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INSIDE COVER P. 10 While foodie culture is on the rise, a love of tasty dishes and photogenic meals doesn’t translate to kitchen skills. By Jacob Threadgill Cover by Phillip Danner
STATE State Question 805
5 METRO Oklahoma County jail
demonstration 6 BUSINESS OKC Sweets 8
EAT & DRINK 10 COVER
generational cooking gap
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Oklahoma currently has some of the harshest prison sentences in the world. | Illustration Ingvard Ashby
Signatures are being collected for a ballot initiative that would prohibit sentence enhancements in nonviolent cases. By Miguel Rios
Criminal justice reform advocates want to amend the Oklahoma Constitution to prohibit sentence enhancements based on previous felonies for nonviolent offenders. The measure would also allow nonviolent offenders serving enhanced sentences to seek a modification in court. “A former conviction for one or more felonies shall not be used to enhance the statutorily allowable range of punishment, including but not limited to minimum and maximum terms, for a person convicted, whether by trial or plea of guilty or nolo contendere, of a felony,” reads the proposed measure. This measure would not apply to those who have been convicted of a violent felony as defined by Oklahoma Statutes. This includes assault, battery, murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, child abuse, rape and human trafficking. Oklahomans for Sentencing Reform, a bipartisan coalition championing the measure, filed the petition in November and began collecting signatures two weeks ago. State Question 805 requires nearly 178,000 signatures by 5 p.m. March 26 to be put to a statewide vote in 2020. “The reality is that Oklahoma has an incarceration crisis,” said Kris Steele, executive director of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR). “We have the second-highest incarceration rate per capita of any state in the United States, and we have the highest female incarceration rate in the nation. Unfortunately, we’ve held that distinction since 1991, and the disparity in the number of women we incarcerate continues to grow.” According to a 2019 report by FWD. us, Oklahoma sends more people to prison than other states, especially for nonviolent crimes, and keeps them incarcerated for much longer. Eight in 10 women go to 4
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prison for nonviolent offenses. “Research has shown these long stays in prison have little or no effect on recidivism when people come home,” reads the report. “At the same time, these extra weeks, months and years place emotional and financial burdens on the families of those incarcerated.”
Proponents of the initiative say the state’s incarceration crisis is driven in large part by enhanced sentences, and they hope momentum from recent criminal justice reforms help the initiative succeed.
We have a system that is based on punishment and retribution, and it’s not working. Kris Steele “We’ve been working on responsible criminal justice reform for over a decade, and the good news is that support among voters continues to grow,” Steele said. “We have seen some tremendous momentum in recent years, and we are hoping to build on that momentum and deepen the conversation level of understanding and support statewide for a more effective approach to public safety.” Gov. Kevin Stitt has publicly opposed the initiative, saying a constitutional amendment is the wrong way to go about criminal justice reform. Steele argues that a constitutional amendment would prevent lawmakers from trying to repeal the measure if approved by voters. He
cited an attempt to repeal State Questions 780 and 781 only months after they were approved in November 2016. “A constitutional amendment ultimately ensures that the will of the people is carried out. We’ve learned some pretty important lessons from State Questions 780 and 781 in that even though the people of Oklahoma overwhelmingly supported and do support those particular changes, we have seen and we continue to see a constant effort to repeal the will of the people through the Legislature,” Steele said. “The constitutional amendment ultimately protects and ensures that the vote of the people is carried out accordingly.” District attorneys across the state have also publicly opposed the measure, saying it would negatively impact public safety. But proponents of the measure disagree because they don’t see many positives outcomes from the state’s high incarceration rates. “Oklahoma currently has some of the harshest prison sentences in the world. We have a system that is based on punishment and retribution, and it’s not working,” Steele said. “I don’t think that there’s anyone in the criminal justice field who would say that we’re currently achieving the goals that we hope to achieve in the way of either reducing crime or increasing public safety. The reality is we are not addressing the core issues behind the antisocial behavior. We’re completely in a reactive mode of wanting to punish anyone who stumbles and breaks the law.” Steele also argues that people should have a way to get back on their feet. “What we are seeking to do is provide some sort of intervention so that a person can ultimately get the help that they need to turn their lives around. Ultimately, that’s how we not only improve public safety but improve the quality of life for everyone,” he said. “What other conservative states have been able to implement is a system that does not rely so much on incarceration but rather programming and accountability within the community that would effectively help a person connect
with the resources that they need to overcome a troubled past and become a contributing member of society.” Oklahomans for Sentencing Reform is made up of people on both sides of the aisle and members of the faith, business and health-care communities. The measure has statements of support from various state leaders like Gene Rainbolt, Roy Williams, Rev. Dr. Ray Owens, Ryan Kiesel, Mike Neal, Tom Ward and Sue Ann Arnall. “Oklahoma hands down extremely long sentences for nonviolent offenses compared to the national average. Long prison sentences don’t just impact individuals serving time, but their entire family. People accused of crimes in Oklahoma can have years, decades or even life in prison stacked on top of their prison sentence if they have ever been convicted of a crime in the past. This ballot initiative is the next logical step in building on the reforms put into place so far. Our communities and families depend on it,” said Arnall, president of Arnall Family Foundation and member of the Oklahoma County jail trust. “We know that the direct voices of Oklahoma voters are the most powerful way to encourage elected officials to embrace the structural changes we so desperately need. This ballot initiative continues the momentum created by voters in 2016 and reflects meaningful change to the criminal legal system that Oklahomans want and one that will serve communities across our state for the better,” said Kiesel, executive director of ACLU of Oklahoma.
Kris Steele is the executive director of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform. | Photo provided
Ultimately, Steele wants to emphasize that Oklahomans shouldn’t give up on others. “It’s important that we realize that people need and deserve a second chance, and just because a person may have stumbled doesn’t mean that we should give up or throw that person away,” he said. “What this allows us to do is incorporate evidence-based policy changes into our criminal justice system so that we can collectively move forward as a state.” Visit yeson805.com.
A coalition of organizations is demanding better conditions for those incarcerated in the county jail. By Miguel Rios
A coalition working for human rights started the year off demanding better conditions for those in the Oklahoma County jail. Various organizations came together to host a noise demonstration across the street from the jail on New Year’s Day. Dream Action Oklahoma, Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice, Women’s March Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Democratic Socialists, Black Lives Matter OKC, American Indian Movement Indian Territory, Ending Violence Everywhere and the OKC NAACP chapter participated in the demonstration. Last year, several of the same organizations pressured Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office and the county jail trust for similar demands, particularly to end local collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “We wanted to start the year off with that demonstration to let them know that we’re not going to go away,” said Cynthia Garcia, a United We Dream
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organizer and local activist. “And what better way than to make it our New Year’s resolution to continue to fight for our collective liberation?” The coalition’s demands for jail officials were to • end local collaboration with ICE; • provide humane conditions for those incarcerated; • remove all juveniles from the county jail; • provide access to jail contracts, commissary accounts, a daily roster of those incarcerated, immigration detainers and length of detention; • end cash bail and commit to not privatize the jail; and • hold people responsible for abuse, negligence and deaths while providing consistent training to “break the culture of criminalization.” “New Year’s is a time where people are thinking, ‘Let’s begin and have a new energy,’ so it seemed fitting to remind people that are incarcerated
that they’re not alone because holidays tend to be really tough for people who aren’t able to see their family or who don’t have family,” Garcia said. “We wanted to set the tone for 2020 because of how big 2020 is going to be for our communities, not just through elections, but in continuing this collaboration to improve what the jail looks like, what incarceration systems look like.” The noise demonstration was inspired by cacerolazo protests that originated in South America where demonstrators bang pots, pans and other similar items. Community members stood outside the jail for two hours in the cold, hearing stories from those who had been affected by the jail’s conditions.
Various organizations came together to demand better housing conditions for people in Oklahoma County jail. | Photo Stephanie Montelongo / provided
“We wanted people [to participate] who were maybe off from work who have been trying to get engaged, who may not see the intersection yet of incarceration yet or immigration or this war against people of color or even just the attacks on poor people,” Garcia said. D’Marria Monday, a Tulsa activist and founder of Block Builderz, helps uplift people impacted by incarceration through her organization. Once incarcerated herself, Monday spoke on the intersection of criminal justice and continued on page 6
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black and brown people. “The fight to restore human dignity is one struggle,” she said. “I went to jail in Texas. I’ve never been to county jail in Oklahoma, but what I can say from the different jails that I’ve been in … jails are the same no matter where you are. Some conditions may be more deplorable than others, but at the same time, those conditions are still put in place to break you, to break your spirit.
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We wanted to start the year off with that demonstration to let them know that we’re not going to go away. Cynthia Garcia “I would like to see Oklahoma practice more restorative justice techniques. Restorative justice reconciles the victim. It’s not focused on punitive, but it’s focused on healing, on addressing the harm done and healing from it. The system of jails and prison perpetuates this cycle of trauma. In order for us to change the course of our nation, we have to change our practices. Let’s focus on restoring our state instead of continuing to punish our state.” Edwin Ramirez told a story about his wife’s incarceration following a misunderstanding in a store where they thought she was attempting to steal products. Despite having the money to pay for it, police were called and she was arrested. With young children, Ramirez and his wife worried about not being able to pay the cash bail and faced an indefinite incarceration and potential deportation. “My wife explained to me that whenever she made bail, she was lucky enough not to get deported because ICE was at the time rounding up people who didn’t make bail and were undocumented individuals,” he said. “I remember I went to pay and … it was around $700 just for the bail. This was before even going to court and testifying and anything like that. … That scared me because I’ve seen friends of mine end up in jail, and before you know it, they get deported.” Many stories recounted times in which particularly people of color were arrested for minor things such as a broken tail light. “Rather than someone giving you a warning to get your light fixed, you ended up having to pay a fine, being incarcerated, getting your car impounded — all these other things that obviously set you back as an individual,” Garcia said. “The intersection of incarceration for profit and the displacement of families is very systemic, so people are not able to fight together,
but that’s what we wanted to highlight. We’re not fighting a separate fight. It’s the same system; we just need to continue to build bridges together to hold those people accountable.” One of the stories that most touched Monday was a woman whose 14-year-old son is incarcerated. Having a child the same age herself, Monday said she couldn’t imagine any child that age “having to endure the horrors” they could experience in the county jail. She said stories like that ignite a passion in her to continue fighting for the various demands. “Our children are not supposed to be there. … Our tax dollars are meant to be invested in our community, but housing youth inside the jail does not invest in our community. I would hope to see them released from jail but also for them to be provided with wraparound resources that can address the trauma that they endured while they were in jail,” she said. “Also, if you cannot afford bail, you should not have to sit in jail and face all the consequences that come along with being separated from society. It’s not a crime to be poor. When we require cash bail, then it is criminalizing being poor. To me, that’s one of the biggest things is ending cash bail.”
Cynthia Garcia said the coalition is working to collect people’s stories to better push for transparency and accountability. | Photo Stephanie Montelongo / provided
The coalition is collecting grievances from people who have been incarcerated or know family members who have been incarcerated. Garcia said they want to be able to push for transparency and accountability through testimony from those who have endured the jail’s conditions. Reach out to one of the organizations directly or email email@example.com.
OKC Sweets is set to expand into a shop by the end of Spring 2020. | Photo provided
OKC Sweets, a local baker’s home business, is set to expand into a brick-and-mortar location. By Miguel Rios
Stefanie Embree and her husband decided 2020 is the year they open up a dessert shop. They recently submitted a building permit for a 1,831 square-foot shop at 7306 N. Western Ave. and hope to be open for business around April. Embree, who has been running OKC Sweets out of her home for two years, envisions a shop where people can stop in and pick up anything from single macarons to prepared party cakes and feel comfortable to meet up and enjoy sweets over a cup of coffee. “It’s going to be such an awesome location,” she said. “What we really want to bring to the OKC metro is kind of a gourmet dessert shop, so you walk in and there’s a display case just full of delicious treats — so cupcakes, macarons, party cakes that are available day of and other sweets like cookies, cookie sandwiches, maybe even some fun things like gourmet caramel apples or gourmet rice crispy treats — things like that that are really unique.”
Embree, a former music teacher, always loved baking but really dove in after having children and becoming a mostly stay-at-home mom. She would bake for her friends and family mostly as a hobby, but after the Oklahoma Home Baking Act of 2017 allowed local bakers to sell prepared foods out of their homes, Embree saw an opportunity. “That was really exciting as a stayat-home mom because it was something that I could do and bring in some money while doing something that I really enjoy,” she said. “I kind of upped my game, and I really had been baking more for friends, but then I had people starting to ask me for orders. So my husband and I were just like, ‘Let’s go for it.’”
They started OKC Sweets in 2018, with Embree doing all of the baking and her husband Steven handling the business side of things. Embree also created an Instagram for her business, which took off after about a year. “I really kind of [only] reached locally, and then in February of 2019 … I just kind of put myself out there more and started connecting with other bakers around the United States and really around the world,” Embree said. “My goal this past year was to kind of grow my Instagram account, and I started being more consistent with my posting and tried to be creative in the content. So that allowed me some really awesome opportunities beyond just baking for people. I was on a podcast recently, and I was featured in an article with a magazine in Houston.” OKC Sweets now has more than 35,000 followers from around the globe. In one June week alone, OKC Sweets gained 1,700 followers. Because of her success running OKC Sweets out of her home, the selftaught baker and her husband felt like the time was right to open up a shop. “Doing this out of my home has been
such a blessing because I have young kids,” she said. “But they’re all going into school now, so my husband and I were just kind of talking about what the future looks like and what we really wanted to do. We decided to just go for it and open up a shop because we really want to bring something to Oklahoma City that isn’t exactly here yet.” The Embrees sold their house in south Oklahoma City, found a location for their shop and are currently leasing a smaller house closer to where their business will be. “We took the money from the sale of our house and we’re putting that into building the shop, and we’ve got really, really exciting plans for that,” she said. “We didn’t buy another house right now. We’re kind of putting everything into this vision we have for OKC Sweets. … It’s been an adjustment but quite an adventure, and we’re just really putting ourselves out there and giving it a go. We felt like if we didn’t do it now, we might never do it.” As they began the process, the Embrees found that doors were opening for them. “We really had this mindset that if a door opens, we wanted to be brave enough to walk through it and not let fear get in the way of doing something that has the potential to be really amazing,” Embree said. The move was still nerve-wracking for Embree, as she had to consider how going full-time after being a stay-at-home mom for six years would affect her children. “I want this to be a positive experience for them too, but in looking at that, I think it really will,” she said. “They’ll have the opportunity to watch us build something from the ground up and see what hard work looks like and hopefully be able to do that someday themselves.”
Because she loves sharing not only her desserts but also what goes into creating them, Embree said they want OKC Sweets to host classes for things like cake decorating to get the community involved. They also plan to have a video room set up to further engage with people. “On my Instagram account, I do quite a few videos. I love showing how the process works, and I think people really enjoy seeing what all goes into creating
these things,” Embree said. “So we also plan to have kind of like a video room within the kitchen … where I can go live anytime when I’m decorating a cake. Or where we can maybe bring in local celebrities and do kind of like — my husband thinks of it kind of like Carpool Karaoke-style conversational piece while we’re decorating a cake or something together.” Embree’s love of bright colors will be reflected in her shop. She said her shop’s aesthetic will draw inspiration from bakeries like pastel-pink Peggy Porschen Cakes in London and mostly white and gold Jenna Rae Cakes in Canada. “They’re feminine, but it’s not overwhelming. It feels really comfortable when you walk in. They’re just kind of open and bright,” she said.
Stefanie Embree and her husband started OKC Sweets out of their home in January 2018. | Photo provided
The Embrees didn’t want to open up a shop that was going to be the same as one down the road, so they have been intentional about planning things that will set them apart from other local shops. “I love making pretty desserts that look amazing, but it’s also so important that they taste as good as they look,” she said. “Something I do that I think is kind of different is hand-painted cake. I really love doing that. It’s something that can be very custom. … So what we’re bring to the table will be something that’s different and unique.” Visit okcsweets.com.
OKC Sweets’s future location is at Nichols Hills Crossing. | Photos provided O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J A N U A R Y 8 , 2 0 2 0
The Newseum — a shrine to the power of the First Amendment and the history of journalism — closed the doors at its seven-story, 250,000 square-foot downtown Washington D.C. building last week, and its future is uncertain. Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell has an offer for the museum’s founders: Have you considered Guthrie, Oklahoma? Specifically the State Capital Publishing Company Building downtown, the site of the first newspaper published in what is now Oklahoma when it moved to Guthrie in 1890? Pinnell sent a tweet on December 29: “The amazing Newseum Museum is officially closing its doors Dec 31 & looking for a new home. Well, @newseum, meet the State Capital Publishing Co. building in historic Guthrie, OK. The town’s downtown area is the largest Historic Preservation District in the nation. Let’s talk.” Many of the obituaries written about the closing of the Newseum’s old location commented on the fact the opulent, multi-million-dollar building opened just as the economy cratered in 2008, kicking off an era of layoffs in the journalism industry, and the fact the Newseum’s $25 adult entry fee was in stark contrast to the free admission provided by Smithsonian museums across the street. People don’t want to pay to get
sity could be used to upgrade a potential new home in Guthrie.
around paywalls on newspaper websites; are they going to pay to get into a journalism museum? Pinnell’s suggestion does come with plenty of historical significance. The Guthrie building operated as the only publishing company west of the Mississippi for a period of time, and the 111-year-old building is on the National Register of Historic Places, but its maintenance proved too costly for State Capital Publishing Museum, which closed in 2012. Perhaps some of the $372.5 million Newseum owners received for selling the building to Johns Hopkins Univer-
Paseo Arts District businesses and surrounding residences lost power over the holidays, and disappointingly, not because of some screwball National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation-esque Christmas-light mishap either. “A pickup truck crashed into a large transmission line pole at N.W. 30th Street and Hudson Avenue … radiating damage to a mile of poles along 30th,” reported Oklahoma City Free Press editor Brett Dickerson on Dec. 27. “The Paseo Business District and surrounding homes — 2,700 in all — went dark for over 12 hours and some for 15 according to OG&E, the public utility that provides power to Oklahoma City.” The crash, Free Press reported, broke “the rigid porcelain insulators extending from the three-story steel pole” and a “chain reaction of vibrations from the crash along the mile of transmission lines from Robinson to Western caused other porcelain insulators to break dropping the transmission lines onto traffic signals and neighborhood distribution lines below.” In August, an estimated 110,000
residents lost power — some for days — as a result of severe storms, and schools in Oklahoma City, Mid Del, Piedmont, Putnam City, Deer Creek and Bethany canceled classes. In December of 2018, OG&E asked Oklahoma Corporation Commission for an annual rate increase of nearly $78 million to offset environmental compliance costs and equipment depreciation. Apparently, unlike our nearly full set of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle commemorative collector plates (aka the Chicken Fried News retirement fund), rigid porcelain insulators actually de-
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crease in value over time. After reviewing the company’s request, attorney general Mike Hunter determined in April that “OG&E should reduce its rates by $32 million, rather than raise them.” Or at least give us some coupons for Yankee Candle.
Ada Baby Yoda
If 2019 had a breakout star, it was almost certainly The Mandalorian’s Baby Yoda. The unofficial star of Disney+’s new Star Wars spinoff, Baby Yoda instantly captured the hearts of millions with its cuteness. It quickly went on to become a meme of its own, and people went as far as to say they would die for it, which is totally sensible. Baby Yoda would have been a shoo-in for Time’s Person of the Year if, you know, it was a person. But thanks to a creative artist, Disney+ isn’t the only place to see the green sensation. Brent Greenwood, a mural artist and Chickasaw Nation fine arts director, saw the opportunity to capitalize on the hype and get people engaged with local art in one fell swoop. So he spent around two hours one weekend spray-painting a mural of Baby Yoda with colors streaming out of its fingers to promote the arts in downtown Ada. “I just wanted to paint this little guy
ART IN A NEW LIGHT
because I felt like doing it and thought it would be nice to engage the public with public art,” Greenwood told KXII. “Sometimes students don’t get an outlet to create art, but if they can wake up every day, go to it or from school, or wherever. If they see it in a public setting, at least it’s there, a part of the community environment.” Greenwood was right; people have already searched for the mural just to get a photo with Baby Yoda, which is probably the best thing to come out of 2019. He said he plans to add more the mural and connect it to another mural painted by Chickasaw Nation Arts Academy students. We’re excited to see what Greenwood does next, but it’ll definitely be hard to top Baby Yoda.
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EAT & DRINK classes across the state of Oklahoma, according to Oklahoma Policy Institute. In the 2013-2014 fiscal year, there were 17,473 students across the state enrolled in FCS classes. By the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the total number of students enrolled in FCS classes dropped to 11,457. Dr. Tawni Holmes is a professor in nutrition, dietetics and food management at University of Central Oklahoma and said that the program begins with an introduction to food preparation. “It’s amazing how many young adults don’t have a clue about cooking,” Holmes said. “If you say, ‘Here’s a basket of ingredients. Prepare a meal,’ they’re totally at a loss. They haven’t learned that skill.” Holmes said nutrition movements are emphasizing cooking from scratch, rather than relying on processed and packaged products to fill out the components of a meal. For example, boiling and mashing potatoes rather than using a box of dried potato flakes.
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More than half of millennials use their phone or mobile device to display recipes while they cook. | Photo Phillip Danner
Younger generations are food-obsessed on social media, but their skills in the kitchen are lacking. By Jacob Threadgill
In 2019, the millennial generation (those born between 1981 and 1996) overtook baby boomers as the largest workforce population in the United States. Along with generation Z and younger populations, the differences in generations have manifested in many different ways, but their approach to cooking has created ripple effects that impact nutrition, cultural anthropology and industry. Just as the internet has made it easy to pull up a recipe from any culture around the world — expanding palates and tastes — it has also made it easier to forgo cooking altogether by ordering delivery from restaurants for which it previously wasn’t available through gig economy mobile apps like Grubhub and Postmates. A 2018 study sponsored by UBS Investment Bank with the hyperbolic headline “Is the Kitchen Dead?” found that millennials are three times more likely to order takeout or delivery than their parents. The study projects that online delivery could represent 10 percent of the total food services market by the end of this decade, growing from $35 billion to $365 billion. While consumers have increased choice provided through mobile delivery apps, restaurants find themselves 10
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with increased competition. “The third-party delivery phenomenon is, I would say, the most disruptive piece of business we’ve seen in the last 10 years,” said A Good Egg Dining Group CEO Keith Paul. “If you’re going to sign up [with a delivery service], and do $10,000 a month in delivery business, it’s not incremental business; it’s just business you’re trying to hang onto. … You’re dealing with companies that don’t make any money; they don’t have any rules. Their job is to disrupt the market.” Like Uber, Lyft and other companies kept afloat by venture capital speculation, mobile delivery apps will have to find sustainable business models this decade to meet projections, but the evidence is clear: People like the option of ordering in rather than cooking a meal from scratch. A comprehensive study in the United Kingdom found that there has been a 54 percent decrease in home cooking over the last 30 years, according to Food Co-Op Initiative. The same study finds that people under the age of 35 are less confident than people over the age of 55 in cooking a meal from scratch. While it says that 55 percent of millennials enjoy cooking, another 28 percent are not interested in learning how to cook. A reliance on food prepared at a res-
taurant is a drain on the bank account, and eating packaged, processed foods has negative health outcomes. A 10-year study released in 2018 from Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that developing cooking skills in adolescence was important for building kitchen confidence and healthy eating habits as adults. The project followed students from Minneapolis-Saint Paul and graduates who were ages 18-23 in 2002 and 2003 and followed up again with them at the ages of 30-35 and found that those with adequate cooking skills at 18 “led to fewer fast food meals, more meals as a family and more frequent preparation of meals with vegetables in adulthood.” The onus of developing those cooking skills increasingly has to come from older generations. The most recent national study in 2012 of students nationally enrolled in family and consumer sciences (FCS), commonly referred to as “home ec,” found that 3.4 million students were enrolled in the classes, a 38 percent decline from the previous decade. Those numbers have dramatically decreased in Oklahoma. In 2018, budget cuts forced the closure of 500 family and consumer sciences
The third-party delivery phenomenon is, I would say, the most disruptive piece of business we’ve seen in the last 10 years. Keith Paul “It’s almost just a niche population that is able to do [the whole food movement],” Holmes said. “It’s beyond the general population’s grasp of making it work in their life because we’re all so busy. Not everyone can shop at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. They’re more expensive, and it is perceived by people that eating healthy is more expensive. It goes back to packaged and convenience of foods because they’re cheap and fast. Our lifestyles are so wrapped up in being busy that it seems like a quick and easy option when it is actually horrible for our overall health. Teaching people how to eat healthy on a budget is something we’re constantly trying to do. College students are on a budget, so we’re constantly trying to do it.” The definition of processed foods
WHY NOT? COMEDY | January 10 LAREDO | January 11 CRÜELIGANS: MOTLEY CRÜE TRIBUTE | January 17 HUSBANDS | January 18 BRICKS IN THE WALL | January 24 K.C. CLIFFORD | January 25 RICHARD MARX | January 30 ATMOSPHERE | February 1 WOLF PARADE | February 5 STEEP CANYON RANGERS | February 6 falls on a spectrum. Frozen vegetables and roasted nuts, while technically “processed,” are only minimally so. The problems come from “hyper-processed” foods that are introduced with ingredients to increase shelf stability — this applies to products that are marketed as “healthy” like high-protein cereal and gluten-free crackers. “There isn’t a magic formula, and people need to find things they like; something simple,” Holmes said. “Instead of grabbing a Pop-Tart on the way out the door, put some almond butter
It’s amazing how many young adults don’t have a clue about cooking. Dr. Tawni Holmes on fresh bread or have some fruit.”
Carefully curated recipe card boxes were once the norm in kitchens across the country — with notes and tricks passed down through generations. The handy recipe card has been replaced by the glow of a smart phone or tablet in the kitchen. Writer Rebecca Santiago wrote a piece with the headline “Why foodobsessed millennials suck at cooking” for New York Post in 2017. The piece makes the point that over-reliance on the internet has its consequences. Dr. Benjamin Storm, an associate psychology professor at University of California at Santa Cruz, wrote of the phenomenon called “cognitive offloading,” which is the tendency of rely on outside sources as memory aides. “Offloading robs you of the opporRecipe boxes used to be a kitchen staple, but many are being lost to time. | Photo bigstock.com
The number of Oklahoma students enrolled in family and consumer science classes decreased by over 7,000 between 2012 and 2018. | Photo Phillip Danner
tunity to develop the long-term knowledge structures that help you make creative connections, have novel insights and deepen your knowledge,” Storm told New York Post. The result is an ability to only cook rudimentary dishes without outside help, he said. In 2012, NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin in his role as an NFL Network analyst made the nonsequitur, “That’s what wrong with young ladies today. They’re not learning from mom. We’re losing recipes.” Sexism aside, Irvin brings up the very real point of recipes being lost between generations. It’s one thing to read a recipe; it’s another thing to learn step-by-step. Those steps have been replaced by social-shareable videos like those popularized by the brand Tasty. The top-down shot videos detail recipes that are often simple or rely on gimmicks like “deep-fried pizzadilla.” Preliminary research into generation Z by Hartman Group find that people in the U.S. between the ages of 12 and 20 are the most diverse group in the U.S. and are most likely to support brands offering clean and nutritious offerings, like plant-based offerings. While generation Z clicks on videos and recipes that are easy to find, academics like those in a gastronomy program at Boston University are working to catalog and save generations of recipe boxes. “They are a tangible link to the past, and I do worry about how we are going forward,” Barbara Rotger of Boston University told Boston Globe last year.
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EAT & DRINK
Gogi expansion Gogi Go!’s original concept lays groundwork for a new Edmond location and beyond. By Jacob Threadgill
Gogi Go! 1324 N. Walker Ave. gogigo.co | 405-778-8524 WHAT WORKS: Offerings are fresh and flavorful, and the ordering process is quick. WHAT NEEDS WORK: Signature bowl items are listed on the website but not in the store. TIP: You can order half orders of base items, like both rice and japchae.
Gogi Go! first brought its fast-casual, build-your-own meal concept to Midtown Oklahoma City in 2018 and is bringing its second location to Edmond Railyard this week. After repeated visits to its original location, 1325 N. Walker Ave., not only do I think Gogi Go! will be a success in Edmond, 23 W. First Street, Suite 130, but it’s a concept ripe for expansion across the state and beyond. Chef Kevin Lee along with business partners John Lee and Jason Chang had plenty of experience eating Korean food at local restaurants — John Lee’s family
owned Del City’s Korea House from 1988 to 2002 — and they wanted to make Korean flavors accessible through an ordering concept modeled on Subway and Chipotle. “With Gogi Go! in Midtown, I think we really achieved that by offering ethnic food in a comfort setting where you don’t have to explain things to people,” Kevin Lee said. “We’ve had some mom-and-pop Korean restaurants, but most people never went there because nobody spoke English or they had a hard time navigating the menu and trying to figure out what they wanted to eat.” Gogi Go! makes the ordering process easy enough. Customers pick a base of steamed white rice, kimchi fried rice, japchae noodles or spinach and cabbage (they can also do half orders of two), which is topped by bulgogi beef, spicy pork, regular or spicy chicken or crispy tofu. The bowl is then finished with options you might find in traditional Korean banchan (side dishes served with every meal): cabbage kimchi, cucumber kimchi, pickled daikon, pickled peppers, soy-braised potatoes and much more. You can add mandoo (Korean fried dumpling) and an egg for an additional $1.50. Bowls can be finished with Gogi Sauce (a bright pink spicy mayonnaise), Gogi pesto, ssamjang (sweet and spicy), sesame-ginger vinaigrette and a hot sauce simply called The Hotness. Customers
Customers choose a base of rice or noodles to be paired with protein, toppings and signature sauces. | Photo provided
can also get all of those ingredients wrapped up as a burrito or a smaller bowl ($7 compared to $9 for the regular bowl size). The lighter option was added after about a year of operation. “The biggest mistake we made with our first Gogi Go! is that we only had one bowl size, and it was a pretty big bowl,” Lee said. “We quickly realized that people wanted a lighter option. With our second location, we’re really going to be hitting that small bowl and marketing towards that just because we have college and younger crowd. There’s not a lot of places you can get a full, fresh meal for $7 or $8.” The price point is one of Gogi Go!’s biggest selling points. If I order a regular bowl from Gogi Go! with mandoo and an egg, it’s at least two meals — and maybe even three — for me. The blend of starch, protein and veggies is hearty and flavorful at a price point that is hard to beat. Lee said they will being experimenting more with seasonal flavors for topping options at both Gogi Go! locations going forward, building off things like pineapple kimchi in the spring and summer and Korean potato salad in colder months. “We want to do more seasonal stuff because our menu is not very big and people might get bored too easily,” he said. “We’re going to have more seasonal specialties and staying innovative ahead of the curve. It’s easy to settle and sit back and be comfortable. We want to keep pushing the envelope and have something different to offer.” I asked Lee his favorite bowl to build at Gogi Go!, and he prefers a combination order of kimchi fried rice and japchae as a base with spicy pork, red cabbage, cucumber kimchi and fried onions topped with Gogi Sauce and pesto. Until a recent visit, I’d normally order kimchi fried rice as my base because it provides spicy and fulfilling heft, but the japchae is a real revelation. Made with sweet potatoes, the glass noodles are translucent and a satisfying gluten-free left An assortment of bowl items available at Gogi Go! inset Gogi Go! co-owner Kevin Lee | Photos Gazette / file and provided
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noodle option. They’re stir-fried in a mixture of garlic, soy sauce and gochujang (a red fermented chile paste that is both sweet and spicy that has a lot of kick to it). I highly recommend keeping a container of gochujang in your refrigerator to add some kick to marinades and sauces. “Japchae isn’t something a lot of people have had,” Lee said. “It’s something light with a lot of health benefits.” In general, Korean food is quite healthy because of its usage of many fermented products that are high in guthealthy probiotics. As I’ve gotten older, it has been fascinating to see how much daily discomfort can dissipate through foods high in probiotics (sauerkraut, ginger, low sugar yogurt, kimchi). During a pair of recent visits, one eat-in and one take-out, to Gogi Go!, I was in and out within minutes, which speaks to the ease of ordering. Lee said the Edmond location will operate under a similar system, but its footprint will be smaller because it’s located in what is essentially a food hall. “Our Midtown location is mostly geared towards lunch because there’s not much going on at night, especially where we are,” Lee said. “With Edmond Railyard, they have that big bar and more complementary retail spaces like an ice cream store and a pie shop; it can be a really fun and exciting place for Edmond to go hang out and have a good time.” Lee just finished his year as culinary director for The Social Order (The Jones Assembly, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Texadelphia, Seven47 in Norman and upcoming Spark) where he has changed the Jones Assembly menu two or three times based on seasonal ingredients. He’s excited to usher in a new weekend brunch menu for The Jones the first week of February — the first new brunch menu since it opened. Meanwhile, he’s working on the menu for Spark, which is located near Scissortail Park on Oklahoma Boulevard and opens in March. Lee is one of the city’s best chefs, and it’s exciting to see his influence at both Gogi Go! and The Social Order. Here’s hoping more people get to experience Gogi Go! in Edmond and, hopefully, beyond. Visit gogigo.co.
F E AT U R E
left Clark Crew BBQ is located at 3510 Northwest Expressway in the former Macaroni Grill location. inset Travis Clark’s Clark Crew has won more than 50 grand championships on the competition barbecue circuit. | Photo Alexa Ace
Ambitious barbecue Clark Crew BBQ adds steaks and pizza to a menu that has dominated the competition barbecue circuit. By Jacob Threagill
Like a location in one of Bill Hader’s character Stefan’s appearances on Saturday Night Live, Clark Crew BBQ has got it all: an outdoor dining area that seats over 500 people, competition barbecue world championship belts, grilled wagyu steaks, a fresh salad bar and a huge pizza oven. Oklahoma barbecue has operated in the shadows of Austin and Kansas City. Travis Clark of Yukon by way of Kansas is building off the more than 50 grand championships he has won on the competition circuit — including a 2019 grand championship at the prestigious Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue — to make Clark Crew BBQ, 3510 Northwest Expressway, destination dining. The competition barbecue bug bit Clark in 2012 after he attended American Royal World Series of Barbecue as a spectator. By the time Clark and family had driven home, they decided to start competing under the name Clark Crew in honor of his family that includes his wife Kimberly and children Jennifer, Madison, Brooklyn and Cooper. “I’ve always been a competitive person, whether its competitive trap shooting shotguns, but anything I did I always wanted to be the best at it,” Clark said. “So competing in barbecue satisfies that itch. Not all of us can play in the NFL or NBA, but you can do something competitive and compete for championships.” Clark and his crew showed immediate talent on the competition circuit by not only qualifying to compete in the American Royal the next year but scoring a second-place finish. “Then I got hooked and started to take it seriously,” he said. “I can remember the first time I pulled into a contest and people came up to me and said, ‘Oh, now we’re screwed.’ It was a good feeling, like you made it.” The crew continued collecting trophies until a serendipitous moment in
2017 when Clark attended American Royal and won the overall title. While at the hall of fame induction ceremony to support some friends, Clark was approached by Dave Anderson, founder of Famous Dave’s. “He told me what I’d done was unbelievable and asked if I still taught barbecue classes,” Clark said. “He ended up coming to the class and had a great time. It was a memorable moment for me.” Soon after, Famous Dave’s CEO Jeff Crivello offered Clark a job with the company. It eventually led to the establishment of BBQ Holdings, under which Famous Dave’s will continue to operate but allow for more brand expansion. “Famous Dave’s is going through its evolution, and while it does that, we also want other paths to be operating in tandem,” Crivello told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Clark Crew is the first one we’ve really put a lot of time and effort and resources behind.” Clark Crew BBQ is an ambitious addition to the Oklahoma City barbecue scene. The space formerly occupied by a Macaroni Grill was expanded from around 7,300 square feet to more than 9,000 to include a glass window-encased smokehouse that showcases four smokers, including two thousand-gallon offset smokers that are four times larger than what Clark uses to compete. Inside, Clark Crew can seat around 200 people while the large outdoor patio adds room for more than 500 guests. There are menu options for people to accommodate a variety of tastes beyond its award-winning barbecue. Beyond smoked chicken, turkey, brisket, sausage and pork ribs, Clark is looking to eliminate the proverbial “veto vote” among groups. He has added grilled burgers and steaks and repurposed the former Macaroni Grill pizza
oven for barbecue-topped or build-yourown pizzas with traditional toppings like pepperoni or unique ones like mac and cheese. Clark Crew also has an extensive salad bar full of fresh veggies, pasta salad and smoked chicken salad. “I do a lot of steak competitions as well, so I cook a great steak, and it’s one of my favorite things to do,” Clark said. “One of my passions is grilling, and I love to grill more than cook barbecue. I cook a great steak, so we thought it would be great to have in here. If you’re going to do that, you might as well do burgers too … and I kept saying to myself one thing: How many times does the average person eat barbecue in a month? In more times than not, your answer might be one, maybe. How many times do you eat a burger? I think it is more [than once a month].” Clark Crew primarily uses oak wood to smoke beef and pecan with poultry and pork. Pork ribs are served with the idea that “falling off the bone” is a faux
pas, building off competition barbecue, which is judged on one bite. “If you’re coming out to my restaurant, I want you to sit down and give you a rib that is savory enough that you want to eat a whole rack of ribs,” Clark said. “I want a little bit of smoke, a little bit of savory and a little more tender. That’s what I’m shooting for.” The drink menu includes beer, wine and a craft cocktail list with classics like an Old Fashioned and Manhattan in addition to margaritas and a martini topped with olives stuffed with blue cheese. “It was things that I thought Oklahoma City needed,” Clark said. “There are not a lot of restaurants with a great outdoor space. I think we put together a really great outdoor space. I’ve always tried to keep it in my mind: What does Oklahoma City need? It’s not just great barbecue; I’m not saying they don’t have great barbecue. I think what we’ve put together is different than most of the rest of the country.” Clark’s reputation has preceded the opening of the restaurant. Wait times to get a table have been more than an hour in some cases. “It’s been a little overwhelming,” he said. “Honestly, I did not think we’d be this busy. It hit day one and I don’t think we did a great job; we were very overwhelmed. We had people lining up at 8 a.m. I thought it was my employees parking out front, and I went outside and told them to park in employee parking. They said, ‘We‘re just wanting to be first in line,’ and more and more just started showing up. We had the restaurant full with a line at 10:45.” Clark and staff are committed to working out the kinks for what they hope will be the first of many Clark Crew BBQ restaurants. “My favorite thing every day is to see people pressed against the glass [of the smokehouse, looking in],” he said. Visit clarkcrewbbq.com.
Brisket in the smoker at Clark Crew BBQ | Photo Alexa Ace O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J A N U A R Y 8 , 2 0 2 0
EAT & DRINK
The humble bean should get more respect than being a punchline for making you “toot.” Full of protein and heart-healthy fiber, it’s one of the most important foods for staying healthy and active. These seven restaurants showcase the versatility of beans. By Jacob Threadgill with provided and Gazette / file photos
Grill on the Hill
Pinto beans and cornbread is one of the quintessential Oklahoma dinners, and Grill on the Hill offers its version — with chunks of ham and topped with red onions — for just $5.99. If you consider that combination a little boring, spice it up with Buffalo strip tacos and a side of pinto beans.
The setting and menu at El Majahual are rightfully centered on the El Salvadoran specialty pupusa. If the combination of cheese, desired filling and masa doesn’t bring you back, then the refried black beans will do the trick. You can order them with breakfast, lunch and diner at this family-owned restaurant just west of Interstate 44.
The enchilada chicken bowl is one of the top-selling items at this downtown eatery, which is also open for dinner. The chicken is moist and tender, but the smoky black beans will have you coming back for more.
324 SW 25th St. grillonthehillokc.com | 405-634-9866
Hot Ham & Swiss on Rye Served with jalapeno mustard and seasoned chips ALL DAY, EVERY DAY IN JANUARY
NOW SERVING RAMEN! GRANDRESORTOK.COM I-40 EXIT 178 I SHAWNEE, OK I 405-964-7263 14
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3301 SW 29th St. 405-602-2661
110 N. Robinson Ave. cafe110okc.com | 405-724-7195
THE BRIDGE IS EDMOND’S PREMIER POOL HALL
Oozie Mediterranean Restaurant
1211 N. Shartel Ave., Suite 102 oozierestaurant.com | 405-724-7659 Whether you call them chickpeas or garbanzo beans, it’s the same legume with the scientific name Cicer arietinum. Regardless, they make the hearty filling of falafel all the more nutritious with a kick from plenty of garlic and spices at Oozie, which is serving Lebanese dishes at its location on the bottom floor of a medical building. The only downside is that it’s closed for the weekends and after 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Iguana Mexican Grill
Beans don’t have to be a side dish. If you order the chana masala at Sheesh Mahal, you’ll be satisfied with a hearty and flavorful dish. The chickpeas are stewed in a flavorful tomato curry that is perfectly paired with basmati rice and your preferred style of naan. If you’re looking for more chickpea options, consider ordering a chaat appetizer.
Baked beans go with barbecue like peanut butter and jelly. It’s hard to think of the two without each other. When you think you might be digging into a vegetarian side dish, don’t worry at Maples, where you’re getting a dish of baked beans mixed with brisket burnt ends, which are one of the reasons to visit this Austin-style-inspired barbecue restaurant.
Life is about making hard decisions. Whether you want pinto beans or black beans, Iguana has you covered. Pinto beans are served whole while the black variety comes refried and topped with cheese with any entrée. We also recommend the chalupa nachos: half-moon crispy tortilla shells topped with black bean puree, cheese and jalapeño.
4621 N. May Ave. 405-778-8469
1800 NW 16th St. maplesbarbecue.com | 405-604-3344
9 NW Ninth St. iguanamexicangrill.com 405-606-7172
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OKLAHOMA HISTORY CENTER’s unique classes!
Saturday, January 18 | 1-3pm Drinks, Crime and Prohibition film screening
Join us for a screening of the Smithsonian Channel’s Drinks, Crime and Prohibition. On the 100th anniversary of the implementation of Prohibition, take a look back at a time of speakeasies, mob wars, and federal enforcement in this comprehensive documentary. The film screening is included with paid admission to the Oklahoma History Center.
oklahoma history center Live Kilgen Organ Performance by
TEDDE GIBSON in the Devon Great Hall Doors open at 6pm $10 members | $20 nonmembers For more information call 405.522.0765 or visit okhistory.org 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. Oklahoma City, OK 73105
oklahoma history center’s newly-added
AUDIO TOURS 30 new audio points help lead guests through the museum and read the label text on featured objects. Available in four languages, English, French, German and Spanish guests can choose from their own phones, or provided Earphones, iPads and iTouches to listen to the audio tour as they stroll through the museum.
Saturday, January 25 | 1-3pm Knitting Class
Learn basic knitting stitches and tips to create your own masterpieces! This class is open to ages twelve and over, and the registration is $15 for OHS members and $20 for nonmembers. Registration opens on December 14 and closes January 8.
Saturday, February 22 | 10:30am - 4pm Southeastern Beadwork Class
Learn from Martha Berry, Cherokee National Treasure and nationally renowned beadwork artist, in this Southeastern Beadwork class! This class includes all materials necessary to produce a pre-European contact Cherokee sun circle wall hanging. Open to participants eighteen and over, class size is limited and registration is required. The cost for the class is $150 for OHS members and $175 for nonmembers. Registration opens on January 11 and closes on February 11. To learn more about Martha Berry, visit www.berrybeadwork.com.
Saturday, April 18 | 1-3pm Brush Calligraphy Class
Learn basic brush and pen strokes to create beautiful pieces or art! The cost for this class is $10 for OHS members and $20 for nonmembers. All materials are included and registration is required. This class is recommended for ages twelve and up. Registration opens on March 7 and closes on April 9.
Saturday, May 2 | 10:30am - 4pm Milliner (Hat-Making) Class
Learn the history of Edwardian millners and create yhour own hat! This class is recommended for ages twelve and up. Registration is $50 for OHS members and $70 for nonmembers, and includes all supplies. Registration opens on March 21 and closes on May 15.
Register online for any of Oklahoma History Center’s classes or events at www.okhistory.org/historycenter/classregistration
For more information call 405.522.0765 or visit okhistory.org 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. Oklahoma City, OK 73105 Audio tours possible by a grant from Oklahoma Humanities and special thanks to the language professors from the University of Central Oklahoma.
For more information call 405.522.0765 or visit okhistory.org 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. Oklahoma City, OK 73105 16
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ARTS & CULTURE
Her Flag 2020 commemorates the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage with a national collaborative art project. By Jeremy Martin
On July 20, 1848, Seneca Falls Convention, the first women’s rights convention, unanimously adopted the Declaration of Sentiments. “The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her,” the document, based on the Declaration of Independence, read in part. “He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise. He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.” Thirty years later, a constitutional amendment to guarantee women’s right to vote was introduced to Congress — and reintroduced to every subsequent Congress for the next 41 years until it passed both chambers with the required two-thirds majority in 1919. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became, by a single vote, the 36th and final state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment, which proclaims, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and commemorate the decadeslong fight leading up to its ratification, Oklahoma-based artist Marilyn Artus created Her Flag, a collaborative project with 36 women artists — one from each state that voted to ratify the amendment. “I am a suffrage-era nerd after picking up a book years ago and digging into the history,” Artus said. “There was all this stuff I’d never heard of in school that was amazing and fascinating, and I just really fell in love with it. When I realized the big anniversary was coming up, I wanted to do something really big to celebrate it.” The result will be an 18-foot-by-26foot flag featuring 36 stripes created by the selected artists and hand-sewn to the flag by Artus in a public performance. Before traveling to the remaining states over the next eight months,
Artus will stop in Oklahoma City to sew the first 19 stripes onto the star field 2:30-4 p.m. Jan. 18 at Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive. “In my work, I often like to take items or things that people already have a lot of feelings and emotions about,” Artus, who previously worked as a commercial artist, said. “I’ve used the universal woman that symbolizes women in assorted areas including public bathrooms, and also I’ve used the mud-flap silhouette and now the American flag. People have their own baggage or feelings with those specific images, and so it just makes for a deeper feeling for the artwork. And then also, we’ve been in a really challenging place politically in the United States for quite a few years now, and I really wanted to contribute in a positive way to the discussion. And raising awareness about an anniversary that Democrats, independents and Republicans, men, women, black, white, all had a part in making happen felt like a good place to send my energies.” Artus had the idea for Her Flag in 2017 and spent two years planning and selecting artists from the more than 340 women who applied. “Oh my gosh! I felt like I wrote the description forever because it’s such a big project with a lot of details,” Artus said. “I felt like I wrote and wrote and wrote and fine-tuned it, and then finding the artists, the 36 artists from all across the nation, was a big job. Anytime you do a nationwide, yearslong project, there’s a lot to be done.”
Sunu Kodumthara, associate professor of history at Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU), who will speak at the event, said she wants to focus on the individual contributions of suffrage activists in their yearslong nationwide project to get the 19th Amendment passed. “What I’m planning on is really highlighting not just the history of the suffrage movement,” Kodumthara said, “but really talking about individual women
over the course of the many years of the movement who were really rather ordinary women who were put in these circumstances where they chose to be extraordinary, and I think the purpose of me doing that is really to highlight the power of the individual and the power of the people and how regular, ordinary people can really come together and bring about justice and change for the good.” Artus said she also wants Her Flag to highlight the contributions of women who are not as often discussed in history books. “The history is often from a white male angle and women of color or minority women that were a part of the struggle and that were fighting for the rights to vote are not included in the history,” Artus said. “Susan B. Anthony is there, but Ida B. Wells — who was an amazing suffrage fighter, a ferocious suffrage fighter, among other incredible things that she did — people don’t know that name. This anniversary is an opportunity to raise those women in history that people don’t know about.” Born into slavery in 1862, Wells worked after the Civil War as an investigative journalist, internationally exposing the injustice of lynchings and becoming a controversial figure even in the suffrage movement for her outspoken antiracist viewpoint. While Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton initially worked to abolish slavery before helping popularize the suffrage movement, the movement split over whether to support the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments, which guaranteed the right to vote for African American men only. “We have to acknowledge that it wasn’t a cohesive movement,” Kodumthara said. “There are divisions. There are disagreements. There is classism; there is racism, even within the suffrage movement. So it’s not one sort of unified sisterhood. It’s still something in progress. … We’ve never really had one cohesive movement, and I think that really needs to be something that we strive toward, where we have a true understanding of everybody’s circumstances.” However, Kodumthara said, suffrage should be commemorated as “phase one” in a hard-fought ongoing battle. Her Flag 2020 will feature stripes created by women artists from each of the 36 states that ratified the 19th Amendment. | Photo provided
Marilyn Artus will sew the first 19 stripes onto the flag’s star field 2:30-4 p.m. Jan. 18 at Oklahoma History Center. | Photo provided
“I think it’s important that we celebrate the centennial,” Kodumthara said. “It’s important that we acknowledge the sacrifice and the years of hard work, women going to prison, women [on hunger strikes] being force-fed, and all of those things are important. It’s absolutely vital we remember that, but we also have to ask ourselves, ‘OK, what’s next? What else can we do? What else is there to accomplish? What are the obstacles in front of us that we need to overcome?’ And by ‘we,’ I think it’s important to remember that all women look out for the women to the side of us, to see who else is next to us and to make sure that we are pulling them up with us.” Artus said it would be “absurd not to celebrate such an unbelievable American accomplishment.” “It was when women got our foot in the door, and we were never going to get that door slammed on us again,” Artus said. “Not all problems were solved, but like everything in history, there’s a starting point. Things don’t magically change. … This is an opportunity to talk more in depth about women’s history, so to just ignore this anniversary, seems like a really big missed opportunity. … When a little girl or little boy opens up their first history book, oftentimes, women’s history is not is not there as much, and that instantly creates a problem for a little girl about her self-esteem when she doesn’t see herself. Our stories are different; they’re unique because our role in society was different, but they’re every bit as important.” Singer-songwriter Carter Sampson and poet Angie LaPaglia are scheduled to perform. Artus will return to Oklahoma, the 33rd state to ratify the 19th Amendment, in May to sew on the stripe created by OKC artist Denise Duong. Visit herflag.com.
Her Flag 2020: 2020: Sewing of the Star Field 2:30-4 p.m. Jan. 18 Oklahoma History Center 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive herflag.com Free-$7
O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J A N U A R Y 8 , 2 0 2 0
T H E AT E R
ARTS & CULTURE
Controversial Tony Award-winning musical Miss Saigon brings a 42-person cast and a three-ton helicopter to OKC. By Jeremy Martin
When Brandon Block first saw Miss Saigon, he was “taken aback by how much of a spectacle it was.” When he first performed onstage in the controversial Tony Award-winning musical, its most famous spectacular set piece almost knocked him down. Presented by OKC Broadway, Miss Saigon runs Jan. 14-19 in Thelma Gaylord Performing Arts Theatre at Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave. The nationally touring revival production of the musical features a 26-foot-tall, three-ton flying helicopter landing and taking off onstage in a recreation of the 1975 Fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War. “I really never get used to it,” Block, who serves as the production’s dance captain and swing, said. “You can feel the wind coming at you. … It’s crazy how far technology in theater has evolved. Night after night, I look back at this thing and I’m in constant shock that there’s a helicopter coming at me being pushed by no one. You can feel it. … You can see the lights. … It’s just completely insane to me, still to this day. We’ve done 440 performances, and I look back, and I’m still in constant shock of what’s happening.” While the helicopter’s act two appearance is a potential showstopper, Block said the “very cinematic” effect does not detract from the musical’s storyline, in which Kim (Emily Bautista), a 17-year-old Vietnamese orphan, watches helplessly from the ground as the helicopter carries away the American soldier who promised to take her with him. “I really feel like the helicopter has its moment, and it happens and it’s gone,” Block said. “By the time the helicopter comes on stage, the actors have set up this entire world around the helicopter possibly landing. … By the time the helicopter lands, you’re so taken aback by not only the scenic elements, but by the music that’s being played and by the performance that the actors are giving. … In the rehearsal room where there’s not a helicopter … I still was moved to tears because you see these people doing absolutely anything to try and get in because they’re trying to start a life and also to save themselves.” Based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly, composer Claude-Michel Schönberg and lyricist Alain Boublil’s Miss Saigon is the tragic story of Kim’s doomed relationship Emily Bautista plays Kim and Anthony Festa plays Chris in Miss Saigon. | Photo Matthew Murphy / provided
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with U.S. solider Chris (Anthony Festa) after they meet in a nightclub and brothel called Dreamland. When Miss Saigon debuted on London’s West End in 1989 and on Broadway in 1991, the musical was criticized for its casting — white British actor Jonathan Pryce originally played Dreamland’s Eurasian overlord The Engineer — and its depiction of Asian culture. The current production, according to its press materials, features actors of Asian descent playing every Asian character, including Red Concepción, who plays The Engineer. In July, Los Angeles Times critic Margaret Gray wrote that Miss Saigon has “gotten less culturally insensitive over its lifetime” but “still portrays the Vietnam War and its aftermath from an American point of view.” In a 2017 interview with American Theatre’s Diep Than, Qui Nguyen called the musical a “melodramatic white-savior fantasia claptrap.” Despite continued debates over the musical, Block said he thinks people need to know that people like Kim, who is left in the aftermath of the war to care for the child she conceived with Chris, really exist. “I understand the controversy, but the problem is that we’re telling a story that happened, a story that doesn’t get told often, a story that can help, good or bad, shed light and understanding on what war does to you,” Block said. “It’s just a story that I still feel very much needs to be told today.” In order to help the
cast understand the reality of the war, director Laurence Connor showed them films and had them write a final letter to a loved one from the perspective of their characters, Block said. “We spent three full days of the rehearsal period doing nothing but watching war documentaries from both the American and the Vietnamese perspective,” Block said. “[Connor] made us really dive in and do the research of what story we want to be telling and who we are in the world of Miss Saigon. … I actually ended up going to Vietnam on one of our layoffs. I went to Vietnam and Thailand just because I wanted to get more understanding. And I went to the War Remnants Museum, I saw the Hueys (military helicopters). I saw the propaganda. I saw the Vietnamese perspective. I spoke to Vietnamese people. It’s hard — being in America, it’s not something that we talked about often, and in schools, it’s very short. Even my stepfather served in Vietnam, and it’s something that he couldn’t talk about to me. So I feel like that war in particular made me fully realize what war does to a country, both in Vietnam and also here. … To experience that eight shows a week, my understanding has grown so much.”
Block said the production — which features a 42-person cast and requires 10 trailers to transport it — is a “monster.” As dance captain, Block, who graduated from University of Oklahoma in 2016, is responsible for teaching Bob Avian’s choreography for the musical to its cast members, and as a swing, he has to know the parts of 21 cast members well enough to replace them at a moment’s notice. “We had the flu go through our company in one of the cities we were in, and we had 14 people out,” Block said. “It’s my job to figure out how I can give you guys the exact same show with the people I have. … It’s not just learning as a dance captain from the movement perspective, but it’s a lot of management because you’re dealing with 42 personalities
Red Concepción plays The Engineer in Miss Saigon. | Photo Matthew Murphy / provided
every day. It’s a lot of front work because they’re sending me the people that they cast, and I teach them the show from start to end.” Block said he has not been compared to the domineering Engineer, but his knowledge of the show has earned him a different nickname. “When they give me new people, I sing the entire show by myself in a rehearsal hall,” Block said. “It’s me, a rehearsal pianist and whoever I’m putting in. I sing the entire show, all parts, from beginning to end. … It’s so funny, people sometimes call me Mr. Saigon.” For all its glamor and spectacle, Block said, Miss Saigon depicts ugly truths about the realities of war, and though exploitation features heavily in the plot, the production takes steps to ensure the actors onstage do not feel taken advantage of. “We stick a lot of young people enlisted in the army out in a new country, and it’s a free-for-all; you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Block said. “They’re going out; they’re trying to escape. They’re trying to really shake off what’s happening around them, and they’re doing whatever they need to do that within their lives. I don’t feel that we’re trying to create any sort of unauthentic feeling from the audience, especially in Dreamland. A lot of is based in improv, and one thing that the audience doesn’t know is that we have a very clear check-in system. The ladies are in control. … To be honest, we’re a year and a half in, and I have not received a single complaint because we’re talking. … We’re existing in that world, but we’re also checking in with each other.” Tickets are $27.16-$102.33. Call 405594-8300 or visit okcbroadway.com.
Miss Saigon Jan. 14-19 Civic Center Music Hall 201 N. Walker Ave. okcbroadway.com | 405-594-8300 $27.16-$102.33
Around OKC EAT any grilled pork dish at Magasin Table WATCH Awards Season Previews at Oklahoma City Museum of Art LISTEN Localites OKC READ Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke
in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh LOVE Wondervan Pops
EXPERIENCE Roxy’s Ice Cream Social
Outside OKC Whisk Crêpes Café in Dallas, Texas EAT Schitt$ Creek on Netflix WATCH Heavyweight podcast LISTEN The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead READ Tortilla Land cook-and-serve tortillas LOVE Robbers Cave State Park EXPERIENCE
Rachael Leonhart ’s Picks EAT Anything from Gun Izakaya WATCH Lyric Theatre’s production of The Rocky Horror Show LISTEN “BFF” by Chair Model READ Bluefishing: : The Art of Making Things Happen
by Steve Sims
LOVE Mutt Misfits Animal Rescue and Mike Stuart and
Bruce Hall’s Miller Neighborhood house parties
EXPERIENCE Live! on the Plaza every 2nd Friday of the month
in 16th Street Plaza District
Rachael Leonhart focuses on community engagement for Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma and has helped plan local festivals such as Plaza District Festival, Arts Council Oklahoma City’s Opening Night, Festival of the Arts and Oklahoma City Pride.
LOCALITES OKC | IMAGE PROVIDED • HEARTLAND: A MEMOIR OF WORKING HARD AND BEING BROKE IN THE RICHEST COUNTRY ON EARTH BY SARAH SMARSH | IMAGE SIMON & SCHUSTER / PROVIDED DD ROXY’S ICE CREAM SOCIAL | PHOTO GAZETTE / FILE • SCHITT$ CREEK (NETFLIX) | IMAGE NETFLIX / CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION / PROVIDED • HEAVYWEIGHT PODCAST | IMAGE GIMLET MEDIA / PROVIDED • THE NICKEL BOYS BY COLSON WHITEHEAD | IMAGE PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE / PROVIDED • RACHAEL CRAWFORD LEONHART | PHOTO PROVIDED • GUN IZAKAYA | PHOTO ALEXA ACE BLUEFISHING: THE ART OF MAKING THINGS HAPPEN BY STEVE SIMS | IMAGE SIMON & SCHUSTER / PROVIDED O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J A N U A R Y 0 8 , 2 0 2 0
CALENDAR are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.
BOOKS Comic Book Club meet up to discuss Alan Moore’s Watchmen, 3-4 p.m. Jan. 12. Literati Press Comics & Novels, 3010 Paseo St., 405-882-7032, literatipressok.com. SUN LGBTQ+ Book Club meet to discuss On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong, 6-8 p.m. Jan . 15. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. WED Mid-Oklahoma Writers a meetup for local writers featuring guest speakers and literary discussions, 7-9 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month. Eastside Church of Christ, 916 S. Douglas Blvd., 405-732-0393. TUE Naomi Hughes book signing the author will autograph copies of her books Refraction and Afterimage, noon-1:30 p.m. Jan. 11. Best of Books, 1313 E. Danforth Road, 405-340-9202, bestofbooksok.com. SAT Read the West Book Club join a discussion of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, 1-2:30 p.m. Jan. 12. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. SUN Robin McMurry book signing the author and professor of nursing will autograph copies of her book A Postmortem of Grief: Understanding the Emotional and Neurobiological Natureof Loss, 3 p.m. Jan. 11. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. SAT 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., 405-307-9320, pasnorman.org. SUN
FILM Honey Boy (2019, USA, Alma Har’el) Shia LaBeouf (who also wrote the screenplay) stars in this dramatic film about a child actor’s difficult coming-ofage, through Jan. 9. Rodeo Cinema, 2221 Exchange Ave., 405-235-3456. MON-THU Red Dog singer-songwriter Luke Dick and Casey Pinkston direct this documentary about OKC topless bar the Red Dog Saloon, through Jan. 9. Rodeo Cinema, 2221 Exchange Ave., 405-235-3456. MON-THU Sundance Film Festival Shorts Tour a selection of seven short films from the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Jan. 14. Rodeo Cinema, 2221 Exchange Ave., 405-235-3456. TUE
HAPPENINGS Cocktails with Creatives a meet-up and networking event for creative people, 5:30-7 p.m. Jan. 9. Parlor, 11 NE Sixth St., 405-294-4740, parlorokc.com. THU Date with the Duke eat a buffet dinner prepared by The Petroleum Club and watch 1969 film True Grit introduced by John Wayne’s granddaughter Anita La Cava, 6-9 p.m. Jan. 10. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. FRI Devon Ice Rink ice stake in the Myriad Botanical Gardens and enjoy seasonal food and beverages., Mondays-Sundays. through Feb. 2. Devon Ice Rink, 100 N. Robinson Ave., 405-708-6499, downtownindecember.com/devon-ice-rink. FRI-SUN Drag Me to Bingo bingo night hosted by Teabaggin Betsy, 9 p.m. Tuesdays. Partners, 2805 NW 36th St., 405-942-2199, partners4club.com. TUE Growing Food Co-ops Together Uprooted & Rising Norman Students for Food Justice hosts a conversation about establishing community food solutions in Oklahoma, noon-2 p.m. Jan. 11. Nappy Roots, 3705 Springlake Drive, 405-896-0203, facebook.com/pg/ nappyrootsbooks. SAT The Happy Hour a monthly meet-up and networking event for professional women with guest presenters and drinks from Anthem Brewing Company, 5-6:30 p.m. second Wednesday of every month. The Treasury, 10 N. Lee Ave., Suite 100, 325-660-2264. WED Jackbox.tv Game Night play interactive party games with host Alex Sanchez, 8-10 p.m. Mondays. Oak & Ore, 1732 NW. 16th St., 405-606-2030, oakandore.com. MON LIVE! on the Plaza join the Plaza District every second Friday for an art walk featuring artists, live music, shopping and more, 6-10 p.m. second Friday of every month. Plaza District, 1618 N. Gatewood Ave., 405-426-7812, plazadistrict.org. FRI New Year, New Job Young Nonprofit Professionals Network will offer information and advice for job hunters, 6-7:30 p.m. Jan. 14. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. TUE OKC Boat & RV Show see new models of boats and recreational vehicles, hunting, fishing and camping gear and more, Jan. 10-12, Jan. 10-12. Oklahoma State Fair Park, 3220 Great Plains Walk, 405-9486700, okstatefair.com. FRI Oklahoma City Pow Wow Club New Years Dance the Tulsa Indian Club co-hosts a day of dancing featuring Comanche Little Ponies, Redmoon Gourd Dance Society and more, 1-11 p.m. Jan. 11. Bridgestone Intermediate School, 1700 S. Council, 405-350-3410. SAT Oklahoma Observer Newmakers Observer editor Arnold Hamilton and People Not Politicians director Andy Moore discuss State Question 804, which would establish an independent redistricting commission that would end partisan gerrymandering, 6-7 p.m. Jan. 9. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. THU
deadCenter Okie Shorts’ Free Screenings Celebrate 20 years of locally sourced cinema with two different screenings of Oklahoma-made short films selected from deadCenter’s extensive collection. The screenings are 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Rodeo Cinema, 2221 Exchange Ave. Admission is free. Call 405-815-3275 or visit rodeocinema.org.to RSVP. SUNDAY Photo bigstock.com Paseo Neighborhood Social the Paseo Neighborhood Association hosts a monthly get together, 6-8:30 p.m. Jan. 9. Chick N Beer, 715 NW 23rd St., 405-605-5272, chicknbeerokc.com. THU 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 Renegade Poker compete in a 2-3 hour tournament with cash prizes, 3 p.m. Sundays. Bison Witches Bar & Deli, 211 E Main St., Norman, 405-3647555, bisonwitchesok.com. SUN
FOOD OKC Farmers Market a year round farmers market featuring fresh produce, honey, baked goods, meat, hand made goods and more., Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. OKC Farmers Market, 311 S. Klein Ave., 4054860701, okcfarmersmarket.com. SAT Vegan Chili Cookoff taste and judge chili from several local restaurants, noon-3 p.m. Jan. 11. Anthem Brewing Company, 908 SW Fourth St., 405-6040446, anthembrewing.com. SAT
YOUTH Beginning Martial Arts Classes students ages 7 and older can learn martial arts from instructor Darrell Sarjeant at this weekly class, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Thursdays. Nappy Roots, 3705 Springlake Drive, 405896-0203, facebook.com/pg/nappyrootsbooks. 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 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
PERFORMING ARTS Art of Rap hosted by Jim Conway, this monthly rap battle pits local MCs against one another for a cash prize, 9 p.m. Mondays. Hubbly Bubbly Hookah & Café, 2900 N. Classen Blvd. Suite K, 405-609-2930. MON 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 Carousel carnival barker Billy Bigelow is allowed to return to earth 15 years after his death to offer hope to his wife and daughter in this musical, Jan. 9-12, Jan. 9-12. Upstage Theatre and Performing Arts Studio, 844 W Danforth Road, 405-285-5803, upstagetheatreok.com. THU-SUN
A Thin Place: Conceptual Fine Art Photography According to her artist’s statement, this exhibition of Lauren Midgley’s surrealist self portraits explores the narrow realm between the real and the magical, “where truth abides, both beautiful and violent.” The exhibition’s opening reception, featuring live music by Nuclear Okra, is 6-9 p.m. Friday at The Depot Gallery, 200 S. Jones Ave., in Norman. Midgley discusses her work 2 p.m. Jan. 26. And a closing reception will be held 6-9 p.m. Feb. 14. All events are free. Call 405-307-9320 or visit pasnorman.org. THROUGH FEB. 14 Photo Lauren Midgley / provided
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Category Is a monthly variety show hosted by Tilly Screams and Robin Banks, 10 p.m.-midnight second Saturday of every month. Frankie’s, 2807 NW 36th St., 405-602-2030, facebook.com/frankiesokc. SAT An Evening of Stellar Stories: Best of the OKC StorySLAM a showcase of recent favorites from previous StorySlams followed by an open mic competition, 8-10 p.m. Jan. 10. Saints, 1715 NW 16th St., 405-602-6308, saintspubokc.com. FRI Magrill on a Monday composer and flautist Mira Magrill will perform with soprano Pamela Richman, cellist Tess Remy-Schumacher and violinist Hong
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Zhu, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 13. UCO Jazz Lab, 100 E. Fifth St., 405-359-7989, ucojazzlab.com. MON Minimalism in a New World the Oklahoma City Philharmonic will perform works by Frank Zappa, Philip Glass and Antonín Dvořák, 8-10 p.m. Jan. 11. Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave., 405-2972264, okcciviccenter.com. SAT 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 Two Guys Singing More Songs baritones Rob Glaubitz and Mat Govich perform musical theater solos and duets with pianist Mariann Searle, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14. UCO Jazz Lab, 100 E. Fifth St., Edmond, 405-359-7989, ucojazzlab.com. TUE Why Not? Comedy Show Jabee hosts a standup comedy showcase featuring Demetrius “Juice” Deason and benefitting Boys & Girls Club Oklahoma County, 7 p.m. Jan. 10. Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., 405-708-6937, towertheatreokc.com. FRI
ACTIVE Beer Yoga bring your own mat to this workout session that ends with a beer, 11 a.m.-noon Jan. 11. COOP Ale Works Tap Room, 4745 Council Heights Road, 405-842-2667, coopaleworks.com. SAT Co-ed Open Adult Volleyball enjoy a game of friendly yet competitive volleyball while making new friends, 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays. Jackie Cooper Gymnasium, 1024 E. Main St., Yukon, 405-350-8920, cityofyukon.gov. WED Monday Night Group Ride meet up for a weekly 25-30 minute bicycle ride at about 18 miles per hour through east Oklahoma City, 6 p.m. Mondays. The Bike Lab OKC, 2200 W. Hefner Road, 405-603-7655. MON
Open Badminton hit some birdies in some morning pick-up games of badminton with friends, 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays. Jackie Cooper Gymnasium, 1024 E. Main St., Yukon, 405-350-8920, cityofyukon. gov. SAT 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 Yoga Tuesdays an all-levels class; bring your own water and yoga mat, 5:45 p.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405445-7080, myriadgardens.com. 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 Articulation work on your art or craft project with other creators at this weekly meet-up; bring your
MyOhMy A Drag Show Extravaganza! This extravagant event offers you the rare chance to see drag performances of hits by Cher, Lady Gaga and Tina Turner; eat some bar food; and play Whack-a-mole all in the same evening. The show is 7:30-10 p.m. Saturday at Dave & Buster’s, 5501 N. May Ave. Tickets are $35. Visit myohmytheshow.com SATURDAY
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own supplies and clean up after yourself, 6:30-10 p.m. Thursdays. Little D Gallery, 3003 Paseo, 720-773-1064. THU
Colors of Clay an exhibition of clay pots, bowls, pitchers and jars created by Native American artists, Through May 10, 2021. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. FRI-THU Composite Photography: Dark Worlds, New Realities view photographic works created by Oklahoma artist Sharon Burris, through Jan. 24. Inasmuch Foundation Gallery at Oklahoma City Community College, 7777 S. May Avenue, 405-682-7579. THU-FRI D.J. Lafon exhibition view paintings by the Oklahoma artist who died in 2011, Through Feb. 29. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, jrbartgallery.com. FRI-SAT Magic of the Land: Paintings an exhibition of works by Carol Beesley, Jim Keffer, and Karl Brenner, through Feb. 11. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. TUE Renewing the American Spirit: The Art of the Great Depression an exhibition of paintings, prints, photographs and more created in the 1930s, through April 26. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. SAT-SUN 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., 405-637-6225, downtownnorman.com. FRI Until We Organize: The Struggle for the Equal Rights Amendment an exhibition of photographs chronicling Oklahoma’s battle over the ERA, through Nov. 30, 2020, Through Nov. 30. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory. org. MON-THU
“Mischief and mayhem and laughter galore, bring the kids, they’ll clamor for more!” Based on the Book by Dr. Seuss
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.
Play originally produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain. Adapted & originally directed by Katie Mitchell. A co-production with Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma and Adventure Theatre MTC.
Live On Stage! January 23 – February 9 Weekday and Weekend Performances Available! Charge Tickets Instantly at LyricTheatreOKC.org or (405) 524-9312 Discounts for 8 or more • E-Mail: Groups@LyricTheatreOKC.org for priority seating.
For OKG live music
see page 24 O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J A N U A R Y 8 , 2 0 2 0
Husbands plays 8 p.m. Jan. 18 at Tower Theatre. | Photo Madi Rae Jones / provided
Husbands’ After the Gold Rush Party finds inspiration after 30. By Jeremy Martin
In 2015, Husbands released Golden Year. Five years and about 70 discarded songs later, the OKC duo is ready to release the follow-up. Husbands celebrates the release of After the Gold Rush Party 8 p.m. Jan. 18 at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St. The collection of bright, Strokes- and Beach Boys-influenced garage pop started out as a “batch of Nirvana-inspired songs.” “At the moment we finished our last album and even a month before, we were trying to get another set of songs done, and we’ve gone through tons of iterations of albums,” Danny Davis said. “We had a bit of a grunge album going for a while. We were inspired by Day Wave and dream pop bands for a while and started trying to write some dream-pop songs, and then we went through a Talking Heads sort of phase. I feel like there are, like, four albums that we basically made on the way to this one. … It was basically a matter of both of us kind of getting to a point where we thought
we were actually saying something and the songs got to a point where they felt like they were growth from what we’ve done before.” What Husbands wanted to talk about was growth — specifically balancing personal growth and maturity with creativity after turning 30. “It’s a number that causes you to reflect on the differences between the times before,” Davis said. “All the songs do kind of touch on the theme of trying to understand yourself as time has gone on. You’re basically asking yourself, ‘Are you an adult now?’ You don’t feel much different, but things are different.” Fellow Husband Wil Norton agreed. “I think it’s kind of natural that a lot of the work does reflect this period of life,” Norton said. “I think ultimately we’re just kind of reflecting on the changing nature of our lives. I’ve had a daughter in the last three years, and I’m kind of taking on responsibilities and trying to kind of figure out how to ne-
gotiate, just, ‘How do you be a creative person? How do you keep writing and kind of filtering your life through your songs as you get older?’” Though Norton and Davis originally chose the album’s name because they thought it was funny to “rip off” a classic Neil Young title, it ultimately fit the theme. “If there is some kind of gold rush, we’re celebrating something that happens after the gold rush happened,” Norton said. “We’re enjoying this time of life but also being aware we’re getting older and we kind of see things differently, coming to terms with professional lives and family responsibility as well. … We’re trying to keep excitement and glee about writing music.” Maintaining their excitement for songwriting led Davis and Norton to take a more thoughtful and studied approach to music making.
How do you be a creative person? How do you keep writing and kind of filtering your life through your songs as you get older? Wil Norton “We’re both pretty prolific as songwriters, and our old model of songwriting was very much just put out a song at a time,” Norton said. “We didn’t really necessarily care much if the songs were cohesive from one to the next. And I think, naturally, we were trying to put together an album where we really tried to hold ourselves to a higher standard with sound quality. I think that was a bigger focus on this album. We wanted the album to sound pretty good. So I think with both of those things happening, it caused us to work and rework.” Reworking the songs inevitably caused the duo to reconsider some of them entirely. “As a result of not being satisfied with the sound, we would eventually tire of that song, basically,” Davis said. “We were waiting for ourselves to get better at recording almost to the point that the songs would become stale, and by necessity of wanting to stay inspired, we’d just keep writing songs and the newer ones outdid the better ones as we went along and naturally kept weeding out the older ones.” Some of the oldest songs did make the cut, but the album’s overall theme did not become entirely apparent until toward the end of the recording sessions. “As time went on, some songs made sense as part of the story, and others kind of stopped making sense,” Norton After the Gold Rush Party will be released Jan. 14. | Image provided
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said. “There was a lot of experimentation along the way and messing around a lot, too. “We’ve got songs that are as old as four years old on this album that have been kind of worked and reworked over that period of time. Hopefully, they’re cohesive with the rest of the album, but really it wasn’t until some of the last songs that we finished that I think we felt comfortable saying, ‘OK, now we have a statement. We have an album that has kind of a meaning to it.’” One of those songs is “Speed Racer,” inspired by pioneering, Buddy Hollyobsessed producer Joe Meek, who killed his landlady and himself on February 3, 1967 — the eighth anniversary of Holly’s death. “He constantly had these dreams that Buddy Holly was talking to him and telling him to do a good job,” Davis said. “So I thought it’s a cool idea if, ‘What if this guy is talking to you, kind of guiding you from beyond, artistically?’ Then there’s that song ‘American Pie’ by Don McLean, and he talks about ‘the day the music died,’ which was referring to Buddy Holly dying. … He’s kind of bemoaning the loss of something that he used to relate to, bemoaning the loss of his idols. The song’s kind of just about trying to make something that people that you admire would be proud of while also trying to be a person that people would be proud of — like your parents or something like that — continuing to be a regular person at the same time, and talking about the difference between those two kind of lives.” The subject matter might have changed over the course of the album’s creation, but Davis and Norton — currently reunited in OKC after long-distance collaboration from Seattle; Washington, D.C.; and Costa Rica — continue to find inspiration in their creative conversations. “A lot of times, the song we write may end up being like we found a language that we want to explore,” Norton said. “Maybe there’s a certain kind of guitar sound or certain kind of lyrical themes or certain kinds of drum machine-type rhythms or real rhythms that we think are cool, and we’ll text each other all the time and talk about the language and the sort of rules we want to work with going forward. We’re always trying to kind of create a game for ourselves. … I think we are pretty good about trying to keep our ego out of things and trying to be open to critique and open to revision. I think it’s super fun and super easy.” Tickets are $8-$13. LCG & the X and Lust share the bill. Call 405-708-6937 or visit towertheatreokc.com.
Husbands 8 p.m. Jan. 18 Tower Theatre 425 NW 23rd St. towertheatreokc.com | 405-708-6937 $8-$13
The Medicine MAN
Black Flag plays 8 p.m. Jan. 16 at 89th Street – OKC. | Photo Rob Wallace / provided
Black Flag’s current incarnation plays 89th Street — OKC. By Jeremy Martin
When Mike Vallely began touring as frontman of Black Flag in late 2013, he replaced former vocalist Ron Reyes mid-show following reports of innerband conflicts and the worst-reviewed album in the seminal hardcore band’s discography. Perhaps not surprisingly, Vallely said he is enjoying the current tour more. “Generally, it’s been a lot better on many fronts — better attendance, greater interest in what we’re doing,” Vallely said, “but also, speaking for me personally, I think I’m just better at performance, maybe more confident or more tuned-in.” Black Flag plays 8 p.m. Jan. 16 at 89th Street – OKC, 8911 N. Western Ave. Though Henry Rollins, who fronted the band for classic albums Damaged and My War, is probably the band’s best known frontman, Black Flag has had five vocalists since its founding in 1976 — including Reyes, who fronted the band in 1981 documentary The Decline of Western Civilization, and original vocalist Keith Morris (Circle Jerks, Off!), who can be heard on 1979 debut Nervous Breakdown. Before becoming the vocalist for Black Flack, Vallely, a professional skateboarder, fronted Mike V & the Rats and Good for You, which featured guitarist Greg Ginn, Black Flag’s primary songwriter and only continuous member. Vallely said he enjoyed his first tour with the band, but he feels more comfortable in the frontman role and “having a lot more fun with it.” Though “fun” might not be the first thing people associate with songs such as
“Depression” and “Life of Pain,” Vallely said he thinks the audience is having a good time. “I find the right moments or I do my best to find the right moments during the show to communicate that and put it across and share with it the audience,” Vallely said. “The big difference between when the band was active, say, in the early ’80s, mid-’80s, compared to now is this is a celebration of this music.” Vallely is well aware of what Black Flag’s music means to its fans — he has been one for decades. “There’s a history you’re dealing with; there’s a legacy,” Vallely said. “And it just so happens that this band is one of my favorite bands from when I was a young person. I saw them when I was 14. It was the first live music I ever saw. Henry Rollins was a huge inspiration and influence on me, and I mean that in the most positive way. People who have a negative viewpoint of what I’m doing or my participation in the band would just see that as sort of a strike against me, but it’s there. That’s not something I can get out from under, and that influence is very positive, very meaningful in my life. I definitely don’t consider myself an imitation or just trying to mimic what had previously occurred. … It would be just a cheap imitation if not for the fact that I lived these songs, I feel these songs, and I do bring my own essence to these songs. Maybe those are slight nuances that not everyone in the audience will pick up on, but I think people who are tuned-in do. … If you’re willing to spend a little more time and dig a little deeper, I think you’ll find that there’s a lot of things that I’m doing
vocally that are fresh to the material and true to me and are alive and breathing right here, right now, in this moment. Of course, that’s a lot for me to say, but I’m confirmed every night by the reaction we get from audiences.” Performing the songs he loves onstage night after night has given them a new significance. “Once you know a song, perform the song, live with the song, you’re always finding other levels to it, other depths,” Vallely said. “Great music continues to unfold, continues to be expansive and continues to inform. … It’s different every night from song to song, but every night, there’s usually a moment or two where I just really can connect on a greater level to a particular song and find a meaning that maybe isn’t something I could intellectually articulate, but emotionally or physically, it comes out in the performance. … It’s always an adventure.” In a 2013 LA Weekly column, Rollins wrote that he would not play “old music” because his “future is getting in the way of [his] past” and he has “moved on in search of new battles.” Vallely said Black Flag’s music is still finding relevance with fans, new and old.
Great music continues to unfold, continues to be expansive and continues to inform.
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Mike Vallely “The music and the band become very generational,” Vallely said. “We see a lot of audiences that are fathers and sons, families, that kind of thing. There’s a great interest. The songs live on. The music is a big part of young people’s lives today like it was for me when I was 14. … People see what they want to see in that kind of stuff — ‘Oh it’s just for the money,’ or, ‘What’s the point?’ — everyone’s got an opinion, but this is Greg’s music. He still greatly values it and cares about it and still loves playing it and would like to share it with people. Is he interested in going backwards and doing a reunion tour with old band members? Not likely, but does he feel that there’s an opportunity to play the old songs and somehow make it expansive and move it forward in some way, even if it’s just old material? I think he does or he wouldn’t be doing it.” The Linecutters share the bill. Tickets are $20-$25. Visit 89thstreetokc.com.
Black Flag 8 p.m. Jan. 16 89th Street – OKC 8911 N. Western Ave. 89thstreetokc.com
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This documentary tells the story of the infamous topless bar in Oklahoma City, the Red Dog Saloon. The film, which premiered at 2019 SXSW Film Festival and deadCenter Film Festival, was directed by singersongwriter Luke Dick and Casey Pinkston.
When 12-year-old Otis begins to find success as a television star, his abusive, alcoholic father returns and takes over as his guardian, and their contentious relationship is followed over a decade. Written and starring Shia LaBeouf.
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RESOLUTION Lean Meat Grilled Chicken Hummus Chef Salads Caesar Salads w/ Grilled Chicken
These are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.
Sensible Shoes/The Branches/Speak, Memory, 51st Street Speakeasy. ROCK
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 8
Smells Like Nirvana/Alice Unchained, Diamond Ballroom. COVER
Amarillo Junction, JJ’s Alley Bricktown Pub. ACOUSTIC
SUNDAY, JAN. 12
Enuff Znuff, Oklahoma City Limits. COVER
Celtic Jam, Full Circle Bookstore. FOLK
John Carlton & Kyle Reid, The Winston. SINGER/
Hosty, The Deli. ROCK
Stary/Mad Honey/Stepmom, The Paramount Room. ROCK
THEATRE SHOWING INDEPENDENT, FOREIGN, AND
Radolescents/The Killings/Treason 58, 89th StreetOKC. PUNK
The Simoleans, Full Circle Bookstore. AMERICANA
Rick Toops, Hollywood Corners. ROCK
OKC’S UNIQUE NONPROFIT ART HOUSE MOVIE
Kyle Dillingham & Horseshoe Road, UCO Jazz Lab. COUNTRY/FOLK
Peter Asher, The Blue Door. FOLK/ROCK Rubes/Dinosaur Boyfriend/Superabundance, 51st Street Speakeasy. ROCK
THURSDAY, JAN. 9
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Chuck Prophet Singer-songwriter and Green on Red guitarist Chuck Prophet has worked with Alejandro Escovedo, Warren Zevon, Lucinda Williams and Aimee Mann. West Virginia Public Broadcasting called him “a rock and roll romantic,” and 2019 single “High as Johnny Thunders” sounds like all of those things, which is to say pretty good. The show is 8 p.m. Jan. 19 at The Blue Door, 2805 N. McKinley Ave. Tickets are $20. Call 405-524-0738 or visit bluedoorokc.com. JAN. 19 Photo Karen Doolittle / provided
Showtimes & Tickets at Rodeocinema.org 2221 Exchange Avenue, OKC 405-235- 3456 (FILM)
M-F 7am-6:30pm • Sat 9:30am-4pm 2310 N Western 524-0887
Adam Miller, Kendell’s. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Typesetter/Dinosaur Boyfriend/Rubes, 51st Street Speakeasy. PUNK
Austin Meade, Ponyboy. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Wes Collins, The Depot. FOLK/POP
Hot House Band, Othello’s Italian Restaurant. JAZZ Jarrod Turner, Chisholm’s Saloon. COUNTRY Shelly Phelps & Dylan Nagode, Jazmo’z Bourbon St. Café. ACOUSTIC
FRIDAY, JAN. 10 Bad Influence, 40 West Bar & Grill. COVER Evan Phillips & the Outsiders, Okie Tonk Café. COUNTRY
FuzzyBullet/OBE/Sick Nick, Bison Witches Bar & Deli. ELECTRONIC George Nussbaum, Full Circle Bookstore. ACOUSTIC
MONDAY, JAN. 13 Jason Hunt and Preston Ware, Sean Cumming’s Irish Restaurant. FOLK
TUESDAY, JAN. 14 Country Clique, Friends Restaurant & Club. COUNTRY Kyle Reid, Scratch Kitchen & Cocktails. SINGER/ SONGWRITER
Maurice Johnson, Mary Eddy’s Kitchen & Lounge. JAZZ
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 15
J and the Bishops/Jason Scott/Twiggs, 51st Street Speakeasy. COVER
Amarillo Junction, JJ’s Alley Bricktown Pub.
Jessie Joice Band/The Hunter Thomas Band, The Deli. COUNTRY
John Carlton & Kyle Reid, The Winston. SINGER/
Neal McCoy, Riverwind Casino. COUNTRY Randy Coyne’s Jazz Cartel, Grand House. JAZZ
SATURDAY, JAN. 11 Crooked Vinyl/Strange Machine/Cranial Spaghetti, Red Brick Bar. ROCK Josh Abbott Band, The Criterion. COUNTRY Out of Sane, Katt’s Cove. COVER Peter Asher, The Blue Door. FOLK/ROCK
J A N U A R Y 8 , 2 0 2 0 | 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 email@example.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.
GO TO OKGAZETTE.COM FOR FULL LISTINGS!
THE HIGH CULTURE
An event intended to be a roundtable discussion about proposed constitutional amendments largely became an anti-State Question 807 planning session. By Matt Dinger
A proposed roundtable session to discuss the ballot initiative petition became an anti-State Question 807 session when authors and proponents of that initiative failed to show and the writer of State Question 808 walked out after reading his proposed constitutional amendment. About 100 people showed up for the discussion, held at the CBD Plus headquarters, 4001 SW 119th St., on Friday evening. It was also livestreamed through Facebook for the duration. Video of the session, which lasted about two and a half hours, is still available online. Leigh Ann Bryson acted as the facilitator for the event. She led the group through an introductory discussion. She opened the discussion by requesting input from the audience on the current state of the Oklahoma medical cannabis program and opinions about these adult-use, or recreational, petitions. The crowd was almost universally opposed to SQ807.
There’s a lot of miscommunication because we all have different interests and why we’re here, as you can already hear. Leigh Ann Bryson “I feel like corporations are trying to take advantage of patients. I think we’ve got corporate PACs coming in from out of state that have screwed other states over and we need to come together as patients and fight the hell out of this,” Chelsea Marlett-Kennedy said. Marlett-Kennedy is a grassroots cannabis activist who was involved in getting State Question 788 on the ballot and passed. “[State Question]788 was written by committee. There were meetings across the state. We all came together; we wrote [SQ]788. I don’t think the Oklahoma cannabis community is going to want anything less. That’s just my opinion,” she said. “For the first time you’re in Oklahoma, you see a small business school that is taking families and putting money in their pockets. You’re starting to see generational changes and people being able to afford education. This is a big deal. It’s an opportu-
nity of a lifetime and it is one of the best medical states I’ve ever been to,” Jeremy Cooper said. Cooper is a chef and research scientist who spent years in Washington before coming to Oklahoma to work in its cannabis industry. He successfully used cannabis to fight stage four cancer. After gathering initial input, some attendees started getting impatient. Many mistakenly assumed that Bryson was a proponent or author of SQ807. When she revealed that she was not and had only assumed the role based on her previous arbitration experience, a small revolt ensued. Many people who were in attendance, like Paul Tay, who wrote SQ808, were under the impression that those behind SQ807 would be appearing to defend and explain their ballot initiative. “I don’t know if you guys realize that there’s actually two state questions. I filed State Question 808 right after, 15 minutes after they got in. [SQ]808 is a reaction to 807. I’m not pushing anything. I’m just reacting to what they’re doing. My understanding of why I’m here tonight is I was led to believe that we were going to have [SQ]807 people here and the [SQ]808 people here, me, to debate and pitch our particular bills and go from there,” Tay said. “Where is the 807 authors? Where is Ryan Kiesel? Where is the ACLU? Where is the PAC that are backing them? Where are they tonight?” Marlett-Kennedy asked. “There’s a lot of miscommunication because we all have different interests and why we’re here, as you can already hear. Some came to hear [SQ]807; some came to hear the people who wrote the bill. Some people came to have their voice heard. A lot of different people came for different reasons. What I’m trying to do is find out, Is there a common ground for most people here that want to accomplish something tonight while you’re here in an hour, two hours? Do you want to talk about the bills? Do you want to dissect the bills?” Bryson said. Some who had driven up to three hours to attend and taken time off from their cannabis businesses became irate and expressed that they felt they had been misled about the nature of the event. A number stormed out at that point. Tay then read his proposed ballot initiative in full. Afterward, the crowd made arguments against it. “One of the reasons I wrote the way I wrote it on tape, I’m taking cues from
the US Constitution, the Federal Federalist Papers. … I’ve taken a cue from Ron Durbin, who told me, ‘Keep it brief; keep it flexible,’” Tay said. Durbin is a Tulsa-based cannabis attorney. He was not in attendance. “I was not going to come, but I’m here and now here, and what I’m hearing and what I’m seeing is exactly what I thought it was going to be,” Greg Wilson said. Wilson, AKA Chilly Mack, is one of the owners of Mr. Mack’s Cannabis Co., a popular brand that started as an edibles line. “It’s us trying to figure it out, right? But everything that I’m hearing is not figuring it out,” Wilson said. “We’re talking about [SQ]788 and how to improve [SQ]788 and the state of our industry here right now, and I see a bunch of influencers in this building. I see a bunch of key players in this building. So the people that can move the needle are here, but what we’re talking about isn’t moving the needle. We need to be talking about, What are we going to do about [SQ]807? Are we going to come together and vote no and educate the people? Are we going to create a competing initiative that’s just gonna waste time and then before we know it, they’re
Multiple attendees spoke up about their concerns at a roundtable session last week. | Photo Phillip Danner
already getting their signatures, it’s going to be on the ballot anyway. We need to focus on beating [SQ]807 and not what the state of the industry is right now.” At that point, Tay jumped in again, hinting at a challenge during the 10-day period after the proposed ballot initiative is published. He referred to it as “the cannabis nuclear option” but did not elaborate. Soon after, there was a break in the discussion during which a few dozen people left. The second half of the session was largely spent drafting ideas for a path forward along with a discussion directed by Shelley Free, former executive director of Oklahomans for Health, an organization that had a large role in the passage of SQ788. The discussion was abruptly ended at about 8:30 p.m. with about two dozen still participating.
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J A N U A R Y 8 , 2 0 2 0 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M
THE HIGH CULTURE
808 Second wave
State Question 806 was withdrawn, edited and refiled as State Question 807 and another recreational petition, State Question 808, was filed the same day. By Matt Dinger
Four days after withdrawing State Question 806, a modified version was again filed with the Oklahoma Secretary of State as State Question 807 and another party filed State Question 808 on the same day. This time, the state question included a cover letter from the firm Crowe & Dunlevy, signed by D. Kent Meyers and Melanie Wilson Rughani. Speculation had been rampant about who authored the proposed constitutional amendment along with American Civil Liberties Union executive director Ryan Kiesel, who along with Michelle Tilley, are the proponents who signed their names to SQ807. Tilley is the campaign manager for the ballot initiative. A press release that accompanied the refiling stated that the effort is “backed by stakeholders in Oklahoma and New Approach PAC, a national marijuana reform organization that has managed successful ballot initiative campaigns to legalize medical marijuana and adultuse marijuana in several other states.” New Approach is based in Washington D.C., and has raised about $19 million for cannabis reform initiatives since 2014, according to OpenSecrets. It was a proponent of Oregon’s initiative in 2014 as well as the successful 2016 recreational campaigns in California, Maine and Massachusetts and the 2018 petitions in Florida and Michigan, according to Ballotpedia. It will also be backing Nebraska’s medical cannabis petition drive in 2020 and was a supporter of the 2016 Arkansas medical cannabis petition, which made it to the ballot but whose votes were not
counted due to invalid signatures. The language of the proposed ballot title itself is mainly intact, with two changes to the first sentence, which reads, “This measure adds a new article to the Constitution, which would generally legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for adults 21+ under state law,” and a parenthetical clause that reads “but not alter the rights of medical marijuana licensees.” The second change is that the phrase, “It provides for local zoning of businesses” has been stricken, though the second portion of that sentence, “It permits municipalities, upon popular vote, to limit or prohibit retail licenses” remains intact. Under section 7, regarding rules and regulations, this passage has been added: “The Authority shall begin accepting applications for licensure within twelve months after the effective date of this article. For the first twentyfour months after the Authority begins to receive applications, the Authority shall only accept applications from and issue licenses to existing medical marijuana business licensees.” Stricken from SQ807 is the passage that states medical cannabis licensees are allowed to distribute to consumers without a license rather than solely medical cannabis patients. An expanded passage of one first found in SQ806 is repeated multiple times in SQ807. It reads, “Nothing in this section or this article may be construed to limit any privileges, rights, immunities or defenses of patients, medical marijuana licensees, or medical marijuana businesses or to change or
affect any law or regulation addressing marijuana for medical use or to apply any fine or other penalty to a patient. Any restrictions or limitations on persons or consumers set forth in this section or elsewhere in the article do not apply to patients, medical marijuana licensees, or medical marijuana businesses if the restriction or limitation is inconsistent with Oklahoma’s laws related to medical marijuana.” The other patient protections, civil penalties and tax structure (15 percent excise tax applying only to nonlicensed cannabis users) remain intact in the ballot initiative. Those opposed to the language of SQ806 celebrated a short-lived victory when news of its withdrawal began circulating Dec. 26, three days after its official withdrawal. Campaign manager Michelle Tilley said that they had planned to refile the petition on the same day but continued to work on the language revisions. It was filed with the Oklahoma Secretary of State the afternoon of Dec. 27 and placed online that day. Also, on Dec. 27, a separate ballot initiative petition was filed as SQ808 by Paul Tay. Tay has run unsuccessful campaigns twice for Tulsa City Council as well as being beaten in the 2018 primary of the Tulsa mayoral race. SQ808 is also a proposed addition to Article 31 of the Oklahoma Constitution. It is two pages long and contains 13 sections. The proposed ballot title reads, “This measure adds a new article to the Constitution, which would generally decriminalize cannabis, hemp, and all its related products for all persons. Specifically, it states the right of all persons to cultivate, consume, and consign for sale, barter, or charity of cannabis, and all its related products, while establishing the official State of Oklahoma policy on drug abuse as a public health issue, not in the purview of law enforcement or criminal justice system. The measure would enjoin all appropriate State Officials to establish the infrastructure for universal basic cannabis access, without regard of the ability to pay. No
Two cannabis ballot initiative petitions have been filed with the Oklahoma secretary of state. | Image Shutterstock.com
persons shall be denied employment, equal protection of law, right of self-defense by any available means, or be subjected to any adverse, punitive administrative actions by any State agency, or official, due to cannabis consumption. No persons shall be incarcerated, due to cannabis use, transfer to any other person or corporate entity, or transport to its final destination. All persons currently or formerly incarcerated for cannabis offenses, without any other violence related offences, shall be exonerated, released as free persons, and reparated for time served, to the fullest extent possible. No State official may assist federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act, or any other federal administrative rules prohibiting the same transactional access, as any other substances, such as alcohol, and tobacco. The measure establishes state-sponsored financial infrastructure to provide for easy, convenient transactions, quality control, and baseline standards for all cannabis, and related products. The measure provides for extensive public input when specific cases arise to require changes, to allow appropriate State officials to promulgate appropriate administrative rules and procedures to address future needs. The measure allows the State Legislature to impose a reasonable tax to the extent required to promulgate and implement all provisions of the measure, and for no other purposes.” All of the provisions of SQ808 are covered by the proposed ballot title. It would be effective 90 days after passage by a vote. Petitions will be required to be signed by 178,000 registered Oklahoma voters within a 90-day window. After signatures are verified, the questions would be placed on a ballot in the November 2020 general election.
O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J A N U A R Y 8 , 2 0 2 0
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Cannabis effects vary wildly from patient to patient based on a multitude of factors, including THC tolerance, brain chemistry and personal taste. This review is based on the subjective experience of one patient. Strain name: Orange Aid Grown by: Flaves Cannabis Co. OKC Acquired from: OC Goldleaf Date acquired: Dec. 24 THC/CBD percentages: 18.89 percent/.05 percent (per Express Toxicology Services) Physical traits: light green with some purpling and wiry orange stigmas, frosted with trichomes
extremely gassy and potent indicas, I have grown a bit of a taste for them. While it might not have a strong orange aroma, the taste is sweet and smooth and effects are similar, a strong cerebral high while also maintaining a strong body buzz. The feeling reminded me of Purple Punch, and the other strain of theirs I sampled, Platinum, even more so. Both are good for lazily accomplishing or actively resting, if that makes sense. Iâ€™m definitely curious about the other strains from Flaves OKC that I have seen around.
Bouquet: sweet and gassy Review: Flaves Cannabis Co. OKC is another grower that I had been watching via social media but had not had a chance to try yet. I noticed a burst of several of its strains hitting Oklahoma City metro dispensaries all at once and got my hands on a couple. I tend to chase strains that smell potently of orange and hoped this one be one of them since I recently ran out of both Orange Crush and Orange Velvet. While that turned out not to be so, the buds did smell as good as they looked. After a recent run of
J A N U A R Y 8 , 2 0 2 0 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M
Orange Aid | Photo Phillip Danner
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY Homework: Figure out how you might transform yourself in order for the world to give you what you yearn for. FreeWillAstrology.com ARIES (March 21-April 19)
When comedian John Cleese was 61, his mother died. She was 101. Cleese testifies, “Just towards the end, as she began to run out of energy, she did actually stop trying to tell me what to do most of the time.” I bet you’ll experience a similar phenomenon in 2020—only bigger and better. Fewer people will try to tell you what to do than at any previous time of your life. As a result, you’ll be freer to be yourself exactly as you want to be. You’ll have unprecedented power to express your uniqueness.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Renowned Taurus philosopher Bertrand Russell was sent to jail in 1918 because of his pacifism and anti-war activism. He liked being there. “I found prison in many ways quite agreeable,” he said. “I had no engagements, no difficult decisions to make, no fear of callers, no interruptions to my work. I read enormously; I wrote a book.” The book he produced, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, is today regarded as a classic. In 2020, I would love to see you Tauruses cave out an equally luxurious sabbatical without having to go through the inconvenience of being incarcerated. I’m confident you can do this.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
It’s common to feel attracted to people because of the way they look and dress and carry themselves. But here’s the problem: If you pursue an actual connection with someone whose appearance you like, there’s no guarantee it will turn out to be interesting and meaningful. That’s because the most important factor in becoming close to someone is not their cute face or body or style, but rather their ability to converse with you in ways you find interesting. And that’s a relatively rare phenomenon. As philosopher Mortimer Adler observed, “Love without conversation is impossible.” I bring these thoughts to your attention, Gemini, because I believe that in 2020 you could have some of the best conversations you’ve ever had—and as a result experience the richest intimacy.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) Mystic poet Rumi told us the kind of person he was attracted to. “I want a trouble-maker for a lover,” he wrote. “Blood spiller, blood drinker, a heart of flame, who quarrels with the sky and fights with fate, who burns like fire on the rushing sea.” In response to that testimony, I say, “Boo! Ugh! Yuck!” I say “To hell with being in an intimate relationship with a trouble-maker who fights with fate and quarrels with the sky.” I can’t imagine any bond that would be more unpleasant and serve me worse. What about you, Cancerian? Do you find Rumi’s definition glamorous and romantic? I hope not. If you do, I advise you to consider changing your mind. 2020 will be an excellent time to be precise in articulating the kinds of alliances that are healthy for you. They shouldn’t resemble Rumi’s description. (Rumi translation by Zara Houshmand.)
and wiser now, and you recognize its new guise. Love changed its name, and you found out. (Thanks to Sarah and Phil Kaye for the inspiration for this horoscope.)
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Over a period of 74 years, the Scorpio philosopher and author Voltaire (1694–1778) wrote so many letters to so many people that they were eventually published in a series of 98 books, plus nine additional volumes of appendixes and indexes. I would love to see you communicate that abundantly and meticulously in 2020, Scorpio. The cosmic rhythms will tend to bring you good fortune if you do.
The 18th-century comic novel Tristram Shandy is still being translated, adapted, and published today. Its popularity persists. Likewise, the 18th-century novel Moll Flanders, which features a rowdy, eccentric heroine who was unusual for her era, has had modern incarnations in TV, film, and radio. Then there’s the 19th-century satirical novel Vanity Fair. It’s considered a classic even now, and appears on lists of best-loved books. The authors of these three books had one thing in common: They had to pay to have their books published. No authority in the book business had any faith in them. You may have similar challenges in 2020, Leo—and rise to the occasion with equally good results. Believe in yourself!
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
I’ll present two possible scenarios that could unfold for you in 2020. Which scenario actually occurs will depend on how willing you are to transform yourself. Scenario #1. Love is awake, and you’re asleep. Love is ready for you but you’re not ready for love. Love is hard to recognize because you think it still looks like it did in the past. Love changed its name, and you didn’t notice. Scenario #2. Love is awake and you’re waking up. Love is ready for you and you’re making yourself ready for love. Love is older
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Renowned Greek sculptor Praxiteles created some famous and beloved statues in the fourth century B.C. One of his pieces, showing the gods Hermes and Dionysus, was displayed inside the Temple of Hera in Olympia. But a few centuries later an earthquake demolished the Temple and buried the statue. There it remained until 1877, when archaeologists dug it out of the rubble. I foresee a metaphorically equivalent recovery in your life, Libra—especially if you’re willing to excavate an old mess or investigate a debris field or explore a faded ruin.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Picasso was one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. He was also the richest. At the end of his life, experts estimate his worth was as much as $250 million, equivalent to $1.3 billion today. But in his earlier adulthood, while Picasso was turning himself into a genius and creating his early masterpieces, he lived and worked in a small, seedy, unheated room with no running water and a toilet he shared with twenty people. If there will be ever in your life be a semblance of Picasso’s financial transformation, Sagittarius, I’m guessing it would begin this year.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Let’s get 2020 started with a proper send-off. According to my reading of the astrological omens, the coming months will bring you opportunities to achieve a host
of liberations. Among the things from which you could be at least partially emancipated: stale old suffering; shrunken expectations; people who don’t appreciate you for who you really are; and beliefs and theories that don’t serve you any more. (There may be others!) Here’s an inspirational maxim, courtesy of poet Mary Oliver: “Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine, then keep on goin
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
In a poem titled “The Mess-iah,” spiritual teacher Jeff Foster counsels us, “Fall in love with the mess of your life . . . the wild, uncontrollable, unplanned, unexpected moments of existence. Dignify the mess with your loving attention, your gratitude. Because if you love the mess enough, you will become a Mess-iah.” I bring this to your attention, Aquarius, because I suspect you’ll have a better chance to ascend to the role of Mess-iah in the coming weeks and months than you have had in many years.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Comedian John Cleese believes that “sometimes we hang onto people or relationships long after they’ve ceased to be of any use to either of you.” That’s why he has chosen to live in such a way that his web of alliances is constantly evolving. “I’m always meeting new people,” he says, “and my list of friends seems to change quite a bit.” According to my analysis of the astrological omens, Pisces, 2020 will be a propitious year for you to experiment with Cleese’s approach. You’ll have the chance to meet a greater number of interesting new people in the coming months than you have in a long time. (And don’t be afraid to phase out connections that have become a drain.)
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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O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | J A N U A R Y 8 , 2 0 2 0
PUZZLES NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE CROSSWORD PUZZLE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS | 0112 By Andrew Chaikin Puzzles edited by Will Shortz ACROSS
1 Reveal, as a plot twist 6 Hit 1980s-’90s show with TV’s first lesbian kiss 11 Closed 15 Blemish 19 Groan-inducing, perhaps 20 Pop up 21 The eyes have it 22 Fictional lab assistant 23 Casino gambler’s resolution? 26 Reputation 27 Locale of 10 Winter Olympics 28 Match.com, e.g. 29 Helen Mirren or Judi Dench 30 New Age author Chopra 32 Sitcom lover’s resolution? 37 Emmy-winning TV producer Klein 38 Morales of NYPD Blue 39 Encouraging start? 40 “Wow, awesome!” 42 French, say, to a Brit 44 Georgia, once: Abbr. 46 Sold-out sign 49 Popular Fisher-Price toy for pre kindergartners 51 Hen’s resolution? 56 Round of applause 57 ____-Tiki 59 Small dam 60 Children’s author Beverly 61 Wall St. works on it all summer 62 Simple 63 First of two U.S./U.S.S.R. pacts 64 Locale of New York’s Frederick Douglass Blvd. 65 Nun’s resolution? 68 ____ Shepherd, former co-host of The View 71 Trees used in furniture-making 72 Hub 73 C.E.O.’s deg. 76 Whip, as cream 77 Best Actor winner Malek 78 Junior 79 Many a TikTok user 80 Stalking tiger’s resolution? 84 Arabian Nights locale 86 Floral wreath by a coral reef 87 Olympic gymnast Raisman 88 Line from the past? 90 Standout star 91 Prominent part of a Mickey Mouse costume 94 Historic plaintiff Scott 96 Ball game 97 Bank robber’s resolution? 104 Mideast peace talk? 105 Out of juice 106 Tats 107 Quarreling 109 Cry of woe 110 Union activist’s resolution? 115 It usually has a single palm tree, in cartoons 116 Bargaining point that’s nonnegotiable 117 Actor/LGBT rights activist George 118 Saves for later, in a way 119 Word before streak or business 120 Artist Warhol 121 All tuckered out 122 It gets your blood flowing
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DOWN 1 Pet cause, for short 2 Takes the lead 3 Megarich group 4 Lickety-split 5 Girl’s name ending 6 Actress Metcalf who was nominated for an Oscar for Lady Bird 7 Uncultured 8 Blotto 9 Louisville Slugger material 10 Creeping Charlie and Good-King Henry 11 Many plays are seen in it 12 Actor Rutger of Blade Runner 13 Letters naval gazers see 14 What punctual people arrive on 15 They appreciate a nice bouquet 16 Visibly stunned 17 Not italicized 18 Quite a hike 24 Lead-in to “Town” or “Gang” 25 Scenery chewer 31 Direct deposit, for short 33 Verizon offering 34 Da ____, Vietnam 35 Fashionable Christian 36 Pull down 37 Israel’s Dayan 41 Feature of many a summer camp cabin
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VOL. XLII NO. 02
43 Get lost or stolen, in British lingo 44 Metalworker 45 Some of them call Homs home 47 Honest-to-goodness 48 Shrek, e.g. 50 “Auld Lang Syne” time 52 Fuses 53 Spiny anteaters 54 Online magazine since 1996 55 Locale involved in many a New Year’s resolution 58 Like Switzerland during World War II 62 Jollity 63 “Same here!” 65 Comic foil of early TV 66 Having the taste of smoke, as some Scotches 67 Nincompoop 68 Toothy tool 69 Get better 70 Famed Deco designer 73 Having deep thoughts 74 Marilyn Monroe or Beyoncé 75 “Consequently …” 79 Fly off the handle 81 Treasure chest feature 82 Rock band that Slash really ought to play for? 83 Lip-puckering 85 Kind of monster 89 50 situps a day, say
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92 “Feliz ____ Nuevo!” (cry on el 1 de enero) 93 Title heroine of classic 60-Across books SUDOKU EASY | N° 171998528 95 P.R. advice for the accused, maybe Fill in the grid so that every row, column and 3-by-3 box 97 New moon, e.g. contains the numbers 1 through 9. www.printmysudoku.com 98 Boxer Ali 99 Beat by a hair 100 “Shall we?” 101 Season ticket holder, e.g. 102 Wields a red pen, perhaps 103 It stops a round and a bout 104 Start a triathlon 108 Trial 111 Star Wars villain Kylo 112 Hit with a ray gun 113 Squeeze (out) 114 NBA one-pointers: Abbr.
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J A N U A R Y 8 , 2 0 2 0 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M
NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE CROSSWORD PUZZLE ANSWERS
Puzzle No.1105, which appeared in the January 1 issue. L O M B A R D I
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