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As women, we feel responsible for the well-being of our families, but keeping our kids healthy starts with our health. Many of us count calories, get regular exercise and never miss our yearly wellness exams, but you might have overlooked the largest threat to your health – heart disease. We tend to think of heart disease as a man’s disease, but the fact is it kills more women each year than anything else. And for women, the symptoms are different: in addition to chest pain, shortness of breath and upper body pain, unshakable fatigue and sleeplessness can also be signs of a heart attack. Whether you’re a patient of INTEGRIS Health Edmond or Lakeside Women’s Hospital, you have access to cardiologists from INTEGRIS Heart Hospital, and you can make an appointment now to see a cardiologist at either location. To schedule an appointment at the location most convenient for you, call 405.951.2277.

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Outlook January 2015


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Outlook January 2015

January 2015

Real-Life Resolutions. The crew at Back40 Design and Outlook magazine is a resourceful and creative bunch—that is, when there’s plenty of coffee on hand. Even as perfect as we all like to think we are, the new year reminds us to reevaluate our habits and intentions. So we polled the office to see who could nail down their life goals for 2015 in two sentences or less. •

I’ve decided my New Year’s Resolution is to make an appointment to get an annual physical, which I’ve never done, but seems like an easy goal. - Jonathan

I would like to quit smoking in 2015. - Reyna

Get more sleep, exercise regularly and spend more time with family and friends. - Ryan

I’m going to immigrate and marry a Canadian. - Matt M.

I’m going to let things go that don’t make me happy. And maybe paint my kitchen cabinets. - Emily

I’m going to enjoy each day and not sweat the small stuff! - Andrea

I’m going to start using all the fancy unused linens we save for our invisible guests. - Laura

28 Darling Duo

Darci Farmer has given voice to a new talent—ventriloquism

A New Year’s Bucket List

11 Food

Roast the New Year Discover local artisan coffee shops

My goal is to have birthday cards ready, and to send them (on time) to all my friends and family for their birthdays. - Matt F.

14 Business

Dr. Martha Garzon Home Care Assistance

I want to adopt a healthy hobby and learn how to buy a house! - Jennay

30 My Outlook

I’ve promised my husband I’ll watch my shopping habits and only buy things I absolutely need. Mostly. Some of the time. Is that sweater seriously 50% off? - Bethany

Chris Berry, Weight Loss Success

16 Oh, BABY! The Oklahoma City Zoo protects the next generation of wildlife

20 Planning Makes Perfect What every bride should know to plan a dream wedding

23 Best Seat in

the House OKC Thunder photographer captures key courtside moments

27 Learning the Law

Front cover photography by Lillian Kuhn To advertise, contact Laura at 405-301-3926 or laura@outlookoklahoma.com

Dave Miller, Publisher/Back40 Design President



Teens gain firsthand experience in the world of law enforcement

I want to do something that scares me once every month— something out of my norm that breaks the monotony, be it adventurous, heartfelt, simple or difficult. - Brian

Check back with us in six months to see who is sticking to their plans. In the meantime, I’ll resolve to be less informed but more enlightened.

8 Louise

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




Volume 11, Number 1 Edmond & North OKC Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc. © 2014 Back40 Design, Inc. PUBLISHER Dave Miller



Account Executive Emily Hummel

PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins www.sundancephotographyokc.com

Graphic Designers Ryan Kirkpatrick & Matt Flick

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.




by Louise Tucker Jones

January is all about resolutions—exercise more, eat healthy, lose weight, read a good book, watch less TV, spend more time with family, stop stressing over work and traffic… Sound familiar? Well, as Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that working for you?” I stopped making resolutions years ago. It’s not that they are bad, but for some of us, they cause even more tension. Mine would usually look like this: publish a new book, walk on the treadmill every day, cut out all sugar, especially chocolate—way too stringent for this chocoholic writer. That’s the problem with most resolutions. We make them so precise and so far out of our comfort zone that they stress us out the very first week. So this year I’m reversing tactics. Instead of adding things to do, I’m kicking things off my long-time “bucket list.” Things I will never do, no longer want to do, shouldn’t do and was crazy to even think of doing. Here it goes. 1. I will not be an exercise fiend. Never have been but kept hoping some “running” gene would eventually kick into my DNA and I would be out doing marathons. 2. I will not limit my chocolate intake. After all, the American Heart Association says chocolate is good for your health—and no, I am not checking to see if it is dark or milk chocolate. That would be discrimination. 3. I will not be spending a year in Paris or Spain. That goes back to college days when I was studying foreign languages and wanted to become fluent. But these days I have forgotten most of my French and Spanish and can barely handle a week away from home.


I am not going to write a best-seller book series like Harry Potter. Somehow my rhyming children’s books just don’t make good movie formats. 5. I will never be an accomplished musician since my talents are limited to playing “Chopsticks” on the piano along with a few chords of “Beautiful Brown Eyes.” 6. I will never compete in the Miss, Mrs., Ms. America pageant. I have long exceeded the age and size limit. 7. I will never get a black belt in karate. Yep, another one of those college aspirations when I was taking karate and jujitsu lessons. However, I did get my picture in the Tulsa World for being the first girl to take the self-defense class at NSU. At my age, that seems sufficient. 8. I will not travel “around the world in 80 days.” Jet lag is understated and I really like America. 9. I will no longer spell out bad words when I’m talking. My kids are grown and my older friends can’t figure out what I am saying. 10. I refuse to be predictable. If I don’t shock or surprise someone once in a while I’ve become way too boring. So there you have it. My big-time bucket list of things I will never do. Oh, just one more thing. I also refuse to ever go to another dance alone. For those who tell you, “Just go—you’ll enjoy it.” Huh-uh! Been there. Done that. And it wasn’t fun. And no, I’m not explaining. Draw your own conclusions and make your own “don’t do” bucket list. You will be surprised how free you feel. You might even decide to make some New Year’s resolutions. Let’s see, now what would my resolutions look like if I made them. 1. Don’t be dramatic…tell the truth at all times…never exaggerate…. Happy New Year!

About the Author Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker and founder of the organization, Wives With Heavenly Husbands, a support group for widows. Email LouiseTJ@cox.net or visit LouiseTuckerJones.com.


Outlook January 2015




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Outlook January 2015


Roast the new year Discover local artisan coffeehouses

by Laura Beam

Perk Place

Mornings take on new meaning at this cozy hangout. Owners Jeff and Natalie Meyer, 30year restaurant experts, don’t just make a mean cup of coffee, but also treat guests to a delicious lineup of breakfast and lunch foods made fresh daily. Pastries, breads, paninis, hearty breakfast burritos, homemade salsa and a gourmet mayo so good you can dip chips in it, make this specialty coffee shop a go-to hot spot. Guests love the yogurt bar, too, where they can add their own toppings like granola and fruit. This generous coffeehouse also offers catering, free coffee from 7-8am Mon.-Sat. and donates your ‘generosity jar’ tips to area charities. Now that’s coffee with a mission in mind! 1649 W. 33rd Street | perkplacecafeok.com continued on next page



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It’s January. Like clockwork, we’re supposed to magically embrace every healthy and virtuous mindset that somehow eluded us up to the end of the last calendar page of 2014. We’re compelled to suddenly crave earthen foods and live at the gym. Clean our closets and organize our offices. It’s too much. It’s cold. I need coffee. Even as we take down Christmas lights and rightfully consider new goals, something delicious and wintery-warm still revels in our souls—like leftovers in the fridge beckoning us to indulge. There’s only one way to get through these marvelous months of change— caffeine. This means it is time to check out Edmond’s stylish new coffeehouses. Every sip and bite of these surprisingly diverse menus bring yesterday’s holiday joys to everyday life.




Roast the New Year, cont.

Compass Coffeehouse

Young entrepreneurs take note: there’s a savvy movement gaining steam at forwardminded coffee cafes like Compass Coffeehouse. Owner Ally Moore, at just 24 years of age, has a taste for the artisan coffee culture and a mission to treat customers to the finest brew possible. Topeca Coffee from Tulsa is handcrafted with exacting techniques to produce the ultimate ‘seed to cup’ delight. Don’t think the convenience of a drive-thru negates the specialty of this coffee. Each cup is a masterful treat! Pastries from the renowned Brown’s Bakery, chocolates from Rick’s Fine Chocolates & Coffees in Guthrie and Kize Bars from Kize Concepts in Oklahoma add to the decadence of this convenient new-wave coffee shop. 900 NW 50th Street | compasscoffeehouse.com

Aspen Coffee Company

Remember that fantastic coffee shop in Stillwater you discovered all those years ago? Now Edmond is home to Aspen Coffee’s second location, serving up that same great coffee they roast themselves in Stillwater. Not only are the coffee and smoothie drinks a tried-and-true hit, but the amazing menu of wraps, sandwiches, breakfast burritos, pastries and scones are an attraction all their own. From morning to night, seven days a week, you can stop in for favorites like the blueberry scone, lemon poppyseed muffins

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Outlook January 2015

and cookies, pig in a poppy roll and crunchy Asian chicken wrap. Perfect for the college crowd, business meetings and busy moms, this convenient spot is a pleasure morning or night! 180 W. 15th Street | aspencoffeecompany.com

Inspirations Eatery & Events, Tea Room & Coffee House

For more than a decade, Edmond has called this fashionable tea room home. The culinary delights offered for lunches and parties, as well as their incredible selection of global teas, balsamic vinegars, and extra virgin olive oils have delighted every taste. Beginning in mid-January, Inspirations will offer even more opportunities to delight the taste buds. Additions include a breakfast menu and a barista bar offering coffees and specialty drinks like bubble tea. Enjoy the full tea room experience in the newly updated chic decor, or stop in for a quick and casual breakfast or lunch with their new walk-up order service. Waffles, quiche, breakfast sandwiches, homemade granola, and fresh fruit parfaits will be highlights of the new breakfast menu, along with the signature scones that have made this wonderful spot a local icon! 2118 W. Edmond Road | inspirationstearoom.com

Laura Beam is a business & food writer and 20-year advertising and marketing executive in radio, newspaper and magazines. Share new business tips & trends with her on LinkedIn or email Laura@outlookoklahoma.com.

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Dr. Martha Garzon Pediatric Dentistry by Amy Dee Stephens Dr. Martha Garzon, Pediatric Dentist

If taking a child to the dentist isn’t high on your fun list, then you haven’t met Dr. Martha Garzon. Not only is her newly designed clinic a childhood haven, but Dr. Garzon also has a gift for making patients feel comfortable. In fact, it’s not uncommon for children to run up and hug her because they are so excited to see her! “I love children and their world. I enjoy their imagination and their sweetness,” Garzon said. Her office has television screens on the ceiling and video games. Dr. Garzon is wellversed at chatting with the kids about their individual interests, from Star Wars to Santa Claus, and parents are encouraged to stay in the room during treatment. When it comes to treating special needs patients, Dr. Garzon has carved out a special niche. She and her staff do continuous training on techniques for working with children facing

physical, emotional, mental or behavioral challenges. “We customize our treatment for everyone, but some children are more challenging,” Dr. Garzon said. “We often get calls from parents who’ve been rejected by multiple dentists because their children have challenges. These families are happy to find a dental home where they are welcome and cared for.” According to Dr. Garzon, open conversations allow the parents to share suggestions that will help their children relax— it might be an aversion to certain textures, tastes or volume levels. Together, the goal is to “help the child succeed and have a good dental experience.” As a child growing up in South America, Dr. Garzon had nice dentists who influenced her career choice. She trained in Boston and

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New Jersey and is certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Garzon just celebrated the 13th anniversary of her dental practice in Edmond. She enjoys watching families grow up, and confesses that her parameter of treating children from “first tooth to 18 years old” has stretched to include a few college students who aren’t yet ready to leave their favorite dentist. Dr. Garzon is fulfilled by working with children. She enjoys those daily breakthroughs with kids who learn that going to the dentist is helpful, not scary—but she is most proud of the moments when she can treat a severe case that could prevent serious future problems. “Once you gain a child’s trust, she/he can relax and feel safe,” said Dr. Garzon. Visit their new location at 870 S. Kelly Ave., call 348-5757 or go online at marthagarzondmd.com.

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Outlook January 2015


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Home Care Assistance by Morgan Day Melissa Hill, co-owner of Home Care Assistance & Becky Legleiter, Home Care Assistance staffing coordinator

At Oklahoma’s Home Care Assistance, experienced and compassionate healthcare professionals are dedicated to giving aging seniors the attention and personal care they need in the comfort of their homes, allowing seniors to age in place. “Staying at home can be much more comfortable, in a familiar environment with all the memories and things we’ve built our lives around,” said Melissa Hill, who co-owns Oklahoma’s Home Care Assistance with Greg Bridges, RN, MA. “And the thing that’s so wonderful about having home care is you literally are getting one-on-one support— someone who is completely attentive to your needs. Plus, a care manager oversees the care so our clients have a team supporting them.” Rather than one caregiver assisting up to 15 people, which can be the case at long-term

care facilities, at-home professionals focus their attention on one person, allowing for the best quality of care. Home Care Assistance, serving Edmond and Oklahoma City, offers live-in or 24-hour care as well as hourly care. “We really get to know the person, their preferences, their lifestyle, and we can help support that lifestyle,” Hill added. Home Care Assistance emphasizes balance and longevity by employing the “Balanced Care MethodTM,” a holistic approach to care that includes a healthy diet and physical activity. It also focuses on keeping seniors’ minds sharp, keeping them socially connected and helping them live with purpose. Home Care Assistance also offers its exclusive Cognitive Therapeutics MethodTM, an activities-based program based on the science of brain training to slow the progression of

cognitive decline. It can help improve certain brain functioning, and helps seniors build a routine to look forward to, regain a sense of pride and accomplishment and engage with others in an enjoyable way. Hill and Bridges worked for nearly a decade together within the healthcare quality improvement sector on behalf of Medicare, and have brought that passion for quality healthcare with them to Home Care Assistance. “This is a wonderful opportunity for me personally, and I know for Greg, too, to directly impact the lives of people in our community and really see that impact,” she said. “It’s absolutely a privilege when people invite us into their homes and into their lives to take care of their aging loved ones.” Learn more about Home Care Assistance at homecareassistanceoklahoma.com or call 285-4191.



Oh, “Awww!” It’s something you can’t help but squeal when you see baby animals, especially when at the zoo. Fuzzy chicks, playful elephants, even tiny turtles soften people’s hearts. Every birth Wright a dre An Photo By that occurs at the Oklahoma City Zoo is extra cause for celebration, because many of the animals are so rare. “Every zoo birth is exciting,” said Candice Rennels, public relations manager. “It’s such a happy occasion when an endangered species is born because our animals are great ambassadors for their relatives in the wild.”

Celebrity Babies

The most famous zoo baby is Malee the elephant. Her birth in 2011 was historic—the first elephant baby for Oklahoma City! The community fell in love with her, and visitor traffic increased by 150,000 people during her first few months. In December, she was joined by a sibling. This elephant cuteness has generated excitement since 2009 when their mother Asha, one of the Zoo’s adult female Asian elephants, began breeding. The public was apprised every step along the way, following Asha through her two-year pregnancy with Malee and her second calf due before the New Year. “An elephant birth is a significant event for our community. There is a strong connection between Oklahomans and our elephants,” Rennels said.

Surrogate Successes

Zoo babies have a large following, and people will follow their life stories for generations. g ’A D The recent birth of a baby gorilla, Kamina, made y B ifer international news when she went to the Cincinnati to nn o Je Ph . Zoo to be raised by a surrogate mother. Oklahoma City staff Dr knew that Kamina would not do well with her birth mother, so a different gorilla troop was a better option. Oklahoma City, on the other hand, has earned the reputation as o

in st o


Outlook January 2015

The OKC Zoo protects the a surrogate zoo for chimpanzees. Recently, two different baby chimps were “adopted” and are now successfully living with their new troop. The zoo added another surrogate success to its list in November when an African Wild Dog had three puppies. The inexperienced mother showed lack of maternal care, so the staff removed the pups and arranged for a lactating domestic dog to feed and care for these genetically important pups. Lilly, a golden retriever from Kansas raised the three pups right along with one of her own until they all were weaned.

Flocks of Babies

Beyond the famous babies, the zoo is host to all sorts of animal younglings. Raising a flock of flamingo chicks is a bi-annual project for the zoo’s bird keepers. Flamingo eggs are gathered up and incubated, and then the fluffy hatchlings are cared for until spring, when they are integrated into the flock. In this case, because of our native rat snake population our best option for our flamingos is to pull their eggs and hand-raise chicks. nels “We take the flamingo chicks e Ren andic C y oB on daily walks for exercise,” said Phot curator Darcy Henthorn. “It’s

next generation of wildlife

by Amy Dee Stephens

intense work, but one of the coolest avian programs we participate in.” Baby lorikeets are also hand-raised, but for a different reason— they live in an exhibit that people walk through. “We’ve learned over time, that by hand-raising lorikeet chicks they become more friendly birds for our guests to feed and interact with,” said Holly Ray, zookeeper.

Mating Matters

Because of the zoo’s commitment to conservation, most births are well orchestrated. Breeding decisions for endangered species are made by specialized committees worldwide. Mating partners are determined by the individual’s DNA, current offspring in the gene pool, and whether zoos have room for a future Photo By OKC Zoo baby. A half-century ago, zoos had a different philosophy about breeding—have as many babies as possible! Why? First, the genuine fear of extinction resulted in a “baby factory” mentality. Second, selling surplus animals, often as pets, was a viable way of making money. Over time, those practices shifted to focus on better care for fewer animals. “We don’t have indiscriminate breeding anymore,” said Don Whitton, animal records technician. “You’d be surprised how few babies we actually do have during a year.”

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Last year, only a handful of reptiles and birds hatched babies, and only a Ph dozen mammals were ot oB y Dr born. High-profile mammals, . Je nn ifer like Rupert the baby rhinoceros, generate D’A go st the most interest. Occasionally a non-mammal baby ino makes headlines, such as the two Komodo dragon hatchlings who came to the zoo a few years ago. Although they aren’t huge yet— they will be, and visitors enjoy watching them grow. For the most part, pregnancy is a managed process, and staff members are prepared when a baby arrives. In extreme cases, such as the baby elephant births, fully-trained teams spend the night at the zoo, ready to help with delivery.

Where’s The Nursery?

Another change in practice was the elimination of the zoo nursery. Visitors really enjoyed looking through glass windows at rooms full of baby animals, but zoo professionals now advocate that offspring stay with their parents whenever possible. Every endangered species born into a zoo is part of a viable effort to conserve the species for the future. Technology and social media, such as cameras showing footage online, allows visitors to have the up-close experience they previously had at the nursery window, and news media keep the public informed of animal births. More exciting babies are on the horizon at the Oklahoma City Zoo—and zoo fans will have a front-row seat Ph to view fluffy, hairy, scaly cuteness. ot oB yG “Zoo babies melt our hearts,” Rennels ill ian La said. “More importantly, they are the future for ng endangered species.”

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Planning Makes Perfect

Photo by Aubrey Marie Photography

What every bride should know before her wedding day by Lance Evans

It’s every bride’s worst nightmare: rain on the wedding day. There are certain circumstances that we can actually control and then there are those that require last minute alterations. No one knows this better than wedding planner Camden Chitwood of Emerson Events. It’s her job to expect the unexpected. Camden is all about having a plan B. She knows it’s the secret to planning outdoor weddings in Oklahoma. “I know how to quickly execute an entirely different plan,” Camden said. “When you have a planner, all those things are talked about before the 10-day forecast.” Although Camden’s team made sure to check the forecast for a previous wedding she was planning, last minute rain clouds threatened to ruin the outdoor ceremony. As she prepared to move the bride to an indoor venue, something truly unexpected happened. Instead of running to safety in her white gown, the bride refused to let go of her dream ceremony.

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Outlook January 2015

With only 40 of her 200 guests in attendance, the bride wanted to start the ceremony early so she could have her dream ceremony minus the rain. Camden knew that she only had one option: make her client happy. It was a wedding catch-22. Usually, Camden’s job is all about sheltering couples from the unexpected storms that may arrive on their wedding day. Today, she was pushing them directly into the eye of the storm. So, as rain clouds slowly rolled in, Camden’s bride quickly said her “I dos” in front of her close family and friends. “My dream wedding is when the bride, groom and their families are happy,” said Camden. “That lets me know that I’m doing my job as the planner.” Camden has been getting brides ready for their walk down the aisle since 2006. After working banquets and catering for a number of years, she helped her family run The Paper Lion, a gift shop in Edmond. She was constantly around wedding décor and started helping her friends find items for their weddings and helping finalize little details. Before she knew it, word-of-mouth had Camden running a successful wedding planning business. Camden is now one of Oklahoma’s go-to wedding planners. She’s learned how to keep a couple’s stress level low by setting realistic goals for their dream weddings. “For a lot of brides, keeping the budget and guest list on track is the hardest part,” she said. More guests means more linens, centerpieces, food and seats. “The more guests you invite, the higher your budget needs to be. With the services I offer, it includes budget tracking. Once I get their guest list, I build a custom budget based on the guests they have.” Leslie Herring of Leslie Herring Events echoed Camden’s

sentiments and advised all brides to start their planning process with a budget. “Typically the average for a wedding in America is $25,000. Start with a budget and a guest list. Pick your venue wisely. If you book an all-inclusive venue, sometimes it comes with a caterer, chairs and linens, and it reduces your costs.” She also encourages brides not to focus too much on the wedding date itself. She said that stressing over the single day can, at times, make couples forget about their forever. “Try to focus on the marriage and everything else will fall into place beautifully,” she said. It may sound like a segment from an Oprah special, but Leslie said that it’s all in day’s work. “Sometimes we’re interior designers, sometimes we’re counselors—we wear different hats,” she said. Leslie’s initial goal was to be a successful magazine editor. After working at Brides of Oklahoma and The Knot in New York City, her new passion led her to wedding planning. Whether you’re planning a lavish black-tie event or aiming for a small ceremony with close friends and family, Leslie said that remembering one important component will keep you smiling all through your day. “Make sure you’re with the right person! Have fun and make sure to enjoy it. Your marriage lasts forever and the wedding lasts for a day.” See your dream in full color with Camden, emersonevents.com, and Leslie, leslieherringevents.com.

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Outlook January 2015

by Austin Marshall

Photo By Angela Rowe

Anyone who has been to an Oklahoma City Thunder game at the Chesapeake Energy Arena can attest to the raucous atmosphere created by 17,000 of the NBA’s most energetic fans. A 2010 playoff game between the Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers generated a decibel level of 109. That was the highest ever recorded at an NBA game and serves as a testament to the chaotic environment created by the league’s most fervent fans. Most Thunder fans never get to experience the rush of being on-court during the team’s most electrifying moments. Local photographer Richard Rowe is one of the lucky few with the privilege of sharing the court with some of the world’s most gifted athletes. Rowe has been photographing the team since its 2008 arrival in Oklahoma City and has been up close for some of the young franchise’s most memorable moments.


Rowe‘s interest in photography began during his freshman year of high school when he enrolled in photography as an elective. He credits his teacher, Doug Leash, with nurturing an interest in photography as a form of art. “He was my greatest inspiration,” Rowe says. Although born in Oklahoma, Rowe grew up in The Dalles,

Oregon, and did not have an interest in professional basketball. As an adult, he took a trip back to the state to visit his father; it was then that Rowe met his now-wife, Angela, and rediscovered his love of the Sooner State. “I became interested in digital photography after moving back to Oklahoma.” Rowe said. “I started photographing the Oklahoma City Blazers, then the Dallas Stars.” The New Orleans Hornets relocated to Oklahoma City following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and Rowe was introduced to New Orleans’ General Manager through a mutual friend. “I asked if I could photograph a game and I was hooked,” Rowe adds. “I photographed the Hornets for two years, then the Thunder once they came to OKC. I have been there since day one.”


As a courtside photographer, Rowe has been front and center for some of the most exciting plays in Thunder history. One day in particular came to mind when asked about his personal favorite. “Russell Westbrook hit a game-winning shot, the crowd went insane, and a fan gave him a huge bear hug on the sideline.” The photo captures so much about what makes the Thunder important to the state. The angle of the photo allows the viewer to see continued on next page

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Best Seat in the House, cont.

Photo By Richard Rowe

Westbrook’s reaction alongside those of the fans in the immediate vicinity, framed by the boisterous reaction of the larger crowd in the background. Westbrook’s face in the picture is a mix of self-satisfaction, triumph and confidence. The fan hugging Westbrook looks as though he is trying to channel the NBA star’s other-worldly athletic ability and make it his own. Rowe’s expert eye gives a front-row view of the raw energy professional sports provide and allows you to share in a moment that captures so much of what Thunder fans have come to love about the team.


Although he is obviously skilled at the trade, sports photography is not Rowe’s full-time career. He is Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for ZZW Global, Inc., a local oil and gas exploration company, so he gets to indulge his inner fan and passion for photography on the baseline of Thunder games. Being a sports photographer is not without

its obstacles, either. “I’m constantly thinking of new ways to challenge myself,” Rowe says. “People only notice photographs from angles they haven’t seen.” Rowe sees Russell Westbrook as the Thunder’s most photogenic player. He is a photographer’s dream specimen. “He has so much energy and character. He is a sports photographers’ dream come true.” He’s quick to add that the rest of the team is easy on the camera, as well. “No one takes a bad picture.” Rowe’s wife Angela is a photographer, as well, and helps edit his work. “She does all the behind the scenes work that makes my photographs look good.” Rowe has found a unique way to translate a passion into a profession. By capturing some of the most iconic moments in the Thunder’s young history, he has allowed thousands of fans to relive some of their favorite memories. His work perfectly encapsulates the energy of the franchise—and a city—with limitless potential. View more of Richard Rowe’s work at taosactionphotos.com.


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Learning the Law by Morgan Day

Parents, you might have seen the signs: your child always investigating, keeping a lookout for the “bad guys” or having a surprising desire to serve others. It doesn’t take a detective to figure it out—you might have a future Law Enforcement Explorer on your hands. Children who have a strong interest in law enforcement are able to take their passion from playtime to the real deal with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Explorers Program—a worksite-based program in affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America that gives young adults hands-on law enforcement experience. “The kids get to come and explore the world of law enforcement,” explains Sheriff’s Deputy Christy Yokley, who has overseen the program the past two years. “They shadow the deputies in a lot of different field tasks that they do. They do a lot of work within the community with things that are kid-oriented.” Yokley said the Explorers love working with those even younger than themselves. For instance, they often fingerprint youngsters for identification purposes at community events. They’re also an extra set of eyes at events to ensure the younger children stay safe. And in doing that, they often become role models themselves, taking pride in looking out for the smaller children. Other responsibilities could include helping deputies with traffic control at events or parades. “I think this program has been really good for giving the kids real solid role models and interaction with the deputies when we’re working events,” Yokley said. “It’s also been great in boosting their self-esteem. The deputies care what they have to say. We have some really good guys who enjoy working with the kids and teaching them what they can about the whole environment of law enforcement.” The group meets once a month and holds regular training sessions. Explorer training could focus on any of the following tasks or skills: dispatch and radio training, defensive tactics, honor guard, firearms, building searches, facility tours and ride-alongs (for Explorers over 18 years old). Yokley said deputies are always careful not to put Explorers in danger, both in the events they cover and in

their training sessions. “I’m kind of like the Mother Hen,” she said. “I tell them ‘I’m going to protect you and you’re like my kids now.’ I have high expectations of them.” Boys and girls age 14-20 who’ve completed the eighth grade are eligible to join the Explorer program with parents’ permission. Participants must be in good physical condition and maintain a C average or higher in school. Yokley said the program has operated under the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office for at least 10 years and Post. No. 2199 has 12 participants right now. The Edmond Police Department has also recently launched a program of its own. “I think we’re seeing a resurgence because there is a lot of interest,” she said. “I’m noticing that a lot of other agencies are restarting their programs.” The program promotes the growth and development of young people, focusing on leadership skills, character education, citizenship and career opportunities. With experience in Law Enforcement Explorer Post No. 2199, participants are able to add valuable skills and experience to a resumé, which will especially benefit those who want to continue on in the field of law enforcement. Yokley believes it will also come in handy when applying to colleges. Explorers age out of the program at 21 years old. That often marks the beginning of a career in law enforcement (that’s the hope, after all), according to Yokley. Right now, the program has one Explorer who will age out, and that young man has gone to the Sheriff’s Office to work as a detention officer. “They were Explorers and now that they’ve become old enough to be a detention officer they’ve taken that step. And after they’re old enough to become a deputy, they could take that next step,” said Yokley. “That’s the ultimate goal for them. If not here, then just the knowledge and experience they gain can help them with other agencies as they get older.” Know someone who might be interested in joining Law Enforcement Explorers? Call 405-869-2531 or email SOWHIMIT@oklahomacounty.org.

The kids get to come & explore the world of law enforcement.

In photo from left to right: Deputy Daniel McCain, Explorer Gannon Githens. Explorer Mason Smith, Deputy Christy Yokley, Explorer Dakota Martin, Explorer Treveon Reed, Deputy Anthony Glover



Darling Duo

by Heide Brandes

Darci Farmer has given voice to a new talent—ventriloquism Katie is a sassy little girl who loves to tell jokes, sing songs and yodel. Her big round head is topped with fluffy blond braids and she can open her mouth as wide as a watermelon when laughing or singing. She’s kind of a showoff. Next to the puppet, 10-year-old Darci Farmer, a fourth grader at Deer Creek Elementary, sits still as a stone. When Katie sings or speaks, Darci keeps her mouth closed. She’ll ask Katie questions, but what she’s really doing is setting Katie up to be a star. When it comes to performing, Katie may steal the show but the little girl working the puppet is the true talent. Darci had her puppet for only two days before successfully auditioning as a ventriloquist for Edmond’s Got Talent in October. “It was hard at first,” Darci, a bubbly and outgoing little blonde girl, said. “I practiced ventriloquism—not moving my mouth—in the mirror all the time. I just had to work on it, work on it, work on it—and I got better and better at it.” While Darci only had Katie the puppet for less than a month, the 10-year-old ventriloquist sensation won the entire competition. It was her first performance as a puppet master.

The Art of Speaking

Little Darci didn’t even know what ventriloquism was until last year. She was competing in the International Miniature Miss pageant in Las Vegas when she saw another competitor, 18-yearold Laryssa Bonacquisti of Texas, do a ventriloquist act with two puppets. Darci was mesmerized. After both Laryssa and Darci won their divisions, Darci caught every act Laryssa did while they were on tour together. “The puppet yodels too!” Darci said. “She didn’t move

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Outlook January 2015

her mouth. She sang, and she didn’t move her mouth! And she’s really funny. I decided I wanted to try it.” The two became fast friends, and the older girl began teaching Darci the tricks of the trade. “My friend gave me tips on how to use my tongue and teeth,” Darci said. “I never took lessons. I just learned from her. I just really wanted to try it.” Misty Farmer, Darci’s mom, was surprised by her daughter’s interest, but encouraged her to practice. She went to look for a beginner puppet, and on Darci’s 10th birthday, Katie was unwrapped and welcomed into the family. “Katie’s really sassy, kind, sweet, ornery and outgoing,” Darci said. In two days’ time, she had to practice with her puppet and come up with an entire routine, including a song. “We did Cowboy Sweetheart because it has yodeling in it,” Darci said of the competition, which was held this past November. “We won first place! One judge said I had a great personality and strong pipes.”

Lit tle Girl, Big Dreams

Darci is one of those little girls who has a bit of magic inside her. Whatever she does, whatever she sets her mind to, she seems to excel at. In addition to winning international pageants and mastering ventriloquism with a puppet in a matter of days, she’s an accomplished gymnast and an actress as well. Unlike many “child stars,” she doesn’t seem to have an arrogant bone in her body. Quite simply, she may be good at everything, but she’s especially good at being nice. Her talents are natural, and even her parents are mystified by it. “I don’t know how she does it,” said Misty. “She’s very determined with big hopes and dreams for herself.” Darci’s father, Clarke, said the magic formula that keeps Darci on top is simply support and faith. “Whenever she comes up with something she wants to try, we support her and Ventriloquism we continue to support her until she’s not excited makes people about it anymore,” he said. “We have a very strong smile—and that’s faith in Christ, and we hope she recognizes that a great talent Christ is where her talent comes from. We keep her to have. grounded at home and at church.” In light of that faith and grounding, Darci and Katie are planning to entertain with their act at preschools, churches and hopefully retirement homes. Darci will compete in her school’s talent show next year, but her dreams go farther than puppets and talent shows. “She’s a very good gymnast and she wants to be in the Olympics,” Misty said. “Katie is a fun friend for her right now. Ventriloquism makes people smile, and that’s a great talent to have.”

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MY outlook

Chris Berry, Weight Loss Success by Bethany Marshall

How much did you weigh at the beginning of your journey? 625 How much have you lost? 350 How long did this journey take? I started in April of 2013. Are you where you want to be now? I have surpassed my doctor’s goal by 25 pounds. I am still about 25 pounds from my personal goal, which I hope to reach by March. What made you decide to lose the weight? I had a health scare in March of 2013. While at the hospital, a gentleman passed away from a heart attack and I saw his family & friends gathered in the waiting room consoling each other. I knew then that I needed to make some serious changes if I did not want my family and friends to be in that same situation. What was the process you took to lose the weight? Between April 2013 and January 2014 I lost 83 pounds by eating better and exercising five to six days a week. In January of 2014, I had gastric sleeve surgery and have lost an additional 267 pounds. The team at Journey Clinic and Dr. Lana Nelson have a great program and made me feel confident and safe with the entire process. What was your biggest struggle in losing the weight? In the beginning, it was staying away from soda and working out consistently. However, once you start to see the positive results, it motivates you to keep pushing on. I think the most important thing for people to understand about weight loss procedures is they are not a quick fix or a “magic pill” solution. This process has required effort and focused attention. What benefits have you noticed since you lost the weight? Daily activities are no longer a labored process. The pressure off of my joints and body is amazing, and I am now off all medication. One of the biggest benefits was being able to fly with only one seat and no seat belt extender. It also feels pretty great to be able to run around the softball bases! What has been most rewarding about losing the weight? The peace of mind knowing that I will, God willing, be around much longer with my family & friends.


What lifestyle changes have you made? The two biggest were making healthier food/drink choices and exercising on a regular basis.


Outlook January 2015

What has been your biggest accomplishment since the weight loss? I had planned on going to California to visit friends this past fall. While looking at dates to visit, I thought it would be fun to complete a 5K. After a few short runs at Lake Hefner and passing the 5K distance, I felt really good! I decided that I wanted to attempt a Half Marathon. In October I participated in the Long Beach International City Bank Half Marathon. I completed the race and beat my initial time goal by 21 minutes. This is something I never even thought possible prior to the weight loss. What’s it like to need a completely new wardrobe? It’s pretty awesome! There are not many options when you wear a 7XL—Navy, Black and White are about it. Now I am having some fun with new wardrobe choices and colors! What foods, if any, do you completely avoid now? I completely avoid Chinese food (which used to be my favorite), pizza, or anything fried. Fast food places are no longer an option either. Do you have any fitness goals with this new lifestyle? My goal for 2015 is to complete one more half marathon and a full marathon. My other goal is to continue on a healthy lifestyle routine. Many individuals will regain weight, even after the procedure. It is not something that is a “one time and done” procedure. It will require continued effort and a lifetime of healthy habits and actions. Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? I truly feel blessed to have been given this opportunity to reclaim my health. My support system is amazing! My family, friends, and YMCA family have been beside me to encourage, support, and keep me motivated during this process. The positive comments that I have received while out and about have been very encouraging.


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Outlook January 2015  

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 January 2015  

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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