388. Hugo, Choctaw County (OK20)

This, my friends, is a very handsome courthouse. It feels solid and almost radiates an aura of safety. Of course, I have an odd perspective on these so please don’t fret about any residual radiation that may not actually exist anywhere other than my addled brain. It looks like a wonder of the WPA, but I can’t be entirely sure. I also noticed (speaking of radiation) that there’s only been so much updating as evidenced by the nuclear shelter signs from the 1950s. A fellow cacher recommended the day’s destination and the Atlas Obscura backed it up. Further, I wasn’t alone. I was backed up by the best caching buddies of all, my daughters!

First, we stopped in Paris on the way. We couldn’t pass up a replica of the Eiffel Tower! Don’t get me wrong, though. I was reticent about bring them here, especially after the “incident.” However, there was some sort of Hispanic college recruiting event going on here so I thought that would be very unlikely to draw the sort of crowd I might have worried about. Fun fact: a number of towns named Paris have replica towers and Texas, of course, has the tallest. Another town built a taller one so the this one had the cowboy hat placed on top to return it to the position of tallest. My younger daughter also insisted on getting a perspective photo of me with the hat on so…

Of course, the sun messed with the lighting, which is good because this shot from underneath makes me look like I have the biggest belly, and I do have just a little bit of vanity to defend. Otherwise, I often discard my vanity for these little (actually not-so-little) gremlins. And there was a virtual to get here. There had been a long time virtual here that I had previously heard of, but it was archived at some point before I got here the first time. Someone was kind enough to put a new one there. How could something like this go without one, anyway? Of course, once the logging was done (paired with some more shenanigans, we were on our way again to Oklahoma.

There’s always a cemetery. Usually, that’s justification for getting a cache, preferably a simple one to facilitate getting back on the road quickly. On this day, though, things were different. This was the reason for our trip because something very special was inside. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen (or however you identify.  I don’t mean to be gender assumptive), to the Showmen’s Rest.

Hugo’s location made it a favorite off-season stop for a number of different traveling carnivals, allowing easy access to Texas, the Midwest, the Heartland, and the South. Consequently, a lot of performers put down roots in Hugo and lived their lives here. Of course, all things must end so a portion of the cemetery was bought and dedicated to the performers, workers, agents, and anyone else who helped keep the shows rolling.

There are a lot of people in this world who come into our lives for only the shortest of times. Sometimes they bring us joy, other times aggravation, still other times not even enough interaction to leave an impression of any kind. Here we walked among monuments to people who spent their lives bring wonder and amazement and joy to others. Have you ever heard of “sonder?” It’s the realization that each random passerby has an entire story, a vivid existence, as complex as your own. And are we not all the better because they are in the world?

I doubt the girls thought so deeply about it. Then again, they sometimes throw me with the depth of their thoughts, born as they are from their youth and innocence. But they enjoyed the peace and the beautiful stones. As always, their eyeballs were invaluable. They were the ones who spotted the cache, a tube in the exposed roots of a tree. And with that, we sat in the shade with a picnic lunch and enjoyed the cool and the green. A lovely time was had by all.

But nothing lasts forever. Eventually, we set off again. I had to get them back home. But there was still a lot of daylight left. More than enough time for another county, no? So we went on down the road and stopped for gas and snacks in…

3 thoughts on “388. Hugo, Choctaw County (OK20)

  1. Having seen the real one (Paris, France) and that you’re writing from Texas, I first presumed that the ‘installation’ was some sort of drilling rig but then for some reason with a satelite dish on top. Thanks for the background story ‘only in America’ thanks for the chuckle.


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