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inside COVER P.11 Following the huge success of LaCroix’s line of flavored seltzers, the alcoholic beverage industry is moving toward hard selzters — refreshing drinks with fewer calories than beer or hard soda. Oklahoma Gazette takes a dive into this trend in adult drinks and then bravely tests several products for deliciousness. Results vary. By Jacob Threadgill. Cover by Chris Street.
NEWS 4 City GO Bonds and sales
taxes up for votes
6 State Oklahoma Democrats
hold public hearing
EAT & DRINK 11 Cover dive into sparkling
14 Event Cookies & Cocktails at
Science Museum Oklahoma
15 Event Oklahoma Born & Brewed
at Oklahoma Hall of Fame
16 Gazedibles summer salads
ARTS & CULTURE 19 Culture WestFest returns
20 Art Morgan Robinson at Kasum
Contemporary Fine Art
21 Comedy Capitol Steps at OCCC’s
Visual and Performing Arts Center
22 Active Oklahoma City Dodgers
engage Latino fans
25 Active FireLake Golf Course
reopens after renovation 26 Film Cat Video Festival returns to Myriad Botanical Gardens 27 Calendar
MUSIC 29 Event Grant Maloy Smith at
The Centennial Rodeo Opry
31 Event Watermelon Slim at
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32 Event Backroom Showcase
2 at 89th Street-OKC
33 Live music
FUN 34 Puzzles sudoku | crossword 35 Astrology 35 OKG Classifieds
O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 9 , 2 0 1 7
What’s on the Sept. 12 ballot for Oklahoma City voters? » A 10-year, $967 million general obligation bond package to invest in city facilities. Voters will decide on 13 propositions, each to be voted on separately. Prop 1: Streets, $490.5 million Prop 2: Bridges, $26.79 million Prop 3: Traffic Control System, $27.58 million
Prop 4: Economic and Community Development
including Job Creation Programs, $60 million
Prop 5: Parks and Recreational Facilities, $137.7 million Prop 6: Libraries, $29.9 million Prop 7: Civic Center Complex, $20.18 million Prop 8: Transit, $20.39 million
OKC’s September special election is a big moment for public safety spending. By Laura Eastes
Prop 9: Central Maintenance Facilities Complex, $13.08 million Prop 10: Drainage Control System, $62.17 million Prop 11: Downtown City Arena, $8.8 million Prop 12: Police, $30.8 million Prop 13: Fire, $45.3 million
On July 1, the first day of the City of Oklahoma City’s new fiscal year, fire department officials removed Engine 51 from service at downtown’s Fire Station 1, relocating 15 firefighters to stations across the city. Weeks earlier, after months of dwindling sales tax collections due in part to a reduced sales tax base as residents’ online shopping habits increased, the Oklahoma City Council passed a $1.38 billion budget for the 2018 fiscal year with slight cuts. The fire department, which was forced to cut spending six months earlier in midyear budget cuts, was forced to remove its second engine from a station serving an ever-growing downtown community. “We are in need of Engine 51 more now than ever with all the downtown development,” Scott VanHorn, International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local 157 president, told Oklahoma Gazette from inside the union’s downtown headquarters. “Since the first of this year, they have been what we call ‘browning out’ fire trucks. Sometimes the brush rigs. Sometimes the rescue ladders. We desperately need for that to cease. We need all of our trucks in service.” Oklahoma City, like many other Oklahoma cities, relies heavily on sales tax dollars as a source of revenue for its general fund, which acts as a catchall fund for dayto-day city operations. Public safety, which also includes the police department, makes up 64.6 percent of the general fund. Diminishing sales tax revenue has resulted in city hiring freezes, which impacted public safety greatly in recent years. A proposal before voters on Sept. 12 stands to reverse those hiring freezes.
“For a few years, we’ve known we were significantly understaffed,” said 4
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Mark Nelson, who serves as vice president of the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 123, supports the proposed quarter-cent permanent sales tax, which would generate funding to hire 129 more police officers. | Photo Garett Fisbeck
Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 123 vice president Mark Nelson. An analysis ordered by the council on police department staffing suggested the city maintain at least 1,300 officers. Currently, the city has approved 1,105 police positions but employs between 1,070 and 1,075 officers, Nelson said. “We are anywhere from 200 to 230 officers below what the department says we need in order to effectively police the city,” he said. “Council had made it a priority to fund positions. … Then the revenue started declining and those positions were not funded.” This past spring, the FOP filed two grievances with the city after obtaining records that revealed patrol shifts hit below minimum staffing requirements. When a police force is pared down, like a fire station placing fire engines out of service, response times increase, negatively impacting public safety.
Sales tax proposal
This past spring, as council members heard less-than-ideal budget projections, murmurings of potential answers to the expiring 1-cent MAPS (Metropolitan Area Projects Plan) began to surface in city hall. By April, it was clear that Mayor Mick Cornett wanted a solution for restoring public safety funding. The council sends three proposals, including extending the 1-cent MAPS tax for 27 months to benefit street infrastructure, before Oklahoma City voters on Sept. 12. Voters will also be asked to weigh a quarter-cent permanent sales tax to
» A temporary, 27-month continuation of the expiring 1-cent MAPS tax, which would raise $240 million for additional street resurfacing, streetscapes, trails, sidewalks and bicycle infrastructure. » A permanent quarter-cent sales tax for city operations. The tax is expected to generate $26 million annually to fund police services, fire protection and other critical services. Source: City of Oklahoma City
contribute to the city operations fund with an emphasis on benefiting public safety positions. If approved by voters, the new sales tax would send $26 million into the city’s budget and result in the hiring of 129 officers and 57 firefighters. Both the police and fire unions are backing the quarter-cent permanent sales tax, along with the continuation of the MAPS tax and the $967 million General Obligation Bond package. For the fire department, 15 of those 57 additional positions are designated for Engine 51 operating from Station 1. The remaining 42 positions will be split among two new fire stations, which are proposed in growing parts of south Oklahoma City and will be financed by remaining 2007 general obligation bond funds, VanHorn explained. If passed by voters, the city would increase its patrol officer positions, said Nelson, who explained that despite the city’s growth over the past two decades, the department continues to employ the same number of patrol officers.
Both the police and fire departments stand to benefit from the proposed 2017 General Obligations Bond program, which utilizes property taxes for infrastructure projects ranging from streets and bridges to drainage and parks. Proposition 12 earmarks $30.8 million
for the police department with funding distributed among infrastructure projects, including a new police aviation facility. Proposition 13 would send $45.3 million toward fire department facilities, including the replacement of three fire stations. Both the propositions contribute to constructing a police and fire training center to replace the aging facility utilized by both departments at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC). A new facility is proposed for land near Interstate 240 and Air Depot Boulevard. “It’s a good facility,” said VanHorn, who joined the fire department 28 years ago and trained at the OSU-OKC site. “There are lot better and newer ways to train firefighters now.” Officers share the sentiment, Nelson explained. A new, state-of-the-art facility would offer officers the latest in training capabilities. Both unions are confident their members’ needs will be met through the proposals. The two joined the Yes Safer Streets Better OKC coalition, a grassroots group in favor of the three proposals. “This will get us a long way down the road in a really responsible manner,” Nelson said. “We are excited to potentially have the tools and resources available to do what we need to do.”
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Oklahoma House Democrats hold a budget hearing to prepare for a special session on the heels of the state Supreme Court reviewing legal challenges on revenue bills. By Laura Eastes
Five days before the Oklahoma Supreme Court heard oral arguments about the impending cigarette fee and vehicle sales tax and their constitutionality, about two dozen Oklahomans took their turns at the House of Representatives’ podium answering the question, “How has Oklahoma’s budget impacted you?” “You say you want to know about the cuts and how they affect us,” said Jacquelyn Parks, executive director of Metropolitan Better Living Center, an adult day care center in Oklahoma City. She was one of the first to stand at the lectern and address a crowd of 24 House Democrats and more than a hundred members of the public at the Aug. 3 Public Budget Hearing organized by House Democrats. “DHS (Oklahoma Department of Human Services) cut back so many people that it is incredibly hard, and understand I work in the trenches every day,” said Parks, who’s spent 18 years at the nonprofit that receives reimbursements from the state for certain population subgroups. “People are going without services. Phones are ringing because there is not enough staff. If you haven’t been in a DHS office or the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, [which oversees the state’s Medicaid program], I welcome you to come see what’s going on … It is so important that we look at these cuts to health care because the most vulnerable people in our state — children, the elderly and the disabled — are suffering. It is important you help us.” For the next 90 minutes, lawmakers and the public heard varied answers to how state budget reductions have impacted nearly every corner of society over the past few years. Sometimes it was healthcare provid-
ers sharing their struggles of continuing services in rural parts of the state with Medicaid provider cuts. Other times, it was educators describing their everincreasing student classroom population, which they teach with fewer dollars in school budgets for classroom instruction and no new textbooks. A single parent and a foster parent recounted their experiences with DHS and demanding more support for vulnerable children. A mental health caseworker described the consequences of when a person with mental illness does not get treatment, impacting public safety. A disability advocate revealed that parents of developmentally disabled children don’t even bother signing up for the state-paid care waiting list, as the applications of people who got in line in 2006 are still being processed. Former Rep. Al Lindley, a Democrat who represented a portion of south Oklahoma City from 1996 to 2008, told the lawmakers, “Your failure to act with compassion to a citizen in need is an abomination that cannot be tolerated.”
Listening to the people
In July, following a series of legal challenges to revenue measures the Legislature passed the last session, Oklahoma House Democrats called for the Aug. 3 public hearing. Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, said it served as a time for lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, to hear from the public prior to a special session; however, only Democratic lawmakers took seats on the House floor. While the governor has not called a special session, concerns have been raised largely about two revenue-raising bills, both passed in the final week
and key to the state’s $6.8 billion budget. Under Oklahoma law, tax increases must receive three-fourths support in both chambers or be approved by a vote of the people, revenue-raising measures can’t be enacted in the last five days of sessions and revenue-raising measures must first be proposed in the House. If the court decides that the cigarette fee, which was proposed in Senate Bill 845, or the vehicle sales tax, which passed without the supermajority, are unconstitutional, lawmakers could return to the Capitol for a special session. If both measures were deemed unconstitutional, more than $300 million less in revenue would enter the state’s coffers. During a special session, lawmakers would be tasked to find replacement revenues or make further cuts to state agencies. This past session, lawmakers scrambled to close an $878 million budget hole, the result of previously lowering the state income tax and declining oil prices. “We in the Democratic caucus feel we need to be prepared for that special session,” Virgin said. “We can’t go in without a plan. We feel like we went in without a plan during the regular legislative session.” The Democrats’ plan, known as the Restoring Oklahoma Plan, surfaced in late March. In the plan, Democrats laid out a strategy for funding a teacher pay raise and protecting key government services from further budget cuts. It proposed reversing specific tax cuts, including raising the gross production tax, which is also called the severance tax, from 2 to 5 percent. Such a measure is estimated to generate $312 million in state revenue, Virgin said. “We feel it is a comprehensive plan that doesn’t put the burden on the backs of lower- and middle-income Oklahomans,” Virgin said. “We are asking everyone to pay their fair share.” Democrats who participated in the budget hearing said a special session wasn’t the answer to fixing all of Oklahoma’s budget troubles, as lawmakers would be looking for ways to plug a budget hole, not necessarily reform the state’s budget structure and bring new revenues to state agencies. “If that cigarette fee gets struck down by the Supreme Court or if that new car sales tax gets struck down by the Supreme Court, if we rush back in here for a special session and find an extra $400 million to put back in the budget, guess what happens,” said Minority Leader Scott Inman of Del City. “All those budget cuts you heard stay where they are. … We are still in a state of crisis. We’ve got to find new recurring revenues.”
O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 9 , 2 0 1 7
No. 4 and climbing
Gov. Mary Fallin is not the least popular governor in the U.S., but perhaps that’s only because Oklahoma doesn’t have any closed coastal beaches on which she and daughter Christina could throw an illegal clambake. According to a July 18 poll from Morning Consult, a Washington, D.C.based polling firm, Fallin ranked as the fourth least-popular governor, behind New Jersey beachcomber and White House burger-fetcher Chris Christie; Kansas bankruptcy colossus Sam Brownback; and Connecticut’s Dannel Malloy, who presided over large tax increases, huge cuts to popular programs and massive government layoffs. Fallin might not have reached those dizzying depths, but it’s not for lack of trying. In addition to her record of science denial, botched executions, high incarceration rates and seeming inability or unwillingness to separate church from state, she’s presiding over one of the worst budget crises in state history. Fallin also was mentioned as a possible Trump running mate but apparently was unable to meet the impossibly high standards of the Trumpian vetting process. In October, she called only Christians to pray for Oklahoma’s energy companies, seemingly discounting the rest of the world religions’ ability to coax higher petroleum prices out of the market. And Fallin was among the last people in the state to acknowledge the connection between earthquakes and horizontal drilling practices. When Oklahomans wake up from having their foundations cracked by a seismic rupture, they often curse Fallin’s name before rolling over to resume their snooze. Chicken-Fried News got a little wheezy and almost didn’t get to the whole thing about Christina Fallin living in a trailer behind the governor’s mansion. Yes, that happened, too. Now, in the event that Oklahoma starts closing state parks to solve the budget crisis, CFN advises Fallin to avoid any wild frolics on closed hiking trails. That could send her straight to No. 1.
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Award-winning duo director Martin Scorsese and actor Leonard DiCaprio are reportedly coming to Oklahoma in 2018 to film an adaptation of the New York Times bestseller Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. Longtime Scorsese production designer Dante Ferretti told trade publication Variety that he is traveling to Oklahoma for preliminary location scouting in the coming months and Scorsese wants to begin shooting Flower Moon in the spring. The film rights to the book were quickly snapped up after it rose to bestseller status in early 2017. The story by David Grann recounts the meticulous and nefarious lengths to which white Oklahomans went to marry into and then murder members of the Osage nation after an oil discovery made the tribe some of the richest people in the country. The shocking murders became one of the first high-profile cases for the burgeoning Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), led by a young
J. Edgar Hoover. Roles for the film have not been set, but DiCaprio played Hoover in 2011’s J. Edgar directed by Clint Eastwood. Scorsese will reportedly begin Flower Moon after wrapping on Netflix’s The Irishman, which stars another one of his muses, Robert De Niro. DiCaprio has starred in Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island and The Wolf of Wall Street.
Back to work
Remember that Native American museum planned for Oklahoma City that locals have been hearing about for more than a decade? Well, it’s still a thing, and it could very well be ready within the next five years. NewsOK.com reported that construction of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum near downtown Oklahoma City resumes Oct. 1. Work on the cultural center began as a state project in 2006 but was stalled as funding for the constructing state agency dried up in an ever-sinking state economy. The state Legislature voted in 2015 to revive work on the museum with a combination of state funds, tribal pledges and a $9 million promise from the Oklahoma City Council. It sounds sort of like car shopping.
For Oklahomans on an average pay scale, it can be kind of a chore (and even terrifying) to visit dealerships and follow through to make sure you get the best car for your money. But heading to the lot with money from your friends and a $9 million promise from your parents sounds like a lot of fun! Museum director James Pepper Henry, a member of the Kaw Nation of Oklahoma, told NewsOK.com that the museum’s plans are being updated with new advancements in technology that have come along since construction began. One of the ideas is that guests would pick a tribe of interest at the start of their visit and a special chipped card would customize their experience with information on the tribe’s history as they progressed through the displays. While construction of the museum is expected to take two years to complete, it will take another year for exhibits to be prepared. The museum is scheduled to open April 2021. We here at Chicken-Fried News are not letting a few work delays dampen our excitement for the new
museum. Expect us to be among the many people eager to get a glimpse after the center’s debut.
Just about the only sport in which it’s okay to hit your opponents with balls is dodge ball. Baseball players aren’t exactly trained to spend all their time on the diamond and in the outfield dodging balls. They never have someone like Patches O’Houlihan yelling, “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!” at them. Plus, there are probably major safety violations involved with flying wrenches. Oklahoma City Dodgers player Alex Verdugo hit a fly ball into right field during the eighth inning of a recent game against the Reno Aces. Instead of catching the ball, Aces right fielder Zach Borenstein lost sight of it and was hit in the head. However, getting hit as an outfielder isn’t as big a deal as getting hit as a batter, so the game didn’t stop and Borenstein wasn’t given any freebies, like a walk to first base. The ball’s momentum continued as it glanced off Borenstein’s head and flew over
the fence and into the warm-up area, giving Verdugo the luckiest home run of his life. Unfortunately, Verdugo’s luck wasn’t enough for the Dodgers to win the game, the first in a four-match series; they lost 9 to 7. No ballplayers were harmed in the freak accident.
If you talk with solar energy advocates, they will tell you that solar energy is the cleanest and most renewable energy source available. If you tell them you live in the Oklahoma City area, they will advocate you install a rooftop solar system at once. Solar energy peeps know the state holds great solar energy potential. They also know that Sooners aren’t really doing much about it. In fact, SolarPowerRocks.com — where all the solar energy cronies go to read about the natural energy source – gave Oklahoma an “F” grade on solar production. Burn! Now, thankfully, we can tell those solar backers to look on the bright side, as there is movement on that front in OKC. Recently, the City of Oklahoma City’s Sustainability Office teamed
up with the U.S. Department of Energy through the SolSmart program. The program brought a national solar expert to OKC to help city workers review city codes. Why city codes? Well, the city and the feds wanted to make it easier for locals go about installing solar panels. According to News9.com, SolSmart awarded OKC a bronze designation for its efforts in reviewing local code and policies in regard to solar installation. That’s hot! And it’s a start to bigger, better and brighter efforts in solar energy — we hope!
O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 9 , 2 0 1 7
NEWS Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to email@example.com or sent online at okgazette.com. Include a city of residence and contact number for verification.
On Aug. 28, 54 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington. This year, on Aug. 26, 27 or 28, I suggest people get together with others, maybe in houses of worship, to listen to King’s historic 17-minute speech, then discuss how far we have come — and not come — in those 54 years. Nathaniel Batchelder Oklahoma City
Is anybody out there listening? I really don’t know who to send this to! The news media is so locked into the crazy dynamics of politics and our cultures that they are not able to hear alternative approaches to the crisis they are reporting on.
I personally am very tired and horrified by the political dynamics, which I believe the media has helped to create. I believe I have an alternative approach that would resolve problems, as opposed to argue about them, but no one will respond. Is anyone out there listening, and does anyone care? I have drafted and sent eight letters to our state’s wannabe political dictators (congressmen and senators). The letters were titled “Changing the Conversation!” but they have not responded. Yes, they do not care about anyone or any opinions but their own. Unfortunately, they are caught up in a debate about which side is right and how to keep winning their seats, as opposed to finding solutions to the problems our nation finds itself in. They are problems our politicians have created, but because they can’t see beyond their own limited point of view, both parties are caught in the dynamics of who is right, not just one side or the other. I have a way to resolve these issues if anyone might care to listen. The first, for your (the news media’s) benefit, is to stop covering the very stupid things your president, the liar-in-chief, is doing. He hates the press, and that video he created showing himself beating up a CNN reporter is most horrible thing I have ever seen. As opposed to responding, just stop covering his antics. What would happen if no one (the
media) showed up to the news conferences he holds? What would he do? He doesn’t say anything anyway, so what is the point, other giving him the muchneeded attention he seeks. Jesus left us a very important teaching on this topic. He said, “Resist not an evil doer!” When we resist evil, or what someone might call bad, we actually feed it more energy and it grows. Focus on the darkness of his behavior and he only acts worse. This applies to all who do darkness (including ISIS), when you name the person or the group acting from the darkness, you give them attention, which is exactly what they want. (Anyone who studied psychology would know this.) Then, all of a sudden, more people start acting the same way. Yes, I believe he (and the news media for covering the many stupid things he has done) is responsible for the increase in violence in our country. Don’t give them a name. Rev. Patrick McAndrew Oklahoma City
Many folks marvel at the “Trump stock market” regularly hitting new highs while our unemployment rate steadily declines. Can this be coincidence? How to explain? Consider this analogy: As an em-
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ployer of a large company, imagine giving your supervisors huge raises while concurrently reducing all their large departmental expenses. Outsiders would surely admire the esteem garnered by the supervisors and they, in turn, would naturally be encouraged to hire many more workers. Transfer those ideas to our national scene. “Esteem” is likened to “stock values” and “reduction in expenses” could be just like “loosening all regulations, especially those pertaining to our environment.” Now does the “Trump market” make more sense? Frank Silovsky Oklahoma City
A July 19 Oklahoma Gazette story (News, “Broken Circle?” Laura Eastes) incorrectly stated the Oklahoma City Council could hear the Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores rezoning case in late August or September. City of Oklahoma City public information director Kristy Yager said the application could come before the council on Oct. 10, but not any earlier. We apologize for any confusion.
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EAT & DRINK Truly Spiked & Sparkling is among the emerging
Cov e r
market of hard seltzer water. | Photo Garett Fisbeck
New hard seltzers aim to change warm-weather drinking habits. By Jacob Threadgill
There is a new arrival this summer to coolers on their way to Lake Murray or accompanying floaters down the Illinois River near Tahlequah: alcoholic seltzer water. It has been two years since The New York Times wrote a glowing review of sugar-free LaCroix sparkling water, which a Vox report referenced as the line of demarcation for the subtly flavored drink in the ostentatious cans to reach the zeitgeist. Colorful LaCroix cans have become a popular addition to Instagram feeds for teens and millennials, many of whom have ditched high-calorie soda. Daily soda consumption among teens dropped 24 percent between 2007 and 2013, compared to 20 percent for the rest of the country, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to The Washington Post in 2016, LaCroix’s sales have tripled since 2009 and another brand, Sparkling Ice, expanded from $27 million in 2010 to nearly $550 million by 2015.
As new-age sparkling water drinkers age into cocktail happy hours, the
decision to enter the realm of hard seltzer is similar to the boom of hard soda like Not Your Father’s Root Beer, which peaked two years ago, but it might have a more loyal audience because its low-calorie and gluten-free appeal is on the upswing. The United States’ consumption of soda has fallen for 12 consecutive years. Hard seltzer, like beer, is also made through fermentation but uses cane sugar instead of malted barley. It relies on essence of real fruit for a lightly flavored beverage. On average, hard seltzers contain about 100 calories per can and fewer than five grams of sugar and carbohydrates. Companies began expanding into the alcoholic sparkling water market late last year. Sam Adams brewer Boston Beer, which is the market leader in the gluten-free cider category with its Angry Orchard line, launched Tr u ly Spi ked & Sparkling. Mike’s Ha rd Lemonade parent company M a rk A nt hony Brands entered the space with its line of White Claw Hard Seltzer. Even venerCayman Jack uses organic ingredients and real sugar in its malt beverage. | Photo Megan Nance
“We have several gluten-free beers, but those seltzers really hit the mark,” he said. At Guyutes, 730 NW 23rd St., bartender Katie Wicks said Truly sales have picked up this summer because it’s a new gluten-free alternative and it provides her good up-sale potential. “I can use it in place of regular tonic to give the drink an extra kick,” Wicks said. “We used to have alcoholic ginger beer for Moscow Mules, and this is similar.” Boston’s Truly packs a decent alcohol punch at 5 percent alcohol by volume and only has one gram of sugar per container, which retails at $10 per six-pack. Mainstream light beers average 4.2 percent ABV, according to Advertising Age. Oklahoma’s current low-point beer, which will continue to dominate at retail until State Question 792 becomes law in October 2018, comes in at 3.2 percent ABV. Boston Beer is the biggest player in the non-beer markets. Its Angry Orchard cider totaled nearly $470 million in sales the past year, according to Fortune. Angry Orchard’s numbers able giant Anheuser-Busch InBev threw have slightly softened as hard soda has its hat into the ring in September when carved out a $289 million market niche it acquired SpikedSelzter, which was across all brands, but Boston Beer also the first alcohol-infused seltzer on the has Coney Island Brewing Company, market in 2013. which props up its hard soda brand. The hard seltzer market is Market expands only a $52 million drop in the bucket This is the first summer compared to the the alcoholic seltzer has $108 billion beer received a full onslaught from distribumarket, according to tors to retailers and Fortune, but it’s still restaurants. Grand in its infancy. There is Cru Wine & Spirits not even a consensus manager Cameron on what to call the Mathis said he first product. It is referred to heard of the prodas everything from hard ucts from a distribuseltzer to spiked water tor representative and spiked seltzer, aclast winter, who cording to Nielsen’s bevpitched it for coveted erage alcohol division. space on “the stack” The golfer-themed drink is owned “It’s all about how reserved for the most by the same company that produces people sell it,” Wicks said Four Loko. | Photo Megan Nance of the hard seltzers. “It’s a popular items. “I didn’t think it low-calorie option that can was anything we wanted to stack,” also appeal to people looking for more Mathis frankly admitted. “Jump to a gluten-free options. I don’t like stuff couple of months ago, and I’m scramthat’s really sweet and I like vodka, bling online to buy as much as I can and which is good mixer [for the alcoholic seltzers].” get stacks up because sales are skyrocketing.” Mathis said Truly, White Claw, Taste test Smirnoff’s Spiked Sparkling Seltzer and In the service of true participatory journalism, Oklahoma Gazette held an afterA-B InBev’s SpikedSeltzer are the most popular brands. work taste test with friends and col“It’s people that love LaCroix but also leagues comparing hard seltzer brand like to have fun too,” Mathis said. “I leaders Truly and White Claw to other think [hard seltzers] have hit their stride, alternative summer drinks, which include especially with it being summer. People other recent trends hard sodas and teas. want something they can drink around the pool but isn’t too sweet like a cider.” John Daly’s Grip It & Sip It He said it has been popular for drinkOverall: • (out of four) ers looking for a different gluten-free Phusion Projects, the makers of infaoption other than cider and a few market leaders like Omission Pale Ale. continued on page 12 O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 9 , 2 0 1 7
EAT & DRINK continued from page 11
mous Four Loko, released a hard iced tea with a likeness of harddrinking and smoking golfer John Daly to retailers this past July. Checking in at 8 percent ABV with a hard iced tea and lemonade and a hard tea with a splash of lemon, it was the heaviest drink of the group. “Plenty of beers have 8 percent, but they don’t make you feel like you’re being sanitized,” said one reviewer. “It tastes like you’ve been drinking and smoking on a golf course.” Overall, the drinks received unfavorable comments for their high sugar content, stale tea flavor and syrupy consistency. “I could drink it if it was super hot outside,” said the most favorable review. “Maybe if you cut it with some ice. You could make Long Islands with it and it would be alright.”
Cayman Jack Margarita and Cuban Mojito
Overall: •• • Made by Seattle’s American Vintage Beverage, Cayman Jack Margarita and Cuban Mojito have earned points by national reviewers for standing out with a few of its flavors, it also has less from other premixed malt beverages sugar (1 gram compared to 4 grams) that mimic cocktails because of their than its competitor White Claw. use of organic ingredients and cane sugar. White Claw Hard Seltzer Our reviewers tended to agree, preOverall: ••• ferring the mojito, with its fresh-tastProduced by the same company that makes ing mint, to the M i k e ’s Hard margarita. Lemonade, White “It doesn’t taste like there Claw has made an agis any tequila or gressive play into the rum, and there hard seltzer market. isn’t, but it’s nice We tried three flavors: and fresh,” comgrapefruit, lime and mented one. black cherry. While The Cayman the Truly grapefruit Jack Margarita might fizzle, the White Claw Ruby and Cuban Mojito Grapefruit earned check in at 5.9 and two votes as its fa5.8 ABV respectively and have 220 vorite seltzer flavor Owned by the same company as Mike’s Hard calories per serving. Lemonade, White Claw Hard Seltzer is lowamong reviewers, as calorie and gluten-free. | Photo Megan Nance did the black cherry. Truly Spiked “It’s amazing & Sparkling there is such a difference in what is Overall: •• basically the same thing [compared to Reviewers tried four flavors of Truly: Truly], but [White Claw] does have Sicilian blood orange, grapefruit and more sugar content.” pomelo, lemon and yuzu and Colima lime. A consensus formed that Truly Palm Breeze missed its mark with grapefruit flavors sparkling alcohol spritz that “taste like rind” but did much Overall: •• better on the lemon and lime flavors. Also made by Mike’s owner Mark “The lime is drinkable on its own, Anthony Brands, Palm Breeze takes but the (grapefruit and blood orange) the sparkling name with none of the need to be mixed with something. If healthy benefits. The average serving you added fruit, it would be like a nice has 220 calories and 33 grams of sugar, spa water,” said one. more than most hard sodas on the “The lemon one isn’t bad, and you have market. It also cannot be verified as to be careful with lemon-flavored drinks. gluten-free. Remember Diet Coke with lemon? It was With such a Frankenstein’s monster like drinking Pledge,” said another. of mashed-up flavors like key lime Although Truly missed the mark cherry and strawberry pineapple, Palm 12
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Breeze blew over our heads a little bit. If we were going to drink that many calories, these panelists agreed they should also taste natural. “I expect the Kool-Aid Man to jump through the wall,” said one. Which is just fine if you like Kool-Aid.
Coney Island Brewing Company
Overall: ••• Boston Beer and Sam Adams’ answer to the hard soda trend comes in the form of Coney Island Brewing. We tried newest additions Orange Cream Ale and Citrus Ale with a lemon-lime twist. Although the drinks suffered from some marketing missteps, their flavor profile is strong. The citrus ale pours clear and is light on the twist but tastes like cream soda. One reviewer said the Orange Cream Ale, despite having more of a root beer flavor, was their favorite of the entire testing. “It tastes like something those hipsters in Portland [Oregon] would drink with their wax-tipped mustaches,” said one reviewer in the affirmative.
Overall: •••• Another Boston Beer product, Twisted Tea scored much higher than the John Daly brand of hard tea for Coney Island Brewing Orange Cream Ale and Hard Lemon Lime with a twist. | Photo Megan Nance
Brands like Twisted Tea and Coney Island Brewing are examples of the hard soda trend that gained popularity in 2015. | Photo Megan Nance
its freshness. The brand earned the highest mark from two reviewers, who gave it their best of the tasting. “I could drink it thinking that it’s regular iced tea and then get a nice buzz,” said one reviewer with a nice buzz. “My compliments to the chemist.”
Overall: ••• The market leader in cider released an “easy” version of its brand last August that is less sweet than the “crisp” counterpart and has 40 fewer calories. We tried them side by side and came to a consensus that the sweeter crisp variety won the battle. “Easy tastes more watered-down. Crisp has more flavor and roundness. Maybe ‘crisp’ is the new light beer,” one reviewer said.
Jack Daniels Southern Peach
Overall: •• New in the product line from Jack Daniels, Southern Peach suffered in comparison to Cayman Jack’s because its cloyingly peach flavor had an artificial finish. It also didn’t fare well when compared to the Twisted Tea peach flavor. Overall, it was drinkable. “It’s not overly syrupy, and it reminds me of the fatbottled sodas I drank as a kid, Original New York Seltzers,” commented a reviewer. O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 9 , 2 0 1 7
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Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma readies its Cookies & Cocktails fundraiser. By Natalie Evans
Cookies, cocktails and community support become a favorite combination at an upcoming fundraiser. Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma hosts its sixth annual Cookies & Cocktails event 5:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 17 at Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place. Chefs from local restaurants create hors d’oeuvres featuring important ingredients: Girl Scout cookies. In previous years, restaurants have treated guests to Samoa-crusted shrimp, Thin Mint truffles, Trefoil short ribs, Savanna Smile-infused doughnuts and more. This year, participating restaurants include Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, La Baguette Bistro, Hacienda Tacos, La Gumbo Ya Ya and more. “Our supporters get more creative and more competitive with each year,” said Misti McClellan, public relations and communications specialist at Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma. Guests will have the opportunity to sample the snacks while a panel of local celebrity judges determines the winners of the sweet and savory categories. This year, the judges are Kaci Summers and Jacob J with KYIS-FM, Karl Torp with KWTV Channel 9 and Matt Pierson of Insperity, the presenting sponsor. One restaurant will receive the People’s Choice Award.
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The funds raised during the event support local Girl Scout troops and assist in funding the Girl Scout Gold Award scholarship. It provides two recipients college scholarships to reward their exceptional leadership skills and efforts in their Gold Award projects. The program encourages scouts to “discover needs in their communities, connect with teams to share their vision and take action to make their corner of the world a better place,” McClellan said. “Now, more than ever, we need to invest in girls,” McClellan said. “As the largest girl-serving organization in the world, Girl Scouts is committed to ensuring all girls develop to their full potential.” Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma serves
Girl Scout cookies like Do-si-dos, Samoas and Trefoils are used in food and drink recipes at Cookies & Cocktails. | Photo provided
39 counties in Oklahoma, providing programs to over 14,000 girls. Girl Scouts aims to provide programs that encourage learning in fun and interactive ways, McClellan said. They promote healthy self-esteem, strong relationships and community service. These efforts are particularly valuable, as presently, more girls are living in lowincome housing and poverty than there were 10 years ago, according to data from the Girl Scout Research Institute. “I get really fired up about our girls in Oklahoma,” McClellan said. “They face the worst statistics for women, but they are so mighty and so fierce, I have no doubt they will be the ones who change our world.”
In addition to the dining portion of the event, there will be a raffle fundraiser. Items include two packages from iFly Indoor Skydiving; Fun in OKC packages with tickets to National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma; and a Rust & Rot OKC piece valued at $500. A few surprise big-ticket items will also be revealed. Local singersongwriter Stephen Salewon provides musical entertainment throughout the evening. Anthem Brewing Company, COOP Ale Works and Vanessa House Beer Co. will treat guests to beer, while Alterra will provide wine. Guests must be at least 21 years old to attend. Tickets are $30, and sponsorships are available. Visit gswestok.org/cookiesandcocktails.
Cookies & Cocktails 5:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 17 Science Museum Oklahoma 2020 Remington Place gswestok.org/cookiesandcocktails 405-528-4475 $30 (sponsorships available)
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Oklahoma Hall of Fame hosts its third annual, locally themed casual beer-pairing event. By Ben Luschen
With the recent explosion in Oklahoma’s craft brewing culture, the variety of labels and flavors local brewers offer is as colorful and diverse as the mosaic of people who make up our state. Such a great selection leaves all levels of local beer enthusiasts with the challenge of trying as many of these great brews as possible. Oklahoma Hall of Fame, in partnership with Craft Brewers Association of Oklahoma, has a good solution. Oklahoma Born & Brewed is an upscale beer sampling and pairing event featuring an allstar lineup of state breweries. The event runs 7-10 p.m. Aug. 18 in the hall of fame’s home at Gaylord-Pickens Museum, 1400 Classen Drive. The 12 state breweries on-site for samplings include 405 Brewing Co., Anthem Brewing Company, Bricktown Brewery, COOP Ale Works, Iron Monk Brewing Company, Marshall Brewing Company, Prairie Artisan Ales; Renaissance Brewing Company, Roughtail Brewing Co., Vanessa House Beer Co., Twisted Spike Brewing Company and Stonecloud Brewing Co. Twisted Spike and Stonecloud participate for the first time this year. Born & Brewed is hosted by Second Century Board, Oklahoma Hall of Fame’s young professionals group. The first event was held in 2015 as a cooperative fundraiser with the Craft Brewers Association. There are no formal tables to sit at during the beer pairing. Instead, guests casually mingle between their visits to beer vendor booths. Ned’s Catering provides food for the small-plate event with a menu specially crafted to complement the brews. “It’s really just a fun tasting,” said Bailey Gordon, the Hall of Fame’s director of development. “We say it has the feel of a casual cocktail party because you get
Guests mingle at last year’s Oklahoma Born & Brewed. | Photo Oklahoma Hall of Fame / provided
to go around to the breweries and taste whatever you want on your own time.” Bluegrass quartet Bread and Butter Band will provide musical entertainment throughout the evening. Gordon said Born & Brewed is a great opportunity to meet with people who share similar interests. “It’s just a couple of hours of getting to mingle with fellow Oklahomans who enjoy craft beer,” she said. Gordon said the Hall of Fame’s mission is to tell the story of Oklahoma through the state’s people — and not just the most famous or most accomplished. “[Born & Brewed] is a great way for us to highlight some of the things that are happening in Oklahoma today,” she said. Gordon acknowledges that there are plenty of other beer tasting and pairing events in the Oklahoma City area, but Born & Brewed’s large and loyally local palate gives the event a distinct feel. “Everything is from Oklahoma,” she said, “which is what makes it unique from other beer-tasting events.” Individual tickets are $65 and must be purchased online in advance at oklahomahof.com. Admission is limited, and tickets will not be sold at the door. Sponsorship packages are also still available. Visit oklahomahof.com.
Oklahoma Born & Brewed 7-10 p.m. Aug. 18 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Gaylord-Pickens Museum | 1400 Classen Drive oklahomahof.com | 405-523-3207 $65
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Who wants to carry around a bunch of extra weight when the sweat generated from triple-digit temperatures is already slowing you down? A summer salad topped with fruit or light vinaigrette is the perfect way to satisfy your appetite while staying nimble in the August heat. By Jacob Threadgill | Photos by Garett Fisbeck and provided
Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge
Located in 21c Museum Hotel, Mary Eddy’s earned its reputation for combining local ingredients with a modern flair. Its local peach salad is the perfect starter on the dinner menu after a long, hot day. The salad combines bitter mustard greens with aged and salty speck ham and local peaches. No fruit signifies the arrival of summer like a sweet peach. The starter is then topped with blue cheese from Barren County, Kentucky; hazelnuts for crunch; and honey-lemon vinaigrette.
Pepperoni Grill is a gem inside Penn Square Mall. Its kale and quinoa salad is an entréesized way to escape the heat. It is made with red seedless grapes, mandarin oranges and golden raisins for a refreshing burst of sweetness. Add in red bell peppers, roasted almonds and Parmesan cheese, and its main ingredients have the savory partners for a healthy meal chock full of antioxidants. The salad is topped with champagne vinaigrette for a pleasant, acidic kick.
Locally owned with six locations and a seventh opening soon at Will Rogers World Airport, Cool Greens has found success providing convenient, high-quality meals. The menu features an array of sandwiches, flatbreads and quinoa bowls, but perhaps its signature dishes are its salads, which can also be ordered as wraps. The Plaza Skinny combines mixed greens and peppery arugula with avocado, sundried tomatoes, sunflower seeds and salty artichokes and is topped with basil vinaigrette.
900 W. Main St. maryeddysokc.com | 405-982-6960
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Patrono Italian Restaurant
305 N. Walker Ave. patronookc.com | 405-702-7660
Patrono Italian Restaurant is more than just one of the best Italian eateries in Oklahoma City. Located in the mixed-use center connected to Avana Arts District apartments, the atmosphere is classy yet relaxed. Its namesake salad features mixed greens, fennel, thinly sliced radishes and haricots verts (a fancy name for green beans) and is topped with red and golden beets, ricotta salata and a spicy mustard dressing.
Chef Curry To Go
Strawberry and spinach salad comes two ways at Cafe 501, but the entrĂŠe topped with chicken earns our recommendation for a filling and refreshing summer treat. It combines healthy ingredients with a little fried treat in the form of crispy goat cheese. It also includes hearts of palm, carrots and sugared walnuts. The greens are dressed with balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil. With locations in Classen Curve on NW Grand and in Edmond, there is ample opportunity to try this refreshing salad.
One of the qualifiers to make this list was to find a vehicle for summer fruit, and the Mediterranean curried chicken salad at Paseo Grill finds multiple ways to get it on your plate. The chicken salad bursting with curry deliciousness is topped with mango chutney and is joined by a healthy portion of strawberries and red grapes. Fresh pita bread allows you to turn that salad into a sandwich.
Executive chef Kendall Curry is so confident in his food that his name goes on his business, and for good reason. The sweet potato and kale salad takes two ingredients more associated with winter and elevates them to summer status with a sweet caramelized onions and a lemon hoisin reduction. You can add garbanzo beans, chicken or shrimp to make this salad an entrĂŠe-sized portion.
5825 NW Grand Ave. cafe501.com | 405-844-1501
2909 Paseo St., Suite A paseogrill.com | 405-601-1079
5701 N. Western Ave. chefcurrytogo.com | 405-608-8050
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A new team of organizers rally for Western Avenue Association’s third popular WestFest. By Ben Luschen
Western Avenue Association might be transitioning directors, but the third annual WestFest is on course to be as big as ever. The free street fair and music festival began in 2015 and has established a strong reputation and following in a competitive local market for live music fests. This year’s event is noon-10 p.m. Aug. 19 along N. Western Avenue between NW 41st and 43rd Streets. Norman rock and Americana band Beau Jennings & The Tigers headlines a talented bill of Oklahoma performers. Other draws include art and creative vendor booths, food trucks and an expanded children’s area. Organizers are preparing for a crowd of around 7,000 people. Former Western Avenue executive director and WestFest organizer Rachael Taylor announced in July she was leaving the position to move back to California, her home state. While the significant change so close to the festival date might sound like it has the potential to disrupt the event’s planning, WestFest is in capable hands as former event consultants Jennifer EasleyMaynord and Kindt Steven Myers move into co-producer roles. Easley-Maynord is creative director at Cellar Door Music Group. Myers runs Kindt Events, a premier event production company. Myers said while planning WestFest has been a little hectic since the two stepped into a direct organizational role with the festival, most large-scale community events get busy in the weeks before they launch. “I think it’s inevitable to experience change like [Western Avenue Association] is experiencing,” Myers said. “I think it’s nominal on the scale of the overarching plan that they have.”
WestFest’s main stage is on 41st Street between VZD’s Restaurant & Bar and A Date With Iris. Jennings, who once fronted the band Cheyenne, was a featured performer during the street festival’s inaugural year. This year, the Americana/rock singer-songwriter and filmmaker won first place in the prestigious Woody Guthrie Folk Festival Songwriting Contest. His band The Tigers released the single “Back in Town” in October, which KOSU The Spy’s The Oklahoma Rock Show later listed as the best Oklahoma song of 2016. The band is currently working on a new album. “The band and I are very excited to return to WestFest to headline this year,” Jennings said in a media statement. “It’s always great to be part of events that go a long way toward enriching the community.” The main stage’s other acts include bluesy three-piece KALO, new-wave/ pop project Saint Loretto, rapper LTZ, psychedelic indie rock act Roots of Thought, Norman ska quintet The Big News, soulful Tulsa rocker Fiawna Forté and more. This year’s event marks the debut of WestFest’s indoor stage inside Will Rogers Theatre, 4322 N. Western Ave. Indie folk band Vonna Pearl, featuring the beautifully cohesive dual vocals of The Wurly Birds’ Taylor Johnson and Elms’ Chelsey Cope, headlines the roofed and air-conditioned stage that also features a full cash bar. Nashvillebased, Tulsa-formed rock ’n’ roll band Twiggs and singer-songwriter Katie Williams will also perform in the theater.
WestFest offers more than music. An expanded selection of food trucks —
including Murphy’s CookShack, Yum Yum Bites, Thunder Dogs OKC, Ice Cream Delight, Zebra Snow and Sizzle N Spice — will congregate near 43rd Street. Local business booths and creative vendors will line Western Avenue between WestFest’s main stage and food truck areas. New Belgium Brewing Company’s Fat Tire is the fest’s presenting sponsor. Western Avenue Association is selling the Belgian-style ale on-site as a fundraiser. Myers said WestFest also features an enhanced children’s area, including more shade and cooling options with a wide variety of fun activities and inflatables. “We know it’s a family-friendly event,” he said. “We know there’s a lot of families and people raising children in that area and district. We want them to feel welcome.”
Easley-Maynord and Myers have worked together to put on past events like Exchange on Film Row. EasleyMaynord was a committee member for the first WestFest in 2015. “This was just kind of a continuation of my partnership [with Myers], which we felt has been a good fit,” she said. Easley-Maynord called Western Avenue one of Oklahoma City’s most historic districts, which she said presents both positive and negative aspects when organizing a major community event. “I think a challenge of that is that you constantly have to reinvent yourself
Organizers are preparing for as many as 7,000 guests for WestFest’s third year. | Photo Western Avenue Association / provided
in different ways,” she said, “especially with other districts coming up and having different events and festivals.” The coproducers are working to strengthen bonds between WestFest and the surrounding Crown Heights and Edgemere Heights neighborhoods. “That’s one of the big hurdles we see in festivals when they are hinging on residential neighborhoods but it’s technically a business district,” Myers said. “The buy-in from those residents is huge — not only their welcome, but their participation.” Reception from the surrounding communities has so far been positive. Myers said both neighborhoods are working to pass out fliers and promote the event. Easley-Maynord said a close partnership between the area’s businesses and community members should be positive for everyone involved. “You really grow with something like this,” she said. “Returning to the festival and working with committee members and neighbors and business owners, there’s that journey together.” Visit westfestok.com.
WestFest noon-10 p.m. Aug. 19 N. Western Avenue between NW 41st and 43rd Streets westfestok.com | 405-843-9922 Free
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Sculptor Morgan Robinson’s new solo exhibition explores the duality of calm and chaos. By Ben Luschen
The last year or so in sculptor Morgan Robinson’s life has been at once both leisurely and hectic. The artist, carpenter and designer is splitting time between Oklahoma and Japan. Most of Morgan’s time is spent at peace, crafting his nature-inspired sculptures and wall ornaments at his own pace in his Stillwater-based studio. He is also part of Oklahoma State University’s art department faculty. Yet simultaneously, a personally unprecedented list of work- and family-related international travel demands have him feeling pressed for time. In addition to installing his work in galleries across the United States and overseas, Robinson tries to see his Japan-dwelling wife and daughter whenever he can. That emotional contrast is the theme in Robinson’s newest solo exhibition at Kasum Contemporary Fine Art. The show opens Aug. 19 at the 16th Street Plaza District gallery, 1706 NW 16th St. The exhibit runs through Sept. 23.
Robinson was fascinated by natural forms and movement from a young age. Things like eyebrows, clouds and insects, in addition to the shapes of mouths and shadows, captured his imagination. Still, it did not take long for Robinson to realize these topics had no place in con-
Morgan Robinson works inside his Stillwater art studio on pieces for a new solo exhibition. | Photo Richmond Boswell / provided
versation with his friends. He learned to bottle up his interest for the time being. Robinson eventually earned a baseball scholarship to Ada’s East Central University, where he took his first art class. He took great joy in the chance to creatively express himself. “There was finally an outlet for this stuff I had bottled up inside me,” he said. He began to lose interest in baseball as he became more invested in his new hobby making beaded necklaces. He decided to leave Ada and transfer to the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) for the school’s jewelry program. While at UCO, Robinson’s attention slowly began to shift from jewelry to sculpture. He graduated with an art degree in 2002. Like recent graduates in many other creative fields, he was not sure how to apply his skills toward a career.
Robinson found the direction he was searching for after meeting one of his father’s business associates, an Australian entrepreneur named Stefan Broinowski. However, it was not what he was expecting. Broinowski was an eccentric businessman with a diverse set of interests. Robinson was confident in his art and
sculptural abilities but knew nothing about how to make his work profitable. After the two became friends, he asked Broinowski if he could become his apprentice. The businessman agreed, but under the condition that Robinson first agree to drop everything he was doing and live a year in the Australian Outback. Eventually (and some would say amazingly), Robinson agreed, selling his car and possessions to make money for the trip. “He wanted me to basically go out and become undistracted and really figure out what I wanted to do and if I wanted to really be his apprentice or if I wanted to do something else,” Robinson said. “He saw it as a prime time in my life to really answer this question and to choose the direction I really wanted to go.” Robinson lived in the remote South West Queensland region with little to do but reflect on his life and what he wanted from it. Broinowski’s hypothesis all along was that Robinson did not actually want to be his apprentice as much as he wanted clarity. “He ended up being right, as if he needed any more ego,” Robinson said. The artist’s time in the Outback left him with a new appreciation for meditation and minimalism. He soon became aware that they were also important aspects of Japanese culture and became intent on visiting the country. He spent two years learning the language and traveled to Tokyo, where he found a job making furniture in a studio of Japanese carpenters. Robinson gained an understanding and appreciation for traditional Japanese woodworking techniques during his year across the Pacific Ocean — techniques he still incorporates in his work today.
The artist also met his wife during that year in Japan. The country has become an important part of his life and work. He spent the winter months with his family in Japan while also visiting some local galleries. Robinson recently returned from a two-week business and family trip to Tokyo. Robinson has a lot to keep up with these days, both personally and professionally. The demands, at times, have pushed him to emotional limits. “It’s been really tricky to try and balance all of that,” he said. But if there is one thing the artist has learned in his life, it is how calmness and reflection always lead to discovery. Visit morgan-robinson.com.
Morgan Robinson solo exhibition Aug. 19-Sept. 23 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, by appointment Monday-Tuesday Kasum Contemporary Fine Art | 1706 NW 16th St. kasumcontemporary.com | 405-604-6602 Free
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Capitol Steps brings its newest show to OCCC’s Visual and Performing Arts Center. By Jessica Williams
When Elaina Newport of Capitol Steps performed two years ago in Oklahoma City, she never imagined she would later include future President Donald Trump in the group’s political satire. “Let’s just say Trump has made our job more challenging,” the Capitol Steps co-founder told Oklahoma Gazette. “There’s a new story or scandal involving the president every single day. We’re moving at a much quicker pace these days.” Newport and her group of musical comedians have been keeping up with political times since the Reagan administration, and 8 p.m. Aug. 19, they’re bringing a new era of pop culture, politics and comedy to Oklahoma City Community College’s Visual and Performing Arts Center, 7777 S. May Ave., with Orange Is the New Barack. Since 1981, Capitol Steps has made light of political figures and news through bipartisan parody and music. Now under an unprecedented administration, Newport said the group has a lot of ground to cover. “Someone said we have more costume changes than a Cher concert,” said Newport. “I take that as high praise.” The group of former Washington staffers and current comedians performs a mixture of stand-up and songs with titles like “Small Hands,” “Tweet Tweet” (to the tune of “Rockin’ Robin”) and “Don’t Know Much About History.” Naturally, the show includes today’s most notorious modern figures in politics. “For the Democrats, we have Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and, of course, Barack Obama,” said Newport. “Our Republican group obviously includes Trump, Melania, Ivanka, Betsy DeVos and Vladimir Putin.” The latter sings “Putin on a Blitz” to the tune of “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” in which
Capitol Steps performs Orange Is the New Barack Aug. 19. | Photo Capitol Steps / provided
he expresses his dominance as a Russian oligarch. Newport said she can usually gauge how political figures will react to Capitol Steps. “There was a time when one senator actually was offended that he wasn’t included in our show,” she said. “Generally, politicians take great joy in being featured in our satire. Now, I highly doubt Trump would be thrilled at our songs about him.” Each performance is slightly different from the last, due to today’s rapid news updates. Much like journalists, Capitol Steps stays current with all the news cycles, even adding updates to its gigs right before taking the stage. With never-ending breaking news of racial violence, class struggles, potential nuclear threats and presidential antics, this year has inflicted a stressful overtone to our daily lives. Despite the extremely partisan state of 2017 politics, however, Capitol Steps performs to unite citizens with a healthy dose of parody. “Because this country is so divided, we’re really trying to create a middle road with our comedy,” said Newport. “If we can make people laugh about the crazy state of this country right now, then we’ve succeeded.” Capitol Steps’ shows are appropriate for ages 13 and up. Tickets are $35-$45. Visit capsteps.com.
Capitol Steps: Orange Is the New Barack 8 p.m. Aug. 19 Visual and Performing Arts Center Oklahoma City Community College 7777 S. May Ave. tickets.occc.edu | 405-682-7579 $35-$45
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ARTS & CULTURE
Ac t i v e
Fabio Castillo works with William Frazier during a recent OKC Dodgers Clinic in conjunction with Supermercados Morelos. | Photo Garett Fisbeck
3209 s Broadway in Edmond 22
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dise as well, and that’s great for the community to embrace the new team.” OKC and the Double-A affiliate in Tulsa became the first Dodgers teams above A ball to bear the major league club’s name since the San Antonio Dodgers in 1987. The new brand association helped with merchandise and at the turnstiles. In the four years Oklahoma City RedHawks were an affiliate of Houston Astros, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark drew a yearly average of 402,014 fans. In 2015 and 2016, the team has averaged 454,951 fans and is on pace with the average for 2017, according to communications coordinator Lisa Johnson. “When you go to games, it feels like a large percentage of fans are Hispanic,” Jose Nunez said. “There are families everywhere.”
The Dodgers name drives ticket and merchandise sales in OKC, particularly in the Latino community. By Jacob Threadgill
In 2015, when Lone Star Construction owner Ezequiel Hernandez heard the Oklahoma City baseball team was becoming an affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers and taking their name, he was transported back to Summer 1981, watching baseball as a child with his mother and father. Hernandez was among many Latinos across the country who became transfixed by Dodgers’ pitcher Fernando Valenzuela. Born in a tiny Mexican village, Valenzuela rose from relative obscurity to win his first eight starts of the season (with five shutouts) and become the first player to win Major League Baseball’s Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards the same season. As a child in Texas, Hernandez didn’t grow up cheering for the Dodgers, but that changed during “Fernandomania.” His games became must-see television. “Today, there are Hispanic players all over the place. When I was growing up, there weren’t that many,” Hernandez said. “You never saw that many players with a last name like yours, and indirectly, it told you, ‘Maybe this is not for me.’” Although Hernandez grew up and became a fan of major league teams in Texas, those memories of watching Valenzuela forever linked him to the Dodgers. It speaks to the team’s brand being one of the most recognizable in professional sports, especially in Los Angeles’ Latino community, where many fans affectionately refer to the team as Los Doyers. Michael Byrnes, president and general manager of the OKC affiliate
since 2010, said the team identified more outreach in the Latino community as a top priority before the mascot change, but it has only accelerated with the new name.
This year, the team added a partnership with Supermercados Morelos, attending store openings and partnering with the grocery stores to host a youth clinic for area baseball players in July. Hernandez was among prideful parents watching their kids get handson instruction from Oklahoma City Dodgers players. “The Los Angeles Dodgers are a team that a lot of Hispanics cheer for, and when you bring them here, with some of the players they’ve had recently, it’s brought a lot of attention to them,” said Rueben Ortiz while wearing an OKC Dodgers hat. Each of the last two years, the Oklahoma City Dodgers have placed in the top 25 for merchandise sold out of 168 minor league teams, Byrnes said. “The Dodgers brand has a long history in the Hispanic community. It’s a brand people can relate to and cheer for, one they’ve followed for years. When they came to town, there was a new excitement in the community,” said Jorge Hernandez, who represents Supermercadoes Morelos with Tango Public Relations. “You already saw a lot of LA Dodgers merchandise, but now you see a ton of OKC Dodgers merchanIssac Wallis, 10, runs to catch a ball during a recent OKC Dodgers Clinic. | Photo Garett Fisbeck
Celebrating its 20th season, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark has been home to the 89ers, Redhawks and Dodgers. Most recently, talented LA Dodgers players like shortstop and reigning National League Rookie of the Year Corey Seager and current record-breaking rookie and first baseman Cody Bellinger have become fan favorites. “A local family recently told me how passionate their 8-year-old was to watch the Major League Home Run Derby because Cody Bellinger was involved,” Byrnes said. “He had already chosen Corey Seager as his favorite player. The family was out on opening night [when Bellinger was on the team], and it helped them connect the dots for the home run derby. I don’t know they would’ve watched it otherwise.” Although 20-year-old pitcher Julio Urías was lost for the season to an elbow injury in June, his presence in Oklahoma City the last two seasons has drawn a lot of support from the Latino
community. Like Valenzuela, Urías emerged from a small Mexican ranching community to become a rising star. “People were like, ‘Is he the second coming of Fernando?’ The interest grew again for those who grew up in the [Fernando era],” Ezequiel Hernandez said. “He helped connect generations of fans.” Current Seattle Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz spent time at Bricktown Ballpark as a prospect with the Texas Rangers and similarly inspired local Latino fans. “[Cruz] used to hit so many home runs over the letters (high above left field) that I was worried about the building behind it,” Nunez said. Perhaps no player has left a bigger impact in Oklahoma City than pitcher R.A. Dickey, who is the organization’s leader in wins, losses, appearances and starts. Of course, becoming a Triple-A record-holder is somewhat inauspicious. Dickey, a hard-throwing firstround pick, was only supposed to spend a few months in Oklahoma City on the way to major league glory. “It’s a town I’ve grown very fond of, but nonetheless a place that I associate totally with my mediocrity as a pitcher,” Dickey said of OKC in his autobiography Wherever I Wind Up. “Is this going to be the top line of my baseball resume: a RedHawk immortal?” He spent parts of seven seasons
Edgar Rojas, 12, hits a ball off a tee as his cousin Pablos Rojas, 13, and O’Koyea Dickson look on during a recent OKC Dodgers Clinic. | Photo Garett Fisbeck
bouncing between Texas and OKC, so much so that he became good friends with Monte McCoy, a former University of Oklahoma graduate assistant coach, and the ballpark’s head groundskeeper since its opening in 1998. “[Dickey] came to me on a few occasions and said that he was thinking about giving it up,” McCoy said. “He was done.” At the end of the 2005 season, Dickey began throwing a knuckleball under the tutelage of former Los Angeles Dodgers knuckler Charlie Hough and Orel Hershiser. Although Dickey’s first few outings throwing the elusive and slowfluttering pitch didn’t go well, it eventually became his calling card. Dickey won the 2012 Cy Young Award at age 38 with the New York Mets and now pitches for the Atlanta Braves. “It’s crazy that it all started here in Oklahoma City,” McCoy said. “He’s a real go-getter and one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen.” It’s not just the hard work of star players like Dickey and others that have come through OKC, like first basemen Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Davis, that stick with McCoy. It’s also the guys like Jeff Pickler and Kelly Dransfeldt that never achieved
prolonged stints in the majors but provided memories for the fans. The Dodgers Foundation capitalized on those memories by selling commemorative bricks to fans. The campaign raised over $22,000 for the foundation’s charity efforts, which includes education funding and support for first responders and was the largest singlerun campaign for the foundation, said its director Jennifer Van Tuyl. The per-
manent brick display will be unveiled prior to the Friday game against the Round Rock Express. “There are people that had their first date here, people that got engaged here, grandfathers and granddaughters that learned the game here. It was a fun way to engage and shine light on those memories for people in our community,” Byrnes said. Visit okcdodgers.com.
O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 9 , 2 0 1 7
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Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Leviathan Zodiac (detail), 2011. Oil and gold enamel on canvas, 95¾ x 71¾ in. (243.2 x 182.2 cm). Collection of Blake Byrne, Los Angeles. Courtesy of Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, California. © Kehinde Wiley. (Photo: Robert Wedemeyer, courtesy of Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, California)
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ARTS & CULTURE Scout runs the FireLake Golf Course in Shawnee. | Photo by Garett Fisbeck
just chunk it.” The course is relatively short — a par 71 from championship tees — so the Latitude 36 Bermuda rough is what Day refers to as the course’s “defensive mechanism.” “If you hit it in the rough, it just kills the ball and it’s tough to get out,” Day said of the grass, which was developed at Oklahoma State University.
Ac t i v e
After lengthy renovations, Shawnee’s FireLake Golf Course is open to the public. By Jacob Threadgill
While the FireLake Golf Course in Shawnee was closed for an extensive 14month renovation, it meant course members and guests were deprived not only time on the links, but a chance to spend time with the course’s devoted canine protector, Scout the chocolate Labrador retriever. As course director Chris Chesser and crew dismantled cart paths and trudged through mud to water freshly planted sprigs, Scout was there to raise the spirits of weary workers. From the comfort of the climate-controlled tool shed warehouse near hole nine that doubles as Scout’s home, he has watched as the course, which is operated by Citizen Potawatomi Nation and is Pottawatomie County’s only public links, underwent a $6 million renovation. But mostly Scout was wondering when the treats from golfers would start again, and he got his wish July 1 when the course re-opened.
Scout, who will turn 9 years old in September and sports a smattering of gray around his muzzle, arrived at FireLake years ago with course superintendent Derron Day, who trained and raised him as a puppy while at Muskogee Golf Club. “I got him when he was seven weeks old,” Day said before turning to Scout. “Those were the good old days, weren’t they, boy? The golfers sure do love him. They spoil him, and it’s all good as long as
they don’t give him fried food. He’s got a cholesterol issue.” Chesser said Scout had problems with seizures, which his veterinarian traced to the overeager hands of golfers when Scout would jump alongside them in a golf cart. He even had to wear a shirt that said “no fried foods” as a reminder to limit his intake. Trusty dogs have become as important to course superintendents as a good irrigation system, which was the impetus for the FireLake renovation. Scout is the son of a pair of golf course dogs in Tulsa, and his duty is to keep the course free of wildlife that can damage the grass, which is largely a humane way to make sure Canada geese don’t get comfortable. Geese can eat the sensitive grass around greens and tee areas and create health hazards with their fecal deposits, Chesser said, but state and federal laws also protect them. “If he ever caught a goose, they’d kick his butt, but he runs them so much that they get so tired of running from him that they leave your property,” Chesser said. “You can’t kill geese; they’re endangered.”
neered grass; it was archaic irrigation and drainage systems. Chesser said irrigation systems need to be replaced every 25 years, but the course was still using the original system from its opening in 1983. “It would rain a couple of inches and we would have standing water everywhere,” Chesser said. “We used to have leaks all the time, but now it is flawless.” The redesign by Heckenkemper Golf and United Golf, both Tulsa companies, added fairway bunkers, hills and mounds on the course. “There are no more flat lies around here,” Chesser said. “You better know how to hit a downhill or uphill lie. If the ball is below your feet, it is going to go dead right.” He said the hardest hole on the course is No. 4, which became a par four during the renovation, but his personal favorite is No. 7. New mounds flank a lake, which is one of 11 on the course, on the right side of the No. 7 fairway. “I’ve hit a few balls in that water,” Chesser said, motioning to the No. 7 pond. “You hit a good drive and then
The renovation also redesigned the driving range, adding distance mounds, and opened a two-story clubhouse. The original clubhouse was lost during a 2011 fire, which started as an electrical mishap in San Remo’s Pizza at FireLake, 1905 S. Gordon Cooper Drive. Chesser was helping tarp greens when the fire started midday. Luckily, no one was in the building, and Potawatomi Nation brought in a prefabricated trailer within days to begin taking green fees. Money from an insurance settlement, along with operating fees, helped pay for the recent renovation. The new clubhouse features a pro shop, a dining area and slot machines, which Chesser said are the only ones in a golf clubhouse in Oklahoma. A new restaurant serves a variety of quick food, including sandwiches, fries and gyros, just as long as they don’t make their way into Scout’s mouth too often. “Scout is going to have to train a new puppy soon,” Day said. “He still does well, but sometimes you have put him on the geese. He likes to act like he doesn’t see them.” The course is open seven days a week. Green fees are $15-$38. The course hosts the FireLake Classic Golf Tournament over a weekend in late July and will host one leg of three in the Shawnee Shootout Golf Tournament, which runs Sept. 29-Oct. 1. “We’re seeing people that we’ve never seen before,” Chesser said. “We’re getting visitors from Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Henryetta, Edmond, Yukon and all over. For the Firelake Classic, we even had guys from Texas come up. All of the reviews have been four and five stars.”
In the past, geese weren’t the biggest threat to the course’s scientifically engiScout rides on a golf cart with Chris Chesser, golf course director, at Firelake Golf Course in Shawnee. | Photo by Garett Fisbeck
O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 9 , 2 0 1 7
ARTS & CULTURE
A SeASonAl Guide to CentrAl oklAhomA
Autumn, and Gazette gives its readers direction on where to find the best festivals, shows, foods and more! FeAturinG A 3 month CAlendAr inCludinG: labor day events Fall theater Season Fairs, Festivals Special events Concerts, music and Clubs
Art exhibits and Shows day trips museums kid events & Classes Sports Schedules
Along with expanded editorial content PubliShinG SePtember 20, 2017 Ad deAdline tueSdAy, SePtember 12, 2017
Attention publicity seekers!
• Submit calendar events at okgazette.com or email to email@example.com • Please be sure to indicate ‘Fall Guide’ in the subject line. We do not accept calendar items via phone. • Deadline to submit items for our Fall Guide calendar is Wednesday, August 30, 2017 by 5pm.
CAll or emAil to reServe Ad SPACe or For AdditionAl inFormAtion. firstname.lastname@example.org 405.528.6000
A u g u s t 9 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m
There is a lot to see and do throughout
Myriad Botanical Gardens brings Cat Video Festival back for a night of food and purrfectly funny clips. By Ian Jayne
Cat videos have been done a great disservice. The delightful clips of felines in all manner of attitudes, poses and behaviors are usually viewed on a smartphone or a computer screen and perhaps even alone. Fortunately, there is an alternative; one that conveys the true majesty of these domesticated animals. Cat Video Festival returns 7:30-11 p.m. Saturday to Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave. It’s held on the Great Lawn, and admission is free. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or picnic blankets. Alternative rock act Jenkins Valley performs 7:30-8:30 p.m., and videos run 9-11 p.m. Other paid events that night include Wine & Palette painting with a selection of multiple cat-themed options, face painting by Kaleidoscope Arts and “cattoos,” a feline-related riff on the traditional temporary body art. Visitors can also purchase dinner or a late-night snack from food trucks, including The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen, The Healthy Hippo, Cutie Pies Concession, The Brown’s Kitchen OKC, Parking Lot Party (PLP) Food Truck, Katiebug’s Shaved Ice and Hot Chocolate, Fresh Ice and Pitchfork in the Park and drinks from Holloway Restaurant Group. Walker Art Center in Minneapolis hosted the now-beloved Internet Cat Video Festival in 2012 but halted its events after 2015. However, support for the OKC fest has remained strong. “We just didn’t even know if it was going to be on the calendar this year,” said Leslie Spears, Myriad Botanical Gardens marketing and public relations director. “I would like to see us always have it on the calendar. I’m a big proponent of this event.” It’s not often that thousands of cat lovers descend upon a public park to celebrate their felines. “It’s an amazing crowd,” Spears said.
Cats get a big-screen showcase Saturday at Myriad Botanical Gardens’ annual Cat Video Festival. | Photo provided
“It’s people that have cats; it’s people that don’t have cats.” Another way mouser enthusiasts show support is by sporting cat-themed T-shirts and wearing kitten ears. Spears said the event also includes a “cat language” common to feline fans. Rife with puns like “Caturday,” “catitude” and “claw-some!” the festival highlights the unique playfulness of kitty culture. The 75-minute collection of curated cat videos is the product of submissions from pet owners and lovers. “It’s really well produced,” Spears said of the film, which she said ranges in tone from humorous to artistic. A popular element this year is Snapchat filters transposed onto cats. Featuring different “cat-egories” and animation, the collection takes the experience of cute cat videos to a new level in a context unique to the event. Spears said that cat owners should watch for next year’s deadline if they want a video to be considered for the 2018 event. Cat Video Fest features a photo contest via a Facebook campaign. Pet owners can submit photos until Thursday. Contest winners will be determined by the most Facebook votes as well as a sponsor’s pick and a Myriad Botanical Gardens’ pick. The festival also celebrates real-life OKC cats that still need forever homes. Oklahoma City Animal Welfare hosts a pet adoption. Visitors can stop by and bring some of the joy home with them. “Cat people unite for one night,” Spears said. Visit myriadgardens.com.
Cat Video Festival 7:30-11 p.m. Saturday Myriad Botanical Gardens | 301 W. Reno Ave. myriadgardens.com Free
CALENDAR Oak Tree Golf & Country Club, 700 W. Country Club, Edmond, 405-282-2800, thepollard.org. SAT
are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.
Bluegrass Concert Jam, The Greater Oklahoma Bluegrass Music Society presents a monthly concert jam available to musicians interested in music workshops, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12. Oklahoma Country Western Museum Hall of Fame, 3925 SE 29th St., Del City, 405-905-9660, gobms.org. SAT
OCCC Foundation Summer White Party, a chic annual fundraising event benefiting the Mentors for Success program featuring hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, a special documentary screening and a DJ, 7-10 p.m. Aug. 12. Oklahoma City Community College, 7777 S. May Ave., 405-682-1611, eccc.edu/ summerwhiteparty. SAT
Mune: Guardian of the Moon, (France, 2014, Alexandre Heboyan and Benoit Philippon) an unlikely hero Mune and his friend Glim set off to save the sun and restore order to the world before Necross, the nefarious ruler of the Underworld and corrupted ex-guardian decides to take advantage of Mune’s weakness and steal back the sun for himself, 12:55-2:30 p.m. Aug. 12. Quail Springs 24, 2501 W. Memorial Ave., 405-755-2466, amctheatres.com. SAT Dirty Dancing, (USA, 1987, Emile Ardolino) spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle, 7 p.m. Aug. 15. Harkins Theatre, 150 E. Reno Ave., 405-2314747, harkinstheatres.com. TUE Western Movie Matinee: The Dust Bowl, (USA, 2012, Ken Burns) a documentary about the 1930s drought of North American prairie farm land and its consequences during the Great Depression, 1-5 p.m. Aug. 16. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. WED
HAPPENINGS The Art of Speed: Oklahomans and Fast Cars, featuring 22 unique automobiles from the private collections of several Oklahomans. The exhibit is organized by eras and includes cars dating from 1900 to modern day, 10a.m.-5p.m. through Aug. 12. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org/historycenter. Oil Painting Workshop, enjoy an oil painting workshop for beginning to intermediate students to explore still life, portrait, landscape and the human figure, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 9-10. The Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., 405-307-9320, pasnorman.org. WED -THU An Evening with Eastwood, enjoy live music, a Mexican buffet prepared by the Petroleum Club of Oklahoma City and a screening of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Western masterpiece The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly while dining, 5-8:45 p.m. Aug. 10. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. THU OICA 2017 Heroes Ball, bring your super-kid to the ball, where they can enjoy a dinner and games while mingling with superheroes. The event includes a cocktail hour, dinner, guest speaker, awards presentation and silent and live auctions and will end the night with a live band, 6-10 p.m. Aug. 10. Skirvin Hilton Hotel, 1 Park Ave., 405-236-5437, oica.org. THU Explore Health Care Summit 2017, discover innovative solutions and insights for today’s medical professionals during a comprehensive regional conference that provides administrators with valuable insight regarding the current and future healthcare environment, Aug. 10-11. Embassy Suites Conference Center, 2501 Conference Ave., 405-815-4803, explorehealthcaresummit.com. THU - FRI
The Summer of Lynch film series See a number of exciting restoration projects, long-awaited theatrical rereleases and darkly comic experimental short films of David Lynch during retrospectives in new high-definition restorations or on 35mm. Don’t miss the full scope of the director’s artistic evolution with viewings of Fire Walk With Me, Blue Velvet, Inland Empire, new documentary David Lynch: The Art Life and many others Aug. 10-17 at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive. Tickets are $5-$9. Visit okcmoa.com or call 405-236-3100. THURSDAY-Aug. 17 Photo The Oklahoma Museum of Art/Provided
Managing Through a Budget Crisis, a training course built to assist in managing through various stages of economic crisis, including managing through a downturn. Gain skills and resources for setting and maintaining organizational priorities and where to cut back in the midst of uncertain economic times, 9 a.m.-noon Aug. 11. Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, 720 W. Wilshire Ave., 405463-6886, oklahomacenterfornonprofits.org. FRI Live! on the Plaza, join the Plaza District every second Friday of the month for an art walk featuring artists, live music, street pop-up shops, live performances and more, 7-11 p.m., Aug. 11. Plaza District, 1618 N. Gatewood Ave., 405-367-9403, plazadistrict.org. FRI The Tishay Awards, an award show honoring a variety of artists and giving honor to those who have passed away. Join the red carpet event and celebrate two honorees recognized for their hard work and dedication to the music scene; Jabee and JPoe, 4-10 p.m. Aug. 12. Eve Centre, 8601 S. Western Ave., 405-921-2111, thetishayshow.com. SAT Art & Soul Gala, an elegant seventh annual fundraising event featuring a cash bar, dinner, silent auction, special performances and a sneak peek of an upcoming season by Pollard favorites Cory King, Matthew Alvin Brown and Kara Chapman, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12.
Back to School Bash, celebrate the opening of the new Southside Health Center with a morning of games, activities and more with the library staff and the OKC County Health Department, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 12. Southern Oaks Library, 6900 S. Walker Ave., 405-631-4468, metrolibary.org. SAT
Guthrie Ghost Walks, hear tales of history, heartbreak, murderous intentions and mysterious happenings while walking among the classic Victorian/Edwardian architecture of downtown Guthrie, 7 p.m. Aug. 12. Downtown Guthrie, 212 W. Oklahoma Ave., Guthrie, 405-293-8404, guthrieghostwalk.com. SAT Save OKC Schools Initiative Petition Launch, join for a grassroots initiative petition to provide annual bonuses to teachers and support staff while hiring additional teachers in order to decrease class size through a temporary city income tax. Guest speakers include David Walters, Paula Lewis, Jesse Jackson and many others, 7-8:30 p.m. Aug. 15. Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., facebook.com/ saveokcschools. TUE Cards Against Humanity Tournament, good wine and dirty minds come together for the ultimate Cards Against Humanity tournament. Only two of the most horrible minds will win gift cards, 8 p.m. Aug. 16. The Pritchard Wine Bar, 1749 NW 16th St., 405-601-4067, pritchardokc.com. WED
FOOD Three Cheers for Lactic Acid Bacteria, learn about one of the components of the Korean Natural Farming method of cultivating indigenous microorganisms to maintain soil fertility with no external inputs. Instructor David Braden shows how he makes lactic acid bacteria and uses it for faster composting, odor prevention, soil fertility and foliar sprays, 11 a.m.-noon Aug. 12. CommonWealth Urban Farms, 3310 N. Olie Ave., 405-524-1864, commonwealthurbanfarms.com. SAT Wine & Cheese Tasting Event, join the Misfit Ladies of the Indian Shrine to sample popular wines and samples of specialty cheese from The Kingfisher Cheese Factory, take home a commemorative wine glass and partake in door prizes with proceeds benefiting the Shriners Childrens Hospital of Shreveport, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 12. India Shrine Center, 3601 NW 36th St., 405-942-3045, shrinersokc.org. SAT Wild Brew, Tulsa’s original craft beer tasting event featuring beer from all around the world, food from local restaurants in Tulsa, live performances, silent auction, games and more supporting the Sutton Avian Research Center, 5-8 p.m. Aug. 12. Cox Business Center Tulsa, 100 Civic Center, Tulsa, 918-894-4350, coxcentertulsa.com. SAT Beats & Bites festival, featuring 29 of the area’s food trucks, local vendors and live music provided by country music legends Confederate Railroad, 6-11 p.m. Aug. 12. Riverwind Casino, 1544 State Highway 9, 405-322-6000, riverwind.com. SAT Juicing + Repurposed Pulp Energy Bites, join Brittyn Howard for a cooking demo reviewing basic juicing methods, preparing fresh juice recipes and providing ideas on how to repurpose the leftover fibrous and nutrient-dense pulp that is often wasted, 3-4 p.m. Aug. 13. Natural Grocers, 7013 North May Ave., 405-840-0300, naturalgrocers. com. SUN Thirst for a Cause, raising funds to help with urgent medical expenses for members of Oklahoma’s hospitality industry through the nonprofit Oklahoma Hospitality Foundation. Enjoy over 50 wineries, 200 wines, cuisine from local restaurants and silent auction items, 6:30-9 p.m. Aug. 16. Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, 4040 N. Lincoln Blvd., 405-945-9463, thirstforacause.com. WED
The United States Navy Band Cruisers Eight of the United States Navy’s best band performers join forces to form The Cruisers, a special extension of the Navy Band. It plays a diverse repertoire, including jazz standards, rhythm & blues, classic rock, adult contemporary, pop and original material. The show begins 7:30 p.m. Monday at Oklahoma City Community College’s Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater, 7777 S. May Ave. Admission is free, but those who attend must have a ticket. Seating may be secured at tickets.occc.com. Groups larger than five should call the theater box office at 405-682-7579. Visit occc.edu/pas. Monday Photo provided
YES, a radically inclusive LGBTQ+ youth group for ages 13-21 featuring movies, music, dinner and monthly fandom nights with positive, knowledgeable staff and peers, 7 p.m. Aug. 10. Expressions Community Center, 2245 NW 39th St., 405-570-1638, bethechange.org. THU
Summer Camp Contemporary, keeping kids creative with learning camps featuring visual arts, music, hip-hop, fiber, clay, performance, robotics and more, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. through Aug. 11. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, okcontemporary.org. Ultimate Adventure Camps, try new adventures including zip-lining, the SandRidge Sky Trail, high-speed slides, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and whitewater rafting, through Aug. 11. Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln Blvd., 405-552-4040, boathousedistrict.org.
go to okgazette.com for full listings!
Adam Meringolo at Hidden Dragon Yoga Almost 10 years ago, Adam Meringolo’s life was in shambles. He was coming off a five-year relationship and found himself in a cycle of destructive habits. Finding peace through yoga, he said, has completely changed his life. The New Jersey-based yoga instructor leads four classes over the course of the weekend, including Application of the Opposite 6-8:30 p.m. Friday, Eternal Handstands 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Pelvic Wisdom 3-5:30 p.m. Saturday and Healthy Heart Opening 9-11:30 a.m. Sunday at Hidden Dragon Yoga, 26 NE 10th St. Drop-in classes are $15. Visit facebook.com/hiddendragonyoga or call 405-215-9642. Friday-Sunday Photo provided
Luggage with Love’s SOAR 2017, join Luggage with Love’s inaugural community event to raise awareness and engage the community in addressing Oklahoma’s foster care crisis. Children can touch and view several small planes and helicopters, jump in the bounce house and complete a scavenger hunt. Enjoy music by a DJ, raffles, food trucks and more, 9 a.m.-noon Aug. 12. Purcell Airport, Chandler Field, Purcell, 405-6139518, luggagewithlove.org. SAT Bricktown Back-2-School Bash, Newspapers in Education hosts an afternoon of bouncy houses, live music, food, face painting, outdoor games, character photo ops, a rubber duck dash and much more, 12-4:30 p.m. Aug. 12. Bricktown Canal, 115 E. California Ave., 405-475-3311, newsok.com. SAT
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Learn-to-Swim Program, giving residents of all ages and financial situations the opportunity to learn to swim with proper technique and basic water safety at their own pace offered by the King Marlin Swim Club, ongoing, Lighthouse Sports, Fitness and Health, 3333 W. Hefner Road, 405-845-5672, marlinswimamerica. com.
Backyard Bugs: An Oklahoma Insect Adventure, taking Oklahoma’s amazing insects to a larger-than-life level with giant animatronic insects, interactive exhibits and live insect displays giving visitors a unique perspective of a bug’s world and reveal the fascinating complexities of our six-legged neighbors, through August 31. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org.
Ugly Bugs!, Oklahoma Ugly Bug contest with an exhibition of larger-than-life photos of insects all captured by the contest’s 2016 winners, through Sept. 4. Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., 405-3254712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu. Bodies Revealed, exhibition showcasing real human bodies preserved through a revolutionary process allowing visitors to see themselves in a fascinating way like never before, through October. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. Read for Adventure, the OKC Zoo and Metropolitan Library Systems have partnered to publish the children’s book Our Day at the Zoo to create a community Read for Adventure program enabling readers to check out the new book from any of the 19 metro library locations, through March 31, 2018. Metropolitan Library System, 300 Park Ave., 405-231-8650, metrolibrary.org.
PERFORMING ARTS In the Heights, experience the close-knit neighborhood of Washington Heights, where the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music, through Aug. 12. Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave., 405-524-9312, lyrictheatreokc.com. The Chainsaw Artist, in an intimate production by Russ Tall Chief, an Osage chainsaw artist secretly carves animals in tree stumps around town at night. When a woman decides to track down the artist in the woods she discovers much more than just a ghost story, 8-10 p.m. through Aug. 19 The Jacobson Foundation, 609 Chautauqua Ave., 405-413-0008, jacobsonhouse.org. Tips For Scholarships: Talent Showcase, watch as talented performers act for tips with all proceeds supporting a local scholarship, 7-11:15 p.m. Aug. 11. Session Hookah Lounge, 2340 NW 23rd St., Oklahoma City, 405-604-8003, facebook.com/ sessionokc. FRI An Accordion Affair, the Oklahoma Accordion Club presents a free concert. Enjoy live entertainment with emcee Lucas Ross, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Aug. 13. Yukon Czech Hall, 205 N. Czech Hall Road, Yukon, 405-721-9657, okaccordion.club. SUN Sunday Twilight Concert Series, presented by Arts Council OKC featuring live entertainment by Tequila Azul, 7:30-9 p.m. Aug. 13. Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-270-4848, artscouncilokc. com. SUN
VISUAL ARTS Art After 5, enjoy a late-night art gallery experience and live music on the roof terrace with great views of downtown OKC and a relaxing atmosphere, 5-9 p.m. Aug. 10. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. THU
Indian Taco Sale & Indie Market Support the Oklahoma Choctaw Tribal Alliance in efforts to perpetuate culture and heritage while serving members and the community every second Saturday of the month. Enjoy fresh fry bread, grape dumplings, Indian tacos and other recipes passed down through generations. Take advantage of the many great deals on clothing, regalia, jewelry, crafts and handmade items from various vendors. Members of all nationalities and backgrounds are welcome to the event 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday at OK Choctaw Tribal Alliance, 5320 S. Youngs Blvd. Admission is free. Visit facebook. com/okchoctawtribalalliance or call 405-681-0869. SATURDAY Photo Melissa Freeman/OK Choctaw Tribal Alliance/provided
ACTIVE Rooftop Yoga, join the sunset rooftop yoga class for a totally ‘80s themed session. Bring your own mat and put on your sweatband and anything neon. Enjoy live entertainment and craft beer following the workout, 8:30-11:30 p.m. Aug. 12. The Root, 3012 N. Walker Ave., 405-655-5889, therootokc.com. SAT Outdoor Beer & Yoga, join 405 Yoga OKC where yoga and beer unite. Bring your own yoga mat for a no-pressure, all-levels, feel-good yoga, 10-10:55 a.m. Aug. 13. The Bleu Garten, 301 NW 10th St., 405-879-3808, bleugarten.com. SUN Lawn Care Workshop, get a lesson in horticulture by learning basic tips for starting or maintaining your grass, 1:30-3 p.m. Aug. 16. Oklahoma County OSU Extension Service, 2500 NE 63rd St., 405-7131125, oces.okstate.edu. WED Bricktown Beach, a large, sand-filled outdoor park area with umbrellas, lounge chairs, sand volleyball equipment and outdoor games, through Aug. 31. Bricktown Beach, Sheridan Ave. and 2 N. Mickey Mantle Ave., 405-235-3500, downtownokc.com.
Beyond Art, an artist talk and demonstration with artist Larry Hefner, abstract painter, experimenter of forms and Professor Emeritus of Graphic Design at the University of Central Oklahoma, 2-3:30 p.m. Aug. 12. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, jrbartgallery.com. SAT Body, curated to examine how the body has been used to address the themes of movement, fragmentation and mechanization, geometry and identity, through Dec. 30. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma. Cloth as Community: Hmong Textiles in America, experience works that illustrate the profound relevance of textiles as infrastructure in the Hmong culture, an art form that shifted as it adapted to fit new realities, featuring textiles, flower cloths and embroidered story clothes by those in the Hmong community, through Aug. 11. Edmond Historical Society & Museum, 431 S. Boulevard Ave., Edmond, 405-340-0078, edmondhistory.org.
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Variations on Themes, an exhibit of paintings by Jim Cobb with a selection of a variety and themes including multiple subjects and landscapes, through Aug. 27. The Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., 405-307-9320, pasnorman.org. Vintage Black Heroes: The Chisholm Kid, featuring panels from the original comic strip, the namesake hero of The Chisholm Kid was portrayed as a positive black character equal to contemporaries like Hopalong Cassidy, Dick Tracy, Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon a full decade before the Civil Rights Movement in America, 10 a.m-5 p.m. through Sept. 17. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-4782250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. We the People: A Portrait of Early Oklahoma, enjoy a selection of Henry Wantland’s photography from his family’s arrival to Stillwater in 1891. Images documented over a two-decade span can be viewed during a temporary exhibition, through January 2018. Will Rogers World Airport, 7100 Terminal Drive, 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org.
Guerrilla Art Park, featuring six Oklahoma artists, ranging from emerging to well established in the second edition of the public art display with mediums ranging from ceramics to glass installations and metal work, through Sept. 4. Oklahoma Contemporary’s Campbell Art Park, NW 11th St. and Broadway Drive, 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org. Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, presenting an overview of the artist Kehinde Wiley’s career including sixty oil paintings, stained glass and sculpture, through Sept. 10. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. Leon Polk Smith: Back to Oklahoma, offering an introduction to the Oklahoma native who pioneered the Hard Edge painting movement, which favored abstracted, clean-edged forms, flattened space, simple color schemes and economic compositions, through Sept. 3. Oklahoma State University Museum of Art, 720 S. Husband St., Stillwater, 405-744-6016, museum.okstate.edu. On the Surface, view the works of artists Larry Hefner, Behnaz Sohrabian and Laura Nugent whose art often appears to the casual eye to be different than it does under closer scrutiny, through Aug. 28. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405528-6336, jrbartgallery.com.
Rachel Hayes Test Patterns, Oklahoma Contemporary kicks off their showroom/showcase series with the work of Rachel Hayes, a nationally recognized artist whose fabric structures explore painting processes, quilt making, architectural space, light and shadow, through Sept. 4. Oklahoma Contemporary Showroom, 1146 N. Broadway Drive, 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org.
Photo Race Dance Company/provided
Unquenchable Search, an exhibit conveying how a group of Oklahoma City artists have been working for a lifetime, yet they are still searching, pushing and working through their unique ideas through visual references to past conversations, through Aug. 19. [Artspace] at Untitled, 1 NE Third St., 405815-6665, artspaceatuntitled.org.
Coded_Couture, exhibition looking at the intersection of fashion and technology offering a new definition of couture, using computer coding as the ultimate design tool for customizing clothing and accessories, through Aug. 10. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, okcontemporary.org.
Picher, Oklahoma: Catastrophe, Memory, and Trauma, exploring the otherworldly ghost town and reveals how memory can be dislocated and reframed through both chronic and acute instances of environmental trauma, through Sept. 10. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-3253272, ou.edu/fjjma.
He Said, She Said Race Dance Company and Men of Race come together for an evening of dance and entertainment. The two companies showcase multiple genres and choreographic styles of dance and video to display each choreographer’s creative expression, focusing on conflicting views and giving voice to perspective. Experience a journey into a deeper understanding of the human condition Aug. Friday-Saturday at Oklahoma Contemporary, 3000 General Pershing Blvd. Tickets are $20. Visit racedance.com or call 405-410-4978. FRIDAY-SATURDAY
Quartz Mountain. The exhibition features photographs, paintings, drawings and prints and will visit some of the state’s finest galleries, through Aug. 26. Paseo Art Space, 3022 Paseo St., 405-525-2688, thepaseo.com.
Sole Expression: The Art of the Shoe, featuring the creations of 25 local, national and international shoe designers and artists; guests examine how the shoe has been interpreted in art throughout history and the science and engineering behind specific shoe designs, through December. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. Spring show exhibit, enjoy the works of oil painter Phebe Kallstrom and handmade jewelry artist Whitney Ingram, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. through November. The Studio Gallery, 2642 W. Britton Road, 405-7522642, thestudiogallery.org. Tour de Quartz, artwork displayed from high school students created during the 2017 Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at
go to okgazette.com for full listings!
Oklahoma State Turkey Calling Contest Oklahoma is ready to crown its first turkey-calling champion since 2014. Michael Waddell of the television series Bone Collector hosts the sanctioned event by the local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. The contest begins 9 a.m. Saturday at Cabella’s, 1200 W. Memorial Ave. Registration is free-$50 and may be completed on-site, but spectating is free. Winners in the state, friction and open divisions will be eligible to compete in the 2018 Grand National Calling Contest in Nashville next February. Visit wildlifedepartment.com or call 405-5463500. Saturday Photo bigstock.com
Submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date. Late submissions will not be included in the listings. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible. Fax your listings to 528-4600 or e-mail them to email@example.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.
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Singer-songwriter Grant Maloy Smith breathes new life into history on Dust Bowl: American Stories. By Ben Luschen
Florida singer-songwriter Grant Maloy Smith felt he had discovered the perfect lyric. He just needed some way for it to make any sense. Spitballing around one day with words and phrases and no end goal in mind, he blurted out a song about having never seen the rain. Of course, almost everyone who was not born blind or in the southern valley of Egypt’s Nile River has, in fact, seen rain at some point. Still, the words had a poetic appeal to Smith. “I liked it so much that I had to figure out how to make it make sense,” Smith said in a recent phone interview with Oklahoma Gazette. The song idea eventually led Smith to write the album Dust Bowl: American Stories, released June 1. “Never Seen the Rain” is the eighth track on the 13-song album that spent a few weeks in the top 10 of Billboard’s Americana/Folk sales chart. The concept project tells several stories anchored in one of American history’s worst natural disasters, a time period that will forever be essential to understanding the later intricacies of Oklahoma and United States history. Smith brings songs from Dust Bowl to Oklahoma for the first time Saturday when he performs at The Centennial Rodeo Opry, 2221 Exchange Ave. Tulsa-born country sister duo The Herrold Sisters are also included on the show’s bill. The roots, folk and country recording artist still remembers the night he first connected his existing lyrics to the specific time in American history. “A little light bulb appeared over my cowboy hat, and I thought, “Well, I remember a little bit about the Dust Bowl from school, but not really a whole lot,’” he said. Smith sat down at his computer to research the 1930s atmospheric disaster that saw a cloud of dust and dirt hover over a region including Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle and other parts of the Great Plains. The thick, dust-filled air was hard to breathe and made farming impossible. A combination of extreme drought and illsuited agricultural practices by people in the region contributed to the conditions. Historic records say around 3.5 million people left the Dust Bowl area for other places within the country — many to California. The atmospheric disaster came as the Great Depression had taken hold of the U.S., and the influx of workseeking migrants to certain areas put significant economic strain on residential populations in popular destinations like Bakersfield, California, creating great tension between the two groups. Smith fell into a research rabbit hole
reading about it all online. He was struck by the tenacity of those affected and did not leave his chair for more than four hours. “Those people were tough — they really were,” he said. “We’re not tough like that anymore. I don’t care who you are. We have it so easy today, relatively speaking, compared to what they had to go through.”
Some parts of Dust Bowl’s liner notes resemble the back of a college term paper. Smith included a research bibliography of books and websites he used to make sure his music was rooted in factual history. Smith, in addition to performing as a folk singer-songwriter, also scores independent films, including 1998’s Melissa Leo-starring Code of Ethics and 2001’s Pray for Power. The songwriter said he approached Dust Bowl in a similar way to his past work in film. He wanted his storytelling to have cinematic grandeur. Though he thoroughly researched the time period, Smith intentionally avoided other creative works centered on the Dust Bowl like John Steinbeck’s 1939 literary masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath or its 1940 film adaptation. “I wanted to pull from the history and make my own work of art,” he said. One of the songs on Dust Bowl is titled “Isht a Lhampko,” a Choctaw phrase meaning “Have strength.”
Grant Maloy Smith | Photo Christian de Rezendes / provided
edge Native American presence in the area as well until a friend suggested he add a song telling their story. The songwriter sought assistance from Teresa Billy, assistant director of the Choctaw Language Department. “For me, that was a pivotal point in the writing of the record,” he said. “That really helped me.” Billy said she first got an email from Smith explaining his work in the summer of 2014. “It was very noble of him to honor and recognize the tribes,” Billy said. She helped Smith find a Choctaw phrase that best encapsulated the Native people’s tenacity he was trying to express in the song. Later, she emailed him an audio file of the song title’s proper pronunciation. Billy also went through Smith’s lyrics and made sure they were culturally sensitive and not patronizing. “It’s a beautiful, well-written song, and he sings it very well,” she said. “I love his pronunciation. That’s one of the things when you’re a fluent speaker; you like to hear it pronounced right.”
Dust Bowl: American Stories | Image provided
Smith wrote the song’s lyrics from the hypothetical perspective of a Choctaw tribal member of the time. “If you read most of the books about the Dust Bowl,” he said, “you won’t find a single word about [Native Americans] anywhere in probably 90 percent of the books written about it, and that’s a shame.” Smith almost neglected to acknowl-
Though he looks and sounds the part, the Dust Bowl singer-songwriter has no family or personal history in Oklahoma. “I feel like I do now,” Smith said, “because I’ve immersed myself in it since 2014, when I started this album.” His family history might be based in the Appalachian hills of Kentucky and West Virginia, but Smith can claim Okie artistic heritage through his admiration of Woody Guthrie, a figure who was a direct product of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression eras. Smith said his biggest takeaway from working on the project was an appreciation for how tough the people of the time were and how that kind of fortitude seems to have vanished from the people of today.
“When I see people walking down the street, staring at their little phone, and they walk into a signpost and get all angry, I’m like, ‘Man, you don’t know what it’s like to really struggle,’” he said. As an adult, Smith describes himself as someone who loves to learn about history — particularly the Civil War. But he has not always felt that way. Like many other young students, Smith was forced to read The Grapes of Wrath in school. He learned about the Dust Bowl in his history class, but that prior exposure had no lasting impact on him. Through the storytelling and relatable personal emotion found in Dust Bowl, Smith hopes listeners connect with people of the time in a way that is not possible through a textbook. “Music reaches people on a different level than plain words by themselves,” he said. “Words are powerful enough, but music — it’s not that it’s more powerful — but it reaches people on a different level. And when you combine the two — when you combine prose and poetry and melody and the acoustic dynamics of music — it’s powerful.” Smith wants to make Dust Bowl the first in a series of concept albums based on specific historic events and periods. He believes it is his life’s calling. “It’s so powerful when you connect the music to real history,” he said, “and I’ve enjoyed it so much.” Visit grant-maloy-smith.com.
Grant Maloy Smith
with Justin Prine, Mallory Jackson, Jade Taylor, Terry Wilson and The Herrold Sisters 7 p.m. Aug. 12 The Centennial Rodeo Opry | 221 Exchange Ave. ohfo.org | 405-297-9773 Free-$15
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MUSIC Slim paid studio musicians to work around him, the blues crooner engrained himself into the existing group of musicians and adapted to their sound. The resulting project is not another typical blues album, but what he calls an unprecedented combination of Americana, “Canadiana” and First Nations music. “The business people that work with me, I think they would have preferred that I’d done something else,” he said. “I’m Watermelon Slim; I’m expected to do a certain thing, and you’re going to hear a lot more of that thing [in Oklahoma], where I’ve always been doing that kind of thing.”
Watermelon Slim | Photo provided
Blues musician and real-life ‘most interesting man’ Watermelon Slim makes an extended return to Oklahoma. By Ben Luschen
Though Watermelon Slim is now a resident of Clarksdale, Mississippi — one of America’s greatest historic blues hubs and former home to pioneering bluesman John Lee Hooker — the musician, activist, Vietnam War veteran, self-avowed socialist and general man of intrigue called Oklahoma home for many years. The 68-year-old blues crooner and guitarist returns to the Sooner State this month for three shows in five days. Slim, whose birth name is Bill Homans, begins his Oklahoma homecoming Aug. 18 at Blackbird on Pearl in Tulsa, but his Oklahoma City appearance is 7 p.m. Aug. 20 at VZD’s Restaurant & Bar, 4200 N. Western Ave. He also plays Aug. 22 at Stillwater’s Willies Saloon. Homans was born in Boston but raised in the hills of western North Carolina. He earned the name Watermelon Slim after moving to Oklahoma’s McCurtain County and learning to farm the official state vegetable. Slim relocated to Oklahoma for many reasons — chiefly for its combination of warm climate and affordable living. “You could go live in Alaska or some darn [cold] place and it could be cheaper, I don’t know,” he said in a recent interview with Oklahoma Gazette. “But I do know that southeast Oklahoma is just like northwest Mississippi. It’s a place where someone who can’t afford to live somewhere else can not only afford to live, but maybe thrive.” Slim went on to attend Oklahoma State University (OSU), where he earned a master’s degree in history. He moved to Mississippi in 2010. His extended jaunt through Oklahoma will be the first time he has spent more than two consecutive days in the state since the move.
The Oklahoma “homecoming” reminds Slim of the last time he attended the official homecoming festivities at OSU in 2006 — a day he remembers vividly because he was hit by a car while walking across the street. The distracted driver did not see Slim until it was too late, sending him flying across the road. “That’s the moment I became a senior citizen,” he said. Slim broke his wrist in the accident but did not see a doctor until after he performed a gig he had scheduled for later that evening. He is a man who has lived an eventful life in many different places doing many different things, but Oklahoma will always hold a special place in his heart. “If I have any roots, that’s where it is,” he said. “I’ll be coming back and it’ll be, in some ways, like a homecoming.”
Slim will never claim to be the best blues musician, but he might certainly be the most interesting. The late bloomer is almost entirely self-taught. He learned guitar — which he plays in a distinct upside down, lefthanded sling style — while serving in Vietnam. He released his first album in 1973, but his first big musical break came in 2002 with his critically acclaimed release Big Shoes to Fill. His latest album, Golden Boy, was recorded in March 2016 with a local collective of musicians from Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada. The record was released internationally in April. “I’m not even a musician next to these people,” he said. “Talented doesn’t even describe it.” Unlike some past albums in which
A full, detailed account of Slim’s life adventures and exploits is the kind of thing that is best contained within a biography of multiple volumes, not a one-page news story. His past protesting the public and commercial use of the Agent Orange herbicide and other harmful chemicals and careers as a forklift operator, saw miller, newspaper reporter, restaurateur and 190-shooting bowler (and “small-time hustler”) are good places to begin one’s individual research. Slim said he believes his colorful past — more than his pure talent — is the main reason most people have any interest in his music. “I have lived a full life,” he said. “I don’t think anyone would have been interested in me if I hadn’t done all the things that I’ve done.” Slim said he might never be known as the nation’s best or most gifted blues performer, but it is not his goal to be the best either. What he cares most about now is the opportunity to express himself and his beliefs through music. “It’s so difficult to concentrate on music when I’m watching my country go to hell in a handbasket,” he said. His advice to young musicians who want to live a similarly full life is to always consider the meaning of what they are about to do before they do it. The most important thing to keep in mind, however, is that life is not about getting what one wants, but finding contentment in what one has. “Don’t be under any misconception that you’re not going to have your dick knocked in the dirt, because you are,” he said. “You are going to find out the blues is the frustration of knowing you haven’t got what you want and knowing you’re not going to get what you want. Chances are 98 percent you’re not ever going to achieve what you want to achieve, whether that’s in music or just getting by, raising your children.” Visit watermelonslim.com.
Mon, Aug 21
michael franTi & spearhead w/ saTsang Wed, Aug 23
faTher John misTy w/ Tennis Thu, Aug 24
ciTy and colour w/ marlon williams Mon, Aug 28
ben folds: paper airplane Tour w/ Tall heighTs Thu, SepT 07
The cadillac Three w/ hailey whiTTers TueS, SepT 12
Jonny lang w/ guThrie brown Mon, SepT 18
Jon bellion: The human condiTion Tour iii Fri, SepT 29
The lany Tour: parT 2 w/ dagny Sun, ocT 01
gary clark Jr. w/ Jackie Venson ThurS, ocT 05
porTugal. The man w/ lido Wed, ocT 11
spoon w/ mondo cozmo Tulsa ok
423 norTh main sT
TickeTs & info cainsballroom.com
LIVE MUSIC August
16 - Aaron Sawhed & Brent Nere 17 - Clint Hardesty 18 - JJ Wood 19 - Dan Martin 23 - Abbigale Dawn 24 - Fred Hill 25 - Caleb McGee & Wink Burcham 26 - David Lawson & Friends 30 - Colin Ryan 31 - Jason Palmer & Friends
with special guest Dirty Red 7 p.m. Aug. 20 VZD’s Restaurant & Bar | 4200 N. Western Ave. vzds.com | 405-602-3006 $15-$20
Mondays - Open Mic w/Caleb Mcgee Tuesdays w/Tanner Miller 405.928.4550 O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 9 , 2 0 1 7
from left Steve Ward and Chris Jaeger make up the small Backroom Printshop team that caters to local and national do-it-yourself hardcore bands. | Photo Garett Fisbeck
w i n 2 t i c k e ts to
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Backroom Printshop celebrates five years of assisting musical underdogs with its second showcase event. By Ben Luschen
Out in the garage, temperatures swell past 100 degrees as the hot press whirls for hours. In the house, boxes and shirts take up the floor and every available surface. Steve Ward, owner of Backroom Printshop, said eventually his shirtprinting company that specializes in printing reasonably priced merchandise for do-it-yourself (DIY) and smaller touring bands will be advanced to a point where he won’t have to work himself to exhaustion seven days a week. Until then, he is content to spend his days printing, folding and taking orders. Backroom has serviced 350-400 entities in its five-year history, almost all of them bands in the local and national hardcore rock, punk and metal communities. In-state, the company has printed for bands like Shame, Sledge, Upright, Piece of Mind and Iron Born. It also prints for labels Wrong Ones Records and Warpath Group and 89th Street – OKC venue. The printshop, in partnership with 89th Street, hosts its second Backroom Showcase Aug. 18-19 at the venue, 8911 N. Western Ave. All participating bands are in-state or touring groups that have printed with the company. Backroom held its first showcase as an emergency fundraiser in 2015. A few months after Ward left his job at Whole Foods to work full-time on his printing business, someone snuck into his garage and stole $800 worth of unprinted shirts in freshly delivered unopened boxes. Ward said the thief probably saw the boxes labeled “apparel” and
assumed they were something else. “People steal them assuming it might be Nike stuff or whatever,” he said. “But it’s actually just a box of random-colored Alstyle shirts that probably didn’t have anything to do with them.” The loss was significant, as Ward was already in a financial hole in his attempts to get his fledgling business off the ground. The company could have easily folded if bands from the local hardcore community had not stepped up to hold an impromptu concert, which became the first Backroom Showcase. “It’s very cool that we have a community backing us in what we do,” said Chris Jaeger, Ward’s part-time managing partner. That initial concert was such a success that a sequel seemed like the right thing to do. “We get asked all the time when we’re going to do another one,” Ward said, “so I was like, ‘Well, this is our fifth year. I’ll throw one together.’”
Ward grew up playing in hardcore bands and attending local shows. Though he would eventually fall out of the scene for a while, that time in his life left a lasting impression on him. Years later, Ward knew he wanted to start his own business. He kept an admiration from his younger years for people in the hardcore community who made a living operating venues or print shops for band merch. He slowly began to reintroduce himself to the scene as he tried to learn more about what it
would take to print his own shirts. “I wanted to be in the music scene, but more so, I wanted to be in the music industry,” he said. “I wanted to be able to make a profession off of music. There’s a ton of merch print shops out there, but there’s not a lot that can cater specifically for the underdogs.” Ward bought his first press for $250 off eBay (his current setup is more sophisticated) and taught himself the art of printing through books and YouTube videos. “From the point where I bought everything originally to being comfortable printing for people and having a product out,” he said, “it took about four or five months of just trial and error: wash tests, failed wash tests, going back and forth to supply shops.” Ward shifted his full-time attention to Backroom in 2015 and has watched the business grow steadily. “When you quit your regular job — your chief source of income — to do your own business from your house fulltime, it’s a big leap,” Jaeger said. “I think it’s a leap that not many people are willing to do, but it’s just one of those things you have to do.”
Managing a workload like Backroom has amassed in its five years is challenging for the primarily two-man operation based out of Ward’s northwest Oklahoma City home. “If I’m being honest,” he said, “we reached the capacity where we should have been out of here last year.” Ward said he hopes to move Backroom into its first office space in the near future. The ultimate goal is to get a warehouse space and an automatic press, but without having to take out loans, raise prices or disown the business’ following in the hardcore community. “If we wanted to up our prices like everyone else and charge fees like everyone else does, then yeah, we’d be in a warehouse today,” Jaeger said. “But it’s not really about that.” Backroom is certainly a business first, but it is a business Jaeger said cares about its friendships and knows it owes its existence to the relationships it has forged. “It’s not just printing for other bands,” he said. “It’s printing for people who we actually know and have relationships and friendships with. Whether they’re on the other side of the country or wherever, it’s still people we all identify with.” Visit backroomprintshop.com or facebook.com/backroomprintshop.
Backroom Showcase 2 6-11 p.m. Aug. 18-19 89th Street - OKC | 8911 N. Western Ave. 89thstreetokc.com $5-$10
live MUSIC Redneck Nosferatu, The Drunken Fry. PUNK
These are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.
Roots of Thought, 89th Street-OKC. INDIE
Scott Keeton, Remington Park. ROCK The-Smash, The Main Street Event Center, Norman. INDIE
WEDNESDAY, 8.9 5 Dollar Thrill/Sponge, Thunder Alley Grill and Sports Bar. ROCK A Day To Remember/Wage War, Chevy Bricktown Events Center. ROCK Bryon White/Dylan Stewart, Red Rooster Bar & Grill. SINGER/SONGWRITER
CKY, 89th Street-OKC. ROCK Hosty, The Bleu Garten. BLUES Ocean Disco, Red Brick Bar, Norman. ELECTRONIC Patrick Winsett and The Foolish Pride Band, Charlie’s Sports Bar & Grill, Choctaw. COUNTRY
THURSDAY, 8.10 Absence of Despair, Thunder Alley Grill and Sports Bar. ROCK Broncho/Twiggs/Net, The Jones Assembly. ROCK Christophe Murdock, Your Mom’s Place. COUNTRY Gideon/Varials/Sledge and more, 89th Street-OKC. ROCK Jimmy Davis, The Blue Door. SINGER/SONGWRITER Mobina Galore/Little Kicks, The Blue Note. PUNK The Lone Canary/Jeremy Joyce, Red Brick Bar, Norman. FOLK
John Fullbright at Summer Breeze One of the state’s best musical artists is performing a rare free show. John Fullbright, who broke onto the national folk and Americana scene with his 2012 debut From the Ground Up, is the latest in a long line of talented Summer Breeze series performers. The free concert is 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at Lions Park, 450 S. Flood Ave., in Norman. Visit pasnorman.org or call 405-307-9320. Aug. 20 Photo Kate Burn / provided
MONDAY, 8.14 Alex Napping/Dumbluck/The So Help Me’s, Opolis, Norman. VARIOUS Stolas, 89th Street-OKC. ROCK
The Reality, Red Brick Bar, Norman. REGGAE
737, Wicked Piston. ROCK
TJ Wicks, Hollywood Corners Station, Norman.
Blake O, Topgolf. DJ Chavez Soliz, Noir Bistro & Bar. ACOUSTIC
Darkness Divided, Earth Rebirth, Norman. ROCK
TUESDAY, 8.15 Negative Approach/EyeHateGod/Aggravated Nuisance, 89th Street-OKC. ROCK
Dirty Red and The SoulShakers, Cove Club. BLUES
The Lunar Laugh, Red Rooster Bar & Grill. INDIE
Elizabeth Speegle Band, Bedlam Bar-B-Q. JAZZ Equilibrium, VZD’s Restaurant & Bar. JAZZ Erick Taylor, Bricktown Brewery. ACOUSTIC
MF Ruckus/Sniper 66/Your Mom, The Blue Note. PUNK
WEDNESDAY, 8.16 Martha Stallings, The R&J Lounge and Supper Club. POP
Tanner Miller, Vices Bar & Venue, El Reno. SINGER/ SONGWRITER
Pryss/Booger/Druj and more, Warehouse B. VARIOUS Groove Merchants, UCO Jazz Lab, Edmond. JAZZ
SK Love/Psychotic Reaction, Opolis, Norman. ROCK St Basic/Johnny Manchild and the Poor Bastards, The Deli, Norman. ROCK
Jabee/Statik Selektah, Tower Theatre. HIP-HOP
James Slaw Trio, Bourbon St. Cafe. JAZZ
The March Divide/The Scars Heal in Time/City of the Weak, Red Brick Bar, Norman. ROCK
Jordan Law, Bricktown Brewery. ACOUSTIC
Wisin/Tito El Bambino, OKC Farmers Public Market.
Kent Fauss, Anthem Brewing Co. BLUEGRASS Kierston and Bryon White, The Blue Door. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Michael Summers, VZD’s Restaurant & Bar. JAZZ
Chloe-Beth, Bad Granny’s Bazaar.
Okey Dokey, The Root. INDIE
Dianetics/Red Delicious/Bleak Age and more, Warehouse B. VARIOUS
SUNDAY, 8.13 Bob Powers/Mark Galloway, UCO Jazz Lab, Edmond. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Live music submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date. Late submissions will not be included in the listings. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible. Fax your listings to 528-4600 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.
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VOL. XXXIX No. 32
New York Times Magazine Crossword Puzzle By Design
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113 Glass on public radio 114 Suffix with fact To mark the 75th anniversary of the New York Times crossword, which debuted in 1942, we are publishing a series of puzzles co-created by famous people who solve the Times crossword, working together with regular Times puzzle contributors. This collaboration is by the designer and TV host Isaac Mizrahi, together with David J. Kahn, a retired consulting actuary in New York City. This is David’s 172nd crossword for The Times. More information about the making of today’s puzzle appears in the Times’s daily crossword column (nytimes.com/ column/wordplay).
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P h o n e (4 0 5 ) 5 2 8 - 6 0 0 0 | E - m a i l a dv e r t i s i n g @ o kg a z e t t e . c o m
free will astrology Homework: When they say "Be yourself," which self do they mean? Testify at FreeWillAstrology. com.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) Liz, my girlfriend when
wise use of the surging fertility that has been coursing through you. Maybe you've been reinventing a longterm relationship that needed creative tinkering. Perhaps you have been hammering together an innovative business deal or generating new material for your artistic practice. It's possible you have discovered how to express feelings and ideas that have been half-mute or inaccessible for a long time. If for some weird reason you are not yet having experiences like these, get to work! There's still time to tap into the fecundity.
I was young, went to extreme lengths to cultivate her physical attractiveness. "Beauty must suffer," her mother had told her while growing up, and Liz heeded that advice. To make her long blonde hair as wavy as possible, for example, she wrapped strands of it around six empty metal cans before bed, applied a noxious spray, and then slept all night with a stinky, clanking mass of metal affixed to her head. While you may not do anything so literal, Cancerian, you do sometimes act as if suffering helps keep you strong and attractive -- as if feeling hurt is a viable way to energize your quest for what you want. But if you'd like to transform that approach, the coming weeks will be a good time. Step One: Have a long, compassionate talk with your inner saboteur.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Uruguayan writer
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) Each of us comes to know
ARIES (March 21-April 19) I hope you're making
Eduardo Galeano defines "idiot memory" as the kind of remembrances that keep us attached to our old selfimages, and trapped by them. "Lively memory," on the other hand, is a feisty approach to our old stories. It impels us to graduate from who we used to be. "We are the sum of our efforts to change who we are," writes Galeano. "Identity is no museum piece sitting stock-still in a display case." Here's another clue to your current assignment, Taurus, from psychotherapist Dick Olney: "The goal of a good therapist is to help someone wake up from the dream that they are their self-image."
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Sometimes, Gemini,
loving you is a sacred honor for me -- equivalent to getting a poem on my birthday from the Dalai Lama. On other occasions, loving you is more like trying to lap up a delicious milkshake that has spilled on the sidewalk, or slow-dancing with a giant robot teddy bear that accidentally knocks me down when it suffers a glitch. I don't take it personally when I encounter the more challenging sides of you, since you are always an interesting place to visit. But could you maybe show more mercy to the people in your life who are not just visitors? Remind your dear allies of the obvious secret -- that you're composed of several different selves, each of whom craves different thrills.
the truth in our own way, says astrologer Antero Alli. "For some it is wild and unfettered," he writes. "For others it is like a cozy domesticated cat, while others find truth through their senses alone." Whatever your usual style of knowing the truth might be, Leo, I suspect you'll benefit from trying out a different method in the next two weeks. Here are some possibilities: trusting your most positive feelings; tuning in to the clues and cues your body provides; performing ceremonies in which you request the help of ancestral spirits; slipping into an altered state by laughing nonstop for five minutes.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Would you scoff if I said that you'll soon be blessed with supernatural assistance? Would you smirk and roll your eyes if I advised you to find clues to your next big move by analyzing your irrational fantasies? Would you tell me to stop spouting nonsense if I hinted that a guardian angel is conspiring to blast a tunnel through the mountain you created out of a molehill? It's OK if you ignore my predictions, Virgo. They'll come true even if you're a staunch realist who doesn't believe in woo-woo, juju, or mojo.
Enlightenment for you. That doesn't necessarily mean you will achieve an ultimate state of divine grace. It's not a guarantee that you'll be freestyling in satori, samadhi, or nirvana. But one thing is certain: Life will conspire to bring you the excited joy that comes with deep insight into the nature of reality. If you decide to take advantage of the opportunity, please keep in mind these thoughts from designer Elissa Giles: "Enlightenment is not an asexual, dispassionate, headin-the-clouds, nails-in-the-palms disappearance from the game of life. It's a volcanic, kick-ass, erotic commitment to love in action, coupled with hardheaded practical grist."
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Some zoos sell the urine
of lions and tigers to gardeners who sprinkle it in their gardens. Apparently the stuff scares off wandering house cats that might be tempted to relieve themselves in vegetable patches. I nominate this scenario to be a provocative metaphor for you in the coming weeks. Might you tap into the power of your inner wild animal so as to protect your inner crops? Could you build up your warrior energy so as to prevent run-ins with pesky irritants? Can you call on helpful spirits to ensure that what's growing in your life will continue to thrive?
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) The fates have
conspired to make it right and proper for you to be influenced by Sagittarian author Mark Twain. There are five specific bits of his wisdom that will serve as benevolent tweaks to your attitude. I hope you will also aspire to express some of his expansive snappiness. Now here's Twain: 1. "You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." 2. "Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned." 3. "It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare." 4. "When in doubt, tell the truth." 5. "Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work."
NEED A PLACE TO REHEARSE? OKC MUSIC BOX | 405-232-2099 DOWNTOWNMUSICBOX.COM
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) "My grandfather
used to tell me that if you stir muddy water it will only get darker," wrote I. G. Edmonds in his book Trickster Tales. "But if you let the muddy water stand still, the mud will settle and the water will become clearer," he concluded. I hope this message reaches you in time, Capricorn. I hope you will then resist any temptation you might have to agitate, churn, spill wine into, wash your face in, drink, or splash around in the muddy water.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) In 1985, Maurizio
Cattelan quit his gig at a mortuary in Padua, Italy and resolved to make a living as an artist. He started creating furniture, and ultimately evolved into a sculptor who specialized in satirical work. In 1999 he produced a piece depicting the Pope being struck by a meteorite, which sold for $886,000 in 2001. If there were ever going to be a time when you could launch your personal version of his story, Aquarius, it would be in the next ten months. That doesn't necessarily mean you should go barreling ahead with such a radical act of faith, however. Following your bliss rarely leads to instant success. It may take years. (16 in Cattelan's case.) Are you willing to accept that?
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) Tally up your physical
aches, psychic bruises, and chronic worries. Take inventory of your troubling memories, half-repressed disappointments, and existential nausea. Do it, Pisces! Be strong. If you bravely examine and deeply feel the difficult feelings, then the cures for those feelings will magically begin streaming in your direction. You'll see what you need to do to escape at least some of your suffering. So name your griefs and losses, my dear. Remember your near-misses and total fiascos. As your reward, you'll be soothed and relieved and forgiven. A Great Healing will come.
Go to RealAstrology.com to check out Rob Brezsny’s expanded weekly audio horoscopes /daily text message horoscopes. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700.
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LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) This is the Season of
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