June 2024

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Well-Deserved Degrees for Jordan & Wilma Unnecessary Action Hero Blue Hippo Festival Terrance the Octopus JUNE 2024

I have no idea how to farm or raise cattle, make a candle, or bake pretzel bread, but I do know where to get amazing local products. Have you been to the Edmond Farmer’s Market?

Let’s go. I’ll show you around. It opens at 8 AM, but I suggest you get there early. You know what they say about the early bird… they get the best free samples. I think that’s how it goes. And I’m all about free samples. How about Baklava, assorted cheeses, bread, and old-timey candy brittle?

If you enjoy fresh produce, why not buy directly from a farmer? It doesn’t get any fresher unless I figure out how to grow asparagus and broccoli, and that’s not my jam. And if jam is your jam - there’s a vendor with a table full of different flavors.

And hello, beef rancher - I’m grilled to meat you. Despite my terrible dad joke, they sell me a ribeye, sirloin steak, and a pack of hamburgers. Another rancher is grilling up some all-beef hot dog samples or what I’ll call Breakfast of Champions this morning. So good.

Around the next aisle, fresh-cut flowers, house plants, T-shirts, mushrooms, pottery and spices—all get our attention. Thank you, local farmers, bakers, producers, ranchers, and artisans.

The Farmer’s Market is open on Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM in downtown through November 2nd. Parking is easy, and the picking is good.

8 ADVERTISING l 405-301-3926 l laura@ edmondoutlook.com MAILED MONTHLY TO OVER 50,000 HOMES IN THE EDMOND AREA Articles and advertisements in the 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 the 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. The Outlook assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. PUBLISHER Dave Miller l PRODUCTION MANAGER Alison Miller l ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE / EDITOR Laura Beam l GRAPHIC DESIGN Anne Richardson PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins sundancephotographyokc.com l DISTRIBUTION Edmond Outlook is delivered FREE by direct-mail to over 50,000 Edmond area homes. 2513 S. Kelly Ave., Suite 120, Edmond, OK 73013 l 405-341-5599 l edmondoutlook.com l info@edmondoutlook.com JUNE 2024 Volume 20, Number 6 l Edmond Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc. l © 2024 Back40 Design, Inc. 12 Features 8 Route 66 Blue Hippo Festival 10 The Big Biscuit 12 Terrance the Octopus 16 UCO Honorary Degree 18 Unnecessary Action Hero 20 Chisholm Creek Restaurants 26 Painting Edmond Purple Business 22 Wells Fargo: Jeff Carel 24 INTEGRIS Edmond Columns 7 In Other Words with Dave 28 Louise Tucker Jones 30 A LOOK Back: Edmond's First Pool 26
On cover: Wilma Hamilton and grandson Jordan Cowan. Photo submitted by UCO

Get Your Kick s - at the Route 66 Blue Hippo Festival!

Edmond is uniquely placed along Route 66 —turning a corner at downtown, which takes drivers south to Oklahoma City or east to Arcadia. As Oklahoma inches closer to the 100th Anniversary of Route 66 in 2026, cities along the Mother Road are gearing up for an influx of national and international tourism.

But Why Wait Two More Years to Have Fun?

Stephenson Park just reopened, and Edmondites are ready to play in a big BLUE way! Edmond may not have a totem pole, a Christmas leg lamp, or an oversized blue whale—but we DO have a blue hippo at 12th & Broadway. This displaced water animal, living in central Oklahoma, is quirky enough to have earned a reputation as Edmond’s Route 66 mascot. A steady stream of tourists stop to photograph the Blue Hippo, although the locals are just starting to remember that they’ve driven past it every day for 33 years.

The Route 66 Blue Hippo Festival is a celebration of both old and new, goofy and blue.

A Big Blue Festival

The Route 66 Blue Hippo Festival celebrates Edmond’s history and pop culture with a hefty dose of silliness for kids of all ages. In addition to carnival-style activities, visitors can participate in Hippo Trivia throughout the park or compete at the Hungry Hungry Hippo game station, try to win a Hot Wheels race, tour the Historic Rodkey House and American Legion Hut, or purchase one of the hippo art pieces being created LIVE during the festival. To create the right atmosphere, over 20 classic and modern cars will line the park—all blue, of course. Musicians will perform the BLUES, BLUEgrass, and old-fashioned Rock-n-Roll music in the new pavilion. Musicians include Kyle Dillingham, Katie Bradford, Kentucky Daisy Band, and Jimmy Dale Richardson’s 1950s/1960s Band & Dancers. The Blue Hippo will remain in his current location in front of Glass Solutions, but festival attendees are welcome to stop by and take a selfie.

The Route’s Roots

Long before the hippo, Edmond was an agricultural town, relying heavily upon the train to transport crops and processed grains. However, a shift occurred in the 1920s. Edmond began to grow in population and grow weary of the dirty, muddy streets pitted by wagon wheel ruts. With the purchase of more cars, automobile and horse drivers had to learn to drive together.

These road challenges in Edmond also occurred throughout the country. The development of Route 66 was a national effort to ease road travel and connect communities. In the mid-1920s, Edmond began to pave roads, and with that improvement, Route 66 tourists came, too.

Travelers meant tourist dollars, and enterprising Edmondites began to open the service businesses needed by drivers: gas stations, auto repair shops, restaurants, and motor courts (motels). Unlike many towns along the route, however, Edmond failed to create an iconic roadside attraction that lured families out of their cars with their cameras. Edmond became a passthrough town, mostly available for convenience.

Who Doesn't Love a Big Blue Hippo?

With Route 66 nostalgia on the rise again, the Mother Road is reinventing itself. New roadside mascots are being developed, and public response has already proven that quirky and unique photo opportunities are as important as old and historic ones. The Blue Hippo, who has smiled at Edmond drivers since 1991, almost seems like a Route 66 original compared to the newbies on the scene.

The Route 66 Blue Hippo Festival is a celebration of both old and new, goofy and blue. Come enjoy a little history, a fair amount of playfulness, and a whole lot of hippo. You certainly won’t walk away feeling, uh, blue.

The event takes place SATURDAY, JUNE 15 th 10 A.M. TO 4 P.M. at Stephenson Park and the Edmond History Museum, 431 S. Boulevard. Visit EdmondHistory.org to learn more. Vendor booths may still be available.


T he Big Biscuit Don’t Mess with Breakfast

The Big Biscuit is your new favorite spot for a bigger, better breakfast in Edmond. Opened in August 2022 by Oklahoma-based franchisee Steve Zahn, The Big Biscuit serves classic comfort foods you know and love, like plate-sized buttermilk pancakes, crispy hashbrowns, and oversized buttermilk biscuits—their main staple—but with a twist! With Edmond’s reputation as one of the best cities to raise a family in Oklahoma, it was a key location for Zahn and The Big Biscuit as they have grown the breakfast concept in Oklahoma.

A core mission of all The Big Biscuit restaurants with locations throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma is to be heavily engaged with their communities, especially the schools. “Edmond has a strong community with great schools in the heart of Oklahoma,” Zahn says. It is fundamental to the company’s brand identity to be community-centric. “Whether it’s our genuine hometown hospitality guests know and expect in our restaurants or through our community outreach like the Teacher's Appreciation campaign we just wrapped up, Stuff The Bus collections that will start later this summer, or our upcoming Father’s Day giveaway. We work hard to bring value to our communities and create memorable guest experiences.”

But First, Breakfast

eggs, sausage, cheddar, a buttermilk biscuit with sausage gravy, and potatoes. From plate-sized buttermilk pancakes and benedicts to the Big and Healthy portion of the menu, salads, and sandwiches, the menu offers more than 60 items to enjoy.

Take it Over the Top

There are no limits to The Big Biscuits menu. Their abundant menu offers plates to delight everyone's appetite with signature dishes like the 3-Car Pile-Up. A plate-sized pancake is covered with three hand-cracked eggs scrambled with bacon, sausage, cheddar, and breakfast potatoes, topped with hash browns, two buttermilk biscuits, and sausage gravy. For the sweet tooth, the Bonut is a buttermilk biscuit dipped in French toast batter, fried to golden perfection, and tossed in powdered sugar. The Sticky Biscuits feature buttermilk biscuit dough baked in house-made cinnamon filling, drizzled with creamy vanilla icing. There is something for everyone here.

The Big Biscuit also has an exciting new beverage menu that just launched. It features signature Western Sodas - classic fountain soda flavors topped with coconut cream and lime. Other menu additions include Peach Palmers, raspberry and peach teas, a classic strawberry lemonade with fresh fruit puree, and more, just in time for summer!

The Big Biscuit is known for its hometown hospitality and quality ingredients in impossibly generous portions. Their award-winning biscuits and gravy are an obvious top menu choice. Golden, fluffy buttermilk biscuits are baked fresh daily and smothered in homemade sausage gravy. Another popular selection is The Mayberry–an omelet with three hand-cracked

The Big Biscuit is thrilled to be a part of the Edmond community. “We look forward to many years ahead here in Edmond, says Zahn.” The Edmond Big Biscuit location is one of six owned by Zahn in the state with a seventh location coming soon to OKC later this year.

Visit 1333 N. Santa Fe Ave., Edmond, or bigbiscuit.com.


The Touching Tale of Terrance the Octopus

For six months, nine-year-old Cal Clifford’s bedroom was gently lit by the tank of his eight-legged friend, Terrance. The California two-spot octopus passed on Earth Day in April, but left the light on – plus fifty bimac babies – to keep Cal company.

The Cliffords first welcomed the octopus into their home in October. As their first family pet, Terrance might have been unconventional. But he was not unplanned. Before his purchase, the Cliffords researched the best way to make Cal’s lifelong dream of owning an octopus a reality.

“This was not a flavor of the month type of thing,” Cal’s father, Cameron Clifford, explained. “We weren’t placating a child’s whims, it was a lifelong love he’s had for them.”

From the start, Cameron began documenting the process on TikTok to capture the memories he was sure to share with Cal. His account exploded. Now, @doctoktopus—a punny play on Cameron’s occupation—has garnered 3.8 million likes on the app and national news coverage. His videos share the whirlwind of events with humor, personality, and no shortage of heartwarming moments.

40 to 70 eggs,” one TikTok explained. “In the wild, only 1% of the eggs survive to adulthood.”

Of the 50 eggs Terrance laid, the Cliffords were caring for 18 at the time of this interview. Maintaining their care is not a simple process. Cameron is in constant contact with experts, but still, research is limited and it’s a day-to-day process.

The family has found trusted placements for the babies and will eventually send them to locations where they can receive optimum care and contribute to research that will further serve the species.

Their initial theory that Terrance was a boy was debunked when Terrance began laying eggs.

Cameron says his family rode a rollercoaster of emotions in a short period of time, much of which was unexpected. Their initial theory that Terrance was a boy was debunked a month in when Terrance began laying eggs.

Though this was an exciting development, the Clifflords knew it was the beginning of the end for their beloved bimac. In what might be the ultimate display of maternal love, bimac mothers become so focused on caring for their offspring that they ultimately starve and die after giving birth.

“Whether or not a female mates, she will lay approximately

“I don’t want to overly romanticize the experience,” Cameron said. “It has taken an immense amount of time and work. But, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t shed tears over Terrance.”

Cameron says Terrance was incredibly interactive. “She was boisterous, always observing what was happening. She was very bold, but also independent. She would push away food from my hand, for example, and only eat it when I was gone.”

He explained how intelligent the species is, recognizing people and even distinguishing male from female by chemically tasting them with her tentacles.

Perhaps the hardest part of the process was how deeply Cal felt her loss. “You want to expose your children to life, but not hardship,” Cameron said. “Watching my son encounter a new level of grief and understanding of life was hard.”

All in all, the Cliffords agree it was a worthwhile process. But they aren’t entertaining plans of more exotic pets any time soon. Watch the full saga on TikTok @doctoktopus.

Cal Clifford

A Well-Deserved Degree Wilma Hamilton Helps Grandson Earn Degree

At two and a half years old, Jordan Cowan was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. This genetic condition progressively affects the muscles and limits mobility, and the family knew then that Jordan might only live to see his late teens or early twenties.

Still, Jordan had goals for himself. Physical limitations aside, he was strong in the ways that mattered most: mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. So, following high school graduation, college was a natural next step. But Jordan wouldn’t do it alone.

Needing assistance but hoping to avoid the potential inconsistency of hired help, Jordan looked to someone he could always trust: his grandma. “At the time, I had found myself in a new place and phase of life, asking God what I was supposed to do next,” Jordan’s grandmother, Wilma Hamilton, said. “I felt compelled to be present for my grandchildren. And then I got the call.”

Putting aside various health concerns of her own, Wilma was an eager wing-woman – ready to face all that the role would entail. At 71, she headed back to the college classroom to become Jordan’s transportation, assistant, and note-taker while also deepening the roles she was already in: confidant and friend.

“It was a benefit to both of us that I had some college experience. And it didn’t feel totally unfamiliar,” she said. “It was funny taking a history class with him, discussing events in the 50s, 60s and 70s where I could say, ‘Hey, I was there!’”

Though Wilma held the pen, Jordan was always the pupil, diligently retaining course knowledge, dictating answers – even complicated formulas – and ultimately earning a degree in management in 2020.

Though COVID made it an unfortunate year for in-person commencements, the accomplishment was every bit as

I could never have a bad day when I was around him. Jordan’s faith in God was remarkable. -Wilma Hamilton

meaningful. “Jordan always just wanted to be treated like a real, regular person and his time at UCO gave him that,” his mother, Beverly Cowan, said, “He would always say that his struggles were no different than what other people were dealing with. The only difference is that his struggles were visible.”

Jordan’s disease progressed, and he passed away in June of last year. As the family approaches the one-year anniversary of Jordan's death, they hope his determination, positivity, and faith are remembered.

“I could never have a bad day when I was around him. Jordan’s faith in God was remarkable. He lived out his belief that he could do all things through Christ who gave him strength,” Wilma said.

“Imagine how you feel when you can’t do something you’ve always done,” she said. “When Jordan stopped being able to walk, learned he wouldn't be able to drive, stopped being able to play games – each time, his response was remarkable. His faith was outstanding.”

What Wilma won’t say is that she is an inspiration as well. To honor her commitment to her grandson and his goals, the university awarded her the Baccalaureate of Business Administration, honoris causa (honorary) degree during the Spring 2024 commencement ceremony. It wasn’t her first degree, but it was certainly the most surprising. “it was unbelievable they would do that. It was such an honor.”

With her college days now behind her, Wilma is investing in others as an in-home caregiver for Visiting Angels. “I guess I’m just born to be a caregiver,” she joked, although it seems entirely likely from a family who knows life isn’t measured in length but resilience and plenty of love.

Wilma Hamilton receives her honorary degree from UCO President Todd Lamb Wilma and grandson Jordan Photo submitted by UCO

Inside Paycom's Commercial Production

The scene opens with a man – laptop open, paperwork scattered, utterly distracted – at his daughter’s gymnastics competition. In somersaults, Hollywood star Shemar Moore lands dramatically in the stands directly in front of the preoccupied father.

“Was that necessary?” the father asks about the over-the-top entrance. “No,” Shemar answers. “Neither is missing your daughter’s competition to do payroll.” And so, Paycom’s “Unnecessary Action Hero” saves the day, reminding people that with Paycom, employees can do their own payroll.

“These commercials were written to convey our game-changing way of doing things,” said Paycom’s Director of Brand and Creative, Casey Twenter. “It highlights the unnecessary actions that outdated HR practices require, and highlights how Paycom is transforming the industry.”

The team has also released spin-off spots featuring Wayne Knight –best known as Seinfeld’s “Newman” – as “The Nemesis” who seeks to stop the “Unnecessary Action Hero” and keep HR professionals stuck in the outdated processes of the past.

These spots are humorous, coming across as more of an exciting preview than a typical corporate commercial. “I have a thing I wish I could say I coined,” Casey said. “The best brands show up in unexpected places in unexpected ways. And so it makes sense that we would take this unique approach to our marketing.”

Casey, an Edmond resident, was quick to direct attention toward the talented internal team behind each commercial. “A lot of people influence the final product. It takes everybody being at the top of their game to do something fantastic, and we have a fantastic team.”

Each concept works its way through Paycom’s process, starting with a team of writers, moving to production, and being refined by a detailed editing team. Even listing elements like casting, lighting, makeup, wardrobe, special effects, motion graphics, and location managers still leaves an incredibly high-level look at all that production entails.

“It takes a tight-knit squad,” Casey said. And it’s an effective one, consistently pulling top-tier talent like Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran, Seinfield’s Wayne Knight, and actor Shemar Moore.

Casey says they have been blessed with the best in the industry. “We first started with excellent commercial actors and eventually approached Barbara Corcoran. She is a fantastic businessperson. She’s an innovator. And she’s best known for judging innovative ideas, so she was a perfect fit for our brand and wonderful to work with.”

He says that despite the high levels of fame these figures bring, their approachable nature keeps the star-struck reaction to a minimum. “Our team is always amazed by watching these individuals do what they do best. These are pros who want to deliver, and they always do.”

Another benefit of working with this level of talent is the natural motivation it provides the entire team. “It gives us a good pressure to perform.”

To see the product of this “good pressure,” watch for the commercials on TV and streaming services or view them all on the company’s YouTube channel, @Paycom.

Casey Twenter in post-production
Photo credit: Paycom Photo credit: Paycom
Actor Shemar Moore on Paycom production set

Chisholm Creek

Over two decades in the making, Chisholm Creek quickly became OKC’s premier entertainment district when it opened. With 44 businesses currently operating at the bustling development in North OKC, the 190-acre urban playground of restaurants, shops, salons, activities, and attractions has it all. The pedestrianfriendly, mixed-use property created by The Medallion Group was inspired by other developments the group had visited throughout the country in places like Dallas, Austin, Scottsdale, and Atlanta.

A dazzling restaurant scene is the main attraction at Chisholm Creek, with 26 destinations ranging from coffee and ice cream shops to sports bars and fine dining. Guests love the enticing options, including many kid-friendly spots where they can indulge in wood-fired craft pizza, tacos, or specialty chicken, then grab an ice cream, yogurt, or cookies and hit the lawn for a fun game of cornhole or life-size chess. “We have tried to develop a unique location where new-to-market concepts want to locate. We want to provide a balance between local and regional/national tenants,” says Broker Whitney Rainbolt. “We have a public playground, and large, free community events out here every quarter, with lots of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. We always sponsor a local non-profit organization for each event.” Chic spots and rooftop lounges offer exciting nightlife to enjoy with friends. Music fills the air, and guests stroll around the lake, where spectacular fountains light up in different colors at night, energizing

26 Unique Dining Destinations and Fun for Everyone

the mood. A glitzy ice rail at the bar, a specialty barley and wine bar with live music, and craft cocktails in abundance invite guests to linger over great conversations and memorable moments at Chisholm Creek. Lavish dining choices satisfy every craving with options like sushi, charcuterie, Beef Wellington, shareable plates, festive New Orleans fare, and globally inspired cuisine.

Whether enjoying indoor skydiving, golf, or the dog park, the mood is always festive and carefree at Chisholm Creek and made even more exciting with specialty events and attractions. “There is live music on Friday nights from 7-9pm during the summer, weather permitting, free first time workouts for moms on Friday mornings in the summer, free community events each quarter, and a Christmas Village extravaganza in December with fun characters, bands, shopping, food, and entertainment throughout the night,” Rainbolt says. Best of all, there’s more to come! Currently at 98% occupancy, Chisholm Creek is still expanding to create even more dining, living, office, and entertainment venues. “We are approximately a third of the way through developing the property so there is definitely more to come,” Rainbolt reveals.


BiBi's Craft Ice Cream

Birra Birra Craft Pizzeria

Chalk Sports Bar

Chicken Foot

Crumbl Cookies

Dave's Hot Chicken

Domenico Coffee & Dessert


Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

Fuzzy's Taco Shop

Ganache Patisserie

Hatch Early Mood Food

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

Potbelly Sandwich Shop

Ramsay's Kitchen

Razoo's Cajun Kitchen


Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar

Solo's Park & Rub



The Surf Bar

Torchy's Tacos

Twenty Pho Hour

Uncle Julio's Mexican Yokozuna



Jeff Carel,

Managing DirectorInvestments Wells Fargo Advisors

With eighteen years of experience, Jeff Carel is dedicated to helping Oklahomans meet their financial needs by developing investment plans around their long-term goals. He serves as Managing Director-Investments at Wells Fargo Advisors, with offices in Edmond and Oklahoma City.

A Trusted Partner

Jeff works personally with every client. “We all can feel intimidated when we don’t have a lot of knowledge about a subject,” he says. “I like to view my

relationships with clients as more of a partnership. It is my job to bring that knowledge to our partnership. We start with a conversation and making a plan.”

Jeff reviews investments closely, striving to ensure each client’s financial goals are being met. “I often take a discretionary role where I am directly managing much of clients’ holdings instead of mostly using third party managers and mutual funds,” he says. “This allows me to implement customized investment strategies for each client and help save my clients a lot of expense.”

Serving Edmond and OKC

Originally from Minco, Jeff attended the University of Central Oklahoma. He became fascinated with Economics after seeing the ripple effects of Russia defaulting on its debts.

“Working as a Financial Advisor allows me to apply my passion for Economics in a way that I believe greatly benefits my clients,” he says.

For Jeff, the best part of living in

Edmond is the people. He’s especially grateful to the clients who have trusted him over the years, and he looks forward to serving them for years to come.

Jeff Carel’s Edmond office is located at 3540 S. Boulevard, Suite 110. Contact him at (405) 844-4250 or online at home.wellsfargoadvisors.com/Jeff.Carel.

Investment and Insurance Products: Not FDIC Insured / No Bank Guarantee / May Lose Value

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

Jeff Carel

INTEGRIS Health is in Edmond

Whether you need urgent care, hospital services, a top-rated specialist, or a routine well check, INTEGRIS Health has you covered. Their growing network of providers offers patient-focused care for the whole family at locations throughout Edmond and the greater metro area.

Comprehensive, Compassionate Healthcare

No matter where you live in Edmond, a trusted INTEGRIS Health provider is only a short drive away. INTEGRIS Health Edmond Hospital’s central campus, located at I-35 and Fifteenth Street, has served the community since 2011 and gained a reputation for excellence. Along

with a full service 95-bed hospital, the campus includes Arcadia Trails Center for Addiction Recovery, two medical office buildings and an inpatient rehabilitation unit.

Elsewhere in Edmond, you’ll find an expanding network of specialists, primary care providers, urgent cares and physical therapy clinics. INTEGRIS Health serves patients of all ages and accepts most major insurance.

AllSet Urgent Care Is Open Now

If your health care needs can’t wait, INTEGRIS Health offers urgent care throughout the metro. They’re opening 17 new AllSet Urgent Care clinics throughout OKC, including two in Edmond.

The first Edmond AllSet Urgent Care is already serving patients in south Edmond. The second Edmond location will open soon. The clinics treat a wide range of nonemergency conditions, from sprains to allergic reactions to COVID-19 testing and care. They include onsite labs and x-ray units, and they’re open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome.

As Edmond grows, INTEGRIS Health remains committed to providing excellent health care to all residents. “We’ve received so much support from the

city, the Chamber of Commerce, and the outstanding people of Edmond,” says Chief Hospital Executive Jon Rule. “We’re going to continue to grow and meet the needs of this community.”

INTEGRIS Health Edmond Hospital is located at 4801 INTEGRIS Parkway. The South Edmond AllSet Urgent Care Clinic is located at 3224 S. Broadway, Suite 112, or to locate another location, visit allseturgentcare.org. To locate other INTEGRIS Health providers, visit integrishealth.org.


Painting Edmond Purple Alzheimer’s Awareness Initiative

If you find yourself driving down Broadway in June, don’t be surprised when it’s purple. This awareness initiative from the Oklahoma Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association started – as most good stories do – with a boy and girl who fell in love.

“I was working a summer job for a man who wasn’t fond of the guy his daughter was dating,” Edmond resident Herb Magley explained. “He invited me over for dinner one night, and after we ate, the entire family mysteriously disappeared, leaving me alone and a little bit awkward with his very pretty daughter.”

Picking up on the hint, Herb asked Gail on a date. A few years later, she said, ‘I do.’

“It was a wonderful relationship to be in,” Herb said. “We got along well together. We were best friends.” And that was how they spent over four decades of marriage until death parted them in 2015 when Gail passed from the complications of Alzheimer’s.

A lot of people try to hide from the disease, but getting involved early and often is important.

The first signs were subtle. She was an avid speed-reader and would go through two or three books every week for thirty-five years.” That is, until one day she didn’t.

After witnessing Gail’s father go through similar stages in his journey with Alzheimer’s, the couple decided to schedule an appointment with their family care doctor. The symptoms were dismissed as regular signs of aging. Unsatisfied with that response, Herb became both husband and advocate, requesting that Gail be referred to a neurologist.

After two years of exploring every possible option with overlapping symptoms, Gail was diagnosed as one of the 7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. Herb eventually retired to become Gail’s full-time caregiver – and comedian.

“If I could get her to laugh or roll her eyes at me, it would bring things back to the good times,” Herb said. Humor was a huge

part of getting through it.” Though Herb maintained his humor, he could not avoid the harsh realities that caregivers face.

Thankfully, Herb found the Oklahoma Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and signed himself and Gail up for support groups. “At first, she hated it. But eventually she realized it was her safe space and she wanted to go every night.” The support group’s impact on Herb was equally profound. “It saved my life.”

Now a board member for the Oklahoma Chapter, Herb facilitates six support groups, totaling nine meetings per month. “A lot of people try to hide from the disease. They want to deny it,” he said. “I did, too. But getting involved early and often is important.”

“This will be our second year to paint downtown Edmond purple,” Herb said. “We will deck out downtown with purple mylar balloons, pinwheels, and lights. Last year Herb dressed as a taco, a bronco, and a beer - all to raise awareness. We’re also putting old-school cast-iron piggy banks in many of the businesses as a fun way for people to donate their change to the cause.”

But Herb says fundraising isn’t the focus of this event. “We will have a table packed with information and volunteers that will move around downtown Edmond to connect with as many people as possible.”

Herb thanks the Edmond Business Association for supporting this event which was intentionally set for June 16-21. “We chose the week with the longest day of the year, because for caregivers, every day can feel like the longest.”

Those looking to find support or offer it, please visit alz.org.

Herb & Gail Magley

Don’t Slam The Screen Door!

If you grew up like I did you probably heard, “Don’t slam the screen door,” a lot. Living in the country and having no AC meant windows wide open and screen doors on both front and back to let in cool air and possibly an oscillating fan. Even the entrance to our little county store had a wide screen door with a metal advertisement attached to it.

And try as you might, it was next to impossible not to slam a screen door, especially if you were running outside with a hand full of watermelon slices. No better place to eat and spit watermelon seeds than under a shade tree. And in case you’re wondering, yes, our family lived

a lot like the Waltons on TV except we lacked the indoor plumbing and phone.

As kids—six of us— we would run in and out of that screen door and let it slam behind us. And yep, sometimes we had to carefully open and close that door ten times as punishment for slamming it. At night, Daddy would lock the screen with a little hook and eye at the top, which could have been jerked loose by anyone, but it felt safe since strangers seldom traveled our country roads.

Now I love my air-conditioned home where storm doors replaced screen doors years ago, but I also miss those long ago days. I miss kids running in and out of the house and hearing the slamming of those squeaky, old screen doors.

But I’ve found a treasure. A little cottage in Arkansas that I escape to as often as possible. It actually has a wooden screen door from an outside deck to a covered, screened-in deck and I like to let that door slam as I walk through. It’s a welcome sound. Familiar. A piece of my past and I love it.

However, I long for someone to run through that screen door and let it bang behind them while I’m quietly relaxing

on the porch swing of the inside deck so I can yell, “Don’t slam the screen door,” like I heard as a kid so may years ago.


Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker & founder of Wives With Heavenly Husbands, a support group for widows. LouiseTJ@cox.net or LouiseTuckerJones.com.


a look back Edmond's First Pool

Edmond’s first public swimming pool was an extremely long, large concrete structure. Seymour Pool, later renamed Kiwanis Pool, operated from 1924 to 1958. It was located at 5th & Broadway, where several restaurants are currently located. Central State Teaching College (now University of Central Oklahoma), used the pool for summer swimming classes. This 1929 photo was provided by UCO Archives and Special Collections.

1024 W Covell Rd., Edmond, OK 73003

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