Oklahoma: September 2005 Archives

Free WiFi in OKC


Jared, of the blog 10,000 Fists in the Air, has a list of free WiFi hotspots in his Oklahoma City. (Via OkieDoke, who adds a list of free hotspots in Norman.)

Dawn's Odyssey, Book LXVI

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Wherein our heroine sees antiques that were exactly like household items that might have belonged to President Eisenhower's parents and visits Oklahoma for the first time, puzzling through the Delphic utterances of a Sonic call box and visiting a temple of the state's established religion:

Imagine your local community rec center. Now shove in as many slot machines as it’ll hold. Ok, now put a big TV and a room full of phones in the back. Get some betting slips and turn on OTB. We’re almost there. Now squeeze the slot machines together, making some room for about five or six blackjack tables, put the unhappiest people you ever saw behind the tables; fill the place with stale cigarette smoke and lonely desperate people.

It's another hilarious installment of Dawn Summers' travels. Go read the whole thing. (Y'all come back sometime -- there is more to Oklahoma than Sonics and casinos.)

Jerry Buchanan, chairman of the Tulsa County Republican Party, toured Camp Gruber on Tuesday with a group of state legislators. Camp Gruber, near Muskogee, is the first location in Oklahoma to receive a large number of refugees from Hurricane Katrina. Here's Jerry's report -- it's encouraging:

Today, I had the privilege to tour with a delegation from Tulsa, the displaced Americans from Louisiana placed at Camp Gruber, near Muskogee. We talked with people that were in the Astrodome, people that were from the Communities around New Orleans that lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, people that lost family members, friends and pets.

The delegation was made up of your own State Representatives Fred Perry, Pam Peterson, John Wright and John Trebilcock. Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel, Ken McConkey from Senator Jim Inhofe’s office,
Clay Bird, Chief of Staff from Mayor LaFortune’s office, along with Stacy Ward, CERT program director of Homeland Security in Tulsa, and Tulsa Police Chaplain Director Danny Lynchard traveled with us.

Oklahoma Senator Jim Williamson and Representative Dan Sullivan toured the Camp yesterday. They found what we found, people that are being treated with respect and dignity. The Oklahoma National Guard and Oklahoma Highway Patrol are in charge and they are organized, friendly and compassionate with authority that is appreciated by all. The Red Cross volunteers move like angels to and fro tirelessly like a breath of fresh air.

Our guests at Camp Gruber are not thugs that looted the businesses. Nor are they dirty, drugged out or rude. They are people that have endured hardships that most people have only imagined in a nightmare or in a horror movie. They are people that have lost their homes, cars and all material things, but they have not lost their pride or their spirit to start over.

Today, I spoke with five men outside a dining facility. One was a construction worker, one was a backhoe operator, one was a brick mason, one was a floor tile cutter and one was a cable layer. All, however, said they could do many other things to make a living if given the chance. The question we heard over and over was “where can we get work. We love Oklahoma and the people here have just overwhelmed us with kindness and generosity. Does Tulsa have jobs for us? We would love to move to Tulsa if the people are like the rest of the Oklahomans we have encountered.”

Most everyone at Camp Gruber have accepted the fact that all of their worldly goods have been lost in Louisiana and are ready to relocate in Tulsa, Oklahoma City or where ever they can find a job and make a living for themselves and their families. Over and over I heard “God Bless Oklahoma!” A little girl actually kissed my hand and said “thank you for all you have done for us”, making me feel awkward and humbled.

These guests are not blaming God or the federal government for their predicament. They are just trying to deal with a very bad situation as best as they can. They now realize that the Governor of Louisiana did not act promptly. They know when Louisiana’s Governor Blanco did allow the National Guard to take charge, things begin to happen for the better and it is getting better every day.

In their living quarters, twenty or more people gather around a single TV set trying to see the latest news. Some try to nap in the heat of the day to pass the time. Others watch with anticipation the activities of the Red Cross, National Guard, Highway Patrol and in today’s case your own elected officials shaking hands giving signs of hope and words of encouragement.

Today’s events make me even more proud to be an Oklahoman. Proud to have elected officials that are willing to roll up their sleeves and pass out water, toiletries and what ever it takes to help these desperate people from the sister states of Louisiana and Mississippi. Proud of a President that has three times, that we know of, visited the devastated area and prays for the families and victims daily.

If it seems to you that I am somewhat overwhelmed, you are correct.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Oklahoma category from September 2005.

Oklahoma: July 2005 is the previous archive.

Oklahoma: October 2005 is the next archive.

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