Monday, April 22, 2013

Karen says . . .

Received this email when I got back from Tulsa late this evening. Give it a read...

"Dear Sir,

My name is Karen ------- . I found your blog when I went looking for Pennington's Black Bottom Pie recipe online. Thank you for printing it! I plan on trying my hand at it this week.

I lived in Tulsa for six years - ages 11 through 17 - and remember it fondly. Tulsa was a great place then and I have nothing but happy memories. I realize that 40 years or so {and I'm not saying exactly how many! } can sometimes cloud the memory and paint the past with a soft rosy brush, but my parents agree that it was a great time all over and Tulsa was especially nice. So it's not just my memories of a happy childhood and teenage years! So many places and things there bring a smile to my face. I know my children have a hard time believing some of the stories, but those who were there know they are true. The freedom we had, the lack of worry, the lack of crime, etc were wonderful. No one thought anything of sending us kids to the store on our bikes or on foot by ourselves. We played and hung out with our friends all day, and no one even locked their doors, at least during the day. We rode our bikes all over. Stayed at the neighborhood pool for hours and no one worried about us. Mom and Dad would occasionally drop us at Bell's on a Saturday after lunch and come back and pick us up that evening. It was a great place and a great time.

Even though I was an 'East Sider' , I remember Peoria well as both a child and a teenager. My family would occasionally drive over to Penningtons when we were kids for shrimp baskets and Black Bottom Pie. Those shrimp were the size of my Dad's hand! As were the rolls. And that pie was so-o-o good! There always seemed to be a lot of activity in the Brookside area. I think we may have even gone to the Brook Theater once or twice, though the Will Rogers was our "normal" movie haunt. That and the Airview Drive In.

Once driving age was reached, Peoria naturally took on a whole new meaning. Like I said, I lived more on the east side of town. I was an "American Airlines Brat" , which brought my family to Tulsa and transferred us to California before my Senior Year. I would have graduated from Hale in - oops, almost gave myself away!  :)  - had we not moved. Even though I didn't have my own car when we lived there, I had friends that did. We used to go and circle through Boots Drive In, occasionally stopping and getting a Coke. We would see our friends and talk awhile, then go across town on old Rt 66 past all the car dealers to Peoria, where we would drive up and down looking at the cars and the people and naturally, stop at Pennington's for some fries and a Coke or something. Then go back to Boots and start over.

Which brings me to the main reason for my correspondence. The summer before we moved, my folks allowed me to go on "car dates" , and I began dating a boy named Doug --------. Doug was a couple of grades ahead of me and had already graduated. He had a good job and a cool Mustang. We spent many summer evenings driving around in that Mustang, listening to the radio and just enjoying each others company. Many trips up and down Peoria were taken after a movie, a baseball game or a trip to the amusement park. My family moved to California late that summer before school started though, and I lost track of him. Tammy, a girlfriend that I corresponded with for awhile after we moved away did tell me though that Doug had been drafted and sent to Viet Nam. I was horrified, but at 18 or 19 years old, your priorities aren't always what they should be and we tend to think we're all immortal at that age anyway. I drifted away from my Tulsa friends and heard no more. But I did think of him occasionally and wonder. Until about a year ago. I just by chance saw part of a program, on the History Channel as I remember, about Viet Nam. They were talking about Agent Orange, and there for just a few moments was my friend Doug talking about flying over and spreading it ! It took a few moments to register with me, but I was so excited to see he made it back. I stopped and thanked God that Doug had made it through that horrible senseless debacle and prayed his scars weren't too deep. I looked at the white pages on the computer in Tulsa for a phone listing for he or his parents, but didn't find them.  My kids talked me into being on Facebook a couple of years ago, so I looked there too. Apparently he isn't on there either. I would really like to talk to Doug if I could find him, just for old times sake. If, just by some chance, Doug finds and looks at your site because he has such fond memories of Tulsa back when we were kids, would you possibly be kind enough to forward my email address to him should he write in? I would really appreciate it. I would love to talk to him, or any other of my Tulsa friends for that matter.

Thank you so much for your time and attention. I really appreciate any help that you might be should Doug or any of my other friends write in. I know it's a long shot, but stranger things have happened!


Karen [-------] -----------"

Karen, should anyone contact me and know your maiden name and one detail that I edited out, it would be my HONOUR to put them in touch with you.  Thanks for your letter and let us know how that pie turns out!

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