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August 2019

Winning On & Off the Court Teen athlete shares motivation through book series

Class of 2033 Local Eats: The Fixx Goff’s Hopewell Teepee Church Reborn


Features

Selfie stick: check. Sunblock: check. Iced coffee to go: check. No agenda, plans or reservations: check. We are ready for our road trip adventure. Where to go? Anyplace cool. Colorado seems like a good idea. Point the car that way and we are off. Our vehicle of choice: A rather small but nimble 2-seat convertible made by the Honda Motor Company. Reliable: check. Top down fun: check. Fun on mountain roads: check. Lots of room for luggage: NOT check. Not even close. Our tiny trunk filled up fast, essentially stowing the equivalent of 2 carry-on bags and a small cooler. That meant no curling iron, no flat iron and only 4 pairs of shoes for Alison. Do you feel her pain? I did. This “figure it out as we go” week-long excursion was a challenge for Alison. She’s a planner and a rule follower - this was definitely out of her comfort zone. I appreciate her willingness to pack some essentials and head towards Colorado. This was about as spontaneous as we could be with all the ties that bind (our oddball aging pets, Alison’s girls home from college for the summer, and my business). I called this our “sampler” tour because Alison hadn’t seen much of Colorado. We’d start low and west, enter the state around Durango and work our way northeast up to Estes Park. We had an amazing time. During our week away, we were able to squeeze in several hikes, visits with friends, gallery browsing, shopping and hundreds of “Wow, so beautiful” moments. Pulling into our driveway back home in Timber Ridge, the trip odometer read 2,458 miles. Not bad for a week. No tickets, accidents, incidents or arguments. And not one “are we there yet?” Because officially there was no “there.” It was a vacation without a destination.

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ASK EDMOND

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WINNING ON & OFF THE COURT

Class of 2033

Teen athlete shares motivation through book series

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LOCAL EATS: THE FIXX

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ARCHITECTURAL MILESTONE REBORN

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Indulge excellently

Goff-designed Edmond Hopewell Church returning to its former glory MUSIC, MOVIES AND M&MS

Jay Wadley composes for movies, TV and commercials CLUBHOUSE TRAILERS

Custom-designed band trailers reflect and promote school spirit EDMOND’S ART CARETAKER

Bronze restoration specialist protects our city’s signature art HEFLIN’S MISSION CONTROL

NASA career spans from the Apollo to the Space Shuttle

Business

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HOME CARE ASSISTANCE

Personalized care at home for aging loved ones FRANCIS TUTTLE

Career training programs for all ages and interests

Columns

Dave Miller Back40 Design President

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LOUISE TUCKER JONES

My Birthday Blessing

Cover photography by Marshall Hawkins

ADVERTISING l Laura Beam at 405-301-3926 l laura@edmondoutlook.com MAILED MONTHLY TO 50,000 HOMES IN EDMOND/NORTH OKC 80 East 5th Street, Suite 130, Edmond, OK 73034 l 405-341-5599 l edmondoutlook.com l info@edmondoutlook.com August 2019 Volume 15, Number 8

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Edmond Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc.

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© 2019 Back40 Design, Inc.

PUBLISHER Dave Miller l ADVERTISING MANAGER Laura Beam l GRAPHIC DESIGN Adrian Townsend, Anne Richardson l PRODUCTION Rachel Morse PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins www.sundancephotographyokc.com l DISTRIBUTION Edmond Outlook is delivered FREE by direct-mail to 50,000 Edmond & North OKC homes. 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.


LOCALLOOK

Ask Edmond

Class of 2033

August is a big month for these little Edmondites because they are officially starting school. Outlook caught up with a few students from Edmond’s Class of 2033 to learn more about their plans for the future.

Rex Robinson

Penelope Hutchison

Grey Duncan

Owen Townsend

What about school are you the most excited for? Yeah. I want to read a Paw Patrol book.

What about school are you the most excited for? My class. I’m going to my brothers’ school.

What do you think school will be like? I think it will be small and I will learn math.

What about school are you the most excited for? Seeing all my friends.

What do you want to be when you grow up? SMASH! When it was Halloween last year I was Spiderman, but I want to be Hulk Smash.

What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a zookeeper, so I can take care of the unicorns and play with them.

What about school are you the most excited for? Going to school with my brother.

What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be one of the people that help animals at zoos.

What do you think you will do at school? Play, read books, eat lunch and take a nap. All that stuff.

Do you want to have kids? I want to be a mom. I don’t know how many kids.

What do you want to be when you grow up? An Edmond police officer!

Where do you want to live when you grow up? With my mom and dad.

What is something you want to learn how to do? A backflip. I can do a really good front flip but not back.

What is something you want to learn how to do? Climb a mountain.

What is something you want to do in the future? I want to do cartwheels and karate kicks. I want a bunny, but I have to wait until I’m 10. What kind of car do you want to drive? A sports car no... A race car with all the colors!

What will your house look like? It will be pink with lots of pink unicorns and pink toys. What is something you’re really good at? Making things for my mom. What is something you want to learn? The letters of my name.

Will you get married? No, I’m not a big kid. How many kids do you want to have? 10. 8

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What is something you’re really good at? Riding my brother’s bike without training wheels. What kind of car do you want to drive? A blue racecar. I want to go really fast. What do you think your house will look like? A big house with stairs and furniture.

What kind of car will you drive? A car with a tire on the back that has an iPad. A jeep! What are you really good at? Castle Crashers. I’m good at collecting swords. What would your dream home look like? I want a pool outside that’s in the ground. I also want a hot tub and a cold tub.


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FEATURELOOK

Winning On & Off the Court By Lea Terry

When Edmond resident Kobe Nhin hit a rough patch in his burgeoning tennis career, he didn’t let frustration win. Instead, the 14-year-old middle school student turned his attention to strengthening his mental toughness, a skill he hopes to teach other kids through his series of self-published “Grow Grit” children’s books, available on Amazon. “I hope for them to be confident, carefree, calm and motivated and focused,” said Nhin, who will attend Edmond Memorial High School this fall. Nhin, who’s been playing tennis competitively since age 10, had reached a level in his playing when he found himself struggling to stay focused and motivated during matches, especially when those matches were tight. To help him build confidence and avoid getting angry and frustrated, he began working with a coach who taught him the importance of mental toughness. Through this, he learned specific techniques and skills that he hopes to help other young people develop. These include speaking positively to themselves, exhibiting confidence even when they have doubts, and feeling equipped to not only overcome obstacles, but also use them as learning experiences. Nhin has released three books in the series so far: “How to Win Wimbledon in Pajamas,” “How to Win the World Cup in Pajamas,”and “How to Win the Masters Barefoot.” The title for the first book came from the techniques he learned “Playing without during his own journey.

worry was one of the hardest things for me to get over.”

“It came to me when I was thinking about what it means to play carefree,” Nhin said. “Playing without worry was one of the hardest things for me to get over. Playing in pajamas means to not worry about what others might think. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, what matters is how much heart you compete with.” The title also refers to the importance of visualization, something that Nhin uses regularly to help him hone his mental and physical skills. “At night I practice deep breaths and I win my matches in my head in bed,” he said. “I can see and feel what each stroke feels like when I do this. It’s called imagery and it’s one of the things I teach in my books.” Nhin self-published his books on Amazon, using a Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary funds. His mother Mary, with whom he co-wrote the book, oversaw the publishing process. Nhin has been surprised by all of the attention he’s received for the books, and while the promotion aspect isn’t his favorite part of the process, he has enjoyed engaging with children at book readings around the metro. For now, Nhin is enjoying taking some time off before he heads back to school. However, he is interested in writing more books. He plans to address other sports in future volumes, citing the importance of mental toughness in all areas of life, from athletics to the business world to everyday life. Through his own work cultivating mental toughness, Nhin said he has learned to be less shy and to believe in himself. For other young people struggling with frustration or a lack of motivation, he recommends a very simple practice. “Just take deep breaths, and try to be as calm as you can,” Nhin said.

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To learn more and to purchase Nhin’s books, visit www.kobenhin.com.


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FOODLOOK FEATURELOOK

By Laura Beam

The Fixx

Indulge excellently Sometimes you just know, nothing but a burger will do. And it’s got to be insanely delicious to satisfy your craving. If you’re going to indulge, do it right. The Fixx in Edmond truly delivers, with top-notch handpacked Angus beef, meticulous preparation and crazy good combos that leave you licking your lips and wanting more, even when you can’t eat another bite. Now that’s just good food! Burger up At this family-owned spot, owners Janelle and Dan Sparks have served up a lunch and dinner menu for four years that keeps locals crowding in daily for their ‘fixx.’ The burgers are straight-up fun on a bun, featuring monster combos like the Beast loaded with bacon, hot link, jalapenos and house-made chili, or other tasty toppings like sriracha mayo, eggs, tabasco, bleu cheese, sour cream and salsa verde. It all starts with the hand-packed Angus beef patty, perfectly thick and delicately seared. Layered on their to-die-for hamburger buns, the light smokiness of the meat against the slightly sweet sourdough is a match made in burger heaven. If you come in just expecting another meat-and-cheese combo to fill a hungry void, you’re in for an amazing surprise. “We’re super picky,” Janelle admits. “My husband and I both love burgers, and when we travel, we always find a great burger joint to enjoy. We make lots of things from scratch and something has to really ‘wow’ us to make it onto the menu.” The 6oz. burgers are served with a signature knife in the bun, steakhouse style, ready to cut and share or dig into on your own. Hearty, rough cut French fries are the perfect side, especially dipped in sriracha ketchup. Want for more Why stop at just excellent burgers when there’s even more to savor on this tempting menu? The Chicaboom sandwich with buffalo sauce and bleu cheese crumbles; the chicken, buffalo ranch and Okie cheese steak wraps; the wings; the hotdogs; the chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy; the salads with house-made Ranch, Bleu Cheese and Italian 12

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Server Taylor Gentry, Kitchen Manager Jed King, Owner Janelle Sparks, Cook Ryan Phillips and Server Stephanie Tolson

Vinaigrette dressings—what’s not to love? It’s everything you crave in a cozy lunch cafe and fun family diner in one. “Our dressings are lick-the-plate good,” Janelle says. “Our grown-up mac and cheese is another favorite. We make it ourselves with penne pasta and Asiago and sharp cheddar cheeses.” Grab a fork and get ready to be impressed. Marvelous munchies Forget those standard nibbles as you sip your favorite brew. The Fixx makes appetizers a main-course attraction with selections like cream cheese buffalo chicken dip, cowboy caviar and loaded twisted fixx fries. But the showstopper is an amazing bite-size treat you won’t soon forget. Saturday Night Live fans, rejoice—Schweddy Balls are back and better than ever! This reinvented jalapeño popper is perfectly concocted to deliver all the crunch, slight heat and creaminess of a popper in every mouthful. Cream cheese, bacon and jalapeño are rolled into a ball and encrusted with pretzel. Dipped in their sweet chili pepper sauce, it just gets better with every bite. Every. Single. Bite. Coming soon, The Fixx will feature Monday and Tuesday specials along with their other daily specials, so grab your work buddies and stop in for lunch or load up the family for dinner. Happy hour specials are coming soon, too, so stay tuned and don’t miss all the goodies at this fun neighborhood spot! Stop in Mon.-Sat. at 644 W. Edmond Rd. or visit www.thefixxok.com.

Laura Beam is a writer and advertising manager with 25 years in radio, newspaper and magazines. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Facebook.


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FEATURELOOK

Photos: Courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society

Bruce Goff

Architectural Milestone Reborn By Amy Dee Stephens

West Edmond is home to the most unusual church building in America, a small, teepee-shaped structure that emanates a sense of quirkiness and an air of abandonment. The story of this stone and steel building rivals that of many mega-movie stars: humble beginnings, eventual world fame, slow deterioration and a surprising comeback!

Slow Decline Despite the church’s fame, the top leaked and the bottom flooded. The temperature was never quite comfortable, either. In the 1970s, the interior was sprayed with asbestos, and by the 1980s, the congregation was facing huge repair bills. They abandoned the church and built a new metal building.

Humble Beginnings In 1947, the growing Hopewell Baptist Church needed a bigger structure. The congregation reached out to the University of Oklahoma, hoping an architectural student might create a design inexpensively. A simple cement block structure would do, the committee said, and structural steel frames from the West Edmond oil field were plentiful.

Then began the debate about what to do with the teepee church. Was it worse to tear it down or watch the church deteriorate? After a decade, the frustrated congregation decided there was “no salvation” for the structure. It was slated for destruction.

Bruce Goff, the architecture professor, was captivated by the idea of incorporating the oil field frames. His emerging philosophy of design, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, was to use organic materials harmoniously with the environment. Goff paired with a student to create a design paying homage to the state’s petroleum history and to the Native Americans who once lived on the land. The congregation was frankly baffled by the unusual design, but after it grew on them, they built it. This labor of love took four years, voluntarily constructed by the church members. The men, mostly farmers and oil field workers, built the church in the evenings, while the women provided nightly potluck meals. The church’s stone was quarried locally, the shingles were Oklahoma red clay, and oil field trusses supported the structure. Once completed, the twelve-sided church was 90-feet tall and held 400 people. Eventual World Fame In the 1950s, no one knew Bruce Goff would become Oklahoma’s preeminent architect of the era—but the building certainly captured worldwide attention. Modern-day architect, Hans Butzer, known for designing the Oklahoma City National Memorial and the Skydance Bridge over I-40 with his wife Torrey, said, “Goff resourcefully delivered a worship space of minimal means, and yet the beautiful lantern top leads our eyes toward the heavens, suggesting a greater power above.”

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Surprising Comeback Then, several things happened. First, the high cost of asbestos removal delayed demolition. Second, news of the teepee’s imminent demise spread. Objections came forth. Goff’s church building won awards. Visitors came from around the world to tour the site, now hailed as a unique mid-century modern design. So, the congregation committed to 30 days of prayer and resoundingly concluded that God was telling them to save the building. In 2002, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. And the story isn’t over yet. As of 2016, fundraising is underway to restore the building. Butzer is leading a team to convert the building into usable community space. Butzer greatly admires Goff’s architectural philosophy. In fact, Goff’s nod to the oil industry through his use of steel trusses helped inspire the Butzers’ design of the Skydance Bridge. “The Hopewell is clever in its use of local materials. It is functional in an endearing way; a form of spiritual significance without being grandiose. This church is an icon for the community, but in a larger way, its design changed America’s approach to architecture.” To learn more or donate go to www.goff-hopewell.com. Visit the church at West Edmond Road and North MacArthur


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FEATURELOOK

Music, Movies and M&Ms By Amy Dee Stephens

Remember the Superbowl commercial of Christina Applegate driving in the car with rowdy M&M passengers? The commercial ends with a brief techno-funk ditty written by Edmond’s own Jay Wadley! It’s one of many musical pieces he’s composed for the top advertising agencies in New York, where he now lives. Jay’s music has been heard on commercials for Coke, IBM, Nike, Under Armour, Dell and many more. Jay, a graduate of Edmond Memorial High School, was active in choir and musical theater. During his high school years, he started composing songs. His first classical choral piece was performed at a school talent show, but he was also a member of a punk rock band, which reflected his varied interest in music. After completing a music degree at Yale University in 2007, Jay cofounded the Found Objects Music Productions Company with his business partner, Trevlor Gureckis. The company now has eight full-time employees. “We focus largely on composing original music for film, television and advertising,” Jay said. “Sometimes a commercial pays more than a feature film, and although I would love to do some big crazy Hollywood movie someday, I really like smart, artful cinema.” Most recently, Jay has received credit for an artsy commercial that has garnered surprising attention. Nordstrom’s “An Open Mind is the Best Look,” is a two-minute commercial that has run in movie theaters and online, with over six million views. In the piece, Jay plays an improvisational piano composition. “It’s a beautifully-shot concept, and the music really has a minor role--but people really connected to it. The film is up for several awards. Nordstrom’s did something rare by giving our company a credit line, because they received so many questions about the music, so that was cool.”

“We focus largely on composing original music for film, television and advertising.”

Jay is currently working on the score for a new documentary about prisoner, James Burnes, for Netflix. He also recently finished a score for the SciFi thriller, The OA, and a new series called Tales of the City, which is a reboot of a show from the 1990s. Trevor just finished a Warner Brothers movie called The Goldfinch. The Found Objects studio, located near Madison Square in Manhattan, has four sound-proof recording rooms, which is where the composers spend most of their time. The rooms are small, filled with a variety of computers, speakers, and tons of musical instruments. “It sounds better to play live instruments instead of relying on computer technology,” Jay said. “My mom had me playing piano and singing in the church choir from early on, and I also play piano, drums, ukulele, bass, mandolin, and even a middle-school level of clarinet. I’m terrible at violin, but for the thriller and horror stuff, the violin is great for making crazy, screechy noises.” For most film scores, Jay is brought in very late during production to meet with the director. “I view the film, and we talk about style and tone. I need to know what the director is trying to communicate so that I can develop melodic material that weaves throughout the film and supports the emotional state of the characters,” Jay said. “I’ve gotten to work with some of my biggest idols, like film-maker Charlie Caufman, whom I really admire. It’s rewarding work, and I’m lucky to do something I love so much.” Visit www.foproductions.com to learn more. Photo by: Benjamin Norman

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FEATURELOOK

Clubhouse Trailers By Lea Terry

Custom-designed band trailers reflect and promote school spirit

Top left: Drew Taylor, Top right: Ben Ramsey, Bottom left: Papa (Darrell Hadley), Bottom right: Jeff Hadley

At Edmond-based Clubhouse Trailers, owners Drew Taylor and Jeff Hadley spend six to nine months developing the perfect band trailer for each of their clients. More than just a way to transport high school band equipment to football games and marching competitions, these custom-designed band trailers are a reflection of both the band and the community. “When that trailer comes around the corner into that high school parking lot or stadium for the first time, it is an awesome feeling,” Taylor said. “These trailers transform communities.”

before,” Tyler said. “We didn’t rush the process, and that’s still one of the hallmarks that we have today, is constantly innovating, constantly looking at what we do very differently, and not rushing it, because we won’t sacrifice quality for speed.” Tyler says that both he and Hadley are entrepreneurial by nature, but starting a business of their own did pose some challenges, especially since they were venturing into uncharted territory.

“These trailers transform communities.”

Taylor says creating the ideal band trailer starts with “having a great conversation with that band director.” Only by understanding the goals and needs of the school and community can they tailor the trailer for each client. The company begins by finding a gently used moving van, which they then refurbish by sandblasting and hand sanding it before applying a color digitally printed vinyl wrap created by their graphic design team.

Both men know firsthand the importance of a good band trailer, as both had children in the band program at Edmond Memorial High School. In fact, Clubhouse Trailers started when the school’s band director asked them to help her get a new band trailer, a two-year process Tyler describes as a “pretty slow snowball that has grown into a pretty big snowball.” The pair spent nine months building that first trailer, nicknamed Bulldog One. As part of their research, they toured band trailers all over the country and talked to band directors, band parents, booster organizations and trailer drivers about why they liked their current trailers and what they might have done differently. “We agonized over every detail, we sat in an empty trailer with a white board coming up with new and creative ideas to problems that nobody had solved 20

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“We were kind of shocked that nobody had already come up with a better way, that we were going to be the ones to come up with a better way,” Tyler said.

Since its founding in 2010, the company has grown from doing just a few trailers a year to an expected 45 or so this year. They’ve created trailers for high school and college marching bands across the United States and also moved into a new facility at the end of 2018. Tyler attributes their success to their unique insight into the needs of school band programs. “We sell a solution to a problem,” Tyler said. Both men took early retirement to focus on the business full-time, and Tyler says while they’re excited about the company’s growth, they don’t want to grow so large that they can’t play a hands-on role. “Our hearts skip a beat every time a project leaves the clubhouse, and I know it is hyperbole, but they are very much like our children,” Tyler said. For more information, visit www.clubhousetrailers.com.


BIZLOOK

Home Care Assistance By Maria Veres Our lifespan isn’t decided by fate alone. People of all ages can take steps toward living longer, healthier lives. Home Care Assistance of Edmond is committed to helping seniors achieve that goal. Helping Seniors Live Their Best Lives “Only one third of our lifespan is determined by genetics, which means a staggering two thirds depends on controllable lifestyle factors,” says HCA co-owner Melissa Hill. Through studying the lifestyles of elders in Japan, HCA developed the patented Balanced Care Method (BCM). Care team members guide seniors toward the best possible life in five key areas— healthy diet, physical activity, sharp minds, social connections, and a sense of purpose. “It’s the ultimate in assisted living,” says coowner Greg Bridges. HCA’s clients benefit

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greatly from the focused, personal attention they receive from their care team, and the service improves the quality of life for their family members, too. Expert, Personalized Care All HCA team members receive custom training in the Balanced Care Method. “This is a different way of providing care,” says Greg. “Our caregivers are excited about it.” Greg is an R.N. with expertise in senior health care. He meets with every new client to help develop a care plan that’s customized for them. Clients are personally matched with a caregiver or care team, so they see the same friendly faces every day. Clients can sign up for as much or as little assistance as they need. Both Greg and Melissa are deeply involved in the hands-on running of the business. As members of the sandwich generation, they understand the challenges their clients’ families are facing. “We both know firsthand what it’s like to have aging parents in another city who need help,” says Melissa. They seek to offer clients the same excellent one-on-one care they would want for their own parents.

Co-owners Greg Bridges and Melissa Hill

Celebrating Five Years This summer marks HCA’s fifth-year anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, the community is invited to an open house on August 29, from 10:00 to 4:30. “A lot has changed in these five years,” says Melissa, “but our core values and mission are still the same. We are focused on helping seniors live happier, healthier lives at home.” Visit HCA at 324 S. Blackwelder Avenue in Edmond or online at homecareassistanceoklahoma.com.


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BIZLOOK

Francis Tuttle Technology Center By Maria Veres There’s no such thing as a typical Francis Tuttle student. The person entering the classroom might be a single dad, a teenager, an entrepreneur, or a retiree. Superintendent Dr. Michelle Keylon wants each one to succeed. “I love that we help so many different groups of people,” she says. New Leadership Dr. Keylon is brand new to her job as superintendent, but she’s a very familiar face around campus. She joined the Francis Tuttle team in 2005 as an instructional director. She has served in many roles since then, most recently as deputy superintendent. Her first dream was to perform and teach dance, but she majored in business for better job opportunities. Her advisor at OSU suggested

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that teaching business would be an excellent way to channel her passion for education. She never looked back. Dr. Keylon is eager to increase Francis Tuttle’s outreach in the community. The school is planning a new campus, expansion of the main Rockwell site, more support for entrepreneurs, and a fourth academy for high school students. Expanding in Edmond Starting in August 2021, it will be easier than ever for Edmond area students to participate in Francis Tuttle’s popular career training programs. Construction begins this fall on a new campus near Danforth and Sooner Roads. “We wanted to be close to all the Edmond high schools,” says Dr. Keylon. “It’s important for us to partner with the Edmond schools and community. We love being a part of that.”

quality career training Francis Tuttle provides. But many people don’t know that the school’s reputation for excellence extends far beyond our state borders. “Oklahoma has one of the best career tech programs in the country,” says Dr. Keylon. “Other states look to us as a model.”

The campus will offer all the current career academies and a brand new academy: entrepreneurship. It will also feature many programs to support entrepreneurs and businesses.

Going forward, Dr. Keylon hopes to build on that success. “I love how immediately we can see the impact we have on people’s lives,” she says. “I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

A National Treasure OKC area residents already know about the high-

Visit Francis Tuttle Technology Center at francistuttle.edu.

Superintendent Dr. Michelle Keylon


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FEATURELOOK

Steve Spinharney

Edmond’s Art

Caretaker By Amy Dee Stephens

Edmond is a town filled with art, especially bronze sculptures–and that artwork needs care and maintenance over time. Fortunately, Oklahoma is home to Steve Spinharney, a bronze restoration specialist who has become an authority on the ailments and preventative treatments of bronze artwork. An Accidental Expert “Outdoor bronzes are affected by Oklahoma’s harsh elements, plus abuse from animals, car fumes and people. The sun can hit one side and heat it up to 140°, but the other side feels cool. The temperature swings cause bronze to flex, so it needs a protective layer,” Steve said. He found that commercial products didn’t last very long, so over 18 years, I developed my own, proprietary ‘super wax’ that gets into the micropores of the bronze and sucks tight to the surface. When museum curators got wind of my work, they started spreading my name around. Soon, I was working for city parks, Woolaroc and the Gilcrease Museum.” Steve became a bronze-restoration specialist by accident. He was a contractor doing tree work, rock and brick work, and other maintenance projects. An art owner asked if he might try to repair a bronze statue. “I said I was up to the challenge, so he handed me a little book to read, and that’s how I got started,” Steve said. The Biggest Bronzes Although Steve lives in Tulsa, he treats bronzes all over Oklahoma. He spends a lot of time on ladders because some of the art is quite large. His

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largest is the 17-foot tall Pioneer Woman statue in Ponca City. Another large piece is the buffalo at Sapulpa, seen from I-44. “From the highway, it looks about 6-inches tall—but it’s actually 15-feet high! That one is made of over 10,000 pounds of bronze.” “One of my biggest water projects is Bruins’ Riverpark Picnic, a Tulsa sculpture of four bears playing on a rock fountain. It’s 35-feet across and 3,000 gallons of water rush over that statue every day. Bronze water features are beautiful, but they create a whole new set of challenges. As water evaporates, minerals stay, so I use a ping hammer to remove the layers, and then buff and add my protective wax.” The Small and the Ancient Private individuals also seek Steve’s help for their personal art collections. “I once had a guy somehow run his car over a tabletop-sized horse! It was twisted and the horse’s feet broke off,” Steve said. “I have one client with a unique piece from the 13th century. It’s hand-pounded, almost more brass than bronze, but it is still stable after six hundred years. It’s cool to work on something that old.” Saving Edmond’s Art The City of Edmond hired Steve to maintain its collection of art pieces in 2013. Steve now spends three months of each year doing repairs and preventative maintenance on Edmond’s 200+ art pieces. Because he has family in the area, Steve comes to town and stays a few days at a time throughout the year. He knows each sculpture by name and by history— which includes how many times a bronze has suffered damage or graffiti, where it gets touched the most, and even which pieces dogs urinate upon the most. Because Steve is an artist at heart, he views each piece for its unique, artistic existence. “I’ve come to know them so well that they become my little children over the years. They are MY bronzes, and I feel great about taking care of them. But really, they are in our parks and part of our society, so they’re OUR bronzes. I’m protecting OUR art.” Visit www.BronzeStatueCleaning.com to learn more.


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ALOOKBACK

My Birthday

Blessing By Louise Tucker Jones

August is my birthday month. I won’t say how many years I’ve climbed up that age ladder, but suffice to say there won’t be candles on my cake since I refuse to buy multiple boxes of them. However, that won’t curb my celebration. In fact, I have more than my birthday to celebrate this month. My son, Jay, is one of those spirited young men who always gets up when life knocks him down— in this case, his surgery in June. Jay is recovering beautifully. In fact, as I write this article, the only part of his routine that has not happened, as yet,

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is his daily dance. Jay has always loved music and used to twirl around the living room as fast as a ballerina dancing pirouettes. But over the years, Jay’s knees have had problems so he dances slower, but he dances, nonetheless. He will pop his favorite Christian CD in the stereo, strap on his flexible, Velcro knee braces, and sing and dance to his heart’s content. He sings to the Lord. He sings to his daddy in heaven, and I picture the angels joining him in his praise. So I definitely look forward to that last little hiccup in Jay’s recovery and am thankful that his oxygen saturation levels are much better. And who knows, by the time you read this article, Jay will possibly, even probably, be back to that daily dance routine. So what more could I ask for my birthday? I am so thankful for your prayers and notes. Thankful for friends and family who have shared this latest journey with us, whether it was joining me in the ER, waiting for hours during surgery, loving on Jay, and even bringing us food and flowers. I assure you that no kindness has gone unnoticed. And though my kids probably take my love for

granted, I want to say that I am eternally grateful and forever thankful that God allowed me to be the mom of my two amazing sons, Aaron and Jay. They encourage me, challenge me, delight me, and make my heart sing. What a beautiful birthday blessing! ABOUT THE AUTHOR 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.


FEATURELOOK

Milt Heflin serving as one of the Flight Directors for mission STS-26 in 1988.

Heflin’s Mission Control By Amy Dee Stephens

J. Milton Heflin has lost track of how many tours he’s led through Mission Control at Johnson Space Center. It is the historic room from which Americans heard the famous words, “The Eagle has landed.” In celebration of the Moon Landing’s 50th Anniversary, the room was renovated back to 1969. To Heflin, it’s just as he remembered it looking when he was in his twenties… “It’s spooky to see,” Heflin said. “There’s cigarettes, ash trays, Coke cans, and papers on the console, like the team just walked away.” Mission Control was Heflin’s workspace. The Edmond graduate had a NASA career spanning from 1966 to 2013, covering the beginning of the Apollo program through the end of the Space Shuttle program. Although he started as a test engineer to develop the water recovery procedures for the Apollo splashdown, he worked his way up to flight director for seven shuttle flights, which included the Hubbleservicing mission. Even though Heflin retired from NASA in 2013, he’s still a consultant on a weekly basis. At the end of his career, Heflin was advising the developers of the Reliant, NASA’s next manned space vehicle, about recovery procedures. Like the Apollo missions, it will include water rescue. “So, they want to understand those early achievements and what we learned,” Heflin said. Before Heflin joined NASA, he graduated from Central State University in Edmond. His family had moved to Edmond when he was an 8th grader. As

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a youngster, he worked at Clifton Appliance Store, where he tinkered doing repairs—a good training ground for building NASA equipment. He likes to say that, “Despite living in Houston since 1966, I’m still an Okie at heart. Oklahoma is where I was programmed.” His sister, Garreline Jurko, still resides in Edmond. “I’m so proud of my brother’s accomplishments. I consider him a real hero,” she said. He’s a hero in the aeronautics world as well. In 1993, Heflin was named Astronaut of the Year by Countdown magazine, even though he’d never flown in space. He was also inducted into the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame. Because of Heflin’s distinguished career, he’s still able to lead guests into Mission Control. He’s glad to see that the folks who worked in that room are finally getting credit for their contributions to space flight. “They are appreciated and getting to feel good about what they did—but during flight, Milt Heflin exercising water they didn’t have time to clap, holler and egress procedures on the cheer. While the rest of the world was Apollo mockup in the Gulf watching TV and getting teary-eyed of Mexico in 1968. over our success, the Mission Control folks had no time to celebrate. The very next minute could require a split-second decision. When Apollo 11 landed, the viewing room behind Mission Control was packed with cheering spectators, but if you looked into Mission Control, it was quite a contrast as the team went about their business.” When author, Rick Houston, approached Heflin about co-writing a book about these behind-the-scenes people of Mission Control, Heflin agreed. Their book, Go, Flight!: The Unsung Heroes of Mission Control, 1965–1992, was published in 2015. When Heflin reflects on his 47-year career, he feels blessed. “My heart is full of great memories. Unfortunately, those memories also include all three tragedies that occurred during my time: The Apollo 1 fire, the Challenger accident and the Columbia explosion,” Heflin said. “But the men, and now, thankfully, the women who work in Mission Control today are just as bright as they were back in the Apollo days. They had a fire in their belly to succeed, and they still do. I hold these people in my heart, because they made it possible to accomplish our noble cause of spaceflight.”


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Profile for Outlook Magazine

Edmond Outlook - August 2019  

Edmond Outlook - August 2019  

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