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INSIDE COVER P.4 Like many of its fellow daily newspapers trying to survive in the digital age, The Oklahoman has cut staff, services and distribution, but its 2018 acquisition by GateHouse Media, a company with a track record of drastic force reductions, is impacting the paper’s ability to land on doorsteps and keep its readership informed. By Mollie Bryant, Matt Dinger, George Lang and Miguel Rios Cover by Ingvard Ashby Photo by Alexa Ace
An Original Music Docuseries
S T R EA M O N L I N E
NEWS 4 COVER GateHouse Media and
9 CITY Clay Curtis wins Clarence
10 CHICKEN-FRIED NEWS
BILLY BOB THORNTON
11 COMMENTARY free concert blues
EAT & DRINK 13 FEATURE Frida Southwest 14 FEATURE Gun Izakaya
16 GAZEDIBLES open late
ARTS & CULTURE 18 ART Standing Their Ground: Warrior
Artists at Exhibit C
19 ART Photographing the Street at
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
20 THEATER The Life Cycle of a Butterfly
at Howard Theatre
streaming JULY 25
21 OKG LIFESTYLE James Nghiem
26 EVENT Kat Lock at 89th Street – OKC
27 EVENT Beach Language at 51st Street
28 LIVE MUSIC
THE HIGH CULTURE 29 CANNABIS 24-hour dispensaries
30 CANNABIS Cannabis Cup and
35 CANNABIS The Toke Board
PLAY IT LOUD BENEFIT CONCERT august 22-24
35 CANNABIS strain review
FUN 37 ASTROLOGY
38 PUZZLES sudoku | crossword
native ink tattoo festival
OKG Classifieds 39
I-40 EXIT 178 | SHAWNEE, OK | 405-964-7263 O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J U LY 1 0 , 2 0 1 9
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Paper cuts The Oklahoman faces diminishing returns and logistical nightmares after its purchase by GateHouse Media. By Mollie Bryant, Matt Dinger, George Lang and Miguel Rios
The sound of folded copies of The Oklahoman slapping concrete in the pre-dawn hours was once familiar, but repeated cuts to the size, coverage, advertising and distribution have left many wondering not only if they will receive their newspaper that day but whether there soon will no longer be a daily newspaper at all. Mary Mendus has subscribed to The Oklahoman for about a decade, but recent service quality made her cancel. Mendus said the service was good before around March. In fact, because she has to use a cane, her last carrier would bring the paper up to her porch. However, a few months ago, Mendus said, “They just stopped delivering it.” When she called to complain, she said they told her she would get replacement copies, which also did not arrive. “Then I call back and talk to somebody, and they just say, ‘Well, we don’t have enough carriers. We’re trying to find people to service this route.’ So that’s been the story,” Mendus said. “The paper’s not there, I call and put it on their automated system because that’s what they like. Then I call back again later to talk to them and say, ‘Please try to get the paper out to me.’ I really haven’t been getting it at all; the only day I got it [two weeks ago] was Thursday.” Citing a loss of money on certain routes, the newspaper reduced its circulation area drastically Jan. 1, leading to 7,000 subscribers losing their home delivery service. It also reduced retail sales of newspapers by about 3,500 and removed all its vending machines from across the state. “I asked, ‘Are you trying to stop delivery?’ And they said, ‘No, we’re not trying to stop home delivery.’ But I think that’s what they’re doing,” Mendus said. “The thing is, when you call and talk to somebody, you have to wait for 15 minutes sometimes. So I know that there’s a big problem because you have to wait so long, and it doesn’t do any good. It’s like beating a dead horse.” Customer service representatives promise Mendus a credit for each day she goes without a paper, but she said that does not address the main issue. “That doesn’t mean anything because they take it out of my checking account, and recently, they changed their arrangement,” she said. “They’re taking it out weekly instead of monthly, and they increased the rate.” Shelly Scovill, who said she has been subscribed to the print publication 4
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“forever,” has also had issues with paper delivery and customer service. She contacts representatives who she said note her information but take no action. “It’s just, ‘We’re sorry. We don’t know. Maybe their car broke down. We’ll get a paper to you,’ and then you don’t get one,” she said. “I’m getting the impression that [customer service representatives] are bankrupt of any kind of power to do anything. … In the past, if our carrier did not deliver the paper to door, their manager would come and deliver it. Then the actual delivery person would get that deducted from their pay, so they would be very diligent about not missing the next day.” Scovill has had to call about not receiving a paper at least twice a week for several months. It became the norm in her household and even her Village neighborhood to ask, “Did you get the paper?”
I really haven’t been getting it at all; the only day I got it [two weeks ago] was Thursday. Mary Mendus “I’ve had neighbors tell me that they’ve talked to people in other parts of the town like Nichols Hills, and they too are getting the same message that they cannot keep carriers, that the carriers just quit,” she said. “Also the fact that they’re bringing their paper in from Tulsa has an impact on whether we get the paper or not. What the consensus is, they’re going to quit delivering the paper to our doorstep, which we all kind of know is an archaic ritual, but they just need to say it. Just say it. … They’re still saying, ‘Subscribe,’ and they got all these people that are advertising in The Oklahoman, expecting people to see their advertisements, and they’re not being seen. If I were Dillard’s or somebody like that, I’d be angry that my advertisements were not being seen as they were promised.” She said the only reason she has not unsubscribed is because she gets a highly discounted family rate from when her daughter-in-law worked for the newspaper. However, her daughterin-law has not worked there in about 10 years, so she is unsure why she still receives the rate. “If I was paying the rate that my neighbors are, I would have canceled
my subscription,” Scovill said. “I pay $40 a year. I don’t know why I pay $40 a year, but I’ve talked to my neighbors and they pay $300 a year. … If the rate were to go up, I would not subscribe.” Scovill said some people call the newspaper a pamphlet because of its reduction in size, which she attributes to GateHouse Media, the company that bought The Oklahoman last October. “I’ve also noticed that the business pages, which is the part I like to read, has gotten less and less. It’s like down to a page or a half a page, and it doesn’t have stories in it that were pertinent and interesting,” Scovill said. “Of course, you can find some of that stuff online, that information, but we paid for a document that is supposed to be right there in your hands so you can read it. I’ll have to get on the computer. … Everybody’s coming to the realization that as much as we didn’t like the Gaylords, at least they were local.” Despite the issues she has dealt with for months, Mendus did not decide to cancel until last week. She still enjoyed reading local stories and columns when she would receive the paper, but she also thinks the content has suffered in the past few months. “They reduced the paper in size to where the sports and business pages are in the same section and there’s usually four or five pages. They don’t print editorials anymore; they just have editorials one day a week,” she said. “And since GateHouse Media bought the paper, all the editorials are from the conservative side; we don’t get any liberal side.”
It is no surprise that The Oklahoman’s content is dwindling when juxtaposed with the rapid evaporation of the company’s personnel.
After poor delivery service over the past few months, Mary Mendus decided to cancel her subscription to The Oklahoman. | Photo Alexa Ace
Less than 15 years ago, The Oklahoma Publishing Company (OPUBCO) boasted of being a company with roughly 1,200 employees. By current count, it now employs about 225 people, said Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and publisher of The Oklahoman. This number includes approximately two dozen people who work for the company’s marketing arm, BigWing. BigWing was the last in a series of ventures launched in hopes of generating revenue while the print product was declining. Former publisher Chris Reen headed up another such project, an online event calendar known as Wimgo, that Philip Anschutz shuttered soon after purchasing the company. The project launched February 2008 and was ended in December 2011. A handful of its staff were laid off weeks before Christmas, and others reintegrated back into the newspaper. Reen was tapped that summer to succeed retiring publisher David Thompson. By the time Anschutz purchased the paper, such layoffs were becoming routine. The first major reduction in force signaling the shape of things to come occurred in October 2008. Employees were warned that it was coming, and longtime employees were offered buyout packages. While 57 employees took early retirement, the company excised another 100 employees, which at that time constituted a 14 percent reduction in its workforce, former vice president of human resources Scott Briggs told Oklahoma Gazette at the time. That trend continued for well over a decade. Another 57 people lost their jobs in May 2010, and smaller layoffs became a regular part of working for
the company. By the time Anschutz relocated the company to the former Century Mall in downtown Oklahoma City, it had been whittled down to about 350 employees in February 2015, according to OPUBCO’s own numbers. The layoffs continued through Anschutz’s ownership period and at the time of the sale to GateHouse in September 2018. On the day the sale was announced, several dozen people — including the managing editor, news director and several holding leadership positions — were immediately let go. They were notified via email. Since, GateHouse has quietly made cuts, consolidating departments and closing open positions. An online job ad placed for a publisher was quietly removed and current editor Kelly Dyer Fry instead was given the second mantle. “I had to apply for it. They posted the job on LinkedIn, and I brushed off my resume after being here for 25 years and I applied for the job,” Fry said. “As far as being publisher, I’ve always been involved on the business side of it, and so it wasn’t a huge learning curve. But I personally wanted to do it because I care more about this city than somebody who might just move in here to be a random publisher. I care about what goes on here, and I care about the people who work here.” She said the number of reporters,
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photographers and editors for both the newspaper and website is 65 people. A former newsroom employee who spoke to Oklahoma Gazette on the condition of anonymity described the possibility of layoffs hanging over the newsroom before eventually being laid off after more than 20 years with The Oklahoman. “You would feel that little bit of relief after you were spared, and then months would go by and you knew another was coming, and it would build and build and build,” the former staffer said. “The dread would build. It was like walking on ice.” After each round of layoffs, a sense of loss filled the newsroom. “People who’d given their entire lives, raised families, had been at the old building and the new building were just suddenly not there anymore, and they [had] such a presence and [were] somebody you looked forward to seeing and working with and laughed with,” the worker said, adding that every three to six months, it was like “a funeral.” And each layoff meant that the remaining staff would inherit the work of their former colleagues. “Yeah, the pages that we had to produce just piled up and more people took on more responsibilities,” the former newsroom staffer said. “It became a slog, just a hard slog. Fewer people, same amount of pages, same amount of beats to cover. It was daunting.”
Layoffs left remaining journalists with the feeling that stories weren’t getting the proper amount of time, the staffer said. Former staff writer Brianna Bailey left the paper to work for The Frontier, an online investigative news agency, but supports the newspaper. “Oklahoma City needs a daily newspaper, and I’m pulling for them. I subscribe. I am a subscriber,” she said. “I think the people who are still there are doing the very best they can with limited resources. I don’t want to see them fail.” The number of employees diminished so rapidly that a full quadrant of the building the company moved into in February 2015 is a virtual ghost town. That 21,000 square-foot portion of the building was put up for lease on July 1. Subletting that space would generate about $500,000 in revenue each year, according to a LoopNet listing. On May 21, The Oklahoman retired its longtime web domain NewsOK. Originally a joint venture between OPUBCO and Griffin Communications, the parent company of News9, NewsOK was purchased outright in March 2007. The new domain, oklahoman.com, was previously launched as a subscriber-only portal. In late June, an apparent paywall was implemented, though users have noted that they can still browse additional content by clearing browser
caches or using incognito web browsers. Fry said the paywall is already paying off. “We’ve grown a lot of digital subscriptions just within the last few weeks, so that has been a bright spot for us,” she said. Since instituting the paywall, Fry said, the number of new subscribers each week has doubled. The print product has also announced a fee for one of its long-standing reader services that was previously provided free of charge. Short death notices — not to be confused with obituaries, which were always paid content — will now cost $25 per listing. It is not just full-time personnel that the company cannot retain. Since GateHouse took over the newspaper and began changing its circulation procedures, there has been a shortfall in delivery drivers. Delivery issues are nothing new for The Oklahoman. Since it outsourced its printing to Tulsa World in June 2016 and dismantled the presses while eliminating about 130 jobs, deadlines were earlier and deliveries were later, meaning readers received stale news later than it had been even months prior. In an editorial published June 2 by Fry, she wrote, “As our economy has strengthened, we find fewer and fewer continued on page 6
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people want to deliver newspapers in the wee hours of the morning, seven days a week. We currently have 45 open delivery routes.” But according to independent contractors who have left reviews on Indeed.com, it is the internal economics and mismanagement by the company and not the economy writ large that are responsible for the poor delivery service. “You have from 3-6:30 to deliver the number of papers you have on your list.
When The Oklahoman moved into its current downtown location, it boasted 350 employees. | Photo Alexa Ace
This is a 7-day-a-week job with no days off and no calling in. You have to show up or you are responsible for finding your sub. The pay is not good, you get paid about 10 cents per paper you deliver yet if one person calls to complain about you they take $3 out of your check,” one reviewer wrote in December. “We have been struggling to get paid for our first month. Because of the new system setup and change overs it has caused us to have two late fees on our rent and our rent’s due and we are being threatened to be kicked out of our house,” another wrote in March. The situation has apparently not improved, according to a review left on July 2. “Poor poor management, inconsistent hours, low pay, no days off, no support system...you’re simply out there on your own. This company changes the rules as they go. ...Whatever works for them. Run and don’t look back!!!” the reviewer wrote. Fry said the newspaper is still having problem staffing the routes but has not seen those reviews. “I’m not privy to any major concerns,” she said. “We changed some 6
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distribution centers, and that may have caused some people to not want to have to invest the time to drive further to pick up the route. But as far as pay, we’ve offered bonuses; we’ve offered sign-on programs. I mean, we’ve done direct mail. I mean, we’ve just done about everything you can think of as far as trying to raise their pay.” While Fry said The Oklahoman is working “every single day” to recruit carriers, there are challenges. “When the economy improves, throwing newspapers in the wee hours of the morning becomes less desirable in the long list of jobs that people are
we care about our community.” Fry did not have subscriber numbers immediately available but said that while the number of print subscribers have fallen, The Oklahoman reaches more people now through its digital coverage than ever before. “I just hope Oklahomans will support local journalism across the board,” she said. “I think it’s important.”
seeking,” she said. “And we have tried everything we can to do to recruit carriers. And we’re just having a hard time finding people who want to throw the newspaper. It’s like you fill them one day and then somebody else leaves another day. It’s always a constant struggle, and that’s not just us here, but all newspapers have troubles like this when the economy improves. We’re not experiencing anything here that everybody else in the country isn’t experiencing. You know, newspapers are challenged, and we’re giving the best we can to give our local community, the coverage that that we believe they deserve.” Fry said any indication that The Oklahoman does not care about the printed newspaper anymore is “100 percent false.” “The reading population has changed. I don’t know if you’re going to convince millennials to let us, you know, bring them the newspaper every day, but we might convince them to take a digital subscription,” Fry said. “I mean, people don’t understand that what’s really at stake here is beat journalism. I mean, beat journalism is very important. You know, we’re often the only media at a lot of public meetings, and we believe that that’s important, to serve as a strong journalists in our community, because
on acquisition sprees, paired with drastic cost-cutting measures that left many newsrooms bare-boned. GateHouse, which did not return a request for comment, is the largest newspaper chain in the United States, operating in 615 markets in 39 states. GateHouse also is synonymous with a decadeslong shift toward corporatization of the journalism industry. In 1933, 63 national and regional chains controlled 37 percent of daily circulation across the country. Now, the 25 companies that own the most papers in the country are responsible for circulation of two-thirds of the nation’s dailies and a fourth of all weeklies, according to a study from Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. GateHouse is one of the most aggressive chains when it comes to pursuing new properties. Since 2013, when the company filed for bankruptcy with a listed debt of $1.2 billion, GateHouse spent $1 billion on acquisitions. About 40 percent of its papers have historically been in rural or low-income areas, but beginning three years ago, GateHouse made a foray into larger
Mergers and acquisitions
Long before its purchase of The Oklahoman, GateHouse, which is run by parent company New Media Investment Group, built a reputation
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metros, with purchases in Oklahoma City; Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and Palm Beach, Florida. Despite these acquisitions, New Media Investment Group’s stock fell from $25 a share in 2015 to its current share price of about $9. In the first quarter of 2019, New Media Investment Group reported a $9.4 million loss. Like many newspaper chains, GateHouse also has a reputation for harsh layoffs. The company faced about 60 layoffs early this year and about 200 in May – cuts that New Media Investment Group CEO Mike Reed called “immaterial.” After the May layoffs, The Wall Street Journal reported that GateHouse and Gannett Co., Inc., another newspaper chain behemoth, held merger talks. Across its media properties, GateHouse has embraced cost-saving measures like regional printing and design centers. News industry analyst Ken Doctor also said that GateHouse is deemphasizing its focus on print and putting resources behind growing digital subscriptions to draw in younger readers. “The problem with that is if you cut too much out of that print product, you’re going to further that downward spiral of print,” he said. “In other words, more people will cancel (their subscriptions), and that cuts off a very lucrative revenue stream.” GateHouse’s other tactics for increasing revenue, specifically events and digital marketing services, are not as effective in small markets, where the company has killed and consolidated papers in recent years. In 2018, GateHouse shut down five small Arkansas papers and Daily Guide in Waynesville, Missouri. Natalie Sanders worked at Daily Guide for eight years before quitting, in part, because of burnout. During one sixmonth stretch, she served as editor of Daily Guide and another area GateHouse paper, St. James Leader-Journal, which ceased publication in 2016. When Sanders first came to Daily Guide, she said it had a total staff of 15, but when she left last year, she was one of two employees. The other remaining staffer quit at the same time, and several months later, GateHouse shut down the newspaper. “It felt a little bit like an old friend had died because that was all I wanted for a long time was to be the editor of that paper,” Sanders said. “And I loved it. It was my community newspaper.” In June, GateHouse consolidated 50 Massachusetts weeklies down to 18. On a smaller scale, Sanders said that GateHouse consolidated several papers in Missouri. Another paper on the precipice of consolidation is Amarillo Globe-News in Texas, which GateHouse bought in 2017. GateHouse merged three major positions — publisher, editor and edito-
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Nominations are open!
Class of 2019 Do you know someone in Central Oklahoma under 40 who has achieved exceptional results and status in the business, creative, nonprofit and/or governmental sectors of our community? If so let us know and help us recognize these outstanding leaders.
To nominate a candidate visit okgazette.com Deadline to nominate someone is Friday, July 26th, 2019
For more information call 405.605.6789 or email email@example.com 8
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rial page director — between GlobeNews and its GateHouse-owned sister paper, Lubbock Avalanche Journal, about two hours away from Amarillo. Jon Mark Beilue, who retired last year after 37 years as a journalist at Globe-News, said that during the last 15 months, eight newsroom staffers left and only one was replaced. For an idea of the impact this staffing shortfall had on content, GlobeNews no longer includes Friday night high school football stories in the Saturday paper, despite the Texas Panhandle’s strong tradition with the sport, and has begun running press releases as bylined stories. As it is, Globe News struggles to cover a city with a population of about 200,000 with just two news reporters and one sports reporter.
The paper has become essentially a shell of what it was, and it’s become a joke among former readers who at one time valued the product. Jon Mark Beilue “I think everyone in this industry understands what the industry as a whole is going through, with the loss of advertising revenue, with the way consumers changed the way they receive their news,” Beilue said. “But for Amarillo, [the cuts] have been drastic, draconian and they have just sapped the resources to be anything viable, anything relevant. The paper has become essentially a shell of what it was, and it’s become a joke among former readers who at one time valued the product.” Fry said GateHouse is committed to local journalism. “Their CEO really cares about journalism, and it’s a tough business,” Fry said. “As long as I’ve been over the newsroom, I have tried to protect our most serious journalism. We kept cuts around the edges of our investigative journalism. We don’t cut that. We haven’t cut some of our strong beat journalism because I think that’s important to our city and to the health of our democracy.”
Paper of record
From May 24 through June 24, Oklahoma Gazette looked through 32 issues of The Oklahoman to find the percentage of local coverage versus national coverage or wire reports. Only in nine issues did local bylines outweigh national bylines or wire reports. The highest discrepancy was June 24 with about 37 percent local bylines and 62.8 percent national bylines or wire reports. The average distribution was 48 percent local and 52 percent non-local. Local coverage includes not only reporting by The Oklahoman but also Tulsa
World and Oklahoma Watch stories. Four of the 32 issues — or 12.5 percent — also included BrandInsight content, which is content sponsored by local organizations and companies. BrandInsight content ranged from a third to half a page from NewView Oklahoma, Renuva Back & Pain Centers and Epic Charter Schools. In the more traditional realm of display advertising, the news is not any better. Oklahoma Gazette analyzed the Sunday, June 16 issue of The Oklahoman for ad content. The bulk of advertising could be found in pages A1-18, which featured 5.9 pages worth of ads, including over two pages of house ads (ads for The Oklahoman or one of its products) or ads for events or activities sponsored by The Oklahoman. Section B, the sports section, featured no advertising, as was the case with the Digital Extra section featuring wire copy from GateHouse. The 12-page TV Week supplement featured one full-page house ad on the back page. All told, the 72-page issue featured just over 11 pages worth of ads, not counting classifieds, or 15 percent of the total page count. When house ads were factored out, just over 6.5 pages (9 percent) of revenue-generating ads appeared in the issue. For longtime subscribers, the shrinking paper, inadequate delivery and poor customer service means weighing whether or not to cancel a subscription that has been part of their families for generations. “I’m starting to realize that they are not essential, and it’s hard for me, being a longtime Oklahoma citizen, to give this up. My husband said we might as well be subscribing to USA Today or something like that … because the lack of local news,” Scovill said. “We look at the obituaries. It’s the main thing we like to look at and some other local things, but people are starting not to put their things in The Oklahoman because it costs too much.” Mendus, who is considering a digital subscription despite the fact that it does not include everything she would like to read, said she cannot imagine what her mother would do if she did not receive the newspaper. “It’s less and less essential; it really is. I really do like to have the local news — I like to read about the local business news and just the local news — but I’m not gonna get that anymore,” Mendus said. “I may subscribe to the online newspaper depending on how much it costs; I’m sure not going to pay over $30 a month for it. I may switch to that, but I won’t get the bridge column.” Editor’s note: Matt Dinger and George Lang are former employees of The Oklahoman. Mollie Bryant, editor of news nonprofit Big If True, contributed reporting on GateHouse. This piece was produced as a partnership between Oklahoma Gazette and Big If True.
Clay Curtis, who has practiced law for about eight years, was named Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year. | Photo Alexa Ace
of my life,” he said. “A lot of the cases that I tried this last year that kind of led to that award were cases that I took for cheap or close to free, cases I kept from the public defender’s office. It was always hard to leave because there were always causes and cases I wanted to see to completion. I wanted to leave when I hit five years, but there was always a case or one more thing. So finally, when I decided to leave, I was like, ‘Well, I’m just going to keep the stuff I wanted,’ instead of having to make that choice and leave it behind.”
year taking care of his father, who was an important figure to many members of Overman Legal Group, before he passed away. Curtis was later involved in an accident that almost resulted in him losing an arm. Now, he is undergoing physical therapy and will have to have surgeries. “It was a hell of a year, and it was also his first year as sort of an independent professional,” Johnson said. “Over the course of that year, he continued to represent these capital murders that so many lawyers under similar circumstances would’ve pawned off on a friend or another attorney or just told the court, ‘I can’t handle it. This person is gonna have to go back to the public defender’s office.’ But Clay, while dealing with his own health problems and grieving the loss of his father, he racked up some pretty impressive victories. ... I think he’s a really unique story where his professional accomplishments — that I think would be really stunning in their own right — are amplified when compared to the pressures and stresses that he’s been under in his private life.” September will mark Curtis’ eighth year of practicing law. He said the most humbling part of receiving the award is being named amongst the several recipients that came before. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal, so if you’ve won, you can never win again,” Curtis said. “I think that’s pretty awesome because, I mean, there are other lawyers out there who I feel are just as good, if not better, more experienced than me. … But those people can’t win again, so it’s pretty cool to be in the company. Almost all the best lawyers have at some point won this. … It’s really an award that focuses mainly on trial advocacy, so it’s not just like, ‘Oh, we think this person’s great.’”
Clay Curtis earned the Clarence Darrow Award in June. By Miguel Rios
Clay Curtis found law school much easier than high school or college. An aspiring attorney since third grade, Curtis felt that the law almost always made sense. Because of his understanding, practice and advocacy of law, he was given the Clarence Darrow Award last month and named Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year by his peers in Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (OCDLA). “I just was more inclined with that kind of education as opposed to, like, engineering or science. I just wasn’t quite as adept at that,” he said. “This was straightforward for me. I really loved to read, and I like the law. I think the coolest part about the law is that it almost always makes sense. The law is set up so that most often it will allow for justice, and occasionally there are a few instances where it doesn’t, and I think that’s what a jury is for. … There are a million problems with our system; don’t get me wrong. A lot of it is driven by money, so there’s a lot of that, but just in terms of what the law and the statute say, a lot of that makes sense.” Curtis graduated from University of Oklahoma College of Law in 2011 and worked for Oklahoma County Public Defender’s Office for about six years. When he made the decision to leave, he carried over several of his cases at little or no cost. He then worked with Buxton Law Group before going on to form his own law firm. “I really loved the public defender’s office. Obviously, that’s a really big part
Curtis, who is now a partner at Overman Legal Group and founding member of Climb Collective, received the award at the June 27 OCDLA annual meeting. J. Blake Johnson, another founding partner at Overman and Climb Collective, was among the people who nominated him. “Clay’s dedication to zealous advocacy on behalf of his clients — even in the midst of tremendous pressures imposed on his private life — is emblematic of those values that Clarence Darrow championed and toward which all criminal-defense lawyers aspire,” the nomination letter reads. “We are proud to propose Clay Curtis’s nomination for the 2019 Clarence Darrow Award because, like Darrow, he inspires us to fight harder in the search for justice.” Johnson, who has known Curtis for almost 20 years, said 2018 was a difficult year for Curtis. He spent much of the
Despite his good track record, Curtis said the wins in the courtroom are not the most fulfilling elements of the job. “Even if you told me right now I would never lose another criminal trial, that wouldn’t fulfill what really drives me. What I think is most important to me in my career is wanting to change the conversation and change the way people look at this,” he said. “For my clients and in any individual case, they’re not chess pieces; they’re real people. I know that for them winning or getting the best results possible in
the case, that is what drives me in terms of my individual representation of them. That’s always the goal, to get the best result we can. … But for me personally, what really drives me to be a lawyer and continue to do this, I would rather change the way people think about our criminal justice system.” He worked at his own firm for just over a year before deciding to help found Overman Legal Group and Climb Collective, a cannabis industry consulting firm. Curtis knew most of the Overman attorneys for a long time before they formed the firm. “Blake is brilliant. It’s unbelievable. He’s genuinely the smartest person I know,” Curtis said. “He has all this cannabis business, and he really gave us an opportunity to start something — something that I think we all had been dreaming of for a long time. … The truth is, I think no one’s ever really done anything like what we’re trying to do. We’re all young, I think we’re all really talented and I think we’re all really dedicated … sort of like the legal embodiment of what we would all hope to be: a progressive change in our city.” With six attorneys on the team and another set to take the bar exam soon, Overman Legal Group covers several areas of practice, including drug offenses, civil litigation, murder and manslaughter, real estate and car accidents. Curtis said this will allow him to branch out from what he has done while continuing to develop his criminal defense, and Johnson said it will allow them to impact change in the community. “We obviously have ambitions to be a serious powerhouse for sort of a criminal defense trial practice, and in particular with Clay’s focus, capital defenses,” Johnson said. “All of us are young and progressive, and all of us are ashamed to have inherited the Oklahoma prison population. We want to be leaders in our community. We inherited that situation; we have to do our small role in addressing it. “We are looking at opportunities to take certain legal strategies to try to improve our community. We have, in some cases, a not very forward-thinking state Legislature, and I think we would all benefit if some smart and hungry attorneys were to dedicate themselves to the task of policing some of the most extreme stuff that happens.”
The Clarence Darrow Award is given to an individual who has “exemplified the zealous criminal defense advocacy that benefits the namesake of the award.” | Photo Miguel Rios
O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J U LY 1 0 , 2 0 1 9
Ashes to ashes
There are many ways to honor the memory of the dearly departed. Some people choose to have their remains buried in a favorite spot or poured into the ocean, but for Oklahoma native and former National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut Bill Pogue, there was nothing more fitting than going back among the stars. Last week, some of Pogue’s remains were blasted into space on a SpaceX rocket for a fitting end to a recordbreaking life. Pogue, who was born in Okemah and lived in Sand Springs, served in the Air Force before joining NASA in the 1960s. Pogue was a support crewmember on several Apollo missions before becoming pilot of a Skylab mission in 1974, which was NASA’s first space station. Pogue spent four months aboard Skylab, which was a record amount of time in space at the time, to test the long-term effect of zero gravity on the human body. He retired from NASA and the Air Force not long after returning. He has an airport named after him in Sand Springs, and he authored the book How Do You Go to the Bathroom in Space?: All the Answers to All the Questions You Have About Living in Space that answered 187 common questions astronauts receive. Pogue died at the age of 84 in 2014. His remains were among those of 150 people aboard the SpaceX rocket and were facilitated by the company Celestis, which has been attaching people’s remains to rockets since 1994. Celestis even gives people the option to send their pets’ ashes into space because we have all had that conversation with our dogs where they asked to be with the big bone in the sky. According to CNBC, it costs about $2,500 to have a few ounces of ashes launched into space, which might be the only way any of us regular folks get into space. You don’t have to worry about an Event Horizon scenario, however; the capsules containing the remains will burn up upon reentering the atmosphere.
Beginning July 1, OKC’s formerly free Paw Park, 3303 NW Grand Blvd., became a members-only dog park operation charging a $10 monthly usage fee. The nonprofit Partners for Animal Welfare of Oklahoma (PAW OK), which has operated the park on land leased from the city for more than 15 years and maintained it through the efforts of volunteers, warned users in March that the donations it received were not enough to pay for the expense of maintaining the park. “Our operating costs are between $8,000 and $12,000 a year,” PAW OK president Charles Allen told News 9 in March. “Currently, we’re getting less than $100 a month.” When donations did not sufficiently increase to make up the difference, PAW OK held a series of public meetings about the usage fees before announcing the policy change. Users can pay $10 a month or $100 per year for access with a reduced fee of $8 per month or $80 per year for seniors, veterans and volunteers. Dog libertarians will no doubt applaud PAWS OK’s rejection of selfsacrificing altruism in the interest of maintaining private property, while dog socialists will surely point to canine political theorist Karl Barx’s assertion that “modern bourgeois private property … is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the many by 10
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the few.” Dogs who identify as “socially liberal but fiscally conservative” will probably just whisper about how glad they are the new fees seem to have priced out a lot of “those kinds of dogs,” while dog conspiracy theorists are probably freaked out about the park’s new security system with cameras, electronic key fobs and remote entry gates, not to mention the requirement that all dogs must be registered with a current shot record on file. “What is this,” they will yelp, “13888?”* *1984 in dog years
Oklahoma’s got at least 1,400 problems, and dams are all of them. Out of Oklahoma’s 2,107 flood-control dams, that is the number currently past their dam 50-year life expectancy. Larry Caldwell, an Oklahoma Conservation Commission watershed specialist, told StateImpact that the heavy rain in May would have caused “$16.5 million worth of damages” if the dams did not exist. Caldwell also said two-thirds of the dams managed by Conservation Commission were at or exceeded their “50-year design life,” at which point soil can erode and pipes could burst, posing a dam threat to people downstream. Oklahoma Water Resources Board labeled about 400 flood control dams as “high hazard,” which means residents could die if they fail. Another 200, considered “significant hazard,” would cause millions of dollars in damages, according to StateImpact. We clearly need a dam solution, and we need it fast. The state’s 2020 budget included $1.5 million for dam improvement, and the state sold about $5 million in bonds on behalf of Conservation Commission. But Caldwell estimates it would take about $2 million per dam to meet current standards. That is a lot of dam money needed in a state where elected officials historically
disregard the environment. Oklahoma is actually a Top 10 state when it comes to dams. It leads the nation in flood control dams, but that could all literally come crashing down. The state is expected to get more dam rain, which would push the dams to their limits even more. “We do know that heavy precipitation events, more intense precipitation events, have been increasing over time. And that is expected to continue to increase as we warm the atmosphere,” state climatologist Gary McManus told StateImpact. “If the weather changes, the infrastructure has to change with it, at least in the long term.” We totally agree with McManus, but by the time we get enough Oklahoma politicians on board with the idea of climate change, it might already be too dam late.
CO M M E N TA RY
Because of the times, Kings of Leon’s free concert to open Scissortail Park drew the ire of Oklahoma City’s easily unimpressed. By George Lang
Caleb, Jared and Nathan Followill spent their youth and young manhood shuttling between Oklahoma and Tennessee while their father spread the word of God on the itinerant preaching circuit. The brothers and their cousin Matthew Followill started with a foundation in country music and religion, but when they redefined themselves for the global stage, they soon filled arenas. They became citizens of the world, yet they come home regularly — sometimes for concerts, sometimes when the only people who know they are here are also named Followill. This is Kings of Leon, and the band’s story is pure 21st-century Oklahoma in all its glory and occasional heartbreak. Yet when Oklahoma City mayor David Holt announced last month that the band would open Scissortail Park on Sept. 27 with a free concert, a large number of Oklahoma Citians looked a gift band in the mouth. Plenty of people celebrated the announcement, but a notable percentage of Twitter and Facebook users leaped to the platforms to express their “meh” over a global headliner with local ties playing a free show in Oklahoma City. People whose social media I generally enjoy shouted to the digital mountaintops how they would be doing something else with their time on Sept. 27 because Kings of Leon are just not good enough for them. Some of this was an expectations game. Local news stations like KWTV polled their viewership on who they would like to see open Scissortail Park, and everyone’s mom and dad responded with the
| Illustration Ingvard Ashby
usual suspects: Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood. To the constituency with friends in low places and lofty dreams of Oklahoma’s country Mount Rushmore showing up for every ribbon-cutting, the name Kings of Leon generally receives a resounding “Who?” Most of the rest of the naysayers come from a hipster fundamentalism mindset dictating that platinum-selling artists deserve our ire, not our thanks and that there is always a better choice but nobody thought to ask them. Monday morning armchair quarterbacking is super-easy compared to actually playing the game, and I write that as someone who spent years as a film and music critic. I also know that plans for a show like this have been in the works for, quite literally, years. It is the culmination of work that began before most people were even talking about a new downtown park. But even reasonable people can fall prey to the idea that things like this just fall out of the ether and land in their laps fully formed. This kind of thinking is likely a symptom of our current digital life in which everything we desire is readily available with just a click, but a more disappointing reason for lukewarm reactions to a free concert in Oklahoma City is as old as Oklahoma City itself. The protestant work ethic dictates that hard work is its own reward and there will be plenty of time for relaxation in the afterlife, and it is what drove our state’s economy for much of its existence. Wanting nice things was con-
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sidered a frivolity, and old-school Oklahomans did not want their hardearned, tax-paying dollars going to anything that was not forged out of their own sweat. Oklahoma’s state motto is Labor omnia vincit, or “Labor conquers all,” for a reason. If the state’s motto were Musicorum omnia vincit, we might be having a slightly different discussion. As such, many Oklahomans look upon a free concert as an affront to their values and sensibilities, especially if there is a hint that public money entered the equation. This is the “there is no free lunch” school of civic discourse. Some social critics loudly complained about the potential cost of the event to the City of Oklahoma City. First of all, this is not a benefit concert. Kings of Leon has performed at benefit concerts like its performance for victims of the May 2013 tornadoes, but the opening of a city park is not in the same category. Second, are we simply going to complete this park and let it lie there without doing anything to herald its opening? Third, as much as I loved the performance by The Roots that opened Tulsa’s Gathering Place last year and what it symbolized, Oklahoma City brought in musicians to open Scissortail Park who have actual roots in this state. We, as Oklahomans, have difficulty sorting out our feelings on the value of art and what deserves financial compensation. As one savvy marketing expert, Bridget Trowbridge, wrote on Twitter on June 28, “Oklahomans: Don’t ask artists to work for free!!!! Also Oklahomans: Can you believe someone is paying Kings of Leon to perform???” Our now-thriving concert scene in Oklahoma City is due, at least in part, to good word of mouth among musicians. In the live music business, bad word about a concert market spreads like measles at an anti-vaxxer convention. Those who threw garbage at the Kings of Leon announcement can rest assured that their hot takes were seen by concert promoters, managers, agents and musicians, all of whom have the power to bring music to Oklahoma City — or not.
George Lang is editor-in-chief of Oklahoma Gazette and began his career at Gazette in 1994. | Photo Gazette / file
Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.
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F E AT U R E
EAT & DRINK
Frida Southwest opens in The Paseo Arts District after more than five years in the works. By Jacob Threadgill
After more than five years of setbacks and delays, Frida Southwest, 500 Paseo Drive, seated its first dining guests. In the modern space with huge windows and exterior lined with weathering steel, which is designed to be a fast-controlled rusting process, the more than 5,000 square-foot space looks well-established in The Paseo Arts District with contemporary accents. When Shaun Fiaccone, owner of Humankind Hospitality Services (Picasso Cafe, The Other Room, Oso on Paseo) and ardent supporter of The Paseo Arts District, saw the land up for sale, he knew he didn’t want to risk a new person’s vision to come into the district and bring an establishment that didn’t fit with its Spanish revival architecture and what Fiaccone termed a laissez-faire attitude. “I bought the property without a plan,” he said. “ I wanted it to organically take shape. … Building a restaurant is something that should fall into the hands of a developer. I was naïve going into this by thinking to build a restaurant, you hire an architect and a general contractor and it just happens. … Once you tell me the space can be any size or shape that you want, it becomes more difficult.” Three architects, two building permits and a surprise environmental remediation bill later, construction on Frida finally took place, but not without the concept of the restaurant changing. The restaurant named after famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo was originally envisioned to be a straightforward Mexican restaurant, but Fiaccone and partners decided to keep a Mexican inf luence but incorporate more Southwestern flavors by way of Mexico City, Santa Fe, Oklahoma and every-
thing in between. During the delays in construction at Frida, the culinary creative team with Humankind, which includes chef and partner Ryan Parrott and chef Chris McKenna, opened and designed Oso on Paseo, which partially filled the original Frida concept of providing high-quality tacos and burritos. Parrott said Frida’s cuisine pivot will allow the restaurant to set the parameters of how the market will view Southwestern cuisine going forward. “Just like the very first Mexican restaurant in Oklahoma City got to dictate what it will be up front to diners; we get to set that tone and write that dialogue,” Parrott said. “Cheever’s [Cafe] has some Southwest cuisine with Tex-Mex mixed in, but there’s no one else really doing it [in the market],” McKenna said. Diners are greeted with an amusebouche of manchego cheese with a fruit olive oil and dark chocolate, a flavor combination inspired by the culinary team’s trips to Mexico over the years.
We get to set that tone and write that dialogue. Ryan Parrott Tuna Tostaditos with ahi tuna marinated in guajillo chile, jalapeño and citrus with avocado and fried leeks is the restaurant’s answer to Southwestern tartare. Short rib empanadas are served with New Mexico green chile, mushrooms and a brûléed goat cheese and ancho demi-glace.
The holy trinity of Southwestern cooking, according to McKenna, is the combination of beans, squash and corn. The three sisters are highlighted with the bone-in Jidori chicken breast with grilled asparagus. “I was skeptical of Jidori chicken because it’s twice as expensive, but there’s a big difference,” McKenna said. “They call it the Kobe of chicken.” The rib-eye is served with potato and green chile hash, New Mexico red chile and coffee-spiced carrots and topped with crispy onions and horseradish butter. Pork tenderloin is sliced over peanut-coconut mole, bacon sugar snap peas and a sweet potato tamale. McKenna said the steak is Frida’s ode to the Cowboy Rib-eye by Southwestern chef Stephan Pyles. “We wanted the menu in the parameters of a chop house and to incorporate different sides using tamales as starch rather than having it potato-heavy,” McKenna said. After much soul-searching, Fiaccone said the delays and menu pivot at Frida have ended where they should have been all along. He wants to provide a restaurant so Oklahomans and those visiting the city can eat somewhere representative of the state. “When Southwest cuisine was gaining popularity in the ’80s and ’90s, it was an era dominated by corporate restaurants,” Fiaccone said. “A lot of these chefs that started out cooking with these flavors of indigenous peoples and Mexican people and European settlers that ended up in the region were consolidated by large conglomerate restaurants. Chili’s Southwest eggrolls became ubiquitous, but what chef in their right mind wants to associate themselves with Chili’s? We lost a lot of our cultural food as it was developing.” Frida also houses a standalone speakeasy midcentury modern whiskey and cigar lounge called The Daley that will open daily at 5 p.m. and keep slightly longer hours than Frida without staying open until last call, Parrott said. “The footprint for Frida ended up being a lot bigger than we thought, so we had more room than needed,” Fiaccone said. “I like the idea of having secret things or something that takes you by surprise. I wanted a Tuna Tostaditos is Frida Southwest’s answer to tuna tartare. | Photo Alexa Ace
Frida Southwest’s main dining room features modern Southwestern decor. | Photo Alexa Ace
Short rib empanadas with goat cheese and ancho chile demi-glace | Photo Alexa Ace
place where you can have a whiskey, read a book and be inspired to create an amazing space. It’s very comforting and homey.” The Daley menu will feature nine items that are classic American, such as a Reuben sandwich, Shrimp Louie, French onion dip, crabcake and fingerling potatoes served with crème fraîche and caviar. “I can’t think of many places in the city serving caviar,” Fiaccone said. Frida is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. MondayThursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and currently 5-9 p.m. Sunday. A Sunday brunch service will be added in the coming months. Reservations are strongly encouraged in the restaurant’s first few weeks of service. Visit facebook.com/fridasouthwest. O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J U LY 1 0 , 2 0 1 9
F E AT U R E
EAT & DRINK
Building from Gorō Ramen, Gun Izakaya opens in Paseo as Oklahoma City’s first Japanese pub. By Jacob Threadgill
In the 1985 cult classic film Tampopo, food is one of the main characters alongside Gorō (Tsutomu Yamazaki) and his sidekick Gun (Ken Watanabe). Publicity for the film called it the first “ramen Western,” as a Japanese nod to the spaghetti Westerns filmed in Italy. The creative minds behind 84 Hospitality Group — founder Rachel Cope and executive chef and partner Jeff Chanchaleune — used Tampopo as inspiration for its first concept, Gorō Ramen. They have returned to Tampopo with their latest concept Gun Izakaya, 3000 Paseo Drive, which opened July 5. In Japan, an Izakaya is a casual pub, where friends and family gather around drinks and meats cooked over open flame on a yakitori grill. “This concept was originally supposed to be part of Gorō when we first opened,” Chanchaleune said. “I had high ambitions for a tiny restaurant. I figured out I couldn’t do it and took off ‘Izakaya’ from the branding [at Gorō Ramen]. I ran with noodles for a while. I’m glad I did because I was able to travel a lot more.” Chanchaleune and Cope are common travel partners, touring Japan and surrounding countries multiple times together in recent years. Every trip to Japan, he makes an effort to stay near Memory Lane, a Tokyo hotspot for small, family-owned yakitori shops. “I always make an effort to try as many different shops as possible,” he said. “This is my passion project. I love noodles and I’m good at noodles, but this is always the restaurant that I wanted to open. A lot of people think grilled chicken is simple, but there is a Eggplant wontons and a skewer of chicken hearts | Photo Alexa Ace
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lot of technique that goes into it, the charcoal that goes into it, managing the temperatures.” Chanchaleune is a history buff, adding precise decades when talking about cultural shifts in Japanese history. “For food and atmosphere, I wanted to blend old Japan with modern-day Japan,” he said. “Old Japan ended in 1868, and that’s when the modern era exploded.” Gun Izakaya, designed by Fitzsimmons Architects, blends traditional elements like wood backing on the walls and inlays above two bars — one housing the charcoal grills and another housing liquor. The old and new blend together in “The Last Service,” a contemporary street art mural by artist Juuri (Julie Robertson) that depicts legendary female samurai Tomoe Gozen holding a bow and arrow, ready to attack. “She was a badass,” Chanchaleune said. “She’s known for beheading one of [Miyamoto] Musashi’s generals and presenting it to him.” Yakitori specifically refers to chicken cooked on a skewer over binchotan charcoal, which is made from Japanese oak and covered in ash. It burns at a high temperature for up to eight hours for a single cylindrical piece. Gun serves a variety of cuts of chicken: thighs, meatball and heart marinated in tare, a sweet and savory sauce; chicken skin cooked over the flames until crispy; chicken breast with a spicy kick; and chicken wings. “The charcoal is very dense and emits infrared heat and a lot of energy for a long time,” Chanchaleune said. “It provides a subtle smoky flavor, but you can still taste the meat.” “With the fire being that hot, it gets the outside crispy without drying out
the inside,” Cope said. “It’s amazing. You’ll see the charcoal coloring, and it’s still tender.” In true Izakaya fashion, the food at Gun is designed for sharing among friends and family. Chanchaleune encourages guests to order a few grilled items; three or four people can all get bites from one skewer and then order more of the ones they like.
I love noodles and I’m good at noodles, but this is always the restaurant that I wanted to open. Jeff Chanchaleune The menu includes non-grilled items like a duck okonomiyaki, a savory pancake with cabbage, mushrooms and duck confit cooked in duck fat and topped with duck powder. There are also multiple kinds of dumpling: shumai filled with crab and pork, pork gyoza and vegan eggplant wontons with cilantro that were a hit during Gun’s soft opening. The menu also includes karaage-fried catfish as a nod to Japanese white fish preparation with an Oklahoma ingredient, Japanese hot chicken legs and a pork sandwich with housemade milk bread. Kare udon is sun noodles with curry gravy and pickled ginger with beet juice to make them naturally red. Dessert includes matcha-fried doughnuts with white chocolate crumble, strawberry, yuzu sauce and mint. Featured prominently at the front of the “bar bar” is a Toki Highball machine, which is thought to be the first of its kind in Oklahoma. Whiskey highballs are a staple of Japanese drinking culture, and the machine perfectly infuses carbonation into a mixture that is four parts soda and one part whiskey for a re-
Gun Izakaya features an alcohol bar complete with the state’s first highball machine and a bar with a yakitori grill. | Photo Alexa Ace
freshing drink that is like an alcoholic La Croix with more flavor, especially the charred grapefruit variety. “I poured one last night for research’s sake, and it was still bubbly more than an hour later,” Cope said. Ponyboy general manager Ryan Goodman designed the cocktail program at Gun that showcases traditional Japanese ingredients with seasonal and contemporary flourishes. The bamboo cocktail features manzanilla sherry, Tozai Typhoon sake, Dolin dry vermouth and rhubarb bitters, is served in a tiki mug and lit on fire tableside. There is also a selection of local and imported beer and a huge selection of sake. “The sake list is in my opinion, the most aggressive in the state,” Cope said. “It is meant to be educational. We don’t have any wine, and we did that on purpose. We want people that are wine drinkers to give sake a try. We want to educate on the similarities and differences and see we can change that because for a lot of people they think about hot sake, and that’s just not the case.” Visit gunizakaya.com.
Catfish karaage with yuzu kosho tartar sauce. | Photo Alexa Ace
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EAT & DRINK
What happens when it’s after 10 p.m. and you’ve got a craving for a better option than something that comes from a drive-thru window? These seven restaurants are here to answer the late-night call of hunger. By Jacob Threadgill with photos Gazette / file and provided
The R&J Lounge and Supper Club
320 NW 10th St. rjsupperclub.com | 405-602-5066
Even with a bevy of options in Midtown, it’s easy to never leave The R&J Lounge and Supper Club because not only does it serve some of the best cocktails in town but its kitchen is open past 1 a.m. every night. It offers three types of burger in addition to plenty of plates that are easy to split with a friend or snack on as your night continues.
Oklahoma City’s favorite bar named after a Phish song and serving elevated street food should be a late-night staple because it serves its full menu until 1:30 a.m. seven days per week. Not many restaurants in the city can say the same thing. Whether you want an indulgent poutine wrap or the lighter Peace in the Middle East vegan wrap or a pizza or composed entrée, it has you covered.
This isn’t your father’s Red Rooster. After going through an extensive renovation that includes a beautiful new bar and windows for plenty of natural light, the former dive bar is a farm-to-table restaurant with affordable prices. Its late-night menu is served 10 p.m.-midnight and includes popular items like the charcuterie board, scallion tacos and cold vegan soba noodles.
730 NW 23rd St. guyutes.com | 405-702-6960
3100 N. Walker Ave. okcredrooster.com | 405-463-9982
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Hopscotch Bar & Kitchen
431 NW 23rd St. facebook.com/urbuneats 405-602-1534
10909 N. May Ave. hopscotchokc.com | 405-286-4246
Under new owner chef Vuong Nguyen, Ur/ Bun has an updated menu with an emphasis on late-night eats. Steam buns are still there, but Ur/Bun has added street tacos, empanadas, sliders, a salad and potatocrusted hot dogs that might be the best thing ever when leaving an Uptown 23rd Street bar after a few adult beverages.
Hopscotch’s menu is available until midnight every day and offers a lot more than just burgers. It has an appetizer of mussels in white wine tomato sauce, smoked salmon, chicken satay and more. The Mac Street Boys sandwich with spicy pulled pork, mac and cheese, sweet pickles and Muenster cheese on jalapeño bread is the best kind of hybrid meal that is the perfect end to a long night.
Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria
5801 N. Western Ave. flipswinebar.com | 405-843-1527
After 10:30 p.m. (11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday), Flip’s transitions to its latenight menu, which is available until 1 a.m. Unlike some skimpy late-night menus, Flip’s version is pretty robust. Pizzas, salads and appetizers remain available, as do entrée dishes like lasagna and manicotti stuffed with ricotta and Parmesan cheese and topped with marinara, creamy pesto and toasted pine nuts.
Ice Event Center & Grill 1148 NE 36th St. 405-208-4240
Ice is a popular spot for its weekly jazz, poetry, “trappy” hour Fridays and Sunday brunches. Its kitchen opens 10:30 a.m. daily and features lunch specials featuring catfish, burgers and entrées, but it’s never as popular as late night on the weekends when its delicately fried catfish is perfect to answer the call of hunger after a night of drinking and dancing.
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ARTS & CULTURE
Exhibit C explores the long history of military service within Native American communities in an art exhibit featuring three veterans. By Charles Martin
Charles Guerrier took his nephew to a bar in 1962 to show off the freshly minted Marine to the local cadre of combat veterans. Harvey Pratt had always looked up to his war hero uncle, a heavily decorated Marine who served in World War II and was just the latest in a long line of proud warriors to come from their Cheyenne and Arapaho families. “He’d been shot up good, wounded quite often, missing in action,” Pratt said. “I always heard stories about him, and when I came back from training and was about to ship out to Okinawa, he invited me over.” Two others whom Pratt had never met joined them, and he only remembers them as a first sergeant and master sergeant. Throughout the night, veterans stopped by to pay respects to the strangers, buy drinks and leave money. Pratt didn’t question it; instead, he just took in all the war stories and advice passed across the table. “I was sitting there with three old warriors with ribbons all the way up to their collarbone,” Pratt said. At the end of the night, the two strangers offered to set Pratt up with a ride to Dallas aboard a Marine commandant’s plane, which Pratt first thought was a joke but accepted all the same. Pratt would later learn that those two strangers were Medal of Honor recipients, an honor so significant and rare that even generals are obligated to salute recipients, regardless of rank. Inspired to join their warrior ranks, Pratt volunteered for the 3rd Recon Marine Battalion in 1963 on a mission to
Vietnam, two years before the American combat troops officially arrived. Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian recently selected Pratt’s Warriors’ Circle of Honor concept design for the Native American Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., which breaks ground this September and opens Veterans Day 2020. Pratt was also selected for a group show of Native American veteran artists titled Standing Their Ground: Warrior Artists at Exhibit C along with Enoch Kelly Haney, a member of the Seminole tribe who served in the National Guard, and Monty Little, a member of the Navajo tribe and also a Marine. “American Indians serve in their country’s armed forces in greater numbers per capita than any other ethnic group, and they have served with distinction in every major conflict for over 200 years,” wrote Kevin Gover, director of Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, in a piece for Huffington Post. Little said the warrior spirit and ceremony of the Navajo tribe made transition into the military culture easier for him. “The mental part of the Marine Corps as well as the discipline was already instilled in that traditional Navajo lifestyle,” Little said. “We wake up early in the morning and run to the sun to greet the day. Towards the end of the day, we reevaluate ourselves as a discipline. A lot of Navajos go into the services because it has been passed down generation to generation. My grandpa went, as did his brother, who became a Code Talker (in World War II), and that paved the way for future generations.” Little said he is featuring his Precursor series, which hints at the large body of work he plans to create as he continues to grow as an artist. He calls it his introduction. The paintings delve into his battling identities: the traditional life of the Navajo and the modern American experience. His combat experience in Iraq only heightened that struggle. “We all have traumatic experiences, veteran or not, and “Magpie 2” by Harvey Pratt | Image Koch Communications / provided
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these stories need to be brought out,” Little said. “It is a good way to heal, to project all these feelings through artwork. You are letting it out, letting it be seen, letting it be critiqued.” Tom Fa r r i s manages Exhibit C and curates the exhibits along with Kelley Lunsford. Though the gallery was originally envisioned to represent Chickasaw arts and culture in the heav i ly traveled Bricktown district, Farris said that artists have been increasingly brought in from other federally recognized tribes. According to Farris, Standing T heir Ground was an opportunity for Exhibit C to explore the significant cultural importance and impact of military service within the Native community. “There is a deeply rooted connection to the warrior spirit in Native culture, that ability to be a protector,” Farris said. “There’s a long history of proudly serving in the military. We always have an opening at this time of year, so it made sense to put together a veterans exhibit as a nice gesture to honoring the military service that Native Americans have provided.”
We all have traumatic experiences, veteran or not, and these stories need to be brought out. Monty Little Farris added that Haney will be known to many Oklahomans as a former state senator and principal chief of The Great Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, who is also a painter and the sculptor behind “The Guardian,” which sits atop the state Capitol. Like Haney, Pratt’s service didn’t end when his military career wrapped up. He went on to work for the Midwest City Police Department and then with the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation as a forensic artist. In his own art, Pratt explored contemporary and classic themes of Native American ceremony and heroism. In 2000, Pratt began his battle with cancer, which would repeatedly return over the years, a result of that brief stint in Vietnam in 1963 as he roamed jungles poisoned with Agent Orange. Because
“Survivance 02” by Monty Little | Image Koch Communications / provided
that mission was kept secret, Pratt said his own record didn’t have any evidence of him ever going to Vietnam and it was only after his commandant’s record was opened that he could confirm his exposure to the toxin. “I’ve always had some issues, but I thought they were normal, just the way it was,” Pratt said. “When I realized what had caused it, I contacted three other guys I served with and found out we’d all contracted cancer at the same time. I was fortunate enough to have good insurance and get an early diagnosis, so I beat it. Two of them are now gone.” Pratt said the way veterans talk about the long-term ramifications of combat has changed with the newest generation of veterans being more open and assertive about their stories being told. Little said he is part of Dirty Canteen, an art collaborative composed of veterans using their artwork to bridge the divide between military and civilian cultures. Little said he has received a lot of support because his art allows civilians a glimpse into the veteran experience. “Veterans have a lot to say, and people are interested in hearing these stories from a different perspective, in a creative way,” Little said. “It can be scary, but it is their experience and we need to give veterans a chance to do this work.” Visit exhibitcgallery.com.
Standing Their Ground: Warrior Artists through Oct. 31 Exhibit C 1 E. Sheridan Ave., Suite 100 exhibitcgallery.com | 405-767-8900 Free
Life in urban centers comes into focus in Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s Photographing the Street. By Jeremy Martin
The focus seems clear, but Photographing the Street is not completely black-and-white. On display through Dec. 1 at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, Photographing the Street features 22 works by four photographers with notably varied methods and motives.
graphs, the majority of which he might never have seen. The works included in Photographing the Street come from his portfolio titled “Women are better than men. Not only have they survived, they do prevail.” “Women were one of his favorite subjects,” Provencher said. “This portfolio presents these women engaged in different everyday activities like hailing a cab, crossing the street, attending a social gathering, and in them you can see his signature tilted picture frame and you see the classic street photography.”
Vancouver-based artist Ian Wallace combines minimalist painting with street photography in an exploration of “the complexities and “Untitled” by Ian Wallace demands of modern life,” | Photo Oklahoma City Museum of Art / provided Provencher said. “He’s interested in seeing how people “They’re all engaging with this arnavigate through an urban area, how tistic genre in different ways,” said asthey navigate through modern life with sistant curator Jessica Provencher. all the advertising signage and monu“They all have very different approachments, architecture and traffic.” es and very different goals.” Describing his series Heroes in the Born in New York in 1928, Garry Street, Wallace told the international Winogrand became famous for capturcontemporary arts organization Kadist ing candid photographs of strangers on why he chooses public spaces as the the street. setting for much of his work. “His photos are very informally com“The street is the site, metaphoriposed,” Provencher said. “They’re often cally as well as in actuality, of all the kind of tilted or cropped — something forces of society and economics imthat really came to be known as the ploded upon the individual who, moving snapshot aesthetic. That’s something within the dense forest of symbols of he’s really known for.” the modern city, can achieve the status Writing for The New Yorker in 2018, of the heroic,” he said. arts critic Richard Brody described how Winogrand’s rapid-fire shooting They’re all method transformed street photograengaging with this phy “from an art of observation to an art of participation.” artistic genre in “His images often brought together different ways. They many people unaware of being photographed, caught in a state of public all have very different privacy, and only one or two in a crowd approaches and very who were aware of the camera’s presdifferent goals. ence and looked into the lens, not so much interacting with him as reacting Jessica Provencher to him, already too late,” Brody wrote. “He was, in effect, stinging his subjects with the camera, and their gaze back Photographing the Street includes 10 was as an expression of their surprise photo studies Wallace created for — a surprise that performed, on camera, planned large-scale multimedia works. his own surprise in the presence of his “It’s a little bit hard to explain the subjects and the wondrous, shocking, studies if you haven’t seen them,” horrifying, astonishing, absurd realities Provencher said. “They’re photos in which he found them.” mounted on pieces of paper, and there’s Before his death in 1984, Winogrand a little lithographic design on the paper took an estimated 1 million photoas well. The studies kind of show the
layout of what some of the future paintings would look like. … He’s more conceptual than the other artists.” Though Wallace’s photos might be difficult to describe, Provencher said their Vancouver setting and oftenisolated subjects might be more easily relatable to Oklahomans who do not typically see the crowded city scenes prevalent in more “The Las Vegas Strip: Rebel or Clown?” by Gary Mark typical street photography. Smith | Photo Oklahoma City Museum of Art / provided Gary Mark Smith, meanwhile, has shot photos in more than 85 countries on six losophy behind his work. continents. Provencher said Smith is “I am bearing witness to the world most famous for “photographs of war in which I live, and to the people I share and revolution and natural disaster” but it with,” he said. “This world, as I see it, part of his purpose for taking photos is filled with people who are suffering around the world is to highlight the comin one way or another. Suffering is somemonalities in the human experience. thing that is unique to our species, “When he was in high school, he comes at us straight from our own selfstarted photographing everyday life in awareness, and is something we all exNew York City’s Washington Square perience at one time or another, and for Park,” Provencher said. “Since then, some, all the time. There is the big sufhe’s kind of sought out the Washington fering as is seen in wars, poverty or Square of every new place he visits. ... disasters, which I don’t photograph. He’s highlighting different cultures in And then there is the everyday suffervarious areas of the world and also the ings of ordinary people, and that is similarities of urban life in a lot of difsimply what I see as I go through my life ferent areas.” each day and am compelled to photoSmith published a collection of photograph as a way of acknowledging those graphs titled Searching For Washington who pass before me.” Square in 2000. According to his mission As a whole, Provencher said, the statement, dated 1978 and posted on his exhibit is photographic evidence of the website, his goal is “to create a compelling artistic inspiration that can be found in global street photography portfolio during common experiences and settings. one artist’s lifetime revealing both the “It really demonstrates the richness variety of culture and similarity in charof expression and abundance of visual acter of urban elements and order that one possibilities and stimulating moments encounters out on the seemingly chaotic that are afforded by the most public of streets of a single planet at the turn of a places,” she said. millennium where predominantly urban Museum admission is free-$10. Visit people can be studied and photographed okcmoa.com. in the wild going about the task of living out the commerce and leisure and bustle and sometimes grind of their everyday public lives.”
Mike Peters, who works as director of photographic services at Montclair State University in New Jersey, also hopes to capture the realities of daily life in his photos. “He’s associated with street photography, but he’s really interested in people,” Provencher said. “He likes “Santa Monica, California” by Garry Winogrand his images to be very | Photo Oklahoma City Museum of Art / provided straightforward, and his approach is simplistic. He doesn’t use anything artificial or any kind of manipulation. They’re usually very clear, and you want viewers to be able to connect with them, to feel something Photographing the Street familiar, be able to imagine the story through Dec. 1 about the photograph. … Sometimes Oklahoma City Museum of Art people call what he does street portrai415 Couch Drive ture.” okcmoa.com | 405-236-3100 In an interview with Inspired Eye Free-$10 magazine, Peters explained the phiO KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J U LY 1 0 , 2 0 1 9
T H E AT E R
ARTS & CULTURE
Butterfly pattern La’Charles Purvey’s newest play explores cycles of recovery after trauma. By Jeremy Martin
Regina J. Banks admitted she “didn’t think that through.” Banks, a business owner and mother of three teenage girls, founded The Vanguart theater company earlier this year — something the 2002 University of Oklahoma musical theater graduate said she had been planning for years — but she did not originally intend to also star in the company’s first production, The Life Cycle of a Butterfly, debuting July 18-20 at Howard Theatre at Heritage Hall, 1800 NW 122nd St. The play, written and directed by La’Charles Purvey, stars Banks as Sunni, a recovering alcoholic and survivor of sexual abuse. “I struggled when La’Charles said, ‘Hey, I want you to play Sunni,’” Banks said. “Then I thought about it; you know, movie stars do this all the time. When they believe in a project, they put their money where their mouth is and many times produce or executive produce. It’s been a slow journey, but I’m learning to be OK with producing and starring. … I love being pushed and challenged, especially artistically.” Purvey said he originally wrote the role of Sunni with Banks in mind. “Regina is a really creative and vivid actress,” Purvey said. “She’s very imaginative. She thinks on her feet, and she kind of has that vulnerability that you look for in a performer. You know the audience is really going to root for her.” He originally intended Sunni’s character to have more of a supporting role, but the impact of the #MeToo movement inspired him to make her the lead, though it required the playwright to look beyond his own perspective. “It started off as something totally, totally different,” Purvey said. “It was going to center around another character, but as I started writing, I started seeing people making posts on Facebook about some of the sexual trauma that they had had in their past. … Then all of a sudden, Regina’s character Sunni kind of took over and said, ‘Hey, let me tell my story.’ … I had to do a bit of research. I had to talk to some people because, having a female lead, you want to be sure that you get some things right. As a guy, there’s some things that you don’t experience that a woman might experience. Of course, I talked to Regina along the way. I talked to a couple of close women friends of mine. If I was ever stumped about anything, I would just reach out to the women in my life.” The Life Cycle of a Butterfly also stars Rod Porter as Sunni’s husband Kirk, a musician who is often away from home, 20
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touring or at the studio recording a new album, and Kamron McClure plays Tariq, a 20-year-old artist who begins a relationship with Sunni while Kirk is gone. Derrick Sier stars as Sunni’s younger brother, Boonie, who suffers from guilt related to his sister’s trauma. Deonna Cattledge plays Sunni’s best friend and Boonie’s on-again, off-again girlfriend Kalista, who Purvey described as “really fun character” and a “cougar.” Glen Whitaker plays Kalista’s “boy toy” Justin, who she attempts to use to make Boonie jealous. Purvey said their relationship provides comic relief from the intensity of the main plot. “With such a serious topic, I like to balance that out with a little humor so the audience won’t feel so drained by the end of the show,” Purvey said. As director, Purvey also tries to “keep the mood as light as possible” during rehearsals. Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma instructor Ronn Burton serves as the play’s intimacy consultant to help ensure the actors are comfortable during the more intense scenes. “I always want to make sure that the actors feel safe,” Purvey said. “It could be traumatizing to some people because you don’t know what somebody’s past is. That might have actually happened to one of your actors. … We have all hands on deck, and we’re trying to keep
it as professional as possible. We’re trying to keep our actors physically and mentally safe while they’re telling this story. … The one thing I do as a director is I always keep the lines of communication open. After every rehearsal, I’m always talking to each actor, asking them, ‘How are you feeling? Are you OK?’ and if I ever come to a point that might be a little bit above my expertise, I might call somebody else in. … I’m not going to sacrifice my actors’ safety and wellbeing for the sake of the story. The actors come first for me.” Banks said at least one of the play’s scenes, simulating a sexual assault, is intended to be unsettling for viewers. “The audience should feel very uncomfortable, and we’ve certainly as actors had to approach this professionally with care and consideration,” Banks said. “We see things like this happen all the time on television, but when it’s live theater, it hits a little differently.”
Rickelle Williams serves as the play’s stage manager and Steven Gillmore will be running tech and sound with sets built by Robert Rickner at factor 110. Banks said the diverse cast and crew fulfills The Vanguart’s purpose as a theatrical company. Performances will be preceded by a “black carpet” event with live music by Cooper Shelton and an art exhibition. “The entire mission is to create more opportunities for people of color,” Banks said. “I think sometimes people get afraid of that language. We’re not trying to exclude anyone … but we just want to create more opportunities for African American artists here in Oklahoma.”
Purvey said his belief in The Vanguart’s mission provides extra motivation to ensure a high quality play. “I want to see the Vanguart go on and do other shows and be prosperous, so the pressure is kind of there because the first one out the gate has to be really good,” Purvey said. Though Banks is still adjusting to the pressures of founding a theater company and starring in its debut production, she said playing the role is helping her cope with struggles in her personal life. “Sunni has been through a lot of pain in her life, and she is finally ready to live by the end of the show,” Banks said. “She’s finally ready to live her life at the fullest, and these recent events for her really push her into that space. And in a lot of ways, that’s been the case for Regina. I haven’t gone through a sexual assault, but I’m currently going through a divorce, and when it’s someone you’ve been with for 22 years, that’s a big life change. So in a lot of ways, I’m being pushed into a new life, a new normal, and even the theater production company, this is something we always wanted to do together, and now it’s just me by myself doing it, but I feel so free. I feel free, and I feel like I’m living a new life. And I’m able to kind of tap into a space that I wasn’t able to before, so I bring that to Sunni’s character. … I am growing, and I am emerging out of my own chrysalis.” Tickets are $30-$35. Visit thevanguart.com.
The Life Cycle of a Butterfly July 18-21 Howard Theatre Heritage Hall 1800 NW 122nd St. | thevanguart.com $30-$35
Tariq (Kamron McClure), Sunni (Regina J. Banks) and Kirk (Rod Porter) form a troubled love triangle in The Life Cycle of a Butterfly. | Photo provided
Around OKC EAT veggie burger at The Press WATCH Big Mouth (Netflix) LISTEN Harold Storey’s Tunes/Toons podcast READ Blankets by Craig Thompson LOVE The Pump Bar EXPERIENCE Red Dirt Poetry at Sauced on Paseo
Outside OKC fresh salmon from Pike Place EAT Fish Market in Seattle Gentleman Jack (HBO) WATCH Bubble podcast LISTEN I-D Magazine READ vinho verde Portuguese wine LOVE Piccadilly Circus in London at night EXPERIENCE
James Nghiem’s Picks EAT Wings and Things at Bobo’s Chicken
or anything at Taste of Korea
WATCH Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse LISTEN "Scene Sick" by Diet Cig READ The Recovering: Intoxication
and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison
LOVE Selfish answer: my ex-girlfriend/partner for a lot of reasons
Unselfish answer: SISU Youth Services for helping our homeless youth
EXPERIENCE A 1 a.m. stroll through the Bar-muda Triangle (51st Street Speakeasy, HiLo Club, Edna’s) James Nghiem is a stand-up comedian and drummer for The Nghiems who also co-curates pop-culture art shows at 51st Street Speakeasy.
VEGGIE BURGER | PHOTO JACOB THREADGILL • BIG MOUTH | IMAGE NETFLIX / PROVIDED • BLANKETS | IMAGE DRAWN & QUARTERLY / PROVIDED GENTLEMAN JACK | IMAGE HBO / PROVIDED • BUBBLE | IMAGE BUBBLE / PROVIDED • HILO | PHOTO ALEXA ACE • SPIDER-MAN | IMAGE SONY PICTURES RELEASING / PROVIDED
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CALENDAR These are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.
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BOOKS Comic Book Club: Scott Pilgrim meetup to discuss Scott Pilgrim Volume 1: Precious Little Life, 2-3 p.m. July 13. Literati Press Comics & Novels, 3010 Paseo St., 405-882-7032, literatipressok.com. SAT
Bloom Healthcare, Inc 9212 N Kelley Ave, Ste 100 Oklahoma City, OK (405) 849-4794 | bloomdoctors.com
Intro to The Artist’s Way Timothy Neal Dillingham leads a discussion of The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron; bring paper and pencil and an artwork you’ve created, 1-3 p.m. July 14. Wholeshot Coffee, 2200 W. Hefner Road, Suite 1, 405-242-4198. SUN Jennifer Givhan reading the visiting writer from Oklahoma City University’s Red Earth masters of fine arts program will read from her work, 7-10 p.m. July 11. The Paramount Room, 701 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-887-3327, theparamountroom.com. THU Ralph Cissne book signing the Oklahoma author will autograph copies of his short story collection Prudence in Hollywood and Other Stories, 5-9 p.m. July 11. Barnes & Noble, 6100 N. May Ave., 405-843-9300, barnesandnoble.com. THU Second Sunday Poetry hear the works of a variety of local poets, 2 p.m. second Sunday of every month. The Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., Norman, 405-307-9320, pasnorman.org. SUN Young Adult Book Club Meet-Up discuss The Princess Bride by William Goldman with other young readers, 5-6:30 p.m. July 10. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. WED
FILM Annie (1982, USA, John Huston) a young orphan girl lives a hard-knock life before finding a family in this popular musical, 7-10:30 p.m. July 10. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-4457080, myriadgardens.com. WED Red Dog 2019, USA, Luke Dick) musician Luke Dick directs this documentary about his childhood in and around the Red Dog strip club where his mother worked; a Q&A with the director follows the screening, 3 p.m. July 14. Red Dog, 6417 NW 10th St. SUN VHS & CHILL: Toons on the Rocks audience members are invited to bring their own VHS copies of classic cartoons to screen at this interactive event, 8-10 p.m. July 15. The Paramount Room, 701 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-887-3327, theparamountroom.com. MON Wonder (2017, USA, Stephen Chbosky) a fifth grader with facial differences goes to elementary school for the first time, 6-9:30 p.m. July 17. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-4457080, myriadgardens.com. WED
HAPPENINGS Across the Aisle: A Bipartisan Community Conversation a discussion hosted by Women Lead Oklahoma and featuring state senators Carri Hicks and Jason Smalley, 5:30 p.m. July 16. Sunnyside Diner, 916 NW Sixth St., 405.778.8861. TUE Afro Beats a dance party featuring hip-hop, Caribbean, dancehall and more with DJ Sinz, 11 p.m. July 5. Glass Lounge, 5929 N. May Ave., 405-835-8077, glasshouseokc.com. FRI All Day Frosé enjoy drinks, food and live music from Sports, Brothers Griin, Chair Model and more, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. July 13. The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-212-2378, thejonesassembly.com. SAT All-Star Pro: Last Stand see a variety of professional wrestling matches from this Oklahoma-based promotion, 4-7 p.m. July 14. Northwest Event Center, 6009 Northwest Expressway, 405-200-6262. SUN Bellator Mixed Martial Arts Julia Budd battles Olga Rubin for the MMA Featherweight World Title, 5:45 p.m. July 12. WinStar World Casino, 777 Casino Ave., 866-946-7787, winstarworldcasino.com. FRI CampOut OKC learn about camping basics, watch a movie, make s’mores, hear ghost stories and more at this urban camping even, July 13-14. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. SAT-SUN Cardi B Trap & Paint Party listen to trap music and paint a portrait of the “Bodak Yellow” hitmaker, 7-10 p.m. July 13. Reasons Lounge, 1140 N. MacArthur Boulevard, 405-774-9991. SAT Celebration of Quilts a bi-annual quilt show with vendors and raffles, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. July 12-13. Cole Community Center, 4400 Northwest Expressway, 405-418-7636, okcfirst.com. FRI-SAT Cocktail Cruise see the Boathouse District, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and more on this sunset cruise with a full cash bar, Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 28. Regatta Park Landing, 701 S. Lincoln Blvd., 405-702-7755, okrivercruises.com. FRI-SAT
List your event in Bad in Bricktown! After six sellout performances at Tower Theatre last year, the live stage adaptation of local author Shelby Simpson’s We’re All Bad in Bed is scheduled to tour through Tulsa, Kansas City and Denver. But before the cast and crew of Bad in Bed Live — which includes notable local director Matthew Alvin Brown, choreographer Hui Cha Poos and rapper Miillie Mesh — leave town, they are throwing a fundraising party that will hopefully have the same raucous energy as the show itself. Get ready for Bed 8-11 p.m. Saturday at Skyline on Bricktown Canal, 12 E. California Ave., Suite 300. Tickets are $40-$80. Visit badinbed.live.
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.
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SATURDAY Photo provided
Fandom Fridays celebrate some of your favorite sci-fi and fantasy characters with crafts and activities, 11 a.m.-noon Fridays through July 26. Moore Library, 225 S. Howard Ave. SAT Forensic Dinner Party participate in an interactive investigation using real forensics and enjoy a signature bowl from Poké Loco catering, 6-8 p.m. July 13. Museum of Osteology, 10301 S. Sunnylane Road, 405-814-0006, museumofosteology.org. SAT Founder’s Birthday Celebration celebrate Artspace founder Joe Warriner’s birthday with live music, food and a cash bar, 5:30-8 p.m. July 13. Artspace at Untitled, 1 NE Third St., 405-815-9995, 1ne3.org. SAT Historic Black Towns Tour a bus tour of historic black communities including Brooksville, 8 a.m. July 13. St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 5700 N. Kelley Ave., 405-478-3344. SAT Moore Chess Club play in tournaments and learn about the popular board game at this weekly event where all ages and skill levels are welcome, 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Moore Library, 225 S. Howard Ave. SUN Oklahoma City Tattoo Arts Convention a gathering of local, national and international tattoo artists, sideshow-style entertainment and vendors selling jewelry, clothing, artwork, July 12-14. Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, 405-6028500, coxconventioncenter.com. FRI-SUN Oklahoma’s Strongest Man competitors will complete several weight lifting challenges in an attempt to win the title, 8:30 a.m-6 p.m. July 13. Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, 405-6028500, coxconventioncenter.com. SAT Pooches on the Patio bring your best friend to this dog-friendly happy hour with drink specials, appetizers and free pet treats, 4-7 p.m. Saturdays. Café 501 Classen Curve, 5825 NW Grand Blvd., 405844-1501, cafe501.com. SAT PowHERful Lunch Series: Work-Life Balance discuss the scheduling obstacles working women face and stare strategies for overcoming them, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. July 17. The Treasury, 10 N. Lee Ave., Suite 100, 325-660-2264. WED Renegade Poker compete in a 2-3 hour tournament with cash prizes, 3 p.m. Sundays. Bison
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C A L E N DA R
CALENDAR continued from page 23
noon Saturdays, through Oct. 19. SixTwelve, 612 NW 29th St., 405-208-8291, sixtwelve.org. SAT
Witches Bar & Deli, 211 E Main St., Norman, 405-364-7555, bisonwitchesok.com. SUN
The Rosé Soriée enjoy sparkling rosé paired with light appetizers, 6-8 p.m. July 10. The Merret, 6464 Avondale Drive, 405-848-6464, themerret.com. WED
Summer Sour & Funk Festival sample more than 20 sour beers including rare selections, 5-9 p.m. July 13. 405 Brewing Co., 1716 Topeka St., 405-573-2668, 405brewing.com. SAT Trivia Night at Black Mesa Brewing test your knowledge at this weekly competition hosted by BanjoBug Trivia, 6:30 p.m. June 18. Black Mesa Brewing Company, 1354 W Sheridan Ave., 405-778-1865, blackmesabrewing.com. TUE
Trivia Night at Matty McMillen’s answer questions for a chance to win prizes at this weekly trivia night, 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Matty McMillen’s Irish Pub, 2201 NW 150th St., 405-607-8822, mattymcmillens.com. TUE Vintage BMX & Brews see classic bicycles and enjoy craft beer at this swap meet and bike show, noon-3 p.m. July 13. Brewers Union, 520 N. Meridian Ave., 405-445-4783. SAT Water/Ways a traveling exhibit created by the Smithsonian Institution illustrating the many ways water impacts human life and civilization, through Aug. 18. Norman Public Library East, 3051 Alameda St., 405-217-0770, pioneerlibrarysystem.org. SAT-SUN The Worst Hard Times: Oklahoma Dust Bowl Era learn about how farmers survived the Dust Bowl and view photographs of people who lived through the era, 6:30-8 p.m. July 11. Pioneer Library System, 225 N. Webster Ave., Norman, 405-701-2600, pioneerlibrarysystem.org/norman. THU Yappy Hour a dog-friendly meet up with craft beer and pet treats, 5-7 p.m. July 10. The Patriarch Craft Beer House & Lawn, 9 E. Edwards St., Edmond, 405285-6670, thepatriarchedmond.com. WED
FOOD Asian District Cultural and Culinary Tour learn about Asian culture in Oklahoma and sample bánh mì, pho and other dishes, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 13. Military Park, 1200 NW 25th St., 405-297-3882. SAT The Black Foodie Summit sample cuisine from a variety of culinary artists, chefs and restaurants at this event sponsored by Oklahoma Black Eats, noon-6 p.m. July 13. Bistro 46, 2501 NE 23rd St., 405-595-3904, bistro46okc.com. SAT My Big Fat Greek Cooking Class learn to prepare Mediterranean dishes at this cooking class; ingredients and supplies provided, 2-4 p.m. July 15. Uptown Grocery Co., 1230 W. Covell Road, Edmond, 405-509-2700, uptowngroceryco.com. MON Paseo Farmers Market shop for fresh food from local vendors at this weekly outdoor event, 9 a.m.-
The Taste on 36th a monthly gathering of food trucks from throughout the state featuring live music, noon-6 p.m. second Saturday of every month. Ice Event Center & Grill, 1148 NE 36th St., 405-2084240, iceeventcentergrill.eat24hour.com. SAT
YOUTH American Cowboy Warrior children will have the chance to complete an inflatable obstacle course followed by a snow cone, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. July 13. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. SAT Annie: It’s a Hard Knock Life Musical Theatre Workshop children ages 7-12 will learn to design props and dance and sing in a production of the song “It’s A Hard Knock Life”, 4 p.m. July 15-17, Edmond Fine Arts Institute, 27 E. Edwards St., Edmond, 405-340-4481, edmondfinearts.com. MON-WED Cake Tower Kids Cooking Class children can learn to create a petits four dessert at this cooking class, 4-5 p.m. July 12. Supermercado Buy For Less, 2701 SW 29th St., 405-685-7791, buyforlessok.com. FRI Junior Curator Camp children ages 8-12 can learn to build their own museum exhibits at this day camp, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. July 15. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org. MON-FRI Kanakuk’s KampOut! kids can participate in several activities including rock walls, water slides, zip lines and more, through July 12. Church of the Servant, 14343 N. MacArthur Blvd., 703-481-0000. MON-FRI Lil Peeps Kids Cooking Class children can learn to batter and fry chicken tenders at this supervised cooking class, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 11. Uptown Grocery Co., 1230 W. Covell Road, 405-509-2700, uptowngroceryco.com. THU 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. second Saturday of every month. Sunnyside Diner, 916 NW Sixth St., 405.778.8861. SAT OKC Zoo Camp children age 4-15 can learn about a variety animals at these weeklong themed camps, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays through Aug. 9. The Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington Place, 405-4243344, okczoo.com. MON-FRI Sensory Night: How to Train Your Dragon 3 a sensory-friendly and reduced-stimulus screening of the animated adventure film followed by a dance; noise-canceling headphones and ear plugs will be available, 6-9 p.m. July 11. Nick Harroz Community Center, 200 N. Midwest Blvd., 405-739-1293. THU
The Sound of Music The 1965 film version of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s musical about a nunturned-governess (Julie Andrews) who charms her way to stepmom status with the help of a “Lonely Goatherd” and “Do, a deer, a female deer” once represented the pinnacle of unobjectionably safe, familyfriendly entertainment. Recently, though, politics have regressed to the point where a GIF of Christopher Plummer as Naval officer-turnedmusician Captain Von Trapp ripping a Nazi flag in half has become a symbol of anti-fascist resistance. Enduring love, optimism and human decency in the face of authoritarian oppression will always be a few of our favorite things. The hills are alive 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St. Admission is free. Call 405-708-6937 or visit towertheatreokc.com. MONDAY-TUESDAY Photo provided
STEM Camp children in grades 6-8 will learn about the ways experts in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics helped in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City Bombing, July 8-12. Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, 620 N. Harvey Ave., 405-235-3313, oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org.
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Story Time with Britt’s Bookworms enjoy snacks, crafts and story time, 10:30-11:30 a.m. first and third Thursday of every month. Thrive Mama Collective, 1745 NW 16th St., 405-356-6262. THU Summer Celebration Series: Bug Out learn about beneficial bugs and create a lady bug craft, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 12. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. FRI
PERFORMING ARTS Blue Sunday a monthly blues tribute show hosted by Powerhouse Blues Project, 6-8 p.m. the second Sunday of every month. Friends Restaurant & Club, 3705 W. Memorial Road, 405-751-4057, friendsbarokc.com. SUN Clever Little Lies family secrets and betrayals are exposed in this comedy by playwright Joe DiPietro, through July 20. Carpenter Square Theatre, 806 W. Main St., 405-232-6500, carpentersquare.com. FRI-SAT
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Remembering Regina Murphy Regina Felder Murphy died on Christmas Day last year at the age of 97, but as a founder of Studio Six art gallery and officer of Paseo Artist Association and Oklahoma Watercolor Association, her continued impact on the Oklahoma arts scene would be obvious even if she had never picked up a paintbrush. Fortunately, she was also a gifted artist known for vivid landscapes and abstract paintings, made evident at this retrospective exhibition featuring work from her long and influential career in the arts. The exhibit opens with a reception 6-9 p.m. Friday at The Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., in Norman and continues through Aug. 31. Admission is free. Call 405-3079320 or visit pasnorman.org. FRIDAY-AUG. 31 Photo provided
Divine Comedy a weekly local showcase hosted by CJ Lance and Josh Lathe and featuring a variety of comedians from OKC and beyond, 9 p.m. Wednesdays. 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St., 405-463-0470, 51stspeakeasy.com. WED Don Quixote Open Mic a weekly comedy show followed by karaoke, 7:30-9 p.m. Fridays. Don Quixote Club, 3030 N. Portland Ave., 405-947-0011. FRI Drunk Classics: Romeo and Juliet audience members will bid to get the chance to participate in this production of William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy directed by James Tyra, 7-10 p.m. July 12. Elk Valley Brewing Company, 520 N. Meridian Ave., 405-209-0016, elkvalleybrew.com. FRI
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Invitational Bluegrass Jam a bluegrass concert and interview with musician Ridge Roberts, 2 p.m. July 13. Eatery & Cocktail Office @ The Union, 616 NW Fifth St., 405-601-2857, theunionokc.com. SAT Iron Horse Open Mic and Showcase perform music on stage at this show open to all experience levels, 7-10 p.m. Wednesdays. Iron Horse Bar & Grill, 9501 S. Shields Blvd., 405-735-1801. WED Karaoke Wars singers compete for a $50 bar tab at this event hosted by DJ RevP, 9 p.m. July 15. Partners, 2805 NW 36th St., 405-942-2199, partners4club.com. MON Mexican Folkloric Dance Everything Goes Dance studio instructor Adelita Dixon-Hernandez leads an evening of dance and history for adults and teens; comfortable clothes and shoes recommended, 6-7:30 p.m. June 12. Moore Library, 225 S. Howard Ave. FRI Monday Night Blues Jam Session bring your own instrument to this open-stage jam hosted by Wess McMichael, 7-9 p.m. Mondays. Othello’s Italian Restaurant, 434 Buchanan Ave., Norman, 405-7014900, othellos.us. MON Newsies a family-friendly musical based on the New York City Newsboy Strike of 1899, adapted from the Disney film, through July 14. Lyric Theatre, 1727 NW 16th St., 405-524-9310, lyrictheatreokc.com. TUE-SUN OK Country Cafe Open Mic show off your singing talent, 6 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday of every month. OK Country Cafe, 6072 S. Western Ave., 405-602-6866, okcountrycafe.com. THU OKC Comedy Open Mic Night get some stage time or just go to listen and laugh, 7 p.m. Mondays. The Paramount Room, 701 W. Sheridan Ave., 405887-3327, theparamountroom.com. MON OKC Improv performers create original scenes in the moment based on suggestions from the audience, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Oklahoma City Improv, 1757 NW 16th St., 405-4569858, okcimprov.com. FRI-SAT Open Mic at The P share your musical talent or just come to listen at this weekly open mic, 7 p.m. Wednesdays. The Patriarch Craft Beer House & Lawn, 9 E. Edwards St., 405-285-6670, thepatriarchedmond.com. WED Public Access Open Mic read poetry, do standup comedy, play music or just watch as an audience member at this open mic hosted by Alex Sanchez, 7 p.m. Sundays. The Paramount Room, 701 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-887-3327, theparamountroom.com. SUN Red Dirt Open Mic a weekly open mic for comedy and poetry, hosted by Red Dirt Poetry, 7:30-10:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Sauced on Paseo, 2912 Paseo St., 405-521-9800, saucedonpaseo.com. WED Rhyme in Reasons share your talent or just watch other artists perform at this weekly open mic, 7:30-10 p.m. Thursdays. Reasons Lounge, 1140 N. MacArthur Boulevard, 405-774-9991. THU Salute to America the organist Dave Wickerham presents a patriotic program on the vintage Kilgen Organ, 7-8:30 p.m. July 15. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org. MON Sanctuary Karaoke Service don a choir robe and sing your favorite song, 9 p.m.-midnight Wednesdays and Thursdays. Sanctuary Barsilica, 814 W. Sheridan Ave., facebook.com/sanctuarybarokc. WED-THU The Skirvin Jazz Club a monthly live jazz show presented by OK Sessions, 7:30 p.m. third Friday of every month. Park Avenue Grill, 1 Park Ave., 405702-8444, parkavegrill.com. FRI Trailer-Hood Hootenanny Rayna Over, Raven Delray, Shemoane Sommore and more perform in this comedy revue, 10 p.m.-midnight July 12. Frankie’s, 2807 NW 36th St., 405-602-2030, facebook.com/frankiesokc. FRI VZD’s Open Mic Night a weekly music mic hosted by Joe Hopkins, 7 p.m. Wednesdays. VZD’s Restaurant & Bar, 4200 N. Western Ave., 405-6023006, vzds.com. WED Weekly Jams bring an instrument and play along with others at this open-invitation weekly jam session, 9:30 p.m.-midnight Tuesdays. Saints, 1715 NW 16th St., 405-602-6308, saintspubokc.com. TUE
ACTIVE Botanical Balance an all-levels yoga class in a natural environment; bring your own mat and water, 5:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9 a.m. Saturdays. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. SAT Fierce & Fearless Women’s Personal Protection Workshop learn about self defense at this workshop developed by martial arts instructors Jason Epps and Jessica Cargill, 1-4 p.m. July 14. Pride Mixed Martial Arts, 14400 N. Lincoln Blvd., Edmond, 405-749-5949, edmondkarate.com. SUN Full Moon Bike Ride & Run a monthly evening bike ride and run through downtown OKC, 8 p.m. July 16. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. TUE
BrickUniverse Lego Fan Convention Discover a new meaning for the phrase “creative block” at this convention, now in its third year. See the unbelievable handiwork of Lego pros, create your own in the Building Zone and compete with other builders for prizes in the Challenge Zone. And as any barefoot parent who has attempted to cross a block-strewn playroom in the dark can tell you, watch your step. Learn to Lego July 20-21 at Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens. Tickets are $15. Visit brickuniverse.com. JULY 20-21 Photo provided 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 Run the Alley a three-mile social run for athletes of all abilities ending with beers at The Yard, 6:30 p.m. Thursdays. OK Runner, 708 N Broadway Ave., 405-702-9291, myokrunner.com. THU Stars and Stripes Spin Jam a weekly meetup for jugglers, hula hoopers and unicyclers, 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays. Stars & Stripes Park, 3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive, 405-297-2756, okc.gov/parks. WED Twisted Coyote Brew Crew a weekly 3-mile group run for all ability levels with a beer tasting to follow; bring your own safety lights, 6 p.m. Mondays. Twisted Spike Brewing Co., 1 NW 10th St., 405-3013467, twistedspike.com. MON 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 with Art workout in an art-filled environment followed by a mimosa, 10:30 a.m. Saturdays. 21c Museum Hotel, 900 W. Main St., 405-982-6900, 21cmuseumhotels.com. SAT
VISUAL ARTS Beautiful Minds: Dyslexia and the Creative Advantage an exhibition of artworks created by people with dyslexia including students from Oklahoma City’s Trinity School, through Aug. 4. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. FRI-SUN Brenda Kingery: A Retrospective an exhibition of 23 paintings by the Chickasaw artist and Oklahoma City native, through Sept. 6. Oklahoma City University, 2501 N. Blackwelder Ave, 405-208-5000. SAT-FRI Estate Paintings view “Tree Arbor” by Nan Sheets and Standing Nude Female” by Charles Apt, through July 31. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, jrbartgallery.com. THU-WED Film Photography Group Show more than 30 local photographers exhibit photos they shot on 35mm or 120mm film or a disposable camera, 6-9 p.m. July 11. DNA Galleries, 1709 NW 16th St., 405525-3499, dnagalleries.com. THU Glen Thomas exhibit view artwork inspired by patriotism, 2-4 p.m. July 14. 50 Penn Place Gallery, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-848-5567, 50pennplacegallery.com. SUN Leviathan I: The Aesthetics of Capital an experimental exhibition created by artist Pete Froslie exploring climate change, moral and political philosophy through electro-mechanics and game engine-based digital projection, through Dec. 31. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-3253272, ou.edu/fjjma. WED-THU
Patrick Riley: A Retrospective an exhibit of drawings, jewelry, sculpture and other artworks created by the artist and educator, through Aug. 29. Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, 1400 Classen Drive, 405-235-4458, oklahomaheritage.com. THU Print on Paseo a juried printmaking exhibition featuring traditional and contemporary styles, through July 27. Paseo Art Space, 3022 Paseo St., 405-525-2688, thepaseo.com. FRI-SAT Second Friday Art Walk tour shops studios, venues and galleries to view visual art exhibits, hear live music and more, 6 p.m. second Friday of every month. Downtown Norman, 122 E. Main St., 405637-6225, downtownnorman.com. FRI Seeds of Being an exhibition examining the evolution of art created by Indigenous groups in North America, through Dec. 30. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma. WED-THU Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts a traveling exhibition of a collection of works by influential European painters including Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Picasso, Rousseau and many more, through Sept. 22. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. SAT-SUN Vikki McGuire: Vision an exhibition of the Norman artist’s abstract acrylic paintings created using brushes, palette knives, stencils and stamps, through July 28. Contemporary Art Gallery, 2928 Paseo St., 405-6017474, contemporaryartgalleryokc.com. FRI-SUN Woman Revealed an exhibition of paintings by Oklahoma City artist Rebecca Wheeler featuring women working, playing, dancing and completing other activities, through July 31. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, jrbartgallery.com. FRI-WED
Submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date. Late submissions will not be included in the listings. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible. Fax your listings to 528-4600 or e-mail them to email@example.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.
Life Imagined: The Art and Science of Automata see examples of mechanical proto-robots from 1850 to the modern day, through Sept. 29. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. SUN
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Kat Lock releases a new EP and strives to gain name recognition after leaving a popular band. By Jeremy Martin
Since she left St. Basic to go solo, Kat Lock’s songwriting has not evolved, not exactly. Lock — who celebrates the release of her new EP You Again 6 p.m. Friday at 89th Street – OKC, 8911 N. Western Ave. — estimated that the most recently written song on the album is from 2017. “A lot of people tell me, ‘Oh, since St. Basic, your songwriting has gotten so much better,’ and everything, but all of these songs that are on the EP, at least, I wrote either before St. Basic or when I was still in the band,” Lock said. “They all were written years ago, but they were just songs that I wrote just for my own personal nothing. I didn’t really plan on taking them anywhere because they were either too personal or I didn’t think they were a St. Basic song.” Recorded by Brine Webb at Lunar Manor, the songs from You Again feel and sound distinct from the songs she wrote for St. Basic, Lock said. “I’m going to say the difference is the music is more vulnerable,” Lock said, “and it’s more, I don’t want to say all over the place, but St. Basic, I felt, followed a certain sound a little more clearly than my solo stuff does.” She originally wrote the songs on her new album without any intention of releasing them. “They were kind of secret songs,” Lock said. “I mean, you could ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you who they’re about. … They’re like, ‘This one’s Kat Lock plays Friday at 89th Street - OKC. | Photo Liliana Campon / provided
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about this person, right?’ and I’m like, ‘Shut up.’ But I just decided I didn’t care if people knew. I probably became more confident through St. Basic, and now I don’t really care if people know they’re about someone. Who cares?” She also would not care about classifying her music if people were not always trying to make her describe it. “I personally hate genres,” Lock said. “I understand they’re necessary and you’re going to get asked that question so much, but I actually did a test the other day. I posted on my Facebook and said, ‘What genre would you say my music is? I got everything from pop to country to punk to folk, so I honestly couldn’t tell you. There were people being like, ‘Oh, I tell people that you’re a punk artist,’ and I’m like, ‘What?’ Someone before them is saying, ‘It’s kind of country.’ I’m like, ‘No, it’s not.’ I would say indie rock, but I think I’d say anyone’s guess is as good as mine.” Even describing herself as a singersongwriter can cause problems. “I found that if I say singer-songwriter, people assume it’s just me and a guitar when I have a full band and everything,” Lock said. “They think it’s me and, like, an acoustic. I learned that the hard way. I got to a show and there’s, like, no sound setup. They were like, ‘I thought you were a solo act,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, but with three guys.’” The three guys in her backing band are bassist Matt Ellis, guitarist Matt Swann and drummer Ethan Neel. Swann and Ellis both previously played bass in
St. Basic. While Lock was primary songwriter for St. Basic, she said she was not fully in charge of the band’s creative direction. By revisiting old songs for You Again, Lock said she is reconnecting with the person she used to be and discovering all the ways she has changed. “I wrote this song called ‘Someone Else’s Future,’ which is where the name of the album comes from,” Lock said. “The first line is, ‘I’ll see you again in someone else’s future.’ That was maybe the second song I ever wrote. I’d kind of forgotten about it, and when I stumbled upon it on an old phone or something, I was like, ‘Well, I wrote this about this guy and this thing, and now looking back on it, it has an entirely new meaning to me.’ It was just weird being like, ‘Wow! I wrote this, and I was a different person then. … My thinking was so different. How I went about things was so different than I would have now.’” Lock, now 23, began playing guitar and writing songs at 19.
I just decided I didn’t care if people knew. Kat Lock “You’re really at your most emotionally wild, moving out for the first time,” Lock said. “I had a crush on this guy, and I found my old Soundcloud the other day that I just made to put my own songs on when I was first learning how to write songs. I mean, they were trash. They all started with C and went nowhere, but they were all about the same person, and I was like, ‘Oh, my god! These are so embarrassing.’” A concer t review from Tulsa music webzine St a r C at c her posted in February said Lock seemed to be laughing at her own lyrics. “Lock’s music can only be described as silly and girlish,” reviewer Caity Robb wrote. “The songs were sung in a humorous way. Jokes were used to punctuate the transitions, and some of the songs even had breaks in them for sarcasm. It was like each one was an insight on
You Again is Lock’s solo EP debut. | Photo Liliana Campon / provided
how Lock views her love life. Instead of giving us the dirty, gritty details, she seems to satirize her own thoughts.” Looking back on her naiveté, Lock said she sometimes cannot help rolling her eyes, giving her performances an extra layer they would not have had when she originally wrote the songs. “I think once I was removed and I reworked on them, I’d come up with little jokes or puns or something,” she said. “I try to be self-aware at least. … I would have meant it more back then. Now, I still mean it, but I can be like, ‘Oh my god! I can’t believe I thought that.’ My big thing is genuine authenticity. I mean, someone can be the best songwriter in the world, but if I don’t believe that they went through what they’re singing about, I don’t buy it. I’m not into it, and you can tell.” While she revisits her recent past performing previously unreleased songs, Lock is also having to rebuild her audience, many of whom knew her as the frontwoman for St. Basic but do not necessarily know her name. “That’s annoying,” Lock said. “Like applying for Norman Music Fest; ‘Have you played here before?’ ‘No,’ even though I played there for two years. … If St. Basic had applied, we probably would have gotten a better slot. … I made some connections that carried through, but I’ve had to start all over with the name recognition. People have accidentally been at my shows and been like, ‘Wait. Were you in St. Basic?’” Matt Jewett and One Two Ten share the bill. Visit 89thstreetokc.com.
Kat Lock EP release 6 p.m. Friday 89th Street - OKC 8911 N. Western Ave. 89thstreetokc.com | 405-463-9203
Beach Language celebrates the vinyl release of its full-length debut album 9 p.m.-midnight July 19 at 51st Street Speakeasy. | Photo provided
LeNaire said. “‘We’re playing these bars, and people are here, and they’re having a good time, and this is all fun.’ Then we got a really strange booking to play ACM@UCO, their little satellite venue that I’ve seen real bands come through. Of Montreal was there. It’s a decent size room. … We get there to open for a band out of Philadelphia called Cheerleader who was doing a US tour … and I think someone just had it wrong, that we were a bigger band than we were or something like that. So we end up sort of opening to like, 10 people in the room, and it’s way too large a place, right? Like, you really feel when there’s only 10 people in the room, and it’s the biggest stage we’ve been on. … That was like, ‘Well, I did think I was in a band for a second.’” But talking to Cheerleader after the show made LeNaire realize that such ego-blows are common experiences for musicians. “They go on the road, and it’s hit or miss,” LeNaire said. “Every other city they go through, maybe there’s a crowd, and then maybe there’s nobody, because they’re doing the same thing, just on a national level. They’re playing to people who have no idea who they are.”
Beach Language gains a full band for its debut vinyl album release at 51st Street Speakeasy. By Jeremy Martin
In the past five years, Adam LeNaire has expanded Beach Language from a solo bedroom project to a four-piece act, but that does not mean he thinks of himself as a person in a band. LeNaire, who celebrates the vinyl release of Beach Language’s full-length debut, Small Talk, 9 p.m.-midnight July 19 at 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St., said he has always felt “shy or sort of embarrassed to be a musician.” “I’m in a band, but I never lead with that,” LeNaire said. “It’s never the first thing I tell anybody, ‘Oh by the way, I’m in a band.’ … There’s the people who are like, ‘I’ve been in a band my whole life since I was like 14 or something.’ I was never really that. I always felt a touch outside of that or never really good enough because I always kind of felt like I was on the perimeter.” He did not have a band, but he recorded Beach Language’s five-song EP debut Ludwig solo as “a little bedroom project” in 2014 to see if he could make one. “It was always something I really wanted to do, so then I just kind of sat down and decided to do it myself,”
LeNaire said. “It’s kind of like, ‘Rather than try to join the band, I’ll just make something and then see if I can get people to be in this band that’s not a band yet. … If this is all that ever comes out of it, that’s great. I can at least check it off the list of things that I’ve wanted to do.’” LeNaire shared Ludwig with acquaintances and friends of friends and discovered bassist Nick Culp, keyboardist Avery Oden and drummer Josh Robinson wanted to join the former solo project. “For all of us, it had actually been a few years since we had done anything live in the same room with people,” LeNaire said. “So there was a few months of rehearsal, learning the songs, and there was a rusty period, for sure. But we just kind of practiced the hell out of the stuff and then finally felt ready to play some shows. Honestly, the songs are not really that hard.” Beach Language did not feel like a success until the band played its first show at a bigger venue. “I remember thinking, ‘I can’t believe people will book us. I guess we’re a thing that people will come out and see,’”
Released online in June, Small Talk is a full band effort recorded and mixed by Dustin Ragland at Mir Studio. LeNaire said he is grateful to have other people’s input for this album. “If it’s just me mulling over this part over and over and over again, maybe it gets done only because I just got tired of it,” LeNaire said. “I could be like, ‘OK. Let’s do this, and let’s do this, and let’s get real weird with this part,’ or whatever, but there’s no one to lean over to and be like, ‘Does this sound cool?’ You just kind of have to pick something or at least be so over it that you’re willing to let go. And just knowing that when it’s done and it’s out there, if you’re ever looking back and you’re like, ‘Man, I really don’t like that sound,’ or whatever, you’ve only got yourself to blame.” While LeNaire would classify Ludwig as introspective synth pop, he said Small Talk is “a little poppier … a little groovier.” As a songwriter, he was able to bring loose sketches of songs for the band to workshop. “They’re just way better at their instruments than I am as sort of a jack-ofall-trades filling in these parts,” LeNaire said. “So just having that other musical talent in there helps immensely. … I found myself actually writing less. … I might demo out a song for all of us to get together and listen to, but I knew because Nick was there for the bass part or Avery was there for the keyboards I didn’t really have to fully flesh out this idea.”
Lyrically, LeNaire said he sprinkled anecdotes and personal details into songs about fictionalized characters and situations, but nothing on the album is completely autobiographical. “‘Be Afraid’ is probably the least personal song because it’s not really about me or a person I know or anything,” he said. “[The main character is] using every sort of religious trope to sort of oppress somebody. … There was a big church boom, in the ’90s, so I’ve heard people kind of talk like this, and if you just take it like five, 10 steps further, I can see how you could have a cult leader.” He relates to the lyrics in “Otsū” on a more personal level. “It’s a real basic kind of unrequited love story,” LeNaire said. “Just because one person between the two people might think that something is destined to be doesn’t mean that the other person is obligated to do that in any sort of way. … It’s kind of dumb wordplay, but I thought, you have the sentence, ‘I love you,’ but if you just put an apostrophe D in there and say, ‘I’d love you,’ like, ‘I would love you,’ then that gets a whole lot heavier and more depressing.’” He is happier with Small Talk, but LeNaire said he still does not feel like an actual musician. “Maybe that’ll happen one day,” he said. “I don’t know.” Admission is $5. The Nghiems and JMK share the bill. Visit 51stspeakeasy.com.
Small Talk was released online in June. | Image provided
Beach Language vinyl release 9 p.m.-midnight July 19 51st Street Speakeasy 1114 NW 51st St. 51stspeakeasy.com | 405-463-0470 $5
O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J U LY 1 0 , 2 0 1 9
LIVE MUSIC These are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 10 21 Savage, The Criterion. HIP-HOP Adam Aguilar & the Weekend All Stars, Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar. COVER John Carlton & Kyle Reid, The Winston. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Steve Crossley & Jerry Wilson, Louie’s Grill & Bar. ACOUSTIC
Stain the Skin, 40 West Bar & Grill. ROCK Tandem, Newcastle Casino. COVER Tandem, Bedlam Bar-B-Q. COVER What She Said, 40 West Bar & Grill. COVER
SUNDAY, JULY 14 Avenue, Newcastle Casino. COVER Hemlock, Kendells. METAL Hosty, The Deli. FOLK/ROCK Kyle Reid, Black Mesa Brewing Company. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Nikki Jackson, Hollywood Corners. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Goons More Goonies than goonish, Austin synthwave trio Goons, as Cyndi Lauper might say, “‘r’ good enough” to earn a spot on NPR’s list of impressive entries to its Tiny Desk concert contest. “Fight the Feeling,” according to NPR, “is a certified banger” with “danceable beats and sensational vocals.” While acts with such obvious ’80s influence can lose immediacy through winking irony, Goons’ heart-on-sleeve lyrics and emotional sincerity still feel relevant in 2019. Locals Mad Honey and Swim Fan share the bill. The show starts 9 p.m. Friday at VZD’s Restaurant & Bar, 4200 N. Western Ave., Suite D. Admission is $10. Call 405-524-4203 or visit vzds.com. FRIDAY Photo provided
THURSDAY, JULY 11 1964: The Tribute, The Jones Assembly. COVER Children of Indigo, Red Brick Bar. ROCK/HIP-HOP Hot House Band, Othello’s Italian Restaurant. JAZZ Iration/Pepper/Fortunate Youth, Diamond Ballroom. REGGAE
Kyle Reid & the Low Swingin’ Chariots, Saints. JAZZ Reel Big Fish/The Aquabats, Tower Theatre. POP
FRIDAY, JULY 12 Broncho/Colourmusic/Deerpeople, Tower Theatre. ROCK Erik Oftedahl/Caleb Brown/Chase Kerby, Plaza District. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Rachel Lynch & the Daydrinkers, Frankie’s. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Scott Stapp, Tower Theatre. ROCK Seth Glier, Lions Park. FOLK Steelwind, Myriad Botanical Gardens. BLUEGRASS
MONDAY, JULY 15 Jason Hunt, Sean Cumming’s Irish Restaurant. FOLK
TUESDAY, JULY 16 Country Clique, Friends Restaurant & Club. COUNTRY
Flaw/Sons of Texas/September Mourning, 89th Street-OKC. METAL
John the Franklin, Othello’s Italian Restaurant. COVER
WEDNESDAY, JULY 17
Layken Urie, Remington Park. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Adam Aguilar & the Weekend All Stars, Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar. COVER
On a Whim, UCO Jazz Lab. JAZZ
I the Mighty/Cicadia, 89th Street-OKC. ROCK
Spunk Adams, Sanctuary Barsilica. JAZZ
John Carlton & Kyle Reid, The Winston.
Wynonna & The Big Noise, Riverwind Casino. COUNTRY
To Kill Porter, Hollywood Corners. ROCK
SATURDAY, JULY 13 Drive, Remington Park. COVER Jahruba & the Mah Mystics, Othello’s Italian Restaurant. REGGAE Kent Fauss Duo, Coal Creek Vineyard. COUNTRY Papa Nooch, Full Circle Bookstore. ACOUSTIC Rei Wang/Lee Rucker/Jared Cathey, Artspace at Untitled. JAZZ Republican Hair, Opolis. POP
J U LY 1 0 , 2 0 1 9 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M
Live music submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date. Late submissions will not be included in the listings. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible. Fax your listings to 528-4600 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.
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THE HIGH CULTURE
A lack of guidelines concerning dispensary operating hours allow some owners to expand their open times. By Matt Dinger
The dog days of Oklahoma summer are now upon us, but there are fortunately a few metro medical cannabis dispensaries that stay open through the dead of night to serve those hoping to beat the heat and helping those who work shifts beyond the standard 9 to 5.
Project Releaf, 1218 N. Pennsylvania Ave., came under new ownership in the past month. One of the first things owner David Liebensohn did was modify the dispensary’s hours. Project Releaf’s current hours are 9 a.m.-3 a.m. Monday-Saturday and 9 a.mmidnight Sunday, but the store will transition to a 24-hour schedule this month once more employees are hired and trained. “As soon as we’re able to function 24 hours, we’re going to be doing it,” Liebensohn said. He anticipates the shift will occur by mid-month. “People that hold graveyard shift hours and stuff like that, they want to come in and make purchases and have great pricing just as much as everybody else does, so we have to accommodate for them,” Liebensohn said. “We first went from 9 [a.m.] to midnight, and then we’re turning people away at midnight, so we decided to go with the 3 [a.m.] from there and we realized that even some days we were turning people away up until 3 [a.m.], so we just figured we would give the people what they want.” It was not until the last week of June that Project Releaf started staying open around the clock, but the word got around quickly. “I have a knack for influencing and
social media, so I kind of have an army of influencers and friends, the resources that I’ve gathered through my other business dealings,” he said. “I just kind of reached out to everybody and turned it all to a 10.” Project Releaf has four tiers of flower, ranging from $6 a gram shake to the $18 a gram “ultra” shelf. It also carries a wide array of edibles, concentrates and vape cartridges as well as live clones. The adjacent tenant in the shopping center will be vacating its spot soon, and Liebensohn plans to open up the area and allow patients access to a live grow in the store. “We want everybody to have the option for the value, and then, on the day that they want to splurge and get something from an ultra shelf, there’s no other quality in the state that can match it,” Liebensohn said. “That’s where we want to be. We want to have both options.” It also offers 15 percent off the first purchase and two penny prerolls for firsttime patients. “If they come in on a day that we have a better deal, then we’ll rain check on their receipts and then they come back and get that deal another time. So that way they don’t miss out on anything,” he said. The later hours have already produced a tenfold uptick in sales, Liebensohn said. Project Releaf is not his first business, but it is his first experience operating a dispensary. “Anything could be done if the demand is there,” Liebensohn said. “I’ve had experience with these types of things before, so I know how to adjust while we’re
waiting for all of those hours to be filled. It’s going to take some time for us to be busy throughout the night, but since we’re busy up until 3 [a.m.] right now, mostly, and I haven’t even started advertising some of the ways that I can to reach out to the people that do work night shifts and stuff. I feel like it’ll just take some time, but we’re just going to jump in and do it. Everybody was going off of similar hours. We thought that there was a rule in place, but when we found out that there wasn’t, we just went to our basic business experience and realized that if you could stay open and we’re in central Oklahoma City, a highly populated area, we know how to advertise. We just figured we can we can make it work.”
Several miles north, in Edmond, Patient’s Own Therapies (POT) owner Anthony Clark has already put this business model in practice in his dispensary.
POT, 821 Centennial Blvd., was previously open 6 a.m.-midnight. “May 11 is when our grand opening was, and we did that for the first month. And then we decided to try to stay open ’til 4 a.m., and we did that for just a few days and then went ahead and bumped it up to 24 hours. So we’ve been at 24 hours now for about a week,” Clark said on July 2. It is now operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays.
Project Releaf, 1218 N. Pennsylvania Ave., will be open 24 hours a day beginning in July. | Photo Alexa Ace
“Almost every person that’s heard has just been overjoyed that we’re open that late, all hours,” Clark said. “It’s all kinds of waves and we’re catching everybody super late and everybody’s really happy about it.” Clark and best friend Jacob Garcia opened the dispensary together. “We’re kind of trying to cater to the working-man hours. The early mornings have been slow, but everybody late in the evenings and late at night, they really appreciate it because they’re like, ‘Man, when we get off work, nothing’s open,’” Clark said. “Later in the evening times, we have the younger crowd from [University of Central Oklahoma] and all the universities close by. That seems to be the evening crowd. And then earlier in the afternoon and throughout the day is my generation crowd, the 40-year-olds or whatever coming either during work or before work or right after work. We’ve got a pretty diverse clientele. All of our patients are pretty across the board, honestly.” POT currently prices all of its strains of flower at $12 a gram and also stocks a wide variety of edibles, concentrates and vape cartridges. “We have daily deals we do every single day. All new customers get 10 percent off, all military is 10 percent off, first responders 10 percent off,” Clark said. Additionally, one day a week, the store will offer 25 percent off 6 a.m.-midnight; that applies to anything in the store as well as a drawing that usually occurs on Sunday nights. If patients buy a POT shirt for $15, they will also get 15 percent off their purchases anytime they come into the store. “We’re a couple of blue-collar, real Oklahoma plumbers that are just doing our best to bring quality at a fair price,” Clark said. “We’re not looking to get rich here. We’re just looking to provide people medicine and make a living. That’s it.”
David Liebensohn, owner of Project Releaf | Photo Alexa Ace
O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J U LY 1 0 , 2 0 1 9
THE HIGH CULTURE
The first High Times Oklahoma Cannabis Cup has been confirmed but not announced. By Matt Dinger
High Times magazine brings its Cannabis Cup to the Sooner State for the first time in August. That’s not true. Wait. Yes it is.
While High Times has not made an event announcement as of the morning of July 8, the organization has confirmed the event, but only after twice denying that it is taking place. On June 29, the event was announced unofficially during the Advance 788 event at Lost Lakes Entertainment Complex. Oklahoma Gazette immediately reached out for comment. On the afternoon of July 1, a spokesperson replied, “Not true.” After requesting clarification, they wrote back the next day, “We have already asked the organizers to take down our logo. The one going around various Facebook groups is NOT a sanctioned High Times event. We do plan to be in Oklahoma soon but we would announce those plans on our own channels, not Facebook groups.” Sixteen minutes later, a second message said, “Disregard my original response. I knew we had plans for an OKC event but wasn’t made aware of anything being finalized. We should be announcing the event on our socials soon.” Repeated requests for additional comment have not been returned, though Oklahoma Gazette has learned account representatives have been in contact with many possible vendors. Lost Lakes Entertainment Complex has also confirmed that the venue has been rented for the Cannabis Cup on Aug. 24 and 25, but no further details were available. An internal information sheet distributed to possible vendors with some details for the event was also obtained by Oklahoma Gazette. The event hours are listed as noon-10 p.m. Aug. 24 and noon-8 p.m. on Aug. 25. The event will be limited to those age 18 and older with valid Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) licenses, including employees and exhibitors. No other states will be accepted. No purchases or sales of cannabis are allowed at the event, though all state businesses are welcome. There will be 17 Cannabis Cup categories: indoor indica flower, indoor sativa flower, indoor hybrid flower, CBD flower, sun-grown flower, indica concentrates, sativa concentrates, hybrid concentrates, non-solvent hash, THC edibles, CBD edibles, THC vape pen and cartridge, CBD vape pen and cartridge, medically infused products, topicals, prerolls and hemp-based CBD products. Entries without a booth cost $1,000, and entries with a booth are $500. There are three types of booths available: a 20-by-20-foot booth for $12,000, a 20-by-10-foot booth for 30
J U LY 1 0 , 2 0 1 9 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M
$6,500 and a 10-by-10-foot booth for $3,500. Additionally, there will be presenting and premier sponsorship opportunities. Carri Lawrence, also known as Carri Chronic, was the organizer for the Advance 788 event, where the news broke. Lawrence had a conference call with High Times on July 3. High Times did not know that patients could not immedi-
ately receive their cards on-site after receiving their recommendations, so she said Chronic Docs will not be participating in the Cannabis Cup event after all.
While it might be the first High Times Cannabis Cup in Oklahoma, it will not be the first round of awards for Oklahoma cannabis and products. That honor goes to Oklahoma Grower’s Cup, awarded at OG Fest at Heavener Runestone Park June 27-29. The park is privately
owned and operated by a 501(c)(3) organization, which organizer Derek “Hooligan Bean” Workman said allowed for open consumption on the premises.
“I think that’s another reason why we chose that place too was because it was private and seeing as we wanted to celebrate [SQ]788 kind of like a High Times or like a Woodstock,” Workman said. “The goal is to, I guess, be the first one to try to throw something like this, you know? I mean, an open smoking festival was something that a lot of people were like, ‘Oh, God. Cops. It’s going to be a stoner fest.’ I’ve been on camera and film, you know, just openly smoking for a long time, and I figured everybody should be able to enjoy it without anybody really getting in under the skin and rea l ly celebrate [SQ]788 as patients, try to do it the right way
without too many hiccups. We did great, honestly, and the end result was excellent.” About 500 people attended over the course of the three days, and competitions were held in five categories: flower, concentrates, vape cartridges, edibles and homegrown cannabis. The top prizes for the first OG Cup went to Ganulv Gardens (flower), New Leaf Medicinals (concentrates), Helix (vape cartridge) Creekside Extractions (edibles) and Rodger Jeffcoats (homegrown). Norma Sapp was given t he l i fet i me
achievement award, Chris Moe was named man of the year and Raychelle Wilson named woman of the year. Next year, they plan to break the homegrown category into regional competitions and then the finalists from each will compete in the OG Fest for the main cup.
An open smoking festival was something that a lot of people were like, ‘Oh, God. Cops. It’s going to be a stoner fest.’ Derek Workman “This way, it’ll give home growers the opportunity for basically a whole season,” Workman said. “We really wanted to break it down into hybrid, sativa and indica, but like I said, first one, we needed to see how it went this time and next year, there’s gonna be a lot of change. … From the concentrates, I wanted to have shatter, wax, budder, bubble hash, solvent, non-solvent. We kind of wanted to make it a little bit different than High Times because, you know, we knew that they were supposed to be coming at some point in time. … We wanted to try to keep it Oklahoma, you know. That’s why, instead of raising ticket prices, we dropped them. It started out at $100, and by the time it ended, it was $25.” They also gave away about 150 tickets. While there were no run-ins with law enforcement, Workman said there were two minor medical incidents due to the heat. “It’s hot outside,” he said. “Don’t fucking think you can take a 1-gram dab and hold that bitch in and think you’re cool at all, ’cause you ain’t.” One woman attempted such a feat and collapsed. She was revived by medics and recovered in a cabin. The next OG Fest will take place in or near Oklahoma City and will be in the fall instead of the summer. “I want to go for ‘Croptober,’ honestly,” Workman said. “You should have a great crop by October. But then again, I don’t know what High Times going to do. We’re little. We want to stay little. And I’m not going to try to compete with another event.”
The first High Times Cannabis Cup has been confirmed, but one Oklahoma group has already started awarding people and businesses in the industry for their efforts. | Photo bigstock.com
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COLORS OF CANNABIS 1. VEGETATIVE STAGE — “Blue” light for healthy leaves (range: 400-500nm; ideal: 460nm) When organically-occurring cannabis grows in nature, the high angle of the sun in spring and summer allows more blue wavelengths to penetrate through the atmosphere— a signal for cannabis plants to grow strong, large, and healthy leaves. 2. FLOWERING PERIOD — “Red” light for giant buds (range: 620-780nm; ideal: 660nm) When organically-occurring cannabis grows in nature, the shallow angle of the sun in late summer and autumn allows more red wavelengths to penetrate through the atmosphere—a signal for cannabis plants to produce buds. Highest yields can be reached by subjecting the cannabis plant to plenty of red wavelengths during its flowering stage. 3. HARVESTING PERIOD — Senescence When organically-occurring cannabis grows in nature, senescence occurs after development. Senescence is the condition or process of deterioration with age. The fading, pale colors of the leaves indicate that senescence has begun and harvesting time in imminent. The buds of the plant are now stripping the nutrients from the larger leaves from which the buds stem.
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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY Homework: What symbol best represents your deepest desire? Testify by going to FreeWillAstrology.com and clicking on “Email Rob.” ARIES (March 21-April 19)
You’re in the Land of Green Magic. That’s potentially very good news, but you must also be cautious. Why? Because in the Land of Green Magic, the seeds of extraneous follies and the seeds of important necessities both grow extra fast. Unless you are a careful weeder, useless stuff will spring up and occupy too much space. So be firm in rooting out the blooms that won’t do you any good. Be aggressive in nurturing only the very best and brightest.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Eight years ago, researchers in Kerala, India went to the Padmanabhaswamy Temple and climbed down into centuries-old vaults deep beneath the main floor. They found a disorganized mess of treasure in the form of gold and precious gems. There were hundreds of chairs made from gold, baskets full of gold coins from the ancient Roman Empire, and a four-foot-high solid statue of a god, among multitudinous other valuables. I like bringing these images to your attention, Taurus, because I have a theory that if you keep them in your awareness, you’ll be more alert than usual to undiscovered riches in your own life and in your own psyche. I suspect you are closer than ever before to unearthing those riches.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Children need to learn certain aptitudes at certain times. If they don’t, they may not be able to master those aptitudes later in life. For example, if infants don’t get the experience of being protected and cared for by adults, it will be hard for them to develop that capacity as toddlers. This is a good metaphor for a developmental phase that you Geminis are going through. In my astrological opinion, 2019 and 2020 are critical years for you to become more skilled at the arts of togetherness and collaboration; to upgrade your abilities so as to get the most out of your intimate relationships. How are you doing with this work so far?
CANCER (June 21-July 22) Vantablack is a material made of carbon nanotubes. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the darkest stuff on the planet. No black is blacker than Vantablack. It reflects a mere 0.036% of the light that shines upon it. Because of its unusual quality, it’s ideal for use in the manufacture of certain sensors, cameras, and scientific instruments. Unfortunately, an artist named Anish Kapoor owns exclusive rights to use it in the art world. No other artists are allowed to incorporate Vantablack into their creations. I trust you will NOT follow Kapoor’s selfish example in the coming weeks. In my astrological opinion, it’s crucial that you share your prime gifts, your special skills, and your unique blessings with the whole world. Do not hoard!
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Hi, my name is Rob Brezsny, and I confess that I am addicted to breathing air, eating food, drinking water, indulging in sleep, and getting high on organic, freetrade, slavery-free dark chocolate. I also confess that I am powerless over these addictions. Now I invite you to be inspired by my silly example and undertake a playful but serious effort to face up to your own fixations. The astrological omens suggest it’s a perfect moment to do so. What are you addicted to? What habits are you entranced by? What conditioned responses are you enslaved to? What traps have you agreed to be snared by? The time is right to identify these compulsions, then make an audacious break for freedom.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
When cherries are nearing the end of their ripening process, they are especially vulnerable. If rain falls on them during those last few weeks, they can rot or split, rendering them unmarketable. So cherry-growers hire helicopter pilots to hover over their trees right after it rains, using the downdraft from the blades to dry the valuable little fruits. It may seem like overkill, but it’s the method that works best. I advise you to be on the lookout for similar protective measures during the climactic phase of your personal ripening process. Your motto should be to take care of your valuables by any means necessary.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Please don’t try to relax. Don’t shy away from challenges. Don’t apologize for your holy quest or tone down your ambition or stop pushing to get better. Not now, anyway, Libra. Just the opposite, in fact. I urge you to pump up the volume on your desires. Be even bigger and bolder and braver. Take maximum advantage of the opportunities that are arising, and cash in on the benevolent conspiracies that are swirling in your vicinity. Now is one of those exceptional moments when tough competition is actually healthy for you, when the pressure to outdo your previous efforts can be tonic and inspiring.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
I can’t decide whether to compare your imminent future to a platypus, kaleidoscope, patchwork quilt, or Swiss army knife. From what I can tell, your adventures could bring you random jumbles or melodic mélanges—or a blend of both. So I’m expecting provocative teases, pure flukes, and multiple options. There’ll be crazy wisdom, alluring messes, and unclassifiable opportunities. To ensure that your life is more of an intriguing riddle than a confusing maze, I suggest that you stay closely attuned to what you’re really feeling and thinking, and communicate that information with tactful precision.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Every year, thousands of people all over the world go to hospital emergency rooms seeking relief from kidney stones. Many of the treatments are invasive and painful. But in recent years, a benign alternative has emerged. A peer-reviewed article in a scientific journal presented evidence that many patients spontaneously pass their kidney stones simply by riding on roller coasters. I doubt that you’ll have a literal problem like kidney stones in the coming weeks, Sagittarius. But I do suspect that any psychological difficulties you encounter can be solved by embarking on thrilling adventures akin to riding on roller coasters.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
In his book The Histories, ancient Greek historian Herodotus told the story of a six-year war between the armies of the Medes and the Lydians in an area that
today corresponds to Turkey. The conflict ended suddenly on a day when a solar eclipse occurred. Everyone on the battlefield got spooked as the light unexpectedly dimmed, and commanders sought an immediate cease to the hostilities. In the spirit of cosmic portents precipitating practical truces, I suggest you respond to the upcoming lunar eclipse on July 16-17 with overtures of peace and healing and amnesty. It’ll be a good time to reach out to any worthwhile person or group from whom you have been alienated.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
My astrological colleague Guru Gwen believes that right now Aquarians should get scolded and penalized unless they agree to add more rigor and discipline to their rhythms. On the other hand, my astrological colleague Maestro Madelyn feels that Aquarians need to have their backs massaged, their hands held, and their problems listened to with grace and empathy. I suppose that both Gwen and Madelyn want to accomplish the same thing, which is to get you back on track. But personally, I’m more in favor of Madelyn’s approach than Gwen’s.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
As a self-taught rebel poet with few formal credentials, I may not have much credibility when I urge you to get yourself better licensed and certified and sanctioned. But according to my analysis of the astrological omens, the coming months will be a favorable time for you to make plans to get the education or training you’re lacking; to find out what it would mean to become more professional, and then become more professional; to begin pursuing the credentials that will earn you more power to fulfill your dreams.
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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PUZZLES NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE CROSSWORD PUZZLE FLIP ‘PHONES | 0714 By Emily Carroll Puzzles edited by Will Shortz ACROSS
1 Crawling marine mollusk 8 Victorious cry 14 At first, say 20 So-called “Crossroads of America” 21 Wife in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night 22 Uprights, e.g. 23 Low end? 25 What sunblock blocks, briefly 26 Rushes 27 Hangout on The Simpsons 28 One of two for a buck? 30 Somewhat, slangily 32 Go astray 33 Part of town that may be dangerous 35 Tater ____ 38 Extraterrestrial from the planet Melmac 40 Emphatic ending with yes or no 42 Bulging bicep, in slang 43 Raise 44 Wet 48 Agreement for exporting essential oils? 51 Raggedy ____ 52 Around an hour after noon 54 Spend all weekend solving crosswords, say, with “out” 55 Dummkopfs 56 Movie-rating org. 58 Semi-essential part? 59 Driver of BlacKkKlansman 61 Most pallid 63 Exercise program done in formal attire? 66 Horse operas 68 Top squads 69 Sports-page listings 71 Avoid cooked foods 75 Beyond prim and proper 77 Sturdily built friend on Friends? 79 Relative of a flute 82 Statement often starting “I ...” 84 Egg head? 85 Train transportation 86 Baby Blues or Rhymes With Orange 87 PC key 89 Rita who played Anita in West Side Story 92 Setting for many Twins games: Abbr. 93 Spotted animal with a lot of sore spots? 96 Squirrels away 98 “What ____?” 99 Maestro’s gift 100 ____ Rousey, first female fighter inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame 102 Animal in un zoológico 103 First letter of “tsar” in Russian 104 Father of the Constitution 106 PC key 108 Extended family 112 Utterly useless 113 Totally abandon one’s plan 114 Letter-shaped fastener 115 Laugh riot
31 38 45
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29 Slangy affirmation 31 Rare solo voice in opera 33 Arthur with a Tony 34 UnitedHealthcare competitor 35 Back-comb 36 Multi-time Pulitzer finalist, including for the volume Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories (2014) 37 Meet on the down-low DOWN 39 Confines 1 Some turban wearers 41 Fixes up, in a way 2 Film composer Morricone 43 Circuit-board component 3 Doe follower, in song 44 Fearsome snake 4 Breaks along the Panama Canal? 45 Stoned 5 “Well, ____-di-dah!” 46 Dumbstruck 6 Commercial prefix with lever 47 Undiluted 7 “That’s so-o-o gross!” 49 Like Easter Island 8 Is a willing participant? 50 Full of enthusiasm 9 Runs out of gas 53 Construction girders 10 Here, to Henri 57 Not without sacrifice 11 Underworld boss 60 Call into question 12 Troy story 62 Permeate 13 Joan of Arc, at the time of her 64 Shout from a lottery winner death 65 Kid-lit character with the 14 Fit for a king catchphrase “Thanks for noticing 15 Skin care brand me” 16 Attorney general under both 67 In regard to Bush 41 and Trump 70 Big name in 2008 financial news 17 Santa ____ winds 72 Jurisdiction 18 ____ sauce 73 Stomach 19 Symbol on a Mariners cap 74 Painful paintball mementos 24 ____ d’oeuvre 76 Rapid movement of the eye from
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one point to another 78 Surrealist Tanguy 79 Groups in the quarterfinals, e.g. 80 Loses enthusiasm 81 Elicit a smile from 83 Last Oldsmobile ever produced 88 Sent 90 Pearl clutcher’s cry 91 Bit of brewing equipment 94 “Sure thing, dude!” 95 Boatload 97 Untangle 101 “In your dreams!” 104 2016 film set in Polynesia 105 Reckon, informally 107 Section of a high school yearbook 109 Native Alaskan 110 Popular corn chip 111 What radio signals travel through, with “the” 112 Spring’s opposite 113 Nongreen salad ingredient 115 Merest taste 116 Part of a sci-fi film’s budget 117 French way 119 The Braves, on scoreboards 120 One of many extras in air travel nowadays 121 A little fun? 122 Letters on some luggage to New York
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H A S I T
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