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Old Town of Britton

Three neighborhoods that could be the next hot OKC destinations by George Lang, Ben Luschen and Jacob Threadgill, P. 4

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INSIDE COVER P.4 As Oklahoma City’s core business and entertainment districts continue to prosper, Oklahoma Gazette looks at three emerging districts in the early stages of development. By George Lang, Ben Luschen and Jacob Threadgill Cover by Kimberly Lynch and Karson Brooks

NEWS 4 COVER emerging districts

8 MARIJUANA the future of marijuana

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David Tester and Christopher Hunt of 1577 Productions moved to the Iron Works District in search of more space and lower rent. | Photo Meg Cherie

Great destinations

Three emerging districts could be the next places to work and play in Oklahoma City. By George Lang, Ben Luschen and Jacob Threadgill

Oklahoma City’s network of thriving business districts exploded over the past two decades, building community and stoking the city’s economy in areas dominated by locally owned businesses. Neighborhoods such as The Paseo Arts District, 16th Street Plaza District, the Western Avenue District, Automobile Alley, Midtown, Bricktown, Wheeler District and Film Row have transformed from disused or neglected blocks into magnetic destinations for OKC residents. Chances are, this is only the beginning. Nascent districts are cropping up in areas that were previously overlooked, and while these districts are in the early stages of development, signs of revival are unmistakable.

Iron giants

Like any community just moving beyond wooden buildings in the early 20th century, Oklahoma City needed infrastructure and manufacturing, and one of the key hubs at the time was centered in a few square blocks between Main Street and Linwood Boulevard west of Western Avenue. This was the home of J.B. Klein Iron and Foundry Company, which later became Robberson Steel and Bridge Company, 1535 NW Fifth St. That business, which built many of Oklahoma’s early bridges, was surrounded by other manufacturers that 4

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required large spaces for machinery and warehousing. A century later, what recently became known as the Iron Works District contains several blocks of open spaces, many with high barrel ceilings, that make the area an ideal development spot for entertainment destinations, restaurants and retail. Manufacturing and industry still takes place in the Iron Works District with companies like Wood Window Rescue, 1720 NW Fifth St., but the area is now attracting a different sort of creativity. Chaos, a studio where visitors can take apart and reassemble old electronics and machines into pieces of art or simply engage in creative destruction, recently opened at 1322 NW Sixth St. And 1577 Productions, a film and video production company, recently relocated to a restored office space at 1701 NW Fifth St. David Tester founded 1577 Productions six years ago, and until recently, he and senior creative director Christopher Hunt were operating out of a small space on Film Row. However, the potential for more square footage at a reduced cost attracted the two filmmakers to the Iron Works District. He contacted Scott Smith, who operates Corsair Cattle Co. with his brother, R.D. Smith, and was a key investor in Midtown real estate in the 1980s and 1990s. Smith showed Tester the Iron Works property and the wheels started turning.

“So I told Chris about it and he came and checked it out the next day … and he loved it, too,” Tester said. Before 1577, Hunt operated a production company called Midwest Media in the 16th Street Plaza District, and the new space reminded him of what he had when the Plaza District was emerging as a center of cool culture. “It allowed us room to grow,” Hunt said. “I told Dave, ‘It feels like we’re moving from Manhattan to Brooklyn.’ That’s kind of what this feels like: Brooklyn in, like, 1998.” Derrick Ott, who is working with Smith to develop spaces in the district, said there are several restaurants, breweries and retail businesses looking at Iron Works as a potential location, with some large windowed spaces being ripe for conversion to mixed-use/residential lofts. He said the industrial nature of the buildings’ past use means that the electrical systems are strong enough to accommodate any kind of modern use, from music venues to large-scale restaurant operations. Such use was given a test on Nov. 4, 2017, when Factory Obscura mounted its Midnight Dinner, a fundraiser for its SHIFT installation, in an expansive space near 1577’s offices. Featuring aerial dancers and massive art displays, Ott said the invitation-only event offered a glimpse into the possibilities for the district. Ott is currently working on redevelopment of Willard Elementary School, a 27,500 square-foot school building at 1400 NW Third St. that has been vacant for years. “We’re looking at that for everything from moderate income to high-end condos,” Ott said. He said that in a city known for being overly accommodating for vehicles, Iron Works will be a haven for bicycle and The Ritz, formerly a grand movie house in Old Town of Britton, is currently on the market. | Photo Meg Cherie

on-foot travel. “Think of this as a pedestrian boulevard with broader sidewalks — more walkable,” Ott said. “This is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Oklahoma City, and we’re only about four blocks from The Jones Assembly and 21c.”

Potentially great Britton

Not many remnants of the Old Town of Britton remain, but as developers have saved two of the once-independent town’s landmarks from demolition, there is a burgeoning movement to inject development into one of Oklahoma City’s “last frontiers” for economic growth. Located between Western Avenue and what is now Broadway Extension, Britton was established in 1890 and had a population as large as 2,239 by the 1940s but began to economically flounder in the post-war era. It was annexed into Oklahoma City in 1950. Built in the 1930s, Owl Court is a vestige of Oklahoma City’s connection to Route 66, as the motel offered clean rooms to weary motorists. A group led by Marcus Ude, Thomas Rossiter, Brad Rice, Rusty LaForge, Marc Weinmeister and Tyler Holmes purchased the property at 742 W Britton Road in 2017. The group formed Owl Court LLC and is in the process of cleaning up the buildings. It recently applied for permits to renovate the old motel on the property’s south end, which the group hopes to convert into micro retail spaces for local businesses, Ude said. “The project is very special to me because it’s one that was brought to life by Thomas Rossiter, one of my best friends, who is now fighting for his life after being diagnosed with brain cancer,” Ude said. “He’s always had a heart to help the community around him and sees Owl Court as a catalyst that could promote further investment and interest in a community that has continued on page 7

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been neglected for several years.” Ude is founder and current president of Britton Business District, which became an officially recognized organization with the city in August 2017. The signs of growth are popping up slowly but surely. A Variety Care opens it doors Aug. 1 and will offer lowcost medical, dental and eye care for residents while employing 100 people across the street from Owl Court. At Britton Business District’s monthly meeting in July held inside Marianne’s Rentals, board members and local interested business owners discussed details of the first Britton District Day that will be held Nov. 3. Claude Hall is a resident of the Britton District and organizer of OKC and Las Vegas Gun Show. Hall also helped the Paseo in the early days of its Paseo Arts Festival, which he said now brings in $100,000 for the district annually. “The first year is all about getting the name out, but down the road, all food and drink needs to be coordinated through the association. You sell tickets, which people then take to the vendors. You keep 15 percent and the vendor collects the rest by presenting the ticket,” Hall explained during the meeting; he is an example of experienced and interested parties helping the new district get its legs. “We have some benefits by the fact 16th Street Plaza, Uptown [23rd] and Western Avenue districts already exist,” Ude said. “We get to reach out to those individuals that were forces and brought it to fruition.” In addition to Owl Court, developer Andrew Hwang saved The Ritz Theater, which was a popular film house in the 1940s, in 2016. His company oversaw the installation of a new roof and com-

COOP Ale Works recently purchased the 23rd Street Armory as its production headquarters as well as a restaurant, retail space and boutique hotel. | Image COOP Ale Works / provided

plete overhaul of the building inside, removing carpet and mold. Hwang said they’ve received several offers on the building, but no deal has been made. Potential buyers have been scared away by its lack of dedicated parking and the fact that no one wants to take a leap of faith. “The district needs more of a reason for people to want to go there,” Hwang said. “In my opinion, it needs a major restaurant or some big driver that gets people excited. If you look at the Plaza District, the first [new] restaurant there was The Mule. A lot of people didn’t know where the Plaza District was before The Mule.” Hwang preached patience and said he’s in no hurry to sell or lease The Ritz. He said recent development in Capitol Hill was more than 10 years in the making and noted that it took years for Plaza District to kick into high gear after Jeff and Aimee Struble bought their first property there in 2006. Ude said that Britton’s history piques a lot of interest amongst people who remember its time as an independent town. Phoenix Vendor Mall owner Danny Scott was 5 years old and a resident of The Village when Britton incorporated into Oklahoma City. “Britton was the closest thing to a small town that I knew,” Scott said. “I remember all of the little stores and the line outside the A&A Cafe. … I appreciate everything [Ude] has done for the Owl Court. It could turn into a jewel for all of us.”

Armory and beyond

COOP Ale Works knew it needed a new space. It just did not know where that new space would be. Sean Mossman, the locally based brewer’s director of sales and marketing, said COOP knew several years ago that it would soon outgrow its current headquarters in southwest Oklahoma City. They were looking to move somewhere generally within the city’s newly

revitalized core but did not have anything specific picked out. COOP viewed a few properties, but most of them did not fit all their needs. Then they heard the state was making the historic 23rd Street Armory — located on NE 23rd Street near Broadway Extension — available for purchase. “When the state put out the RFP (request for proposal) for the armory, it became an instant target for us,” Mossman said, “almost love at first sight.” In mid-July, the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services announced that COOP would be acquiring the building. In addition to serving as its production headquarters, COOP will also be installing a full-service restaurant, a 22-room boutique hotel, multiple event spaces and offices. The unique $20 million project is expected to be completed by fall 2020. The armory news is one of several projects defying an old notion that Broadway serves as a development barrier dividing the city’s west side from its eastern, traditionally AfricanAmerican community. “We think this location is iconic and can be iconic after we move in and restore the building,” Mossman said. “We want this to be a place for people in Oklahoma, when friends are coming in, to say, ‘Hey, you need to go check this out while you’re there.’” Oklahoma City Black Chamber of Commerce CEO Eran Harrill was out of town at the time of COOP’s announcement but told Oklahoma Gazette the news sounded “extremely exciting.” The Black Chamber of Commerce has been working in partnership with Pivot Project in revitalization efforts along the NE 23rd Street Corridor, focusing particularly on its intersection with Rhode Island Avenue. The two recently completed Phase I of their plan, which was the development and opening of the new C e nt e n n i a l Health clinic at 1720 NE 23rd St. Harrill said it is the first

Old Town of Britton, which was annexed by Oklahoma City in 1950, is in the early stages of revivalization. | Photo Meg Cherie

time in more than a decade that the northeast community has had its own health clinic. Centennial Health also functions as the corridor’s new cornerstone for surrounding development. “Up until that project, there wasn’t any true economic development progress that has been happening,” he said. Phase II of the corridor plan includes a retail area that will include several concept restaurants, a bar and some retail service businesses. Construction on the 20,000 square-foot area is expected to begin in September and should be complete by early next fall. Pivot Project managing partner Jonathan Dodson said work on NE 23rd Street has been his firm’s hardest project to fund. The traditionally underdeveloped area lacked a lot of existing support from outside investors and sponsors. “The reason why that area hasn’t been revitalized is not because people don’t care,” Dodson said, “but because there hasn’t been money that’s been willing to go into that area.” He thanked partners like Farmers Bank and Citizens Bank of Edmond for their contribution to the corridor development project. He hopes part of the good in the area’s initial steps toward revitalization is the development of relationships that will spark continued growth. Harrill said the next big step for NE 23rd Street will be its own major grocery store — something the community has badly needed. Development in the area is a delicate process that needs to fit the needs of the people it is serving. “The concern is there has to be a deliberate focus to revitalize the area, bring economic growth that is sustainable, but at the same time not disenfranchise the community that has lived there for generations,” Harrill said. Dodson believes their development efforts will connect those with an interest in bringing new projects with financial enablers. “I think our genuine hope is that this project is a kick-starter,” he said. “We believe there has been historic redlining on the east side of town overall just in the last 30 or 40 years.”

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Finding reform

SQ788 brings decriminalization of possession to Oklahoma along with medical relief. By Ben Luschen

Lost in June’s eyebrow-raising voter turnout numbers for the approval of medical marijuana and the controversial amendments to the law added by the Oklahoma State Medical Board days later is much talk of the provisions for decriminalization of marijuana possession outlined in State Question 788. Chris Moe — a vocal SQ788 advocate who works closely with the pro-cannabis Oklahomans for Health groups and posts videos encouraging political engagement and action on his Uncle Grumpy YouTube channel — makes it his mission to ensure it is not an aspect that goes forgotten. “I think it’s being extremely overlooked by everybody,” he said. “Everybody is concerned about the patients getting their cards — and I am, too. But no one was screaming, ‘Let’s look at this!’” Moe prides himself on being the voice of the outsider, those who are most likely to face possible arrest for possession crimes. He said decriminalization is vital because any arrest can have a devastating impact. Moe knows people who have never been able to recover financially after an arrest. “They lose their families; they lose everything,” he said. “Even if they’re never found guilty of anything; even if charges are dropped. People who are living on the edge, who live paycheck to paycheck, when you make them come up with $500 or $1,000 bond someday between paychecks when they didn’t expect it, you destroy lives.”

session.” Jones is an attorney for Ball Morse Lowe and vice chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party. He said decriminalization under SQ788 will not take effect until Aug. 4, which is 30 days after the Oklahoma State Election Board certified the election results. Jones does not expect a ban on the sale of smokable products to affect whether a medical condition would be deemed valid, even if the marijuana a person has on them is intended for smoking. He also does not believe a diagnosis is necessary because the law says a person only needs to state a condition. “If a person who is arrested for possession of marijuana — and it’s less than an ounce and a half — says, ‘I have anxiety,’ or any medical condition that they actually have, that would satisfy the statute,” he said. Jones believes there is some question about when in the process a person would need to state a medical condition. Is it only when they are first pulled over? Could they claim the condition in court or perhaps even later? These questions are things Jones believes will be answered by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals through litigation. “That’s not going to happen until there have been some arrests that fall under the decriminalization provision of 788,” he said.

788’s decriminalization

Oklahoma City Police Department (OCPD), in a statement to Oklahoma Gazette, said until medical marijuana permits are made available to the public, it will continue to observe the existing law on possession. “Possession of marijuana is still a crime unless a person has a valid permit,” the statement reads. “The department will enforce the law as written.” In the lead-up to the vote on SQ788, some opponents argued that the law’s decriminalization component would complicate the job of the enforcing officer by putting them in a position where they would have to determine whether a given medical condition is valid. The OCPD statement said officer determinations on those issues will be determined after the rules have been finalized. Training programs are currently being developed for OCPD officers in partnership with the Municipal Counselor’s Office and, according to the statement, will be provided to personnel in the near future. OCPD spokesman Capt. Bo Mathews said the bottom line is that possession is still a crime for those without proper

Oklahomans are still waiting to see how the implementation of medical marijuana pans out in the state, but the decriminalization described in SQ788 is not something affected by any recent regulations or amendments. “No one put a freeze on 788,” Moe said. “They put a freeze on regulations as they smooth things out.” Under the current law, the punishment for illegal possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to a year in jail. SQ788 states anyone caught by police possessing no more than 1.5 ounces of marijuana without a license can be punished only with a maximum misdemeanor fine of $400 as long as they state a medical condition — even if they have never even applied for a license. Under the new law, there is no jail sentence attached to possession within the legal limit. “It’s an enormous difference,” said criminal defense lawyer Brian Jones, “and it shows you a lot about how Oklahoma’s criminal justice system handles any kind of simple misdemeanor marijuana pos-

Law enforcement

Medical marijuana advocate Chris Moe, known for his Uncle Grumpy YouTube channel, has been vocal about the sentencing reform measures within SQ788. | Photo provided

licensing. “The people who are permitted to have medical marijuana will be able to do so,” Mathews said, “and we will make sure the people who aren’t supposed to have it don’t.”

Existing sentences

There is nothing in SQ788 providing automatic or retroactive sentencing relief for those currently incarcerated for misdemeanor marijuana possession. Jones said that would take legislative action, which is something he believes needs to be addressed. “Regardless of where you stand on 788,” Jones said, “there is a fundamental unfairness in continuing to incarcerate people for behavior that has been legalized in one form or another for other people.” The attorney said legislative action could come in the form of an expungement measure, as the state has a strong expungement statute. He also said any decriminalization efforts, including the release of those currently held on possession charges, would be aided by the passing of statewide recreational marijuana through SQ797, which is currently in petition phase. If the measure meets its signature requirement, it could come before voters as soon as November. Moe said another route to releasing those serving sentences for possession would be through governor’s pardon. It is unlikely that Gov. Mary Fallin would support widespread marijuana pardons, but Moe said he thinks there could be momentum toward electing a new, procannabis governor in November. “It’s all in that chair,” Moe said. “Our cannabis problems are solved with the right governor.”

‘Playing chess’

Some law-enforcement questions on SQ788 are still waiting to be answered. For example, Jones said there is some uncertainty about whether a person could

be jailed pre-trial that will likely need to be played out through the court of appeals. Another question is whether a person could be put on any kind of probation instead of a prison sentence. Jones said a large amount of the revenue that helps municipal courts, county courts and district attorneys operate comes from court costs and probation fees. “A lot of probationers in Oklahoma are on probation for simple misdemeanor possession,” Jones said. “So, if you can no longer give a person a jail sentence for this offense and you can no longer put someone on probation for this offense, then it really could have tremendous impact on how our municipal and district court systems are funded.” Moe, who describes himself as a generally conservative Republican, said the need for decriminalization should not be seen as a partisan issue. His criticism is aimed at people in positions of power who do not hold the law up to people on an equal level. “I’m not saying all law enforcement is bad,” Moe said. “We have great law enforcement, and we need them, for sure.” Moe has had seven surgeries in the last 14 years. He said at one point, doctors had him on 9,855 pills a year. He has drastically reduced his dependence on opioids and prescription pain medicine through the use of medical marijuana. Personal investment and a deepseated desire to save lives is what motivates Moe’s advocacy. He is willing to sit patiently through setbacks while keeping his eyes on the prize: full recreational and decriminalization. “Too many people are playing checkers, and I’m a chess player,” he said. “Checkers is a one-moment-intime game. Arguing over one thing or another — whether it be people being arrested or what the health department is doing — all of that is extremely necessary, but I’m looking at playing chess. I’m looking at the long game.”

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Saving smoke

Two proposed state questions could offer the protection supporters of medical marijuana are looking for. By Joshua Blanco

Regulatory actions following the June 26 approval of State Question 788, the Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, appear to be shrouded in a cloud of special interests and bureaucratic deliberation. To ensure the will of the people is preserved, creators of a new initiative have since been actively petitioning to land State Questions 796 and 797 on the November ballot. “796 is meant to protect the patients and patient rights,” said Isaac Caviness, president of Green the Vote, a prominent Tulsa-based marijuana activist group. “We modeled it after 788.” A few modifications have been introduced to the measure, effectively distinguishing it from SQ788. These changes include but are not limited to requiring a second doctor to sign off on non-qualifying conditions, capping license fees to prevent overcharging patients and the requirement for a field sobriety test if an individual is suspected of impaired driving. “We may need it,” said Norma Sapp, executive director of National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws in Oklahoma (NORML). While she doesn’t like the idea of requiring two doctors’ signatures for a condition that isn’t considered to be qualified, she feels it’s a necessary step, provided SQ788 doesn’t go as planned. Attorney Chad Moody, a drug lawyer practicing in Oklahoma City, feels SQ796 demonstrates a taste of “crony capitalism” by showing preference for liquor industry access to competitive growing licenses regarding a substance he believes is better off without amassing regulations. “Oklahoma tends to pride itself on being a private, free-market, laissez-faire

capitalism kind of a place,” Moody said. “Why can’t you just have your cannabis?” SQ797, on the other hand, would allow citizens to use cannabis for recreational purposes. Colorado marijuana laws provided the framework for its authorship. Despite SQ796 being the activists’ primary concern, SQ797 has garnered more support since its announcement. “We did not realize we would get such an outpouring of support for recreational when we filed it,” Caviness said. “Instead of polling numbers, we needed to see hard numbers on where Oklahoma stood.” Based on the figures he witnessed, Caviness believes “Oklahoma is absolutely ready for recreational.” In contrast to SQ788, both SQ796 and SQ797 were filed as constitutional amendments, a strategic move that keeps lawmakers from tampering with the legislation originally approved by voters. “With 788, they can literally rewrite it from beginning to end and there’s nothing that we can do about that,” Caviness said.

Inhibiting regulation

The new amendments are intended to prevent unwarranted regulations that might otherwise be imposed on the measure, something activists have become all too familiar with since the passage of SQ788. “Our lawmakers could wash it down to nothing,” Caviness said in regard to 788. “And the health department already showed that.” The Oklahoma State Board of Health has since devised a new set of regulations on 788, making it increasingly more difficult for patients to access their medicine. Of the protocols, prohibiting the use of smokable marijuana appears to be the result of an ulterior motive at the expense of the patient. “Well it won’t work for a cancer patient that’s throwing up, will it?” Sapp asked rhetorically. “They have to have immediate relief. [Police] have a right to search and figure out what’s going on if they just say they smell it. And so they don’t want that to change.” Like Sapp, Moody spent time fighting for sensible marijuana legislation in the state’s political arena. According to him, the regulations are a final attempt to gratify what he calls “the law enforcement industrial establishment.” “There’s so much damn money going Petitions for State Questions 796 and 797 are due to the Secretary of State on Aug. 1 | Photo Isaac Caviness / provided


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to law enforcement in the form of forfeitures and fines and fees. … It’s all a shakedown,” Moody said. The passage of SQ796 and SQ797 would put an end to the harsh regulations SQ788 is currently facing and will serve to protect citizens from unwanted provisions within the new law. “You would think that there’s something about cannabis that makes it so inherently dangerous that it’s gotta have all this hyper-regulation. No,” Moody said. “There’s something dangerous about prohibition, which is what we’ve been doing all this time.” Those in favor of SQ797 believe voting “no” would be a detriment to the economy. “To continue to waste money incarcerating people for cannabis and ignoring all of the budget shortfalls that we’re having in every other area of our budget is just irresponsible,” Caviness said. The anticipated tax revenue following the passage of SQ797 will instead be turned over to public interests and is expected to provide substantial fiscal gains. “Recreational will absolutely change the face of Oklahoma’s economy and make Oklahoma’s economy boom again,” Caviness said. SQ797 is earmarked to send 50 percent of retail sales tax to public education. Fifty percent of the excise tax between dispensaries and growers will be used to fund teacher compensation. The rest is left in the hands of the state Legislature to allocate the residual funds as they see fit.


Still, a significant portion of the state’s voter base remains in opposition to the idea of full cannabis legalization. “I have not heard any good reasons why,” Caviness said. “I’ve been begging for good reasons why for six months now.” Caviness often receives complaints from worried parents fearing the liberalization of cannabis laws will lead to an increase in use among the youth. According to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health, marijuana use

Chad Moody, an OKC drug lawyer, said proposed constitutional amendments would prevent further restrictions on medical marijuana usage. | Photo provided

in children has dropped in all legal states, Alaska being the only exception. Caviness also cites a worsening homeless problem as another common complaint. “For people to say that marijuana is going to cause a homeless spike is ridiculous,” he said. “We already have one of the worst homeless problems in the nation.” Caviness believes that, if anything, SQ797 could help the problem. “Colorado has the tax revenue now that they’re actually building homeless shelters and giving these people an avenue to have a place to stay rather than be on the streets,” Caviness said. Other arguments point to public safety concerns, citing health risks associated with smoke inhalation, despite some reports suggesting cannabis acts as an anti-carcinogen. A higher frequency of roadway collisions is another shared complaint. “The National Highway Traffic Administration has long been disingenuous at best on this stuff,” Moody said. He explained an accident will be classified as marijuana-related if one of the parties involved is found with the plant’s metabolites in his or her system, which might be present 30 days after using, even if that person wasn’t at fault or was “not one little bit high.” Advocates stand firm on the notion that all the good anticipated to follow the approval of SQ796 and SQ797 will outweigh any negative consequences. The exact nature of those consequences has yet to be determined. “It’s only because of 80 years of drug war propaganda that a lot of people are intuitively thinking that we gotta treat this stuff like nitroglycerin or something,” Moody said. “It’s just not dangerous.” Despite needing only 124,000 signatures, Green the Vote aims to collect 150,000 before submitting the petitions to the Secretary of State on Aug. 1. Visit O kg a z e t t e . c o m | j u ly 2 5 , 2 0 1 8



e d u c at i o n

Oklahoma Single Parent Scholarship Program recipient Camille Dennis (center) poses for a photo with son Jaylin and daughter Aliya following an OSPSP award ceremony. | Photo provided

Realized potential

Helpful resources exist for single Oklahoma parents attempting to continue their educations. By Ben Luschen

In fall 2015, single mother of four Camille Dennis was enrolled in the nursing program at Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC), ready to venture down a path of continued education that would ultimately land her and her family in a more secure financial position. But there was an element of uncertainty surrounding her schooling. Her family’s budget was airtight, and any sort of setback would likely derail her track to a degree. It was one of her instructors who introduced her that semester to the Oklahoma Single Parent Scholarship Program (OSPSP), which was a brand new scholarship opportunity at the time. “She had become aware of the scholarship and sent me an email she had received on the application,” Dennis said. Dennis was intrigued by the program’s promise of a $500 lifestyle scholarship that single-parent students could use in any way they saw fit. She applied and was approved for her first singleparent scholarship in fall 2016 and successfully applied again in spring 2017. Since then, OSPSP has found the funding to increase their semester scholarships to a $1,000 reward. Program president Ellen Ingram said the scholarship was founded in 2016 based on research by Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma (WFO) that found a lack of support programs for single mothers attempting to complete their education. “They enrolled, but financial struggles and the need for supportive services caused them to drop out,” Ingram said. “They found there really weren’t any scholarship programs at that time they could find that were specifically targeted to help low-income single parents to go back to college.” Something as hard and complex as nursing school certainly is not designed 12

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with the idea of simultaneously leading a full-time career. But for Dennis, there was no other way to make life for her family possible. “They tell you, ‘Don’t go to nursing school and try to work full-time or really even work at all,’ but I really just didn’t have a choice,” she said. “For me it was a little bit of a lifeline, like a breath of fresh air.”

University grants

Sometimes the best way to relieve stressors associated with single parenting is to find a job that makes more money. That often calls for increasing one’s level of education or overall skill set, but that can be easier said than done when one also has a family to consider. WFO executive director Teresa Rose Crook said there are many areas factoring into a single mother’s financial security. “The best way to help women create that self-sufficiency and stability is through completing their education, delaying childbirth and a positive firstjob experience,” she said. “Those have borne out through national research.” WFO used the research that inspired the single-parent scholarship to start its Single Mothers Academic Resource Team (SMART) grant program to help support single parents in the area of continuing education. The organization was founded in 2003 and is an endowed fund at Communities Foundation of Oklahoma. Since its founding, WFO has invested more than $725,000 in grants to promote the economic self-sufficiency of the state’s women and girls. Over $400,000 has been used to support educational opportunities for single mothers and parent students on college campuses. Crook said the purpose of the annual SMART grants, which in 2018 were

awarded in sums between $2,500 and $5,000 to 14 state colleges and universities, is to focus on mothers who are attempt to complete their education. “What we do is provide financial support to colleges and universities that have programs that are designed to help remove the obstacles so that these individuals can complete their education,” she said. The grants are used by the colleges and universities for a wide variety of programming, services and positions serving single mothers and — depending on school — single parents in general. Langston University used its 2018 grant to fund its Single Mothers Essential Pantry, which supplies single mother students with things like diapers, baby formula, and non-perishable food items at no charge. El Reno’s Redlands Community College uses its grant to provide services and academic support to Native American or low-income single mother students. OCCC funds its Single Pa rent Ac adem ic Resou rces Collaborative program (SPARC) through the grant. The program offers hand-on guidance and academic assistance to students trying to manage their family, career and education at the same time. Crooks said the great thing about the foundation’s SMART program is that their funds are used by schools in areas the institutions have noticed a need. “We’re really very open and trust that colleges and universities know their student base the best and know what their obstacles or challenges are,” she said.

Finding flexibility

Using U.S. Census data, OSPSP found that Oklahoma children from singleparent homes are about four times more likely to live in poverty than those living in a two-parent home. Workers with just a high school degree in the state have a median income of $27,000. For those with a bachelor’s degree, the median is $42,732. Ingram is aware of the many potential pitfalls single parents face in attempting to improve their level of education. This is why they keep the use of their scholarship money flexible. “You can use them for books or tuition if that’s the need, but we give them $1,000,” she said. “They’re adults, and they can figure out how to best spend that money.” For single-parent students, events that could be considered minor for twoparent households can become devastating setbacks. Ingram gives the example of a child falling sick and a single parent needing to work less in Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma director Teresa Rose Crook said completing a degree program can be key to a single mother’s financial security. | Photo Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma / provided

order to care for them. Because many single parents are not working salaried jobs, working less means making less money. Making less money can mean not being able to pay monthly bills — not to mention tuition. Parents then have to work more to make up for lost ground, and college hours are often cut in the struggle to make ends meet. “It becomes kind of a vicious cycle,” Ingram said.

Sweet relief

Dennis said two of the greatest OSPSP benefits were financial peace of mind and a renewed faith in humanity knowing someone out in the world believed in her and cared about her success. “[My family was] on such a tight budget that if I were to go to the grocery store and overspend $20 or $30, I knew I still had a little bit of a cushion,” she said. “I could pay my bills and relieve some of the stress associated with that.” Dennis graduated from her degree program in spring 2017. She now sits on OSPSP’s board as a non-voting graduate representative. Prior to earning the single-parent scholarship for the first time, Dennis said she was unaware of how many programs aim to assist people in her position. Earning her degree has been a life changer for herself and her children. Her oldest son Jaylin and daughter Aliya— 20 and 18, respectively — are both enrolled at University of Oklahoma. “It affects not only that person, but future generations,” she said. “It kind of sets a precedent for their children, encouraging them to go and get their college degree but also allowing their parents to provide a better life for their children.” Dennis encourages single-parent students to remain strong and plug into available resources. “It can be daunting,” she said. “There are times you want to give up because it can be such a challenge, but it’s worth it in the long run.” Visit and


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Striped heroes

Not all heroes wear capes, and one in particular in Tulsa is wearing a striped uniform and carrying a whistle. If you have attended a youth sporting event over the last 20 years, you’ve no doubt seen it: an irate parent berating a volunteer or underpaid referee because they blame the ref for their child’s poor play — as if the referee is the reason the 8-year-old hasn’t been offered a basketball scholarship yet. Tulsa youth soccer referee Brian Barlow is doing his part to fight back by creating the Facebook page Offside on which Barlow offers a $100 reward for videos of out-of-control parents at youth sporting events. According to The New York Times, which profiled Barlow’s efforts, harassment is a large reason more than 70 percent of new referees across all youth sports quit within their first three years. The referee turnover means there are more inexperienced officials on the field, which only exacerbates parental outrage. The New York Times story is full of anecdotes of how decorum has improved in eastern Oklahoma since Barlow started the site and he instituted a S.T.O.P. (Stop Tormenting Officials Permanently) campaign, and his message is spreading. In addition to the Times, Barlow has made national television appearances promoting his message, even yelling at a witting reporter to demonstrate the psychological effects of being on the receiving end of a tongue lashing from Suburban Stan or Sue. Yelling at a referee for being the reason your child doesn’t get a scholarship would be like blaming an SAT proctor for your kid’s low standardized test score. Wait; we don’t want to give anyone any ideas.

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Fan out

One year ago, Oklahoma City Thunder fans were floored by the news that general manager Sam Presti had won the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes and negotiated a trade to get the star — and his bloated contract — out of the Big Apple and into the Big Biscuits and Gravy (our official state fruit). But the Melo experiment in OKC never quite worked, and at the end of the year, the aging forward made it clear he was not happy with his diminished role on the new team. So Presti had to strike yet another deal, and much of the Thunder world was almost equally as happy as they were a year ago after hearing Anthony would be shipped to Atlanta as part of a three-team deal, adding point guard Dennis Schröder and young wing Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, henceforth known by his initials TLC. Sure, those aren’t exactly household names. But they are both serviceable players with high upside and represent a way better and less expensive alternative to waiving Anthony’s contract. It is not clear what kind of role these players will ultimately wind up with on the Thunder, but it seems possible they could also be excited about being on a new team.

In a tweet by Bleacher Report senior writer Ric Bucher, the NBA insider said the German national has an admiration for OKC’s human highlight machine. “Dennis Schröder’s favorite player/idol/role model: Russ Westbrook,” Bucher wrote. “This should be interesting.” Interesting indeed. Could Schröder, who has a headstrong reputation in his own right, become Westbrook’s new adopted little brother? Will they show up to games in matching, high-fashion onesies? We expect Schröder to be Westbrook’s mouthpiece when he’d rather give the media the cold shoulder. You know, “Russ says he doesn’t want to answer that” or “Russ says you can shut up now.” Strangely enough, TLC also appears to be teaming up with one of his player idols. NBA reporter David Pick said on Twitter that he hit the player up shortly after news of the deal went down. “I just texted Timothe LuwawuCabarrot on trade to OKC Thunder,” Pick wrote. “He’s thrilled: ‘(OMG Emojis) HUGE. I’m so excited. Paul George is my

favorite player.’” We’re not quite sure which emojis are the OMG emojis, but we’re happy that TLC appears happy. Hopefully it won’t be long before he and George are out on the multimillionaire’s private fishing hole somewhere. Maybe they can bond over a mutual love of the song “No Scrubs,” an American masterpiece. Both players might be consolation prizes in the grand scheme of the Anthony fallout, but they’re our consolation prizes! Here’s hoping they make quick friends with their Thunder heroes.

Errant Ezell

Like most Oklahomans, your attitude toward yet another installment of the medical marijuana saga is probably “puff, puff, pass,” but you might not have heard the latest drama. Lucky for Chicken-Fried News, Oklahoma is full of drama. That’s what keeps us covered in thick, spicy fry batter so we can stay tasty. Anyway, we just knew Oklahomans couldn’t get what they voted for without some sort of snafu, and this time it came in the form of Oklahoma State Department of Health’s general counsel Julie Ezell. It was the health department’s job

to finalize rules regarding how medical marijuana could be obtained, who could sell it, how it should be labeled, how it is allowed to be consumed, etc. And it was Ezell’s job to make sure the rules didn’t infringe on the rights granted to Oklahoma citizens under the passage of State Question 788. But everybody didn’t exactly do their jobs, so here we are. Tulsa World reported that Ezell resigned July 13 after confessing to OSBI that she sent fake threats to herself from an email account on ProtonMail and then submitted fake evidence of the threats about SQ788 to OSBI. Among comments about greed and corruption, Ezell’s threats to herself are a little comical once you know she’s the one behind them. Here are some choice excerpts: “We would hate to hurt a pretty lady.” “You appear distinguished in glasses. Wear them for the camera.” We get that Ezell might have been, as kids today say, “feeling herself” that day and got a little carried away, but it’s a bit much. If

CFN was drafting threats, they would be a little less cheesy and a little more stabby — because if you’re going to make up fake threats, you should probably make sure they’re effective. Tulsa World also reported that when OSBI was investigating the threats, 14 officers — nine OSBI agents, three Edmond Police Department officers and two OU Health Science Center officers — protected Ezell from invisible physical threats that weren’t coming. She faces one misdemeanor and two felony charges for her lies. But that’s not all! July 19, Nondoc reported that the same weekend Ezell was busy making up weak threats and sending them to herself, Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy director Chelsea Church pretty much offered her a job with a salary increase if she

would require medical marijuana dispensaries to employ pharmacists. One text obtained by Nondoc read, “You get me a pharmacist in dispensary and then come to our office. I guarantee I can do more than u have now :).” Nondoc reported “Church repeatedly begged Ezell to require the presence of a licensed pharmacist at medical marijuana dispensaries” and the final draft of the health department’s rules “did not include the pharmacist proposal, but the Board of Health amended the rules two days later to implement the mandate.” According to Nondoc, Ezell told the Board of Health that SQ788 did not “provide the authority to implement such rules.” Last week, Tulsa World reported that Attorney General Mike Hunter said “the Board promulgated several rules in excess of its statutory authority” and he wants the board to call a special meeting to fix it. Gov. Mary Fallin agrees that the board needs to fix the problems but has refused to call a special session, which Senate Democrats have requested. Whew! That appears to be all for this episode of As the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Burns (or Doesn’t), but it’s definitely not the finale.


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Hidden delight Tandoor delivers delicious Indian dishes while connected to a truck stop. By Jacob Threadgill

Tandoor 31901 E. Reno Ave. | 405-270-0379 What works: chicken qorma and allo gobi pack flavor with afforable prices. What needs work: Fresh food takes at least 30 minutes. Tip: Its attached Indian market is filled with hard-to-find spices.

Some of the best food of my life has been eaten in a gas station. I’m not referring to the tubes of mystery meat rolling on a conveyor belt of congealed sadness or even the delightful packages of powdered donuts. I’m referring to independent, family owned shops that set up in a section of a gas station often reserved for slightly scaled-down versions of fast food franchises. It’s no secret that the restaurant business is one of the most grueling to enter. Profit margins are so small that it becomes difficult to makes money with just one property. That’s why so many of Oklahoma City’s most successful restaurants are part of larger dining groups or have lengthy lists of partners. If an independent entrepreneur wants to open a restaurant, does it make

sense to pour money into renovation and rent for a potentially high traffic area like Midtown or the 16th Street Plaza District? That’s a risky proposition. If the choice is between opening a food truck and opening in a gas station, I would prefer to take a chance on the gas station. From weather concerns to costs incurred from trying to maintain a giant mobile kitchen, there are a lot of variables that eat into your bottom line with a food truck. Of course, you can move the kitchen directly to an audience and gaining that audience might be the most difficult part in opening up in a gas station. There will always be a portion of the population that is skeptical of a gas station restaurant, but it shouldn’t be the case. Since opening earlier this year, Lip Smackers is fast laying claim to offering one of the city’s best hamburgers. A little more established but perhaps slightly off the beat path is Tandoor, the Indian restaurant and grocery attached to the Checkers Truck Stop at 1901 E. Reno Ave. The set-up at Tandoor is a little bit different. On my first trip to the restaurant, I was concerned I was at the wrong place because when you pull in off Reno

Avenue, there a large sign for Subway on the premises, and the small sign for “Indian Grocery” is easy to miss from the roadway. I was surprised to see that the Subway takes up as little room inside the main section of the convenience store as possible. Tandoor occupies the large dining room to the left of the building that is flanked with a market stocked full of rice, lentils, spices, and frozen treats. There is no buffet service and the Tandoor staff works dutifully in the kitchen behind a large red curtain, but prepare to wait a few minutes for fresh food, because it is worth it. Customers place their order at the restaurant counter and bring a ticket over to the convenience store counter to pay. The restaurant, which is open seven days a week, has a much more robust variety of offerings than I was expecting. The menu is highlighted by appetizer offerings including three varieties of chaat (chickpea salad) and I would recommend the samosa chaat so that the familiar fried dough-filled treat gets a dash of fresh vegetables to cut through the deep-fried deliciousness. The rest of the menu is split evenly with vegetarian, non-vegetarian options like chicken and goat and five types of biryani — the mixed-rice dish.

Currying favor

My first experience with Tandoor was a mid-afternoon meal just after lunchtime. I was surprised to find a few other customers seated around 2 p.m., which was a great sign: business at non-peak hours. I ordered the chicken qorma ($8.99) after being told they were out of goat, and the allo gobi ($7.99) with two orders of regular naan. Chicken qorma might rank behind butter chicken and tikka masala as most famous Indian dishes in the United States, but for my money it’s just as good. The chicken is braised in a mixture of stock, cream, cardamom, ginger, garlic and chilies. The cream cools the dish

but doesn’t make it too heavy. The allo gobi is a mixture of cauliflower, potatoes, tomato peppers and onions, and was a surprise standout of my first meal. The dish packs nuttiness reminiscent of a roux while showcasing slight sweetness from the onion and tomato. I ordered each dish as mild, and the staff backed off the heat. I waited about 30 minutes for my order to arrive, but the restaurant is equipped with large couches, which made the wait comfortable. I called in my second order, and it was delivered about 35 minutes after my initial call was placed because the food is prepared to order. My second trip included chicken karahi ($9.99), which can’t be made quickly. The dish is prepared in a wok and takes a minimum of 30 minutes for all of the chilies to meld together. I ordered a medium heat and it delivered much more spice than my first trip.

Tandoor occupies the large dining room to the left of the building that is flanked with a market stocked full of rice, lentils, spices, and frozen treats. I also tried the bhindi masala ($7.99) because I’m a big fan of stewed okra. The sauce was similar to the karahi. I liked that the okra retained some texture while getting rendered sweetness from the onion. The naan is a star at Tandoor. Each trip yielded fresh flatbread that accompanied the meal well. Tandoor delivers some of the best Indian food in the area in a nontraditional setting. I would recommend calling ahead to cut down on wait time, but with easy access near Interstate 40, it should be in your rotation for takeout or leisurely dinners that include time perusing the attached market.

Chicken qorma and allo gobi with naan. | Photo Jacob Threadgill O kg a z e t t e . c o m | J u ly 2 5 , 2 0 1 8


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Community connections

The first Black Foodie Summit offers free food and the opportunity to mingle. By Jacob Threadgill

Connecting Oklahoma City’s expanding food scene has been on Apollo Woods’ mind since he moved back to Oklahoma in 2016 after two decades away. Woods is employed in the oil and gas industry but has a background in marketing and hosting events like the Get Connected mixers in Houston he emceed for years. Woods grew up in Duncan but has many family members in OKC. “I left Oklahoma in 1999, and Oklahoma City then to now is totally night and day,” Woods said, noting that when he would post food pictures to social media, friends would respond incredulously, “That’s in Oklahoma City?” Woods became a weekend adventurer, going out every Saturday to find a new restaurant. But he wasn’t always able to find exactly the kind of destination for which he was looking: small mom-and-pop restaurants, especially those that are black-owned. He started hosting monthly mixers in 2017 but was looking for a way to combine social events with his love for food. After prayer and meditation, the

Apollo Woods is the founder of OKC Black Eats and organizer of the first Black Foodie Summit. | Photo provided

solution woke him up at 4 a.m.: OKC Black Eats, which has become a marketing firm and online catalog of blackowned restaurants across Oklahoma City and the state. Woods said he has found 32 black-owned restaurants between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. “I just wanted to bring more awareness to the black culinary scene here,” he said. “Now, I can’t stop. The stories I’ve got are bigger than the food. … We’re building a directory so that it circulates the dollar in the community. Reports say that the black dollar only stays in the community for six hours.”


Foodie opportunity

After starting OKC Black Eats on Facebook last August, the page has over 1,400 followers, and the group is hosting its first event, The Black Foodie Summit, 4-8 p.m. Saturday at Ice Event Center & Grill, 1148 NE 36th St. The continued on page 20

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free event features food from 12 restaurants and vendors and includes a panel discussion hosted by Woods with Yelp community director Julie Scott, public relations business owner Krystal Yoseph and Ice Event Center owner Marc Flemon. The event will operate like one of Woods’ mixers but highlight local food instead of relying on one caterer. Participating food vendors include Chef Curry To Go, Tipsy Treats, Tati’s Delights, M’Eye Chef Catering, Vesa’s Soul Food, Leap Coffee Roasters, Toni Soul Chef, Desserts by Marshelle and Ice Event Center. “With the direction of Oklahoma City heading towards growth, this event comes at the right time,” Woods said. “The excitement I’ve heard from the chefs and operators — even those in culinary school right now — they feel like they have an opportunity to do something. Hopefully this grows to be a thing and shows the diversity of Oklahoma City. We want people coming back next year saying that they were inspired to open a brick-and-mortar or food truck.”




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Even though Woods has a demanding full-time job, he volunteers his experience in marketing with restaurants he profiles with OKC Black Eats. Woods helped Chef Curry To Go, 5701 N. Western Ave., establish a brunch the first Saturday of every month that donates a portion of its proceeds to a featured nonprofit. Woods also helped the restaurant with marketing on social media. “The first brunch we had was standing-room-only for hours,” said Lisa Curry, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband chef Kendall Curry. “He’s showed us different ways to market ourselves, from more polished posts to using sponsored posts. Everything he shows us, we’ve continued using and it’s worked.”

Chef Kendall Curry is owner of Chef Curry to Go and will participate in the Black Foodie Summit. | Photo provided

or ‘Why don’t you have anything fried?’ It’s all cooked to-order.” Curry said they will offer a tomato basil soup shooter, spinach and artichoke dip and pork loin spiced with cumin, coriander and cinnamon at The Black Foodie Summit. “I’m happy about the summit so that it can showcase everything that we have to offer,” Curry said. “We have a lot of variety, and not just soul food. Off the Hook [Seafood & More] is seafood; [Caribbean restaurant] Carican Flavors is so good. We serve modern American comfort food, but we have great soul food at places like Bistro 46 [Restaurant & Grille] and Ice Event Center.” First and foremost, Woods said that he hopes exposure through OKC Black Eats allows residents of Oklahoma City to support locally owned restaurants. “People are super friendly in Oklahoma City,” Woods said. “How do we translate that to going from one side of I-35 to the other? The bigger calling is building community. Whether it is black culinary community or the Asian District, food brings people together. When you sit down with a table with good food, whatever else you’re dealing with in life goes away. Sometimes people will just sit — maybe they’re having a bad day — with a cup of coffee. It never fails; I’ll see a manager come and sit with them. You don’t get that with a lot of chain restaurants.” Visit

Community cuisine 20

J U LY 2 5 , 2 0 1 8 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M

Curry said that The Black Foodie Summit is important because it showcases a variety of cuisine in the black community. Chef Curry To Go doesn’t have fryers or microwaves and makes every meal from scratch. She said that people get confused thinking that they offer food flavored with curry. “When people think about us being African-American-owned, they think all we do is soul food,” Curry said. “I either hear that we serve ‘curry food’

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International lifeline

Oklahoma’s only Brazilian market and cafe makes its home in Moore. by Jacob Threadgill

Growing up the daughter of Christian missionaries in Brazil, Cindy Combs would come to Oklahoma to visit her mother’s family in Oklahoma while her parents raised funds for humanitarian efforts in the Brazilian state of São Paulo. Oklahoma represented a new beginning for Combs and her three children in 2002 after her marriage ended. The family moved to Moore because Combs liked the school system and the fact it was a small town with opportunity in a large metropolitan area. Moore provided when Combs needed it. After a career working for the state’s foster care and adoption system, Combs and her daughter Julia De Aquino are giving back to the city that provided for them when they needed it and the state’s larger Brazilian community w ith the opening of Mo or e d e Brasil, a cafe and the state’s only Brazilian market, located at 231 S. Broadway St. in Moore. “We tried to do some-

Condensed milk-based sweets are among the desserts available at Moore de Brasil. | Photo by Jacob Threadgill

thing that would help Brazilians that live in Oklahoma to give them a piece of Brazil because there are certain ingredients, flours, cookies that you can’t find here no matter where you go,” Combs said. With every visit to Brazil, the family would stock their luggage full of treats to remember their South American home. When those ran low, they would venture to a market in Dallas. It was standing in line at the store last fall when Combs and her daughter, who had just finished business school at Randall University, got the idea to open their own market. De Aquino used the required business plan for her capstone course to devise a startup plan for the store. The duo eventually found an old office space and oversaw heavy renovation to install a small kitchen and retail space. Combs and De Aquino are partners in the business. “It’s really cool that we get to bring something so unique to our community Soda made from the guarana berry is highly sought-after by Brazilian expats who come into Moore de Brasil. | Photo by Jacob Threadgill


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because there is nothing else like it,” De Aquino said. “It’s cool that we get to do it together. We both have different ideas. It’s good to mix it all together.”

Cultural comforts

Mother and daughter complement each other while managing the cafe. De Aquino makes the pão de queijo, which is gluten-free cheese bread made from yucca root flour, and other savory options like the coxinha (fried potato dough filled with shredded chicken) and kibe (a Middle Eastern dish popular in Brazil made with ground beef mixed with bulgur wheat and fried). Combs makes the cafe’s sweet options like pão del mel, a traditional honey cookie; personal-size cakes; and sweets brigadeiro and beijinho, a pair of truffles

Someone came in and said they hadn’t seen that cookie in 12 years. Cindy Combs made with condensed milk mixed with cocoa and coconut. “Every party my kids had, I made beijinho, and everyone was like, ‘Oh my gosh! What is this?’” Combs said. The cafe has been a hit among American customers, Combs said, as a pair of local police officers came in for their daily açaí bowl filled with fresh fruit, granola and yogurt. Moore de Brasil’s market has been popular among Oklahoma’s diaspora Brazilian population. Favorite items in the market are a variety of Brazilian chocolates and cookies, but it also sells yucca root flour, soda made from the guarana berry (often found in American energy drinks) and requeijão, a soft cheese spread that is more savory and adaptable than cream cheese. “We’ve had people come from Lawton, Stillwater, Shawnee, from

Brazilian memorabilia sits next to a market of dry goods and candy at Moore de Brasil. | Photo by Jacob Threadgill

Tulsa. We’ve put things in the mail for people that have seen things on Facebook. We mailed something to Hawaii after their friends in Tulsa posted about us,” Combs said. “We sold out of [requeijão] in our first week, and we had a lot of it.” Combs and De Aquino work with a pair of international suppliers to bring in products for the market that also include Brazilian cuts of meat and sausages. Combs said one day she hopes to pursue becoming her own importer and exporter using her connections in Brazil. “Someone came in and said they hadn’t seen that cookie in 12 years and it brings it back to childhood,” Combs said. “A smell can bring you back to a time in your life. That’s what we’re trying to do so they won’t miss Brazil as much.” Moore de Brasil also sells Brazilian coffee served strong and offers free Wi-Fi for people who want to spend a leisurely amount of time working or studying. There is also a lounge area with couch located next to a play area for children. The family stays connected to Brazil. Combs’ mother Shirley also lives in Moore but regularly visits a children’s shelter they she and her late husband James helped build. Julia and her brothers Jonathan and David regularly visit their father in Brazil. Combs said she tried to intertwine Brazilian values of tight-knit families with American independence. “I didn’t even realize [growing up with Brazilian and U.S. cultures] was different until I was older,” De Aquino said. “It was hard because we moved all the time, but I like it now because I got to experience growing up with two different cultures and it broadened my experiences.” Visit



Starting July 20th


I-40 EXIT 178 | SHAWNEE, OK | 405-964-7263

O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J U LY 2 5 , 2 0 1 8




Indian tacos

You don’t have to wait for fall and the state fair to get an indulgent fry bread Indian taco. Whether you’re looking for a classic location that has been serving them for decades or something a little more modern, these seven restaurants have you covered.

by Jacob Threadgill | Photos by Jacob Threadgill and provided

The Miller Grill

Tim’s Drive Inn

FireLake Fry Bread Taco

A takeout box should be mandatory with pretty much any entrée at The Miller Grill. Its Indian taco is 12 inches in diameter and weighs about four pounds. On Tuesdays, the massive fry bread is only $5.99. If that’s not enough, there is the Indian Taco challenge that weighs 13.5 pounds. Challengers have an hour to clean the plate or it will cost $39.99.

An institution on MacArthur since 1956, it is the only place in the metro where you can get a true Indian taco from a drive-thru window that is as good as any other rendition. When it comes served in the Styrofoam container, the chili spills over the sides for a genuine forkand-knife endeavor. On Wednesdays, the taco runs as a $5.49 special, but it’s only $6.49 the rest of the week. Just remember to bring cash.

The customizable experience begins with fry bread that features a recipe from Citizen Potawatomi Nation members. Customers then choose a type of meat (including bison), bean (black, chili, pinto), a variety of fresh vegetables and a choice of hot sauce. The shop also sells fry bread topped with just meat or fruit and also dishes out a mean bowl of corn soup.

326 Elm Ave., Yukon 405-265-2775

5037 N. MacArthur Blvd., Warr Acres 405-789-5410

1568 Gordon Cooper Drive, Shawnee 405-273-0108

Hungry? Thirsty?



Only $20

Only $1.99

Only $4.99

*Offers valid at 6728 N. Olie location only, see store for details.





BEST NEW RESTAURANT BEST SANDWICH SHOP 427 NW 23rd St | (405) 604-8940 D Q E 24

J U LY 2 5 , 2 0 1 8 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M

Vote Us best thai restaurant

Picasso Cafe

3009 Paseo St. | 405-602-2002

The Indian taco is a very indulgent dish, but that doesn’t mean vegans can’t enjoy it. Picasso Cafe is a refuge for vegetarians in the Paseo with about half of its menu dedicated to vegan dishes, including its Indian taco, which uses vegan chili (that can also be found on its Frito pie) to top its vegan-friendly crispy and soft fry bread.

The Press

1610 N. Gatewood Ave. | 405-208-7739

The fry bread is made in-house, and The Press’ version of an Oklahoma favorite is available for vegan orders thanks to chef Beth Lyon, who designed the menu. The fresh fry bread is topped with black bean puree, chili, pickled jalapeño, cheddar cheese, red chili sauce and green onion. The Press has an excellent vegan chili that is the standard side for its vegan burger as well.

The Hungry Frog Restaurant

Don’s Alley Restaurant 4601 SE 29th St., Del City 405-677-9049

1101 N. Pennsylvania Ave. 405-524-0686

This venerable diner serves great breakfast, but if you manage to come in for lunch before its 2:30 p.m. closing time, the Indian taco is among its best lunch options. The fresh fry bread is warm and remains crispy under a pile of toppings. It defies the odds by not being too greasy, which is often a hallmark of an Indian taco. At only $6.49, it is a lunch option that can easily feed two people.

This restaurant has served Del City and Tinker Air Force Base since 1955. It started as a nine-seat counter service and expanded to its current restaurant in the late 1970s. Its Indian taco is piled high with ground beef, cheese, lettuce and sour cream. Even though it is listed in the side order section of the menu, it is hard to imagine anyone eating the behemoth in addition to an entrée.

134,070 HUNGRY


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MON: Closed TUE: $2 Domestic Pints Open Mic 8 pm WED: Poker Night! $5 Pitchers/Free Pool Get Delivery using OrderUp or Postmates!

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We make Italian because we are Italian 64 Craft Beers • 38 Premium Wines • Signature Cocktails

Our lasagna, meatballs, ravioli and Italian sausage are prepared in house, house made mozzarella. Sauces are made from scratch. • We dry age and hand cut our beef. • We feature an amazing selection of seafood. • Also get your deli meats and cheeses here to take home! • Weekly Lunch Feature.

Lunch Tues - Sat from 11:30 to Close Dinner Tues - Sat from 4:00 to Close Phone 405.478.4955

1226 NE 63rd St., OKC, OK 73111 O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J U LY 2 5 , 2 0 1 8




Artistic Celebration

An art show at Integris Cancer Center offers those suffering from cancer an outlet. By Jeremy Martin

Surviving cancer can be a difficult experience to convey to other people. Joe Holcomb, director of Oncology Wellness at Integris Cancer Institute, said that the institute’s art show Celebration of Life helps many cancer survivors communicate their feelings. “It’s very therapeutic,” Holcomb said. “It gives them a way to express their emotions, and it may be that of gratitude that they’re in survivorship. Many times it allows them to express, maybe, any type of fear that they have of a reoccurrence. But it also is a strong community that they have with each other. So it’s a way for them to connect on a yearly basis with a shared love of art.” Celebration of Life, opening Thursday and running through Sept. 7 at Integris Cancer Institute, 5911 W. Memorial Road, exhibits artworks created by anyone affected by cancer — those diagnosed with the disease as well as their caregivers, friends, family and physicians and nurses, people Holcomb called “those that care for those that have cancer.” This year, the exhibition displays more than 325 works, including watercolor and oil paintings, photographs, woven fiber art, framed poems, pencil sketches and sculptures, one of which is a 7-foot-tall abstract metal figure by Kenny McCage titled “Fight.” “I do not remember ever having a metal sculpture of that size,” Holcomb said. “That would be kind of like a new piece that we’ve never had before.”

Telling stories

Pat Lynn Moses, who formerly worked at Integris as an art therapist, created Celebration of Life 24 years ago. Holcomb, who has been with the institute for nine years, said that some artists have par-

ticipated in 20 or more of the annual shows. While some artworks depict abstract figures or smiling farm animals, others deal more directly with the disease. “Maybe they’ve drawn themselves, and maybe they had lung cancer, so they would show the lung,” Holcomb said. “Or maybe they had an amputation because of that, so they would depict themselves without a limb or without an arm or they would depict themselves without any hair. So some of it, it’s very obvious that there’s something special about that piece of art, but much of the art will really not depict that. But each artist can submit information about how cancer has affected them, and we post that narrative below their piece of art and then that will go into detail about how their lives have been touched by cancer.” The stories of those affected by cancer, whether patients themselves, caregivers or medical professionals, can put the artwork accompanying them in a different context.

Survivor artwork

The exhibition is open to the public and draws many visitors inside and out of the art world, but Holcomb said some of the people who appear to be most impacted by the artwork are often being treated for cancer at the institute. “We have patients that are not part of the art show that will spend, sometimes, an hour just walking around and looking at every piece of art and reading every story,” Holcomb said. Reading the accounts of people who have survived cancer and lived for years in recovery can be very encouraging to patients undergoing treatment, and lifeaffirming for people who may or may not have ever been affected by the disease.

Professional artists as well as many amateur and first-time artists, some of whom are children, have artworks on display at the show each year. Artists of all experience levels are invited to submit, and works can be created individually or in collaboration with others. Holcomb estimated that 40-50 of the pieces offered for sale find buyers. Celebration of Life asks that artists donate 10 percent of their sales to continuing the art show. Several artworks have been included in Lilly Oncolology’s On Canvas art collections. Whether a veteran art show participant who has been in remission for several years or a current patient at the institute, Holcomb said everyone with cancer has something important in common. “Our definition of survivorship is anyone is a survivor the first day of their diagnosis,” Holcomb said. “Once they are diagnosed, they are considered a survivor.” First-time visitors might be surprised at the level of professionalism on display in the artworks and the variety of media used to create it, Holcomb said, and returning visitors might still be surprised at the large number of entries accepted this year. Everyone, he expects, will be moved by the experiences of the artists. “It can be very emotional for people that have seen it each year and for those that have never seen it before because of the stories that go along, the narrative,” Holcomb said. “I think that’s what really makes this unique.”

“Woman Lounging” by Beth Wilhelm | Image provided

“Fight” by Kenny McCage | Image provided

Celebration of Life’s opening reception is 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday at Integris Cancer Institute. To RSVP, call 405-951-2277. Artworks will be on display through Sept. 7 at the institute’s Troy and Dollie Smith Wellness Center. Visit

Celebration of Life 5:30 p.m. Thursday-Sept. 7 Integris Cancer Institute | 5911 W. Memorial Road| 773-6400 Free



j u ly 2 5 , 2 0 1 8 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

Runoffs ARe now open! Oklahoma City’s first and longest-running readers’ poll, Best of OKC, is back for its 34th year! You nominated your favorites last month and we tallied them up, so now we need you to tell us who is the best of oKC! Vote online at, or on our best of oKC app until July 30.

vote online oR by App! save the dates for best of oKC voting and the results! Runoff voting July 18-30

Results issue August 22

offeR up thAnKs issue August 29

CAtegoRies food & dRinK

Best tea or coffeehouse

Best Breakfast

Best BarBecue

Best gyro

Best oklahoma winery

Best Brunch

Best pizza place

Best seafood

Best local craft Beer

Best patio Brunch

Best soul food

Best dessert

Best Beer selection

Best meal for a deal

Best chicken-fried steak

Best wine dinner

Best steakhouse

Best food truck or food cart (cannot have a Brick-and-mortar) The Fried Taco Phill Me Up Cheesesteaks Rockin Rotollo Fresco Italian Cuisine The Saucee Sicilian Taqueria Sanchez

All About Cha Coffee Slingers Roasters Elemental Coffee Roasters The Red Cup Urban Teahouse

Canadian River Vineyards & Winery Clauren Ridge Vineyard and Winery Put a Cork In It Winery Strebel Creek Vineyards Waters Edge Winery

Anthem Brewing Company COOP Ale Works Prairie Artisan Ales Roughtail Brewing Co. Stonecloud Brewing Co.

James E. McNellie’s Public House The Jones Assembly The Pump Bar Oak & Ore TapWerks Ale House

Best cocktail

Hatch Jimmy’s Egg Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies Neighborhood JA.M. Sunnyside Diner

Cafe Kacao Hatch Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies The Jones Assembly The Pump Bar

Hatch The Jones Assembly Pearl’s Oyster Bar Picasso Cafe The Pump Bar

(restaurant, not the deal) Big Truck Tacos Empire Slice House Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies The Jones Assembly S&B’s Burger Joint

(and the restaurant/Bar that serves it) The Black Betty, The Pump Bar JFK, Bunker Club Lunchbox, Edna’s Pain Killer, Bunker Club Frosé, The Jones Assembly

Best late-night eats

Best margarita

Best Burger

Best happy hour

Best sandwich shop

Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes Cultivar Mexican Kitchen Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant The Jones Assembly ¡Revolución!

Cafe 501 Henry Hudson’s Pub Ponyboy The Pump Bar Sonic Drive-In

Beverly’s Pancake House Empire Slice House Guyutes The Pump Bar Waffle Champion

The Garage Burgers & Beer Nic’s Grill Patty Wagon Burgers S&B’s Burger Joint Tucker’s Onion Burgers

City Bites The Mule Neptune Sub Sandwiches Scottie’s Deli Someplace Else A Deli & Bakery

Back Door Barbecue Bedlam BAR-B-Q Earl’s Rib Palace Iron Star Urban Barbecue Swadley’s Bar-B-Q

Eagle One Pizza Empire Slice House The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen Hideaway Pizza Pizzeria Gusto

Cajun King Florence’s Restaurant Mama E’s Soul Food Off the Hook Seafood & More Taste of Soul

Ann’s Chicken Fry House Cheever’s Cafe Del Rancho Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies The Press

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse Mahogany Prime Steakhouse McClintock Saloon & Chop House Ranch Steakhouse Red PrimeSteak

Best sushi

GoGo Sushi Express and Grill Grand House Asian Bistro Sushi Neko Tokyo Japanese Restaurant Yokozuna

Best vegan, vegetarian, glutenfree or healthy menu options Coolgreens The Jones Assembly The Loaded Bowl Picasso Cafe The Red Cup

Basil Mediterranean Cafe Cous Cous Cafe Greek House Sweis’ Greek Cafe Zorba’s Mediterranean Cuisine

Brent’s Cajun Seafood & Oyster Bar The Drake Seafood and Oysterette Off the Hook Seafood & More Pearl’s Oyster Bar The Shack Seafood & Oyster Bar

Cheever’s Cafe Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies The Jones Assembly La Baguette Bakery Pie Junkie

Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria Mahogany Prime Steakhouse The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro The Pritchard Vast

Best mexican restaurant Abel’s Mexican Restaurant Alfredo’s Mexican Cafe Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant Ted’s Café Escondido

Best latin restaurant (not mexican) 1492 New World Latin Cuisine Cafe Antigua Café do Brasil Cafe Kacao La Brasa International Cuisine

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | j u ly 2 5 , 2 0 1 8


Best italian restaurant Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria Patrono Italian Restaurant Stella Modern Italian Cuisine Vito’s Ristorante

Best western european restaurant

(not italian,danish, english, french, german, irish, scottish, spanish, etc.) Fassler Hall Ingrid’s Kitchen La Baguette Bistro Old Germany Restaurant Royal Bavaria

Best mediterranean restaurant Basil Mediterranean Cafe Cous Cous Cafe Mediterranean Imports & Deli Nunu’s Mediterranean Cafe Zorba’s Mediterranean Cuisine

Best indian restaurant Fusion Kitchen Gopuram Taste of India Himalayas Aroma of India Sheesh Mahal Taj Cuisine of India

Best Japanese restaurant Gorō Ramen Musashi’s Shōgun Steak House of Japan Sushi Neko Tokyo Japanese Restaurant

Best chinese restaurant Chow’s Chinese Restaurant Fung’s Kitchen Golden Phoenix Grand House Asian Bistro Szechuan Bistro

Best thai restaurant Charm Thai Cuisine Panang Thai Restaurant Sala Thai Tana Thai Bistro Thai House Restaurant

Best vietnamese restaurant Golden Phoenix Lido Restaurant Pho Cuong Pho Lien Hoa VII Asian Bistro

Best pho restaurant Pho 54 Pho Cuong Pho Lan Asian Bistro Pho Lien Hoa VII Asian Bistro

Best new restaurant (to open since 6/1/17) HunnyBunny Biscuit Co. The Jones Assembly Neighborhood JA.M. The Press Scottie’s Deli

Best fine dining restaurant Mahogany Prime Steakhouse McClintock Saloon & Chop House Ranch Steakhouse Red PrimeSteak Vast

Best place to dine Before an event The Bleu Garten Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies The Jones Assembly Museum Cafe The Pump Bar

Best neighBorhood Bar Bunker Club Edna’s HiLo club The Jones Assembly The Pump Bar

Best rooftop Bar

Bossa Nova Caipirinha Lounge Guyutes Museum Cafe O Bar at Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City Packard’s New American Kitchen

Best upscale Bar

Bar Arbolada The Jones Assembly O Bar at Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar Vast

Best nonsmoking Bar

Bar Arbolada Bunker Club The Jones Assembly The Liszt Nightclub + Lounge Ponyboy

Best new Bar

(to open since 6/1/17) Bar Arbolada The Jones Assembly Kat’s Tavern The Liszt Nightclub + Lounge Ponyboy

Best patio dining

Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes The Bleu Garten The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen The Jones Assembly The Pump Bar

Best diner

Beverly’s Pancake House Classen Grill The Diner Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies Sunnyside Diner

Best Bakery

Best uptown 23rd district restaurant

Cheever’s Cafe The Drake Seafood and Oysterette Guyutes Pizzeria Gusto The Pump Bar

Best plaza district restaurant Empire Slice House Gorō Ramen The Mule The Press The Pritchard

Best paseo arts district restaurant Buttermilk Paseo Grill Picasso Cafe Sauced on Paseo Scratch Kitchen & Cocktails

Best automoBile alley district restaurant Broadway 10 Bar & Chophouse Cultivar Mexican Kitchen Hatch Hideaway Pizza Red PrimeSteak

Best Bricktown district restaurant

Bourbon St. Cafe Bricktown Brewery Charleston’s Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill

Best midtown district restaurant

Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes GoGo Sushi Express and Grill The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen James E. McNellie’s Public House Stella Modern Italian Cuisine

Best western avenue district restaurant Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria Musashi’s Sushi Neko VZD’s Restaurant & Bar The Wedge Pizzeria

Best downtown restaurant

Best restaurant

Cheever’s Cafe Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies The Jones Assembly The Pump Bar Ranch Steakhouse

Best caterer

Abbey Road Catering Alfredo’s Mexican Cafe Ned’s Catering Rococo Ted’s Café Escondido

Best chef

Andrew Eskridge, The Jones Assembly Bruce Rinehart, Rococo James Vu, La Brasa Jeff Chanchaleune, Gorō Ramen Kurt Fleischfresser, Vast

Best server

(and their restaurant) Billy Noble, Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes Erin Roy, The Pump Bar Gwynevere Langer, The Jones Assembly Katura Nelson, Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies Kelsey Thurman, Ranch Steakhouse

Best Bartender

(and their Bar) Amber Taylor, The Pump Bar Jason Nguyen, The Jones Assembly Jolie Foster, HiLo Club Rainier Crespo, Bunker Club Rebecca Ginn, The Pump Bar

Best chicken wings restaurant Buffalo Wild Wings Hooters Twin Peaks Wingstop WingStreet, Pizza Hut

Best mexican restaurant Abuelo’s Chuy’s El Chico On the Border Uncle Julio’s Fine Mexican Food

Best steakhouse

LongHorn Steakhouse Mickey Mantel’s Steakhouse Outback Steakhouse Saltgrass Steak House Texas Roadhouse

(includes arts, film row and farmers market districts) Flint Joey’s Pizzeria The Jones Assembly The Loaded Bowl Vast

Brown’s Bakery ButterSweet Cupcakes Ganache Patisserie Holey Rollers La Baguette Bakery

ARts, CultuRe & enteRtAinment Best local living author Bob Burke Carolyn Hart Lauren Zuniga Lou Berney S.E. Hinton

Best local Band / artist (and their genre) Violent Affair, punk My So Called Band, pop / covers SuperFreak, dance music Weekend All Stars, covers Hosty, eclectic

Best radio personality or team Jack and Ron, KQOB-FM Joey and Heather, KYIS 98.9 Rick and Brad, KATT-FM The Morning Animals, WWLS-FM TJ, Janet and J Rod, KJ103


j u ly 2 5 , 2 0 1 8 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

Best performing arts group

Best charity event

Best visual artist

Best free entertainment

(ex: theater company, dance company, orchestral group) Adèle Wolf Productions Dust Bowl Dolls Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma Oklahoma City Ballet Oklahoma City Philharmonic

Boots & Ball Gowns, Infant Crisis Services Gumdrops and Lollipops Ball, The Anna’s House Foundation Hero Awards, Central Oklahoma Humane Society Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Red Tie Night

D.G. Smalling Denise Duong Jason Pawley Jay Roberts, Mind Bender Tattoo and Fine Art Gallery Kris Kanaly

Festival of the Arts Heard on Hurd Paseo Arts Festival Sonic Summer Movies, Myriad Botanical Gardens Sunday Twilight Concert Series, Arts Council Oklahoma City

Best local annual event or festival

Best Bar for live music

deadCenter Film Festival Festival of the Arts H&8th Night Market Norman Music Festival Paseo Arts Festival

The Blue Note The Deli JJ’s Alley Bricktown Pub Lost Highway VZD’s Restaurant & Bar

Best dance cluB

Cowboys OKC Dollhouse Lounge & Burlesque Greystone Lounge Groovy’s The Liszt Nightclub + Lounge

Best concert venue Chesapeake Energy Arena The Criterion The Jones Assembly The Zoo Ampitheatre Tower Theatre

Best open mic / comedy night 51st Street Speakeasy Elecktra’s Open Mic at The Root The Loony Bin Sauced on Paseo VZD’s Restaurant & Bar

Best puBlic art/mural

(give intersection and district) 21c fence by Denise Duong, W. Main Street and N. Classen Blvd. New Zealand OKC Thunder player Steven Adams by Graham Hoete,Film Row Plaza Walls, 16th Street Plaza District Welcome to Uptown, The Pump Bar, Uptown 23rd District Western Avenue

Best place to Buy local art DNA Galleries Festival of the Arts JRB Art at the Elms Mind Bender Tattoo The Paseo Arts District

Best art gallery

Best casino for gaming

Best pre- or post- event spot

Best museum

Best casino for live entertainment

Best Bowling alley

DNA Galleries Howell Gallery JRB Art at the Elms Little D Gallery Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Oklahoma City Museum of Art Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum Sam Noble Museum Science Museum Oklahoma

Best local district 16th Street Plaza District Automobile Alley Midtown The Paseo Arts District Uptown 23rd District

Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Newcastle Casino Remington Park Racing & Casino Riverwind Casino WinStar World Casino and Resort

Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Newcastle Casino Remington Park Racing & Casino Riverwind Casino WinStar World Casino and Resort

The Bleu Garten Bunker Club Edna’s The Jones Assembly The Pump Bar

Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge Heritage Lanes HeyDay Meridan Lanes Sooner Bowling Center

Best lgBtQ+ Bar or cluB The Boom! The Copa HiLo Club Partners Tramps

goods & seRviCes Best place to Buy wine

Best roofing company

Best Bank

Best Bicycle shop

Best place to Buy Beer

Best shooting range

Best credit union

Best place to Buy a vehicle

Best place to Buy liQuor

Best dry cleaner

Best meat market/Butcher shop

Best motorcycle dealer

Best pest control company

Best garden center

Best fine Jewelry

Best veterinarian clinic

Best law firm

Best cigar shop

Best thrift store

Best pet-friendly patio

Best plumBing company

Best vapor shop

Beau’s Wine Bin & Spirit Shoppe Broadway Wine Merchants Byron’s Liquor Warehouse Freeman’s Liquor Mart Moore Liquor

Byron’s Liquor Warehouse Freeman’s Liquor Mart Grand Cru Wine & Spirits Moore Liquor Sean’s Wine and Spirits

Byron’s Liquor Warehouse Freeman’s Liquor Mart Modern Liquors Moore Liquor Sam’s Wholesale Priced Liquor

A+ Pest Control Acenitec Pest & Lawn Services King Pest Control, Inc. Kurt’s Pest Control Mosquito Joe

Dunlap Codding Fellers Snider McAfee & Taft Phillips Murrah Rubenstein and Pitts

Anderson Plumbing Brandon’s Plumbing Cherokee Plumbing Plumb Crazy Plumbing Stone Creek Plumbing Service

Best local homeBuilder company Bill Roberts Custom Homes Homes by Taber Ideal Homes Kent Hoffman Construction Richardson Homes

Best electrical company Dane Electric Integrated Electric Metroplex Electric Ritchie Electric, Inc. Ross Electirc

Best landscape / lawn service company

Echelawn Complete Lawn & Landscape Manuel Garcia Garden Service Nelson Landscaping Squared Away Lawns, LLC Swift Lawns

Bohon Roofing Elliott Roofing Land Roofing Enterprises Salazar Roofing Statewide Roofing

Big Boys Guns, Ammo & Range H&H Shooting Sports Henry’s Silverleaf Shotgun Sports Wilshire Gun

American Cleaners Legacy Cleaners & Laundry Nichols Hills Cleaners Scott Cleaners Swiss Cleaners & Laundry

Calvert’s Plant Interiors Marcum’s Nursery Precure Nursery & Garden Center TLC Garden Centers Tony’s Tree Plantation

The Cigar Box Omerta Cigar Co. Party Moore Tobacco Exchange ZT Cigars

Liquid Vapor Lounge OKC Vapes Prodigy Vapor Co. The Vape Bar Vapor World

Best car wash/detail center Classen Clean & Green Car Wash Fast Lanes Super Center Okie Express Auto Wash Red Carpet Car Wash & Detail Center SWASH

Best outdoor furniture Amini’s Hemispheres Mathis Brothers Furniture Seasonal Living Statuary World Patio & Fireside

Best new home furniture Ashley HomeStore Bob Mills Furniture Hemispheres Mathis Brothers Furniture Suburban Contemporary Furniture

BancFirst Bank of Oklahoma First Fidelity Bank Great Plains Bank MidFirst Bank

Allegiance Credit Union Communication Federal Credit Union Oklahoma’s Credit Union Tinker Federal Credit Union Weokie Federal Credit Union

Bill Kamp’s Meat Market Cossey’s Custom Cuts Meat The Meat House Rhett’s Meat Market Wheeler’s Meat Market

BC Clark Jewelers Huntington Fine Jewelers Lewis Jewelers Mitchener Farrand Fine Jewelers Naifeh Fine Jewelry

Bad Granny’s Bazaar Community Thrift Store Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command Uptown Thrift

Best clothing consignment Bad Granny’s Bazaar The Bottom Drawer Consigning Sisters Daisy Exchange Nearly New

Best resale or consignment furniture

Bad Granny’s Bazaar Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma K&N Interior Consignment Mockingbird Manor Antiques & More Old Plantation Antiques

Al’s Bicycles Celestial Cycles Melonbike Schlegel Bicycles Wheeler Dealer Bicycle Shop

Bob Howard Auto Group Bob Moore Auto Group Fowler Auto Group Hudiburg Auto Group Joe Cooper

Ajax Kawasaki-KTM Colvin Motorcycle Company EuroTek Premium European Motorcycles Maxey’s Motorsports Sooner Cycles & Power Sports

Britton Road Veterinary Clinic Midtown Vets Neel Veterinary Hospital Nichols Hills Veterinary Clinic Wedgewood Pet Clinic

The Bleu Garten Fassler Hall The Jones Assembly Louie’s Grill & Bar Lakeside The Pump Bar

Best pet store

A1 Pet Emporium Barking Dog Bakery Boutique Britton Feed & Seed Four Paws Grooming & Boarding Pet Supply Animal Clinic & Grooming Salon

Best pet groomer

Diamond Dog Pet Salon & Spa Four Paws Grooming & Boarding Groomer A Go-Go Pet Market & Salon Pet Supply Animal Clinic & Grooming Salon Soi’s Pet Salon

Best women’s BoutiQue Balliets The Black Scintilla Blue Seven Lush Fashion Lounge Mode

Best men’s clothing Blue Seven Gil’s Clothing & Denim Bar Mr. Ooley’s Sam’s Best Buy Steven Giles

vote online oR by App!

Vote online at, or on our best of oKC app until July 30.

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | j u ly 2 5 , 2 0 1 8


life & wellness Best place to volunteer

Best orthodontic office

Best charitaBle company

Best eye clinic

Central Oklahoma Humane Society Habitat for Humanity Infant Crisis Services Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma Sunbeam Family Services

Central Oklahoma Humane Society Homes by Taber Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Sunbeam Family Services

Best nonprofit

The Anna’s House Foundation Central Oklahoma Humane Society Infant Crisis Services Mutt Misfits Animal Rescue Society Positive Tomorrows

Best doctor

(general practitioner) Jeffrey Hirsch, MD, SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital Kori Marie Lewis, MD, Mercy Robert Stepp, MD, Deaconess Hospital TiTi (Fitzsimmons) Nguyen, MD, SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital William Laban Bondurant, MD, Mercy

Best plastic surgeon

Anureet Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Plastic Surgery Ivan Wayne, MD, W Facial Aesthetics James Lowe, MD, Lowe Plastic Surgery Juan A. Brou, MD, Premier Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics Tim R. Love, MD FACS

Best dental office Crown Heights Dental Dental 32 Dental Depot J. Ashley Hancock, DDS OKC Smiles

Best medical spa

Dental Depot Heim Orthodontics Kierl Orthodontics Orthodontic Arts Orthodontic Associates

(Botox, filler etc.) Advanced Aesthetics Laser Light Skin Clinic Lowe Plastic Surgery Mariposa Aesthetics & Laser Center Tim R. Love, MD FACS

Best spa

Cornerstone Eyecare Dean McGee Eye Institute EyeCare Oklahoma, Inc. Midtown Optical Omni Eye Center LaserVision

(no inJections used) Bella Strada Salon and Spa Suites Eden Salon and Spa Farmhouse Spa Udånder Willow Wellness & Massage

Best optical shop Black Optical Cornerstone Eyecare Dick Story Optical Midtown Optical Sam’s Optical

Best apartment community The Breighton Deep Deuce at Bricktown The Garage Loft Apartments Level Midtown Renassiance

Best women’s healthcare clinic Integris Women’s Care Lakeside Women’s Hospital Mercy SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital Women’s Healthcare of Norman

Commons on Classen Concordia Life Care Community Epworth Villa Lionwood Southern Plaza

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t h eater

Armstrong Auditorium opened in 2010, but the Armstrong Performing Art series began in 1998. | Photo Armstrong International Cultural Foundation / provided

High culture

Armstrong Auditorium’s Performing Arts Series celebrates its 20th anniversary. By Jeremy Martin

Nearly 20 years ago, the Philadelphia Church of God started its Performing Arts Series in an attempt to elevate the cultural landscape of Edmond without preaching or proselytizing. “The church wanted to sponsor it as basically just a way to reach out to the community in a nonreligious way,” said Armstrong Auditorium concert manager Ryan Malone, who’s been in charge of booking the series since it began in 1998, “just to hear beautiful concerts, great classical music and jazz and that type of thing, and so we sponsored concerts that they were just concerts.” Though the concerts were secular in nature, the first performances, scheduled wherever suitable space was available, largely featured church members on and offstage. “The church’s music program had some professional musicians there, and we were presenting the first concerts ourselves,” Malone said. “We would rent out the UCO ballroom or something, and mostly it was our church members who came. It was a very humble beginning.” In the series’ second season, the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation, named for Worldwide Church of God founder Herbert W. Armstrong, presented a concert featuring Oklahoma Youth Orchestra, the first time the series showcased artists outside the church. The following year, the series included a concert from its first internationally renowned artists, the Vienna Boys Choir. The Philadelphia Church of God, headquartered in Edmond, began as an offshoot of Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God, which formerly owned the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, California, once called “the Carnegie Hall of the West Coast” for

the high standard it set as a performance venue for symphonies and other classical concerts. “The idea was to eventually rebuild that kind of legacy where you had, not just a church per se, but you had an organization in the community that was giving to the public through cultural experiences,” Malone said. “The opening page of our program book has a message from our founder and chairman [Gerald Flurry]. He’s the pastor general of the church, but he’s speaking as the foundation, saying, ‘We believe that this fulfills a mission to show man his potential.’ In just a very inspiring way, to show the best of human potential, the best of the human spirit, because we believe that is something that is godly. We believe that by showcasing these fine performances, we’re fulfilling a spiritual objective as well. We believe in God’s way of sharing and giving, in a way where you don’t talk about doctrine or belief. Everyone can agree on the idea of giving and sharing.”

Broadway stars Brian Stokes Mitchell and Kelli O’Hara, vocalists Nathan Gunn and Frederica von Stade, pianist André Watts and piano quintet The 5 Browns, Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, Canadian Brass, Vienna Boys Choir, and annual performances by the Russian National Ballet. Malone — who also composed the musical Undefeated: The Story of Isaiah and Hezekiah, scheduled for a 2 p.m. Aug. 12 performance at Armstrong Auditorium — said some of his personal highlights from scheduling two decades of performances include seeing the world-renowned chamber orchestra Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital, a “transformative performance” by Australian violinist Ray Chen, and watching the Venice Baroque Orchestra perform 17th and 18th century works on instruments from that time period. “It was historically intriguing but yet it seemed really relevant,” Malone said. “It was a really cool night.” Other acts from around the world who have made stops in Edmond to perform in the series include the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company, Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, and Spain’s Romero Guitar Quartet. “International is a great way to describe it,” he said. “We’ve had a wide variety of styles and nationalities represented. … There’s just a cornucopia of things to pick from.” In 1998 when the series began with local concerts, many people wouldn’t have expected it to grow to an internationally relevant cultural touchstone for Edmond, Malone said, but he had always hoped it might. “You wouldn’t just assume we would’ve had grand expectations, but deep inside, we did, or I did,” he said. “I felt like I knew what the potential was. The metropolitan area here is different from, say, Southern California, but we knew there was a lot to offer.” At the moment, the goal for the series is not to grow or expand but to “sustain the excellence.”

“I think what we’ve learned is, based on our resources here with the staff and based on the population and market, we think we’ve kind of hit a really good balance or a sweet spot if you will, on the right number of events to have, the kind of events to have, and how to space them out through the season,” Malone said. “So I would just say that we would try to maintain that balance. We wouldn’t try to overextend ourselves or overextend the audience.”

We’ve had a wide variety of styles and nationalities represented. … There’s just a cornucopia of things to pick from. Ryan Malone The series’ 20th season, beginning Oct. 18, features Celtic Nights Dance Company, Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra, Anne Akiko Meyers with Mozart Orchestra of New York, and many returning favorites from its first two decades including a one-night only performance of Swan Lake by the Russian National Ballet, a closing concert from Canadian Brass, and a performance by Vienna Boys Choir, which Malone described as “one of the first big, internationally recognized artists that we had on the series back when it was nothing.” International acts are often surprised to find a venue like the Armstrong Auditorium in Oklahoma, Malone said, but they’re always impressed. “They come here, and they are used to the more metropolitan areas,” he said. “They’re driving out in North Edmond, and it’s acre lots and a lot more spread out, a big sky, all that. And then they see the building sort of pop up on the horizon, and they’re stunned, you know, ‘What a jewel. I can’t believe this is right here in the middle of the prairie.’” Visit

Performance space

When Philadelphia Church of God opened Herbert W. Armstrong College in 2001, the Performing Arts Series had a permanent home, but it wasn’t until Armstrong Auditorium finished construction in 2010 that the church’s mission of replicating the success of Ambassador Auditorium seemed possible. “That had been something on our radar for awhile, to have a worthy venue of the kind of events we were bringing in,” Malone said. “We’d been wanting to do that, and finally we had the wherewithal to do it.” Performers in the series have included Tonight Show bandleaders Branford Marsalis and Doc Severinsen,

The 20th season of the Armstrong Performing Arts Series begins with a performance by string trio Time For Three Oct. 18. | Photo Armstrong International Cultural Foundation / provided O kg a z e t t e . c o m | j u ly 2 5 , 2 0 1 8



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Western reels

A local film series explores portrayals of the American West. By Daniel Bokemper

This August, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum dusts off the reels of several classic pieces of Americana in anticipation of its annual Western Movie Matinees. The series is composed of selections detailing over a century of Western narratives, thought and sensibility. Divided into four thematic movements, each will be bookended by reflections from local film historians and scholars. Formally started in 2016, the matinees are an interdisciplinary method of engaging the public while simultaneously leveraging the Oklahoma film community. Taking place at 1 p.m. and completely free to museumgoers, the movies help frame and solidify the ideas explored within the institute’s numerous exhibits. After a successful maiden voyage, the matinees have parleyed into larger partnerships with other educational establishments, such as Oklahoma City University (OCU). “Last year, we were approached by individual donors asking if there was an opportunity to partner with a larger entity that regularly hosts film screenings or possesses a filmmaking program,” said Inez Wolins, the museum’s chief public experience officer. “We thought this might be a way of building our audience and giving the public an additional reason to visit us. People in this town who love film love film everywhere.” This partnership, in turn, spurred the major themes of this year’s series. Dr. Tracy Floreani, for instance, explores the lives of small-town Texans through the adaptations of Larry McMurty’s work in Beyond Lonesome Dove. Involving classics like The Last Picture Show and its 1990 sequel, Texasville, the series frames why the narratives of one of the nation’s most influential southwestern voices continues to endure. “After screening Lonesome Dove at her university, Tracy sought to extend her considerations to the novelist’s larger body of work,” Wolins said. “Her take on this was the series as whole is far less about cowboy/Western films many of us grew up with but instead that these artists, filmmakers and actors were engaged in a much larger discussion: the discussion of what it means to be an American.”

Cowboy codes

Afterward, the series moves on to its second major segment, The Code of the West, hosted and president of Reel Classics, Elizabeth Anthony. Concerned with the morals, ethics and human tendencies of those at the helm of a developing nation, Anthony considers

cowboy culture with films like Wagon Master and 1957’s 3:10 to Yuma. “Somewhat born of Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code from the 1940s and more recently from James Owen’s Cowboy Ethics, Elizabeth looks at way of life not unlike the Oklahoman standard of doing the right, striving to preserve principles of honor, service and kindness,” Wolins said. With the subsequent movement, the Western way of life is applied further, specifically to the way in which relationships are developed and maintained. OCU’s Dr. Harbour Winn’s Haunting Portrayals of Male and MaleFemale Comradery series studies how the institutions of masculinity and femininity have grown and evolved throughout American history though films such as McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Bonnie and Clyde. “Dr. Winn was interested in the idea of relationships through different periods and different genders,” Wolins said. “Though not quite as structured as ‘cowboys and Indians,’ we loved the professor wanted to frame the West in a much broader way. It’s all really about people’s lives and their relationships.” The matinees conclude with selections curated by Anthony once more, specifically focusing on the impact of one the nation’s most harrowing events with the series The Civil War and the Western Homefront. With films like John Wayne’s Dark Command and The Proud Rebel, the series illustrates the struggles and fractured psyche of a postwar America. Though the selections might harbor a sense of antiquity, these films also serve to help frame one’s modern identity. With this process also lies a chance to witness the influences of contemporary art. “It’s fascinating to see younger generations and emerging professionals grow so invested in aspects of older films,” Wolins said. “John Ford’s sweeping cinematography, for instance, is timeless and influenced a whole generation of filmmakers and photographers.”

Intergenerational learning

In tandem with many of the museum’s own exhibits, the matinees build a bridge between generations. Given the time of the screenings, one of the most frequent attendees are young to university-age students and older, lifelong learners. Likewise, the immediate access to the museum’s exhibits and galleries will often allow the ideas patrons encounter to resonate more intimately. “It’s really neat for grandparents and parents to show their kids these movies,” said Tara Carr, the museum’s

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral | Image National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum / provided

The Last Picture Show | Image National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum / provided

McCabe & Mrs. Miller | Image National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum / provided

communications coordinator. “People can leave the theater and immediately go down the hall to memorabilia from the movie if not something very similar. It’s a very unique way to teach people about their history.” Ultimately, the matinees also contribute to the continued evolution of the museum’s programming. A museum that fails to change, after all, runs the risk of stagnation. However, with events like this, the community is continually provided with windows of further education. “All museums challenge to make static objects come alive and truly resonate with people of all generations,” Wolins said. “If you know you will have a toddler as well as a senior visitor, you have to create a menu of opportunities that will help one learn a little about themselves and their life.”

With the film series, the museum looks to not only curate an interesting event, but to also cultivate an experience tailored to all. Western Movie Matinees take place 1 p.m. Wednesdays from Aug. 1 to Nov. 14 at the museum, 1700 NE 63rd St. Visit

Western Movie Matinees 1 p.m. Wednesdays Aug. 1-Nov. 14 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd St. | 405-478-2250 Free-$12.50

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Planting seeds

A Moore native uses gardening to battle mental health issues and created a popular app. By Jacob Threadgill

A desire to help himself has allowed Moore native Dale Spoonemore to create a popular mobile app that is helping people across the country grow their own produce. Spoonemore has found that working in his home garden is the best way he can fight off anxiety and depression, but it is his love of gardening that led him to create the app From Seed to Spoon, which is averaging 3,000 downloads per week and is the No. 1 rated application in the iTunes store when you search “growing food” and No. 3 for “vegetable gardening.” Launched in January, the application links with the nearest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather station to determine planting seasons for your area based on freeze dates. Fruits, vegetables and herbs are listed on a centralized section of the app. Each piece of produce includes details on the plant from ideal indoor and outdoor harvest times and sun and water requirements to tips for harvesting. Each produce item has tabs for companion plants that promote growth and ward away pests for organic gardening. There is also a separate section for pests and how to treat them. The application has embedded videos for tips and tools to creating the user’s own home garden. There are links to items in the Amazon store that facilitate growth, and Spoonemore receives 8 percent commission for each sale directed to Amazon from his application, but he

Dale Spoonemore, his wife Carrie and their four children | Photo provided

did not design the app to be a moneymaking venture. He was inspired after the death of his grandfather, who said he regretted not doing more with his life to help others. Spoonemore wanted to share how his journey with gardening helped him and provide a blueprint for how it could help everyone.

Curbing depression

He started a garden at home in 2015 as means to eat healthier and save on food costs for his family of six that includes four children and his wife Carrie. What started as two simple 4-foot-by-4-foot plots in the backyard is now an elaborate setup of at least 20 plots growing a variety of produce. For most of Spoonemore’s life, he was controlled by depression and anxiety. During his first marriage, he kept his feelings bottled up, which resulted in panic attacks and severe depression. His battle with depression is an ongoing issue, but the peace and mindfulness he has found in the backyard allow him to mitigate the symptoms. “My mental health issues are able to be managed out here,” Spoonemore said. “Mindfulness is a huge thing for me, which means only focusing on the current moment and not worrying about the past or future. I’ll spend a lot of time worrying about what could happen or thinking about what I could’ve done differently. Nothing

useful comes out it. The garden helps me out because there is always something new sprouting that keeps me in the moment.” Spoonemore works from home for an independent software company not connected to the From Seed to Spoon app. He has found that by working for an hour at the computer and then spending 30 minutes tending to the garden, he’s able to clear his mind and more easily troubleshoot problems he runs into with work. “In the past, if I had a problem on the computer, I would spend all day, and if I couldn’t get it done by the end of the day, you did not want to be around me. I was cranky and it would consume me,” he said. He said that bouts of depression can get worse when he’s not eating well, which is why he likes to garden. His own relationship with food is one wrapped into many feelings. He was featured on the Rachael Ray Show alongside 10 other Oklahomans to highlight how residents lost a combined 1 million pounds as part of The Million Pound Challenge program. He lost over 120 pounds in nine months by changing his diet and exercising, but it was largely through fad diets. He ended up gaining 50 of those pounds back before meeting his second wife. “Yes I lost weight, but my head wasn’t any better,” he said. “It didn’t get better until I started eating real stuff. When you eat something out of your garden or something grown locally at a farmer’s market, it is going to taste differently. “The things you buy at the store are grown for mass production, and they’re grown to produce

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Seed to Spoon is one of the most popular gardening apps in the iTunes store. | Image Jacob Threadgill

faster than the plant is designed to grow in some cases. The first time I tasted spinach out of the garden, it had this almost rough texture and crispness to it. There are different varieties [of spinach] that have nutty or sweet tastes.”

The things you buy at the store are grown for mass production. Dale Spoonemore

Although Spoonemore has worked for software companies for more than a decade, he didn’t learn the full set of skills required to fully code his application until last summer, when co-workers encouraged him to pursue it himself. He obsessively watched coding training videos on to learn the basics and got the beta version of the application up and running by December 2017. Now, his wife and two of his children help update the app. “As a software developer, at a click of a button, you can be in front of the entire world,” he said. “All of us are working on the app together. It’s one of the most amazing moments of my life. I’m on the couch with my wife and two daughters creating software in Moore, Oklahoma.” Visit

Seed to Spoon provides gardening tips, including planting dates in the United States based on the user’s location. | Image Jacob Threadgill

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Green living

Stephanie Holiman teaches organic gardening in OKC and Chile. By Jeremy Martin

Hearing farmers describe the modern agricultural methods at the 2003 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Stephanie Holiman decided she wanted to opt out. “That was it for me,” Holiman said. “I listened to that talk and said, “OK, I don’t want my food grown this way.” The 2003 World Social Forum’s motto was “Another world is possible,” but Holiman, living in Santiago, Chile, found few sources for food that hadn’t been mass-produced. “So what’s the alternative?” Holiman asked. “Organic gardening, and in Chile at that time, there was really nothing. I looked around for organic things, and it was really hard to find. There was an organic market once a year.” Determined to eat food free of genetic modifications and pesticides, Holiman began planting vegetables in her small apartment in the middle of the city. “I started growing seedlings in my windows and broccoli out of a pot,” Holiman said. After she moved with her husband into a larger house with a vegetable garden and fruit trees, these first forays into urban gardening eventually led to Huerto Hada Verde (Green Fairy Garden), an educational center in Santiago where Holiman teaches classes on organic gardening and herbal medicine. “Just friends and neighbors were involved at first,” Holiman said. “It was just kind of a semi-informal [community-supported agriculture project]. I was asking them to help with all of the gardening work and the harvesting and all that, and after awhile, I realized that

Stephanie Holiman started gardening when she was a teenager and began learning about organic gardening in 2003. | Photo Stephanie Holiman / provided

the people I had asked to help me with it were not as helpful as I hoped … and I realized that other people were more involved, like, ‘What is this project? I would really like to learn.’” Born in Edmond, Holiman traveled to Santiago, Chile, on a six-month trip to study Spanish and Latin American culture. While teaching English language classes, she met her husband, got married and ended up staying for nearly 20 years. Back in Oklahoma until March of 2019, Holliman is teaching classes for the first time in her native state at SixTwelve, Beautifully Connected, CommonWealth Urban Farms, Myriad Botanical Gardens and other locations before she returns to Chile next year so her 4-year-old son can start school.

Organic spirit

Holiman, who developed an interest in vegetables, herbs and plants in general when she became a vegetarian at the age of 15, said she was originally introduced to the idea of growing her own food at her aunt and uncle’s farm in El Reno. “I grew up, really, picking tomatoes and eating them right off the plant,” Holiman said. “My aunt was very much like do-it-yourself.” While the concept of growing your own food is more common in rural areas, Holiman said her first efforts at organic gardening in urban Santiago were met with confusion and surprise. “That was something that when I

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first got to Chile was very rare,” Holiman said. “Most people were very shocked that I was going to make my own jam, make my own pickles and toothpaste and things like that. Now that’s something that has spread more and more. It’s in fashion. It’s like a trend.” Organic living is popular in 2018, Holiman said, but in the early 2000s, many people were unclear about what the word “organic” even meant. “In general, both here and Chile, there’s much more information about it now than, like, 10 years ago,” Holiman said. “People didn’t even know what it was. They were like, ‘What’s organic? What’s the difference? Why is it important?’ … But now it’s in most people’s vocabulary. The option is out there almost everywhere you go.” Teaching classes in Chile, Holiman said she discovered that people there tend to honor the farming and plantgathering legacy of their ancestors, something less common in the U.S. “There was a lot more, maybe, spirituality connected to working in the garden and with the earth,” Holiman said, “and I think that has to do with being a little bit closer to the indigenous cultures, which surprises me because in Oklahoma, there’s like a huge indigenous population and you would think that would still be present, but it’s not. Agriculture is definitely an industry, and they’re farmers and that’s it. In Chile, you have that as well, but you also have kind of a connection to people exchanging seeds, native groups that have been exchanging seeds for many, many generations. … Almost everyone I talked to, especially working with herbs, their grandmother or their grandfather had herbs and they knew what to do with them. They were like, ‘Oh yeah, my grandmother used to always pick this herb and give it to me when I was sick.’ I feel like we definitely don’t have that kind of connection as much.” Much of what Holiman teaches in her classes, she said, is about re-learning the process of gardening and herbal medicine. “When you’re working with plants, when you’re working outside, it’s actually like a therapy. It’s actually something that connects you with a spirit, whatever you want to believe,” Holiman said. “It does connect you with this other realm, and I think people are starting to understand that. But in Oklahoma, it’s hard to be out in nature for a long time because it’s really hot. There’s mosquitos. Or it’s really cold. There’s a lot of extremes. You’re so completely aware of nature here. … It’s so powerful here, and I think part of what it’s important to realize is we’re all part of this. Actually being in that place, sitting outside and just connecting to being in that natural space, can be therapeutic, can be medicine, can be very important.” Holiman believes the act of helping plants grow can help people grow as well. “Working in the garden is also a

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Stephanie Holiman teaches organic gardening classes at various locations around Oklahoma City and Chile. | Photos Stephanie Holiman / provided

transformative process,” Holiman said. “I’ve seen people that came to do volunteer work, and they didn’t ever want to leave. … There’s so much fragmenting everywhere we go now. … There’s so many people that are disconnected, living in their virtual world over there or over here, and they just kind of drift from one place to another. The garden is a place where people kind of come together and feel like they’re part of something, part of this bigger picture.” Holiman hosts an herb tasting Saturday, a seed ball workshop Aug. 4 and an herbal exploration workshop Sept. 8 at OSU-OKC Farmers Market, 400 N. Portland Ave. Visit

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Cell manual

Gary Gorbsky and OMRF study cell division with the help of a new research grant. By Jo Light

Cell division is one of the most basic and important biological processes of all living things, yet scientists still don’t fully understand the way it works or, sometimes, doesn’t work. Here’s a quick refresher for those of us several years removed from biology class. In typical human cell division, chromosomes in a nucleus are replicated and lined up in the center of a cell. They are then pulled neatly apart and separated into halves at opposite sides of the cell. This is called chromosome segregation. The single parent cell divides into two identical daughter cells, each with 46 chromosomes. If these chromosomes are somehow distributed incorrectly, this can lead to health issues like miscarriages, birth defects or the development of cancer. This process is precisely what the Cell Cycle & Cancer Biology Research Program at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) hopes to untangle with the help of a $2.1 million grant recently awarded through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). OMRF scientist Gary Gorbsky, Ph.D., leads the research effort. For Gorbsky, a childhood love of explorer Jacques Cousteau’s television show eventually grew into a passion for science, which led him to a career in cell biology. He joined OMRF as chair of the Cell Cycle & Cancer Biology Research Program in 2003. His fascination with cellular systems drives much of his research. “They’re incredibly intricate and complicated machines, a million times more complicated than anything that humans have made,” Gorbsky said.

“They’re machines that can duplicate themselves.” For years, he has advocated for comprehensive, fundamental exploration of cellular structure and function. “Even from a practical point of view, most diseases are problems with cells, things that go wrong with cells,” he said. “We can’t really understand how to fix these problems until we learn how things normally work.” A favorite analogy he often uses is a person taking their car to an auto mechanic who first must understand how the car works to be able to fix it. Similarly, scientists cannot hope to treat or correct problems in cells without knowing their basic functions. “So that’s what I think is our goal,” he said, “trying to write the shop manual for how cells work. Particularly in my specific laboratory, we’re trying to figure out how they manage to do this process of separating their chromosomes when cells divide.”

Research freedom

OMRF’s new grant is a Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA), a unique funding source that allows for broader, freer research opportunities over a period of five years. It is not designed around a specific project, but around a laboratory or a principle investigator. OMRF scientists will be able to explore many ideas within their approved research program rather than being limited to searching for exact results. Gorbsky and his lab team are thrilled about the freedom the MIRA grant affords. “What is nice about it is that you’re not restricted to a project, so you can

follow the exciting results where they lead you,” he said. He paraphrased Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D., the director of NIGMS, who shares Gorbsky’s research philosophy. “If you know exactly what experiments you’re going to be doing five years from now, you’re not a very creative scientist,” he said with a laugh. The research in Gorbsky’s lab will further the science not only within their team at OMRF, but also within the wider field of cell biology. He called the scientific endeavor a group activity. His team will study the point of cell division when the chromosomes duplicate, move to the middle of the cell and separate at the same time. Gorbsky’s lab will focus on the “checkpoint system” that makes sure all the chromosome pairs are in the right place at the right time before they’re pulled apart. He joked that they all have to huddle at “the 50-yard line” for division to happen. They will also examine “cohesion fatigue,” an anomaly Gorbsky’s lab first discovered in 2013. Basically, in cohesion fatigue, chromosomes stay at the figurative 50-yard line too long and they can be pulled apart haphazardly. They can get broken or wander around the cell at random. “We think that cohesion fatigue could contribute to this notion of how, for instance, cancer cells get the wrong number of chromosomes,” Gorbsky said. Cancer is linked to cell division gone bad. According to Gorbsky, cancer cells often have more than 46 chromosomes and also tend to have broken chromosomes. He explained that cancer cells can get addicted to certain biochemical pathways, which his lab will work to identify. This research will be beneficial in the field of precision medicine. “If we could, for instance, find a pathway that is not essential in the normal cells but is essential in a particular cancer cell, then you could perhaps target that specific pathway for that particular tumor,” Gorbsky said. Cell division and chromosome missegregation are also relevant in the study of birth defects and miscarriages. For example, in the case of Down syndrome, an extra chromosome 21 is present in cells. Gorbsky’s lab wants to find the “inducers” of missegregation to prevent cellular abnormalities from occurring. More than anything, Gorbsky emphasized basic research, which helps the study of science as a whole and can lead to breakthroughs even years later. “That’s what drives us,” he said. “Exploring new worlds and seeing things that no one’s ever seen before. That’s what really lights up a scientist.” Visit


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Learning luminary After years of hard work and quality instruction, Oklahoma teacher Macey Stewart receives national recognition for her elementary STEM instruction. By Ian Jayne

For eleven years, Norman-based second-grade teacher Macey Stewart has taught mathematics, honing her skills and pedagogy to foster a love of learning in elementary-age students. Earlier this summer, Stewart received national recognition for her hard work when she, along with Claremore teacher Michelle Rahn, was awarded a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Both instructors received $10,000 from the National Science Foundation in accompaniment of the award. Stewart, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Oklahoma and has taught at Norman P ublic Schools’ Wa sh ing ton Elementary School for over a decade, went through a circuitous nomination process before earning her recognition this year. After being nominated by her mother — a fellow instructor who won the same award in 2008 — back in 2014, Stewart became a state finalist. However, according to Stewart, there was a delay for deciding and awarding recipients. “On even-numbered years, elementary teachers can apply, and by 2016, they had not announced the 2014 winners, and so they encouraged me to re-apply,” said Stewart, who revised some of her submission materials, including an essay, before re-submitting. Stewart did not win 2014 recognition, but her 2016 application garnered her the award. “I was very excited,” Stewart said. “I felt very validated that I was using best practices with teaching and just that I was doing the right thing.”

Norman teacher Macey Stewart center traveled to Washington, D.C. to accept her Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. | Photo provided

Over her decade of classroom instruction, Stewart has implemented her teaching philosophy among some of Oklahoma’s youngest elementary students. “There’s so much that second-graders are capable of,” Stewart said. “They have that natural curiosity, and they want to learn more. I just really try to guide them into finding their own answers by giving resources I know are safe, that they can learn through.” Stewart’s teaching philosophy rests firmly on the conviction that students can take charge of their own learning and that such a skill is critical to impart at a young age. “If they don’t have the number sense to use numbers correctly in their head, then they will struggle with math from that time on. I spend a lot of time just helping them grasp number sense and how to manipulate numbers in their head,” said Stewart, whose approach reflects a larger trend throughout Norman Public Schools toward guided inquiry, a learning approach that emphasizes students’ ability to learn in STEM fields through increased independence. In addition to fostering these approaches in her own classroom, Stewart has also mentored other teachers and student teachers. While attending the awards reception in Washington, D.C. earlier this summer, Stewart was able to participate in a discussion about a five-year strategic STEM plan with national and state


leaders and policymakers and voice her opinions on what would make classroom implementation more effective.

Bigger conversations

Stewart’s win earned her both national and statewide recognition for her teaching practices. “It is very exciting to be able to showcase to the country the outstanding work of an elementary teacher in STEM education, particularly in mathematics and science academic standards, and the very strong ability of Macey to effectively teach that high level of standard to her students in second grade,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. In a year that has sparked conversations about the vital role that teachers play throughout the country, Hofmeister said there are multiple statewide initiatives and grants surrounding STEM education that aim to help close the gap between Oklahoma’s high interest level in science and mathematics and its weak academic readiness outcomes. A revamped set of academic standards moved the state from a 47th-place ranking nationwide to 17th, Hofmeister said. “We are working to build a framework of support for educators to be able to teach the way Macey has been recognized nationally,” Hofmeister said. “It’s very, very important that we have our students in early elementary gaining a strong foundation in mathematics and science instruction and learning so that they can hit the ground running.” Hofmeister said Stewart models the passion, interest and expertise that is vital to excellent STEM instruction. Regarding programs of excellence, Hofmeister said there is a rubric available for school districts to identify where growth exists in their schools and where it is needed and also where the community can help support initiatives. Stewart said she is still undecided about the specifics of how she will spend her $10,000 award, but some of the money will be used to further classroom technology. “The kids are able to do a lot more with their own learning. They can create projects and do research online when they have more devices. That plays a big part in the engineering piece of STEM, as well,” Stewart said, referencing how early exposure to coding technology can help set up students for success in later years. Alongside spending for technology in the classroom, Stewart plans to spend a portion of her award funds on professional development. “I think that’s important — for me to be a lifelong learner when I expect my students to be, also,” Stewart said. As Oklahoma works to improve funding and support for its teachers, luminary instructors such as Stewart can furnish a vision of what it means to teach well at the level of the classroom, the state and the nation.



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Battling hate Local groups hope to curb hate in the community by presenting tools to fight it. By Joshua Blanco

Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma and Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City are teaming up for a free one-time event to educate its attendees on the ways they can become better suited to handle the prevalence of prejudiced thought and discriminatory behavior in modern times. The event is scheduled 7-8:30 p.m. Aug. 2 at Emanuel Synagogue, 900 NW 47th St. “It’s going to be a presentation on how expressions of hate and bias have changed over the past few years,” said Rabbi Abby Jacobson, president of Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma and rabbi of Emanuel Synagogue. Several months ago, the Jewish Federation reached out in hopes of spreading the message beyond the Jewish community. Interfaith Alliance saw relevance in the matter and agreed to co-sponsor the event. “We believe that hate is pretty much the same,” Jacobson said. “It is very hard to find somebody who hates one group of people and who doesn’t hate a different group of people at the same time. There are a lot of things we can learn from the same presentation.” According to Lori Blumenthal, president of Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City, learning about the many ways hatred is manifested in today’s society is an essential step in fighting its prominence, which has apparently grown in the past couple of years alone. “We see people … sort of hurling insults towards each other,” Blumenthal said. “It’s always been there, but it feels like it’s increased.” Based on information gathered by the researchers at the North Texas/ Oklahoma regional office of the AntiDefamation League (ADL) in Dallas, Blumenthal isn’t wrong. Cheryl Drazin, ADL regional director, cites a 67 percent increase in haterelated complaints, concerns and incidents. Though the numbers aren’t in for the second quarter of 2018, she noted “a tremendous uptick at the beginning of this year.” Drazin was invited to speak at The Changing Face of Hatred and is planning to do so. “Hate is a growth industry right now,” Drazin said. “We’ve never been this kind of busy. The incidents that people are reporting, the help that people are needing is tremendous.”

Global community

Social media and the internet are often blamed for the steady stream of hatebased rhetoric, but it comes with a

trade-off. “The beautiful thing about having everybody’s ideas available at our fingertips is that we can learn so much about each other and so many diverse points of view,” Jacobson said. “One of the terrible things is that an idea that seems bad or destructive anywhere in the world can also come visit you anywhere in the world.” In spite of the downsides, Jacobson believes the interconnectivity society has been allowed through technology is, overall, for the better. For example, people might be unsettled after watching a troubling televised report, which, in turn, “gives them cause for concern.” “An episode or event that may have before stayed in a neighborhood or a school or, you know, a small community, could be national news on the day that it occurred,” Drazin said. The rapid-delivery information systems that consume the public’s attention for a large part of the day seem to be catching the eye of the people, leading to a national call for change. In what Drazin describes as “the postCharlottesville effect,” a number of people across the country are asking how they can prevent an episode like the one that transpired in the Virginia college town.

It is very hard to find somebody who hates one group of people and who doesn’t hate a different group. Abby Jacobson

“Those were people who weren’t hiding their face or their thoughts at all, you know; they were very much standing up for and sharing what they believed in a way that we really had not seen as far as modern hate before,” Drazin said. Gone are the days of brick-andmortar hate groups, Jacobson explained. In the age of information and virtual friendships, anybody can join one of these organizations if they so desire. And that’s what appears to be grabbing the attention of a nation. “The shock element … is literally that changing face,” Drazin said. “It looked so polished and normal and like somebody that they knew next door.” Drazin hopes to equip her listeners with the tools necessary to combat

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Cheryl Drazin is set to speak on The Changing Face of Hatred 7 p.m. Aug. 2 at Emanuel Synagogue. | Photo provided

hatred in their communities. To this end, she plans to give a presentation focused on the visual aspect so the audience can truly grasp the importance of the matter. She’s also looking at a brief series focusing on a variety of issues communities should be aware of. “People sometimes tend to think that hate only happens on the fringes or it’s not happening in their own backyard,” Drazin said. “So we’re gonna take some recent regional activities and really kind of deep-dive into what hate is and what it’s looking like and ideas for responding when it impacts a person’s own community or life and what those opportunities are.” Children are encouraged to attend the event. Their age(s) must be listed on the pre-registration form to ensure the appropriate activities are held. “I’m hopeful that we’ll have a really diverse group of folks come,” Blumenthal said of the event. “That’ll be a great opportunity not only to learn, but to get to know each other as neighbors.” Forming a tight network of individuals who fight to eradicate hatred from the places they call home is essential in the maintenance of a society working to free itself from the shackles of prejudice and discrimination. “There’s just no community that’s immune. … There’s not a vaccination or an inoculation that ADL or anyone else could give to fix the problem,” Drazin said. “As a community, the awareness … starts at least the beginning of a meaningful conversation.” Visit or


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CALENDAR These are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. For full calendar listings, go to

BOOKS Chris Kelsey book signing the author will autograph copies of his novel Where the Hurt Is, a murder mystery set in rural Oklahoma during the social upheaval of the 1960s, 6-7:30 p.m. July 26. Best of Books, 1313 E. Danforth Road, 405-340-9202, THU English Queens - Fact & Fiction compare and contrast two books, one fact and one fiction, about British monarchs at this monthly book club, 10-11:30 a.m. Thursdays. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, THU

Back-to-School Success Bash celebrate a new academic year at this block party featuring live music, prizes and games; sign up for tutoring or homework help and donate money, school supplies and personal hygiene products to those in need, 5-7 p.m. July 28. Nappy Roots, 3705 Springlake Drive, 405-896-0203, SAT

Reading Wednesdays a story time with naturethemed books along with an interactive song and craft making, 10 a.m. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, WED

Deep Deuce Sessions a monthly concert and artwalk series in the historic neighborhood, 7 p.m. Saturday. Urban Johnnie, 121 NE Second St., 405-2084477, SAT

Coco (2017, USA, Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina) an outdoor, poolside screening of the Pixar film about family history and the afterlife, 9-11 p.m. July 27. White Water Bay, 3908 W Reno Ave., 405-943-9687, FRI Damsel (2018, USA, David Zellner, Nathan Zellner) a wealthy pioneer embarks on a treacherous, life-altering journey to marry his true love in this comedic revisionist Western, July 27-29. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, FRI-SUN A Date with the Duke John Wayne’s granddaughter Anita La Cava Swift offers introductory remarks for a screening of The Comancheros (1961), 5 p.m.-8 p.m. July 26. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, THU Floating Films: Jaws (1975, USA, Steven Spielberg) see Speilberg’s iconic aquatic thriller from the banks of the river, or rent a raft or innertube and watch it on the water, 8-11 p.m. July 28. RIVERSPORT Rapids, 800 Riversport drive, 405-552-4040, SAT


’90s-’00s Dance Party listen to music from the turn of the 21st Century, watch videos from the era, and drink alcoholic Capri Suns, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. July 28. 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St., 405-463-0470, SAT

Coffee with Real Estate Investors network over coffee and discuss topics such as real estate investing, building a successful business and chasing the American dream, 7 p.m. Wednesdays. Starbucks, 5800 W. Memorial Road, 405-722-6189, WED

48 Hour Film Project Premiere Screenings watch the short movies created by participants in this year’s Oklahoma City 48 Hour Film Project and help decide the winners, 4 p.m. July 29. Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., 405-708-6937, SUN

Hud (1963, USA, Martin Ritt) this Oscar winning film stars Paul Newman in the title role as the arrogant and cruel son of an honest rancher, 1 p.m. Aug. 1. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, WED Sonic Summer Movies: The Muppet Movie (1979, USA, James Frawley), Kermit and friends travel across America to get to Hollywood, 9 p.m. July 25. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, WED Sonic Summer Movies: Oklahoma! (1956, UK, Fred Zinnemann), farmers, cowboys and a traveling salesman compete for the affection of local ladies, 9 p.m. August 1. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, WED

The Dog and Cat Days of Summer a day full of dog adoptions, vendors with pet supplies and other organizations supporting people and their furry friends, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. July 28. West Norman Public Library, 300 Norman Center Court. SAT Fiesta Friday Back-to-School Bash celebrate education at this block party featuring food, live music and a strolling competition between local fraternities and sororities, 7-10 p.m. July 27. Historic Capitol Hill, 319 SW 25th St., 405-632-0133, FRI Friday Evening Glow take in the OKC skyline at sunset from the bank of the Oklahoma River with live music, food and drinks at this weekly patio concert series, 6-11 p.m. Fridays. RIVERSPORT Rapids, 800 Riversport drive, 405-552-4040, FRI Fuzzy Friday a monthly happy hour meet-andgreet hosted by the Bears of Central Oklahoma, 5:30 p.m. Fridays. Apothecary 39, 2125 NW 39th St., 405-605-4100. FRI Gardens Walking Tour Expand your Oklahoma plant knowledge and get inspiration for your garden with our educational walking tours, 10-11 a.m. Saturday. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, SAT Growers Meet a networking event hosted by Oklahoma Cannabis Services and Employment to provide resources and share information and advice, 6-9 p.m. July 27. Fassler Hall, 421 NW 10th St., 405609-3300, FRI History Comes Alive learn about Oklahoma’s past from a colorful cast of characters on this interactive ferry ride, 11:40 a.m.-1:10 p.m. Saturdays. Oklahoma River Cruises, 1503 Exchange Ave., 405-702-7755, SAT Hotdogs for the Homeless Volunteer Day pack lunches to distribute to the homeless population in Downtown OKC, 10:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays. Old School Bagel Cafe, 10948 N. May Ave., 405-286-2233. SUN How To Start Your Own CBD & Legal Cannabis Business learn to handle the money aspects of running a legal cannabis business including dealing with banks and payment processors, 7-8:30 p.m. July 26. Cannabis Aid, 1612 N.E. 23RD St., 405-4709179, THU


Time capsule ceremony 2 p.m. Thursday NW 11th and Broadway As construction continues on our new home at NW 11th and Broadway, we take a moment to reflect on our history and celebrate our progress. Join us for a time capsule ceremony to remember our past and prepare for our future. Learn more: | 405 951 0000 | @okcontemporary 3000 General Pershing Blvd. | Oklahoma City, OK 73107


2nd Annual OICA Heroes Ball adults and children alike are encouraged to dress as their favorite super-hero to help OICA honor some of the champions for children who reach “hero status” for those they help, 6-9 p.m. July 27. Skirvin Hilton Hotel, 1 Park Ave., 405-272-3040, FRI

Mid-Oklahoma Writers a meetup for local writers featuring guest speakers and literary discussions, 7-9 p.m. Eastside Church of Christ, 916 S. Douglas Blvd., 405-732-0393. WED




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40 Minutes or Less: Short Shorts Movie buffs looking for cutting-edge art films and casual fans just curious about what a movie looks like when its runtime isn’t bloated by 20-minute car chases to justify a $200 million budget will both find plenty to like about this screening of five movies, each five minutes or less in length, made by filmmakers from all over the world with context provided by host Tracy Floreani, director of the Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature at Oklahoma City University. The screening starts at 6 p.m. Thursday at [Artspace] at Untitled, 1 NE Third St. Admission is free. Call 405-815-9995 or visit THURSDAY Photo provided


Cringe: an OKC StorySLAM Awkward, embarrassing moments are often also unfairly unforgettable. This storytelling open-mic offers 10 performers the chance to share their most cringe-worthy moments while an audience squirms in their seats. Sign-up starts at 6:45 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show Sunday at Saints, 1715 NW 16th St. Admission is free. Call 405-602-6308 or visit


SUNDAY Photo provided


Liberian Independence Day Gala a red-carpet celebration hosted by the Liberian Community Association featuring West African cuisine, music, dance and more, 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m. July 28. North West Event Center, 6009 Northwest Expressway, 405-200-6262. SAT


Lip Sync Battle compete to be the best at pretending to sing popular songs, or just enjoy the show, 9-11:30 p.m. Mondays. Lumpy’s Sports Grill, 12325 N. May Ave., 405-286-3300, MON


New World Comic Con 4 comic artists, vendors and cosplayers converge at this local convention, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. July 28. Oklahoma State Fair Park, 3220 Great Plains Walk, 405-948-6700, SAT OICA 2nd Annual Heroes Ball adults and children are encouraged to dress as their favorite superheroes at this fundraising event for the Oklahoma Insitute for Child Advocacy, 6-9 p.m. July 27. Skirvin Hilton Hotel, 1 Park Ave., 405-272-3040, FRI

A SeASonAl Guide to CentrAl oklAhomA

OIGA Conference and Trade Show Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association brings almost 3,000 vendors with guest speakers to celebrate and advance the gaming industry. Through July 25. Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, 405-602-8500, WED OKC Vintage Flea Market get your shopping done at the flea market with antiques, collectibles, vintage, crafts and more, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Dec. 9. Crossroads Event Center, 7000 Crossroads Blvd. SAT Pack the Park a community event featuring live music, inflatables, food trucks and a screening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, 6-11 p.m. July 30. Mustang Parks & Recreation, 1201 N. Mustang Road, 405-376-3411, MON Queen Mariah’s Variety Show a monthly stage show featuring various drag performers, 10:30 p.m. Saturdays. Frankie’s, 2807 NW 36th St., 405-602-2030, SAT Sewing: Block of the Month Class make a different block each month to create quilt; bring your own scraps of fabric, a sewing machine and more, 6 p.m. Thursday. Mustang Parks & Recreation, 1201 N. Mustang Road, Mustang, 405-376-3411, THU Stonecloud: Orbit One celebrate the one-year anniversary of the local brewery with barbecue, live music, a live painting and more, noon-8 p.m. July 28. Stonecloud Brewing Co., 1012 NW First St., SAT Stormwater Citizen Committee Open House hear the proposals put forth by the citizen committee to examine the city of Norman’s issues with drainage and water quality and make suggestions of your own, 3:30-5:30 p.m. July 25. Norman Public Library East, 3051 Alameda St., Norman, 405-217-0770, WED Weekly Walkups each day has a different theme including crafts, reading, scavenger hunts and more, 10 a.m.-noon June 25-Aug. 10. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, MON-FRI Wheeler Summer Music enjoy food truck fare, craft beer, live music and local pop-up shopping at this free monthly event underneath the ferris wheel lights, 7-11 p.m. Fridays. Wheeler Ferris Wheel, 1701 S. Western Ave., 405-655-8455, FRI Youth National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show young equestrians demonstrate their horse sense by competing in variety of events for

continued on page 48

There is a lot to see and throughout Autumn, and Gazette gives its readers direction on where to find the best festivals, shows, foods and more!

FeAturinG A 3 month CAlendAr Along with expanded editorial content

PubliShinG SePtember 19, 2018 Ad deAdline tueSdAy, SePtember 18, 2018

Attention publicity seekers! Submit calendar events at or email to

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, 2018 by 5 p.m.

Call 405.528.6000 or email to reserve ad space or for additional information.

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continued from page 47 national honors, Through July 28. Oklahoma State Fair Park, 3220 Great Plains Walk, 405948-6700, SAT

FOOD Food Truck Fridays eat lunch at a variety of food trucks on Friday afternoons and hear live music, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Fridays. Moore Central Park, 700 S. Broadway St., Moore, 405-7935090, FRI

Paseo Farmers Market shop for fresh food from local vendors at this weekly outdoor event, 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays. SixTwelve, 612 NW 29th St., 405-208-8291, SAT

YOUTH 2018 Youth National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show bring the family for great horse show classes, kid activities, behind-thescene tours and more, July 21-28. Free, Through July 28. Oklahoma State Fair Park, 3220 Great Plains Walk, 303-696-4500, SAT Arts in the Park interactive arts classes for children age 6-12, including drama, music, storytelling and dance workshops, 1-3:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays. Schilling Park, 539 SE 25th St., 405-6312466. WED-THU Buddy & Me Breakfast children are invited to bring friends, parents, grandparents and caregivers to this event featuring games and entertainment, 8-11 a.m. July 27. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, FRI Fit For Youth Day Camp a camp of engaging activities including sports, arts and crafts, swimming, recreation games, nature and outdoor activities and more, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon-Fri. $90/ week. Foster Recreation Center, 614 NE Fourth St., 405-297-2409, MON-FRI National Day of the Cowboy see an Oklahoma Children’s Theatre production of Pecos Bill and the Ghost Stampede, then tour the museum’s American Cowboy Gallery, 10:30 a.m.-noon July 28. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, SAT A Night with Bats following an informative talk at the museum, families will travel to a local park to view the nocturnal mammals in their natural habitat, 8-10 p.m. July 27. Sam Noble Museum, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., 405-325-4712, FRI Storytime Science the museum invites children age 6 and younger to hear a story and participate in a related scientific activity, 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St., 405-602-6664, TUE Summer Camp Contemporary children in grades K-9 can learn about clay, robotics, hip-hop, and many other artistic topics in a variety of camps, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. through August 10. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-9510000, MON-FRI Summer Explorers: Science figure out the solutions to several scientific puzzles such as why compasses point north and how crystals get their shapes, 8-10 a.m. July 23-27. Sam Noble Museum, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., 405-325-4712, MON-FRI Summer Thursdays presented by the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, this free family event features movie screenings, story times and crafting projects, 10:30 a.m. Thursdays, through Aug. 30. Gaylord-Pickens

Oklahoma Heritage Museum, 1400 Classen Drive, 405-235-4458, THU Trae Young Youth Basketball Camp boys and girls in grades 1-12 can learn fundamental basketball skills and have the chance to meet the star Sooner point guard, Aug. 1-2. University of Oklahoma Sarkeys Fitness Center, 1401 Asp Ave, Suite 170, 405-325-3053, WED-THU

PERFORMING ARTS Arab After Hours a weekly belly-dancing performance featuring dancers from the Aalim Belly Dance Academy, 8:30-10:30 p.m. Tuesdays, through Dec. 25. Hubbly Bubbly Hookah & Café, 2900 N Classen Blvd. Ste K, 405-609-2930. TUE Comedy Night For Anthony an evening of standup to raise funds to help a family pay ongoing medical expenses; featuring Jesse Byrd, Jeramy Westbrook, Lenny Vanhorn and more, 8-9:45 p.m. July 28. Carpenter Square Theatre, 806 W. Main St., 405-232-6500, SAT Faithiest: A New Play a small-town schoolteacher becomes the object of unwanted scrutiny after a heroic act thrusts her into the spotlight, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Thu., July 26, and 2-4 p.m. Sun., July 29, The Venue OKC, 1757 NW 16th St., 405-283-6832, FRI-SUN

First Wednesday Open Mic a monthly music open mic hosted by John Ashton Randolph, 7-9:30 p.m. Wednesdays. The Paramount Room, 701 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-887-3327, WED George Lopez and D.L. Hughley the TV stars and standup comics perform, 7 and 10 p.m. July 28. Riverwind Casino, 1544 W. State Highway 9, Norman, 405-322-6000, SAT Mamma Mia! a daughter tries to determine the identity of her father by bringing three men from her mom’s past back into her life in this musical soundtracked by ABBA songs, Through July 29. Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave., 405297-2264, TUE-SUN Open Mic watch or perform at this monthly open mic hosted by Jarvix, 10 p.m. first Wednesday of every month, through Aug. 1. The Deli, 309 White St., Norman, 405-329-3934, WED Random Jam Tuesdays a weekly music open mic for solo artists and full bands followed by a late-night jam session, 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Tuesdays, through Dec. 12. Bison Witches Bar & Deli, 211 E Main St., Norman, 405-364-7555, TUE Red Dirt Open Mic a weekly open mic for comedy and poetry, hosted by Red Dirt Poetry, 7:30-10:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Sauced on Paseo, 2912 Paseo St., 405-521-9800, WED Riders In the Sky Salute Roy Rogers the popular Western act pays tribute to the “King of the Cowboys” by performing hits such as “Happy Trails” and presenting clips from his films, 8 p.m. July 28. Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., 405-708-6937, SAT

ACTIVE Co-ed Open Adult Volleyball enjoy a game of friendly yet competitive volleyball while making new friends, 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays. Jackie Cooper Gymnasium, 1024 E. Main St., 405-350-8920, Yuknon, WED 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

Oklahoma Contemporary Time Capsule Ceremony Too much great art remains buried in the past, but Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, in honor of the ongoing construction of its new art building in Automobile Alley, will be burying artifacts for future art historians to find. The celebration of the art center’s nearly three decades of existence includes a crowd-sourced cityscape of handmade buildings constructed by community members, a photograph of which will be included in the time capsule. Suggested caption: “We built this city.” The ceremony begins 2 p.m. Thursday at Oklahoma Contemporary Showroom, 1146 N. Broadway Drive. Email gbutler@ to RSVP. THURSDAY Image provided 48

J U LY 2 5 , 2 0 1 8 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M


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68th Annual Oklahoma City Pow Wow Club Indian Hills Pow Wow Since its founding in 1950, one of OKC Pow Wow Club’s primary objectives has been to promote and share Native American culture, and this three-day festival of dance competitions, pageantry, talent exhibitions, crafts, food and more is open to all, indigenous or not. The ceremonies begin 5 p.m. Friday with gourd dancing followed by the Grand Entrance at 8 p.m. and doesn’t shut down until 11 p.m. Sunday at Oklahoma City Pow Wow Club, 9300 N. Sooner Road. Admission is free. Call 405-923-1254 or visit oklahomacitypowwowclub. friday-sunday Photo provided Marlin Swim Club, Through Dec. 31. Lighthouse Fitness (Front), 3333 W. Hefner Road, 405-845-5672, SAT-WED Monday Night Group Ride meet up for a weekly 25-30 minute bicycle ride at about 18 miles per hour through east Oklahoma City, 6 p.m. Mondays. The Bike Lab OKC, 2200 W. Hefner Road, 405-603-7655. MON OKC Dodgers vs El Paso July 27-30. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, 405218-1000, FRI-MON Thursday Night Dirt Crits weekly criterium trials for all ability levels meeting at the Mountain Bike Trailhead and hosted by Oklahoma Earthbike Fellowship, 7-9 p.m. Thursdays. Lake Stanley Draper Trails, 8898 S. Post Rd. FRI Wheeler Criterium a weekly nighttime cycling event with criterium races, food trucks and family activities, 5-8 p.m. Tuesdays. Wheeler Park, 1120 S. Western Ave., 405-297-2211, TUE Yoga in the Gardens bring your mat for an alllevels class with Lisa Woodard from This Land Yoga, 5:45 p.m. Tuesdays. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, TUE

Visual Arts The 46th Annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale features more than 300 Western paintings and sculptures by contemporary Western artists of landscapes, wildlife and illustrative scenes, Through Aug. 5. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405478-2250, FRI-SUN

Ink & Draw a weekly meet-up for illustrators, artists and comic book creators, 4-6 p.m. Sundays. The Paseo Plunge, 3010 Paseo Plunge, 405-315-6224, SUN


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Insight: Art & Music Show an exhibition of local artists, musicians and artisans featuring work from Oklahoma City Museum of Art employees, 8 p.m.midnight July 27. Farmers Public Market, 311 S. Klein Ave., 405-232-6506, FRI Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features l’œil paper works by Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave showcasing four collections her work together for the first time, Through Sept. 9. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, SAT-SUN Reflection: An Exhibition of Glass and Light featuring works by artists Rick and Tracey Bewley using glass and light to creative reflection of colored geometric shapes mixed with metal structures., Through Aug. 24. Oklahoma City University School of Visual Arts, 1601 NW 26th St., 405-208-5226, okcu. edu/artsci/departments/visualart. WED-FRI




Sojourning features fiber installations by Chiyoko Myose, a Japanese artist, expressing her experiences living in a foreign country, June 2-August 12. Free. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, SAT

Big, Bold, and Beautiful an exhibition of acrylic paintings by Norman-based artist Vikki McGuire, who specializes in colorful nature scenes, July 6-29, Through July 29. Contemporary Art Gallery, 2928 Paseo St., 405-601-7474, FRI-SUN

Visual Voices: Contemporary Chickasaw Art an exhibition featuring more than 65 works in oil, watercolor, textiles, metals and more by 15 contemporary artists. Through Sept. 9. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-325-3272, FRI-SUN

A Burst of Color artist Tim Kinney’s latest exhibition features brightly colored and thickly textured paintings, Mondays-Fridays. through Sept. 1. Norman Santa Fe Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., 405-307-9320, FRI

Fit to Be Tied Workshop local artist Erin Butler leads a two-day workshop instructing participants in the creation of a handmade wool cowl,

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Free Demo: Wool Applique with Georgann Guidice a sewing demonstration for all experience levels, hosted by the OKC Modern Quilt Guild, 1-4 p.m. August 1. WED

Space Burial an exhibit using satellite dishes as a burial object for a space-faring culture and facilitates the dead’s afterlife journey. Through Sept. 2. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405325-3272, TUE-SUN

Decomposition: Discovering the Beauty and Magnificence of Fungi the kingdom of fungi is on display at SMO’s smART Space Galleries exploring the uses, benefits and beauty of fungi. Through Aug. 12. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St., 405-602-6664, WED-SUN

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10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 28-29. [Artspace] at Untitled, 1 NE Third St., 405-815-6665, SAT-SUN

Authentic gallery reception an exhibit featuring portraits from Chelsi Dennis Photography finding the common humanity in a variety of subjects, 6-8 p.m. July 27. IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-232-6060, FRI

Chiyoko Myose: Sojourning Gallery Talks a staff-led tour through the artist’s ongoing exhibition, Free, Tue., July 31, 6-7 p.m. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, exhibits/upcoming-exhibits/chiyoko-myose. TUE


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 Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

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Circus act

Texas country legend Kinky Friedman brings an album full of new material to The Blue Door. By Ben Luschen

There is no question that viewing great art has the potential to inspire an individual’s own great works. The Parthenon and ancient Greece had a lasting impact on architecture. Great African art helped inspire Pablo Picasso’s Cubism. Citizen Kane went on to inspire film work by the Coen brothers, Quentin Tarantino and others. While a beloved show in its own right, the late 1980s and early ’90s courtroom drama Matlock has debatable credentials as timeless art. But nonetheless, the Andy Griffith-starred show played a role in inspiring Kinky Friedman’s album Circus of Life, his first album of new original material in nearly four decades. The titular attorney’s knack for justice did not play a direct role in inspiring Friedman. Instead, it was the show’s constant presence on the eccentric 73-year-old’s television that finally convinced him to do something different with his life. It seems that there would be an unlikely story behind Friedman’s new record because the singer-songwriter/ renaissance man is about as unlikely as they come. Raised by Jewish parents on a ranch in Texas, Friedman’s distinct and unconventional point of view in country music was highlighted in his former band The Texas Jewboys, known for the anti-racist hit “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore.” Outside music, Friedman’s extensive life experience includes work in the Peace Corps, as a writer of mystery novels and a former candidate in Texas’ 2006 gubernatorial campaign. (He came in fourth out of six candidates.) Friedman — regarded by many in the same league of Texas country royalty as Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings — will perform some of his classics along with new, personal material from Circus of Life during his Tuesday performance at The Blue Door, 2805 N. McKinley Ave. Tickets are $35$40. Oklahoma Gazette recently caught up with Friedman to speak about what inspired his new album, the state of modern country music and an outsider’s view on true Christian charity.

Circus of Life | Image provided


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Oklahoma Gazette: This was your first album of original material in quite awhile, right? Kinky Friedman: Yeah, apparently in 40 years. That might be true, and if it is, I blame Willie [Nelson]. I was watching Matlock at 3 o’clock in the morning and my psychiatrist, Willie Nelson, calls and says that it’s a sure sign of depression, watching Matlock, and to start writing. That kind of inspired me, and I wrote all the songs on Circus of Life in about a month. And then I called Willie and that’s when Willie said to send them to him. I asked Willie how he was feeling because I was hearing these rumors about his health not being the best, and Willie, he said, “A little up, a little down, the usual.” And then he said, “By the way Kinky, what channel is Matlock on?” OKG: And on the album, you have that great tribute to Willie also. Friedman: Yeah, “Autographs in the Rain” has turned out to be as close to a hit as we’re going to get. We’re a small, independent record place at Echo Hill Records. But I think the pendulum is swinging our way. I think more and more people — the majority are no longer just hearing the kind of music that comes out of Nashville, which is produced or overproduced and that’s about all you get. You don’t even really get a song. These songs are written in corporate brothels, and they’re written by committee. And they have one idea in mind: whatever the idea is that they tell them, like ‘This is a song for someone who is going to a tailgating party’ or ‘This one is a commercial for Coors beer.’ They’re writing with that stuff in mind, and I don’t think that’s the way the really good stuff from Roger Miller or Shel Silverstein or Kris Kristofferson was written. Those guys, they wrote out of tragedy mostly. That’s pretty much what I did on Circus of Life. If I had to say who they sound like to me, they sound like early Leonard Cohen and early Kristofferson. OKG: Is it easier or harder to write now than it was 40 years ago? Friedman: Well, 40 years ago, there was a climate; there were songwriters everywhere. The Glaser brothers opened their studio Hillbilly Central (Glaser Sound recording

studio), and they let all kinds of people, all kinds of ideas in there that the rest of the music world did not. [The music industry] was a closed fraternity, and because they were a closed fraternity, they never understood Willie Nelson. So when he said goodbye to Nashville like Davy Crockett did — you know, ‘You can go to hell; I’m going to Texas’ — in 1971, I don’t think anyone in Nashville thought they’d see or hear from him again. If you want to go back some earlier decades, they did the same with Hank Williams. OKG: At these shows you’ve been playing recently, are you seeing any younger fans out there? Are younger fans connecting to this music? Friedman: Oh, I don’t think there’s any question. The only place with more young people than America is Germany. At least they’re coming to the shows. Last time I was there [in Germany], they sold out every show, the young people. I am rapidly becoming the new David Hasselhoff. OKG: Maybe you were the first David Hasselhoff, then he came around later. Friedman: Well, not only that, but the young people in Europe and the audiences in Europe, they know the songs. They think America is great for a different reason than we do. They, I think, get it better. When you look at guys like Warren Zevon, the people who weren’t really mainstream people, they think those are the reasons America is great. I think that’s admirable and I think it’s right, too. I’m very happy to be part of that group of Iggy Pop and Tom Waits and Gram Parsons. But if we could all sit down and write a song that would be significant, we would do it. I mean, all I know of step one is to be miserable. OKG: Yeah, that’s where a lot of the good stuff starts. Friedman: I think that’s true. As Nashville has become more and more corporate, you’re hearing sanitized, homogenized, trivialized music. Not to be a snob, because Jesus rode in on a jackass. OKG: On your album, you have the

Kinky Friedman | Photo Brian Kanof / provided

“Jesus in Pajamas” story, which I think was inspired by a real-life event. Friedman: Yeah, it was. It was this guy who was a soulful-looking, fucked-up guy wearing a dirty green knit cap and pajamas who came into a Denny’s at close to 3:15 in the morning. I was very depressed, and for the first time in my life, I didn’t have any money and I didn’t have enough to give him any. I just walked out and I left him there. About three minutes later, I turned around and came back, thinking, ‘I’ve got to give this guy something.’ And he was gone. Nobody had seen him, which was a little hard for me to believe. The cashier and the few customers in there hadn’t seen a guy like that. So I guess we were able to help and we didn’t. And my Christian friends tell me that song is what Christianity is. Or what it should be. I know a lot of people who are able to help and they just don’t. OKG: I’ve heard you say a few times you were feeling miserable. Do you still feel miserable now, or have things changed? Friedman: Well, I’ve been miserable for about 72 years, but things are starting to pick up. You know, I’m 73 but I read at a 75-year-old level. OKG: Is there anything else you want to add before the show? Friedman: Well, just that the audience loves the new songs. I was shocked because I thought they would want to hear “They Ain’t Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore.” But they don’t. They want to hear the Matlock collection. And I hope I can do it all again.

Kinky Friedman 8 p.m. Tuesday The Blue Door 2805 N. McKinley Ave. | 405-524-0738 $35-$40


Rap rationale

Chart-topping hip-hop artist Logic brings a message of unity to The Zoo Ampitheatre. By Ben Luschen

In some respects, Maryland rapper Logic’s song “1-800-273-8255” is an unlikely candidate to be a top three Billboard hit single. For one, its phone number song title includes too many digits and too many verbal syllables to be effortlessly memorable. And though Logic (born Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, with “Sir” being an actual part of his first name and not a given title) shows off some of his best and most beautiful singing to this point in his career on the song, some of the tune’s lyrics are downright morbid at close inspection. “I don’t wanna be alive,” the 28-yearold howls in the opening chorus, which is told from the perspective of a caller to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is who one will find on the line’s other end after dialing the titular phone number. “I just wanna die today,” Logic continues. “I just wanna die.” Yet the anti-suicide anthem (featuring guest vocals from Alessia Cara and Khalid) has found a huge audience on the radio and the internet. Actors Don Cheadle and Matthew Modine star as fathers of gay sons in the music video, which has more than 279 million YouTube views. Fans will likely hear Logic perform a live and triumphant version of the tune when his Bobby Tarantino Vs Everybody Tour stops 6:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at

The Zoo Amphitheatre, 2101 NE 50th St. Tickets are $36-$70.50. “1-800” has also helped propel Logic to hip-hop music’s highest level of prominence. His 2017 album Everybody, from which the single originates, was his first album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album-sales list. Logic followed that success up in March with another No. 1 Billboard ranking, this time for the project Bobby Tarantino II, which technically isn’t even an album, but a mixtape. In a video interview with Genius, a site dedicated to annotating the lyrics of rappers and other musical artists, Logic said the song was inspired by a crosscountry tour he did visiting and spending time with various fans. So many of the fans he met with credited the rapper’s music for saving their lives at some point. Many of them had his lyrics tattooed across their arms and on their chests. Logic said he was almost in disbelief over the power within his own words. “In my mind, I was like, ‘Man, I wasn’t even trying to save nobody’s life,’” he tells Genius. “And then it hit me: the power I have as an artist with a voice. I wasn’t even trying to save anybody’s life; now what could happen if I actually did?”

As grim as “1-800” begins, there is — of course — a brighter message to follow. Logic’s first verse is from the perspective of an emotionally defeated individual calling into the suicide hotline for support. In his second verse, he raps from the perspective of the caller’s answerer — himself. He acknowledges the caller’s pain but offers hope. “You don’t gotta die today,” the shifted chorus goes. “You don’t gotta die; now let me tell you why.”

We’re Everybody

Logic’s inclusion of Cheadle and Modine in the “1-800” video is not the only time the rapper has sought A-list talent for creative roles. On the album Everybody, the plot is partially driven by a character’s conversation with “God,” voiced by famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

As grim as “1-800” begins, there is — of course — a brighter message to follow. Through the album’s narrative subplot, God reveals to a recently deceased character that he is the only person to have ever lived and that his life is really a series of reincarnations that has forced him to walk in the shoes of every human who has ever or will ever exist. “It is not until you have lived every human life inside of your universe that I may take you from this place,” God says to the character in a purgatory-like waiting room. “Once you have walked in the shoes of every race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, loving and hateful person, it is only then that you will understand how precious life truly is.” On the album’s final track, “AfricAryaN,” God gives the life advice of staying positive and living in the moment. “Remember that right here in this moment is all you are guaranteed and the fact that you are living is what life Logic | Photo Ryan Jay / provided

is all about,” the deity says. “So live your life to the fullest, according to your happiness and the betterment of all.” Tyson’s involvement in Everybody evolved out of an email from Logic to the physicist. The host of StarTalk and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey was not aware of Logic or his music before the email but has said he was flattered by the offer and has spoken highly of the rapper in subsequent interviews. Complex filmed a conversation between Logic and Tyson following Everybody’s release. Discussion topics widely vary in the video, but eventually, the subject of race is brought into the forefront. Logic, born to a white mother and a black father, makes his biracial upbringing and its effect on his life a major theme on the album. In the video, Tyson states that his own racial ancestry is of little importance to him. There are trillions of humans alive today, but thousands of years ago, there were not so many. Tracing one’s lineage back to a particular place and time, he argues, is an arbitrary practice because all people can eventually trace their roots back to common African ancestors who migrated to other parts of the world from there. Tyson’s message of an all-encompassing connection between the entirety of humankind is the crux of Everybody’s thesis. “I am genetically connected to everyone on Earth,” Tyson explains in the Complex video. “If I want to figure out what I can be in life, I’m looking to everyone who ever lived: the genius of Isaac Newton, the courage of Joan of Arc, the social morality of Martin Luther King. I’m happy to absorb all the creativity of humanity and then cherrypick that for what excites me and let that be what I become in life.”

Logic w/ Kyle 6:30 p.m. Aug. 1 The Zoo Amphitheatre 2101 NE 50th St. | 800-514-3849 $36-$70.50

O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J U LY 2 5 , 2 0 1 8


LIVE MUSIC These are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. For full calendar listings, go to





Uncle Blue, Belle Isle Brewery. BLUES

Aaron Hale & The Human Beings, The Root. ROCK




J U LY 2 5 , 2 0 1 8 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M

Riders in the Sky, Tower Theatre. BLUEGRASS

Robert Hoefling , Bluebonnet Bar. FOLK

The Shine/The Kildeers, Opolis. ROCK

Black Water Bridge, Moore Central Park. COVER

St. Basic, The Root. ROCK

Book of Love, Tower Theatre. POP

Stephen Salewon, JJ’s Alley Bricktown Pub. FOLK

Buffalo Rogers, The Blue Door. SINGER/SONGWRITER

To Kill Porter/Shoulda Been Blonde/Brujo, The Venue OKC. ROCK

Cotton White/Tribesmen, Chixs & Styxs. ROCK


Darku J, Greystone Lounge. ELECTRONIC

Kim Richey & Kevin Welch, The Blue Door.

Don’t Tell Dena, VZD’s Restaurant & Bar. ROCK The Holophonics/The Big News, Blue Note Lounge.



Orquesta D’Calle, Myriad Botanical Gardens. POP Save Face, 89th Street-OKC. ROCK

MONDAY, JUL. 30 Hallow Point/Ancient Anger/Dog Will Hunt, Your Mom’s Place. METAL Jason Hunt, Sean Cumming’s Irish Restaurant. FOLK Universal Sigh, The Deli. ROCK

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Janice Francis-Smith, Full Circle Bookstore.

Saturn, Anthem Brewing Company. ROCK

Cedar House, Anthem Brewing Company. FOLK

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Dresden Bombers, Blue Note Lounge. ROCK

Michael Fracasso, The Blue Door.



Nick Alberty, Rodeo Opry. COUNTRY

Ray Wylie Hubbard, Tower Theatre. COUNTRY

Void Vator/Our Mother’s Martyr, Blue Note Lounge.

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38 Special, Frontier City. ROCK

Josh Abbott Band, Chisholm Creek. COUNTRY

The Sword/Ume, 89th Street-OKC. ROCK

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Stephen Baker, Bluebonnet Bar. JAZZ


Zane Williams/Honey Blue, The Weekend Saloon.


Oklahoma Symphonic Band, Chisholm Trail Park.

405-70-TOWER | 425 NW 23rd St. OKC



Koolie High & the Tap Band, Ice Event Center & Grill.

Tickets and Info TOWERTHEATREOKC.COM @towertheaterokc

ST 37 / Helen Kelter Skelter, The Deli.

Steve Crossley, Louie’s Grill & Bar. R&B

Jessica Tate, Sean Cumming’s Irish Restaurant. JAZZ


Reina Del Cid, The Root. FOLK

Replay, Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar. COVER

Jared Lowery Combo, Saints. JAZZ

August 10


Stephen Salewon, Rococo. FOLK

The Fitzgeralds, Legacy Park. JAZZ


A Perfect Body, Royal Bavaria Restaurant & Brewery.

Abbigale Dawn, Bluebonnet Bar. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Buffalo Rogers, The Blue Door. SINGER/SONGWRITER


Joel T. Mosman & Oklahoma Uprising, Bluebonnet Bar. ROCK

TUESDAY, JUL. 31 Country Clique, Friends Restaurant & Club. COUNTRY

In The Whale/In Angles/Giraffe Massacre, Blue Note Lounge. ROCK Kyle Reid, Scratch Kitchen & Cocktails. SINGER/ SONGWRITER

The Monolithic, Red Brick Bar. ROCK

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 1 FC Westcott & the Aficionados, Red Brick Bar.

Haniwa In 2015, we called Haniwa a “band to watch,” declaring, “This state has a rich array of music produced inside its borders, but pure indie pop territory is relatively unpopulated. Upstart Haniwa changes that.” Three years and a mindscorching psychedelic album (Violent Sun) later, OKC’s music scene is much richer and the band members are less upstarts than standard-setters. The band, just returned from a multi-state tour, will soon start a new chapter as its drummer heads to art school in Iowa. The show starts 8 p.m. Thursday at 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St. Call 405-463-0470 or visit 51stspeakeasy. com. THURSDAY Photo provided


The Hollow Ends/Deer Paw, The Root. FOLK Otep, The Ruins Live. ROCK

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 Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.


free will astrology Homework: Do you have a liability that could be turned into an asset with a little (or a lot of) work? Testify at ARIES (March 21-April 19)

Be extra polite and deferential. Cultivate an exaggerated respect for the status quo. Spend an inordinate amount of time watching dumb TV shows while eating junk food. Make sure you’re exposed to as little natural light and fresh air as possible. JUST KIDDING! I lied! Ignore everything I just said! Here’s my real advice: Dare yourself to feel strong positive emotions. Tell secrets to animals and trees. Swim and dance and meditate naked. Remember in detail the three best experiences you’ve ever had. Experiment with the way you kiss. Create a blessing that surprises you and everyone else. Sing new love songs. Change something about yourself you don’t like. Ask yourself unexpected questions, then answer them with unruly truths that have medicinal effects.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Your past is not quite what it seems. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to find out why -- and make the necessary adjustments. A good way to begin would be to burrow back into your old stories and unearth the half-truths buried there. It’s possible that your younger self wasn’t sufficiently wise to understand what was really happening all those months and years ago, and as a result distorted the meaning of the events. I suspect, too, that some of your memories aren’t actually your own, but rather other people’s versions of your history. You may not have time to write a new memoir right now, but it might be healing to spend a couple of hours drawing up a revised outline of your important turning points.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

One of the most famously obtuse book-length poems in the English language is Robert Browning’s Sordello, published in 1840. After studying it at length, Alfred Tennyson, who was Great Britain’s Poet Laureate from 1850 to 1892, confessed, “There were only two lines in it that I understood.” Personally, I did better than Tennyson, managing to decipher 18 lines. But I bet that if you read this dense, multi-layered text in the coming

weeks, you would do better than me and Tennyson. That’s because you’ll be at the height of your cognitive acumen. Please note: I suggest you use your extra intelligence for more practical purposes than decoding obtuse texts.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

Ready for your financial therapy session? For your first assignment, make a list of the valuable qualities you have to offer the world, and write a short essay about why the world should abundantly reward you for them. Assignment #2: Visualize what it feels like when your valuable qualities are appreciated by people who matter to you. #3: Say this: “I am a rich resource that ethical, reliable allies want to enjoy.” #4: Say this: “My scruples can’t be bought for any amount of money. I may rent my soul, but I’ll never sell it outright.”

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

As you wobble and stumble into the New World, you shouldn’t pretend you understand more than you actually do. In fact, I advise you to play up your innocence and freshness. Gleefully acknowledge you’ve got a lot to learn. Enjoy the liberating sensation of having nothing to prove. That’s not just the most humble way to proceed; it’ll be your smartest and most effective strategy. Even people who have been a bit skeptical of you before will be softened by your vulnerability. Opportunities will arise because of your willingness to be empty and open and raw.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Since 1358, the city of Paris has used the Latin motto Fluctuat nec mergitur, which can be translated as “She is tossed by the waves but does not sink.” I propose that we install those stirring words as your rallying cry for the next few weeks. My analysis of the astrological omens gives me confidence that even though you may encounter unruly weather, you will sail on unscathed. What might be the metaphorical equivalent of taking seasick pills?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

The Spanish word delicadeza can have several meanings in English, including “delicacy” and “finesse.” The

Portuguese word delicadeza has those meanings, as well as others, including “tenderness,” “fineness,” “suavity,” “respect,” and “urbanity.” In accordance with current astrological omens, I’m making it your word of power for the next three weeks. You’re in a phase when you will thrive by expressing an abundance of these qualities. It might be fun to temporarily give yourself the nickname Delicadeza.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Uninformed scientists scorn my oracles. Reductionist journalists say I’m just another delusional fortuneteller. Materialist cynics accuse me of pandering to people’s superstition. But I reject those naive perspectives. I define myself as a psychologically astute poet who works playfully to liberate my readers’ imaginations with inventive language, frisky stories, and unpredictable ideas. Take a cue from me, Scorpio, especially in the next four weeks. Don’t allow others to circumscribe what you do or who you are. Claim the power to characterize yourself. Refuse to be squeezed into any categories, niches, or images -- except those that squeeze you the way you like to be squeezed.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

“I have no notion of loving people by halves; it is not my nature. My attachments are always excessively strong.” So said Sagittarian novelist Jane Austen. I don’t have any judgment about whether her attitude was right or wrong, wise or ill-advised. How about you? Whatever your philosophical position might be, I suggest that for the next four weeks you activate your inner Jane Austen and let that part of you shine -- not just in relation to whom and what you love but also with everything that rouses your passionate interest. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you’re due for some big, beautiful, radiant zeal.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

“There are truths I haven’t even told God,” confessed Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. “And not even myself. I am a secret under the lock of seven keys.” Are you harboring any riddles or codes or revelations that fit that description, Capricorn? Are there any sparks or seeds

or gems that are so deeply concealed they’re almost lost? If so, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to bring them up out their dark hiding places. If you’re not quite ready to show them to God, you should at least unveil them to yourself. Their emergence could spawn a nearmiracle or two.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

What are your goals for your top two alliances or friendships? By that I mean, what would you like to accomplish together? How do you want to influence and inspire each other? What effects do you want your relationships to have on the world? Now maybe you’ve never even considered the possibility of thinking this way. Maybe you simply want to enjoy your bonds and see how they evolve rather than harnessing them for greater goals. That’s fine. No pressure. But if you are interested in shaping your connections with a more focused sense of purpose, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to do so.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

In Janet Fitch’s novel White Oleander, a character makes a list of “twenty-seven names for tears,” including “Heartdew. Griefhoney. Sadwater. Die tränen. Eau de douleur. Los rios del corazón.” (The last three can be translated as “The Tears,” “Water of Pain,” and “The Rivers of the Heart.”) I invite you to emulate this playfully extravagant approach to the art of crying. The coming weeks will be en excellent time to celebrate and honor your sadness, as well as all the other rich emotions that provoke tears. You’ll be wise to feel profound gratitude for your capacity to feel so deeply. For best results, go in search of experiences and insights that will unleash the full cathartic power of weeping. Act as if empathy is a superpower.

Go to 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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puzzles 1

New York Times Magazine Crossword Puzzle complimentary

By Sam Ezersky and Byron Walden | Puzzles Edited by Will Shortz | 0722


95 Major exporter of uranium 96 Hand-to-hand combat weapon 1 Iams competitor 97 Long lines? 5 Pretend 12 Song sung by Garth Brooks on 100 Athlete honored on Richmond’s Monument Avenue Jay Leno’s last Tonight Show 102 Drained of color 20 Podcast host Maron 103 Compliment to a vegetable 21 Fred Flintstone’s boss gardener? 22 Weathers, as a hurricane 23 “That’s me you’re looking for” 107 What the “s” stands for in “scuba” 24 Compliment to a lawmaker? 108 Enhanced medium for talk 26 Lesley who played Mrs. radio Patmore on Downton Abbey 109 Draw upon 28 ____ the sly (be secretive 110 ____ Enchanted (2004 about) film) 29 Drug used to combat ADHD 111 Result of a computer crash 30 Short writing assignment, 112 Got back at informally 113 Difficult situation 32 Really like 35 Really like DOWN 36 Compliment to a composer? 1 Key of Mozart’s “Odense” 39 ____ voce Symphony 43 Deep, deep hole 2 Thin layer 44 Crème de ____ 3 ____ to sell 46 Lucky strike? 4 Color-changing creatures 47 Toe, to a tot 50 John, Paul or George, but not 5 “Yo te ____” (Spanish 101 phrase) Ringo 6 How boors behave 52 Alternative to first class 7 Some inclement weather, in 55 Lake vessel broadcast shorthand 56 Water cooler? 58 Cornbread variety named for 8 “Oh, by the way …” 9 GPS system, e.g. where it’s baked 10 Suffix with señor 59 Film role for the dog Skippy 11 Bog 60 Meditative discipline 12 Weapon resembling the letter 62 Compliment to a lecturer? 64 Compliment to a taxonomist? psi 13 Posterior 67 Compliment to a champion 14 Beat after a buzzer beater speller? 15 Rubbish 68 Smallville 16 Alternative to Parmesan 69 2002 Literature Nobelist 17 Chuck ____, four-time Super Kertész Bowl-winning coach 70 Snack with a rock climber on 18 Pick out its wrapper 19 Uranians and Neptunians 71 Head of communications? 25 Lack the courage to, for short 72 Gettysburg general 27 Musical set in St.-Tropez, 73 Like many holiday candles familiarly 74 Gal of Wonder Woman 31 Actress Hoffmann of 77 Banned game projectiles Transparent 78 [not my mistake] 33 Half: Prefix 79 “Why, you little …” 34 What dark clouds might 81 Word with prayer or paddle represent 84 Claim in e-cigarette ads 37 Small bone, as in the ear 87 Compliment to a charity 38 Quai D’Orsay setting organizer? 40 Prepared to shoot 93 Dorm VIPs

















28 32













57 61





74 79







Accounting/HR Manager Marian Harrison


Accounts receivable Karen Holmes

77 81


Digital Media & Calendar Coordinator Jeremy Martin



















62 B on an LP 63 Site for an ACL tear 65 Took off 66 Words said before bed? 72 Peace Nobelist Yousafzai 73 ID card fig. 74 Lose rigidity 75 Not worth ____ 76 Florida’s Miami-____ County 77 Lightsaber wielder 80 Worlds external to the mind 82 Activity in libraries and movie theaters 83 Diplomatic agreement 85 Record label for Whitney Houston 86 One of the friends on Friends 88 Milkshake, in New England 89 Author Gerritsen and actress Harper


EDITOR-in-chief George Lang

90 What one might seek after a computer crash, informally 91 Opera with the aria “Ave Maria” 92 Skim 94 Vice President Agnew 97 Stone that’s a star 98 It may be checkered 99 Till section 101 Scrape 103 Crestfallen 104 Tony winner Hagen 105 Dallas hoopster, briefly 106 Roll on a golf course


j u ly 2 5 , 2 0 1 8 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m













Staff reporters Ben Luschen Jacob Threadgill Jeremy Martin contributors Joshua Blanco, Daniel Bokemper Ian Jayne, Jo Light Circulation Manager Chad Bleakley creative director Kimberly Lynch

Order mounted or ready-to-frame prints of Oklahoma Gazette covers, articles and photos at

New York Times Crossword Puzzle answers Puzzle No. 0715, which appeared in the July 18 issue.


Assistant EDITOR Brittany Pickering

Graphic Designers Karson Brooks Ofelia Ochoa

Stumped? Call 1-900-285-5656 to get the answers to any three clues by phone ($1.20 a minute).

Sudoku hard | n° 45644 Fill in the grid so that every row, column and 3-by-3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9.

Advertising 405-528-6000 Account EXECUTIVES Saundra Rinearson Godwin Christy Duane Kurtis DeLozier Philip Rodriguez



41 Beings on TV’s Doctor Who 42 West Coast beer brand, informally 45 Modern payment option 47 Musical medley 48 Wits 49 Not hold back, to a poker player 51 Ottoman title 53 Twice tetra54 More sharply dressed 55 Container for amontillado 56 Easternmost of the Lesser Antilles 57 Kitchen device 58 Meriting only half a star, say 60 French city where D’Artagnan lived in The Three Musketeers 61 MSN, for one




VP, CORPORATE AFFAIRS Linda Meoli operations & Marketing Manager Kelsey Lowe



Please address all unsolicited news items (non-returnable) to the editor.

publisher Bill Bleakley



VOL. XL No. 30

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All real estate advertising in this newspaper is subject to the Federal Fair Housing HomE BuyERs Act of 1968, which makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, preference or discrimination.

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