After a recent trip to my hometown of Ponca City, OK I was reminded of how much things change yet stay the same. As I drove into Ponca on Highway 60 I came to the stoplight at the Waverly intersection. I made one of the spontaneous decisions to take a quick, unplanned trip down memory lane. I decided to head east past the baseball fields at Dan Moran Park where I must have hit hundreds of home runs in little league. Okay, so maybe it was only one but hundreds sure does sound better!
Next, I came to the underpass for the railroad tracks on South Ave. that always seemed to flood, much to the delight of folks who lived in that part of town. Then, a turn to the north took me to Grand Avenue. Perhaps many of you are familiar with the kind of street I am referring to. Grand was the main drag, also known as the place where teens find a way into trouble! From the smell of burning tires to the sounds of guys whistling at the girls, Grand was one of the favorite places to celebrate on a Friday night. The downtown area was full of a wide variety of stores, and although the names are much different now I still remember them as they were.
Then, a turning down fifth street I passed by one of my favorite restaurants, Grand Café. This location also happened to be near the end of the parade route where I marched and played "Oklahoma" many times. Now driving north, I passed by Hutchins Memorial and Ponca City High School. Again, many changes have been made, but most of the buildings are still there. Like the Fine Arts center where I arrived at school at 6:45 am for band practice or full orchestra and ended up staying until 5 pm the same evening for jazz band rehearsal. Music was definitely a huge part of my childhood.
Finally, I decided to head to the house, but this isn't just any house. You see, my mom still lives in the house I came home to as a newborn baby. So, when I go home, I truly go home. I am still amazed at the different stories I remember each time I pull into the driveway. I truly believe the saying there's no place like home. I sometimes wonder to myself how many of you are able to return to the exact same house where you grew up.
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
OKLAHOMA CITY'S OWN TM
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