Happy Birthday to Us. We’re FIVE Years Old!

Day 28: It Was So Loud, I Couldn't Hear Myself Praying
A quote written in the UK that answered a need I had at the time. Now, I’m finding stillness in rural, suburban and metropolitan Oklahoma…one discussion at a time.

In July of 2010, I left for a 40 day educational trip to Oxford and other parts of the United Kingdom. Having never traveled abroad other than to Canada and Mexico, I began researching the world of blogs.  I warmed up my writing skills with a Google “Blogger” based platform entitled “Red Dirt Kelly.”

A week or so later, I left for my journey and began what was basically an online journaling exercise to document my trip.  This series, entitled 40 Days in the UK, helped me realize the benefits of daily writing and perspective sharing.

Women on hand cart treks in NE OK pulling carts back up the ridge to safety.

In the past five years, bloggers have been called out for their lack of journalism credentials, heralded for their insightful research and posts, and been in the courts for cases involving informational sources and classifications.  And while the days of online journaling still exist, the All American Blog has certainly developed in its own right.

Case in point: The Red Dirt Chronicles (RDC).  A month post Oxford, I began to think about whether to keep my blog or evolve the project into something I still cared about now that I had returned to Oklahoma.  These dreams eventually carried me to recruit eight content authors and for almost three years they wrote on a regular basis covering their area of expertise with an Oklahoma perspective. At that time I moved to a WordPress (WP) platform and although the RDC has had four different “faces,” all our history is stored on very large WP servers and for that I’m grateful.

At the point when I began toward the homestretch in my doctoral program, I raised the issue of “slowing down” the RDC production and almost simultaneously all authors agreed they, too, would like a break.  For another year while I dug deep into my dissertation research, Alisa Hines at Oklahoma Horizon TV deployed video posts covering their work with either her notes, or the notes of other journalists.  I am grateful for our former authors, and for Oklahoma Horizon producing Oklahoma cultural content deployed through the RDC.

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August prairie grasses. Photo by Rachel Apple

Our RDC content is now much more focused on revealing Oklahomans and their cultural diversity.  Most of this work is done through our Every Point on the Map (EPOTM) posts.  In some ways, EPOTM is like a ten-year ethnography.  The work of our team feeds my social research side as well as my love for Oklahomans and all they encompass.

To our readers who have continued to check in with us through the past five years, I wish to say “thank you.” To those who have joined along the way, I appreciate your presence and thoughtfulness. And, to the work we have yet to produce, I can only say, “We’re ready. Whomever we meet, and whatever they say…it’s our pleasure to hear their stories and share them with our readers.”

Happy five year birthday, RDC!

~ Red Dirt Kelly

 

“Alligator” – Sample Sonic ID by Faith Phillips

Faith Phillps during her time in Afrida
Faith Phillps during her time in Africa

Faith Phillips is an author who resides in Proctor, Oklahoma.  An attorney by profession, she left her job and metropolitan life to return home and craft her first novel: Ezekiel’s Wheels (2012).

Faith occasionally pens her thoughts on Facebook and I felt they should be shared with more than her social network.

So there we were, see, one night in a cabin deep in the woods somewhere between Miami and Wyandotte, OK, sitting in the living room recording her anecdotes while the rest of our Every Point team was enjoying the cool night air on the porch.  In the middle of our recording session, a whippoorwill got so close we captured its call and added those haunting sounds to her introduction.

All told, there are about thirty recorded musings and we look forward to hearing them on public radio very soon…or perhaps here too.

Enjoy ~~~ Love always, Red Dirt Kelly

EPOTM Visits “The OKC Show”

Kelly Roberts, April Kirby and Rachel Apple (l to r) relax in the Oklahoma Talking Co studio prior to taping an OKC Show podcast. Instagram Photo by Jason Baffrey.
Kelly Roberts, April Kirby and Rachel Apple (l to r) relax in the Oklahoma Talking Co studio prior to taping an OKC Show podcast. Instagram Photo by Jason Baffrey.

Just before Independence Day, our Every Point on the Map team headed to Midwest City for a visit with Jason Baffrey on The OKC Show.  The Oklahoma Talking Co. studio was stocked with bottled water and creative people, doing their part to build interesting content for those interested in learning more about Oklahoma-based projects.

Thanks, Jason and Nathan, for being such gracious hosts.  And best wishes to your company as you follow your own creative passions! 

What is “A Point?” One of Many EPOTM Quandaries

I’ve purchased three maps of Oklahoma since we started our project last year.

The first was my inspiration map. Resting on a rack in a 39th Expressway 7-11 minding its own business, I picked it up, counted the towns, and officially committed to the premise of what we now call “Every Point on the Map.”  I was going to have a meaningful conversation with at least one person in each of Oklahoma’s 594 town or city.

594 was the total count on my 7-11 map. Continue reading What is “A Point?” One of Many EPOTM Quandaries

EPTOM Dam Run, Stop 5A: Disney – Diana Is Ready To Fish

American diners serve as the hub of any community wheel.  PJs Corner Grill in Disney is no exception.

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Purchased in 1979 from a friend, PJs owner Diana Owen has been capably running her business for 36 years. The grill stays hot from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the winter months and an incredible 7 to 11, seven days a week during the summer. Continue reading EPTOM Dam Run, Stop 5A: Disney – Diana Is Ready To Fish

Showcasing Red Dirt culture ~ authored and managed by contributors with connections to the great state of Oklahoma.