Sunday, September 13, 2009
Visiting an Oklahoma Village
Little prairie towns in Oklahoma deteriorate slowly, their once bustling buildings sitting vacant, or going through a string of hopeful small business ventures before they become a storage place for old stuff nobody wants...except antique collectors who come to sniff, sort, and scavenge. Schools move out of town, consolidating with the neighbors, and the buildings become museums and libraries, which try to keep alive those memories of the valiant prairie souls--sodbusters and homesteaders who tamed this land and are buried beneath it.
Clay and I went down to Mangum last week to check out the "art street" there. We had read that there was a potter shop, and wanted to see for ourselves. Unfortunately, it was election day in our town, and staying long enough to vote meant we arrived one minute after five o'clock. Everything was closed except the ice cream shop. So while we slurped on waffle cones--mine was peach and hers was some kind of murky-looking chocolate delight--we roamed around the town and took pictures. The natives were friendly, and the evening cool just right.