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Old 01-28-2011, 10:25 PM
 
2,674 posts, read 3,083,115 times
Reputation: 1995

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I'm posting this to open discussion. Pitcher, OK is the #1 Superfund site in America.

U.S. town demolished over lead contamination - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110128/lf_nm_life/us_town_demolished - broken link)

When I read this today it brought a tear to my eye, not because of the contamination, but because of the human aspect.

Humans connect with their home, and their environment. It goes far beyond a place. It becomes spiritual. I think that is the place this man is living.

There is a great documentary titled, The Creek Runs Red. I highly recommend it for all who live in Oklahoma.

May we all have a place in our hearts where we can have compassion for those whose history has been buried.
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Pawnee Nation
7,525 posts, read 16,044,928 times
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After the tornado a few years ago, there wasn't much left anyway............
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma City area
689 posts, read 1,941,802 times
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I grew up in Miami, ten miles and a world away from Picher. Some of the mine owners, like the Colemans, lived in Miami, away from the mines themselves. When I was in grade school, we'd go down into the Nancy Jane mine, named after one of my classmates. Later some of the kids in school would ride bikes and dune buggies on the chat piles. Chat is the tailings (waste) from the lead and zinc mines. From a distance they looked like mountains rising from the flatlands. Back then no one gave a thought to what the dangers might be.

Another town involved in this is Cardin. It didn't get as much publicity as Picher but it was affected just the same. Years ago my husband and I drove around there. It had been many years since I'd been to the area and I was amazing at how much of Cardin had collapsed into the mines.

And yes, the tornado was just the final insult to a once thriving town. Farewell.
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Old 01-30-2011, 06:10 PM
 
2,674 posts, read 3,083,115 times
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Sorry about misspelling Picher. There is a documentary, The Creek Runs Red, and I highly recommend it. It was done before the buy out and of course, before the tornado. They did an excellent job of capturing the sense of home the people of Picher felt. It must have been so difficult to give up the home to which one was bound.
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Old 03-06-2011, 05:51 AM
 
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My dad was born in Muskogee and raised in Picher. I have lots of kin still there, or did, but I never met them.

He remembers playing on the mine tailings as a boy in the thirties. Now, he is 80 and we had to put him in an assisted living home for dementia last fall here in VA. Some days, he remembers me and some days not, but he seems to remember his boyhood in OK and going visiting to his grandparents in Missouri.
We have to wonder if being exposed to the tailings didn't affect him mind in these later years. We have no evidence but it does make you wonder.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:26 PM
 
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I have very fond memories of Picher. I visited family there many times as a child. I lived in Kansas City and loved going to Picher. It felt so safe. I can remember walking with my cousins to the store and never thought anything about it. We would ride horses and was able to just about anything a kid could want to do. My family lived on River St. I learned to ride a bike there. We were never allowed to play on the chat piles, but I do remember others riding motorcycles and dune buggies.
I also lived in Cardin and remember being scared to death of the blasting. It was so loud and the town would shake. Wow what memories. I do plan on going through there sometime.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
2,074 posts, read 2,017,563 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NP02 View Post
I have very fond memories of Picher. I visited family there many times as a child. I lived in Kansas City and loved going to Picher. It felt so safe. I can remember walking with my cousins to the store and never thought anything about it. We would ride horses and was able to just about anything a kid could want to do. My family lived on River St. I learned to ride a bike there. We were never allowed to play on the chat piles, but I do remember others riding motorcycles and dune buggies.
I also lived in Cardin and remember being scared to death of the blasting. It was so loud and the town would shake. Wow what memories. I do plan on going through there sometime.
All my family lived in Miami & I lived in Picher while my father worked in the mine. My grandfather owned
the small store in Commerce OK during the depression.

My father always said that you could enter the mine in Picher and walk to Joplin without ever seeing the light of day. Don't know if that was true or not, but, I do know that riding dirt bikes or gettiing anywhere
near the chat piles is dangerous. At least once a year someone falls or rides into an open shaft or has a chat
pile cover them up. Be cautious if you do go there, remember, not only did they undermine the town, everything there is toxic.
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