Galen’s Top 4 Stories from 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY, LAVERNE, WYNNEWOOD, OKLAHOMA— It was a year of extremes wasn’t it? We started witha couple of blizzards…and one little, orange ball floating around the front entrance to the Merry Heart Worship Center on Oklahoma City’s southside. “It was really kind of mesmerizing,” says Pastor Brad Davis. “I kept trying to figure out what it was doing.”
Davis would never have noticed if he hadn’t installed a security camera to watch the front door while he was at home. For a period of more than 30 hours he recorded its movements. “It was almost like a pet,” he recalls. “It would come up to the door and stop, almost like it was asking to come in.”
Then he couldn’t stand it any longer. He picked it up and let it in. ‘Knock and the door shall be opened. Seek and ye shall find.’
From cold to hot, July found us roasting in the Panhandle around the town of Laverne as a very small group of cross country racers made their way across the hottest summer on record. They ran more than 50 miles that day, from Balko to Laverne, as the mercury shot up to 104.
“Yes it is hot,” said racer Rainer Koch from Germany, “But it is more of an enjoyment than cold weather.”Koch was way out front at the time. We Couldn’t get over his post race routine, a beer and a coke mixed together, every day. “I like the bitter and the sweet together,” he told us.
They finished up in New York in late August as quietly as they passed, virtual strangers to the rest of us who suffered from even short exposure to the Summer of 2011.
So now we come to the high point of 2011, right about the time the new Devon Tower became the tallest building in Oklahoma City. “We’re sitting at right around 560 feet at this time,” said a construction foreman in March when we got an exclusive look from the top.
Anyone who lives within 50 miles of downtown has been able to watch the skyline change almost daily over the past couple of years. It won’t get any taller in 2012 but the rest of us might get a chance to see what’s finished inside. Another site supervisor told us, “When the project’s done there are literally going to be thousands of people who can bring their families downtown to say we built this.”
Finally we end on a long straight road east of Wynnewood, Oklahoma. Barbara Palmer made this covered wagon by hand. She drives it every day with her mules Sugar, Jan, and Cricket. “There ain’t no telephone. There ain’t no hoopin or a hollerin’,” she told us. “It’s just you talkin’ to your mules and enjoying it.”
We found her right before Thanksgiving, ‘over the river and through the woods.’ reminding us with every step that no matter where we are, cold, hot, high, or low, we should slow down a little to appreciate where we are because we might not get a ride like this again.
So from the Southside, the topside, the Panhandle, and a dirt road to nowhere this is Galen Culver reporting for Newschannel 4. Is This a Great State or What!