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In Between the Pages: Madill

Filed by KOSU News in Uncategorized.
March 20, 2012

There are a good number of hospitals to choose from near the Texas border. Besides Integris Marshall County Medical Center in Madill, there’s ones in Durant, Hugo, Ardmore, Tishomingo, and this just took a quick search of Google Maps. We had heard about the work that’s required when it comes to recruiting for rural hospitals, and got some help from a KOSU listener. A quick call down to Madill got me in touch with Dave Hill, President at the hospital.

Now is when you probably say, Madill? I am based in Stillwater, which means about 3 hours in the car each way down to Madill, on two lane, winding Route 177. I knew at some point I would have to make the trip, and make it in a day. My story was, of course, about Texas border towns. And the Texas border isn’t moving anytime soon.

So I packed a lunch, discovered a good rotation of radio stations (I love KOSU, but there’s something to be said for variety), and got in the car. On the way down, things were relatively uneventful. Left around 9:30, pulled into the hospital parking lot at 12:15. Spent time with a number of people at the medical center, and climbed back into that pile of metal that I had learn to embrace.

At 2:15 I started the drive back to Stillwater, on the lookout for a gas station. 10 minutes in, I spotted one and hopped out to fuel up. What I thought was rain was falling. But it sounded awfully loud on the roof of the gas station. And there were these little round white things bouncing on the ground.

Salt because snow was expected? No, Ben, you’re not in the Northeast anymore.

Maybe just really intense rain? Impossible, those are definitely white.

HAIL.

It had been years since I had come into contact with the potentially devastating creation from the sky. And here I was in Madill, Oklahoma, figuring out how I was going to drive through it, as I approached four hours in the car, with two to go.

Thankfully, the hail tapered off after about 10 minutes in the car, no damage was done, and I made it back to Stillwater around 5.

File under Oklahoma experiences, weather related. Until next time.

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