Joe Gray

Grove Sun Editor

Moving is an interesting thing.

As you may have guessed, I just moved to town, and back to this area after 22 years of roaming the planet after leaving the dear old farm in Bluejacket.

In the few days since Iíve been here, Iíve run into three people I went to high school with, and met everyone elseís cousins. So, I suppose I feel right at home, although I hadnít been in Grove in so long Iím still finding my way around.

Things have changed a bit since I left. Nobody drags Main in Miami anymore, and Casinos have popped up all over the prairie. Apparently our old farm house burned down a few years ago, and I donít have one-tenth as much hair as I did when I left.

What Iíve lost in hair, I apparently gained in junk. When I left I could comfortably fit everything I owned in my car. I think I still could if I could pare it down to what I actually needed to keep.

Moving is both liberating and depressing. Itís hard to know how to feel when you can haul half of the things in your house off to the dump and not really miss them. That either means a) Iím not materialistic, or b) Iíve spent 40 years collecting nothing but garbage. Likely a little of both.

The only thing feeling older than me right now is my old blue truck. Itís a 1965 Chevy that my brother bought for my Dad when I was in high school as a birthday present. Dad had always owned old Chevys, but had wrecked his last one and was forced to drive a Dodge for a while, and was probably embarrassed about it. We completely restored the old blue machine, so while itís older than me, itís in much better working order.

Well, with one exception.

After giving the truck a good once over before packing up, I noticed a little leak from one of the front brakes. I took it in to get checked out before I hauled myself halfway across the state in it, and the nice mechanic told me he couldnít get the exact part he needed at the moment, but he thought heíd fixed the leak well enough for me to make it back to Lake Country, no problem.

He was right, for about the first 30 miles. I blew through my first red light in Perkins, OK, in a big blue rolling tank towing a loaded down car behind me with not quite enough brake power to handle it. Obviously I was going to need more than 50 feet to stop this rig. And of course since I spent all day throwing away most of my worldly possessions, itís after five now and all the shops are closed, so itís sink or swim time for me and Old Blue.

After almost making a couple of Honda sandwiches out of nice ladies pulling out in front of me and stopping for no good reason, I hit the big city of Tulsa and the real fun began. I decided to take the turnpike around the city to avoid killing anyone, which is where I learned that the ashtray on a 65 Chevy cannot possibly contain enough exact change to get you through all those toll gates. And of course, no one works in those things anymore either, and the dollar bill changers either donít work, or arenít even there to begin with.

I wonít admit to breaking any laws, but even though the alarm didnít go off, Iím pretty sure I was a dime short on that last gate. Finally, in the dead of night and freezing cold, Blue and I arrive at our new home and promptly collapsed. Well, I did anyway, the truck was still rearing to go, it just wasnít in any hurry to stop.

After all that drama, it is good to be back in the old home country, and I look forward to trying to inspire, educate, aggravate and irritate each and every one of you in one way or another. I still have a lot to learn about Grove, but most of the good things I remember are still here, and there is potential for a lot more development in the future. Iím sure it wonít take too long for me to figure out who is for and against what, because in my experience, people usually march in and make sure I know exactly what they think.

It was a heck of a journey getting here, and Iím sure the best is yet to come.