36 Old Iron Much like the vintage kick-start bikes of old, these members of the â€œBlimeys, Limeys and a Hog or Twoâ€? motorcycle club have a bit of old iron in them.
DEPARTMENTS FEATURES 10 Arts
Opportunity to Play
Becoming the Best
Back to School
Edmond Wine Shop Edible Edmond
Swiss Cleaners Funky Monkey Dr. Diana Kennedy
27 Devin Derrick
They Stay Dead
Kitchens by Design
Cover photo of Beckett taken by Claudia Pham-Odhiambo
Edmond native stealing the spotlight in music and film
29 Before & After
Back40 Design Group
30 Project 66 Local food pantry shares its heart with the community
32 Citizen Back-Up Edmond Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association
34 Epic Parenting Blogger Chris Spradlin challenging parents
38 Making a World of Difference
Erin Engelke tells of her travels to Peru with World Neighbors
42 My Edmond Outlook
$ To advertise, call Laura at 405-301-3926 8 www.edmondoutlook.com
13431 N. Broadway Ste. 104 OKC, OK 73114 Office: 405-341-5599 Fax: 405-341-2020 www.edmondoutlook.com email@example.com
PUBLISHER Dave Miller EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING MANAGER Krystal Harlow EDITOR Erica Smith ADVERTISING SALES Laura Beam Lori Cathey PRODUCTION DESIGN Karen Munger PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins www.sundancephotographyokc.com Sara Wheeler www.saraephotography.com DISTRIBUTION The Edmond Outlook is delivered FREE by direct-mail to 50,000 Edmond homes.
(Volume 8, Number 8) Edmond Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc. ÂŠ 2012 Back40 Design, Inc. Articles and advertisements in Edmond Outlook do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Back40 Design. Back40 Design does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by Edmond Outlook does not constitute endorsement of the products, services or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service that is fraudulent or misleading in nature. Edmond Outlook assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.
THEY STAY DEAD by Nathan Winfrey
David Klein (Bass), Danny Black (Guitar), John Hernandez (Drums), Matt Owsley (Vocals, Guitar)
hey Stay Dead, an Edmondgrown quartet of skate-rock aural assailants, formed less than two years ago, but each member is a war-tested veteran of local music and each brings invaluable experience and skill honed by years in the punk rock trenches. “We grew up punk rockers in Edmond,” Dave Klein, bassist, remembers. He and drummer John Hernandez have played in bands together for 13 years, and in that time Matt Owsley (guitar and vocals) fell into their ranks. Eventually, They Stay Dead formed and fourth member Danny Black (also guitar and vocals) signed up. Klein and Owsley graduated from University of Central Oklahoma and Memorial High School. Hernandez went to Edmond North. The band released a duo of three-song EPs last year — a self-titled one and “Cursed.” Copies can be purchased at their shows or on Facebook
and Bandcamp.com with a name-your-own price policy. As to be expected with such an arrangement, most people choose not to pay anything for the music, and that’s okay, but some people have paid as much as $25. Klein thinks that was probably a kid from Japan, where They Stay Dead is cultivating an unexpectedly devout following. “We definitely have more downloads from other countries and more downloads from other states than here,” he says. The band recently returned from the road, after gifting their music upon the ears of residents in Missouri, Illinois, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and their home state. “It was awesome. It was better than expected,” Black reports. “Kids were there, we got paid; we had a place to stay every night. It was great.” Two of the biggest stops on the tour were “Death to False Hope,” an all-punk music festival
in Durham, North Carolina, and a battle royale between two punk bands and two metal bands at the Caledonia Lounge in Athens, Georgia. “People got punched,” Black says. “Metal-heads went flying,” Klein remembers. “[There were] awesome riffs,” Black adds. “We didn’t have a bad show. There was never a point where we were just playing to the club staff and other bands,” Klein says. “We never had an empty house.” In October, They Stay Dead will head west to Denver, Salt Lake City, Reno and California. “Lookin’ forward to the West Coast,” Black says. They Stay Dead already have enough material for a third recording, but right now they’re focusing on playing shows and writing. When they do step into the studio again, it will likely be with Mike Kennerty, Edmond native and guitarist for The All-American Rejects. Kennerty is an old friend who produced and engineered They Stay Dead’s previous recordings. “It’s the perfect environment for us,” Hernandez says. “He knows our musical taste. He knows what we’re going for.”
“We grew up punk rockers in Edmond.”
“He’s spoiled us now; we don’t want to go anywhere else,” Klein relates. The band’s name comes from their shared love of zombies, but their songs come from everywhere else. Inspiration, however, almost always finds Owsley in the shower (like all true artists) and he must jump out and find a guitar quick because the clock is ticking. “I have a window, from when I hop out of the shower, of like 10 minutes, where I can remember the cool song I just wrote in my head,” he admits. “Matt brings us a stripped-down, bare-bones shell of a song — the basic template — and we fill in the blanks,” Klein explains. “John and I get weird for a while and then it evolves.” New ideas form constantly, and all four members have an endless band meeting online. “All day, every day, we’re talking to each other about the band,” Klein says. “Structurally, songs usually come easy for us,” Black says. “It usually falls into place.” “We probably spend more time trying to name songs,” Owsley adds. Their song-naming process is somewhat chaotic. “We have a song called ‘Paper’ because it shreds,” Klein explains. Their song “Darkness” is actually “Star Wars.” “We’re good at executing songs,” Black says. “We care about the music, so we play it passionately.” “This is the right group of guys,” Klein says. “We spent a week in the van together and no one fought… everybody gets along; everybody’s amazing at our instruments. This is my dream band.” “We’re all on the same page,” Hernandez adds. “It just clicks,” Black says. “It feels really good.” August 13, they’ll take the stage at VZD’s Restaurant & Club, 4200 N. Western in Oklahoma City. You can find out more about the band at theystaydead.tumblr.com, or by following them on Twitter.
OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY by Chrisy Shuler
ith summer here, Edmond kids are moving outdoors, with sports providing endless hours of fun and critical exercise. While at one time some children might have been limited in their ability to participate in these sports, organizations like TOPSoccer have made such ideas a thing of the past.
TOPSoccer, a program offered by the U.S. Youth Soccer Organization, uses a customized training program for young disabled athletes. Whether it is a physical or mental disability, all are encouraged to participate. TOPSoccer is held in communities across the nation, allowing anyone to begin their own program while equipping coaches and organizers with the materials to get started. Edmond’s TOPSoccer program is directed by Lisa Schritter-Miley, long-time coach of various Edmond teams and current special education teacher at Boulevard Academy. The TOPSoccer director began the program 10 years ago and was eventually forced to retire it because of her numerous other commitments. It was last fall when she felt the inspiration and responsibility to return to the program, this time focusing on this coaching opportunity exclusively.
“They've never had a non-disabled peer give them that much attention.”
(Photo provided by Claudia Pham-Odhiambo)
TOPSoccer, or “The Opportunity to Play Soccer,” invites players to meet weekly at the Edmond Soccer Club where they offer fields to accommodate different age groups and skill sets. With players facing disabilities anywhere from Down syndrome and cerebral palsy to muscular dystrophy and sight and hearing impairments, Miley has organized the training to focus on each player’s specific needs. Having worked with special-needs individuals most of her
life, Miley has a thoroughly educated approach to the program. Sponsored by the Edmond Soccer Club, TOPSoccer gives players non-soccer activities to engage in as well, as too much intensive soccer can be overwhelming. After roughly 45 minutes of practice, the players are allowed a resting period and are then given 30-45 minutes to play with other members. Miley says that her goal is to work up to doing matches and tournaments with other communities. Community volunteers are vital to the program. These volunteers, or “buddies,” work one-on-one with the children to establish both trust and friendship. Volunteers for the program get an opportunity unlike any other and range from high school and college students to church members and other adults. They not only touch the life of their disabled athlete, but experience what their world is like. Though volunteers are not expected to have a background in soccer or working with disabled persons, Miley explains the fundamentals of the game to the volunteers and how best to be a support system to their player. While TOPSoccer asks for a 12-hour commitment per season from every volunteer, Miley notes that most of her volunteers in the past had never spent that much time with a disabled person before. She says the athletes tend to get very attached to the volunteers and previous participants have told her that the connection they form with their athletes may just be the most rewarding part. To further the experience, Miley has all the play-
TOPSoccer participants & volunteers (Photo provided by Claudia Pham-Odhiambo) ers and coaches sit down together and engage in conversation. “They’ve never had a non-disabled peer that gives them that much attention,” she says. And it’s the presence and support of the volunteers that Miley says have worked miracles. Miley notes that these different surroundings and being in a supportive peer group can transform people in unexpected ways. What she calls “soft skills” are emotional reactions and social skills that these athletes learn in addition to basic soccer tricks. When the players feel more confident, it is often translated physically, allowing the players to perform in ways they or even their families might never have believed. When asked why she does what she does, Miley responds that coaching and teaching specials needs people are some of the best things she’s ever done. Growing up in the late ’70s, it was practically unheard of for a girl to be playing soccer. However, Miley found her niche on the Air Force base where she lived. A group of European students had formed a soccer team which she happily joined. Miley has been involved in sports ever since. Miley’s experience has helped shape her message to her players and their families: “Whatever [you] would like to do ... it’s out there.” TOPSoccer resumes this fall from September to November. The spring season runs March through May. Practice and playing times are Sundays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Miley says times are subject to change to accommodate the different age groups. Those wishing to volunteer in the program can email Miley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the TOPSoccer section of edmondsoccer.com for more information.
About the Author
BECOMING THE BEST
Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author and inspirational speaker. Author and co-author of four books, her work has been featured in numerous publications. Contact her at: LouiseTJ@cox.net or LouiseTuckerJones.com.
by Louise Tucker Jones
never knew my mother was uncomfortable around people with disabilities. I was exposed to individuals with special needs at an early age. A young boy who rode my school bus was hearing impaired and used sign language. My pastor’s daughter was developmentally challenged and I was often in their home since his wife was the youth leader. One of my friends in college was blind. So when my youngest son, Jay, was born with Down syndrome and a severe speech articulation disorder, I felt somewhat prepared to handle the challenges of one whom the world considers different. Not so with my mother. Though she loved Jay, she wasn’t sure how to interact with him. But since our visits were infrequent, given Jay’s fragile health as a baby, it never presented a major problem. However, many years later, things changed dramatically as my father developed dementia and began losing daily living skills. My mother became a caregiver and looked to me to help understand his needs. She suddenly realized that Jay and my dad were somewhat alike as she watched Jay gently pat his granddad’s hand and assure him it was okay when he forgot the words he needed to say. Jay definitely understood communication challenges. After my father died, Mama came to spend several weeks with us and began to experience the real world of disabilities. Jay was patient in teaching her. He talked to her though she couldn’t always
understand his speech. He prayed for her and even prayed for his granddad in heaven. Mama cried. Jay hugged and comforted her in his gentle way. He became his grandmother’s companion, surprising her daily with his quick wit and abilities.
Jay with his grandmother Belvia Tucker One day Mama read a book concerning children with special needs. There was a chapter on grandparents and she devoured it. She told me what a great chapter it was and that it changed her life. I had actually written that chapter. I had co-authored that book, Extraordinary Kids. Now Mama had a new mission. She set out to be the best grandmother my son could possibly have, talking with him, learning some of his signs
and asking for good-night kisses. She went to Sonic with us everyday and even watched WWE Friday Night Smackdown with him, getting as carried away by the wrestlers’ antics as Jay. They laughed and giggled, especially when Jay taught her how to burp. When she went home, she missed him and called to talk with him by phone. Now well acquainted with Jay’s routine, Mama would send him cards and enclose money to buy a Coke at Sonic, rent a video or go to Wal-Mart. But one of the most significant changes was that she became somewhat of an advocate for people with special needs. If she met someone who had a new grandchild with Down syndrome, she would give them a pep talk about how loving and caring this child would be and how blessed they were. Then she would tell them about her grandson. When she met someone in a wheel chair she stopped to visit with them. I’m not sure my mother knows the person she has now become. I don’t think she recognizes the changes in her thinking since she set out to become the best grandmother my son, Jay, could ever have. But I think Jay would gladly tell you that she succeeded. (My 95-year-old mother is recovering from a stroke. Please keep her in your prayers).
Knight Wellness Center Dr. Kamla Knight, Chiropractor
Motor Vehicle Accidents • Applied Kinesiology Ionic Foot Detox • Hormone Saliva Testing Neuro Emotional Technique Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy Alternative & Holistic Medicine Become a fan on for the latest in health and wellness news!
3209 S. Broadway, Ste 217 • 285-9454 All major insurances accepted • Open MWF 9-5
Injured in a car accident? We can help!
Accessorize in style at Hip & Swanky! We have everything you need for back to school including a great selection of hip tees, hard-to-find boutique dresses, tops and jewelry as well as Corral and Old Gringo boots. Located at 1247 E. Danforth (Kickingbird Square) 341-3066 • www.hipandswanky.com
La Jolie Femme (the happy woman) specializes in one of a kind sterling silver jewelry, original oil paintings and collectibles, plus vintage Brighton and James Avery. Enjoy GREAT PRICES and monthly specials! 20% off all rings in August! Located inside Edmond Antiques at 17 S. Broadway in downtown Edmond. • 509-4661
Keep your kids busy outside in the pool with toys, pool floats and games all 15% off with this ad at Oasis Pools & Spas! Exp. 8/31/12 We also offer quality maintenance, repair and remodeling for your swimming pool or spa. Whether you have an in-ground or above-ground pool, our trained technicians will keep it running beautifully. Stop by our store at 1333 N. Santa Fe • 340-6442
Need a new look before school starts? Call Erin at Sherri & Co. for a FREE haircut with color OR $5 off a Men's or Women's haircut for new clients. Enjoy her years of experience, friendly service and attention to detail. Located in downtown Edmond at 109 S. Broadway. Call 250-8797 today!
Stop by this unique bead boutique for a variety of exquisite crystals, pearls, glass, gemstones & other beads, plus supplies and gift items. Sign up for a class and learn how to make your own gorgeous jewelry creations or host a birthday party for 10 of your friends! Located at Danforth & Santa Fe in the 7/11 Shopping Plaza. Visit us on Facebook! • 715-5820
Beadle Dee Bead & Gift Shop
Need an honest, hardworking individual you can trust to clean your home? Ree's Housekeeping & Sweets is insured for your peace of mind and offers weekly, bi-weekly, special event and deep cleaning services along with specialty homemade sweets with each visit. Plus enjoy great discounts for referrals. Call 330-6157 for a free estimate!
Only a few weeks of summer left! So who wants to be stuck indoors cleaning? Leave the chores to us. We'll take care of all the sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, laundry, dusting, bed linens & more! We offer years of experience and competitive rates. For a free estimate call 740-6004.
The Cadence Equestrian Center Riding Academy is committed to the development of young riders, providing a family atmosphere geared for learning, fun and success. New students enjoy our Back To School Special - 8 Riding Lessons for $295.00 (exp 9/15/12). Visit our website at www.cadenceequestrian.com. Call 348-7469 to register. Located in northeast Edmond, 1/2 mile east of I-35 & Waterloo Rd.
Food Favorites Saucey Boneless Ribs Ingredients 2 lbs boneless ribs 1 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup ketchup 3/4 cup chili sauce 1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 1/4 cup whiskey 2 tablespoons ground mustard 1 tablespoon instant minced onion Pepper
Directions Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a slow boil. Simmer for 45 minutes. Double wrap ribs in aluminum foil, place in a roasting or 9x13 pan and bake for 2 hours in a 325째 F oven. Open foil to expose ribs and cover with sauce. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes in a 350째 F oven.
Submitted by: Hollye Laymon Hollye is married to Sam and is a stay-at-home Edmond mom to three young boys, Wyatt, Jesse and Everett.
To submit your favorite recipe for consideration in future publications, email: email@example.com
Owner, Vance Gregory
EDMOND WINE SHOP
t was a 1965 cabernet that changed the life of Vance Gregory. It seduced the young man, leading him on a 40-year journey through the twisted vines of grapes to owning the iconic Edmond Wine Shop. In 1971, Gregory graduated college with a degree in electrical engineering. He wasn’t even interested in wine. “I was trying to figure out how I was going to pay for my master’s degree,” Gregory said. “I was offered a summer job at Byron’s Liquor Store. They sent me to California in June 1972 to Napa Valley. I fell in love with it, and got to see what the winery business was like.” Visiting then was like being in a small farming town. “Wine hadn’t really taken off back then,” said Gregory. “No one except vintners like Robert Mondavi believed in California wine.” But Gregory did. On that first trip, he had a glass of 1965 Charles Krug Vintage Select Cabernet, and his life changed forever. “It was the depth of flavor, the richness and the nuances. It was the complete package. It had a beautiful finish,” Gregory said. “That was it for me. I decided then and there that this was my life.” So in 1973, Gregory bought a struggling liquor
by Heide Brandes
store in Edmond. “I had seen the concept of a wine shop in California, a store that merchandised around the wine selection,” Gregory said. “Spirits were the focus of the stores here at the time. I flipped it around and put wine in the center of the store and the spirits along the back wall. I was laughed at, and guys in the business told me I’d be out of business in two years.” To make things more difficult, liquor stores could not advertise back then. “I had to rely on word-of-mouth. I just tried to educate the public that wine was worth trying and tasting,” said Gregory. But in 1976, California wine took top honors at the Paris Wine Tasting competition, later dramatized in the film, “Bottle Shock.” “That catapulted California wineries to the top,” said Gregory. “Business started to pick up and I moved the Edmond Wine Shop to a building across the street. I bought the building with an investor in 1978 because I saw the need to expand. We had that store until 2003, when we built this one.” Wines are still displayed proudly at the center of the store. The hefty selection of beer and spirits line the walls. Gregory roams the aisles, encourag-
ing wary wine drinkers to try this bottle or that. “I’ve been doing this for 40 years. One lady always came in and bought only white zinfandel. I finally got her to try a fruity chardonnay, and then I got her to love pinot noirs,” he said. “You have to transition into wine. It takes time.” Ask Gregory what his favorite wine is and he only shakes his head. “It’s like asking who your favorite kid is,” he said. “I love pinot noir, I love what Oregon is producing, I love small producers who are real hands-on. I love wine.” For wine lovers – or those just learning to explore the depth of wine – Gregory and his trained staff are eager to share this passion with others. They can show you the best $10 bottle of cabernet or recommend the best $80 bottle of pinot noir. To Gregory, there’s a “best” in every price range. “We try to encourage people to sample different things. The idea of our store is to make people think about trying that Australian cab or that wine from Chile,” Gregory said. “It’s about trying something new and drinking what you love.” For more information, visit the Edmond Wine Shop at 1520 S. Boulevard.
EDIBLEEDMOND by Krystal Harlow
Let's Do Greek
Some inspired new menu items have joined the line-up at your favorite Greek restaurant to put a little sizzle in your summer dining. Let’s Do Greek brings the heat with their spicy new Thunder Hummus served with two pita breads for just $5.99. Hungry for more? Try the Thunder Gyros loaded with fresh-cut Gyros meat topped with grilled ham, Feta, onions, tomatoes and spicy Thunder sauce, teamed with fries or Basmati Rice for only $6.99. Prided on a 30-year, award-winning reputation of food excellence, this family operation serves up delicious chicken, beef, vegetarian and rice dishes plus salads, sandwiches and sides made fresh daily with the finest ingredients. Carry-out, catering and private party room are available. Stop by 180 W. 15th St. in Edmond or the downtown OKC location at First National Center. Visit letsdogreek.com.
Summer just got a little cooler with Red Mango’s luscious new Frozen Fruit and Coffee Chillers. Sip a refreshing Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade or Pomegranate Chiller bursting with a kick of flavor swirled into frozen yogurt and ice. The Frozen Coffee Chillers blend real coffee, ice and Red Mango’s frozen yogurt for a creamy pick-me-up in four flavors—Natural Coffee, Mocha, Vanilla and Caramel. Don’t forget their all-natural frozen yogurt, smoothie and parfait selection, too. Made with no artificial flavorings or sweeteners, they’re rich in probiotics, calcium and protein. With serve-yourself convenience and a selection of delicious toppings, it’s no wonder this hot spot was rated #1 by Zagat in top healthy products and best U.S. frozen yogurt and smoothie chain. Visit 15th & Broadway in Edmond or find them on Facebook at redmangoedmond.
Treat the family to one of Oklahoma’s best-loved burger and chili joints where old-fashioned goodness and plentiful portions have won diners’ praise for years. One bite of the new Philly Cheesesteak Burger complete with a 1/3 pound Angus beef topped with grilled onions and bell peppers, sirloin steak and melted swiss cheese and you’ll know why this hot spot draws record crowds. The homemade chili is another hot item or try the famous Sausage Cheeseburger. Sides like fresh cut fries, beer battered onion rings and okra complete the delicious line-up. Want to spice things up? Try the Spanish Fries, deep fried with onions and jalepenos. Finish with real draft root beer in a frosted mug or an ice cold bucket of beer. Ron’s is the perfect lunch or dinner treat. Stop by 216 S. Santa Fe, call 844-7667 or find them on Facebook at ronsedmond.
Swiss Cleaners by Linda Treadway
Swiss Cleaners, celebrating their 100th anniversary, is owned and operated by two brothers, John and Jim Limber, who are second-generation American-born Greek immigrants. All four of their grandparents passed through Ellis Island from Greece to settle in Oklahoma City. One grandfather operated his own dry cleaning business before their father, George Limber, married and bought Swiss Cleaners in 1956. Swiss Cleaners, opened by Swiss immigrants, has been in operation since 1912. The first plant was located at NW 10th and Western. Their father opened a new plant in 1966 at 3737 NW 50th St., where it remains today. The Limber brothers took over the business in 1993 when their father passed away. Today, John oversees office and accounting operations while Jim handles production and plant operations. Currently they own and operate six shops throughout the Oklahoma City metro-area. The newest shop opened six years ago near Edmond at NW 150th and Western. The brothers take daily personal interest in the
business and they stand behind their work, delivering quality dry cleaning. John expressed their philosophy as, “We go above and beyond to make sure our customers are satisfied.” In 2008, the business began showing the effects of the economy, with customers hanging on to their money by cutting back on dry cleaning. John explained his concerns for his customers saying, “We offer a lot of discounts, a lot of special offers. We try to help our customers with mailers and online e-club offers. We like to help our customers out.” Very proud that their business has made it to the 100-year mark, they are offering customers several more discount options. On their website, swisscleanersokc.com, customers can find special ads and coupons each month and can sign up to receive email notifications or sign up at any location. Each month their discount offer changes. Don’t have a coupon? Simply walk into any store and say “Happy Anniversary!” You will automatically receive a dollar off their monthly special.
Owners, John & Jim Limber Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Same-day service is available if articles are dropped off before 9 a.m. Other services include alterations, cleaning and preserving wedding dresses, and cleaning household items. Swiss Cleaners also offers a 24-hour coin-op laundromat complete with over 50 washers located at NW 36th and May Avenue. An attendant is on duty at all times to assist customers with anything they may need. It’s this type of quality service that is sure to keep Swiss Cleaners in business another 100 years.
Funky Monkey by Linda Treadway August is the time to get into some cool and fashion forward styles at Funky Monkey, located just west of Quail Springs Mall. This fashionista boutique carries unique and hard-to-find clothing brands as well as accessories, shoes and jewelry for women, tweens, toddler and baby. Funky Monkey has had a great year so far being voted Top 5 for women’s specialty boutique and winning #1 children’s store in the Best of Oklahoma Choice Awards 2012. Jennifer Najera opened Funky Monkey in March 2008. “I moved to Oklahoma City and found many of the brand names I used to find in Texas just weren’t available here,” she said. “There’s not a lot out there that is different and fun, mostly for middle school and high school girls. We are really excited about the new brands we will be carrying this fall for back-to-school. I wanted to have a wide range of clothing and accessories for babies, girls, tweens and women.” This year Funky Monkey has paid extra attention to their pre-teen customers. “We had several moms mention the lack of choices for the 8-14 age group.
So we found some great, unique and age appropriate lines that trendy tweens love. August is one of their busiest months as they are expecting new brand-name clothing and accessories for tweens, including Dollcake (out of Australia), Mayoral (out of Spain) and Little Joules from England, just to name a few. Najera explains that Mayoral has a classic look like Ralph Lauren. August is also the month they expect to get an abundance of back to school merchandise and OU and OSU apparel and accessories. Sondra Wilson, a UCO fashion marketing graduate, has managed the shop for Jennifer for the past three years. She oversees not only everyday operations but also in-store events like wine tasting parties, food drives for local charities, and hosts other events such as the Princess Run, the Ellie Kate fundraiser and more. Najera started their new online store a year ago, funkymonkeyclothes.com, for fashions not kept instore because of limited floor space. The online store operates out of Dallas. “We try to find brands that really are not here
Manager, Sondra Wilson in Oklahoma - brands like Rich and Skinny Denim, Young Fabulous and Broke, Wild Fox and Chaser which are a little bit more edgy and popular on the west coast. We also carry Parker, Bailey44, Splendid and Ella Moss which are more classic.” said Wilson. Funky Monkey is located at 14101 N. May Ave., Ste 113, just north of Memorial and open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook to see new fashions as they arrive and keep apprised of upcoming special events.
Dr. Diana Kennedy by Linda Treadway Dr. Diana Kennedy, who specializes in diabetes, thyroid and other metabolic disorders, is on a mission to educate patients beyond her own private practice at Metabolic Disease Associates, located within the Mercy Health Center complex on the north side of Oklahoma City. Kennedy is a graduate of OU Medical School and in 1985 she became board certified as an internist. She completed a two-year endocrine and metabolism fellowship and started her own practice in July 1986. Kennedy says she is concerned with the health care system today because it is fragmented in the way it deals with preventative care and care in general of chronic diseases. Patients may see five or more specialists, but they don’t have one physician overseeing the whole picture. Therefore, some patients wind up falling through the cracks. She clarifies her understanding of a patient’s struggle: “It is difficult controlling chronic disease if you are not emotionally or physically feeling well enough to deal with it.” On the other hand, she feels doctors need to encourage patient involvement and develop a health
care plan. “I think the patient has to actually be a member of the team and not just simply being directed what to do. You can’t expect good medical results without the patient’s full understanding of their medical problems,” Kennedy explains. “They’ve got to understand their treatment plan and they have to understand why it is important and what the risks are, but also what the benefits are.” Another concern Kennedy shares is the amount of misinformation readily available, especially on the Internet. “People need to get reliable facts from reliable sources. People may blame a medication for an amputation or a heart attack when it is really the fact that the person waited too long getting treatment that caused the problem, not the medications,” she explains. The message Kennedy wants to spread is that people need to ask questions and research their disease, read valid websites instead of opinions expressed in chat rooms. She suggests seeking out sites that give scientific data such as the American Diabetes Association, the Mayo Clinic, MD Ander-
(L to R) Susan Stauter, Kim Tomlin, Dr. Diana Kennedy, Judy Busse and Dana Cavazos
son, National Institute of Health and WebMD. For the past 10 years, Kennedy has sponsored first-year OU Medical Center students on rotations. They visit in the spring and spend one day a week for six weeks learning how to talk to patients and shadow doctors. She has participated in public outreach programs such as those directed by the American Diabetes Association, where she served as a board member. She also practices once a month at the St. Charles Diabetes Clinic. But Kennedy doesn’t work alone. She also credits her staff for her successful outreach. “They make it all work, because we work together as a team.”
rguably the most defining room in a home, the kitchen is the epicenter of modern family life and entertainment. Its elevated importance in todayâ€™s culture has transformed this once crude service room into the crowning centerpiece of the home. With it has emerged a fast-growing industry of advanced features and sophisticated options that can often overwhelm homeowners when considering a kitchen design or remodel. The skilled planning and project management of a licensed interior designer ensures there are no missed opportunities or costly errors. Edmond Kitchen & Bath owners, Robert and Brenda Helms offer the full credentials to create custom kitchens that function as beautifully as
Above Photo: by Edmond Kitchen & Bath Photo Below: by Winterhouse Interiors
ell-designed kitchens ultimately exude the glamour of fine living. Behind the scenes, though, creating these show-stopping rooms involves far less glitz and more grit than many imagine. Despite the common misnomer that using an interior designer is a costly or unnecessary option, clients quickly discover that the wealth of knowledge and detailed project handling the designer offers is indispensable. A competent designer helps prioritize and direct client decisions, actually saving the client money. Under the keen direction of Steve Winters, Licensed Interior Designer, Winter House Inte-
they look. Licensed by the State of Oklahoma, Interior Designer Brenda Helms is well-versed in every aspect of a room’s layout and color palette while Robert Helms’ specializes in construction, ensuring the highest quality materials and installation. Together with Junior Designer, Megan Greve, this attentive and creative team tailors every detail to perform in harmony with a family’s lifestyle while delivering a smoother, faster project that stays within budget. With over a decade of experience to their credit, the family-led team has successfully completed more than 350 projects. As shown in the stunning kitchen remodel pictured here, classic elements are brightened with a more modern color palette and exquisite custom touches to create a functional masterpiece for an
active cooking and entertaining family. Under the direction of Brenda Helms’ artfully trained eye, this updated traditional design integrates curved top cabinets, a custom vent hood, real wood crown molding and custom metal insets in cabinet doors for a fashionably warm finish to the space. An initial complimentary consultation at the Edmond Kitchen & Bath showroom reveals key tastes and usage patterns that drive a client’s kitchen arrangement, color palette and features. Next, an on-site home assessment delivers a detailed budget, time and materials plan. Paramount in the planning phase, fixed price contracts offer homeowners great peace of mind with the total cost outlined before a project begins. Specializing in ‘occupied homes,’ Edmond
Kitchen & Bath employs only quality craftsmen, plumbers and electricians who maintain a clean work area day and night. Temporary dust control systems ensure the least disruption to daily living during construction. Highly attentive measures and superb customer insight have refined the kitchen design process into an extremely positive experience for Edmond Kitchen & Bath customers. Within the first 12 months of a finished project, 82% of clients add additional renovations. Every project is a partnership with rewards far beyond the kitchen sink. Customers can call 285-1926 to arrange a showroom consultation or visit edmondkitchen.com.
KITCHENS BY DESIGN by Laura Beam
riors boasts 23 years of acclaimed design service for every room in the home. Winter House’s distinguished stature as one of the state’s premiere design firms starts with the simple premise that every project’s goal is to reflect and reward the client, not cater to a designer’s preferences. In addition, their longstanding work with builders, contractors and painters ensures no aspect of the process is overlooked. Choosing a flexible designer whose work embraces a variety of styles is important in creating a uniquely customized space. Winter House prides its reputation on the ability to interpret and reflect a client’s style, be it European, Art Deco, traditional, Old World, contemporary or a transitional mix
of multiple trends. Shopping the Winter House showroom is not only a supreme indulgence but a valuable initial step for homeowners seeking the expertise of a designer. Lavishly appointed with unique furnishings, flooring, lighting, accessories and gifts, the stunning space treats customers to endless inspiration for large and small projects. Here, Winters and staff have the opportunity to field customers’ questions about the design process. A visit to the client’s home then allows Winters to see how a family lives, assess what activities dominate the space and create a design plan accordingly. The breathtaking result of Winter House’s diverse creative philosophy and customer-oriented
approach is portrayed in every rich detail of the kitchen remodel pictured to the left. This long time client sought an updated look to replace the existing tumbled marble backsplash and glazed vent hood that matched the walls. Winters found brilliant inspiration in a coppered vent hood and custom tile mosaic that drove a warm vision for the space. The scenic focal point was designed by a mosaic artist, shipped and installed under Winter’s careful assistance. Customers can meet the friendly staff and shop the Winter House Interiors showroom at Classen Curve in Oklahoma City or learn more at winterhouseinteriors.com.
STEALING THE SPOTLIGHT by Lindsay Whelchel
usic has always been a part of Edmond musician Devin Derrick’s life. When he was a kid, his parents owned the Derrick Club, now known as the Wolf Trap in Edmond, where bands played six nights a week. Derrick’s grandmother was a booking agent for Randy Travis. All along, Derrick was learning everything he could about his dream. “I think that’s just a part of any goal that anybody has in life. You learn from people’s downfalls and you learn from their successes and that’s what I was doing, I was just taking it all in, soaking it up,” Derrick says. But along with making music, Derrick had another hope… to be a part of movies. He made the decision to tackle Nashville first, but now, with the film industry growing in his home state, Derrick is getting the opportunity to do it all. For 10 years, Derrick lived and performed out of Nashville in pursuit of his goals. He has opened for artists such as Alabama, Blake Shelton and Tracy
Lawrence. Derrick bought his tour bus from Shania Twain. He says this with a laugh because he had to have it repainted. It was all pink. Though perhaps one of the greatest music moments of Derrick’s life came in 2002, with a knock on his tour bus door in Nashville. It was a representative for Johnny Cash and he wanted a demo CD. Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash died in 2003 but three years later Derrick got the opportunity to work with Cash’s son, John Carter Cash who produced two songs on Derrick’s latest album. One such song is “Lady,” a tune written by Johnny Cash for June. “Recording that was an incredible thing in my life that was a lot of fun and a great learning experience,” Derrick says. “That was a pretty big highlight in my life.” If there’s anything Derrick knows about a career in the music business, it’s that it’s a journey. From Nashville it was on to Las Vegas where Derrick spent time performing before returning to his Oklahoma
“to be in a movie and have your music played is an incredible feeling.”
roots. “I’ve traveled all over the United States and I like it here the best,” Derrick says of Oklahoma. In addition to being geographically advantageous for touring, Oklahoma held the hospitality Derrick had missed. “If you live there and you’re from here, to no discredit to the people in Las Vegas, the people are just different, and you just can’t find any homemade pies out there either,” Derrick laughs. Derrick is polite and optimistic, much like his home state. And it is here that Derrick got the chance to blend his two passions, music and movies. It was with the recently released rodeo-inspired family film “Cowgirls n’ Angels.” Derrick got to be an extra in the film, which also used three of his songs in the movie, including “Certifiably Crazy” produced by John Carter Cash. “It was great to be in the movie,” Derrick says and adds, “to be in any movie and have your music played is an incredible feeling.” In addition, he says it is good for the country music genre. “It proves that country music is not dying. It’s growing. It’s all kinds of intertwined now.”
continued on page 28...
...continued from page 27
Devin Derrick on the set of Cowgirls n' Angels
And Derrick adds that having more films coming to the state these days is positive for the community. “ ‘Cowgirls n’ Angels’ is a really good family-oriented film. It’s got a great message, it’s got a great cast and being filmed here in Oklahoma makes it just that much better.” From there, Derrick has been in as many films as possible in the past year, moving from extra roles in films such as the Oklahoma-filmed “Yellow,” to speaking parts like his role in the upcoming Stillwater-inspired film, “Hay Days.” Derrick has several other films in the works and if such a career as his is a journey, then it is also a roller coaster, full of ups and downs. The key, Derrick has learned, is not to jump off. “There’s no career in this world that’s smooth. There’s always red tape and it’s a rocky ride here and there,” he says but adds, “if a person just keeps their nose clean and stays focused then they’ll succeed.” It is this motto Derrick clearly embodies. He is fully engulfed in promoting his upcoming films and planning shows around his new album “I Hate Lovin’ It,” released in June. “If you want to make it in this business, to me the definition of success is to never give up. You have to just keep going, have that perseverance and that drive to make it.” And for Derrick, that drive is kicked into high gear.
Love Without Boundaries is an Edmond-based nonprofit that helps orphaned children in China by providing medical assistance, nutrition, education, foster care and adoption facilitation. Amy Eldridge, founder and executive director, contacted Back40 in February 2011 after seeing the design group’s online portfolio of nonprofit web design work. Eldridge had a lot of ideas and after visiting with Back40’s project managers and programmers, they were able to formulate a way for web visitors to donate to individual needs for individual children. “We had worked with multiple web companies over the years, and redesigning our website was always such a long process with multiple revisions,” she said. “The designers at Back40 really took the time to listen to exactly what we needed. Dave really wanted my feedback on what was important so that he could go to the team and let them know what was necessary.” “I’ve worked on hundreds of projects over the past 12 years, but I can’t think of many which are as important in purpose as the Love Without Boundaries project we completed earlier this year,” said Dave Miller, president of Back40 Design Group. “If you’re going to redesign your website, it’s important to focus on the functionality of the site in addition to the design.” With the project under way, the next couple of weeks were filled with meetings, coding and creating visuals for the site. Earthtone elements
by Erica Smith
were selected, and images taken by Love Without Boundaries staff along with indigenous items were used to embellish the website. The nonprofit’s wish for children’s lives to be changed for good was the driving force behind the design. “As launch day approached, custom applications were tested, content was spell-checked, messaging was tweaked and the Love Without Boundaries staff was trained on Back40’s proprietary content management system, Javelin CMS, so they could create and edit any content on their website at any hour of the day,” explains Miller. The new website launched in January and the mobile version soon followed. “When we first saw the new design, it was everything we had hoped for,” said Eldridge. It was easy for Eldridge to see the improvements in the site, but tangible success central to her mission was something she could have only imagined. “When we were redesigning our site, we
wanted to make sure that people could immediately know how to get involved with our charity,” she explains. “Back40 came up with a very userfriendly design for us, and almost immediately the number of children finding sponsors increased.” “We appreciate our relationship with Love Without Boundaries,” said Miller. “We hope that we have contributed in some small way to furthering their mission.” Eldrige returns Miller’s sentiment. “It is so wonderful to work with a company who takes the time to get to know the companies they help,” she said. “When we contact them about new features we would like to see, it is like speaking to a friend, and I know they really want to help us succeed.” If you’re interested in redesigning your website with purpose, call Lori Cathey or JR Ross at 478-4080. To see more before and after web design projects from Back40 visit, back40design.com/ web-design/portfolio/before-after.
478-4080 | www.back40design.com www.edmondoutlook.com 29
PROJECT 66 A Heart for the Community by Stephanie Rasch
Holly Aparicio and Melody Wilson stocking shelves at Project 66
n the surface, the Edmond area might not appear affected by the ebb and flow of the economy. But the founders of Project 66, a community food pantry, know better. “It is easy to see Edmond as an affluent community and be blinded by the need that exists right here,” said Kim Shirley, volunteer coordinator. Project 66 does more than provide clothes and food to people in the Edmond/Arcadia area. According to founder Melody Wilson, its mission is and always has been about identifying a challenge in the community. “The long story is that it all started with my daughter’s fourth-grade teacher. She asked her to introduce three people who didn’t know Jesus to Him. What we realized is that we couldn’t find anyone in our little Christian bubble,” she said. Around the same time, Wilson opened a Subway in her hometown of Arcadia. “I got to know these people instead of just driving by. These people were working hard but couldn’t make ends meet on $7 an hour,” she said. Having found a need, Wilson and four friends searched for an opportunity to make their vision a
reality. “When I called the Regional Food Bank to see if there was a need for a food pantry in our area, I thought they were going to crawl through the phone and hug me,” she said. By word-of-mouth alone, the Project 66 founders managed to get the majority of their supplies donated. Their rent is just $100 a month thanks to the building’s owner, Aubrey McClendon, CEO and co-founder of Chesapeake Energy and co-owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Desks, chairs and partitions came from a Baptist Medical Center remodel. “I have a friend at the JCPenney in Norman. She donated all of the clothes racks,” says Holly Aparicio, who also helped found Project 66 alongside Shirley and Wilson. “We’re very fortunate to have them.” From there, the team has built a detailed process to get as many Edmond and Arcadia residents food, clothes and help. The donation box outside is open 24 hours a day for donations. Each Thursday, from 10 a.m. to noon and 6 to 8 p.m., Project 66 opens
the doors for clients, who crowd the waiting room to fill out client forms and wait to be helped. Their first stop is the intake room. Each new client sits with a volunteer to start a file, discuss their family’s needs, and (if they wish) pray together. This helps Project 66 keep track of who is coming for help, how often and what they need most. “One of the most moving experiences I’ve had was sitting at our intake office,” recalls Shirley. “We had a young couple with four kids come to us who were desperately in need of food. They were a typical Edmond professional couple, and the husband had lost his job in the downturn of our economy. They never pictured themselves at a food pantry.” She says the experience helped her realize that anyone, including herself, could find themselves in the same situation. It is one of the many reasons they’ve put so much work into creating a supportive environment. Once they’ve had a chance to speak with the vol-
“I thought they were going to crawl through the phone and hug me.”
Call for Free Estimates! unteers privately, clients are assigned a floor volunteer who guides them through racks of clothes and accessories. From swimsuits to power suits, medical scrubs and handbags, there is no limit to what one might find among the racks, shelves and bins of donations from the community. Technically, clients are allowed one bag of clothes per family member, but Shirley says they are “very generous with the clothes.” After the clients finish picking out their new duds, the volunteers take them to the food pantry. Project 66 is the only official Food Bank agency serving Edmond, and their donation system is “client choice.” Here, Project 66 visitors peruse the shelves themselves for fresh bread, produce and even cupcakes — much of which comes from Walmart Neighborhood Market on Second Street in Edmond. Volunteers help make sure clients get enough of each food group (including dessert) to feed the entire family for one to two weeks. In 2011, they fed 1,393 families representing 4,354 individuals. Walmart, however, can’t do everything. According to Shirley, Project 66 needs at least 10 people to function during service hours and more for weekly maintenance and inventory. They feel fortunate to have had such a great response. “There is a man who takes a bus to the Rolling Green Apartments in Edmond once a month to pick up anyone who wants to come here. He’ll come back twice if necessary,” Aparicio said. “He isn’t someone we knew, just someone who wants to do a good thing.” For more information about Project 66 or to volunteer, call 396-3335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CITIZEN BACK-UP by Heide Brandes
Edmond Citizens Police Academy demonstration by Detective Jason Stearns
hen Edmond resident Aubrey King enrolled in the inaugural class of the Edmond Police Department’s Citizens Academy, he had a personal reason. His own son was a police captain, and King had dealings with law enforcement in the past. So when the citizens academy formed, he was among the first to sign up. “The first one was held in 1997, and I was one of the first to graduate through the academy,” said King. “Those of us in 1997 wanted to do something with the knowledge we had learned in the academy and we wanted to support the Edmond police officers. We decided to form a citizens alumni association.” Fifteen years later, not only is the citizens academy still going strong, the Edmond Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (ECPAAA) is as well. The graduates of the academy participate in the training and also help support the department through fundraisers and special events. The Edmond Citizens Police Academy is a free 13-week series of classes that bring community residents together with the Edmond Police Department to learn about police policies and practices. Held twice a year, the classes do not train people to become police officers, but are designed to show firsthand the day-to-day responsibilities of the officers and staff. “It’s one of the best programs we’ve ever started in Edmond,” said Police Deputy Chief Steve Thompson. “It’s designed for citizens to learn what police officers do and why they do it. To be honest, some people come in with a negative outlook on officers, and the course totally changes their outlook.”
community and someone slams the police for something, the graduates can share their experience and why police officers do what they do.” “People sometimes have a negative concept of police officers; they just think the officers are out to get them,” said King. “It’s not true. Edmond has the best police department in the state, and was named the 11th safest city of our size in the United States by the FBI. That’s because of the police.” Because of this firsthand look that the citizens academy provides, King adds that graduates form a Bomb team and robot demonstration higher respect for the work police Throughout the course, participants learn about officers do. “After you go through the course, you a variety of police procedures, from accident inhave a much greater respect for officers. The citivestigation, firearms and crime scene investigation zens police academy is free, and I think everyone in to special investigations and use of force. “We like Edmond should go through it,” he said. to think we have the best police department in the To help carry on the spirit of learning and supUnited States, and most people in the academy see port, the ECPAAA meets once a month for lunch to the quality of our officers and how professional they hear speakers from the Edmond Police Department are and say that Edmond has the most professional explain department roles or new technology. On police department they have ever encountered,” October 11, the alumni association will host their said Thompson. “Then, when they go back to the 10th annual golf tournament at Oak Tree Golf and
Country Club to raise funds for an annual banquet. In November, the alumni association will host the annual Police Officer Recognition Dinner. “I feel strongly about this dinner and naming the Police Officer of the Year,” said King. “The officers themselves – not the administration – vote for their peers as outstanding officer of the year. It’s a big honor.”
“Edmond was named the 11th safest city of our size in the U.S. by the FBI.” More importantly, the alumni association continues to give Edmond police officers support and appreciation. “We are 79 members strong,” said King. “One of the main things we noticed is that when we took the class, we didn’t realize how good our Edmond officers are and how effective they are at solving crimes. Edmond has evolved even more into a safer city because of them.” For more information about the ECPAAA Golf Tournament or Police Recognition Banquet, go to www.ecpaaa.org or call King at 340-2368. For more information about the Citizens Police Academy, call 359-4437.
EPIC PARENTING by Lauren Wright
hris Spradlin is an active do-it-all dad, devoted husband, snow boarder and creator of the blog EpicParent.tv. Born in Dallas, Spradlin has moved around to places like Oklahoma City, Phoenix and Steamboat Springs, Colorado, but recently settled back here in Edmond. He and his wife Jodie are parents to three children: Cole, 14, Kylie Faith, 12, and Tifton Jack, 11, and refer to themselves as “Team Sprad,” an adventurous and silly bunch. Spradlin got his start at LifeChurch.tv and would eventually move to Phoenix to plant a campus there. As a successful blogger, he now has more than 11,000 followers across several different social media accounts. Spradlin felt like parents needed a place where they could be encouraged, strengthened and challenged through an honest look at parenting. He began showcasing his failures, wounds and wins through his personal journey as a parent on EpicParent.tv a little more than a year ago. His message is simple: “If parents would step into their Godgiven role, the world would be changed.”
After the Spradlins welcomed their first child Cole “ColeTrain” into the world, he recalls a moment when they took Cole home and the song “Just the Two of Us” by Will Smith came on and literally made him weep. Spradlin explains, “It was at that moment that I committed to be the best dad on the planet. I promised to teach my son character, integrity, honesty and how to follow Jesus.” It wasn’t until almost 12 years later that the blog was created, but it was at that moment he knew his calling. The blog originally began as a test to see if he could come up with anything worthwhile to say, but in the weeks to follow, his traffic increased, speaking engagements were booked and the EpicParent.tv mission took off. Spradlin’s mission is to empower and unleash a new generation of parents. He desires to challenge parents to be honest, authentic, entrepreneurial and present and his blog posts never come from just one source or thought. Spradlin says that even “The Cosby Show” is a great source for him. He also brews ideas from songs, other blogs, even from movies and books, and of course, his children. He shares, “I love to blog about their challenges, my failures and the funny stuff that comes up in Team Sprad world.” Through the years of learning, watching and blogging, Spradlin has his most and least favorite topics to cover. The hardest topic for him to write on was sexual abuse because it happened to him when he was a young child. He wrote a post about the times when he was 10 years old and the babysitter would come over and force him to play sexual games. He explained why he wrote this difficult post. “This was tough to expose this side of my life, but I wanted parents to know that abuse can come from the most unexpected, trusted places,” he said. His favorite topic to cover has been a series of posts called “Five Things.” These posts offer up five things every son needs from his mom and five from his dad, and five things every daughter needs from her mom and five from her dad. They are considered an “in your face” challenge for all parents. Spradlin is currently focusing on family, blogging, books, conferences and speaking engagements including one with well-known speakers Francis Chan and George Barna. But he also has big plans for the future. He’s just finished
“It was at that moment that I committed to be the best dad on the planet.”
The Spradlin Family - Kylie, Cole, Jodie, Chris & Tifton an e-book and a book proposal with the hopes that it may soon be available in big-name bookstores. He’s also working on developing an online conference for parents called EpicParent Roadshow. Spradlin explains, “The goal of EpicParent Roadshow is to give parents a funny, inspiring, raw and creative experience that will change their families’ lives.” Spradlin has been speaking for 20 years now and sometimes in front of crowds of thousands of people. He credits Edmond pastor Craig Groeschel for “discovering me, mentoring me and believing in me” and can be found at youth camps, women’s events, men’s retreats, family weekends, conferences and churches all over the country. But, he explains how much he still has to learn about parenting and that it took him 41 years to figure out what he wanted to be when he “grew up”… an epic parent.
by Heide Brandes
(L to R) BLHOT members Larry Wallace, Richard Lane, Bill Decker, Tom Keith, Jerry Martin & Mel Barker
s a young man — barely a teenager — Jerry Martin was fascinated by motorcycles and the life of a man on a bike. It seems as though every young man in the 1960s held that fascination. It was the decade of bike gangs and the open road, and even young men from Holdenville were caught up in the rumbling allure of the iron horse. “I was like the rest of them. I loved motorcycles,” Martin said. “I had a small one in junior high. It was a small Honda. It wasn’t fast, but it was loud. It wasn’t a Triumph or anything. The street thugs rode the Triumphs. They were the outlaws. In Holdenville, it didn’t take much to be an outlaw.” In the large banquet room of the Bricktown Crabshack, these outlaws and motorcycle boys gathered to talk about vintage motorcycles, about future rides and about the past. Much like the kickstart bikes of old, the vintage bikes built before 1975,
these bikers have a bit of old iron in them, too. The majority of the members of the “Blimeys, Limeys and a Hog or Two” (BLHOT) motorcycle club are older than 60. The youngest member is a rare 26-year-old and the oldest member, “Buzz” Forsythe, of Edmond, is 90. With $30,000 knee replacements kick-starting classic European vintage cycles, age doesn’t matter on the open road with a roaring engine underneath you. BLHOT members — like the vintage iron — are tough and stand the test of time. “Mostly, our main purpose is to show up with these vintage bikes and have occasional rides,” said Tom Keith, a member since 1988. BLHOT began in late 1985. Martin moved to Moore in 1982 and at the time, he owned the outlaw’s Triumph Norton, but fatherhood made him
give up the lifestyle… for about a year. “I bought another bike, and I knew a bunch of guys who had some old bikes, so I thought we’d see about doing a meet. We just printed up some flyers and met at Woodson Park in 1985,” Martin recalls. About 60 motorcycles showed up at that first event, and Bill Decker, another founding member of the club, said everyone got to talking about old motorcycles — which were for sale and who could work on them. “I had a motorcycle for sale at the time,” Decker said. “We actually began the club in my driveway.” BLHOT never looked back as membership continued to grow. But without a name, the motorcycle club was a little lost. “We chose BLHOT, which stands for ‘Blimey Limeys and a Hog or Two,’”
“On my 60th birthday I bought a bike that was the same age as me.”
Decker said. “But we welcome all bikes now.” All the members have their stories. Lyle Henry, of Oklahoma City, owns a collection of older vintage bikes, and when he takes his strawberry-blond hair (now with more gray than strawberry) out of its ponytail, you can see the wild youth show through. “I rode bikes in high school for the excitement of it and to impress women,” he said. “But then I had an accident and a couple of kids, and I gave it up for 30 years. On my 60th birthday, I bought a bike that was the same age as me. Riding old bikes is much different than new bikes. You have foot clutches and suicide switches and they’re kick-start. I have bikes that are even older than me.” Forsythe is still a bit of a legend and hero to the current members. Every now and then, a “funny Buzz” story will pop up; like that time he got sick and tired of all the cars speeding down 15th Street in Edmond where he lived. “So he got so mad at people speeding down the street, he pulls his black BMW (motorcycle) out by the sideway and starts pointing a hairdryer at cars on the road. He’s got this old WWII leather helmet on, trying to scare people into thinking he’s a cop,” said Larry Wallace, a white-haired spitfire of a man with no shortage of words or stories. “So the cops come by and — BAM — they hit their lights… and give him a thumbs-up.” Forsythe doesn’t ride as much anymore, but he does still own a vintage BMW with a sidecar. He had to get the sidecar when his bike fell over on him in the garage a few years ago. After honking the horn repeatedly, his wife found him and insisted he give up riding. The sidecar was the compromise. Age and old bikes aren’t for the weak. Neither is easy to handle, but both can sure be fun. Since that first meet-up in 1985, the club has continuously shown its “old iron” at the Jeff Williams Classic Car and Motorcycle Show. The members are also staunch supporters of the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum in Warwick. “Last September, 13 of us riding ‘old iron’ rode from Baxter Springs, Kansas to Texas on old Route 66,” Wallace said. “The oldest bike was a 1959 BSA and the newest was a 1975 Suzuki. We rode 424 miles.” If age is any indication, vintage will continue to live on in both the riders and the bikes. Creaky parts and creaky knees can’t hold back a passion for the open road. “We’ve lost a few members to the Grim Reaper, but we enjoy riding together. We all just ride at the same pace these days — a little slower, though some people ride faster than they should,” Keith said, with a pointed look at Wallace who turns 67 in August. “Riding a motorcycle isn’t like a car. It takes skill, and sometimes that skill can decline with age.” Members like 61-year-old James Shearer plan to never stop riding. With his massive collection of vintage motorcycles — ranging from P 50s Hondas, BMW K-1100 RS, 1978 CB 750S and 1963 305 Dream — he said he’ll choose riding with BLHOT over riding in a car any day. “I hope to ride until I die,” Shearer said. For more information about BLHOT, go to blhot.webs.com.
MAKING A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE by Christy Shuler
Guinea pig farmer Teresa in Tancayllo
dmond resident Erin Engelke may live in Oklahoma, but her philanthropic work at World Neighbors extends across the globe. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, World Neighbors is a charitable organization seeking to solve the issues of hunger, poverty and disease in underdeveloped countries. Having been employed with World Neighbors for eight years, Engelke says their goal is not simply to provide food, build a school, or as she calls it, put a Band-Aid on the problem; rather, World Neighbors offers long-term solutions that enable the communities to help themselves toward a better future. So far, World Neighbors has served 45 countries. The 61-year-old organization uses a variety of methods, depending on each community’s specific needs. Peru, for example, has needs which circle back to their lack of funding. As Engelke explains, these regions were without the resources to be able
to take out any sort of loan before World Neighbors arrived, as financial institutions were unavailable. World Neighbors began a savings and credit model in which residents borrow funds for a nominal fee which is then directed back into the community. It was World Neighbors’ long-standing relations with Peru that recently brought Engelke to their remote villages. While there, Engelke provided training and was able to see firsthand how her organization was able to transform the people. The trip, however, was not easy. Aside from her primary flight to Lima, Peru, Engelke then took an additional flight inland, followed by a three to fourhour bus ride through the winding roads of the Andes. “The people we work with literally live beyond the end of the road,” she said. In just three days, Engelke’s group visited seven to eight isolated communities, traveling hours between them. Each village ranged from 19 to 100 families. While there, they heard a slew of remark-
When raised properly, guinea pig is a delicacy in those regions.
able success stories. One particular woman, who Engelke says “lit up the room,” claimed to have once been insecure, with little self-confidence. Now, she works as the president of her community, handling the transactions of their savings and credit group. This story is indicative of just one of World Neighbors’ goals: empowerment of women. Though in most of these villages, women do a large percentage of the work and physical labor, they feel neither their value nor their ability to handle themselves in business and finance. Now, these women are taking charge of their communities, believing in themselves and teaching their children the same. In fact, it was another young lady who, by the age of 11, started her own business breeding guinea pigs, in an effort to raise money for school. When raised properly, guinea pig is a delicacy in those regions. Engelke even got the opportunity to taste the dish. As a special treat, a group of students surprised the group with the dish they call “cuy.” Engelke says that while it was not quite chicken, the meat was salty, greasy and surprisingly good.
continued on page 40...
Voted Edmond's Favorite Place to Buy Flooring by Edmond Life & Leisure
...continued from page 38 The guinea pigs would turn out to be only one of the visit’s many surprises, which included little to no plumbing and high altitudes. Being in the Andes, the group went from below sea level to nearly 10,000 feet above in a short amount of time. To prevent altitude sickness, they were given coca tea, made from the leaves of the coca plant. Engelke says the negatives did nothing to quell her opinion of the remarkable view. “The landscape and the lushness of the mountains and fields was beyond beautiful,” she recalls. While the conditions of Peru varied in terms of weather, climate and what Americans consider the bare necessities, Engelke notes that when it got down to it, the people were exactly the same. “I’m a mom. I want my children to be healthy. I want to be able to provide for my family and the mothers I met want the exact same thing,” she explained. Though they couldn’t communicate directly, she felt a connection with the local women and said they had an unspoken language from which they communicated. She also pointed out that although these individuals work incredibly hard on a daily basis, they are the happiest people you will ever meet. “It was beneficial for me to see how World Neighbors was able to help give them that joy,” she said.
After Peru’s recent political unrest, it is clear that they more than deserve some positivity. It wasn’t long ago that this region was buried in violence by a rebel group which forced many out of their homeland. In addition, the communities of Peru have often received promises of aid from other organizations Cristina, Nicol Ragland (L.A. Photographer), Paulina & her son, Erin Engelke, Beverley Golden (writer for Huffington Post) & Adriana Delgado that later failed to follow through. The stress of both circumstances made Of course, such large-scale endeavors always it difficult for Peruvians to trust outsiders for a long rely on the helping hands of others. There are sevtime. However, with patience and much work, eral ways to volunteer, including the upcoming World Neighbors has built that trust not only with WorldFest, an international shopping event held Peru, but other countries throughout the world. at the OKC Farmers Public Market on September According to Engelke, World Neighbors gen22. Those wishing to volunteer, donate, or learn erally spends anywhere from eight to 12 years in a more can go to the World Neighbors website at country and will eventually leave to allow the comwww.wn.org. munities to thrive independently. She’s looking forward to visiting Kenya and Tanzania later this year.
OUTLOOK by Krystal Harlow
Name: Trudy Roberts, Grandmother Extraordinaire Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Well, I grew up in Oklahoma City, the third of four girls, married when I was 20 and had four children. When did you move to Edmond? I remarried in 1981 and moved to Edmond with my husband Jim and his four children - together with my four children. And I can tell you, eight is definitely enough! Did you go to college? Yes I went to OSU '56-'58 and was actually a cheerleader there, then graduated from UCO with a teaching degree. I taught elementary school for four years before having children. Eight kids - so that must mean you have a lot of grandchildren now? Yes, I have 26 grandkids and six great grandkids and they are wonderful. So, are holidays pretty crazy? I love to decorate and plan events so it's a lot of fun. At Christmas, we rent a place and all the children act out the Nativity story in costumes. Sometime's we'll do a theme. Like one year I handpainted full-size custom tee-pees for each family with all their gifts inside. This year I think we might do come as your favorite movie. For Easter one year we had miniature horses pulling a wagon and all the kids got to take a ride. Did you say handpainted tee-pees? Are you a painter? Yes, I've always loved to paint. I used to do posters and advertising for companies. These days I take art classes at my friend Sue Rice's house. Any other fun and quirky things you used to do or do now? Well, I used to put on fashion shows for department stores. And I've sewn dresses for dress shops. I play piano by ear and I've sang in a traveling choir that toured and performed in old cathedrals in and around London. I've also been known to be a bit of a pool shark. Where else have you traveled? Jim and I just got back from Greece and we visited the Island of Santarina which was just beautiful. We've been to Alaska and Switzerland and Istanbul, Turkey. They have a mall there with 3,000 shops. Heaven! What's your favorite part about Edmond? I love all the special events like Crazy Daze, arts & crafts shows, the Farmers Market, the Card Board Boat Regatta and parades. I have a great group of friends that love to shop, attend weekend retreats, art classes and church functions and of course we love going out to eat!
Photo provided by Kimari K Ranney