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superintendent and co-op member, is on his fourth airboat, having been an airboat owner for roughly 20 years. He and his wife Dede get out on the river any weekend they can. Dede prefers nice weather, but Jimmy tries to run his boat all year long, using it to hunt ducks, deer and wild hogs in the winter. Maupin‘s friend, Tim Glaser who owns Twin


Rivers Campground near Ponca City, was instru- mental in fueling Maupin’s passion for air boating. Glaser, an Indian Electric Cooperative member who has been air boating 35 years, built his first airboat by hand from a flat-bottomed boat. “We’ve come a long way from an old wooden prop boat,” Glaser said. “My boat’s still pretty slow, but those new boats like Jimmy’s will blow you out of the water.”


Though Glaser said his boat is best for fishing and hunting arrowheads along the riverbanks, he and Maupin have also been summoned to use their boats for more serious tasks. The airboats, which basically hydroplane on shallow water due to their shape and speed, are designed to navigate shallow rivers as well as sand banks. This enables air boaters to tread areas no one else can.


Glaser and the rest of the air boating community. “They never hesitate to help out.”


Brownfield is no stranger to helping out either. Six years ago, she took the lead in organizing the first air boating poker run—the biggest air boating event in Oklahoma. The annual event is still going strong with half of the proceeds going to the Marland Children’s Home in Ponca City. “The kids at the home don’t have anything,”


“When Conoco had their spill up here, we helped clean up,” Glaser said. “We also pick up trash along the river. We‘re planning a big trash pick-up for the summer.”


Maupin added that a few years ago, the Chikaskia River in Blackwell, Okla., flooded and the guys were asked to help rescue people from their homes. “Yeah, we’ve done that,” Glaser said. “We have also been called to find bodies when people drown. But it hasn’t rained like that in a long time.” “Those guys have big hearts,” said Indian Electric Cooperative member Misty Brownfield of Maupin,


Brownfield said. “Even shampoo, soap; things we take for granted are a luxury for them. The home just simply doesn’t have the money for that stuff. When I found that out, I thought, ‘that’s where we’re donating the money.’”


The Rolling on the River poker run was started because Brownfield’s cousin Wilbur Maxwell, who suffered from a terminal illness, wanted to see an airboat poker run before he died.


“Wilbur took me on my first airboat ride,” Brownfield said. “That’s when I fell in love with the river. I’m thankful to him for giving me that outlet. The poker run was important to him, so I wanted to make it happen.”


Continued on Page 29


MAY 2013


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