Thursday, September 8, 2016

"If you wanted to disappear, Ardmore, Oklahoma, would be a fine place to do it"

From an article about once-promising NFL player Justin Blackmon:

The town envelops you slowly, pulling you in from the highway on your way north from Dallas or south from Oklahoma City. Cut through the layer of strip malls and Applebee’s; head past the Walmart Supercenter that draws shoppers from nearby towns Lone Grove and Wilson; and as you head past Main Street toward downtown you can watch the world transform. Here the brick is faded, the signs all slightly askew. Businesses have straightforward names. There’s Ashley’s (books), Marquis (furniture), and Antiques (antiques). Above, a water tower and a feed mill reach toward a sky that is vast, occupying air that is hot and dry. Below, locals say, a web of tunnels snakes through the earth, underground passages that once connected bootleggers to brothels and gave criminals refuge whenever their enemies passed through town.