Since my graduation from the Pennsylvania State University in 2006, I have lived in Texas for one year, and Oklahoma for five years – an appropriate length of time to reflect on one's journey through the different sagas of life. This seems very dramatic considering what I'm about to discuss in the paragraphs below, but that's the best way I can put it on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
I'm now well aware of the pride Oklahomans have for their state, and I must admit I've grown to have a lot of pride too in the state I call my home away from home. Being an Okie has taken on more meanings to me over the years, from the quintessential frontier type to just being proud of the small town values that still thrive in many homesteads across the state.
So it got me thinking, what have I done in my tenure here in the Sooner State that has brought me closer to being a real Okie? I've chased tornadoes both on the ground and in the air; sometimes getting a little too close, but always mindful to "let's keep a safe distance, but just make sure you are rolling on this!" I've binged myself sick on fried catfish, chicken fried steak, fried okra, Rocky Mountain Oysters and all the other wonderful fried culinary delights at both the Oklahoma and Tulsa State Fair. I've hauled hay in the sweltering summer sun, cleaned horse stalls and had a few too many run-ins with the local wildlife (another story). And I have of course been a part of and a witness to the thrilling, fanatic, madness that is OU and OSU football.
What I haven't done, and what many have told me is a rite of passage for any southerner, much less an Okie, is have a slushy from Sonic. We don't have Sonics in Pennsylvania, and while I have eaten food from Sonic I have never had a Sonic Slush until today – it only took five years and the persistence of a few good Okies. For the inquiring minds it was a Grape Slush, and yes…it was very good. So, if you would care to share, what other "Okie rites of passage" do I need to check off my list?
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