Our Hometown Glory: Stillwater, OK

Our Hometown Glory: Stillwater, OK

More than textbooks and bar crawls.

Stilly, Stillville, Still-H20.

Call it what you want, but this town holds a special place in our hearts, whether we gladly admit it or not. For some, it is their collegiate playground. For others, it is their forever home. Let’s bring the old dusty boxes out of the shed and talk about our favorite Stillwater past times, places and memories; or at least some of them.

1. Our unconditional love for Stan Clark Companies.

Eskimo Joes, Mexico Joes, Joseppi’s, Stillwater Bay and MoJo’s. Otherwise known as Stan Clark companies. What began as a small bar in the heart of Stillwater, is now a legacy within the community. Home of America's greatest cheese fries. Whether it is chips and salsa at Mexico Joes or a beer and a bowling alley at Mojo’s, you will feel right at home. RIP Joseppi's and Stillwater Bay, you are dearly missed.

2. The hidden pioneer wagon statue tradition.

An oldie but goodie. The tradition that tops any other. The hiding of the Stillwater High School pioneer wagon. Every year the seniors would hide the wagon and the upcoming seniors would have to find it before their homecoming took place. This tradition was shut down before I attended Stillwater High School, but it never fails to create conversation when brought up with numerous Stillwater alumni.

3. Chris' University Spirit

Originally known as the Balfour House, today is known as Chris’ University Spirit. Located in the thick of Stillwater and the OSU campus, carrying everything from OSU gear to Greek monogrammed items, it is a true gem. You can find me here whenever I am buying gifts for my brother, dad or grandpa.

4. Tumbleweed Dancehall and Concert Venue

Now this is a true legend in Stillwater. Growing up I always heard my parents make remarks about “how back in my day we would spend our Friday nights at the Tumbleweed”, so with no doubt, I spent my first few weekends in college at the Tumbleweed. I can promise you that most of our parents met at this little country music joint. Every year the Tumbleweed also hosts the big “Calf Fry” where the community, family, friends and mostly college students merge together and listen to live country music. It is definitely a golden keepsake of Stillwater.

5. 4th of July "Boomer Blast"

This hometown celebrates 4th of July like no other. You can find the whole community every year located at Boomer Lake, with their families, relatives, friends, beer and cameras. Or you can find a higher spot of land within the city limits and watch as the Boomer Blast show unfolds from afar.

6. Saturday's spent at Shoe Bank, Bath and Body Works and Hobby Lobby

Growing up, once every few Saturdays, my mom would take me into town and we would go roam around to our 3 favorite stores. We would smell every scent in Bath and Body Works, pick out some sporadic décor from Hobby Lobby, and spend way too much money in Shoe Bank. Side note for those who do not know what Shoe Bank is – you should. Shoe Bank carried some of the best and most wanted shoes in Oklahoma. Jana and David never failed to make you feel like family, but after 34 years of business, David and Jana Swain closed their doors. I will always remember Saturday's spent in this shopping center.

8. Kruse's Caribbean Ice

Once the weather began to get warmer, the first thought we always had was Kruse's Ice. Kruse's is a family owned, Stillwater loved, snowcone stand. You can find all of the Stillwater High alumni here every summer.

9. The treasured Wooden Nickel

The Wooden Nickel is a Stillwater, Oklahoma staple. The Wooden Nickel has had their doors open since 1976. The store carries the most trendy clothing for men and women, and literally everything else you could possibly want. They are now offering an online store, which makes my heart swoon but my wallet cry.

10. America's Greatest Homecoming

How could I leave this one off the list? I can promise you, that this is probably one of the most sacred traditions in Stillwater, and I do not see it leaving anytime soon. From the parade to the house decs, you can find the whole community and the college students at every homecoming event.

11. Washington St.

Preferably known as "The Strip" is the location of all things tequila, palm trees and dancing shoes. The Strip is a great place to create your collegiate memories. Other than the Tumbleweed, this is where the other 50% of our parents met.

12. Our obsession with Aspen Coffee

Aspen first opened their doors in 1994, and I don't see the doors ever closing. Aspen has 4 locations within city limits, and 1 located in Edmond, Oklahoma. Filled with roasted craft coffee, espresso and numerous baked goods. Besides the coffee, it is honestly the reason for the pep in this small town.

13. Coney Island

Established on The Strip in 1969, it holds the best late night food in Stillwater. I am sure that the atmosphere looks exactly the same as it did in 1969, which makes it a true keepsake in town.

14. The most obvious, Oklahoma State University

We sure do love our Alma Mater but it wouldn't be the same without the town it resides in. The university holds around 25,000 students and brings so much to our beloved town.

Thank you, Stillwater. Thank you for always being the place we can call home.

Go 'neers (and Cowboys).

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Wolfe Photography

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7 Things That Happen If You Are In A Long Distance Friendship

People say long distance relationships are hard, but that is nothing compared to your best friend living on an opposite coast.

College is a time of meeting new people and experiencing new walks of life. However, that doesn't mean that you leave all your old friends in the past. Often times, we keep those friendships close, despite the physical distance between us being too far apart.

1. Your sleep schedule won’t make sense to anyone else who lives around you

Timezones can be a pain when your friends live in one different than you, even worse when you have multiple friends in several different time zones. Whether it's waking up at four a.m. or staying up until that late just so you can rave about the new season of Stanger Things, you are willing to do almost anything to continue the friendship. No matter your sleep schedule though, those around you won't understand why it is the way that it is.

The important thing is that you know why and never feel inconvenienced by it.

2. You pretend that your friend lives down the street rather than miles away

Sometimes, a good way of coping with a distance is acting like it's not there. Sending messages to your friend saying "Be over in five for a movie night" won't seem odd to send despite knowing that there are so many miles in between you and them. It's a way of dealing with distance because you both know that you'd do it in a heartbeat if you physically could.

3. But then the distance feels even farther when they are upset

When your friend is upset, most likely you get upset as well. Who doesn't want to beat up their friend's ex-partner or give them a long hug after a bad day? Everyone, that's who. And when you are too far away to either, it definitely makes it harder. Though, you know being there, even if electronically, can still be helpful.

4. You have to explain to anyone around you who you are constantly messaging

If you have a friend who's long distance, you most likely are keeping up with them at a fairly constant rate. That leads to the constant questioning of why your phones blew up with notifications from people from other states or countries. At times, you don't even know how to explain who you are messaging because you know you'll go on a rant about how great your friend is, despite the distance.

5. Around any holiday, Amazon is your best friend.

Honestly, the stress of holiday shopping is taken off your shoulders a bit when Amazon is in the picture. You don't need to pay a ridiculous amount for shipping a gift while also having access to almost any gift you could want to get for your friends. Unboxing the gifts together on video call might not be as good as in person, but you can't help but be thankful online shopping.

6. You have downloaded multiple Apps solely for keeping updated on your friend’s life

It's important to know everything about your friend's current situation since you are not physically around them to know. That means having your Weather Channel app tracking a city you've never been to while downloading a social media you don't even use just because your friend likes it. Most importantly, there is the Countdown app you downloaded solely so you know how long until you see your friend again.

7. The everlasting hug when you meet up again finally

The best moment of your long distance friendship is when the long distance status can be put on hold for even a moment. The hug that you have when you finally get to be physically with your favorite person again? It makes all the 4 a.m. video calls, lonely days, and downloaded apps worth it. You realize how strong your friendship is if it can hold up despite the distance.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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A Letter To Everyone I Have Ever Met

You have made me into who I am today.

This letter is to everyone I have ever spoken to, to those I am really close with, and those to whom I have become distant with. To those who have done me wrong, and those who have done me right. I want you to know that you have all shaped me into being a better person. You either have shown me examples of what not to do, or what the right thing is to do.

You have lied to me, and done me harm. You treat me like garbage to make me understand what I truly want and deserve out of a person, which is not that. You maybe even have taken my friends away from me, to make me realize who my true friends are, I have seen the way you are to me, and to others.

You open my eyes to make me believe that the world isn’t that bad of a place, and that there is still good out there in a world of darkness. It can be even as small as a smile, or a gesture, just to make my day seem a little brighter, and that people are good, and that there is love out there. You were there for me in my darkest of times, you stayed with me through those times, showing that you care, and making sure that everything is going to be okay.

You can say a few words that can completely change the game. Either they are words of kindness, or words of hurt. They all inspire me to do different things, and think about things deeper, and realize that I may be completely wrong, or right about something.

You made me realize that I need to be tougher in the world, and that your words and actions can’t bring me down if you are trying to bring me down. And sometimes a few of your words, can completely change my world for the better.

Whoever you are, and what you ever meant to me, big or small, in kindness or in hatefulness, thank you for being who you were and are to me. You have shaped my world and formed me into the person I am today learning from you, and in all honesty, I would not be the same if I hadn’t ever met you. You helped me filter out the bad, and bring in only the good, people with real love and kindness, which is what I know I deserve.

Cover Image Credit: Amanda Rivera

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