“February 17th 2015
I stayed in Norman last night, home of the OU Sooners. Their museum of natural history was closing an hour after I got in. I brushed up on my Permian Extinction trivia and mused philosophically on the frailty of life as one certainly should in such sophisticated situations.
I drove north through the main campus and walked around disguised as a hardworking young man. It’s a cool school. Someone was a huge fan of brick.
I spoke with Gill who I think held the title of Operations Director there. After explaining that I was interested in exchanging state flags he enthusiastically told me to bring my flag in while he went to grab the key to the flag pole hatch. It doesn’t happen often that someone hears my plans about the flags and the states and just jumps right onboard. No one has been outright against it, but they usually hesitate while they process it. Not Gill. We changed them out before I went through the 3 story museum and plaza style memorial.
The museum is exceptionally well laid out.
First, you hear a recording of multiple and immediately successive explosions crashing through the microphone that was recording the orderly Oklahoma Water Board meeting in the building across the street. The exhibits of authentic debris put me in touch with what the scene looked like up close. The personal stories of victims and rescuers hit and resonate. And they conclude the museum tour through the trial and controversies.
Controversies such as letting the perpetrator live for 17 years in custody before his execution, and the dilemma that families, friends, and co-workers had to go through. Namely the fact that they were told they could not view the trial if they testified against the defendant.
I was young during 9/11, and 6 years earlier I was only in first grade – clearly too young to absorb the Oklahoma City bombing. For that reason, I am glad the Memorial & Museum were able to show me a story I was never properly told.”
and then deeper
smooth, stifle, and dampen
blink and think”