Fellow intern Garett Fisbeck and I set out at 8 am this morning to cover the Quartz Mountain Arts Camp hosted by the Oklahoma Arts Institute. At this camp, talented high school students from around the state spend a few weeks honing their craft — be it music, acting, film, visual art, whatever.
Garett and I set out early because we wanted to catch as much of the day as possible. Both of us were eager to get to the camp and start doing what we love: telling stories.
Upon our arrival at the camp, we were given the unfortunate news that we wouldn’t be doing any story telling that day — at least not at the camp. Why?
BECAUSE THE CAMP DOESN”T START UNTIL NEXT WEEK!
That’s right. I woke up at 6 am, packed, traveled over two hours to Lone Wolf, Oklahoma, all for nothing. So it seemed anyway.
Garett and I left the camp. We were a little befuddled, maybe a little woeful. Still, there was one thing we weren’t. Defeated.
Not wanting to immediately abandon the location we had worked too hard to get to, Garett and I decided to climb one of the nearby mountains (and by mountain, I mean odd pile of rock, cement and wild undergrowth that was almost certainly man-made. There were plenty of natural, Oklahoma-sized mountains nearby, but they would have taken too long to climb). We climbed like men and sweat like dogs. In other words, we had a blast.
(And yes, I know dogs don’t sweat)
[Garett: I accidentally deleted all the photos from our mountain climb. They are forever lost in the ether. However, I assure you, it happened.]
As we left the resort area and approached the main town of Lone Wold, we noticed a large water slide by the side of the road next to a vintage-styled amusement park — a small town’s Coney Island. The water slide was covered in children doing what they do best, having a good time.
Since both Garett and I are suckers for the intrinsic beauty of humanity, we just had to stop. Garett shot some fantastic photos. I asked a few questions to an employee of the park, Stacie Turbush. This was actually her summer job. During the school year she works as a teacher at Altus Junior High.
An age old question has often been, ‘what do teachers do during the summer?’ Thusly, I plan on writing a story about her in the near future. It may possibly even tie in with the intern group project, which you non-interns may or may not hear about at a later date.
When the kids left, so did the park’s lively atmosphere. We loaded up the car and began to head home. We weren’t returning empty-handed, however.
Garett got wild art from an area of the state not always visited by the Oklahoman. I got a lead on a story that I never would have written otherwise. We had successfully turned our lemons into lemonade.
Together we drove away, right into the rainy eastern horizon. The same horizon we’ll be returning from next week.
[SHOUT OUT TO GARETT RAY FISBECK, WHO CO-CONTRIBUTED TO THIS BLOG POST]