Tag Archives: Oklahoma

Live Oak Equals Our Living Marriage

May 5, 2011 note:  Today I went to the tag agency and while I was waiting on my requests to be processed I heard a man next to me provide his home address to the clerk.  I was surprised to hear he lived on “Clover Glen,” the street where Mick and lived in our first home.  This has been a week of weird coincidences, so I decided perhaps there was more at stake than just coincidence.  Therefore, I’m reposting this entry I wrote almost a year ago in preparation for another I’ve been writing for three days.  I’ve been writing, and thinking about, and researching, and writing more about the process of falling in, out, and perhaps…back in love again.
The gentleman at the tag agency ended up being a resident of the house you see in this photo on the left – he would have been our neighbor to the south.  He said he still gets mail for our former neighbors, and they’ve been gone over 20 years.  See you here tomorrow – Red Dirt Kelly
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The setting was a cold February, 1986.

My husband and I had been married about six months when the bottom of the oil bust hit Oklahoma.  Thousands of homes in Edmond were being vacated after the interest rates within a group of “negative amortization” loans began to skyrocket as the oil jobs started drying up.

For newlyweds living in a tiny apartment like us with adequate income, the housing market was a real opportunity.  We purchased our first home from builders who had been paying interest on it for over a year.  They were desperate and we felt lucky.  We closed on the deal very quickly. Continue reading Live Oak Equals Our Living Marriage

Griffin Is Good, But Is He A Superstar?

We all knew this was coming.  We could see it when he was at that small, Christian high school in Edmond winning four straight state championships.  We witnessed him match up against the best collegiate talent in the country as he left us breathless and led the Sooners to the Elite Eight.  Those of us in Oklahoma have known for years what the entire world is beginning to understand…Blake Griffin is pretty good.

No team has found a way to stop Griffin from getting to the rim (courtesy sportsjury.com)

Kobe and Lebron are the faces of the NBA, but this season, no player is hogging more highlight time than Griffin.  The Clippers power forward is good for at least one jaw-dropping dunk per night and as a rookie, he’s already being mentioned among names like Karl Malone and Tim Duncan.  Griffin may not be a superstar yet, but that day is coming soon.  To those that say Griffin is overrated (you know who you are Skip Bayless), stop for a second to consider the evidence.

Through 41 games, Griffin is putting up 22.7 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists.  Wednesday night against Minnesota, he finally snapped a streak of 27 straight games with a double-double.  If you want to put Griffin’s numbers in perspective, he’s the only rookie in 25 years to record a double-double streak of 20 or more games.  Shaq never achieved those numbers.  Neither did Dwight Howard or Tim Duncan.  Only eight players in NBA history have averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds in their rookie seasons.  If Griffin keeps up his pace, he’ll be in a select club with household names like Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, and David Robinson.

Continue reading Griffin Is Good, But Is He A Superstar?

This Year’s Bedlam Is As Good As It Gets

With a gullet full of turkey and the anticipation of tomorrow’s Bedlam showdown, this weekend is simply the most wonderful time of the year.

The right way to welcome someone to the best day in Oklahoma sports (courtesy sportsgifts.com)

Houses will be divided, trash will be talked, and twelve months of bragging rights will be on the line.

It’s tough to find an Oklahoman who doesn’t care about this game.  But tomorrow, Bedlam will be foremost in the mind of a football crazed nation.  The game has the prime time slot on ABC and ESPN’s College Gameday is setting up shop in Stillwater.  I might make the journey to the land of orange if for no other reason than to give Erin Andrews my phone number.  No doubt, I’m exactly what she’s looking for.

OSU is in unfamiliar territory because there has never been this much at stake for the Pokes.  The program has never played for a Big 12 championship.  Beat the Sooners, and the Cowboys will do just that.  Not to mention OSU can secure the first 11-win season in school history and snap that pesky seven game losing streak to its in-state rival.

Ronnell Lewis and the Sooners crushed the Cowboys 27-0 in 2009 for OU's 7th straight Bedlam victory (courtesy Oklahoma Daily)

Pressure can do funny things to a football team, but the Cowboys have proven themselves in crunch time all year long.  The Sooners?  Well, not so much.  OU still hasn’t figured out how to solve the equation of a road game on prime time TV against a highly ranked opponent.  The win over Baylor was nice, but routing an overrated Bears team doesn’t mean the Sooners’ road issues have suddenly disappeared.

While the Sooners may have been victimized by expectations, the Cowboys came into this season without any.  They’ve been a looser bunch because of it.  When asked on a local sports radio show which of his players were playing over their heads, Mike Gundy named nearly every starter on both sides of the ball.  Can Bob Stoops make that statement about any OU players outside of DeMarco Murray and Ryan Broyles?  I’m not so sure.

Continue reading This Year’s Bedlam Is As Good As It Gets

Who Inspires You?

In today’s society where phrases like “fear of commitment” and “starter marriage” are all too normative, I am inspired by married couples who have persevered through difficult circumstances or otherwise made the deliberate decision to be committed to their spouse and their family.

As you may know, my days are spent overseeing relationship education services and supports to couples and individuals through The Oklahoma Marriage Initiative.  As a part of that project, we partner with Oklahoma Publishing Company to make a commitment of our own….to recognize couples across Oklahoma who have beat the odds by sticking together for better and worse.

Last year, we searched for Oklahoma’s most inspiring couples through a statewide nomination process and produced an amazing calendar honoring these couples.  Now, we are actively seeking nominations for 2011’s most inspiring couples.

Do you know a couple who exhibits extraordinary traits such as team work, commitment, or has lived a life of infectious fun?  Perhaps they have impacted their family, neighborhood or community in an exceptional way or have braved sickness or other hardships as a team?

Please nominate these couples so their stories can be shared!  In addition to the calendar, The Oklahoman will publish feature stories on the couples throughout the year.

To nominate, simply submit 250 words about the couple, sharing why you feel they deserve to be recognized, along with a picture.  You can do this quickly and easily at www.newsok.com/inspiringcouples or by mail:

Oklahoma’s Most Inspiring Couples
The Oklahoman
P.O. Box 25125
Oklahoma City, OK  73125

You may also view pictures, stories and video of last year’s Inspiring Couples on the nomination site.

Reading through the nominations was truly the highlight of my last year and I look forward to again hearing about the wonderful couples across our great state!  Nominations are due soon, November 22nd, so please submit your nominations now!  We will notify selected couples the first part of December and move forward with capturing their stories and producing the calendar.

Beyond Red

by The Howard

*Disclaimer: All facts reported in this article may only be facts to me and could have nothing at all to do with actual history.

You could say that I grew up in the red hills of northwest Oklahoma between Buffalo and May.  I never actually lived there, but have spent a lot of time in the area and have occasional, random opportunities to go back.  Not as often as in the past, but on occasion I get, or take, the opportunity to go.

Take last Memorial Day for instance.  My brother and I took off the Thursday prior and ran the gauntlet of Waynoka, Buffalo and Laverne leaving silk petals behind as we went.  We had a great time – took along my tattered Atlas & Gazetteer in an effort to get from place to place and back home again without straying onto a highway.

We weren’t completely successful missing the highways but we sure killed a lot of time!

My latest northwestern jaunt was for business to an area south of Gate, Oklahoma.  I’m assuming Gate is so-named because it is just inside the Oklahoma Panhandle, serving as the gate to “No Man’s Land.”

You have to love a place called “No Man’s Land.”  Texas didn’t want this 38-mile wide, narrow strip of land.  Kansas was restricted by geography and treaty from claiming it.  So, it was pinned onto the collective of unassigned lands fated to become Oklahoma.

What I found south of Gate was surprising and a little irritating. At least for a while.

You see, for at least 120 feet below the ground surface there is nothing red.  No “redbed” as the old-timers like to call the red shales and sandstones.  No red silts or sands such as what comprises the red hills outside Buffalo.  No red clays like those that cover much of the state.  Just light brown sand, gravel and a little bit of gray clay.

This geological footprint makes for an interesting drive; it’s like the undiscovered Little Sahara.  There are what appear to be hills but on closer inspection are discovered to be sand dunes rolling right into the Beaver River.  And the visage of these sage covered sand dunes…I couldn’t help but be reminded of Teletubby Land.  My son loves it when I sing the Teletubby song.  He’s now twelve years old, and was never as big a fan of the Tubbies as I.

I didn’t actually see a child’s face in the blazing hot sun (as in Teletubby Land), but after prolonged exposure I’m sure I heard giggling!

Laurie's Cafe in Gate, Oklahoma

By the way, if you ever go through Gate, stop for a cheeseburger at the local café.  They’re pretty good; I’ve had several over the course of two weeks.  And the special on Thursdays is fried chicken.  It must be good because it’s the only building within, say, thirty miles that has more than four people in it.  Every table is filled on Thursdays!

Driving home from these sage-covered dunes, I began to ponder red dirt and the Red Dirt Chronicles.  Oklahoma isn’t all red dirt but red dirt is a common bond.  It is a bond that’s unites us in this geopolitical jigsaw puzzle called Oklahoma.

I think about all the eco-diversity in Oklahoma…I believe we have six distinct eco-regions, depending upon which source you read.  Beyond red, we are a diverse mixture of urban and rural cultures and backgrounds.  But we are united by the wind and the red dirt carried upon it.

It’s good to explore Oklahoma!