink, they didn't even know we were drinking they just came by because we called and told them to. Yeah, right! But when I had about 25 kids, I was OK with letting those two go. But in the middle of my "investigation" the phone rings. Of course I had to answer it. "Hello." "Hello, who is this?" "This is Lisa why?" "Hey man, you have to get out of there quick, tell everyone to leave NOW, the cops are on their way there so run." "Really?" "Yes, Hurry" "Hey, guess what?" "What?" "I AM THE COPS".....silence on the phone..... "Really?" "yes." "OK." I tell the person on the other end of the phone they need to come to the hotel room. They tell me OK, they say it is their room and they will be right there. I thought Yeah, right. They showed up! I could not believe it. They not only showed up but they told me it was their alcohol too. There was a keg in the bathtub, and liquor all over the place. So by the time I tagged all my evidence, got help in transporting the arrested suspects, wrote tickets to the others time had passed. I got my stuff in the car, and a couple "arrestees" and we went to the station. Some other officers came in and asked who got the keg? I was beaming and said...ME. Man they say, that is a keg of Little Kings. Yeah, so? You see I am a non drinker. Don't you know what that is? Nope. Well come to find out it is our six point beer which is a big no no here in Oklahoma. Not the little stuff like 3.2 beer that you can buy in the grocery store. So not only did I get a good bust, but I got the good stuff at that. It was a really good night for me. One of my most proudest moments. Yeah, I fooled a room full of drinking teenagers, hey, I'll take them any way I can. Pretty proud of myself still to this day!

Monday, March 24, 2008

First Isn't Always Good

First can suck!
(Rated g-graphic in spots)
First, that is what we want to be. Think about it if you will for just a moment. We have always been taught that first is the "only" thing. First in the race, first in the world series, first in college football, first in the super bowl. Second place is nothing but first place loser. Yes, first has its place and that is where we want to be, most the time. But I can tell you there are many first we DON'T want. In my job first can be a good thing, or it could be a bad thing. I sit here at my computer tonight and I think of some first I am very thankful I do not have. My friend is going through many "first" that are of the absolute worst. She lost her mother six months ago, and her mother was one of my closest friends in my life. So for her, first sucks. Her first birthday without her mom, her first holiday without her mom, right now her firsts are not occasions of joy. They are often times of pain getting through them. But by having very strong faith she overcomes them, the pain is still there but she is surviving.

There are other first that hurts as well. I think it is sad that I can remember many of my first and they are at the expense of others and their pain. My first pursuit and my first stolen car, both at the same time, to this day I remember it. Red Cadillac ran from me and then they jumped out of the car to run and the car rolled back and hit my patrol car. My first accident! I remember my first homicide (posted it previously, a very interesting story), these first will leave an imprint on ones brain for a life time. This night I am remembering is no different. My night and my "brothers" night of first will forever be sketched in our memories. Tommy, Scott and I all joined the department at the same time. Actually there were seven of us, but as the years went by the three of us were the only ones remaining from our academy. And the three of us drove back and forth from Broken Arrow to Enid each week, spent our time studying together and grew up together with twenty one years at the department. We were brothers and sisters in law enforcement. I love my brothers, they took care of me (protected me!!) many times, and I them. We were the three musketeers no doubt!
This one night was in the summer that I remember. I was very young on the department and still very eager to get into any and everything. Oh to be young again! Got a call to the parking lot of a hotel on our busy main street in town. A shooting victim was there in the parking lot. I remember getting there and found a female with a shot to the gut. She was a rather large lady. and she had been shot with a .357. I was thinking it was going to be a gut slinger, but it wasn't! What's up with that? I just don't get it. But rather (as I sit here I still see it in my head and that has been probably 20 years ago!) it was nothing but the fat, the white blubbery junk coming out. She was talking to us, wait, I know her! Oh my gosh, this is one of the ambulance people. She is not on duty, not in uniform, but I recognize her. I can't believe this. Who shot you, what happened? The ambulance gets there and they too are in shock that one of their own has been shot. Quick, get her stabilized, screw that, get her to the hospital, NOW. Let's go, move it. The hospital is just a few blocks away. Really, only about six blocks, LET'S GO! They get her to the hospital and I am there with them. We are trying to figure out what is going on. She dies. It's that simple, she died. She shot herself in the gut, in the parking lot of the hotel/restaurant to get the attention of her girlfriend and she died. That's my first. While I am at the hospital they get another call, the ambulance people do, and all this while they are dealing with the death of one of their own fellow workers.

The other call is tragic as well. While I am at the hospital Tommy gets a call to the fairground area. There is an old drive in theater located just south of the fair grounds. It is not usable, hasn't been in years, but kids sometimes like to go and hang out there. the owner had been warned to destroy or secure it so kids could not get up in there. But he didn't. They had climbed up to the inside of the screen to hide from the adults. The screen is kind of like an "A" frame. Just like the letter I typed, the front part of the A is the screen and the line going across is a platform in the screen. That is where the kids would hide out. That night there were several kids there drinking. They were having a good time, most of them older teens, you know 17, 18 maybe even some 19, 20 year old. But there was one young girl. She asked what time it was for she had to be home by a certain time. Lo and behold, no one had a watch. This was before cell phones etc. One boy volunteered to climb back down the ladder to get into his car to see what time it was. Now understand that this movie screen is several hundred feet up in the air. While he is climbing down to go to his car the girl looks to see how far he has made it. When she looks over the edge she loses her balance and falls head first. Her brother sees her, of course they are all screaming. He runs to the ladder and is going down fast as he can. This is a horrible day. He gets to the bottom and has to step in his sisters brain fluid and brain matter to get to her. She is dead. He holds her, he is crying, what has happened to his sister, why has this happened? What do they do? They have to go and call for help. All because they were up there drinking, hiding from the police, the adults in this world that just want to keep them safe. Now forever he will have this image of his sister, head broken, shattered. So it was a first for several of us. Tommy had to have the fire department come with their ladder truck so he could get up to the crime scene. He said he was not about to try and climb that ladder like the kids did. The fire department had to literally wash her fluid away, a first for them. It was a first for those kids that they will never forget. It was my night of first suicide/shooting. Yes, sometimes first is not where we want to be. And about six weeks later, the mother drives off the road at a high rate of speed and kills herself. Sometimes, first sucks.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Easter Bunny Came!

Easter Bunny Visit
Seems that while we were eating lunch
to our great surprise, the Easter Bunny came by.
Now he is a pretty clever little critter, for he brought us
many eggs, hid them and we never even knew he was there.
By the time the kids got outside the bunny was gone.
But we knew he had been there for it
was discovered that he left behind
many many eggs with candy!

Everyone got in the swing of things to help.

Seems the little squirrel helped Tori

While Buddy, the Big Dog helped little P find eggs.

Right here, I found one.

Me too, there are some over here in the bushes!

Oh wait, I got another one. How about you?
Yes, I think there are some around this tree.
Around the tree??? There are eggs IN THE TREE.
How am I suppose to get this down?

And what is an Easter picture without good ole fashioned

Bunny ears???

And one big SALUTE to Easter!

OK kids, lets check out what all you got.
Count your eggs, candy, and yes, even money!
It has been a pretty good day!!

Even though we all know the importance of Easter and the gift that God gave to us for eternal life, we can still enjoy the childish fun of hunting eggs and the silliness of youth. Hope your Easter weekend was filled with joy, happiness and peace. I know some are missing important members of their families and I just hope there were memories of happy times being made as well as being remembered.

I Love Donkeys!

Aren't these guys just too cute?
I wish they were not behind an old ugly barbed wire fence,
but they are.
How can you not just fall in love with her?
They are the creatures that carried Mary to Bethlehem.
Doesn't she look kind and gentle?

One laid back, easy going critter.
I just wanted to give her a big ole hug.