Our love for the Great State Fair of Oklahoma is long documented here at TLO. Usually, we're either talking about the bad food or the weird people, but today it's a somber topic: eulogizing the fallen arch.
That's right, the miniature version of St. Louis' Gateway to the West fell victim during last weekend's storms. Here's the before and after:
The arch was built in 1976, so it's weathered a lot of changes and crazy storms here in Oklahoma. It somehow fit right into the State Fair Park's architecture, which is a modge-podge of mid-century and pre-fabricated aluminum barns. Because of the arch's height, it was always an easy meet-up spot during a busy afternoon at the fair.
But we're in a new era of Oklahoma, and now isn't the time to look back. Instead of rebuilding that lovable but kinda janky replica of something another city is known for, it's time to pioneer and erect a new monument for future generations!
1) Russell Westbrook
We sure do love us some Russ. Even if he doesn't win the MVP, he'll always be Most Valuable in our hearts. If we build a giant bronze statue of him, he'll NEVER leave, either! It's a surefire plan, like when you induct someone to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame a year before their free agency. I'm pretty sure we'd never regret this one!
2) 10 Commandments
Like Wiley Coyote's persistent scheming to catch that Roadrunner, the Oklahoma Legislature will never give up trying to get the 10 Commandments onto the Capitol grounds. It's a petty, stupid, and short-sighted waste of government funds to have this fight every year, but they can just continue to blame their failure on welfare recipients.
3) Bigger Space Needle That Actually Works
Okay, I know we already have a perfectly fine Space Needle. But what if – hear me out now – we had one that was even bigger? Like, bigger than that lousy one in Seattle? Sure, they've got a booming economy, great infrastructure, and gorgeous scenery. But we've got their basketball team, and could also be in the possession of a Space Needle that makes theirs look like it just got out of a cold pool. And maybe it would actually be functional and you could ride to the top again.
4) Oil derrick
Not only is this the quintessential symbol of Oklahoma, but maybe underneath the State Fair lies precious fossil fuels. We could be making money while providing a nice place for gun shows and roller derby matches.
5) Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill
I can't think of a better location for some hard rockin' country and chicken fingers than the Great State Fair of Oklahoma. After getting your ears blasted out by the loud music they play when you ride the Himalayan, you could pop into the brand new, two-story TK's I<3TB&G and get a mason jar full of beer.-
6. Cinnamon Roll Memorial
I wonder how many people have been done in by State Fair cinnamon rolls? Surely it has to number in the thousands. A proper memorial dedicated to those victims of fat, sugar and starch is due.
7) Storm shelters
Sadly, this would be the most appropriate thing to put here. A giant, functional community storm shelter where people from the area could bunker down and escape being killed in a deadly storm would be really useful. Sure, it might not have all the panache of a tiny arch statue, but I bet it could save some lives. Plus, they could rent it out to carnies who are passing through town, like a more syphilitic Olympic Village!