The Ostrich Effect (Friday Fictioneers)

The Ostrich Effect (Friday Fictioneers)

The Ostrich Effect – a refusal to see unpleasant realities. This photo reminded me of my first cruise that included a stop at Montego Bay, Jamaica. As our tour bus drove through town, I saw many houses like this one, devastated Hurricane Matthew. Families still resided in these homes because the government continued to collect taxes on the property, even though the houses were uninhabitable. Repairs were made as time and money allowed. Its unfortunate that there are many people, like my two characters, who feel their vacation is ruined when faced with the reality of poverty that prevails in many of the Caribbean’s most popular tourist spots. Just read Cruise Critic Reviews from people who feel harassed by aggressive vendors. I could have just have easily named this piece, The Ugly American. 

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Photo Credit: Sandra Crook

 

THE OSTRICH EFFECT

The old woman stared straight ahead as the tour bus drove through the indecorous side of town. Jamaica was not her favorite port-of-call, and if she had her way, they would have stayed on the ship.

“You would think there was a nicer route to the beaches.” She said. “I didn’t pay all that money to see….” 

Her sentence unfinished, but her husband understood. The houses they passed were unlivable, with missing walls and half-a-roof. He knew the owners had no choice but to stay. He just wished he and his wife didn’t have to see it.  

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this challenge and Sandra Crook for this week’s prompt.

Who Knew? Oklahoma – Discovering a Cobblestone Town

Who Knew? Oklahoma – Discovering a Cobblestone Town

 

My husband  once told me a story about a visit from his brother Charles’ and his family . Charles lived in California and although he was born and raised in Oklahoma, he must have forgotten to tell his children that Oklahoma had obtained Statehood many years before. The cousins were genuinely surprised by the lack of teepees dotting the landscape, or stagecoaches circling the women folk in case of a raid. Too many bad Hollywood westerns may have given them the wrong impression of this beautiful state. Visiting Oklahoma is not at the top of many people’s bucket list, unless you are like my friend Michael who wants to visit so he can say he has been to all 50 states. Yet there are hidden treasures that can be found, even for long-time residents like myself. Take for instance, Medicine Park.DSCF8461

 My husband and I first visited this quaint, cobblestoned town in the fall of 2011. And I do mean cobblestoned! Almost every building is constructed using red stones found in the nearby Wichita Mountains. Medicine Park is an old resort town, once popular among the affluent and known for its healing waters. I was struck by the rustic beauty of this quaint town. DSCF8452

A tree-line path hugs a stream that flows through town. Geese, ducks and large tortoises can be seen near the water’s edge. A small bridge crosses over to a diving platform, used by swimmers during the summer months. Back in the  1940’s this place bustled with activity, but that day there were few people to disturb the tranquil quiet. Who knew Southwest Oklahoma could boast of such a unique and beautiful place.

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