The summer of 1991 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma was a hot and humid one. Nothing unusual about that. Oklahoma gets its share of hot, humid summers, but this particular year was different.
It all started when a young man by the name of Navin Noe hopped over the fence at the back of Tuxedo Trailer Park and made his way into the overgrown wooded area beyond. He only intended to retrieve his prized baseball, the one he caught during a local high school football game.
Unfortunately, the woods were overrun with stray dogs and worse. Something was hidden deep in the hollow of a tree, something waiting to be roused. Once awakened, it's power threatened the whole city.
Who are the young people responsible for stirring up all of this trouble? Let's meet them.
Navin lives in Tuxedo Trailer Park, in the third trailer from the end, in fact. His mother works the graveyard shift for a janitorial service at the local hospital, so Navin's aunt spends nights with him. During the day, Navin's mother spends most of her time sleeping on the couch in the living room, so he's left to roam with little supervision. Unfortunately, there's not much to do in his immediate vicinity.
Navin's best friend, Hao, actually lives across the street in a real house. His father owns a small restaurant on the east side of town, though it doesn't have the best reputation. Hao has a game room with multiple video game systems, including an old Atari 2600, an NES, a Sega Master System, and a brand-new Super Nintendo. In the eyes of most trailer park residents, Hao's family is rich.
The newest resident of Tuxedo Trailer Park, Jane arrives with a strong sense of disgruntlement. She had no desire to move into a trailer park and tried to convince her dad to rent an apartment instead. He didn't listen, and she's not at all pleased. Her old hometown, Plano, was far more exciting, and she's not afraid to make comparisons.
Now, meet our fine city. Bartlesville, the City of Lights! Actually, that's Paris, but for those unfamiliar with Bartlesville, here's a glimpse of downtown:
Cool places the kids like to hang out? Well, there's the Eastland Four. That's the "nice" movie theater in town.
There's also the Penn Twin. It's got an interesting retro vibe. Navin doesn't like it when the movies play off-center and out of focus, though.
There's Washington Park Mall, of course. The old folks prefer Luby's. Navin and Hao make the occasional trip to Aladdin's Castle to play video games. Hao is pretty good at Smash TV. There's also Time Warp Comics, but Navin doesn't really have extra money to spend on comics. He borrows X-Force or Wolverine from Hao sometimes.
So, as you can see, Bartlesville is one of the most exciting towns that 1991 has to offer. Unfortunately, it's all about to come crashing down.
Enjoy the catastrophic adventure!
The Ribbon Tree is available in paperback and on Kindle. Click the book cover and check it out.