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Sweet Home Oklahoma

Posted: September 30, 2014 9:23 a.m.
Updated: October 1, 2014 1:00 a.m.

 

I have always heard that home is where the heart is -- not always worded in that exact way, but it is definitely what was meant.

From my experience, the saying has some truth. My mother ended up back where she was born (South Carolina) after living in eight different states, and my father never left Tulsa, Okla., his home state and city. Like my father, Tulsa is my home and it will always have my heart.

I have lived in three different states which include Oklahoma, Alabama and South Carolina. Within those three states I have resided in five different towns and cities. From my time spent in all three states I have discovered that South Carolina and Alabama have some nice attributes, but neither will ever hold a candle to my Oklahoma (in my mind).

Quite a few people that I met in Alabama who were unfamiliar with “OK” had the preconceived misconception that it is some dull, old western dry patch. If only they knew some of the preconceived misconceptions that I have heard about Alabama.

Don’t get me wrong, I am quite fond of Alabama. My best friend was born, raised and still lives there and I discovered some great television shows there (sounds silly, but I still love those shows to this very day). For example, Degrassi: The Next Generation got me interested in the creative side of writing, and it helped me escape reality during turbulent times in middle school. Other than those great television shows stored in my memory and my best friend, I have no ties to Alabama.

Oklahoma on the other hand, gave me an abundance of great memories that I will never be able to escape. My childhood remains there at Roy Clark Elementary and on East 38th St. (where I lived). It lingers at Bell’s Amusement Park and Eastland Mall (where they used to stand, anyway), two places that my family visited almost every week. It expands from East 38th St. around my neighborhood where my friends and I would ride our bikes and rollerblade over to Riverside Park where I once feared crossing the mile-long bridge above the water.

I fell in love with reading in Oklahoma. I became fascinated with the Goosebumps and Arthur books at Roy Clark Elementary and from those books I realized the joy of reading, and I made reading a significant hobby.

I was schooled in ’90s pop culture in Oklahoma thanks to my then teenage sister. I was forced to watch things such as music videos, “Dawson’s Creek,” “Daria,” “Beavis and Butt-head,” “Moesha,” “Blossom” and “Boy Meets World.” Back then, I hated having to sometimes watch those shows instead of my favorite kiddy programs. Now, I am ecstatic when reruns of the shows air.

It all may sound simple, but all of these simple things contributed to who I am. I had a great childhood which included some of the best times in my life, and the majority of it took place in Tulsa, Okla. My happy place is there and I know no matter where I go no place will excite me like my home place. Tulsa will always have my heart.

 

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