It's odd to think about it now but Oklahoma had only been a state for seven decades at that time and it was a hadron supercollider of a place.
According to Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, its Chaotic Founding... its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-class Metropolis, “Oklahoma was a hadron supercollider of a place. People and creatures were thrown together from distant points and at unpredictable angles, again and again and again and again. Despite its relative material poverty, its lack of obvious treasure, Oklahoma always had this unusual talent for improvised community.”
That improvised community is what I discovered upon my arrival in Bartlesville. Many holding brand new bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees, all kinds of cool people came together from distant points in order to support the growing technical and research needs of Phillips Petroleum Company.
What an exciting time! Somewhat like the folks that collided during the land rush of 1889, we software developers and such collided a century later in the 1980s and became involved members of the Phillips and Bartlesville community. We started our careers; we played at something every night of the week; and we developed lifelong friendships.
In addition to people collisions, the air was also known to collide with the ground. Once during my seven years in Bartlesville, the town was hit by a tornado on Monday evening, March 15, 1982. (Beware the ides of March!) The tornado was an F2 (strong) twister based on estimated wind speeds of 113 to 157 miles per hour but I escaped unharmed from the safe confines of my bathtub.
Tornado in 1982 worst in past 50 years
A family member of mine has also come to love Bartlesville for reasons completely different from my own. The architectural gems by Bruce Goff went unnoticed by me all those years ago but these creative collisions of glass and stone now get lots of my attention.
Yours in gratitude for the 46th state,