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essays and anecdotes of small towns and open roads

  • Writer's pictureHabranthus

Lebanon, Oklahoma

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

Population 327

Driving through Lebanon, Oklahoma on the north side of Lake Texoma you might not even notice the place if you don’t slow down a little. There is a gas station/convenience store on one side of the two-lane highway and a Dollar General on the other. A few more buildings, three or four residential streets and that’s about all you’re going to see unless you stop.

In the Spring, the town sets aside one official day for everyone to have their annual garage sale.

The Lebanon gas station was the closest to my house when I lived in the area, so I stopped there regularly. In 2021, it's still the old-style pumps where you have to pay inside and the numbers are mechanical, not digital. One day I stopped for gas and there was a mother dog hanging around, obviously with pups somewhere. I asked the cashier whose dog she was, and the cashier told me ‘nobody’s’ and they just called her ‘city dog’. I asked where her pups were and was told no one knew, she had them hidden. The cashier added that the dog came every day and sometimes people would buy her chicken strips. So I bought her an order of chicken strips which she wolfed down while I pumped my gas. Then she came over to my truck and sat up and just looked at me. After that, I always got the chicken strips with my gas if she was there. One day I came out of the store with her meal and found that she had disappeared. I asked a lady who was sitting outside where’d she go? The lady said, “Oh she probably went across the street to Dollar General. She’ll be back in a minute.” Making her rounds, I supposed.

This went on for about two months and then I didn’t see her anymore. Sometime later that summer I drove through the residential area of Lebanon to get down to the river, and I saw two young dogs that looked similar to the mama dog. They were the right age, maybe four or five months old, and they were running free through some yards. I drove around a little more but there was no sign of their mother. I bet she skipped town after the pups were weaned, she’d probably had enough of the mama business.

There she is with her chicken strip.

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