Sad Easter in Tulsa

April 8, 2012

With the news this morning that 2 men have been arrested as suspects in the shootings of 5 pedestrians in Tulsa, I started thinking about the 3 people that died. My thoughts are with the family and friends of Dannaer Fields, 49, Bobby Clark, 54, and William Allen, 31. I want to know more about these Tulsans. I am a bit grossed out and depressed that the focus of the news so quickly turns to the suspects’ identity performance on Facebook.

I want to know about Ms. Fields, Mr. Clark, and Mr. Allen. When I read about Bobby Clark, 54, I couldn’t help but get hung up on that age; my dad was 54 when he died unexpectedly. I wondered if Mr. Clark had a daughter. If he did, I can not even come close to imagining the anger she feels at her father being murdered. An accident, I can imagine, but not a murder that, as facts come forth about the state of mind of the suspects, appears to be motivated by crazed, bigoted hatred. I wondered what Mr. Clark did for a living. I wondered how his family and friends found out about his death. Did they gather together no matter the hour of night, like my own family and friends did when my father died?

I don’t see this act of violence, as so many do, as a freak occurrence in “north Tulsa” or “North Tulsa.” This happened in Tulsa, a couple of miles away from where I will take my daughter to Carver Middle School every day for the next 3 years starting in August. A couple of blocks away from one of the largest, most quality daycare centers in town. A beautiful section of Tulsa where trees haven’t entirely been mowed down to put up megasuper highways or a mall or a Hooters next to a Twin Peaks next to a coffee shop that only hires women willing to work in bikinis. Neighborhoods and large yards with personal gardens.

I haven’t learned enough about the victims, but I will keep trying. I did find this bit of personal history about Ms. Fields:

Cathy Privette, one of Fields’ neighbors, said the victim was deeply religious. “I would give her rides to church,” Privette, 54, said.

She added that Fields, who lived alone, was always dressed as if she was headed to Sunday Mass.

I’m sure her church is grieving deeply. I’m sure the pastor is doing the difficult emotional work of comforting everyone hurt by this violence on this Easter Sunday. Will every church in Tulsa be comforting our citizens on this Easter Sunday? I hope so.

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5 Responses to “Sad Easter in Tulsa”

  1. beamish Says:

    Much needed perspective. Thank you for these questions and for sharing your personal story about your father, too, Spring.

  2. Eden Hemming Says:

    I hope you’ll consider learning about the other 2 people who were shot, too, if you can. Their lives and the lives of their families have been changed irrevocably also.

  3. jkline918 Says:

    Really moving. Thank you for writing this.

    I spoke with Bobby Clark’s neighbor today. She said Mr. Clark was a very warm, friendly man. He lived with his brother. He was a salesman who sold “miscellaneous items, like vacuums,” and sometimes helped his elderly neighbors with yard work. She had a big smile on her face as she talked about him.

  4. Miz H Says:

    From your lips to This Land’s ears 😉


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