Leaving Tahlequah, I headed west across Oklahoma. As I followed the sun, the ground flattened and the trees dispersed. Cows studded the landscape. The wind whipped, blowing bits of vegetation across the highway and stirring the water in ponds and lakes into choppy waves. I passed through Tulsa, dropped some quarters in a few toll booths, and began to near my destination.
I was a little nervous, and spent some time rehearsing what I would say. Surely a serial killer wouldn't greet me, but who would?
Just two left turns off the main highway through Enid, Oklahoma, and I was prepared to find out.
I walked up to the door at 2302 Kiowa Street and rang the doorbell. After waiting a few minutes, I started to feel sure that either no one was home, or the doorbell did not work. Should I knock? I decided to ring it one more time. A few moments later, I heard some rumblings from behind me in the carport, so I headed in that direction.
I greeted the gray-haired man who emerged, and said I was sorry to bother him, but that I wanted to see if it was ok for me to take a few photos outside his home. You see, my family lived in it for the first two years of my life and I had thought it would be fun to return for the first time in 38 years.
Mitch responded casually as if he had been half expecting me to arrive all day, and ushered me right into the house, immediately beginning a tour. He and his wife Pam had purchased the property from my parents in 1978 and even remembered their names. Over the years, they had made many improvements, alterations, and additions, and Mitch was eager to show them all to me. We walked into the family room (an addition) after a few moments of touring, and Pam greeted me in much the same way as Mitch, warm and friendly, and seemingly not terribly surprised.
We chatted for a while, and I snapped photos of the yard, the interior, and the exterior. I had showed them an old family photo taken in front of the house, and Mitch insisted on taking a photo of me to echo that one. I got the rundown of who still lived on the street from my parents' era, what houses were selling for in the area, and what had changed (or mostly hadn't) in Enid. They were incredibly kind, down-to-earth, and just plain nice people. I'm pretty sure they weren't serial killers. :-)
If they were, I got away.