2020 logo

May 10 - San Antonio Missions vs. Arkansas Travelers, Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium
May 11 - Round Rock Express vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers, Dell Diamond
May 13 - Texas Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox, Globe Life Field
May 14 - Tulsa Drillers vs. Frisco Roughriders, OneOK Field

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By the end of our 2008 Touch 'em All Tour we had seen a game in every Major League ballpark. We were proud of this achievement and were able to maintain those bragging rights as the Yankees, Mets, Twins, Marlins and Braves moved into new ballparks in the years that followed. Up through our visit to Atlanta on the 2018 Ring Around The Appalachians Tour we made it to every stadium that opened after 2008 in either its first or second year of existence. So it was only natural that our plan for 2020 was a trip to The Lone Star State, in order to visit Globe Life Field, the brand new home of the Texas Rangers.

When the 2020 schedules were released we plotted out an all-Texas itinerary that would, in addition to the Rangers new ballpark, include our second visit to Houston along with minor league games in Round Rock, San Antonio and Corpus Christi. As for culture, it was fitting that in the year of a Presidential election, we would visit the official libraries of three different U.S. Presidents (LBJ, Bush 41 and Bush 43).

At least that was our plan - then COVID-19 hit. With Major League Baseball's season in question and all of Minor League Baseball's 2020 season cancelled, we had no choice but to scrap the 2020 Deep In The Heart of Texas Tour and hope for 2021.

That didn't happen - COVID kept us off the road in 2021 too. Finally, four years after our last trip, we felt comfortable enough to hit the road again. Since we still needed to get that last ballpark checked off, we once again built our trip around Globe Life Field. But, while it was still the "Deep In The Heart of Texas Tour", we made a detour into Oklahoma, with a visit to Tulsa in order to experience the brand new Bob Dylan Center.

Music was a big part of this trip. Austin is a great music town. Changing our original "all Texas" plan in order to see the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa also got us to the Woody Guthrie Center. Not only does the Guthrie Center provide a thorough depiction of Woody Guthrie's life and times, when we got there they were also hosting a special exhibit dedicated to the live performances of Bruce Springsteen.

Here's a playlist of Texas artists, Woody Guthrie songs, Dylan doing his own songs and one of Guthrie's as well as Springsteen live performances of a Dylan song, a Guthrie song and one of his own that was clearly influenced by Guthrie.

All songs on the playlist are by Texas-associated artists except:
                  * written by Bob Dylan
                  # written by Woody Guthrie
                  + written by Bruce Springsteen

The Two Guys and a Map Deep In The Heart of Texas Official Soundtrack
Deep In The Heart of Texas – Gene Autry
Texas In My Soul – Willie Nelson
That’s Right, You’re Not From Texas – Lyle Lovett
Texas Cookin’ – Guy Clark
Two-Step Down To Texas – Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert and Jon Randall
Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone? – The Texas Tornados
San Antonio Girl – Steve Earle and The Dukes
Snake Farm – Ray Wylie Hubbard
I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide – ZZ Top
South of Round Rock, Texas – Dale Watson
I Believe I’m In Love – The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Sexy Ways – Lou Ann Barton
The House Is Rockin’ – Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble
Two-Bit Texas Town – Angela Strehli
Any Road – Casper Rawls
Dallas – Joe Ely
Nolan Ryan, He's a Hero To Us All - Jerry Jeff Walker
Take Me Back To Tulsa – Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys
Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan *
Tangled Up In Blue - Bob Dylan *
Not Dark Yet - Bob Dylan *
Chimes of Freedom - Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band *
This Land Is Your Land - Woody Guthrie #
Riding In My Car – Bruce Springsteen #
Oklahoma Hills – Jack Guthrie and His Oklahomans #
Hard Travelin’ – Woody Guthrie #
Pretty Boy Floyd - Bob Dylan #
Land of Hope and Dreams - Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band +
Song To Woody – Bob Dylan *
Miles and Miles of Texas – Asleep At The Wheel
London Homesick Blues - Jerry Jeff Walker featuring Gary P. Nunn
Ay Te Dejo En San Antonio - Flaco Jimenez

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Day One - "Is Anybody Goin' To San Antone?"(The Texas Tornados)

The 2022 trip got off to a really early start - we were both up before 4:00 AM on May 10 in order to catch a 6:00 AM flight to Houston. We had a pretty ambitous plan for the first day of the trip. Our final destination was almost 300 miles from Houston, with several stops before we got there. As soon as we landed, we rented a car and headed for Texas A&M University in College Station, the site of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library.

Any museum dedicated to an individual naturally tries to present that person in the best possible light. The impression one gets from the George H.W. Bush Library is that Bush was what any American would want in a President - a decent person who respects the Constitution and truly wants to do what's best for the country. Regardless of whether one agreed or disagreed with his agenda, no one can say George H.W. Bush (aka Bush 41) wasn't that. He was a war hero who devoted his life to serving the country, as a member of Congress, the head of the C.I.A., Vice President and President. And he jumped out of an airplane on his 90th birthday - that is impressive!

HW Bush Library

The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library

HW Bush Library

President Bush played baseball at Yale.
He kept his glove in his desk in the Oval Office.

HW Bush Library

DC tries the Oval Office on for size

We spent a couple of hours at the Bush 41 Library. From there, we headed for San Antonio. But Dave insisted on making a couple of stops on the way.

We are both music geeks. Our tastes overlap a lot but we also have areas where our degree of passion differs - for example, DC is more into jazz than Dave, while Dave is more into Americana than DC. Our first stop on the way to San Antonio was based on Dave's taste.

New Braunfels, TX is the site of the Gruene Music Hall, the oldest dancehall in Texas. It was built in 1878 and hasn't changed much since then. Pretty much any country or blues act that passed through Texas in the last 100 years has played Gruene Hall. Jerry Jeff Walker and ZZ Top have recorded albums there. We went in and took a quick look around (it looks like a great place to see a show) and then moved on.

Our next stop, not far from Gruene Hall, was even more esoteric. A few years back, the excellent Texas singer/songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard wrote a song about a seedy roadside attraction in New Braunfels called the Snake Farm. It's now a real zoo but for some interesting facts about the Snake Farm's history, click here. Dave is fond of the song and there was no way he was going to pass by without stopping. Despite being disappointed in the quality of the t-shirts in the gift shop, he still felt enriched by the experience. (DC was tolerant and amused.)

Gruene Hall

Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, TX

Snake Farm

Snake Farm - it just sounds nasty!

After our Americana sightseeing stops, we headed to San Antonio for our first ballgame of the trip. The San Antonio Missions used to be a Triple-A team but when minor league baseball was reorganized after the 2020 season, they moved down to the Double-A Texas League, affiliated with the San Diego Padres. On this night they were playing the Arkansas Travelers, an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

Nelson Wolff Stadium (named after a former San Antonio mayor) sits on the western edge of San Antonio. It seems to have been plopped down in a field - there's not much else around the ballpark. Despite the team once having been a Triple-A franchise, the ballpark very much has a Double-A vibe. Newer Double-A stadiums seem to have a common design - there is a single level of seats that goes from foul pole to foul pole. Bullpen mounds are along the foul lines. Many of the seats are benches rather than individual seats. Beyond the outfield wall is a grassy berm where people can sit and watch the game. There is often a small second level that contains a few suites. Nelson Wolff is exactly like that. There's nothing wrong with it but nothing that particularly made it stand out.

One interesting thing about the ballpark was the banners showing players who had passed through San Antonio over the years including a number of Hall of Famers. Dennis Eckersley, Fernando Valenzuela, Joe Morgan, Pedro Martinez and Brooks Robinson all played minor league baseball in San Antonio (some with franchises that pre-date the Missions).

The Travelers had a big second inning, scoring four runs, and took a 5-2 lead into the seventh. San Antonio rallied for two runs in the seventh. At that point we'd been awake for about 20 straight hours and were completely spent, so we headed back to our hotel and missed San Antonio's ninth inning walk-off rally to win 6-5.

Nelson Wolff Stadium

Nelson Wolff Stadium

Nelson Wolff Stadium in San Antonio, TX

Day Two - "Deep In The Heart of Texas" (Gene Autry)

The first day of the trip was a really long one. Day Two involved covering a lot of ground but at a slighty more relaxed pace. First thing in the morning we headed over to The Alamo, getting there just as they opened at 9:00 AM. The Alamo Mission was built by Spanish missionaries in the early 1700s. It is most famous for The Battle of The Alamo in 1836 during the Texas Revolution, in which Texians were attempting to become independent from Mexico. The Mexican Army surrounded the Mission chapel (the building people associate with the name "The Alamo") and slaughtered all the defenders on March 6, 1836. The loss of The Alamo persuaded many Texians to join the revolt and about six weeks later they defeated the Mexicans in the Battle of San Jacinto and won their independence (becoming the Republic of Texas until joining the U.S. in 1845).

The Alamo is not very big and doesn't take too long to tour. We've always gotten a kick out of seeing things in person that we've seen pictures of so many times. The Alamo is certainly such a place. When you think of Texas, you think of The Alamo. But, much to our surprise, we learned that The Alamo that everyone always thinks of is not how The Alamo looked at the time of the battle. The famous curved parapet that sits atop the building was not built until 1850.

We were a little confused as to why there was a statue of Teddy Roosevelt outside The Alamo. It was only later that we found out his Rough Riders were formed in San Antonio.

The Alamo

The Alamo in 2022

2022 shirt front

Two Guys 2022 shirt.
When you think Texas, you think of this variation of The Alamo.

Model of the Alamo in 1836

Model of The Alamo as it appeared in 1836.
Note the lack of a parapet.

After remembering The Alamo, we headed north to the Hill Country west of Austin, for our second Presidential-related site of the trip. The LBJ Ranch was the home of Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of The U.S. The LBJ Ranch was where he was born, lived and died. It covers a lot of ground so you do the tour by car, stopping at the house where he was born, the airplane hangar, the house he lived in as an adult and more.

LBJ's steers

Longhorns on the LBJ Ranch

LBJ's house

LBJ's home

LBJ's jukebox

The President's jukebox.
('Snake Farm' isn't on it.)

After touring the LBJ Ranch, we headed east, through Austin and on to the suburb of Round Rock for our second game of the trip.

The Round Rock Express are the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers in the Pacific Coast League. They are named after their owner, Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan whose nickname was "The Ryan Express". The original plan was for the team to play in a downtown Austin ballpark but the city of Round Rock offered the them a better deal which is how the Dell Diamond came to be located on a highway by some railroad tracks on the edge of town.

The Dell Diamond is a really nice ballpark - it seats about 12,000 and has a concourse that allows you to walk all the way around the entire park. There is a Nolan Ryan statue outside the main gate. In left field there is a grandstand seating area, one of the few outfield upper decks we have encountered in minor league parks. That appears to be a homage to the home run porch of the Texas Rangers old home, Arlington Stadium. Underneath the grandstand, at the back of the grass berm area, there is a row of wooden rocking chairs. Concessions are more diverse than in most minor league parks, sight lines are good, the seats are comfortable - there's even a swimming pool on the concourse (which is probably a good idea during Texas summers.) While it's not as fine as Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Dell Diamond is a really nice place to see a game.

It wasn't a very nice game for the home team - as you can see, the Oklahoma Dodgers had very little trouble with the Express.

Round Rock score

The Dell Diamond

The rocking chairs are very comfortable

The Dell Diamond

A parking lot view of the Dell Diamond in Round Rock, TX

Round Rock vs. Oklahoma City

Round Rock vs. Oklahoma City. Note the distinctive home run porch in left field.

Day Three - "South of Round Rock, Texas" (Dale Watson)

Welcome to Austin

DC had been to Austin before. Dave never had and it was a place he'd always wanted to visit. The third day of our trip was the first one without baseball but we had a very full day, visiting museums and soaking up other Austin culture.

Our first destination was our second encounter with LBJ on the trip. We'd visited his home the day before; on this day we were going to see the LBJ Presidential Library, located on the campus of the University of Texas.

DC has read several LBJ biographies so this was of particular interest to him. LBJ was a larger-than-life master politician who became President in an unexpected and tragic way when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. In the the last 14 months of Kennedy's term and during his own single full term, LBJ had many successes and many failures. He was highly unpopular when he left office despite (or maybe in some places, because of) his legislation outlawing discrimination, prohibiting racial segregation and his Great Society social welfare programs aimed at reducing poverty and crime. His escalation of the war in Vietnam definitely hurt him and ultimately led him to decide not to seek a second full term.

All of this is covered in the Library. There are two floors of exhibit spaces and a number of floors that hold his papers, where only people doing research are allowed. Maybe because his Presidency was the most complex of the three whose libraries we visited on this trip, we thought the LBJ Library was the most interesting one.

LBJ Library

Bust of LBJ at his Presidential Library

LBJ's papers

The LBJ Presidential Library.
All of those brown boxes contain Presidential papers.

LBJ Library

Two of LBJ's major accomplishments.

After we finished at the LBJ Library, we walked about a mile from the campus to the Texas State Capitol building. The Sunset Red granite building has been the seat of Texas government since it's dedication in May, 1888. There are paintings and statues of Texas statesmen all over the building. The floor of the rotunda has a seal showing the five countries Texas has been either owned by or a part of - France, Spain, Mexico, The Confederate States of America and the United States of America. Our guide made sure to point out that the building's dome stands higher than that of the U.S. Capitol because "we do everything bigger in Texas".

DC was wearing his Two Guys and a Map Deep In The Heart of Texas t-shirt and as we got into the elevator another passenger took notice of it and asked if we'd been to Tulsa yet. He was from there and wished us a good trip when we got off the elevator. It wouldn't be the last time that day that the shirt was a conversation starter.

Capitol dome

Looking up at the Capitol dome from the rotunda

Texas state capitol

The Texas Capitol in Austin, TX

2022 shirt back

The floor of the rotunda

We spent the next few hours wandering around Austin. We went by the famous music club Antone's and discovered that the home of author O. Henry (author of 'The Ransom of Red Chief' and 'The Gift of the Magi') was just a few doors away. There were a few women and children in The Alamo who were spared when the combatants were put to death. The home of one of those survivors was on the same street.

Austin is a great music town and we are music geeks. We went from Antone's to Waterloo Records, which had recently been named in an article about the greatest record stores in America. After rooting around in the bins there we went by artworks honoring two of Austin's favorite sons - a statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn and a mural of Willie Nelson.

2022 shirt back

The back of the 2022 Two Guys shirt

Stevie Ray Vaughn statue

Stevie Ray Vaughn statue

Waterloo Records, Austin

Waterloo Records

After a delicious dinner at El Guero's, we went into another famous Austin music joint, The Continental Club. Every Thursday night they have a Happy Hour show featuring veteran Austin musician Casper Rawls. Dave loves dive bars and The Continental Club is a dive in the very best sense of the word. It's not fancy, it's not big, the patrons and staff are all friendly... it's a great place. Shortly after we sat down a tall man with white hair wandered over to us and asked about DC's shirt. We explained that we were on a baseball trip, that we did this every other year etc. etc. He asked where we were from and then DC asked where he was from. "I'm from around here," said Casper Rawls.

Shortly after that, he and his very fine band took the stage and played a great set, a mix of rock, country, blues and jazz. It was a fine way to spend the evening. Casper gave a shout out to us from the stage and came over to chat some more after the first set. They played two sets, after which we headed back to our hotel and turned in.

Willie Nelson mural, Austin

Is a visit to The Willie Nelson
Presidential Library in our future?

Casper Rawls and band rock the Continental Club

The Continental Club

Two Guys with the gracious and friendly
Casper Rawls
outside The Continental Club

Day Four - "Nolan Ryan, He's a Hero To Us All" (Jerry Jeff Walker)

The next morning we headed out of Austin and made our way north to Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Our destination was the third Presidential Library of the trip. Three days earlier we had kicked off the trip with a visit to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library. He was Bush 41; this day we were going to the library of his son, George W. Bush (aka Bush 43 or "Dubya").

Dubya was one of the most divisive Presidents in modern history but no matter what you think of his politics, he has impeccable baseball credentials - he owned the Texas Rangers and in 2001and he threw the most memorable first pitch in World Series history. About six weeks after 9/11 he went to New York, donned a bulletproof jacket and threw a perfect strike for the ceremonial first pitch of Game Three (after Derek Jeter warned him that if he bounced it, the crowd would boo.)

9/11 is a big part of his story, as well as the war with Iraq that followed; his domestic agenda is also highlighted. Much space is devoted to showing him as a family man and his sense of humor.

This was one of the few Two Guys trips in which we didn't cross paths with friends. During the Bush Administration, Two Guys and a Map Hall of Famer Kevin Bresnahan was one of the Marines who stands by the President's helicopter. Every time we saw a picture of Bush boarding Marine One, Dave looked for Kevin. He didn't see him but it's a small world - DC actually saw the husband of one of his clients in a picture with Bush.

One surprising thing about the Bush 43 Library - the cafe was remarkably good! Usually museum food is packaged sandwiches and the like but the cafe at the Bush 43 Library was a sit-down restaurant. Since we spend a lot of time eating ballpark food on these trips, we always try to get at least one good sit-down meal and lunch there turned out to be the one for the Deep In The Heart of Texas Tour. It was also the only one at which we ate with a former Majority Leader of the United States Senate - Trent Lott of Mississippi came in and sat at the table next to us. He didn't consult us on either policy or the menu.

Bush 43 Library

The George W. Bush Presidential Library

W. paints

Bush 43 is a painter

World Series 2001

The jacket and ball from World Series Game 3, October 30, 2001

Then it was time for us to reclaim the "been to every MLB ballpark" distinction. Globe Life Field was scheduled to open in 2020 and it did - but because of COVID, not until July and without fans for the remainder of the regular season. All of baseball's 2020 postseason games were played in Houston and at Globe Life Field, with the Rangers' new home hosting the entire World Series. Game One of the NLCS was the first time fans were allowed to watch baseball in person at Globe Life. Since the Rangers didn't make the playoffs, they had the distinction of having a World Series played in their home park before they ever played in front of a live crowd there.

Globe Life Field was built right next to the Ranger's previous home (which had been renamed Choctaw Stadium in 2021). Before Globe Life Field was built, Choctaw Stadium sat on top of a hill with no parking or anything else right up against it and it was quite striking from the outside. Now there is a lot of buildup around the two stadiums - a casino,hotel, entertainment etc. At least from the side we came in on, it looked like we were going to a shopping mall - and Globe Life Field looks like a Home Depot from the outside, very boxy and industrial looking.

Two Ranger ballparks

That's the Rangers' previous home on the left and
Home Depot Globe Life Field in the background

Dave misses the Senators

Texas brags about stealing Dave's childhood
team, the Washington Senators (note his shirt).

51 years later, the Texas Rangers had yet to win a
World Series... but the Washington Nationals had!

Two Ranger ballparks

There are several murals in the park; some baseball related, some not

That said, it's actually quite nice inside. We stopped at Guest Services and asked "If you were coming here for the first - and maybe last - time, what would you see?" They were very nice and pointed us to a lot of baseball and Texas-themed art throughout (paintings, statues, lifesize bobbleheads and more). There is lots of room to roam and a good variety of concessions (Dave's wife is vegan and, unlike most ballparks, she would have no problem eating at Globe Life) as well as interesting features like being able to stand and watch the PA announcer working from a glassed-in booth on the concourse.

There are tributes to many Rangers greats including Adrian Beltre, Michael Young and Ivan Rodriguez scattered throughout Globe Life Field but there is one Texas Ranger who stands head and shoulders above the rest - Nolan Ryan. He's represented by a statue (which is almost identical to the one outside the Dell Diamond), multiple works of art, a picture of him punching Robin Ventura ("the only time Ryan hit a batter that year") and a wall adorned with the name of every one of his 5,714 strikeout victims and a Rickey Henderson quote - "As Davey Lopes says, if he ain't struck you out, you ain't nobody." (Unsurprisingly, Lopes and Henderson are both on the list.)

We didn't hear the Jerry Jeff Walker song 'Nolan Ryan, He's a Hero To Us All' but we're quite sure it gets played there (how could they not?)

Ryan statue, Dell Diamond

The Dell Diamond statue

Ryan statue, Globe Life Field

The Globe Life Field statue

Ryan - Shattered

"Shattered" is made out of baseballs and broken bats

Don't mess with Texas!

Don't mess with Texas!

(They actually are ever so slightly different)

It does have a retractable roof and artificial turf. We're not fans of those but given the Texas summers - we were there in May and it was in the upper 90s each day - we get it. Large windows let in natural light. The sight lines are good in the second deck where we were. The third deck seats are very steep, although not as vertigo-inducing as those at the home of the White Sox. Overall, a good game experience.

It was a good ballgame for a few innings, then the Red Sox broke it open and cruised to an easy win.

We weren't there until the end. For the third time on a Two Guys trip, Dave's favorite hockey team was playing an elimination game. In 2008 we watched the Caps lose Game 7 in overtime from a bar in Phoenix before going to the Diamondbacks game. In 2012 we left a game in Jackson, MS to go back to our hotel and watched the Caps eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in another overtime Game 7.

This time the Caps were playing Game 6. A loss meant their season was over. They were on the verge of elimination when they tied the game with just over a minute left. With the game going into overtime, Dave insisted on heading back to our hotel. But we didn't see any hockey - we got back to the car, turned on the radio and heard the Caps season end before we got out of the parking lot.

DC, being the good friend that he is, had brought Dave an ice cream cone when the Caps were eliminated in 2008. This time he insisted we stop on the way back to the hotel for a scoop. It wasn't the best ice cream in the world but it had the desired soothing effect.

Rangers score

Globe Life Field

Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX

Day Five - "Take Me Back To Tulsa" (Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys)

Our original 2020 vision was to spend the whole trip in Texas. But since then it was announced that the Bob Dylan Center would be opening up in May of 2022. As stated previously, we are music geeks. We were going to be within striking distance of Tulsa. This was a no-brainer. Houston and Corpus Christi were out, Tulsa was in.

So Saturday morning we flew from Dallas to Tulsa. Our first stop was Cain's Ballroom. Not quite as old as Gruene Hall but a historic venue nevertheless (The building dates back to 1924, it became a music venue a few years later). For many years it was the headquarters of Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys. Bob Wills was the "King of Western Swing" so Cain's Ballroom was "The Carnegie Hall of Western Swing". Like Gruene Hall, anyone who was anyone playing music in this part of the country would play Cain's Ballroom at some point. Patti Smith and Elvis Costello had both played there within the last few days before we arrived in town. We couldn't go in so we snapped a few pictures and headed for The Bob Dylan Center.

Cain's Ballroom

Cain's Ballroom - everyone from Bob Wills
to Elvis Costello has played there


Oklahoma, O.K.!

Dylan Center

We made it to the Dylan Center just a few days after it first opened

What exactly is the Bob Dylan Center and how did it end up in Tulsa? While it has plenty of Dylan memorabilia on display, it's designed to primarily be a window into his creative process. It ended up in Tulsa because a number of years earlier a Tulsa businessman named George Kaiser had purchased the archives of famed folksinger Woody Guthrie and set up the Woody Guthrie Center.

Woody Guthrie was one of Bob Dylan's heroes. Dylan liked what Kaiser did with the Guthrie archives and approached Kaiser about buying his. They made a deal and Kaiser's people spent about five years sifting through the material Dylan provided. (It turns out Bob Dylan is quite the pack rat.) They finally opened to the public on May 10, 2022, the day we started the Two Guys and a Map Deep In The Heart of Texas Tour.

The main floor is largely devoted to the writing of six different songs - at the time of the opening, the six were 'Like a Rolling Stone', 'Tangled Up In Blue', 'Not Dark Yet', 'Jokerman', 'The Man In Me' and 'Most of The Time'. The creative process was represented by demo tapes and Dylan's handwritten (and sometimes typed) lyrics of different iterations of each song, scrawled in notebooks, on pads of paper, hotel stationary, whatever was handy. The songs will change over time - so anyone who is curious about how 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' or 'The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar' or 'Murder Most Foul' came to be will probably get their chance to find out at some point.

There's also a jukebox with over 100 songs on it - Dylan doing Dylan, other people doing Dylan, people who influenced Dylan, people Dylan influenced. Like the highlighted songs, the jukebox selections will change. At the time of the Center's opening, the jukebox selection was curated by Elvis Costello. The second floor has a huge wall of memorabila - clothing, album covers, a bag of unopened fan mail, instruments, letters from friends and much more as well as a small theater where performance footage is shown.

There's something for every Dylan fan - the casual, Greatest Hits owner all the way up to the guy who sifts through Dylan's garbage.

Dylan Center

The Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, OK

Not Dark Yet

Writing 'Not Dark Yet'

The Continental Club

Inside the Bob Dylan Center

Tulsa was really hopping that weekend. In addition to the opening of the Dylan Center, there was a gathering of Black motorcyclists, a PGA golf tournament and the annual fan gathering for the (Tulsa based) band Hanson. (Yes, the 'MMMBop' guys - they never stopped making music and, as we saw, they have a very devoted fan base.) We don't know if we met any golfers but we certainly crossed paths with lots of bikers and Hanson fans.

Our next stop was The Greenwood Rising Black Wall Street History Center. This museum is devoted to remembering a truly terrible event, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The area of Greenwood in Tulsa had become a thriving, wealthy area for the Black population of Tulsa in the years after World War I. Then, following the arrest of a Black teenager for an alleged transgression against a White woman (accounts differ as to what actually happened), a mob of White men descended on the neighborhood, killed residents (estimates range from several dozen to a couple of hundred) and looted and burned more than 35 square blocks - they even dropped bombs from an airplane! The History Center shows how the area was built up and then, through multimedia displays including eyewitness accounts, shows the massacre and its aftermath. It's a sad, sobering experience.

Greenwood Rising Black Wall St. History Center

The Greenwood Rising Black Wall Street History Center

OneOK Field entrance

Heading into OneOK Field

OneOK Field

OneOK Field in Tulsa, OK

At that point we were ready for something lighter - so, baseball! OneOK Field is right across the street from the Greenwood Rising building. We went on over for our fourth and final baseball game of the trip.

The Tulsa Drillers are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. OneOK Field holds about 8000 people and opened in 2010. The main entrance has a sign with a 30 foot oil derrick on top. OneOK Field's exterior is a pretty mixture of brick and zinc. Unlike Nelson Wolff Stadium and The Dell Diamond, it is in a downtown, urban area and because it was fit into existing streets, it's not perfectly symmetrical. The downtown location and open outfield means there is a nice view of the city skyline from inside the park. Because it is right next to a highway, there is a large net on top of the second level to prevent foul balls from hitting passing cars. It's a very nice, comfortable ballpark.

The Drillers opponent this night was the Frisco RoughRiders, a Texas Rangers affiliate. We'd seen only one competitive game among the first three on the trip. This one was another blowout, with the future Dodgers stomping all over the future Rangers.

Tulsa Drillers score

Day Six - "Song To Woody" (Bob Dylan)

The next morning we headed over to the Woody Guthrie Center, which shares a building with the Bob Dylan Center. It's easy to see why Bob Dylan was impressed enough to trust the same people with his archives. The museum does an excellent job of presenting information about the times Woody Guthrie lived in and his life in particular, with musical instruments, papers, other objects, film, artwork and lots of music, both his versions and others doing Guthrie songs. (In addition to his version of 'This Land Is Your Land', you can hear it sung in German and Japanese.) There is even a pretty amazing virtual reality recreation of the Black Sunday Dust Storm. The staff is very friendly, helpful, enthusiastic and well informed about their subject.

Woody Guthrie mural, Tulsa

Woody Guthrie's guitar: "This Machine Kills Facists"
Guthrie Center front doors: "No Weapons Allowed Except Guitars"

Guthrie art

Woody Guthrie drew pictures with songs and with pens

Woody Guthrie Center

The Woody Guthrie Center
Matt (in the back, wearing the white shirt) was very informative and helpful.

The Guthrie Center was also hosting a special exhibit. Bruce Springsteen fans have always told non-believers "You've got to see him live." The Bruce Springsteen Live exhibit focuses on that aspect of his career with artifacts, interactive exhibits, film of live performances, interviews and more. We hadn't known the exhibit was going to be there when we scheduled the trip but since we are both huge Springsteen fans, we were thrilled to see it.

Woody Guthrie

Portrait of Woody

Bruce Springsteen Live exhibit

Springsteen Live exhibit at The Woody Guthrie Center

Bruce live

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, live in 1979
(click here for video)

With that, the Two Guys and a Map Deep In The Heart of Texas Tour came to a close. We headed for the airport and flew home. Since at that point, there were no confirmed new MLB ballparks on the horizon (although we were quite sure that something would happen with the Oakland Athletics - either a new ballpark or new city), we didn't know where we'd be heading in 2024.

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