When people who have never been here before hear the word “Oklahoma,” they probably think of old cow towns, farms, and open prairie; they might think of cowboys, the dust bowl, or weed patch schools. They think of the old Oklahoma, who we used to be: several small towns and some ranches, places with no snow and little rain, old buildings, and cornfields ready to harvest. That is who we used to be, but not who we are now. Oklahoma has changed a lot in its 100 years. Its small cow towns have become booming cities. Tulsa, the city that used to be called the oil capital of the world is now full of residential areas and stores. Moore, the city that I live in, has changed even since I moved here seven years ago. There used to be an old dirt road near my house, bordered on one side by an old, small park, and two houses with cow fields on the other side. Those fields are now many houses, and the park has been renovated. The dirt road is now part of a walking path. The old park-with-no-name is now Veterans Memorial Park, complete with plastic equipment. When the construction began, I was very upset. They took out many of the trees that had once hidden that old road, but now I can see it was part of something bigger. Oklahoma is changing, progressing. The park now has a measured walking path that is a complete loop, and it is well landscaped. I will still miss that old road, but now I realize that Oklahoma is moving forward and change will happen. I often miss walks down that old road with my dog, the road overshadowed by trees. We will never again be a state completely covered in prairie, and we will continue to change, but we will face these changes and challenges together, as a state.
Changes in Oklahoma
January 6, 2008