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Summer Edition 2020

In s i de sto ries

Eufaula-area residents share dream homes built to showcase Lake Eufaula Non-traditional homes such as an RV and yacht put on display

Muskogee Farmers’ Market vendors offer locally-grown options for fruit, vegetables Eufaula artist loves creating, boosting area creators

MUSKOGEE muskogeephoenix.com


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Summer Edition 2020


BRIGHTER DAYS AHEAD When the storm clears, we will gather again. To hugs, to play, to laughter. Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and Resort Collection hotels and spas will be here to welcome you. Stay safe. rtjgolf.com

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16 facebook.com/greencountryliving

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56 Featured Homes

Inside

6 Hodges

42 Art of the Matter

Couple enjoys weekend outings to Lake Eufaula in custom RV.

16 Albro Home built far from marinas offers quieter gatherings on lake.

24 Romberg Couple explores Lake Eufaula from comfort of luxury yacht.

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Tracy Home overlooks meeting of North, South Canadian River.

Publisher Ed Choate Editor Elizabeth Ridenour Contributing editor Angela Jackson Layout & Design Josh Cagle WRITERS Cathy Spaulding, Melony Carey PHOTOGRAPHERS Mandy Corbell, Cathy Spaulding ADVERTISING Director Marci Diaz Apple ADVERTISING SALES Angela Jackson, Therese Lewis, Krysta Aich, Kris Hight

Green Country Living is published by the Muskogee Phoenix. Contents of the magazine are by the Muskogee Phoenix. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior consent of the Muskogee Phoenix. Green Country Living, P.O. Box 1968, Muskogee OK 74402. email eridenour@muskogeephoenix.com - Editorial: (918) 684-2929 Advertising and distribution: (918) 684-2804

O n t h e C over

Summer Edition 2020

Artist enjoys touting others’ work at Eufaula art studio.

48 Beyond the Listing Home covered in windows offers views overlooking cove.

56 Cook’s Pantry Muskogee Farmers’ Market sells fresh local ingredients.

62 Scene & Be Seen Chat, hang out, relax and smile because you’re on camera.

Summer Edition 2020

Patty Tracy reads from her back porch with a view of Lake Eufaula. Photo by Mandy Corbell

In s Ide storIes

Eufaula-area residents share dream homes built to showcase Lake Eufaula Non-traditional homes such as an RV and yacht put on display

Muskogee Farmers’ Market vendors offer locally-grown options for fruit, vegetables Eufaula artist loves creating, boosting area creators

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Summer Edition 2020 Issue 57

MUSKOGEE muskogeephoenix.com


Green Country Living

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Hodges

[ Home sweet home \

wheels on

Hodges enjoy Lake Eufaula with all comforts of home

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cott and Jennifer Hodges don’t have to leave their cozy fireplace, luxurious tile floor or reclining theater-style seats when they go to the lake. They take it all with them in their custom 2020 Tuscany recreational vehicle. “Whatever you have at home, you have in this,” said Scott Hodges, who works at

WaterBridge water management in McAlester. Hodges said the 45-foot 2020 RV replaces a 40-foot RV they used to have. “Tuscany’s got so many different patterns, but you can go in and change your color scheme a little bit,” he said. “You’re able to pick your colors, your backsplashes, how the room is set up.”

By Cathy Spaulding • Photos by Mandy Corbell

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The Hodges get around in a golf cart when they’re weekending in their custom Tuscany RV. They keep it at Xtreme RV Resort in Eufaula.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Hodges

Jennifer and Scott Hodges, plus their miniature pinscher Cooper, enjoy the freedom of an RV lifestyle.

The Hodges ordered the custom RV in 2019 and picked it up last February at Wade’s RV in Glenpool. They keep it at Eufaula’s Xtreme RV Resort, where they spend weekends with their miniature pinscher, Cooper. They park their golf cart, his Magic Powerboat and her Cadillac Escalade nearby. Sometimes, the Hodges’ son comes out. Sometimes, Jennifer’s sister comes out with her two children.

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Their weekend getaway is not a long drive. The Hodges live in Crowder, which Jennifer said is 20 minutes to their RV spot. The RV is 8 feet wide, but can extend another two or three feet. Outside, two roof-mounted patio awnings provide ample shade for the Hodges to watch the sun set or watch an outdoor big screen TV. Scott said he could move the awnings,

adjust interior and exterior lights, door locks and all four TVs, with his smartphone digital control panels inside. The driver’s and passenger’s seats turn around to add seating to the main room. The passenger seat reclines. Two reclining theater seats face a big screen TV. An electric fireplace adds heat and a flame-like effect to the main room. A couch makes into a king-size bed.


A long couch, reclining theater seats, plus the turn-around driver and passenger seat offer ample seating inside the Hodges’ RV.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Hodges A table with two bench seats can lower to become a full-size bed. Push a button and a loft lowers over the driving area. It features a small flat-screen TV and cabinets surrounding a full-size bed. “My nephew loves it up there. He’s 12,” Jennifer said. Scott said the RV can sleep about 10 people. The kitchen features stainless steel Whirlpool appliances, including a French-door refrigerator with a bin freezer. The kitchen’s stainless steel farmhouse sink has a faucet that doubles as a sprayer. A tile backsplash surrounds the kitchen area. A slide-out cabinet adds counter space. A convection oven doubles as a microwave. A recessed electric induction cooktop is under an off-white Solid Surface countertop. Jennifer said cooking in the new RV seems different. “My other RV had propane cooktop,” she said. “This one is electric, but you could only use one kind of pans on them. I finally found some pans that work on it.” A sandy-colored ceramic tile floor extends the length of the RV.

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Tiles add style to a half bath.


ABOVE: The Hodges’ RV features a full kitchen with a convection/ microwave oven, farmhouse sink, cooktop stove and slide-out cabinets.

LEFT: A cozy loft with its own TV slides down over the driving cab.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Hodges The Hodges’ RV bathroom has his-and-her sinks.

The back room features a king-size bed, built-in bedside tables, built-in dressers, two closets and a third TV. Sliding doors open into a threequarter bath with his and her sinks, a walk-in shower and even more closets. A half-bath is tucked between the back bedroom and the main room. The RV also has its own generator, which came in handy when the Eufaula area went without power for three days in mid-July. The driver’s dashboard features a large GPS screen. Scott said the Tuscany drives smoothly. “It’s very comfortable to drive,” he said. “It just glides. It rides better than her cars.” Jennifer said they first started coming to Xtreme RV Resort on the weekends, she said. Then, they found it’s cheaper to pay by the month, she said. “They have a gate and they watch

Cooper rests on a king-sized bed, one of four bedding options in the Hodges’ RV.

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ABOVE: A massive awning offers plenty of shade by the Hodges’ RV, which they keep at Xtreme RV Resort in Eufaula.

LEFT: A ceramic tile floor, electric fireplace, stainless steel appliances and elegant Solid Surface counters bring luxury to Jennifer and Scott Hodges’ 2020 Tuscany RV.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Hodges your stuff,” she said. “Nobody tries to steal your stuff.” Scott said he likes the water, electric and sewer hookups. “You’re right in the middle of everything, Eufaula, the marina,” he said. “It’s a golf cart town. You’re able to take off and do what you want on the golf cart, as long as you’re not on the main drag. If you get in at midnight and Taco Mayo is open, you can go get tacos.” Jennifer said she likes the indoor and outdoor pools. “It’s neat because if you don’t like coming out on the water in the boat, you can go sit at the pool all day,” she said. The Hodges have great plans for their new home on wheels — eventually. “If it weren’t for the virus, we’d be going to concerts all the time. We go to Durant, we go to Thackerville,” Scott said. “Our plans were to go to concerts in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Sturgis, South Dakota, for a bike rally.” He said they usually put 10,000 miles a year on their old RV. “We have a 26-foot box trailer we haul

The Hodges park their Magic Powerboat by their RV when they’re not using it on Lake Eufaula.

when we go on the road, and we haul a car in it,” she said. Scott said the new Tuscany RV has been on his bucket list.

S m a l l To w n W e l c o m e

Fort Gibson 14

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“We told our son there’d be no money left in the bank when something happens to us,” he said. “We’re enjoying it now.”


S m a l l To w n W e l c o m e

Fort Gibson

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Fe at u r e d Hom e A l bro

Steve and Carol Albro’s lakeside home offers a calming haven with two levels of porches and a front yard fire pit.

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Peace and solitude Family enjoys home built on secluded lake spot

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teve and Carol Albro made their home on the quiet side of Lake Eufaula, far from the marinas and resorts and waterski traffic. Their two-story house is walking distance from a secluded cove between the U.S. 69 bridge and Arrowhead State Park. “We can take our little boat out, come into a cove,

be with friends and just float in the water,” Scott Albro said. Carol Albro said she enjoys a sunset cruise on the lake. The Albros live on property owned by Scott’s grandfather, Curly Albro. Scott’s father, Frank Albro, inherited the land and gave them a couple of acres. Scott said he built the house with his father and brother in 2015.

By Cathy Spaulding • Photos by Mandy Corbell

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Fe at u r e d Hom e A l bro

Carol and Steve Albro enjoy a fire pit on their front patio.

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LEFT: A second floor patio features a hammock and a wrap-around view.

BELOW: A “she shed” houses Carol Albro’s office, workout equipment and tools.

An aqua-colored door complements the blue siding and white trim.

“We had planned to retire here and be here for Frank,” Carol said. “We built the house. We rented it out. We did really well as a vacation rental.” Plans changed when the Albros got laid off in 2016. They sold the house in Colorado and Carol landed a work-at-home job with Microsoft. The Albros have lived in the house since 2017 with their two sons. Carol credits her sister-in-law with much of the design and blue and white color scheme. A fortunate accident also helped. “The house originally was supposed to be gray with white trim and white doors,” Carol said. “The aqua was supposed to be

I kind of fell “Then in love with it. ” — Carol Albro

on the roof of the patio. That was an old wive’s tale from Louisiana that it keeps the spooks out.” The painter got mixed up, painting the house blue with white trim and an aqua front door. “Then I kind of fell in love with it,” she said. “That’s why I ended up buying the aqua chairs and painting the furniture. I just kind of worked it in.” A two-level hexagonal porch offers a

welcoming entry, and the first floor deck extends along the lake side of the house. White horse fencing adds a modern and inexpensive flair to the porch handrails. Railing planters feature pansies and a small medicinal herb garden. “This is kind of our hangout area,” Carol said. “I love flowers.” The second-floor porch features a hammock. Carol plans to buy a tall table and chair set to help get a better view of Arrowhead Marina over the trees. Inside, large windows lack curtains or blinds. “We wanted to be able to see out,” Scott said. The windows let the family watch the

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Fe at u r e d Hom e A l bro The open plan blends the kitchen, dining area, entry and living room.

ABOVE: Carol Albro can fry fish and hushpuppies in a built-in fryer.

LEFT: A mudroom locker area offers space to hang and stash stuff.

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A big screen TV tops a console with an electric fireplace.

changing seasons with the surrounding trees. They have a clear lake view when trees shed leaves in winter. Deep windowsills are the same white quartz as the kitchen and bathroom countertops. The Albros furnished their home almost entirely with refinished or repainted second-hand furniture, Carol said. In the living area, lake photos and a

few art pieces incorporating oars lend a beach house touch without waterlogging the decor with nautical kitsch. The open plan incorporates the kitchen. Open cabinets on each side of a large window display neatly-placed dinnerware. Carol said she wanted a farmhouse sink and quartz countertops. The Albros can deep fry fresh fish and hush puppies in a fryer built into a kitchen

island. Off the small back porch, younger son Raley has his own sound-proofed office, where he engages in interactive gaming. A sliding white barn door opens into a master bedroom. In the high-ceiling master bathroom, an opaque window filters sunlight into a shower. Cabinets, broom closets, a washer and dryer are on one side of the

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Fe at u r e d Hom e A l bro The second floor features a cozy pad for the Albros’ two sons.

bathroom. Carol said they plan to enlarge the bedroom and bathroom and add a standalone tub. Ceramic tile across the first floor

It was fashioned to “ have texture on it, so it

looks like real wood and it feels like real wood. — Carol Albro

looks like ashy wood. “It was fashioned to have texture on it, so it looks like real wood and it feels like real wood,” Carol said. “You don’t slip and fall on it. When it gets real wet, you have texture to grip from.” The stairs to the second floor feature a white banister with diagonal boards complementing the handrail.

Older son Mason has a corner studio on the second floor.

Towels of three colors hang in the bathroom.

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ABOVE: The second floor features a kitchenette cubby. BELOW The Albro’s vegetable garden features eggplant, (left). Roma tomatoes (center) and a cascading waterfall wall made of faux rock (right).

“Everybody comments on them,” she said. “I thought they came up with something really unique instead of the regular balusters. Now there’s something else to clean.” The two sons have their bedrooms, plus a living space and kitchenette upstairs. The shared bathroom has a bathtub. Older son Mason has a painting area in one corner. Outside, blue chairs surround a fire pit. “At night, this is all lit up with little pinwheel lights,” she said. The Albros grow pickling cucumbers, green beans, Roma tomatoes, eggplant

and okra in an elevated garden. A tank under the garden recycles water. Excess water trickles down one side of the garden, lined with white faux rock. A “moon garden” features a gazing ball surrounded by astrological signs on a round base. “My aunt was really into astrology. She gave me that,” Carol said. “Those are lilies, impatiens, things that bloom at night or provide fragrance at night.” Carol has her office and workout gear in a “she shed” by the house. Stone outcroppings add layers to the

sloping front lawn. They get frequent visits by white-tailed deer, fox, bobcats, possums, coyotes and wild hogs. The Albros have an 18-foot ski boat and a 35-foot Cabin Cruiser, which they take out, even in winter. When the Albros want to get in on the action, the town of Eufaula is only a few miles away. “I love living in a small town,” Carol said. “It’s a little town. I know the chamber. I know the mayor. And at Christmas time, it’s adorable.”

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Romberg

Life lake on the

Rombergs’ luxury home on the water fits family

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onnie Romberg pushes a button in his luxurious living room, and up from the plush beige carpeting rises a ship’s helm, complete with a captain’s steering wheel. This living room, along with a full kitchen and bar, five bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, a secondfloor kitchen and lounge

areas, are all part of Donnie and Kathy Rombergs’ luxury yacht. “It’s just like living at home,” Donnie said. The Shawnee residents keep their 25-by-112 foot Fantasy yacht at Eufaula Cove Marina. Twin motors enable the yacht to go up to 15 miles an hour. Twin diesel tanks store 250 gallons each.

By Cathy Spaulding • Photos by Mandy Corbell

Submitted by Donnie Romberg

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Summer Edition 2020

Donnie and Kathy Romberg can take their luxury yacht to the far reaches of Lake Eufaula. Submitted by Donnie Romberg


A front deck on the first floor offers a panoramic view. Submitted by Donnie Romberg

Wicker seats surround a fire pit on the yacht’s second story deck. A fire tower can add more warmth and light for night journeys.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Romberg

Donnie and Kathy Romberg spend water-loving weekends on their luxury yacht.

Donnie said they take the yacht everywhere on Lake Eufaula. With 102,000 surface acres stretching from McAlester to Interstate 40, the lake offers endless places to go. “Sometimes we go to a little island, spend the night,” he said. “We might stay there three days. Stay as long as you want.” He said he likes “every bit of the lake.” “We’ve stayed at every marina there is at one time or another,” he said. “You may go to a part of the lake you’ve never been to. If the wind’s out of the south and you want to stay out of the wind, you go to an area where there’s a little bit of a mountain range.” The Rombergs have been coming to the lake every weekend for nearly 45 years. “The kids always loved it here,” Kathy said. “It’s an hour and 20 minutes from home.” She said they bought the yacht last September in Grand Rivers, Kentucky. It was built in Monticello, Kentucky. “We had one on this lake before, called a Private Island, it was 18-by-86 feet,” she said, adding that they upgraded so all their children and grandchildren can

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A second helm rises from the middle of the living room floor.


A wet bar features a sink, wine cooling cabinet and small refrigerator.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Romberg

The living room’s tray ceiling features dramatic lighting and a ceiling fan.

Flags rest against a calm Lake Eufaula sunset.

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A long hallway links five bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths.

“We have a large crew,” Donhave rooms. Integrated AV supplies Wi-Fi, nie said. “That’s nine people who the sound system and security always come with us.” There are granite countertops system throughout the yacht. Each room has speakers, as do throughout the yacht. the front and back porches. The wet bar features a wine The living room features a cooler and a small refrigerator freezer. massive wraparound couch The five bedand a big screen ro oms make That’s nine TV in a cherryup the rest of people who always wood cabinet. the first floor Tray ceilings interior. come with us. are over the livYounger — Donnie Romberg ing room and son Derek and kitchen. Adjusthis wife, Amy, able lighting on and behind ceil- share one bedroom, which has ing surfaces enhance the mood. its own three-quarters bathroom. The kitchen features stain- Their teenaged children, Claire less steel appliances, including a and Noah, share a bedroom. trash compactor and ice maker. Older son Shawn and his A French door refrigerator has wife, P.J., have their bedroom in a separate refrigerator drawer a former office. Their three sons for drinks and a slide-out freezer. Cooper, Cameron and Bennett The walk-in pantry has its own share a room. light. A laundry room has a washer

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Romberg

Elegant cabinetry highlights the kitchen.

ABOVE AND RIGHT: The Rombergs’ yacht has ample space for five bedrooms. A grandson and granddaughter share this lower bedroom.

and dryer, plus cabinets and a folding area. The master bedroom’s large window offers a broad lake view. A big screen TV can rise from a cabinet at the foot of the bed. The master bathroom has a dressing area with closets on both sides. A little dressing table is on the left. The bathroom features a tile floor and shower. It has a vanity, plus his-and-her sinks.

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The kitchen’s island bar features casual stools on one side and more formal seating on the other.

A swim platform on the ship’s stern has a hot and cold shower, as well as an air conditioned half bathroom. Two Jet Skis are on a hydraulic platform that lowers them into the water. Railings can be removed around the deck to add even more water access. The Rombergs find even more outdoor enjoyment on the upstairs deck. People can slide into the water or simply lounge around a bar.

The upstairs grill area features an ice maker, sink, trash compactor and miniature refrigerator. “Our youngest son does pretty much all the grilling,” Kathy said. A sky lounge features wicker furniture surrounding a fire pit. Donnie said tanks store fresh water “if we are out for a week or 10 days.” The main helm is toward the upper bow.


The master bath features elegant cabinetry, a vanity and tile shower.

“I always drive from here,” he said. “It’s the view, and you can see better.” Downstairs again, the first-floor bow features an outdoor seating deck. It features removable railings and a slide-out plank where passengers can step onto a beach. “There’s a little shower where you can rinse your feet off,” Donnie said, pointing below one of the seat. The bow deck has two ceiling fans and clear plastic curtains that roll down to protect from the weather. Kathy said mornings and evenings are her favorite times aboard the yacht. “When the full moon is out, it’s just beautiful,” she said. “Late evenings when the sun goes down and it’s cooler.”

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Fe at u r e d Hom e T r acy

Patty Tracy’s home overlooks a wide swath of Lake Eufaula, where the South Canadian River meets the North Canadian River.

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Home parades

Hilltop VIEWs Stone Ridge Estates house delights Patty Tracy

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atty Tracy greets Tracy knows where each the morning lake arm goes. sun as it rises “See that cut there, that o v e r L a k e goes to No. 9 Marina,” she Eufaula. said. “That cut there goes to “It’s hard to be depressed the dam. If you go around about coronavirus when I the point, it goes to Eufaula walk out and see that view Cove.” every morning,” Tracy said. Tracy has lived in her That view from a hilltop home for more than a year. shows where the South Her son, Aaron Tracy, built Canadian River meets the the four-bedroom house, North Canadian River, then as well as other homes in widens to form the lake. Stone Ridge Estates.

By Cathy Spaulding • Photos by Mandy Corbell

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Fe at u r e d Hom e T r acy The back porch is one of Patty Tracy’s favorite spots to relax, read and catch the morning sun.

The back porch faces east over the lake. A fire pit is in the works.

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Trees surround Tracy’s hilltop house.


A setting sun bathes Patty Tracy’s white house in calming hues.

Aaron Tracy, who also lives in Stone Ridge, said many of the residents visit the lake on weekends. Patty Tracy is there to stay. The white front of Tracy’s house catches the colors of the sunset. Barn-like garage doors offer a brown contrast. So does the blue front door. The living room features a white brick fireplace. At one side of the fireplace, a pair of floating shelves seem to hover over white cabinets. The kitchen is across an island with barstool seating. The island’s white quartz counter contrasts with the smoky gray quartz on the rest of the counter. Tracy said she loves the abundant cabinets of various shapes and sizes. “Everything’s handy,” she said. “We’ve got pull-out drawers for pantry storage.” She keeps herbs and spices in a tall drawer on one side of the stainless steel range. Cooking utensils poke out of bins inside another tall drawer on the other side of the range. Cabinets over the counters are topped with clear glass cabinets for display. A pantry cabinet hides the microwave. Tile floors resemble wood planks, even down to showing knots and crevices. Tracy recalled how her son sold her on the look. “When he showed it to me the first time, I said ‘no, no no.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e T r acy White walls and a tile floor bring the kitchen, dining room and living room together as one space.

I don’t want those grooves,” she said. “And he goes ‘oh no, Mom, it’s going to be fine.’ And I had to get down and feel it.” The east wall in Tracy’s master bedroom is nearly all window. That’s one place she greets the sun. When she doesn’t want to wake up with the sunrise, she presses a remote and a blackout screen lowers over the window. “All the bedrooms have blackout screens,” she said. A charcoal gray carpet contrasts with lighter gray walls. Sliding French doors open onto the master bath with a standalone tub. The shower has double shower heads in a corner, as well as a bench. A walk-in closet has built-in dressers and shoe bins. The laundry room is loaded with cabinets and features a long counter. Upstairs, one large bedroom has its own three-quarter bathroom and kitchenette. “We call this the apartment because it has a microwave and refrigerator,” she said.

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The kitchen has contrasting counters on the island and along the walls.


LEFT: Patty Tracy can greet the sunrise with her massive bedroom window or sleep late with help of a blackout screen. BELOW: The master bath features a standalone tub and corner shower.

A padded headboard and sliding French doors add luxury to the master bedroom.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e T r acy

ABOVE: Mirrors and white countertops wrap around two walls in the master bath. LEFT: The living room features a white brick fireplace and floating shelves above white cabinets.

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A back porch, complete with a hanging rope chair, overlooks Lake Eufaula. ABOVE: A screened porch adds protection and warmth to the east view.

FAR LEFT: A second floor suite features a kitchenette.

LEFT: A rock ledge features a U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey marker.

Two smaller bedrooms share a bathroom. Tracy said daughters come visit from Oklahoma City and two brothers come up from the Dallas area. A screened porch and an open porch offer two more great places to catch the morning sun. Each porch has a macrame rope seat, hanging from a ceiling. “I like to sit here in the mornings

and the evenings, where I can feel the breeze,” she said. “There’s boat traffic. The first day I was here, an eagle came through.” Tracy said she’s seen coyotes cross her yard. They walk along the ridge then go down the hill. “We have deer almost every night,” she said. “We’ve seen fox, wild turkeys. Had a rattlesnake one day.” Two plush rocking chairs face what

soon will be a white brick fire pit. Unique features in the backyard include a tree with two right-angle limbs. “That’s an Indian marker tree,” Tracy said. “If you know about those, they’re directional markers.” The tree was purposely bent and secured into shape when it was young. The U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey put a reference marker on a rock ledge in 1940.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e T r acy Before Lake Eufaula was created, Natives bent a sapling’s limbs to create this hilltop Indian marker tree.

“There’s an arrow on it, and it perfectly matches up to the Indian marker tree,” she said. Beyond the marker tree and reference marker, outcroppings form natural terraces for the sloping yard. Tracy said her property does not go all the way to the lake. Other houses in Stone Ridge Estates, including her son’s, wind below her house. Even with the grand view, the history and the wildlife, Tracy has a special reason to love her house. “My granddaughter is down the hill,” she said. “And she can come up and see me any time she wants to. She drives up her by herself and says ‘Grandma are you busy?’ I say, ‘Nope, come up and see me.’”

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Y OUR

S UMMERTIME H OME I MPROVEMENT S PECIALIST

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A r t o f T h e M a tt e r

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Making art is like a

‘daydream’ Eufaula artist enjoys promoting, creating art

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ufaula artist Glenna McBride recalls when the Checotah library asked her to make a mosaic for children. McBride, who specializes in paper art, said she told the librarian, “I haven’t played around with mosaics at all.” Eufaula artist Glenna McBride prefers promoting other artists rather than touting her own work. Eufaula Main Street Art Studio shows area artists’ work in all sorts of media.

“And she said, ‘You’ll know how to figure it out,’” she said. So, McBride figured out how to do mosaics, not only for the library, but for her own pleasure. She did intricate mosaic work on a table lamp displayed at Eufaula Main Street Art Studio.

By Cathy Spaulding • Photos by Mandy Corbell

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A r t Of t he M at t e r Glenna McBride explains how students decorated a chair with stencils.

“I got started thinking it would be a couple of weeks,” she said. “When you use tweezers like the little eyebrow tweezers to put things in there, it’s not a couple of weeks.” McBride is good at figuring artistic things out. She also seeks to help other artists figure things out. She made a living as a teaching artist through the Oklahoma Arts Council and Arkansas Arts Council. Her emphasis was printmaking, paper making and bookbinding. A Eufaula resident since 1981, McBride said she’s “kind of a recluse” at showing her work. Instead, she seeks to help other artists, mostly at the Eufaula Main Street Studio, 105 S. Main St. She volunteers to keep the studio open. “I don’t promote myself. I promote other people mostly,” she said. “This studio, I’ve never had an exhibit here.” The studio is full of work of other artists. “We’ve had hundreds of artists here in Eufaula, all kinds of artists,” she said. “We have a lot of crafters. We have an excellent potter who lives in Longtown. We have people who seek us out, wondering what kind of things we have.” In addition to the lamp and some ceramic square plates, McBride does have a stack of books she made and sells at the studio. The books have no words and are to be used as journals.

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A lamp features intricate mosaic work.

ABOVE LEFT & ABOVE: Glenna McBride arranges art on a shelf. Even the simplest glass designs can be artistic.

LEFT: Mosaic work on a lamp features chips from a plate.


Glenna McBride used stencils such as this one for part of her Lost Dog Series.

ABOVE: Glenna McBride uses stencils to create her next Lost Dog series work. LEFT: Lucky, the lost dog, wanders through colorful squiggles created by stencils.

Some pages are splashed with color. They’re sheets of paper McBride rolled her brayer on to clean it. “This is a background for somebody to put words on top, whatever,” she said. She binds her journals in different ways. Coptic stitch binding dates to early Coptic Christians in Egypt, McBride said. They stitched pages together, two or three times along the edge.

“They could open them like a book instead of a scroll,” McBride said. A simple stitch is “just in-out-in-out,” she said. McBride described her printing style as “very allegorical and symbolic.” “Sort of like a parable, only strictly symbolic — colors, symbols,” she said. An example is her print work in progress called the Lost Dog series. “It all about a dog that I lost,” she said.

“Lucky was saved from being killed, and I had him for maybe four years.” The series shows the same white dog seeking his way through different scenes. One print shows Lucky among snakelike squiggles. “This is just printing and drawing,” she said, adding that she makes her own stencils and rolls the ink onto the paper with a brayer. Another print shows Lucky with a

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A r t Of t he M at t e r

FAR LEFT & LEFT: Glenna McBride hand-stitched one of her journals. This bookbinding stitch was mastered by Coptic Christians hundreds of years ago.

ABOVE: A journal offers colorful and plain pages. LEFT: Glenna McBride shows one of the journals she made.

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clown and a fish with legs. A corner has one of her handmade pieces of paper with eight red circles. “When I’m working on the series, I notice things that are around me because I think they’re there intentionally,” she said. “I had this old-timey painting someone had left, so I ripped it out and turned it into a clown.” The circles are people in her family. The fish reflects McBride being raised on a fish farm. “Daddy raised golden shiners,” she said. “You fish with those fish. Daddy had over 100 ponds.” Another Lost Dog print is in a private Oklahoma City collection. McBride is working on a fourth. McBride recalled drawing while growing up in Wetumka,

then in Brinkley, Arkansas. “By the time high school came around, I was told many times to stop drawing in class,” she said. She recalled her father’s advice when she started college. “He said you need to major in something you will love doing for the rest of your life,” she said. “I became an art major.” She went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Art from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro with an emphasis in printmaking and a Bachelor of Science in Education from University of Arkansas at Little Rock. McBride said she loves art because it allows her to see inside herself. “It’s like a daydream, making art,” she said. “It is a daydream, blocking out everything I hear. You are in your ‘om’ moment.”

TOP & ABOVE: Lucky, the Lost Dog, encounters a clown, a truck and trailer, plus a two-legged fish on his artistic journey. Circles on a piece of handmade paper represent family.

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Beyond The Listing

FEATURES »» ADDRESS: 409130 E. 1215 Road, Eufaula. »» ASKING PRICE: $799,000. »» SQUARE FOOTAGE: 3,044. »» BEDROOMS: Three, potentially four. »» BATHROOMS: Three full, one half.

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»» HEATING AND COOLING: Central, two units. »» APPLIANCES: Dishwasher, wine refrigerator. »» FLOORS: Tile. »» OTHER FEATURES: 25.62 acres

overlooking Lake Eufaula, twocar garage, wet bar, satellite dish, fireplace, hot tub, Eufaula Public Schools. »» INFORMATION: Bruce Buffington, Lake Homes Realty, (866) 525-3466.


This three-story home overlooks a secluded part of Lake Eufaula. Its 25.6 acres feature paths and plenty of space.

Surrounded by lake views Unique home near Eufaula offers lake access

T

hree stories of massive windows overlook a cove surrounded by woods and hills. It’s almost as if the house has its own lake, with access to the larger part of Lake Eufaula. “Any place you are, it’s got lake views everywhere,” Lake Homes Realty agent

Bruce Buffington said, calling the property “the perfect mix of Rustic and elegant. The 25.6-acre property is south of Oklahoma 9 between Eufaula and the Indian Nations Turnpike. The three floors include a basement embedded into the hillside, the main floor and a third floor. Each level has plenty of windows offering a dramatic lake view.

By Cathy Spaulding • Photos submitted by Bruce Buffington

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Beyond The Listing A main floor porch and deck wraps around three parts of the house.

The exterior is made of wood stained or painted in natural pine, sea blue and navy blue, Buffington said. A porch and deck wind around three sides of the main floor. The side porch leads down to a hot tub and spa, shaded by pine slats of various sizes. The covered porch outside the kitchen has space for outdoor dining. Other porches have room for lounging. Inside, a stained pine wall leads from the entry to the second floor, as well as the main room. The primary living room features two levels of panoramic windows, including two sliding glass doors, and the ceiling slopes up from the windowed wall. White walls and two stained wood walls add a rustic, as well as an open feel, to the room. In one corner, a wall of stone aggregate backs a wood-burning stove. Buffington said the stone walls are a recurring theme throughout the house. The main floor features ceramic tiles throughout. A house like this calls for an open plan, he said. Barstools line up to a kitchen island, which features a counter resembling wood grain. Sea-blue metal cabinets with white quartz countertops highlight the galley

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ABOVE: The porch features a shaded area featuring an outdoor kitchen and dining area.

LEFT: A cozy hot tub is by the main floor porch.


ABOVE: The basement’s main room opens onto a porch and a backyard that nearly goes to the lake.

LEFT: The basement’s wet bar features a sink, wine freezer and a keg with tap.

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Beyond The Listing

TOP: Two sides of the kitchen offer natural views.

MIDDLE: The primary living room features a wood-burning stove and panoramic views

BOTTOM: Stone aggregate walls can be found throughout the house, including the master bedroom.

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The master bath also features a stone aggregate wall, as well cozy shelves for towels and bath goods.

kitchen. Two panoramic windows over the farmhouse sink and another counter offer views of nature. The kitchen features stainless steel appliances. Over the food prep counter, open black shelves against a tile wall display tableware and cookware. The cook can hang mugs under one shelf. Magnetic strips over the prep counter and the range keep sharp knives safe and handy. A laundry area is across the entry from the kitchen and leads into the garage.

A stone wall appears again in the master bedroom, bordering a large window behind the bed. Stained wood lines another wall. Blankets or towels can be stacked on open shelves. A sliding barn door opens onto a walk-in closet. The stone wall and wood wall face each other in the master bath. Hisand-her sinks are along one wall. The master bath features a walk-in shower surrounded in clear glass.

Upstairs, the third-floor balcony overlooks the main room and kitchen. The morning sun streams through windows over the balcony. The two upstairs bedrooms feature high, sloping ceilings. The upstairs bathroom has a broad porcelain sink, backed by stained wood. A separate area has blue tile. Buffington calls the basement the man cave. It has its own wet bar, which features

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Beyond The Listing

ABOVE: The basement features a unique place to store dozens of wine bottles. The farm-like door leads to the bathroom.

RIGHT: The 25.6-acre property also features a separate garage.

wine cooling cabinet, a small refrigerator and a tap for a beer keg. Dozens more wine bottles can be stored on specially-made shelves nearby. The basement offers plenty of space for lounging, watching a big screen TV or playing pool. Sliding glass doors step directly onto a ground-level back patio and broad backyard. Because the basement is embedded in the ground, it could double as a safe room, he said. “There’s a place in the corner where there could be a fourth bedroom,” Buffington said. “It looks like it could hold a nice bed or some bunk beds.” The property features another detached garage for boats, motorcycles or other vehicles. Buffington said the 25.6 acres go almost to the lake shore. The property features trails “if you want to walk or do ATV.”

On The Menu Guide To Area Restaurants

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Guide To Area Restaurants

On The Menu


Food & Drink Cook’s Pantry

Enjoying Summer freshness Muskogee Farmers’ Market offers fresher, flavorful local produce 56

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Judy Hoffman of Muskogee, right, believes she found the ideal cantaloupe at Deno Clopton’s booth at Muskogee Farmers’ Market.

M

uskogee contributes to fresher, Farmmore flavorful fruits and ers’ vegetables. MarMuskogee Farmers’ ket has a long tradition of Market is co-managed by excellence. Founded Cassie Herringshaw, in 1995 through a owner of Peace of the community initiative, The Cook’s Pantry Prairie Organic Farm, the market operates and long-time manMelony Carey in the Civic Center ager Doug Walton. pavilion parking lot on Wednes- Herringshaw, who has a master’s days and Saturdays from April to degree in environmental science October. The market is staffed from Iowa State University, knows by volunteers. Vendors sell only that local produce is better tasting Oklahoma-grown produce, which and more nutritious.

If you go WHAT

Muskogee Farmers’ Market. WHEN

8 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and Saturdays. ETC.

Accepts cash, credit and debit cards, and SNAP.

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Food & Drink Cook’s Pantry

ABOVE: Grower Christine Mous of Rose, left, shows a customer a variety of pickling cucumbers, cucumbers, green beans and potatoes at her Muskogee Farmers’ Market booth. BELOW: Fort Gibson grower Deno Clopton, left, has had her booth in the west corner of Muskogee Farmers’ Market for many years. She sells all sorts of vegetables, fruits, flowers, as well as jams and jellies.

Blong Vang of Claremore sells bitter melon, bitter eggplant and garlic at his produce booth at Muskogee Farmers’ Market.

“This is a producers-only market,” Herringshaw says. “Our vendors are not trying to pick early to ship their fruits and vegetables all over the country, a process that often produces a bland-tasting crop.” This and the skill of the markets’ vendors contribute to the enjoyable quality and superior condition of produce found there. Muskogee Farmers’ Market has about 15 vendors, with only a few calling the year off because of the pandemic. Herringshaw says they also are looking for new vendors.

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“We have room for about 10 more produce vendors. One thing that attracts people to farmers’ markets is the novelty in trying new things that can be found here.” Available in August will be squash, okra, tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers and watermelons. September will see the return of cooler weather produce, such as radishes, apples, lettuces and grapes. In addition to produce, the market also features organic meats, honey, wines, artisanal foods, and arts and crafts. On Saturdays there is live music. A popular local vintner is Pecan Creek Winery

located in Muskogee. Here, the Rev. Bob Wickizer, rector of Grace Episcopal Church and co-owner of the winery with Dr. D.I. Wilkinson, shares a wine sauce recipe that can be adapted to any vegetable, meat, fish or shellfish. Cassie Herringshaw also shares a recipe from the most recent newsletter put out by Peace of the Prairie Organic Farm. For delicious recipes the best ingredients are a requirement, and the quality and variety available at Muskogee Farmers’ Market make even the simplest summer dishes exquisite.


Muskogee Farmers’ Market Vendors Vendor name

Product

Vendor name

Product

Abarrotes Esmeralda

Burritos, tamales, tortillas

Kite Lake Farms

Baked goods

Blue Skies & Green Acres

Nou's Garden

Produce

Organic eggs

Owen's Gardens

Produce

Bridal Elegance

Potted plants; transplants

Peace of Prairie Farms

Produce; Cut flowers

Christine's Farm

Produce

Pecan Creek Winery

Wine

Clopton Farms

Produce; jam; baked goods

Rachel's Kitchen

Baked goods

Coppin's Produce

Produce

Soap by John

Homemade soap products

Deep Fork

Pecans; Homemade condiments

Triple 7 Ranch

Beef, chicken, eggs, soap products

Tulsa Urban Bee Co.

Honey, homemade honey products

HYB Creatively Sweet Crafts; Décor Things JPS Shimack Farm

Produce; Cut flowers

Vine & Branch Vineyards

Grapes

Baked Italian Zucchini

2 medium or 3 small zucchini or yellow squash, unpeeled, sliced 1⁄2-inch thick 1 onion, sliced 1 large tomato, sliced 1 teaspoon oregano 1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil or a handful of fresh leaves Salt and pepper to taste 1-2 cups tomato sauce OR additional tomatoes, chopped 1 cup cubed and buttered bread, or croutons 1⁄2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer zucchini/squash, onion, and tomato in a casserole dish, seasoning each layer. Spread sauce or additional tomatoes over each layer. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle bread cubes and cheese on top of casserole, then bake another 10 minutes, uncovered. Can add some toasted pine nuts as garnish. Serve with buttered garlic noodles as a meal or side dish.

Bob’s Basic White Wine Sauce with Roasted Chicken

This basic recipe can be adapted for use with red or white wine as called for by the dish you are making. 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 – 1/3 cup of chopped shallots or small onion 1 or 2 small carrots, julienned 1 stalk celery, sliced diagonally 1/2 teaspoon fin herbes, rosemary, or thyme 1 tablespoon butter 1/2 cup Sauvignon Blanc Pan drippings from roasted meat 1 roasting chicken

Herringshaw’s baked zucchini fares well as a side dish or a standalone meal with buttered garlic noodles.

Roast chicken according to your favorite recipe with rosemary and garlic. When it is done, remove from pan to a platter, cover to keep warm, and reserve pan drippings. In same pan, drain off a little of the drippings, so that you have approximately 1/4 – 1/3 cup along with the renderings. (If

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Food & Drink Cook’s Pantry Wickizer’s versatile wine sauce creates a sophisticated accompaniment to roasted rosemary chicken.

you have to, it is ok to transfer this to another skillet.) Sweat the shallots until they start to soften, but don’t let them burn, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of your skillet. Add the carrots and continue cooking. At this point you can add the herbs and butter. Add the celery and continue sautéing. Add the wine in about the same proportion of liquid and vegetables in your pan. Reduce to about half. This will also make an excellent cream-based sauce by adding a little cream at the end and/or adding a flour roux, but it’s not necessary. A little dash of cayenne pepper will add an unexpected mystery kick to the sauce. Use the same technique for other dishes, such as beef in red wine sauce or pork with apples using Riesling.

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Rosé wine adds a mellow undertone that pairs well with the sweetness of coconut milk. Both balance out the heat of the Spicy Thai Coconut Shrimp dish.

Spicy Thai Coconut Shrimp with Wine Sauce

Rosé and agave in this sauce balance out the heat of the spices in a traditional dish. 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 large shallots or 1 small yellow onion 1 or 2 small carrots, julienned 1 stalk celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and sliced 1/2 teaspoon curry powder 1/4 teaspoon cumin 1/4 teaspoon ginger 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 tablespoon agave syrup 1/2 cup Rosé wine 1/4 cup coconut milk, more as needed 1 chopped Roma tomato Chopped fresh basil for garnish Jasmine rice to serve

Baked Italian Zucchini served with cantaloupe, which can be found at the Muskogee Farmers’ market.

Place olive oil in 12-inch skillet. Add onion and begin to sauté slowly, sweating the onion, but not browning it. Add carrots and continue to cook. Add celery and bell pepper and continue sweating the vegetables until tender. Add spices during this time and adjust to your taste. Add in the shrimp and wine, cooking for approximately 3 – 5 minutes until shrimp turn pink and are cooked, but do not overcook. You can also use already cooked thawed frozen shrimp, just add at the last minute, so they don’t become rubbery. Add coconut milk and chopped tomato, and simmer until heated through. Serve over Thai jasmine rice and garnish with basil, if desired. A note on wine pairings: wines should be the same or similar wines as that in your sauce base. The exception to this rule is that if your dish is hot and spicy (Mexican, Thai, Jamaican), then you will want a slightly sweet wine to pair with it.

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Scene & Be Seen

Swearing-in of Mayor Coleman Community gathers at Marlon Coleman’s swearing in ceremony where he became the 50th individual and the first African American to hold the office of mayor in Muskogee. Photos by Cathy Spaulding

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Eufaula hosts Whole Hawg Days Annual celebration offered full weekend of activities to enjoy Lake Eufaula, shop in community. Photos submitted by Angela Jackson, Eufaula Area Chamber of Commerce

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Scene & Be Seen

MHS Graduation Ceremony Muskogee High School honors class of 2020 graduates with ceremony at Indian Bowl. Photos by Cathy Spaulding

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Symphony in the Park Muskogee Community Band performed “Big Screen, Small Screen” hits at the annual outdoor symphony. Photos by Cathy Spaulding

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Scene & Be Seen

Muskogee Farmers’ Market Residents, visitors can enjoy a wide selection of fresh locally-grown produce, plants, herbs and baked goods at the Muskogee Civic Center. Photos by Cathy Spaulding

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Profile for muskogeephoenix

Green Country Living — Summer Edition 2020  

• Eufaula-area residents share dream homes built to showcase Lake Eufaula. • Non-traditional homes such as an RV and yacht put on display....

Green Country Living — Summer Edition 2020  

• Eufaula-area residents share dream homes built to showcase Lake Eufaula. • Non-traditional homes such as an RV and yacht put on display....

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