Macomb, Oklahoma

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Today, my hometown is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding. I lived there most of my life and had no idea it predated statehood. All I knew back then was that it took a long time to drive anywhere, there was nothing to do there, and you couldn’t get cable. Nothing has changed, except my perspective.

Macomb’s population is around 61, give or take whatever people have done since the last census. That is within the town limits — there are many more who live in the outlying rural area. The “Macomb suburbs,” if one wants to stretch the use of that word that far. The town has a school, a post office, a convenience store, a senior center, and, apparently, history.
Unfortunately, the remains of the old bank are about all that is left of that history.

As proud as I am of this little town that is turning 100, I’m not the type who looks back and only sees the good ol’ days. When I was there, it was a constant struggle to get a good education at that school. There were good teachers and bad teachers, good administrators and bad administrators, good kids and bad kids. There was no money, and no interest in anything but sports. I taught more about computers at that school than I learned there.

But, put them on a scale, and the good outweighs the bad. There were teachers who became my friends. There was Postmaster Max Hunt (now retired), who would stamp and sort your mail for you. There were my parents, who gave what time and resources they had to the school. There was the guy who lived on top of the hill — the hill that was impossible to drive up when the roads were slick. He would be out there, using his tractor to pull each car that could not make it.

It’s the smallest dot on your map. It’s the place MapQuest will tell you cannot be found. And, it’s 100 years old. Happy birthday, Macomb, Oklahoma.