January 2022

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January 2022

Eloise’s West Side Story Hyperbarics for Heroes

Bald Eagles at Arcadia Lake

K9 Robbie on Patrol







Assorted French pastries, an omelet bar, fresh tropical fruits, and several urns of specialty coffees. I suppose this is how a Boca Raton resort does a fancy outdoor breakfast buffet. The line moved slowly, I didn’t care, it was a beautiful morning, the sun was shining and I felt like I had arrived. I had heard about this event for years, and now I was attending as a full-fledged member. I had also heard many of the industry’s biggest names were in attendance. I was just happily taking it all in. In typical buffet fashion, I overloaded my plate - but it all looked so good. As I approached the end of the line I noticed the older gentleman in front of me was having difficulty pouring his coffee. His hands were shaking. Being raised right by my parents and then attending the “finishing school of the 12 Steps,” I offered to be of service. He handed me his saucer and cup and allowed me to pour his coffee, I then asked if I could take it to his table. He agreed and thanked me. As I delivered the coffee to his table, I was invited to join the group sitting there. This was the most memorable breakfast I ever had. That sunny morning at the 1993 National Cartoonist Society convention, I had breakfast at the “grownup’s” table. The simple act of kindness to Charles Schultz, creator of Peanuts, placed me among industry legends. Also at the table were Mel Lazarus (creator of Miss Peach and Momma), Bil Keane (creator of Family Circus), and Lynn Johnston, (creator of For Better or For Worse). What an amazing morning. Charles didn’t really say much about my newly syndicated comic strip, DAVE, but his wife, Jean, was very complimentary. I’ll take that! Read some DAVE at back40design.com/about/dave-comicstrip/

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Features 8

Ask Edmond

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Local Eats: Moni’s Pasta & Pizza

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Eloise’s West Side Story

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Robbie at the Ready

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From Plants to Plastic

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Bald Eagles at Arcadia Lake

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Hyperbarics for Heroes

Business 22

Luminary Dermatology

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Edmond Pickup

Columns 7

In Other Words With Dave

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Louise Tucker Jones

Cover Photography by James Jin

Dave Miller Publisher & Back40 Design President

ADVERTISING l 405-301-3926 l sales@edmondoutlook.com MAILED MONTHLY TO OVER 50,000 HOMES IN THE EDMOND AREA 1024 W Covell, Edmond, OK 73003 l 405-341-5599 l edmondoutlook.com l info@edmondoutlook.com January 2022 Volume 18, Number 1

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Edmond Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc.

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© 2022 Back40 Design, Inc.

PUBLISHER Dave Miller l EDITOR Jennay Wangen l ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Angie Clemens Byers l GRAPHIC DESIGN Adrian Townsend, Anne Richardson PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins www.sundancephotographyokc.com l DISTRIBUTION Edmond Outlook is delivered FREE by direct-mail to over 50,000 Edmond area homes. Articles and advertisements in the Outlook do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Back40 Design. Back40 Design does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by the Outlook does not constitute endorsement of the products, services or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service that is fraudulent or misleading in nature. The Outlook assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.


LOCALLOOK

Ask Edmond What do you love about your neighborhood?

Julie Chapman

Laura & Bruce Robertson

Lainee Copeland

I love downtown Edmond because I can walk to many of my favorite places… restaurants, retail stores, library, grocery, parks, schools, etc. there are so many activities also like Vibes, Heard on Hurd, and the arts festival… There is always something to do and people to see. It’s a great community.

When it comes to awesome neighborhoods, we hit the jackpot. Olde Towne is conveniently located to everything, shopping, parks, schools and access to I-35! We are close to the neighborhood park and back to Timberdale, which is an added bonus for walking/running! Great place to raise our two girls!

Community is what Chimney Hill is all about and that’s why we call it home. From meeting new friends at our Little Free Library to gathering with neighbors around a cozy fire pit and playing horseshoes, people are always up for fun and fellowship. Trails leading into Hafer Park are a bonus too!

Shannon Moore

Brad & Sherry Jordan

Randy & Delores Hnot

The Chitwood family wanted to preserve land around the neighborhood so we have an 120 acre hay meadow that provides open space and we use to fly kites. We also have a small lake with a fishing dock that families use. My favorite memories of Chitwood Farms are the Halloween parties and costumes.

We moved in to the Clegern Place neighborhood (south of Fink Park) in November of 2020. What makes this neighborhood outstanding is the number of people that you find walking, running and biking. We are also within walking distance of our favorite businesses and restaurants in downtown Edmond!

My neighborhood takes me back to my childhood when everyone knew each other by name, supported each other in time of need. I say this because I have lived all over the United States and at times barely knew my neighbors - not here in Edmond. In the spring we are going to have a neighborhood cookout.

Downtown Edmond

Keller Williams Realtor / Attorney Olde Towne

Office Administrator, Cimarron Construction Chitwood Farms

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Mustang Fuel CIO/Edmond Chamber CEO Clegern / Capitol View

Stay at Home Mom Chimney Hill

President RH Logistics / Retired Sonoma Gardens


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FOODLOOK

John & Rachel Foster

Moni’s Pasta & Pizza By Laura Beam Dining locally just doesn’t get any better than a cozy Italian eatery right around the corner in the neighborhood. Warm lighting, comfy tables, superior food and drinks, and the friendliest owners and staff entice you to linger over good times and laughter. That’s why guests have been drawn to the comfort and charisma of Moni’s Pasta & Pizza since 2014 when owners John and Rachel Foster embarked on a passionate new adventure together. Classically trained French Chef, Rachel, and technology expert, John, blended their creative and business skills when they took over Moni’s in Edmond. Nearly eight years and several expansions and remodelings later, this beloved restaurant now seats up to 180 guests, has a full bar, spacious patio and robust carry-out and catering business. Breaking Bread You simply can’t come to Moni’s without enjoying the house-made bread. The oversized, billowy yeast rolls with a buttery garlic top are truly something special. Dipped in the slightly peppery garlic oil, it’s a meal on its own. “Our bread is a labor of love,” Rachel says. “We make it from scratch every day, rolled by hand. We also offer it for special order and this year found ourselves making 1300 rolls the day before Thanksgiving! It was cool to know we were part of so many families’ meals.” 10

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Craving the Classics Specializing in as many fresh, made-to-order items as possible, all of Moni’s sauces and soups are made when ordered and not done in big batches. These elevated culinary touches are evident in every bite, especially in best-loved dishes like the rich and creamy Fettuccine Alfredo, an OKC favorite! Moni’s will forever spoil you with this one. The Linguine Broccoli with blackened chicken is another highlight. “It’s spicy, buttery, garlicky goodness,” John comments. Other favorites are the Chicken Marsala and generously portioned Shrimp Scampi. Ask about the Romano Stracciatella, an offthe-menu secret! Don’t worry about trying to pronounce it, just ask for the Italian version of egg drop soup – garlic, spinach, chicken stock and lemon, finished with an egg. Indulge Responsibly Sticking to your diet is actually fun with Moni’s low-carb and heart happy selections like the vegetable lasagna layered with eggplant, zucchini and squash. The Baked Salmon on cauliflower mash and the steamed mussels in a chardonnay broth are other top choices. Finishing Touches Don’t leave without trying Bartender Luke’s famous Sangria with Limoncello. He steeps the Limoncello in-house for a whole month, deepening the flavor and taking the Sangria over the top. “Limoncello can aid digestion at the end of a meal (and help you sleep!),”John notes. But before you nod off, enjoy Moni’s famous Limoncello cake. The delicate treat is layered with citrusy mascarpone and absolutely melts in your mouth after a hearty Italian meal. Visit Moni’s Pasta & Pizza at 17200 N. May in Edmond or www.monisokc.com.


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FEATURELOOK

Eloise Kropp

Eloise’s West Side Story By Amy Dee Stephens

Eloise Kropp began dancing lessons in Edmond as a child. She’s now dancing in musicals with some of the biggest names in the business. Currently, Eloise is in the cast of the Broadway musical, The Music Man, starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster. The show, dating back to 1957, is the genre Eloise loves best. “I love the classic musicals! Somehow, they are more timeless than the newer shows. The most modern musical I ever did was Cats, but at least it had a classic feel,” Eloise said. Pandemic Intermission The Music Man, originally slated to open in 2020, now has a February 2022 opening. As with most performers, the pandemic left her in limbo, so she returned home to Edmond to rethink her future. “I love the arts. They are essential, but I had to think, ‘What do I want to do if theater doesn’t come back?’ So, I finished my college degree through the University of Central Oklahoma and assisted with one of their theater productions. I also worked for my dad, who is a pediatric urologist. I might look at nursing school someday,” Eloise said. Eloise enjoyed being home with her family, who moved to Edmond when Eloise was five. She began dancing and acting 14

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at the Dance Unlimited studio, and by the time she started college, she was getting job offers. Eloise worked at several out-of-state theaters in musicals such as Carousel and The Honeymooners. She moved to New York for a show that ended up canceling, so she began auditioning for other shows and landed a few parts on television, including the series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Waiting on West Side In 2018, Eloise was thrilled to be cast as a dancer for the Steven Spielberg movie, West Side Story. The original Broadway musical, also from 1957, explores forbidden love and the rivalry between two street gangs of different ethnicities, the Jets and the Sharks. The movie was set to open in 2020, but again, the pandemic delayed the release until December 2021. “Steven [Spielberg] was insistent that it not be released to streaming platforms. He said it needed a theater release for the full impact,” Eloise said. “It feels like a movie–a real movie full of suspense and love and drama, not just a musical put onto film.” For Eloise, the dancing role was especially joyful, because she was on the set with so many dancing friends from previous shows. “My big dance number is the gym scene. I’m a Jet girl dancing with Jess LeProtto, who was also in On the Town and Cats with me,” Eloise said. “It’s hard to believe we filmed West Side Story two years ago. It was a blast, a dream come true working with my best friends, yet on this crazy-large scale! I think you can see how much fun it was on screen. Our relationships are real; it’s not just acting. The movie feels fresh and revitalized, because Steven has incredible vision, and yet West Side Story still feels like a timeless classic.”


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FEATURELOOK

Robbie at the Ready By Maggie Murdock Nichols Robbie, a patrol dog for the Edmond Police Department, is a Dutch Shepherd imported from the Netherlands. He’s five years old and energetic; with extensive training, his energy remains bridled until there is work to be done. He is 70 pounds of muscle with a silky black and brown brindle coat. His big ears are perked up, waiting for his cue. He follows commands spoken in Dutch. Born to Love The primary role of the K-9 unit is locating objects, narcotics, or people. A canine’s sense of smell is far superior to that of a human. Robbie is trained to sniff for drugs and to track evidential objects. He also tracks people, either suspects or those in need of rescue. He is gentle, equipped to seek a lost child or an elderly person who may have wandered away from home. Robbie is trained to find ground disturbances. He raises his head, notifying the police that someone is nearby. In evidentiary recovery, Robbie will efficiently scan an area until he finds something significant at which point he will lay down until an officer can recover the item. Sergeant Joe Rice began his career with the Edmond Police Department 21 years ago and joined the K-9 unit soon after. Prior to joining the force, he worked in a veterinary office and has always been a dog lover. Robbie was trained by Sgt. Rice and has lived with him since he was a puppy. Robbie rides along in the back of the K-9 equipped police cruiser. 18

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Trained to Serve Robbie knows it’s time to work based on what Sgt. Rice is wearing. “I wear a particular pair of pants for training, and Robbie goes wild. The dogs have a lot of fun in training.” Sgt. Rice explains that the dogs are so intelligent, they have to frequently switch up training techniques and environments, sometimes taking road trips to train with other units. When Sgt. Rice changes into civilian clothes, Robbie knows it’s time to relax and just be a dog. When he dons his police uniform, Robbie is eager to don his own uniform, jump in the cruiser and go to work. “Robbie has a lot of bling,” says Sgt. Rice. He wears three collars, a fur saver collar, an e-collar that tracks him, and a flat leather collar. Robbie recently added a new vest to his uniform. A Vested Interest in K9s is a nonprofit whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests to dogs of law enforcement agencies. Sgt. Rice filled out an application with the nonprofit, and Robbie was eligible to receive a custom vest valued at $3,000. Loyal Always To Robbie, work is play. His training makes him fearless, though always heeding Sgt. Rice’s guidance. Sgt. Rice says, “I feel a sense of security with the vest. It’s safer for both officers and suspects to send in a dog, but we want to do all we can to keep Robbie safe.” Robbie is a natural protector, on alert and always ready. These are characteristics of his breed. As Sgt. Rice moves, Robbie’s eyes remain fixed on him. Sgt. Rice gives a command and Robbie is faithful to follow. The bond between the two is evident. They partner together and remain steadfast in their commitment to protect the citizens of Edmond. Robbie’s vest is embroidered “Born to Love - Trained to Serve - Loyal Always.”


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FEATURELOOK

From Plants to Plastic By Maria Veres As a teenager, Sharina Perry told her parents she was going to change the world before she turned fifty. Now, at age fortyeight, the Edmond resident is on track to do exactly that. As founder and inventor of Utopia Plastix, Sharina has developed a plant-based plastic alternative that can be used just like conventional petroleum-based resin in the manufacturing process. It’s sustainable, affordable, and ideal for making any product currently made with petroleum plastic—from shopping bags to insulation to film to automotive parts. Growing the Future of Plastic Plastic products make a huge carbon footprint, but existing alternatives can create as many problems as they solve. Many of them use valuable natural resources, have high production costs, or don’t hold up well. Sharina has found a better way. Instead of consuming slow-growing trees, Utopia Plastix uses common rotational cover crops that can be harvested twice a year. “The crops used to make Utopia Plastix absorb four to five times more carbon than trees, remove heavy metals from the soil, and add nutrients back into the soil,” says Sharina. “We use these crops as the basis for our polymer.” Utopia Plastix is a blend of plant-based and petroleumbased material, so it’s not as expensive as 100% plant-based alternatives. Even better, manufacturers can use it without modifying their equipment, and they can make products at lower temperatures. This saves money and conserves resources, too. Creating Change Sharina isn’t a chemist or engineer. Like many inventors, she made her discovery by accident. She first became interested in plants for their healing potential. “I always leaned toward plants because my body had a hard time digesting lab manufactured vitamins,” says Sharina. “I also reacted to some medications.” She created plant-based alternatives that gave positive results, not just for herself but for other people, too. When her nephew developed an incurable tumor, she began researching natural methods to shrink tumors. But she made other surprising discoveries along the way. “In studying plants, my research found that they could be used as alternatives to plastics,” she says.

Sharina Perry

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She began experimenting with straws. Noticing how quickly paper straws fell apart in water, she created a more durable alternative in her kitchen. Then she enlisted experts to help her refine and expand the technology. “It definitely wasn’t an easy journey,” she says. “There are a lot of things you have to address with plants that you don’t with petroleum-based plastics.” But after trial and error, she developed the versatile, affordable polymer her company creates today. Her work is more than a job, it’s a lifelong calling. The granddaughter of an African American landowner, she grew up with a deep appreciation for the land and the environment. Her grandfather “In studying plants, my was a successful businessman, but research found that Sharina saw people they could be used as take advantage of him because he couldn’t alternatives to plastics.” read or write. “When I was younger, I didn’t understand disparity and injustice,” she says. “So to help me navigate what I was seeing, I would draw solutions and I called it Utopia.” The designs she sketched in her teens became the basis for the Utopia Plastix logo. “I look back on my life now,” she says, “and I know my entire life journey was preparing me for this. It’s humbling.” Modeling Success Sharina’s business model is as unique as her product. She’s the developer and creator of the Utopia Model, a sustainable ecosystem circular business model. The company controls its entire supply chain, partnering with farmers, processors, manufacturers, and distributors—all with the goal of giving back to the community and the environment rather than taking away. Sharina’s vision goes beyond making a sustainable plastic alternative. Through creating opportunities for farmers, developing affordable products, and investing back into the community, she seeks to address not just environmental concerns but societal problems, too. “Utopia Plastix is a vehicle, a demonstration of what we can do if we’re intentional,” she says. In recognition of her achievements, Sharina received the 2021 Vanguard Award for Environmental Excellence from Keep Oklahoma Beautiful. She presented at the National Black Farmers Association Conference last fall, and she’s a member of several change-making organizations, including the Oklahoma Governor’s Minority Business Council. “I know I’m guided,” she says. “I’m able to see change, make the impact I want to make, and I’m able to do it God’s way. I believe God gives us everything we need to live sustainably.” Learn more at utopiaplastix.com.

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BIZLOOK

Edmond Pickup By Maria Veres The moment you walk into Edmond Pickup, it’s clear this isn’t your average truck shop. You’ll find a sparkling clean waiting area with free wi-fi, fresh Keurig coffee, and a TV remote you can actually control. Friendly, knowledgeable team members are always available to make sure you get exactly the right parts and accessories for your pickup or SUV. Meeting Every Customer Need “Everyone is welcome here,” says owner Will Rhoads. “It doesn’t matter who you are, whether you’re male or female, or what your political views are.” He extends a special welcome

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to his fellow veterans, who receive a discounted $39 installation on every purchase. To assist a wide range of customers, Edmond Pickup offers several installation and delivery options. If you want to handle the installation yourself, you can order online, pick your purchases up from the shop, or have most parts delivered to your door. Edmond Pickup can also install your parts at the shop, and they offer a mobile installation service. Sometimes it’s hard to know which accessory is right for your truck. At Edmond Pickup, you can plug any truck’s make and model into the state-of-theart interactive garage and get a preview of how the part will look. Proudly Serving Edmond for Over 30 Years Edmond Pickup has been a fixture in Edmond since 1988, and Will purchased the company in 2019. They provide

Owner Will Rhoads

hitches for City of Edmond vehicles, work with several government agencies, and are the largest camper shell dealer in Oklahoma. They focus on providing traditional, functional truck parts and accessories for every brand. “Customer service is our foundation,” says Will. “Our goal is to provide great service and help our customers however we can.” Edmond Pickup is located at 30 West 15th Street in Edmond or online at www.edmondpickup.com.


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BIZLOOK

Dr. Tracy Kuykendall, the Dermatologist Next Door By Maria Veres You don’t need to drive to OKC to get expert skin care from a board certified dermatologist. Located in central Edmond, Dr. Tracy Kuykendall at Luminary Dermatology provides a full range of medical and cosmetic dermatology treatments. The Care You Need, When You Need It Dr. Kuykendall can see most patients within a few days, and it’s easy to book an appointment online or over the phone. She works with patients of all ages, from babies to seniors. Whether

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you have a suspicious mole/lesion, a rash, stubborn skin condition, or even just want some cosmetic work, Luminary Dermatology is your one-stop-shop. Luminary Dermatology accepts most insurance and Medicare. She also offers competitive cash-pay rates. If you need a referral, Dr. Kuykendall works with many top cosmetic surgeons, oncologists, and other specialists. Look and Feel Your Best In the midst of COVID-19, it’s easy to neglect routine procedures like dermatology exams. Dr. Kuykendall recommends a head-to-toe exam annually for everyone, more often for patients who are at higher risk. Early detection saves lives. Dr. Kuykendall received her board certification in dermatology at OU school of Medicine. She practiced in Oklahoma for several years before opening the Edmond Luminary Dermatology office this year. Dr. Kuykendall is currently accepting new patients.

Dr. Tracy Kuykendall

Dr. Kuykendall stated, “Luminary’s mission of providing accessibility to top-tier dermatological care is also a passion of mine. With the abundance of resources at my disposal, I’m eager to provide the Edmond community with the quality care they deserve.” Luminary Dermatology is located at 1218 E 9th Street, Suite 1, Edmond, OK 73034. Book online at www.LuminaryDermatology.com or call (405) 856-0020 now!


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Photo by David Strozdas

FEATURELOOK

Bald Eagles at Arcadia Lake By David Strozdas Most Oklahomans are unaware of our state’s importance as a wintering area for Bald Eagles, with Arcadia Lake being among one of the many areas of the state where Bald Eagles congregate as competition for food increases. Consistently ranking among the top ten states for numbers of birds, Oklahoma sees anywhere from 1,200 to 2,000 birds depending on the severity of weather up north. The harsher the weather, the more birds we see in Oklahoma. Arriving in late November and early December, the birds typically remain through late February and early March before leaving for their northern breeding grounds. Seeking out open water for feeding opportunities, the eagles will select lakes with the least competition. Arcadia Lake is attractive to these magnificent birds as it offers open water due to milder winter temperatures and shallow coves, providing easy access to their main diet item of fish. 26

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Eagles become more sociable in winter, often using the same trees to roost together year after year. This helps those that return to view eagles every year as viewers can often find the birds in the same tree as the year before. Roosting communally at night, viewers can observe several birds either returning to a roost late in the evening or just after sunrise before the birds leave to feed. Look for tall cottonwood trees with overreaching branches that offer unobstructed landing areas and good visibility. While Oklahoma sees a large influx of eagles during the winter, Bald Eagles can be seen year-round in our great state. Oklahoma now boasts one of the largest non-migratory resident populations in the southern U.S., with approximately 500 nesting pairs statewide. During the late 1970s, there were an estimated 470 nesting pairs of Bald Eagles throughout the entire lower U.S., with no nesting pairs recorded in Oklahoma. A bold breeding program, initiated by the Sutton Avian Research center near Bartlesville in 1984, brought Bald Eagles back from the brink. While the eagle viewing opportunities at Arcadia Lake are at their highest during the winter months, Bald Eagles can be seen all year long at the lake. Several eagle nests are located near the lake, with adults flying out as much as 50 miles from the nest during feeding responsibilities. Keep your eyes peeled for these regal birds all year long. You just might see the icon of America next summer during a picnic at the lake!


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ALOOKBACK

New Year ~ New Beginning By Louise Tucker Jones

In these years since my husband went to heaven, I have fallen in love with classical music. Songs that Carl learned to appreciate years ago in a high school band, but were never my choice of melodies. So now I have to wonder if Carl, in heaven, has grown to love my favorite Elvis music. I also wonder what he would have done had he known that I would play a special Elvis tune at his funeral. Yep, I did! It was a song that expressed our deep love for each other and Carl would have definitely remembered the lyrics. Sacred words that we shared through hundreds of letters and anniversary cards. “I love you more today than yesterday but less than tomorrow.”

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But a January column is supposed to be about New Year’s resolutions and celebrations, of which I am sadly lacking. I admit to always staying up past midnight to see the New Year in and toasting it with a bubbly glass of Ginger Ale. Not extremely exciting, but in truth, Carl and I celebrated many New Year’s Eves at home. Here’s a little picture of our “early” years. Dating—I was in college in Tahlequah and Carl was working in Tulsa. Engaged—Me in Tahlequah and Carl in Basic Training. Married—Yep, still in Tahlequah with Carl Overseas-U.S. Army. First Year Together—Very pregnant, throwing up day and night. First Year Parents—You get the picture. We learned to celebrate wherever we were, in whatever circumstance. The Covid-19 pandemic caused everyone to do much the same. But thankfully, many will get together this year with

friends and family or gather downtown for the festivities. Some of us will still be extra cautious and isolate a little longer because of loved ones with compromised immune systems. However you celebrate, remember the One who gave you this time together with the people you love so dearly. Resolve to love them “more today than yesterday,” just as my late husband and I resolved in our marriage. It’s a New Year, a new beginning. Let’s make it a great one! ABOUT THE AUTHOR Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker & founder of Wives With Heavenly Husbands, a support group for widows. LouiseTJ@cox.net or LouiseTuckerJones.com.


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FEATURELOOK

By Amy Dee Stephens

Hyperbarics for Heroes Oxygen. It’s Earth’s most abundant element and vital to human life. Oxygen also has incredible healing powers that are still being discovered. Paul and Sharon Conrady are witnesses to the miraculous results that can come from immersion into an environment of pure, pressurized oxygen. Although they are not doctors, they have seen wounds heal, stroke patients regain their ability to walk, and autistic children say their first words. It started in 2012 when Paul noticed a man sobbing at church. “Are you okay?” he asked. “No,” was the answer. The man had just returned from military duty overseas with an extreme case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He’d been kicked out of his house after a near-violent incident, and he had nowhere to go. A few days before, Paul had met a doctor from the Patriot Clinic who claimed to “help brains heal.” Paul still had the man’s business card, so he called, and the doctor recommended that Paul send him straight to their hyperbaric oxygen chamber. An Opportunity for Healing Inside a hyperbaric chamber, which looks much like the inside of a submarine, air pressure is increased to allow the lungs to gather more oxygen than normal--much like the conditions experienced by scuba divers, but without getting wet. As blood carries extra oxygen throughout the body, it 30

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helps fight bacteria and stimulate stem cell growth. Paul was so intrigued that he volunteered for the clinic, interacting with veterans suffering from a variety of conditions, often symptoms of PTSD or biochemical damage. “Forgive me, but I used to hear of PTSD and say, ‘Those people need to just soldier up,’ because I didn’t understand this very real problem. We’re losing 22 veterans a day to suicide,” Paul said, “And yet I was seeing a possible solution.” Many veterans are suffering brain injuries and chemical damage from the open-air burn pits in Iraq or Afghanistan, where military bases burn materials to keep them from falling into enemy hands. Paul describes it as “the Agent Orange of today,” and it is responsible for many veteran health disorders. Sessions and Improvements After repeated sessions in the hyperbaric chamber, many veterans see vast improvements; their bodies are cleansed and their brains are calmed. Paul and Sharon embraced hyperbarics as their mission, buying an eight-person chamber and creating the non-profit, Hyperbarics for Heroes. Now, every day, the Conradys try to fill all eight seats in the chamber so that there is no missed opportunity for healing. In addition to physical healing, the Conrady’s have witnessed other powerful benefits of hyperbaric sessions: comradery. “You put a group of veterans together for an hour in the


chamber, and they start to talk. No one understands what they’ve been through like other military members,” Paul said. “After the World Wars, soldiers loaded into a boat and traveled home together. They talked and grieved and healed. Today, they fly home one day and are expected to jump back into civilian life the next—and they aren’t ready.” According to one group of veterans currently undergoing hyperbarics, they’ve been able to open up about their traumatic experiences in ways they can’t with their families. Their comments are poignant: “I can’t change the past, but I’m in a better place now.” “It’s cool to see the edges come off of each other.” “I recently joked with the gas station attendant—I haven’t done that in years!” “I spent thousands trying to find medical solutions that didn’t work—but this is working.” “My tunnel vision went away.”

Paul Conrady Hyperbarics for Heroes is still in the building stages. The Conradys have a larger chamber under construction, along with plans for cottages where veterans can temporarily live during therapy. Most hyperbaric treatment is not covered by insurance, and it takes many sessions for ultimate healing. Non-veterans are also welcomed to the Conrady’s chamber for a minimal fee, which helps support the free services for veterans. “I’ve seen and experienced amazing healings,” Paul said. “And it’s just oxygen! Hyperbarics is a well-established treatment, but oxygen is not something pharmaceutical companies can sell. I want my chambers to help as many people as possible, especially military members who are suffering because they put their life on the line to save ours.” To learn more visit HyperbaricsForHeroes.org.

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1024 W Covell Rd., Edmond, OK 73003