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Saturday, September 11, 2010

An Absolutely Fantastic Riff on Oklahoma and Tulsa

Saying I share a lot of these opinions is understating the matter.

I love Oklahoma, especially rural Oklahoma. I even like Tulsa, despite it not being rural. There are parts of town--like mine--where you won't know you aren't in small-town Oklahoma 'til you turn that last corner out of the neighborhood. And if you drive twenty minutes in any given direction, you're in the countryside. Here are a couple o' snips. Read the whole thing.
Oklahoma is an ultra conservative state. Of course, we have our liberals, but they are still the minority here. Most people around here are “good old boys” who believe in the right to bear arms and fly their flags proudly. We do have abortion clinics but the majority of people are pro-life. The most popular denomination here is Baptist, mostly Southern Baptist, although we certainly have churches for every denomination you can think of. Men still open doors for women and help old ladies carry things and cross the street here (well, usually).

[snip]

We have some really cool and unique restaurants here as well. Of course we have all the normal stuff: McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Chili's, On the Border, etc. But we have a few places you won't find anywhere else. Casa Bonita is famous not so much for it's food (which is good, but pretty much just like every other Mexican restaurant) but for the d├ęcor. The whole place looks like you're outdoors in some Spanish town. Especially fun are the cave room and the waterfall room. They also have an arcade! Arnold's Old Fashioned Hamburgers (which is literally right across the street from me) is an old-fashioned 50's themed place. It is definitely the place to go for the best malts ever. The best thing about this place is that the people who own it are Christians, in fact, the husband also helps manage some gospel singing groups! They are closed on Sundays and early on Wednesdays so their employees can attend church. Knotty Pine BBQ is one of those places that looks kind of shady from the outside (and honestly is not in the best looking part of town) but the food is supposedly to die for. I don't care for BBQ myself, but everyone else says it's the best. Recently they had a fire so are temporarily closed while they rebuild. Ollie's Station Restaurant is down-home comfort food. It is built around an old railroad/train theme. There are displays of model trains and towns, and three different trains run intermittently on tracks around the ceiling of the restaurant. The kids love it!

Now, on to the good stuff! The things that make Tulsa and Oklahoma in general a great place to homeschool!

First of all, Oklahoma is the only state to have it in our original state constitution that parents have the right to educate their kids however they want, including homeschooling. There are no rules, no requirements, no qualifications. You do not have to get anything approved or report to anyone. You do what you want, how you want, when you want. It's awesome!

Here in Tulsa, we have an amazing store called Mardel that is a Christian store carrying music, toys, apparel, books, movies, and...educational supply! They have aisles and aisles devoted to homeschooling curriculum and supplies. We also have a great used bookstore that caters specifically to homeschoolers called Bibliomania.

Our library system is wonderful as well. You can search the entire catalog online, reserve the books you want and pick them up at the branch of your choosing when they're ready. You can also see a list of all the books you have checked out (very useful when trying to round up 25 books at once) and pay overdue fines online. Your first library card is free and if you lose it, replacements are only $1.

There are multiple homeschooling groups in Tulsa.
I don't know if Knotty Pine is the best barbecue in Tulsa; lots of folks love Wilson's, and Elmer's, and Big Daddy's, and there are certainly others. Personally, I think the best barbecue in northeastern Oklahoma is to be had at Massey's Barbecue in Okmulgee. I also have to aver that I make some pretty decent barbecue with my backyard cooking equipment.

Knotty Pine is certainly very good, though.

I love that Oklahoma is, as she says, "an ultra-conservative state." The reddest of the red states, as I have often reminded people.

Bibliomania is run by a long-time friend of mine.

There are lots and lots of homeschoolers here.

Man, I love it here. There is lots more in the original post. Go take a look.

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