Dear Gov. Brad Henry:
On behalf of the Chicken-Fried News world headquarters, we greatly thank you for cutting your Hawaiian rendezvous short and touring our post-ice storm neighborhood Dec. 12. Some Oklahomans say you have made great things happen since taking over the governor's desk. Well, the now-illuminated desks at 3701 N. Shartel certainly can attest to that.
The winter storm that gripped this state was a pain in the ice. Hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses and towns braved the cold and dark for days as frozen rain snapped trees and power lines. Businesses were closed, schools shut down and the Cox Convention Center became home for those with nowhere to go. The weather unfortunately also claimed lives.
Hundreds of electrical company and emergency service crews scattered the state, desperately working to get power up and running for folks in need of warmth. Some crews came from other states, seeing how great the need was. By the end of last week, their hard work was apparent as light returned to some dark homes.
And, during this ice-pocalypse, on a bitterly cold afternoon, governor, you took the time to gather the media and convene a press conference right in Oklahoma Gazette's parking lot. This was a miracle indeed, for minutes before your grand arrival, by what must have been a stroke of God himself, power was restored to our dark and cold workday abode. For three days, a generator was all that kept lights and the coffeemaker on as staff worked long hours to meet the Monday press run.
We were praying for such relief.
Yes, excitement brewed through the hallways when word was sent out the governor planned to use our property to express his anguish for those less fortunate. Then KOCO-TV Channel 5 anchor Tyler Suiters walked through the door and excitement became exhilaration. Kelly Ogle and his "2 Cents" also were in attendance.
Live satellite trucks peppered the Gazette parking lot and a poor tree just feet from the driveway became a symbol of the disaster as a backdrop for the cameras. Its trunk split down the middle with the top half lying on the ground like a deflated balloon signified the sorrow of the day.
But that wasn't enough. After telling his fellow citizens to be patient because help was on the way, the governor took the posse of reporters and cameras through the treacherous confines of the Crown Heights neighborhood. Where folks who drive BMWs were toughing it out just the same as their Ford Tempo brethren.
So, again, we thank you, governor, for showing us the light " or rather, coincidentally bringing it.