Monday, July 20, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
After an exhausting 5-week hiatus away from Oklahoma City (aren’t vacations supposed to be relaxing?) I am back here where I belong. I love it here.
With two more states (Utah and Hawaii) left to visit to cross all 50 off my list and also having traveled to 16 countries outside of the United States, I can safely say that Oklahoma City is where I should be. This place is great. I love it when people ask where I’m from and the door is open for me to spill all the positive superlatives of Oklahoma City leaving them penciling in OKC on their next road trip. Currently, I have a few friends that I met in Spain that are now in Oklahoma City visiting…on their first trip to the United States.
I know, I know…I hear adults (adults to me is anyone that can recall living in the 80’s) say all the time that I don’t know exactly how special OKC is because I wasn’t aware of OKC’s downtown before the 1st MAPS. True, I was only nine years old as the first MAPS vote passed but now I stand at 26 years old hoping to be “that” adult 17 years from now telling people how lucky they are because I remember OKC before Core to Shore took place. Before the Thunder rode into town carrying the young Kevin Durant. I was here for that. I was also here for the ribbon cutting of the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and I attended the first baseball game at the Bricktown Ballpark. I was at the opening game for the Blazers and remember the shock upon hearing their departure. I remember like it was yesterday the shaking of my middle school and being told an explosion happened downtown and not quite grasping the weight of situation.
I remember seeing the theatre play, “Will Rogers” in the civic center before the renovations. I remember the downtown canal’s opening night and not being able to ride on the ferry because I didn’t want to wait in the line that would inevitably take two or more hours (secretly I still have not taken a ride). I remember “the hill” at the old 89ers stadium and how sad I was when I had to park my car (a couple years ago) on what was home plate while at the State Fair.
But, living in the past is a terrible waste of time. I am here and witnessing (right now) the reconstruction of I-44. The reemergence of Deep Deuce and Midtown. The additions to the Ford Center and I’m glad I have photos of myself outside the current facade to show my kids someday. I walked around, recently, the site of the proposed core-to-shore and looked at everything that will be gone and replaced with a beautiful 20-acre (roughly) park to shape this city for the next generation.
Oh, what a joy to be in this city.
I walked in the parking lot soon to be covered by Devon’s new 54-story corporate headquarters. I have photos of that area of me while visiting the Arts Festival.
You don’t have to have witnessed Oklahoma City pre-MAPS to appreciate it.
Yes, I may not remember the collapse of the Penn Square Bank (I wasn’t born yet), but I have witnessed some pretty monumental historical events in OKC leaving me very proud to say that OKC is my heritage, my home and where my heart will always be.