Richard and Mo Anderson fondly remember their high school years in Waukomis in the 1950s.
“It was a special place,” Mo Anderson said. “Two car dealerships, two grocery stores. It was buzzing and thriving.”
“It was always fun and there were always things to do, swimming naked in the farm ponds,” Richard Anderson said.
Richard was the star of the Waukomis High School basketball team. He played at OU and helped hold Kansas’ Wilt Chamberlain to just 15 points in one game.
Mo Anderson was a sharecropper's daughter and cheerleader.
Mo said she was smitten by Richard the first time she saw him while registering for classes.
“I looked and I said, ‘Who is that guy?’” Mo remembered.
The two graduated in a class of just 17 students.
They later married, moved and had very successful careers.
Mo Anderson was the co-owner and first CEO of Keller Williams Realty, a nationally-franchised real estate company.
Meanwhile, the town where they first fell in love wasn’t aging well.
“Just trashy-looking. When I’d see buildings falling down, it bothered me,” Richard Anderson said.
Richard decided to purchase a corner lot on Main Street for a memorial to the pioneers of Waukomis.
The Andersons then set out to recreate the Waukomis they remembered from their childhood. Soon, a barber shop, gift shop, café and chapel would be built along Main Street.
“People are really proud of what this town has become,” Waukomis resident Beth Ives said.
The Andersons consider this to be the start. They're hoping, through different projects, to increase the population of Waukomis to 1,500 people.
Currently, 1,200 residents call Waukomis home.
Blocks away, the one-time family retrea a barn, swimming pool and luxurious accommodations – were converted to Buffalo Point Retreat and Event Center.
“We could be the greatest suburb of Enid that Enid ever knew existed,” Mo Anderson said.
More on Main Street is planned as the Andersons’ love has returned to Waukomis, seven decades after they discovered it.
“We really have a vision of what this little place can become,” Mo Anderson said.