World of Wine
From the Heart
The Newest Trend in Travel
Salute to the Fallen
Uncork a Bottle
FEB 2010 • Vol. 6 No. 2
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT DNA Galleries
26 MENTOR A Story of Hope
LETTERS FROM LOUISE Heavenly Valentine
30 GUN SLINGERS The Great Edmond Train Robbery
10 SPORTS Mountain Biking
32 ON THE RISE Arcadia is Growing
12 BEST OF EDMOND Salazar Roofing & Primrose School
34 LOCKED UP Female Incarcerations in Oklahoma
14 DINING GUIDE The Melting Pot 18 HOME & GARDEN Cooking in the Kitchen 22 FINE LIVING Loving Wine 25 HEALTH & FITNESS Sandwiched in the Middle 39 AROUND TOWN
36 PATRIOT RIDERS Salute to the Fallen 38 Q&A TWITTERPATED 40 COUCH SURFING The New Way to Travel
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A rts & Entertainment
“That’s who we’re trying to support, the younger artists, so they don’t have to move somewhere else and try to make it in another city.
SUPPORT LOCAL ART by Nathan Winfrey
ess than two years ago, Dylan and Amanda Bradway established DNA Galleries in the historic Plaza District of Oklahoma City. Since then, their space has become a hub for urban contemporary art, exposing lovers of the craft to the unique style, as well as giving artists an outlet for their craft. “There are a lot of young artists who are very talented and trying to make their way,” Dylan says. “That’s who we’re trying to support, the younger artists, so they don’t have to move somewhere else and try to make it in another city. They can have a good art career here.” Dylan and Amanda studied graphic design at the University of Central Oklahoma and lived in Edmond for years. Married at 21, and now in their mid-twenties, the artist couple uses DNA Galleries as a home, as well as a studio. “Amanda has been the head of DNA Galleries, putting the store together and doing most of the footwork for it,” Dylan says. “Amanda’s been kind of the backbone.” At her second job, Amanda works with her father, Scott Weathers, at Weathers TV in Edmond. The business has been there for more than 50 years; her grandfather started it and still works there. Influenced by storybooks, graffiti culture and Dr. Seuss, Dylan’s droopy, gray humanoids are endearing and instantly recognizable, as are Amanda’s Asianinfused characters.
“Growing up, I was very interested in graffiti art and urban art. When I got to college, I was interested in the illustration style instead of fine art and painting. I guess you could call it the low brow, urban art scene,” Dylan says. He uses clean lines and mixes textured, layered backgrounds with flat color planes and detailed line work. “Amanda got me hooked on using wood as a canvas. Once I got interested in that, it kind of sprung to life,” he says. Dylan took his artwork to Germany in September. “It was a successful show. I sold six or seven pieces and a bunch of prints and shirts,” he says. “I’ve been through many different styles in the last few years,” Amanda says. “Artists on the west coast inspired me to paint on wood. I like the way you can see the wood grain underneath, so I started playing with that.” She works with feeling, with an image she sees in her head. Next, she plans to focus on a theme, like women dressed as animals or woman-animal hybrids. Amanda makes necklaces and wood bracelets featuring her characters. She recently showed her work at the Girly Show and is planning a trunk show for spring. “This year, I want to have one big show at 611 Creative; do a bunch of really big, nice work and make it a big production,” she says. She will start off the series with painted longboard decks. Amanda recently did a group show with 25 artists. Each artist painted a longboard deck and more than half of them sold. “The art scene here
is very communal. I think artists in Oklahoma City are as competitive in quality as artists from anywhere else.” She and Dylan travel a lot and they agree art from Oklahoma is often better than it is in other places. “There is this energy here to support local artists,” she says. “That’s what we’re trying to do at DNA Galleries, to help people appreciate art that isn’t traditional and make a market for that here, where people don’t just look at it and say, ‘That’s weird.’ They look at it and appreciate that it’s different and appreciate the technique and maybe spend some money on it.” What began as a showcase for local artists has grown to include regional and national talent. The 2010 schedule is already completely booked, and includes an artist from Germany. The studio is also a store for artist-produced goods, like clothing and accessories. DNA Galleries hosts openings for artists the second Friday of every month as part of the “LIVE! On the Plaza” artwalk, from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m., with live music and a catered bar. Artists interested in showing their work at DNA Galleries are encouraged to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or bring in a sample of their pieces to 1705 B N.W. 16th St. For more information, visit www.dnagalleries.com.
Strong Thoughts by Dylan Bradway
L etters from Louise
HEAVENLY VALENTINE by Louise Tucker Jones
have always had a special affection for valentines—not those five-dollar cards that require extra postage or the commercial packages of kid’s cards with their tiny envelopes. Not even the beautifully decorated heart-shaped boxes of candy, though I wouldn’t turn any of them down. No, my love of valentines goes way back to a little rural schoolhouse where valentines were hand made with red, pink and white construction paper. I can still smell the thick paste and sticky glue we used to create those small heart-shaped messages for our classmates. But our greatest masterpieces were the cards we made to take home to our mothers. The teacher gave us delicate, white, heart-shaped doilies to use with our construction paper valentines. Oh my goodness, what beautiful cards were made in our country schoolroom. We folded, cut, pasted and came up with the most unique designs imaginable. Some students were content to fold a sheet of construction paper, draw a heart on the front and write “Happy Valentine’s Day” in thick crayon. Others filled a red piece of paper with so many tiny white hearts that it looked like snow. Then there were those creative geniuses who drew hearts with lines coming from them as if they were “beating” out the crayoned words, “I love you.” I, on the other hand, loved the lacey look of a white
doily on pink paper with a red heart in the middle, scribbled with sweet sentiments. I’m sure my mother loved it too. As a young mother, I also gave my children creative license to make their own valentines with much the same materials I used as a child. However, my clever son, now a grown-up artist, always found ways to surprise me. Things like little hearts that opened, revealing special messages. He used colors, shapes, yarn, whatever he could find to make a memorable card. And like my mother, I loved those precious creations that smelled of Elmer’s glue and colored markers. Today, I receive hand-made valentines from my four-year-old and two-year-old grandchildren. They have hearts of paper, felt, fabric and glitter along with
Louise’s grandchildren, Alex and A xton
about the author Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author and inspirational speaker. Author and co-author of three books, her work has been featured in numerous publications. Mother of four and grandmother of three, Louise resides in Edmond with her husband, Carl and son, Jay. Contact her at: LouiseTJ@cox.net or www.LouiseTuckerJones.com.
In Timberbrooke Offices
15th Santa Fe
toddler and pre-school drawings. I immediately display them on my refrigerator door for all to see, even if glitter sprinkles to the floor below. They are treasures that warm this grandmother’s heart in the dead of winter. But there is still another valentine I enjoy. Long ago, God slipped a special love note into my heart with the words from a children’s song. “Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so….” Today, I find many love notes in the Bible, beautiful messages of hope, and treasure them in my heart. Lately, my heart has felt the icy blasts of illness, hospitalization of family members, loneliness and more. I find myself in need of a little sunshine so I bring to memory those love notes God wrote on my heart so long ago. And just in case you too need a special valentine sentiment, take these words God spoke in Jeremiah 31:3 to heart: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.” Now that, my friend, is what I call a heavenly valentine!
ountain biking can be a fun, challenging sport for skilled cyclists and beginners alike. Participants ride off-road or on wooded trails on bikes specially-designed for demanding terrain. Cyclists have been modifying bikes for off-road riding since the 1800s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s when the sport entered the modern era and it has grown in popularity ever since. Ryan West, Edmond resident, tore his knee twice riding freestyle BMX. “When I tore my ACL, I had to find some type of exercise that I could do. When my knee was better, I started mountain biking and I fell in love with it,” he says. Mountain biking is a softimpact sport and is a lot easier on damaged knees than running or jogging. He says cross-country mountain biking is a perfect balance between BMX and road biking. West has been mountain biking for a couple of years. “Road biking is fun, but with mountain biking, there’s a lot more skill involved,” he says. “You’re outside, you’re in the woods. It’s good atmosphere and great exercise.” There are principally two kinds of mountain bikes. Hardtail bikes have front suspension only, while softail bikes have full suspension, with shocks on the front and back. “On more aggressive trails, a softail bike’s rear wheel is going to stay on the trail better and it won’t beat the rider up as much,” says Henry Holasek, owner of Al’s Bicycles in Edmond for nearly 24 years. “The better the quality of your bike, the better it will perform and the less apt you are to get hurt,” Holasek says. “A better bike is also lighter weight. In what we do, the lighter the bike, the better it will perform.” “The health benefits of cycling are huge,” Holasek says. He says the sport is great exercise, and that using a bike for short commutes has the additional bonus of cutting down on car exhaust fumes in the environment. However, riding a mountain bike on the road will take more effort than riding a road bike, due to a mountain bike’s increased rolling resistance. Holasek says the most important aspects of bicycle maintenance are to keep bikes clean and tuned up. Al’s Bicycles offers free tune-ups for bikes purchased from them, as long as they belong to the original owner. A tune-up includes adjustments to brakes and gears, lubrication of the chain and cables, ball-bearing adjustments and minor straightening of the wheels.
by Nathan Winfrey
Safety is important for mountain bikers, as it is for all cyclists. Helmets are worn almost universally. Gloves, pads and body armor offer additional protection. On the road, cyclists are to ride with traffic, use hand signals and obey the rules posted for cars and other vehicles. It’s against the law to ride on sidewalks, although Holasek says that rule is not usually enforced. He says it’s safer to ride on the street than it is to ride on the sidewalk because motorists are looking for bikes to be on the street, and may not notice one on the sidewalk until it’s too late. “Cyclists need to be aware of cars,” he says. “You need to ride alert. iPods are a bad idea.” West encourages beginners to get educated and make sure they know how to use the bike properly. He also stresses the importance of wearing a helmet. “Ride with people who are more experienced, that way you can learn the ropes,” he says. “Learn etiquette. If you’re slower, let faster people pass you.”
“You’re outside, you’re in the woods. It’s good atmosphere and great exercise.” Mountain biking trails can be found at Lake Arcadia, Lake Stanley-Draper, Lake Thunderbird and Lake Hefner. The Clear Bay Multi-Use trail at Lake Thunderbird includes a teeter-totter obstacle. Cyclists must ride up one side and down the other. “Every course has its own unique flavor,” West says. “Bluff Creek by Hefner is more technical, and Arcadia is more cardio-oriented. You’ve got to huff and puff.” The Oklahoma Earthbike Fellowship promotes many mountain biking opportunities throughout the state. The biggest mountain biking event in the metro area is the Red Dirt Rendezvous series, and Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day offers a chance to introduce children to the sport. For more information, visit www.okearthbike.com. Al’s Bicycles offers free bicycling classes every third Saturday of the month, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. Classes are open to everyone and taught by certified instructors who cover bike rules, helmet wear, flat repair, mount and dismount, etc. For more information, call 341-6952 or visit them at 2624 S. Broadway Court.
Best of Edmond
You’re Covered by Rebecca Wulff
ou might’ve noticed the bright yellow billboards, fleet of trucks and television commercials around town with the well-known “Salazar Roofing” logo. Mike Salazar, owner of Salazar Roofing, goes the extra mile with his advertising, and it shows. He’s been in the roofing industry for over 25 years and decided to open his own business in 2004. “God gave me a vision,” Salazar says. “I saw thousands of yard signs with the name ‘Salazar’ on them. I started working on it and my vision came true. We’ve done thousands of roofs throughout the state.” When Salazar first told his wife he wanted to start a roofing business named “Salazar Roofing” she told him no one would call. She advised him to use an American name, but he had a vision in mind. “I’m a man of God. I truly believe everything comes from Heaven. God is good. As long as your faith is strong, God will take care of the rest.”
Salazar was 16 years old when he moved to the US to pursue new opportunities. “Anyone who works hard can do anything here,” he says. “The state of Oklahoma has been great to us. Some of the best people in the world are here, and I put that up on my billboards.” They stand out from the competition by offering additional services like gutter, siding, windows and paint. They have also begun to place offices all around the Oklahoma City area. Salazar and his family recently visited his hometown in Mexico and took food and toys to the residents. “We had a great time. Now that we’re in a position to give to others, we’re going to do that. My wife and I will continue to make those trips to Mexico.” Family is important to Salazar and the company is truly a family business. His daughter, Brandy, is
the manager; one of his sons, Michael, is a salesman in the commercial department; and another son, Eric, is a salesman in the residential department. What started with a dream became a reality. Mike Salazar never lost sight of his vision and his passion for roofing. “I’m in love with my work,” he proudly says. “You have to love what you do to make your business grow.” When it comes to roofing, Salazar Roofing has got you covered. Visit their new Edmond location at 711 S. Broadway.
Getting Schooled by Rebecca Wulff
orking with children is a joy for Sharon Tanner, owner of Primrose School in Edmond. “There are days when something might not be going the way I would like and all I have to do is look at all those faces and my day brightens,” she says. An Oklahoma native, Tanner started her career in education when her husband’s company transferred their family to Taiwan. She taught at the American school where her children attended. Her students were mostly Chinese three-year-olds who spoke very little English. When they moved back home to Oklahoma, the family visited her husband’s brother in Houston and toured the local Primrose School. “I felt I had found my calling,” she says. “I have always had a passion for children and education. I knew I wanted to be a part of the Primrose franchise after that first visit.” The school offers many unique benefits, including SACS-CASI accredited curriculums which are duplicated throughout the country. “Structure and
consistency is one key to our success,” says Tanner. “Our parents and children know what to expect at all times.” Primrose also offers a before and after school program for school age children up to sixth grade, which extends into summer. Each day can be a new adventure in a school and Tanner recounts an experience she had with an unwelcome visitor. A snake was accidentally let in by the overnight cleaning crew. “I don’t particularly care for snakes but decided if anyone should search, that person should be me.” She found a small grass snake curled up under a rug and placed the snake inside a plastic container. “This became a wonderful science project for the day. Unfortunately, no other staff member wanted to show and tell the snake.” “Even though owning and running a business takes a lot of hard work, this is not a job to me,” says Tanner. “I am one of the very few, fortunate people I know who has fulfilled a life-long dream. Not only do I get to be a positive part of children’s lives, I get
Primrose School of Edmond
to use our resources to give back to our community. This is an important lesson we teach the children. I am blessed to be a part of an organization that promotes educating children and teaching them to be good citizens.” For more information about Primrose School in Edmond, call 285-6787.
D ining Guide
The Melting Pot by Donna Walker
omance is in the air every day at the Melting Pot. From the intimate atmosphere to the creative cocktails, amore is served abundantly here. You’ll know you’re in for a memorable evening when you take your seat in “Lover’s Lane” and sip the Love Martini with heart-shaped strawberries floating in a sweet concoction of rum, Peach Schnapps and cranberry juice. Oklahoma franchisee Mark and Becky Chapman, opened the first Melting Pot in the state in 2004 in Tulsa. The Oklahoma City Bricktown location soon followed, opening in 2007. Since then, the restaurant’s popularity has soared so much that an empty table is rarely seen. Diners can enjoy a love-infused four-course event or choose to enjoy individual courses. For the full treatment, start with one of their delicious cheese fondues. Dig into the Traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue
with Gruyère and Emmenthaler Swiss cheeses, white wine, garlic, nutmeg, lemon and Kirschwasser. Next, try a cool, crisp salad such as the Spinach Mushroom, Caesar or House. You’ll find two Melting Pot exclusive dressings, including a raspberry vinaigrette and tangy house dressing available. The third course is the star of the feast with succulent choices like Land & Sea featuring New York Strip, chicken breast and white shrimp. You can also choose from Cedar Plank Salmon, The Vegetarian and more. Four cooking styles are available, including Mojo, Coq au Vin or the classic Bourguigonne. As the crowning finale to your romantic evening, try one of The Melting Pot’s 10 different styles of chocolate, or create your own combination. Some of the decadent options include S’mores, Bananas Foster, Snickers or the Flaming Turtle with milk chocolate, caramel and chopped pecans flambéed tableside. Fresh strawberries, bananas, cheesecake,
David Rupley & Becky Chapman, The
marshmallows and pound cake can all be enjoyed with your fondue. While the Melting Pot is known for its rich flavors and superb wine list which boasts 250 wines, its best known as the place for celebrating special occasions. This year’s Valentines package will make the holiday a memorable one. Diners will enjoy a four course meal featuring loaded baked potato cheese, cherry blossom salad and entrees including filet mignon, lobster, chicken, ravioli and bratwurst. The dessert will be made up of a strawberry mascarpone shortcake fondue. For an additional fee, true romantics may want to purchase a package that includes guaranteed seating in Lover’s Lane, flowers, wine and a photo souvenir. Y There are many great dining choices in the metro area. If you yearn for a dining experience, The Melting Pot at 4 E. Sheridan is the place to be. Call 235-1000 early for Valentine’s Day reservations.
D ining Guide
Chefs di Domani This fabulous Crème’ Anglaise at Chefs di Domani, inside the Platt College Culinary school is the perfect ending to any of their tasty entrees. No details are spared, from the fresh raspberries and whipped cream to the baked pastry and the caramelized sugar art on top. Diners can enjoy appetizers like coconut shrimp, seafood sampler or strawberry spinach salad. Entrees include Black Angus burgers and chicken penne pasta. Everything is prepared fresh by the student chefs. Stop by 2727 W. Memorial. Lunch is served Thursday and Friday from 11:00a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and dinner is served from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Zarates Taste the freshness and fun flavors from South America, Central America, Caribbean and Mexico try Zarate’s Three Citrus Cuban Pork Chops (pictured), Jamaican Curry Chicken, Brazilian BBQ Chicken/ Shrimp or Juicy Beef Sauteed Peruvian Lomo Saltado. They Offer International sodas, a full bar and live Latin music every Wednesday evening. Learn to Salsa dance every first Saturday night of the month. Come join us for great fun and service-Latin Style. View the online menu at www.zarateslatingrill.com. Call 330-6400 for call-ahead seating and to-go orders. 706 S. Broadway.
Tropical Cafe Homemade goodness so sweet and delicious you wonâ€™t want to share! This light and luscious dessert crepe can be made to order. Each homemade crepe is topped with whipped cream and filled with strawberries, bananas, chocolate or whatever creation you can come up with. Try one of Tropical Cafeâ€™s new cupcakes or sushi rolls. Their tiger roll has coconut shrimp tempura and cream cheese, topped with fresh avocado, crabmeat, smelt and grilled teriyaki eel. Stop in at 304 S. Kelly. For more menu items. visit www.OklahomaTropicalCafe.com.
H ome & Garden
by Kathryn Spurgeon
his Valentine’s Day, offer a gourmet experience that your significant other will never forget. Need a little advice from a professional chef? These cooking tips on seasonings, utensils and preparation can help you whip up a romantic Valentine’s Day meal. “Don’t be intimidated by spices,” said Chef Shauna Petty. One sign of a good chef is the use of seasonings. As a highly-qualified chef with a degree in culinary arts from Oklahoma State University, she has worked in fine dining restaurants such as The Summit Club in Tulsa and Emeril’s Delmonico Steakhouse in Las Vegas. “Learn to utilize a variety of spices in the correct portion. Try different combinations. Your range of dishes can expand by effectively using spices,” she explains. “It changes the flavor. Experiment with a neutral, forgiving food such as potato or chicken.” For Valentine’s Day, think about using spices that are considered aphrodisiac, such as basil, curry, cinnamon, vanilla, rosemary, celery or cayenne pepper. Thyme, rosemary and marjoram are better for meats like beef, veal and lamb, while tarragon, fennel and chervil are great with lighter fish and chicken dishes. Also for those light meats, thyme, dill or lemongrass can be used. Chives are great for adding an onion flavor to a dish while adding a little color.
The right cooking utensils are also important. Invest in good quality and your tools can last a lifetime. According to Chef Shauna, you will need a top quality whisk, wooden or metal cooking spoons, peeler, pastry brush, measuring cups, tongs and spatula. “I love the new, heat-resistant silicon spatulas; they will have a red handle.” Quality knifes are an important element in any kitchen. “There are two top brands of ice-forged knifes, Wutshof and Henkel, both German knife makers,” she said. “For superior quality, the blade and handle should be all one piece for better balance and handling.” There are a wide variety of knives in the market today and it can be difficult to determine the purpose of each. Serrated knives are typically used for slicing bread, while straight edge knives will do the remainder of your kitchen cutting, depending on the size and shape. The most used knives are all-purpose chef knifes and paring knifes. Chef knives have a long blade and will handle your basic food preparation like chopping, slicing and mincing. While a paring knife’s blade is quite short and used for peeling and coring fruits and vegetables. A filet knife has a long, narrow blade and is handy when trimming fat from meat or skinning fish. Choose an appropriate size knife for you. “Most women with small hands, like me, would use an
“Your meal can be healthy and yummy. Keep it fun, light and special. After all, it’s said that food is the way to the heart.”
Aphrodisiac foods include oysters, avocados, bananas and asparagus. Try the web for new recipes. “Don’t make it too heavy of a meal,” said Chef Shauna. “Do a couple of light courses, like a light salad or appetizer. Make smaller portions and more courses and rest before serving dessert.”
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8-inch knife,” said Chef Shauna. “Hold the knife before you buy it to test for balance and handling. Always keep the knife sharpened (it’s safer) and never put an all-purpose knife into the dishwasher. It dulls it.” Knives should be washed by hand and wiped clean immediately after use to prevent discoloration. Wood and polyethylene cutting boards create less resistance and should be used in place of plastic, ceramic or metal cutting boards. Knives should be stored in knife blocks whenever possible to prevent damage to their sharp blades. Chef Shauna also offers tips for a perfect Valentine’s Day dinner. First, plan ahead. Go shopping for all the ingredients and prepare the food as much as possible the day before. Have a good execution plan, making sure everything will be ready at the same time and don’t forget to set the mood with special place settings.
Continued from page 19 “Your meal can be healthy and yummy,” she said. “Keep it fun, light and special. After all, it’s said that food is the way to the heart.” Chef Shauna teaches cooking classes in homes and can prepare a meal of your choice while teaching you professional tips and techniques in your own kitchen. These lessons are geared to help you become a better home cook. If you would like to hire a personal chef, or just impress that special someone, call 260-0476 or visit www.chefshauna.com.
Guide To Spices Chicken Basil, chervil, cumin, fennel, tarragon
Beef Chili powder, marjoram, rosemary, thyme
Fish Celery seed, dill, lemongrass, sage, thyme
Chef Shauna’s Banana’s Foster Ingredients: ½ tsp cinnamon ¼ cup butter, unsalted 3 bananas, sliced 2/3 cup brown sugar Vanilla Ice Cream 3 Tbsp rum 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract Preparation: In a sauté pan, combine the butter and brown sugar. Cook on medium high heat until bubbly and completely combined. Add the rum and light to flambé (optional). Cook off alcohol for 30 seconds. Add the bananas, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix well. Serve hot over 1 or 2 scoops of ice cream.
For more information call 348-6777 or stop by the store at 2702 S. Broadway
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F ine Living
SHARE SOME WINE
by Rebecca Wulff
ine and romance seem to go hand in hand and one of the most iconic symbols for Valentine’s Day is sharing a bottle of fine wine with your loved one by candlelight. Whether you’re spending the day quietly at home or celebrating by dining out, everyone can benefit from expanding their knowledge of wine or trying something new. Two locals in the wine industry have offered to share their wisdom on the unique world of wine. As a member of the Wine Century Club, Kenny Baldridge has tried over 100 different wine grape varieties. “I love how deeply you can involve yourself in the history and geography of all the different wine cultures of the world,” he says. “The wine world is incredibly diverse and rich with history. You can really geek out on all the grapes and regions.” “Don’t confine yourself to one type of wine. Wine is subjective and deeply personal. The best bottle of wine is the one you enjoy,” said Baldridge. “If you have a good relationship with your favorite wine shop, then they can help you on your path to wine enlightenment.” Baldridge, who owns Coffee Creek Wine Shop, advises trying a little of everything and all different grape varieties; reds, whites, sparkling and ports. “First, find a store with friendly and helpful staff that likes wine and is willing to spend time with you. Then, be open to the experience and have fun.” “Wine is like food,” said Baldridge. “If you like steak, you will probably like red wine. If you tend to eat lighter foods, you may like lighter styles of wine. If you have a sweet tooth, there are plenty of sweet wines to choose from.”
Kenny Baldridge, Coffee Creek Wine Shop
If you’re looking to try something different this Valentine’s Day, Baldridge recommends a new wine named Gala 1 from Luigi Bosca, a winery in Argentina. It’s a blend of Malbec with Petit Verdot and Tannat with aromas of plums, figs and sweet vanilla. “We tend to think of South America as a great place to find ‘cheap’ wine, but an exciting discovery for me has been how incredible the wine is at the reserve level,” says Baldridge. “Your dollars really go a long way there, even when you’re buying a more expensive bottle of wine.” Baldridge’s personal favorite wine is the 2007 Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir. “It’s only available in restaurants, I had this at Boulevard Steak House and it’s incredible,” he says. “It’s a world class wine that you can experience for less than 100 dollars at a restaurant - which is a pretty incredible feat. It is rich and elegant at the same time.”
“Wine is subjective and deeply personal. The best bottle of wine is the one you enjoy.” Todd Hall owns Vintner’s Cellar Custom Winery and has been a vintage wine maker for nearly 12 years. He agrees with Baldridge as a fellow fan of South American wines and has recently been enjoying Chilean wines. If you’re interested in making your own wine, Vinter’s can help you create a unique blend of your own. At the end of this eight to nine week process, you’ll receive corks and custom labels. “We take care of everything for you,” says Hall. “You can even come in to see the different processes.” Hall creates custom wine using imported grape juices from California, Oregon, Washington, Italy, France, Australia and New Zealand. If you would like to keep a few of your favorite wine bottles on hand, Hall says storage temperatures depend on the type of wine. “The biggest enemy of wine is heat. If you have a wine cellar you should keep it at around 50 degrees,” he says. “Red wine can be stored at room temperature or slightly chilled, about 62 to 71 degrees. White wines are served at 45 to 50 degrees.” Have fun expanding your wine horizons. Get your friends involved by hosting a wine tasting party at home and ask each of your guests to bring their favorite bottle. Make this Valentine’s Day magical by cuddling up with a romantic movie and share a bottle of merlot, or rent a horse drawn carriage and toast to your love with a bottle of cabernet. There are an abundant amount of avenues you can take to discover wine. Whether you opt for local wine shops, wineries, online information or wine clubs - you can find the perfect wine outlet for your tastes and palate preferences. Step out of your comfort zone and try a little bit of everything. Stop in for a wine tasting anytime at Vintner’s Cellar Custom Winery located at 1389 East 15th. Or, pick up a new bottle of wine at Coffee Creek Wine Shop at 775 W. Covell.
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EQUAL HOUSING LENDER
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The Five “S’s” of Evaluating Wine It may look complicated, but wine tasting is all about the senses. See - the wine color can give you a clue to the age of the wine. White wine will gain color, while red will lose color and turn slightly brown around the rim. Swirl - when you swirl you’re aerating the wine which releases its aromas and flavors. Notice the “legs,” observe how long the wine hangs to the side of the glass when you swirl. This determines richness and body. The longer it takes to come down, the more full bodied it is. Smell - directly over the rim of the glass for the aroma and bouquet. Does it remind you of a flower scent, cherry or melon? All of that is preparing you for the taste. If you smell something, write it down. That’s what your brain is sensing. Sip - and let the wine spread across your tongue, side to side before you swallow. Notice how silky it feels in your mouth. The first thing you’ll notice is the sweetness and dryness in the wine. Different parts of your tongue will experience different sensations. Young drinkers gravitate toward sweet wines at first. It’s like coffee drinkers who work into bolder and heavier beans. Savor - during a wine tasting, swallow just a small amount to note a lingering finish. If you’re tasting a lot of wines it’s acceptable to swallow a small amount to taste the finish and then spit the rest back into the glass. There’s no rhyme or reason to how much you’re supposed to taste. Information provided by Todd Hall, proprietor and vintner at Vintners Cellar Custom Winery
“Different parts of your tongue will experience different sensations.”
H ealth & Fitness D e b b ie c a ri n g fo r h e r g ra n d a u g h te dson, r, a n d m o th e r- in -l aw
aby Boomers are earning a new name – The Sandwich Generation. As they rapidly approach retirement, they find themselves stuck between raising their own children and caring for their elderly parents. It can be difficult for middle-aged children, often parents themselves, to adjust to this new rolereversal of caring for their aging parents, but they are not alone. Annette Stapp, the president of home health care organization Senior’s Helping Hands, says the rising number of adults taking care of their aging parents need to know “other people are going through the same thing. They’re not alone. There is information and help available out there for them.” Caring for an aging parent can mean assisting them anywhere from a few hours a week to providing continuous 24/7 care. Adults who work full-time, are often left with limited options. “You can care for your parents yourself, put them in a nursing home or get someone to come help you,” Stapp says. Debbie Burge; mother, grandmother, wife and daughter is a middle-aged woman with an aging mother-in-law and kids of her own. She is just one example of many adults who are trying to juggle her own family’s needs while caring for an aging parent. As a mother of three with one still in school, Burge’s first duties are to her husband of almost 30 years and their 11-year-old daughter. She drives 30 miles every morning to meet her other daughter, Whitney, halfway where Burge picks up her 5-monthold grandson to watch him while Whitney goes to
by Rachel Dattolo
h Thr ee gen era tion s wit y wa the on one
work. Later, after Burge picks up her own daughter from school, she meets her son-in-law to return her grandson back to his parents. To add to the mayhem, Burge’s aging motherin-law moved in with her last spring. Now, the stayat-home mom spends her days caring for her own daughter, her infant grandson, and her husband’s mother. Twenty-six-year-old UCO grad, Whitney Cheek doesn’t know what she would do without her mother’s help every day.
“They have an incredible amount of knowledge to share with us that we never experience.” Burge admits she can get overwhelmed at times, she says it helps to have her priorities straight. “There will always be dishes and laundry and dust,” she says, “but children are only children for a little while.” Burge is one of the many Americans caring for an aging parent and a family of their own, but for some, managing this situation single-handedly may not be possible. If families are unable to provide the necessary care, Stapp recommends home health, companion care or independent living situations. These options allow seniors to retain something as “theirs.”
Recognizing the loss of independence is one of Senior’s Helping Hands clients’ biggest fears, they strive to keep those under their care as physically and mentally active and independent for as long as possible. “Sometimes I think we kind of write them off a little bit,” Stapp says, “they can teach you so much about life. Give them as much time and attention as you can, and the respect they deserve.” “They have an incredible amount of knowledge to share with us that we never experience. Slow down just a minute and listen,” she says. “With our world the way it is today, we may never have some of that knowledge that they have. Absorb it while you can.” Even though Burge “can’t say that we planned for caring for an elderly parent, an 11-year-old and an infant all at the same time,” she says her life at home is right where she wants to be. “I was always torn when working outside the home. I’m glad I can help out and get to see more of my kids this way. These times are pretty special.” Any care or companionship you can provide for a senior is rewarding. Stapp adds, “At the end of the day, you go home and you know you made a difference in someone else’s life, not only to them, but to their family as well – because they can’t do it all.” For more information about Senior’s Helping Hands, call 513-6670.
MENTOR: I a story of hope
by Nathan Winfrey
n 2002, everything that could have gone wrong in Tom Pace’s business world did. He was depressed, suicidal and without hope. That’s when he met his mentor, Malcolm Hall, and his life changed forever. Pace published his life story titled “Mentor: The Kid & The CEO.” Pace says, “Without a mentor, I wouldn’t be alive today. I want people to know the importance of not only having a mentor, but also being a mentor.” With his book, Pace seeks to help others achieve success in their lives in areas of business, finance, spirituality, relationships and physical fitness. “Those are the five areas of life that a mentor can help us in,” he says. Pace is the founder and CEO of PaceButler Corporation, a company that buys used cell phones, located in Edmond. It started in 1987 with $62.53. Today, the corporation has more than 100 employees and does business worldwide. He refers to that crushing, two-year episode of hopelessness as his “desert.” He met Hall in the midst of it, when Pace called him to rent office space. “When he heard me on the phone, he said, ‘You sound depressed.’ I said, ‘I am depressed.’ He said, ‘Let’s have lunch,’” Pace recalls. “He said, ‘I know how you feel. I’ve been there. Together, we’ll get through this.’” Pace and Hall have met for one hour, every week, ever since. “My mentor taught me the value of capital reserve,” Pace says. “Most people don’t live with savings. Most people live paycheck to paycheck. It’s sad that people live that way, because we don’t have to.” Hall also mentored Pace in areas of relationships and spirituality. Soon, Pace started volunteering at prisons and got involved in Leadership Oklahoma City. He also returned to church. “When we have serious problems, that’s when we, whether we want to or not, need to help other people,” Pace says. “Our problems get magnified in our own minds. The fear can be paralyzing. When I take a recess and start to help other people in their lives, just by volunteering, I realize my problems aren’t that big and there is a solution to them. We’re all going to have problems. We’re always either getting out of a crisis, in the middle of a crisis, or getting into a crisis.” At the same time, Pace started mentoring Tony, a young man. “Tony saved my life also because he knew the importance of me getting out of my depression,” Pace says. Tony helped Pace stick to an exercise routine that benefitted his body, as well as his mind. “He kept me running all through the depression. I don’t care how bad the depression was, if I got out and ran for ten minutes I started to feel better,” he says.
According to Pace, a willingness to change is one of the most important things in a mentor/ student relationship. He says there has to be a high level of respect and a certain type of chemistry. Both the mentor and the student benefit from the bond. The idea for the book, “Mentor” developed six years before it became a reality. Pace would start to write it, then throw the paper away and start again. Eventually, writer Walter Jenkins joined Pace and the two collaborated to finish the book. “The book is based on actual events that have happened in my life,” Pace says. “I wanted to write a book that is simple, that is compelling, but gives great knowledge that can help us be successful, which can lead us to significance.” “Mentor” came out in 2008, and has sold more than 175,000 copies. It is available in major book stores and on www.amazon.com. Pace founded MentorHope, LLC, to distribute the book. A quick read at less than 200 pages, “Mentor” is available in paperback or hardback. Pace and Jenkins also wrote an accompanying workbook that clarifies some of the routines and practices they featured. “I think this book is for everybody, because everybody needs a mentor and everybody can be a mentor,” Pace says. He says it’s also for parents who are having trouble with their children. “It has stuff that parents may want to say to their kids — good, practical common sense stuff — but sometimes kids don’t want to listen to their parents at that time in their lives.” “It’s to give people hope, but also to give them a path to success, and then to go on to significance,” Pace says. “Success is temporary. Significance lasts forever.”
Tom Pace, Author of “Mentor.”
Valentine Gift Guide Get her a pair of Old Gringo Boots this Valentine’s Day! You will find a great selection of hip jewelry, apparel and accessories at Hip & Swanky 1247 E. Danforth (Kickingbird Square) www.hipandswanky.com 341-3066
Pamper her with a luxurious pedicure, massage, or facial at Jon’Ric International Medical Spa & Salon 3209 S. Broadway #117 (Behind On the Border) 285-4560 • www.JonRicEdmond.com
I’m Just Sayin’...
European Antiques and treasures to love. 25% off any item with this ad. Elks Alley Mercantile 1201 S. Broadway • 340-2400 www.elksalley.com
These cupcakes are a unique, blownglass piece of art that will make her smile. Blue Sage Studios $35 • 601-2583 1218-C N. Western Ave. www.bluesagestudios.com
Tell your angel she ROCKS with a gift from Rock Angel Boutique. 15% off all winter items in February. Extra 10% off when you mention this ad! 16614 N. Penn (Fenwick Plaza) 359-5188
I’m Just Saying offers jewelry, frames, candles, crosses, handbags and more! Your sweetie will love a gift from this unique shop. The Market at Cedar Lake (Waterloo & Broadway) • 285-7210 • www.ijsgifts.com
Spoil your Valentine with hand-painted jewelry by Amanda Bradway at DNA Galleries. 1705 B N.W. 16th 371-2460
Valentine Gift Guide Give her a gift she’ll treasure that’s as unique as she is… a bracelet of interchangeable fine Italian-made beads by Zable. Parsons Jewelry • 24 S. Broadway • 341-1280
Treat him to a great cut and old-fashioned hot lather shave. February special: 20% off haircuts and shaves when you mention this ad. 316 W. 33rd • 286-2038 www.clubhousebarbershop.net • Chesapeake Employee Discounts honored here.
Treasure every moment with your little cherubs. Mention this ad for a free 8x10 at your next session. www.deshazophotography.com • 761-9691
For a healthy heart, give the gift of fitness. $20 for 10 classes gift wrapped with Jazzercise item. New students Only. Redeem by March 31st, use by May 14th.
Nancy’s Tell your Valentine how much you care with Seasonal Whispers stackable bracelets from Nancy’s. 122nd & N. May (Northpark Mall) 748-7227
Paint to your HEARTS desire. Take home a Valentine’s masterpiece to give to that special someone. Come paint with your Valentine, friends or family! Register online or call 513-5333. 100 N. Broadway Suite 160 in Edmond www.paintyourartout.net
OLD VINE WINE & SPIRITS A little romance in a bottle. Bring this ad in for 10% off on all bottled wine. Old Vine Wine & Spirits 340-6000 • 2128 N.W. 164th
a gourmet bakery Sweets for your sweetheart…cakes, cupcakes, and cookies...yum! Go ahead, indulge. Life should be sweet! Selma’s Cakery 509-6091 • 16317 N. Santa Fe, Suite C
The Riley Group
Something Neat and Sweet! February 13th, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Valentine’s Buffet Dinner & Dance $39.95 per person at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Call 478-2250, Ext. 281 for reservations.
Give yourself the gift of time with a gift certificate from The Riley Group for errands, home/office organization, event planning and more. 242-2267 • www.therileygroup.info
These Sid Dickens Memory Tiles will warm up your heart and home. Exclusively in OKC at Red Chateau 842-2262 • 9205 N. Penn (Casady Square)
Golf Course Get him the gift he’ll really love this Valentine’s Day…The Millennium Players Card at Coffee Creek Golf Course. Single Player $245. Family Cards $325. Call 340-GOLF or visit www.coffeecreekgolfclub.com
Featuring fine chocolates from all over the world. Ask about our special package: A Date with Iris. 42nd Street Candy Co. 4200 N. Western 521-8337
Come in for our open house Feb. 12th from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. for great unadvertised specials and giveaways. Stop by either Elements: 1321 N. Bryant • 216-5252 3533 W. Memorial • 418-4544 www.touchofelements.com
dmond’s brush with outlaw infamy occurred August 16, 1897 shortly before midnight, when the Jennings Gang robbed a southbound Santa Fe passenger train, about a mile south of downtown. During this period of pre-statehood history, daring outlaw gangs often became legendary in Oklahoma Territory. The Jennings Gang become legendary, but oddly enough, it was for their incompetence. Their Edmond job was no exception. Just two years earlier, Al Jennings and his older brothers, John and Ed, were attorneys in good standing, residing near Woodward. They had proudly followed in the footsteps of their father, Judge J.D.F. Jennings. John and Ed were hired to represent some young cowboys accused of stealing a keg of beer from a Santa Fe railroad car. Attorney for the prosecution was Temple Houston, the fiery and charismatic son of Texas founder Sam Houston. Despite the fact that these were men of education and refinement, they were also not beyond the use of violence to resolve their differences. On October 8, 1895, the contention between both councils in court resulted in all three men drawing their pistols. Fortunately, cooler headed members of the court subdued them before any shots were fired. Their feud resumed later that evening when the brothers entered the Cabinet Saloon to find Houston accompanied by former sheriff Jack Love. After further words the men pulled their pistols and a short, dodging gun battle commenced. Ed was killed instantly. John, shot through his body and one arm, managed to run out of the saloon and up the street about 200 yards before he collapsed. The Jennings had been way outmatched by opponents who remained unscathed except for a few bullets that had torn through their clothing. John survived,
by David A. Farris and Houston and Love were ordered to stand trial. Not only were both men acquitted, but it was further decided that Ed had drawn first and the round that struck him in the temple killing him must have been fired from his brother’s gun. Al telegraphed another older brother Frank, in Colorado, to come join him in a revenge plot against the two men. To the old Judge’s disappointment, he watched two of his boys ride off on their dubious mission. Whether Al
“Four men sprang from the tall grass alongside the tracks bursting into the express car where the safe was waiting.” lost his nerve to face such experienced gunmen or got side tracked playing outlaw, he wisely abandoned his revenge plans and tried his hand robbing trains. He recruited hard cases he met along the outlaw trail to form a gang. Pat and Morris O’Malley, a couple of tough, Irish brothers were a welcome addition to the Jennings’ Criminal Enterprise, but the gang was lacking any real outlaws. This was remedied when two former members of the Doolin Gang, Little Dick West and Dynamite Dick Clifton agreed to throw in. The train left the Edmond station for Oklahoma City after a scheduled stop for water. When it reached a pre-arranged spot, three masked men climbed over the “tender” from the “baggage blind” into the cab where the engineer was ordered to stop the train. Four men sprang from the tall grass alongside the tracks bursting into the express car where the safe was
waiting; now all they had to do was get it open. In the meantime, the bandits kept the passengers huddled in their seats by firing shots just over their heads. Two attempts were made to blow open the safe using dynamite, but amazingly the sturdy Wells Fargo remained intact. In frustration, the gang turned to the passengers, taking what loot they could before disappearing into the night. When the train finally arrived in Oklahoma City, the conductor notified the sheriff’s office who then alerted U.S. deputy marshal Heck Thomas in Guthrie. At dawn, both posses met at the crime scene and were soon hot on the gang’s trail. Not long after, further disappointments caused the gang to become disillusioned and they dispersed. However, the lawmen were still in pursuit. The Jennings and O’Malleys were soon under arrest and on their way to prison. The two Dicks were both killed in separate shootouts while resisting arrest. When Al was released from prison he moved to Hollywood, California where he worked as a technical adviser on Western movies. He also wrote a greatly embellished book about his outlaw days, which was later made into a movie under the same title of Beating Back. Al Jennings and his gang may have missed the outlaw glory they sought in Edmond. Instead of legendary men of infamy, they became a source of lighthearted entertainment. However, they became a part of the colorful and exciting past that is Sooner State history that will last for generations.
about the author As a guest writer for the Edmond Outlook magazine, David A. Farris is an accomplished author with published books titled “Mysterious Oklahoma” and “More Mysterious Oklahoma” – which cover eerie, true tales from the sooner state.
ARCADIA H by Lindsay Whelchel
istoric Route 66 rolls out under your tires like a ribbon through time. It stretches from Chicago to Los Angeles and is known as the Main Street of America. Drive any stretch of the old road and you’ll no doubt understand that old saying “the journey is the destination.” A trip to the town of Arcadia is destination enough for travelers from near and far. With the rising business and residential growth in the area, coupled with the town’s characteristic peace and tranquility; more and more Oklahomans are calling Arcadia home. Route 66 is an essential part of Arcadia but long before the road, there was a railroad. An enterprising young cattle farmer by the name of William Odor used the presence of the railroad on his property to his advantage when he donated 80 acres of land for a town and built a railway station that required trains to stop. This allowed him to ship his cattle directly east thus, officially beginning Arcadia in 1902. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed most all of downtown and it was never rebuilt, though a few buildings were left standing. One structure left standing was a giant round red barn built by Odor in 1898. The barn was fully functioning and became a large part of Arcadia’s community with the inclusion of a second story dance floor used for social gatherings. When the barn began to deteriorate with age, locals joined together to make the barn what it once was. One of those volunteers was Sam Gillaspy, known locally as “Mister Sam.” Gillaspy has lived in Arcadia his entire life. “I’m the storyteller out here,” he says.
Gillaspy provides visitors to the round barn with a colorful glimpse into Arcadia’s past and makes the visit truly memorable. As for the location, Gillaspy says “I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I could go anywhere I want but right here is it.” Now with the construction of an innovative and iconic soda shop, diner, and gas station known as Pops, Arcadia has the added attraction of something new that still manages to call to mind a bit of the past.
“We like being able to bring people out to Arcadia, kind of get them away from the hustle and bustle of the city.” Opened in August 2007, the increasingly popular stop on Route 66 boasts an inventory of the largest retail collection of sodas in North America and has close to 8,000 soda bottles that line their walls. The decor immediately astounds visitors with the color and multitude of soda bottles. Pops’ location is as integrated into their existence as their stock of sodas. Designed by Rand Elliot, the architect responsible for the Route 66 Museum in Clinton, Pops is infused with tributes to their famous street address. The giant pop bottle sculpture out
front stands 66 feet high. The location sits 66 degrees from the highway and there are 66 Oklahoma Red Bud trees out back. “For us to be here in this exact location, it wouldn’t have worked any other place,” says Pops’ General Manager Marty Doepke. He says he is not surprised to see the residential growth that is taking place in Arcadia due to the town’s beauty and wide open land. “We like being able to bring people out to Arcadia, kind of get them away from the hustle and bustle of the city. That’s kind of the charm to it, to be out here on your own like you’ve made a little discovery, had a little adventure out here. That’s what Pops is.” And that’s what Arcadia is too, a discovery. “Due to its proximity to major urban areas, Arcadia offers a lifestyle that is close to shopping, entertainment, employment and social activities yet far enough away to perpetuate the rural, small community lifestyle that is so desirable,” says Mayor of Arcadia, Marilyn Murrell. She explains that the town has seen “phenomenal growth” in the past five years and that most of the land being developed is within Edmond City limits and surrounds Arcadia. “Arcadia established some good zoning regulations which establish a commercial district, primarily along Highway 66,” says Murrell. Also in the works is a plan for municipal water and sewer systems that will draw development. What seems to be clear is that Arcadia is a town with a future that still treasures its past.
by Radina Gigova
line Williams lost her life 13 years ago, her civil life that is. She found it again a week before Christmas when she was released from prison. Now, at 51, Aline is ready to take on her long-awaited second chance. “When I was at the County Jail I was broken,” she said. “I was at my weakest and didn’t know which way to turn. I was quiet because I knew I was in trouble. You just know that this is it,” she said. Aline was sentenced to 65 years on charges of a first degree robbery. She was paroled after serving 13 years. It all happened after a car accident. According to Aline, a friend of hers hit another woman’s car. The woman’s purse was laying on the street and Aline took it. Then the woman started screaming that she stole the purse. “I saw two guys walking towards me and I panicked,” Aline said. She remembered her previous convictions. “All I could see was that I was going back to prison,” she said. “And I ran with the woman’s purse. I should’ve stayed there.” Aline was in and out of prison most of her life, convicted for the first time at the age of 18 when she drove a friend to a gas station to buy cigarettes. He robbed the store and although security cameras showed that Aline did not participate in the robbery, she spent 5 years behind bars. Since then, her life took a downturn toward drugs, robberies and prostitution.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the rate of crime reported in Oklahoma is not higher than that of the nation. The arrest rate of female offenders in Oklahoma is the same as that of the rest of the country. Yet, the rate of incarceration of female offenders is more than double the national rate (39.2 versus 18.9 of the 100,000 population). The numbers keep growing every year. As a consequence, female inmates in Oklahoma constitute 12.4 percent of the total inmate population. This is more than four and a half times the national average, making Oklahoma the state with the highest female prison population percentage. “We are incarcerating a big number of nonviolent offenders,” said Laura Pitman, Deputy Director of Female Offender Operations with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. “Prison is a costly alternative.” She said she believes the answer to the problem is prevention. “We can maintain public safety and reduce the number of offenders that come to prison at a lower social and economic cost,” Pitman said. The Kaiser Family Foundation is actively involved in efforts to provide counseling and training for women in prison and their families. “We are tougher on crime,” said Amy Santee, Senior Program Officer with the foundation that oversees health and human services grants. She said the state of Oklahoma issues short-term prison sentences for the same
crimes that other states give mandatory probation. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 34.6 percent of female offenders were incarcerated for possession and trafficking of drugs. Regardless of their marital status, most female offenders are mothers. “One solution that will have immediate impact on the female incarceration rate is to provide an alternative to prison,” said Santee. “In many ways the system has failed these women,” she said.
“We are incarcerating a big number of nonviolent offenders” The foundation has developed a program, called “Women in Recovery” that offers treatment and helps convicted women stabilize their lives so their children’s lives are not as strongly affected. The foundation is working closely with the District Attorney’s office, the Public Defender’s office and the criminal district judges in Tulsa to identify women that would otherwise be going to prison. “Basically they are being bonded out of jail on a bond through county court services and to a comprehensive substance abuse treatment program,” Santee said. “I don’t believe we have worse women in Oklahoma than other states, I don’t believe that. It has
to be our laws and our method of imposing those laws,” said Joanne North, who has taught Bible classes to women in prison for 27 years through a program at her church. This is how North and Aline met. “I listened to this woman and the love pulled out of her,” said Aline. “It brought so much love inside of me that I wanted what she had.” She was eventually baptized and has developed a strong friendship with North. After Aline was paroled, North and her husband, Dr. Stafford North who is a professor at Oklahoma Christian University, invited her to stay at their home and help her with the transition into society. Aline had to learn almost everything from the beginning. “It’s a different world out here,” she said after 13 years of isolation in prison. “Things have changed so much.” Aline is writing a book about her experiences and wants to become a spiritual author. “Stay focused on your goals and your dreams. Don’t ever let them die,” she said. Aline often mentions the verse that changed her life: “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” (Rev. 3:8) “I feel like a responsible, independent woman,” Aline said. Her faith and determination have transformed her into a free person with a cured heart.
by Mindy Wood
long line of flags wave behind a succession of roaring motorcycles as they proudly join a hero’s funeral procession. They’ve come to pay their respects to fallen soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their country and offer comfort to the families who endure unspeakable grief. On a good day they bid soldiers farewell at deployment or wait at the airport to welcome soldiers home. They do it because they consider it an honor, a duty to show their support for the men and women who sacrifice so much for their country. They are the Patriot Guard Riders. Korean, Vietnam, and Desert Storm veterans and volunteers attend funerals, deployments and other events all over the United States. The grass roots organization began in 2005 in response to disruptive and disrespectful protestors who picketed military funerals in Kansas. When invited by family members or military personnel, the Patriot Guard comes ready with flags, banners and lots of support. By forming a row of flags, the Patriot Guard Riders block protestors from view and drown out hateful slurs as they rev their engines and turn up their radios. Although they began by attending funerals for soldiers killed in active duty, today they honor veterans from all wars, as well as first time responders in the community, such as police, firemen and emergency medical crews. In just four years the movement has grown quickly, numbering thousands of members. “It spread like wild fire,” said Pam Tate, Assistant State Captain for Okla-
homa’s Patriot Guard. “They didn’t realize in six months they would have well over 15,000 members. Patriotism is alive and well in America.” According to Tate, showing support for troops and their families is very meaningful to veterans who didn’t receive a welcome home; veterans who understand well the sting of persecution from protestors. “A lot of us are from the Vietnam War Era and we don’t want what happened to those servicemen to ever happen again. It’s a healing process to these veterans when soldiers or family members hug them and say, ‘thank you for being here, for showing me you care.’” The loss of a son or daughter, husband or wife is devastating for families and Tate said it’s those funerals for young servicemen and women that are the most difficult to attend. “Sometimes we’re asked to go inside for the service and stand with our flags. When we’re honoring a retired veteran who’s had a long full life, it’s more like a celebration of their life but when it’s a young man, a young woman…it’s very hard.” Come blazing heat or freezing rain, about 1,500 men and women in Oklahoma take time out of their busy schedules to honor their country. Tate says it’s a small price pay in exchange. “No matter what branch of the military soldiers sign up for, they sign on the bottom line, ‘I will give my life for you.’ That’s why I do this. For people like me and other volunteers who never served, this is a way we can serve our country.” When Patriot Guard members are not providing escort at funerals, shaking hands with soldiers before their deployment missions or welcoming them home,
“By forming a row of flags, the Patriot Guard Riders block protestors from view and drown out hateful slurs as they rev their engines and turn up their radios.”
Volunteer Patriot Riders recognized United States Marine Corp Veteran James Richard Schulte as he was laid to rest November 6, 2009 with full military honors. they reach out to Gold Star families who have lost their servicemen and women. “We have a lot of them who join the Patriot Guard. We meet once a month with gold star families in a restaurant. If they’re having a hard time they can talk it out with veterans who have been there or get a hug from volunteers like me who didn’t serve. Sometimes they need someone to make them laugh. We become a family.” Every June they embark on “A Ride to Remember,” placing flags on the graves of servicemen who have died in active duty since October 2001. They say a prayer and have a moment of silence for all veterans. Members of the Patriot Guard also send out care packages to soldiers throughout the year and anything they can do to show they care. Their efforts are appreciated. Tate said they receive letter after letter saying things like, “Words are not enough but thank you, thank you for showing honor and respect for my loved one, thank you for being there to protect us, thank you so much for showing your appreciation.” Some ask if they can join and the answer is always yes. The Patriot Guard truly is an honor guard, spreading patriotism and celebrating the lives of those who keep us safe even to the death. For more information about the Patriot Guard Riders, visit www.patriotguard.org. To invite them to an event honoring servicemen, contact Pam Tate at 227-2062.
1: What’s your most
memorable Valentine’s Day & Why? @corjong: After my husband died, my son framed one of his love letters from 1952 for me. I cherish it. @okstatetiff: I gave myself a massage and chocolate covered strawberries. If you’ve gotta be alone, do it in style! @JK8675309: 24 roses & a Diamond White Gold Heart Necklace :)
Tweet us your suggestions for future Q&A topics. @edmondoutlook Prizes for Participants Are Provided By: • Dining on Persimmion Hill and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum • Premier Eyecare of Edmond • Edmond Rock • Granny Annie’s • Pink Sugar Shoe Boutique • Retropolitan • Porters Quick Change Oil • Annabelle’s Galleria • Blue Sage Studios • Hobby’s Hoagies
2: How were you
proposed to, or how did you propose? @samdaleo: My husband proposed to with his then 7 year old son in tow...they both got on their knees and asked me to marry “them.” @Macey_Jane: My husband proposed to me on Vday and in the ring box was my mom’s wedding ring she wore for 38 happy yrs. I love that ring. @dianetowin: I was proposed to on a bench in a park by the Allegheny River surrounded by hungry ducks. @hminnesota: The year of 1999 DH proposed to me over phone when I was in Sacramento and he was in Boston. @corjong: My husband proposed to me at the Horse Shoe at University of South Carolina in 1952.
3: How do you express
your love to family & friends that’s special or different? @storymadness: Vday shouldnt be all about the woman, my husband and I take turns each yr planning Vday. I actually like planning it. @ThatTweetThing: I express love to my friends & family in a different way by being very vocal about it. I like to really say ‘You are appreciated!’ @kitkat234: I always mail my kids Valentines Cards; then they love to get the mail and see them!!!
4: What’s the most
unique Valentine’s Day gift you’ve given or received? @MissingLynxx: Paris and a tiny cafe on the Left Bank - definitely most memorable @bsw529: My most memorable Valentines Day present was my daughter! I woke up in labor at 3:30 in the morning and she was born at 6:30. @arress83: When my DH gave me a simple card with a heart on it. May not seem like much, but he didn’t really have money for that card. The fact he took the time out to purchase the card and give it to me, meant the world to me.
BRING A LIGHT TO OTHERS - FEB 11th
ART WITH A HEART - FEB 26th
Edmond North is raising money to send students to Victory Junction, a camp for kids with mental and physical disabilities in North Carolina. The event is from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the ENHS cafeteria. Admission is $5. There will be a variety of desserts and many items to bid on.
The 8th annual Delta Delta Delta art show will be held from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Oklahoma History Center, 2401 N. Laird Avenue, Oklahoma City. Proceeds benefit the Oklahoma Children’s Cancer Association. Tickets are $30, for more information, visit www.artwithaheartokc.com.
LIL DUDES & DIVAS RE-OPENING - FEB 12th
ANNUAL CREEK CLASSIC - MAR 6th
Located at 15th and Bryant, this children’s boutique is throwing a party to celebrate their grand re-opening. Stop by for a free gift with purchase. Call 330-8500 for store hours.
RISING STAR SHOWCASE - FEB 12th & 13th The Oklahoma Challenge event will feature dancers from American Smooth, International Latin, International Standard, and American Rhythm. The competition begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Cox Convention Center. Designers JulioJulio will hold a trunk show featuring their fine clothing.
VALENTINE’S BALL - FEB 13th Take dance lessons this Valentine’s Day with Jonathan Roberts and Anna Trebunskaya from ‘Dancing with the Stars’ at Firelake Grand Casino at 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $40 each or $75 per couple at www.firelakegrand.com.
THE ROMANCE OF CHOPIN - 14th Pianist Wayne McEvilly will be performing a concert series at The Metropolitan Library located at 300 Park Ave in Oklahoma City at 2:00 p.m. The concert is free to the public and open to all ages.
Be a part of Deer Creek school’s annual run at 7:00 a.m. at the Deer Creek High School. Entry fees are $20 per person or $65 for a family of five and includes a t-shirt, pancake breakfast and a disposable timing chip. Register at www.deercreekclassic.com.
BUSINESS BRIEFS • Frontier Country introduces its brand-new “2010 Frontier Country Travel Guide.” Request a free copy at oktourism.com or call (800) FUN-OKLA. • Pick up a gift for your Valentine at I’m Just Sayin,’ a new boutique with gifts and accessories as unique as their store name. Located at Waterloo and Broadway. • Enjoy a romantic dinner this Valentine’s Day at Tropical Café and choose from a large menu of delicacies. Call 417-3037 for reservations. • Add a little spice to your Valentine’s Day with the Special Valentines Fajita Dinner for Two at Habanero’s includes dessert for under $20 per couple. Call for 359-3319. • Dr. Jeanne Schaefer with First Choice Pediatrics at 523 S. Santa Fe, Suite B is accepting new patients, newborns up to age 21. Call 509-6777 for an appointment. • For personal services, The Riley Group can be the clone you wish you had to get tasks done. Visit www.therileygroup.info.
“It gives you that faith in people again. You start to realize that people are just people and if you give them a chance, they’ll show you great things.”
CThe OUCH S URFING New Way to Travel by Mindy Wood
hat if you could travel anywhere in the world, enjoy the ultimate tour guide, and drastically cut your travel expenses? Today thousands of people are having the time of their lives by “couch surfing,” a phenomenon of culture exchange and unique hospitality. These fun loving, optimistic travelers are ditching the impersonal hotel scene and bunking in other people’s homes all over the world - free of charge. By joining the online community at couchsurfing. org, you can host members in your home and the next time you make travel plans, find someone to stay with who knows the local scene. Whether you’re stopping over for business or pleasure, members in over 230 countries open their homes and their hearts to their guests. Their motto, “Creating a better world, one couch at a time,” is the inspiration behind this worldwide community.
Local couch surfer, Elyse Poland of Edmond has been a member for four years. She’s travelled to Ireland twice and to several states. She and her roommates regularly host people, entertaining guests from Canada, New Zealand, and the U.S. Poland said her experiences have been life changing. “I’m not worried they’re going to take off with my TV. My dad raised my brother and I to trust our instincts, have a clear head, and be aware of our surroundings. Even if nothing happens to you your whole life, you’re always wary of something that could go wrong but I’ve learned to trust people.” When a Portland, Oregon guest, “Jason” bunked with her he found himself in the middle of something Oklahomans are used to: a tornado warning. He phoned Poland at work in a near panic. “I was trying to tell him what color the sky is before he should hide. He was panicking a little bit so I told him to get my bedding and get into the closet. I gave him all the
precautions Oklahomans are taught from the age of three in about 20 minutes. He was frantic.” On the other side of the ordeal, he and Poland became good friends. While the thought of trusting complete strangers raises some eyebrows, Poland has never felt alarmed. Trust works both ways, says Poland. “Couchsurfing. org is very careful about who they allow to join the site. There are various verification processes, vouchfor-steps and they encourage everyone to do their own research.” The site features member profiles complete with references and feedback from other people with whom that member stayed. With available information about a member’s interests, hobbies, and philosophies, you can get to know them a little before you knock on their front door. Members can also refuse to host anyone at anytime. Oklahoma City Couch Surfing Ambassador Amanda Alewine says it affords priceless culture exchange and unforgettable experiences. When Alewine travelled to Belize, she learned firsthand that there’s no tour guide quite like a local host. Their couch surfer host, Jaime invited Alewine and her companion to a party where they found themselves welcomed among locals who don’t like tourists. “It was one of those cultural anniversary parties. They cooked us dinner, we danced and had drinks. It was
the invitation from someone local that allowed us to be accepted. It was great, you can’t buy that.” When Alewine and her fiance were in Switzerland, their host took them places where no tourists go, introducing them to friends and new experiences while keeping them away from vendors who prey on tourist’s wallets. “You get used to being treated locally. We went to another town and I was so used to being friendly, we met another guy who took us skiing and hung out that evening. It gives you that faith in people again. You start to realize that people are just people and if you give them a chance, they’ll show you great things.” Poland couldn’t agree more. “It’s a great way to learn about culture but you also learn about people. No matter what backgrounds, philosophies or religions or anything else that tends to divide people, you realize you’re not that different at all.” While some travelers are content with a luxurious hotel and quiet museum tours, couch surfers are on the edge of international adventure, connecting with people worlds apart. As they share ideas and passions and bridge the cultural gap, they might just make the world a better place, one couch at a time. For more information about couch surfing, visit their website at www.couchsurfing.org
E l y s e P o l a nd, Local Couch Surfer