Last Night in Oklahoma City

Last night in Oklahoma City, a man named Dave gave me a belt buckle made out of a rattlesnake. Last night in Oklahoma City, and I can’t be sure if Dave crafted this thoughtful gift from the skin of a random rattler, or from the same snake that recently bit and very nearly killed him. Either way, it’s a handsome buckle, and as soon as I figure out how to attach it to my belt, I’ll begin to wear it with pride.

Speaking of pride, I experienced more than my fair share last night, at an event called “An Evening with Mike Rowe,” sponsored by the people of Oklahoma Oil and Natural Gas. I always worry about titular proclamations that overpromise, and I think you’ll agree that the prospect of an entire “evening” with yours sets an expectation that’s fundamentally unrealistic. A better title might have been, “A Few Hours with Mike Rowe in an Open Bar,” which more than lived up to its promise.

Among those who came out to hydrate themselves and listen to my musings, were a few hundred hardworking men and women from the Oklahoma energy industry. These people are among the very best of the species, and I’m grateful to Harold Hamm and my good friends at OERB for inviting them. I was also delighted to meet a young man named Alex, who gave me a hat with a logo that read, “The Okie School of Adventure and Charm.” Intrigued by the logo, I visited the lads YouTube page and learned that Alex is a huge fan of Dirty Jobs, and, with a little help from his Dad, Neil, is producing and starring in his own version for the internet. Here for instance, we find Alex at a nut farm, learning all there is to know about the pecan industry.

I was especially grateful, however, and especially proud, to meet a few individuals in attendance who received scholarships from the mikeroweWORKS foundation. Our work ethic scholarships have always resonated with the people of Oklahoma, and last night’s event proved it once again. Last years campaign focused on the impact of energy on our food supply. This year, we’re focusing on the role that skilled labor plays with regard to getting the oil and gas we depend on out of the ground. Suffice it to say, that role is enormous.

Speaking of which, the current enrollment period for this round of work ethic scholarships will end on April 30th, so if you or someone you know would like to apply, now would be a good time to do so, at Rattlesnakes are not eligible.

Carry on,

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