Recapping Trump’s visit to the Oklahoma State Fair…
9:33 AM EDT on September 29, 2015
Usually when a big event hits this state, like a tornado, earthquake or Confederate Flag rally, we like to lurk behind the scenes and let the legitimate media do their thing. Then we'll come back a day or two later and recap what happened, make fun of the media coverage, Photoshop pics of Aaron Tuttle, etc. We do this because we're lazy.
For Donald Trump's visit to the Oklahoma State Fair, we changed the policy. This was a merging of two of our favorite sources of material – crazy politicians and fair freaks. Missing this would be like turning down tickets to watch Emily Sutton and Hipster Boo Boo mud wrestle. We had to be there.
So, I turned all official and requested some media passes with the fair. Miraculously, they were approved, and on Friday Marisa and I went to the Oklahoma State Fair to enjoy The Donald Trump Experience.
We walked inside the fair gates at around 3:45, a good two hours before the Donald would arrive. The first thing we did was grab some $6.50 beers and immediately debate whether or not it was an appropriate time to eat butter-drenched corn on the cob. Should we eat now and risk a gastric catastrophe an hour later, or play it safe and eat after the Trumpamania? It was a tough call. We agreed to play it safe and navigated our way to extremely dated, ugly and very beige Bandshell stage that was apparently last remodeled in 1976.
Even though Trump wouldn't speak for nearly three more hours, there were already a few hundred people circled around the structure watching Konowa's own EverFade play Rock 100.5 KATT-approved covers of Bush, Stone Temple Pilots and Pink Floyd. They also played an original song that I think was called "Don't Meth With Me, Baby." It was alright. Overall, EverFade reminded me of watching a group of friends play Rock Band in 2008.
After people-watching and singing along to Plush in the hotter than expected heat, Marisa and I searched for a building with air conditioning. We found the Modern Living Building that's situated behind the stage. It should probably be renamed the As Seen On TV building, because if there's an infomercial product in this world that you want to buy or try, they had it inside.
Here's a pic of a guy showing off some fancy pots to a hungry crowd of onlookers:
FYI: If you bought the entire set, I think you got a free model pirate ship.
After walking the Modern Living Building and nearly buying a Himalayan Salt Lamp, Marisa and I strolled back into the Midway and grabbed another beer, because you know, we take this reporting stuff seriously. To avoid any more fried temptation, we trekked back towards the Bandshell stage. On the way, we noticed a group of people congregating next to a temporary metal gate that stood in front of a fancy $468,000 black Winnebago.
Thinking it would be a good place to possibly see Mr. Trump, we camped there. We weren't the only ones. A crowd started to form and we soon had loyal Trump supporters waiting with us:
At this time, things got kind of boring. Important looking people would come in and out of the Winnebago, but we never saw Donald. This was probably because his plane had not even landed at Wiley Post airport, but we had no clue. For about 30 minutes, the only interesting thing to happen was EverFade loading their equipment into a beat up white Buick:
As time moved on, more people gathered. Our area was getting full. Then some cops and state fair employees arrived with more metal gates. They started clearing a path through the crowd next to where we were standing!
Suddenly, we had front row seats along a corridor that led from the Winnebago to the State Fair Midway. It was pretty obvious we were going to be the first people to meet Trump at the fair.
We even had better spots than the legitimate media:
At this point, we had to play another waiting game. For 30 minutes, we were packed like sardines in the state fair heat. Everything smelled like body odor, beer and corn dogs. It was like being stuck at the top of the ferris wheel, only instead of seeing the Oklahoma City skyline we had this staring back at us:
After what seemed liked hours of waiting, a motorcade pulled into the fair parking lot and sped towards the Winnebago. People were screaming, chanting, pointing, clapping. I grabbed my phone and streamed it live on Periscope. This is what I saw. The video is kind of screwed up because I switched orientations halfway through:
On a positive note, I'll never have to worry about one of my friends asking me to film their wedding.
You can't see it because I choked and forgot I was filming, but Donald Trump briefly shook my hand. Even though I don't care for Trump all that much, it made me giddy. I felt like I was David Payne stuck in a grinder. THE Donald Trump, the most hated and loved man in America, gave me a billion dollar handshake. It was cooler than a watered down beer from the Jamaican Me Crazy stand.
Now before you judge me, let me clarify that I think Trump the presidential candidate is a lunatic. He's a classic nut job and has no business being the most powerful person in the world. But Donald Trump the entertainer running for president is kind of fun to watch. I like how he's shaking up our political arena. I laughed at the personal attacks he tossed at his political opponents. It's a side of politics we've never seen before. It's antagonistic and, at times, pretty damn funny. It's also extremely offensive and I understand why some people hate him.
Also, it's worth seeing Trump in person to marvel at his hair. Just like Sunday's lunar eclipse or the Grand Canyon, photos don't do it justice. It has an unnaturally bright glowing hue that can only be appreciated in person. I think it was sewn together by Rumpelstiltskin.
As Trump made his way through the Midway, we scurried back to the stage. At this point, there were thousands of people scattered around the Bandshell. We stood near the back, suffered through some awful music from a 10-year-old girl and an awkward speech by Ralph Shortey.
We also did some people watching:
At about 6:30 or so, Donald Trump took the stage and went into his stump diatribe. I've used this analogy in the past, but it was like listening to a professional wrestler. He talked a lot of shit, made jokes, and pandered to the crowd for jeers and applause. At one point, I thought he was going to ask "Now where are my Trumpamaniacs!" and then snap into a Slim Jim.
I'd say a good chunk of the crowd was there to watch the attraction and freak show. There were more eyerolls than fist pumps. I'd guess that 20% of the people were legitimate Trump supporters. The loudest cheers and applause came when he talked about Mexico, and building a wall – a big wall – to keep out all the murderers and thieves from Mexico. It was basically the same stuff you've heard him say during interviews or the debates. It lost its charm and turned boring.
As a result, we left the speech early and ventured into the Midway in search of food and drink. Apparently we weren't the only ones. You would have thought the Midway would be a ghost town with a man as popular as Trump giving a big speech, but it wasn't. The fair was full of life. Carnies, fair freaks and other creatures from the trailer park mingled like wild animals on the African savannah. Eventually I got my corn and Marisa had her roast beef sundae. Our day seemed complete... or so I thought.
Long after Trump had left and we had our seconds and thirds of fair food (Teriyaki Chicken on a Stick is where it's at), Marisa and I sat at the "Craft Beer" booth drinking watered-down IPAs and chatting it up with a couple of girls who work at Blackbird Gastro Pub on Campus Corner. We were reflecting on the day and the absurdity of it. Trump came to the Oklahoma State Fair. Could this day get any more surreal?
I then looked out into the crowd and my question was answered.
Not only did I shake Donald Trump's hand and see his hair, but I found the real lost Ogle. Maybe we should stop lurking and do this more often.