Monday, July 27, 2015

A New Comment About Picher

RETURN TO PICHER, OKLAHOMA

An anonymous person sent me a comment today that is directed at the first post that I published about Picher, Oklahoma in 2010. Here it is:

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"Hi Ruth, A little info into your visit in Picher: Without going into great detail it had been a booming mining town for lead and zinc. Producing a lion's share of the lead used in WWII. As one person had said, The Building with "miner" on the front was a café which was last called the Miner's café. It was Vicki's café before that and had been under different names etc. The mural which posed two miners around an ore can was painted on the side of Koronis' Drug store. The place you stayed the night at was previously called the "Ark". Later named FFATC (Freedom from addiction through Christ). Before being that, it was a second hand store and for many years it was called the "Fireman's Hall" Every Wednesday and on the weekends it hosted Bingo Games. They served food and it was always a good time. Picher was all about community. I know by looking at it now, it's hard to imagine what life may have been like there, but it was the best place to grow up. Everyone helped everyone else, even strangers. I'm sorry you may have had an unpleasant time during your brief stay. Things were definitely not as they would have been when I lived there. As for those that may have been watching you, During the latter part of the town's existence, looters were going through houses taking copper wiring or anything of value or just vandalizing. I would venture to guess they were just being over protective. As of this writing, the gentleman who owned the last remaining business Ole Miner's Pharmacy has passed on and the business is no more. The building you stood in front of which was the last location for the city hall is now the county maintenance barn and offices. So much has changed over the years. There were many kinds of stores; grocery, convenience, auto parts, flowers, resale, Bars, Pharmacies, nursing home, funeral home, cafe's and the list goes on. Before my time there had been three hospitals, Coca Cola plant, and too many to name. The mention of Livermore Labs is very interesting."
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Well. When I returned to Picher last Summer...the pharmacy was still there and open. Moreover, the manager was very much alive (although I may have detected a hint of zombie
around his eyes) as were the two women who answered the phone (who the heck called?) and sold
a bottle of grape Gatorade to me, respectively.

The interest in Picher continues to be amazing. And I plan to visit that fetid-smelling ghost town one
more time next year. But when I do, I won't come alone. Nor will I be at the mercy of local whims. Nope, when I walk around Picher again...my visit will be official.

I'll let you figure that out.

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