24 March 2004
Stories we could tell
To rather a large number of Americans, Oklahoma City is something of an enigma: it's one of the 30 largest cities in the country (29th, says the 2000 Census), but it simply doesn't register on the national radar unless there's something dreadfully terrible happening say, a truck bomb at the Federal Building, or a tornado that measures nearly off the scale. To some extent, we tend not to notice our comparative invisibility; we've got work to do, dammit.
Mike Swickey (23 March) thinks it's time to take another look:
I want my weblog to look at my city Oklahoma City in a new and (again, I think) unique way. I want to find the people in this city that know its history, its pros, its cons. Find people who do thankless work that goes unnoticed. Look at jobs in our city that are only thought of in passing and maybe with some derision. It takes all kinds to make a city like Oklahoma City tick 24-7. I want to mix a little history of OKC with history of our popular culture and a look at the people who have been here, are here now, and chances are, will be here years from now. Profiles of our city. Sometimes an individual, sometimes an interesting job that quietly gets done, maybe the profile will look at a building an old movie palace or a long lost 15-story brick art-deco building that fell victim to evil personified: The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority of the sixties and seventies.
Emphasis in the original, and I don't think he's kidding; OCURA in those days was primarily concerned with removing old buildings, and not a whole lot of thought went into whether the replacements would be an improvement.
There are, they say, eight million stories in the Naked City. We're a bit more modest here, but I'm sure we've got tales to tell. And if anyone can find them, it's Mike Swickey.