Her grandfather founded Midwest City from nothing and she still calls it home

She was one of sixteen grand children who always thought of the Atkinson home as her home too.

"This was just a very unique place for us to gather together," says Cindy Mikeman.

Young Cindy missed out on the ponies Bill Atkinson used to give out to people who bought homes in the Ridgecrest Addition.

"There was a certain age that we needed to be," she laments.

But she's still steeped in the history of the city her grandfather built from nothing.

It just happened to be located across the street from Tinker Field.

"Grand daddy was a visionary," says Mikeman. "And he was always working, 24-7."

"Grandmother was not one to sit still either," she continues. "She was either sewing or looking at cookbooks because she was a phenomenal cook."

The pony barn still stands.

The Atkinson Heritage Center is a kind of museum and meeting place.

Cindy remembers this wing of the house as Tinker's first officer's club.

"Then they would bring their families out on the weekend," she says.

She remembers a bunch of family pictures taken in front of this fireplace, and how she was never allowed to play in the new, fancy wing of the house.

Cindy laughs, "We still refer to this as the new part even though it was built in 1955."

Cindy never left Midwest City.

She knows the 'Original Square Mile' and all the streets by heart, the church where her parents married, the original high school, and the curvy lanes built for young families.

Of her grandfather, Cindy says, "He did not want speed to be an issue with young children playing out in the yards."

Bill Atkinson's fingerprints can still be found all over the city he founded and planned with his wife Rubye.

Cindy Mikeman, still a Midwest City resident, feels them like anyone else as she drives her home town.

But she feels a little extra too.

The hands those fingerprints bore supported and held her all through childhood and part of her grown up life too.

A 75th birthday party is especially nice when you've always called it home.

Midwest City and Tinker Air Force Base are in the midst of a year-long celebration of their founding in 1942.

For more information on 75th events go to www.midwestcityok.org