May 2024

Page 1

Stephenson Park
MAY 2024
Rodeo to Runway Edmond Traffic

I have a little red stapler on my desk, tucked neatly under my Apple display. I rarely use it; I can’t remember the last time I stapled anything. Swingline manufactured it, and it has no significant value.

How do I know this is my stapler? On the tail end of the stapler (as opposed to the business end), there’s a handwritten “D.P. Miller” inscribed in faded black permanent marker. My mom wrote my name on this small piece of office equipment when she sent me off to college.

I can picture her putting together a little homework kit for me— a ruler, pencils, a sharpener, an eraser, and a stapler yes, he will need that . I’m not sure why she put my name on it, but I appreciate the act forty-plus years later. I remember my mom being a Cub Scout den mother, taking me to art classes across town, and cooking dinner for the family almost every night. She was a good cook, except for that one casserole with raisins (I still carry that memory).

I don’t get to send her flowers on Mother’s Day anymore, and it’s been years since I've been able to pick up the phone to call her. But I do get to enjoy memories and keepsakes from our time together. Her unique handwriting on this little piece of personal history reminds me of how much I was cared for. What a wonderful mom she was. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

8 ADVERTISING l 405-301-3926 l 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 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 l MAY 2024 Volume 20, Number 5 l Edmond Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc. l © 2024 Back40 Design, Inc. 16 Features 8 Stephenson Park: New & Nostalgic 10 Eddie’s Opening at Chisholm Creek 12 Spider-Man Filmmakers 16 Organic Backyard Farming 18 Edmond Cowboy Models in Paris 20 Responding to First Responders 26 City Strives to Improve Traffic Business 22 Eve's and Lulu D's Salon and Boutique 24 Align Interventional Pain Columns 7 In Other Words with Dave 28 Louise Tucker Jones 30 A LOOK Back: Stephenson Park 20
Stephenson Park is unique, with its location near downtown and its close proximity to restaurants, businesses, and residential communities.

Stephenson Park: New & Nostalgic

If you’ve driven past Stephenson Park lately, you’ve seen the dramatic change that has occurred since its $7 million renovation. The once-sedate park is now crawling with people!


Playground Equipment

The most visible new feature is the tall climbing structure leading to two, spiraling, tube slides. The design was selected for its space-age theme, a nostalgic nod to the park’s beloved Rocket Ship Slide from the 1960s. The new playground also has a lower climbing structure for younger children, swings, and musical elements. Surrounding the playground equipment are various chairs and benches for watchful adults.


The arched pavilion is a multipurpose structure, serving primarily as a gathering place with café-style tables, but with the ability to convert into a performance venue on occasion. A large grassy knoll in front of the amphitheater is the perfect place to set up lawn chairs to enjoy a show or hear live music.


As more housing units are built in the area, Stephenson Park is expected to grow in its role as a “walk-through park.” The park’s proximity to residential housing is inviting to locals who wish to stroll or walk their dogs, but the nearby restaurants and museum also draw people who drive from a distance. More than 50 new parking spaces now line the north side of the park.

Other Amenities

Stephenson Park offers a variety of community spaces for families and friends, from the improved basketball court to walking trails and picnic benches along 5th street. A large stone water feature trickles near the amphitheater and the park is lighted at night. The largest cost to the park’s remodel is unseen, however, because it is underneath the new grassy areas: upgraded water lines and improved stormwater management.


The Stephenson Park remodel came after years of discussion about how to best upgrade the park, while retaining its historic character. Despite being the oldest park in Edmond, dating back to 1892, its only major renovation occurred in the 1930s. During the Great Depression, government workers built the stone National Guard Armory and American Legion Hut, plus the rock bridges and entries. Care was taken to preserve these structures in the park’s new design, along with many of the old-growth trees.

The Rocket Ship was also saved. The beloved icon, a remnant of the moon landing craze, now has a place of honor as an art piece at the northeast corner of Stephenson Park, where it is easily seen from the road and is lit up at night.


Now that the park is fully open, it is obvious that the remodel has breathed new life into the once-quiet green space. Not only is the increased foot traffic evidence of its success, events are making their way back to the park after many years. The amphitheater hosted its first musical performance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony in April, and the Edmond History Museum will host the first park-wide event, The Route 66 Blue Hippo Festival, on June 15th.

According to Ryan Ochsner, Director of Community Quality for the City of Edmond, remodeling the park was a responsive move to the development of the surrounding neighborhood. “Stephenson Park is unique, with its location near downtown and its close proximity to restaurants, businesses, and residential communities. We look forward to seeing how the community uses the park in new ways, and I hope that it’s a place where families can have memorable moments together.”

Stephenson Park is located on S. Boulevard, between S. Littler Ave and East 4th Street.


Eddie’s Opening Fi f th Restaurant at Chisholm Creek

With Eddie’s incredible food, lively mood, and multiple locations, people sometimes think anything this good must be a national brand. Then they ask, “Is there a real Eddie?” Yes, there is! And Eddie Wrenn, a third-generation restaurateur and long-time Edmond local, is expanding once again, making his fashionable restaurants even more accessible around town. Eddie’s will open in Chisholm Creek in June, his fifth metro restaurant, bringing a vibrant new 11,000-square-foot dining and entertainment experience to the neighborhood. With 30 years in the food industry, and experience at some of the country’s most distinctive restaurants, Eddie’s handson approach and passion for superior food are evident in all his ventures. Beginning with a highly successful catering business in Edmond, which is still a very significant part of his business today, Eddie’s restaurants now span the Edmond/OKC area with Eddie’s locations at 2nd and Coltrane in Edmond and in Nichols Hills, Hott Wings at The Railyard, The Lounge on 2nd Street in Edmond, and the soon-to-open two-story Eddie’s at Chisholm Creek. “I’m in the kitchen every day, and I taste the food every day,” Eddie admits. “The authenticity of local dining is important. You can’t buy it, fake it, or purchase it.”

Let’s Eat at the Creek!

The exciting new restaurant at Chisholm Creek features a stunning 5,500-square-foot, family-friendly area downstairs, and an incredible 5,500-square-foot sports bar space for adults only upstairs. With its chic industrial design, covered, open-air panoramic patio, entertainment, and OLED TVs, the Chisholm Creek hot spot brings the best of all things Eddie. “I love being on the edge of the next, coolest, best thing,” Eddie says. “It’s great to be in Oklahoma and get to enjoy food like Dallas and Chicago.”

The new venue blends the chef-inspired dishes of The Lounge and Eddie’s famous burgers and wings in one dazzling spot. Eddie says, “Head Chef, Victor Lopez, manager over all our brands, has massive food knowledge.” It certainly shows in the exceptional, made-from-scratch menu featuring handcut ribeyes, fresh fish, decadent pasta dishes, chicken salad stuffed avocados, pepperoni rolls, and NY-style pizza. One of the most popular appetizers is the Okie Twinkie–pulled pork with cream cheese stuffed in a fresh jalapeno and wrapped in blackened bacon. It’s a mouthful that gets better with every bite and sip of your craft cocktail!

Wings, Brunch & Catering Trucks

If you’ve lived in Edmond long, you know Eddie’s fresh, authentic grilled wings are legendary, whether traditional or boneless. “The Premier Pickle Wings are the number one pick,” Eddie says. “They’re marinated in pickle juice and tossed in our salt and vinegar breading.” A creative choice of sauces like Salty Caramel, Bourbon Barrel, and Mango Habanero, along with dry rubs, lets you tap into a world of unique flavor combos.

Sunday Funday kicks off with Eddie’s spectacular brunch from 10:30 am-1:30 pm. The Chicken & Waffles are a hit, along with the Sausage Rolls made with pizza dough and mozzarella cheese and served with sausage gravy and syrup–yum!

For life’s little and big celebrations, having a trusted source for great food takes the pressure out of planning. With five catering trucks and fantastic full-spread catering packages, Eddie’s succeeds at its mission: To create a remarkable, memorable, one-of-a-kind experience you’ll only get with Eddie’s.

For locations, hours, and menus, visit

Owner Eddie Wrenn

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man Filmmakers

Most kids dream of becoming their favorite superhero. They don makeshift capes, hatch harrowing plots, and leap from the tallest sofa cushion – all adrenaline and imagination. But Edmond native, Tate Talley took his childhood passion from pretend play to all-out production.

The 22-year-old launched his production company, Infinity Entertainment, in 2021 and is currently completing his certificate in Digital Cinema Production – both of these steps giving life to long-held goals.

shots that we use to represent New York City,” Tate explained.

Tate and co-creator
Dominic work closely to write, cast, direct, film, and star in the series.

“My parents got me a camera when I was in fourth grade. I started with little videos for YouTube, which grew into short films, and now, an entire series,” Tate said. “Plus, I was always involved in theater, whether at school or local theaters. I just have a passion for telling stories.”

His passion is evident in the impressively shot first season of Web of Spider-Man, which has gained over 50,000 views on YouTube. Excitement is now building for the second of what Tate says will be a three-season series, plus a short film. “The series follows Peter Parker as he hunts down those responsible for the death of Gwen Stacy, his classmate and love interest, and realizes he may be in over his head,” Tate explained. Tate and co-creator, Dominic Bonocore work closely to write, cast, direct, film, and star in the series. The cast is made up of Oklahomans, or those attending school in the state, and shot at various locations across the metro. “We use friends’ apartments, office buildings, and we go downtown for exterior

But with all the subjects under the sun available to the young filmmaker, it’s natural to ask: Why Spider-Man? Tate doesn’t hesitate. “I’m the biggest nerd who ever existed,” Tate joked. “But Peter Parker is such a relatable character to me. I knew I wouldn’t be in the big leagues, but I thought if no one else would give me the chance to play my hero, I’d do it myself.”

While the Spider-Man miniseries has seen great success, Tate sees it more as a stepping stone than a final stop. “We don’t want to be the Spider-Man guys forever,” he said. “This has given us great experience and is a good example of what we can do. But we have more stories to tell.”

In fact, Dominic says he has five other scripts currently in the works. Fans might even expect a comedy to come from Infinity Entertainment in the future. Regardless of what’s to come, the duo wouldn’t do anything differently.

Tate and Dominic agree that with cell phones in everyone’s back pocket, the barrier to the film industry is lower than ever. “Pick up your phone and go film something. Just do it,” they said.

“You hear a lot of people talking about a project they’d like to start, but very few people are doing it. Why not you?”

Witness the Web of Spider-Man and other Infinity Entertainment creations on YouTube @InfinityEntertainment405 or on Instagram @_Infinity_Entertainment_405.

Dominic Bonocore, Tate Talley, and Ricardo Vara Sanchez

Good To Grow Backyard Farming Cultivates Success

Light bulb moments come in all sizes. Sometimes it’s a spotlight. Desiree Mathews’ moment was like a tiny night light. She was rubbing some essential oils on her skin when she wondered if these oils were absorbed so easily, what about chemicals used on fruits and vegetables? The more she wondered—and researched—the brighter that light became.

Desiree, who teaches art in two Edmond elementary schools, remembers her folks, Doug and Doylene Manning, having a small garden when she was young.

It was almost fifteen years later that Doug’s daughter became worried about the safety of the food her family was consuming. Because of her concern, Desiree’s husband, Larry built raised beds in the backyard of their home. After a few years, the four beds at the Mathews’ home were overflowing with produce —and Desiree wanted to plant cantaloupes. They had started a healthy hobby which had gotten out of hand.

Coincidentally, about this time, Desiree’s mother asked Doug to plant some blackeyed peas on the property they owned near Mulhall. Although he had bought the land in 2001 to run cattle, he created a small garden plot to plant the peas. Desiree asked if she could have part of it to plant cantaloupes.

Redeemed Soil

farm plots and approved the site for a grant for a high tunnel, which would extend their growing season by several months. The next year, they qualified for a second tunnel. By 2019, the Mathews were selling produce regularly at the Edmond Farmers’ Market.

Disaster struck in 2023. Eighty-mile-an-hour straight winds took down both of the high tunnels. They were able to save some of the cucumbers and low-growing plants, but Desiree says, “the tomatoes were toast.” This year they’re gardening without the tunnels.

We do everything organically. I don’t want chemicals on my farm, that’s why I started it in the first place.

More and more of the Mathews' horticultural activities moved to her dad’s land and more plots were added. Desiree says, “We tilled initially but now, with the use of planting diverse cover crops and adding compost, we use a broad fork to prep our beds.” Their treatment of the land influenced the name of their enterprise – Redeemed Soil Farm. Desiree also contacted the Natural Resources Conservation Service about their programs. A representative evaluated the

Everything Organic

Desiree says, “We do everything organically. I try to do everything heirloom. I’m known for having different varieties like Cherokee purple tomatoes, yellow carrots, and Malabar spinach. I don’t want chemicals on my farm, that’s why I started it in the first place.”

She says she also grows at least seven varieties of garlic— from Lorz Italian garlic to the hotter, spicier Transylvania —which she says are better options than grocery store garlic, much of which comes from China.

In addition to growing fruits and vegetables, Desiree makes vanilla paste using whole vanilla beans from Madagascar, Indonesia, Uganda, and Papua, New Guinea. Mixed with rum and sugar, the paste has a more potent vanilla taste than vanilla extract. Her paste is available at the Edmond Farmers’ Market, Harvest Hub of Piedmont, and Conscious Community Co-op in Edmond.

Both Matthews continue to have busy careers. Desiree continues teaching, and Larry is a sonographer at a local hospital. Desiree’s dream is to retire and farm full-time. Larry’s dream? He says, “My hope and dream is to make her happy.”

Edited and reprinted with permission from Oklahoma Living Magazine.

Desiree Mathews

From Rodeo to Runway: Edmond Cowboy Models in Paris

Oklahoma cowboy Taylor Williams was lured to France by Louis Vuitton. The world-famous fashion company wanted authentic cowhands to model a Western wear line by Pharrell Williams, the musician and creative director for the brand’s menswear line. In January, Williams and fellow cowboy Ronnie Davis found themselves on the runway for the Louis Vuitton menswear show, which was part of Paris Fashion Week.

The invitation had gone first to Jakian Parks, who in 2021 founded Oklahoma Cowboys, of which Williams and Davis are members. The nonprofit is a memorial to Parks’ late aunt, Shay Nolan, who took him along when she attended Black rodeos across Oklahoma and Texas. “The Oklahoma Cowboys’ mission is to keep the legacy alive of the Black cowboys here in Oklahoma,” Parks said.

Parks created social media accounts to promote the nonprofit. A booking agency that works with Louis Vuitton stumbled across the Instagram account, and a few months later, Parks received an email asking about Taylor Williams as a possible model for the show. Parks also recommended Davis as a model, and the three traveled to Paris.

Williams, a 23-year-old veterinary tech who attended Edmond Santa Fe High School, competes in the fast-paced Pony Express Event, an 8-man relay race that his grandfather, Fred Williams, helped pioneer. He was seven years old when his grandfather gave him his own horse to ride, and he saddles up his current quarter horse, Thor, at least three times a week. “The Pony Express is a pretty intense event,” Williams said. “You’ve got to have some horses that can actually run.”

On the runway, Williams wore a stunning red leather suit, then modeled other creations the next day for an editorial photo shoot. He had done a bit of modeling before, but the Paris experience was a cut above, he said, with several rehearsals and lots of direction from the producers. “They told me to keep a straight face, don’t smile, and to look straight into the camera,” he said.

They told me to keep a straight face, don’t smile, and to look straight into the camera.

He and his rodeo team members wear matching Western-style shirts when they compete, “but my everyday attire is not mostly Western,” Williams said with a chuckle. “It’s gonna be sweats and a hoodie. That’s mostly how Black cowboys are.”

Parks, who rides horses but does not compete, said the revenue from Louis Vuitton and a donation made by Timberland will help Oklahoma Cowboys continue working toward its goals, such as funding summer camps, creating a campus where young competitors can work on personal fitness and practice with their horses, and taking a Black rodeo to a larger city such as Houston. “We want to spread awareness that Black cowboys were some of the first cowboys,” Parks said. “We want people to know the history of the Black cowboys.”

Williams and Davis continue to be open to modeling jobs, especially if the work helps to promote the nonprofit. Williams also hopes to return to college soon with the goal of becoming a veterinarian.

For more information or to support the Oklahoma Cowboys Foundation, contact Parks at

Photo provided by Taylor Williams
Taylor Williams in the Louis Vuitton menswear show in Paris.

Responding to First Responders

Unlike most Edmond Police Department employees, Han Solo accepts payment in treats and ear scratches. The yellow labrador retriever and his “mom,” Stephanie Williams, head up the Edmond Police Department’s Wellness Unit.

Because “super cute” isn’t an adequate qualification, Solo has worked to become a therapy dog. The process includes multiple levels of obedience training, the Canine Good Citizen Program completion, and Therapy Dog certification.

As a Licensed Professional Counselor, Stephanie says Solo’s impact on the department is immeasurable. After contributing on a contract basis to the department's mental health amid multiple traumatic events and losses in recent years, the pair became a full-time presence at EPD last October.

“Officers don’t have the luxury of ever being fully detached from their job,” Stephanie explained, “When they come in from a tough call or just a tough season, it’s healing to be greeted by Solo. He gives a relaxing, happy distraction from the demands of their job.”

Stephanie says the benefits of interacting with a therapy dog are not just imagined. “Research shows even 10 minutes of interaction can reduce cortisol, lower blood pressure, decrease anxiety and boost our body’s happy chemicals, dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins.”

When Stephanie and Solo first began their work, many civilians believed the dog would be used as a tool for the community, not assuming Solo’s service would be focused

on the officers. “One of the best parts of my work with Solo is just bridging the gap,” Stephanie said. “There can be a stigma around mental health, but Solo makes it so easy to form connections. People will start talking about their dogs, and pretty soon, they are able to start talking about their personal lives.”

Stephanie says Solo’s silliness is often therapy in itself. “I’ll take him around to the different areas, or sometimes to line up, and it’s just funny to see this big, wiggly dog run in just dying to greet everyone.”

Solo’s silliness is often therapy in itself. It’s funny to see this big, wiggly dog greet everyone.

Sometimes it’s as simple as a quick pet. But sometimes, Solo adds the element of comfort and connection that people need to move toward something more. “I’ve had a first responder tell me that if I hadn’t had a dog, they wouldn’t have come to see me at all.”

Though Stephanie says Solo is a “silly boy,” he also has a sense for seriousness. “He can often sense what someone needs from him. I’ve been in sessions where he will go over to someone and they’ll tell me, ‘Oh, he knows!’”

This sixth sense of sorts is an invaluable resource for EPD’s mission to maintain officer health from the day they are hired to the day they retire. But for Solo, it’s just another awesome day at work.

Stephanie Williams & Han Solo Officers JT Albright and Josh Lindsey with Han Solo

Eve’s and Lulu D’s Salon and Boutique

A trip to Eve’s and Lulu D’s Salon and Boutique isn’t just another beauty appointment. It’s more like a visit with your friend, sister, or aunt—the one who has a fabulous sense of style and knows exactly how to help you look your best. This longtime Edmond business is half salon, half boutique, and all about you.

A Personalized Beauty Experience

Owner Michelle Gleason is at the heart of the family feeling within the business. “We know everybody by name,” she says. “We listen to what they have to say.”

The salon has several stylists, an esthetician, a nail tech, and a receptionist who welcomes each client. While your hair is processing, you can browse the boutique, choose customcurated items, and try them on after your hair is done.

Customers who are tired of the guesswork of online shopping appreciate being able to see, feel, and try on their outfits. Michelle and her team are always on hand to offer fashion consultations.

Keeping It Local

Michelle first came to Eve’s and Lulu D’s as a customer, then became an employee, and eventually purchased the business from founder Vicki Clement six years ago. “My whole family are entrepreneurs,” she says. Her husband Jim owns G&S Sign Services, LLC, and their two sons work with him. Their daughter Hannah helps in the salon and boutique, and also owns two nutrition clubs and a roofing company with her husband.

The Gleasons are longtime Edmond residents who came here from Salina, Kansas, wanting more opportunities for

their children. They’re passionate about community service and supporting local businesses.

Michelle strives to treat everyone who walks in the door like a welcome family member. “Our priority is to make you happy,” she says.

Eve's and Lulu D’s Salon and Boutique is located at 610 S Kelly Ave Suite D.

Contact them at 405-359-9909 and online at

Owner Michelle Gleason

Align Interventional Pain

People with chronic pain have more treatment choices today than ever before. Dr. Morgan Pollard grew up in Oklahoma and returned home after completing medical training at the Mayo Clinic. She opened her practice, Align Interventional Pain, in 2020 and is committed to helping each patient find ways to manage pain.

New, Minimally Invasive Treatments

“The beauty of this field is that it’s rapidly progressing,” says Dr. Pollard. In years past there have been little options between medications for pain and surgery. Now that gap is narrowing.

Some patients can now avoid or delay surgery with procedures. Examples include spinal spacers, nerve stimulators, and SI joint fusions which require minimal anesthesia and are outpatient procedures.

“New treatments have come out to help patients who didn’t previously have many options,” says Dr. Pollard.

An Integrated Approach

“When patients say they don’t want medication, they’re surprised when I tell them they’re in the right place!” says Dr. Pollard. She believes medications have their place, but she focuses on other, non-pharmaceutical interventions.

For most people, pain management isn’t a quick fix. “Patients with degenerated spines may have pain coming from more than one problem or abnormality, and while I can’t restore the spine to the one the patient was born with, I can help identify the cause of pain and target it as simply as possible.” Dr. Pollard works closely with other specialists and clinics to find solutions that are customized for every patient.

If you have questions about interventional pain management,

Dr. Pollard invites you to attend her free, informational webinar on June 10th from 6 - 7pm. You can register at

Dr. Pollard accepts Medicare and most insurance. New patients are always welcome.

Align Interventional Pain is located at 501 E. 15th St., Ste 300 A, Edmond and online at Contact Dr. Pollard at 405-906-4020.

Dr. Morgan Pollard

Flow Masters: City Engineers Strive to Improve Edmond Traffic

Edmond traffic! It’s a topic of frequent irritation—but smart technology is improving traffic flow in subtle ways. By monitoring real-time video, analyzing traffic volume patterns, and adjusting signal timing lengths, cars spend less time waiting at lights—really!

In a technology room near Covell and I-35, three engineers monitor Edmond’s traffic on multiple computers and screens. In real-time, they watch cars at intersections and adjust signal lights for situations such as car accidents, road construction, or even a large road event like the LibertyFest parade or Cycle 66.

All three engineers in the Traffic Management Center (TMC), Corson Smith, Hamzah Al-Rashdan, and Brian Hiney, enjoy their jobs, knowing that their behind-the-scenes work is improving travel patterns and road safety—even if the public is unaware of their work.

The Latest Technology

Edmond’s Intelligent Transportation System began taking shape back in 2006. Today, almost two decades later, the City is equipped with some of the best systems in the industry. “The backbone of the system is the network of underground fiber optics,” said Smith, Senior Transportation Engineer who is new to Edmond but has 22 years of experience in the industry.

Fiber optics were recently added along 15th Street, and the next construction phase will focus on Bryant, Boulevard, and 33rd Street corridors. According to Al-Rashdan, a mechanical engineer in Edmond since 2015, the difference is obvious when driving in a large metropolitan area without traffic technology. Edmond drivers, for example, quickly embraced the flashing yellow arrows at leftturn lanes, a luxury that many places still lack.

Other benefits include school zone times and devices on firetrucks that “pre-empt” traffic signals to turn green for approaching emergency vehicles. This technology has improved the response time for first responders. The system also notifies the engineers about equipment failures. “Previously, we had to rely on a citizen calling in an issue,” Al-Rashdan said. “Now, we can troubleshoot a problem when it occurs.”

The Most Challenging Intersections

Although Edmond drivers grumble about road construction, many feel the end result is worth the wait. Based on information generated by the engineers, some roads, such as 33rd & Broadway and, more recently, 2nd & Bryant, were widened. Technology can often improve traffic flow without increasing the number of lanes, which saves millions of dollars.

“We identify the highest crash locations and ask, ‘How can we help decrease collisions and injuries?’” said Hiney, a civil engineer who began working for Edmond in 2015. “Data helps us identify our top priority locations and projects.”

Although drivers might not feel like they are moving around town more efficiently, certain data proves otherwise. “Several years ago, it took an average of nine minutes to drive down 2nd street from Broadway to I-35. That time decreased to five minutes when the new system was implemented,” said Al-Rashdan. “Now that Bryant is widened, it might even be less.”

“We create computer simulations to figure out how to reduce road delays and coordinate the signals to work together to give vehicles green lights as they progress through the system. It works, if drivers are following the speed limit, that is,” Smith said with a knowing grin.

In addition, the engineers can respond to situations as they happen. “We often see accidents using our traffic cameras,” said Hiney. “Wrecks can back up traffic, so we make changes to get things running as efficiently as possible to reduce driver frustration and to prevent further collisions.”

Hiney finds it satisfying to identify the small changes that make a difference to drivers. “For example, a large soccer tournament recently created traffic delays, but a few minor modifications drastically improved travel time into and out of the area,” said Hiney. “I love my job. Anything that gets road users to their destinations more safely and efficiently is my goal every day.”

Hamzah Al-Rashdan, Brian Hiney, and Corson Smith

Mama’s Makeover!

After my father died, my mother would often spend a few weeks in our home. She loved sitting near the fireplace in the winter and relaxing on the deck in the spring, enjoying all the flowers in bloom. Sometimes she would cut roses for her room then relax in a rocker and watch TV.

But Mama also liked to socialize and was extremely meticulous about her appearance, especially her hair, having a weekly appointment at her hometown salon. So of course, I became her beautician, rolling and styling her hair.

One day I asked if we could do a makeover on her, similar to a popular TV program. She laughed, wondering why she

would do that. After all, she was in her late 80s and perfectly content, but she agreed. And though Mama was already lovely, I thought this would be fun.

We started with a more fashionable hairstyle, taking pictures along the way. Then came makeup. Mama wore a little lipstick and face powder. I added some foundation and a smidgeon of eye makeup along with lipstick and blush. She looked beautiful!

When she saw herself in the mirror Mama couldn’t believe her eyes. I grabbed a pretty scarf and wrapped it around her neck and asked her to pose. Oh my, she loved it! She even changed clothes and we took more pictures. She definitely felt pretty.

Soon after that my siblings and I gave our mother a huge 90th birthday party. And though Mama enjoyed the makeover at my home, she preferred her “natural” look for the party. I understood, but since I was in charge of decorating, not only did I place framed pictures of Mama at different ages on every table, I also made sure her “makeover” pictures were among them. They were definitely a hit!

My mother is now in heaven and

I sometimes sit in my guest room remembering the roses she cut and how the room always smelled of her cologne when she went home. Then a framed portrait sitting on the dresser catches my attention and brings a smile and a memory. Mama’s magnificent makeover picture!


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


a look back Stephenson Park

Fred M. Stephenson poses in front of the rock entrance to Stephenson Park in 1934. Established in 1892 as “South Park,” the park was renamed Stephenson Park in honor of City of Edmond manager, Fred M. Stephenson in 1934. The newly-refurbished Stephenson Park of the thirties included tennis and croquet courts, an elaborate rock garden in the ravine, and the planting of trees and shrubs.

The Civil Works Authority, a precursor to the Works Progress Administration, constructed the rock wall entrances and matching bridges in the park in 1934. The park has been updated at various points since then, including the addition of the Rocketship Slide in the late 1960s. The park underwent a complete, $7 million overhaul in 2023 and officially reopened on April 18, 2024.

Photo provided by Edmond History Museum,
1024 W Covell Rd., Edmond, OK 73003
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