“When I was in high school there was a old laundromat not far from the school campus. The parking lot was a meeting place for friends going to lunch or hanging out before going home. If you mentioned the old Nu-Way laundry to anyone in school you would often have one person mention the place was haunted, but not much more was said.”
Not Far From Home…
You know, after all those years, I never thought of that old legend till one of my kids asked if I knew of any haunted places. Well you know how kids ask the damnedest question that brings back useless information you’ve stored away for no reason. That is when I remembered the legend of the old laundry haunting. And according to the map, I have a house less than .3 miles from where the old Nu-Way laundry used to stand.
We never put much thought into the legend of the Haunted Laundry due to the building being old and funky, but still open as a self service laundry and dry cleaners. The post modern building appearance didn’t seem to fit in it’s location… So if someone said it looked creepy, it did! If they mentioned the lights or television going on and off was a problem, you knew it was a old building that badly needed to be remodeled. Even the disembodied voices and the dryer doors opening and closing wasn’t that big of a deal to most of us. I went to school with a friend who’s sister worked there for one week and quit due to the creep factor of the building. And possibly the dry cleaning conveyor turning on while she was alone at work. But we had no interest in this in my group.
Now the old laundry mat is gone!
That’s right the old laundry mat was torn down several years ago, but the haunting hasn’t stopped. In the same location as the old laundry mat now stands a hamburger drive-in, and according to the book “Haunted Norman, Oklahoma” the Johnnie’s Express Charcoal Broiler employees are reporting odd happenings, including stuff moving, voices and apparitions.
While I was filming a video on location at the Johnnie’s Express my camera man and I were waved down by two employees wanting to tell us about the haunting in the service area, which included children’s voices, brushing of the hair and flying cups. We didn’t quite know what to say other than it was unexpected!
The Legend has Deep Roots!
As it turns out this story doesn’t end with a couple of haunted businesses. This story goes deeper. It turns out it goes back to the days the pioneers settled Norman, Oklahoma. The location of the haunting is the exact location the pioneers used as Norman’s first cemetery. This location was once the edge of town and Norman has since grown. The occupants of the cemetery were exhumed and relocated in 1890. But I can only imagine that for the pioneers, with limited resources, coffins were a luxury. If lucky, they would wrap the bodies in linen. The linens and many of the grave markers would have vanished to the elements leaving only the bones behind. Unfortunately, there is documentation that grave markers were seen there as late as the 1920’s.
So if your craving a little history, the marker is located behind Johnnie’s Express. I understand its a very busy place even when it’s closed! ~FrankBoss
“My youth was filled with heroes, and as a kid you wanted to emulate those heroes. Most of them were bad asses in some fashion like Evel Knievel doing the impossible with motorized vehicles, the Incredible Hulk doing his best (and most the time doing good) with situations that are out of his control, even Andre the Giant, a wrestler that played a bad guy but in person was a very big man with a very big heart and gentle demeanor. But when we weren’t being sucked into a TV dinner, watching variety shows we were watching western movies….”
To be honest, most Western stories are basically the same. An unruly town or wilderness, the victims are often simple people that the bad guys (people with lack of moral compass) take advantage of. They compromise the lively hood of the victims who have no option to escape the terror .
But what always made the genre attractive was the hero. The hero was a complex variety of people reflecting many flaws we all have in the human condition. Thus we all tend to relate to the hero. An every man or a woman that wants nothing more than to pursue the best life they can scrape together, but due to circumstance, they are locked into walking the thin line of good and bad to face or correct the actions of the evil bad guy. Putting their life on hold for the sake of good, and facing the impossible to free others and enable them to lift them selves up.
At the end of the movie, after the mostly impossible conflict was resolved, the hero sometimes passes away with out pursuing their dreams, but giving the victims a chance to be leaders. Thus showing the masses they have strength to over come the odds and make the future they dreamed about.
Then there is the ending I sometimes cringed to see. The hero riding into the sun set, off to the new day and the next adventure. We are left with the feeling that the place the hero is leaving is in good enough shape. That the victims will always remember who lead them out of the quagmire. Redirecting the moral compass of humanity…
We need those lessons that make us strong as individuals, moral as a human and humble as a leader. Yes a leader! A leader with enough grit be that hero. People that set the example by their actions not their rhetoric. We are bombarded daily by media filled with name calling, virtue signaling and bad behavior. After all, none of us are perfect. But the hero is the example that we all have something virtuous in side of us, something valuable to share. As in the any western the hero was often flawed and reluctant that is true with most of us. But there is something truly special about the reluctant leader.