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She’s a Little Bit Country, He’s a Little Bit EDM

August 2018

Siblings Choose Diverse Paths in Music

Compassion Patrol

Don & Georgia Celebrate 72

Little Cowgirl On The Prairie


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LITTLE COWGIRL ON THE PRAIRIE

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ABCS OF SAFE SLEEP FOR INFANTS

Warning: This column contains some reflecting.

I’m on deadline. Yet, oddly enough, I’m feeling relaxed. I’m sitting at my dining room table with a great view of my backyard. This is my “waking up, sipping coffee and getting online” place. It’s my favorite spot and my favorite view. It calms me. Always has for the past 12 years.

The dining room opens up into my living room. Kicking back in my favorite chair, I look around and I feel a sense of pride. It’s been an adventure putting this room together. A hunter/gatherer adventure. I’m kind of obsessed with mid-century, retro and modern furnishing – even more so when I can work a great deal procuring them. Being surrounded by Eames, Nelson and McCobb classic designs makes me happy.

On the other end of the spectrum, my bedroom is sparse. Not a lot of distractions. A place for me to recharge. A recently remodeled master bath has a walk-in shower, soaking tub and skylight that work together to give the space a spa-like feeling.

Local Nonprofit Educates and Advocates

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A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY, A LITTLE BIT EDM

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EKPE’S FARM

10th Grader Bailey Gregg Embraces Country Life

Siblings Mallory & Danny Share a Passion for Music NBA’s Ekpe Udoh Brings Hydroponic Farming to Edmond

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CELEBRATING 72 YEARS OF MARRIAGE

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COMPASSION PATROL

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NY PUBLISHER CHARMED BY EDMOND

Q & A With Don and Georgia Miller

Edmond Police Focus on Homeless Former Resident Loves His Hometown

To me the upstairs of my house exudes loneliness. With the kids all gone, there’s not much reason to go up there, other than to check on my cat, who’s officially taken residence on the second floor. I savor the quiet, but sometimes, I miss the activity.

Business

The kitchen evokes a little regret for me. It needs updating. It doesn’t bother me all that much, unless I focus on the avacado green floor tiles. There’s a second dining area in the kitchen with a fireplace. I used have a small dining table in there, but I swapped it out for a set of recliners. That fireplace provided me much warth, peace and solace through my late wife’s sickness.

I’m emotionally invested to this structure of bricks, stone, wood and drywall. I will miss all these connections because I’m moving. Downsizing to be specific. I’m packing up my dog and cat (if I can get her in a pet carrier) and the rest of my worldly possessions and moving 2 miles north. It’s been a long search, but I believe have found the right house for me to go forward. It’s mid-century style ranch with tasteful updates, a good sized garage. It’s located at the end of a quiet street. Lots of trees.

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PRIMARY HEALTH PARTNERS

Primary Health Care for Adults and Children EKB HOME

Full Home Design

Columns 28

LOUISE TUCKER JONES

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DR. J. DAVID CHAPMAN

Birthday Calls from My Mama To BNB or Not to BNB?

I’m looking forward to moving in and moving forward. Cover photography by Marshall Hawkins

Dave Miller Back40 Design President

ADVERTISING l Laura Beam at 405-301-3926 l laura@edmondoutlook.com MAILED MONTHLY TO 50,000 HOMES IN EDMOND/NORTH OKC 80 East 5th Street, Suite 130, Edmond, OK 73034 l 405-341-5599 l edmondoutlook.com l info@edmondoutlook.com August 2018 Volume 14, Number 8

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Edmond Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc.

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© 2018 Back40 Design, Inc.

PUBLISHER Dave Miller l ADVERTISING MANAGER Laura Beam l GRAPHIC DESIGN Adrian Townsend and Sable Furrh PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins www.sundancephotographyokc.com l DISTRIBUTION Edmond 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.


FEATURELOOK

Bailey Gregg (right)

Little Cowgirl on the Prairie By Amy Dee Stephens

Bailey Gregg is a rancher, rodeo queen, and pilot-in-training—and she’s only in the 10th grade! She was riding horses before she could walk, and she’s spent a good deal of her life wearing a prairie dress.

ago, Bailey became involved with the local Edmond Round Up Club where she gained experiencing in roping, and she was selected as their 2018 Rodeo Queen, based on her interview, speech, and horsemanship.

“When I was in the 3rd grade, my family watched the entire nine seasons of Little House on the Prairie,” Bailey said. “For the next two years, I learned everything I could about that time period. I even wrote my name as Mary Ingalls on my school papers. My two younger sisters called themselves Laura and Carrie.”

She also learned about the National Little Britches Rodeo Finals at the Lazy E Arena, and she wanted to compete. She found a partner, Chase Christensen, and they began training in team roping. Her goal was to make it into the top twenty. Little Britches took place in mid-July, and competition was tight, with 800 contestants from the U.S. and Canada. After placing in various qualifying events—she and Chase placed 6th in the world! “It was so amazing, because I’m pretty new at this, but I’ve also grown up around ropes and horses,” Bailey said.

For Christmas, Bailey and her sisters got to pick out fabric to have old-fashioned prairie dresses made. Bailey loved wearing hers, and she jumped at the chance to wear her dress to 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse Camp. The schoolhouse, Edmond’s first school, was newly restored. As a camper, Bailey stepped back in time to learn about frontier life.

“I love teaching little kids about the time period that I love.” One of the camp teachers, Carol Anderson, noticed Bailey’s interest and approached her about being the program’s first teacher’s apprentice. Now, six years later, she’s still wearing a prairie dress and helping train new apprentices. “Schoolhouse camp is my favorite thing to do every summer,” Baily said. “I love teaching little kids about the time period that I love.” Over time, she started bringing farm animals to the camp and teaching about ranch life. Bailey’s experience comes, not from watching Little House on the Prairie, but from living the life of a real cowgirl on the Flying G Ranch, just north of Edmond. “As a teenager, my mom worked on the Diamond L Ranch. My dad didn’t grow up around horses, but when they got married and moved to the country, he took it full on,” Bailey said. “I’ve been on horses since I was two.” A few years ago, Bailey’s family decided to “take on rodeo.” Bailey trained in a variety of rodeo events, including barrel racing and goat tying. Two years

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Not only does she live around horses, this summer she’s living with horses. Her family had purchased 80-acres and started developing it with a new horse arena and barn. When their current house sold more quickly than expected, the family decided to move into their new barn for the time being. They’ve created a small air-conditioned apartment in part of the barn. “It’s basically queen bunk beds, a washer/dryer, couches and table. Part of the tack room is our closet and pantry. Believe me, it’s thought out in great detail. It’s amazing. It should be on HGTV.” In many ways, this cowgirl’s life has mirrored that of her Little House, heroes. Even so, Bailey has a very modern vision for her future. She’s been training with her dad to be a pilot, with hopes of getting her license when she turns 16, and she has her sights set on law school. Until then, Bailey is fully embracing country life. “I spend all day in the sun working horses, but I also hang out with my city friends and do regular things like watching movies.” She laughed. “I don’t dress like a weird country person when I go to town, and I don’t always smell like a horse—I know how to spray perfume on! But I wouldn’t trade how I’ve been raised. I have great friends and so many memories.”


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FEATURELOOK

ABCs of Safe Sleep for Infants By Amy Dee Stephens

Oklahoma has a high infant-death rate—but some deaths can be prevented in the future. Ali Dodd is determined to rescue other parents from experiencing the heartbreak she faced in 2015 when she lost her baby. Not only has Dodd started the organization, Shepard’s Watch, to promote safe sleep practices, she’s also become an active voice in improving laws to protect sleeping infants. She wants all caregivers to understand that following simple “safe sleep” rules is essential and easy. Follow these ABC recommendations for safe sleep: Alone, flat on the Back, in an empty Crib. Dodd’s son, Shepard, died on his sixth day at a licensed in-home day care. “Shepard was placed in another child’s car seat for two hours, swaddled and unbuckled,” Dodd said. “Unrestrained, he slipped down causing his chin to touch his chest, cutting off his airway. Every baby deserves to wake up. Every parent deserves to pick up their infant alive and happy at the end of the day.” Dodd started Shepard’s Watch to spread awareness about safe sleep practices. She hopes to reach parents, grandparents, babysitters or anyone who might oversee a sleeping infant. According to Dodd, you don’t have to be an expert; just follow these simple rules:

Babies should sleep flat on their backs

Back-sleeping leaves the baby’s windpipe supported and open. According to Dodd, the only exception to back-sleeping would be an severe medical condition, as detailed by a doctor.

Car seats are only for cars

A car seat is approved for car accident safety, not for long-term sleeping. Many babies will nap during a car ride, which is fine short-term--but after two hours in that posture, breathing risks increase. A car seat should not be used as a “baby holder” in a restaurant, a shopping cart or at home. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that babies younger than three months should be given car seat breaks every two hours or that an adult sit in the back seat and closely monitor the baby during overnight drives. Also of note: 80% of car seats are not installed correctly, so take advantage of free certified car seat checks.

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Never use baby bumpers in a crib

The list of bumper dangers is long: suffocation from being wedged between the bumper and crib, choking on the ties, toddlers climbing out of the crib and falling, etc. In addition, no stuffed animals, positioners, blankets or pillows should be allowed in a baby crib. According to Dodd, the risk of suffocation is far worse than getting a bruise from bumping into the crib rail. Bumpers are now banned in some states, and Dodd hopes to add Oklahoma to that list soon.

Avoid baby products called a “sleeper” or a “napper”

According to Dodd, these words are used by companies who are side stepping safety regulations. Instead, choose products called Cribs, Bassinets, Pack-n-Plays or Play Yards—these have officially passed safety regulations. Presley, Ali, Derek, and Shepard Photo by Jess Graefe Photography

Co-sleeping with infants is risky

Over half of infant suffocations occur in adult beds. “Ask any ER physician and they’ll tell you it can be deadly, and there is no do-over,” Dodd said. “American parents are the most sleep-starved parents in the world.” Parents can room-share safely, with their child in a nearby bassinet.

As an honor to Shepard, Ali Dodd continues to fight for increased infant regulations and trainings. Parents undoubtedly have questions, and Dodd is happy to share her research findings. Ultimately, she begs caregivers to follow safe sleep rules so that no one else has to endure the tragedy of a lost baby. In summary, she repeats these ABC guidelines for safe sleep: Alone, flat on the Back, in an empty Crib. To learn more, visit Shepard’s Watch on Facebook or contact Rainbow Fleet at rainbowfleet.org for further early childhood resources.


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Every Kid Needs Summer Vacation

Jump into the fun! 11807 Sooner Road, Edmond 405.826.7524 nancy@twisteragility.com

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FEATURELOOK

Mallory Eagle

Danny Eagle

A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit EDM

By Amy Dee Stephens

Mallory and Danny Eagle are quite compatible, although their musical tastes are on different ends of the spectrum. They blame their parents. “Mom loves old disco, funk and pop,” Danny said. “Dad loves country, blues and bluegrass,” Mallory said. “You can see which sides we gravitated toward.”

The style he often plays is called “house” music. “It started in the 1980s as remixed disco, and now, most American pop music is influenced by it,” Danny said. “You’ll hear it in music by Ariana Grande, Pit Bull or Chris Brown. It has a strong drumbeat, so it’s perfect for energetic, emotional dancing.”

Mallory’s Music

The Highs, The Lows

Both siblings had pivotal moments in high school that decided their career paths. For Mallory, it was joining a bluegrass band. She realized, “I want to do this with my life.” Mallory graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in vocal performance and is now the lead singer of the Mallory Eagle Band. Her album “Red Dirt Home” is gaining momentum and is available at all major music outlets. “The big dream is to support myself with music and begin touring,” Mallory said. “In August, my whole band is moving to Nashville so that we can have better opportunities.” Mallory described her vocal style as country-Americana, but Danny, who confessed he is secretly a songwriter, was more lyrical in his description. “Mal’s voice is like honey in a sweet cup of ice tea, poured in a pasture. It’s all sweetness of tone and chord progression.” Mallory laughed. “I call it country-Americana.”

Danny’s DJ-ing

Danny started mixing music CDs in high school. He convinced the prom committee to hire him as the DJ, which went well. Now, he’s managing the music for large corporate events across the metro area, and last spring, he hosted the electronic stage at the Metro Music Fest in Bricktown. He’s pursuing a degree at UCO in graphic design and business marketing, with the goal of becoming the musical coordinator for major headline performers. Danny loves funk, hip hop and electronic dance music, but he’s happy to play any style of music requested by his clients. “I might play jazz music one night and rap the next,” Danny said. “I try to play to the atmosphere of the group.” 14

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Both Mallory and Danny have experienced phenomenal moments and epic flops while performing. Danny is still mortified by one of his first DJ moments. A friend hired him for her Quinceañera, the Hispanic version of a Sweet 16 party. He was unaware that she and he were the only Englishspeakers at the six hour gig. “I didn’t know the Spanish culture, and I was struggling to find appropriate music. I would get song requests, then have to get on Google Translator to figure out what they’d said.” Danny’s favorite moment? “When a thousand people came to Fassler Hall in Midtown—and they were jumping, singing and having a fantastic time,” Danny said. Mallory recently had her first sell-out show, which was an awesome moment in her career, but she can’t forget one particular late-night event. “I showed up with my guitar, all country-ed out in my hat and boots--to find that I was following a hip hop DJ. That audience was not into me at all! They filtered out and I was left playing to myself. Thank goodness Miranda Lambert was performing that night, so once her concert let out, country fans started drifting over to hear me.” Despite the set-backs, both Mallory and Danny love the thrill of performing well for the right crowd. “Sometimes you can take your nerves and use them as fuel to perform better,” Mallory said. “Those nights are amazing. And then, there’s the nights where everything goes wrong and your strings bust. You roll with the punches and accept the good and bad.” Visit malloryeagle.com and dannyeagle.com for more information


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FEATURELOOK

Ekpe Udoh

Ekpe’s Farm Interview By Laura Beam

Edmond native and Utah Jazz power forward Ekpe Udoh has created LGR Farms in south Edmond, a hydroponic container farming operation. What hydroponic crops does LGR Farms specialize in? Are the items for sale? LGR Farms can grow over 100 varieties of crops. We specialize in different lettuces, spinach, swiss chard, greens, and some herbs. Produce will be packaged and available for sale beginning in August. Customers can place orders at info@lgrfarms.com or (405) 759-0318 and pick up items at LGR Farms office. Tell me a little bit about your Edmond roots and where you currently live when you’re not in Edmond. I was born and raised in Oklahoma and was born to Nigerian parents. I went to Edmond Santa Fe High School and my mother had a garden while I was growing up so I saw fresh produce my whole life. Since I play for Utah Jazz, I currently live in Utah year-round. Has hydroponics always been a hobby of yours? I wouldn’t use the word “hobby.” I’ve always been accustomed to fresh produce. It’s something I enjoy. What is the benefit of hydroponics vs. traditional farming? Traditional agriculture can have ups and downs due to weather and animals. Hydroponics is more controlled and uses less water. Hydroponics is soilless. Traditional farming usually has extra chemicals to help the crops grow. Our farm is herbicide and pesticide free. I cannot vouch for other hydroponic farms, but I know ours is herbicide and pesticide free.

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Do you plant in the spring and harvest in the fall as with traditional farming? We plant year round! Our crops grow and are ready for market in 4-7 weeks. What does ‘LGR’ stand for? Let’s Get Right. It’s a common phrase I always say as encouragement or motivation, as in ‘do better, be better.’ How big is the farm? The farming operation is housed in a repurposed shipping container. It measures 40’ x 8 x 9.5’. The hydroponic operations are controlled by an iPhone app or manually through a control panel inside the container. What inspired you to start the farm, and what made Edmond the choice location? I am big on healthy, fresh, but affordable produce. Our mission is committed to providing the community with fresh vegetables and herbs. More than just a farm, we also work hard to educate people on nutrition and alternative farming methods. I want to partner with schools to help students learn about the benefits of local, fresh produce. How does your NBA career affect your involvement with the farm during basketball season? During season, Erica Young operates day-to-day and harvesting. Off season, I am home in Edmond often to help with the day-to-day. During the season, I handle more of the conference calls and the social responsibility efforts for LGR Farms. Are there any new developments on the horizon for you or the farm? LGR Farms will be working with SodexoMagic (Magic Johnson company) to provide fresh produce to some historical black colleges & universities. Visit www.lgrfarms.com for more information.


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FEATURELOOK

Celebrating 72 Years of Marriage

At age 94, nothing slows Don Miller down. Interview By Heide Brandes

Don and Georgia Miller

Walk in most days at the Lowe’s Home Improvement Center at Second and Bryant, and you’ll see Don Miller’s tall frame and big wide smile, especially if you need plumbing supplies. After a career of 33 years with the same building materials company and an 18-year run of owning his own company, Miller just couldn’t stay retired. Since 2009, Don has been a familiar face for local shoppers and contractors. What’s more, Don is happy. He’s happy when he’s working, he’s happy when he’s gardening, he’s happy when eating healthy and natural, and most of all, he’s happy with his wife of 72 years, Georgia. Don was kind enough to take a few minutes and visit with the Outlook. Q: The secrets to a long vibrant life? Don: Eat right, stay active and always keep a positive attitude. Always have a sense of humor. Q: What is the secret to a long, happy marriage? Don: A sense of humor. If you are compatible and enjoy each other, you’ll get along, but a sense of humor is a must. You don’t just get married, you work at it. We don’t fight. We do things that irritate each other, sure, but we don’t fight. Q: What is your advice in raising your three happy, successful children? Don: We set the example. We had a successful, happy marriage and we didn’t bicker in front of the children. Now we have successfully married kids. They see us being happy with each other, and they expected that with their own marriages.

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Q: You’ve had a long career and your own business. Now you still work. What’s the key to succeeding in business? Don: I enjoy my work. I enjoy where I’m working. When people get old, they are always around the house and it gets kind of boring. So I enjoy being around people and I enjoy the people I work with. I think I’m very well-liked. Q: You are both in your 90s and seem so vibrant and healthy. Why do you think that is? Don: We take care of ourselves. Plus, both our parents lived long lives. My mom lived into her 90s, and Georgia’s parents were on the tall side of their 80s. But you have to eat right and not eat all the terrible junk that’s out there. Q: What do you like to do when you aren’t working 20 to 25 hours at Lowe’s each week? Don: I like working in the yard. I don’t get as much done as I used to, because gardening and yard work is hard work. I plant all the flowers myself and I take care of the gardens. Q: When do you think you’ll ever slow down? Don: Like I told them at Lowes, I’m going to work until I’m tired, and I’m not tired yet. I really enjoy working, and physically I outwork any two of those kids that work there. I feel good. I don’t live on pills, and I am still happy and healthy. Q: What are your top pieces of advice on living long and being happy? Don: First, be active. Exercise is essential, and I still exercise at 94. Also, always have a positive attitude. Don’t let the trivial stuff bother you. Most of the news on the tube is negative, and I just let it blow past me.


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FEATURELOOK

Compassion

Patrol

By Mustafa Kujo

Sergeant Chad Brown isn’t exactly sure when he became designated as Edmond Police Department’s homeless liaison officer, but sometime after attending the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Course, he was asked to attend a quarterly Edmond Homeless and Underserved Population meeting. “My supervisor told me I would be a good fit. It’s a big brainstorm deal with the City Manager, Police Chief, Project 66 Food & Resource Center, UCO, and lots of the churches that provide needed services.” Over his 22 years with the Edmond PD, Sgt Brown has learned the enormous value of communication to help him on his daily patrols. “It’s the most important skill I have, whether dealing with a domestic incident or someone with mental health issues, I need to quickly ascertain if someone is a danger to themselves or others, if they are on or off their medications, or using drugs.” A few years back, he received a phone call from a man who remembered that Sgt Brown had treated him fairly. “He called wanting to report a suicide—his own! As I drove through downtown to his house, I had my cell phone on, trying to keep him talking and to build that connection. By the time I got there, he was ready to come out and we got him the help he needed.”

“Patrolmen will often buy a meal for some of the homeless, or a tank of gas for a family with a sudden domestic issue.” Edmond has a relatively small and fairly stable homeless population. Sgt Brown makes it a point to check on the ones he knows about weekly. “I coordinate with the other patrolmen and get their information, then go see them and make sure they know about services that are available to them.” He carries a batch of Homeless Resource Cards with telephone numbers and addresses for services, including First Christian Church’s “Breakfast on Boulevard” which serves free hot breakfasts and sack lunches on weekdays from 6:30am to 7:15am, and The Hope Center which can provide food, clothing, and even rent or utility assistance. “It’s important to remember that there are families in Edmond that are one paycheck away from being homeless. We make it a point to know their names and their family situations, so we can steer them to the agencies or charities that can help them stay in their home or apartment.” While he has become known as the face of homeless assistance, Sgt Brown is quick to note that patrolmen across the department routinely go above and beyond in their duties to the community. “Many patrolmen, who are barely getting by themselves, will often buy a meal for some of the homeless, or a group will pitch in to get some of them a hotel room when the weather gets bad, or buy diapers and a tank of gas for a family with a sudden domestic issue.” Some of Edmond’s homeless are ordinary people with extraordinarily bad luck. “This one guy got stranded here when he was passing through town, car broke down, and he ran out of money. He had been sleeping out in the rain for two days when I saw him. He had a job interview in Stillwater, but no way to get there. I took him to The Hope Center and they gave him a few pairs of socks, shoes, and a suit, then I got him transportation to Stillwater. He called me three weeks later and told me he had gotten the job!” When bad weather is forecast, Sgt Brown can be seen walking the streets checking on people he knows will need help. “I’ll coordinate volunteers and many of the small businesses in town will donate gift cards for meals which we’ll hand out. We have a great community here in Edmond, and if anybody ever wants to help, they can volunteer at the 66 Food Pantry, Hope Center, or their own church, where they can meet the homeless and underserved people who need their help.”

Sergeant Chad Brown

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Visit www.edmondok.com/549/Police-Department

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BIZLOOK

Primary Health Partners By Maria Veres

A visit to Primary Health Partners Edmond feels like a trip back in time. Dr. Melinda Cail and nurse practitioner Michelle Merrell, blend 2018 technology with old-fashioned, patient focused care. For a monthly fee of $69, patients get unlimited visits and consultations. Patients can also access their health provider after hours or online. “It’s like bringing back the small-town doctor with the little black bag, but better,” says Cail. Without insurance requirements and paperwork to tie them down, Cail and Merrell are able to devote more time to patient care. They are also freer to offer care that is more convenient to the patient. For example, if a patient is sick and unable to come to the office, he or she can schedule a phone or FaceTime visit instead.

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Most people aren’t accustomed to paying a monthly fee for primary care, but this model can be very budget-friendly. There are no copayments. Primary Health Partners also provides value by offering lab work and prescription medications on site, at cost, without any “middleman” markups. Patients are less likely to be referred to a specialist for problems that can be managed in-house and they often avoid costly ER or urgent care visits. “I have a patient with asthma who, prior to joining PHP, waited for hours at urgent care and spent $250 during one episode,” says Merrell. “The next time it happened, he texted me. I met him at the office to give him a breathing treatment, and he was out of there in 20 minutes at no additional cost.” Cail stresses that a service like Primary Health Partners should not replace insurance. “We recommend people use insurance as it was intended, for major medical care, and rely on us for excellent primary care.” Cail and Merrell have a passion for helping patients with weight loss, stemming from their own struggles and successes. Cail has dropped

Michelle Merrell and Melinda Cail

120 lbs and Merrell has shed 40 lbs. “Patients see that we practice what we preach,” Merrell says. They are also strongly committed to disease prevention and management. “Many patients have several chronic conditions,” says Merrell. “With this model, we have time to talk with patients about all their concerns during a visit, and can work with them to develop healthy habits.” Primary Health Partners began with an office in Yukon where there are currently three physicians. The Edmond office opened in September 2017. This Fall, the Edmond office will welcome Cail’s brother Dr. James Cail III. Dr. Melinda Cail, Dr. James Cail, and Michelle Merrell APRN are all accepting new patients.


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BIZLOOK

Edmond Kitchen Bath Home By Maria Veres

After seventeen years, EKB Home is back where it began, with a focus on full home design. Formerly named Edmond Kitchen & Bath, the company still offers the high-quality kitchen and bath designs it’s known for. But now they’re adding more to the mix. “We’ve experienced requests for other types of designs,” says co-owner Brenda Helms, “so we’re coming full circle and offering a whole range of home design services.” It’s a natural transition for Brenda and her husband Robert, who run EKB Home as a team. They share a lifelong passion for building, creating, and design. “We would go to estate sales on dates so we could see the architecture and furniture,” Brenda recalls. Once they married and started a family, Brenda began tackling her own home design projects. Then friends started asking her and Robert for help, and a business was born. They worked on a variety of projects at first, then began specializing in kitchen and bath.

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As a licensed and registered interior designer, Brenda oversees the design process along with designer Megan Greeve and CAD designer Maureen Befort. Robert takes charge of the actual building and construction. He’s the “go-to guy” that the others turn to for help in solving tough building problems. Once the plans are made, daily activities inside each home are overseen by Project Manager Scott Suenram, who has been with EKB Home over 14 years. “It’s very much a small family business,” Brenda notes. The Helms’s daughter-in-law Addie recently came on board as a design assistant. “We’ve built long-term relationships,” says Brenda. “There’s also very low turnover with our contractors and subcontractors. As a customer, you know what you’re going to get.” The team takes special pride in their work on the Hahn Appliance OKC showroom, where they showcase design options from many different companies. Right now they’re enjoying the process

(Top left to right) Robert Helms, Megan Greeve, Maureen Befort. (Bottom left to right) Addie Helms, Brenda Helms.

of creating a complete new-home design in Ponca City. EKB Home is also re-focusing on its Edmond showroom at 243 North Broadway. When the remodel is complete, it will feature a wide range of home design options. “We’ve got beautiful plans for it,” says Brenda. “We’re very excited about our new showroom.” For more information, visit EKB Home online at edmondkitchen.com or follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/edmondkitchen.


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FEATURELOOK

NY Publisher Charmed by Edmond

By Amy Dee Stephens

Daniel Nayeri hoped to be an international spy--but instead, he’s a New York publisher. Unable to completely give up on his dream of a thrillseeking career, he created an interactive children’s book called “The Most Dangerous Book,“ that actually turns into a working bow! He is also one of Edmond’s biggest fans. “I have a big smile on my face right now, because we’re talking about Edmond,” Daniel said during a phone interview from Fifth Avenue. “Is Lion’s Fun Park still there? What about the ice-skating rink? Do people still crawl on the rocks at Fink Park?”

Although Nayeri moved to New York 18 years ago, he maintains great enthusiasm for Edmond. Growing up in a town of safety and opportunity is deeply meaningful to this first-generation immigrant whose family escaped from Iranian persecution. As an eight-year old, he deeply feared being unable to speak English, which prompted him to spend a lot of time reading (and later working) at the Edmond Library.

In April, Nayeri returned to Oklahoma to speak for an audience of writers. Although he was speaking about how he broke into the publishing industry, his talk was more like a confessional on how his childhood taught him that, “You can be anything in America.” As proof, he shared his career resume, which includes ditch digger, skydiving instructor, poet and pastry chef. Each step led him closer to his true calling--putting words on paper in hopes of inspiring big ideas in young people. Nayeri is working on a new line of interactive, non-fiction children’s books under the Macmillan imprint, Odd Dot. “We create joyful books for curious minds,” Nayeri said. “The idea is that dots are individual little circles, but when dots are put together, they make all the printed material in the world. Just like our publishing team is made up of individuals that come together to be a beautiful, balanced team.” It seems that a balancing force in Nayeri’s life might be his hometown-raising, which will feature heavily in his forthcoming autobiography. “The beauty of Edmond is that it’s a city distinctly built around relationships and community. New York caters to strangers. You’re around millions of people and you’re still very much alone.” (Cue background chorus: “Cause there ain’t no doubt, I love this land.”) “I miss Edmond so much. I miss my friends. I miss the food. I miss my amazing teachers. I was so influenced by Coach Arndt, who raised our football team on motivational talks. I’m grateful for his leadership training, and I still rely heavily on the concepts he taught us. Thank you Ms. Gordy, Ms. Woodrome and Ms. Harold. I could go on and on articulating my love for Edmond. I can’t wait to visit again.” To learn more, visit odddot.com.

In order to assimilate slang into his vocabulary, Nayeri kept a notebook to jot down fascinating, useful words, like “Cowabunga!” He asked his music teacher to print the lyrics of patriotic songs. “I still remember practicing the phrase, ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt, I love this land, God bless the USA!’” His once-rocky childhood was soon wrapped up in the sun-kissed glow of living in a small-town atmosphere. “All my favorite memories are with friends: eating ice cream with my youth group, having harrowing adventures at Central Middle School, swimming in the pool while eating the last peaches of August, because they exploded all over.” Nayeri’s obsession with language gained momentum in high school. “Farsi was my first language, and I spoke tourist Italian, but then I took French and Latin at Edmond Memorial. I was the only kid enrolled in Latin 4. I sat in a room by myself translating Cicero.” For college, Nayeri said he “followed the scent of book-binding glue” to New York City. He studied creative writing, English literature and religion. Based on his library experience, he gained an internship at a publishing house, which eventually led to his bookpublishing career.

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ALOOKBACK Louise and Belvia

August is my birthday month and my family has a tradition of calling each other on such occasions. Since I have four brothers and one sister we sometimes do phone tag, and of course, my oldest son always calls me. But one of the most fun things is when my mother calls and talks about the time, place and season of my birth. Since I was born at home—no doctor present—I always enjoyed hearing those details. My parents lived in a tiny 3-room house in the country and Mama would relate some happenings from that time. Once she told how she often sat outside on a big rock in the cool of the day because of the August heat. Another time she mentioned the iron bedstead being so hot it burned you to the touch. And of course, she never tired of mentioning that I arrived before the doctor.

By Louise Tucker Jones

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My late husband, Carl, used to try and wish me a happy birthday at midnight but I always told him it wasn’t really my birthday until Mama called at the time of my birth. I actually carried on that tradition with my own children. I always call my son, Aaron, at 7:07 am on his birthday, and if Jay, my youngest, is awake at 10:36 pm on his special day, I tell him beautiful stories about his birth.

My mother is now 101 years old and still calls on my birthday, but she doesn’t remember as many details. I understand, but in truth, I miss hearing those little tidbits about my birth. So now, my older siblings tell me their memories of the day I was born. How they were sent away from home and which relative or neighbor took care of them, then finding a baby sister on their return. I know. Sounds like an old movie. I definitely enjoy all of my birthday calls, but I cherish the one from my mother, who still tells me she loves me and still recalls a few memories of that special day when I entered her world forever. What a precious birthday present!

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.


CITYLOOK

To BNB or Not To BNB By Dr. J. David Chapman

A few months ago Outlook Magazine’s cover story was on the “gigeconomy.” As a real estate guy with two Airbnb properties in downtown Edmond, I suggest to you the ultimate side hustle was left out--rental real estate.

We provide a lighted courtyard in each property with lawn chairs and gasfire pit. This market is not for those renting the typical home inherited after the passing of a loved one. Believe it or not, our amenity is the downtown charm, architecture, and friendly bartenders, waitstaff, and retail clerks.

Airbnb has served over 30 million guests since it was founded in 2008. The company rose to prominence as a way for renters and homeowners to list spare rooms or even couch space to out-of-town visitors, or to rent out their apartments or homes when they leave town. Airbnb remains a private company, but with a valuation over $30 billion, obviously, the model has filled a void in the hospitality industry.

Hospitality –

Since we had been successful with VBRO in New Mexico, my new question was what would make the “temporary housing” model work in Edmond? Most people told me it would not work because Edmond had very few tourists and already has many discount hotels. Well, as it turns out, we have been successful. In our first year’s experiment with Airbnb in Downtown Edmond we’ve achieved a 70% occupancy rate.

First, you have to provide/pay for all furniture and appliances. Next you have to account for paying all utilities for the property, all maintenance including yard cutting, cleaning after every guest stay, and local taxes including hotel/ motel, income tax, and sales tax in some circumstances. In our analysis it is rarely more profitable to do temporary/nightly housing compared to annual leases unless, like us, you are able to get extremely high occupancy.

Should other landlords get into the temporary housing market? Here’s some things to think about...

Who knew, right? Guests rate you and your property after every stay. We have achieved Superhost status with high ratings. This is important and a clear reflection of the host hospitality and quality of the properties.

Location –

With Airbnb it is all about location and this is the first key to our success. Guests to our community are looking for a walkable environment which is what they find in downtown Edmond.

Home decor and amenities –

Guests’ expectations are high and often difficult to meet. Everything in our units is new including furniture, appliances, pots, pans, dishes, etc.

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When you sign up to be an Airbnb host you are signing up to provide a certain degree of hospitality to the guests. Some expect to socialize with their hosts, others prefer not so much.

Financial viability –

Dr. J. David Chapman is an Associate Professor of Finance & Real Estate at UCO. jchapman7@uco.edu


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

Profile for Outlook Magazine

Edmond Outlook August 2018  

Edmond Outlook August 2018  

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