Generations of people in Oklahoma City were born, educated and lived in the area descriptively called by author Lawrence Thompson in his "Gray Belt." This place that was neither here nor there. A no-man's land created by poverty and want in a great economic depression. This series of articles and essays (location unsure) described the reality too many wanted to ignore and sweep under the community rug by even burying their names: "Community Camp", "Mulligan Gardens", and the "May Avenue Camp."
One local pastor Joe Gist of St. Mark's Methodist Church worked among the people in these camps with sympathy but realism. Others were Don Christy of Boys Neighborhood and Miss Elizabeth Gilligan of the Girls Neighborhood Clubs and Miss Mary Nichols Riverside School District who had been working there with depressed men, women and children for many years.
Local social columnist and advocate, Edith Johnson, asked bluntly "What Will You Do With the Gray Belt?" and her question echoes down the years. Vague tales of things seen in the night have been reported in these broad regions that once where these camps; do the ghosts of those who suffered in those camps linger on or revisit in nightmares?
Maybe, just maybe, they are merely waiting for their full story to be uncovered and shared. Maybe.