My old ‘hood

I grew up on a block of ranches, in a neighborhood of ranches, in a subdivision of ranches in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.  In fact, my grade school was Ranch Heights.  There were plenty of ranches, although not much in the way of heights, being Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain and the waving wheat can sure smell sweet … you get the idea.*  There was a single two-story house with white columns a block north of my house, and it still looks out of place.  We went over to Bartlesville last week, and I snapped a few pictures of our old neighborhood.

dscn0411.JPG Our old house.  We planted the river birch in front and the two red oaks in back.  The birch was surrounded by a circle of daffodils, which I thought made a nice fairy ring when I was little.  They were planted a lawnmower’s width from the birch so Daddy could mow.  The people who bought it 23 years ago whitewashed the tree trunks, and (I think, but maybe it was a hallucination) put whitewashed tires around as landscaping decorations.  A little out of place.  They have since sold to a retired couple.  I think the current couple removed the evergreens and softened the landscaping around the house.

dscn0412.JPG Our neighbors across the street.  They just had to remove the maple in front, due to disease and age.  Their daughter was my age and their maple was a great source for helicopters.  We stopped to visit while we were there.  (They’re about the only ones still living on the block whom we knew.)  He had a debilitating stroke a year or two back, but his brain is still working.  It didn’t take much to make it possible for his wheelchair to get in and out of their ranch.  A very small ramp, and he’s in.  I didn’t ask what they had to do for the bathrooms.  I think our main bath could have been converted pretty easily for a wheelchair (widen the door, change out the tub for a roll-in shower, and reduce the number of cabinets so the chair could turn around), but our master bath was 3/4, and small.

dscn0413.JPG My favorite babysitter and her family lived next door.  Her parents passed a few years ago, and we just learned one of their sons died recently.  One of their grandsons was the emergency room doctor in Tulsa when our neighbor across the street was rushed down there after his stroke. 

*Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical is the source for Oklahoma’s state song.  It is the only state song I know of that came from a musical, although there are other state songs that are recognizable.  (Georgia and a couple of those from Tennessee, for example.  Kansas’ state song is Home on the Range.)  Any of you remember your state songs?

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2 Responses to “My old ‘hood”

  1. Bill says:

    I don’t think you hallucinated the tires. I also remember wagon wheels added.

    I want to see the Kiddie Park photos. It only recently reopened after significant flooding, if I remember right.

  2. Lisa says:

    Patience, patience. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Unfortunately, we had too much fun, so I didn’t take enough, and Mother didn’t get any of us riding the Little Fireball. (It was dark, and it’s hard enough to take photos with a digital camera in the daylight.)

    And, the flooding was nothing like what they had in 1986, although it did close the park down.

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