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Outlook February 2014


Armstrong

C O N C E R T – G O I N G

A S

Auditorium

I T ’ S

M E A N T

T O

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Outlook February 2014


February 2014

photography by J.P. Wilson

I’m gonna miss holding hands with Aubrey. She’s at that age—the age when little girls don’t want to hold

your hand, especially when you enter Quail Springs Mall. Walking through the parking lot toward the mall is okay, but there’s an invisible barrier surrounding the mall that causes our hands to separate. Inside, we walk together as we head to the theater, her hands stuffed in her jacket pockets, her eyes scanning for her peers. I understand. It’s a rite of passage. It’s familiar—I’ve been here before with my daughters, and now it’s my granddaughter’s time.

38 Thunder Beat

I will miss her little hand. Perhaps it’s as comforting to me as it is to her. I have someone to guide, to care for, to protect—and then they let go. And start doing it for themselves. A new age of independence.

John Hicks drums up energy on the hardwood court.

After our movie, I told her I would buy her something at her favorite store, Justice. Because that’s what papas do. As we browse through hundreds of sequined tops and a multitude of unicorn products, she finally tells me she’s made her selection. As we cross the parking lot to the car, I enjoy the moment. She holding her new doll and I’m holding her hand.

Dave Miller, Publisher Back40 Design President

8 Facts & Figures 10 Louise

Dancing Through Life

15 Food

Nhinja Sushi & Wok Food Faves

18 Business

Edmond’s Visiting Vet New Image Dentistry

34 My Outlook

John Hicks, Thunder Drummer

To advertise, contact Laura at 405-301-3926 or laura@outlookoklahoma.com. Front cover photo by Marshall Hawkins sundancephotographyokc.com

OUTLOOK

80 East 5th Street, Suite 130, Edmond, OK 73034

405-341-5599

www.outlookoklahoma.com

FEATURES

12 Baby’s Got the Blues

A 10-year-old with a voice for all ages.

20 The Vintage Doll Embracing the world of vintage pinup and encouraging beauty of all kinds.

23 Art With a Heart Art auction benefits the young artists and families affected by cancer.

27 Fire Ferrets A family that flames together stays together.

32 Triple Threat Edmond North’s Dixon triplets score wrestling scholarships.

35 The Houses That Debbie Built

Homebuilder’s journey built on a foundation of faith

info@outlookoklahoma.com

Volume 10, Number 2 Edmond & North OKC Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc. © 2014 Back40 Design, Inc.

PUBLISHER Dave Miller

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Karen Munger

ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER Laura Beam PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins www.sundancephotographyokc.com

PRINT PROJECT MANAGER Bethany Marshall

Account Executive Emily Hummel

DISTRIBUTION The 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.

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The annual fundraising event, Art with a Heart,

l o

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k

f a c

III

Andrew, Lance & Joel are a triple threat. Read their story on page 32.

&

f

i

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Edmond Memorial Swine Week Auction will be held

raised over $50,000

March 1, 2014. This year,

last year for children’s

the proceeds benefit the

cancer research.

City Rescue Mission.

Learn more about the event on page 23.

See the ad on page 33 to learn more about this event or visit swineweek.org.

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Big Hearts for Big Dogs.

Help save a big dog today with the Bella Foundation! Visit thebellafoundation.org for a list of adoptable dogs today.

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Outlook February 2014

The new Mitch Park YMCA pool has

815,349 gallons of water. Check it out today! Learn more at ymcaokc.org.

u

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Around Town

First Presbyterian Church of Edmond will host Dr. Nabeel Qureshi on Sunday, February 9th at 4pm. This international speaker and author will detail his spiritual journey and conversion from Islam to Christianity. For more info, visit the Facebook event “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus” or fpcedmond.org Deer Creek Schools hosts their annual fundraiser, the Creek Classic, March 1st at 8:30am. Register for the one-mile fun run, 5K or 10K to benefit Deer Creek Schools and the Food for Kids Backpack Program which provides food to thousands of local students each year. For more information, visit deercreekclassic.com. Santa Fe High School’s Double Wolf Dare Week has selected Peppers Ranch to be the recipient of their fundraising. The final event for DWDW is the Tour De Santa Fe 5K on February 22nd. Visit dwdw.org for more information.


outlookoklahoma.com

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dancing

Louise

Through Life

Eleven years ago, Gaylen and Nelson Ford met at a “senior dance” and have been dancing through life ever since. They were 57 and 61 years old, respectively, and neither was seeking a relationship, both having been through painful divorces and Nelson had also been widowed. “I didn’t trust myself to find the right man for me,” said Gaylen. “I told God, if I was to have another partner in life, I wanted a godly, faithful, trustworthy, one-woman man.” At the same time, in another town, Nelson was telling God much the same about finding a new mate in his later years. Who would have guessed that God would answer their prayers at a dance in Checotah, Oklahoma, halfway between their homes? The fateful event happened at a Waterfall Dance­—where men lined up on one side of the room and ladies on the other. The woman scooted across the floor and met her mystery partner, then the gentleman danced her back to the other side. It was Nelson and Gaylen’s first meeting. Who could imagine that two months later they would become lifelong partners? At first, the two simply met at dances and for coffee or tea. Both were cautious with this new relationship. Then one night, a woman sat next to Nelson without invitation. Nelson immediately took Gaylen onto the dance floor and said, “I’m not here with anyone. I want you to know you have absolutely nothing to worry about.” He walked her to her car and kissed her goodnight for the first time. Gaylen got into her vehicle and announced to her friend, “I’m going to marry that man!” What she didn’t know was that Nelson had a similar experience. He had been watching an old rerun of “Mel’s Diner”

We’ve Moved! 1312 N. Kelly Ave.

Corner of Danforth & Kelly in Edmond 10

Outlook February 2014

on TV when the waitress, Flo said, “If you see something you want, you need to jump in with both feet.” Nelson leaned forward and spoke to the TV. “I’m jumping!” Soon, Nelson drove to Henryetta to visit Gaylen. Next, she drove to Enterprise to attend church with Nelson. On Thanksgiving, they decided to share the holiday with each other’s families in order to meet their grown children—Nelson’s two sons and Gaylen’s two sons and daughter, along with spouses and grandchildren. In December, while trying to plan a Christmas get-together, for both families, the couple decided to make their relationship permanent and told their speechless children they were getting married. On December 22, 2002, the couple was married at a small church that Nelson helped build in Keota, Oklahoma, blessed by the presence of several family members and a few close friends. Both Nelson and Gaylen, who now make their home in Stigler, say it has been an interesting journey. “Our golden years have sometimes turned into tin foil,” said Gaylen, speaking of some health challenges. She has had two knee replacements and Nelson has survived three strokes as well as triple bypass surgery. “But taking care of each other has just made our marriage stronger.” People are often shocked to find the couple has been married only eleven years, thinking they are lifelong mates. “I just tell them we’re old newlyweds,” said Gaylen. Just goes to show that it is never too late to find true love or your soul mate as the couple refers to each other. They’re always planning new adventures, taking it day by day. “It’s all in God’s hands,” Gaylen added. After all, that’s how their love story began.

About the Author Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author and inspirational speaker. Author and co-author of four books, her work has been featured in numerous publications. Email LouiseTJ@cox.net or visit LouiseTuckerJones.com.

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They say you need an old soul and a history of heartbreak to sing the blues. You need a rich voice, a tortured note in the songs, a deep understanding of pain, but when young Olivia Kay sings those soulful songs, her voice booms like an old blues’ pro. With wide eyes as big and shiny as robins’ eggs and an easy grin, Olivia is a natural on stage. Her voice rings out clear and pure, and fear is not a word she knows. Whether she’s singing in the car or on stage in front of hundreds of people, Olivia knows how to make magic with her voice. If you listen to her, it’s hard to believe that rich, soulful voice is coming from a tiny little girl who’s just 10 years old. She kills it when she sings Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” “At Last” by Etta James and “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood. Everywhere she goes, she surprises people. “I’ve been singing since I was four,” said Olivia between bites of ice cream. “I’m not scared to be on stage. I love it!” With big attitude and a bigger voice, the future of music may belong to a girl still in elementary school.

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Outlook February 2014

LITTLE SUPERSTAR

“When I was four, my friend Zoe had a family who loved music. Zoe’s brother taught her to play drums and I’d sing random words and do beat box and stuff,” said Olivia. “It was just fun. Then at my birthday party, her mom told my mom, ‘Do you realize how good your daughter is?’” Olivia’s mother, Heather Kay, remembers that day clearly. She knew her daughter liked to sing whatever was on the radio, but she never considered enrolling her in private lessons. So despite the hesitation from the music teacher who said that seven was too young for private lessons, Heather took the chance. When Olivia turned eight, her first public appearance was an audition for the OKC RedHawks at Penn Square Mall, where the baseball organization was holding open tryouts for people to sing the national anthem. Olivia was among hundreds who performed in hopes of standing on the diamond. “When she got up there to audition, I think that’s when we really realized how good she was,” said Charles Kay, Olivia’s father. “People were stopping and gathering around the second floor balcony. I think they were shocked. She’s so tiny, but she has such a


by Heide Brandes big voice.” The judges recognized that talent as well. In April 2012, Olivia sang the national anthem for Opening Night at the RedHawks in front of hundreds of people. “It was so fun,” the bubbly 10-year-old said. “I can’t even describe it.” Word spread of the little girl with the big voice who could nail the national anthem. Soon Olivia was performing our anthem for more athletic events and various conferences throughout the state. She went on to perform at the Radio Opry Rising Star Program, the State Fair, the OKC Festival of the Arts and more. To Olivia’s family, the growing popularity of their daughter as a performer was obvious. A friend of the family suggested they call Rick Garrison of NextStarNow, which helps mentor and develop local and national talent. “He’s got contacts in Los Angeles and Nashville, so I emailed him,” Heather said. “He came to the Guthrie Wine Festival to see her perform, and said he was really impressed with her.” After encouraging Olivia to enter and win the Voice for the Cure competition and taking second place in the Edmond’s Got Talent 2013 competition, Garrison’s next step was to take the singing child to Nashville. In December, Heather and Olivia headed to the city where stars are born. There, the 10-yearold fearlessly walked into and performed in legendary venues. “I was singing at a place called Wanna-B’s, and the band from Tequila Cowboys heard me and asked me to come sing with them,” said Olivia. “Nashville was so fun. I wanted to go everywhere and sing. I wasn’t really scared, I was just nervous they wouldn’t like me because I’m a kid.” Though Olivia was accustomed to singing with pre-recorded music, the live bands brought out even more depth in her voice. When she left the stages, the little girl was bombarded by fans offering $10 or $20 for the three-song demo CD.

The Kays took a second trip to Nashville in January, and fans of the girl followed Olivia from venue to venue. From Nashville, Olivia and her mom stopped in Memphis where she was able to share the stage with Barbara Black at Silky Sullivans. “She had one of those oldfashioned clunky mics. I love those. I got to sing with it, and she gave me one of her CDs, so I gave her one of mine,” Olivia said. But the performance at BB King’s in Memphis knocked her into the big leagues. “Finally they called her up and she sang ‘At Last,’” said Heather. “It was the best song she’s ever sung. She brought down the house. There were 300 people there and they went crazy.”

the future Back in Edmond, Olivia continues school and has recorded her first original song. Where she goes next is up in the air, but a trip to visit music producers in Los Angeles is definitely on the agenda. “My first song is called ‘Go Down Dreaming,’ and it’s kind of like Sarah Bareilles,” said Olivia. “I learned it quick and I even tricked it out a little.” What is certain is that singing will be a part of Olivia’s future. It’s all she wants to do. “It’s a little whirlwind right now,” said Heather. “We are taking it one step at a time. Right now, it’s been fun and an adventure, so we’ll see where it takes her.” Connect with Olivia at facebook.com/NextStarNowOliviaKay or youtube.com/user/hrkay1970.

outlookoklahoma.com

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Outlook February 2014

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FOOD FOOD Nhinja Sushi & Wok by Laura Beam

Kobe, Mary, Michael, Jojo and Kang Nhin

You’re probably part of one of the most explosive dining trends that has emerged in this decade and you may not even know it. Most of us routinely rush into our favorite restaurants expecting the ultimate experience­—fantastic food at warp speed for a reasonable cost. Doesn’t sound like anything new to us, but to the restaurant industry, customers’ growing demand for quality food without the wait spurred a new genre of fast casual eateries. Seemingly overnight, a whole new breed of restaurants was born. Diners today want healthier, higherquality foods than fast food offers, yet don’t want the longer wait and pricier tab of full-service, casual dining. Rising to fill the culinary void, fast casual restaurants provide superior ingredients and higher-end menu items but keep them affordable by eliminating the wait staff. It’s a win-win: diners get the fresh, delicious foods they crave, in the eatand-run environment they demand, and restaurants get to stay true to their first love—a superb menu. One fast-growing local eatery, Nhinja Sushi & Wok, has perfected fast casual dining with a level of integrity that extends beyond just the sumptuous menu. Owners Kang and Mary Nhin, a husband and wife team, along with their eldest son Michael, attribute much of their success to their focus on family and sustainability—both in the food they use and their day-to-day operations. With three metro locations, they are guided by a distinct commitment to sound environmental business practices. The Nhins aspire to pass these lessons on to their children. “Kang loves to fish,” Mary remarks.

“He teaches our children the right types of seafood to eat and which fish are abundant, to avoid the harmful results of overfishing. In our restaurants, we provide high-quality seafood at the cost and convenience of faster food. So the seafood that we’re serving here is the same quality that you’d get at a fine dining restaurant.” “We are a multi-generational operation,” Mary notes. “The success of Nhinja reflects the power that a family-run business can possess in the local economy. An innovative, refreshing take on business is just what we’re delivering.” Greeted by a large menu on the wall as you enter one of the cheery, contemporary Nhinja restaurants, you immediately get a taste of the fun, fresh, distinctive philosophy that drives this family business. Starters, soups, salads and a feast of mouth-watering sushi rolls rev up your appetite. Wok’d entrées give diners a choice of chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu, paired with rice and one of Nhinja’s expertly blended sauce and veggie combos, like the popular Mongolian— a savory mélange of onions, snow peas and sweet garlic soy. Rice and noodle bowl

Thunder Gyros & Fries

selections bring an additional punch of variety to the menu. As you place your order at the counter, the servers are happy to help you discover just the right taste you’re seeking and then prepare it fresh when you order. Whether you kick back in Nhinja’s sleek dining area over a saucy shrimp dish, share sushi rolls with friends at lunch or stop in to grab a family dinner on the run, you can savor every bite with a delicious sense of culinary, environmental and economical satisfaction. Being good never tasted so great. Nhinja Sushi & Wok restaurants are open every day from 11am-9pm at 12305 N. Rockwell Ave. in OKC, 13905 N. May Ave. in OKC and 5 W. 15th St. (at Broadway) in Edmond. For catering information or to order online, visit nhinja.com. Laura Beam is a business and food writer and 20-year advertising and marketing executive in radio, newspaper and magazines. Share new business tips and trends with her on LinkedIn or email Laura@outlookoklahoma.com.

Romantic. oughtful. Only $45. Dinner for two includes choice of Honey Ginger Salmon, Asian Flank Steak, Parmesan Chicken, or Basil Pork Chops. Meal is ready to cook at home and includes two sides, salad, rolls, and dessert. Orders must be placed by Feb. 10th and picked-up on Feb. 14th.

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FOODFAVES

by Laura Beam

The Melting Pot

Take the guesswork out of planning the perfect Valentine’s celebration. This romantic destination has you covered—all month! Throughout February, indulge in the lavish Valentine’s Dinner for Two, including an exquisite 4-course menu, box of chocolate wafers and framed picture of your occasion. Or enjoy the Romance Package for Two, also available all month, featuring a 4-course dinner, a dozen roses, framed picture and private table in Lover’s Lane (when available). On February 14th, enjoy an open menu from 11:30am–4pm, or after 4pm enjoy the special Valentine’s Dinner for Two or Ultimate Romance Package which will dazzle your sweetheart with extra touches like candles and rose petals and souvenir champagne flutes! Call 235-1000 for reservations or visit meltingpot.com/Oklahoma-city. Located in Bricktown at 4 E. Sheridan Ave.

Inspirations Tea Room

lunch & Events

In celebration of 10 fantastic years serving Edmond, Inspirations is delighting us once again with a new menu featuring 10 weekday lunches under $10. Perfect for a quick lunch, the new menu offers a choice of main items such as half of a specialty salad or sandwich, plus a side item like soup, salad or a petite sweet. Each lunch includes their signature scone, lemon curd and tea. Perfectly portioned, these meals are also great lunch box orders for office meetings. Try the new individual tea party trays on the menu, too. Shop for fine teas, olive oils and balsamic vinegars before you go, or stop by the Teaoli store at Spring Creek Village in Edmond. Enjoy lunch Tuesday–Saturday 11am–4pm (closed Monday) at 2118 W. Edmond Rd. For party planning, call 715-2525 or visit inspirationstearoom.com.

Lucille’s Restaurant

Bring a little Wild West adventure to your Valentine’s celebration with a fun escape to historic Mulhall! Feb. 13th through March 2nd, enjoy Lucille’s delicious Sweethearts Dinner Specials for just $26.95 per couple. Each of you can choose your favorite feast—either the surf-and-turf special featuring a 10-oz. sirloin, shrimp, salad bar and rolls or the all-you-can-eat catfish dinner with fries and slaw. Afterwards, take a stroll through the landmark four-corner area and see the covered wagon and 1894 sandstone bank building from Oklahoma’s Land Rush days. Don’t miss Lucille’s exciting new menu items under $10, legendary homemade pies and Sunday brunch from 7am–11am, too! Open Thursday– Saturday 11am–8pm & Sunday 7am–7pm. Highway 77 & Main St. in Mulhall, west of Stillwater & north of Guthrie. Call 649-2229 or visit lucillesok.com.

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Outlook February 2014


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BUSINESS

Edmond’s Visiting Vet by Amy Dee Stephens Dr. David Newsome, veterinarian & owner

It’s an interesting job being a veterinarian. Dr. David J. Newsome spends a lot of time on the floor. “Dogs and cats love attention, so I get on the floor with them and relate to them as individuals,” said Dr. Newsome. “Each one has a personality and temperament, and if they are treated right the first time, that pet is comfortable the next time.” Dr. Newsome fills a unique role in Edmond as the Visiting Veterinarian. It’s a business he started 31 years ago, traveling to homes to treat animal patients. “I provide home service to shut-ins, to people without transportation, and to busy parents who can’t get to my clinic. Physical exams or vaccinations can be done in a living room in the comfort of the pet’s own home,” said Dr. Newsome. His main focus is to provide state-of-the-art care while maintaining

an old-fashioned, personalized approach. Building relationships beyond the exam room is imperative to the care Dr. Newsome offers. “I’m now treating third-generation clients—the grandchildren of my original clients, so I really see myself as part of the community.” Having had great success with his inhouse service, Dr. Newsome opened the fullservice All Care Pet Hospital on Broadway in 1993 for surgeries, in-patient care and digital x-rays. He even offers boarding for his clients, giving their pets a comfortable place to stay with hands-on care while they are away. Being a veterinarian is still a dream come true for Dr. Newsome because he loves working with the animals. “I don’t call myself a pet whisperer, but God has given me a sixth sense about being with and reading animals. I do my best to put them at ease. It’s also about

establishing good communication with the pet owner.” As spring approaches, Dr. Newsome encourages pet owners to start thinking about preventing parasites that emerge as the weather warms up. He also offers deeply discounted rates on puppy and kitten vaccine programs in order to get animals off to a healthy start. “Helping owners understand how to care for their pet, and communicate with that animal on its level—that’s my passion,” Dr. Newsome said. “I enjoy the rapport I develop with the clients who invite me into their homes. I’ve worked in all types of houses and in all rooms. I’ve coaxed animals out of closets…from under front porches…out from under beds….” Yes, Dr. Newsome spends a lot of time on the floor. Dr. Newsome can be reached at 341-0000 or thevisitingvetedmond.com.

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Outlook February 2014

T H E R A P Y

David D. Minyard, D.D.S. 950 Medical Park Blvd. in Edmond


New Image Dentistry by Amy Dee Stephens Dr. Miriam Nosrati, dentist & owner of New Image dentistry

Art and dentistry might seem an odd combination, but for Dr. Miriam Nosrati, it’s a marriage of skills that makes perfect sense. “I view my work as artistry.  I’m good with hand skills, such as painting, drawing, cooking and sewing. These skills require meticulous perfection, and so does my dentistry,” Dr. Nosrati said. In fact, the patients at New Image Dentistry admire her detail-oriented work, especially when it comes to cosmetic procedures for improving their smiles. Beyond general dental work, Dr. Nosrati also performs gum surgeries and places tooth implants.  A surprising number of adults deal with the loss of one or more teeth by their mid-30s, due to tooth decay or accident. She was trained in her general dentistry residency to place implants. This is where she developed true

appreciation and skill for placing implants. Dr. Nosrati expertly places implants, bridges and dentures that function like natural teeth. “My passion is to teach people how to take care of their teeth. We don’t push aesthetic procedures—we tell them what can be done and let our patients make the choice that is best for their specific needs. In fact, we promote conserving natural tooth structure whenever possible, so I’ve learned procedures, like Invisalign, that can correct problems or deal with them cosmetically before doing any cutting. I’m constantly learning new technology and introducing it to my patients.”   Dr. Nosrati’s goal is to offer state-of-the-art care to the entire community, stating that, “If you have a dental problem, I know you need a solution that is affordable.” For that reason, New Image Dentistry welcomes clients at all

income levels and has contracted with most major insurance companies. Options are also provided for those without insurance. Inspired by her childhood dentist, Dr. Nosrati attended the University of Central Oklahoma and then the University of Oklahoma to complete her dental degree. She has lived in Edmond for nearly 15 years and is mother to three children between the ages of four and twelve.  “I love living in Edmond. The people are so open to new ideas and new cultures.  We have beautiful parks, nature and art here.” It’s not surprising that Dr. Nosrati would appreciate such aesthetics. Her patients have certainly benefited from her artistic skill, and she is responsible for many of the beautiful smiles seen around town.   For more information, call 285-8880 or visit edmondnewimagedentistry.com.

Call for Free Estimates!

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he Vintage Doll, Mimi LaRue, is adorable in a 1950s-style pink and white dress, white stellar heels and flesh-toned hose with that iconic black seam down the back. Her lips are as red as cherries and her eyes flutter with that catlike swoop of liquid black eyeliner. But it’s her hair that ties the whole look together. For three hours, Mimi curls, sprays, pins and again curls her hair until it becomes the perfect, jaunty rolled style that women favored in the early 1950s. Then she poses for pictures, and her whole rockabilly pinup girl persona comes alive. She flirts with the camera, pouts, smiles and ooh!s when she poses. She’s just simply adorable, with a dash of sexy and a big ol’ pinch of sassy too. What’s funny is that she is like this every day. The pinup model persona is more than an act to Mimi LaRue—it’s a lifestyle. She goes to places like Target dressed like this, and people love her for it. In fact, on her Facebook page, more than 300,000 people have come to love her in just three short years. Now Mimi is on a mission to give every woman, teenage lady and young girl the confidence to love who they are. “The style I teach on my page helps women see that beauty isn’t just one body type,” said Mimi. “You don’t have to change anything to be pinup because it fits all body types. Be who you are. You are beautiful exactly the way you are.” Armed with killer heels and a manicured coif, Mimi wants to change the world, one shy girl at a time.

Rockabilly & Pinup

“Pinup girls” refer to the modern day women who adopt the 1920s to 1950s pinup style of sexy-yet-sophisticated. They appear friendly, don’t reveal too much

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VIN D


The NTAGE DOLL

and the culture is making its way back to the forefront of pop culture. “I discovered the lifestyle when I was 16, and I fell in love with it—the cars, the greaser hair, the girls in skirts,” said Mimi. “I grew up with my grandma, and she told me stories about being a teen in the ‘50s, and I just connected with it.” At by Heide Brandes 16, the quiet little shy homeschooler fell in love with a whole new look and lifestyle. She studied everything she could about it and found a group of friends who also embraced the rockabilly culture. “It is a lifestyle, not just a fashion,” she said. “The 1950s were all about hard work, being honest and genuine and kind. I like the morals of the decade, and I live those morals. There was a certain lightheartedness about the 50s.” For three years, Mimi quietly pursued the new lifestyle, learning all she could. When her son was one year old, she finally got brave—starting her Facebook page. Then, using the timer on her camera that was propped up on her son’s stroller, she took a series of pinup photos of herself. Although the page was up, the traffic was low and the site sat quiet for about a year. “It wasn’t until I got my first photo shoot that the traffic picked up on my page,” said Mimi. “Now I share tips about the lifestyle, make-up and hair, But I also share things that give women the strength they need to take on the “The 1950s were all about world. Now, I get 500 messages in hard work and being honest, my inbox, and I try to answer every single one of them.” genuine and kind. I like the “I never thought I’d be a model morals of the decade, and or an inspiration, so it blows my I live those morals. There was mind that people think I’m cool enough to follow,” Mimi says. “My a certain lightheartedness.” page now has women, little girls and teens who follow me. I teach women how to develop a pinup wardrobe on a budget and give tips, but I also teach body acceptance and self-love.” With so many followers, Mimi is now an inspiration for women around the globe. Posting pictures and stories that women send to her, she helps connect women to each other in a pinup community. “I never thought it would be as big as it is now,” said Mimi. “I’m just a mom. Just a real girl. But if I can do something and share something that gives other women strength and confidence, you’d better believe I’m going to do it. I just love it—it’s the bee’s knees.” Featured in magazines and also writing a few columns for magazines such as Lash & Ink and Pink Bow Cities, Mimi has now become a leader in the pinup lifestyle. “I don’t do it for money. I live this way, so I just don’t know how not to do it,” she said. “I would like to take what I’m doing and show others that they are worth something. Women don’t need to let anyone steal their beauty from them. Whether you’re 98 pounds or 300, you are beautiful.” Follow Mimi on Facebook at “The Vintage Doll.”

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Outlook February 2014


art

with a Art Heart

by Mari Farthing

Creative Power There’s no question about it: art is powerful. Through art, children are able to develop skills that lead to success. Problem solving and spatial relations, nonverbal communication and sensory stimulation, social interaction, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skill development—when children create art, they develop thinking, feeling, relating and coordinating skills. By participating in art activities, children are improving skills that will help them to reach developmental milestones. Beyond that, art therapy is shown to offer respite and reduce the stressful effects of trauma—which is especially important to children who may not yet have developed the skills to process emotional events or verbalize feelings and emotions. By creating art that will be auctioned, children are given a powerful voice in their treatment.

art wtih a heart All proceeds raised from the auction will benefit the Oklahoma Children’s Cancer Association (OCCA), a nonprofit group that helps children with cancer and their families to handle the emotional and financial issues encountered when a family member has cancer. “Cancer impacts the whole family, and OCCA does a great job organizing various events for the entire family and helping them to cope with the impact of cancer,” explains Guebert.

supporting the whole family

OCCA understands that a cancer diagnosis for one means an impact to the entire family unit. They provide support to families dealing with cancer in a number of ways, including: • Keeping treatment waiting rooms stocked with art supplies and volunteers to work with children going through stressful treatments. • Providing support to parents through educational materials, gift cards and monthly support groups. • Hosting group activities for families including bowling, zoo trips and Thunder game outings. • Supporting Camp Cavett, a summer camp for children with life-threatening illnesses. • Providing financial assistance to help with living or medical expenses for families of children in treatment. • Sponsoring college scholarships for current or former patients.

photography by Kay tanger & Candid coler

After stepping from their limousines, they walk down the red carpet. Some are timid; some seasoned professionals who smile and wave and do a little twirl when the flashbulbs start popping. But this isn’t your run-of-the-mill Hollywood event—this is Art with a Heart, and those red carpet walkers are patients at the Jimmy Everest Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders in Children. But make no mistake— this is their night. For twelve years, the Tri Delta Alumnae have sponsored the Art with a Heart event, where artwork created by children with cancer and blood disorders is donated for auction. “The children will be the guests of honor and the center of attention at the auction,” said Jennyfer Guebert, event Co-Chair. Not because of their illnesses— but for what they’ve created.

Proceeds raised from the Art with a Heart auction will help to fund all of these programs and more. Because of the important support offered to families, OCCA has been the event’s chosen recipient for the past several years. Last year alone, Art with a Heart contributed over $50,000 to OCCA.

guests of honor “These kids always keep us laughing,” says Guebert. The children are the guests of honor and can take solace in the fact that the attention focused on them is not because of their illnesses but rather because of their accomplishments. They arrive by limousine, donated by VIP Limos. “They love the ride!” remarks Guebert. Then they hit the red carpet on the way in. “For continued on next page

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the new kids, the red carpet walk can be a little intimidating due to the crowd and all the photos,” continues Guebert. “But once they’ve walked it for the first time….” The children love to plan their actions when they meet their public. Guebert recalls one girl who liked to plan what her red carpet performance will include. “One year it was a curtsy, the next a twirl.” During the event, the children continue the fun. “These artists love to check their bid sheets to see how much money they’re raising.” And when the auction is all said and done, they have a chance to meet their silent bidders. “Bidders have told the kids to come find them if they’re outbid—and the kids do!” In the end, it’s the generosity of the bidders that helps to provide the OCCA programs— but it’s also a great privilege that these bidders have to participate in such an uplifting event. Art with a Heart will be held February 22, 2014, in the OU Medical Center Children’s Hospital Atrium from 6–9pm. Tickets are $30, available at artwithaheartokc.com. Event sponsorships are also available and begin at $100. Learn more about OCCA at helpkidsfightcancer.org.

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Outlook February 2014

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a floor remodel—being nothing but a broker, adding one more step between the manufacturer and you. Not at Kregger’s. Not only are you guaranteed high standards in the work done on your floors, but you don’t have to worry about what happens to a workman on your property. Many subcontractors don’t have full workman’s compensation insurance; they only have workmen who sign waivers. And there may be a chance that a new guy shows up and hasn’t signed a waiver. If something happens to him, it’s on your dime.

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Outlook February 2014

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Fire Dancers F inding Be aut y in the F l ames

by Heide Brandes

At 10 years old, Reddawolf Rayne was dreaming of fire. She could see the flames swirl and fly around her, wrapping her arms in blazing glory, spinning bright streamers into the night as she danced within them. At her 11th birthday, her dreams sparked into reality. Reddawolf danced with the flame. And her mother beamed with pride. “Redda got her first set of fire sticks on her birthday,” said Raiven Rayne, Redda’s mother and the leader of the Dancing Fire Ferrets of Edmond. “She lit them up that night. All she wants to do is play with fire, but she respects it. She’s careful with it. People are shocked when they learn about it, but she’s learned the skill responsibly.” The art form is known as fire poi, the Dancing Fire Ferrets are a ragtag team of blazing personalities with names just as strange. In fact, Reddawolf, now 13, and her sister Alexis, 16, are Oklahoma’s youngest fire poi performers. The sisters, along with their mother, uncle, father and close friends, are members of a performance dance troupe that specializes in the spinning, flipping, choreographing and dancing with fire. Poi is a type of performing art that uses equipment by the same name. Poi involves swinging tethered weights through a variety of rhythmical and geometric patterns, and those who master poi also sing or dance while swinging their poi.

The art originated with the Māori people of New Zealand, and globally, the growing popularity of poi culture has led to a boom in the styles practiced, the tools used and the definition of the word “poi.” Fire poi simply means those tools are blazing with flames while the performers spin their magic and dance within it. The Dancing Fire Ferrets are made up of mother Raiven and her two daughters, Raiven’s husband Sean Tiulli, Arder Fuego (which translates literally to “to burn the flame”), Raiven’s little brother Moku the Ninja and Rafe Knight. The dance troupe creates beauty with music and burning light. “Basically, we play with fire and dance with fire and fight with fire and breathe fire,” Raiven said. “Fire is a very spiritual element for us. It is beauty.” The Fire Ferret’s dream started three years ago at an event by the Society for Creative Anachronism, which recreates the Middle Ages. Arder saw another group performing fire poi, and the bug bit. “Arder had done it since he was 14, so it was easy for him to pick up a set and start dancing with it,” said Raiven. “We were all there and thought it was neat.” continued on next page

outlookoklahoma.com outlookoklahoma.com2727


dancing fire ferrets, cont.

Globally, people have worshipped fire and performed with fire for centuries. In New Zealand, the Māori people are credited with creating the art of poi and used the dance as a form of storytelling. Ancient Aztecs performed ritualistic dances with fire to appease Xiuhtecuhtli, the God of Fire. In Hawaii, the Samoan people use a flaming machete to perform a dance known as Ailao. In Edmond, the Dancing Fire Ferrets do their own stylistic performances.

are mesmerized. The Dancing Fire Ferrets perform at events, fairs and private parties. Everywhere they dance, they inspire new followers and fire dreamers. At each venue, they sell out of practice poi every night.

A F a mil y th at F l a me s To ge the r S tays To ge the r

Once Arder started the poi craze, the other members of the Ferrets caught on quickly. Raiven and Rafe got a set and started working on them. Redda had to practice for an hour a day every day for two months with regular practice poi before she was allowed to move into fire. Sean Tiulli was the last to come on board. “I didn’t want anything to do with it. I refused,” he said. “I said, ‘I’m not going to get burned.’ Then one day I’m walking around looking for devil sticks (hand sticks used for juggling another stick), and I found the poi sticks. I was hooked.” Although he was slow to embrace fire, once Sean was in, he was in all the way. He began practicing daily to perfect the devil sticks. He ordered a fire version of the sticks, and during his first try, he didn’t burn himself—only singed his arm hair a little bit. “He got the fire bug,” said Raiven. “Once you get started performing with fire, it’s like an addiction. Everything you see, every song you hear, you keep thinking ‘I can dance to that.’” When Raiven’s oldest daughter Alexis moved back to Edmond, she saw her family perform for the first time at a party where they’d been hired as the entertainment. That sultry May night, the fire bug bit her too, and Alexis became the newest member of the Dancing Fire Ferrets.

The F ire Sho w

Watching the Dancing Fire Ferrets is like watching something alien and magical. Their bodies blend into the night so only the long, swaying flames are really visible. The music—ranging from Medieval tunes to pounding techno punk—throbs with the flames, and audiences

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Outlook February 2014

But the dance takes practice—and bravery. “My oldest, Alexis, does a move where she drops into the splits, spins the burning poi around her wrists, holds the poi ball in her hands and then jumps up and releases them,” said Raiven. “She’s never been burned badly, but every single one of us have very short hair—because you singe your hair a lot.” Safety and protection are stressed. Besides basic fire safety tools like wet towels and extinguishers, Raiven always has a special burn first aid kit wherever she goes. “I wouldn’t recommend lighting anything on fire, especially poi, for at least six months,” she said. “This takes a lot of practice. You do get burned sometimes. You have to respect the fire and know what you are doing.” “Some families have movie night or game night. We spin fire,” Raiven said. “It’s something we do together as a family, and it’s something we all enjoy.” For more information about the Dancing Fire Ferrets or to book a show, contact Raiven Rayne at 405-698-4927 or find them on Facebook at the Dancing Fire Ferrets.


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Outlook February 2014


a

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t

is

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Edmond to Welcome Baby Boomer Development The City of Edmond will soon welcome Oklahoma’s first neighborhood development geared for Baby Boomers age 50 and above near Covell & Broadway.

Mon Abri, meaning “my safe haven,” is a classical French styled neighborhood. It offers the perfect lifestyle for young retirees seeking freedom to travel without homeowner responsibility or for those still working and managing career, aging parents or grandchildren. Project Director Amy Camarata held focus groups with Edmond baby boomers to identify features and services they would seek in an active adult community. Participants overwhelmingly agreed a maintenance-free home in a gated and secure neighborhood was a major requirement. “This group is active, functioning, traveling and on the move, Camarata states. “They expect

the luxury and lifestyle found in cosmopolitan urban housing, but without the headache of moving to heavily populated areas.” Mon Abri, an exciting new concept, will not only meet all those requests but exceed them with additional on-site amenities. These include a spacious clubhouse, a tornado safe room, sports lounge, fishing pond, walking trails and more. Each private Chateaux will be equipped with a gourmet kitchen, wood flooring, granite countertops, expansive windows and available upgrades such as a fireplace or garden tub. A courtesy concierge enhances the carefree lifestyle of Mon Abri by offering dry cleaning

pick up/delivery, mail services, fax/copy services, watering plants or even pet care assistance. To learn more about this exciting community, progressive Boomers can call 405-850-1546 or visit monabriedmond.com.

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sports

triplets in action (above) Joel, Andrew & Lance

photography by Shannon Shanks

(left to right) Joel, Lance and andrew Dixon

triple threat

by Austin Marshall

Edmond’s Dixon brothers have arrived. In February of last year, the triplets—Lance, Joel, and Andrew—each won the state championship in their weight class and led Edmond North High School to a state title. The brothers made headlines this fall by committing to wrestle for Coach Mark Cody at the University of Oklahoma. After being aggressively recruited by several of the nation’s premier college wrestling programs, the brothers Dixon are poised to rise quickly in the world of collegiate wrestling. Wrestling has always been a family affair for the Dixons. Whether it’s in-season training, wrestling camps in the summer, or the dozens of hours spent traveling to and from duels and tournaments, the family

seven colleges offered full keeps a packed schedule. The three, like so many successful Edmond wrestlers, learned the sport as members of the Edmond Generals wrestling team. They were taking swimming classes when their mother, Linda, enrolled them in the program. Their talent was evident from a young age. After decorated amateur careers throughout middle and high school, the three are now poised to make names for themselves on the national stage as individuals and as a family. The brothers realized that many top-tier programs—the University of Iowa, the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, to name a few—may not be able to offer scholarships to all three. The “economics of a wrestling program,” as the brothers refer to it, could have made it impractical to offer each of the three a scholarship in the same year. Imagine the Dixon’s surprise when seven schools offered them full scholarships. “Then it just became a struggle to pick the best fit for all of us,” the brothers said. Each of the Dixons had his reasons for attending OU. Joel was impressed by the family atmosphere. Lance saw an opportunity for the Dixons to help build the program into a national powerhouse. “We could have gone

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Outlook February 2014

to a top-notch wrestling school and been another cog in the wheel of success, or, we could help build a wrestling program in our home state. It was a no-brainer,” Lance said. Andrew, who aspires to be an orthopedic surgeon after his wrestling career is over, was drawn to the University’s medical school. “It means a great deal to us to be able to stay together,” the brothers agreed. “We wrestle better when we have each other’s support and encouragement. We make each other better.” Their success is not the result of natural talent alone. To excel at a sport as physically demanding as wrestling in a state as competitive as Oklahoma requires years of hard work and dedication. In high school, the Dixons would practice after school, come home for dinner, and then go to The scholarships. Edge Sports Training Facility where their personal trainer, Denny Bonewitz, would work with them until 9pm. After returning home and completing homework, the Dixons would wake up and repeat the cycle again. The brothers will be anything but idle after their senior years of high school. They’ll report to OU on June 1st, where they will enroll in summer courses and begin training with the rest of the team. In July, the Dixons compete in Fargo, North Dakota, for the Freestyle National Championships. They are scheduled to compete in Junior World Nationals and will represent Oklahoma in Dual Nationals, as well. Perhaps most importantly, the Dixons’ decision to attend OU together made their mother very happy. Linda Dixon was very impressed by Coach Cody’s emphasis on family and academics and was obviously pleased to have all three sons remain close to home. “I didn’t want to raise professional wrestlers,” Linda said, “I wanted to raise professionals.” By attending OU, her sons each get to pursue their wrestling careers while having access to a world-class university. If their past is any indication, the future is bright for these Edmond triplets.


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Outlook February 2014


the houses that debbie built

by Amy Dee Stephens

“Build my house and I’ll build yours” seemed like a strange her co-workers kept saying, “You could build your own house, mandate for Debbie White, a single mom and waitress with less than and if you get stuck, we’ll help you.” perfect credit. White told them, “I don’t know diddly about building a “Being a waitress was getting me nowhere. I wanted to get out house,” but she followed their advice, took out a loan and hired of the cycle of working nights. My daughter was nine at the time, and a subcontractor to lay I would rush home from the lunch shift, cook supper, and go back the concrete pad. While to work at six, leaving her with a babysitter,” said White. “I felt like he was working, she I was letting her down, so I took an entry-level office job just to gain asked, “What do I need experience.” to do next?” He told her, After starting working full-time at a local construction company, “Get a stem wall guy.” White discovered that she had a natural aptitude for money and So, she found a stem business—and soon worked her way up to accounting manager. She wall guy, who then told started saving and moved into a house in Edmond on an assumable her the next step. loan. Then she obtained a second mortgage and had cash in her hand “I didn’t even for the first time. “I had big plans. Life was going to be grand for my pretend to know what daughter and me. I was I was doing, but each even planning a vacation,” subcontractor who I said White. Admittedly, the process was not without challenges. And then When the subcontractor asked, “Who’s your builder?” something happened. The answer, “I am,” was always met with surprise. One night, she was driving in her car, hired was fabulous, like they were perfectly picked for me,” expressed and she heard a voice. White. “Step-by-step, I created a spreadsheet of each stage of the “I know this sounds crazy, process, and after nine months, I had a house.” but God spoke to me. He Admittedly, the process was not without challenges. It usually said, ‘Build My house and started when the subcontractor asked, “Who’s your builder?” The I’ll build yours.’ I drove answer, “I am,” was always met with surprise. White laughed. “I do straight to my church and remember one contractor who said, ‘Really? A lady builder? I’ve donated all I had saved to never met a lady builder before.’” their building fund,” said However, White learned a few tough lessons along the way. The White. “Never in a million biggest? “Never pay until you physically see the work done. On my years would I have given first house, a drywall guy dropped by my workplace and said he was up that much money on done, so I wrote him a check. He cashed it before I got home, but he my own. That’s how I hadn’t finished, and I never found him.” knew it was God.” White also gained insight from a TV show that mentioned the Faithfully, White triangle philosophy. “The premise,” White explained, “is that the started over. She began scrimping and saving again. After some time, triangle’s sides are labeled good, fast and cheap. You can expect two sides of the triangle, but not all three,” she said. “You can have good she found an acreage like she’d always dreamed of, and was able to and fast, or fast and cheap, but you can’t have good and fast and cheap. buy it. Since she was working for a construction company, continued on next page

outlookoklahoma.com

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The houses that Debbie built, cont.

At every step, I had to decide which side I could sacrifice.” Within two years of moving into her first house, White realized that she disliked mowing five acres, so she bought a

Becoming a building contractor on eight houses was certainly not her plan. But God turned her life around when He said, “Build My house and I’ll build yours.” smaller-sized lot and built a second house—using the same spreadsheet. Since she knew what steps to take, the house was completed in five months. “Two years later, I sold that house and rolled the cash into building my third house, and then my fourth house. Now, I’ve just finished my eighth house—mortgage free!” White calls her latest house “the ultimate mother-in-law plan.” She has her own section, and the rest of the 4,000 square-foot house is inhabited by her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. “Believe it or not, I designed it on one of those furniture store websites where you draw rooms and add furniture. I took it to an

architect who drew it up,” explained White. “I told my daughter that I wanted to do some things differently on the next house, and she said, ‘Bite your tongue, Mom. No more moving!’ She has helped me move many, many times—so I promised.” White’s life is significantly different from when she first moved to Edmond as a struggling waitress. Becoming a building contractor on eight houses was certainly not her plan, but she believes that God fulfilled His promise to her. “He turned my life around when He said, ‘Build My house and I’ll build yours.’”

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MY outlook by Bethany Marshall

John Hicks, Thunder Drummer How long have you been a Thunder Drummer? This is my sixth season. What’s your favorite part of performing with the Thunder? I love the energy you get in front of that many people. We also get to interact with a lot of fans, take pictures with families and let kids play on the drums. When did you start playing the drums? I started in fifth grade in the Edmond school district. I continued to play all through high school and college, and have played for multiple bands through the years. What’s it like to be in front of all those Thunder fans? There is an indescribable adrenaline rush. Playing drums in an arena is completely different than anywhere else. The sound, the people, it’s unlike anything I’ve experienced. How has being a part of the Thunder Drummers impacted your life? It has given me more success locally than I would have known. Playing in the local music scene for 20+ years I had never experienced this kind of success and recognition. It’s great to be a part of what the Thunder has done for the downtown community. They’ve caused a renaissance of music that wasn’t there before.

photography by Layne Murdoch Jr., NBAE/Getty Images

How much time do you spend practicing for game nights? We usually have one or two rehearsals a week, four hours total. We write the routine and then come up with visuals to accompany. We’ve upgraded to wireless mics so we are able to do formations that we couldn’t do before. Routines are typically about a minute long. Do you ever get recognized on the street? I do get recognized a lot—probably because of my hair! A mohawk is memorable. I have people come up and say, “You’re that drummer dude!” In the end, it makes me extremely grateful for what I do. I was even in “Thunderstruck,” the movie, for about four seconds. How do you come up with routines? All the Thunder Drummers throw out ideas until everyone finds something they like. The routines are often based on popular songs. The Thunder doesn’t care how technically good the team is, nobody dissects the piece. They just want us to play a beat and connect with the crowd and make them clap their hands more than anything. We also work with Rumble on beats so he can move to them. What is a typical game night like? We arrive at least three hours before each game, set up and sound check everything. If weather permits, we will go outside of the arena before the game to get the crowd going. Once the game starts, we go to Section 301 to lead the offense and defense chants. What do you like to do when you aren’t drumming for the Thunder? I have three jobs so I stay pretty busy. Two of them are music related, so I’m very lucky that way.

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Profile for Outlook Magazine

Outlook February 2014  

The Outlook is a monthly, full color, glossy magazine mailed free of charge to 50,000 homes in all eleven Edmond and north Oklahoma City zip...

Outlook February 2014  

The Outlook is a monthly, full color, glossy magazine mailed free of charge to 50,000 homes in all eleven Edmond and north Oklahoma City zip...

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