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Old 09-22-2006, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
17,580 posts, read 20,896,059 times
Reputation: 9208

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I bought some property on Lake Tenkiller a while back with the intention of moving to this area in a couple years. Reading this forum has got me a little worried about something I hadn't really dwelled on before - religious zealots, racists and rednecks. I have the impression that Tahlequah, with its proximity to Tulsa and Muskogee and its large Indian population is very diverse and - as a university town - a little more progressive and open-minded than one might expect of a small "bible-belt" town. My experiences there have been fine, but I generally have gone alone and I am a Cau. Wife is AA and daughter is mixed. Wife seems unconcerned, but I lay awake at night wondering if this is the right move. Am I getting worked up over nothing?
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Old 09-22-2006, 03:47 PM
 
Location: , Location, Location
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Tahlequah is one of the nicer places to live, if you have to be stuck in Oklahoma.

Yes, the state has a lot of ultra-conservatives, hardcore christians and an overall redneck mentality, but Tahlequah is a bit more progressive.

In general, the state is probably better as far as issues of race goes than deeper south like Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, even rural Texas, etc. Smaller towns would be iffy, but any college town would probably present no real problem for your family.

I've spent a lot of time in Tahlequah and have family there. It's quite pretty (as Oklahoma goes) and, as I say, the presence of the university is probably a help as far as it being a little more open-minded.

This is a slightly different matter to your concern, but my sister who lives in Tahlequah is gay, and she and her partner are very open but have had no problems and have a large group of straight and gay friends. In fact, my sister works for the District Attorney and her partner sits on the Chamber of Commerce.

I have to say, the circle of people I know in Oklahoma are not at all racist and wouldn't look twice at a mixed family. But smaller, more rural towns are likely to be at the very least overly curious and at worst possibly a little hostile. There are a lot of bumpkins and creationist-types here. It's just a sad cause of living in this part of the country where there is no real value placed on education outside of MVPs on some draggly football team and beer deals at the local liquor store.

By the way, if you don't mind me asking-- where would you be coming from?
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Old 09-22-2006, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
17,580 posts, read 20,896,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffis View Post
Tahlequah is one of the nicer places to live, if you have to be stuck in Oklahoma.

Yes, the state has a lot of ultra-conservatives, hardcore christians and an overall redneck mentality, but Tahlequah is a bit more progressive.

In general, the state is probably better as far as issues of race goes than deeper south like Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, even rural Texas, etc. Smaller towns would be iffy, but any college town would probably present no real problem for your family.

I've spent a lot of time in Tahlequah and have family there. It's quite pretty (as Oklahoma goes) and, as I say, the presence of the university is probably a help as far as it being a little more open-minded.

This is a slightly different matter to your concern, but my sister who lives in Tahlequah is gay, and she and her partner are very open but have had no problems and have a large group of straight and gay friends. In fact, my sister works for the District Attorney and her partner sits on the Chamber of Commerce.

I have to say, the circle of people I know in Oklahoma are not at all racist and wouldn't look twice at a mixed family. But smaller, more rural towns are likely to be at the very least overly curious and at worst possibly a little hostile. There are a lot of bumpkins and creationist-types here. It's just a sad cause of living in this part of the country where there is no real value placed on education outside of MVPs on some draggly football team and beer deals at the local liquor store.

By the way, if you don't mind me asking-- where would you be coming from?
We're running from the crowds in the Phoenix Arizona area. I'm a good deal country-boy myself having grown up in Michigan's UP and my wife is from the Texas panhandle area. I fondly noted that just about every man I saw in OK, like me, wears a baseball cap. We drive a dually pickup and own a shotgun or two as well, LOL. We are looking for a place a little greener, with water features that are not 100 miles away, and with a whole lot less people. Tahlequah kept coming out on top of my towns with the "must-haves". It is close to a major metro area, has lakes, a university, reasonable cost of living, and topography among others. When I say we are considering OK my friends think we are nuts - I guess you do too. But after 30 odd years of big city-life, it sounds awfully nice.
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:33 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,496 posts, read 25,447,434 times
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Ponderosa, you're not crazy about thinking of OK. We're also looking at OK for a future place to live with a bit nicer climate then we have in So. Dak. We know several people who have been there and they love it there. I guess the people are friendly and even the drivers are supposed to be courteous there. Can you imagine that for a town Tulsa's size? The cost of living seems very reasonable and they have a long summer and a short winter. I have a friend who's sister works in Tahlequah as a nurse in the hospital. She commutes, but loves the town. I'm sure they may be more glamourous places to live then OK, but they have a nice climate, reasonable cost of living, supposedly have friendly people, employment, etc. Sounds like the place for me. Oh, and only three more weeks and we'll know if we like it there or not. We'll be taking our first trip to the Tulsa area. We also hope to stop by Grove either on our way down there or home. It's supposed to be very nice there. Happy hunting and I hope you find what you're looking for.l
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Old 09-22-2006, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
17,580 posts, read 20,896,059 times
Reputation: 9208
Thank you for the reassuring words. SD is one of the other places on my shortlist - specifically Rapid City. My relatives mostly live in WI and MI and as we travel to see them we have gone through there several times. I just love that area. The people have been so nice and last year we spent the majority of our vacation time there. I am downrighted scared about the winter though. Even though I grew up in northwoods, as a kid that kind of thing never matters. But 40 below wind chills? Whew...
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:35 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,496 posts, read 25,447,434 times
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Ponderosa, we absolutely love it out in the Hills. They don't get as cold as we do in the southeastern part of the state. Even their January days warm up nicely. But they do have some pretty rough winters out there, too. The northern Hills has a LOT of snow. It sure is beautiful and peaceful out there though. OOPS, sorry, this is the OK section.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:44 PM
 
Location: , Location, Location
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Ponderosa, your post intrigues me because the U.P. of Michigan is one of the places on OUR list of possible relocation destinations. Doesn't look like finding a job up there will be the easy part.

I used to live in AZ, but closer to Flagstaff. Can't blame you wanting to leave Phoenix-- I hated that place.

With your ballcap, dually and shotguns, you should feel right at home in OK! However, I'll stress again that if you want greenery, Tahlequah is more the right track. You want to stay in NE Oklahoma for anything like scenery, though it's still pretty minimal (neighboring Arkansas is far prettier than OK, but possibly even more rednecky.)

Incidentally, I wouldn't say Tulsa drivers are all that friendly. Not really jerks either, just normal I guess. They're kinder than the drivers I encountered when I lived in Chicago.

One positive about Oklahoma is I would say the people are overall rather friendly and unassuming. Not a lot of pretentious behavior. Pretty open. Conservative, but friendly.

I think the climate here is dreadful. The summers are just ungodly. And they stay that way for 6 weeks straight (with more like 12-15 weeks of what I call real discomfort.) It'll fry the brains right inside your head. And the humidity makes it difficult to even breathe. Before summer comes tornado season (worse in central OK) and after a very brief fall, it's cold and windy and instead of a treat of snow, we get ice storms that make the roads impassable, destroy trees (which then collapse and destroy houses) and the power lines freeze and fall down, leaving people without power. Good times.

Even though I am desperately hoping to get my family OUT of this state, I hope you and Jammie find something you like here. Something to call home.

Hey--report back after your visit. Love to hear your thoughts.
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:38 AM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,496 posts, read 25,447,434 times
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Griffis, I sure will report back about how we felt about things and how we liked it there. The only thing we're hesitant about right at the moment is the population of Tulsa. Wow, that's a lot of people with the metro area when you're from a sparsely populated area.

Since you mentioned snow and ice storms it reminded me~does OK have snow removing equipment? The reason I ask is because we went to SC for vacation last year. I was totally shocked that the towns shut down when they get their inch or two of snow. They have absolutely nothing to remove it with. Is it the same way in OK?
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Old 09-23-2006, 01:20 AM
 
Location: , Location, Location
2,890 posts, read 1,941,491 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammie View Post

Since you mentioned snow and ice storms it reminded me~does OK have snow removing equipment? The reason I ask is because we went to SC for vacation last year. I was totally shocked that the towns shut down when they get their inch or two of snow. They have absolutely nothing to remove it with. Is it the same way in OK?
In a word, no. Snow removing equipment is few and far between here. Everyone freaks out when it snows an inch and they stock up at Wal Mart like they are going to be snowed in for three weeks.

People here do not know how to drive on snow and ice either.

Bigger cities (well, the 2 "cities") may have some snow equipment, and it is deployed thusly:

1) Rich, nice parts of town first
2) Major busine$$ districts
3) Upper middle class if we get to it
4) The rest of you-- it'll be thawed and gone before we get to ye.

In small towns you're on your own a lot of the time.

On the other hand, some winters bring almost nothing but cold and wind and very little precipitation. A few years back Tulsa had tons of snow and it kept coming. Nobody ever cleared our streets and I lived right on campus. (Some of the main streets nearby were salted, and this of course will rust your car to pieces so always get a bellywash after a snow).

But I live in Norman now (near OKC) and we've hardly seen snow in three years. Ice yes, snow, no. Makes me feel like my kids are getting ripped off. I miss snow.

But I wish OK was like places that got more snow and knew how to deal with it, and had the facilities to clear it up some.
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Old 09-23-2006, 01:18 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,496 posts, read 25,447,434 times
Reputation: 14853
Griff, I've heard of Norman, OK quite often. We listen to the weather channel and they mention it a lot. I believe it has some pretty sophisticated equipment for tracking tornadoes and other storms.

It's a postive thing that there isn't much snow removal equipment there. It kind of goes to show that there wouldn't be a need for it like there is up here. It's kind of funny how we always would like to have different weather then we have in the area we live in. I've lived here my entire life and still haven't mastered driving in the snow or on ice. You just don't seem to have a lot of control of a vehicle and I absolutely hate getting stuck in snow. Even with all the blades and sand trucks, etc. we still have some pretty treacherous driving in the winter and I'd love to get away from that.
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