Sunday, August 3, 2008

Toby Keith

Toby Keith is from Moore, Oklahoma where I lived with my dad and mom for so long.

Of course when I was young where we lived wasn't in any city but back in the middle 1960's all the cities around us were annexing land like fools and Moore ended up with us. We thought that was the lesser of the evils facing us at the time and there wasn't much we could do it about it anyway. I think it has proven true and our little town has grown to 50,000 inhabitants or thereabouts.

Toby wasn't born in Moore but he claims it as home and still has ties to the community. He played football in high school here and graduated from the same high school I did - except he graduated a lot later than I did and from a different location. His grandfather owned a club not far from here and that's where he first became interested in music. Anyway my point is that his family was just as much a part of Moore as was mine or anyone else that lived here.

The City of Moore just painted "Home of Toby Keith" on one of the water towers. The City Council voted on it to recognize the achievement of one of our own. They could have put my name on the water tower but no one would have known who "flintysooner" was and not to mention the dearth of accomplishments. Nearly everyone knows who Toby Keith is and why he is well known.

I kind of got into an Internet argument with some other folks over that. These other folks were upset that Toby's name was so prominently displayed on the water tower. They didn't like his music or his politics or his "redneckness" (I think I made that word up) or much of anything else about him. Somehow they felt like his name on the water tower diminished them. That thinking escapes me.

At any rate I replied and I said that we, at least a lot of us in Moore, felt that Toby was a part of us. He still has land here and many ties to the community. He narrated a little movie about Moore during our Oklahoma Centennial year last year. He did that for free. He gave our Alumni association a signed guitar that we raffled off. He did that for free, too. He helped pay for rebuilding a grade school that was destroyed in the big tornado of May3, 1999.

I don't own a single, solitary song that he's either written or performed as far as I know. I've never met the man.

But I don't have to know him or even buy his records to be proud of him for achieving what he has in his chosen field of endeavor and for remaining a part of our community here. He didn't have to do that. He chose to keep a place here among us.

That means something to me.


Lori1955 said...

I agree that he should be honored for his achievements. Of course I think your name should be on that tower too. :)

I think some people get upset by this type of thing because there are so many unsung heroes that go without any recognition at all They go through life quietly being of service to others. But then again, I don't think most people really want that recognition. I'm sure it would embarrass you if your name was on that tower.

elsietee said...

Thank you for your nice comments about Toby, even though you aren't a fan of his music! It seems that so many who don't know his music, or him as a man, and the giving things that he does on a regular basis, are looking for anything they can find to put him down. I enjoyed your article, and hope I can come visit Moore one day!

rilera said...

It's admirable when someone stands by their convictions and helps out in their community.