A small town in central Oklahoma, just south of Shawnee and about thirty miles east of Norman.

There are more trees than you'd imagine, if you imagine Oklahoma as being what Oklahoma mostly is, though there are even more shitkickers, too. Think dually pickup trucks, shotguns, huge rodeo belt buckles, permed hair and Pickle-Ohs.

But stick around a while, spend a Friday night after the game cruising back and forth from the Sonic to the Kwik-Stop, pass a warm Sunday afternoon out at the lake with the children skipping rocks while their fathers work the starch out of their church shirts. Monday morning there's a crowd of bluehairs down at Sangster's Sweet Shoppe (where the window advertises Dognuts, three for a dollar), they'll tell you what it was like before the bust came and dried up the neighborhoods. Maybe they remember how it felt to sneak a slide down the old three-story fire escape at Barnard Elementary, the metal so hot in the noonday sun you can almost smell the imaginary flames licking out the windows.

Of course, when you leave you'll give them plenty to talk about, too, what with your fancy clothes and that car that must have cost a year's pay.

Leave your dancing shoes behind, friend, Tecumseh's a Baptist town. Oh, sure, the Methodist children dance, but they'll never grow up to chair the Rotary meetings or run the bank, and who'd buy a tractor from a libertine, anyway? Of course, you don't need dancing to pour your heart out in song; just come on down to church. Though, truth be told, the Methodists do seem to have a powerful beauty about their music. And when you crave yet another dose of music, and who doesn't in these times, drop by the high school and listen in on the choir. Those kids are the best in the state, and never you mind those nasty rumors about the one in the red bow tie and the drama teacher.

Oh, that's right, we don't talk about the faggots, unless we're making sure they know to keep their mouths shut. Don't ask, don't tell; if it's good enough for the Air Force, it's good enough for us. Like black folks, who don't seem to be around much, though rumor has it there are a few living over by Romulus. Of course, we do have our share of Indians, or Native Americans as they call them back east, what with the reservation next door, but they're mostly decent, other than the drinking and gambling, and they breed some damn fine football players. Good artists, too. Why, it was an Indian that drew the high school mascot, gave us a beautiful portrait to go along with the name. Go, Savages!

That's another thing: most folks don't think much about it, but Tecumseh used to be a border town, back when they first opened up Indian territory to the white men (the Sooners being the first ones in, in case you've travelled a long way to get here and have missed learning that important historical tidbit). A few miles east and you were among the savages (not the football team), but Tecumseh itself was the seat of civilization. Well, it had the sheriff and jail, and all the whiskey moved through there to the saloons right on the border. Close enough.

So there you go. When you find yourself sipping your Dr. Pepper in the hot summer sun, look past the white kids driving pickup trucks to the red clay hills and the scraggly green trees, and imagine. Imagine that you've just arrived from Tennessee or Kentucky, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania or Michigan. Imagine your wife, your mother, your brother, your son, dead along the road. But you've made it here. Oh, yes, and then imagine that you need to move again, just a little bit further east, to make room for civilization, civilization that makes music without dancing.

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