There's a running joke that has persisted for years just south of our border, that the Texans down in Wichita Falls secretly would prefer if their town was actually part of Oklahoma. It's probably stemmed from some old-fashioned measuring contest in the Lone Star State, but there is a large portion of Texans that don't consider Wichita Falls to be Texas, and from the outside looking in, you have to wonder if there's any truth to that...

When I first moved here in 2006-ish, I too came from Texas. I'd been living down on the Coastal Bend outside of Corpus Christi in the land of real tacos. While I looked forward to being closer to home, I dreaded the culture change. Much to my surprise-- 1: Lawton instantly felt like home-- and 2: there is a shocking number of Texans here in Southwest Oklahoma.

I was actually setting up a new bank account, striking up some light conversation with the absolute smoke show that was my bank teller. We talked about travel, jobs, how everyone ends up in Lawton. You've probably had this conversation a million times too. She said "Well, I live in Wichita Falls. I just drive up here every day." It struck me as really odd given the commute.

Dave Diamond
Dave Diamond

I've met thousands of people in my time here in Lawton. Most are somewhat from the Midwest. Lots of Florida and California, a handful of New Yorkers, but meeting people from the Wichita Falls area--Falls/Holliday/Burk/Cashion/Iowa Park/etc--is far more common that expected.

Honestly, who willingly leaves Texas?

Those first few years after moving to Oklahoma, I'd pop down to Wichita Falls for an afternoon or evening to be with what I thought were "my people." I was always on a mission to seek out decent Mexican food, but The Falls always reminded me of something very peculiar.

I don't remember what age I was when I first saw it as a kid, but King of the Hill put a spin on this topic once before. The adopted-Texan creator was pretty loud about how those in Wichita Falls might be Texan by birth, but in reality, they're Oklahoman by the grace of weird geography.

It's not just a Division 1/OU football thing either...

If you spend enough time in Wichita Falls and ask someone what there is to do there, eventually someone will tell you "Oh, you have to drive up to the refuge just north of Lawton." Others might tell you "Hop on forty-four and hit one of the casinos across the river."

I can't tell you if the theory has merit. I'm sure my email will be full of angry Texans by morning but keep in mind, we're just talking here. No declarations have been made. This isn't "journalism," and the most un-Texan thing you could do would be going full-Karen about how Texan you really are.

Like my Texan mother always says, those who can, do... those who can't sit around and talk about it.

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