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Sklyar and Taylor -
Children Of Forever Summer
A Monster Is Loose In Oklahoma

By Judith Moriarty
It's not that we're indifferent to the tragedies in distant states (or lands). It's just that the media is filled with daily announcements: of the deaths in war - car crashes - babies thrown into dumpsters - a parent killing their entire family - missing youngsters found dead - children killed in another school massacre etc. We've become desensitized to this mayhem and so we shut down and tune out. In the crisis of the moment and non -stop political theater, we've lost the ability to feel anguish with another. We've lost the ability to feel compassion - not to be confused with pity which does nothing.
Taylor and Skylar - best of friends. I can't imagine the depravity - nor the malignant evil that would so callously snuff out the lives of these two beautiful children. In today's society of overt violence - Taylor and Skylar are everyone's child in Anybody Town.
The news of the latest impossible killing, is presented for a few brief moments on the major media, and then quickly replaced with the 'heroics of Tiger Woods, with his sore knee, nude bicycle riders, or the death of a news broadcaster'. Who remembers the story of two best friends - on a country lane in Oklahoma, who  ran into a monster that ended their short lives?
Best friends. Summer time, is supposed to be a time of puddles - swimming holes - dusty lanes - wildflowers - the 4-H club - Sunday School activities - picnics - grandma shouting to keep the goat out of her flower garden - Popsicles - the County fair and catching fireflies.
Weleetka - population 1,112 - a lazy hazy town in Oklahoma with hard working, - church going folks. The children joy in swimming holes - barking dogs - country lanes - the 4-H Club - and roasting hot dogs, at campfires on summer nights. What monster lurks in the shadows? Is he (they?) a stranger - or impossible to imagine, someone in the community? Innocence is shattered in this rural town with the deaths of these two beautiful little girls.
' Amber warnings - Danger Stranger ' , these were thought to mean city streets, or the darker parts of town where the war on drugs is a joke. Today a child can can get killed sitting on their front step from a stray bullet. Playgrounds, in the cities are littered with crack vials - and city parks are forbidding places. 'Danger Stranger', until this summer, wasn't a warning given to children on back country lanes. Rural America was always thought to be a haven of safety. 
Weleeka, Oklahoma, has two grocery stores, one gas station, a country store, a drug store, and weekly newspaper. No big city living here. Sylar and Taylor lived outside of town - down a country lane. They were two of five girls in their fifth and sixth grade classroom. Taylor was completing a quilt for 4-H, they both loved animals.
There's something magical about a country lane. One never knows what lies just around the bend? I can imagine Taylor and Skylar in their bare feet kicking along this lane - stopping to move an errant turtle out of harms way. I can remember the fun of summer days, with my best friend Mary Idonna Jordan. Growing up in rural America - we fished at the creek, played jacks and hopscotch. Mary Idonna's older sister had movie magazines, which we sit on her back porch looking through. She picked Rock Hudson and I choose Bert Lancaster as our movie idols. Summer was a time of the carnival coming to town, or going to our secret campsite (Sundown), with its waterfall and wildflowers. We'd take an old iron skillet of my mother's and cook up slab bacon and eggs for lunch. My brother Johnny and his friend Billy Spencer would come with us. One hot summer day, as we waded in the creek - Johnny's shirt became soiled with mud. Thinking of how the Indians cleaned their clothes (we watched cowboy shows Saturday morning), I attempted to beat the cotton shirt with a rock. It shredded to pieces. Mostly we laughed and joyed in the magic of being children. We never spent a moment indoors during the summer . We invented our own entertainment building forts, race cars and stilts. There was never a worry about playing far into the night - at hide and seek or catching fireflies. 
Weleetka is forever changed with a monster(s) on the loose. Relatives grieve at the children's funeral, while the owner of the small grocery store in town, gives voice to the shock of this small community. Skylar and Taylor of Oklahoma never had the chance to realize their dreams. Their laughter will be missed, with their following of animals wondering what's become of their friends? Sklyar and Taylor didn't receive the non-stop coverage of a Tim Russert - famous TV personage . They were just two children from a distant Oklahoma's town - who never had a chance at becoming famous.
Taylor and Skylar friends for eternity. There is nothing more important than the innocence of childhood being lost in today's society. NOTHING.
It is simply inexcusable, that children in this country aren't afforded the best of medical care. It is inexcusable, that children - in this brief interlude of life, are subjected to graphic and perverse sex education (elementary) - when they are not psychologically mature enough to grasp this intrusion into the innocence of their lives.
It is inexcusable, that today's schools have become experiments of social engineering, with 'mandated' testing (instead of teaching) - doped up with psychotropic drugs, should they exhibit the exuberance and creativity of childhood. It is inexcusable, that any child suffer abuse by a parent - or the fear of a drunken mother/father.
It is inexcusable (No Child Left Behind) that recruiters are allowed to disrupt the innocence of childhood - seeking recruits for war! It is inexcusable, that any child should go to bed hungry in this nation, due to indifferent politicians, sitting on their satiated asses - voting cut backs in food stamps and voting on trade agreements, sending the jobs of parents overseas.
It is inexcusable, that the profits of stockholders (oil companies) and the greed of 'speculators' in hedge funds - are being permitted to bring a nation and its children to ruination.
It is inexcusable, that numerous children in this nation, are being robbed of a decent education, with out- dated history books, and made to attend decaying schools.
It is CRIMINAL, that we have no disaster plan, that tends to the needs of children, be it Katrina - or the massive floods in the Midwest - being made to live in toxic trailers or made homeless. Nothing takes precedence over our protection and the well being of our children. Every child rapist - or those who molest an innocent child should be given life imprisonment. Period.
What mutant monster killed these two innocent children? I want everyone to be outraged. I want this little town to have the best of law enforcement - investigators - and detectives made available to them before this inhumane mutant (s) kills again. I want little Taylor and Skylar to be remembered as 'Forever Summer'. When I think of their friendship - their joy - their laughter, I am brought to mind of Longfellow's poem, The Children's Hour:
'Between the dark and the daylight
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupation,
that is known as the Children's Hour.'
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