Enid was once home to the now-closed Phillips University, a religious school responsible for drawing the first Marshallese to the town in the 1970s.To newcomers from the humid islands, however, landlocked Enid is plenty strange, starting with the weather.
Our esteemed panel of judges chose to assign this story.ately, Terry Mote has been going to a lot of funerals.
There were at least five in the early spring, sometimes on consecutive weekends.
Few of the elderly Marshallese in the city live into their 70s, according to Mote and other residents I spoke with.
Instead, they’re dying young – of diabetes, kidney failure and heart disease, illnesses they might have been able to manage under other circumstances.
On a wide thoroughfare there, sandwiched between a defunct pharmacy and a long-closed auto supply shop, is a squat brick building housing the Enid Community Clinic.
The clinic provides limited care to the uninsured, free of charge, funded largely by an annual charity ball. Aside from emergency rooms and another charity clinic, it is the only source of care available to many in Enid’s Marshallese community.
Several other residents told me, in varying tones of incredulity, about seeing Marshallese walking through the snow in flip-flops.
Most of the islanders in Enid live on the city’s eastern flank.
In effect, he’s become his community’s public representative.
By American standards, Enid is wholly ordinary: a quiet, sprawled city of single-story homes on grassy lots, with a modest stretch of shops and restaurants downtown.
There’s a symphony orchestra, a local newspaper and a number of churches.