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Old 06-01-2013, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
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Anyone have any favorites?

Or any thoughts/discussion on Oklahoma in general? (Aside from tornadic activity maybe...)
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:43 PM
 
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I lived in Oklahoma between 1991 and 1997 and LOVED it - mostly.

Oklahoma has a fascinating history and a unique population. Southeastern Oklahoma is one of the most beautiful and least overpopulated/overvisited parts of America.

My 2nd year there I took a two week vacation and made a slow circle around the state. Such a diverse place! I especially enjoyed Woolaroc, Alabaster Caverns State Park, the Ouachita Mountains, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Heavener Runestone State Park, Spiro Mounds, Grand Lake, and even Har-Ber Village.

Of those, Spiro Mounds is a super important archaeological site. If you only go one place in Oklahoma, go there.

Cool small towns include Sand Springs (site of a unique social experiment, the Sand Springs Home), Ponca City (site of the former 101 ranch), Claremore (Will Rogers' home), Tahlequa (Northeastern State University), Hugo (a circus off-season town), Mangum (Quartz Mountain), Tishomingo (the Chickasaw Council House) and just too many to name.

On the negative side, Oklahoma City is about one of the most boring and homely cities in America. And if you want to learn about modern cattle stock yards, go to Guymon. Guymon is the reason why I don't eat beef.

If it weren't for the dominance of the fundamentalist fringe of Christianity in Oklahoma I'd move back there in a flash! But I'd put a storm cellar on my property.

And, OP, I'm assuming you've already checked out the Oklahoma Forum.
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Old 06-08-2013, 03:08 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,192 posts, read 4,476,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 601halfdozen0theother View Post
I lived in Oklahoma between 1991 and 1997 and LOVED it - mostly.
Thanks for your reply.

I've never tired to figure it by year before, but let's see...

I have lived in Oklahoma from 1970-1972, 1978-1981, 1984-1991, 1994-2001, 2003-2005, November, 2011-present.

Quote:
Oklahoma has a fascinating history and a unique population. Southeastern Oklahoma is one of the most beautiful and least overpopulated/overvisited parts of America.
Yes, SE Oklahoma is indeed beautiful. Many poverty-stricken little towns down there, but great, rich natural beauty. I always felt the most beautiful parts of Oklahoma are around its edges. Out West where the ancient Wichita Mountains are, or the tip of the panhandle around the Black Mesa area. And far Eastern Oklahoma--lush and green, rolling hills, woods, the foothills of The Ozarks...

Quote:
My 2nd year there I took a two week vacation and made a slow circle around the state. Such a diverse place! I especially enjoyed Woolaroc, Alabaster Caverns State Park, the Ouachita Mountains, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Heavener Runestone State Park, Spiro Mounds, Grand Lake, and even Har-Ber Village.
I've been to all those places except Har-Ber Village.

Quote:
On the negative side, Oklahoma City is about one of the most boring and homely cities in America.
I agree. It's largely a blight on the landscape. Six-hundred-odd square miles, much of it characterless and highly unattractive. I share your opinion--it's one of the ugliest cities in the USA and doesn't have a great deal of culture unless you are really into sports and modern country music.

I much prefer Tulsa.

But really, I don't want to live in any city anywhere near that size. Which is why I asked the question. I thought some locals or people who once lived here or had some experience here might chime in with their impressions of specific places.

Unfortunately, I am currently stuck in OKC. I don't want to be anywhere near the metro. I'm hoping that I can transfer through my job to a much smaller, more rural county next year. I've lived all over the state, but OKC is not a favorite of mine, for sure.

Quote:
If it weren't for the dominance of the fundamentalist fringe of Christianity in Oklahoma I'd move back there in a flash!
Yes, the politics and religion of the state are generally 180 degrees from mine, but I've always known a lot of people who felt that way. The people of Oklahoma are more diverse than you might think.

Quote:
And, OP, I'm assuming you've already checked out the Oklahoma Forum.
Oh yeah, I'm over there a lot. Just thought I might ask this question over here.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:07 AM
 
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Griffis, it sounds like you have a lot more experience with different parts of Oklahoma than many people who live there. I think you are seeking an outside perspective as an alternative to what you get in the Oklahoma forums. Yet, you say " I thought some locals or people who once lived here or had some experience here might chime in with their impressions of specific places."

I was born in Oklahoma. I lived more than 26 years total time in Oklahoma, but have also lived in Texas (twice), Michigan, Florida, and Illinois. While in those places, I've lived in major metropolitan areas... Detroit, MI and Jacksonville, FL. I also lived in an exurb of Ft. Worth which was just a nice small city (about 20,000 people) a short drive from Ft. Worth. I now live in a mid-sized metro area of about 200,000 people.

In Oklahoma, I grew up in and near a small town with a population measured in the low hundreds. It's not far from Chickasha. I guess that is why I read this forum. At heart, I'm a small town guy. I had a little taste of farm life as my folks had a little hobby farm that often took more time than any hobby should. Raising cattle is a concern that requires work even if the herd size is small. Most kids in my school lived in the country, not even in the small towns that hosted our school system. Most people aren't interested in living in a town where there might be one or two gas stations, one or two cafes, a post office, a school, and only a handful of other businesses. These kinds of towns are not usually the most picturesque. People rarely find reason to even visit such places if they don't have friends or family living there.

One of the benefits of living in such a place is that it is within a short drive of more populous places like Chickasha, or Oklahoma City. OKC is not everyone's favorite, but it certainly offers amenities that small towns don't have. I read what others write when comparing major cities. They say this one or that one is better because it has so much more to do. Some people like places with lots of night life. Others love professional sports. Some are high on "culture". I think small town folks are just happy to have a place where they don't have to deal with all the crowds, traffic, and fast-paced lifestyle that city folks seem to crave. What some call boring, I'd call peaceful.

I don't need to be so close to all that "culture". I'd prefer to keep it all at arms length, and drive in for a visit when I feel the need to experience a bit of it. People who need or crave something to do every minute probably belong in a big city.

I liked growing up attending a small school system. I knew all the kids in my grade. They all fit in one classroom. Even though I wasn't great at sports, I still made the team since most of the rest weren't so great either. We weren't bad, just most had no prospects of playing in college or beyond. We played teams from other small towns where the talent pool was about the same. Students got plenty of personal attention from teachers. A student's future was more dependent on his or her level of personal effort than anything else. There was nothing to hold us back academically. The learning environment was safe and focused on learning.

I and my family have adapted to life wherever we have lived. We like our current home in a mid-sized city, but I know that my kids will have different opportunities than I had growing up. It will be a harder to make it onto a sports team. They are in a good school, so they shouldn't suffer academically, but they do sometimes suffer socially. They can be lost in the crowd sometimes. Moving to new places is hard for them. I'm not sure how they would adapt if we moved to a town the size I am from.

I guess I may be straying off topic. I read before that you are familiar with Chickasha. It seems to have gone downhill over the years in some residential areas. Driving down streets that used to look pretty nice (like 17th St.), I see more homes not well cared for. I suppose there are newer developments to replace them as far as nicer places to live. They have newer retail development near Wal-Mart. The university (USAO) has changed to "highly selective" since I attended there, and is often listed on national lists as one of the better small state liberal arts colleges in the country.

I also attended college at OSU in Stillwater. Stillwater is not a bad place. Since OSU is the biggest university in the state (at least it was when I attended in the 80's and maybe still is), it provides a boost to the economy, culture, and diversity, if such things are important to you. Division I sports are certainly more stimulating than those at a University like USAO, from a spectator's viewpoint. There certainly are a lot more sports going on. There is a wider variety of academic programs as well. OSU is a place where some kids would feel lost in the crowd. I know I felt like a number when I was there. USAO provided a more personal experience. There were a lot more distractions at OSU, too.

I returned to live for a few years in Oklahoma not long ago. That time, I lived in Checotah. I enjoyed my time there, although I'm certain it wouldn't be for everyone. It's small enough that a lot of people would be bored there, but if you become involved in the local community, you will meet lots of nice people. You will learn to enjoy things like Old Settler's Day and the annual Okra Festival (although I'm not sure they still have that one). There are parades a few times a year through the downtown. There are rodeos. The Wildcats have had good and bad years in football, but if you enjoy high school sports, they will be fun to watch. It's near Lake Eufaula, the biggest lake in the state. Some parts of Eufaula are gorgeous and provide good fishing and aquatic opportunities.

Checotah is a pretty much self-contained small town in that you can find most of what you need on a daily basis right in town. For what you can't find locally, Muskogee is only about half an hour away. If not there, then Tulsa is within an hour and a half. Dallas is do-able as a day trip or an easy overnight visit.

If you like places with more of a trendy small town downtown with more little shops and the like, Eufaula (the town) is only 13 miles away, although there are antiques/collectibles shops and the like in Checotah as well. Checotah has a bowling alley, a skating rink, and even a movie theater (although that is closed and for sale if anyone has dreams of owning a theater). It's not like there is absolutely nothing to do there.

That's my experience with Oklahoma. I miss it. It's my home state. My parents and many other family members still live there. Is it the best place in the world? That's all a matter of perspective. I like it.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,192 posts, read 4,476,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trythis View Post
One of the benefits of living in such a place is that it is within a short drive of more populous places like Chickasha, or Oklahoma City...

...I think small town folks are just happy to have a place where they don't have to deal with all the crowds, traffic, and fast-paced lifestyle that city folks seem to crave. What some call boring, I'd call peaceful.

I don't need to be so close to all that "culture". I'd prefer to keep it all at arms length, and drive in for a visit when I feel the need to experience a bit of it. People who need or crave something to do every minute probably belong in a big city.
Well said. I totally agree.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
16,397 posts, read 13,819,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 601halfdozen0theother View Post
If it weren't for the dominance of the fundamentalist fringe of Christianity in Oklahoma I'd move back there in a flash! But I'd put a storm cellar on my property.
But since the year 2000 that dominance could not stop the legalization of lotteries, casinos, tattoo application and allowing liquor stores to open on election days. After all that got legalized, I wouldn't be too shocked to see marijuana and/or same sex marriage legalized in Oklahoma when 2020 comes. But certainly not as soon as within several years.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,924,779 times
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Originally Posted by StillwaterTownie View Post
But since the year 2000 that dominance could not stop the legalization of lotteries, casinos, tattoo application and allowing liquor stores to open on election days. After all that got legalized, I wouldn't be too shocked to see marijuana and/or same sex marriage legalized in Oklahoma when 2020 comes. But certainly not as soon as within several years.
What I've found here in Oklahoma is that more people are grounded in their religion, but are treating it more as a private choice. I came from socal, and the fundamentalist there are agressinve, as if they have something to prove. I'm wiccan, and wear a public symbol, but nobody has told me I must accept Jesus here. I know the leaning is reflected in other ways, but in personal relations with people I do find that refreshing.

What I think is more important than religion in 'fitting in' here is the willingness to embrase the lifestyle. Things do not happen quickly here. They happen 'soon'. One of my neighbors came from California and at first said it felt like everyone was moving in slow motion. But he got used to it and he doesn't hurry either now. I think that was the very biggest adjustment.

That and the mania about mowing your lawn each time a blade of grass dare grow a quarter of an inch higher than the rest. I still aspire to my own mower and three to four inch grass or whatever actually grows.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:41 PM
 
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I have lived in Oklahoma for a number of years, and have never, not one moment, been bored! The thing that bothers me is the heat. I know someone that moves every year because they can't take the heat anymore, plus the fact that it's so hot for so many months out of the year. And, that darn sunshine is so bright, it causes so many car accidents because it is blinding.

We're getting a lot of these churches: OUDaily.com | COLUMN: Unitarian Universalist church welcomes many religious beliefs

There's also quite a few atheists who live in Oklahoma, as well as satanists.
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:52 AM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
16,397 posts, read 13,819,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess5 View Post
I have lived in Oklahoma for a number of years, and have never, not one moment, been bored! The thing that bothers me is the heat. I know someone that moves every year because they can't take the heat anymore, plus the fact that it's so hot for so many months out of the year. And, that darn sunshine is so bright, it causes so many car accidents because it is blinding.
I don't recall so many day after days of long periods with the temp getting over 100 in central Oklahoma for the last 2 summers. Hopefully, the intense heat and drought won't set in again this year. At least the heat is always worse in Texas. They're quite welcome to do the heat bigger. The 100s start there sooner and linger on later. I don't notice the sun being a problem with driving except around sunset and sunrise.
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,924,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess5 View Post
I have lived in Oklahoma for a number of years, and have never, not one moment, been bored! The thing that bothers me is the heat. I know someone that moves every year because they can't take the heat anymore, plus the fact that it's so hot for so many months out of the year. And, that darn sunshine is so bright, it causes so many car accidents because it is blinding.

We're getting a lot of these churches: OUDaily.com | COLUMN: Unitarian Universalist church welcomes many religious beliefs

There's also quite a few atheists who live in Oklahoma, as well as satanists.
That makes me wish there was one where I live. I could go for that.
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