Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see Oklahoma City’s efforts along the Oklahoma River get on the front page of the New York Times this week. But what’s the fixation with dragging tragedy into every story? Ten years ago, OKC got similar play out of the Times and right from the start the nation is reminded of the bombing. And as we know this week, if it’s not the bombing, it’s “The Grapes of Wrath” (has anyone considered that the outdated and disputed images in this fiction could just as easily dog Texas? But when do we ever see that happen?)
Is this, ultimately, a coy condescending way to put OKC “in its place”?
So am I being too picky here? Or are there others of you who feel the same way? Anyway, here is today’s flashback:
New Projects Seek to Revive
Battered Oklahoma City
For many, this city evokes the image of a dying child pulled from a smoldering ruin.
Even before a bomb destroyed the Federal Building here three years ago, killing 168 people, injuring hundreds and wrecking or damaging 300 other buildings, Oklahoma City had suffered. It was whipsawed by the collapse of the oil and gas industry in the 1980′s, beaten by competitors in the race for new industry and had little to offer in the way of entertainment.
When people from Oklahoma City and the surrounding area went looking for fun, they had to drive more than three hours to Dallas.
But on Thursday the city will begin to offer a more hopeful image and a new set of memories as it opens a minor league baseball stadium, the first in a series of major projects to rebuild and refashion downtown.
Residents hope the developments will help them put the hard past behind them, said Bill Jeffries, a 39-year-old cement salesman. ”This is a rebuilding, a new future,” Mr. Jeffries said this week as he sat in Crabtown, one of several restaurants that have opened in recent years in Bricktown, an area of turn-of-the-century warehouses seven blocks southeast of the bomb site.
Read the rest here