This was my column in last week’s Minco Millennium.
Last Monday evening, driving east on Main Street after mailing the Millennium off at the Post Office, as I stopped at the red light the view of downtown Minco made my mind drift back about 30 years ago.
I grew up in Hollis, a small southwest Oklahoma town. When I go back it always saddens me to see what is no longer there. Some of the businesses open when I was growing up that are now just history include two walk-in movie theaters and a drive-in, an Otasco, a Ben Franklin, and Hart’s Variety Store, Anthony’s, Crawford’s Furniture, a Chevrolet Dealer, Ford Dealer and John Deer, and Searcey’s Drug Store which had the best soda fountain.
I remember hearing stories from my parents and grandparents about what my hometown had in their younger days, which was a lot more than what was there in my days of growing up. I remember stories they told about Saturdays downtown, about square dancing barn parties, and traveling road shows that included famous singing cowboys.
Times have certainly changed in rural Oklahoma. So many of our smaller towns, which once thrived on an agriculture-based economy, are slowly fading away as family farms can no longer support a family and younger generations move away to bigger places with more opportunities.
In the weekly newspaper of my hometown, there was a weekly column by Bo Guest. Each week Bo would tell a different story about something that happened in my hometown when he was a child, a young man, or a young father. His columns later were turned into a book entitled “Keep the Horses up Tonight.”
While I’ve only lived in Minco for 10 years, I’ve heard a few stories about a thriving downtown here, which also included movie theatres and much more. But I bet many reading this have stories that I, and others, would love to read about. Maybe your story includes a memory about a special Minco teacher, a sweetheart or best friend, or a unique occasion.
Maybe you’ve told your children or grandchildren some of these stories. Why not share them with others? If you have a special Minco Memory, send it to the Millennium or call and set up an interview and let us share it.