Our Hometown (1)
A column by Okmulgee News Network Producer Valerie Rice
Most everyone has heard of flipping houses. It is the art of buying a home that needs fixing up at a low price, fixing it up and reselling it for a profit. Think about this for a moment. Picture in your head a run down, out of date, decaying home and everyone that thought of living in it would turn up their nose in disgust. Then, a contractor buys the home and completely restores it to a modern, comfortable, valuable piece of property. And guess what happens next? Everyone wants to live in it!
Now picture for a moment...the same thing happening to the town where you live? What if your town, Okmulgee, was flipped!? And everyone wanted to live there?!
Do you have your favorite places that you love to go to? Are there certain places that you speak highly of? Is there a place that you like too vacation to? Can you think of your favorite cool or cozy spots you to go and what they have to offer? What are they?
So just picture bringing those imaginations to the downtown area of Okmulgee, even the surrounding areas, parks, walking trails, streets, housing editions, schools...the list goes on. Ok, sure we cannot bring sandy beaches, oceans or snow filled ski slopes, but there are plenty of extraordinary things that we could bring to our town.
It can happen.
Now, a little housekeeping. Go ahead all you naysayer’s and spout your gloom and doom thoughts. Well, thank you. And now I and all the other people who believe in a positive vision for Okmulgee will take those thoughts, wrap them up in a big ribbon and throw them off into the place of no existence. We don't need them.
Now for those that are beginning to think a little bit, those who haven't really thought about it. Some of you may commute to larger cities for work. You might just work and stick to your own little home and what's going on. There are so many scenarios, but you are living in your own little world. Knock knock! You are the people I am speaking to.
I challenge you to look around your neighborhood, look around the downtown area, look at the parks and vacant spaces here and there. Imagine all the things that could be improved, fixed up.
Here's a little something for your imagination. Do you realize a creek runs right through Okmulgee? A great place to begin seeing it is at 20th street. It passes by the YMCA, down and around the west side of Harmon Stadium and First National Bank. It goes under 8th Street. It has a beautiful little bend that turns and flows under 6th Street. Look at this quaint little bridge!
Here are some pictures. Look past the overgrowth and yes the moss…. look further into what it could be.
Look at this photo from Siloam Springs….it too was once…just a creek.
I have driven through this town over and over since I was a kid and never even knew it existed. Did you? Seriously I didn't and all it took was for me to start opening my eyes and looking around. Looking at all the wasted spaces, neglected areas and just places that have so much potential. This city could be transformed.
Well you don't have to be a naysayer to simply begin churning around in your head what it would take to make this happen. Time, money, ingenuity, people, time, money...it's true, but what is more powerful than time and money is "people and ingenuity" and the only thing people and ingenuity need, is a VISION.
So right now there is a very important three days that is coming to Okmulgee and it begins tomorrow. You can find out all about by clicking here.
If something has sparked your interest, I challenge you to start paying attention. I will show you how to find out what is going on. It is going to happen whether you are on board or not, but I hope something I have said will make you want to shake the dust off your boots and think about getting involved. That’s all I want you to do right now, is THINK.
Follow this column as I take you on a journey of thought. You didn't have to live here all your life, even if you did. It doesn't matter if you moved here yesterday. It's "Our Hometown." Think about it.
Take a look around Okmulgee - Photos by Paul Orosco - ONN