The parade is orchestrated annually on the first weekend in December by former residents. The people who used to call Picher home know that on this weekend in December they will all "Come Home" to parade down the not-so-forgotten Main Street. They like to call it a family reunion.
Several of the 70 plus floats entered in the parade are sponsored by church organizations with a strident salvation message.
Many of residents of small company towns stand against environmental regulation as a means for maintaining health because it would limit jobs.
"Dying as a result of the job is simply part of the job".
I began to understand how the belief that Trump will bring industry back and will enforce laws that express this understanding of Christianity, might bring hope. The news media machine, on selected television stations and social media, produce what they want to believe. It is the encouragement they hear daily. An ironic image from the parade photo series is a media channel float, pumping out bubbles to the crowd standing within the rubble of Picher.
The heart and soul of all they have every known was left behind when industrial mining companies declared bankruptcy and left them to live in the waste that the companies produced while making fortunes. Once the companies are gone, so are their homes and the only community that they had ever known for many generations.
One woman, who's father was a miner for 55 years, compared the disregarded land to the rape of a woman, witnessed by a crowd, who left her to die in the street.