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Camargo Oklahoma

By John I. Blair

Only people who'd gone bust, who had failed
Everywhere else they'd tried,
Settled here, in Oklahoma Territory . . .
So my Father told me more than once.

Well, I've never thought of them as failures,
These Okies,
These relatives of mine in Dewey County.

They'd come through hard times
To this land of rusty gullies,
Drifting sand, gyp rock, endless wind;
And in a flat place between the breaks
Along the north flank of the South Canadian
They found the grace to make one final stand.

Sure, the town never thrived;
Just descendants of the first
Tilled its fields, taught its schools,
Worshipped at its churches, fought its dust,
Filled its graveyard.

But their children,
Their grandchildren, great-grandchildren
Have spread across the country, made full lives,
And remember them with love.

So this time who would say that they had failed?

2003 John I. Blair  

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Reader Comments

Name: John I. Blair Email: jblair@nch.com
Comment: For my part, when I was a boy, Camargo was for me a virtual Shangri La on the South Canadian, where country values and virtues still lived and the West was still "wild" (at least to my child's eye). I can't say enough about the sturdiness, moral fiber, and fundamental kindness of my relatives in Camargo back in the 1940s and 1950s. They set a high standard for me then that I can only hope to live up to. And although all that generation is gone now, I hope that my own generation and our children and grandchildren (and great-grandchildren) still retain some of that quality, thanks to those wonderful people.

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Name: Brooks Taylor Email: brooks-taylor@sbcglobal.net
Comment: More true than we know. Thanks for bringing some important contributors to our national character to our attention. Who knows what kind of people we would have been without these ancestors?

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