Sulphur Revisited

Last week I wrote about my short visit to Sulphur.  I spoke of the winery and the little eatery where we dined, but there is more to the Suphur/Davis area.  It is a place that will always be part of my childhood and part of my heart.  My Granny and Aunt Birdie (as my mom thought it was spelled- it was actually Aunt Bertie) lived in a little, green clapboard house across the street from the elementary school and next to the bus barn in Davis.  We went to Davis frequently to see them, I don’t know how frequent, until my Aunt Birdie passed away.  Trips to Davis were always an event.  Mom and her sister would load up either our car or Aunt LaNelda’s car with me, my two brothers (Brennan and Bryce), and my twin cousins (Bronc and Landere – take note- I am the only girl of these five).  I am sure there were times my three older cousins went with us, but I mainly remember the car being full of the five of us kids.  Sometimes Aunt Rozine and my Edmond cousins (Jim and Jeff – more boys) met us there.  The drive always took us by a chicken farm that we could smell before we saw it, the school for the deaf (ssshhhh!), the Snak Shak (even as a young child I wondered why they would misspell it), and  the huge building with the waterfall (I think it is now the Artesian Hotel) just before you entered the only national park in Oklahoma.  Then we could either go straight into the Chickasaw  National Park or turn right to go into Davis.  Many memories were made in both directions.

Turning right would take us into Davis to see Granny and Aunt Birdie.  This route took us past the only grocery store in Sulphur, Sooner Grocery, where we would sometimes stop to pick up things to take to Granny’s house.  Then we were in Davis.  Main Street of Davis was so quaint.  The streetlights were not very tall, but had large globes.  I guess I remember these street lamps because of how festive and Christmas Carol-isque they looked in December with the giant red bows.  Anyway, what we were looking out for were not the street lamps, but a little person sighting.  it seemed there was a family of little people, and they were almost always out on the mains street.  I remember my mom shouting, “I see one!” every time.

My mother’s grandmother and great-aunt lived in that little house for a very long time.  It might be the very house my grandmother and her siblings grew up in.  It was across the street from the elementary school playground.  Sometimes when we got tired of playing in the back yard and we talked Landere out of climbing the fence to play on the buses in the bus barn next door, we sometimes went to the playground to swing and play on the merry go-round.  I might be getting my memories mixed up, but here is what I remember.  Sometimes my mom’s, Aunt Rozine’s and Aunt LaNelda’s cousins came too.  Mom had one cousin from Yukon (which was pretty much “the City” to us) who had two boys a little older than me.  On this particular visit, the grown-ups were trying to visit in the small house, so we went to the playground to swing.  I fell out of the swing, probably because those city boys pushed me too hard, and busted my chin.  It stung so bad, but it must not have bled much because I would have passed out if it did.  I started to run to Granny’s house, but the older of the two boys tried to calm me down and convince me to stay.  He was afraid of getting in trouble if I burst through the door bleeding from the face.  I snuck into Granny’s one tiny bathroom and took some toilet paper to stop the bleeding (it was bleeding by this point), then went back outside because I didn’t want those boys to think I was a baby.  It must have been a bigger cut than I thought, because I still have a scar on my chin.

I miss that place.  At a family reunion once, someone was selling pencil sketches of that house.  Ever time I go through Davis or Sulphur, those wonderful memories come flooding back.  And I never mentioned  going to Guy Sandy Beach or swimming at Little Niagara, two of my favorite places on Earth.  Although I never lived there these two places are two of my favorites in the State.


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