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3.20.2011

Sequoyah County

County seat - Sallisaw  / County population per 2000 Census - 38,972

Greetings once again fellow travelers, explorers, wanderers, fans of photography, Okies, and Non-Okies as well.  Next stop on our journey around the state is Sequoyah County.  Named for the famous Cherokee, who created the Cherokee syllabary thus allowing his native language to be transformed into a written language in the early 1800's.  A stunning achievement since he could neither read or write in any other written language.  I am particularly familiar with Sequoyah since my childhood grade school also shared his name.

Sequoyah shares it's eastern boundary with the state of Arkansas and has also seen the passage of millions of travelers entering or leaving the state on Interstate 40.  I-40 is the major east west corridor for the state of Oklahoma and the longest Interstate in the US.  Sequoyah county also borders with Historic Fort Smith a major frontier passageway into Indian Territory from the east.  Those of you not familiar with Oklahoma would probably remember Fort Smith from the book "True Grit" and the 2 movies based on that book.

I like to refer Sequoyah County as gateway to the Ouachitas myself.  As you leave Sequoyah County at the lock and dam on the Robert S. Kerr Reservoir you start heading into the beautiful tree covered mountain area of Southeast Oklahoma which is just another of the numerous ecosystems found throughout the state.

Now I know there are numerous things I probably could have photographed in this county but I settled on the old Sequoyah Theatre in downtown Sallisaw.  Just something about it spells Oklahoma to me.  There are numerous small towns across the state that still have an operating theater such as this one.  It reminds me of my childhood going to the old theater downtown in my hometown.  The smell of popcorn smacking you in the face as you entered the door.  The old crackle and pop sound of the film sound as the movie would start.  The faint noise of the projector from the back of the room as the old house lights went dim.  Nothing like the 72 screen megaplex 3D IMAX showings we have today.  Technology is great but nothing will ever beat seeing "Empire Strikes Back" for the first time in the old classic theater.

4 comments:

Jeremy said...

I've passed through Sallisaw many times and I haven't seen this theater. I need to stop in the old downtown area and find some of these nice old buildings to photograph. Thanks for sharing.

David said...

Wonderful old theater and evocative accompanying words. Too bad the recent version of True Grit wasn't playing -- would've been cool to see that on the marquee.

Toyin O. said...

This looks like a real great thearter, very nice scenery, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I spent a many Saturday afternoons here watching movies with friends while Mom and Grandma did the Saturday shopping!
In a time when it was safe to drop you child off at the theater, and westerns where the thing to see.
I remember the mist of cigarette smoke illuminated by the projector lights as it hovered over the audience.
Having my mother taking my hand and escorting me from the theater because "Big Bad Mama" was way to racie for her, much less, her allowing it to sear my youthful ears and eyes.
As we grew, we learned about love, life in the big cities and travel to other worlds...
I watched Star Wars there and recall how the special effects left me so amazed that I wanted to turn around and watch it again.
So many memories.

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