8 March 2004
West by southwest
Rural Oklahoma changes slowly, when it changes at all; the machinery may be newer, the buildings are generally older, but the pace of life is distinctly different from what you'd experience in the city.
And you don't even need to leave the city to see this. Oklahoma City covers over 600 square miles, but barely a third of that area qualifies as urban; the city limits extend well into the country, and city services follow slowly, if at all.
I was in Canadian County yesterday, in an area the city annexed many years ago. There is a city fire station in the 11600 block of SW 15th Street (at eight blocks per mile, this is way out), and occasional fresh green city street signs can be seen, but for the most part this is an area of small farms and ranches, separated by old and indifferently-maintained roads. (I caught one of Frosty Peak's campaign signs over on Piedmont/Czech Hall Road, which promises "I will fix this road.") The sections that are within the limits of Yukon or Mustang, both of which were established long before Oklahoma City pushed into these areas, look decidedly more suburban, more contemporary.
Still, there are changes. People wanting to get away from the concrete jungle are building houses out here, and not just in Mustang or Yukon. Twenty or thirty years from now, this part of Canadian County may look just like any other suburb but I can't imagine it happening any sooner.