September 2023

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Paintings of World War II OBSESS3D 3D Printing
is Beautiful
Sunflowers for

I’m not much for roller coasters. The ups, the downs, the feeling of being out of control - but I ride one every week. My roller coaster rides are chemo treatments.

Thursday: The ride starts with some meds and an injection. Then the slow climb begins…click, click, ascending up. “Up” because one of the meds is a steroid. Suddenly, I am ready to go. Anywhere. Out. Over there. Up there. Somewhere. Let’s do something. Suddenly I’m Action Dave. At least I cover a lot of ground.

Friday: My energized ride continues - now with side effects. My voice becomes hoarse, my complexion turns pink, the tinnitus gets louder and I’m Snacky McSnacker - super hungry all day. On top of all that, I’m chatty (not exactly my nature). If a thought comes into my head, you’ll likely hear about it. By evening, it all slows down as I head toward my low point.

Saturday: By mid-morning, the ride shuts down. I’m on the couch detoxing from the steroids and chemo. There’s a distinct possibility I might start weeping if I can't figure out how to use the remote or run out of cookies. Starting a sentence? No problem. Finishing a sentence? A problem. Four naps on a Saturday seems about right.

Sunday: I’m moving slowly as the rough part of the ride is over. Facts and recall continue to be dicey. Don’t believe anything I say on Sundays.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: I’m grateful for feeling normal again. I exit the ride and get back in line. It may seem like I’m going nowhere, but after 3 years there’s no sign of disease. And in the spring, I’m scheduled to stop weekly treatments. Alison and I are looking forward to that, it’s been a long ride.

20 ADVERTISING l 405-301-3926 l MAILED MONTHLY TO OVER 50,000 HOMES IN THE EDMOND AREA 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. PUBLISHER Dave Miller l PRODUCTION MANAGER Alison Miller l ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE / EDITOR Laura Beam l GRAPHIC DESIGN Anne Richardson PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins l DISTRIBUTION Edmond Outlook is delivered FREE by direct-mail to over 50,000 Edmond area homes. 1024 W Covell, Edmond, OK 73003 l 405-341-5599 l l SEPTEMBER 2023 Volume 19, Number 9 l Edmond Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc. l © 2023 Back40 Design, Inc. 8 Cover photography submitted by Teri Coplin Features 8 Echohawk’s Warrior Paintings 10 Yolkizz Cafe 12 OBSESS3D with 3D Printing 14 Piper Bridwell 16 Sunflowers for Bausten 18 Edmond’s Ada Candy Company 20 Owning Alopecia 26 The Callen Clarke Group 30 A LOOK Back: Edmond Football 1921 Business 22 Mardel Edmond 24 Lyndale Edmond Senior Living Columns 7 In Other Words with Dave 28 Louise Tucker Jones 26

Echohawk’s Warrior Paintings Preserving the Pawnee Legacy

Native Americans once documented their stories on rocks, hides, and teepee linings. For the Pawnee nation, such “warrior paintings” preserved a man’s legacy and communicated his deeds. These preserved stories live on today.

A Pawnee’s Perspective

During World War II, soldier Brummett Echohawk of the 45th Infantry Division continued this ancestral Pawnee tradition by sketching the battle scenes occurring in front of his own eyes while stationed in Italy. Echohawk and his comrades landed in the Italian Province of Salerno in 1943, liberating numerous towns from their German occupiers.

Wounded in Italy, Echohawk was awarded the Bronze Star. While in the hospital, he began to draw the faces around him. The drawings include soldiers from many states, tribes, and countries, both allies and enemies—a combination of cultures previously unseen until the 20 th century, when the world went to war. Echohawk’s 39 drawings are now on view at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in the exhibit, Nations at War! Field Sketches of a Pawnee Warrior through January 21, 2024.

A Curator’s Perspective

Echohawk’s drawings captured the attention of ethnologist, Dr. Eric Singleton, over a decade ago when he was working at Gilcrease Museum. Eight years ago, Singleton moved to Edmond to become Curator of Ethnology and Native American Art at “The Cowboy.”

“I was talking about World War II art with a colleague, Dr. David D’Andrea. He’s an Italian Renaissance scholar from Oklahoma State University,” said Singleton. “He was researching the Monuments Men, who protected European art during the war. I told him about Echohawk, who created art on the battleground.” The two scholars decided to collaborate for the 45th ’s liberation of Italy.

A Soldier’s Perspective

While researching the exhibit, Singleton was alerted to a photograph from the Edmond History Museum collection showing soldiers from the 45th at the Italian ruins of Paestum—at the very time Echohawk was fighting there. Echohawk’s drawing echoed the photograph. “It was a fateful moment when it posted to Facebook, because I knew exactly what that photo was and how it ties in with my exhibit,” Singleton said.

“Just think what Italy looked like to these young men; indigenous people from the plains or Oklahomans growing up on a farm, who were suddenly shipped to a country with ancient ruins. Echohawk grew up hearing his grandfather’s stories about the Plains Indians War, and one generation later, he’s fighting in and documenting a very different kind of war overseas; one that included mechanized tanks and airplanes. It’s mind-blowing!”

An Italian Perspective

Even before the Echohawk exhibit opened in Oklahoma, the Italian government requested a touring replica of the drawings.

“In light of the current war in Ukraine, there’s a worldwide push to remember what can happen and why alliances are important,” Singleton said. “Dr. D’Andrea was visiting government officials in Italy while they discussed current immigration issues. The Italian mayors decided that every school child should see these images of the 45th Division to understand that non-Italian people came, not to conquer, but to liberate their country. Foreign people died on their soil to make them free.”

An Oklahoma Perspective

Although Singleton is pleased by the response to the Pawnee exhibit, it’s not his first exhibit to have large-scale impact. His pandemic-era exhibit on Spiro Mounds, Oklahoma’s prehistoric archeological site, has resulted in Oklahoma’s rewriting of the state’s history textbooks.

“Pre-Columbian America has a rich, but largely-unshared history that is just starting to show up on the worldwide stage,” Singleton said. “Documents such as Echohawk’s drawings, are notes from the past. We sit on the shoulders of our ancestors. Everything we have is because of what they did.”

Brummett Echohawk Brummett Echohawk, Pawnee, Pencil sketches: (top) Hit by Snipers; (middle) KAMERAD!; (bottom) Just Before An Attack

Yolkizz Cafe

What’s not to love about breakfast? Crisp avocado toast and coffee with a friend. Pancakes slathered with butter and syrup with the kids. Or brunch and a mimosa with the girls–there’s no wrong way, or time of day, to do breakfast. And the new Yolkizz Cafe in Edmond, owned by James and Shandi Kuo, serves up comforting classics and tasty newcomers to wake up your taste buds. Having grown up in Asia, Shandi recalls how much her family loved American breakfasts. “Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It’s a chance for the family to gather before everyone gets busy,” Shandi says. “Food brings people together, and we love serving great food and seeing that happen.”

James and Shandi met each other during their college years. James graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma and Shandi earned her master's degree from Oklahoma Christian University. In 2016, James opened Tao Cha Cafe in Edmond, a Taiwanese/Chinese restaurant. Shandi worked in ecommerce for 11 years and as a server in different restaurants, where she also came to love the atmosphere and energy of the restaurant industry. “Two years ago, I had my son, and when my husband suffered with medical issues, I took care of his restaurant,” Shandi recollects. Soon after, Shandi was inspired to own her own restaurant and show her son the value of hard work and the spirit of never giving up when pursuing your dreams. In May 2023, Shandi’s vision came to life with the opening of Yolkizz Cafe.

But First, Breakfast

Yolkizz’ menu features breakfast favorites like the popular Berries & Cream French Toast, Avocado Toast, and Extravaganza Omelette. Another go-to is the Huevos Rancheros with a homemade pork green chili that takes it over the top. “We handcrack all of our eggs,” Shandi comments. “I also hand-pick all the

fruit myself at the market, and now that I’m a mom, all the kids’ meals come with fresh fruit.” The Cinnamon Pecan Rolls with homemade cream cheese icing are always a hit and everyone loves the signature homemade sausage gravy. Vegan and gluten-free breakfasts are available too, and Neighbors Coffee and lattes are perfect to kickstart the day.

Let’s Do Lunch!

Open daily from 7am-2pm, Yolkizz’ bright and bustling cafe also treats hungry visitors to great lunch options like the Grilled Pork Chop and BLTA with avocado. No cafe is complete without meatloaf, and the one at Yolkizz makes every other meatloaf jealous! Everything is made from scratch and topped with that craveable classic ketchup sauce. They also offer a variety of burgers, sandwiches, soups and desserts. And in this world, the gooey, delicious cinnamon roll counts as a dessert any time of day, as it should!

On the Go

Yolkizz–a play on the words “yolks” and “fizz”–is a fun spot to sip a Bellini or Bloody Mary with your favorite scramble or toast, and is also great for catering and to-go orders. French Toast Bites and Hashbrown Bites are perfect on-the-go goodies. Paired with a steamy platter of fluffy scrambled eggs and a tray of chicken and waffles, it’s a party! Not only is Yolkizz’ homestyle comfort food appealing, but the friendly mood and hospitality are equally warm and inviting. “Our staff is like family and our customers are friends,” Shandi says with a smile. “We love Edmond people. That’s why we have two restaurants in Edmond, because we love it here so much.”

Visit 737 W. Danforth Rd., Sun.-Sat. 7am-2pm, or online at

James and Shandi Kuo

OBSESS3D with 3D Printing

Fifteen thousand applied but only 70 were selected to compete on Season 11 of the entrepreneurial reality show, “The Blox.” Edmond engineer, Josh Brown, was one of them and is now applying the wisdom he gleaned from the process to his 3D printing company, OBSESS3D.

The business is the fruition of Josh’s long-held goal of making 3D printing his profession. As the creative spelling of the name suggests, when it comes to 3D printing, he’s obsessed. “I first learned of 3D printing when I was 14 and made it my life mission to start my own 3D printing company,” Josh said.

His first encounter was during Francis Tuttle’s Pre-Engineering Academy in 2004. “It was captivating and fascinating to me,” he said. “It seemed to just click and I was able to understand how it worked, and what it could potentially accomplish.”

The product of hard work and a dash of kismet, Josh’s childhood dream became a reality in 2022. “It’s not often that people know what they want to do for the rest of their life. It’s rare that a 14-year-old had such a concrete vision and followed it.”

Customers now count on Josh for custom 3D prints. “When I first started, I had ‘analysis paralysis’. I wasn’t sure what people would want, and I didn’t just want to mass produce knick-knacks,” Josh said. He soon found a

niche replicating lost or broken parts that people need, but fail to find elsewhere.

“I think my engineering background has set me apart,” Josh explained, “because I’m able to work with people to reverse engineer something to solve their problems. For example, I printed a part that a mechanic needed for his 1972 mercedes. It was about the size of a thumb, and was otherwise going to cost him thousands of dollars on eBay.”

But Josh’s vision is bigger than just business. His goal is to give back. “I want to translate the existing curiosity and skills that kids have for video games like Minecraft into real world skills,” he said. In support of this goal, Josh developed an original 3D printing curriculum, offers 3D classes as an adjunct teacher at Francis Tuttle, serves on their Engineering Advisory Committee and Foundation Board of Trustees, and offers in-home tutoring.

He’s a busy guy. But not too busy to also establish Gizmo of the Month Club. “This monthly subscription sends kids a monthly 3D-printed object, and with every subscription comes an entry to win a 3D printer of their own.”

Through education and giveaways, Josh hopes to increase interest in and access to 3D printing and engineering. He said, "When you raise the tide of knowledge, everybody wins.” Visit to explore the hobby. It just may become an obsession.

I first learned of 3D printing when I was 14 and made it my life mission to start my own 3D printing company.

A Calling to Create Piper B Studio

“It all started about 12 years ago,” Piper Bridwell explained. “I was a stay-at-home mom with a new baby, unsure of how our finances were going to unfold. I was rocking my baby when the Lord spoke to me.”

With no prior experience, Piper says she felt called to start updating old furniture to sell. “I’d always been creative, but at the time I didn’t really know what was inside of me. I just knew I needed a change of career, and I decided to obey, taking that leap of faith.”

Piper started by transforming antique furniture finds into funky pieces that sold quickly. “Everything I posted was selling right off the bat, and it became very clear that I was following the right path.”

After several years of successfully breathing new life into secondhand pieces, Piper sought something fresh. “I was doing a lot of commissions and missed the creativity that I started with.

So I got a canvas – not knowing how or what to do – and just started painting it on my dining room table.”

Brush in hand, Piper’s excitement was rejuvenated. Still, her confidence was a few steps behind. She says imposter syndrome is very real, and took a lot of practice and finished pieces for that feeling to fade.

“To gain confidence, you just have to spend a lot of time on it, experimenting and trying new things,” she said. “An artist I admire once told me to pick a piece that excites me, and then paint ten more of them. Then pick the best of those, and do it again.”

Piper’s persistence paid off. Now her work can be found in 17 countries, characterized by beautifully blended colors and thick textures, each piece made to send a meaningful message. “I pray my work touches people’s hearts, either through an emotion it strikes, or the words that are sometimes in the paintings.”

As much as Piper loves the art, she says she enjoys people more. “I love connecting with my clients,” she said. “It’s incredible the people who will walk into the studio thinking they’ll stay for ten minutes, and then an hour has passed. We sometimes end up in tears, talking and sharing stories or special meanings behind one of the paintings.”

While she isn’t sure what the future of her artistic journey will hold, she says she has faith in the process. “I have this yearning in my heart for more,” Piper said. “Whether it’s honing my style, or creating larger scale artwork, I have a peace about following this calling.”

Explore Piper’s work at or follow her journey on Instagram @PiperBStudio.

“To gain confidence, you just have to spend a lot of time on it, experimenting and trying new things”
Piper Bridwell

Sunflowers for Bausten

A 12-foot, eight-inch sunflower is growing in Teri Coplin’s Edmond front yard. For her family, it’s a symbol of hope. After losing her nephew, Bausten Jech, to suicide in 2019, the family began an annual sunflower-growing competition in his honor.

“Sunflowers were Bausten’s favorite flower,” Teri explained.

“At his funeral, we passed out packets of sunflower seeds with information about Bausten on them, and the family started asking each other how tall their flowers had grown.”

It quite literally grew from there. Every year since, they’ve planted, watched, and measured, and crowned a gardening champion. So far, Teri’s father is the undefeated champion, with flowers reaching up to 11 feet. But this year, Teri and her tower of a sunflower have their eyes on the prize—a free pack of beer.

It’s impressive, but it’s not really about the flowers. “This is a way for us to keep Bausten’s memory alive,” Teri said. “It’s fun and lighthearted, and reminds us of him.” All accounts of Bausten highlight his kindness, honesty, and willingness to help those he loved.

“My life was forever changed on February 18, 2019. I lost my 25-year-old son to suicide,” Bausten’s mom, Tracey Jech-Owen said. “There isn’t a minute that goes by that I don’t think of him. Losing a child is the greatest loss in life and when that child takes their own life the pain feels insurmountable.”

While we recognize National Suicide Prevention Week in September, Tracey’s advice is imperative year-round. “If you or someone you know is thinking of harming themselves, call or text 988.” Oklahoma’s 988 Mental Health Lifeline is a private and anonymous way to seek immediate help from mental health professionals.

Tracey’s wish is for her son’s life to be remembered. “I want my son to be remembered for his kindness, his genuine love for people of all colors, from all over the world. I don’t want my son’s life to be defined by his suicide. His life mattered.”

Tracey says she will love Bausten forever, miss him until the day she dies, and think of him every time she sees a sunflower.

left photo: Bausten's aunt, Teri Coplin; above: Bausten's mom, Tracey Jech-Owens, and his brothers, Blake Jech and Bryce Jech Bausten Jech

Candied Charm Reviving a 1933 Family Business

Handcrafted bon-bons, gourmet peppermint patties and peanut brittle perfection—Miranda Tracey makes them all. In fact, the fourth generation candymaker was practically born for it. Her earliest memories are watching her great-grandfather work confectionary wonders in the candy shop he opened in Ada, Oklahoma in 1933.

“As a kid, I was there most days after school,” Miranda said. “I remember watching my great-grandfather work, then my grandfather, and my father who worked there over 27 years.”

In 2007, the Ada Candy Co. closed. It was a bittersweet end to a chapter, but not the close of the book. “In 2020, I started trying to replicate some of our old family recipes,” Miranda explained. “But in trying to adjust the big-batch recipes to fit my kitchen, they weren’t coming out exactly the same. I called my dad and we worked together until our famous family creations tasted just like the originals in the shop.”

Noticing her continued passion for the family business, Miranda’s husband gave her a sweet birthday gift: Ada Candy Co., LLC. “It meant so much to have him on board with this journey,” Miranda said. “We went all in and are now in our third year of business, expanding

products and perfecting our 90-year recipes.”

Miranda’s father is reveling in the business’ rebound. “This journey has been a true blessing, and I am grateful for the time we have spent together. Cherishing every minute and every laugh, moments like these are truly precious.”

In its second wind, Ada Candy Co. has added custom lollipops, whipped peanut butters, and salted pecan brittle – a new twist on an old favorite. For Miranda, it’s just the start. “I want to see Ada Candy Co. continue to thrive and grow,” she said. “We hope to have a storefront someday, and I’d love to have live demonstrations so the public can see how all the candy is made. It’s a fun process I’d love to share with people.”

Even down to the logo, Ada Candy Co. is a charming nod to nostalgia. “There is something very vintage about our recipes, our candies, and the overall vibe of the business. It’s something unique,” Miranda said.

Miranda said you’ll never find candies like theirs in a big-box store, but you can find them at the Edmond Farmers Market or at

Miranda's earliest memories are watching her great-grandfather work confectionary wonders in the candy shop he opened in Ada in 1933. Miranda Tracey Randy Johnson, Miranda's dad

Owning Alopecia

“Bald is beautiful!” Or so a homeless man shouted at me outside a storefront the other day. A kind sentiment, truly. But one I’m only starting to believe after almost three years of losing my previously Tresemmé-worthy tresses.

I had alopecia areata as a child. When I was four years old, the autoimmune disease caused me to lose patches of hair behind my ears. It grew back within a year, and didn’t resurface until the very first day of 2021 when I found a completely bald, dime-sized patch on top of my head. I panicked—not recommended for a disease largely attributed to stress— but none of my desperate treatment attempts seemed to help.

A year after onset, the alopecia had progressed to the point that I asked my husband to shave my head. It was his 30 th birthday. Romantic, right? What I’d hoped would be a cathartic experience turned into a month-long slump of crying over my lost locks and identity. Where was my inner Demi Moore? I definitely didn't feel like G.I. Jane. It turns out, self-acceptance takes time.

The Bald & The Beautiful

While I fought to maintain normalcy on the outside – wigs, creative hairstyles, hats, head scarves I’m not trendy enough to pull off – I didn’t recognize myself. I felt less feminine. Less secure. Less attractive. Less… me. And I was disappointed in myself for letting it affect me so much.

These things I knew to be simultaneously true: It’s cosmetic, not catastrophic. Not chemo, as most people assume. It could be worse, but it’s still hard. And I don’t want to be the wife, the mom, or the woman who lives less fully because of some unruly follicles.

So in May of 2022, I stood in the middle of Times Square, nervous, sweaty, and 26-weeks-pregnant, and I ripped off my

wig. Stuffing it into my purse, I committed to a fake-it-tilyou-make-it approach to confidence, and I haven’t looked back.

As with most things in life, there are bright sides. I can get ready in a flash and I never have a bad hair day. My kids have a blast sticking toys to my head and they are learning to accept other people’s differences with grace. Yes, I get stared at. (A lot). But it starts conversations and makes people feel more comfortable sharing their own grief. I thank God for these things.

September is Alopecia Areata Awareness Month, and it’s exactly the push I needed to start sharing my story here, on social media, and to the strangers that ask. I realize that my story is one of millions and each is unique. How each person chooses to treat, reveal, and own their journey is deeply personal and always, absolutely okay.

Heavenly Hair Solutions

For many, wigs are a God-sent solution. My friend Tracy Tadlock has helped countless women find confidence in the midst of hair loss through Heavenly Hair Solutions. After struggling with a form of alopecia – alopecia genetica – Tracy experimented with toppers until she found a look that felt like, well, her.

Understanding the magnitude of the impact alternative hair solutions can have on women, Tracy opened shop in Edmond. Women travel across the metro and country for high-quality pieces, cut, colored, and customized for them.

“I love helping women feel more confident about themselves, just like toppers did for me,” Tracy said. “It gave me confidence to face the wind, weddings, and whatever life brings. This isn’t a job, it’s a ministry to me.”

Explore Tracy’s collection of confidence-building options on Facebook @HeavenlyHairSolutions.

Taylor Bollinger and Tracy Tadlock

Mardel Edmond

For more than forty years, OKC area customers have depended on Mardel for educational materials, Christian books, Bibles, gifts, and much more. The family-owned business is headquartered in Oklahoma, and the Edmond location opened in 1984. “We’re thankful that we can be there for the community of Edmond,” says CEO Jay DePalmo.

Christian Products for Every Need

Mardel was founded in 1981. From their first store in northwest Oklahoma City, they’ve expanded into dozens of locations in several states. This fall they’ll open their fortieth store in

Johnson City, Tennessee. The northwest OKC store is also moving to Yukon in the fall.

Mardel specializes in Christian books, Bibles, and Christian and secular educational materials. Bibles alone take up several shelves, with more available online—they stock 1,200 different varieties.

The store also carries a wide range of other products, with the lineup changing based on customers’ needs. Faith-based apparel is very popular now, and you’ll find a huge variety at Mardel, including licensed items featuring Christian artists. Mardel is an excellent source of high-quality gifts, and you can pick up ribbons, cards, and wrappings, too. They offer a full line of resources to support churches and educators.

Connecting with the Community

Mardel is active on social media, and Jay encourages customers to connect with them there. A new Mardel app keeps people informed about sales and events, and you can shop online 24/7.

But some things are still best experienced in person. Local stores

frequently host appearances by wellknown authors and artists, like a recent event with the band For King and Country at the Edmond location.

“We’re always working on supporting the community by supplying what they need,” says Jay.

Mardel Edmond is located at 3300 S. Boulevard. Contact them at (405) 341-2439 or shop online at


Lyndale Edmond Senior Living

With a lush 37-acre campus, a private pond, and paved walking paths, Lyndale Edmond Senior Living feels like a peaceful country retreat. But this oasis is nestled in the center of Edmond. A Sagora community, Lyndale offers convenient, homelike independent living and assisted living options.

Senior Living at Its Finest

The Lyndale experience includes full housekeeping services, a huge range of activities, and restaurant-style dining with multiple menu choices. Seniors enjoy regular outings to restaurants

and entertainment venues. Transportation to appointments is also available. The community is pet friendly, and visitors are welcome any time.

The beautiful Lyndale campus includes independent living cottages and apartments with several floor plans. There’s also an assisted living option. Lyndale is an age-in-place community, and residents with longterm care insurance or VA benefits can receive extra care if they need it.

A Place to Call Home

Many of Lyndale’s staff members have worked at the community for years. “We have a great team with a lot of longevity,” says Sales and Marketing Director Amber Compton. Amber enjoys her own job so much that she drives sixty miles round trip to work.

If you or a loved one is considering a move, Amber is happy to point you to resources to help with downsizing.

She invites seniors and their families to come in, take a tour, and enjoy lunch in the dining room with the residents. “What we love most about Lyndale is the homelike and welcoming environment,” says Amber. “The only way to experience that is to come and see for yourself.”

Lyndale Edmond Senior Living is located at 1225 Lakeshore Drive, Edmond. To learn more or schedule a tour, contact them at (405) 353-6047 or online at


The Callen Clarke Group Bringing Multicultural Music to OKC

For the Callen Clarke Group, music is all about bringing people together. Their performances build connections across cultures, in the local community, and most of all in their own family.

The Edmond-based band includes Callen and his three daughters, ages 15 through 24. Specializing in Arabic music, they’ve been playing at venues around OKC for more than a decade.

A Family Talent

It all started when Callen fell in love with the oud, a Mediterranean stringed instrument. Callen is a classically trained musician and composer who has premiered many symphonic works, but Arabic music is closest to his heart.

His wife Becky is also a musician, and all the Clarke girls inherited their parents’ talent. The oldest, Faith, was still in grade school when she played her first gig. Callen was in another Arabic band, and he asked her to fill in for an absent member. That performance led to many more. Then Hope, who is two years younger, decided she wanted in, too.

Fifteen-year-old Lizzy stepped into the group more recently. Their youngest sister, nine-year-old Grace, practices with them sometimes but hasn’t decided whether to join. Becky used to play with the group too, but then she decided she could better support them as an enthusiastic fan.

The Clarkes all play multiple instruments, both within and outside of the band. Callen concentrates on the oud but also plays lute. Faith specializes in violin and has a string performance degree from UCO. Hope, a flutist and percussionist, directs the youth worship band at her church. Lizzy plays percussion in the band, and she will play flute in the Santa Fe marching band this fall.

Their own heritage isn’t Middle Eastern, but there’s a deep mutual respect between the group and the communities whose music they play. “We receive nothing but kindness, generosity, and esteem,” says Callen. “I think the feeling is that

non-Middle Eastern people playing this music demonstrates its universal appeal.”

Celebrating a New Album

The Callen Clarke Group just released their first album, Into the East. They began the project in 2020 after Covid-19 shut down their gigs. “We thought it would be over and done that summer!” says Lizzy. But as they grew musically, the album kept changing too. “We wanted it to represent us at our best,” says Callen.

The recording process was tedious. “We’re all perfectionists,” says Hope. “That is the enemy of recording or producing any kind of creative work.” But they persisted until they had a finished product that made them proud.

Into the East features original songs in several Middle Eastern traditions. Callen is also a novelist, and the album includes a suite that ties in with his historical trilogy, Tres. Into the East is available as a digital download from Amazon.

Callen has written two concerti that the group wants to record next. “We would really like to partner with a solid pro chamber orchestra,” says Callen. They also hope to premiere the concerti with an orchestra.

Building Connections

Each member loves being in the band for different reasons. Lizzy enjoys meeting so many people and musicians, and Hope appreciates the family time. Faith is grateful that the group helped her achieve a high degree of professionalism at a young age. All of them agree it gives them a special closeness as a family.

All the Clarkes are grateful for the bonds their music has forged, with each other and with the community. “When you have the crowd engaged, no matter who they are, and you’ve made them happy, that’s the best part,” says Lizzy.

To learn more, visit the Callen Clarke Trio on Facebook.


Learning to Mourn

Several people have asked me to write about how grievers feel and how to help.

The dictionary describes mourning as feeling or sharing deep sadness following the death of someone. According to bereavement counselors, mourning is grieving out loud. Sharing your sorrow with others. It’s lament in the deepest sense.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, we aren’t encouraged to lament or mourn. After a loved one’s death, we are expected to grieve for a time but not a long time. Not a lifetime, which is what happens in real life.

We admit to loving for a lifetime so how could we possibly expect that love to disappear? Yes, we move forward, at least we hope to, but never totally beyond the

grief. Our hearts are scarred for eternity.

One of the hard things about mourning, outside of missing our loved ones every day, is the lack of acknowledgement of our grief. Societal etiquette says, “Don’t ask about the deceased. It might bring tears.” Society is wrong! God created us with emotions and those feeling must be expressed. Help a griever by sharing their sadness and mentioning the name of their loved one. They need to know that he/she is not forgotten.

At the same time, offer help— something tangible—pick up groceries, mow a lawn, do laundry, bring lunch to share rather than dropping it off. Instead of offering, “If you need anything call,” realize they are already overwhelmed with needs. Find a way to help.

What grievers especially need is a kind word and a hug. Someone to sit with them and hear their story. Someone who will laugh and cry with them. Someone who’s not afraid to go the length—to totally empathize with them. Empathy is hard. It takes you into the very pit of grief with someone. A place where you can almost taste the salt of their tears.

In this life we will all be grievers at some time. Some of us have already

experienced this pain. We know how to mourn. We just don’t know how to handle the loneliness when friends or family fail to respect the remembrance of our loved one enough to mourn with us. Let’s change that!


Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker & founder of Wives With Heavenly Husbands, a support group for widows. or


a look back Edmond Football 1921

Members of the 1921 Edmond High School football team stop practice to pose for a photograph as coach Avon Potter looks on. Taken outside of Edmond's first high school building, the players wear football uniforms and equipment consistent with the time period.

Located where Russell Dougherty is today, on Boulevard between Hurd and Main Street, it was built in 1917 but only used as a high school until the building that is Boulevard Academy today was built around 1925. The team ended the 1921 season with an 5-3 record. Photo provided by Edmond History Museum.

1024 W Covell Rd., Edmond, OK 73003