Oklahoma – 29/30 May, 2022

It has been several years since we have been in Oklahoma to visit Steve’s family and friends, tour his hometown and explore different places we have and have not been. It’s always a stop somewhere else before flying into Oklahoma City. This time Atlanta airport, on a Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, so not too busy. Smooth flying and easy pickup of the rental car.

Fairview, OK

Driving from the airport to I-40 West, we have to stop at a stoplight, sadly we see a homeless woman, laying in the sun. Must be the fentanyl epidemic has hit here as well.

We make a quick stop at a Walmart to pickup necessities, water, dinner and fake flowers for graves before driving the rest of the way to Fairview. A nice Best Western is located in town, next to a Dollar General and down the street from the grain elevator. Rural America.

Rural America – Love it! Oklahoma is the land of the free, oil and natural gas, wheat fields, cattle and miles of road with nothing as far as you can see.

Monday, Memorial Day, our plan is to visit the various cemeteries where Steve’s family members are buried. He did a doublecheck on some of the great-great’s names and which cemetery so we would be sure to find their grave sites. It is still a meaningful tradition in rural USA to visit gravesights and place flowers on Memorial Day. The USA Flag is placed on all veteran’s graves as well. It is quite a sight to see.

Our first stop is at the Jet, OK cemetery where Steve’s parents, his father’s parents, their son they lost at 14 years old and Steve’ brother and his wife.

After visiting the cemetery, we stop and visit a cousin of Steve’s who lives in Jet, Oklahoma, where he grew up. This man and his wife take care of the cemetery grounds and raise the flag every day. Great servants!

Now I need to mention that the weather here is beautiful, warm, sunny and low humidity. However……there is what they call a straight wind directly from the south, blowing at around 35 mph. Quite incredible and something I’ve never experienced. Steve’s cousin in Jet, OK said its been blowing like this for three days and people mostly don’t go out. Crazy! Gives you an appreciation of what happened during the 1930’s dust bowl and why so many people left and went to California!

Leaving the town of Jet, we notice a house with a large sign hanging on the front. Unusual.

Driving from Jet, OK, I felt a need to stop at the Great Salt Plains. It had been years since we visited and even took our children when they were young to dig in the sand for Selenite Crystals. Since it is a holiday weekend, there are quite a few people out on the flats digging for crystals, even with the wind blowing like crazy.

I did not have any shovels which would have been helpful. I stopped and spoke with one of the families about what they had found so far. Quite a few crystals and the woman gave me one to take home. We use to have several around our house that we had collected….don’t know where they are anymore after all our moves!

Next stop is Fairview Cemetery. Here is where Steve’s mother’s parents, grandparents and other relatives on his mother’s side are buried.

Then on to Bethel Cemetery. You can’t imagine how remote these cemeteries are from any town or houses. And they have decorated graves and flags. Touching. Steve has lots of stories he could write about these people from his mother’s genealogy records. Really, he should write a book! Fascinating lives living out in this part of Oklahoma during the last century!

Our late afternoon and evening is spent with our good friends in Fairview who we haven’t seen since 2018. The last time we were at their home, we told them their kitchen serves the best Chicken Fried Steak dinner in all of Oklahoma. Bonus for us, we are treated to another delicious dinner of Chicken Friend Steak, mashed potatoes, biscuits and lots of gravy with a side salad and corn. Still the best in Oklahoma! Lots of laughs too. Another selfie before we head back to our hotel quick happy!

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