A city of a horse

Website design By BotEap.comThe decade that the author spent living in Oklahoma took her back in time at least fifteen years.

Website design By BotEap.comIt was a unique little town. There was no law enforcement in Freedom, Oklahoma; without police, without judge, and without jail. It seemed that the citizens who lived there made their own laws. Neighbors policed ​​themselves, resentful of any law that got too close to their town. Word spread quickly among residents when one of them saw a state police or sheriff’s vehicle stationed on a nearby road.

Website design By BotEap.comMost of the people who lived in and around Freedom were farmers or ranchers who became frustrated and angry when their hard work and efforts in farming and ranching continually failed. Even when they had a good crop of wheat, it did not mean that they would receive a fair price for their time and effort. Much of the financial success of the farmer in Freedom, Oklahoma, depended on how high the government valued the price of wheat that season.

Website design By BotEap.comMother Nature continually exacted a heavy price from local farmers who were forever faced with drought, wind, rain, and insects that occasionally, vengefully, destroyed their crops. The obstacles that people seemed to face in their daily lives were sometimes soul-destroying for those with little hope or faith. Most of the farmers in northwestern Oklahoma lived on a prayer and a shoelace. New farm equipment was extremely expensive and only available to a select few. Many of the farmers could barely afford the seed needed to plant their crops, let alone replace their outdated equipment. They relied on loans from local banks and government assistance to make a living.

Website design By BotEap.comThere was an extreme difference in the lifestyles of the people. Local politicians and robbers owned acres and acres of land and the best farm equipment money could buy; however, the poorest sharecropper farmers had little chance of earning a living in agriculture.

Website design By BotEap.comThere was a shortage of water to irrigate crops and most farmers did not have an irrigation system. They trusted Mother Nature for the occasional thunderstorm and torrential rain. Things hadn’t improved much around Freedom since the 1920s and 1930s.

Website design By BotEap.comFarmers seemed limited in the crops they planted. The land was normally planted with wheat or grass and used for grazing cattle. Year after year, farmers planted wheat, sometimes having a decent harvest and many times, depending on the elements, no harvest at all. Still, as the years and seasons passed, the farmers repeated their efforts over and over again; as if it was the only way they knew.

Website design By BotEap.comThe author’s favorite time of year in Freedom was early spring, when the rolling green wheat fields looked like sprawling golf courses. From the road, the green fields of wheat stretched on forever. He imagined farm families praying that their crops would be kept safe from the elements so that they would have a successful wheat harvest each year, and she prayed too.

Website design By BotEap.comSome concerned farmers occasionally drank too many beers at the Freedom Saloon, as if seeking a release from the stress and anxiety of their day-to-day farming lives. It was rumored that they would occasionally bar the door and beat each other up just to ease their frustrations with the world around them. “What didn’t kill you in Freedom only made you stronger!”

Website design By BotEap.comGossip quickly spread throughout the small town; there were no secrets. In the old days, gossip was spread by nosy, bored citizens listening in on their neighbors’ phone conversations across old party lines. One family may have one ring and the other may have two, they always knew when their neighbors were on the line. Many hours were spent quietly listening to each other’s conversations via crank telephones from the confines of country house living rooms.

Website design By BotEap.comMost of the people who lived in and around Freedom, Oklahoma seemed to be generous, honest, hard-working survivors who appreciated their old-fashioned way of life. They honored their neighbors and valued their family traditions.

Website design By BotEap.comThe drifters who occasionally passed through Freedom hoping to settle there eventually left. It didn’t take long for a stranger to figure out who made the rules. To survive on Freedom, a person needed to be rough, tough, and irritable, and open to the possibility of being taken advantage of.

Website design By BotEap.comThere was clear competition between the families that lived north of the Cimarrón and those that lived south of the lazy river. The attitude of the people of the north had the potential and the power to destroy men, damage families and reputations.

Website design By BotEap.comGod forbid if you need to borrow money from the local bank to keep your farm and family alive. If you didn’t come from one of the more affluent families in Freedom, you might be looked down on and the town thugs proceeded to treat you accordingly.

Website design By BotEap.comFreedom had a cooperative where farmers bought their food and seeds at very high prices. The owner of the local hardware store could get you everything you need and get it to you in two days, if you were willing to pay his price. The corner grocery store sold gasoline and groceries; at prices that high, a person would have been better off driving 30 miles to Woodward to do their shopping.

Website design By BotEap.comThere were no traffic lights in the city of a horse. There was a school with grades one through twelve, a town hall, a post office, a legion hall, a small western museum, a sewing shop, two country cafes, a rodeo arena, a bank, and a saloon.

Website design By BotEap.comTumbleweeds flew down the dusty main street of Freedom. The town could easily have been mistaken for a ghost town on a movie set, but it wasn’t, it was all very real.

Website design By BotEap.comWebster’s Dictionary defined the word “liberty”, in part, as: “The quality or state of being free; and, the absence of necessity, coercion or restriction in choice or action; and, freedom from bondage or restriction or from the power of another; and, the quality or state of being generally exempted or released from something onerous; and, the quality of being frank, open or frank”.

Website design By BotEap.comThe author understood the definition in Webster’s dictionary, but imagined that those who visited Freedom, Oklahoma, would find their own definition.

Website design By BotEap.comFreedom is a small, quaint, isolated town in northwestern Oklahoma; instead, some flee in search of their own personal freedom.

Website design By BotEap.comThe city is situated in a beautiful green valley located along the Cimarron River in northwestern Oklahoma. He is somehow protected by an unknown divine source. Freedom is located in the middle of Tornado Alley; however, very few tornadoes are rumored to have touched down there. The population is made up primarily of veterans whose families settled in and around Freedom after the land rush of 1893.

Website design By BotEap.comFew young people stay when they finish high school. Most of them move to larger cities or towns to explore greater opportunities than Freedom offers. Most high school seniors leave for college, and few return, except for an occasional vacation visit or to attend a class or family reunion.

Website design By BotEap.comFreedom residents welcome tourists to their town on the third weekend of August each year, when thousands of rodeo fans arrive for their annual rodeo. The Freedom Rodeo tradition has carried on in the small town for more than seventy-five years.

Website design By BotEap.comThe city of Freedom was established eight years after the Cherokee Outlet Land Run of 1893. The US government originally purchased the land in 1891 from Cherokee Indians, and Freedom was established as a city in 1901. The Santa Fe Railroad Company built a railroad line between Waynoka and Buffalo, Oklahoma. Its lines run close to the town of Libertad.

Website design By BotEap.comIn 1928 the city prospered. Freight trains made daily stops there. Several new businesses developed as a result of the railroad, and soon they had a grocery store, auto repair shop, drug store, barber shop, lumber yard, butcher shop, hardware store, produce store, yard food, a cafeteria, a hotel and a bank.

Website design By BotEap.comIn 1928 the population of Libertad was two hundred and fifty-one. When the author arrived in 1996 the population was 281.

Website design By BotEap.comOld West Town’s main street features wooden store fronts and sidewalks and the town has great potential to be a popular Oklahoma tourist destination. However, many of the older citizens seem content with the status quo. They are not interested in putting up with tourists or strangers in general.

Website design By BotEap.comFreedom has many meanings, the author’s definition is: “It’s a great place to visit if you don’t intend to stay too long!”

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