I would like to tell you something about where I grew up in Northern Oklahoma on a farm in the 1960s and '70s. The location is somewhere west of Interstate I-35 in the northernmost part of Oklahoma. It was a very wooded area.
My uncle, who had lived in the area all his life, told a story about how when he was about eight or ten years old, he was going out to the outhouse one cold winter night (they didn't have indoor plumbing in the old house yet) and said that as he tried to open the outhouse door, there was something inside it, preventing it from opening. My uncle said he was sleepy and cold and just wanted to do his business and be done with it and get back into the warm house, so he pushed his way into the outhouse with a bit of force. He was suddenly confronted by running right into a huge, stinking, hairy creature.
He first told me this story before I was aware of Bigfoot, and I don't think he was ever aware of such things. I don't recall the Patterson footage being general knowledge around there at the time, and I was curious about all things weird and wonderful and read up on the paranormal as often as I could.
Anyway, what he described back then now today seems like a pretty average description of a Bigfoot creature. He said he just bumbled face-first right into this wall of stinking fur (said it "smelled like a dead pig") in the mostly dark outhouse and not knowing what was going on (there aren't any bears around there) he looked up and saw a huge wide-eyed "monster face" staring back at him. My uncle let out a terrified scream (as you naturally would, being a kid in such circumstances) and said that the "thing" screamed back at him at the same time, seemingly equally frightened, and then it shoved him out of the way onto the ground and stepped over him and started running away across a nearby pig pen toward the woods and the river beyond.
My uncle says he was sat there on his butt on the ground screaming in fear and watching this big ape-like thing running away. It was a sort of comedy story when you envision a little kid and a Bigfoot frightening the bejesus out of each other in an outhouse, and I always loved that story and sometimes asked my uncle to tell it again because he'd be so animated when he did.
He said he ran back into the house screaming about "monsters" and woke everybody up. My grandmother confirmed this with a grin when she was still alive, and the whole family remembered the incident well. My uncle absolutely swore this was a true story, and years later, after learning about Bigfoot, it gave the story more credence to me. My uncle died many years ago, but his wonderful comic/horror story is still fresh in my mind because of the way he told it with wide eyes and an excited voice, even when he was an adult, and his absolute insistence that it was true.
Some years later, I had two Bigfoot encounters myself near there, but I won't go into that here, as this is getting a bit long, but I will tell you of them at another time.