The wife wanted me to return something she'd picked up at the new Kohl's in Norman. This is the first time I have been to that area after the development started and it was amusing to see a road marked Mt. Williams Dr.
I know it's a cliche that developers name streets and subdivisions for the natural features they raze down. Hence all the streets named "Glen" and "Meadow" in Northern Virginia.
But "Mt. Williams Dr." must be a unique occurence -- naming a street after an artificial feature. Because you see, Mt. Williams was just a huge mound of dirt that the Navy (don't ask me why land-locked Oklahoma had a navy base, but they did) used as an artillery target in the 1940s. The developers razed down the dirt mound when the university sold the land for development, but apparently they felt compelled to name a street after it.
Don't get me wrong ... I have fond memories of Mt. Williams. It was right at the exit off I-35 that my apartment was, so I associate the sight of that dirt mound after a long road trip with the feeling of finally being home. Besides, Mt. Williams was one of the features by which one could quickly locate Norman on satellite pictures. And that made it the answer to a trivia question -- what's the largest man-made structure in Norman?
Still, naming a street after an artificial feature is quite lame. Don't give the patriotic argument, that the reason the name sticks around is that it was used for target practice during World War II. Imagine that it was a church that had been razed to make way for a street. Would the street be named for that church? Don't answer that.