Famous Friends

When your oldest and dearest friend gets inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, you have no choice but to get all dressed up and go watch!

Such a well deserved accolade for my famous BFF. Despite being a celebrity and constantly in the public eye, she is oh, so humble. I am honestly surprised (but thrilled) she accepted the recognition. All of Oklahoma, but especially the town of Pawhuska, are proud and honored to call you friend!

 

 

Sea Life and Senators

Roughly ten years ago, my Senator had an opportunity to attend a conference in Puerto Rico, and the kids and I tagged along because, well who wouldn’t want to go to Puerto Rico, right?

dsc_0098

Coincidentally, I had met a lovely mom friend through American Mothers from Puerto Rico and she was kind enough to show us some of the beautiful sights including the Capitol building in San Juan… which the Senator loved.

dsc_0180

And the famous fort…

dsc_0225

The look on my baby’s face!  Oh my goodness…dsc_0213

Pretending to be a pirate on the island did not get any better than this…but I digress!dsc_0217

There were lots of elected officials at this conference including our Governor.  And, let me tell you, it makes for an interesting evening when you find yourself hanging out in the hotel hot tub with the Governor of your great state, who incidentally had just vetoed your Senator’s lawsuit reform bill the day before. It’s a good thing my Senator and the Governor had been in college together so the hot tub small talk wasn’t too awkward…or, maybe it was, but it took place amidst a beautiful setting and sunset so there’s that.

The beach at this resort was just as magnificent.

dsc_0170

I have never seen such clear water that provided a window into the sea life swimming below the surface.  In fact, the entire reason for reminiscing about this fabulous trip has to do with sea life and a senator…

You see, on this same trip, our family was playing on the beach one afternoon alongside many other conference attendees. We were like kids in a candy store because the beach was simply that gorgeous.

dsc_0160

All of the sudden, we noticed a crowd gathering in the ocean and members of the hotel staff running onto the beach. Wondering what was happening and if someone needed help, my Senator headed over to the scene.

Evidently, the Governor of West Virginia had stepped on a black sea urchin and the group was attempting to clean his foot.  According to the hotel staff, you had two options to remove the poisonous needle and sterilize the area – you could either pour urine on it or whiskey.  Needless to say, the Governor chose whiskey and was letting everyone on the beach know the same!  At the time, I remember thinking this guy was quite a character and down right hilarious! His name was Joe Manchin.

In case you don’t make a habit of following politics – Joe Manchin is now the senior Senator from West Virginia and earlier today, I caught a glimpse of him on TV talking about Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.  His rational talking points and calm demeanor resembled those of a desperately needed statesman…let’s hope that ship hasn’t sailed.

This morning, I found myself wishing we had more elected officials like him….and a beach like this….

dsc_0282

 

 

 

 

Old Home Week, Part II

I spent the better part of my day today watching seven hours of Senate Confirmation Hearings for Cliff’s former colleague and friend, Oklahoma Attorney General, Scott Pruitt.  He has been tapped to to head the EPA, and in today’s polarized society, has come under some pretty heavy fire from the left.

We first met Scott and his sweet wife Marlyn, back in 2002 when Cliff was elected to the State Senate.  There were only a handful of Republicans in the Oklahoma Legislature at the time and Scott was a friendly face in that lion’s den.

An attorney by trade, Scott specialized in Constitutional Law which made it especially fun to watch him debate on the Senate floor.  He was also a baseball player in college and at some point, instituted a friendly baseball game between the members of the House and Senate.  The game itself was usually held in the spring at the Bricktown Ballpark and very competitive in nature.  It was fun for family and friends too. Below is a photo from one of the games with Trump’s nominee for EPA in the middle.

Looks like my baby was hanging out with her daddy down in the dugout too….sigh.

fullsizerender

Baby Girl Branan, Big Boy Branan, Pruitt, Coffee

Having known Scott since 2002, it’s fair to describe him as extremely sharp, capable and very determined. In 1998, he ran a successful race against a sitting State Senator which is no easy feat.  Two years later, he ran for Congress finishing third in a heated Republican primary and then ran unsuccessfully for Lt. Governor six years later. It wasn’t until 2010, when Scott ran for Attorney General that he would pick up a significant statewide win.  Significant, because if he had won that Lieutenant Governor’s race or the Congressional seat before that, he might not have been in a position to challenge the EPA as he did in his role as Oklahoma Attorney General… which is what ultimately landed him in the hot seat today as Trump’s nominee for head of the EPA!  God certainly works in mysterious ways!

My Senator and I knew Scott would hold his own during what would be seven grueling hours of confirmation hearings and we watched almost every minute.  Thank goodness for being able to live stream CSPAN-2!  Best of luck to you Senator!  We’re certainly proud of all you’ve accomplished and are cheering you on from our seat on the sidelines!