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Page 3: Why Your City Sucks: Small Town Edition

9:40 AM EDT on March 18, 2010

Some people in this state like to say things like this: "The small towns in Oklahoma are what make this state so great. The charm, the people, the down-home America feel - it's wonderful." And while that's mostly true, a lot of the reason people like to stereotype Oklahoma as a redneck state that doesn't even have running water yet is because of these said small towns.

I mean, have you ever been to Hinton? If you aren't wearing boots and a cowboy hat, you're either a minority or you're completely lost.

But I'd say my favorite small town in Oklahoma has to be Antlers. It's the self-proclaimed deer capital of the world. The biggest day in the town every year is the opening day of rifle season. My family hunts in Southeastern Oklahoma so we drive through Antlers that day and I remember times they'd stop just short of a Deer Parade. The top business in the community is taxadermy and the town is named effing Antlers. I just dig it.

So let's let the small town patrons of Oklahoma tell us about a few (some you may say aren't "small" towns, but they aren't going to get their own post so they're included). Consider everything [sic'd]:

Watonga - Zac: "When I heard they were doing a free for all over OK small towns, I new I had to say a few words about my hometown of Watonga, the cheese capital of Oklahoma. (I belive the nickname still applies even though the cheese factory was destroyed a few years ago due to an inland hurricane and isn't being rebuilt.)

This town is in a geographic nexus point in NW Oklahoma where everything worth doing is at least a 30 minute drive away. McDonalds? A movie theatre? Any kind of franchise bank? Not at all friends. Get ready for a road trip. If you need Pizza Hut or Sonic though, we've got you covered (as well as every other town in this state, but maybe not on this list...)

It does have its fair share of fun facts. Watonga is home of the first Love's location as well as the birthplace of the voice of Donald Duck. Yes, we have our own stretch of pavement dedicated Mr. Clarence Nash (Take that Yukon and Weatherford!).

It's main saving graces aren't even located in the town proper. Roman Nose State Park, located right outside the city, is a great park (with a hell of a golf course) and is just a few miles away from our maximum security prison. Yes, take solace in that fact next time you go camping.

For all those out there claiming Watonga is larger than their rest stop, let's look at the last census numbers. From 1990-2000, Watonga's total population went up 3%. Not bad, except when you don't factor in the incarcerated residents, it actually went down 5%. No wonder my dad owns so many guns..."

Valley Brook - Nermel: "Enough history about it, that they deserve their own story.... hell, the Wikipedia entry for them even mentions "aggressive law enforcement"... And the incident with the OCPD police captain a few months ago is just um.... beyond [screwed] up... KOKH has taken a bit of an interest in them as of late..but anyway."

Patrick: "I love small towns in Oklahoma, if for no other reason than that they're the only places you can still get a DQ Blizzard in this state."

Cache - Brian: "I grew up in Cache, Oklahoma. Thats pronounced like cash money as opposed to Apache that is pronounced Uh-patch-E. We are surrounded by other small towns that graduate an average of 20 seniors per year. These towns are Indiahoma, Chattanooga, Geronimo, Frederick, Fletcher, and Walters. Fortunately Cache is the closest to Lawton so we are only minutes away from a Walmart or semi-decent dining but the town of Cache itself fits that small town stereotype.

There is no traffic light; not even a blinking one. There are only stop signs. I can think of 6 Baptist churches off the top of my head and about 6 more churches from other denominations. There is the school, 2 gas stations and homes. This best thing to ever hit Cache came in 2002...Sonic. That is always the first fast food chain to hit a small town. A Subway followed in 2003. They, along with a Pizza Express and 2 greasy spoon cafes are your only food choices in Cache. For "fun" Cache has an annual "Western Heritage Days" consisting of a car show, cow pie toss contest and a parade of about 4 floats, 6 tractors, an old car and the volunteer fire department."

Ramona - Wendy: "I grew up in a very small town of about 500 people, Ramona.

The middle and high schools are combined into one campus serving four local communities (Ramona, Ochelata, Oglesby, and Vera), with approximately 25 classrooms total if you count each barn (yes, more than one), the library, and the wood shop as classrooms. Ramona is the largest of these towns and boasts.

1) A post office in a trailer-house

2) At one time there was a Gas Station / Movie Rental / Tanning store. It has now closed.

3) At one time there was a bait, tackle, and welding shop (They spelled tackle incorrectly on the sign even). This one has closed shop as well.

4) Out of the students who either should have or did graduate with my high school class (59 graduates), there were 14 children born or on the way by graduation day. Those are some pretty impressive statistics.

I'd like to say how much this town sucks, but really, I love that place."

Watonga - Aaron: "Watonga sucks because they don't even have the cheese factory anymore but they still have the Cheese Festival. Talk about living in the past. The only thing good in Watonga is a Wiggees burger, and that's if you like old people. sorry for the extra grease on your buns..."

Choctaw - TravisB: "Food: The best place to eat in Choctaw isn't even on the "downtown strip". It's out on 29th and Indian Meridian. The truly sad thing is some of you may be thinking I'm talkinig about Old Germany. Unless it's Oktoberfest, drive by that area and you'll see it's actually the next-door Tasty Burger, which is attached to a shithole gas station. Sucky thing about Tasty Burger... worst hours EVER! Their food must be good to not be open on weekends and close early on Mondays and Fridays.

Churches: Shitloads. And all denominations. Try "Church Corner" on Choctaw and Reno. 3 large churches and different denominations at one cross center. It was here that the news channels were setup to cover the Great Fire of '09 because God wouldn't burn down any of his Churches would he? Imagine that message.

Speaking of fire...

Trees: Unlike most of Oklahoma, which is flat prairie type land, Choctaw is hilly and filled with trees. This is due to Choctaw being inside the Cross Timbers region, which is hilly and has trees. But not just ANY trees,... Blackjacks! And a quick check on Wikipedia tells us what most of Choctaw found out last year: "The wood is very dense, so much so that it will rapidly dull chainsaws. The density of the wood causes a very hot flame when burnt, making Blackjack oak wood the preferred fuel for slow-cooked (Carolina style) pork barbeques and a good heat source for wood-burning stoves, but not desirable in wood fireplaces because the heat causes "popping", increasing the risk of external fires."

That popping sound is your house going up in flames. Also, Ticks and fiddlebacks love blackjack wood. Enjoy your summers outside!

School Rivalry: Growing up, the kids of Choctaw nearby Nicoma Park are separated, and thus have a nice little rivalry. Normal, except that the schools both funnel into one Choctaw High School at the 10th grade level. Lot of fights in the 10th grade. But by the end of the year everyone learns to hate Carl Albert and life goes on."

Next up: We're wrapping this up here shortly so that it's not completely driven into the ground, but I've gotten a few requests for Moore, so let's do that. Send anything about it to dailythunder@gmail.com

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