Hooker, Oklahoma

Anybody who's driven through Oklahoma knows there are plenty of placenames to invigorate one's fourth-grade wit. Beaver, Greasy and Happyland, for example. On a particularly long and weary drive, names like Slapout, Bowlegs and Felt can even elicit a few giggles.

Yet, there's only one location that's had the courage to join us in our sophomoric amusement, to stand up and take pride in the indismissible double entendre that is their postal designation. They are the Sooner State's very own Hookers, and they're proud of it!

Way out in the territory of cutthroat tourism that is No Man's Land, where every town does its absolute best to pull motorists off the highway and convince them to spend their holiday cash, Hooker, Oklahoma, has adopted what has to be one of the state's cleverest and certainly least expensive tourism ventures ever conceived. When you've got a name like they do, there's no need to build the World's Largest Cornhusk or the nation's first pillowcase museum. All you need is a stack of T-shirts and a nine-year-old boy willing to come up with a few catchy slogans.

The Hooker Chamber of Commerce itself is mostly a gift shop, where the shelves are always well stocked with shirts, mugs and magnets sporting any of a dozen irreverent catchphrases:

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL HOOKERS

ALL MY FRIENDS ARE HOOKERS

ONCE A HOOKER, ALWAYS A HOOKER

HOOKER, OK: A LOCATION, NOT A VOCATION

In 1967, Hooker organized a baseball team — the Horny Toads, naturally — and citizen Jack Goosen built them a field on which to play. A T-shirt memorializes his efforts, as well:

JACK GOOSEN FIELD: HE BUILT IT AND WE CAME

Admittedly, the rest of Hooker could put a bit more effort into taking part in the joke. After all, there are plenty of opportunities for droll business names. There is a Hooker Health Club and the Hooker EMS (their motto: "Here to Serve"), but surprisingly there's no Hooker Hotel, no Hooker Church and no Hooker Storage. I mean, it seems like a wasted opportunity not to at least open a Hooker Wash or a Hooker Drugs.

What say you, Oklahoma? Are there any other towns out there daring enough to cash in on their suggestive names? Mounds? Bushyhead? How about you, Fallis? Are you up for the challenge?

4 Comments

Apr. 21, 2012 | 7:30 am
Larry P. Hooker wrote:

Do you know how your city got its name? When was the city established? Who founded the city?

Jun. 3, 2012 | 7:51 pm
Anonymous wrote:

I go to school at Hooker High School & we have some fun with this town. We have a Miss Hooker Pageant. So we have fun going around telling people "Hi, I'm Miss Hooker."
Anyways, our town was founded by John “Hooker” Threlkeld. He was a rancher & bought some land out here in. By 1873, more people were attracted to this area & a school, churches & stores came along with them. Hooker had a horrible fire on June 1, 1908 behind Mrs. Atterbury's restraunt & burned 42 buisnesses. They had to build back up. And today we are the 2nd largest town in Texas County & the Panhandle with a population of 1,918 (2010 U.S. Census Bureau), behind Guymon, Oklahoma.
We do infact have a Hooker Drugs which is now the Hooker Soda Fountain & Grill.
Our football team is begining to be amazing again. (For a while, we weren't top great.) But this year we went further than we have in a long time. The boys' basketball team was also amazing this year. We were just one game away from the state tournament when we lost the last game at area. The girls' team made to regionals. Our cross country team & track team is pretty amazing for a little town, too. We get made fun of & people call the girls' teams the "Hooker Hookers" & other stuff like that. But we just give it right back to them because a lot of towns around here can be twisted around. Like: Guymon is "Gaymon" or "Gayman," Texhoma is ""Texhomo," there's also a town called Beaver & some others that shouldn't be mentioned...
But I hope this didn't offend anybody & I hope this helped.

Jan. 16, 2013 | 12:29 am
Anita Hampsten Mayberry wrote:

My father was from Hooker Oklahoma and lived there as a child. I understand you have a museum there and I'm told, (not sure if it's true) that there are certain facts there about the Hampsten family.
Can you tell me if that's true? I would like to come out there early spring. We haven't been there since I was a small child. My father has passed now but I think my mother still has relatives there. Her name is Carmen Romero Hampsten.
Thank you. Anita

Jan. 16, 2013 | 12:41 am
Wesley Treat replied:

Hi Anita,

The information you need is in the blue box above. Good luck!

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