Our Hometown Glory: Stillwater, OK

Our Hometown Glory: Stillwater, OK

More than textbooks and bar crawls.
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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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An Open Letter to the Best Friend I Didn't See Coming

Some people come into your life and change you forever—thanks, bestie.
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Dear best friend,

I wasn't expecting you when God placed you in my life. I had my friends. I had my people. I wasn't exactly open to the idea of new meaningful friendships because I had the ones I needed, and it didn't seem like I really needed anybody new.

Thank God that was false. Sometimes you meet people and you just know that you're going to be good friends with. Sometimes you meet people and you realize that there is no such thing as chance. I think God has a funny way of making it seem as if the things that happen to us are by chance, but honestly, that’s a load of crap. If the biggest moments of our lives were left up to chance, then I believe that would make God out to seem as if he didn’t care. It would make it seem as if He was truly abandoning me and making me face some of my most important seasons fully isolated. But you, best friend, are a true testament to the fact that God doesn’t just leave such important aspects up to chance. Thank you for taking a chance on our friendship, and thank you for allowing me to take a chance on what I didn’t realize would be the most impactful friendship in my entire life.

Thank you for being real with me. Thank you for not sugar coating things. Thank you for telling me when I have a bad attitude. Thank you for loving me through my mistakes. Thank you for supporting me in my decisions, even if it isn’t always the decision you would make. Thank you for wanting the best for me, and for making that your true intent behind the words that you say to me, whether they be constructive criticism or encouragement.

Thank you for being a goof with me. Thank you for putting me first. Thank you for seeing the importance of our friendship. Thank you for making time in your schedule for us to just sit and do homework, eat Mexican food, or sit on the porch and listen to music that emotionally wrecks you.

You’re one of a kind. You’re a shoulder to lean on. You’re a safe place. You’re a free spirit. You’re rough and tough, but your heart melts for the people you love and it’s obvious. You’re more than meets the eye. You are worth getting to know. You are worth loving. You pursue people. You are passionate about your future. You are everything that a person needs, and I really thank God that for some reason you continue to choose to be in my life. Thank you for literally dragging me up my mountains of fear when I want to stay exactly where I am at and wallow in the sadness. You bring joy—true joy—wherever you go. You are my best friend, confidant, and biggest fan. You will be the Maid of Honor, Godmother, and fun Aunt.

I used to think lifelong friendships weren’t really a thing. It just seemed like people always grew apart and forever was never a point that was attainable. Best friends forever is a cliché phrase that is continuously overused nowadays (sometimes, I even used to make light of it), but thanks for making that a reality. You are truly the best friend I could have asked for. So thank you for it all. You make life more fun, and I couldn’t thank God more for making an incredible human, friends with me.

I love you, pal!

JQ

Cover Image Credit: Julia Dee Qualls

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Being No One's First Option To Hang Is Chill Because I Am My First Option

You are not the 1st person someone calls to hang out. You may be on the call list, but you're not number one. But that can be oK

Kate
Kate
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No one calls me first. I sometimes think about how it would feel for someone to think, "I really want to go here...Let me call Kate!" I mean, it could be happening and I just don't read minds properly. But, I pick up on energy and vibes even over the phone sometimes, and I know it doesn't happen.

Sometimes, when people ask me to do something, I wonder how many people said "No" before they got to me.

Sadly, this thought is normal in the world that we live in today. Most people don't care about strong interpersonal relationships. They care more about their image and what others think about them.

It is so disappointing the number of people who consider themselves "friends" with someone if that someone provides something for them. This can be either something tangible or something that makes them feel higher on their personal social ladder or ego.

I have literally made a cycle that I am 95% sure occurs once someone asks me to hang out:

1. Usually, they start with their boyfriend.

He says no...most men don't want to go shopping or be your personal photographer.

2. In comes Mrs. Popularity

Who makes them feel super duper awesome that they hung out with this person.

3. Then, they ask the person who they can receive the most out of

The one who will most likely drive...or the one who might pay for their meal.

4. Oh hey! Then there's me

The not-so-exciting one yet will totally have a great time with.

Usually, this would absolutely tear me up. I would feel worthless, less than, and question what was wrong with me. But I have grown to realize that this is not a reflection of me. This is a reflection of the other person and how disorganized their brain is.

Be your own first option. When making plans, think to yourself first. "Do I have to invite someone or can this be done by myself?" Start making sure that you are good and everything you need to get done first, is done.

Who cares if no one makes you their first choice, because you have YOU!

(DUH)

Cover Image Credit:

Kate Moore

Kate
Kate

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