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Sole passion

Gayle Curry steps into Science Museum Oklahoma’s latest exhibit. BY LEA TERRY P.22


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inside COVER P.22 Oklahoma City artist Gayle Curry makes a tactile impression with her abstract encaustic works, on display now as part of Science Museum Oklahoma’s Sole Expression: The Art of the Shoe exhibit. Story by Lea Terry NEWS 4 Metro Local impact: programs

help locals find affordable homes

successful national effort to trans form veterans’ lives via art educa- tion programs

6 Metro local program mirrors

8 Health Catalyst Behavioral

Services offers “fast-track” opioid and substance abuse and addiction treatment

10 Letters 12 Chicken-Fried News

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22 Cover Gayle Curry’s tactile style 24 Life Gazette celebrates three

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Mmother’s Day Love Notes Mother’s Day Gift Guide 27 What Mama Wants 28 Culture Paseo Arts Festival 29 Theater OKC Broadway presents The Lion King 25

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Metro

NEWS

Local impact

OKC leverages federal dollars to expand affordable housing options, creating first-time homebuyers and strengthening neighborhoods. By Laura Eastes

Editor’s note: Local Impact is an Oklahoma Gazette news series examining how federal policies and decisions impact local communities. Last fall, as Hayden Smiley browsed apartment rentals online, she scrolled over to homes for sale. As a recent college graduate with secured employment and some savings, she considered buying her first home. Smiley moved into her new three-bedroom, two-bath house in Classen’s North Highland Parked — an eastside neighborhood in the midst of a rebirth — about six months ago. “There is so much potential for this neighborhood,” said Smiley, who was attracted to the area because of its close proximity to downtown OKC and its walkability. “There are empty lots, but there are people buying them to build. Older homes are being renovated. We have a great park, and there are tons of kids in this neighborhood.” Smiley turned to Positively Paseo, a nonprofit that accesses federal housing dollars to construct or rehabilitate homes for low- to moderate-income households, for help.

The goal is to let the public investment lay the groundwork for private investment. Sheryl Lovelady “I am just out of college and I was able to purchase a home,” said Smiley when seated in her living room and sharing her experience with Oklahoma Gazette. “I had the easiest time — so many people helped me. From what I hear from others in my office, buying homes is not easy.”

Housing burden

For more than a half-century, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has made it possible for many low-income citizens — everyone from young adults who are still getting started in their careers to retired seniors — to obtain housing through subsidies and for municipalities to build affordable housing through grants and instigate anti-poverty programs helping the homeless. Oklahoma City is like many American cities experiencing an affordable housing shortage. Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered 4

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having a “housing burden” and have difficulty affording other daily necessities such as food, transportation and clothing. Housing burdens make it nearly impossible for families to save for big future purchases or emergencies. According to the City of Oklahoma, more than 40 percent of residents — an estimated 95,000 households — have a housing burden. To expand affordable housing, the city looks to HUD, receiving on average $7 million annually in federal grants to finance activities like housing rehabilitation, homebuyer assistance, neighborhood revitalization and homeless assistance. It’s a federal agency with a mission that goes beyond Section 8 vouchers and the public housing projects of the 1960s and 1970s. One program housed under HUD is the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, a federal block grant distributed to state and local governments designed to create affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households. In Oklahoma City, the city partners with Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs) to construct new or rehab homes in urban neighborhoods. The nonprofit organizations — Positively Paseo, Neighborhood Housing Services Oklahoma City and Jef ferson Park Neig hborhood Association — increase the city’s affordable housing stock but also aid neighborhoods in transforming them from blighted to desirable. HOME, along with the Community Development Block Grant program, is listed for funding elimination in President Donald Trump’s budget blueprint released in mid-March. While federal lawmakers reached a $1.1 trillion spending deal earlier this month that protects HUD and its programs through October, many believe the agency is still poised for change under the Trump administration and that could mean changes to housing affordability. City officials, including Ward 6 Councilwoman Meg Salyer, fear it would be much harder to carry out the city’s affordable housing initiatives if there were federal cuts or elimination. At the April 25 Oklahoma City Council meeting, she asked city planner Chris Varga about crisis planning for the program’s future. “These are the only monies we have to fund these programs,” Varga said. “This is all we have. If the programs go away, I assume they go away unless we find other city funds somewhere.”

Roland J. Chupik is executive director of Neighborhood Housing Services Oklahoma City, which utilizes federal HOME funds to build houses for low- to moderate-income community residents. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

Housing for change

In the northeast OKC neighborhood of Culbertson East Highland, an area shaking off blight and neglect with the help of the city’s Strong Neighborhoods Initiative (SNI), construction crews are nearing completion of a newly built bungalow home between 1,300 and 1,400 square feet. On a block where homes were built between the 1920s and 1940s, Neighborhood Housing Services Oklahoma City (NHSOKC) strikes a balance with new, modern builds that match the historic style of the neighborhood. Roland Chupik, NHSOKC executive director, said HOME funds through the city made the home a reality. Once on the market, it will be sold to a family who meets the income-cap requirements. With OKC’s affordable housing shortage, Chupik and his team have no trouble working with young singles, small families and retirees. “All the housing we build works to stabilize and to rebuild a community,” he said. Since 1981, thousands of families have turned to NHSOKC for assistance with loans and down payments as well as homebuyer education classes and financial counseling. With a mission to serve families in purchasing their first home, NHSOKC also partners with the local and state government for HOME projects and other federal housing initiatives. HOME dollars come with a nice benefit to nonprofits like NHSOKC, Chupik said. “It’s not just used one time,” he said. “The money is replicated. Let’s say we build a home with $100,000 in HOME funds. We sell it for $90,000 — we can sell at a loss to make sure folks can afford the house. We take that $90,000 and we build another house. We sell that second house and funds left become unrestrictive dollars for the organization. It’s one way we help fund the organization.” Since the HOME program helps

people get on the property ladder and the path to homeownership, it drives the local economy. Not only do HOME houses raise neighborhood property values, but new owners contribute to property taxes, providing revenues for local governments.

‘Icing on the cake’

As the executive director of Positively Paseo, Sheryl Lovelady can walk block-byblock in Classen’s North Highland Parked, another SNI neighborhood, and point to the organization’s work. There seems to be a common theme: Private development crops up between HOME houses. “The goal is to let the public investment lay the groundwork for private investment to come on top of it,” Lovelady said. “That’s what public investment truly does.” Young families are flocking to Classen’s North Highland Parked and many other urban neighborhoods. Lovelady connects the neighborhood’s revival to the city’s one-cent sales tax initiative MAPS. Projects like Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, improvements to the Oklahoma River and others lured private investment to downtown, creating community benefits in areas of economic health, jobs, housing, retail, tourism and more. The city, through SNI, has leveraged federal funds for its affordable housing initiatives. Those funds, coupled with city dollars, have brought new sidewalks, removed dangerous trees and created new public spaces, like parks. While neighborhood revitalization is very much centered on building stronger neighborhoods, it’s the new families — mixed with longtime residents — that are responsible for the hope rising in Oklahoma City, Lovelady said. “The city’s goal is to build strong neighborhoods, but what I do is better,” she said. “I hand first-time homeowners their keys. That’s the icing on the cake.”


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NEWS U.S. Army veteran Eddie Washington views his work, which is on display in the Governor’s Gallery at the Oklahoma Capitol. Washington was one of many veterans who participated in an Oklahoma Arts and the Military Initiative. | Photo Laura Eastes

me t r o

Pass it along

Art works

Arts Council and Department of Veterans Affairs deliver college-level arts courses to veterans, renewing confidence, purpose and identity. By Laura Eastes

Only creatives would likely understand the mix of emotions Eddie Washington felt as he reflected on his work displayed in the Oklahoma Capitol’s Governor’s Gallery earlier this month. His eyes filled with pride as he glanced at his piece, which replicated the famous parrot self-portrait by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Like most artists, he was a tough self-critic. “Lips: Too big. She would swallow me up,” he said before erupting in laughter. “Another mistake is the nose opening. It’s too big too.” Washington’s critique wasn’t all bad. He nodded in approval as he pointed to Kahlo’s hair and the two parrots resting in her arms. He knows he can improve. The U.S. Army and Vietnam War veteran demonstrated the confidence to make adjustments as he creates his next drawings and paintings at the Norman Veterans Center. A year ago, instructors Sarah EngelBarnett, Jason Poudrier, Jane Lawson and Douglas Shaw Elder began teaching college-level arts courses in photography, visual arts and creative writing to Norman veterans. The program is part of the Oklahoma Arts and the Military Initiative offered through a partnership with the Oklahoma Arts Council (OAC) and Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA). The two state agencies expanded the hands-on arts learning program to the Lawton/Ft. Still Veterans Center this year. 6

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As a result of state funding, vets are socializing with the center’s staff and each other, reflecting on their military life and finding a renewed sense of purpose and identity. “The program has opened so many doors for so many of our veterans — many who had closed the books on their artistic abilities,” said Jeannene Wade, Norman Veterans Center programs administrator. “They began to express themselves through the arts: photography, creative writing and visual arts. They continue to grow, and it gave them a sense of hope.”

Copy that

Six years ago, through a program created by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Department of Defense, creative arts therapists began working with servicemembers with traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder at Water Reed National Military Medical Center. Called the Creative Forces program, it helps members and veterans cope with haunting memories, disabilities and their futures through painting, writing or playing musical instruments. With strong, emotional endorsements by participants, it caught the attention of Congress, which appropriated a $1.928 million budget increase to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in fiscal year 2016 specifically to expand the military healing arts program. Today,

there are 11 Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network clinical sites across the country. As Oklahoma Arts Council’s executive director, Amber Sharples also pored over NEA reports. Ten percent of Oklahoma’s adult residents are U.S. military veterans. Sharples knew she could develop a community-based arts program to support veterans and their families. “[The NEA] were seeing the power of arts, music, drama and other arts disciples helping with rehabilitation,” Sharples said. “We started getting information about the power of the arts in transforming very serious challenges. … If the NEA could do it, maybe we could take that model and tailor it to what made sense for Oklahoma.” With the support of ODVA and Norman’s Firehouse Arts Center, discussions began about designing arts programs for veterans living in the state’s long-term care facilitates. Unlike the national program with its emphasis on art therapy, Oklahoma leaders developed a program to engage and inspire the creativity of veterans, who are typically under-represented in the arts and art-making. Its curriculum encourages veterans to review their accomplishments, communicate through their art and interact with arts experts. Perhaps most importantly, instructors provide college-level courses. Beginner-level curriculum wouldn’t cut it. “We were very intentional about that because we knew that these individuals had come from very disciplined backgrounds,” Sharples said. “We didn’t want to diminish what they could do; [instead], we raised the bar very high and asked them to do their very best.”

In March, veterans parted with what they considered their best work for Veterans: Experience and Expression, an exhibition in the Governor’s Gallery. Additionally, a Norman publisher printed Recollected: Tales of Life and War, an anthology of creative writing produced by 30 veterans who participated in a 10-week creative writing course. Both are tangible evidence of the program’s successes, but as ODVA deputy director Col. Doug Elliott explained, the program’s ability to contribute to participants’ quality of life is what’s most impressive. “It didn’t take long to see the benefits of this program,” Elliott said. “Basically, people that were in their shell, didn’t interact or didn’t want to be around anyone slowly began to interact … and be part of the center and the community. If nothing else is a win, that is.” In addition to introducing the arts to veterans, the pilot program serves as a case study. A researcher with University of Oklahoma’s Knee Center for Strong Families at the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work closely follows the initiative. Both OAC and ODVA wanted to establish a model that organizations and artists could replicate to benefit veterans, active duty personnel, guardsmen, reservists, military families and others who have served. Engaging Veterans through Creative Expression is a catalog of the pilot program that reports what works and what doesn’t when serving military populations through the arts. Before the initiative’s launch at Norman Veterans Center, arts leaders — including Sharples — hypothesized the initiative would increase socialization, emotional expression and self-efficacy. Instructors, volunteers and staff said it also encouraged veterans to congregate around a common activity. During the moments when they worked side-by-side, they shared stories and connected in ways they never had before. As Norman’s program administrator, Wade noticed photo students checking the center’s events calendar for opportunities to practice their skills. After a few weeks in the creative writing class, participants asked if there also was room to join the visual arts class. Recently, the center welcomed instructors to teach oral history and military history to veterans. “One photography student told me that he was so amazed by the program because it reminded him of his college days,” Wade said. “We have another veteran who has started writing a book.”


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H e a lt h

NEWS

Novel regimen

A nonprofit on the forefront of the opioid epidemic uses treatments that help reduce job loss, incarceration rates and family strife. By Laura Eastes

Most patients never expected that legally prescribed opioid pain medication could drag them into a vicious cycle of relief, tolerance, dependence, withdrawal and even addiction. The battle is a common one that health experts now call an epidemic. As prescription drug tolerance and dependence sets in, people can only find pain relief and avoid sometimes devastating withdrawal symptoms if they’re able to maintain an increasing level of the drug in their system. When a client walks through the doors of Oklahoma City’s Catalyst Behavioral Services, a nonprofit providing substance abuse treatment services, staff stand ready. The path to addiction recovery can be long and difficult, but it begins with accepting help. Treatment centers like Catalyst, which are reimbursed by Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS), want to provide hope. “They’ve been beaten down, and they want hope,” said Edie Nayfa, Catalyst’s clinical director. “I think that’s what Catalyst and all the other department of mental health agencies are trying to do: give people hope. We hope that they stay to see the miracle.”

Effective solution

For decades, the response to substance abuse, dependence or addition — whether it was alcohol, opioids or cocaine — was largely the same: detox, abstinence and support, such as a 12-step program. These days, following an assessment, Catalyst staff can prescribe medicationassisted treatment (MAT), an evidencebased approach endorsed by scientists, doctors and the federal government.

Although it has been around for decades, MAT for opioid addiction is gaining traction in areas hit hard by the epidemic. Medical staff explain the treatment is based on the concept of treating a drug addiction with medication, and it’s one way to help those with opioid addiction recover their lives. In Oklahoma, if addicts want help without a wait, MAT can be their quickest route to care. Currently, about 800 Oklahomans are on a waiting list for residential treatment for substance abuse disorders, said ODMHSAS public information director Jeff Dismukes. “We need to address this as a comprehensive effort,” Dismukes said when discussing opioid addiction in Oklahoma and the response from the state government. “We need to look at prevention. We need to look at policy. We need to look at treatment. We still need more on the treatment side, but we are making progress. MAT is a huge opportunity with opioids and an opportunity to make a huge dent in that waiting list.” ODMHSAS stands with the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration endorsing MAT, which has been viewed as controversial by some in the field. Because of doubts, it is not readily available to patients who might benefit from it in other states. That’s not the case in Oklahoma. Eight years ago, Nayfa viewed MAT with doubt. For years, she had worked in abstinence addiction treatment. She recalls witnessing successful outcomes; however, the approach did not work for everyone. In therapy sessions, she heard from those white-knuckling through every day. Some relapsed. At Catalyst, patients are prescribed a

Joseph J. Johnston and Edie Nayfa of Catalyst Behavioral Services discuss how they treat opioid addiction. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

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treatment approach with MAT, coupled with counseling. Nayfa and Joseph Johnston, the nonprofit’s CEO, describe success as patients beating their addictions by ceasing cravings, but also working through past trauma, like sexual abuse, neglect and abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “It is an evolution of all forms of treatment,” Johnston said. “This works, and it saves money and lives.”

Openings

During weekdays, cars and trucks pull up to Catalyst, 3033 N. Walnut Ave., not far from the Oklahoma Capitol. Sandwiched between state agency offices and industrial buildings, the two-story clinic provides more than a dozen addiction and substance abuse services. On a recent Friday, staff treated 37 patients using MAT, specifically Suboxone, a combination of the opioid buprenorphine and naloxone. Under medical staff’s care, patients take the drug, which blocks the effects of opioids and reduces cravings while also preventing people abusing the medication. In addition to combination drug treatment, patients undergo counseling, which can get to the core emotional and mental health contributors to addiction and help prevent relapse. Currently, 172 active patients receive outpatient treatment and/or medicationassisted treatment at Catalyst. There is room for more. “If you are worried about getting into treatment, this is the easy way in,” Nayfa said. “It’s keeping families together. It’s keeping people employed. It’s keeping people out of the criminal justice system. It is pretty amazing what treatment can do.” While most people think the solution to addiction and drug problems is rehab, Nayfa and Johnston explained that’s a common misconception. In fact, those in the substance abuse field don’t use the word rehab. It’s treatment. Residential treatment is best for patients with severe struggles and long-term addiction. It’s a treatment approach that doesn’t fit everyone’s needs. With outpatient or MAT, patients can visit the clinic during their lunch break, before or after work or after school for treatment. The treatment approach does not call for weeks away from family or extended breaks from work, Nayfa said. For those fighting addictions or family members watching a loved one struggle, it takes asking for help. Catalyst is one that can help, Nayfa and Johnston said. “It is a friendly, non-intimidating, ‘we want to help’-type environment,” Johnston said. “That goes a long way. When someone comes in, they are troubled and they might not know what to do or say. We put them at ease by identifying what they are going through. It goes a long way to soothing those initial concerns and their resistance to getting help.” Visit catalyst.org or call 405-230-1154.


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letters

NEWS Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to jchancellor@okgazette.com or sent online at okgazette.com. Include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

‘Pro-birth’

Just because you’re “opposed to abortion” doesn’t make you “pro-life.” In many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born, but neither fed nor educated nor housed. Do you not want any tax money to go there? That’s not pro-life; that’s just “pro-birth.” A broader conversation on what the morality of “pro-life” means is needed. Frank Silovsky Oklahoma City

Kids these days

On March 15, Moore Police Department posted a picture on its Facebook page of a 5-year-old boy named Jayden who donated a box of “The World’s Finest” chocolates to the day-shift officers. According to sources, Jayden was selling the chocolates to raise funds for his el-

ementary school and decided that he wanted to “give a box to the police.” This may not seem like a large contribution to the average taxpayer. For the common 5-year old, giving a $60 box of 30 chocolates away might be harder to do than it is for Sen. Ralph Shortey to get his parking spot back at the State Capitol. Though Jayden may not understand the allegations regarding Shortey, he does understand that there are dangerous people and that there are organizations designed to protect him from such people. Jayden’s actions led me to wonder which is finer in this situation, the chocolate or the kindness of a child who

gives back to those who protect children like him. Blake Pettis Midwest City

Overthrown from within

The Republican Party is being used to dismantle our government of checks and balances and protected freedoms. Under President Donald Trump, agencies that would protect us are being totally dismantled. EPA employees are being fired, budgets cut and departments instructed to reduce regulatory oversight. The State Department is also closing up shop. Experienced professionals are

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being replaced by Trump’s inexperienced puppets, who are neck-deep in conflicts of interest like Trump’s own involvement in the Russian government’s interference and manipulation of our presidential election. Our democracy is designed to be protected by the three branches of government, whose checks and balances are supposed to moderate overreach by any one. The legislative branch has been corrupted. Manipulating people’s thoughts and votes by using campaign marketing with unlimited money — allowed by Citizens United — has been effective in allowing less-qualified and dogmatic extremists to hold office. The Senate changed 200 years of rules confirming Supreme Court justices to confirm Neil Gorsuch. Seriously? You bet! The Supreme Court is the last opportunity to right the wrongs in a democracy. And in Oklahoma, Gov. Mary Fallin recently appointed attorney Patrick Wyrick, who has never even been a judge, to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Best qualified or easiest to corrupt? Oklahomans, open your eyes to the unending lies and manipulation of the issues, opinions and elections by those who would benefit financially. We are fast losing the ability to save our democracy by being overthrown from within. Susan Schmidt Oklahoma City

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chicken

friedNEWS

Slammers slammed

Within this state, there is an institution regularly operating at 109 percent capacity. It is planning on opening new locations, but expansion just can’t seem to keep up with demand. In fact, around one in 80 Oklahomans are in one of these facilities right now. So what is this exclusive club and why is it so popular? Is it the DJ? And, seriously, food there must be amazing! Unfortunately, this is no nightclub or resort. Oklahoma’s incarceration rate is raising the roof. The state’s corrections system population now exceeds a recordbreaking 62,000, according to a recent NewsOK.com report. A release by Department of Corrections director Joe Allbaugh shows the total population was around 61,000 at the end of 2016. “It has taken just four months for an additional 1,000 people to be included in our numbers of incarcerated, supervised and county jail backup,” Allbaugh’s statement reads. Jeez! Who has been in charge of managing prison sentences in Oklahoma, the staff of United Airlines? Certainly more than a few inmates would take a few hundred dollars in travel credit and a later flight to Milwaukee if it meant getting out of this overcrowded, overbooked mess. Allbaugh requested $1.64 billion in state budget appropriations earlier this legislative session, and $849 million of that would go toward building two new medium-security prisons to keep up with the state’s burgeoning incarceration rate. The department operated on a budget of $484.9 million this fiscal year. “We’re an afterthought,” the director told NewsOK.com. “Nobody really thinks about corrections.” We deep thinkers at Chicken-Fried News know our hoosegows are not meant to pack people into cans like sardines. It is beyond time for the state to consider incarcerating fewer people and/or giving the Department of Corrections the financial support it needs.

Tate crimes

In a move that only surprised people who haven’t heard of Tate Publishing & Enterprises, the company’s founder Richard Tate and CEO Ryan Tate were arrested Thursday after Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter charged them with multiple felonies, including embezzlement, extortion and racketeering. “We are very focused on this. There now have been more than 800 complaints, and we are going to look into each one of them,” Hunter said at a press conference last week. Tate Publishing was a Mustang-based vanity press for mostly Christian literature and music. It ceased operations in January, leaving many authors and creditors unpaid. Maybe that has something to do with this: “A review of bank records shows that monies derived from the sale of publishing or music production services were deposited into business checking accounts and then transferred to Ryan Tate and Christy Tate and/ or Richard Tate and Rita Tate’s personal checking accounts,” wrote Agent Elizabeth Fullbright in a probable cause affidavit.

But wait; there’s more! “Bank records also show that the $50 processing fee checks from authors, made payable to Tate Publishing, were deposited directly into both Tate Publishing checking accounts and the personal bank account of Richard and Rita Tate. Richard and Rita Tate’s account appears to be used for personal transactions, including dining and entertainment at casinos in Oklahoma,” the affidavit continued. The investigation has been ongoing since at least 2015. The business first blasted into public consciousness in 2012 after leaked audio of a no-good, very bad staff meeting led by Ryan Tate hit the media. In it, he called his employees morons and cowards and considered the firing of 25 staff members retaliation for an email an employee allegedly wrote concerning rumors that the company would outsource many of its Oklahoma jobs to the Philippines. By the way, the company did send jobs to the Philippines. And judging by an all-Philippine Facebook group called We Hate Ryan Tate, that didn’t go so well either. News reports show that employees there weren’t paid for their work as Tate Publishing filed for bankruptcy.

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Locally, former Tate employees took to the interwebs to comment on Richard and Ryan Tate’s recent arrests. “That day when #Oklahoma’s Tate Publishing ‘prayerfully’ bullied, belittled workers, then fired them. Now, karma,” tweeted @ dezhill. “There is a large group of former Tate Publishing employees celebrating right now,” tweeted @Mister_Sommer. “Tate Publishing: We are back open for business, y’all! Also Tate Publishing: Yo, can somebody help us make bail?” tweeted @anyarizm.

#ThanksNoThanks

No one wants to talk about innocent people convicted of crimes that they didn’t commit, nor do they want to talk about the dangers of innocent people executed because of errors in the criminal justice system. That’s #Awkward. That’s exactly what 11 members of the bipartisan Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission did, along with talks on forensics, law enforcement techniques, prosecution and defense procedures, death penalty eligibility and execution. That’s #HeavyTalk. After months of studies and discussion, member and former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry and others recommended

a moratorium on the death penalty remain in place. WTF #DeathPenalty? “Ultimately, we found that there are many serious systemic flaws in Oklahoma’s death penalty process that obviously can and have led to innocent people being convicted and put on death row,” Henry told the Associated Press. “If we’re going to have the death penalty, it must be done right to ensure that no innocent person is executed.” We at Chicken-Fried News raised our eyebrows when we heard the commission found “serious systemic flaws” in the death penalty process. The idea of innocent people on death row gave us cause for concern. Hey, #OKisNotOK. The Associated Press reported that Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter “respectfully disagrees” with the panel’s findings. Always #AGProblems. “We’re going to get a handle on the execution process,” Hunter told the AP. “There’s new management at the [Department of Corrections], and I’m confident they’re going to come up with a new execution protocol and that we’ll move forward after that.” In other words, #ThanksNoThanks for the commission’s 300-page report.

Pointing pistols

Oklahoma lawmakers have been hard at work making the state an even safer place to live — or at least fiddling with current gun laws because that’s super mega excessively important when we’re in the middle of a budget crisis. Senate Bill 40 would make it legal to point a gun at someone as long as it’s in self-defense. Like, you could point it directly at another human but, you know, just not pull the trigger — which, under current Oklahoma law, could be considered felony assault with a dangerous weapon. Current law reads, “It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully or without lawful cause point a shotgun, rifle or pistol, or any deadly weapon, whether loaded or not, at any person or persons for the purpose of threatening or with the intention of discharging the firearm or with any malice or for any purpose of injuring, either through physical injury or mental or emotional intimidation or for purposes of whimsy, humor or prank, or in anger or otherwise.” But whatever! Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, one of the bill’s supporters, told NewsOK.com that

“current law allows the state to file felony charges against someone who brandishes a firearm at someone else, even in self-defense.” The proposed law would insert “except for an act of self-defense” to the beginning of legal language and also add armed licensed security guards performing their duties to a list of exempt individuals — state military forces and federal government law enforcement officers performing their duties, actors in a production and people protecting any person or their home or property in self-defense. But guess what! The Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, “Title 21, Oklahoma Statutes, Section 1290.1 et seq and related statutes,” already allows for pointing a firearm in self-defense. (Effective Nov. 1, 2016, BTW.) But whatever! Gov. Mary Fallin still has to sign the bill for it to become law. At press time, the Oklahoma State Legislature website showed that the bill had not yet been sent to her. What’s that popular gun rights slogan we keep hearing at Chicken-Fried News? “Guns are smart enough. We need smarter politicians.”

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re v ie w

EAT & DRINK

Casual elegance

The Hutch on Avondale retains The Coach House’s skill in a more relaxed atmosphere. By Greg Elwell

The Hutch on Avondale 6437 Avondale Drive | 405-842-1000 hutchokc.com What works: Roasted chicken breast is a symphony of flavors. What needs work: The bison burger is a mouthful but worth the effort. Tip: Arrive a few minutes before your friends so you can enjoy a drink at the bar.

Oklahoma City’s food scene owes a debt of gratitude to The Coach House. During its 31 years in business, the restaurant helped train numerous chefs to lead their own kitchens across the metro and the country. The Coach House closed in February 2016. In the end, it became a special occasion restaurant. In a larger city, maybe that wouldn’t be a problem, but it was simply unsustainable in Oklahoma City. It was not gone for long. After the final service, chef David Henry and mixology whiz Kyle Fleischfresser went to work changing the venue’s menu, decor and name. Much as they combine disparate ingredients into a delectable dish or a powerful cocktail, the eatery cooked up by Henry and Fleischfresser is something magical. The Hutch on Avondale is a delightful spot that aims to be a weekly destination instead of a once-a-year indulgence. As someone who dined at both The Coach House and The Hutch, I can safely say the quality of the food is as high as ever. Henry is a relentless creator and a perfectionist. His former menu contained more of what he called “fussy foods” — the kinds of dishes that were meant to be viewed as art pieces before being slowly savored and enjoyed. Chicken curry soup | Photo Garett Fisbeck

The Hutch still has a few “fussy” details, but the food is much more approachable. For instance, it’s hard to fathom ever finding chicken wings (seven for $8) on the menu at The Coach House. But there’s no doubt the same culinary skill is at work when a bowl of enormous wings bathed in a hot sauce vinaigrette shows up at the bar top. The bottom of the bowl is lined with diced celery, pickled carrots and a blue cheese mousse. I found the wings had more of a barbecue flavor, but they were extremely meaty, nonetheless. The chicken was cooked beautifully. It’s okay to gnaw on the bones. No one will judge you.

Bison tastes like what most of us think beef should taste like. For something a little more genteel, might I point you in the direction of the white cheddar and chive biscuits (six for $5)? They’re petite nibbles with a rich cheddar flavor and just a touch of buttery oiliness that comes from using real cheese. The bowl of chicken curry soup ($8) is slightly more substantial and much more impactful. For the extremely budget-conscious, the soup is a great deal that still shows off the kitchen staff’s mastery of seasoning and texture. The creamy liquid was spiced with curry and coconut, a natural pairing that creates tongue-titillating bursts of flavor on a smooth, cooling base of coconut cream. Below the surface lurk perfectly sized, luscious bites of tender chicken. On top

Bison burger with pork belly and fries | Photo Garett Fisbeck

is a flavor-rich chutney you should stir in and distribute equally in the soup. The intense bursts of fruity sweetness and tangy vinegar gives the dish legs and changes up the texture. Each bite is a little different, which is kind of exciting, especially when they’re all so good. Let me preface this next bit with the understanding that $18 is a lot to pay for a hamburger. I know this. There are plenty of great burgers in Oklahoma City that don’t break the $10 barrier. But I’d still order a medium-rare bison burger at The Hutch. And I’d absolutely add $3 more to the bill for pork belly. Bison is beefier than beef. Bison tastes like what most of us think beef should taste like. It’s lean, too, so I’d recommend getting it cooked medium at the most. It’s best at medium-rare, in my opinion. Add a little salt, lettuce and tomato and a house-made bun and you’ve got your hands on a big, beautiful burger. Pork belly is what bacon is made of, but bacon isn’t nearly as thick as what they cook at The Hutch. Served crisscrossed on top of the bison patty, the pork belly is fried to a lovely crisp outside and has a supple, melting interior. It’s big enough that diners should prepare to grip the bun a little tighter and open their mouths a little wider. It’s worth the stretch.

The bison and pork belly juices mingle together to create a tempest of tastiness. Be ready for the diametrically opposed impulses to immediately take another bite and the need to stop and contemplate the maelstrom of happy flavors in your mouth. The burger also comes with fries — really, really delicious french fries that are dusted in black pepper and salt. These fries are in the running for the best in the metro. The burger and fries are hard to beat, but only until the roasted chicken breast ($26) is served. Look; I know, all right? Chicken breast is supposed to be boring. It’s the least interesting part of the chicken under most circumstances. But being prepared by chef Henry is not most circumstances, and this chicken breast is far from boring. At the base of the plate, you’ll find creamy, immaculately seasoned polenta with some gently sautéed arugula and a drizzle of savory sauce. Taste each part individually and marvel at the perfection. Then take a knife and begin slicing into the chicken breast, being sure to get a piece of the crisp, roasted skin with each bite. Dip it in the chicken sausage sauce. Scoop up a wisp of polenta. Wrangle a few arugula leaves. Take a bite and concentrate hard on putting the knife and fork down, because it’s difficult to do. This dish is the very soul of what The Coach House did and proof that The Hutch is an able successor. Taking simple, high-quality ingredients and applying precision cooking techniques to create a truly memorable dish is what The Hutch on Avondale does.

Roasted chicken with polenta, arugula and chicken sausage | Photo Garett Fisbeck

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EAT & DRINK Treat Mom to an Exotic South American brunch this Mother’s Day. Enjoy a fun, yet sophisticated atmosphere along with innovative dishes and live music! make your reservations now! • 525-9779 440 nw 11th & walker • www.cafedobrazilokc.com

f eat u re

Jive Supper Club & Lounge owner David Threatt | Photo Mark Hancock / for Gazette

Jive talkin’

Plaza Mayor’s newest event space is inspired by the Harlem Renaissance. By Greg Elwell

As a promoter, Jive Supper Club & Lounge owner David Threatt spent years making money for venues by putting together events that draw a crowd. At each event, people asked him, Why don’t you open up a place of your own? In the course of organizing events for Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads, he found his place at 7000 Crossroads Blvd. “I was doing work for SRM Global Partners when I came across something on the property,” he said. “It’s an old Garfield’s [Restaurant & Pub] that had been sitting empty since it closed. I looked at the space and I thought, ‘This could be a great location to open Jive.’” One of Threatt’s signature events for the past few years is Christmas in Harlem, which harkens back to the music and style of 1920s Harlem. “Everyone dresses up in 1920s clothing. It’s been very successful,” he said. “And people at Christmas in Harlem kept asking when I’d start my own event space, so I started thinking what I’d call it.” That’s when Threatt remembered that singer Cab Calloway, who was a driving force in the Harlem Renaissance, published a book detailing the lingo of the period. Cab Calloway’s Hepster’s Dictionary: Language of Jive was the first urban dictionary, Threatt said. The word “jive” stuck with him. So when he walked into that old Garfield’s, he said, “This is Jive.” Coming down from the Christmas in Harlem party was always difficult, he said. But what if it didn’t have to end? “I wanted to know, ‘How do I capture that same feeling all year round?’” he said. “That’s part of the experience at Jive. We’ve got live music and that supper club-type feel.” Making an annual event into a nightly party isn’t easy, so Threatt said his plan is to take things slow to start. After ac16

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quiring control of the space in August, he set about renovating Jive to be as glamorous and inviting as his parties. “Starting off, we’re only going to open on Fridays and Saturdays from happy hour to about 2 a.m.,” he said. “We want to make sure people who come for the experience enjoy themselves.” Part of that is making the food as exciting as possible. “I’ve been talking to a couple of chefs, including chef [Kendall] Curry from Chef Curry To Go. We’ve been dialoguing on what direction I want the food to go,” Threatt said. “I’ve also been talking with chef Chaya [Fletcher] from Urban Roots about bringing over a lot of her favorites.” Jive will feature a rotating roster of guest chefs to keep the experience fresh. “That way, we’ll always have a different type of menu,” he said. “We’ll have a couple of signature dishes, but we also want to feature different chefs from around the city.” Threatt’s also considering culinary residencies, bringing chefs in for a few weeks to show off their cuisine. But he won’t be hurt if people keep coming back for the restaurant’s Jive Turkey, either. The dish is comprised of a jalapeño cornbread waffle base topped with fried turkey, which sounds like a winner in Oklahoma City. While Jive is only open two nights a week now, Threatt said the space can be rented for events and private parties. So far, he said, response has been positive. “Just from events we’ve had so far, it’s gotten a great reception. There are a lot of people excited about the potential of the space,” he said. “It’s a nice, cozy, intimate setting where everyone can get up close and personal with the artists and the band.” Visit facebook.com/jiveloungeokc.


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Something Blue

New owners and a new vibe make Norman’s Blue Bonnet Bar a live music destination. By Greg Elwell

When the owner of Norman’s Blue Bonnet Bar, 321 E. Main St., announced that he was selling the business, Michelle Simer’s boyfriend Tanner Miller told her they should buy it. Simer had been working at Blue Bonnet since returning to Norman from living in Spain. “I needed a part-time job, and I was a regular up there and I knew the owner,” Simer said. The change from working in to owning a bar was a big one. “It was kind of a culture shock,” Simer said. Blue Bonnet Bar opened in the 1930s, according to former owner Ken Green, who purchased it in 2002. It was long a cash-only beer bar, but that changed when Simer and Miller took over. “Day one, we got a credit card machine and Internet,” she said. “We brought the bar into the 21st century.” The process of getting a liquor license for Blue Bonnet took a few months. The other major change new owners instituted might be the most influential — they brought in live music six nights a week.

Different crowds

The bar was known as a neighborhood haunt for the older set, and Simer and Miller said they wanted to make sure it was still their place. “The older veterans — some are actual veterans — come in as soon as we open and hang out, playing dominos all day,” she said. “They’re gone about 5 p.m., but they’re there when the doors open.” After 5 p.m., it’s a different story. She said the addition of liquor and live entertainment draw in a younger crowd. “At night, the culture has completely changed,” she said. “We get a younger crowd, a lot of young professionals; not so much college students.”

The owners want Blue Bonnet a place where anyone feels comfortable. Miller is a musician, and Simer started booking bands when she came back to the U.S. a couple years ago, so they knew live music could be a big draw. On Mondays, the venue hosts an openmic night for musicians. Simer said the response has been phenomenal. “I knew Norman had a lot of musicians, but I had no idea how many,” she said. “There are a lot of talented people who aren’t ready to do it full-time. It’s so cool to have so many people here to play local music early in the week and come out and support it the rest of the week.” The venue hosts mostly roots, folk, country and blues genres because that’s mostly what’s around. “We’re totally open to everything,” Simer said. Well, almost anything; the one rule for music at Blue Bonnet is acts have to be local. “That’s my thing,” Simer said. “Booking local acts means keeping it personal. I know that person. I see that person. I’ve had conversations with them.” Having artists who live in Norman or elsewhere in the state makes the music more relatable and resonates with guests. That’s what keeps crowds coming in.

Same personality

Despite serving liquor and hosting live music, Simer said the bar hasn’t really changed that much. “Ken still comes in; he’s our best customer,” she said. “It took him a few months of transition from being the boss to just giving us good advice.” Even before they purchased it, before they worked there, Simer and Miller hung out with Green, who they view as a father figure. And like any parent,

New Blue Bonnet Bar owners Michelle Simer and Tanner Miller have revitalized the decades-old Norman tavern. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

sometimes his advice is wrong. Green said the bar shouldn’t serve liquor and that it would bring in a rough crowd. If anything, Simer said, the opposite is true. A new coat of paint on the walls and the ability to accept credit cards has people giving the bar a second look. “Every art walk, people come in and they say, ‘Oh, it’s completely different,’” she said. “The median age has gone down by about 50 years. It’s beneficial for the Bonnet to have people give it another chance.” She looks forward to events like Norman Music Festival that expose new crowds to the old bar. The younger crowd at night isn’t as exclusive as the old guard there during the day. “We still have the same shuffleboard

and the pool table,” Simer said. “Nothing superficial has changed; it just has a different vibe. That’s what we keep hearing, and we take it as a compliment.” The bar’s oldest patron is 87 and still comes in daily. Too much change might be a shock after all these years. “He’s been coming here since he was 14,” Simer said. “I didn’t want to take away [the older patrons’] living room; they’ve been going here the longest. We don’t want to make them uncomfortable.” Now, though, they’re making sure Blue Bonnet Bar welcomes the next generation of Normanites for years to come. Visit facebook.com/bluebonnetbar or call 405-928-4550.

Mother’s Day Brunch Menu Muffins, Danish and Breakfast Breads, Cooked to order Omelets, Cinnamon French Toast w/Bananas Foster Sauce, Fluffy Scrambled Eggs, Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffles w/Sausage Gravy, Applewood Smoked, Bacon and Sausage Links, Honey Glazed Ham, Silver Dollar Rolls, Vegetable Potato Hash, Maple Glazed Baby Carrots, Carrot Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Seasonal Dessert Selections. 741 N Phillips Ave - OKC Downtown, near Oklahoma Health Center Campus Reservations Suggested 239-3900 Seating times from 11:00AM until 2:00PM

$29.95 per person

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f eat u re

EAT & DRINK

Okie made

MIO Coalition uses matching government funding to push beyond state borders. By Greg Elwell

The Made in Oklahoma Coalition started with a pretty simple idea: It should be easy for Oklahomans to buy Oklahomamade products. And the best way to make that happen is for state producers to work together. “The coalition started with six companies. This year, we have 61 companies,” said Oklahoma Department of Agriculture market development coordinator Barbara Charlet. The criteria for membership is simple. The Made in Oklahoma Coalition is for food products with some of their production or processing done in the state. Companies pay annual membership dues, and that funding, along with money MIO receives through the State Legislature, helps market their products, Charlet said. The Department of Agriculture isn’t selling MIO products, but it is helping raise awareness, Charlet said. “The state has been really super about helping us with what they call passthrough funding,” she said. MIO companies match state funds three-to-one to pay for marketing efforts that promote the companies. “One thing we emphasize is the economic impact the companies make on the state,” Charlet said. “They are superior quality, price-competitive and it keeps their neighbor in a job.” That’s what they call the “multiplier effect,” she said. “They do business here, they pay taxes here, many of them buy packaging materials here and many of their inputs come from in the state as well,” Charlet said. “The payroll makes a big impact.” Each year, the coalition gets an economic impact analysis from Oklahoma State University. In 2016, the companies in MIO provided 65,500 jobs and sales in excess of $4 billion. “Many of the sales, about 85 percent, are outside the state,” Charlet said, “but all those checks come back to the state.”

It’s not instantaneous, though. “That’s what we tell our new members. Think they’ll start shipping to north Texas right away, but we try to encourage them to build slowly,” she said. “We want them to get markets and distribution established in the state before they start branching out into other states.” Start small and then expand, she said. That’s how to build solid, well-run companies that will endure. When they have a foothold in Oklahoma, the coalition can help expand marketing across the country and around the world. But much of MIO’s efforts stay in Oklahoma, marketing wares to grocers and consumers. “For a small company joining MIO, membership can take away years of work forming relationships and making preparations,” said Total Beverage Services national sales manager David Boswell. “They get the benefits of pre-existing relationships with small and regional retailers.” It’s also helpful for companies with small advertising budgets to go in with more established businesses to buy ads they couldn’t afford on their own. When Boswell joined, most people hadn’t heard of MIO. “You had your big names, like Bar-S, Griffin Foods or Shawnee Milling Company, but those are big businesses,” he said. Now, the coalition helps market niche brands, including Seikel’s Oklahoma Gold Old Style Mustard and Woody Candy Company alongside bigger names like Bedré Fine Chocolate and Schwab Meat Co. Having the MIO label can open opportunities for placement on shelves in grocery stores of all sizes or a deal with local restaurant groups to use their products. Its website lists nearly 100 restaurants that use Made in Oklahoma products. Visit miocoalition.com.

Max McDermott of deVine Water talks OSU students about the Jet and Oklahoma properties where he sources the water. | Photo MIO Coaltion / provided 18

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b rie f s By Greg Elwell

catalan chicken

lunch & dinner

6014 n. May 947.7788 | zorbasokc.coM

Motuleño at Cafe Kacao | Photo Gazette/Staff

•Dinner served

One reason Cafe Kacao, 3325 N. Classen Blvd., is always packed on weekends is the restaurant’s limited hours. Open for breakfast and lunch, weekends are the only time many who don’t work close to the eatery can get there to dine. But that has changed in a big way, thanks to owner Luidgi Del Cid. Cafe Kacao is now open for dinner. The Guatemalan restaurant banked a lot of goodwill over the years serving breakfasts of motuleño (corn tortillas with black beans and two eggs covered in ranchero sauce, cheese, and guacamole) and machaca (eggs scrambled with limebraised beef, onions, tomatoes and jalapeños). Now the same great flavors are available for dinner in empanadas and savory beef picadillo. Cafe Kacao is open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. And if you’re craving a cobanero omelet for dinner, don’t worry — Kacao serves breakfast all day. Visit cafekacao.com.

•Twisted comfort

Bricktown Brewery, which has expanded far beyond Bricktown, now moves beyond its old menu with a selection of Twisted Comfort Foods. New dishes include a chicken sandwich with spicy mayo and coleslaw, poutine covered in Watonga cheddar curds, a spicy cornflake-crusted catfish and a small-batch bacon macaroni and cheese with buttered pretzel croutons for extra crunch. Small-batch bacon macaroni and cheese is new to Enduring Brands (which owns Bricktown Brewery’s Twisted Comfort Food menu. | Photo Bricktown Brewery / provided Bricktown Brewery) president Buck Warfield said the move will give diners a variety of dishes they can’t find elsewhere, along with the restaurants’ own locally brewed beers. In addition to the original location at 1 N. Oklahoma Ave., Bricktown Brewery now has shops across the state and in Kansas, Texas and Arkansas. Visit bricktownbrewery.com.

Asian celebration

Promoting Asian culture in Oklahoma might seem a foregone conclusion now that Oklahoma City has an officially designated Asian District, but in the 1970s and ’80s, there was still a lot of work to be done. To help introduce Oklahomans to the different nations of the region, Asia Society of Oklahoma began holding annual Asian Festivals. Now in its 31st year, the Asian Festival features 10 nations and several professional groups under its umbrella. This year’s event is 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at Plaza Mayor at the

Crossroads, 7000 Crossroads Blvd. The host country for the festival is Laos, and Lao Natasinh Association of Oklahoma City will perform a cultural dance. Admission is free and open to the public with performances from different groups and food from Bistro B for sale as well as other Asian cuisines. The Asian Festival will also see the crowning of Miss Asia, Junior Miss Asia and Little Miss Asia. Visit facebook.com/asookc.

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g a z e di b l e s

eat & DRINK

Summer sips

It is time once again to pull out last year’s bathing suit and grimace at the thought of being seen in it. Just like our wardrobes, so too go our drinks. A new season of deliciously cool and intoxicating drinks are rolling in at our favorite bars and restaurants. Try a couple and you might even be willing to wear that swimsuit in public! By Greg Elwell Photos by Garett Fisbeck

Savings & Loan Co.

423 NW 23rd St. facebook.com/savingsandloan 405-492-7753

There is an art to making weird cocktails that are deeply delicious, and there’s no better place in Oklahoma City to find them than Savings & Loan Co. Despite changes in management, the staff at S&L remains the same, which means they can still create a tasty beverage, like creamy, spicy To Curry Favor.

Revolución Taqueria & Cantina

Brent’s Cajun Seafood & Oyster Bar

Hola, Revolución! This cool downtown restaurant is the place to find a fine assortment of tacos, but it’s also one heck of a bar thanks to owner and cocktail connoisseur Rachel Cope. This season, Revolución is ready to start a party in your mouth with ¡Adios Felicitas!, a cool, crisp burst of summer flavors with a sturdy punch of alcohol. Order another round of tacos — it’s going to be a fun night.

However you choose to treat the bon temps, you’ll want to rouler into Brent’s Cajun Seafood & Oyster Bar in Edmond. In addition to Cajun and Creole favorites, Brent’s also has a wonderful bar. Seasonal cocktails include a crispy, cool Cucumber Cosmo, a sweet-and-spicy strawberryjalapeño Margarita and Brent’s sparkling Creole Club Special.

916 NW Sixth St. revolucionokc.com | 405-606-6184

3005 S. Broadway, Edmond brentscajunseafood.com 405-285-0911

salads, sandwiches, burgers, Pasta and More Dine in, carryout, anD catering

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5701 N Western Ave. | 405.608.8050 M-F 10:30 am to 7 pm | Sat 11 am to 3 pm

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The R&J Lounge and Supper Club

Cafe 501

Bunker Club

Whiskey Cake

There must be a surplus of talent at Cafe 501. How else does one explain its always-satisfying lunch, brunch and dinner menus, its monthly cocktail dinners and its innovative bar? It’s an embarrassment of riches all around, but one you’ll definitely enjoy swimming in, Scrooge McDuck-style. New for the warmer weather are the blackberry club special and ginger mojito, using highend liquors and housemade syrups to tantalize your taste buds.

Sound the alarm! Every OKC summer is a meltdown, but new Uptown 23rd hotspot Bunker Club offers nuclearpowered fun to cool you down. Its twist on a Long Island iced tea, the 3 Mile Island Iced Tea, uses vodka infused with Urban Teahouse tea and Meyer lemon mixed with gin, rum, cola syrup and Dust Cutter lemonade. Order one and enjoy Cold War nostalgia from the safety of the Bunker.

The word “whiskey” didn’t end up in its name by accident. Whiskey Cake is equal parts bar and restaurant. While it’s easy to get focused on the food — try the wood-grilled pork brisket steak if you haven’t already — ignoring the seasonal cocktail menu is to your detriment. Look for summer-friendly cocktails, including sweet-and-boozy Jam Session. This blend of gin, lemon juice and spiced agave syrup is a lovely way to while away a warm May afternoon.

5825 NW Grand Blvd. cafe501.com | 405-844-1501

320 NW 10th St. rjsupperclub.com | 405-602-5066

Rebel scum and Empire loyalists alike will find much to love when they order the Thai Fighter. You won’t have to Force (get it?) down this flavorful cocktail, infused with herbal notes of basil and sweet-and-sour lime. Blast through hyperspace over to The R&J Lounge and Supper Clup for a drink and a plate of coq au vin. If it’s too crowded inside, grab a seat on the patio and enjoy your cold drink on a warm, sunny day.

433 NW 23rd St. bunkerclubokc.com | 405-702-8898

Try Our new Lunch SpeciaL

1845 Northwest Expressway whiskeycakeokc.com | 405-582-2253

C ELE BRATE

1/4 chicken + Soft Drink $7.99 valiD Mon-fri 11aM to 4pM with thiS aD

CINCO DE MAYO M AY 5 TH

$3

CA R N E ASA DA STR EET TACO

$10. 99

Grilled seasoned flank steak topped with cilantro and diced onions

$3 5805 NW 50th • Warr acres • 603.3997 2106 sW 44th • OKc • 601.2629 Sunday-ThurSday 11am-8pm | Friday & SaTurday 11am-9pm

$4. 50

F ISH TACO

Lightly battered topped with a cabbage slaw

SWA M P MO NSTER STREET TACO Lightly breaded alligator in a soft flour tortilla

$3 $5. 99

C HIMIC HUR R I SA LA D

Marinated flank steak on a lightly fried tortilla bed with shredded lettuce, tomato, grilled chili, queso, fresco cheese, grilled onion, black bean and corn relish

FR OZ EN MA R GA R ITA

$2.00 refills (only in The Grandstand)

U FO SU N DA E (AVA ILA BLE A LL MON T H LON G ) Ice cream on a crispy sweet sprinkled fried tortilla chocolate, raspberry and caramel syrup, and whipped cream

MAY 14TH MOT H ER’ S DAY 14600 N PENN AVE (Memorial & Penn)

405.EAT.CAPS | capriottis.com

Mothers, for every dine in entrée purchased, you will receive an entry into our Grandstand Mother’s Day drawing! (Need not be present to win)

GRANDRESORTOK.COM I-40 EXIT 178 | SHAWNEE, OK | 405-964-4777

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cov e r

ARTS & CULTURE

Sole articulation

OKC artist Gayle Curry makes a tactile impression with her abstract encaustic works. By Lea Terry

Gayle Curry’s interest in art started when she was a child — she used crayons to decorate the walls of her mom’s home. Eventually, her mother bought materials so Curry could more constructively express her artistic tendencies. She has since exhibited at several metro galleries, worked as an artist-inresidence at downtown Oklahoma City’s Skirvin Hilton Hotel and even opened her own art school in the Paseo Arts District. “I have to do art; there’s not really a choice about it,” Curry said. “I don’t really do art for financial gain or the recognition; I do it because it feeds my soul.” Curry focuses on encaustic painting, a type of art that uses heated wax colored with pigment and then shapes it into various designs. Though she has explored several other mediums, she became fascinated with it about 10 years ago when she saw an encaustic painting in Sedona, Arizona. “I just fell in love with it,” Curry said. “I had never seen a painting with that kind of vibrancy.” A couple of Curry’s friends visited Santa Fe, New Mexico, to take a class in the painting style. After they returned, she asked them to demonstrate. She then started reading books about it and eventually took a class in Santa Fe herself.

Ancient art

Curry often finds herself explaining what encaustic painting is because the ancient art form isn’t well-known. Dating back to the early Greeks and Egyptians, it’s making a comeback and is the most popular of the workshops Curry teaches. 22

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Though it’s ideal for both realistic and abstract painting, Curry said she mainly focuses on an abstract interpretation and explores primarily themes of nature and spirituality. “I let the painting lead me,” Curry said. “I used to always try to direct my paintings, but with the wax, I find it kind of has a life of its own.” One of her favorite works is called “Color the Way” and was one of her first large installations. The piece is based on the Tao Te Ching, an ancient text ascribed to Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. Curry completed a painting for each of the text’s 81 verses, using multiple interpretations of the text to guide her. “I read them all and kind of started trying to live my life in that direction,” she said. As much as she enjoyed creating the installation, she also enjoyed the preparation that went into it. “I loved that because it was a process of learning about this philosophy and creating and building it and then expressing it in my art,” she said.

Fancy footwork

One of her most recent creations is for Science Museum Oklahoma’s yearlong smART Space gallery exhibition Sole Expression: The Art of the Shoe. For her contribution, “Walking in Their Shoes,” Curry covered thrift-store shoes with layers of the melted wax she uses for encaustic painting. Sole Expression opened in February and includes 25 local and global shoe designers examining how footwear has historically been interpreted as art and

how local artists explore their own relationships with everything from sequined slippers to black-and-white checkered slip-on sneakers. Curry’s vivid platform wedge sandals, stiletto heels and pumps take on a Frankenstein’s monster-like haute couture quality as they’re displayed together on transparent acrylic stands. Oklahoma-tied artists Curry, Hugh Meade, Marilyn Artus, Julie Yang, Erica Bonavida, Sean Vali, Nathan Lee, Kim Camp, Alyson Atchison, Kjelshus Collins, Douglas Shaw Elder, Klair Larason, Nick Bayer and Lisa Sorrell and Paige Sorrell are featured. Others come from across the U.S. and Hungary, Turkey, Netherlands, Israel and England. “Guests will get to explore modern artistic interpretations of the shoe, the enchanted shoes featured in fairytales and folklore, a materials touch wall, as well as an installation that explores people’s relationships with footwear that was created from donated shoes,” SMO smART Space director Scott Henderson said in a media statement.

Finding opportunity

Since becoming involved in the local arts scene in 2003, Curry said awareness of local art has grown, along with the interest in creating and exhibiting art. “It’s just very incredible; there’s a lot more shows,” Curry said. Curry was artist-in-residence at the Skirvin in 2015 and 2016. There, she demonstrated encaustic painting and showed visitors how create their own works. Since September, she has also worked as a graphic designer for the Oklahoma State Department of Health and said her day job and art career complement each other, particularly since a full-time art career is something of a roller coaster in regard to income. “It’s good to have a job that pays your

“Living by Returning and Yeilding” by Gayle Curry | Image provided

bills and where you can pursue your art,” Curry said. “Plus, graphic design relates to art because it’s the same principles — the same principles of design, same principles of color; all those rules apply.” Curry also exhibits at Kasum Contemporary Art, formerly Paseo Originals Art Gallery. When new owner Tony Morton took over the gallery, renaming it Kasum and moving it to the Plaza District, he asked Curry to exhibit.

Passion principle

In 2013, Curry started the Paseo School of Art, 3110 N. Walker Ave., Suite A, partly because she needed her own space in which to work. She had been working in her garage, but it wasn’t the cleanest environment, and because she was creating large pieces,


Gayle Curry | Photo provided

left Repurposed thrift-store stilettos become part of Gayle Curry’s brightlyhued “Walking in Their Shoes” installation at Science Museum Oklahoma’s Sole Expression: The Art of the Shoe exhibit. | Photo provided

she needed more room. She founded her own studio in the Paseo and decided to start teaching there, too. She offers workshops in everything from photography to silk painting for students age 12 to 80. “I really loved teaching; I found that I had a great passion for that,” Curry said. For budding creatives, Curry recommended being passionate about their work and getting involved with the local art community. Volunteering can help build connections with other local artists, including potential mentors. She said the importance of patience and persistence is one of the biggest lessons she has learned as an artist and one of her top suggestions to others. “That would be my best advice; to really push yourself,” Curry said. Find her at facebook.com/gaylecurryart and gaylecurry.com.

above “Incidental Life” by Gayle Curry | Image provided

Sole Expression: The Art of the Shoe 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday through 2017 smART Space | Science Museum Oklahoma 2020 Remington Place sciencemuseumok.org | 405-602-6664 Free with paid museum admission

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life

ARTS & CULTURE

Super moms By Gazette Staff

This Mother’s Day, Okahoma Gazette celebrates three champion local moms who go the extra mile to support LGBTQ youth and their parents; build families when doctors say it’s impossible; and generously donate their love and time to build bridges between communities, students and schools. For many, Mother’s Day is celebrated the second Sunday in May. Many in our community with Mexican and Latin American heritage also celebrate the holiday on May 10. We say every day is Mother’s Day, and Sara Cunningham, Danielle James and Brenda Hernández show us why.

Marching proud

Though they have since reconciled their relationship, Sara Cunningham is still occasionally haunted by the way she reacted when her son first told her he was gay. But Cunningham is one of many befuddled parents across the world who are given little to no guidance in harmonizing the love for their children with their Christian beliefs. Because few such resources existed at the time, she made it her mission to help parents facing similar situations resolve their internal conflicts. Cunningham recently launched the first Free Mom Hugs Tour, a national trek through 10 cities with goals of offering support for mothers of LGBT youth and showering maternal love on community members who might not be fortunate enough to get it from their moms. “Everything comes down to the mot her,” C u n n i ng h a m sa id . “Everything.” The tour launched May 1 in Oklahoma City and concludes Mother’s Day at the historic Stonewall Inn in New York City. Laura Beth Taylor, a published author and trans woman from Tennessee, joined Cunningham on the

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tour. Each stop features two parts: a Let’s Talk luncheon with civic, business and faith leaders and a Let’s Walk rally in the community. Cunningham’s son, local singersongwriter Parker Cunningham-Jones, came out to her when he was 14. At the time, her faith and the way she was raised had taught her that same-sex relationships were an ultimate offense. She felt a deep hurt that stemmed from a far-reaching love for her son. “It was never a matter of [not] accepting him — certainly not,” she said. “I just had to reconcile it with my faith.” Cunningham sought guidance, yet the church the family attended at the time only seemed interested in alienating Parker and the Cunninghams. “I don’t think it was intentional,” Cunningham said. “They just didn’t know what to do with us.” Cunningham looked elsewhere and found support groups online. She also began writing about her personal experience for mothers in similar situations and self-published her book How We Foster mom Danielle James with her husband Joshua James and stepson Wyatt. | Photo Erika Featherstone / Featherstone Photography / provided

Sleep at Night: A Mother’s Memoir in 2014. She also began plugging herself into the local LGBT community. She remembers back when she used to beg her son not to go to the bars along the NW 39th Street Enclave, a historically gay community. “I just knew there was a hate crime waiting to happen or an orgy in the street,” she said. “But once I got involved in the community, I quickly realized that wasn’t the case at all. It’s a vibrant, beautiful community.”

Everything comes down to the mother. Everything. Sara Cunningham Cunningham said she now believes that many of the negative attitudes toward the national LGBTQ community originated in non-affirming Evangelical churches. “I also believe the problems we have today with this specific issue could be resolved in the affirming church,” she said. Cunningham unveiled her Free Mom Hugs banner during last year’s OKC Pride Parade. She launched the Free Mom Hugs national tour with a desire to march her message of love and acceptance across the nation. “I’m just consumed with it, and my family has been so supportive,” she said. “There is a sense of urgency.” There is no specific type of person Cunningham hopes to reach. She hopes she can reach faith leaders and show them the human side to their struggle. She also wants to remind local LGBT communities that they are loved. But perhaps above all, she wants to guide mothers who, like herself, once desperately sought understanding answers without judgment. “Surround yourself and your child only with people who love and support and honor you,” she said. “Don’t tolerate anything else. If you don’t have it, find it.”

Sara Cunningham wrote How We Sleep at Night: A Mother’s Memoir, chronicling her experiences after her son Parker came out to her. She’s leading a nationwide Free Mom Hugs Tour that concludes Mothers Day in New York City. | Photo Gazette / file

Follow the Free Mom Hugs Tour at facebook.com/fmht17.

Fostering hope

Danielle James was 25 when her doctor told her she had terminal lung cancer. A nurse and a nonsmoker, James was given six months to live. That was four years ago. In that time, she got married, became a stepmom and started thinking about the possibility of pregnancy. Except with her cancer — a condition she still battles thanks to some innovative drugs — childbirth is not an option. “I asked God to give me a child or take the desire to have one away,” she said. “But there was a purpose for that desire.” A church friend told James she had been a foster child and described what it’s like to be a child who would do anything to have a family to love them. Then, at the Cleveland County Fair, she visited an information booth for Circle of Care, a local group dedicated to finding foster care for children. “Within three months, I had my first placement,” she said. Foster families do more than look after children. As part of Circle of Care, James is a bridge between the child and the family with the ultimate goal of reuniting them. “Placements can be for a few days or a few years,” she said. “And foster parents can adopt a placement if the child becomes adoptable.” Being a foster parent is similar in some ways to being a step-parent, she said. In both circumstances, you learn to share the joys of a child’s life with someone else. “The children come to you in a matter of hours; they can be any age and any emotional state. And it’s hard. We don’t have nine months to get ready for a child,” James said. “Foster parents are like any new parents — we need a support network of family and friends.”


Brenda Hernández is a working mom who makes time to volunteer at her children’s school, John Rex Charter Elementary. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

When she talks to others about fostering, the thing she hears most is that people are afraid of getting attached to the youths and the commitment that comes with that. “But they need attachment,” James explained. “Being a parent is about putting a child’s needs before your own feelings. These kids need someone who will do the hard things for them.” The desire to become pregnant hasn’t gone away, nor has her cancer. “I can still live my life right now,” she said. “I can leave a legacy with the children and families I help while I’m still here.”

Focus on kids

Last year, after reaching out to her son’s pre-kindergarten teacher about ways to help, Brenda Hernández’s spent close to two hours one evening cutting out laminated dinosaurs. It was time-consuming, but Hernández didn’t mind. The experience provided insight into how much teachers do for their students. She felt blessed that she was able to contribute to her son’s class. Volunteering and giving back to the community have always played large roles in Hernández’s life. So when her children Adamari and Emiliano began attending John Rex Charter School, Hernández added parent volunteer and field trip chaperone to her long list of job titles. She also works full-time at Tango Public Relations, a business she and her husband Jorge Hernández own and operate in south Oklahoma City. “Sometimes, it’s just an hour of your day,” Hernández said of volunteering. “It really is not a lot. I know there are parents who want to help; either they don’t know how to help or the school doesn’t communicate it needs help. I am very grateful because there is very good communication between the teachers, parents, school leaders and

our [Parent Teacher Association]. We all work as a team. It takes teamwork to be there for one another.” Over the last three years, Hernández has poured an investment of time and heart into John Rex, benefitting not only her children but also their peers. The effort seems small when Hernández compared it to what she has received in return: a deepened relationship with her children’s classmates and their parents. When she walks the halls of the downtown elementary school, she knows the students by name, and they smile, say hi and wave to each other. “Building relationships is so important,” Hernández said. “It’s nice because [moms] keep an eye on each other’s kids. It feels like family at John Rex. Like a family, we try to be there for one another. When someone can’t be there, we watch out for their kids.” When Hernández became a mom nine years ago, she was determined to find a way to make every moment count with her children. It was an approach to motherhood she learned from her own mom, who immigrated from Mexico and sacrificed so much to give her three children a great life. At times, by putting family first, Hernández left the office with unfinished work to get to her children or volunteer at their school. Work can always wait another day, said Hernández, who subscribes to the philosophy that moms can do it all as long as they balance it properly. Her motherhood tip is to focus on what’s important and never lose that focus, even when days get hectic and stressed. As a community leader and an advocate on issues like domestic abuse and sexual assault, Hernández and her husband seek ways to engage their children in service. In late April, the family participated in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. A week before, they ran the 2017 2 Minute 5K, which was hosted by YWCA Oklahoma City. When Hernández picks up her kids from school but needs to drop by the YWCA, where she serves as a board member, before heading home, she takes the time to pass along a message of compassion for those hurting and in need of help. “I feel it is important to give back to our community, and I find ways for us to do that as a family,” Hernández said. “This is what we do, and it is part of who we are.”

Mother’s Day Love Notes

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Wani Mayes, Shay Brooks, Kristen Glover, Tassha Raheem, Paulesha Hill, Detra Bruner, Rita Jackson, Happy Mother’s Day! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Oklahoma Gazette readers show their love!

Mom - I love you so much. I couldn’t imagine my life without you. Love, Andi Grace ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Anjuma, you’re the best Mother a person could have. Materialistic is not your way when you’re guided by the heart.

Mom - We love you to the moon and back! Thank you for everything you do! Love, Rachael and Kyle

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Love you Judy Harrison: You’re the best Mom, Nana, Sister, Daughter, Nurse, and Friend anyone could have...

With each passing year my love for you enlarges...I Love You so, my curly headed Hottie!!! Truly Yours, MLLF

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Mom, your the cream to our coffee, the sweet in our sweet tea and the icing on the cake! Love, Josh, Leasha and Key.

Mom, I love you!! I appreciate you and all that you do for me! You’re going to be a Grandma soon!! Love Jessica!

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Pat, you are appreciated for all you do loved for all you are thank you for accepting me into your family Love, Tina.

I would like to wish my Loving mother Rita Brooks a Very Happy Mother’s day.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Mom thanks for being the superwoman, I hope to be one day. You brighten each day with your smile and wisdom. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you so much to my mother Lorri Davis. You are the most amazing mother a girl could ever ask for. I love you! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Sami, you’re not like a regular mom. You’re a cool mom. Love, Mandy and Blake ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Mom there is no words to express my love and gratuity. Thank you for all the little things and the infinite love. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Mama, thank you for teaching me unconditional love and for giving me a wealth of hilarious stories. -Gena Weena ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Mom, You’ve spent my life trying to show me but I never understood the depth of your love until I had a daughter. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Dear Mom, Wonder Woman’s real name is Mary! Thanks for being such an inspiration . Happy Mothers Day! Love, SEC ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Dear Shyanne, I want to wish a Happy Mothers Day to the best mommy ever! Love you Always, Aliyha, Adeline and Sheri ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Happy Mother’s Day, Groovy Momma! Thank you for all you do. I love you!

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Mom, I love you! You’re my rock, inspiration, mentor, best friend. Love, your favorite (and only non-furry) daughter. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

To my daughter, KeEra Reed, for her 1st Mother’s day. Happy Mother’s Day from Big Leslie & Lil Leslie. We love you. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

To the Daughters of Leslie. Happy Mother’s Day to each of you. I love you, from Mama Reed. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you so much for everything you do for Kiera. I love you with all of my heart. Happy Mother’s day! Jennifer ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Mom, youre the best Mom in the World. Your eyes are like a deep pool that sparkle. We love U! Audrey, Dalton & Dad ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

PJ Spriggs! You mean so much to me & so many others. Thank you for being THE best mother & Gran Gran to Ava. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Happy Mom’s Day. So happy to share my world with you girl. Iloveyou, Chelly Bean ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

You are my friend, teacher, coach, counselor, and provider. With out you I couldn’t imagine life. Happy Mom’s Day! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Happy mothers day to the best creation ever created. My love is endless. Look forward to the next 50 years together. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Dearest Mother, you are lucky to have me as a child. Sincerly, your lazy but loving child.

Happy Momma day Chelly Bean. Would you like to tie the knot with me or what girl. I love you till the end if time.

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Mom you have always been there for me through tough times. I love you so very much and you are the best mom.

MOM happy Mother’s Day hope you have a good day you are a good mom I ever have I love you by liberty.

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Mom, we love you lots. Keep doing what you are doing for us every day. Can’t wait for Mother’s Day! Eva and Luca

Moo, we love you! You’re a stellar teacher and a kind-hearted lady. Thanks for loving us. Shanna, Rachel, Wes.

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Thank you for your support in hard times. Love you momma, I hope you have a wonderful mothers day.

To Linda: My Wife and the mother of my son Josh, Happy Mother Day. Thank You for all these years. JRL

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Dr. Leslie Reed (Moma)...Love, joy, peace, meek, perfect example of Jesus...”My Moma” Happy Mother’s Day! Love you!

Stella: Mother & Grandmother. We love, appreciate, and thank God for you. Wishing you a very Happy Mother’s Day!

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What Mama Wants

Mother’s Day Gifts

Mom: The woman who loves you unconditionally from birth. The one who puts her kids before herself and the one who you can always count on above everyone else.

All Coton Colors 20% off May 1-13 405-789-6718 | NW 39th EXP. | BEthaNy tuEs - Fri 10 - 5:30 | sat 10 - 4:30 WWW.mariPosa-dEsigN-BEthaNy.com

ANTI-AGING SERVICES BOTOX Always $10 Per Unit MICRODERMABRASION $30 First Treatment $200 Package of 5 MICRODERMABRASION ADD-ONS $10 Glycolic Peel $20 Jessner’s Peel

for your mom...

PERMANENT MAKEUP

$250 Eyeliner $250 Eyebrows $350 Full Lips $250 Lip Line

Schelly’s Aesthetics

Schelly Hill, R.N.

Shoppes at Northpark, 12028 May Ave. 405-751-8930 Open Mon-Fri www.skincareokc.com Gift Certificates Available

shopbowandarrow.com • 617 N. Broadway Ave. 601-0605 Hours: Tues-Fri 11-6 • Sat 11-4 •

Purveyors of Fine Estate Jewelry

Discover Oklahoma’s largest selection of New, Estate, Vintage and Antique Jewelry.

Perfect for Mother’s Day

specializing in Fine Jewelry, Diamonds and Watches.

Complementary engraving

Financing available WAC

E s tAt E JEW ELERs

N a i f e h f i N e J e w e l ry

N. Penn & Britton rd | Casady Square 405.607.4323 | www.NaifehfineJewelry.com 26

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1123 NW 51st st, OKC 405-848-2124 | M-F 10-5:30pM items shown subject to prior sale


Mothers Day Gift Guide Temple St. Clair Angel Collection

We’ve got shades

Contemporary, yet timeless, these Monica Rich Kosann Poesy Rings are the perfect gift for Mother’s Day. Dating back to the 14th century, Poesy Rings bore poetic inscriptions and were exchanged as expressions of friendship, inspiration and love. Several messages and styles, just in time for Mother’s Day.

Shop small with us on historic Automobile Alley, located in downtown OKC. Greeted by owner, Courtney and shop dog Penny, you’ll find what’s trending in fashion for an affordable price. New arrivals in each week, treat mom to a cute top, candle, or jewelry all under $100. Can’t decide? We’ve got gift cards! Shades, Shades and more Shades

Naifeh Fine Jewelry 9203 N Pennsylvania Ave, Casady Square naifehfinejewelry.com • 405.607.4323

Bow & Arrow Boutique 617 N. Broadway Ave . OKC www.shopbowandarrow.com 405.601.0605

Macaroons

Fabulous Macaroons made in OKC by Top 10 Bakery! Winner of Best Doughnut in Oklahoma by BuzzFeed and Travel Channel. Summer Camps, Classes, Weddings & Events 405 430 5484 Proudly Local

Belle Kitchen 7509 N. May, OKC 30 NE 2nd, Deep Deuce www.belle-kitchen.com

405-430-5484 OKC 405-541-5858 Deep Deuce

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion, Peels, Facial Fillers, Botox, Facials and Skin Care Products. Love Her Face by giving a gift from our medical skincare spa, dedicated to giving the Mom in your life the best care and products she deserves. Gift certificates available.

Schelly’s Aesthetics Shoppes at North Park 12028 N May Ave www.skincareokc.com • 405.751.8930

A glowing face.

What mother doesn’t want their face glowing? Introducing my all new natural skin care line; Simply Sweet Sensations. Ask about our Supreme-Seaweed and Vitamin C Systems. We fix wrinkles, lines, acne, scars, brown spots, redness, inflammation, photo-again and preserving good skin! Packages start at 5 for $150.00. Pamper your mother!

Faces & More 12054 N. May Ave (Inside Northpark Mall) OKC 463.0333

Exquisite Jewelry for Mothers Day

A special gift for Mom under $500 can be in the form of a special piece of jewelry. A vast array of earrings, pendants, rings, and other fine jewelry can be found.. From retro designs to contemporary, your mom will be wearing something that will not be forgotten.

R&R Estate Jewelers 1123 NW 51st St, OKC www.rrestatejewelers.com 405-848-2124

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ARTS & CULTURE

Paseo Arts Festival features family-friendly fun with children’s activities and entertainment.

c u lt u r e

| Photo Paseo Arts Association / provided

Dynamic history

Paseo Arts Festival returns with 80 visual artists and a roster of entertainment, food and vendors. By Lea Terry

A little over 40 years ago, Paseo Arts Festival began as a small street festival that reflected the area’s bohemian vibe. Today, the Paseo Arts District is a bustling arts, shopping and dining destination known for its galleries, studios and tight-knight community; something reflected in the increasing professionalism of the annual event. A Memorial Day tradition, the festival draws around 60,000 visitors to the area each year. This year’s event happens May 27-29 throughout the historic district, which runs from NW 28th Street and Walker Avenue to NW 30th Street and Dewey Avenue. “Just by word of mouth and lots of hard

Pet

Paseo Arts Festival celebrates 41 years May 27-29. | Photo Paseo Arts Association / provided

work as far as our committee and our director are concerned, we’ve grown in professionalism,” said Paseo Arts Festival director Collin Rosebrook. “It’s not just a flea market or someone who is handy at crafts, but these are professional artists who make their living at it.” This year, more than 200 people applied for 80 coveted artist slots. Several more are on an extensive waiting list and ready to step in should a spot open up. The organization uses a juried system in which artists judge art in their own medium — photographers judging photography and sculptors judging sculp-

A new quarterly glossy magazine published by

EE G 2017 | FR E 1 | SPRIN VOL 1 ISSU

Pet

TYPES

Paseo Arts Festival 10 a.m.-10 p.m. May 27-28 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 29 Paseo Arts District NW 30th Street and Dewey Avenue thepaseo.org | 405-525-2688 Free

Publishing: APril 26, 2017 July 26, 2017

DOGS&CATS WE LOOK AT ALL

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PET CALENDAR OF EVENTS

LEFTOVER FOODS: STRAIGHT TO TRASH OR STOMACH?

HEALTHY DOG TREATS

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ture, for example. This year’s event showcases nearly every medium, including photography, sculpture, painting, jewelry and ceramics. While the increasingly professional nature of the festival attracts a growing number of artists, visitors are still drawn to the event’s casual, creative vibe that comes with being located in a creative community that’s filled with working artists. “I hear people constantly saying this is their favorite arts festival because it’s so relaxed and so laid-back,” Rosebrook said, “and it’s a real artsy atmosphere, the surrounding area with the ambiance of the galleries.” The festival not only raises awareness about local art. It also generates funds for the district’s many programs and events throughout the year by selling festival T-shirts and posters, designed this year by fine artist and graphic designer Brian Landreth. Some of these events include juried art shows, which attract creatives from all over Oklahoma, said Amanda Bleakley, Paseo Arts Association executive director. “They may not have a gallery where they live where they can show their work,

but they can show it here,” Bleakley said. “They travel hours to bring their art here.” The area’s galleries and stores will be open during the festival, and Bleakley said festival organizers encourage visitors to check out other district attractions. “This is about bringing people down to our community to show them what we have to offer,” Bleakley said. Paseo Arts Festival plays a “tremendous role” in supporting the district and raising awareness of local art, Bleakley said, and it attracts people who might not otherwise check out the area. Rosebrook said several artists have displayed at the festival for more than 20 years, and they return each year for the customer base, with some patrons coming out to see specific artists. It also attracts new vendors every year. The event features two music stages and 46 performing acts, including Edgar Cruz, Jahruba and Aalim Bellydance Academy. Budding artists can hone their creative skills at the free children’s tent, a popular attraction that features spin art and other crafts. Over a dozen food vendors will serve up everything from funnel cakes to Asian fare, Caribbean cuisine, corn dogs, kettle corn, french fries, nachos, gyros, sausage sandwiches, chicken salad on croissant, shaved ice, ice cream and mini doughnuts. To wash it all down, guests can order from The Lemonade Company or from Urban WineWorks and Whispering Meadows Vineyards & Winery. Roughtail Brewing Co. returns with its craft beer offerings, as well. Paseo Arts Festival is 10 a.m.-8 p.m. May 27-28 (with live music until 10 p.m.) and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 29. Parking is available at 3700 N. Walker Ave., with a free shuttle to and from the festival.

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Roaring success

The Lion King has long been the pride of Broadway and makes Civic Center Music Hall its territory through May 28. By Lea Terry

Say the name Simba and many people immediately think of the 1994 animated film The Lion King. More than 20 years after its release, the movie is so ingrained in American pop culture that audiences might assume they know exactly what they’re going to get when they see the stage version, which has run continuously since its 1997 premiere. But Dashaun Young, who portrays Simba in the North American touring production, said fans are in for a bit of a surprise. “I hope they’re blown away by the spectacle that it is on stage and moved by what it’s like to be transported in the theater to Africa and watch these amazing cast members step up on stage as animals and impact you and you forget that you’re watching humans on stage,” Young said. The show runs through May 28 at Civic Center Music Hall as part of OKC Broadway’s inaugural season. While the touring production stays mostly true to the original, some changes have been made to transform the original 90minute story into a 2 and 1/2-hour stage show, including an enhanced storyline. For example, Nala, Simba’s childhood friend and later love interest, has a much larger role in the stage production. Set on Africa’s Serengeti plains, The Lion King follows young cub Simba, who is destined to be king. However, he has a rival in his uncle Scar, who wants the throne for himself and kills Simba’s father King Mufasa. Simba flees, living in exile in the jungle among fellow outcasts who become his friends and allies. As an adult, he returns to challenge Scar for the throne. “He gets to a dark place and then figures out through meeting other people how to get out of that dark place and step

up to the plate and become the man that he was supposed to be,” Young said. It’s a lesson everyone can learn from and one of the most important messages of the production, said Young, who said this transformation is one of his favorite aspects of portraying Simba. “Be true to who you are and to follow your heart and your faith and what you believe and let it manifest in you and see the outcome,” Young said. Cast members perform eight shows a week, and Young said it’s a physically demanding job that requires keeping your body ready for sometimes-intense physical components. “Most people in the show stay consistently in the gym, in yoga classes and in stretch classes,” Young said. Young first joined the touring production about 10 years ago and has performed in The Lion King on Broadway and with a London company before rejoining the North American tour. He took a few years off to do other projects and returned to the tour about six months ago. Young became interested in acting as a child, when he started attending a local rec center. He tried basketball and wrestling before signing up for acting. He auditioned for and was admitted to a performing arts high school and later studied theater at California State University, Fullerton. He was 22 years old when he was originally cast as Simba in the touring production. He cried when he discovered out he landed a major role. “It was a lot of overwhelming emotions that I felt, so it was pretty amazing,” Young said. “Then I called pretty much everyone in my family directly after to let them know.” The cast for the North American

Dashaun Young portrays Simba in The Lion King North American Tour. | Photo Joan Marcus / OKC Broadway / provided

touring production includes Broadway veterans along with actors and vocalists with several TV and film credits. Mark Campbell, who portrays Scar, has acted in several touring productions, including the 25th anniversary tour of The Phantom of the Opera, but also makes frequent guest appearances on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow series as George Washington. Gerald Ramsey, who plays Mufasa, is a dancer and actor who has starred in Ha: The Breath of Life and Te Here and My Name is Gary Cooper. Nia Holloway, who portrays Nala, has appeared at the famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Buyi Zama, who plays the shaman Rafiki, has performed in The Lion King’s touring and Broadway productions. Featuring music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, The Lion King is the third longest-running play in Broadway history and the highest-grossing production of all time. While it has its share of dramatic moments and show-stopping musical numbers, Young said its “Circle of Life” tune at the beginning of the show often gets the biggest reaction, sometimes prompting applause multiple times throughout the number. “I think people are curious as to how the show is going to bring all these animals to life on the stage, and it’s the first number, and it doesn’t disappoint, so I think people get really excited,” Young said. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. WednesdayFriday, May 16-19 and 23-25; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and May 20 and 26-27; 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday and May 21; and 1 p.m. May 28. Visit okcbroadway.com.

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Last words

Obit. gives audiences a deeper respect for New York Times death chroniclers. By Ben Luschen

On the obituaries desk of The New York Times, the newly deceased never pass away. They do not depart this transitory life or leave us in an angel’s heavenly cradle. The record will not show them breathing their souls away into their savior’s loving arms or fading into a warm sunset. Instead, they just die — as we all will. The 2016 documentary Obit. is a film that gives viewers a glimpse at the warm-bodied Times writers tasked with compiling and making sense of the lifetimes of the freshly dead. The Vanessa Gould-directed film screens May 19-21 and again May 25 at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive. Obituaries are sometimes seen as something separate from the news, but the job of a Times obituarist is no different than that of the other journalists they work alongside: to write an impartial but compelling account of the facts. Glowing memorials and coddling euphemisms are nowhere in the job description. That is not to say an obituary should be dry or morbidly sterile either. One fact that shines through in Obit. is that these accounts can be as bright with color as the vibrant lives they describe. Similarly, it turns out a documentary about career death writers is not half as stodgy as it might sound. More than just talking about what makes an obituary, Obit. gives viewers a sense of what it is actually like to work on the beat. The audience watches as writers pitch a certain angle to their editor, hammer their way through a complex lede under the pressure of a looming deadline and anxiously wait while the office single-serve coffee maker leaks out a piping cup of complimentary joe. Writer Bruce Weber’s piece on John F. Kennedy’s television aide William P.

Jeff Roth, the last remaining archivist, searches The New York Times morgue in Obit. | Photo Ben Wolf / Kino Lorber / provided

Wilson (whom the former president once credited with securing his win in the 1960 election over Republican candidate Richard Nixon) is particularly captivating as viewers see the story develop through the stages, from a pitch to the editor to its eventual publication.

Defining death

Times obituaries are not merely reserved for celebrity entertainers and world leaders. The documentary explains that an obit can be over anyone who has made a notable impact on the world — be it a pope or a toy inventor. While the obituarist and the news writer have similar goals, some of their methods are different. A journalist on a political or special interest beat has a firm set of sources to pull from, but obit writers never know who is going to die or when. Their scope of research is far broader, and their tasks sometimes more closely resemble the work of a historian. The Times requires every death to be verified through an official entity or family member, no matter how widely it is being reported. One writer featured in the film recalls looking through every Wallace in an Urbana-Champagne, Illinois, phonebook until he found the parents of author David Foster Wallace. The daunting task of research is perhaps most exemplified in the incomprehensibly voluminous Times morgue — an archive of nearly all the clippings, photographs and documents the historic paper has ever published or owned. Obit writers must frequently pull from the massive file of records. For well-aged figures of note, that sometimes includes pulling prepared


A SeASonAl Guide to CentrAl oklAhomA advances that were written before the time of his or her death. Obit. shows the filing of a newly written advance for actress Jane Fonda, who is still living.

Racing the reaper

As hard as they try to keep ahead, death always proves itself unpredictable. Obit writers exclusively cover breaking news, but some breaks are bigger than others. The high-profile and totally unexpected deaths of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michael Jackson and Robin Williams all sent the staff scrambling. Obit writers have the unenviable task of encapsulating these monumental lives from scratch in mere hours before a firm print deadline. The digital media market also forces them to churn out briefs in even shorter windows of time. In 2016, it seemed to many like celebrities were dying at a higher rate than in the past. One contributing factor is that the pool of widely known figures is simply deeper than it has ever been. As writer Margalit Fox poignantly notes in the film, obituaries are inherently retrospective. The obituarist’s beat operates on a timeline several decades behind the present. When Fox started, she was writing mostly about the generation of World War II. She said obituarists now mostly operate in the 1950s and ’60s — the television era. When faces and voices could be directly broadcast into people’s homes, the potential for becoming a celebrity was exponentially increased. That potential will only further explode as the timeline slowly shifts into the cable and internet years. Perhaps due to the nature of their jobs, obituary writers seem to be a reflective lot. The crew behind the Obit. cameras seem to be frequently asking their subjects to reflect on their own lives and mortality. Many of the writers gratefully comply, offering introspective takes on purpose and their own happiness. A job many think would be morose is actually exciting and inspiring. On a day-to-day basis, obit writers live through the full and impactful lives of others. Wading through a pool of family members’ and loved ones’ selective memories and the circumstances surrounding a death, the writers get down to a kernel of truth in a person’s life, perhaps revealing an overlying theme. Obituarists are not grief counselors, and the news is no epitaph — yet fairness in truth often proves to be as sacred a tribute as most could ever hope to earn.

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

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Brain power

John Rex Charter Elementary fourth-graders head to Odyssey of the Mind 2017 World Finals. By Ian Jayne

From Homeric heroes to modern-day adventures, an odyssey typically signifies a period of testing and personal growth. Seven John Rex Charter Elementary School fourth-graders will prove their mettle in the upcoming Odyssey of the Mind 2017 World Finals, May 24-27 at Michigan State University. Designed in 1978 as a competition that fuses elements from science and the arts, Odyssey of the Mind poses creative challenges to student teams around the world. The annual competitions include problems in vehicular, technical, classical, structural and performancerelated fields. John Rex formed an Odyssey team after fourth-grade teacher Wendi Liles — who participated in the program at a previous school — sent an invitation to parents and students, said Alicia CurrinMoore, a John Rex parent. Currin-Moore and LaTonia Moore co-coach John Rex’s Odyssey team, which includes K’Vion Berry, Mason Currin-Moore, Daniel Dailey, Keayanna Foreman, Maxine Hall, Trinity Smith and Aaron Stinson Jr. “This was the first year that we’ve ever participated in any type of competition in general and also in Odyssey of the Mind,” Currin-Moore said. After an application process in which students wrote about their interests in creative problem-solving, they chose the Odd-a-Bot problem, a situation that required them to create a robot with human characteristics and then write about a family that receives the robot as a gift, Currin-Moore said. “One of the overarching goals for the students is to learn how to work collaboratively as a team,” Currin-Moore said. In October, the team began practicing two to three hours each school day, with additional practices on Saturdays. They created the robot, a set and props and costumes and wrote the script for their performance. After progressing from a regional 32

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Alicia Currin-Moore helps her team build a robotic arm prototype during an Odyssey of the Mind practice. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

competition that featured OKC metroarea teams, John Rex advanced to the state competition in Owasso, receiving second place. Next, the team advances to the World Finals, which features two teams from each state as well as teams from countries like Japan and Poland. At the World Finals, teams also have the opportunity to enjoy international festivals. In order to cover travel costs, John Rex’s Odyssey team launched a GoFundMe campaign a few days after qualifying for the final competition. The campaign, which ended April 28, raised $6,435 of its $10,000 goal from 81 donors. The students also worked as Sonic carhops and hosted an ice cream social and art auction at SixTwelve during the Paseo Arts District’s May 5 First Friday Gallery Walk. “We are really excited and thrilled at the support that the community and the school have provided, and we’re excited for the next phase of the journey,” Currin-Moore said. She said the Odyssey of the Mind competitions and practices provide students with unique opportunities for personal and collective growth. Because the team does not have a set captain, each of the members must know when to step forward into a leadership role, Currin-Moore said. In order to determine the best course of action, the team also votes on the best idea in order to move forward. The competition also helps team members exert independence in their problem-solving, communication and critical thinking skills without relying on adults. Currin-Moore said it was rewarding to see such a process boost the team members’ confidence. “They make it happen,” CurrinMoore said. “They ask for the right supplies and tools, and they are able to create it from their imaginations.”


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calendar Oklahoma Archaeologist as Martin Park partners with Preservation Oklahoma for an evening of Oklahoma history, 7-8:45 p.m. May 16. Martin Park Nature Center, 5000 W. Memorial Ave., 405-7550676, parks.okc.gov. TUE

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

FOOD Art of Flowers Luncheon, celebrating the art of floral arranging while helping to support the gardens with a garden-to-table seasonal lunch prepared by Chef Kamala Gamble, 11:30a.m.-1 p.m. May 11. Park House, 125 Ron Norick Blvd., 405-2327275, parkhouseokc.com. THU

BOOKS The Cake and the Rain, Jimmy Webb signs his first memoir, delivering a snapshot of his life from 1955 to 1970, from simple and sere Oklahoma to fast and fantastical Los Angeles, from the crucible of his family to the top of his longed-for profession, 6:30 p.m. May 10. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 NW Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. WED OKCLitFest, festival of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, storytelling and spokenword poetry. Featuring published and award-winning authors, readings, performances, book fair, critiques workshop and more, 8:30 a.m. May 13. Metropolitan Library System, 300 Park Ave., 405-231-8650, metrolibrary.org. SAT Summerlost, author of Atlantia and the Matched Trilogy, Ally Condie, signs copies of her newest release, 6-7:30 p.m. May 16. Best of Books, 1313 E. Danforth Road, Edmond, 405-340-9202, bestofbooksok.com. TUE

FILM Unbranded, (US, 2015, Phillip Baribeau) four young men hatch an outrageous plot to adopt, train and ride a string of wild mustangs 3,000 miles from Mexico to Canada through the wildest terrain of the American West, 6-9 p.m. May 12. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. FRI My Neighbor Totoro, (Japan, 1988, Hayao Miyazaki) when two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby, May 12-13. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 NW Expressway, 405842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. FRI-SAT What Was Ours, (US, 2016, Mat Hames) a Shoshone veteran, a teenage powwow princess and an Arapaho journalist discover their purpose on the Wind River Indian Reservation as they seek lost artifacts, 4-7 p.m. May 13. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. SAT The Deep Blue Sea, in West London, Hester Collyer is found by her neighbors in the aftermath of a failed suicide attempt, the story of her tempestuous affair with a former RAF pilot and the breakdown of her marriage to a high court judge begins to emerge, 6 p.m. May 14. OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center, 7777 S. May Ave., 405-682-7579, occc.edu. SUN Bicycle Film Festival, featuring cycling related

Broadway and Brew 2017, support Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma by drinking the best local brews and local bites, 6-11 p.m. May 11. Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-524-9312, lyrictheatreokc.com. THU

Beer Yoga Now you can be one with the universe, get in some meditative exercise and enjoy a cold pint of craft beer during Beer Yoga 6-7 p.m. Thursday at TapWerks Ale House, 121 E. Sheridan Ave. The beginner-friendly class is a bring-your-own-mat event, and guests must be age 21 or older. Tickets are $15, include a post-class pint of beer and are available at eventbrite.com. Visit facebook.com/beeryoga1. Thursday Photo Gazette / file

films, exhibits, rides, giveaways, demos, celebrities and enthusiasts from the bike world with a BMX Night, Tulsa Tough Night and Bike Crawl and Bike Shorts, May 15-17. Circle Cinema, Tulsa, 10 S. Lewis Ave., Tulsa, 918-585-3504, circlecinema.com. MON -WED

HAPPENINGS Day of Advocacy for Oklahoma Children, advocates from across the state rally for policies that positively impact Oklahoma children while meeting directly with lawmakers and hearing from guest speakers, 9:15 a.m. May 10. Oklahoma State Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., 405-892-9205, oica.org. WED Growing and Using Herbs at Home, learn how to grow and use herbs to make teas, infusions, tinctures and syrups, 6 p.m. May 10. Will Rogers Garden Center, 3400 NW 36th St., 405-713-1125, oces.okstate.edu. WED Capitol Crawl, meet and talk with legislators in a relaxed environment, hosted by Let’s Fix This, 6-9 p.m. May 10. Uptown 23rd District, 23rd St. and Western Ave., 405-831-0177, letsfixthis.org. WED OSU Energy Conference, topics addressing

dynamics of E&P industry, wind power, mergers and acquisitions, Oklahoma’s energy status and more, 8:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m. May 11. Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, 405-602-8500, coxconventioncenter.com. THU National Public Gardens Day, joins thousands of public gardens nationwide to bring national awareness to public gardens and the impact they have on their communities, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 12. Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. FRI Cafe Society’s Community Coffee, start the weekend off with networking, community announcements and coffee, 8:30 a.m. May 12. Artspace at Untitled, 1 NE Third St., 405-815-9995, artspaceatuntitled.org. FRI Medicine Buddha Empowerment, Tibetan monk Geshe Chopel teaches meditation and mind training sponsored by the Norman Cultural Center, 7-9 p.m. May 12. St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church, 5603 NW 41st St., 405-201-9991, normanculturalconnection.org. FRI Live! on the Plaza, join the Plaza District every second Friday of the month for an art walk featuring artists, live music, street pop-up shops, live performances and more, 7-11 p.m. May 12. Plaza District, 1618 N. Gatewood Ave., 405-367-9403, plazadistrict.org. FRI Geneology Workshop, educational seminar addressing commonly encountered genealogy dilemmas and strategies to help with research of special populations, interpreting handwriting, determining relationships and more, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. May 13. Oklahoma County OSU Extension Service, 2500 NE 63rd St., 405-513-4014, ohcegenealogy.com. SAT OKC Garden Fest, festival featuring herbs, perennials, produce, pottery, jewelry, wineries, food trucks and more, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 13. Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. SAT 3rd Annual Okie Sampler, enjoy a full day of shopping and food featuring local vendors, kids festival, a monster truck show, pony and hay rides and more, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 13. Chester’s Party Barn & Farm, 5201 Cimarron Road, 405-373-1595, chesterspartybarn.com. SAT Bugs in My Garden: Planting for Pollinators, learn how to create a garden featuring plants that will attract pollinators and other beneficial insects while focusing on native plants that are easy to grow in central Oklahoma, 11 a.m.-noon May 13. CommonWealth Urban Farms, 3310 N. Olie Ave., 405524-1864, commonwealthurbanfarms.com. SAT

Get in the Game Cue Alice Cooper: Schooooooooool’s out for summer! Except, you know, not until May 30. But in preparation for the break, students can sign up for the Get in the Game summer reading challenge. It’s the perfect time to read for fun while honing literacy skills. The Get in the Game kickoff event is 5:30-6:30 p.m. Monday at Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave. Admission is free. Kids can also meet Rumble, Mayor Mick Cornett and OKC Dodgers and OKC Energy FC teammates. Visit metrolibrary.org or call 405-231-8650. Monday Photo Bigstock.com

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Edmond Farmers Market, enjoy a variety of local produce, cheeses, meats and bakery items, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. May 13. Edmond Farmer’s Market, 24 W. First St., Edmond, 405-359-4630, okgrown.com/ markets. SAT

Drum Set Masterclass, Jim Riley, drummer and bandleader for Rascal Flatts, conducts the class for drummers who wish to hone their skills in a variety of playing styles, 12:30-3:30 p.m. May 13. Norman Music Institute, 2795 Broce Ave., Norman, 405-292-8400, normanmusicinstitute.com.

SAT

Dr. Who Day, show your Whovian spirit with costumes, games and fun with profits benefiting local charities, 2-6 p.m. May 13. My Chic Geek, 4413 N. Meridian Ave., 405-367-7955, mychicgeek.com. SAT Ask the Archaeologist, spend an evening with an

go to okgazette.com for full listings!

Tapestry: An Artist Collective It’s true; Oklahoma has many incredible artists who work with a broad spectrum of mediums. If only there was some way to enjoy an incredible cross-section of talent at one time. Oh wait; there is! Tapestry: An Artist Collective welcomes more than 20 local musicians, poets and visual artists, including Skip Hill (pictured), rapper Fresh, writer Gay Pasley and more. The event is 6-9 p.m. Thursday at Studio XII, 1208 N. Pennsylvania Ave. Tickets are $10-$15, available at squareup.com/store/ inspire-oklahoma and include food and two drink tickets. Call 405-922-7205. Thursday Photo Gazette / file Ostrich Egg Breakfast, 31st annual family event including an all-you-can-eat buffet of pancakes, sausage, bacon and scrambled eggs with fellow dedicated patrons of the zoo, 8-11 a.m. May 13. Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington Place, 405-425-0611, okczoo.org. SAT The Farmers Market at Central Park, promoting the sale of garden related products and produce, 8 a.m.-noon May 13. Moore Central Park, 700 S. Broadway Ave., Moore, 405-793-5090, centralpark. cityofmoore.com. SAT Beats & Bites Festival, an all-ages event with live music and a large selection of food trucks. Festivalgoers can visit vendors offering local merchandise, games and a bounce house for children, 6-11 p.m. May 13. Riverwind Casino, 1544 State Highway 9, Norman, 405-322-6000, riverwind.com. SAT


Blackbird Family Drum and Dance Troupe, watch and learn about the history of dances and the regalia worn with performances from respected championship dancers with diverse intertribal backgrounds, 2-3:30 p.m. May 13. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. SAT Disney’s The Lion King, the awe-inspiring visual artistry, the unforgettable music and the uniquely theatrical storytelling of this Broadway spectacular set against a backdrop of stunning visuals, May 9-28. Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave., 405-297-2264, okcciviccenter. com.

ACTIVE

Nick Thune Bearded comedy wunderkind Nick Thune steers his Proud of Myself tour into Oklahoma City for all manner of laughs, chuckles, guffaws and chortles. The man behind comedy albums Folk Hero and Thick Noon and appearances on The Tonight Show takes the stage 8 p.m. Thursday at ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan Ave. Tickets for the all-ages show are $16-$20 and available at ticketstorm. com. Visit okccomedy.com or call 405-974-4700. Thursday Photo provided works. WED Civics and Sangria, a happy hour featuring civics trivia and a chance to win prizes, hosted by Women Lead Oklahoma, a statewide nonprofit promoting the engagement of Oklahoma women in civic life, 6:30-8 p.m. May 16. Blu Fine Wine & Food, 201 S. Crawford Ave., Norman, 405-757-3223, womenleadok.org. TUE Cawfee Tawk, free coffee, breakfast and pep talks, 8 a.m. May 17. Halcyon Works, 405 NW 30th St., 405-601-3335, halcyon.

YOUTH

Full Moon OKC Bike Ride & Run, join runners in a 5K, led by Ultramax Sports Oklahoma, through the scenic downtown area as the sun sets. Bring your bike for a leisurely one-hour ride with routes specifically planned by Schlegel Bicycles, 7-9 p.m. May 10. Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-323-4040, schlegalbicycles. com. WED Gutter Dance 14 Charity Bowling, presented by the Hal Smith Restaurant Group with proceeds supporting the operation of Camp ClapHans, a residential summer camp project for children with developmental disabilities for boys and girls, 11 a.m. May 11. Sooner Bowling Center, 550 24th Ave., Norman, 405-360-3634, soonerbowl.com. THU Walk to Cure Arthritis, a family friendly 5K and 1 mile walk to raise money and awareness for the nation’s leading cause of disability bringing communities together nationwide to fight arthritis, 8 a.m. May 13. Chesapeake Boathouse, 725 S. Lincoln

Mother’s Day Hand Bouquet Painting, kids will turn their handprints into painted bouquet creations to bring home to a special woman on Mother’s Day, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. May 13. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St., 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. SAT

NomiNatioNs opeN for the CLass of 2017

help us recognize the men and women who are shapingoklahoma City and its future. to nominate one of oklahoma City’s brightest young leaders visit okgazette.com today.

Artful Tours for Fours and Fives, look, listen and share ideas while exploring Native American stories and art with movement, drawing and other gallery activities, 10-11 a.m. May 13. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. SAT Mama’s Day at the Ferris Wheel, enjoy an interactive story time puppet show and a ReFuseOKC all-ages make & create of upcycled flowers to give to mama, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 13. Wheeler Ferris Wheel, 1701 S. Western Ave., 405-655-8455, wheelerdistrict.com. SAT Mother’s Day Celebration, mothers receive free admission for zip-line rides, the train, the petting zoo, mining for gemstones and more, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 13. Orr Family Farm, 14400 S. Western Ave., 405-799-3276, orrfamilyfarm.com. SAT Caring For Your Lion, author Tammi Sauer leads storytime, crafts and signs copies of her new book, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. May 13. Best of Books, 1313 E. Danforth Road, Edmond, 405-340-9202, bestofbooksok. com. SAT Scholastic Book Fairs Big Event Warehouse Sale, refresh your school, home and classroom libraries with huge savings on thousands of items exclusively for librarians, teachers, school employees, volunteers and homeschool teachers, May 11-20. Scholastic Book Fairs Warehouse, 8200 SW 44th St., 800-874-4809, scholasticbookfairs.com. Ugly Bugs!, Oklahoma Ugly Bug contest with an exhibition of larger-than-life photos of insects all captured by the contest’s 2016 winners, through June 18. Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman, 405-3254712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu. Backyard Bugs: An Oklahoma Insect Adventure, taking Oklahoma’s amazing insects to a larger-thanlife level with giant animatronic insects, interactive exhibits and live insect displays giving visitors a unique perspective of a bug’s world while revealing the complexities of our six-legged neighbors, through August. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St., 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org.

Wonderful Watercolor Workshop With nearly 40 years of experience, Connie Seabourn has a passion for creating art and teaching others to do the same. Her Wonderful Watercolor Workshop classes 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. May 17-18 are designed for curious artists of any skill level and happen at The Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., in Norman. Tuition is $120 and includes both sessions. Visit pasnorman.org or call 405-307-9320 to register. May 17-18 Image Connie Seabourn / provided

PERFORMING ARTS Quinze, Perpetual Motion Dance presents a 15th-anniversary concert with an evening of the company’s favorite dance works highlighting their blend of modern and aerial innovations, May 11-14. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, signmeup.com. THU -SUN Cabaret Paseo, performances with cabaret-themed attire featuring musicians Jarvix, Kali Ra, Johnny Manchild and the Poor Bastards, 7 p.m. May 12. The Root, 3012 N. Walker Ave., 405-655-5889, therootokc.com. FRI

DeaDLiNe is JULY 7, 2017 OKC Energy FC vs. Orange County SC When it comes to exciting family fun, few options can beat a soccer game. Tickets are reasonably priced, and there are very few lulls in the action. Your next opportunity to check out the local team is when Oklahoma City Energy FC takes on Orange County SC. The game starts 7 p.m. May 20 at Taft Stadium, 2501 N. May Ave. Tickets are $15-$47. Visit energyfc.com or call 405-235-5425. May 20 Photo Gazette / file

brought to you by

Blvd., 405-936-3366, walktocurearthritis.org. SAT Youth League Championships, Athletes from U.S. Grant, NW Classen, Santa Fe South, ASTEC, Roosevelt Middle School and OSSM race 500-meter sprints on the Oklahoma River for the coveted SandRidge Cup, May 13. Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln Blvd., 405-552-4040, boathousedistrict. org. SAT

Fancy Dance Celebration, in cooperation with the

go to okgazette.com for full listings!

continued on page 36

for more information about this program call 405.605.6789 O kg a z e t t e . c o m | m ay 1 0 , 2 0 1 7

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calendar

s m U a w r o g Ll a t Fo s on in to see all our

#selfies! @okgazeTte

Oklahoma Gazette

Mind Bender This week, a swath of talented artists from Mind Bender Tattoo, including Bobby Deneen (pictured), Rawb Carter and others, open an exhibit of original work at DNA Galleries with two celebrations. Admission to both is free. An artist preview reception is 6-9 p.m. Thursday at DNA Galleries, 1709 NW 16th St. A second is 6-10 p.m. Friday at the gallery as part of Live! on the Plaza district gallery art walk. The exhibit runs through June 4. Visit dnagalleries.com or call 405-525-3499. Thursday-Friday, ongoing Photo Gazette / file

c a l e n da r

continued from page 35 Baseball, OKC Dodgers vs Sacramento, May 15-18. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, 405-218-1000, milb.com. MON -THU

VISUAL ARTS

103rd Annual School of Visual Arts Student Exhibition, competitive juried show highlighting the diverse works of art created by emerging visual art students from the University of Oklahoma, through May 14. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-3253272, ou.edu/fjjma. WED -SUN After the Floating World: The Enduring Art of Japanese Woodblock Prints, images carved onto wooden blocks used to create colorful prints on paper are among the most famous Japanese art forms. Ukiyo-e artists produced prints in a variety of subject matter including actors in the kabuki theater, female portraiture, folktales, mythology and landscapes, through May 14. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. WED -SUN Big Cover Up: Demonstration, join artist Beth Hammack as she discusses her thought process while demonstrating layering and painting techniques, 2-4 p.m. May 14. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, jrbartgallery.com. SUN Biting the Apple: Leather & Lace, fundraiser and art exhibition supporting individual artists of all disciplines through a provocative event and entertaining party, May 12-13. IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-232-6060, iaogallery.org. FRI -SAT Cloudscapes, 16 oil-on-canvas works of art by Oklahoma artist Marc Barker, drawing inspiration equally from his backgrounds in science and art, through May 14. Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405445-7080, myriadgardens.com. WED -SUN Edmond Art Association Spring Show, an outdoor sidewalk event featuring EAA member artists exhibiting and offering their art for sale, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 13. Spring Creek Plaza, 15th Street and Bryant Avenue, Edmond, 405-947-1643, edmondart.org. SAT Landscapes in Fiber, view the gallery opening of tapestry and feltmaking artist Pamela Husky, 6-9 p.m. May 12. The Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., Norman, 405307-9320, pasnorman.org. FRI National Weather Center Biennale Art Show, international juried exhibition focusing on weather in contemporary art in the forms of painting, works on paper and photography, through June 19. National Weather Center, 120 David L. Boren Blvd, Norman, 405-325-3095, ou.edu.

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New Works by Eric Tippeconnic, conveying Indigenous peoples in a way that demonstrates that they are not a remnant of a bygone historical era, but instead a vital part of the modern world, through May 14. Kasum Contemporary Fine Arts, 1706 NW 16th St., 405-604-6602, kasumcontemporary.com. WED - MON Sky, a group show featuring Karl Brenner, Robert Schneider and Janis Krendick displaying landscapes of the New York Hudson River, Texas plains and the Colorado mountains, through May 29. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, jrbartgallery.com. The Unsettled Lens, showcasing new acquisitions in photography from the museum’s permanent collection. By converting the familiar into unrecognizable abstract impressions of reality, by intruding on moments of intimacy, by weaving enigmatic narratives and by challenging notions of time and memory, these photographs take viewers to unfamiliar and often unsettling places within the bounds of their own minds, through May 14. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. WED -SUN Tsukuru: Make. Build. Create., artists Mark and Stephanie Brudzinski’s creations reflect two storytellers who begin with a collection of elements and assemble them together as a visual narrative takes place, through May 29. Paseo Art Space, 3022 Paseo St., 405-525-2688, thepaseo.com.

Submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date. Late submissions cannot 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 email them to listings@okgazette.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

For okg live music

see page 41

go to okgazette.com for full listings!


MUSIC The Unlikely Blues Band | Photo provided

“It’s quieter, it’s still rhythmic and you can still get down on it,” he said. “I love it.”

event

Taking leaps

Improbable triumph

The Unlikely Blues Band follows an unusual path to the release of its debut EP. By Ben Luschen

Anyone who makes visiting Byron’s Liquor Warehouse part of their regular Friday night routine can relate to The Unlikely Blues Band’s tribute to the popular NW 23rd Street liquor store. The all-acoustic quintet released its debut EP You Can’t Grow Old Without a Little Bit of Pain on April Fools’ Day and has since performed at the Festival of the Arts and Will Rogers Park Amphitheater. The band also performs May 28 at Paseo Arts Festival. The second track on the four-song EP is “Byron’s,” a cheery and relatable anthem for everyone who has reveled in the joy of payday with a celebratory drink. Unlikely Blues Band (UBB) guitarist and founding member Chuck Lunn said he wrote the tune based on his own Friday night experiences. Due to Byron’s venerable place in the local social scene, he said it always gets a fair amount of feedback from fans. He said many people approached him after the band’s recent Festival of the Arts show. “I had so many people come to me and tell me a different story about their Friday night experience at Byron’s,” he said. Even the song’s namesake has taken notice. Lunn said Byron’s invited the band to perform the song in the store at a future date.

An unlikely story

Most people who hear Lunn’s band name have one question come to mind: What exactly makes the band “unlikely?” To explain, Lunn starts at the beginning. Many years ago, a guitar teacher named Willis Peoples gathered a group of eight of his students — a crew of mostly lawyers and doctors learning music as a hobby — for a seasonal Christmas show at Penn Square Mall. The group included Lunn, who works as a family practitioner. Lunn has less-than-pleasant memories of the performance. “We were the worst thing you ever heard — eight terrible guitar players,” he said. “We were having a drink afterward, talking about how terrible it was and [Peoples] was amazed that we were all interested in the blues.” Despite their lackluster debut, the students regrouped and refocused as a blues band. Peoples scored the mostly unproven band a Festival of the Arts gig because, at the time, booking the festival was not as competitive as it is today. By chance, local blues legend French “Doc Blues” Hickman walked by as they performed. He stopped and listened. When the set ended, Hickman walked over and offered them a gig for an event

he was hosting at his Mojo’s Blues Club. “The band he had playing Friday nights was drinking too much and stealing from him,” Lunn said. “He hired us, figuring doctors and lawyers wouldn’t drink. He was wrong.” The group cut its teeth performing regular gigs for Hickman under the name Two Quacks and a Shyster. Lunn said they often performed with sheet music. Still, they had fun. The act was forced to find a new band name after the participating lawyers started complaining about being called shysters. He said his wife summarized the predicament it in the most eloquent terms. “Finally, my wife looked at us and said, ‘You guys are such an unlikely looking blues band,’” Lunn said. “So that’s how it started.”

Acoustic jams

The UBB lineup looks more the part these days. The group’s core players are Lunn, his niece Kim Hasan as lead vocalist, Ben “Doc Woobie” Canady on bass guitar and vocals, Tom Robertson on harmonica and vocals and Shelby Deuce on percussion and vocals. Oddly, guitarist and songwriter Lunn is the only member who does not sing. “The band has some criticisms,” he said, referring to his vocal ability. Up until four or five years ago, UBB’s sound was an electric-driven, Chicago blues style. Eventually, Lunn tired of playing clubs and decided to go acoustic. The change in sound opened the band up to a wider range of performance venues and opened the door for an increased level of creativity and craftsmanship. He said it’s easier to hear what is going on when one plays acoustically.

UBB made a shift from performing covers to original material around the time it switched over to acoustic jams. “We started playing at places where, basically, covers weren’t cool,” Lunn said. Songwriting is a fairly new skill for the longtime guitarist, though the Can’t Grow Old EP shows he has the chops. “It was a little nerve-racking at first,” he said. “The leap was really kind of scary. You go to the band and say, ‘I’ve got this song I want you guys to try,’ and they’ve never heard it before. It was well received among the band, and we played it out a little bit.” The EP was recorded at Castle Row Studios in Del City. Lunn said he was reading Oklahoma Gazette on his lunch break one day we he came across a story about the new state-of-the-art studio. The musician had been looking around for studios for months. Many studios he contacted never returned his calls. The ones that did insisted that the band record electrically instead of acoustically. Intrigued by what he read about Castle Row Studios, Lunn put down the paper and drove to Del City to check it out. “It was over lunch,” he said. “I literally drove down and knocked on the door. [Studio owner Garrett Starks] answered, and he took me around the studio. I pulled out my laptop with my visionary demo tapes and he didn’t laugh at me.”

Blues from birth

Lunn grew up around blues lovers. His mom exposed him to the greats like B.B. King, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf and Big Mama Thornton. “I’m of the age where most people understood the blues by listening to Eric Clapton,” he said. “I listened to the originals first, and then I listened to Eric Clapton.” He remembers his grandmother playing “Wang Dang Doodle,” one of her favorite songs, all the time. UBB regularly performs the tune in its set, often inviting children up on stage with them. Lunn said there is nothing his band plays that would make it an inappropriate show for any member of the family. UBB is a self-described “older” band, but Lunn said that is part of the fun. “We’re not young,” he said, “but it’s cool to make new stuff when you’re not young.” Visit unlikelybluesband.com.

The Unlikely Blues Band 1 p.m. May 28 south stage at the Paseo Arts Festival Paseo Arts District | Paseo Street between NW 30th Street and Walker Avenue thepaseo.org | 405-525-2688 Free

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John Moreland | Photo Matt White / All Eyes Media / Provided

review

MUSIC

Luv notes

John Moreland presents Big Bad Luv, an emotionally raw follow-up to 2015’s hit High on Tulsa Heat. By Ben Luschen

The things in life that bring us the most joy in bloom can bring great hurt in their absence or when they wither. Few might understand this point greater than punkrocker-turned-gruff-folk-crooner John Moreland, who earned praise for his sullen but hearty songwriting on 2015’s High on Tulsa Heat. The release made the kind of cannonball splash that sends waves out of Oklahoma’s deep talent pool and into sound systems nationwide. Breakout success always creates some anxiety over what will follow. Moreland set the bar high, but he competently hurdles any doubts on Big Bad Luv, released nationwide May 5. The husky, bearded songwriter turns in a rockier effort, but his lyrics are as rooted and real as ever, even packing a sharper visceral edge. Part of the coolness in Tulsa Heat’s national appeal was that it gave nods to Moreland’s home state. That tradition continues on his new project’s opener “Sallisaw Blue.” The rollicking, rhyth-

Windsong Chamber Choir Presents

mic and unfettered bar anthem gives a strong push-start to a tracklist that’s later weighed down with more deliberate and reflective songs. Moreland’s energy bounds out of the speakers. Though tonally distinct from the album’s other tracks, “Sallisaw Blue” sets an important and recurring theme. This is most apparent in the chorus, where Moreland sings, “It’s no use. God bless these blues. Let’s get wrecked and bruised and battered.” From the dynamite opener, the album moves on to more troubled “Old Wounds.” The tempo shifts downward as the musician relays the painfully relatable but mostly unspoken desire to simply fade away or check out from life indefinitely. The songwriter is sometimes criticized for his somber tone, but his eloquence in expressing raw emotion exemplifies the empathic IQ of a master lyricist. Moreland hits an intriguing sweet spot in the middle of the record. “Amen,

So Be It” touches on barstool gospel. “No Glory in Regret” includes some of the album’s most poetic vocals coupled with chillingly sparse instrumentation. “Ain’t We Gold” brings us back to the rowdiness of the opener. However, Big Bad Luv might shine brightest at its end. In “It Don’t Suit Me (Like Before),” the artist lets loose his grip on past anger and frustration. The message and tune are infectious and the song is well-picked as a single. The closing track, “Latchkey Kid,” is a beautiful, piano-backed ballad that will once again earn Moreland respect in country music’s inner circles. Big Bad Luv explores the idea of pain’s inevitability — there is no running from heartache. Moreland recognizes this and embraces it. He wears his hurt like a sleeve tattoo. Repeatedly, instead of sheltering himself from the

Image provided

world, he opens himself up to life and opportunity because, ultimately, these are the things that plug the gaping holes of loss and regret. Moreland is bound to score more than a few comparisons to Bruce Springsteen and other anchored songsmiths like Townes Van Zandt with this album. Big Bad Luv proves itself worthy of any such lofty relations. Visit johnmoreland.net.

List your event in

Lux: Music Of Eternal Light Featuring works by Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, Thomas Tallis, OlaGjeilo, and the Oklahoma premiere of Howard Goodall’s “Eternal Light” Accompanied by instrumentalists from the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Sunday, May 14th, 5p.m.

Crossings Community Church (Chapel)

14600 Portland Ave, Oklahoma City

Made possible by the generous support of: Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender (719) 866.6300 | kirkpatrickbank.com

For tickets visit windsongchoir.org

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.

Submit your listings online at okgazette.com or e-mail them to listings@okgazette.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted. O kg a z e t t e . c o m | m ay 1 0 , 2 0 1 7

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MUSIC The Cult | Photo Dine Alone Records / provided

at the campgrounds,” Litvag said, which is a big reason it happens over Memorial Day weekend. “The party that’s happening at the campgrounds is running 24 hours a day for four days straight.”

event

Safety first

High volume

Rocklahoma brings dozens of ’80s hair metal acts and today’s newest rockers to one enormous outdoor venue. By Brian Daffron

Tens of thousands of music fans in the state and from across the nation will converge on the vast fields and farmland near Pryor for three days of hard rock celebration over Memorial Day weekend. Rocklahoma is an annual event in which music fans trek to see live the rock bands they heard on cassette — yes, cassette — back in the day. But in the decade since its inception, the music and camping festival has grown to feature an eclectic hard rock lineup of international, national and local acts — ’80s hair metal, ’90s grunge and the rock bands of today still show fans love at Rocklahoma, which runs May 26-28 at the Catch the Fever Festival Grounds near Pryor. Thousands more will pack their RVs, tents, swamp coolers, grills and sleeping bags to commune at Rocklahoma’s expansive campgrounds during the event. This year’s lineup features Def Leppard, Soundgarden, The Offspring, Suicidal Tendencies, Stone Sour, The Cult, Buckcherry, Ratt, Zakk Sabbath and dozens more performing on three primary outdoor stages. Organizers estimate 70,000 ticketholders will pass through the festival gates.

fond memories no matter what their age.” Rocklahoma launched in 2007 as locally organized tribute to ’80s hairmetal bands and was inspired by Cadott, Wisconsin’s Rock Fest event. By 2010, AEG Live was also affiliated with the event and worked to expand its focus. “When it was just an ’80s hair-band festival, there’s only a certain amount of bands who fit within that subgenre who were worth booking,” Litvag explained. “We don’t want to go completely away from that — I call it the Soul of Rocklahoma, but we had to go wider with who were booking and ultimately with the fans we were attracting. That’s where things turned around.” Rocklahoma features over 80 bands on three primary outdoor stages. A fourth stage, located at the campgrounds, showcases after-party entertainment, featuring local and regional acts through the early morning hours. “The real extracurricular activity at Rocklahoma is the party that happens

Broad appeal

“We try not to be too narrow with the demographic of who we’re targeting. It’s all rock,” said event organizer Joe Litvag, senior vice president of AEG Presents. “Some may classify it all as ‘hard rock,’ but I think that’s a subjective term.” Bands established in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s are represented on this year’s bill. “There’s a little something for everybody,” Litvag said. “Again, the goal is that people Soundgarden | Photo Michael Lavine are able to relive some of those / BB Gun Press / provided

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While music is the primary focus for guests and organizers, Oklahoma’s sometimes-fickle weather also gets plenty of attention. “We work closely with local law enforcement and meteorologists on-site who are watching the weather in real time,” Litvag said. “It goes without saying that the weather in Oklahoma in May can potentially be unpredictable.” In 2008, a storm let loose over the festival site, causing a 2 1/2-hour rain delay. On-site meteorologists alerted festival organizers, who evacuated thousands of fans from outdoor stage sites as 65 mph winds and heavy rain collapsed two of the venue’s side stages. “In just three minutes, we went from rain showers to a storm that I have not seen in my 30 years,” Rocklahoma’s onsite weather expert Mike Orange told The Oklahoman at the time. “We have a complete safety and emergency plan,” he said, citing safety and fun first. For Litvag, the biggest reason to attend Rocklahoma is “experiencing new music and reliving those memories for the acts that you love, but the sense of community from making new friends and meeting new people is really what makes this festival special.” Visit rocklahoma.com or call 866-3102288.

Rocklahoma Gates open 2 p.m. daily May 26-28 Catch the Fever Festival Grounds | 1421 W. 450 Road, four miles north of Pryor on Highway 69 rocklahoma.com | 866-310-2288 $72-$675 | Note: Campgrounds open noon May 21 and close noon May 30. Learn more about campgrounds, facilities and pricing at rocklahoma.com.


LIVE MUSIC Lip Service, Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewery.

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

COVER

Plunk Murray, Fat Dog Kitchen & Bar. VARIOUS

Special Thumbs, 51st Street Speakeasy. ROCK

WEDNESDAY, 5.10

Stone Tide/Anchorway/Brightside Flight and more, 89th Street Collective. VARIOUS

Allison Weiss/Tim Kasher, Opolis, Norman. ROCK

The Blue Dawgs, Othello’s Italian Restaurant, Norman. BLUES

Coco Montoya, VZD’s Restaurant & Bar. ROCK

The Flannels, Noir Bistro & Bar. COVER

Harumph, The Deli, Norman. JAZZ Larry V TheRemedy, Oklahoma City Limits. ROCK Purgatory, 89th Street Collective. ROCK Sam Outlaw, The Blue Door. SINGER/SONGWRITER Throw The Goat/Fire Bad/WMD, Your Mom’s Place. PUNK Tim Kasher, Opolis, Norman. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Troy Petty, Red Brick Bar, Norman. INDIE

THURSDAY, 5.11 Adam Aguilar Band, Bin 73. ROCK Broke Brothers, Oklahoma City Museum of Art. REGGAE Eyes Set to Kill, 89th Street Collective. ROCK Kaleen Dolan/Marc Van Lue/Stave Dakin, Michael Murphy’s Dueling Pianos. PIANO The Nearly Deads, 89th Street Collective. ROCK Wally Brown, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library. PIANO Will Hoge, The Blue Door. COUNTRY

‘Dead Guy’ Tribute Show A lot of music greats no longer jam on this earthly orb, but fortunately for us, their music is eternal. VZD’s Restaurant & Bar joins the Mixxed band and several local artists to pay tribute to legendary musicians who live on beyond space and time. The show starts 9 p.m. Saturday at VZD’s Restaurant & Bar, 4200 N. Western Ave. Admission is $10. Half of door proceeds go to Save the Children: Syrian Refugee Relief Fund. Visit facebook.com/vzdsok or call 405602-3006. Saturday Photo bigstock.com

FRIDAY, 5.12

The Grand Damns/Get Fired, Your Mom’s Place. PUNK Travis Scott, The Criterion. HIP-HOP Trifecta, Wicked Piston. COVER

SATURDAY, 5.13 Dirty Red and the Soulshakers, Bourbon Street Bar. BLUES John Bomboy, Blue Bonnet Bar, Norman. R&B Justin Witte, Noir Bistro & Bar. SINGER/

SONGWRITER

Miss Brown To You, UCO Jazz Lab, Edmond. JAZZ Rascal Flatts, WinStar World Casino, Thackerville. COUNTRY Ravens Three, Full Circle Bookstore. FOLK

Buddy South, VZD’s Restaurant & Bar. COUNTRY

Stacy Sanders, The Mantel Wine Bar & Bistro.

Jumpseat, Oklahoma City Limits. ROCK Killer Hearts, The Drunken Fry. PUNK

COUNTRY

What She Said, Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewery. ROCK Wino Browne, Oklahoma City Limits. ROCK

SUNDAY, 5.14 Chevelle, Diamond Ballroom. ROCK For the Fallen Dreams, 89th Street Collective. ROCK Windsong Chamber Choir, Crossings Community Church. CHRISTIAN

MONDAY, 5.15 Holy Wave, Opolis, Norman. ROCK Steve Parnell, Bourbon Street Bar. ROCK

TUESDAY, 5.16 Arlo Guthrie, Hudson Performance Hall. FOLK

Chainsmokers, BOK Center, Tulsa. POP

Kinky Friedman, The Blue Door. COUNTRY

Bill Connors/Tattoo Slover/Tony Baragona/John Hicks, Malarkey’s Dueling Piano Bar. PIANO

Frenchie’s Blues Destroyers, Grady’s 66 Pub, Yukon. BLUES

Tim McGraw/Faith Hill, Chesapeake Arena.

SINGER/SONGWRITER

Sydnee Spears/Wayne Dickinson/Amy Frazier and more, Rodeo Opry. COUNTRY

Live music submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date.Late submissions will not be included in the listings. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible. Fax your listings to 528-4600 or e-mail to listings@okgazette.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

go to okgazette.com for full listings!

free will astrology Homework: If you knew you were going to live to 100, what would you do differently in the next five years? Testify at Freewillastrology.com. ARIES (March 21-April 19)

The process by which Zoo Jeans are manufactured is unusual. First, workers wrap and secure sheets of denim around car tires or big rubber balls, and take their raw creations to the Kamine Zoo in Hitachi City, Japan. There the denim-swaddled objects are thrown into pits where tigers or lions live. As the beasts roughhouse with their toys, they rip holes in the cloth. Later, the material is retrieved and used to sew the jeans. Might this story prove inspirational for you in the coming weeks? I suspect it will. Here’s one possibility: You could arrange for something wild to play a role in shaping an influence you will have an intimate connection with.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

“Kiss the flame and it is yours,” teased the poet Thomas Lux. What do you think he was hinting at? It’s a metaphorical statement, of course. You wouldn’t want to literally thrust your lips and tongue into a fire. But according to my reading of the astrological omens, you might benefit from exploring its meanings. Where to begin? May I suggest you *visualize* making out with the steady burn at the top of a candle? My sources tell me that doing so at this particular moment in your evolution will help kindle a new source of heat and light in your deep self -- a fresh fount of glowing power that will burn sweet and strong like a miniature sun.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

Your symbol of power during the next three weeks is a key. Visualize it. What picture pops into your imagination? Is it a bejeweled golden key like what might be used to access an old treasure chest? Is it a rustic key for a garden gate or an oversized key for an ornate door? Is it a more modern thing that locks and unlocks car doors with radio waves? Whatever you choose, Gemini, I suggest you enshrine it in as an inspirational image in the back of your mind. Just assume that it will subtly inspire and empower you to

find the metaphorical “door” that leads to the next chapter of your life story. CANCER (June 21-July 22) You are free to reveal yourself in your full glory. For once in your life, you have cosmic clearance to ask for everything you want without apology. This is the LATER you have been saving yourself for. Here comes the reward for the hard work you’ve been doing that no one has completely appreciated. If the universe has any prohibitions or inhibitions to impose, I don’t know what they are. If old karma has been preventing the influx of special dispensations and helpful X-factors, I suspect that old karma has at least temporarily been neutralized.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions,” said Irish writer Oscar Wilde. “I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” In my opinion, that may be one of the most radical vows ever formulated. Is it even possible for us human beings to gracefully manage our unruly flow of feelings? What you do in the coming weeks could provide evidence that the answer to that question might be yes. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you are now in a position to learn more about this high art than ever before.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Africa’s highest mountain is Mount Kilimanjaro. Though it’s near the equator, its peak is covered year-round with glaciers. In 2001, scientists predicted that global warming would melt them all by 2015. But that hasn’t happened. The ice cap is still receding slowly. It could endure for a while, even though it will eventually disappear. Let’s borrow this scenario as a metaphor for your use, Virgo. First, consider the possibility that a certain thaw in your personal sphere isn’t unfolding as quickly as you anticipated. Second, ruminate on the likelihood that it will, however, ultimately come to pass. Third, adjust your plans accordingly.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Will sex be humdrum and predictable in the coming weeks? No! On the contrary. Your interest in wandering

out to the frontiers of erotic play could rise quite high. You may be animated and experimental in your approach to intimate communion, whether it’s with another person or with yourself. Need any suggestions? Check out the “butterflies-in-flight” position or the “spinning wheel of roses” maneuver. Try the “hum-and-chuckle kissing dare” or the “churning radiance while riding the rain cloud” move. Or just invent your own variations and give them funny names that add to the adventure.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Right now the word “simplicity” is irrelevant. You’ve got silky profundities to play with, slippery complications to relish, and lyrical labyrinths to wander around in. I hope you use these opportunities to tap into more of your subterranean powers. From what I can discern, your deep dark intelligence is ready to provide you with a host of fresh clues about who you really are and where you need to go. P.S.: You can become better friends with the shadows without compromising your relationship to the light.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

You can bake your shoes in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, but that won’t turn them into loaves of bread. Know what I’m saying, Sagittarius? Just because a chicken has wings doesn’t mean it can fly over the rainbow. Catch my drift? You’ll never create a silk purse out of dental floss and dead leaves. That’s why I offer you the following advice: In the next two weeks, do your best to avoid paper tigers, red herrings, fool’s gold, fake news, Trojan horses, straw men, pink elephants, convincing pretenders, and invisible bridges. There’ll be a reward if you do: close encounters with shockingly beautiful honesty and authenticity that will be among your most useful blessings of 2017.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Of all the signs of the zodiac, you Capricorns are the least likely to believe in mythical utopias like Camelot or El Dorado or Shambhala. You tend to be uber-skeptical about the existence of legendary vanished riches like the last Russian czar’s Fabergé eggs or King John’s crown jewels. And yet if wonderlands and treasures like those really do exist, I’m betting that some may soon be

discovered by Capricorn explorers. Are there unaccounted-for masterpieces by Georgia O’Keeffe buried in a basement somewhere? Is the score of a lost Mozart symphony tucked away in a seedy antique store? I predict that your tribe will specialize in unearthing forgotten valuables, homing in on secret miracles, and locating missing mother lodes.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

According to my lyrical analysis of the astrological omens, here are examples of the kinds of experiences you might encounter in the next 21 days: 1. interludes that reawaken memories of the first time you fell in love; 2. people who act like helpful, moon-drunk angels just in the nick of time; 3. healing music or provocative art that stirs a secret part of you -- a sweet spot you had barely been aware of; 4. an urge arising in your curious heart to speak the words, “I invite lost and exiled beauty back into my life.”

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

Ex-baseball player Eric DuBose was pulled over by Florida cops who spotted him driving his car erratically. They required him to submit to a few tests, hoping to determine whether he had consumed too much alcohol. “Can you recite the alphabet?” they asked. “I’m from the great state of Alabama,” DuBose replied, “and they have a different alphabet there.” I suggest, Pisces, that you try similar gambits whenever you find yourself in odd interludes or tricky transitions during the coming days -- which I suspect will happen more than usual. Answer the questions you want to answer rather than the ones you’re asked, for example. Make jokes that change the subject. Use the powers of distraction and postponement. You’ll need extra slack, so seize it!

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

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puzzles New York Times Magazine Crossword Puzzle New England Chatter

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100 What allowed one physician to get through flu season? 105 Puts out 107 Articles of faith 108 Two-time U.S. Open champ 109 Unctuous flattery 111 Hangs loose 113 J.Crew competitor 116 Regimen with limited intake of corn? 119 Toddler’s cry upon entering the bathroom? 122 Where I-15 meets I-70 123 Cookin’, after “on” 124 Where “ho” and “hoina” mean “yes” and “no” 125 Tired (out) 126 Spanish chess piece 127 Chrissie in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 128 Backspace over 129 Cross condition DOWN 1 Nasty cut 2 Gifford’s successor on TV 3 Violators of the Second Commandment 4 They can throw you off 5 High points of a European vacation? 6 Condiment for pommes frites 7 ____-turn 8 Cartwright who played one of the von Trapp children in The Sound of Music 9 Energetic one 10 Come together 11 First daughter of the 1960s 12 Studio warning 13 A quarter of M 14 Kenan’s former Nickelodeon pal 15 Support for a fringe candidate, maybe 16 Title for Helen Mirren 17 Something “kicked up” 21 Heads for a bar? 23 Remain fresh 25 Mother of Helios 28 Imitative 31 Scopes Trial org. 32 Nitwits 34 Music genre for Steppenwolf and Iron Butterfly

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63 Aggravation 65 Just manages 66 Takes the first step 67 Christmas Day exhortation 68 Removed expeditiously 70 1920s anarchist in a prominent trial 71 Big mouth 74 Extinct cousin of the kiwi 77 Go out for a while? 80 Caffeine source 82 Make no bones about 84 Completely convinced about 85 “I hate the Moor” speaker 86 Quick and detached, musically: Abbr. 88 Special Agent Gibbs’ beat 89 Call wrongly 90 Bris official 92 Also-____

98 Swing site 99 Activity in a dohyo 101 Site-seeing? 102 Certain Consumer Reports employee 103 Beatles song, album or movie 104 Pasta picks 106 Discontinued Toyota line 109 Put-down 110 Speck of dust 112 Didn’t give way 113 Yankee Sparky who wrote The Bronx Zoo 114 Abruzzi bell town 115 Da’s opposite 117 “Phooey!” 118 Assist with the dishes 120 Spring for a vacation? 121 “No ____!”

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

Sudoku Easy | n°6920

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

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