Our choices for the Top 4 Great State stories of 2016

Great State
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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- Think of one year and accelerating zip line like this one that flies over Turner Falls near Sulphur.

Our zip line of a year started on the morning radio show of twins Nathan and Landry Brewer in Elk City, and took off with the affirmative answer to the big question asked by young Dr. Daniel Pascucci.

He and his fiancé married in June of 2016 but we were there to tell the story of how it began.

Monumental dates in history stick out like monuments themselves.

Rock Mary is still hanging on since in was first named in 1849.

And for the first of our Top 4, the oldest monument we could find in 2016, a rifle shot from the tower on Flag Pole Mountain, nestled in the colors of an Oklahoma fall, Umbrella Rock shelters its little patch of Pushmataha County untold millions of years after its formation.

We always meet so many talented people every year.

The inventors of the Go Boat stuck out in 2016 as did the entrepreneurs who grew We Go Look into one of Oklahoma's fastest growing companies.

But for the second of our Top 4 stories we look to artist Steven Grounds who's dream for the old Concho Indian School is turning it into a one of a kind, open air gallery.

He's two years in with a lot of painting left to do but we like what he's done so far.

We celebrate the unique in Oklahoma, individuality, the brightest threads in our state quilt.

We found them in the oldest living Major League baseball player Eddie Carnett of Ringling.

We had a ball with Geary's only plumber Ducky Reding who decided to take up crochet and liked it so much he opened a store to sell his wares right next to his plumbing supply business.

But of the interesting people we met in 2016, Maize Jake Willis takes the cake, not just for her unusual way of taking her calf for walks, which proved a viral sensation, but for her individuality, her independence at age five.

Three down, one to go.

We can look in just about any direction to find evidence of what makes this a 'Great State'.

I found the best inspiration rising from tragedy.

Hudson Haws still hasn't gotten on his feet after a high school football game in 2015, but we found his family's faith unshaken.

We found his strength and optimism as memorable as any story we visited in 2016.

The things we admire most in other people and the qualities we like used in descriptions of us, they're right here, and here, and here.

A Top 4 isn't nearly enough.

Nor is 25 years of searching for these kinds of stories.

So we'll keep going to find some more.

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