My first and likely fondest experience with Stillwater was quite literally the moment I stepped onto the snow dusted tarmac and inhaled the sweet scent of Middle America. Coming off a 30 plus hour trans-oceanic trip the scent was most likely my body odour and the sense of excitement most likely delirium. This was a trip I had dreamt of taking since high school and now I was shipping myself off to a place I’d only known existed since September. Here we go, I thought.
I was sent on my merry way by the singular flight attendant Mary-Ann, a charming mother of two from Texas, who joked about the luggage carousel. She’d spent the latter half of the flight attempting to convince the far-from-home Australian girl that I was to grab my luggage from the underside of the plane myself. I’m not as stupid as I look lady, stop trying to pull the wool over my eyes. They must do this to every tourist, I thought. Walking from the plane to the airport and by airport I mean singular, red brick building, I noticed a congregation under the left wing of the plane. Passengers, hauling large suitcases over their shoulders like sacks of flour, small children grabbing backpacks and the flight crew grabbing their belongings. Like a lost sheep I followed the crowd, surely not. Where’s the security? What if someone steals another’s bags? Then it struck me, this is Stillwater. Security and theft are foreign concepts for dangerous places with dangerous people, not Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Mary-Ann had it right when she, in all her smug glory wished me “good luck sweetie, but you’re not going to need it”. Stillwater, what an impression.
Here’s a credible source confirming my initial feelings on sunny Stillwater, be sure to check out number #10
Photos taken in Stillwater and Oklahoma State Campus taken by author.