When you live in a city, you need to leave every now and then, travel the quieter spaces of rural areas. Every state and country has them and you need to be there to get a true perspective on what a region is about. You need to put the crazy ways of the city up against the quiet ways of the country and understand the people who inhabit both.

I’d never really been in Southwest Oklahoma, so I went. Staying in Quartz Mountain Resort, in the middle of agricultural and cattle lands, traveling to Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, a national treasure, and driving through the small towns and rural roads was a trip that taught me much more about my state, adding to what I know and love about our country.

I love the county seats, like Cordell, with its beautiful county courthouse in the middle of the plaza. This one is on the national historic register, designed by the same architect who designed the state capitol.


I love the towns that still have their Carnegie libraries, like Lawton.


Lawton has destroyed their historic downtown, replacing it years ago with a mall, but they did keep the lovely home of Mattie Beal, a young telephone operator from Kansas whose name was drawn in the land lottery, giving her the means to become one of the city’s most beloved benefactors.


I love the little touches of the past preserved, like this Phillips station in Altus.


And this stop light in Hobart.


And the little towns that were built on hope and never really went anywhere. Who wouldn’t like to say they are from Indiahoma, Oklahoma? Say what?



Or Gotebo, pronounced Go’-Tee-Bow, where the most going business is dog grooming from the looks of things.


I love the little old movie theaters like the Redskin in Anadarko, a mostly Native American community, where they can get away with politically incorrect things like that,


and the Washita in Chickasha…a mouthful…


I love small town holiday decorations like these in Roosevelt


or these original street light decorations in Chickasha


And I love the rural roads


taking me through wide open spaces littered with the past





and the present



through areas of great agriculture. I had no idea how much cotton we grow in Oklahoma or that we harvest until December…


The rural areas bring you the peace of the end of the day. I love the sun going down in Hobart with its important grain elevators.


And you find humor in the most unexpected places…like this guy in Roosevelt…


I’m back in the city, but always thankful for those rural areas that provide the perspective I need…