Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Claremore, Oklahoma: Will Rogers Memorial Museum

Will Rogers certainly had an odd career path.

He was born in the Oklahoma Territory, and became a cowboy. That led him to do some traveling, and he also learned some dazzling rope tricks. Those stunts helped him land a job in vaudeville, where he developed a friendly on-stage persona (which seems to be his natural state).

From there he moved into the movies, appearing in 71 films. Rogers then became a radio commentator, newspaper columnist and author. I believe he said he took his job as a columnist more seriously than any other.

Rogers died in a plane crash with Wiley Post in Alaska, cutting short his career. He's known today for his home-spun quotes about politics. For example, "I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat." Rogers was incredibly popular during his lifetime.

In part because of the way he died, his home town of Claremore, Oklahoma, which is northeast of Tulsa, wanted to celebrate Rogers' life in a big way. Therefore, they put together a large museum on top of the hill overlooking the city. Claremore did a nice job on it. The key is that there is plenty of room for the items to be exhibited - room to breathe, if you will. That includes a good-sized auditorium that shows documentaries about Rogers.

You can find plenty of quotes and movies about Rogers on line. But the roping tricks are even more impressive to watch. Take a look:

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