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Taking a Deep Breath - And Exhale

by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: June 5, 2013 at 6:05 am •  Published: June 2, 2013

My shelter Friday night as tornadoes threatened downtown.

Let’s just get real: the past couple of weeks have sucked. We’re beaten down, we’re worn out, sleep deprived and testy.
But we’re alive. And we’ve got much to be thankful for, and much to celebrate.
We’re Oklahomans, and those on the outside are bewildered by this mere idea. They see the devastation that is sometimes heaped on us, and they can’t figure out why we stay. They don’t see the people. They don’t see us rallying together, time after time, with no regard to race, religion, politics or class. To be blunt, these disasters are the great equalizer. They remind us that there are far more powerful forces in this world – events we can’t control – and it’s really not that important whether we’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim or atheist, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Socialist or Independent, rich, middle class or poor, black, white, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian. Huddled in a tunnel, or fearing for our lives… it just doesn’t really matter that much.
But dang if we don’t want those smart phones to grab a signal so we can figure out what’s going on above ground.
And that was my thinking Friday night as it appeared as if a frightening looking tornado was coming straight toward the heart of downtown, where my family and I were seeking shelter about 6 p.m.
It’s the same thinking that fueled the hug between Big Dog and Little Dog that was seen around the world. It’s that same quality that is behind “the Oklahoma Standard” that pretty much guarantees that after one of these tragedies anyone who faintly cries out for help is immediately embraced with an army of love.
We’re Oklahomans.

We also know how to come together and remember what is important after these tragedies – our families, our friends, our community.
Tonight is a wonderful chance to set back under a beautiful sky with Chamber of Commerce weather (thank God for that!) and enjoy each others’ company at the Myriad Gardens as the Arts Council of Oklahoma City debuts its 2013 Twilight Concert Series.
I’ve never heard of the band “Squirrel & Friends,” but the name alone makes me think they’re the perfect remedy for our shattered nerves. The Arts Council will be hosting these free concerts throughout the summer, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday nights (again, starting tonight).
Here’s a check-off list provided by our friends at the Arts Council:

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's...
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