Admittedly, I occupy a weird space here in Oklahoma. My dad is from Iran and my mother is Mexican and Native American. I’m also a Daughter of the American Revolution, for those of you keeping score at home. It may seem weird or out-of-place, but it’s a Gen Y thing. We’re more multiethnic than any previous generation, and we’re more likely to proudly claim those ethnicities than any other generation before. And while Oklahoma hasn’t quite reached melting pot status, you can’t deny that the ethnic make up of the younger generations of Oklahomans is changing. And as such, we may have different concerns that prior generations of Oklahomans don’t necessarily consider.
Have you been reading Brianna Bailey and Steve Lackmeyer’s tag team Help Wanted pieces this week? Are you super stressed out about the future of Oklahoma? No? Maybe you should be. Here’s the thing–even if we close the skills gap, fix our educational budget, and find enough skilled workers, Oklahoma isn’t exactly the nicest place to live.
Don’t get me wrong. Oklahoma is home. Sometimes I love Oklahoma so much it makes me cry. But lately, I’m pretty upset with the place as a whole. I feel like maybe we fixed up Downtown OKC, got a decent NBA team, and gentrified the Plaza District, and now we’re really content to rest on our laurels. But truth be told, the hard work isn’t in developing businesses or watching games at the Peake. We really need to focus on not being ignorant asses.
It’s easy for people to relate anecdotes about how “everyone thinks we live in teepees and ride horses to work.” But we all know those aren’t the stereotypes people have of Oklahomans. When the first African-American president comes to your state and he’s met with Confederate flags, it says something. When the governor doesn’t immediately condemn those actions as inappropriate, it says something. And when makes the national news, the rest of the country is hearing what this says about you.
For the record, it’s not saying good things. It’s making stereotypes.
So, when the Oklahoma City Council votes against adopting Indigenous People’s Day, it’s sending the same bad message–not just to the people who fought for it, but for the younger generations of multiethnic kids trying to find their place in the state. And before you take to the comments to let me know that Oklahoma City doesn’t celebrate Columbus Day, I know. So it’s puzzling to me that they couldn’t be bothered to make a symbolic gesture that would put them on the right side of history. And for the record, the city of Anadarko has adopted Indigenous People’s Day. Who thought they’d see the day that Anadarko acted more progressively than Oklahoma City?
If you know one thing about me, know that I love ghost stories. My birthday is in late October, and as a kid, I always turned my birthday into a Halloween bash. There were costumes, there were walks through haunted houses, and there was a birthday cake my mom made to look like a graveyard. Bring me all the spooky stuff, because I love it.
And sure, you could argue that as an adult, there is quite a bit less indulgence in ghost stories. For one thing, most people don’t believe them or just aren’t scared by them the way they used to be. But I’ve got some first-person accounts of Effie, the Skirvin ghost that I think will change your mind.
So gather round and get ready to be spooked! Here are four stories about Effie, the Skirvin ghost…
1. Bill Simmons and the crying baby
So, if you’ve heard the Skirvin story, then you know that Effie, a maid, became pregnant by W.B. Skirvin, who locked her in the tenth floor to hide her pregnancy and his illegitimate child. Effie became depressed, and even after the birth of her child, she was not let out of her room. She killed herself and the baby by jumping out of the tenth floor.
It’s definitely a sad and tragic story, and not hard to believe. I mean, a man like W.B. Skirvin could probably pay to keep a story like this hidden, and that’s why it doesn’t appear in any of the papers. However, years later, ESPN.com did post this story form Bill Simmons:
Admittedly, I’ve never been part of a heist. I have been a getaway driver though. When my friends in high school wanted to hold séances in the old Guthrie orphanage (that is now a place where you can get married), I would wait in the car and be the getaway driver. Mainly, I didn’t want to get caught trespassing because my parents are the type to let me spend time in police custody for making bad decisions, and I also didn’t want any vengeance ghosts following me around for the rest of my life. I’ve seen enough horror movies to know that can totally happen.
Anyway, if you’re looking to get some getaway driving experience, or maybe you’re Nic Cage and your little brother is being held hostage and you have to steal 50 cars in one night, you should probably head out to Jones, Oklahoma. It’s the place to be:
According to KOCO.com:
Good morning and happy Monday, everyone. It’s time to welcome another week full of work and toil. But, at least it’s October and the weather is finally cooling down. Just kidding. The highs are still in the 80s. Fall can be a real pain sometimes. Between the sun that won’t go away and trying to avoid anyone who wants to invite me to a costume party for Halloween (I don’t wear costumes–stop making parties centered around them!), my October is pretty much just full of irritation. Luckily for me, I’ll always have Twitter.
As always, I’ve gathered up the very best in tweets from the week before, and I’ve put them all right here for you. Check them out after the jump!
Okay. So I know that not everyone who reads TLO is an OU fan. I’ve heard stories of another school that exists up north in Stillwater. It could be real. It could also be a fantasy. I’ve never seen it for myself, so for now I’ll give the Cowboys the benefit of the doubt. What I do know is this: my olive skin looks TERRIBLE in orange. So it’s not a preference for a particular school so much as a very subtle form of racism that has kept me away.
Anyway, that’s neither here nor there.
This weekend, many of you will be driving down south to Dallas. If you’re smart, you probably left this morning. If you couldn’t get off work and plan to make the drive tomorrow, I’m sorry. Because here’s the thing. Whether or not you plant to attend the OU-TX game, there’s one thing that all Oklahomans can agree on. Traffic on I-35 is ridiculous and impossible to predict.
So, what’s in store for you as you make your way south? Here are seven spots that will slow down your trip to Texas…
People trying to get a good picture of the Wayne Payne sign
There’s something about the Wayne Payne sign that just makes everyone happy. It’s as much a part of Oklahoma as Will Rogers, chicken fried steak, and legislators trying to pass unconstitutional anti-abortion legislation. But if you’ve ever driven by it, you know how hard it can be to snap a good picture with your phone. Mine are always blurry or I only get a portion of the sign. I’d bet money that there will be folks slowing down to take a picture of the Wayne Payne sign, which will cause a really silly traffic jam.
Overturned truckload of bugs
Just because a truckload of bees overturned on I-35 a little over a week ago doesn’t mean there isn’t someone trying to transport a truckload of black widow spiders or something equally terrifying. I imagine that would shut down the highway for a really long time. But, at least if they have to burn the spiders, you won’t feel so bad because who even cares if black widows go extinct?
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