Cookietown got a great deal of visibility recently via weather reports of tornadoes and large hail in southwestern Oklahoma. It's not the kind of visibility that is positive. Most people have never heard of Cookietown, much less know where it is. As I listened to the electronic media warning residents of Cookietown (population 5) about the tornadoes, I yearned to be home again and I was concerned about my family farm and the people who live there.
My parents were entrepreneurs. Farmers are the toughest entrepreneurs because they have to depend on the weather for much of their success in growing wheat, cotton or various other crops. The farm at Cookietown is where I learned about hard work, persistence and “get 'er done” attitude. Playing basketball there taught me to be competitive and that losing isn't an option. I've traveled all over the world and work with entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda but Cookietown is home. When people ask me where I'm from, I always say, “Cookietown Oklahoma. Population 5.” They think I'm joking.
It's not a joke. It's a jewel! It's the best place to raise children and mold their lives for the future.
Terry Neese, Oklahoma City
Neese is founder and CEO of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women. No damage from the storms was reported in Cookietown, which is in Cotton County.