Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ponca City, here we come!

So over Labor Day we decided to take a trip to Ponca City, the (formerly) booming (not quite) metropolis 45 minutes north of here.  I mean, when you got a whole day off and a full tank of gas, where else are you gonna go?  We spent most of the afternoon at the Marland Mansion, the home of a former Oklahoma governor and oilman extraordinaire.  This was the second mansion my wife and I have toured--the first being the James J. Hill House (by "house" they mean "ginormous castle") near downtown Saint Paul--and like before, it was cool to see how rich dudes rolled back in the early 20th century.
44,000 square feet = 1 cool house.
Pulling up to the mansion itself was a tad intimidating, and kind of gives one a sense of perspective.  I thought, and still do think, that our house is pretty nice.  It's got a couple bedrooms, a decent yard, and a kitchen roomy enough for two people to cook dinner at the same time.  What more could a guy want?  A lot more, it turns out.  Like a T-shaped swimming poll of olympic proportions in the backyard.  Or seven bathrooms.  Or a boat launch accessible via tunnel from the lower-floor dining room.  Or owl statues built into the walls.  I guess when you own 1/10th of the world's known oil reserves, you can pretty much buy a house that puts the house of your dreams to shame.  And hey, why not?  Mr. Marland was also quite the philanthropist who was also known for giving his workers free stuff like food and health care, and took very good care of the town of Ponca City too.

Not pictured: gigantic piles of cash.
The tour was pretty fun, and I cheered a little bit on the inside when our tour guide gave a bit of a verbal smackdown to a couple of emo-type high schoolers who were tagging along in the group.  Mostly it was just a nice way to spend a gorgeous afternoon.  After we moved away from Minnesota my wife and I realized there was a lot of stuff to see and do that we never took the time to experience, so we have tried to make a conscious effort to get out and see more of Oklahoma while we're here.  Not that we plan on leaving any time soon, but whenever we do we would rather have lots of marks on our mental checklist rather than empty blanks waiting to be filled in.
Me, experiencing about 0.001% of the property.
So between the mansion and the Cann Memorial Gardens, we had a pretty nice time up yonder in Ponca City.  Next up?  Who knows.  Maybe Enid.  Maybe Ada.  Maybe Picher (the most toxic town in America!).  Or maybe we'll find someplace here in town to check out that we haven't yet seen.  Like Calvin and Hobbes said, it's a magical world...

1 comment:

Krouts Sprouts said...

Simon...i'll be following you now. not sure i knew you had this :) glad you enjoyed P-Town...it is a not so booming town anymore but still home :)