One of the online blogs that I follow daily is www.jenx67.com, a site hosted by friend and Generation X writer Jennifer McCollum.
McCollum's site is filled with thoughts about the issues facing those born between 1961 and 1981, reminders of our youth, and the differences between the various generations.
Jennifer and I are representative of a generation that saw its ranks in Oklahoma City depleted back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. If one does the math, those years represent the time when many folks our age were graduating college and looking to start their lives and careers.
In Oklahoma City, back during the waning days of the oil bust, that choice came with an urgent plea by professors — leave the city, and find real opportunity elsewhere.
Whether it was out of love for our hometown, fear or stupidity, a minority of folks like Jennifer and I stayed in Oklahoma City. The baby boomers took positions of authority and influence in Oklahoma City, and generational standouts like Ron Norick and Kirk Humphreys launched MAPS and MAPS for Kids along with other revival efforts that have spurred an urban renaissance.
At some point, the baby boomers will either voluntarily or be forced by nature to turn over civic leadership to the next generation. The question is, will this task be taken up exclusively by Generation X?
With the next generation on the rise, Generation Y (born 1981 to 2000 and also referred to as millennials), is a group that seems unwilling to simply wait their turn. Sure, some Generation X folks have taken an active role in promoting downtown — but in Oklahoma City, they are clearly outnumbered by the younger up and comers.
It was the millennials who, by and large, made last year's Better Block OKC at NW 7 and Hudson a success story, and the same generation put a lot of sweat equity into making the case on Saturday for a revived Farmers Public Market district just south of downtown.
Consider that college students from the University of Oklahoma repainted the rows of produce stands that for far too long have stood empty. Young 20-something architects, planners and urban activists teamed up to get sponsors and experts to contribute to the cause of creating curbside parking, permanent directional signage and other improvements that will last long beyond Saturday's festivities.
The same generation also can be credited with sparking a vibrant downtown nightlife, filling up hundreds of new apartments, and filling up restaurants like Kitchen No. 324 in the Braniff Building on weekends when such Central Business District eatery hours were believed to be economic suicide missions.
The Generation X folks I talk to marvel at such achievements. We're outnumbered, and we wonder, maybe, that when it's our turn, instead of making the millennials wait, we immediately give them the lead on guiding the ongoing downtown Oklahoma City revival.