Thursday, September 7, 2017

Day 6 Blogging along with Effy

TODAY’S NUDGE: Write about your hometown, your roots, or where you come from.

I was born in Norman, OK in 1952.  It has changed so much over the past 65 years that it would be unrecognizable to anyone who left and comes back.  The population in the early 1950's was less then 27,000 but the census shows in 2015 it was over 120,000 and that doesn't include the transient university population.  

Norman is most famous for the University of Oklahoma and the Sooners football team I guess.  It is really strange to me that is where just about everyone jumps after I tell them where I live.  I read somewhere that the university has over 31,000 full time students each year.  Famous football players like Sam Bradford, Adrian Peterson, Steve Owens, Joe Washington,Brian Bosworth, Troy Aikman, Billy Sims, the Salmon Brothers, J.C. Watts and many more went to school there.  Famous actors including Ed Harris, Olivia Munn, and James Garner credited with attending OU but as I remember he never graduated high school. There are a long list of famous people but I was always a town girl and only ever attended one class at OU.

Norman had two military bases during WW2...North base trained combat pilots for the and South base had technical training and had a hospital that cared for patients that were injured during the wars.  I remember the bases being here in the mid 1950's cause my step dad worked at the S. base working as an aviation electrician fixing planes.  The bases were turned over to OU sometime in the 1950's and have been developed extensively since then.  

Norman is home to the National Severe Storms Laboratory where my husband worked.  It has changed a lot over the years.  It used to be housed on N Base but now is in a multi storied building on S Base with the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), the NSSL, and the OU school of Meteorology.  There are many big businesses that have moved into Norman over the years!  To name a few there is York, Astellas Pharmaceuticals, Hitachi Corporation,  Cisco, ATT, The US Postal Service has a big postal training center...I could go on and on and on.  So many businesses.

My husband says that the world won't stay the same so I will be happy and they don't have to ask me when they want to make a change BUT sometimes I remember what it used to be and what it has turned into and I wish for those day.

It was a small town and everyone seemed to get along regardless of their religious or political affiliations.  It was a biased, racist, and bigoted city during part of its history but I believe that was due to the population being 85% white and mostly of Southern Baptist persuasion!  When more foreign students came and interacted with the town population it became less so. 

I hate the busy streets and difficulty getting around town now.  Even though the population has grown so much the infrastructure has not grown to handle the traffic in the older parts of town.  I remember riding my bike over to my cousins hour a couple miles away from mine on a two lane road and now that street is 5 lanes and no way would I ride a bike there!

I was brought up in a relatively poor family.  We never wanted for clothes, food, or housing but there never was much money for any thing else.  My mother worked two jobs (nurses aide and waitress) and went to school to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) when I was young because my stepfather was in the Navy and you can't raise 3 kids on $100 a month salary.  I guess that is where I got my backbone and stamina was watching my mother try and make ends meet!  My mother was 54 years old when she died of cancer and I always regret that she never had time to enjoy her life much because of all the working.

I had lots of family living in and around Norman when I was a young person.  Now there seems to be very few of the family around they either moved off or have died off.  Really sad.  I remember holidays being big family affairs where all of us got together and pooled our resources and had huge meals and did fun things.  I miss those days now!

Well that is it before I get too maudlin and start crying in my beer so to speak.  

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