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free every wednesday | Metro OKC’s Independent Weekly | August 8, 2018

Democracy's essence

60 years ago, Clara Luper stood up for human rights by sitting down at Katz Drug Store. By Ben Luschen, P. 4


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inside COVER P. 4 60 years ago, a group of young protesters staged a sit-in at Katz Drug Store in downtown Oklahoma City to call attention to racial segregation and discrimination. Their actions in 1958 set the stage for the civil rights protests that followed in the 1960s and still resonate in modern movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo. By Ben Luschen Cover photo Oklahoma Historical Society / provided

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NEWS Marilyn Luper Hildreth, daughter of Clara Luper, fights to continue her mother’s civil rights legacy. | Photo Meg Cherie

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It is between these familiar walls that the committee finalizes plans for yet another sit-in, this one a historical reenactment. A procession will gather 9 a.m. Aug. 18 at the downtown Frontline Church, 1104 N. Robinson Ave., and march about a third of a mile west to Kaiser’s Grateful Bean Cafe, 1039 N. Walker Ave., and stage a sit-in inside the eatery, which features vintage bar seating similar to that found inside Katz Drug Store. There will be additional events, lectures and film screenings held throughout the week. Visit okhistory.org for more programming information.

Vital disobedience Clara Luper blazed trails with a nonviolent sit-in movement, but 60 years later, there is still progress to be made. By Ben Luschen

The Oklahoma City sit-in movement of the late 1950s and ’60s is known for staying nonviolent as it pressed toward its civil rights goals. But while local protests never escalated into the chaotic scenes of fire hoses and billy clubs as immortalized in stark black-and-white footage from Selma, Alabama, and Watts, California, it would be inaccurate to call the environment around the movement totally peaceful. “Of all the people in the city — I’m out there picketing with everybody, and he throws the monkey on me,” said Marilyn Luper Hildreth, recalling a white anti-protester lobbing a chimpanzee onto her shoulders during a local rally. “I’d never had a monkey thrown on me before.” Hildreth is the daughter of late Oklahoma-born civil rights leader Clara Luper, who is regarded as a hero for organizing sit-ins and other protests as advisor of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Youth Council. Luper led the first sit-in at the former Katz Drug Store in downtown OKC. Participants sat for hours inside the store days at a time, despite hostility from some customers. Katz ended its segregation policy after only a few days of the sit-ins. That first sit-in was just the first of several protests OKC’s NAACP Youth Council would lead through the years. The group’s strategy of civil disobedience — even in the face of public anger — was effective at producing results. But the bravery shown by the Youth Council members is amplified when one considers the age of its members. Hildreth was just 11 or 12 when the monkey was thrown on her. Nearly every member of the Youth Council was younger than 19. Tommy “Big Bud” Barnett, a member of the Minute 4

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Men Commando group that acted as security for the Youth Council sit-ins and protest, was just a teenager when he rushed to assist his frightened colleague. “Big Bud grabbed that monkey — I don’t know if it was a tame monkey or what kind of monkey, but it was a monkey,” Hildreth said. “He grabbed that monkey and threw that monkey from here to yonder.”

We knew one thing: There was something wrong with that picture. Joyce Henderson

History revisited

Larry Jeffries — a former Youth Council and Minute Men Commando member — sits on a gray couch, examining a rough draft of the programming schedule for the sit-in movement’s 60th anniversary celebration. He lays it on the coffee table and makes comments to the rest of the planning committee. The walls are plain white, ornamented with metal-frame butterflies. It is an ordinary-looking living room, except for the fact that it is not a living room at all. Quick glances to the left and right reveal that the unenclosed space is actually part of a Clara Luper-themed display within Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive. Two intersecting white walls help recreate Luper’s own living room where the civil rights leader organized countless sit-ins and protests through the years.

Constant mentor

Luper’s trailblazing work in civil rights, and Oklahoma’s sit-in movement in general, are often overlooked by history in favor of the more violent protests that came later. Even in this state, the role Luper played in history is not always clear. “If anybody is under 50 years old, they may not know who Clara Luper is. Under 40 years old, probably not,” said Bruce Fisher, a retired historian and son of University Oklahoma’s first black law school student, Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher. “So now that we’ve got it here, the next thing to do is to educate the community on how to utilize it.” Aside from serving as advisor for the NAACP Youth Council, Luper was a teacher at the black-only Dunjee High School in east Oklahoma City. She also wrote several plays, including Brother President, which taught Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent protest philosophy. Luper and her students were invited to perform Brother President at NAACP’s 1958 national convention in New York City. Up north was the first time many of the students were exposed to bathrooms, drinking fountains and restaurants that were not segregated. Returning home to race division at nearly every corner after a brief taste

of freedom was not acceptable to the students. Shortly after the trip, the Youth Council voted to begin their own campaign of nonviolence in OKC. Hildreth said her mother was much more than an NAACP advisor or a highschool teacher. She was a ’round-theclock mentor to the community’s youth and insisted upon the children presenting themselves in a proper and educated manner at all times. “You can tell all the students that she affected and that she taught,” Marilyn said, “because they don’t say, ‘Uh, uh, uh.’” Though Luper is now seen as a hero and role model, former sit-in participant Joyce Henderson was too busy living in the moment to have the presence of mind to see her teacher as a legend in her lifetime. They all had work to do, after all. “We knew one thing: There was something wrong with that picture where you could not go to recreational parks like everyone else, you could not drink out of the same water fountain, you couldn’t go to the same restroom,” Henderson said. “Everything that dealt with us, we were excluded instead of being included.”

Insisting peace

It is no happy accident that the OKC sit-ins were kept nonviolent. Luper maintained a close relationship with the Oklahoma City Police Department and made peaceful conduct a tenant for her Youth Council protesters. Students involved in the sit-ins went through special nonviolence training. Adult advisors tested students to make sure they could keep their cool. “They would all of the sudden just surprise you and throw some water on you,” Jeffries said. “It was like a war,” Hildreth added. “We were getting ready for combat.” Youth Council protesters endured all kinds of verbal abuse from those opposed Youth gather outside John A. Brown department store before resuming the sit down in 1958. | Photo Oklahoma History Center / provided


to their movement. Sometimes building managers would lock them inside the buildings they were occupying and shut off the air conditioning for hours at a time. Some students were spat on; others had hot coffee thrown at them. “You knew they were going to step on your hands when you’re on the sidewalk sitting down,” said musician Jahruba Lambeth, a member of the sit-in movement who was also part of the Minute Men Commandos with Jeffries. Luper tasked the Commandos with showing up at a protest site before anyone else and leaving only after they were sure everyone else had left safely. They also stood watch around the perimeter of the protest location. “Anytime we were out on the picket lines, there was always a threat of something happening,” Jeffries said. “We were the vanguard, even though we were just teenagers.” The original Katz sit-ins occurred two years before the more nationally well-know n 1960 protests in Greensboro, North Carolina. Hildreth said the success and efficiency of the Oklahoma sit-ins helped inspire movements elsewhere. “When we sat down here, it made the other black people across the country stand up,” she said. OKC’s sit-in movement lasted between five and six years. Some consider the end

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of national civil rights movements to be with President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But Jeffries is quick to remind people that the fight against hatred and for equality is never really over. “It has not ended yet,” he said. “In fact, it’s intensified.”

Modern momentum

On his song “Come Up,” rapper Jabee connects Luper’s legacy with the recent #BlackLivesMatter movement. “Hey trooper, I’m Clara Luper / sit in and I demonstrate / my will is healing a million / civilized each civilian / because these black lives matter no matter who did the killing” raps the emcee, born Jabee Williams. “Come Up” is featured on Jabee’s 2016 album Black Future, a project that name-checks dozens of local and national civil rights leaders. Like the majority of Oklahomans, Jabee never learned about Luper or the local sit-in movement in school. His knowledge of these things stemmed from growing up around engaged African-American parents and family members. “Today, there is an awareness because of what’s happening,” Jabee told Oklahoma Gazette, “but I think the importance and the value in what these people [in the sit-in movement] have done so that we can sit here today isn’t

as sacred or as honored as it should be.” Luper’s involvement with youth through the NAACP Youth Council is obviously closely tied to the sit-in movement of the ’50s and ’60s, but she continued her involvement as an advisor for years afterward. One of the students she mentored in that time was T. Sheri Dickerson, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Oklahoma. Dickerson was involved in the Youth Council from the late ’70s to her mid-teens in the late ’80s. Dickerson said the sit-in movement was very much at the forefront of her mind as she organized protests with Black Lives Matter. She particularly

A recreation of the bar inside Katz Drug Store inside Oklahoma History Center | Photo Meg Cherie

strove to channel Luper in her public speaking engagements. “She was such an amazing orator,” Dickerson said. “I wanted to be able to have just a portion of her fire and her passion and the power. The way I think I was able to accomplish that was by doing what she taught me, and that was to be authentic.” Though the specific aim of their social justice movements differ, continued on page 6

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Dickerson said it is important for young people to know the history of their activism. “The fight for racial justice has evolved,” she said. “I think the civil rights movement was focused on, at that point, what they called equality. And now this movement is more focused on racial justice in the sense of equity. But you don’t accomplish one without the other.”

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Known for the best

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She [Luper] was such an amazing orator. I wanted to be able to have just a portion of her fire and her passion and the power. T. Sheri Dickerson

Living the Dream?

Last year, Jeffries embarked on a pilgrimage of sorts to Washington, D.C. He walked up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and stood over the “X” marking the exact spot King stood as he delivered what is now known as the “I Have a Dream” speech calling for an end to racism. Jeffries peered out on the National Mall, imagining the swarms of people converged on the spot following the famous March on Washington in 1963. “There were 250,000-plus people — black folks — converged on Washington, D.C. that day,” he said. “And I was one of them.” Through their involvement with the Youth Council, many young members

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Participants in the 60th anniversary reenactment gather inside the Katz Drug Store display. | Photo Meg Cherie

of the sit-in movement had the opportunity to join the march and experience firsthand perhaps the most famous speech in history. “When you see young people now and you say, ‘I was there,’ you become an instant celebrity,” Henderson said. Like Jeffries, Jackson has returned to the site of the march. She has found the exact spot on the mall where she stood more than 50 years ago. Taking part in the march was a priceless experience for her and so many others who participated in it. The gravity of King’s speech and the rush of marching shoulder to shoulder with an army of people dedicated to the same cause has never left her. The memory is a reminder of the power in history as a guide. Henderson believes that if Luper were alive today, she would still have a list of things to accomplish toward the goals of civil rights and racial equality. Luper is no longer around to organize marches or take calls from civic leaders between the white walls of her living room. It is up to others to keep her will and legacy alive. “It’s important because we have to continue to tell the story so we don’t repeat the story,” Henderson said. “I tell people all the time that we’re moving forward but we’re moving backwards.”

60th anniversary march and sit-in reenactment 9 a.m. Aug. 18 Midtown from Frontline Church to Kaiser’s Grateful Bean Cafe 405-642-4486 Free


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Members of the public watch a live broadcast of the special State Board of Health meeting Aug. 1 | Photo Ben Luschen

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The new health department marijuana rules face legal challenges, but implementation will not be delayed. By Ben Luschen

Zig-Zag is the brand name of a wellknown line of rolling papers, but it is also a term that could describe the sharp twists and turns in the ever-evolving saga of medical marijuana rule implementation that has unfurled since voters approved State Question 788 in June. The Oklahoma State Board of Health met Aug. 1 for a special meeting in which the group approved a new batch of rules and regulations that both rolled back controversial rules the board approved in July and set forth new regulations some say are more restrictive than what was previously in place. An outright ban on the sale of smokeable products and a requirement that dispensaries hire an onsite pharmacist — which were both board-added amendments to Oklahoma State Department of Health rules approved by Gov. Mary Fallin — are now out. There was always a question of whether the Board of Health had the authority to impose restrictions not listed in the language of SQ788, and the legitimacy of those amendments was further shaded after former Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy director Chelsea Church’s email and textmessage attempts to influence the rules became public knowledge. But the new rules introduce a variety of new specifications, this time formed by the health department with the advice and counsel of the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office. Ron Durbin, an attorney representing Green the Vote in an injunctive lawsuit against the Oklahoma State Department of Health, said he believes the 20-page set of regulations includes contradictory language that would prohibit the sale of many products. The newly approved rules treat edible cannabis products as food products with the same applicable standards. It is illegal to put a drug or nonnutritive substance, which Durbin said cannabis is defined as, into a food product and sell it. “They just eliminated all edibles,” Durbin said after the Board of Health’s special meeting.

Furthermore, the new rules regulate marijuana growers in the same ways restaurants are regulated. This would eliminate open-air commercial growth and require a facility’s walls, roof and lights be made with food-safe materials. Durbin argues this would eliminate the standard greenhouse. Durbin met with interim health department commissioner Tom Bates the morning before the Board of Health meeting, where he raised concerns about the alleged contradictory language. In a news conference after the meeting, Bates said the health department attempted to address Durbin’s concerns with a stipulation that in cases where food regulations would conflict with the will of SQ788, the state question would take precedence. “Is this structure today, is it perfect? No,” Bates told the media. “There’s some gaps here that the Legislature at some point will have to address, but it allows the health department to go forward with the licensing framework and so forth to get a medical marijuana program up and off the ground.”

Patient need

Prior to Oklahoma Gazette’s deadline, Oklahomans for Health founder Chip Paul stated his group’s intention to join Green the Vote in its lawsuit against the Department of Health. Still, Paul said an injunction should not affect the implementation date for SQ788. “Regardless of what we say to the Department of Health legally, we will all ensure that patients will be able to get their medicine Aug. 27,” he said. “That is the biggest concern of everybody here.” Paul said his initial reaction to seeing a draft of the new rules for the first time was shock at their brevity. He said Oklahomans for Health had met with

Bates and the health department in a three-hour meeting the week before in which the group presented their own 58-page proposal. “I was stunned to see 20 pages of stipulation, and I was stunned not to see any testing suggestions,” Paul said. In addition to Oklahomans for Health, Paul also helped found the trade group Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association, which will set its own membership standards separate from the state. Though once concerned about the possibility of over-regulation, Paul is now uneasy about a lack of regulatory substance. “They stripped out a lot of the regulations we thought should be in there,” he said, “so we’re wearing different hats now.” After his first meetings with the Department of Health following the passage of SQ788, Paul was optimistic about its ability to craft framework for implementation. But the past month has helped change his mind. “They’ve had two goes to get this all right, and they’ve screwed them both up,” he said. From here, Paul said there are two options to ensure better industry framework. One is through legal challenges. The other is waiting for the Legislature to statutorily fix it. Paul said Oklahomans for Health will likely pursue both routes simultaneously. There is some thought that the legalization of recreational marijuana would simplify the battle over regulations. Paul does not believe this is necessarily the case. He said medical marijuana is taxed at a lower rate, which keeps costs down for people who need its relief. The institutional treatment of cannabis as medicine might also be beneficial to the patient. “You’re also going to have the relationship with your physician,” Paul said. “You could use [the recreational marijuana] you buy medically, but it’s different.”

Homegrown timetable

Max Walters, a medical marijuana advocate and dispensary employee who was present at the meeting, said he expected the Board of Health to approve

the rules he deems unfavorable. But the vote came and went a lot faster than he thought it might. “I was surprised on how abruptly they decided on it,” he said after the meeting. “There was, like, no discussion on it at all.” The lack of consistency in regulatory framework has surely not done any favors for the growers and dispensaries hoping to start business in August. Norma Sapp, executive director for the Oklahoma chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the constant lack of certainty is as problematic as anything else. “Everybody’s already paying rent somewhere,” Sapp said. “They’ve already been prepared to go and get seeds or they’ve already bought dirt or planters or whatever. And now they’re on hold again.” Under some interpretations of the new rules, hopeful patients might be mostly limited to the medical cannabis they can grow themselves. Sapp said people who apply for their card in late August will have to wait around two weeks before it is approved and granted to them. Then they will need to get their seeds, plant them and wait at least 60 days for their plants to grow, with another two weeks for the drying and curing process. “We’re talking wintertime before they get relief,” she said. She said those who need more immediate assistance would have to either drive to Colorado or another state legally selling cannabis product every time they needed relief or bring product back to Oklahoma with them and possibly test SQ788’s provision for the decriminalization of possession if they are without a card. Sapp said her motivation is driven entirely by the needs of patients. “I don’t have any illness to be able to get a card for,” she said. “I just want them to be able to get their own before the winter comes.” Walters agreed that time is of the essence for those who need to grow their own medicine. “Winter will make it really hard,” he said.

Attorney Ron Durbin left and Oklahomans for Health founder Chip Paul right watch a live broadcast of the Aug. 1 special State Board of Health meeting from an overflow room inside the health department offices. | Photo Ben Luschen

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Youth movement

Despite its college town reputation, Norman is experiencing millennial drain. By Ben Luschen

From 2011 to 2017, Tulsa native Katelynn Noel Knick called Norman home. Like a lot of people moving to Norman for the first time, her experience in the city began as a new University of Oklahoma (OU) student living in campus dorms. Eventually, she moved out into an apartment on Campus Corner and later into a series of duplexes ranging in size from 500 to 850 square feet. Despite spending six years of her life in Norman, Knick has been living with her husband in Oklahoma City for the last two years. She said finding a place to rent in OKC is a lot easier than in Norman, where everything seems to operate on the ebbs and flows of the semester schedule. “Most rentals that open up in the summer [in Norman] get rented out during spring break,” Knick said. “We would have to look for a place months in advance. Not so much in OKC; our window of searching was narrowed to about two weeks.” Norman Economic Development Coalition (NEDC) recently commissioned a study that found a 1.5 percent dip in the city’s 25-34 age bracket between 2011 and 2016. It is not the trend one would expect to see in the home of the state’s largest public university. After graduating with an art degree in 2015, Knick became an employee of OU School of Art and Art History. But after two years of living in Norman as The annual Norman Music Festival is one of the state’s largest youth and music culture gatherings, but the city is fighting to keep its graduates from moving elsewhere in the metropolitan area. | Photo Gazette / file

a non-student, she was ready to move back into a bigger city environment. “Norman was starting to feel so small and claustrophobic,” she said. “Careerwise, I had reached a point where I was ready to move on to a larger city with more opportunities. I didn’t want to leave Oklahoma yet, so OKC seemed like the next step.”

Feeding the workforce

Jason Smith, chief executive officer of NEDC, said there is data to support all kinds of different angles on the city’s ability to attract and maintain millennials and young professionals. “The main issue that we’re concerned with right now as a community is making sure we have the kind of people necessary to fill the jobs that our employers have,” he said. Smith said Norman is home to a number of different growing companies. The coalition often hears these companies saying it is becoming harder and harder to find the skilled workforce to fill their jobs. It is not really a problem unique to Norman. Smith said building and maintaining a skilled workforce is an issue in many cities and states around the country. However, the unique challenge Norman does face is its proximity to Oklahoma City and other destinations in the metropolitan area that have their own ability to attract young workers. Smith said in some ways, it is great that other areas in the metro have progressed because advancement and development benefits everyone in the area. But Norman must keep pace with this progress.

“It’s also incumbent on us and other communities to make the same kind of advancements to stay competitive,” Smith said. Aside from Norman’s workforce issues, Smith said the city faces a secondary problem in that millennials seem to prefer living in an urban setting. While NEDC is focused on labor of all ages, finding ways to keep the spending power of the future has emerged as a priority. “As we’ve worked on those issues, we’ve also uncovered that there’s census data that shows we’re not as competitive as we used to be,” Smith said. “And we’ve done survey data with university students that shows about 3 percent of [OU] juniors and seniors are saying they’re going to be living in Norman after graduation.” Smith said NEDC was generally in favor of the University Northpark development plan that would have accompanied the construction of a new OU basketball arena. Though he thinks the city is already positioned well in terms of cool and unique attractions that would appeal to a younger crowd, he thinks the new development — a proposal that has recently been withdrawn from consideration — would have helped. “At the end of the day,” he said, “we will not be able to attract jobs and entrepreneurs if we’re not able to keep our kids at home and be attractive as a place to live.”

Changing times

Norman Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Scott Martin, like Knick, is a native of Tulsa. But after graduating from OU with his undergraduate degree in the 1990s, he never felt a need to leave the city. Martin said one would think that Norman would have an advantage in millennial retention due to the fact that it has a university in its own backyard. But for myriad reasons, a lot of those students seem to be looking elsewhere after graduation. “That’s certainly a cause for pause

and to think about what that means for us today and also long-term,” he said. Back when he was a student, Martin said the larger cities in Texas were usually seen as the biggest threat to taking Norman’s young professionals. But as OKC and other places in the metro area have grown, many students have likely found that they can leave the city of Norman without actually leaving it altogether. “We’re finding that a lot of people are doing that,” Martin said. “Some of our businesses are discovering that many of their employees are working in Norman but living somewhere else. That doesn’t bode well for our schools, our taxbase, our city.” Still, Martin said Norman has a lot to be excited about overall. Its downtown area has grown a lot within the last decade, and commercial districts are beginning to emerge elsewhere in the city. New businesses are popping up all the time, and many unique cultural events call the town home. “There’s a lot to be interested in in Norman,” he said, “and I hope the people who live here take advantage of what we have to offer, but I also hope people outside our borders come and visit on a regular basis.”

Not enough

Knick praised Norman for being a place where young people can get the hang of adulthood. It is a small enough town that is easy enough to navigate but not so small that there aren’t plenty of entertainment options. She said forward-thinking cultural entities like Norman Music Festival, Resonator Institute and Jazz in June are all a major draw, but they are not enough on their own. “If you look past the diverse, educated, socially engaged population creating and attending these culturally rich venues and events, you realize very quickly that Norman is still a small conservative town in the middle of the country,” Knick said. “Its goals as a town don’t really align with the needs and values of millennials.” She suggested Norman be proactive in bringing more long-term job, internship and mentorship opportunities into the area to satisfy a population eager to get plugged into something. Also, the construction of affordable housing options for young professionals graduating with considerable college debt would be helpful. As much as anything else, Knick just wants millennial interests given a platform that is heard by others and seriously considered. “Try to strengthen the connection between OU and the Norman community,” she said. “Have more than one record shop and one less sports bar. I don’t know; just some ideas.”

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Scooter clutter

Since the construction of the streetcar began, drivers and pedestrians in Oklahoma City’s urban core have been dodging orange pylons and construction debris, but it’s all in the name of progress. Another sign in the march for public transportation evolution began popping up in and around downtown last week with the unveiling of 50 electric scooters from California-based startup Bird, according to The Oklahoman. The dockless, low-speed scooters are unlocked through a corresponding mobile app for $1, and users are charged 15 cents per minute of use. There are no rules where a scooter can be picked up or deposited, but users are asked to leave the scooter near bike racks or easily assessable areas. It’s a great idea in theory, but in practice, it has been somewhat problematic in places. Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden (a former Lyft and Uber executive) launched a Save Our Sidewalks campaign, which will donate $1 per vehicle per day to a local municipality for a bike lane and safety program and promote pragmatic use of the scooters. “We have all seen the results of out-of-control deployment in China,” VanderZanden wrote in a company statement. “Huge piles of abandoned and broken bicycles, over-running sidewalks, turning parks into junkyards and creating a new form of pollution.” Los Angeles and San Francisco have placed limits on the number of scooters placed within the city from Bird and its competitors LimeBike and Spin. Even though scooter pollution in the states hasn’t reached China’s levels, there have been plenty of public displays of annoyance left by the scooters, which many say block sidewalks and endanger pedestrians. Twitter is full of photos of scooters being shoved into trees to get them off the sidewalks and even smeared with excrement in protest of poor parking jobs. CFN wonders how that happened exactly. As Oklahoma City has been lucky enough to get in on the technological trend early, let’s take pragmatic use so as not to have scooter littering become more prevalent than abandoned Styrofoam Sonic cups.

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Clear the air

There’s something in the air. Oklahomans, like the Chicken-Fried News staff who pop Zyrtec on the regular to ward off allergies, are all too aware of this. On a national level, it seems the number of people who get sick from air pollutants is on the rise. A recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change states that air pollution-related deaths could claim the lives of 60,000 globally by the year 2030 and that U.S. citizens will be among the casualties. One of the study’s authors and lead researchers described the link between climate change and air pollution in an interview with CBS News. “Hotter temperatures can speed up the reaction rate of the air pollutants that form in the atmosphere,” Jason West, who is an environmental sciences professor at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, said in the interview. “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions has a really big benefit for air pollution and, therefore, for human health.” President Donald Trump’s desire to

withdraw from the Paris Agreement, his support for reducing restrictions on carbon emission restrictions for U.S. coal companies and the outward disbelief in climate change indicated by his Twitter feed offer no hope to Oklahomans who understandably fear that we are heading into the danger zone. Thank God then that one of our own is heading to Washington to offer the president sound, evidence-based advice on science, technology and the environment. On July 31, Trump appointed Okie Kelvin Droegemeier as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Droegemeier is a meteorology professor at University of Oklahoma whose political experience includes working on the National Science Board and serving as


Gov. Mary Fallin’s secretary of science and technology. Droegemeier’s appointment could result in sound advice for a president whose scientific opinions echo the hopes and sentiments of conspiracy theorists and toddlers nationwide. We offer our congrats to our fellow Okie on his new appointment and hope that he will use his power to sway the president to adopt or consider policies that will improve the lives and health of Americans. Please, please, do not make us hold our breath.

Friends forever

Oh, to be friends with U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, a man who will stand by his buds through thick and thin, whether they’ve been fired by President Donald Trump or they are being screamed at on Twitter by that same globally powerful fulminator. Well, at least he’s kind

of loyal. According to The Oklahoman, Inhofe spoke at length Aug. 2 to a crowd gathered at Midwest City Chamber of Commerce. He discussed his current and past friends in the Trump Administration, U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and former Environmental “Protection” Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, who was last seen giving a seed for the last Truffula tree to a young boy in hopes of reversing the deleterious environmental effects of Thneed production. The previous day, Trump tweeted that Sessions should fire special counsel Robert Mueller and usher in a period of abject darkness, cannibalism and spontaneous mutations. Inhofe stood by Sessions … sort of. “Jeff Sessions is, I guess, my best friend and I’m not going to secondguess whether he’s right or whether he’s wrong,” Inhofe said. “He knows more about it than I do and if he decides to do that — of course, he’s recused himself from that so he prob-

ably won’t make that decision. But he would have to issue the order, at least that’s what the president says.” Now, that’s all well and good except for the opener: “Jeff Sessions is, I guess, my best friend …” You guess? Either you’re besties or you’re not, Jimbo. CFN pictures Sessions dabbing at his enormous Tolkienian eyes with a Confederate hanky, wondering if all those glorious, sun-dappled afternoons sipping Mint Juleps and standing for the national anthem while the University of Oklahoma Sooners squared off against the Auburn University Tigers were just an illusion of closeness. Then, when Pruitt’s name was mentioned and Candyman fortunate-

ly didn’t materialize, Inhofe said he hadn’t conversed with him since White House chief of staff John Kelly gave Pruitt his walking papers. “I have not talked to Scott Pruitt since I kind of went to his aid,” Inhofe said. Kind of? Either you helped or you didn’t, and given that Pruitt has plenty of time now to hang out six days a week at the Broken Arrow Chick-fil-A, maybe give the guy a ringy-dingy once in a while. Man, that’s one sick chemical burn, senator. CFN never had much of a relationship with Pruitt, but maybe we’ll just check in and make sure the guy isn’t just sitting around in a soundproof room, wistfully watching Soylent Green and pining for what could have been.

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EAT & DRINK

review

Taco salad | Photo Jacob Threadgill

Neighborhood legacy Ray’s Café honors its late owner with affordable meals and Persian food. By Jacob Threadgill

Ray’s Café 2727 NW 50th St. | 405-942-4100 What works: Thursday’s Persian night is a chance to explore cuisine not found much in the metro area. What needs work: The hash browns needed to be more crisp. Tip: Check out Indian taco (Tuesday and Wednesdays) and catfish (Fridays) specials.

As Shermin Khazaeli and Reza “Ray” Moeeni began a long-distance relationship between Oklahoma City and Tehran, Iran, in 2009, many of the “dates” occurred over Skype as Moeeni introduced Khazaeli to many of the regular customers at his restaurant, Ray’s Café, 2727 NW 50th St. Khazaeli felt the love of Moeeni’s customers emanating from the screen all the way to her home halfway around the world. She accepted Moeeni’s marBlueberry French toast with hash browns and grits | Photo Jacob Threadgill

riage proposal over Skype, and they were married in 2010. Khazaeli — an ESL (English as second language) teacher and occupational therapist — received her green card to immigrate to Oklahoma in 2011. She continued her educational career path, becoming a licensed teacher and taking work with the Putnam City School District, first teaching part-time in an elementary school before taking a full-time job with a high school. Khazaeli’s world came crashing down in June 2013 when Moeeni died of sudden heart failure at the age of 64. “He was a very happy-go-lucky person, and he was the love of my life,” Khazaeli said of her late husband. “My whole world shook up [when he died], and I didn’t know what to do. It was so hard because I had to go through grief and so many other things. Little by little, I picked up the broken pieces and rebuilt myself.” Khazaeli said she heard from people that she should consider shutting down the restaurant. She had to finish teaching and had no restaurant experience, but she was determined to keep the memory of her late husband alive through his cafe. “[Ray’s Café] is a fruit of a lifetime of my husband that I adored,” she said. “He put his heart and soul in this place. He came to the U.S.

when he was 19 or 20. He built his life with his own hands; he was the epitome of the American dream. If I sold the restaurant, I’m actually betraying him. This is his legacy and the way I can stay close to him. He was such an awesome man, and I feel like I’m with him when I’m here.” Through the help of friends like Mark Khandani, owner of Sara’s Restaurant in Midwest City, Khazaeli gained the skills and confidence to work in the cafe’s kitchen. Not only did she want to be competent to help cooks in the kitchen, but she wanted to make improvements. She invested in entirely new equipment in the kitchen, made cosmetic changes to the restaurant and revamped the menu. She introduced more fromscratch menu items like chicken-fried steak and buttermilk pancakes and added special nights like Indian taco and catfish dinner nights. In September 2016, Ray’s started hosting a Persian food night 4-8 p.m. Thursdays. A fixed menu of seven classic Persian dishes are joined by rotating specials, and each meal is finished with Persian tea and baklava, but her version isn’t as cloying as the honey-doused Greek version of the phyllo pastry. “Persian Night has gone very well and been successful,” Khazaeli said. “No other place [in the metro area] has so many [Persian food] varieties.” Persian dishes include gheymey, a beef and split pea stew with eggplant, and adad polo, an aromatic mixture of basmati rice, lentil, raisins and caramelized onions that can be served with chicken. Baghali polo is lima beans and dill rice served with chicken, and fedenjoon is chicken and walnut stew topped with a pomegranate sauce. Ghormeh sabzi is a beef stew with kidney beans and sun-dried Persian limes. Halim bademjan is a blended mixture of beef, lentils and eggplant served with Middle Eastern sour cream and caramelized onion and mint. I’ve driven past Ray’s many times, but I always assumed it was a standard all-day breakfast diner. Its Persian night was what

brought me in the door a few weeks ago. I tried loobia polo, green beans with rice ($7.99) joined by stewed beef tips. I was pleasantly surprised to see the dish is joined with a pair of side salads: cucumber with tomato and yogurt with dill. The rice spiced with cinnamon, cloves and cardamom provides a depth of warm flavor without drifting into spicy notes. I would’ve preferred more than three or four pieces of beef in the dish, but it was tasty — particularly the rice. Loobia polo is a dish that Khazaeli’s mother would often make once per week. “It reminds me of childhood, especially of Fridays, which were our only day off,” she said. “I associated it with happiness and comfort.” She said that she will be adding other Persian items like kotlet — a spiced mixture of ground beef and potato formed into a ball and pressed flat as it shallowfries on the flattop — and meatballs with rice, spices and split peas to the menu. The Persian items at Ray’s represented my favorite meals. I also tried the taco salad and a breakfast plate of blueberry French toast with hash browns. The taco salad was served with chili in a standard pre-packaged taco bowl and left me wondering why more foods don’t come served in a taco shell bowl. The blueberry French toast hit the spot, but the hash browns were only lightly browned on one side, and the grits were instant. It’s hard to fault a restaurant for taking a few shortcuts when it passes the savings to the customers. Every item on Ray’s menu is less than $10, and food arrives from the kitchen within minutes. I’d highly recommend Ray’s on Thursday evenings for Persian food and to frequent when you’re in need of an affordable meal served quickly with a lot of love. “My vision of this place is that I want to bring a personality to this place, and I don’t want people to think it’s just a mediocre diner,” Khazaeli said. “Mediocrity is not in my vocabulary. Financially, I have limits, but within that limitation, I’ll do my best. Many people tell me it feels like home.”

Ray’s Café owner Shermin Khazaeli shares photos of her late husband Reza “Ray” Moeeni. | Photo Jacob Threadgill

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Bar work

With mid-century modern flair, Eatery & Cocktail Office @ The Union offers three bars and a full-service kitchen. By Jacob Threadgill

As the craft cocktail scene has exploded over the last decade, it has become fashionable for all types of cocktailthemed bars across the country to add “speakeasy” to their names, harkening to a time when spirits had to be consumed in clandestine fashion. Eatery & Cocktail Office @ The Union, 616 NW Fifth St., not only offers a full menu with small plates, fine dining and craft cocktails from three different bars, but one of those bars is a speakeasy located in a bar used as a speakeasy during the 1950s, as by-thedrink liquor sales didn’t become legal statewide until 1985. The Union building began its life as home to the city’s Electric Union, where members created a small speakeasy on the bottom floor — behind a series of winding hallways — to drink alcohol and play cards. The building changed hands over the years. It served as a credit union for decades and a few other establishments before developers created the bar The Union @ SoSA two years ago. Facing difficulties with operations, owners brought in restaurant consultant Lee Morris, owner of Sculpture Hospitality in Yukon. “Unfortunately it was too far gone for them, and it had only been four months,”

The Cocktail Office’s patio features live music on the weekends and a converted Airstream trailer turned bar. | Photo provided

Morris said. “They had problems, but I did like the bones [of the property].”

Eatery renovation

Morris became the majority owner of the Union building and closed down The Union @ SoSA and put the building through an extensive renovation. Morris said the local community homeowner’s association complained about the building being used strictly as a bar and wanted to see a restaurant take its place. The second floor underwent a transformation to mid-century modern décor complete with a stunning wood bar in a project overseen by designer Larry Pickering. The downstairs bathroom was removed to install a small but fullservice restaurant and put in a more direct route to the speakeasy room, which kept the crushed velvet couches and chandeliers from The Union @ SoSa design. The speakeasy can be rented out for private “happy hour” buffets with food and alcohol service. Morris said he was attracted to The Union’s 1970s steel Airstream trailer located out back that the previous establishment used as a short-order


kitchen. Morris overhauled the trailer to become a bar and installed a fire pit and awning on the back patio that also includes green space for cornhole games or Frisbee golf practice. “It’s got three different places to hang out,” Morris said. “That’s what people are looking for: diversity in the experience. If you want fine dining, go upstairs. If you want a cool and casual conversation, go to the speakeasy. You can come out to the patio every Thursday and Friday for live entertainment.” Eatery & Cocktail Office’s menu is already on its second phase since opening three months ago. The staff added protein-based entrees like Creole butter rib-eye steak with smashed potatoes and vegetables ($25), grilled pork chop with apple puree ($18) and grilled or blackened grouper ($22). They are joined on the menu by appetizers, small plates like Okie tuna poke, Spanish spiced pork skewers, main dishes like a Black Angus burger, fried chicken sandwich ($10), carbonara mac and cheese ($12) and grouper bánh mì ($15). The menu is rounded out with savory and sweet flatbreads like The Hipster ($11) with fig preserve, goat cheese, fresh prosciutto, caramelized onions, pistachios and microgreens. “The guests that were coming in were saying, ‘This is a great wine selection, but you don’t have anything foodwise to pair up with that,’” Morris said. “We listened to the guests and came up with entrée menu to go along with small plates and mains. It is a very diverse menu.”

More than a name

Eatery & Cocktail Office’s name is more than cute wordplay. Morris envisions it as a place where business can be done. Its upstairs bar and dining area is retrofitted with plenty of USB and traditional power plug-ins. “I travel a lot, so I’m always looking for a place to plug in to use my computer,” Morris said. “It’s like a businessman’s office away from the office.”

above The Eatery & Cocktail Office @ Union is located at 616 NW Fifth Street. below Classic cocktails pair perfectly with the restaurant’s mid-century aesthetic. | Photos provided

We want you to relax and also be able to get work done if you need to,” said operating partner Robin Briscoe Todd. The establishment of Eatery & Cocktail Office adds a full-service attraction to the Midtown-adjacent SoSA District (South of Saint Anthony’s). SoSA extends from Sixth and 10th streets to Classen Boulevard and Walker Avenue and was known to many as the Cottage District for many years. The district’s contemporary area started with the construction of modern stylized homes and the decadelong effort to renovate Red Andrews Park. “It is a beautiful growing area, and everyone is building new, nice homes here,” Morris said of SoSA. “I knew it would be a great time to get in on the ground floor. I took the leap of faith. The neighborhood said, ‘We don’t want a bar; we want a restaurant.’” Morris’ consulting business takes him to clients all over the country, but he has been an operating owner of Deep Deuce Grill for the previous eight years. He sold his shares back to the original owner when he took over control of the Union building. “I really think that this area [SoSA] is the new Deep Deuce,” Morris said.

The Hipster flatbread features fig preserve, goat cheese, fresh prosciutto, caramelized onions, pistachios and microgreens. | Photo provided O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 8 , 2 0 1 8

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EAT & DRINK

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Trendy hops

Innovation is the focus of Oklahoma Craft Beer Summit as the state’s industry celebrates growth. By Jacob Threadgill

When Oak & Ore owner Micah Andrews hosted the inaugural Oklahoma Craft Beer Summit at his Plaza District gastropub in 2016, the intention was to get the word out about the needs of Oklahoma’s nascent craft beer industry to the general public and legislators. As Andrews helps organize the third Craft Beer Summit Saturday at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., he’s able to reflect with pride on the tangible steps the Oklahoma craft beer industry has made over the last two years. Oak & Ore, 1732 NW 16th St., was filled to capacity for the first beer summit as brewers from across the state turned out for the event. It moved to Tower Theatre last year and will continue there this year, beginning with a 9:15 a.m. panel discussion on what modernization means to Oklahoma craft beer consumers, and the day will include Q&A sessions, keynote speaker Neil Witte, a brewers association quality ambassador, provided lunch from Your Pie, plenty of afternoon trivia and beer tasting sessions and an after-party at Oak & Ore beginning at 5 p.m. State Question 792 made it legal for craft breweries to sell their products directly from onsite taprooms, and Oklahoma has made an incremental jump from the 50th state ranking in breweries per capita to 49th, Andrews said. “At the point of the first summit, the taproom bill was sort of dead,” Andrews said. “Not that we think it was about anything that happened here, but it was fun to see the taproom bill revived. For a lot of breweries in Oklahoma, that was maybe the most important thing to happen.” Andrews said that the taproom

model lowered the barrier of entry for enterprising brewers because under the old setup, a brewery had to produce enough product to sell solely through distribution. The taproom model allows new breweries to use its own property to reach customers directly and grow its brand without being solely at the whim of distributors and retailers. “We’ve seen across the nation as taprooms are exploding, as a retailer, I get questions like, ‘Do you think taprooms are going to hurt your business?’ I think it is quite the opposite. I’ve talked to many breweries across the United States, and those taprooms become the epicenter and their brand grows concentrically outside the brewery.” Oklahoma City is home to taprooms currently onsite at Stoneclound Brewing Co., 1012 NW First St.; Prairie Artisan Ales, 3 NE Eighth St.; COOP Ale Works, 4745 Council Heights Road; and Anthem Brewing Company, 908 SW Fourth St. Additional breweries are under construction for Elk Valley Brewing, 1212 N. Hudson Ave.; Vanessa House Beer Co., 118 NW Eighth St.; COOP’s 87,000 square-foot facility at the 23rd Street Armory, 200 NE 23rd St.; Angry Scotsman Brewing, 704 W. Reno Ave.; Roughtail Brewing Company, 220 W. Memorial Road; and Black Mesa Brewing Co., 3901 N. Flood Ave., in Norman. “We see a lot happening in the urban core, which is exciting. I think it will be fun to get two or three breweries in a walkable area,” Andrews said. “With the streetcar in the Midtown and Automobile Alley, you’ll have Twisted Oklahoma Craft Beer Summit is 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at Tower Theatre. | Photo bigstock.com


Micah Andrews is owner of Oak & Ore and an organizer of Oklahoma Craft Beer Summit. | Photo provided

Spike [Brewing Co.], Prairie Artisan Ales, Vanessa House and Elk Valley all within walking distance.” Andrews hopes to come up with lessons for Oklahoma City’s craft beer industry during the summit’s keynote Q&A session with founders from Texasbased Austin Beerworks.

The innovation in craft beer in the United States is insane. Micah Andrews “They will have great perspective because they know what it’s like to grow a brand and enter a market like Oklahoma,” Andrews said. “I know they put out on social media that they had seen chatter about some of their former employees that started a new brewery and how it might cause cannibalization.” Ultimately, craft breweries shouldn’t be in competition with each other, Andrews said. They should be trying to increase exposure to customers that exclusively drink beer from large corporations. Craft beer sales increased nationally by 5 percent in 2017 while the overall beer market declined 1.2 percent in 2017, according to the Brewers Association. Craft beer accounted for 23 percent of the $111.4 billion overall beer market in the U.S. “[Austin Beerworks has] grown 25 percent since those two members left, and they helped the other brewery open because collaboration is the theme of craft beer,” Andrews said. “Craft beer

sees their long term vision as convincing more customers to drink craft beer, not getting one craft brewery to take another craft brewery’s handle.” Andrews said craft beer’s strength in the market is variety. Oak & Ore changes its selection almost daily by updating its giant, erasable board behind the bar. “If someone walks into Oak & Ore and says, ‘I like red wine or cider or whiskey,” he said, “most of the time, I can find a beer on our board that they’re excited about because craft beer is incredibly diverse in ingredients and process. The innovation in craft beer in the United States is insane.” The overall theme for Saturday’s beer summit is that of innovation, building from last year’s theme of quality. The summit will host an innovation and experimentation in brewing panel at 1:15 p.m. Saturday. “You can experience the industry even if you don’t know much about it,” Andrews said. “There will be tastings for different beers locally and outside of Oklahoma that aren’t necessarily distributed here. It’s not just for people that are real geeky and in the industry.” Tickets are $75. Visit oklahomacraftbeersummit.org.

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eat & DRINK

Decadent desserts

Restaurant desserts can be a tricky proposition. Often you can find the same flourless chocolate cake or Key lime pie across menus as restaurateurs place more emphasis on quickly turning tables than customers enjoying another item. These seven restaurants offer something special for an afterdinner treat. By Jacob Threadgill | Photos by Jacob Threadgill and provided

Cheever’s Cafe

2409 N. Hudson Ave. cheeverscafe.com | 405-525-7007

Just when you thought the ice cream sundae was perfect the way it was, Cheever’s finds a way to improve on a classic by covering a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream with brown sugar and chilespiced pecans and chocolate and caramel sauces. The scoop is the size of a softball and big enough to share with one or three of your closest friends.

La Baguette Bistro

7408 N. May Ave. labaguettebistro.com | 405-840-3047

As difficult as it might be to save room for dessert after a delicious French entrée, your eyes will bite off more than they can chew after walking past the bakery display case at the entrance of La Baguette. When there are huge treats like a cake version of tiramisu, a variety of different chocolate cakes, tarts and pastry, we think it’s totally acceptable to order two desserts for dinner.

The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro

6418 N. Western Ave. metrowinebar.com | 405-840-9463

Rich, sweet and savory, bread pudding is a hall of fame dessert. It checks off all the requirements for a delicious treat: crunch outside and a moist interior that has crunchy and sweet contrasts in texture with nuts and dried fruit. The Metro’s version earns the distinction of some of the best in the city with its classic interpretation done right.

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Stella Modern Italian Cuisine 1201 N. Walker Ave. stella-okc.com | 405-235-2200

The debate over whether or not to use a knife and fork while eating a candy bar is a plotline in an episode of Seinfeld, but there is no debate when you order Stella’s high-end version of a Snickers. The only way to eat the chocolate ganache topped with peanut butter mousse and sea salt gelato is with utensils.

Caffé Pranzo

The Winston

Vast

New York’s Carnegie Deli is widely considered to be the home of the best cheesecake in the country. Sure, you can try one of those copycat recipes online or book a flight to New York City, but you can always do the next best thing and head up May Avenue to Caffé Pranzo, which gets multiple cheesecakes shipped from Carnegie Deli every week.

Since opening in downtown Norman in April, The Winston has earned high marks from diners for its food that boasts classic meals with modern flair out of the Pub W concept. The Winston’s angel pound cake topped with bourbon glaze, spiced pecans, cinnamon and fresh whipped cream has become one of its most popular items and one of the most requested desserts among all Hal Smith properties.

With a menu featuring a show-stopping joconde cake, which is also known as an opera cake due to the high degree of skill required, the pastry chefs at Vast are always turning out desserts worthy of the view from the 49th floor of Devon Tower. You can get unlimited desserts at Vast’s daily table menu that changes weekly and costs only $19.50 per adult and $9.75 per child.

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art

ARTS & CULTURE

Smashing success Chaos Studio brings experiential art to an up-and-coming district. By Eric Miller

Creation and destruction go hand in hand, not so much two sides of the same coin as essential stages of an unending cycle. In artistic terms, the idea finds expression in recently opened Chaos Studio, 1322 NW Sixth St. The experience available to customers can be broadly divided into two forms of activity. On tables inside the studio, guests are free to engage in relatively restrained tinkering and building using objects supplied from thrift stores; outside, they are given goggles and hammers for a kind of cathartic smashing, either of their own creations or of other discarded objects. The space sprang from the mind of Oklahoma entrepreneur Jennifer Mayo, whose academic background — she has a master’s degree in entrepreneurship from Oklahoma State University and is working toward a doctorate in creativity from Saybrook University — puts her in a unique position to introduce a new type of business to Oklahoma City’s urban landscape. “The name of Chaos came from [the concept of] ‘chaotic good,’ which means a free spirit and a good heart,” Mayo said. “So those two things are what I want to inspire here. The idea of free spirit, of building whatever you want — but also in the Iron Works District, where there is homelessness and poverty, so I want to be a good neighbor here.” The neighborhood in question is deceptively modest, dotted with earlyto-mid 20th-century industrial structures and beautifully decaying residential architecture. Approaching the building in which Chaos is contained, visitors are greeted with an outdoor banner on which the message “Tell your story” is encouragingly emblazoned. The interior is far less cluttered than might be expected from a business called Chaos. A sense of “breathing space” prevails, evoking a simultaneous impression of workmanlike efficiency and reassuring calm. Streamlined and utilitarian in design, the building was formerly the site of welding activities and retains much of its original character, Mayo sa id, adding that she es-

sentially “just cleaned it.” She is quick to note the importance of the surrounding area in the greater scheme of her entrepreneurial vision. On one hand, there are whispers of new and exciting businesses on the horizon. On the other hand, the presence of less economically fortunate people in the vicinity cannot be denied. In fact, Mayo — who also has prior experience working for food banks — wants to help alleviate their plight. The studio is already in active partnership with Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and City Care OKC in efforts to provide food for area children and affordable housing for low-income families.

All ages

Endless ideas for future applications of the space seem to percolate through Mayo’s head at any given moment. She mentions, for example, a desire to host affordable classes for teenagers to work on electronics. But corporate teambuilding events are also in the works, attesting to the versatility of the studio’s potential appeal. The atmosphere of Chaos — complete with popcorn, Kool-Aid and the everpresent promise of playful destruction — certainly radiates a natural appeal to children. However, Mayo takes a special interest in providing adults a unique opportunity to embrace their inner childlike abandon, including as a date night. “I like the idea of adult play, being able to exercise your mind to think creatively, and the idea of free play — so just dreaming without much structure, like what kids do,” she said. “ K i d s think of the weirdest things, and as adults, we have to really practice that, so I was hoping that this would be that date-night experience where they could have that free play of playing like a child.” Guests are free to take home

All ages can find great productive or destructive projects at Chaos Studio. | Photo Chaos Studio / provided

any of their creations, but not everyone does. Lying around the studio space are a few of the more elaborate examples of ingenuity from both children and adults, including makeshift battle robots, a mechanical alligator, a rocket pack and a periscope. While others who visit might feel less inspired, Chaos is not really the type of space where something can be taken apart or put together “wrong,” Mayo said. “If you get frustrated, that’s why we have the outdoor space, to just smash it,” she said. “Some people could call it therapy at times.” This remains the main attraction, as everyone who walks through the doors ends up smashing something, often documenting their deconstructive efforts in photos and videos, Mayo said. “It’s great marketing for me because they’re taking slo-mo videos of smashing TVs and things like that,” she said. And television sets are just one of many items subject to Mayo’s distinct brand of recycling. What’s next to feel the wrath of the hammer simply depends on what’s available that day, but coffee makers, food processors, flip phones, printers and a host of other consumer electronics and appliances are all likely to be found there, destined for sacrifice to the gods of Chaos. Some might take only a couple of minutes to obliterate, while others prove more resilient. “Some things are more smashable than others,” Mayo said. In any case, as Picasso said, “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” At Chaos Studio, guests of all ages prove this adage, knowingly or otherwise, as they smash their way through preconceived notions of art — all while having fun. “Everyone has had great things to say,” Mayo said. “My Facebook has great comments on it. Everyone that comes has just given me awesome reviews so far.” Admission for two hours of creation or smashing is $15-$25, and Chaos Studio is open 6-10 p.m. Thursdays, 6-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and 2-5 p.m. Sundays. Visit chaosokc.com.

Chaos Studio offers visitors a chance to build, destroy or both. | Photo Chaos Studio / provided

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t h eater

Subversive stories

Author Shelby Simpson puts stories of sexual mishaps front and center in a stage production of her most recent book. By Jeremy Martin

Shelby Simpson didn’t want to read her own book. The Enid-born author didn’t think the subject matter of We’re All Bad in Bed, a collection of awkward sex stories, would go over well in a traditional bookstore setting. “People asked me if I was going to do book readings to help with sales and all, like at Barnes & Noble,” Simpson said. “I was like, ‘You want me to go read about crooked dicks at Barnes & Noble? That’s not going to happen. I don’t think it’s that kind of gig.’” But after seeing nontraditional readings by David Sedaris and Anthony Bourdain that incorporated off-the-cuff humor and multimedia presentations, Simpson reconsidered the format for a live reading. “I just went home and thought about it and was like, ‘Hell, I can do whatever I want,’” she said. “‘There are no rules.’” Bad in Bed Live! runs Aug. 16-19 at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St. The stage show, directed by Matthew Alvin Brown and featuring choreography by Hui Cha Poos, is based on stories from Simpson’s book but also incorporates photos, video clips and choreographed dancing to some of Simpson’s favorite “nasty ’90s hip-hop” with “chicks rapping over the tracks” live. “I chose these songs because they’re part of my memory of fun and sex and rebellion,” Simpson said. “As a teenager, all we listened to in Enid was, like, Eazy-E and Tupac and Snoop and Digital Underground and Too Short. I don’t know why that was the music going. You’d think it would’ve been country, but no. We’d get down to the nastiest shit, and I loved it, loved it, loved it.” Though much of this music, which Simpson called “street poetry with shock-jock lyrics,” has often been described as being derogatory to women,

the author said she included it because it was the soundtrack to her early sexual experiences and it complements her writing style, which she described as “pretty raw, pretty street.” “It is meant to be way overdone and make you drop your jaw to the floor,” Simpson said. “This was written by young boys at the time who wanted to break every rule and piss off everybody. … I thought it was hysterical, and I loved it because it represented how I felt, too. I wanted my parents to hate my music, and they did.” Having women rapping and in some cases altering the lyrics live, Simpson said, is a way “taking it back and flipping it on its head.” Subverting the expectations placed on feminine sexuality was part of her intention of writing Bad in Bed. “This is a comedy-driven production, but there’s layers,” Simpson said. “Why are we embarrassed of our sex? Why don’t we talk about sex openly? Why can’t women talk as openly about sex as men, ’cause we can’t without being shunned a bit, especially here in Oklahoma.”

Embarrassing mishaps

Simpson’s first book, Good Globe: Time for a Change of Hemisphere, published in 2015, was the first in a planned trilogy of travel memoirs, but Simpson, a 39-year-old living in Norman at the time, took a break from writing about her experiences as an international tourist after an awkward intimate incident. “It was so embarrassing what happened, this sexual mishap, that I was like, ‘Holy shit. I don’t know what I’m going to do with this information,’” Simpson said. “‘And then I thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to write about it.’” Inspired to write a collection of anecdotes about sexual misadventures, Simpson soon realized that she and

many of her female friends had plenty to share. “I have all these crazy stories, as anyone does, but especially chicks,” Simpson said. “Your sexual mishaps, they become legends, and everyone laughs about them year after year, and they’re just fantastic stories. Especially between my girlfriends and I worldwide, I have some doozies that I’ve been collecting over the years.” To avoid embarrassing her friends, Simpson changed the names and locations of some of the stories. Though the intent of the book was always “for fun,” Simpson said writing it made her realize that men and women take different views on their sexual mishaps. “I would say women share them more,” Simpson said. “I think we sit around and gossip about it more. I could be wrong. I’ve been in some circles with dudes, and I know dudes exchange sexual mishap stories, but, I mean, me and my girlfriends, we go into deep detail. We get great kicks out of it, and it lives a long life. … Maybe we’re trying to be a little more protective of our sex lives. I don’t know. I think it’s a cultural difference, the difference in how men and women are raised to look at their sexuality.” By sharing these stories publicly with humor and without shame, Simpson said she hopes to remove some of the stigma surrounding female sexuality. “Beneath [the surface layer of humor] is my right to speak about my sexuality as a female, and for any female to be able to do that no matter where you are, but especially in Oklahoma in this very red

Shelby Simpson’s Bad in Bed Live!, directed by Matthew Alvin Brown and featuring choreography by Hui Cha Poos, runs Aug. 16-19 at Tower Theatre. | Photo provided

state in the Bible Belt, right?’” Simpson said. “That it’s OK, and that it shouldn’t define me as some vulgar, nasty woman because I’m not. I can be when I want to, and if it’s appropriate, what does it matter? If I’m surrounded by other adults who get the humor, what does it matter?” Simpson said she also wants to fight the impossible standards of perfection promoted by social media. However, Simpson emphasized that the main purpose of Bad in Bed Live! is to have a good time. “It’s like a car sing-along,” Simpson said. “If you were in the car and you had 100 people in your car, and you were banging it out to Too Short and everyone’s singing, that’s what it’s like. … It’s not meant to be taken super-hyper seriously. This is a night of fun. This is supposed to be a party where people, if they want to stand up and dance, do it. Please do it. Get out from behind your chair and your table and get buck-wild.” Visit towertheatreokc.com.

Bad in Bed Live! 8 p.m. Aug. 16, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Aug. 17-18, 11 a.m. Aug. 19 Tower Theatre 425 NW 23rd St. towertheatreokc.com | 405-708-6937 $35-$38 | 21+

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co m m u n i t y

ARTS & CULTURE

Hopeful Hotdogs A local nonprofit serves up hope and help in the form of a popular food. By Joshua Blanco

Since its inception in 2003, a local nonprofit organization has worked diligently to hand-deliver over 200,000 hotdogs to Oklahoma City’s homeless population. In a labor of love, the charity has managed to grow a coordinated network of volunteers committed to feeding hungry mouths in search of their next meal. It all started when Rick Swyden, founder and director of Hotdogs for the Homeless, traveled to San Antonio with his wife to visit some friends for the upcoming holiday. He had just completed a slideshow project for the funeral service of a lady who had taken great care to provide for the homeless. Thanks to a generous tip from the family, Swyden and his wife Susan, who at the time was undergoing treatment for breast cancer, were able to make the trip to Texas. Downtown, they passed a homeless man hanging around a set of stairs by the mall. “It just moved me so much,” Swyden said. “I said, ‘Man, we need to feed that guy.’” In spite of a New Year’s Eve crowd that had begun to swarm the city, the couple went looking for a place to purchase what might have been the stranger’s first proper meal in a long time. But their options were limited. “[The vendor] said, ‘I’m sorry, but all we serve is hotdogs at this location,’” Swyden said. “So it was kind of like my sign that I was supposed to serve a homeless man a hotdog.” Swyden took to the streets of OKC the following Sunday. Despite not having the money to do so, he armed himself with sixteen hotdogs, searching for hungry individuals who had come to consider food a luxury. The next week, he handed out three packages of hotdogs. It wasn’t long

before he had what appeared to be a full-fledged charity on his hands. “The following week, I get home from church and there’s 88 hotdogs, 88 buns and 88 bottles of water sitting on my porch,” Swyden said. “My neighbors had pitched in and all bought food for the homeless. So then they came over and helped put it all together.”

Volunteer service

Although Swyden cares deeply for the homeless, he never anticipated what became of his efforts. “I didn’t start out to do anything. It just kind of happened,” Swyden said. For about four years, volunteers would gather at his residence once a week. Thanks to the kind gesture of a caring citizen, the charity has since been provided with a space of its own. “Back in those days, we didn’t just meet at one spot,” said Beth Solis, Hotdogs for the Homeless outreach coordinator. “We’ve gotten it to a system now where the homeless know where to meet us and we just go to one place and they just go to us.” Solis first met Swyden at a cookout he was hosting for the homeless. “We had the best time. Everybody was laughing,” Solis recalled. “It touched my heart.” Since their initial meeting, Solis has been actively involved in the organization’s charitable efforts. “It became a forever thing. We just kept doing it,” she said. “And then we started bringing other people with us.” Solis was regularly accompanied by her daughters and by her late ex-husband. She has since remarried and remains active in supporting the group’s mission. “I can’t get out there on Sundays as often,” Solis said. “My job is talking with the volunteers and getting more people out there.”

In what appears to be a successful effort, the group has managed to attract an abundance of volunteers. Oklahoma Retro Gamers Society and Stephenson Cancer Center are among the organizations critical to the charity’s ongoing success, providing an outlet for individuals to become more active in their communities. “People want to help other people. They just don’t know where to go to do it,” Swyden said. “If you just give people the opportunity … people just jump on the bandwagon.” People of all ages have shown up over the years to lend a helping hand. “It’s a very family-oriented service ministry that people can do with their kids,” Solis said. “It’s kind of the bestkept secret.” Since its founding, the nonprofit has worked with Girl Scouts, church groups, families, etc. From preparing the meals to decorating the bags, there’s a job for almost anyone who wants to get involved.

Family legacy

Every week, Hotdogs for the Homeless gives away 200 bags at the expense of around $1 each. It even provides a variety of items like toothbrushes and clothes. Residual funds are used to help those in need. However, those who know Swyden have learned he’s not the type to request monetary donations of any kind. He credits the organization’s success as the result of a miraculous string of events. “I’ve never asked anyone for money,” Swyden said. “If people don’t support it, it will just stop. And here we are 15

Founder Rick Swyden has had help from outreach coordinator Beth Solis second from left, her daughter Sarah Nawotka left and former Hotdogs for the Homeless hotdog recipient Sherry Hassell since at least 2011. | Photo Hotdogs for the Homeless / provided

years later.” Unfortunately, Swyden recently suffered a personal blow, losing his good friend Mike Volpe, who he referred to as his “right-hand man in business and in hotdogs.” Volpe worked alongside Swyden for several years. “They’re kind of like my family,” Swyden said, referencing the homeless population he regularly serves. He’s grateful for any impact he has had upon their lives, a quality those he works with understand well. “It’s never really about getting them the meal. It’s the contact with the people,” Solis said. “They know [Rick], and they know he cares about them.” Swyden hopes his legacy goes beyond that of the homeless community. He takes great pleasure from the difference he has made in the lives of his volunteers. “I get these kids that came out when they were little, and they’ll see me and they go, ‘Aren’t you the hotdog man?’ And they’ll tell me about the experience and what’s happened to them now and how they help people today from that experience from then,” Swyden said. Hotdogs for the Homeless can be found every Sunday at Old School Bagel Cafe, 10946 N. May Ave. Volunteers usually show up around 10:30 a.m. and begin distributing hotdogs around noon. Visit hotdogsforthehomeless.com.

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Lulu & Lo’s offers unique accessories and gifts in downtown Edmond. | Photo Lulu & Lo’s / provided

they decided to open another location in Edmond for her to manage. She said she is still considering going back to school for a master’s degree at some point, but for now she has found a place in retail and enjoys helping customers find gifts or outfits, which in turn make them happier and more comfortable. When the time came to find the new store’s location, Lauren Frazier took the initiative to browse properties herself. She was at one point considering a converted convenience store, but Lora Frazier spotted furniture for sale on the downtown Edmond strip, at what used to be a clothing boutique called Just Lookin. When the family realized it was for rent, they viewed it and immediately fell in love with the property. “It was meant to be,” Lauren Frazier said. “It was already move-in ready. We had very minimal work.” Her father Shane Frazier and brother Zach Frazier helped build a custom checkout counter and finished off the dressing rooms. Lauren said she was fortunate her family has building experience from their time in her mom’s furniture business.

shopping

Division of labor

Lo and behold

New Edmond boutique Lulu & Lo’s continues mother-daughter retail traditions. By Jo Light

Walk into Lulu & Lo’s, the new clothing boutique and gift shop in downtown Edmond, and you’ll get a cheerful greeting. If owner Lauren Frazier doesn’t say hello first, her miniature longhaired dachshund Maggie will come trotting up instead, weaving around displays of home goods and slipping through the legs of rehabbed furniture. Opened on June 14, Lulu & Lo’s, 8 S. Broadway, is a bright, airy shop that is much larger than it initially seems, with hardwood floors leading back to a small plush area with a pea-green couch and lots of hip clothing and shoes. The goods are a blend of trendy (cold-shoulder tops, PopSockets and cosmetic bags with snarky text) and gift-shop mainstays (candles, Oklahoma pillows and tea towels). The result is a charming blend of stylish and kitschy. Lauren Frazier is originally from the Stillwater area but attended University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) in Edmond. Several years ago, her mother Lora Frazier left a 9-to-5 job to focus on her dream of refurbishing furniture, using the

name Redhead Rehabbing. This hobby eventually grew into a storefront, The 405 Mercantile, which opened in July 2016 and is located in downtown Stillwater. Lauren Frazier helped her mother in the store even while attending UCO, working there on the days she didn’t have class. “I lived in Alpha Gam,” Lauren Frazier said, referring to the Alpha Gamma Delta women’s fraternity house at UCO. “I would come to class on Tuesday mornings. I’d stay Tuesday night and Wednesday night, and then I’d go back to Stillwater on Thursday when I got done with class.” She graduated in May with an undergraduate degree in psychology and said she knew she wanted a job that would allow her to serve others. “All my friends always said, ‘I wish that your mom’s store was closer! Edmond needs something like your mom’s store! I love everything that she has!’” she said. She was discussing possibilities with her mother during her senior year, and

Lulu & Lo’s is nestled between an art studio and a hair salon on Edmond’s thriving downtown stretch, which is near UCO and a large potential customer base. Lauren said she has seen downtown grow with new construction and is excited to help bring new life to the area, a sentiment she said many local residents echo when they stop by. Although she is currently managing the store by herself (with one canine coworker), her mother continues to help, visiting two or three times a week while still maintaining her Stillwater business. Lora Frazier arranges window displays and home décor while her daughter handles the clothing side. Lauren Frazier was never as passionate about furniture. “Painting stinks,” she said, laughing. “I help her paint furniture, but it’s not something that I really enjoy and would like to do every day. But she has a vision for the piece, and it always turns out so pretty.” Customers can buy Redhead Rehabbing items at the front of Lulu & Lo’s. Examples include a secretary desk, a side table and a chair, all redone in a chic farmhouse style with new drawer pulls. Even the store’s name references Lauren Frazier’s relationship with her mother, signifying something they accomplished together. She explained that “Lo” has been her nickname since high school. “My mom decided that she’s not going to be a real ‘grandma,’ per se,” she said. “She wants to be called ‘Lulu.’ So we put that together.” After a grand opening featuring drinks and L-shaped doughnuts, business took off. Lauren Frazier relies largely on wordof-mouth and friendly relationships with

other local businesses, which she said have been remarkably welcoming. “Citizens Bank [of Edmond] has been amazing,” she said. “They kind of had a rotation with their staff when we had our grand opening on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, sending them down here. Even their CFO has been down to our store.” She said she is glad to serve a diverse clientele at the boutique. “We pride ourselves on trying to have something for everyone,” she said. Among her most popular clothing lines are Listicle and Umgee, along with KanCan and Judy Blue jeans. She also carries a few locally made items, including leather earrings by Jen Werner Designs and patterned, structured car trash bags from 341 Concepts. Another décor item unique to her store is a large selection of Fusion Mineral Paint, which is only sold in a few other locations in the state. It is an acrylic furniture paint made for do-ityourselfers who want quick and easy rehab results. She is already planning upcoming sales and ways to expand her customer base, drawing upon what she has learned from her mom and the first family business. For instance, she said she plans to market to the UCO sororities when the semester starts since recruitment is such a busy time of year. She will also have a big Black Friday sale when the holidays come around. “I hope that we gain more customers and more people find out about us,” Lauren Frazier said. “But other than that, it’s going really well.” Visit lulu-los.business.site.

Lauren Frazier operates Lulu & Lo’s with her mother, Lora Frazier. | Photo Lulu & Lo’s / provided

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

Books Book Club meet up with other readers to discuss Anne Tyler’s Clock Dance, 7-8 p.m. Aug. 8. Barnes & Noble, 540 Ed Noble Parkway, 405-579-8800, barnesandnoble.com. WED Laurell K. Hamilton book signing the bestselling author will autograph copies of Serpentine, the latest addition to the ongoing saga of vampire hunter Anita Blake, 6-10 p.m. Aug. 11. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. SAT Mid-Oklahoma Writers a meetup for local writers featuring guest speakers and literary discussions, 7-9 p.m. Wednesdays, Eastside Church of Christ, 916 S. Douglas Blvd., 405-732-0393. WED

Film 12 Monkeys (1995, USA, Terry Gilliam) a time traveler attempts to prevent a viral outbreak that will kill most of earth’ s population, 7 p.m. Aug. 13. Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., 405-708-6937, towertheatreokc.com. MON Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017, USA, Rian Johnson) Rey seeks out Luke Skywalker in hopes of learning more about her developing powers in this continuation of the popular fantasy saga, 7-11 p.m. Aug. 10. Moore Central Park, 700 S. Broadway St., Moore, 405-793-5090, centralpark.cityofmoore. com. FRI Moana (2016, USA, Ron Clements and John Musker), curious and adventurous teenager Moana goes on a journey when a curse from demigod Maui reaches her island, 1 p.m. August 11. Sam Noble Museum, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., 405-325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu. SAT Tommy Boy (1995, USA, Peter Segal) an underachiever struggles to save his family business after his father dies, 7 p.m. Aug. 14. Harkins Theatre, 150 E. Reno Ave., 405-231-4747, harkinstheatres.com. TUE

competition for dogs, 8-10 p.m. July 9, August 13, September 10. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. MON Kick It & Create bring your own crafting or art supplies and snacks and get creative in a community setting, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Aug. 15. Resonator, 325 E Main St., resonator.space. WED Lions Gate Abundance Ceremony commemorate the astrological event with a guided group exercise, 7-9 p.m. Aug. 8. The School of Natural Wisdom, 6817 NW 27th St., 405-255-8366, facebook.com/schoolofnaturalwisdom. WED Mother Daughter Look-A-Like Contest a panel of judges will determine which mother and daughter pair, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. August 12. Oklahoma State Fair Park, 3220 Great Plains Walk, 405-948-6700, okstatefair.com. SUN Murder Mystery Dinner meet investigative reporters from The Oklahoman and solve an interactive murder mystery over dinner at this fundraiser for Newspapers in Education, 6-9 p.m. Aug. 9. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org. THU OKC Vintage Flea Market get your shopping done at the flea market with antiques, collectibles, vintage, crafts and more, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays, through Dec. 9. Crossroads Event Center, 7000 Crossroads Blvd. SAT OKC Women’s Living Expo & Craft Bazaar features diverse exhibits, special events, popular celebrities, fashion shows, makeovers and covering areas of health, fitness, kids, home, cooking, money and career, 10 a.m. August 11, and 11 a.m. August 12. Oklahoma State Fair Park, 3220 Great Plains Walk, 405-948-6700, okstatefair.com. SAT-SUN Open Fiber Night a weekly crafting meet-up for knitters, crocheters, spinners and weavers, 5-8 p.m. Thursdays. Yarnatopia, 8407 S. Western Ave., 405-6019995, yarnatopia.com. THU Outdoor Nation Expo shop for hunting and fishing equipment from a variety of vendors, attend seminars, ride go-karts and more, Aug. 10-12. Firelake Arena, 18145 Rangeline road, 405-273-1637, firelakearena. com. FRI-SUN Pecha Kucha Night local artists, authors, business owners and more make multimedia presentations on topics of their choosing, 6-8:30 p.m. Aug. 8. Plenty Mercantile, 807 N. Broadway Ave., 405-888-7470, plentymercantile.com. WED

VHSandCHILL: BMX/Rollerblade Showdown watch one of two films — either Rad (1986) or Airborne (1993) — depending on a viewer vote taken on social media before the screening, 8-10:30 p.m. Aug. 9. 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St., 405-463-0470, 51stspeakeasy.com. THU

Happenings Alternative Energy: Solar & Wind On/Off Grid System learn about solar panels and wind turbines and get a hands-on demonstration of how to solder solar cells, 1 p.m. Aug. 12. Midwest City Farmers Market, 9104 SE 15th St., 405-818-1962. SUN Art & Soul Gala a ‘60s-and-’70s-themed party featuring live music, a silent auction, dinner and more to raise funds for Pollard Theatre’s 32nd season, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 11. Oak Tree Golf & Country Club, 700 Country Club Drive, 405-340-1010, oaktreenational.com. SAT Basket Weaving Class learn about the traditional Chickasaw basket-weaving method from cultural demonstrator Cotie Lancaster, 2-4 p.m. Aug. 11. Exhibit C, 1 E. Sheridan Ave., 405-767-8900, exhibitcgallery.com. SAT Beats & Bites an evening outdoors with live music from Mark Chesnett, as well as food trucks, vendors and more, 6-11 p.m. August 11. Riverwind Casino, 1544 W. State Highway 9, 405-322-6000, riverwind.com/. SAT Bricktown Rotary’s Boots & Bourbon sample wines, beers, bourbons and hors d’oeuvres from local restaurants at this fundraiser with live entertainment and auctions benefitting the Bricktown Rotary, 6:3010 p.m. Aug. 10. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org. FRI Capitol Restoration Project Tour tour the stillunder-construction capitol building; closed-toed shoes and long pants required, 3-4:30 p.m. Aug. 10. Oklahoma State Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., 405-521-3356, ok.gov. FRI Cookies & Cocktails try treats and cocktails made with Girl Scout cookies at this fundraising event benefitting Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma’s leadership programing for girls 5:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 9, The Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington place, 405-424-3344, gswestok.org. THU Fall Is for Planting learn about planting vegetables, flowers, herbs, and other plants in the autumn season from horticulture educator Julia Laughlin, 1-4 p.m. Aug. 14. Oklahoma County OSU Extension Center, 2500 NE 63rd St., 405-713-1125, okiemgs.okstate.edu. TUE How to Grow Legal Medical Marijuana 101 an informational class on the basics of marijuana farming, 3 p.m. Aug. 12. Midwest City Farmers Market, 9104 SE 15th St., 405-818-1962. SUN Howl at the Moon bring your pooch for beers, corn hole and fun for all with treats and friendly 24

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FireLake Fireflight Balloon Festival On Sept. 19, 1783, the French Montgolfier brothers made aviation history by setting a hot-air balloon aloft carrying a sheep, a rooster and a duck in its basket. Two months later, they repeated the feat with people inside. Celebrate more than two centuries of man’s triumph over gravity at this family-friendly festival featuring carnival rides, food trucks, live musical performances and 30 balloons. The festival is 11 a.m. Friday-4 p.m. Sunday at Citizen Potawatomi Nation powwow grounds, 1702 S. Gordon Cooper Drive, in Shawnee. Admission is free; balloon rides are $250. Visit firelakeballoonfest.com friday-sunday bigstockphoto.com

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Four Paws Pet Grooming, Boarding, and Boutique

Homeless Alliance Art Show In addition to offering a creative outlet, making art can be therapeutic and provide a sense of accomplishment and possibly an income source — all of which can be beneficial to people experiencing homelessness. The Fresh stART program offers open studios and communitydonated art supplies at the day shelter at WestTown Homeless Resource Campus, and some of the results, including mixed-media works, acrylic and watercolor paintings and collages, are on display and up for sale at this exhibition. Artists receive 80 percent of the proceeds from sales, and the other 20 percent goes to maintaining the program. The show is 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday at Homeless Alliance, 1724 NW Fourth St. Admission is free. Call 405415-8410 for more information. FRIDAY Photo provided PFLAG Support Meeting a peer support group for members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies and family members, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Aug. 14. Freedom Oklahoma, 4001 N. Classen Blvd., 405-446-8836, freedomoklahoma.org. TUE Pick Your Planter learn about horticulture while imbibing alcoholic beverages at this event hosted by Plant Nite OKC, 7-9 p.m. Aug. 8. Fassler Hall, 421 NW 10th St., 405-609-3300, fasslerhall.com. WED Pop! Champagne & Spirit Tasting sample sparkling wines, champagne and liquor, and enjoy appetizers and live music at this fundraiser benefitting St. Anthony Hospital, 6:30-9 p.m. Aug. 10. Rapp Foundation Conference Center, 535 NW 9th St., 405-525-8331, givetosaints.com. FRI Red Shoe Gala an evening of dinner, live music and dancing benefitting the Ronald McDonald House, 6:30-11 p.m. Aug. 11. Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, 7000 NW Grand Blvd., 405-848-5611, okcgcc.com. SAT Saloon Series experience happy hour at a recreation of a vintage Wild West saloon with live music and whiskey flights, 5:30-7:30 Thursdays, through Aug. 30. THU Seed Saving learn about the best methods for collecting seeds from successful crops for planting next season, 11 a.m.-noon Aug. 11. TLC Garden Center, 105 W. Memorial Road, 405-751-0630, tlcgarden. com. SAT Water Conservation and Turf Management Seminar learn about cost-effective ways to save water while caring for your lawn, from rain barrels to mulch and more, 10 a.m.-noon Aug. 11. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. SAT 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, myriadgardens.com. MON-FRI

Food Edmond Farmers Market buy fresh food from local vendors, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays. Edmond Farmers Market, 24 W. First St., Edmond, 405-3594630, edmondparks.com. SAT 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., 405-793-5090, centralpark.cityofmoore.com. FRI Moore Farmers Market shop for fresh produce and gardening products from a variety of local vendors, 8 a.m.-noon Aug. 4. Moore Central Park, 700 S. Broadway St., Moore, 405-793-5090, centralpark.cityofmoore. com. SAT

Youth Drop-In Art learn to create works of art inspired by the museum’s collections, special exhibits, holi-

days and more, 1-4 p.m. Saturdays. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. SAT My Future in Art children age 4-15 are invited to attend a discussion of possible career fields in art such as fashion design, architecture, illustration and more, 6-9 p.m. Aug. 10. Artsy Rose Academy, 7739 W. Hefner Road, 405-603-8550. FRI

OKCU PRESENTS

2018-19

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FILM SERIES

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iN PArtNErShiP with thE wEdNESdAy wEStErN MAtiNEE SEriES

free and open to the public Find us on Facebook

www.okcufilmlit.org

2308 N Robinson Ave. OKC, 73103 405-525-7297 Open Mon. thru Sat. 8am - 3pm

OKC Drag Queen Story Hour children and their families are invited to a story and craft time lead by Ms. Shantel and followed by a dance party, 4 p.m. Saturdays. Sunnyside Diner, 916 NW Sixth St., 405-778-8861. SAT PAW Patrol Live! Race to the Rescue the popular preschool series comes to life onstage in this high-tech multimedia production, 6 p.m Fri., Aug. 10, 10 a.m. & 2 p.m. Sat., Aug. 11, and 12 & 4 p.m Sun., Aug. 12. Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, 405-602-8500, coxconventioncenter.com. FRI-SUN

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, sciencemuseumok.org. TUE 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, oklahomaheritage.com. THU Watercolor Workshop for Kids a small-group art class for students 5-18 (5-21 for special-needs students) with supplies and a snack provided, 5-7 p.m. Aug. 11. Heart Studios, 3208 Teakwood Lane, Suite 103, 405-664-4194, heartstudiosllc.com. SAT

Performing Arts The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Theater eat a four-course dinner while attempting to solve an interactive murder mystery, 6-9 p.m. Saturdays. Skirvin Hilton Hotel, 1 Park Ave., 405-272-3040, skirvinhilton.com. SAT Levi the Poet an evening of spoken-word poetry and storytelling also featuring Shawn Reidy II and Thomas James Otness, 8-10 p.m. Aug. 14. The Basement, 2515 NW 16th St., facebook.com/thebasementokc. TUE Oliver! the tribulations of the Dickensian orphan adapted for the stage by Lionel Bart and performed by theater students, Thursdays-Sundays. through Aug. 12. Kismet Arts Studio & Theatre, 12201 N. Western Ave., 405-367-7225, kismetartsokc.com. THU-SUN Sense and Sensibilty adapted from Jane Austen’s classic novel about social mores in 18th-century England, Aug. 9-25., Aug. 9-25. Shakespeare on Paseo, 2920 Paseo St., 405-235-3700, oklahomashakespeare.org. THU

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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 Call 405.528.6000 or email advertising@okgazette.com for additional information.

CALENDAR

Attention publicity seekers! Submit calendar events at okgazette.com or email to listings@okgazette.com Please be sure to indicate ‘Fall Guide’ in the subject line. We do not accept calendar items via phone. Deadline to submit items for our Fall Guide calendar is Wed. Aug. 29, 2018 by 5 p.m.

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c a l e n da r

A SeASonAl Guide to CentrAl oklAhomA

Summer of the ’70s Show students from the School of Rock OKC perform hits from the 1970s at their end-of-season show, 1-3 p.m. Aug. 11. The Venue OKC, 1757 NW 16th St., 405-283-6832, thevenueokc. com. SAT Traditional Music of the Open Prairie hear musician Wayne Cantwell perform folk songs on banjo, dulcimer and fiddle, 3-4 p.m. Aug. 11. American Banjo Museum, 9 E. Sheridan Ave., 405-604-2793, americanbanjomuseum.com. SAT

Active Learn-to-Swim Program Giving residents of all ages and financial situations the opportunity to learn to swim with proper technique and basic water safety at their own pace offered by the King Marlin Swim Club, through Dec. 31. Lighthouse Fitness (Front), 3333 W. Hefner Road, 405-845-5672, marlinswimamerica.com. SAT-FRI 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 Memphis Aug. 9-12. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, 405-218-1000, okcballparkevents.com. THU-SUN OKC Wednesday Worlds a fast-paced 30-35 mile ride heading east out of OKC at 20-25 miles per hour, 6 p.m. Wednesdays. The Bike Lab OKC, 2200 W. Hefner Road, 405-603-7655. WED 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, okc.gov. TUE Yoga + Brunch a yoga session followed by a brunch workshop, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Green Goodies, 5840 N. Classen Blvd., 405-842-2288, greengoodiesokc.com. SUN 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, myriadgardens.com. TUE

Visual Arts Antonio Curbelo a single-night exhibition of paintings by the Cuban-born artist, who will be in attendance, 7-10 p.m. Aug. 10. Paint N Cheers, 1614 N. Gatewood, 405-524-4155, paintncheers.com. FRI Back Roads and Dirt Roads photographs and collages by Stillwater artist Linda Guenther feature barns, windmills, livestock and other rural iconography, Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays. through Sept. 2. Contemporary Art Gallery, 2928 Paseo St., 405-601-7474, contemporaryartgalleryokc.com. FRI-SUN A Burst of Color artist Tim Kinney’s latest exhibition features brightly colored and thickly textured paintings, Mondays-Fridays. through Sept. 1. Santa Fe Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave.., Norman. 405-3079320, pasnorman.org. FRI Café Society a panel of artists, patrons curators and community members discuss the past, present and future of Oklahoma City’s art scene, 6-8 p.m. Aug. 9. [Artspace] at Untitled, 1 NE Third St., 405-815-6665, 1ne3.org. THU Creative Visions Botanical Watercolor Class learn to paint flowers and other botanicals with artist Kiana Daneshmand, 4:30-6 p.m. Wednesdays. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. WED 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, sciencemuseumok.org. WED-SUN

A Look into American Islamopohobia with Khaled Beydoun As the fear of Muslims increased in the U.S. after 9/11, life became increasingly frightening for Muslims, and hate speech and hate crimes seem to be more prevalent than ever. Author Khaled Beydoun’s book American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear examines the systematic persecution and demonization of the followers of Islam through a political and moral lens. Join the author for an in-depth discussion on what, for many, is a life-or-death issue. The family-friendly discussion starts 7 p.m. Friday at Mercy Mission Hall, 3840 N. St. Clair Ave. Admission is free, and dinner is provided. Register to attend at facebook.com/cairoklahoma. Thursday Photo provided

colored geometric shapes mixed with metal structures., Through Aug. 24. Oklahoma City University School of Visual Arts, 1601 NW 26th St., 405-2085226, okcu.edu. WED-FRI Seeds of Being curated by students enrolled in the university’s Native American Art & Museum Studies Seminar, this exhibition examines the impact of art in indigenous communities, through Dec. 30. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma. TUE-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, oklahomacontemporary.org. SAT Still Looking: The Photography Collection of Carol Beesley Hennagin an exhibition of selections from Hennagin’s extensive collection, including works by Edward Weston, Frederick Sommer and more, through Dec. 30. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma. TUE-FRI

A Few of Our Favorite Things view a selection of artwork from the center’s collection, including contemporary and traditional works by Native American artists, through Oct. 31. Red Earth Art Center, 6 Santa Fe Plaza, 405-427-5228, redearth.org. WED Free Quilting Demo: Needle Books instructor Agnes Stadler demonstrates how to make a small felt needle book, 5-7 p.m. Aug. 9 free. [Artspace] at Untitled, 1 NE Third St., 405-815-9995. THU 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, okcmoa.com. SAT-SUN Isabelle de Borchgrave, Marie de’ Medici, 2006, based on a 1595 portrait by Pietro Facchetti in the collection of the Palazzo Lancellotti, Rome. Photo: Andreas von Einsiedel.

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Keyhole Nebula: Works by Derrick Adams an exhibition of ink art and paintings by the Normanbased artist, 6-10 p.m. Resonator, 325 E Main St., resonator.space. FRI Reflection: An Exhibition of Glass and Light featuring works by artists Rick and Tracey Bewley using glass and light to creative reflection of

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 listings@okgazette.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

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event

MUSIC

Slay farewell

Legendary metal band Slayer stops at The Zoo Amphitheatre on its farewell tour. By Jeremy Martin

Released in October 1986, Reign in Blood was Slayer’s third full-length studio album, but for many soon-to-be-converted metalheads in the decades since, it remains their first exposure to a lifelong obsession. “Slayer’s like the gateway drug into metal for a lot of people,” said Keeno, guitarist and vocalist for Oklahoma City progressive death metal band Dischordia. Though Dischordia’s latest release, Binge/Purge — a two-song concept EP that’s only about five minutes shorter than the entirety of Reign in Blood and features ukulele, marimba, flute and the Rose State College Chorus — has little in common with Slayer’s distinctive style, Keeno said discovering the band was a revelation when he was first beginning to play the guitar. “The first thing I ever heard was Reign in Blood,” Keeno said, “and I was like, ‘What the hell did I just listen to? That was amazing!’ And I was hooked after that; I checked out everything from then on. My favorite album is still probably South of Heaven by them, but Reign in Blood was the end-all the moment I heard it.”

Meta metal

Spawned in Huntington Park, California, in 1981, Slayer originally drew inspiration from the new wave of British heavy metal bands Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Venom, but guitarists Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman, drummer Dave Lombardo and vocalist and bassist Slayer was founded in 1981 by from left vocalist and bassist Tom Araya, guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman and drummer Dave Lombardo. | Photo provided

Tom Araya played at punk rock’s blistering speed in a style that would become known as “thrash.” The band, which stops at OKC’s The Zoo Amphitheatre Aug. 16 on its farewell tour, also incorporated Satanic iconography and graphic violence into lyrics and album art in a way that was still novel enough to be shocking at the time, creating controversy and earning a devoted cult following, influencing black metal, death metal, grindcore and other subgenres of extreme music. Randy Blythe, vocalist for Lamb of God, which serves as a supporting act on Slayer’s final tour, said he’d never heard anything like it before. “The Reign in Blood record has a certain rawness to it,” Blythe said. “And it’s not even like 30 minutes, maybe 28 minutes. I think the brevity of it and the efficiency of that record really, as a high school punk-rock kid who wasn’t really listening to much metal, probably smacked me pretty hard in the face. … When I started listening to punk rock, the impact of the songs, I was like, ‘There’s not a lot of wankery going on here,’ you know, ‘There’s not a lot of crap.’ At that time, it was the ’80s, and on the radio, you had Air Supply and shit like that, so you’re just like, ‘Oh my god; I wanna throw up in my mouth.’ Then you hear this, and you’re like ‘OK. This is it. They’re getting it. They’re getting to the point,’ and it was amazing. It was brutal.” Mich’ela Creel, vocalist of Oklahoma City hard rock band Saint Monroe, said she was a fan of classic metal bands such as Dio when she first heard Reign in Blood. “Slayer took me from the lighter side

to the more extreme side,” Creel said. “Their lyrical content takes everything to the extreme point, where it makes the audience think about things, and I think that’s the whole point of music and art.” Charles Gafford, bassist of Norman progressive metal band Via the Verge, said hearing Slayer for the first time gave him “an idea of what was possible and what [he] could do if [he] spent enough time with [his] instrument” in terms of “technicality and dexterity, speed.” “It was just freaking intense, fastpaced, balls-to-the-wall, all out there,” Gafford said. “Whenever I first started seeing their live performance, that’s when I was really like, ‘Wow! These guys are doing something here.’ They seemed to be one of the first people to use pyrotechnics and had these ginormous crowds of people running in circles, having intense crowd participation that you don’t see in other genres.”

No mercy

In 2013, Lombardo left the band, and Hanneman died of liver failure at the age of 49. 2015’s Repentless, Slayer’s most recent and highest-charting release, features drummer Paul Bostaph and Exodus guitarist Gary Holt, both of whom are joining King and Araya on their farewell tour. Bradley Nance, guitarist and vocalist of Oklahoma City stoner metal band Turbo Wizard, said Slayer’s longevity is an inspiration and its absence is almost unimaginable. “Slayer’s one of those bands where the name itself is heavier than just about anything out there,” Nance said. “When you think thrash metal, you think Slayer, you think Metallica, you think Anthrax. Those are the big ones that stick out, and it’s crazy to see such an empire to come to its end. … I have nothing but respect and honor for people that are still doing shit like that.” While Slayer’s legacy will be a tough act to follow, the band is legendarily hard to open for because diehard fans can quickly become impatient with other acts. Blythe said Lamb of God “learned very quickly not to give the audience any chance to even think about starting being dissatisfied” and “just go out and kill the whole time,” but some Slayer fans seem to settle for nothing else. “The worst time we ever had opening for Slayer was when we toured with them

Slayer makes what might be its final Oklahoma City stop Aug. 16 at The Zoo Amphitheatre supported by Lamb of God, Anthrax, Napalm Death and Testament. | Photo provided

in Europe,” Blythe said. “We were in Germany, and people were just looking at us like, ‘What is this?’ You’re not Slayer!’ They didn’t boo or anything. They didn’t throw anything, so that was good.” South of Heaven (1988) and Seasons in the Abyss (1990) marked a shift to slightly slower speed on some songs, but Slayer has largely ignored musical trends, sticking to the signature style the band began developing from aptly titled self-financed debut Show No Mercy (1983) onward. Blythe said Slayer’s consistency is key to its enduring popularity. “They’re not as extreme as a grindcore band,” Blythe said. “There are some bands that are more extreme or whatever, but there’s no soft spots in Slayer, and it’s super well played and they definitely have their own sound. Nobody sounds like Slayer. Slayer is its own deal, and they remain true to that. They created something, and they’ve stuck to it, so I think that’s why their fan base is so loyal.” Lamb of God recently released Legion: XX, an album of punk and thrash covers, under the band’s original name, Burn the Priest. Dischordia’s Binge/Purge is available to purchase or stream at dischordia.bandcamp.com. Via the Verge is currently working on a new album that might be released as early as this fall. Saint Monroe is scheduled to perform Aug. 25 at VZD’s Restaurant & Bar. Slayer makes what might be its final Oklahoma City stop Aug. 16 at The Zoo Amphitheatre supported by Lamb of God, Anthrax, Napalm Death and Testament. Visit thezooamphitheatre.com.

Slayer 4:30 p.m. Aug. 16 The Zoo Amphitheatre 2101 NE 50th St. thezooamphitheatre.com | 800-514-3849 $42-$195

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MUSIC

event

Rainbow Kitten Surprise performs Aug. 21 at The Jones Assembly. | Photo Matthew Salacuse / provided

Everything nice

Rainbow Kitten Surprise prepares to unleash a burst of musical influences at The Jones Assembly. By Ben Luschen

What is genre in the streaming age? Strict musical niches made sense in yesteryear. When physical distance and money are more of an obstacle, specialty is not only the most economic option, but the most practical. Today, however, the only thing one needs to explore a new sound or musical style is the initiative to search for it on a computer or phone. In an era of endless consumption, it is natural to cherrypick elements from different things we enjoy and make them our own. And in most cases, music is all the richer for it. This is definitely true in the case of Rainbow Kitten Surprise, a hybrid group clearly built on a folk and Americana foundation but with an alternative rock aesthetic that occasional dips into the sounds of pop, R&B and hip-hop. Perhaps getting a start in an unlikely spot like Boone, North Carolina, liberated the band from the shackles of precedent and expectation. RKS is most recognized for its distinctly bearded songwriter, keyboardist and frontman Sam Melo. Charlie Holt plays bass and operates as a secondary vocalist. Drummer Jess Haney and guitarists Ethan Goodpaster and Derrick “Bozzy” Keller round out the roster. Doors open 7 p.m. Aug. 21 for RKS’ local stop at The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave. Tickets are $22.50$55. Los Angeles alternative four-piece Wilderado opens the show. 28

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Comparisons to Kings of Leon will be inevitable, but the truth is RKS is one of one. In April, the band released the LP How to: Friend, Love, Freefall — its debut on Elektra Records, a label that also houses Zac Brown Band, Young the Giant, Shooter Jennings and more. The band — which allegedly got its name after a friend repeatedly muttered the phrase while under the influence of postsurgical pain relief drugs — met and began on the campus of Appalachian State University. Its early recordings certainly carry a dorm-rock feel, but Friend, Love, Freefall brings the sound to a cosmic level through the magic of Nashville’s Neon Cross Music studio. RKS has always aspired to grand and eclectic soundscapes, even in the days it was not quite capable of achieving it. Melo told Minnesota’s KCMP The Current that the group’s debut studio product feels like a dream finally actualized. “You can listen to the early recordings, and even if it’s just like two acoustic guitars and an electric drum kit and an electric guitar and bass, it’ll be super simple chord progressions or song structures with eighth notes, but it has the spirit of trying to be more intricate,” Melo told The Current. “It’s attempting. It’s a folk song attempting at rock or attempting at alt or electronic, and as we’ve come into more ways to produce sound, it felt like a natural integration to do that. We’re making the music now

that we always wanted to make but maybe didn’t know how to make. You grow, and you learn how to produce.” RKS grows more than just sonically on Friend, Love, Freefall. It is also the first album the band has put out since Melo has publically come out as gay. Rather than relegating personal sexuality and orientation as a side note in the band’s history, this album is a platform on which larger ideas are communicated.

We’re making the music now that we always wanted to make but maybe didn’t know how to make. Sam Melo

“Hidden” love

“Hide,” the song that might well be the best tune in the relatively short RKS catalogue, is certainly the best RKS music video. Director Kyle Thrash, whose incredible work music fans might recognize from cuts like The Menzingers’ “After the Party” or Sorority Noise’s “No Halo,” shoots in beautiful high resolution to bring the story of four real New Orleans-based drag queens to life. In a video interview with Paste Magazine, Melo said “Hide” was an early song in the record writing process that was not fully fleshed out until the band was finally in the studio. It is his coming-out story, but it also has a broader message of acceptance. “It’s just a song about discovering a part of you that was truly essential — in my case — to who I would become,” Melo

told Paste. “It helped me grow into, I don’t know, a more accepting person.” The song opens up with Kev, who enters his car and tells the cameraman that he is on a journey to reveal to his father that he is a drag queen for the first time. He has no idea how he will react, but uncertainty is not stopping him. “I’m going to have a very open and honest relationship with him,” Kev says in the video, “whether he accepts it or not.” Thrash, in an interview with Billboard, said he was recruited to do the video by Melo. They found all the drag queens in the video without a casting call. News organically spread from one person to another. “It was us approaching different queens through different circles,” Thrash told Billboard. “Some through word of mouth, some through social media. It got around that we were doing this project and the New Orleans drag community, where we shot it, is amazing; I can’t speak more highly of it. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and helpful.” The video achieves real, heart-racing drama when Kev, in full drag, arrives at his father’s house, gets out of the car and knocks on the door. The viewer has no idea where the story is about to go, and Thrash said in the moment he was not sure either. “We were all sitting in the car that night, kind of a nervous wreck,” Thrash said. “We were nervous about what would happen and how his father would react. I had never done anything like that before.” His father’s reaction is shock, and understandably so. His father explains that he was raised differently and understands why his son feels like he needs to hide certain things from him. But at the end of the video, the father offers nothing but acceptance. “I’m your biggest fan — whatever you do, you know?” he tells his son. “Whatever you do, I’m your biggest fan.” “Hide” highlights drag as an art form and provides a vehicle for communicating the band’s great potential to a larger audience. Thrash thanked everyone who shared their stories with the world. “Hopefully people will see it on a number of different levels, especially on a human level,” he told Billboard. “These are beautiful people on the inside and out who have these moments of struggle in the landscape of the South and being so brave to do what they do.” Visit rksband.com.

Rainbow Kitten Surprise w/ Wilderado 7 p.m. Aug. 21 The Jones Assembly 901 W. Sheridan Ave. thejonesassembly.com | 405-212-2378 $22.50-$55


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

JOIN THE CLUB Sunday, Aug. 12 Chanda Graham & Friends, UCO Jazz Lab. BLUES/JAZZ Delhi 2 Dublin, Norman Santa Fe Depot. ELECTRONIC Maggie McClure, Myriad Botanical Gardens. SINGER/

SONGWRITER

Wednesday, Aug. 8 Mary Battiata, The Blue Door. COUNTRY

Stafre and The Hitones/The Royal Jelly, The Root. HIP-HOP

Social Club Misfits, Tower Theatre. HIP-HOP

Monday, Aug. 13

Telekinetic Yeti/Hyborian, 89th Street-OKC. METAL

Brett Benton, The Deli. BLUES

Thursday, Aug. 9

Jason Hunt, Sean Cumming’s Irish Restaurant. FOLK

Adam Ledbetter Trio, Saints. JAZZ

PUNK

Redneck Nosferatu, Blue Note Lounge PUNK

Kent Fauss Trio, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. COUNTRY

Tuesday, Aug. 14

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

Country Clique, Friends Restaurant & Club. COUNTRY Duane Mark, Lost Highway. ROCK

Mt. Terror, Blue Note Lounge. ROCK Powerglove/Your Weird Neighbors, 89th Street-OKC. METAL

Friday, Aug. 10 Be Like Max/The Big News/Dresden Bomber, HiLo Club.

August 11 SAM RiggS August 16-19 bAd in bEd - livE!

Radolescents/The Hajj/Limp Wizurdz, 89th Street-OKC.

DJ Pauly D, Farmers Public Market. ELECTRONIC

JAZZ

August 10 FlATlAnd CAvAlRy

Giving artists the freedom to create.

Kyle Reid, Scratch Kitchen & Cocktails. SINGER/

SONGWRITER

Wednesday, Aug. 15 Snailmate/Jarvix/dontblinkoryoulldie, The Deli. POP/EXPERIMENTAL

PUNK

Buffalo Ruckus & Chuck Ligon/Jackson Tillman Band, Legends Pub House & Venue. COUNTRY The Dirty 86’d, Sauced on Paseo. ROCK Dirty Red & the Soulshakers, Bluebonnet Bar. BLUES Flatland Cavalry, Tower Theatre. COUNTRY Full Circle, Royal Bavaria Restaurant & Brewery. ROCK Godsmack/Shinedown, The Zoo Amphitheatre. ROCK HIGHDIVE/Side Effects/Irrational Consumers, Chixs & Styxs. ROCK

August 24 gilliAn WElCH H H H H H H H H H H H H HH H H BEST BACK TO H H SCHOOL PRICES! WORKING MEN'S QUALITY CLOTHES FOR OIL FIELD H H SECURITY - MILITARY - HUNTING - AND MUCH MORE! H ALL TYPES OF RAINWEAR REGULAR TO KING SIZES H MUDBOOTS - CAMPING GOODS - REAL GI AND MILITARY H STYLE: SPY MOVIE PENS -18 MILLION VT STUN GUNS H NEW ITEMS COMING IN EVERY DAY! H H MEN'S BIG & TALL UP TO 10XL H H DICKIE BRAND SCHOOL UNIFORMS H BOYS, GIRLS AND MEN'S SHORTS, PANTS & POLOS H HUGE SELECTION AT REASONABLE PRICES H H SAVE TIME AND MONEY, CHECK US FIRST! H H HIVIS & FRC Clothing - LOTS TO SEE H H OUTDOORMEN'S PARADISE H H SAMSBESTBUYS.COM H H SAM’S BEST BUYS H 2409 S. AGNEW • 636-1486 • M-SAT 9-5:45 H 73 YEARS AND MORE TO COME H H H H H H H H H H H H H H HH

August 25 JOnATHAn TylER And THE nORTHERn ligHTS August 26 Sunny SWEEnEy & WARd dAviS August 30 COOP SHOWCASE August 31 THE MAvERiCKS Tickets and Info TOWERTHEATREOKC.COM @towertheaterokc 405-70-TOWER | 425 NW 23rd St. OKC

Jeremy Johnson, The Manhattan OKC. SINGER/ SONGWRITER

Miss Brown to You!, Norman Santa Fe Depot. JAZZ Mothership/Wo Fat/Mos Generator, Blue Note Lounge. ROCK

The New Tribe/Beau Jennings, The Blue Door. FOLK/ ROCK

Randall Conrad Olinger/Clancy Jones, Lost Highway. BLUES/ROCK

Steve Crossley, Louie’s Grill & Bar. R&B Zottos/To Kill Porter/Tribesmen, The Root. ROCK

Saturday, Aug. 11 Buddy South, McClintock Saloon & Chop House. ROCK

Charley Pride, Sugar Creek Casino. COUNTRY Chris Lee Becker/George & Linda Barton, The Blue Door. Christina Kimbrell & Johnny Bohlen/Amanda Howle, The Root. ROCK Cycles/Henna Roso, The Deli. ROCK/JAZZ Fresh Juice Party/Original Flow & Fervent Route, Opolis. ROCK/HIP-HOP Happy Hour, Newcastle Casino. COVER The Lacs/Charlie Farley, Legends Pub House & Venue. COUNTRY

House Party Pajama Jammy Jam 2 Hey, Eraserhead! Now that you’re fully grown, you don’t have to sneak out to have a good time, but you’re never too old for the old-school hip-hop fun of a House Party-themed party. Watch live painting by Delly Cakes, Grace Hawkins and more, and practice your kick-step to live music from the likes of Sid Carter, NGE and Sativa Prophets (pictured). And unlike most nights at the bar, dressing in pajamas is actually encouraged. The party starts 9 p.m. Saturday at 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St. Admission is free, but donations for the artists are appreciated. Call 405-463-0470 or visit 51stspeakeasy.com saturday Photo Gazette / file

Mark Chesnutt, Riverwind Casino. COUNTRY Mess/Tom Boil/Speak, Memory, Resonator. ROCK Miranda Sings/Colleen Ballinger, Rose State College. POP

Needtobreathe, The Zoo Amphitheatre. ROCK Neon Trees, Frontier City. ROCK Randall Conrad Olinger/Clancy Jones, Blue Note Lounge. BLUES/ROCK Sam Riggs, Tower Theatre. COUNTRY Sun Riah/Abbigale Dawn & The Makebelieve, Opolis. POP

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 listings@okgazette.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

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puzzles 1

New York Times Magazine Crossword Puzzle THREE IN ONE By Will Nediger | Puzzles Edited by Will Shortz | 0809

ACROSS

1 Flaw, metaphorically 5 Antismoking spots, e.g. 9 Cleveland Browns’ defense, informally 14 Dress 19 What a line doesn’t have 20 Lévesque of Quebec 21 Pelvis-related 22 ____ card (wallet item) 23 ____ Reza shrine (Iranian holy site) 24 Former supporter of seabirds 26 Where the frontiersman Bowie died 27 Burdened (with) 29 Snatcher’s exclamation 30 Yawn-inducing 32 Postgame shower? 33 The Big Board, briefly 34 Funny Fey 35 Jewelry worn above the elbow 37 What’s brewing? 38 Spray the monarch to keep him cool 40 Prosecutor who’s sympathetic to the defendants in a witch trial 42 Play with 43 Winter coat 44 Sound of something rushing by 45 Singer Morissette 47 Not fixed 49 Director Jonathan 50 Agenda starter 51 Hog’s home 52 Pontius Pilate’s province 53 Liqueur akin to sambuca 54 Place for a browser 55 First character in Genesis 56 T. rex, e.g. 57 Metro ____ 58 Bridle strap utilized only on sidewalk surfaces 62 When Macbeth delivers the “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow” soliloquy 66 Potential dinner 67 Hitching spot 68 Rating that’s on the cusp of NC-17 73 Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, with “the” 75 Stuck-up person 76 Aplenty 77 Ohio University team

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49 Carol Ann ____, U.K. poet laureate starting in 2009 50 Not superficial 52 Crave, with “for” 53 Try to hit 55 Stable parents 56 Thoro cleansing 59 “The Great” and “The Terrible” 60 Lookalike 61 “There’s nothing else” 62 Blue alerts, in brief 63 Arising 64 Meal with a set menu 65 Certain cleric 69 Foe of Frazier 70 Egg-shaped item from a garden 71 Performer in a campus production, often 72 Sticky stuff

74 Talks hoarsely 75 On the Beach novelist Nevil 76 Nasty wound 78 Crime against good taste 79 Dance mentioned in Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” 81 Like people who take lifts 82 Camper’s light 85 Some winds for seafarers 86 Nonshiny finishes 87 “Sucks to be you” 88 Speedometers, typically 90 Korean money 93 Tied 95 Like a lot of zombie movies 97 Mom’s mom 99 Intensifying word add-on 101 Disney collectible 102 Request to Triple A

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New York Times Crossword Puzzle answers Puzzle No. 0729, which appeared in the August 1 issue.

H I N D O B O E N E T W G E S I N C H

N O H O

A T B A T

G I R L Y

P S A L M

O U T I E

U S O T O A T U T O R E R N C H H E S I T A N O N Z O T P E S P S T A P E R O M S P E T

A N R K A L B E B I O N O S L P D E I C E S U S E A L B A O G W H S A

L I F T S O U T

M A J O R I N D R O P

A M O K O N A M E S A E L S U S P S E S T Y E E T L S A W S M A H A D E W U T C N N H A I E G S E S R

W A V Y

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A S R A E G A A A R A Y S E S R I A P C E A

L O N E

S H O T F O R O S C A R N O D

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G D O O O U G H B O U T I O N O K I U I S B A N F I C T I S T N E S S I S O L N A G R A V O D E D I E O L L S T S P L T H O Y I B

Account EXECUTIVES Saundra Rinearson Godwin Christy Duane Kurtis DeLozier Philip Rodriguez EDITOR-in-chief George Lang glang@okgazette.com

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

Sudoku hard | n° 3178 Fill in the grid so that every row, column and 3-by-3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9. www.printmysudoku.com

Accounting/HR Manager Marian Harrison Accounts receivable Karen Holmes

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First-class mail subscriptions are $119 for one year, and most issues at this rate will arrive 1-2 days after publication.

publisher Bill Bleakley

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VOL. XL No. 32 Oklahoma Gazette is circulated at its designated distribution points free of charge to readers for their individual use and by mail to subscribers. The cash value of this copy is $1. Persons taking copies of the Oklahoma Gazette from its distribution points for any reason other than their or others’ individual use for reading purposes are subject to prosecution.

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78 Informal expression of 33 34 gratitude 79 Namesakes of Muhammad’s 38 39 daughter 80 Brilliant debut 42 43 81 Ruffian 82 Miss 47 48 83 “Who ____?” 84 What a dog groomer might 51 charge 86 Result of wearing a fedora at 54 55 the beach 88 Pulled off 58 59 89 Make an effort 90 TSA agent’s tool 62 63 64 65 66 91 Item smashed by the original Luddites 73 74 92 Having a crisp picture, say 94 Leave gratified 77 95 Must, informally 96 Death of a Salesman 80 salesman 98 Lead-in to phobia 84 85 100 Result of accidentally throwing a Frisbee into a campground 88 89 103 ____ California 104 Plucked instruments 92 93 94 105 Compound imparting a fruity smell 98 99 100 106 Hence 107 Oodles 104 105 108 Shoots out 109 Without much confidence 108 109 110 It falls quietly 111 “Swiper, no swiping!” speaker of children’s TV 14 Pharma watchdog 15 Part DOWN 16 “This isn’t very pleasant, but …” 1 Sound from a banshee 17 Some calls to the police 2 Italian designer menswear 18 Norwegian money since the 1970s 25 Genetics initials 3 Running start? 28 Serving during Prohibition 4 Like kiddie rides among all 31 Diplomatic office below an amusement park rides embassy 5 School opening? 35 Nose 6 Amorous play, in modern lingo 36 Gathering around a campfire? 7 ____ Lavoisier aka the 38 One target of a childhood Father of Modern Chemistry vaccine 8 Romantically involved with 39 Oven 9 Light tennis shot 40 Apple devoured by an elderly 10 Reminiscent of relative 11 Iowa’s state flower 41 Called 12 Move clumsily 44 United with 13 Charybdis’ counterpart, in 46 Look for Greek myth 48 Car ad no.

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Assistant EDITOR Brittany Pickering Staff reporters Ben Luschen Jacob Threadgill Jeremy Martin Nazarene Harris contributors Joshua Blanco, Jo Light Eric Miller Circulation Manager Chad Bleakley creative director Kimberly Lynch Graphic Designers Karson Brooks Ofelia Ochoa

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C H A O S

K E N Y A

S P A S M

A V I S

T O T S

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3701 N. Shartel Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73118-7102 Phone (405) 528-6000 Fax (405) 528-4600 www.okgazette.com Copyright © 2018 Tierra Media, Inc. All rights reserved.


free will astrology Homework:If you could make money from doing exactly what you love to do, what would it be? Testify at Freewillastrology.com. ARIES (March 21-April 19)

Palestinian American writer Susan Abulhawa writes that in the Arab world, to say a mere “thank you” is regarded as spiritless and ungenerous. The point of communicating gratitude is to light up with lively and expressive emotions that respond in kind to the kindness bestowed. For instance, a recipient may exclaim, “May Allah bless the hands that give me this blessing,” or “Beauty is in the eyes that find me beautiful.” In accordance with current astrological omens, I propose that you experiment with this approach. Be specific in your praise. Be exact in your appreciation. Acknowledge the unique mood and meaning of each rich exchange.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you need this advice from mythologist Joseph Campbell: “Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” He says it’s “a rescue land . . . some field of action where there is a spring of ambrosia -- a joy that comes from inside, not something external that puts joy into you -- a place that lets you experience your own will and your own intention and your own wish.” Do you have such a place, Taurus? If not, now is a great time to find one. If you do, now is a great time to go there for a spell and renew the hell out of yourself.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

When he was 20 years old, future U.S. President Thomas Jefferson had an awkward encounter with a young woman who piqued his interest. He was embarrassed by the gracelessness he displayed. For two days afterward, he endured a terrible headache. We might speculate that it was a psychosomatic reaction. I bring this up because I’m wondering if your emotions are also trying to send coded messages to you via your body. Are you aware of unusual symptoms or mysterious sensations? See if you can trace them back to their source in your soul.

cLASSIFIEDS

Homes

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

There’s a zone in your psyche where selfishness overlaps generosity, where the line between being emotionally manipulative and gracefully magnanimous almost disappears. With both hope and trepidation for the people in your life, I advise you to hang out in that grey area for now. Yes, it’s a risk. You could end up finessing people mostly for your own good and making them think it’s mostly for their own good. But the more likely outcome is that you will employ ethical abracadabra to bring out the best in others, even as you get what you want, too.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

You probably gaze at the sky enough to realize when there’s a full moon. But you may not monitor the heavenly cycles closely enough to tune in to the new moon, that phase each month when the lunar orb is invisible. We astrologers regard it as a ripe time to formulate fresh intentions. We understand it to be a propitious moment to plant metaphorical seeds for the desires you want to fulfill in the coming four weeks. When this phenomenon happens during the astrological month of Leo, the potency is intensified for you. Your next appointment with this holiday is August 10th and 11th.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

In her poem “Dogfish,” Virgo poet Mary Oliver writes, “I wanted the past to go away, I wanted to leave it.” Why? Because she wanted her life “to open like a hinge, like a wing.” I’m happy to tell you, Virgo, that you now have more power than usual to make your past go away. I’m also pleased to speculate that as you perform this service for yourself, you’ll be skillful enough to preserve the parts of your past that inspire you, even as you shrink and neutralize memories that drain you. In response to this good work, I bet your life will open like a hinge, like a wing -- no later than your birthday, and most likely before that.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Libran fashion writer Diana Vreeland (1903-1989) championed the beauty of the strong nose. She didn’t approve of women wanting to look like “piglets and kittens.” If she were alive today, she’d be pleased that nose jobs in the U.S. have declined 43 percent since 2000.

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AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

“Maybe happiness is this: not feeling like you should be elsewhere, doing something else, being someone else.” This definition, articulated by author Isaac Asimov, will be an excellent fit for you between now and September 20. I suspect you’ll be unusually likely to feel at peace with yourself and at home in the world. I don’t mean to imply that every event will make you cheerful and calm. What I’m saying is that you will have an extraordinary capacity to make clear decisions based on accurate appraisals of what’s best for you.

Not even five percent of the world’s population lives in a complete democracy. Congratulations to Norway, Canada, Australia, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Denmark, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Sweden. Sadly, three countries where my column is published -- the U.S., Italy, and France -- are categorized as “flawed democracies.” Yet they’re far better than the authoritarian regimes in China and Russia. (Source: The Economist.) I offer this public service announcement as a prelude to your homework assignment. According to my astrological analysis, you will personally benefit from working to bring more democracy into your personal sphere. How can you ensure that people you care about feel equal to you, and have confidence that you will listen to and consider their needs, and believe they have a strong say in shaping your shared experiences?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

I’ve compiled a list of new blessings you need and deserve during the next 14 months. To the best of my ability, I will assist you to procure them. Here they are: a practical freedom song and a mature love song; an exciting plaything and a renaissance of innocence; an evocative new symbol that helps mobilize your evolving desires; escape from the influence of a pest you no longer want to answer to; insights about how to close the gap between the richest and poorest parts of yourself; and the cutting of a knot that has hindered you for years.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

“It has become clear to me that I must either find a willing nurturer to cuddle and nuzzle and whisper sweet truths with me for six hours or else seek sumptuous solace through the aid of eight shots of whiskey.” My Capricorn friend Tammuz confided that message to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were feeling a comparable tug. According to my assessment of the Capricorn zeitgeist, you acutely need the revelations that would become available to you through altered states of emotional

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Mystic poet Kabir wrote, “The flower blooms for the fruit: when the fruit comes, the flower withers.” He was invoking a metaphor to describe his spiritual practice and reward. The hard inner work he did to identify himself with God was the blooming flower that eventually made way for the fruit. The fruit was his conscious, deeply felt union with God. I see this scenario as applicable to your life, Pisces. Should you feel sadness about the flower’s withering? It’s fine to do so. But the important thing is that you now have the fruit. Celebrate it! Enjoy it!

Go to RealAstrology.com to check out Rob Brezsny’s expanded weekly audio horoscopes /daily text message horoscopes. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700.

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According to journalist Madeleine Schwartz writing in Garage magazine, historians of rhinoplasty say there has been a revival of appreciation for the distinctive character revealed in an unaltered nose. I propose, Libra, that in accordance with current astrological omens, we extrapolate some even bigger inspiration from that marvelous fact. The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to celebrate and honor and express pride in your idiosyncratic natural magnificence.

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Democracy's Essence  
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