Oklahoma State Plane Crash…Twenty Years Later

‘Thinking of You Today’: The Texts That Helped Me Mourn the Oklahoma State Crash – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

My older sister Jan sends me things to read all the time. She actually preceded me at John Marshall in Ms. Elijah’s literature and writing classes… and went on the become her class valedictorian…then at Harvard.

As I wrote on here before…Ms. Eiljah was the best teacher at John Marshall. Bar none. A National Teacher of the Year winner. A stately little red-haired version of Ruth Beta Ginsberg who at one time struck me with my own hardcover version of Dan Jenkins’ bawdy bestselling novel Semi-Tough.

Because of Ms. Elijah… my reading tastes gradually expanded. She threatened to flunk me–which would have prohibited me from playing sports. So given this dire consequence… I started reading Jack London, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain…and others.

At one point she even had me standing in front of the class reading a poem by Carl Sandberg which had nothing to do with the Chicago Cubs. If Amanda Gorman had seen me that day….just saying.

So my sister from time to time sends me books and articles from the NY Times she thinks I would enjoy. She has become my surrogate Ms. Elijah for the remainder of my life.

The above was sent to me by her this past Wednesday on the twenty year anniversary of the Oklahoma State plane crash tragedy. As I wrote on my blog at one time…my son and I had the honor of sitting next to Coach Sutton and his family at a Thunder game back in that first year of all things Thunder in Oklahoma.

Even though I’m an OU fan…I fell in love with Coach Sutton during that first year at Oklahoma State. He transcended Bedlam for me. This may sound corny because I was never one of his players, but I felt he had an impact on me to some degree.

The attached link above was written by Josh Crutchmer who at one time worked on the school paper at O State and later went on to become a copy editor at The Oklahoman before landing a job at the New York Times as a copy editor. After a call to my sports scribe buddy who used to work at The Oklahoman…I even discovered he and Josh worked together at The Oklahoman. Small world.

Above is the essay which Josh wrote which was published this past week in honoring the spirit of those whose lives have never been the same since that fateful day.

I found it to be a beautiful read.

I hope you enjoy the it. I think you might find it worth the time.

One thought on “Oklahoma State Plane Crash…Twenty Years Later”

  1. I had forgotten about Mrs. Elijah, she was a Ginsburg-like person.
    Thanks for the compliments and glad to be your sister. So happy she made a reader and writer out of you.
    My transformative English teacher was not Mrs. Elijah but Mr. Miles. He taught at the Singapore American School and introduced me to the writings of Faulkner. He is now in his 80’s and lives in San Diego, where we became reacquainted when I lived there. We have a regular exchange of emails.

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