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MORE TIME GETTING STRONGER. Jim Thorpe Edmond Now Open People travel from all over the region for INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation’s roster of unique therapies and specialists. But now, if you live in the Edmond area you hardly have to drive at all, because we have moved across campus to a 6,000-square-foot facility in our newly constructed second medical office building. The new outpatient facility boasts new equipment for physical, speech and occupational therapy, a heated aquatic therapy pool and special outpatient programs for neurological, orthopedic, hand, cancer and pre/ postnatal patients. The building will also soon house primary care physicians and specialists. Learn more about how Jim Thorpe gets you back where you want to be at

4509 INTEGRIS Parkway, Suite 100

Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation

Visit to learn more. 405-657-3800


Outlook March 2016


March 2016

An Award-Winning Night In true tradition, the team at Back40 and Outlook knows how to have a good time. And the night of the 50th annual American Advertising Awards, affectionately know as the ADDYs, was no exception. Held on February 20th in a room full of advertising, marketing and design professionals, an evening of celebration began. Following the theme of “Priceless,” the crew that attended dressed to impress. After all, when you win as many awards as we do, you need to look good! Plus, there was a photo booth (our favorite!) and we are always down for a silly picture (check it out below).

30 Dog Talk Television

Combining her love of television and dogs, Pat Becker hosts a weekly show for animal lovers

8 Facts & Figures 10 Louise


13 Food

Urban Edible Home food gardening gains new ground

Project Manager Jennay Wangen, Account Executive JR Ross, Project Manager Jonathan Siler, Outlook Creative Director Bethany Marshall, Senior Graphic Designer Ryan Kirkpatrick and Senior Graphic Designer Robbie Knight

16 Business

The Bottle Shop Bright Smile Family Dentistry

The night moved quickly, the crowd oohing and aahing, sprinkling in applause and cheers when the winners were announced in each category. Whenever a category we entered was presented, we all sat eager and excited to see the final result. We were sure to cheer loudly and proudly with each award! Back40 and Outlook racked up a total of nine ADDYs—three gold, three silver and three bronze.

34 My Outlook

Jennifer Blackerby, Irish Dance Dress Designer

From logo design to front cover photography, our entire team works hard on each project and it’s always nice to be rewarded—and awarded.

Front cover photography by Marshall Hawkins To advertise, contact Laura at (405) 301-3926 or


18 The Art of Making Scents

John David always wanted to start his own business, and his creativity led him to develop his own line of candles

23 Creek Crusaders

26 In Concert

Three teens help educate children with a new book about how to care for our planet

A look at the best places to catch live music from local bands

32 Hiking in the Heartland

Whether going on your first hike or looking for a new challenge, here are three hikes guaranteed to satisfy your thirst for adventure

Bethany Marshall, Creative Director


80 East 5th Street, Suite 130, Edmond, OK 73034 Volume 12, Number 3



Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc.

Creative Director Bethany Marshall

PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins © 2016 Back40 Design, Inc.


DISTRIBUTION 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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In the Garden Around There are more microorganisms in one teaspoon of soil than there are people on earth

There are over 20,000 species of edible plants in the world. However, just 20 species provide 90% of human food


Picking off dead flowers frequently encourages most annuals to flower more abundantly

The first decorative gardens appeared around 1500 BC in Egypt

Studies have shown vibration, like music or a voice, can positively affect plant growth

Statistics provided by: Plants for a Future.” PFAF; Garden History: Philosophy and Design, 2000 BC–2000 AD; Ohio State University Extension, UNDERSTANDING SOIL MICROBES AND NUTRIENT RECYCLING; Penn State, Does talking to plants help them grow?;;


Outlook March 2016

Less than 2% of the insects in the world are harmful—most are beneficial

Garden gnomes were brought to England from Germany in 1847 by Sir Charles Isham hoping they would attract real gnomes

Saddle up! Beginner horse riding camps at Cadence Equestrian in Edmond are now open for registration for ages 5-13. Week-long camps in half or full-day sessions begin May 30 and provide introductory riding instructions and horsemanship skills in a safe, family-friendly environment. Call 348-7469 or visit for details. Explore and discover new talents at Artworks, a day camp for 8-12 year-olds. Now in its 29th year, the camp offers three two-week sessions in June and July featuring music, dance, visual art, theatre and LegoTM robotics classes. Find out about an early registration discount at or call 434-1937. Now open in Edmond, Wise Training & Fitness offers personal and small group workouts and holistic training focusing on strength, balance and stability. Specializing in 30-minute workouts for those 50+ years of age, the Wise & Tough sessions begin March 7. Reserve your spot now! Located at 652 W. Edmond Rd. Contact today at 570-6075 or


Celebrations! by Louise Tucker Jones

What is it that makes 50 years a celebration? Why is that number so special? Is it the longevity of the event? If that were true, shouldn’t there be an even greater celebration for 51 or 59? Fifty has become a milestone that we celebrate in life. I remember the year I turned 50 years old. Somehow it didn’t feel like a wonderful celebration. I liked being 49. I even cherished those minutes just before midnight. Who wanted to be half a century old? But “fifty” is definitely distinctive. Our church celebrated a 50th anniversary with fanfare. Businesses celebrate 50 years with grand giveaways and sales. And what about high school reunions? I recently attended my fiftieth. Wow! (Bet you’re guessing my age right now.) I still have wonderful friends from high school, and at that event we sat around a table talking, laughing and wondering how fifty years had passed. I guess that’s what makes a 50th celebration unique. It’s a marker in our lives. A place where we pause and remember. And so we come to wedding anniversaries, which is what caused me to write this piece. That Golden Wedding Anniversary. I remember the reception my siblings and I gave for our parents. Fifty years together. Pure gold. And on that day, the thought never occurred to me that I might never celebrate such a day. I took it for granted that one day Carl and I would celebrate our golden anniversary with a grand party. We take so much in life for granted. That can be both good and bad. None of us want to sit around pondering whether we will be on this earth a year from now. We assume life will be the same forever. And much of the time it is. We do the same things over and over. We go to work, take vacations, go to church, family reunions, do


Outlook March 2016

laundry, yard work and shop for groceries. The daily stuff. And there is nothing wrong with that. Life is happy that way. But here’s the deal. For some of us, that Golden Anniversary is elusive. We will never celebrate it together. Such is the case for me. On March 4, 2016, my late husband, Carl and I would have celebrated 50 years of marriage together. But here’s the good part. Thankfully, we spent 45 years together and each year was a celebration. That’s what really counts. Sure, a 50th anniversary is memorable, but Louise and Carl at NSU, what’s even better are yearly where they first met festivities. Not just one big hoopla, but a celebration every year. And we did that. We had 45 celebrations. In fact, during our first year of marriage, while Carl was overseas, we celebrated every month with anniversary cards to each other, so I guess we actually passed 50 if you count those times. Our anniversary meal often consisted of cheeseburgers and French fries since that was our wedding supper, just eight hours before Carl was deployed. But many times we dressed up and went out for a nice dinner and toasted the evening with a glass of wine. Either way, it was a momentous event. So rather than mourn the reality that I will not be able to celebrate a 50th anniversary with my husband who is in heaven, I will rejoice over the fact that I had 45 wonderful celebrations. Forty-five galas, so to speak. Forty-five years of love. Forty-five years of being special to one faithful man that God sent into my life. You just can’t beat that!

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 or visit



Outlook March 2016


Home food gardening gains new ground When I started my first home vegetable garden last spring, I’m not sure if I was consciously embarking on the homegrown food movement or if I just needed a new outdoor hobby. Walking my dog, reading garden books on the patio and puttering with a few pretty flowers didn’t seem to be enough anymore. What better inspiration to get me going than a little plot of foodie paradise that would yield dinner ingredients? With two ambitiously planted raised beds and new recipes waiting, my anticipation grew faster than the little green plants. But when I finally bit into that first tomato and realized I could do this, I was hooked. Something good happens when the fruits of your labor become a meal. Apparently, I’m not alone in my newfound enthusiasm. The homegrown food scene is flourishing. Experts at garden centers and farmers’ markets are seeing scores of newcomers, from Millennials to retirees, looking to try their hand at edible gardens. Forget the sprawling vegetable patch your grandparents had, with rows of daunting crops to tend. Today’s urban model has a more personalized scope and purpose. You don’t need a grand plan or acres of land, just a few garden pots on the patio or a plot in the yard. This spring, it’s all

by Laura Beam

about incorporating food into gardening and some fun new trends are making it easier than ever.

Raised vegetable beds are great if you can tuck them around a corner or out of view, but they don’t do much to punch up the zen factor of your outdoor retreat. Gardeners are finding crafty ways to incorporate vegetables into the landscape with bush varieties like peas and beans grown alongside flowering plants, compact berry bushes in patio containers and herbs in pots. Greenhouse Manager at TLC Garden Center, Brandi Mosley, has seen a definite surge of interest in homegrown fruits, vegetables and herbs. She notes continued on next page

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Urban Edible, cont.

that raised beds are still popular for larger food gardens because you can avoid the difficulty of clay soil, have fewer pest issues and not have to pull weeds. “Mixing ornamental plants with vegetables in the landscape is practical for smaller spaces or gardeners who want to plant fewer varieties,” she says. One caution Mosley offers, though, is to plant carefully so that the edibles don’t get sprayed with other flowers or plants. For many of us amateur urban farmers with plenty of enthusiasm but limited expertise, it’s helpful to find out some of the most commonly grown and successful edibles in our region. At TLC, Mosley sees many new food gardeners start with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and berries. “Young moms love melons and pumpkins and strawberries,” she comments. “Compact blueberry bushes in pots are popular, too, while lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are also top garden picks.” One item that doesn’t grow well in Oklahoma is rhubarb and cilantro doesn’t do well in summer heat but can be grown in spring or fall. Meredith Scott, Project Coordinator for the Oklahoma Nutrition Information and Education (ONIE) project, works closely with farmers’ markets which offer starter plants for gardeners. “Since starter plants from the farmers’ market are grown from the seeds of Oklahoma


Outlook March 2016

plants and by local farmers,” she says, “they do well in our crazy weather.” Scott also has seen more heirloom plant varieties becoming popular, contributing to a wider variety of vegetables that aren’t available in bulk at grocery stores.

Even if you don’t get excited about a luscious tomato or just-picked batch of okra, perhaps the perfectly concocted cocktail, herbal tea or smoothie inspires your green thumb. Herbs are one of the easiest and most gratifying trends in food gardening. Lemon verbena, mint, dill, chives, rosemary and countless other herbs take your favorite beverages to the next level. Not only are they beautiful in patio pots and wildly aromatic, they provide endless flavor for favorite foods and beverages alike. Happy hour just got a little happier! Even if you can’t grow your own food, it’s good to know there are 77 registered farmers’ markets across the state, “allowing you to get the homegrown feeling without getting your hands dirty,” Scott chuckles.

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



The Bottle Shop by Austin Marshall Jevon Hart, Manager of The Bottle Shop

St. Patrick’s Day invokes images of emerald-hued beer and cocktails, and for good reason—33 million people worldwide celebrated the holiday in 2015. As you may imagine, metro-area liquor stores see a corresponding surge in foot traffic in the days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day. One Edmond business owner plans to use the holiday as an opportunity to help a local animal rescue. Jevon Hart, manager of The Bottle Shop, will host a St. Pittie’s Day fundraising event this month for Prima Pit Bull Rescue and Sanctuary. His mother Karen has been rescuing pit bulls for several years and currently operates on family land. Funds raised from the event will be used to help with the costs of purchasing land for a larger, permanent location owned by the rescue. The event will be in the parking lot of The Bottle Shop, located at the southeast corner


Outlook March 2016

of Memorial Road and Eastern Avenue. The event will feature food, a DJ Karaoke contest, a dog costume contest and a variety of Irish cocktails. “We want the event to be about the dogs, of course, but we want the entire neighborhood to feel involved,” Hart says. “We’ve had neighboring businesses allow us to set up tables in their shops in previous years. We try to engage everyone in the area. It’s a very community-minded environment.” Pit bulls used to be referred to as “nanny dogs” because they were so good with families. Hart believes pit bulls are the victims of an exaggerated reputation. According to Hart, “they’re so misunderstood.” Hart says he’s inspired by his mother’s passion for rescuing animals and wants to use his business to help her as much as possible. Hart’s brother, Aaron, is also part of the rescue operation and has built

dozens of kennels for his mom’s animals. Aaron is also an assistant manager at The Bottle Shop. Hart is no stranger to charitable causes. A lifelong dancer and musician, he has performed for veterans across the country and has helped his mother rescue dozens of animals throughout his life. He speaks about rescuing animals with the passion of someone who has done it their entire life. Hart sees The Bottle Shop and this event as a great way to combine his professional and personal passions for a worthy cause. Head to The Bottle Shop this St. Patrick’s Day, stock up on your beverage of choice and give some of man’s best friends a better life. Call The Bottle Shop at (405) 286-1619 to learn more or to register for St. Pittie’s Day and visit their location at 13516 N Eastern Ave, OKC.

Bright Smile Family Dentistry by Morgan Day Dr. Eli Jarjoura and the team at Bright Smile Family Dentistry

Several factors come into play when running a successful business. With Bright Smile Family Dentistry, it’s clear one factor has risen to the top of the list, and that’s customer convenience. Dr. Eli Jarjoura prides himself on making the dentist’s office experience as convenient as possible for all patients. Jarjoura and his staff eliminate multiple appointments, meaning if more than one procedure can be done in one visit to save patients’ time, they are scheduled on the same day. For instance, while crowns used to require multiple visits, crowns now can be made inhouse in just one hour. With three dentists spanning multiple areas of expertise, they’re hard pressed to find a procedure they can’t do. “We do molar extractions to root canals, crowns and bridges, implants, partials and

dentures—and it’s all done in-house,” Jarjoura said. “There’s sedation on top of that. That’s extremely convenient to the patient—it reduces their anxiety.” Following convenience, cost is important to the business. Jarjoura is especially proud of the price of fillings, which are capped at $99, regardless of how big or small. For Jarjoura, one of the best parts of running the practice is not only providing a much-needed service, but helping and comforting patients. And the payoff? The gratitude at the appointment’s end. “When they come in holding their face in such severe pain and then when they’re relieved—it’s that look in their eyes, a thankyou or a handshake. We made them feel so much better.” “I’ve had patients in their 70s who say

they’ve waited all their lives to get that color teeth or get their alignment changed. They walk out with a nice, white smile. I can see it in their eyes, the boost in their self-confidence. That’s the reward I get.” Jarjoura, also an Oklahoma County deputy sheriff, said he’s proud to run a business within the Edmond community, where he’s lived about 30 years. “When I built my office, there was nothing around me, and now it looks like there’s a minicity out there,” Jarjoura said. “That growth is what gives you the feeling of success, that you’re doing something right. People want to come and be a part of it when they see it.” Learn more and book an appointment at, or call (405) 844-8887 for either location at 1700 S Sunnylane Rd, Del City, or 3225 Teakwood Ln, Edmond.

Call for Free Estimates!


the art of

by Chloe Shelby

The irony is not lost on John David that he ended up in the candle business, after he infamously burned down his childhood home when he forgot to blow out a candle. “I have told others that I just burned the house down in order to get a bigger closet,” jokes David. Born in Sulphur, David is a proud Okie. Creativity runs in his blood, his mother being an artist and his father a carpenter. As a child, David got the opportunity to help both his father and mother in their differing creative businesses, which formed a solid understanding of quality craftsmanship and beauty which David utilized in his own endeavors. David moved to Oklahoma City in 2007 and quickly made a name for himself as a design expert. He got his start working at a design company that has since closed, but in turn inspired him to open his own business, Stinson Design Group. While at market one year, David enjoyed some adult beverages and happened upon a candle vendor. A man came over to ask David his thoughts about the scents, and David was blunt in his assessment, saying he detested the scent and the entire product line. Unbeknownst to David, he was speaking with the owner. While the exchange was embarrassing, the awkward encounter led to a continued discussion about what David preferred. The owner was impressed with David’s knowledge and taste, and asked him to make a new line of candles for his business. David started working with the owner while still running Stinson Design Group. As his interest in the candle business developed, and his candles increasingly became the top seller, David made the decision to close his store and focus solely on candles. He wanted to continue in making candle lines for others, but also dreamed of creating his own collection. “As an entrepreneur, it’s important to know when to leave something good, so that you can move on to something better,” says David.


Outlook March 2016

David is completely hands-on—he does his own manufacturing so that he can make all decisions when it comes to the end product. From the wick, to the container, to the packaging, he is involved every step of the way. David has found a huge passion in the candle business and is just getting started. His partner, Al, family and friends have on occasion told him to pace himself, but that’s just not who David is. He has been an entrepreneur from the very beginning and is dedicated to his career. His drive pushes him to work long hours—his work

schedule is anything but regular. No day looks the same. It can consist of endless conversations with manufacturers, reps, fragrance houses and responses to an unending stream of emails. John David worked on his scents for more than three years before he launched six lines in his very own collection. Today, the John David candle collection includes Lux, Signature, Gourmet, Solstice, Lume, Woodral and Vastye. John David candles are of the best quality. Most candles have a ratio of 4 percent scent-to-wax ratio while all of his candles have 30 percent scent-to-wax ratio. This means that the candles’ scent won’t fade with each use, but will remain strong until the last burn. He uses 100 percent cotton wick in lieu of metal, also featuring a wood wick in his Signature line. Each candle has three fragrance notes—base, high and middle. His dedication and expertise makes him hyper aware of the time needed to get each scent right and he never rushes the process. When he works on a scent, it takes him an entire day to get the base note perfected. It typically takes 2-3 weeks to get a finished fragrance. Something that is special about his products, is the meaning and significance he puts behind each collection. Every female in his family has the name Vastye, and the logo for the line is the signature from his mother’s artworks. In addition, the products are in beautiful containers that can be used for other purposes once the candle has run its course. The Solstice line candles are in a beautiful glass container reminiscent of his grandmother’s candy dishes. Although he says it’s hard to choose, his favorite candles are from his Signature line. The candles are titled “88” and “83,” named for his and his sister’s birth year. They are the only candles with a wood wick and colored wax. Anything apart from the norm, like colored wax or different wicks, can take years to perfect. Getting it to work is a challenge, but makes the end product even more rewarding. David aims to be completely immersed in the candle market nationally and has plans for many lines to come out later this year. He has received acclaim for his efforts through connections made both locally and nationally through market. At least one store in each state has one of his collections. Learn more about John David and his line of candles at















Granite Countertops • Quartz & Silestone • Designer Tile • Custom Showers • Custom Cabinets • New Construction • Kitchen & Bath Remodels • Residential & Commercial

The crew at Fossil Stone Granite & Flooring enjoys making what other home improvement companies think of as the impossible, possible. The Fossil Stone “dream team” has all the skills they need to complete a home improvement project from start to finish. “We can handle every aspect of a project,”

said owner Cary Small, an Edmond native. “If the cabinets need altered or fixed, if you need plumbing hooked up, a backsplash—we do everything. We’re like a one-stop shop.” Fossil Stone eliminates the need to deal with multiple contractors, saving the homeowner the headache of juggling bills and timelines. While running his countertop business, Small realized homeowners found that dealing with a handful of contractors for one project was a nightmare. Seeing a need for better service, Small started growing his team and business to cover more of the homeowners’ needs. Not only do the home or business owners eliminate dealing with multiple tradesmen, they see a higher quality of work because the project is overseen solely by one company. Consolidating the construction and installation process ensures a more cohesive plan and fluid project completion. Small also attributes that high quality of

work to his skilled team of eight full-time workers. They have about 60 years of combined experience in granite, tile, cabinets and paint and special finishes. The company has seen such success in the past few years, it’s now moved into a new, larger facility in Edmond. The new building houses a tile design center and more product displays, all with a professional atmosphere and on-site consultations. An official grand opening for the showroom will be happening soon. Small said customers are wowed by his crew’s attention to detail and desire to leave them with the best quality product. Plus, while other companies might slack on customer service after the sale is made, Fossil Stone shines. “Our service after the sale isn’t the standard one-year warranty,” Small said. “If you call three or four years after the sale with an issue with the workmanship, we’ll fix it. We really stand by our stuff long term.”

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Outlook March 2016


by Amy Dee Stephens

Remember forming a club as a child? Maybe you and your friends had a special handshake or secret meeting place. Meet three girls who started the “Hedgehogs Named Bob Who Like Pie” writing club as children. Now, these teenagers are still together, making a big impact on the environment, writing award-winning hedgehog books, and teaching children the importance of clean storm water drains. Sisters, Ariel and Ava McAffrey and their friend Katie Prior had hopes of writing books when they “grew up,” but never dreamed of having two acclaimed books about water conservation before they could even drive. The three formed a weekly writing club, along with a few other friends, nearly eight years ago. They also joined the Girl Scouts of America and started learning about the environment. “We had to volunteer 20 hours to earn our community service award. We chose Blue Thumb, the educational branch of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission’s Water Quality Division,” said Ariel, age 17. “Blue Thumb gave us a two day training about testing water quality.” “They gave us a kit so that we could test water for things like chloride, ammonia nitrogen and dissolved oxygen,” added Ava, age 15. “We started monitoring our neighborhood creek and assessing the physical habitat,” Ariel said. “We reported things like the amount of trash and water scum, if any fish were dead, as well as man-made changes—like when someone dumped a truck full of construction trash into our creek.” “At first, we found a lot of trash and drinking cups people had thrown out, because our creek runs along a street,” said Katie, age 15. “Now that we’ve been picking up the trash for so many years, there is less and less, so that’s cool,” Ava said. “But then, we started getting some high chloride levels which indicated unhealthy water,” Ariel said. “So we opened a case with the Conservation Commission and fortunately, they pinpointed where the chloride was coming from,” Ava said. As the girls learned about their own creek, they realized how few people understood the real purpose of storm drains. They surveyed 507 individuals, and the overwhelming belief was that anything poured into a storm drain went into a water treatment facility. Not true. Storm drains flow down into natural bodies of water.

“Any paint, motor oil, trash or fertilizer that goes down a storm drain floats into a nearby stream, pond or river,” Ariel said. “We wanted people to know that whatever they’re dumping isn’t getting treated,” Ava said. “So we brainstormed and decided to start by teaching kids to take care of the earth,’” Katie said. As a result, the girls wrote two books. The first one, Bob Has an Idea: A Story of the Three Rs, introduces young readers to the concepts of reduce, reuse and recycle. The authors wrote the book through a series of emails, selecting their club mascot, Bob the hedgehog, as the main character. Illustrations were created in Photoshop, and the girls published the book through Amazon CreateSpace, because the Metropolitan Library System will only accept professionally-produced books. continued on next page


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Creek Crusaders, cont.

Ever ambitious, Ariel, Ava and Katie next developed a website and recorded an audio book version of their story. They began a yearly tradition of volunteering at ScienceFest, teaching statewide fifth graders about how pollution runs downhill into a water source. They also taught interactive library programs for children, which included a dress-up skit, songs, and crafts. The girls have used the proceeds from Bob Has an Idea to donate more than 150 books to libraries, environmental organizations and the children who attend their programs. Not only did they earn the highest Cadette Girl Scout award for their project, the book received an Honorable Mention by the national Green Book Festival. Book two, Bob Has a Blue Thumb, was even more successful, winning the Purple Dragonfly Book Award and the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful Best of the Environmental Best Award. “Winning ‘Best of the Best’ was definitely our most memorable moment,” Ava said. “We were over the moon to even be nominated,” Ariel said. “We were up against amazing projects and lifetime achievements. When


Outlook March 2016

they announced us as the winner, we didn’t go right up to the stage…” “…We just stared at the screen in shock,” Ava said. The proceeds from Bob Has a Blue Thumb are donated to Oklahoma Blue Thumb, which has already exceeded $650. In the story, Bob teaches the importance of saving creeks from pollution and having a blue thumb, which means taking care of water. The authors practice what they preach, continuing to monitor their creek and mark neighborhood storm drains with official “Only Rain Should Go Down Storm Drains” logos. “If anyone starts to pour something down the drain instead of the sink, that logo is staring at them,” Ava said. According to Ariel, Ava and Katie, the response to their environmental crusade has exceeded their hopes. They frequently receive emails from inspired readers. “My favorite fan letter is from a little girl who loves Bob,” Ava said. “She asks her parents to read the ‘blue thumb’ book every night. When she sees a storm drain on the street she says, ‘Don’t throw anything down the drain, Mom, it will kill the fishies!’” All three girls believe their futures have been influenced by their volunteer projects. Ariel plans to pursue environmental engineering, Katie has her sights set on an illustration degree, and Ava, who has also volunteered 250+ hours as a junior curator for the Oklahoma City Zoo, is considering a conservation career. “I was star struck when we published our first book,” Ava said. “It seemed unattainable—but now I’ve done it, it’s changed how I look at other problems.” “Regardless of what I end up doing, I will always want to make a difference in my community,” Ariel said. “I’m proud we’ve made a lasting impression on the environment.” To learn more or to purchase books, visit

A look at the best places to catch live music from local bands by Morgan Day

Live music lovers have had some exciting things develop this past year. The Criterion in Bricktown announced its opening date of March 2016. And Tower Theatre lit its restored marquee to celebrate the renaissance of the venue that had shuttered nearly 30 years ago. The live music scene in the metro area is—dare we say—having a moment. With new venues slated to open and older staples announcing new acts, here is a look at a sampling of what’s in store for Spring 2016. One look at the Criterion’s social media accounts, and it’s easy to see the excitement local residents have for their live music. “Traveling to Tulsa is over.” And “We’re about to enter a golden age in live music.” In short: We needed this—and bad.

“It’s our goal to create a music venue that will stand the test of time and be an attraction for artists that simply skipped over our market for so many years,” said Scott Marsh, COO of Levelland Productions and acting general manager for the Criterion. “Our hope is that we become an integral piece of the city and that the community supports live music and the arts. We want to become a top-tier music venue in the nation and put us on the musical destination map.” The Criterion kicks off its first show March 26 with Ben Rector, followed by Third Eye Blind April 2, Rick Springfield April 9, My Morning Jacket April 27 and Disclosure May 13. Expect to see comedy shows, plays and musicals, sporting events, conferences and other events, too. And local bands should get their share of the stage at Levelland Production’s second venue, the soon-to-open Tower Theatre. “Oklahoma puts out so many great musicians and it’s time to give

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341-3107 26

Outlook March 2016

them venues to grow into and for aspiring performers to see the acts they want to become in their own backyard,” Marsh said. You’ll find live music every Friday and Saturday night in one of Edmond’s oldest buildings and newest hangouts, the Patriarch. At 9 E. Edwards St., the Patriarch offers music lovers a chance to see mostly Americana and folk artists. Owned by five men, the Patriarch is about as local as it gets. “Everything we can do to support Oklahoma beer and music, we do that,” Brad Mullenix, co-owner and booking agent said. Don’t see your favorite local musicians on the roster? You’re likely to hear them piped through the speakers. These guys have a perfectly curated house playlist that spotlights Okie artists like Sherree Chamberlain, Tyler Hopkins, John Fullbright and John Moreland. If you’re there on a Friday or Saturday night you might see the likes of Hopkins, Air Line Road, Claire Piersol, Erick Taylor, Goldie Lahr, Mike Hosty, Willow Way and Culture Cinematic. Throughout the winter, T.J. Haverkamp entertains on the piano, creating an ambiance inside the 18th century home that you won’t find anywhere else. “The atmosphere is completely transformed when someone is playing in front of you,” Mullenix said. “It doesn’t matter who it is, live music is always better.” Booking live music for the 51st Speakeasy is Greg Dustamante, who owns the bar with Henri Bailey and brother Michael Dustamante. The three recently took over ownership at 1114 NW 51st St. in OKC and have plans to revive the Friday and Saturday night entertainment. One thing won’t change, though, and that’s the focus on talented local bands. “Local, original, indie rock—that’s our foundation,” Dustamante said. “But we also host a hip-hop show usually at least once a month.” Although they didn’t have spring shows nailed down yet, Dustamante said Speakeasy customers shouldn’t be surprised to see some returning musicians. The venue has hosted Josh Sallee, Horse Thief and Chase Kerby in the past. A musician and live music fan, Dustamante said he’s eager to see what the metro has in store as new venues continue to emerge. “We haven’t really had much of a culture of people going to see music here. Hopefully with the Tower Theatre and the Criterion and everything else, that will change.”


Outlook March 2016




bow-wow arf bark woof howl yap ruff woof yap Dog Talk Television by Amy Dee Stephens

It’s easy to be star struck by Pat Becker’s radio, film and television career. You might have caught her performance in the movie Valley of the Dolls or seen her national PBS show The World of Dogs biography series. She even played the occasional Catwoman role in the Batman television show. But for Becker, years in the entertainment industry led to her true life’s calling— hosting Dog Talk television. “I have a mission and a message—to teach Oklahoma dog owners how to interact with their dogs in a way that makes both of them happy,” Becker said. Becker, who has owned more than 40 dogs in her lifetime, describes herself as, “A dog trainer, a dog advocate and a dog activist.” She’s frustrated by the number of dogs that get dumped or brought to shelters because of behavior problems—when a little time and understanding would solve these problems. “I can teach you better ways to control your puppy or to get your dog to walk beside you happily,” Becker said. “You don’t have to be a professional trainer to have a good relationship with your dog.” During her weekly television show, Becker interviews dog owners and organizations about issues ranging from spaying and neutering to basic obedience. She often showcases agility sports, canine community helpers and new products to improve pet owners’ lives.


Outlook March 2016

It’s an understatement to say that Dog Talk is a labor of love. Nearly every Saturday, Becker converts her home into an in-house television studio. Between crew members, a host of volunteers, and a steady string of guests—it’s not uncommon for 50 people to be on the set of the live filming, plus dogs. It’s far from the chaos one might expect, however. Becker has developed a format to make everyone feel comfortable coming into her home, including the animals. Each human and canine is greeted at the door by two volunteers, Robin Chipman and Pat Kelly, whose jobs are to orient the guests. “Hi,” Robin says, “You’re scheduled to go on at 10:00. Until then, make yourself comfortable. We have snacks here in the atrium.” “Would you like a tour of the house?” Pat asks. “There is some lovely art to look at, or you may visit the garden out back until your time slot. Here, let me introduce you to some of the other folks here.” The goal is for guests to relax and the dogs to become oriented to the house before filming. Amongst the snacking, touring and visiting, various dogs and their owners go in and out of the upstairs studio where Michelle Seachrist orchestrates guests and JaNiece Cranmer manages the brightly lit film set. “Regrettably, for my husband, the studio used to be his billiard room,” Becker said with a laugh. “But I needed a place to shoot, so I evacuated his things and installed equipment and lights.”

bark ruff howl arf bow-wow Becker repurposed the billiard room because Dog Talk television’s previous station was sold, ending her show, but the film crew decided that the show was too important to discontinue. “All these good people came together and said, ‘Let’s keep this going,’ even though we had no place to go and no place to shoot. I couldn’t be more grateful to them.” Becker, who enjoys dogs and people, keeps the show moving at a lively pace. After years as a radio host on KTOK, she knows that “dead air” is a sure way to lose listeners and viewers. “Sometimes the most confident, articulate people freeze up when the camera goes on, so I have to work to bring out the best in them,” Becker said. “I have to listen so closely to the guests, respond to them, and keep an eye on the time.” To add more pressure, the interview portions are aired just as they are filmed, with no editing or polishing. Fortunately, being in the spotlight is a comfort zone for Becker, who began her show business career as a model and a singer when she was still a teenager. She sang in musicals, big bands and nightclubs, and eventually toured internationally for the William Morris Agency in New York. “I once auditioned for the Ed Sullivan Show. They said I was pretty and a good singer, but the girl who auditioned right after me was Barbara Streisand—so I lost that one pretty quick!” The audition that shaped Becker’s career was a television show called Hollywood Talent Scouts. Much like The Voice, famous actors sponsored singers in a talent competition. Actor Glenn Ford sponsored Becker, and afterward, she was hired by 20th Century Fox. She was cast in minor roles for various movies, including A Guide for the Married Man and Star! To Becker’s chagrin, she receives the most attention for her

Pat Becker with Mary Fleming and Bosco on Dog Talk

occasional, if reluctant, role as Catwoman in the Batman television series. “I wanted to be considered a serious film actress. Batman was television. It was so campy and unsophisticated. I thought Catwoman’s character was an old woman, and I was young.” Becker laughed. “Now I can look back at how silly I was. That producer went on to make millions, and Batman is the show that sticks to me like glue.” But Dog Talk is the show Becker really wants to be known for. She invests an enormous amount of time preparing for each week’s show and regrets that she doesn’t have the airtime to dig deeper into topics. “This show is the combined effort of a lot of technical and artistic people who stuck with me,” Becker said. “We’re on a mission to help people learn about dogs so that they can enjoy a happy life together.” Watch Dog Talk at 8am on Saturdays on KAUT Freedom 43 or YouTube.

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17 W. 1st St.




by Heide Brandes

On my 40th birthday, I was trudging down a one-foot wide trail in the rolling green Lord-of-the-Rings-like wilderness of the Ouachita Mountains in eastern Oklahoma in a heavy rainstorm. As the March rains beat down in sheets of cold wetness, I and two friends kept one foot in front of the other as we navigated this 11-mile trail. The Horsethief Springs Trail, located outside of Talimena, is thought to be one of the most difficult hikes in the state, and to mark four decades of life, I wanted to explore that wild place. The trail, which is also one of the most beautiful trails in the area, lived up to its reputation. During the five-hour hike, we crossed several small streams without the benefit of a bridge, fell into a river once, shimmied across a fallen tree to cross a large section of water and climbed up steep, leg-screaming sections of trail. And we loved every minute of it. Hiking remains wildly popular with Oklahomans and outdoor enthusiasts worldwide. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, in 2012, more than 34 million Americans laced up their boots and went hiking. But you don’t have to cross raging rivers or strap on 40-pound backpacks to enjoy the sport of hiking. Trails can be found right in your backyard, within an hour’s drive away or in the most remote areas of our state. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes, a trail map and a sense of adventure. Hiking isn’t just enjoyable, it’s good for you too. Countless studies have shown that walking can help with obesity, heart disease,


Outlook March 2016

diabetes and more. It turns out hiking also makes you happy. A study published in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Science” found that people who took a 90-minute walk in nature showed a drop in activity in the part of the brain associated with depression. Springtime in Oklahoma is a perfect time to enjoy a stroll in the outdoors. To make it easier, we’ve highlighted three great trails for the beginner hiker, the intermediate hiker and the experienced hiker. Nestled along the bustling Kirkpatrick Turnpike in north Oklahoma City is a hidden gem of nature—the Martin Nature Park. Featuring 140 acres of grasslands, rocky streams and thick foliage the park also has three miles of trails that weave over Spring Creek, across lush meadows, through Oklahoma scrub forests and into wildlife and bird sanctuaries. This park is perfect for the beginner hiker. The trails are well maintained and marked, and are easy to walk. Because they are mostly gravel and packed soil, the paths are terrific for spotting deer and fox tracks. The routes, one of which is ADA-accessible, are mostly flat with very little elevation change. Perfect for families with small children or those just easing into the marvels of the outdoors, Martin Park Nature Center is an enchanting escape from urban life right in the heart of the city. For more information, visit

A mere hour’s drive will take you to the underrated and little-known Lake McMurtry in Stillwater. Littered with challenging multi-use trails, Lake McMurtry offers stellar views of the lake, undulating paths through thick forests and hikes that will get the heart pumping. The best maintained and most popular of the four mountain-biking/hiking trails at Lake McMurtry is the Red Trail. Though the signs indicate this route is 6.8 miles, according to my GPS tracker, it’s 7.6 miles, but is well-maintained and nicely marked. This twisty dirt path winds through the forest mostly, passing hidden little ponds and a waterfall in the wet season at about mile six. With multiple hills and elevation changes, the Red Trail offers an exciting challenge for the day hiker looking to spend several hours braving a more remote trek. For more information, visit By far, my favorite and most challenging trail in Oklahoma is the Horsethief Springs Trail. Though a three- to four-hour drive away from the Oklahoma City metro, it’s a hike that will test even the most enthusiastic hiker. The trail begins at Cedar Lake and crosses several small streams before connecting with the Ouachita National Recreation Trail. The trail then loops back down the northern face of Winding Stair Mountain to Cedar Lake for an 11-mile loop. Hikers will travel a 1,100 foot elevation gain from Cedar Lake and the high point on the Ouachita Trail, so be prepared for some sweating and effort. I love the history of this path. Portions of the trail were actual routes that horse thieves used in the 1800s, and the outlaws camped at top of Winding Stair Mountain near a fresh water spring. Due to rocky trail conditions and steep grades toward the top of the mountain, this trail is recommended for expert-level hikers only. Travel time one way is from five to six-and-a-half hours. Hiking in this area is best in the fall, winter and spring. For more information, visit


MY outlook

Jennifer Blackerby, Irish Dance Dress Designer

How long have you been making Irish dance costumes? I started making them for myself ten years ago and started selling them not long after.

Do you make any dresses for yourself? Yes, I typically make myself a new dress once a year.

How long does it typically take to make a dress? The whole consultation, design and production process takes about three to six weeks. Actual production is usually around a week.

How did you get started in creating Irish dance costumes? I started dancing as an older teen and couldn’t afford them. I learned to make them because it was the only option if I wanted to continue dancing.

How many dresses do you think you have made? I think around 200. About 50 of those were made in 2015.

What is your favorite part about making them? Definitely the rhinestones! Designing would be a close second.

What makes them unique? A “solo dress” is worn by an Irish dancer who has earned the right to wear it by achieving a high level in competition. Each solo dress is different, there isn’t another dancer in the world with the exact same costume!

Have you always been a seamstress? Do you sew anything else? When I was younger I didn’t want to have anything to do with sewing! I only learned so I could make Irish Dance dresses. In the last few months we have also started making figure skating dresses.

What must go into an Irish dance costume? Each dress is customized with a unique set of designs, garment patterns, embroidery designs, fabrics and colors. Are there any meanings behind the patterns on the dresses? Often yes! We sometimes incorporate designs that are special to each dancer. Last fall we made one that was based off the dancer’s grandfather’s tattoo, it had Celtic knots inside flames. 


by Bethany Marshall

Outlook March 2016

What are some things that an Irish dress costume must have? One of the strange things a solo dress must have is a cape. Traditionally, this was a shawl. But trends have evolved to the point that it is just a large patch over the dancer’s bum. Learn more about Jennifer Blackerby at

80 East 5th St., Ste. 130 Edmond, OK 73034

Profile for Outlook Magazine

Outlook March 2016  

The Outlook is a monthly, full color, glossy magazine mailed free of charge to 50,000 homes in Edmond and north Oklahoma City. Since 2005, w...

Outlook March 2016  

The Outlook is a monthly, full color, glossy magazine mailed free of charge to 50,000 homes in Edmond and north Oklahoma City. Since 2005, w...

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