Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Oklahoma - What I Love About the Sooner State

Yes, I'm an Okie. Very proud of it, too. The more I get around, the more I appreciate the kindness and goodness that seem to be a part of every Okie's DNA. Here are a few of the things I love about my Sooner State:

1. The kindness & goodness thing. That is so underrated. If your car breaks down, you can bet that a cowboy in a pickup will stop within five minutes to help out. It's just a given here. And I don't even want to start on the crowd that forms to assist when a little dog or cat is hit by a car on the street.

2. The seasons. Yes, we can get pretty hot in the summer and pretty cold in the winter, but not excessively so. Oklahoma is in-between extremes, but we still get the change of seasons - boats on the lake, beautiful fall foliage, snow drifts and April showers. Nice.

3. Funeral processions. Well, ok, not the actual procession, but this: In Oklahoma, when a car meets a funeral procession, all drivers pull to the side of the road and wait respectfully until the procession passes. In rural areas, the driver will often get out of the car and stand next to it with head bowed and hat removed in respect. Silly me, I had no idea that this didn't happen everywhere until I was well out of college.

4. The football. Specifically, the University of Oklahoma Sooners. Love 'em. Love Big Bob Stoops. Love Adrian Peterson (you are so lucky, Minnesota!). Love Crimson & Cream. Love the Sooner Schooner. Love The King, Barry Switzer. Love Owen Stadium. Love National Championships (yeah, yeah, we haven't won one since 2000, but we have bunches of them). Love Norman - it's only 10 minutes from my house and I spend quite a lot of time there - nice little college city.

5. Cowboys & Native Americans. They are everywhere. Oklahoma City has the Red Earth Festival every summer that showcases our various tribes in full regalia, and there are pow-wows all over the state just about every weekend. If your ancestors lived in Oklahoma, it's a good bet that you have Native American blood (mine is Cherokee), and how cool is that? And the smiling, drawling cowboys with their boots and hats - I grew up with them - literally - my dad was one. Never saw him without his hat. Never saw him wear a pair of shoes - always western boots. Just great, terrific people to grow up around and to be with. I was very, very lucky.

Everything is not great about the state. In a later post, I will list some things that I would change about Oklahoma if I could.....

Are there any Okies out there? What do you like about the Sooner State? What makes Oklahoma unique? Post a response and let us know.

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