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Places: Round Barn, Arcadia

Oklahoman Modified: February 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm •  Published: February 3, 2010

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en finished, the barn was an immediate landmark, and from the start, people saw its potential as a meeting place. Over the years, though, as interstate highways directed people off of Route 66, the barn fell into disrepair. The walls twisted, throwing the whole place out of plumb, and the fabulous domed ceiling partially collapsed. It took heroic preservation efforts, led by Luke Robison in 1988, to restore the barn to its former glory.

People get married here now. It's easy to see why. With its lack of fuss or stodgy ornamentation, this place defies pretension, much like a tomboy bride who refuses to wear makeup. You can almost see her here, wearing a practical white dress with no train or veil and dancing with her new husband, her face freckled and teeth shiny, genuine as all get-out. Arcadia holds dances here, too, not just weddings, and when folks gather, the barn must shake and thunder and echo with the stamping of feet and the sound of guitars.

For now, though, it's just you, alone, listening to your creaky footsteps and the cars whizzing by. It's dim in here. It's chilly. But you don't want to leave.