The Nicest Place in Oklahoma: Country Aire Estates in Broken Arrow
NICEST PLACES IN AMERICA 2019 FINALIST
"I Love My Neighbors!"
When our nominator traveled abroad, she returned home to find her lawn neatly mowed. That’s just how this neighborhood rolls.
Roger Bymun is used to helping. When he sees that a local widow needs her grass cut, he cuts the grass. When he sees a neighbor whose old car needs a push into the garage, he helps push the car.
And when he saw that someone’s dog had been struck and killed by a passing car, he knew someone, somewhere was worried sick, and deserved to know what happened.
Bymun wrapped the body in a blanket and drove back to his house in the neighborhood known as Country Aire Estates, in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. He worked the phones and found the owners; he knew he couldn’t stop the pain, but at least he could give the family some closure.
“The little girl was heartbroken. But of course they were glad to know what had happened,” he says.
It was a small gesture, but one that’s typical of Country Aire. “People see a need,” he says, “and they want to help.”
Broken Arrow is a suburb of Tulsa, a city of about 400,000 with a long, proud working tradition. Local employers include Whirlpool, Frito-Lay, and the Blue Bird school bus company.
Country Aire is one of the older subdivisions, dating back to the 1970s. Bymun and his wife were some of the first to buy in, drawn by the quality construction and good location. It is home to about 3,000 people, a mix of white- and blue-collar workers.
Barbara Scruggs arrived from Minnesota in 2007; her snow-shoveling skills came in handy when a rare blizzard hit.
“We worked as a crew of six to clear each others’ driveways,” she says. “Later we were all chipping ice in the middle of the street so the water would go down into the drains. That was a really amazing experience.”
“I’m never moving,” wrote our nominator, Jeanette Pierze. “I have the best neighbors in the world!” And they show it. When she went overseas, she came home to a neatly mowed yard.
The people in my neighborhood watch out for each other, and they help each other! We have fun at our Halloween Parade and stay connected to keep each other safe, and for letting kids play together. We like to chat and ask each other things.
I’m never moving, I have the best neighbors in the world! When we went overseas to adopt we were gone for two weeks. My neighbor mowed my lawn just to be nice! They also brought us welcome home gifts! Another neighbor lets my kids come over all the time to play at her house, and then I do the same. We give breaks to each other and the kids are entertained without leaving the house! A lady a few blocks down watches people’s kids a lot so they are safe outside or even inside her house without asking for money, even buys them pizza out of her own money sometimes if they are hungry.
We have a neighborhood Halloween parade where the kids wear costumes and proceed down the main street, and hotdogs and drinks at the end the parents chat, and then we all trick or treat through the neighborhood. It’s awesome!
Two neighbors let my kid mow his lawn for a summer job, even though he’s not professional, they wanted to encourage him! My kids have gone to a neighbor’s house and stayed many times to just “hang out” because it can be boring on hot summer days. I’ve let lots of kids come swim in our pool and jump on our trampoline because I love to see them all play outside! On the 4th of July, one very sweet neighbor came over and invited me and my kids to come over and eat with them and do small fireworks they bought. We were there about two hours in the front yard eating and the kids playing. It’s a great memory!
One time I mentioned to a neighbor it was my birthday, and very shortly after a sweet present showed up! LOTS of neighbors post online for suspicious activity and/or pictures of people/cars that might be dangerous, and it’s so very helpful because not all of us have RING or a security system. Also, many, many people in my neighborhood have picked up strays and located the owners through the Nextdoor neighbor app and many happy pets have been returned!
This nomination came through ourpartnership with Nextdoor, the world’s largest social network for neighborhoods.