Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Blue Bird Farm battled Father Time, tornado and won

CRESCENT, Okla. -- The Flag Irises wave proudly in early May.

The wheat across the road is chest high this year, and Phil Macy thinks his grandparents, who built this little house, might agree the old homestead never looked better.

"We all shake our heads," he says. "They never, ever saw anything as nice as this is now."

Alfred and Joella Murry moved in around 1901. They added to a little two-room house built in 1890.

In 1930, Phil's Uncle Russell and Aunt 'Pete' moved in. They lived in it for 35 years.

"I was just a little guy. My aunt and uncle didn't have any children so I was probably the closest thing they had to offspring," Phil said.

Phil remembers coming out here as a kid to visit or help out.

He says the 4th of July parties were the best.

"We'd make homemade ice cream right over there," he points.

The story of small family farms after WWII follows a worn trail.

Phil's aunt and uncle got old. The family rented out the farm land. The old house and barns stood vacant.

On May 3, 1999, a tornado almost decided the fate of this place.

"If it had been a quarter mile in this direction, it would be gone," Macy said.

Not long after, Phil credits his wife Frances with spearheading a renovation that took the better part of a year.

Workers shored up the foundation, replaced rotted wood, and removed the mud dauber wasps who occupied the attic.

Phil recalls, "She said, 'We're going to save this place for historic reasons.'"

The Macy's still hold a 4th of July family celebration on the Murry property.

The house and carefully manicured grounds stand as a gesture of love and devotion to those who came before but were not forgotten.

"I think this is terrific," he says.

The Macy family calls their place Bluebird Farm. Frances hosts an annual Garden Walk in late May or early June as a fundraiser for a local museum in Crescent.

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