SI Vault
Report from the 40 Winks Tourist Court
Edwin Shrake
October 18, 1976
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
October 18, 1976

Report From The 40 Winks Tourist Court


View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Mrs. Wilma Mae Gurley
Rt. 4, Crab Claw, Okla.

Dear Honey,
Well, the first thought that loped across my brain when I got back to the 40 Winks Tourist Court this afternoon was how happy you will be to learn you don't have to work on the farm no more or drive around in that old blue pickup truck.

I know you have never been real strong on the farm life. I can't hardly blame you for not liking to roll out of bed at four o'clock in the morning in the winter. You have did more cooking, washing, chopping, milking and all-purpose toting than any woman in Crab Claw. You might of thought I forgot about the vow I made when I proposed marriage. While you was working like a dog all these years you might of thought I forgot that I promised you wouldn't have to be no farm wife stuck out in the country with nobody to talk to but me and little Wilmer and nothing to do all day but just slave away in general.

I didn't forget though. We are rid of that old farm for good, honey. You won't never again have to clean the plugs or grind the valves on that old pickup either. No sir, it's a whole new life for us from now on. I guess you can't wait to hear how it happened.

The big thing was when you won me that Texas vs. Oklahoma football game ticket at the shopper sweepstakes at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Eufaula.

If you had not of did that, I would not of been able to write you this letter about kissing that old farm goodbye. Because without that ticket I would not of come down here to Dallas on the Greyhound bus. Also I would not of met my new friend Lester McBath, who is the chief sport writer for the Terlingua Nugget newspaper. Lester would never of introduced me to Darrell Royal and Barry Switzer. I never would of saw the President of the United States up close in the flesh. I never would of saw the fireworks display at the State Fair of Texas. I never would of saw the hardest hitting football game since the Crab Claw Comets knocked Lowatha Springs out of bi-district in 1968.

There's so many things I never would of did without that ticket that just thinking about it makes me sigh and waggle my head like them old cows you won't have to milk no more.

I run into Lester McBath at the It'll Do, which is a place in Dallas where people go in the daytime for a beer and to meet new friends. It's a good thing I did run into Lester because there wasn't no hotel room come with the sweepstakes ticket, and there ain't a empty hotel room within 25 miles of Dallas on the weekend OU plays Texas in the Cotton Bowl. Even President Ford had to stay the night in Lawton, Okla., because there wasn't no place in Dallas to put him and his crew.

How I met Lester is some big old boy come into the It'll Do and Lester jumped up from the table where he was talking to a real pretty woman and kind of trotted over to the pinball machine and started calling me cousin. Well, I seen what the trouble was. So I took to staring real hard at the big old boy until he throwed a pitcher of beer on the woman and left. Lester is a skinny guy who wears a bow tie and a baseball cap with little holes in the back of it for the head to get some air. Lester was so glad when the big old boy left that he bought me a half a dozen Buds and said I could sleep on the floor of his room at the 40 Winks Tourist Court which is where I am writing this letter from.

"Grover," Lester said when he had learned my name, "I am a very famous sport writer and I have got to go talk to Darrell Royal, the Texas coach, who is real hot and up in the air today. Darrell never has liked me since I quoted him as saying his players was pigs that would jump in the slop for him."

Continue Story
1 2 3 4