The Stories That Make the State
“I hope,” writes David Dary, “these stories remind readers that Oklahoma’s history is as rich and colorful as the land itself. The stories may help them understand the state’s complex past and explain why Oklahoma is what it is today.” That’s from the introduction to his “Stories of Old-Time Oklahoma,” a book demonstrating that part of what is fun about the state today is reading about it. This is no dense, textbookish tome; it’s a collection of entertaining anecdotes about everything from river names to robberies, the impact of the Civil War on native tribes to the contents of the official state meal.
Dary shows his journalistic roots with the appendix of sources for his stories, and a handy index allows readers to turn right to the sections about Carl Albert or the Kiowa 5 – but it’s at least as entertaining to flip around at random, and using the index might mean you’d never discover the tale of the time in 1943 a U.S. B-17 accidentally bombed downtown Boise City. It’s all part of our state’s rich tapestry.