"We are all Okies" Oklahoma by chauncenetta
Oklahoma Travel Guide: 1,438 reviews and 2,849 photos
My parents are from Oklahoma and I spent many holidays and summers there as a child. Being from Arkansas, I though Oklahoma City was a most sophisticated place. My grandparents, Glenn and Hazel, lived in Bethany where they had a small acreage with a flock of sheep and two horses: Snip and Buck. It seemed that everyone in Oklahoma City had a horse. I used to ride Snip. He was a lazy horse. We'd stroll to the far ends of the pasture behind Glenn and Hazel's house. Snip would see the barn from the corner of his eye and take off for it at a full gallop, with me flopping around on that horse like a sack of flour, as my father observed. Note to self: riding lessons. I loved to watch them grooming the horses, with the smell of barn and leather and hay. I loved the sound of the screen door closing. An old-fashioned clatter that we don't hear anymore, and the little Dr. Pepper bottles that Glenn would keep on the slab cement back porch, drinking one every day believing that Dr. Pepper kept him regular. The sound the beverage would make as it sizzled and popped when poured over ice cubes. The "fraidy hole" with the long aluminum door on the back porch, they take their tornados seriously, as they should, the huge sunflowers they grew in their garden and their impeccable lawn. The amusement park Wedgewood Village we sojuorned to every summer. I never had the nerve to ride the big roller coaster "Hurricane." My cousin tells me that Wedgewood Village is long gone. The world championship rodeo every year, for which Glenn would buy tickets for the entire family. Now it's in Vegas. Such sacrilege. Oklahoma City is the largest city in America. Area-wise. You'll see residential areas divided by cow pastures and badlands surrounding downtown. A co-existence of nature and commerce. It's windy there and the dirt is red. Allergy sufferers beware.
The memorial for the bombing victims of the Federal Bldg. is Oklahoma City is the most eloquent, profound and moving testament to justice and non-violence that I've ever seen. Truly hallowed ground, a reflecting pool is flanked by two huge monoliths, indicating the time of 9:01 and 9:03. The bomb went off at 9:02 and the world changed. There are chairs made from bronze and glass block adjacent to the pool, with the name of each victim represented by each chair, with a heartbreaking array of smaller chairs representing the murdered children from the first floor day care of the Murrah Bldg. The adjacent anti -terrorism museum is brilliant and impossible to tour without tears, conveying intimately and strongly the lives of the people taken by the dirty little coward Timothy McVeigh. One room of the museum is like a catacomb, with walls of plexiglass displays each containing a photograph of a victim, with their name and a short bio and a personal memento of theirs: a set of keys, a tube of lipstick, a teddy bear. It's an opportunity to recognize and cherish the humanity of people and you leave with their memories now part of you. Awesome and holy. Everyone should make a trip to Oklahoma City to visit this memorial. It will make you a richer person.
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