My hometown is technically Boulder, Colo., but I haven’t lived there since I was 4 years old.
I’ve lived in Tulsa for 10 years now, which is longer than I’ve lived anywhere.
I never planned on staying in Oklahoma. But I got a scholarship to Oklahoma State University and then I fell in love with Tulsa during an internship at the Tulsa World many years ago.
People always ask my husband and I why we chose to live here. (Both of us were born elsewhere and our families are scattered among other states.)
It’s a beautiful little city, just the right size, and it’s filled with the genuinely nicest people you will ever meet.
Total strangers will help you change a flat tire, corral your naughty dog running amok, help you with downed tree limbs (we all survived the 2007 ice storm together, after all).
This is just what Tulsans do.
Altogether, my husband and I have lived in at least 16 different cities in our lives, but we chose to move back to Tulsa in 2006 because we love the people here. We jokingly call it our adopted hometown.
I start a new job at the Dallas Morning News next week. Telling my friends, neighbors and co-workers that I would be moving was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.
I’m going to miss you all.
Especially the four crazy people with whom I launched The Frontier last year: Ziva Branstetter, Kevin Canfield, Dylan Goforth and our fearless publisher, Bobby Lorton.
We’ve had the most fun together, and I will miss working with them every day. (I’ve tried to warn our new hire, Kassie McClung, that she must invest in a good set of headphones if she ever wants to get any real work done.)
It takes a lot of guts (and moxie) to start a radically different news company.
In 2011, Ziva Branstetter was the city editor at the Tulsa World and I had just moved back to news after working several years in the features section. I had a story I was working on about a transgender teen named Katie Hill, growing up in Bixby.
Ziva never hesitated when I asked her if I could pursue that story. She shepherded it through the editing process and advocated that we should run it on mother’s day, because it was ultimately a story about a mother and her daughter. Ziva may be a badass investigative reporter, but her role as a mom is her favorite. She knew this story would resonate with other parents.
Our readers’ largely positive response to that series was uplifting and a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t shocked to receive some expletive-filled hate mail. A few readers even canceled their subscriptions.
To this day, I don’t actually know how many because Bobby Lorton never told me. All I heard from him and the paper’s editors was “great job.”
This past June, I wrote a story that took an in-depth look at how the University of Tulsa handled several rape allegations against a former basketball player there, and a resulting lawsuit by a student named Abby Ross.
Bobby sits on the University of Tulsa’s Board of Trustees. There’s a beautiful building on the campus named after his amazing parents (who are also on the board). He never once interfered with my reporting on that story.
That’s the kind of backbone it takes to back the work that we do at The Frontier. And that’s why our fearless, illuminating journalism depends on your support.
When Bobby approached Ziva and me about starting The Frontier, we knew we were taking a big risk in an industry that has long fought change, often to its own detriment.
Our model may not work in some cities, we thought. But it can work here, in a city where people support local businesses and ideas, and believe wholeheartedly that Tulsa is the Paris of the Plains.
We dream big: Witness the Woody Guthrie museum, the Brady Arts District, Tulsa Tough, and the soon-to-come Gathering Place, Bob Dylan archives and Magic City Books.
This is just what Tulsans do.