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inside COVER P. 23 OKG’s 33rd annual Best of OKC contains all the people, places and things that make Oklahoma City better than best. Bragging rights contained inside! Cover by Christopher Street. NEWS 4 City urban core grocery stores

6 City Save Our Schools initiative 8 City Red Andrews Park

breaks ground

10 Chicken-Fried News

EAT & DRINK 13 Feature The Loaded Bowl 14 Feature Barry’s Old

Fashioned Burger

16 Feature syrup. comes to OKC

ARTS & CULTURE 19 Best of OKC Results

47 Art Vintage Black Heroes:

The Chisholm Kid

49 Art FG Gallery

50 Theater Armstrong

Auditorium’s new season

51 Theater conductor Jeffrey Grogan

joins Oklahoma Youth Orchestras

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish

52 Literature poet laureate 54 Community Facing Racism

& Racists Anonymous class

56 Community Love Link Ministries

expands its food pantry

59 Community Spencer receives NEA

grant for community arts center

61 Calendar

MUSIC 64 Event Talib Kweli at Tower Theatre 65 Event Los Lonely Boys at Hudson

Performance Hall

67 Event Ben Folds at Cain’s Ballroom 68 Live music

FUN 69 Astrology

70 Puzzles sudoku | crossword

OKG Classifieds 71

Gazette Weekly Winner! Gary Shiffeild To claim your tickets, call 528-6000 or come by our offices by 8/30/17! O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 2 3 , 2 0 1 7


NEWS In an attempt to solve the grocery problem in northeast Oklahoma City, Ward 7 Councilman John Pettis Jr. created a tax investment program and renewal plan that came into play with the redevelopment of Northeast Shopping Center on NW 36th Street. A Save-A-Lot is slated to open in the center before the

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end of the year. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

Grocery gap

In Oklahoma City’s urban core, the question is where to grocery shop. Two new projects provide an answer. By Laura Eastes

For the past three decades, the City of Oklahoma City has invested more than $1 billion in downtown to improve residents’ quality of life. With an emerging downtown, residential populations have grown alongside high-profile projects, like the 1-cent sales tax MAPS capital improvement initiatives and commercial projects backed by city subsidizes. From newly constructed trendy apartment buildings in commercial districts like Midtown, Deep Deuce and Automobile Alley to rehabbing homes in long-standing urban neighborhoods like Mesta Park, the Paseo, Jefferson Park and Classen’s North Highland Parked, Oklahoma City is well on its way toward a more vibrant and livable urban core. These days, newly attracted residents, along with existing residents, are enjoying more walkable neighborhoods, new restaurants and bars, entertainment venues and shops. But missing from urban improvements is a grocery store where residents can get day-to-day basics. Oklahoma City is far from alone, as many revitalized American cities are slow to attract that critical mass of retail, leaving residents to either travel into the suburban areas to shop at full-service grocery stores or rely on convenience stores, local ethnic grocery stores or high-priced gourmet food shops for their fresh food needs. While a majority of 4

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Oklahoma City’s urban core is not considered a federally designated food desert, it can feel that way when there are few options for fresh, high-quality, healthy and affordable food. Oklahoma City’s urban grocery store gap is beginning to feel some movement.

Momentary makeover

For more than four decades, urban residents have turned to the 22,000 square-foot grocery store at the corner of NW 18th Street and Classen Boulevard for their shopping needs. Located near the entrance to Mesta Park and across from neighborhoods like Classen Ten Penn and Gatewood, the one-story grocery store opened as a Safeway in 1973. It opened during a time of suburbanization, as downtown and urban residents moved north and south. The grocery store, which eventually became a Homeland, continued to serve customers. As grocery stores modernized and expanded selection and services, this store remained mostly unchanged, even amid downtown improvements and rapid gentrification in nearby neighborhoods. Last February, Homeland officials made public their plans to commit $2 million to modernize the store’s exterior and renovate the interior, making way for an organic and fresh foods section, a new bakery and deli and a

full-service meat counter. Following national grocery store trends, the renovated Homeland would become home to a freshly prepared food section serving up everything from sandwiches to sushi, pizza and entrees to take home or to the office. In mid-August, nearby residents began to hear that their store’s project was not moving forward as originally scheduled. Brian Haaraoja, senior vice president of merchandising and marketing, explained that before work began, contractors notified the company that the scope of the project had increased; new plans included a new roof and HVAC replacement system. The project, which now comes with a nearly $3 million price tag, faces an estimated completion date of summer 2018. “The bottom line is it will take longer than we thought,” Haaraoja said after explaining the delays to Oklahoma Gazette. “We’ve gotten to the point where we are going to get started on replacing the roof, HVAC system and major plumbing work. We will do that before we can start renovations inside.” Interior renovation will begin in Febr uar y follow ing the busy Thanksgiving and Christmas food shopping holidays. “We really feel it is the right thing to do,” Haaraoja said. “We’ve had great community support. We are excited about it. We are disappointed it is a little more work than we originally thought. It is still well worth it. When it is all done, we will have a beautiful store.”

We really feel it is the right thing to do. We’ve had great community support. Brian Haaraoja

Felt absence

As a longtime resident of northeast Oklahoma City, Ward 7 Councilman John Pettis Jr. has passed the same empty storefronts hundreds of times. Each time, they served as reminders that the basic amenities were missing in his ward. Amenities like grocery stores and the retail that follows them have been missing for decades in northeast Oklahoma City, where several areas fit the federal definition of a food desert. As a child, the Pettis family traveled from their northeast Oklahoma City home to Midwest City for grocery shopping. His family wasn’t alone. In 2013, when Pettis campaigned for

the Oklahoma City council seat, an issue of his campaign was grocery stores. Pettis viewed grocery stores as an answer to poor health outcomes and community revitalization as well as economic development through job creation or tax revenue generation. “A few years ago, the Oklahoma CityCounty Health Department talked about northeast Oklahoma City ZIP codes as some of the unhealthiest in the metro area,” Pettis told Oklahoma Gazette. “One of the reasons is the lack of access to food, quality food. There are not choices in northeast Oklahoma City, and that creates a negative impact on health and in other areas. Grocery stores attract other retail. Grocery stores attract residents.” The food disparity is an echo of northeast Oklahoma City’s history, a mostly minority community marked by decades of economic distress. Around 22,000 of northeast Oklahoma City’s 33,000 residents reside in the urban ZIP codes of 73105, 73111 and 73117, which are currently home to two grocery stores. After his election, in an attempt to solve the grocery store dilemma, Pettis proposed the creation of a tax increment financing, or TIF district, in Ward 7. Within a TIF district, property taxes are frozen at the existing level. Future growth, over a period of time, goes to the TIF fund for project financing. After witnessing TIF districts in Fort Worth, where city leaders distributed TIF subsidies to developers of grocery stores, Pettis pushed for the Northeast Renaissance TIF. A year after the council approved the TIF, Pettis and community dignitaries broke ground on Northeast Town Center, a $7 million redevelopment project along NE 36th Street. As a partially TIF-funded project, Pettis promised residents they would see a grocery store locate to the shopping center. Earlier this month, Save-A-Lot, a national discount grocery, announced its plan to anchor the center. While Save-A-Lot is not a full-service grocery store, Pettis said the store meets the goal of increasing access to fresh and healthy food choices in northeast Oklahoma City. He believes the store is a start to ongoing efforts to bring more grocery stores, including a fullservice grocer, to the area. The northeast Oklahoma City store could open before the end of the year. “Last year, I went to a grand opening of a [Save-A-Lot] store in south Dallas,” said Pettis, who explained the economic and health statistics of the area matched northeast Oklahoma City. “I was so amazed to see people standing in line around the corner trying to get into their particular store. You had a community who did not have a grocery store for decades. This was now their store.”


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Local proposal

A grassroots coalition makes another customized proposal to generate funding for teacher bonuses. By Laura Eastes

After the Oklahoma Legislature failed to act on a promised teacher pay raise following another tumultuous year in public education, which continues to add to the historic teacher exodus and fewer state dollars for classroom education, Oklahoma City residents are embarking on a renewed debate over school funding. Oklahoma City Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid leads the Save OKC Schools coalition, which proposes an income tax on city residents to generate about $50 million annually for cash-strapped local districts. The proposed one-half percent temporary income tax is designated for stipends for teachers and support staff. Perhaps as much as anything, what’s driving the coalition to act is the notion that teacher pay and education funding aren’t being addressed at the state level. Coalition leaders believe they must find a solution. Leaders are giving a deadline for state lawmakers, who have four legislative sessions to address teacher pay and investments in education before the temporary four-year tax expires. “We’ve waited for others to give an alternative plan,” Shadid said when speaking at the Save OKC Schools petition launch at northwest Oklahoma City’s Tower Hotel. “If anybody has an alternative plan, we would love to hear it. In the absence of one, we want our plan to be put on the ballot next April and let Oklahoma City decide.”

Localized funding source

If more than 12,000 valid signatures are collected between now and midNovember, an OKC ballot initiative 6

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Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid leads Save OKC Schools, a grassroots coalition to bring a ballot question before OKC voters to collect a temporary income tax for teacher and support staff stipends. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

would signal a major shift in education funding. While public schools are primarily a state and local funding responsibility, it is school boards that traditionally levy local taxes for their districts, not city governments. In Oklahoma, a state that ranks low when compared to other states in investments in public education, state money accounts for half of the funding for pre-K through 12th-grade schools. Local school boards utilize ad valorem taxes, also known as property taxes, for general fund support and infrastructure. In a time when education funding is in crisis, school boards have no avenues for raising funds for classroom instruction or teacher salaries. Districts are prohibited from collecting a local income tax or sales tax. Save OKC Schools’ proposal is a customized policy solution to fit the local environment and build a strategy for bringing bonuses to teachers. Sixteen years ago, city leaders, with the support of voters, moved forward on a customized solution to invest in OKCPS and suburban districts in areas of capital improvements, technology and transportation. The plan was called MAPS for Kids, and city residents and others invested $700 million into 25 school districts through a 1-cent sales tax. The notion of the city raising revenue once again for OKC school districts and those that serve city stu-

dents has been met with criticism. Earlier this year, Shadid first proposed city funds benefiting education during Oklahoma City Council meetings where conversations about extending the city’s MAPS 3 sales tax took place. The two-term councilman, who represents a portion of northwest OKC, argued for the city sending local tax dollars to schools, which could not only improve outcomes in education but on everything from public safety to economic development. After the council moved forward on sales tax initiatives to benefit streets and safety, Shadid convened community stakeholders and legal experts to craft the proposal, a six-page tax ordinance. Backers say they designed the policy with legal challenges in mind. “A lot of people say what we are doing is wrong,” said Paula Lewis, who serves as the chair of the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education and is a member of the coalition. “Honestly, Councilman Shadid is the only person to come forward in the last year and a half and say, ‘Let’s try to fix this. Let’s not wait on the state any longer. Let’s try to put a plug in the dike.’” As coalition members set out to begin collecting signatures, spirits are high. Their confidence comes from a May Sooner Poll, commissioned by Shadid, in which almost 52 percent of

What you need to know about Save OKC Schools tax petition What is it? Save OKC Schools petition calls for a citywide election on whether a temporary one-half percent income tax should be collected with proceeds granted to school districts serving Oklahoma City students to provide annual bonuses to teachers and support staff. The petition was submitted to Mayor Mick Cornett on Aug. 14. For the proposal to move forward as a ballot question on the April 3, 2018 election, it requires roughly 12,000 signatures sought during

Since Paula Lewis, a mother of two children enrolled in Oklahoma City Public Schools, joined the school board in 2015, she has had countless conversations about funding. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

city residents polled said they strongly support or somewhat support an initiative or proposal allocating city funds to per-pupil spending and nonadministrative educator salaries. All of this leads to one central question: Are people willing to pay a little extra in taxes each year if it keeps a qualified teacher in their cash-strapped local school?

Nicoma Park, Crooked Oak, Crutcho, Deer Creek, Edmond, Harrah, Jones, Little Axe, Luther, McCloud, Midwest City-Del City, Millwood, Moore, Mustang, Norman, Oakdale, Oklahoma City, Piedmont, Putnam City, Robin Hill, Western Heights, Union City and Yukon. Charter schools also serve Oklahoma City students.

Who pays the tax? The Oklahoma Tax Commission would collect the tax from Oklahoma City residents who reside in the city for more than seven months a year. Individuals and families living near or below the poverty line would be exempt from the tax.

a 90-day circulation period.

Who can sign the petition?

Who benefits?

City limits only.

There are 26 school districts that serve students who live in Oklahoma City limits. The funds would be distributed similarly to how city officials distributed MAPS for Kids. Sixteen years ago, Oklahoma City voters endorsed a $700 million second MAPS sales tax initiative to invest in OKCPS and suburban districts in areas of capital improvements, technology and transportation. By calculating the percentage of children living in Oklahoma City and which schools they attend, the city would distribute that same percentage of funds to the school district. School districts serving Oklahoma City students include Banner, Choctaw-

Registered voters who live in Oklahoma

If voters passed the initiative, when would the tax take effect? Following voter approval, Oklahoma Tax Commission would begin levying the temporary tax Jan. 1. The tax would be collected for four consecutive years.

How much money would be generated? According to coalition member and OKCPS Board Chair Paula Lewis, the income tax is expected to generate $50 million annually. Over a four-year period, the city could plug $200 million into local education.

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Neighborly approach

SoSA neighbors, Midtown businesses and the local government work together to ready Red Andrews Park renovations. By Laura Eastes

in the Plaza




Park Harvey SuSHi

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Nearly a decade ago, Brian Fitzsimmons learned city funds slated for renovations of Red Andrews Park involved paving its 68-car parking lot, among other improvements including upgrades to the park’s municipal gym. The urban park was the only public space in the growing Midtown commercial district nestled in an evolving neighborhood, then called the Cottage District, and neighbor Fitzsimmons believed the park was ready for a redevelopment plan that reflected the neighborhood’s future. The plan, laid out in the voter-approved 2007 City of Oklahoma City General Obligation Bond program, failed to recognize the reshaping of an urban area. Fitzsimmons, along with fellow neighbor and architect Randy Floyd, began crafting their own park improvement sketch. The end result was a full city block of green space around a gym with 75 on-street parking spots. As Fitzsimmons put it, “The big idea was to make the parking lot a park.” The two architects, along with their sketch, launched a movement to modernize the park. With more people moving back into the neighborhood, which began to be called SoSA for South of St. Anthony, and attention from Midtown Renaissance and other property stakeholders, the sketch and its concept began to garner support. “It evolved much differently from the first sketch,” Fitzsimmons told Oklahoma Gazette earlier this month. “The sketch was just to show it could be done. When people got serious, I came up with a whole new design.” Three years ago, the movement ad-

City of Oklahoma City leaders, Midtown stakeholders and SoSA neighbors turned some dirt to symbolize the next chapter in the life of Red Andrews Park at a ground breaking ceremony Aug. 1 | Photo Garett Fisbeck

vanced once more following a meeting with newly hired Oklahoma City Parks director Doug Kupper, who recalls neighbors and community stakeholders pitched their plan with backing from fundraising efforts. “When the neighbors came forward, they were willing to help,” said Kupper. “As you look around, the neighborhood has changed, and the park should change along with it.” A unique private-public partnership effectively launched the movement to fruition. On Aug. 1, city leaders, SoSA neighbors, Midtown stakeholders and other community dignitaries broke ground to signify the next phase of a storied park. Through bond funds, tax increment financing (TIF) and private donations, Red Andrews Park and its Johnnie L. Williams Municipal Gymnasium are undergoing a $1 million renovation. The project designed by Fitzsimmons Architects includes plans for a sun lawn, a walking path, a volleyball court, new lighting and landscaping and a covered pavilion with the existing play area and gym as the park’s centerpiece. “When a really good idea surfaces, people in this city come together and figure out how to make it happen,” Ward 6 Councilwoman Meg Salyer said at the groundbreaking.


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Life of Riley

This month, a leader of the Irish Mob reached a deal with federal prosecutors to avoid a possible life sentence for his role in money laundering and a conspiracy to bring a surfeit of heroin and methamphetamine into central Oklahoma. And it was all done from behind bars. The ringleader in this conspiracy was 37-year-old Chad “Big Homie” Nathan Hudson, who is already wearing stenciled scrubs for stealing stuff, holding people against their will, running guns and drugs and possibly for adopting a hip-hop nickname that was sounding a little played out a quarter century ago. C’mon, Big Homie; you’re in the Irish freakin’ Mob! How about “Big Blarney” or “Irish Stout” or “The Troubles”? At any rate, Big Homie was running this operation from inside the Oklahoma Department of Corrections using smuggled cellphones, prepaid debit cards and PayPal — kind of like an Etsy business gone straight to hell. Thanks to a cellphone-sniffing dog named Riley, Big Homie was caught in January along with fellow conspirators Richard “Lucky” Joseph Coker, Christopher “Breezy” Paul Brown and Richard “Pothead” Lee Potts. Just in terms of dumb street names, Coker and Potts get points for Irish pride and self-deprecation, respectively, but seriously, adopting the nickname of a disreputable R&B star just because your name is Chris Brown? Chicken-Fried News gives no props, Breezy. But as for Riley, the cellphone-sniffing canine? You are in clover, dog.

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‘Meow’ cam

Everyone can agree the internet is one of technology’s greatest inventions. It’s a researcher’s and time-waster’s paradise, full of history, science, statistics, news, social media, comment sections, memes and videos of adorable animals. Oklahoma City Zoological Park and Botanical Garden decided to add its contribution to the wealth of cat videos on the web recently with its Tiger Cub Cam, and we’re not complaining. OKC Zoo’s Sumatran tiger — or, as a pint-size Chicken-Fried News relative calls them, “big meow” — Lola gave birth to three male cubs July 9. A few weeks later, the zoo became home to Zoya, a female Amur (Siberian) tiger born July 10, because her mother at the Philadelphia Zoo rejected her and she needed an adoptive mother’s care and to be socialized. On its website, OKC Zoo explained that it’s common for first-time tiger mothers to lack maternal behavior required for proper care and both zoos decided moving Zoya to OKC was the best thing for her. Oklahoma City Zoo’s Sumatran tiger family was chosen because Sumatran tigers and Amur tigers are similar subspecies. Donna Evernham, curator of carnivores and ungulates at Philadelphia Zoo, told that

there are fewer than 500 Amur tigers in the wild, and OKC Zoo’s website says there are also fewer than 400-500 Sumatran tigers in the wild. Feline lovers can watch Zoya bond with her adoptive siblings — Eko, Ramah and Gusti — feed and sleep to their hearts’ content 24 hours a day. Zoya is the cub with lighter-colored fur, as Amur tigers are light orange with thick black stripes and Sumatrans are dark orange with thin stripes. OKC Zoo’s website said the cubs will most likely venture outside by mid-September. It isn’t the first live web cam featuring baby animals the zoo has launched; the world was able to watch baby elephant Achara 24 hours a day in 2014. Visit to watch the “meows” in action in their den.

What’s in a name?

In the wake of white nationalist violence in Charlottesville over the removal of a Confederate General Robert E. Lee statue, the drumbeat across the country to dismantle the large participation trophies is becoming louder.

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Although Oklahoma City does not have any such statues, there are four elementary schools that possibly are named after Confederate officers: Lee, Jackson, Stand Watie and Wheeler. After a majority of Oklahoma City School Board members said they are in favor of changing the name of the elementary schools, Superintendent Aurora Lora said that she would talk to the community before making a decision to rename the schools. “We recognize that the historical names of some facilities are not names that reflect our values in 2017,” the district said in a statement. Lora said at a Wednesday press conference that she will begin to officially speak with parents and students that live near the schools as early as Sept. 5, according to The Oklahoman. “I’m not interested in forcing a name change on a community that does not feel it is necessary. Rather, I hope to use this opportunity as a learning experience for our communities to learn more about our current namesakes and help find funding necessary to do the name change, if the community feels that they would like to pursue this,” Lora said at the press conference, according to KFOR. The station reports that changing the name of a single school costs between $50,000 and $75,000. The

process would be similar to the renaming of the Capitol Hill High School mascot, which was changed from Redskins to Red Wolves in 2015.

Pigeon problems

It’s well known that friends — and bigtime financial backers — of U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, like to go out into rural Oklahoma, throw live pigeons into the air, take aim and write checks to one of Congress’ most senior members. With each hunt comes the criticism from animals rights groups over using real pigeons. They say it’s animal cruelty and question why clay pigeons can’t take the live pigeons’ place. Fair question? Following the 2014 fundraiser, critics should have looked beyond the pigeons in the air and looked down at the dirt, which was good old, AllAmerican public land owned by the U.S. of A. Nearly 80 years ago, the Hatch Act was put on the federal books to prohibit the use of public funds for electoral purposes. Last month, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel ruled that Tom Buchanan “inadvertently violated the Hatch Act” when he organized the 2014 hunt on federally owned and managed land at the Lugert-Altus Irrigation District in Jackson County, reported. Who is Buchanan? Why does his name sound familiar? Buchanan wears many hats in Oklahoma, including that of president of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. He is also a member of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, which is appointed by the governor, and general manager of a southwest Oklahoma irrigation district, the Lugert-Altus Irrigation District. Given his position with the irrigation district, Buchanan had access to the land and had a party to plan. Perhaps permission and the possibility of violating federal law slipped his mind. “Mr. Buchanan did not obtain permission to use this federal land for the campaign event,” wrote Erica Hamrick, deputy chief of the Hatch Act Unit, NewsOK reported. “And in order for vehicles to enter the property, a bar gate must be unlocked and moved. OSC [U.S. Office of Special Counsel] confirmed that only district employees are permitted and able to open the gate and that Mr. Buchanan was the one who unlocked and opened the gate for participants in the 2014 campaign event.”

Hamrick also wrote, “OSC found no evidence that his violation of the Hatch Act was knowing or willful.” Evidence schmevidence said the group Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), which has raised its voice on Inhofe’s pigeon shooting. In a news release, the organization was less concerned about Buchanan and more concerned about Inhofe (the elected federal official going on 30 years now). “Senator Inhofe knowingly violated federal law, yet he has never been held accountable,” SHARK President Steve Hindi said in a press statement. “It is disturbing that because he is a powerful politician, no policing authority is willing to investigate him. Local, county and state law enforcement has refused to respond to Inhofe supporters who commit crimes. Even the FBI refused to take action.”

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EAT & DRINK The Loaded Bowl owners Tevin and Jon Grupe opened their permanent location in the OKC Farmers

f e at u r e

Market District. | Photo Garett Fisbeck.

Vegan comfort

The Loaded Bowl succeeds in jumping from a food truck to a full-time restaurant. By Jacob Threadgill

As owners Jon and Tevin Grupe looked to open a brick-and-mortar location for their successful food truck The Loaded Bowl, they found the perfect fit in the burgeoning OKC Farmers Market District. In December of last year, after months of renovating the space at 1211 SW Second St., in which Jon Grupe built a bar and designed the tables, The Loaded Bowl opened to fanfare, but the transition from food truck to permanent restaurant did not come without its learning curve. In the months since, not only has the restaurant seen its clientele increase, but they’ve been joined by other new establishments in the district, such as Rewind Pub, Silo and others. “With our mission, [The Farmer’s Market district] seemed like the appropriate place for us,” Jon Grupe said. “We took a gamble on it because there wasn’t a lot of foot traffic during the day. It has worked out very well, and we’re excited about everything else popping up.” Despite the lack of daytime pedestrians, customers used to following The Loaded Bowl through social media to find the location of the food truck turned up en masse to the new location. “We didn’t make a big deal about opening because we wanted the staff to get used to the new operation, but it was crazy right off the bat,” Grupe said.

Comfort food

Part of the reason Grupe thinks his vegan concept has succeeded in the Oklahoma City market is that he wants it to be a vegan restaurant for people who aren’t vegan. Focusing on comfort food, dishes are prepared free of saturated fat and cholesterol, but they aren’t necessarily low-calorie.

“We pride ourselves in most of our customer base not being vegan,” Grupe said. “They just enjoy the food. From the get-go, we wanted to normalize vegan food and show people that it doesn’t have to be raw or low-calorie. It can be stuff with which you are familiar and tastes good.” At the food truck, the menu was streamlined for a smaller kitchen space. Loaded Bowl’s cashew mac and cheese has become one of its signature dishes. Made using soaked cashews blended into a paste along with nutritional yeast and other spices, the cashew cheese mimics dairy but also provides a savory kick to many of the items on the restaurant’s menu. Moving into the new location meant The Loaded Bowl’s staff went from essentially two — Jon and Tevin Grupe — to a total of 20 people and all of the added hurdles of managing extra taxes and keeping a staff happy, but that was expected.

almost half the menu and changing it to just bowls. “We tried our best to come up with three or four new bowls that nobody had seen before to offset the disappointment. After a month or so, it leveled off and people got used to the new menu. We’re able to be more efficient with it, and it helps us ensure that we can pay our staff well, not to have too many people on at the same time.” Burgers are available as a special every Thursday night 5-9 p.m., and breakfast is available in the form of brunch on Sundays. Social media posts on Instagram show other daily specials as they happen. During the menu consolidation, the flavors of a few of the popular but disregarded dishes continued their life in a new permutation. A popular chicken melt sandwich is available as a bowl with grilled brown rice, veggies, tofu, spinach, cashew cheese, squash relish and guacamole. All chicken on the menu is made from Butler brand soy curds, and chorizo is mimicked with lentils. The opening of the restaurant also meant full-time baked goods, which can be paired as dessert or with an alcoholic drink from the bar. Originally from Oklahoma City, Jon Grupe didn’t embrace a vegan lifestyle until moving to Chicago for four years. He moved back to Oklahoma at the start of this decade with the idea to open a food truck. He took a job at another truck to learn the ropes and met his future wife Tevin at a Beach House concert in 2011, and she immediately joined in on his food truck concept. “The perception of veganism in Oklahoma was skewed. I felt like with the kind of food I could make, I could change perceptions and run a business

at the same time,” Grupe said before noting that he is a big fan of venture capitalist Elon Musk. Grupe follows Musk’s philosophy that it is easier to make someone change through a quality product rather than beating them over the head with statistics. “You don’t have to talk about the benefits of veganism or beat people over the head with climate change statistics and get people defensive,” Grupe said. “You can just give them good food and it is a win-win.” The Loaded Bowl food truck still operates, but primarily in Norman. For specials and truck locations, follow The Loaded Bowl on Instagram (@ TheLoadedBowlTruck) and on Twitter (@LoadedBowlTruck) or visit

Sesame rice bowl | Photo Garett Fisbeck

Loaded nachos | Photo Garett Fisbeck

Expansion hurdles

The Grupes didn’t anticipate their first major hurdle of the expansion: the menu. In the small kitchen of the food truck, The Loaded Bowl succeeded with four items, but with the extra space in the restaurant, it immediately expanded to a big menu with burgers, breakfast, sandwiches and salads. “About a month in, we realized we didn’t have the space to do that kind of thing,” Jon Grupe said. “It was decreasing our accessibility because ticket times were so high since we had so many items. We had to make the tough decision of cutting The Down Home Bowl features The Loaded Bowl’s signature cashew mac and cheese. | Photo Garett Fisbeck. O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 2 3 , 2 0 1 7


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Japanese Restaurant

No frills

Barry’s Old Fashioned Burger stays relevant by keeping things simple and fresh. By Sean Isabella

The big, green sign is hard to miss when traveling on May Avenue in Oklahoma City. Plastered on the old-school cutout is a life-size depiction of what’s inside, a simple yet effective message relaying how burgers used to be: a beef patty with tomatoes, lettuce, onions, pickles and cheese sandwiched between a sesame seed bun. Above, it reads “Old Fashioned.” Below it, the words “fresh hand cut fries” are boldly displayed in a mustard yellow color. For more than two decades, Barry’s Old Fashioned Burger has used this basic, no-frills approach to serve its loyal customers an American favorite: burgers and fries. “Keep the food fresh every day. That’s the key. It makes a big difference when you have fresh meat, fresh potatoes to serve,” said Bahram Heidari, owner of Barry’s since 1996. “That’s how the oldfashioned way should be.”

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In an era of premium burgers with an alphabet soup list of ingredients and toppings, the establishment, located in a strip mall on 3124 N. May Ave., takes a throwback approach with a straightforward menu. There are 19 options consisting of eight burgers ranging from a basic hamburger

A mushroom burger and onion rings | Photo Garett Fisbeck

to mushroom Swiss and jalapeño burgers, sandwiches like BLTs and patty melts. Those in search of crazy concoctions, like gourmet beef blends or macaroni and cheese-topped burgers, will need to look elsewhere. “I’m not against them, but I like to stay with the old-fashioned,” Heidari said of the evolution of burgers. At Barry’s, the routine is the same each morning. Ground meat, in the form of preformed burgers, is delivered daily from Oklahoma City Meat Co., a local company that has been in business since 1957. Buns arrive prior to opening, too, and produce is prepared at a small station in the back. Burgers sizzle on Barry’s wide, flattop grill where they are cooked toorder. The process is in plain view, giving customers a glimpse into the construction of their burger. To the right, several deep fryers prepare french fries that are cut daily from 50-pound shipments of potatoes. Another characteristic of simplicity is the fries, once they are removed from the bubbling 350-degree oil, receive no seasoning. (Salt and pepper packets are provided with each order.) One by one, potatoes are rinsed and placed on an antique-looking potato

cutter. From there, they remain in a refrigerated bucket and are cooked to order.

From Iran to OKC

It’s unclear when or where Heidari’s fondness for old-fashioned burgers developed. Instead, his business-savvy personality and interest in food led him to acquire Barry’s Diner 21 years ago. The burgers were a far cry from his upbringing in Iran, but he chose to proceed anyway. “I don’t know what got me interested, but it was for sale and I bought it since I was around food,” Heidari said. The old Barry’s dabbled in burgers. It also had chicken-fried steak and chili, among other things, that Heidari referred to as “diner food.” He simplified the menu, added to the interior and exterior and slapped “old fashioned burger” to the Barry’s namesake. “I don’t like that. We stay with fewer items and improve those,” Heidari said of a cluttered menu. Prior to the purchase, Heidari managed restaurants and hotels. His roots came in the kitchen and as a bartender across three different states. Locally, he started out as a bartender at the old Sullivan’s Restaurant & Bar at Reno and Meridian avenues. Heidari’s decision to run a burger joint wasn’t any riskier than his choice to make a leap of faith more than 30 years ago when he immigrated to the United States. Heidari left Iran for Pepperdine University, a small, private school in Malibu, near Los Angeles. A short stint in Arkansas led to Oklahoma, where he transferred to Oklahoma City University and later the University of Oklahoma (OU) to finish his degree in sociology. From there, he continued to work his way up, priding himself on customer service using his Middle Eastern dialect. “You think I have an accent?” Heidari said with a serious face before bursting into laughter.

No glitz

From the decor and menu all the way down to the old tube television in

Heidari’s office, Barry’s is best described as a throwback joint. Not much has changed in the years since Heidari took over, including the maroon booths and fake plants sprawled out across the dining area. One of the newest additions, interestingly enough, is an artifact: an old rotary dial phone on the front counter used to answer takeout orders. Heidari received it from his uncle a few years ago. Even the music provides a trip down memory lane with selections like Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” serving as background noise as patrons chow down on burgers. This niche product and setting helped develop a niche customer, or the “repeat customers” as Heidari terms them. “I got a bunch of regular customers who like my food,” he said. “They support me. A lot of people have been coming 20 years, and they are still coming.” Over the years, he has witnessed these regulars grow before his eyes. “I have a customer, their kids were little, maybe a teenager, and now he’s a doctor practicing. I have another customer, his kid is now a professor at OU,” Heidari said. Heidari said Thursdays and Fridays are generally the most popular. Barry’s sees a spike in orders during the lunchtime rush from the working crowd around town, from lawyers to landscapers and everyone in between. On a busy day, Barry’s will churn out as many as 200 burgers. The top sellers are the mushroom burger, jumbo cheeseburger and bacon cheeseburger. The jumbo burger is served Thursdays as a special with fries and a drink for $8.95. Not a single item on Barry’s menu is more than $9, a wallet-friendly caveat allowing Heidari to stay relevant over the years. “Our prices are good. I don’t charge as much,” he said. “Competitive pricing, having a decent price, customer service and fresh meat — that’s why business grows and stays busy.”

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Michael Scott works the grill at Barry’s. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

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Thank You


F e at u r e


Impact breakfast Norman favorite syrup. opens in OKC to further expand its model of business for charity. By Jacob Threadgill

For pastors Ashley and Jason Kennedy, the path to helping the underprivileged in Oklahoma and around the world began with eating breakfast for dinner while in South Africa. The Kennedys spent a summer in Cape Town while Jason Kennedy worked an internship with the South African Human Rights Commission before he finished law school at the University of Oklahoma.

This business model is great for reflecting on what things can look like when they’re done generously and not selfishly. Ashley Kennedy As the couple stretched a tight budget, they experimented with different types of pancakes and waffles and wondered if opening a restaurant could be about more than making a profit. The couple’s love of breakfast led them to open syrup. in downtown Norman in the fall of 2012. A new location opens Sept. 4 in Oklahoma City at 1501 NW 23nd St. 16

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More than breakfast

Syrup. serves what the owners refer to as “impact-based breakfast” because profits made by the business are funneled to projects in South Africa, where the Kennedys spent most of the year as missionaries with Antioch Community Church. “We live in a setting [in Cape Town] where you can be among the world’s wealthiest to the poorest within a twominute period,” Ashley Kennedy said by phone, as the couple is in Oklahoma, preparing for the new restaurant. “I have the ability because of syrup. to see a need and meet a need. We don’t want it to be a handout, but help people learn how to empower others.” The Kennedys do not take a salary from the restaurant, instead living with support from the church and the generosity of others. Syrup. is a for-profit business, but at its core, it runs like a nonprofit. Proceeds go directly to needs in Cape Town and larger endeavors globally. The couple helped open a nursery care center for underprivileged children in Cape Town last year and often takes groups to job training. Locally, syrup. works with Center for Children and Families (CCFI) in Norman. “There was a group of refugees that

The new syrup. location on 23rd Street opens soon. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

enough to help fund missionary work across the globe, and the new location will only double the owners’ ability to help. “It’s not like we’re solving the world’s problems, but every little bit helps, and why not us? We want to help where we can,” Kennedy said.

Vision for change

opened up a barbershop so that they can employ their friends and family, and it’s all because people eat pancakes in Oklahoma,” Kennedy said. The Kennedys met randomly on a golf course in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when they were college students. Ashley went to Texas A&M and Jason went to Baylor. They’ve been married for 13 years and worked at a church in Norman for four years. They consider it “home” even though they spend much of their time across the globe. “I love Jesus, and I think he loved and served everyone he encountered,” Kennedy said. “I think business should function just the same. Our mode just happens to be delicious pancakes.”

Creative pairings

The Kennedys opened syrup. without any restaurant experience, and the menu was created by experimenting with favorites from their world travels. The Morning Glory, a waffle topped with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and your choice of either bacon or sausage, is a variation of a dish the couple ate a lot in Cape Town. There are also references to their time in Portland, Oregon, but the majority of the menu is just plain fun. The Home Sweet Homa tops sweet potato pancakes with marshmallow glaze and pecans. There is a red velvet waffle, cinnamon roll pancakes and crunchy French toast, which dips challah bread into cornflakes before being grilled golden brown. “I know what I like to eat, and that’s what we put on the menu,” Kennedy said. Syrup’s food has been popular

Former University of Oklahoma track member Malcolm Wankel will serve as the 23rd Street location’s general manager. The restaurant’s mission also serves as encouragement for the staff, he said, especially when they have to show up at 6 a.m. with a smile on their face. “The mission is what has kept me here,” Wankel said, noting that syrup. donated $1,200 to CCFI last year. “To work for a company where you’re constantly giving back, there is a huge why factor — why do you do what you do? That was the why factor.” Wankel and his wife Angelica, who will serve as assistant GM, have relocated to Oklahoma City from Norman. “It’s close to [the Oklahoma City University] campus, and we’re going to have a huge melting pot of people,” Wankel said. “Oklahoma City, especially in that neighborhood, is going to be extremely beneficial for us and everyone else.” Housed in the former La Catrina restaurant, Wankel said things are on track for the early September opening. Kennedy said it might be in the business’ best interest to operate as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit because then they could take donations easier, but for now, they’re content to help the less fortunate through the pull of a good pancake. “When people rally around one another, we’re better together,” Kennedy said. “This business model is great for reflecting on what things can look like when they’re done generously and not selfishly.”


Malcolm Wankel will be general manager at Oklahoma City’s location of syrup. | Photo Garett Fisbeck O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 2 3 , 2 0 1 7


So Close, We Can Taste It!


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When Oklahoma Gazette declares that this is the Best of OKC, we do it with confidence because we’ve got the statistics to prove it. Over 1 million votes get cast in this annual celebration of what makes our city amazing, inventive, adventurous or delicious, and it takes some powerful computing and tolerance of paper cuts to bring it all to glorious fruition. This collection of winners is not just for the casually curious. Gazette’s 2017 Best of OKC issue is a

field guide that an intrepid reader could use to explore every element of goodness (or “bestness,” as it were) in this fair city. Each entry represents something worth experiencing, whether it’s discovering a great bar, hearing a phenomenal singer/songwriter or learning about a new retail store. This issue can solve problems, plan weekends, serve as a tour guide and act as an immediate rejoinder to skeptical outsiders who don’t believe how good we have it.

This is the 33rd time we’ve taken the deep dive into all things best, which means we’re one-third of the way through our first Gazette Best of OKC century. We’ve always been proud of our best, but given the unprecedented strides in all areas covered in these pages, we think you’ll agree that the Best of OKC is only getting better, which means we might have to invent new superlatives to describe this place next year. continued on page 21

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Best of OKC 2017 Hall of Fame ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Here you will find a list of companies, restaurants and groups that have been voted the best in their category by our readers’ for ten plus years!

Best performing arts group Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma 13 years Best local annual event or festival Festival of the Arts, Arts Council of Oklahoma City 11 years

Best live music club UCO Jazz Lab 11 years

Best breakfast Jimmy’s Egg 15 years

Best fine jewelry BC Clark Jewelers 18 years

Best pizza place Hideaway Pizza 18 years

Best women’s clothing boutique Blue Seven 10 years

Best steakhouse Cattlemen’s Steakhouse 15 years

Best liquor store Byron’s Liquor Warehouse 11 years Best Mexican restaurant Ted’s Cafe Escondido 17 years

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PEOPLE Best radio personality or team Best local feed to follow on social media Best local website or blog Best local singer / songwriter Best chef Best waiter or waitress Best bartender Best Participating Restaurant Staff in OKC Restaurant Week Best local band Best performing arts group Best visual artist Best local annual event or festival Best charity event Best local homebuilder

14 categories •

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best of okc Best radio personality or team

Joey and Heather KYIS-FM KISS 98.9

2. Jack and Ron, KQOB-FM Fun 96.9 3. TJ, Janet and JROD, KJYO-FM KJ103 102.7 4. Rick and Brad, KATT-FM Rock 100.5 5. Lisa and Kent, Tyler Media KOMA 92.5

Best local feed to follow on social media

The Lost Ogle 2. Keep It Local 3. KOCO-TV Channel 5

4. KWTV-TV CBS Channel 9 5. As Told By:OKC

Best local website or blog

The Lost Ogle 2. OKCTalk 3. As Told By:OKC 4. NonDoc 5. Homes by Taber

Best local singer / songwriter

Kyle Dillingham 2. Chase Kerby 3. Mike Hosty 4. John Moreland 5. Jabee

Best chef

Bruce Rinehart at Rococo and The Manhattan OKC several metro locations

2. Kurt Fleischfresser at Vast 3. Haley Hinson at The Pump Bar 4. Jeff Chanceleune at Gorō Ramen 5. Henry Bordeaux at Aurora Breakfast

Best waiter or waitress

Rocky Rippetoe

at Jimmy’s Egg North Classen Avenue, 5012 N. Classen Blvd 2. Tristan Martin at Ted’s Cafe Escondido 150th & North Penn 3. Ke Hassan at The Pump Bar 4. Molly Holliday at Noir Bistro & Bar 5. Julie Ivers at The Black Raven

Best bartender

Meghanne Hensley

at The Pump Bar, 2425 N. Walker Ave. 2. Becky Ginn at The Pump Bar 3. Peter Bui at Cock O’ the Walk 4. Chris Barrett at Ludivine 5. Kevin Alexander at Tramps

Best Participating Restaurant Staff in OKC Restaurant Week

Republic Gastropub several metro locations

2. On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina 3. Rococo 4. La Brasa International Cuisine 5. Vast

continued on page 25


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Best visual artist

Desmond Mason One could say this local artist goes hard in the paint. Texas native Desmond Mason first entered the local consciousness as a standout basketball star for Oklahoma State University (OSU). He was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics in 2000 and won the National Basketball Association Slam Dunk Contest in 2001. Mason played some of his best seasons for the Milwaukee Bucks before landing in Oklahoma City in 2005 as a player for the Hurricane Katrina-displaced New Orleans Hornets. Mason was an instant fan favorite and a perfect NBA ambassador for the new fan base. He returned to Milwaukee for a year in 2007 but came back to OKC to play for the Thunder in its inaugural 2008-09 season. But Mason’s work with a paintbrush has become almost as locally well-known as his athletic accomplishments. His popular D. Mason Art gallery can be found

near James E. McNellie’s Public House in Midtown. Mason’s work is best described as abstract expressionism in the vein of Pablo Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Mr. Brainwash. His murals and portraits often include many shades of bright, eye-catching color. His love for color can also be seen in his series of reimagined United States flags. Though clearly loved in Oklahoma (his adopted home), Mason is also still popular in Wisconsin for his days with the Bucks. The artist was recently invited back to Milwaukee to paint a mural inside the basketball-centric Running Rebels Community Organization youth facility. Fashion and apparel design has also been a long-standing passion. Mason currently sells a custom-designed line of OSU Cowboy-themed hats at

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best of okc Best local band

My So Called Band 2. Superfreak 3. Horse Thief 4. Red City Radio 5. Nicnos

Best performing arts group

Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma 2. Oklahoma City Philharmonic 3. Oklahoma City Ballet 4. Dust Bowl Dolls Burlesque 5. Carpenter Square Theatre

Best visual artist

Desmond Mason 2. Jay Roberts at Mind Bender Tattoo and Fine Art Gallery 3. Denise Duong 4. Adam Jones 5. Jason Pawley

Best local annual event or festival

Festival of the Arts Arts Council Oklahoma City 2. Paseo Arts Festival 3. Norman Music Festival 4. Trucks for Tots benefiting Infant Crisis Services, Inc. 5. deadCenter Film Festival

Best charity event

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon 2. Boots & Ball Gowns Gala benefiting Infant Crisis Services, Inc 3. Red Tie Night benefiting Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund 4. Peace, Love & Goodwill Festival 5. Shine a Light Gala benefiting

Best local singer / songwriter

Sunbeam Family Services

Kyle Dillingham Those who still have not seen tender-voiced fiddler Kyle Dillingham or his gifted band Horseshoe Road in a live show are missing out on one of the state’s best musical experiences. The energetic folk, Americana and gospel blend is as gorgeously refined as it is holistically satisfying. A tremendous and lengthy resume speaks for itself. Dillingham and Horseshoe Road have acted as musical ambassadors touring internationally while representing Oklahoma, the U.S. State Department and other diplomatic entities. In 2009, Dillingham earned the Oklahoma Governor’s Arts Award and was the youngest recipient of the prize in history. His playing has earned praise from documentarian Ken Burns and Public Broadcasting System (PBS) president Paula Kerger. Horseshoe Road’s most recent album is Fear or Faith, a

listen recommended for its spirited energy that closely replicates a live performance. The album’s title is inspired by the Bible verse Deuteronomy 31:6, which reads, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Dillingham has had the chance to perform in venues around the world, including Nashville, Tennessee’s historic Grand Ole Opry and for international crowds and dignitaries in Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Burma, Russia and more. This year, Horseshoe Road performed at the 90th birthday party of former Gov. George Nigh. In September, the band will embark on a tour of China that includes dates in Xi’an, Dunhuang and Qingyang. O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 2 3 , 2 0 1 7


PLACES Best place to volunteer Best business that gives back Best free entertainment Best live music club Best concert venue Best public art/mural Best place to buy local art Best museum Best fine jewelry Best thrift store Best clothing consignment Best furniture Best women’s clothing boutique Best place to dine before a show Best place for continuing education

Best place to get fit Best bicycle shop Best med spa Best place to get an aesthetic update Best place to fix your smile Best local district Best naughty business Best new retail establishment Best nonprofit Best vapor shop Best place to buy a vehicle Best pet-friendly patio Best place to treat your pet Best place to hike with your dog

44 categories •


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Best credit union Best casino for gambling Best casino for live entertainment Best LGBT bar or club Best post-game or post-concert spot Best farmers market or farm stand Best optical shop Best florist Best tourist attraction Best public bathroom Best bar for live music Best open mic/comedy night Best bowling alley Best place for a kid’s party Best place for a grown-up’s party

BEST OF OKC Best local homebuilder

Home Creations 2. Homes by Taber 3. Matt Wilson Custom Homes & Pools 4. Richardson Homes 5. OklaHome Homebuilders

Best place to volunteer

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

2. Central Oklahoma Humane Society 3. Infant Crisis Services, Inc. 4. Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity 5. Sunbeam Family Services

Best business that gives back

S&B’s Burger Joint several metro locations 2. Paycom 3. Fowler Auto Group 4. The Pump Bar 5. Homes by Taber

Best free entertainment

Festival of the Arts Arts Council Oklahoma City, 500 Couch Drive 2. Myriad Botanical Gardens 3. Paseo Arts Festival

4. Sonic Summer Movies on the Lawn at Myriad Botanical Gardens 5. Sunday Twilight Concert Series

Best live music club

UCO Jazz Lab 100 E. Fifth St.

2. The Blue Note Lounge 3. VZD Restaurant & Bar 4. 89th Street - OKC 5. Opolis

Best concert venue

Chesapeake Arena 100 W. Reno Ave.

2. The Zoo Amphitheatre 3. Civic Center Music Hall 4. The Criterion 5. Tower Theater

Best thrift store

Best public art/mural

Bad Granny’s Bazaar You can call Bad Granny’s Bazaar a thrift store, but the Plaza District store is really best described as a bazaar. Luckily, it’s part of the shop’s name. Bad Granny’s, where the items are organized and customers are treated to friendly service and great prices, rises above all other metro-based thrift, vintage or resale shops. Once again, Bad Granny’s tops the polls for Oklahoma City’s best thrift store. Stop by and you could find handmade items, pieces of art, furniture, vintage vinyl records, dishware, vintage prom dresses with puffy sleeves and ruffled

peplum and other treasures untold. The beauty of Bad Granny’s is customers never know what they will find. Whether on a hunt for a certain mid-century furniture piece, an “ugly” sweater for a holiday party or just an afternoon of shopping, Bad Granny’s is a must-try. Most any day, shop owner Diana Harris (the Bad Granny) is ready to show off the latest merchandise, from leather jackets to local art and children’s books to vintage brooches. The store is open noon-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

New Zealand Thunder player Steven Adams mural on The Paramount building in Film Row 701 W. Sheridan Ave.

2. Plaza Walls project in 16th Street Plaza District 3. Welcome to Uptown mural on Pizzeria Gusto building in Uptown 23rd 4. Cultivation mural at EK Gaylord Boulevard and W. Reno Avenue by Jason Pawley 5. Flamenco Memorial to John L. Belt in Paseo Arts District

Best place to buy local art

Paseo Arts District

Paseo St. from NW 28th St. and N. Walker Ave. to NW 30th St. and N. Dewey Ave. 2. Festival of the Arts, Arts Council Oklahoma City 3. DNA Galleries 4. Mind Bender Tattoo and Fine Art Gallery 5. JRB Art at the Elms continued on page 28

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BEST OF OKC Best museum

Science Museum Oklahoma 2020 Remington Place 2. Oklahoma City Museum of Art 3. Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum 4. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 5. Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

Best fine jewelry

BC Clark Jewelers several metro locations 2. Naifeh Fine Jewelry 3. Mitchener Farrand 4. Scott Gordon Jeweler/Gemologist 5. C.J.’s Jewelers

Best thrift store

Bad Granny’s Bazaar 1759 NW 16th St.

2. Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma 3. Uptown Thrift 4. Nearly New 5. The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command

Best clothing consignment

Daisy Exchange several metro locations 2. Bad Granny’s Bazaar 3. Nearly New 4. Clothes Mentor 5. The Bottom Drawer

Best furniture

Urban Farmhouse Designs 400 S. Western Ave.

2. Mathis Brothers Furniture


3. Bob Mills Furniture & Mattress Store 4. K&N Interior Consignment 5. Ashley Furniture HomeStore

Best women’s clothing boutique

Blue Seven

7518 N. May Ave., Suite A 2. Lush Fashion Lounge 3. Balliets 4. Bow & Arrow Boutique 5. The Black Scintilla

Best place to dine before a show

Cheever’s Cafe 2409 N. Hudson Ave.

$2.00 CANS



2. Mahogany Prime Steakhouse 3. Republic Gastropub 4. The Pump Bar 5. Museum Cafe

Best place for continuing education

University of Oklahoma (OU) 660 Parrington Oval, Norman 2. University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) 3. Oklahoma State University Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC) 4. Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) 5. Francis Tuttle Technology Center



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continued on page 30

Best new retail est

Common Books Q Oklahoma Gazette: I’ve noticed your sign that says “Books and People” [located in the front window facing Walker Avenue.] What is behind that sign, and how is it behind the philosophy at Commonplace Books? Ben Nockles: We are a values- and visions-based business. We have really strong ideals and philosophies for why we do what we do. The why is essential for any enterprise. If you can’t answer the why, the what, how and where is irrelevant. If we distill down the essence of who we are, it is books and people. What are we about? Books and people. I oftentimes joke when we say, “Books and people,” what we really mean is people. I mean that wholeheartedly.

OKG: In 2016, The New York Times reported that independent booksellers are making a comeback in New York City and other cities. What was behind the decision to open Commonplace Books in Midtown and in Oklahoma City’s urban core? Nockles: It’s my neighborhood. It’s what I know. It’s the place I chose to live. It’s the people I chose to live among. … There is that personal point about why the core and why Midtown; then there is the strategic element. Midtown is the most, in my mind, most mature of the districts in what the district represents

l establishment

monplace Q&A

with the redevelopment of the city. We don’t think of ourselves as a novelty. Good neighborhoods have good bookstores. Good neighborhoods in vibrant cities have places where ideas are exchanged, where robust dialogue can take place, where there are civil discourse and knowledge and where culture is being created. This is an essential. I would almost call it a luxurious necessity, if you will. OKG: For those that haven’t visited Commonplace Books yet, what would you say makes it different from, say, walking into a national bookstore retailer? Nockles: I say this regularly. Because we are not trying to win, there is no competition. A question I get a lot is, “How do you compete with the Amazons of the world? How do you compete with the Barnes and Nobles of the world? How do you compete with audio books and ereaders?” I am not tying to win; therefore, I have no competition. The singular experience that we want for people at Commonplace Books is what we call the unhurried wanderer. … After they walk through the door, they pause and they exhale. …The point is to not get oriented to the layout of the store, but the point is to get reoriented to yourself. … We want to welcome them and usher them into the process of discovery.

Best sushi Best Japanese

Best Japanese Best Western ave District Restaurant sushi neko & Musashi’s

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BEST OF OKC Best place to get fit

YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City several metro locations 2. Lake Hefner 3. 10Gym 4. Barre3 5. Four Star Fitness

Best casino for live entertainment

Best bicycle shop

Al’s Bicycles

several metro locations 2. Schlegel Bicycles 3. Wheeler Dealer Bicycle Shop 4. Charley’s Bicycle Laboratory 5. Melonbike

Best med spa

Cottonwood Salon and Spa 35 E. 33rd St., Edmond

2. Renaissance Salon and Spa 3. Mariposa Aesthetics & Laser Center 4. Udånder 5. Bliss Medical Spa

Best place to get an aesthetic update

Cottonwood Salon and Spa 35 E. 33rd St., Edmond 2. Dr. Tim R. Love M.D. 3. Mariposa Aesthetics & Laser Center 4. Advanced Aesthetics 5. Bliss Medical Spa

North Penn 15124 Lieyton’s Ct. Ste. 118 405-286-3676

Del City 5301 Main St. Ste. 117 405-813-8337

Lawton 3807 Cache Road 580-699-8337

West OKC 300 Outlet Shoppes Dr. 405-607-8337

OKC 2836 NW 68th St. 405-848-8337

Edmond 801 E. Danforth Rd 405-810-8337

Broken Arrow 3202 W. Kenosha St. 918-254-8337

South OKC 8324 S. Western Ave. 405-635-8337

Norman 700 N. Interstate Dr. 405-307-8337

Tulsa Hills 7848 S. Olympia Ave. WEST 918-301-8337

Dine-In • ToGo • Catering • Banquet Facilities

Best place to fix your smile

Orthodontic Associates

several metro locations 2. Dental Depot 3. OKC Smiles 4. Gentle Dental 5. Dental 32

Best local district


area west of EK S Gaylord Blvd., around Reno Ave.

Riverw Casino Eleven years ago, The Chickasaw Nation opened Riverwind Casino in Cleveland County, just south of Oklahoma City and Norman, offering metro residents a top-notch gaming facility, dining, accommodations and entertainment.

Riverwind Casino is home to:

2,800 electronic games, 30 table games and 17 poker tables

on the casino floor

2. Midtown 3. 16th Street Plaza District 4. Paseo Arts District 5. Uptown 23rd District

Best naughty business

Christie’s Toy Box several metro locations

2. Dollhouse Lounge & Burlesque 3. Night Trips 4. Red Dog Cafe 5. Oklahoma Gentlemens Club

Best new retail establishment

Commonplace Books 1325 N. Walker Ave. 2. Past Perfect OKC 3. The Creative Studio 4. Fashion Lion 5. Nhu Avenue


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Best casino for gambling

Best nonprofit

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma 3355 S. Purdue Ave.

2. Infant Crisis Services, Inc. 3. Mutt Misfits Animal Rescue Society


4. Positive Tomorrows 5. Sunbeam Family Services

Best vapor shop

OKC Vapes 3710 NW 50th St. 2. Vapor World 3. The Vape Bar

4. Liquid Vapor Lounge 5. Party Moore

Best place to buy a vehicle

wind o

1,500 seats in Showplace Theatre, where entertainers like Joel McHale, Josh Abbott Band, Styx and more perform

Bob Howard Auto Group

several metro locations 2. Bob Moore Auto Group 3. Fowler Auto Group 4. Hudiburg Auto Group 5. Joe Cooper Auto Group

Best pet-friendly patio

The Bleu Garten 301 NW 10th St.

2. Louie’s Grill & Bar 3. The Pump Bar 4. Fassler Hall 5. Fat Dog Kitchen & Bar

Best place to treat your pet

Midtown Mutts Dog Park 407 W. Park Place 2. Paw OK Dog Park

100 rooms in Riverwind Hotel, located adjacent to the casino

3. A1 Pet Emporium 4. Neel Veterinary Hospital 5. The Pump Bar

Best place to hike with your dog

Bert Cooper Trails (Formerly Lake Hefner Trails)

2,000 square feet of meeting space for company events or meetings



around Lake Hefner between NW Grand Blvd. and N. Hefner Road 2. Lake Arcadia Trails 3. Lake Thunderbird State Park Clear Bay Recreation Area Trail System 4. Bluff Creek Park 5. Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge

Best credit union

Tinker Federal Credit Union

several metro locations 2. Weokie Credit Union 3. Oklahoma Employees Credit Union 4. Communication Federal Credit Union 5. Municipal Employees Credit Union

Best casino for gambling

Riverwind Casino

1544 W. State Highway 9, Norman 2. WinStar World Casino 3. Remington Park Racing & Casino 4. Grand Casino Hotel & Resort

1309 South Agnew • 1st Light South of I-40 Located in Historic Stockyards City.

405.236.0416 •

Open 6am Every Day

5. Newcastle Casino continued on page 32

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BEST OF OKC Best casino for live entertainment

Riverwind Casino

1544 W. State Highway 9, Norman 2. WinStar World Casino 3. Grand Casino Hotel & Resort 4. Firelake Casino 5. Remington Park Racing & Casino

Best LGBT bar or club

HiLo Club

1221 NW 50th St. 2. The Boom! 3. The Copa 4. Tramps 5. Partners

Best post-game or post-concert spot

Bricktown Brewery

Best public art / mural

Steven Adams mural

several metro locations 2. The Pump Bar 3. The Mont 4. TapWerks Ale House 5. Whiskey Chicks

Best farmers market or farm stand

OSU-OKC Farmers Market 400 N. Portland Ave.

2. Farmers Public Market 3. Edmond Farmers Market 4. Uptown Farmers Market 5. Norman Farm Market

Best optical shop

Sam’s Optical

several metro locations 2. Midtown Optical 3. Warby Parker Showroom at Shop Good 4. Black Optical 5. Cornerstone Eyecare

Best florist

Trochta’s Flowers & Garden Center 6700 N. Broadway Ext. 2. Capitol Hill Florist 3. New Leaf Florist 4. A Date with Iris 5. Floral and Hardy

Best tourist attraction

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum 620 N. Harvey Ave.

2. Bricktown, area west of S. EK Gaylord Blvd. 3. Oklahoma City Zoological Park and Botanical Garden 4. Wheeler Ferris Wheel 5. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Best public bathroom


several metro locations 2. City Bites 3. Love’s Country Store 4. The Pump Bar 5. Myriad Botanical Gardens


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Known as the Oklahoma City Thunder’s great wall of defense near the basket, the state’s favorite New Zealander Steven Adams seems well suited to have his larger-than-life likeness up on a literal brick wall. Accomplished muralist Graham “Mr G” Hoete, a fellow New Zealander, painted the large-scale public portrait on the side of Film Row’s Paramount Building, 701 W. Sheridan Ave., in just a few days back in June 2016. It instantly became one of OKC’s most frequent selfie destinations largely due to the gregarious Thunder 7-footer’s local popularity alongside fellow “’Stache Bro” Enes Kanter. More than a quaint tourist attraction a short drive away from the Thunder’s home court at Chesapeake Arena, the mural also signaled the start of an important turning point in the growth of Film Row. The relatively recent opening of FlashBack RetroPub (in 2015), 21c Museum Hotel and adjoining restaurant Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge (2016) and The Jones Assembly (opened officially in July) have transformed the historic downtown district from a sector once rarely visited by the general public to a place where people can be found hanging out every night of the week. Just as the Thunder’s arrival signaled a business and cultural renaissance in OKC, Film Row’s fearsome mural guardian has helped usher in a new wave of excitement to the area. Let’s just make sure Golden State Warrior Draymond Green doesn’t come anywhere near the mural.


Science Museum Oklahom

Best bar for live music

The Blue Note Lounge

2408 N. Robinson Ave. 2. Michael Murphy’s Dueling Pianos 3. VZD Restaurant & Bar 4. JJ’s Alley 5. The Deli

Best open mic/ comedy night

Loony Bin Comedy Club

Special Events • Private Dining • Catering

8503 N. Rockwell Ave. 2. Sauced on Paseo 3. VZD Restaurant & Bar 4. JJ’s Alley 5. District House

Best bowling alley

Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge 421 NW 10th St.

2. Heritage Lanes 3. HeyDay 4. Meridian Lanes 5. Sooner Bowling Center

Best place for a kid’s party

CHEF JONAS FAVELA and his Summer Menu

Science Museum Oklahoma 2020 Remington Place

2. Andy Alligator’s Fun Park 3. Jump!Zone Party and Play Centers 4. HeyDay 5. Sooner Bowling Center

Best place for a grown-up’s party

Paint N’ Cheers 1614 N. Gatewood Ave. 2. The Bleu Garten

Best museum Best place for a kid’s party

m ma

3. Fassler Hall 4. Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge 5. The Pump Bar

59 years ago, the Oklahoma Science and Arts Foundation established Science Museum Oklahoma at the state fairgrounds with a planetarium, museum and science department. In 1978, the museum moved to its current location, which was known as the Kirkpatrick Center and housed various museums.

Science Museum Oklahoma contains:

Two stories of exhibit space, including the

Science Floor, CurioCity, Tinkering Garage, Oceanarium and more.

One planetarium,

known as Kirkpatrick Planetarium, that accurately displays stars, the moon and planets from Earth.

UPCOMING WINE DINNERS Reservations Strongly Recommended Thursday sepT 14Th

“Thin is In” – Thin-Skinned Grapes & Their Story. $75/seat | 4 Wines | 4 Dishes | 1 Evening Cocktail Hour | 6:30-7p | Dinner 7p

Tuesday OcT 10Th

“Damsels & Doctors” Krupp Brothers Wines; hosted by Sandy Huffine, VP of Krupp Winery. Big-bodied reds & rich foods that will stand up to them. $109/seat

Thursday NOv 9Th

“November Rhone” – Rhone Valley wines & Fall Foods. $89/seat

Thursday dec 7Th

“Winter Whiskey Warm-Up” – 5 whiskeys & 5 courses of great times! $75/Seat OpeN Weekdays fOr luNch aT 11a; diNNer meNu begiNs aT 4p clOse 9:30p mON - Wed - 10p Thurs - saT suNdays – privaTe eveNTs ONly; call fOr deTails

2920 NW 63rd st. 405.608.8866

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FOOD & DRINK Best tea or coffeehouse Best local winery Best local craft beer Best beer selection Best cocktail Best breakfast Best brunch Best meal for a deal Best late-night eats Best hamburgers Best sandwich shop Best barbecue restaurant Best pizza place Best steakhouse Best sushi Best soul food Best chicken-fried steak Best vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or healthy menu options Best patio dining

Best liquor store Best seafood restaurant Best dessert shop or bakery Best Mexican restaurant Best Latin restaurant Best Italian restaurant Best Western European restaurant, not Italian Best Mediterranean restaurant Best Indian restaurant Best Japanese restaurant Best Chinese restaurant Best Thai restaurant Best Vietnamese restaurant Best pho restaurant Best new restaurant Best fine dining establishment Best neighborhood pub Best dive bar Best upscale bar

51 categories •


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Best new bar Best diner Best food truck or food cart Best Uptown 23rd district restaurant Best Plaza district restaurant Best Paseo Arts district restaurant Best Automobile Alley district restaurant Best Bricktown district restaurant Best Midtown district restaurant Best Western Avenue district restaurant Best Downtown restauranT Best Participating Restaurant in OKC Restaurant Week Best restaurant overall

best of okc Best tea or coffeehouse

All About Cha

several metro locations 2. Elemental Coffee Roasters 3. Urban Teahouse 4. Coffee Slingers Roasters 5. Aloha Shave Ice & Coffee Shoppe

Best local winery

Put a Cork In It Winery 115 E. California Ave.

Best chef Bruce Rinehart at Rococo and The Manhattan OKC

2. Waters Edge Winery 3. Clauren Ridge Vinyard & Winery 4. Strebel Creek Vineyards 5. Farfalla Wines

Best local craft beer

COOP Ale Works 4745 Council Heights Road 2. Anthem Brewing Company 3. Mustang Brewing Company 4. Prairie Artisan Ales 5. Roughtail Brewing Co.


Best beer selection

TapWerks Ale House 121 E. Sheridan Ave.

2. Republic Gastropub 3. James E. McNellie’s Public House

Best new bar

4. Oak & Ore 5. The Pump Bar

Best cocktail

Lunchbox at Edna’s 5137 Classen Circle

2. The Black Betty at The Pump Bar 3. Old Fashioned at The R&J Lounge and Supper Club 4. Fire on the Pineapple at Guyutes

The Manhattan OKC Oklahoma Gazette: You’ve been voted Best Chef in our reader poll four times in the past. What is the reason for your success? Bruce Rinehart: We’re very passionate about everything we do — food, service and so on — but we’re passionate about our guests. It translates into the community. I spend a lot of time, when I can, in the dining room, visiting with guests. It’s part of a bigger picture for us; it’s not just a business for us. OKG: You’re originally from the East Coast. What have you learned about Oklahoma City’s culture in your time here? Rinehart: It’s really developing. It’s a lot different than when I moved here in ’03. The biggest thing I found when I moved here was the loyalty and people’s commitment to others.

I also noticed that if you didn’t do the right thing, that will carry on, so we’ve always done the right thing. OKG: How have things gone in The Manhattan OKC’s first three months? Rinehart: We’re going to be a gem down there. We’ve got great support and [are] working at it hard. It’s beautiful and cozy. One of our challenges is that a lot of people think we’re ‘just a bar,’ and it’s a shame because we have a great all-day dining menu. There is some great Rococo flair because our guests wanted it. Our famous crab cakes and Love Salad made the menu. We have a house-cured pastrami that takes 10 days to cure and smoke. I don’t have much of a kitchen, so I’m making magic there.

How has the menu redesign at Rococo gone over? Very well; the final ones just went out in the last few months. There are some new items, and it’s streamlined and more modern and approachable. It’s been well received and people have been happy to see the things we’ve put on. The things we took off the menu are mostly still available by special request. OKG: What is your perfect way to spend free time in Oklahoma City? Rinehart: I don’t get out much. I finally carved out a few days and I took my family down to Broken Bow (Beavers Bend State Park), rented a cabin and went fishing. Oklahoma as a state has a lot to offer along those lines, not just here in the metro, but beyond.

5. Sputnik at Bunker Club

Best breakfast

Jimmy’s Egg

several metro locations 2. Cafe Kacao Latin Cuisine 3. Classen Grill 4. Hatch 5. Sunnyside Diner

Best brunch

Cheever’s Cafe 2409 N. Hudson Ave. 2. Hatch 3. Jimmy’s Egg 4. Rococo 5. The Pump Bar

Best meal for a deal

Empire Slice House 1734 NW 16th St. 2. Big Truck Tacos 3. GoGo Sushi Express and Grill 4. Chick N Beer 5. 3Sixty Restaurant & Bar

Best late-night eats

Beverly’s Pancake House 3315 Northwest Expressway 2. Empire Slice House 3. Waffle Champion 4. The Pump Bar 5. Sauced on Paseo

continued on page 36

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best of okc Best hamburgers

The Garage Burgers & Beer several metro locations 2. S&B’s Burger Joint 3. Nic’s Grill 4. Tucker’s Onion Burgers 5. Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler

Best sandwich shop

The Mule

1630 N. Blackwelder Ave. 2. City Bites 3. Someplace Else A Deli & Bakery 4. Neptune Sub Sandwiches 5. The Sandwich Club

Best barbecue restaurant

Swadley’s Bar-B-Q several metro locations 2. Earl’s Rib Palace 3. Iron Star Urban Barbeque 4. Back Door Barbecue 5. Bedlam Bar-B-Q

Best pizza place

Hideaway Pizza several metro locations 2. Empire Slice House 3. Upper Crust Pizza 4. Pizzeria Gusto 5. Sauced on Paseo

Best steakhouse

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse

1309 S. Agnew Ave. 2. Mahogany Prime Steakhouse 3. Ranch Steakhouse 4. Red PrimeSteak 5. Broadway 10 Bar & Chophouse

Best sushi

Sushi Neko

4318 N. Western Ave. 2. The Sushi Bar 3. GoGo Sushi Express and Grill 4. Tokyo Japanese Restaurant

Best cocktail Lunchbox at Edna’s

Edna’s Edna’s resembles the textbook definition of what a neighborhood bar should be. The smoky, dimly lit interior is endearing when business hours are slow (which doesn’t happen that often). But the place takes on a life of its own when nightlife revelers pack its famous dollar bill-stapled walls as Edna’s jukebox sets the evening’s tone. The joint is a staple of the Classen Circle bar area that also includes HiLo Club, The Drunken Fry and (just a brief drive away) 51st Street Speakeasy. Edna’s aesthetic and atmosphere might be known throughout the city, but its

signature drink, The Lunchbox, is known internationally. It’s an unlikely (but incredibly tasty) combination of equal parts Coors Light and orange juice with a shot of the sweet Italian liqueur amaretto. A signature Edna’s chilled mug is just as necessary to the Lunchbox experience as any of its other ingredients. The drink is so popular, Edna’s keeps literally hundreds of mugs chilly behind the bar in two large freezers. There is no topping the original recipe, which late bar founder Edna Scott first mixed by accident in the early 1990s, but over the

years, many variations of the original Lunchbox have been added to Edna’s menu. The Docbox uses cranberry juice instead of orange juice, and the Tootsie Roll Box contains crème de cacao. Oklahoma City has no doubt taken notice of The Lunchbox, but so has the rest of the world. The signature cocktail is frequently written about in food, drink and travel magazines and blogs. Jimmy Fallon and The Roots drummer Questlove once drank Lunchboxes on The Tonight Show.

5. Yokozuna

Best soul food

Bobo’s Chicken 1812 NE 23rd St.

2. MaMa E’s Wings & Waffles 3. Off the Hook Seafood & More 4. Cajun King 5. Taste of Soul Chicken & Waffles

Best chicken-fried steak

Cheever’s Cafe 2409 N. Hudson Ave. 2. Del Rancho

3. Ann’s Chicken Fry House 4. Kendall’s Restaurant 5. Chuck House

Best vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or healthy menu options


several metro locations 2. Picasso Cafe 3. The Loaded Bowl 4. The Red Cup 5. The Earth Cafe & Deli continued on page 39


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Best dive bar


Best breakfast

Jimmy’s Egg

Best waiter or waitress Rocky Rippetoe at Jimmy’s Egg North Classen Avenue


Oklahoma Gazette: How long have you worked at Jimmy’s Egg? Rocky Rippetoe: I’ve been here since 1993. I worked 10 years at Midwest City and moved to [N. Classen] when it opened 14 years ago. OKG: What does it mean to work for an Oklahoma City institution? Rippetoe: I love it. I wasn’t born in Oklahoma but moved here when I was 10. I love Oklahoma. I’m from Detroit, but this is home. My kids were born here. Being a waitress is my passion. They’re a great company to work for and a great group of people that comes in to work every day. I just really enjoy it. OKG: What is the key to develop a lasting relationship with customers? Rippetoe: Loving what you do and the people that come with it. You get to know about people’s families. OKG: Do you have a favorite order at Jimmy’s Egg? Rippetoe: I like [Jimmy’s] Garbage [Breakfast]. If you like sausage,

Oklahomans for 25 Years! Enjoy a

FREE QUESO with purchase of adult entrée VALID AT ANY OF THE

5 OKC AREA LOCATIONS! Limit one coupon per table. Not valid with any other coupon or offer. Excludes tax & gratuity. Expires 9/30/2017. ALOHA: QUESO_GAZETTE


OTB-OKC GazetteV1c-4.55x2.95.indd 1

8/15/17 9:57 AM

you’ll like the Garbage. It’s the sausage flavor on top of the hash browns with eggs that makes it for me. The peppers and onions are grilled and then put on the hash browns with your eggs as you like them. You get your choice of bread. OKG: Is there a particular customer or order that stands out over the years? Rippetoe: I’ve waited on all types of people, and you treat them the same. Some people don’t have much and they’re hungry. I’ll buy them a meal. I’ve done that several times because I’m not going to see someone go hungry. I’ll tell them, ‘Sit down; I got you.’ It’s what you should do and what we should all do. We should take care of people. OKG: That’s a good example of why people nominated you. Rippetoe: I try to give them the service I want. Sometimes people come in and are so grouchy and you just smile and kill them with kindness, and it falls back. When you see that happen, you think, “Wow! I made them smile.” People say “Thank you for your service.” And it means a lot.

Thursday Evenings in August 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. Enjoy live music, cash bar, a food truck, and the Museum galleries. August 3 • Grassland Caravan August 10 • Casey and Minna August 17 • Michael and Lela Dalby August 24 • Lucas Ross 1700 Northeast 63rd Street Oklahoma City, OK (405) 478-2250

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best of okc

2310 N. Western • 524-0887 M-F 7am-6:30pm Sat 9:30am-4pm

express lunch

Monday — Friday

Pick 4 items happy hour

1/2 off all sushi rolls M-F • 4p-6p Dine-in only

live Jazz MusiC FriDays 6:30-9:30p

2701 n. Classen • 524-7333 38

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Best place to dine before a show Best brunch | Best chicken-fried steak Best fine dining establishment Best participating restaurant in OKC Restaurant Week | Best restaurant overall

Cheever’s Cafe Perhaps no restaurant has more connection to Oklahoma City than Cheever’s Cafe. The flower case that now displays desserts and wine bottles was originally used by Oklahoma Belle Cunningham — the first baby born in Oklahoma City in 1889 — to sell flowers. The Cheever’s building on Hudson Avenue has retained Belle’s married name and become synonymous with high-quality food under the management of A Good Egg Dining Group. Which food is the most quintessentially Oklahoman? Well, that’s chicken-fried steak, of course. Gazette readers voted Cheever’s version of the dish with jalapeño cream gravy and mashed red potatoes the city’s best.

Readers also selected Cheever’s as the best place to dine before a show, best fine dining, best participant in OKC Restaurant Week and best brunch. Cheever’s pleases the fine dining crowd with an inventive selection of steaks and seafood as well as the weekend brunch fans. The dinner menu offers savory cauliflower bread pudding and sweet potato tamales with seafood as nontraditional standouts. Brunch includes classics like biscuits and gravy and French toast bread pudding but also adds dishes like masa valla con huevos, which combine shrimp risotto with masa cakes and poached eggs.

Best patio dining

The Bleu Garten 301 NW 10th St. 2. The Mont 3. Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes 4. The Pump Bar 5. Aloha Shave Ice & Coffee Shoppe

Best liquor store

Byron’s Liquor Warehouse 2322 N. Broadway Ave. 2. Moore Liquor 3. Pancho’s Liquortown 4. Freeman’s Liquor Mart 5. Sean’s Wine & Spirits

Best seafood restaurant

Pearl’s Oyster Bar 5641 N. Classen Blvd.

2. The Drake Seafood and Oysterette 3. The Shack Seafood & Oyster Bar 4. Off the Hook Seafood & More 5. Rococo

Best dessert shop or bakery

Pie Junkie 1711 NW 16th St.

2. La Baguette Bakery

Diversity. On Tap Since 1954. Dear HiLo customers, friends, neighbors, fellow Okies and beyond, We are honored, and quite frankly, overwhelmed. So many of you have displayed an outpouring of love and admiration for not only the iconic Donnay Building but the HiLo Club as well. We’re speechless. Well, almost speechless.

3. Ingrid’s Kitchen 4. Cuppies & Joe 5. Brown’s Bakery

Best Mexican restaurant

Ted’s Cafe Escondido several metro locations

2. Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant 3. Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes 4. Alfredo’s Mexican Cafe 5. Abel’s Mexican Restaurant

Best Latin restaurant

Café do Brasil

440 NW 11th St., Suite 100 2. 1492 New World Latin Cuisine 3. Cafe Kacao Latin Cuisine 4. Zarate’s Latin Mexican Grill 5. Cafe Antigua

Best Italian restaurant

Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria 1226 NE 63rd St.

For 63 years the HiLo has worked to reinforce its reputation as a place of acceptance. Laboring to create a judgment-free refuge for all kinds of people, an establishment that welcomes and embraces the beauty that is diversity. From our patrons to our employees, the Hilo family is a mixed bag of doughnuts. Inside these walls, all types of communities and backgrounds intertwine. Come inside and you’ll find what makes Oklahoma an amazing place to live. Or, even visit. Inside you’ll find a wide range of Okies - LGBTQ, heteros, men, women, rockabillies, lawyers, black, white, blue collar, white collar, Christians, atheists and more. An unexpected, uncommon and unparalleled grouping. Stay a while, have a beer and take a look around. You’ll find the common thread is one based in love, acceptance and open-mindedness. Now, we may be a little biased but we think we’ve got the Best of OKC in our patrons. What we try to create daily in our little watering hole has been exponentially returned in your actions outside the club. And, for that we say, thank you.

2. Stella Modern Italian Cuisine 3. Vito’s Ristorante 4. Bella Vista Italian Kitchen 5. Patrono Italian Restaurant

We look forward to the future, and whether you still find us at 1221 NW 50 th or at a new address, it’ll be the same heart beating on the inside.

Best Western European restaurant, not Italian

Ingrid’s Kitchen several metro locations 2. La Baguette Bistro 3. Fassler Hall 4. Old Germany Restaurant 5. Royal Bavaria

Best Mediterranean restaurant

Basil Mediterranean Café 211 NW 23rd St.

2. Zorba’s Mediterranean Cuisine 3. NuNu’s Mediterranean Cafe & Market

Ice Cream Free since 1954

Christopher Simon

4. Mediterranean Imports & Deli 5. Couscous Cafe continued on page 40 O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 2 3 , 2 0 1 7


Thank You

best of okc

OKG readers fOr vOtinG us a tOp five favOrite place tO fix YOur smile 11 OKC METRO LOCATIONS!

Best Latin restaurant Best Midtown district restaurant

Café Do Brasil

When Café Do Brasil relocated to an old funeral home on 11th Street in 2005, there wasn’t much to what is now the trendy Midtown district. The original is still the best. Our readers voted Café Do Brasil as the best Midtown restaurant and the best Latin restaurant in the city. The lively colors inside Café Do Brasil in warm yellow, blue and green represent the flag of owner Anna Paixao Davis’ native country. Paixao Davis followed her brother to the United States after he literally closed his eyes and pointed at a map to decide on Oklahoma. After learning English and getting a feel for the restaurant industry, Paxaio Davis and her brother Mario opened what was originally More than Muffins in the Victoria Building at 18th Street and Classen Boulevard. She bought out the bakery from her brother when he returned to Brasil, added more native dishes and changed the name to Café Do Brasil. Paxaio Davis and her husband, lawyer Larry Davis, had the vision to move to Midtown and start a trend of redevelopment. She returns to Brasil at least once a year to continue to update her culinary repertoire, which already includes favorites like baião de dois and caldeirada de pirarucu, which are enhanced by in-house cured meats. Café Do Brasil’s brunch menu is highlighted by live music and plenty of applications of its house-made chorizo.


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Best Indian restaurant

Best dessert shop or bakery

Pie Junkie Oklahoma Gazette: You went from friends who cook to owners of the popular Pie Junkie — what has been the secret to your success? Leslie Cole-Mossman: I think the mantra. ... As cheesy as it may sound, we have a mantra or a philosophy: Know what you do, and do it well. We’ve been approached many times — “Oh, do you make cookies or cupcakes?” No, but Cuppies & Joe makes the most amazing cupcakes, and you are going to love them. We are trained through our families — we are not professionally trained — and pie is what we know. We make pie, and that’s what we do. I think trying to keep things small and simple has been a benefit for us. Darcy Schein: We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We have “work hard and play hard” attitudes. You see that through our social media or when you are in the shop. We want it to be a fun and friendly experience for everybody. We know our staff. We want them to enjoy being here and welcome everyone as they would a guest in their home.

OKG: Since you first started making pies in 2010 and then opened a shop in the Plaza District in 2013, what has changed? Cole-Mossman: We took what was our nice little box of recipes and expanded it into a fuller menu. I think we are still surprised sometimes what are the popular pies.

We do some nontraditional pies; some of those are our most popular. Schein: I think the main change is Leslie and I going from all the cooking and baking to having a staff of 15 to 16 people. We found people who love the shop as much as we do. Cole-Mossman: Darcy always says, “We didn’t wake up one morning and say, ‘Let’s open a pie shop.’” This has been nothing but a learning experience for us. We take a step and see where the road leads us, and then we take another step. OKG: We hear the phrase, “American as apple pie.” As you’ve been running this shop and gotten to know your customers, why is there such a connection to pie for so many of us? Schein: It’s family. People connect their family and family memories with pie. Thanksgiving and Christmas are family-gathering holidays, but we are finding that every holiday is a pie holiday. People want to bring back memories of what their grandmother made or what they enjoyed as a child, and that’s a compliment to us. When people say, “This reminds me of what my grandmother made,” it doesn’t get any better than that. Cole-Mossman: We try to be present in the business. When you interact with your customers and you ask them, “How was your pie?” You talk with them about the big and little life events. It builds camaraderie. Food is always the great uniter.

Gopuram Taste of India 4559 NW 23rd St.

2. Taj Cuisine of India 3. Sheesh Mahal 4. Misal Bistro 5. Himalayas Aroma of India

Best Japanese restaurant

Shōgun Steak House of Japan 11900 N. May Ave. 2. Musashi’s

LOVE your reflection.

3. Sushi Neko 4. Gorō Ramen 5. Tokyo Japanese Restaurant

Best Chinese restaurant

Dot Wo Garden 6161 N. May Ave.

2. Grand House Asian Bistro 3. Lido Restaurant 4. Chow’s Chinese Restaurant 5. Szechuan Bistro

Best Thai restaurant

Panang Thai Restaurant several metro locations


2. Sala Thai 3. Thai House Restaurant 4. Tana Thai Bistro 5. Charm Thai Cuisine

Best Vietnamese restaurant

Golden Phoenix 2728 N. Classen Blvd. 2. Pho Lien Hoa

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3. Lido Restaurant 4. Pho Cuong 5. VII Asian Bistro

Best pho restaurant

Pho Lien Hoa 901 NW 23rd St. 2. Pho’ever 3. Pho Cuong 4. Pho Bulous 5. VII Asian Bistro

Best new restaurant

Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes

1000 N. Hudson Ave.

2. Aurora Breakfast, Bar & Backyard 3. Gorō Ramen 4. Revolucion Taqueria & Cantina 5. Ur/bun

Best fine dining establishment

Cheever’s Cafe 2409 N. Hudson Ave.

2. Mahogany Prime Steakhouse 3. Vast 4. Red PrimeSteak 5. Rococo

Best neighborhood pub

The Pump Bar 2425 N. Walker Ave.

2. Henry Hudson’s Pub 3. James E. McNellie’s Public House 4. Oak & Ore 5. Saints

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best of okc Best dive bar


5137 Classen Circle 2. HiLo Club 3. The Pump Bar 4. Lumpy’s Bar & Grill 5. Bunker Club

Best upscale bar

Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar 1100 N. Broadway Ave. 2. Vast

Best neighborhood pub

3. O Bar at Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City

Best bartender Meghanne Hensley at The Pump Bar

210 Park Ave., Suite 150

4. The Manhattan OKC 5. Ludivine

Best new bar

The Manhattan OKC 2. Bunker Club 3. Lost Highway 4. Kong’s Tavern 5. The Union@SoSA

Best diner


Beverly’s Pancake House 3315 Northwest Expressway 2. Sunnyside Diner 3. Boomarang Diner 4. The Diner 5. Jim’s Diner

Best food truck or food cart

The Saucee Sicilian 2. Taste of Soul Egg Roll 3. Thunder Dogs 4. Taqueria Sanchez

The Pump Bar How long have you worked at The Pump Bar? Since we opened, about three years. How do you define the personality of the bar, and what makes people come back? It’s very eclectic, and it’s a great mix of everybody. You have the older professional group and the younger hipsters, moms and dads. The patio, the drinks and friendly service bring people here. How do you approach work and interacting with customers? I love my job. This is my most favorite job I’ve ever had. I come in ready every day. You have to be friendly and get to know everybody. I can see someone’s face and know what they want to drink; it can get to that point for regu-

lars. It doesn’t take very long if they come back, which they usually do. Do you mix up drink recommendations based on the season? I use ingredients seasonally. I come from a culinary background. Cooking has a lot to do with how I make drinks, developing flavor profiles. We have a different drink every day called the Dirty Harry, and I’ll bring in stuff from my garden for cocktails. When someone comes up to ask to make a cocktail, I ask what kind of booze they’re going for and go from there. Do you have a favorite Dirty Harry? I made a sage simple syrup from fresh sage from my garden. I also used tea from Urban Teahouse. It was grape-

5. Phill Me Up Cheesesteaks

Best Uptown 23rd district restaurant

Big Truck Tacos 530 NW 23rd St. 2. Cheever’s Cafe 3. The Pump Bar

4. The Drake Seafood and Oysterette 5. Chick N Beer

Best Plaza district restaurant

fruit, tea, sage simple syrup and gin. Do you have a favorite drink on The Pump’s menu? My favorite drink is the Kahiki Kai (coconut and dark rum, crème de banana, Coco Lopez and pineapple juice). You feel like you’re on the beach when you’re drinking it, and it will sneak up on you. Is there a night that stands out to you as being a lot of fun? I love working the weekends, and I love being super busy. I love not having time to do anything except make drinks and interact. We have a core group of bartenders, and we all interact. We have a great time with the guests. We’re all super close.

Empire Slice House 1734 NW 16th St. 2. The Mule 3. Gorō Ramen 4. Oak & Ore 5. The Pritchard Wine Bar

Best Paseo Arts district restaurant

Paseo Grill 2909A Paseo St. 2. Picasso Cafe

3. Sauced on Paseo 4. Red Rooster Bar and Grill 5. The Other Room

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best of okc Best Automobile Alley district restaurant

Hideaway Pizza several metro locations 2. Hatch 3. Cultivar Mexican Kitchen 4. Red PrimeSteak

5. Broadway 10 Bar & Chophouse

Best Bricktown district restaurant

Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant 15 E. California Ave. 2. Bricktown Brewery 3. Bourbon St. Cafe

4. Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill 5. Dekora!

Best Midtown district restaurant

Café do Brasil

440 NW 11th St., Suite 100 2. Waffle Champion 3. Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes 4. 1492 New World Latin Cuisine 5. Stella Modern Italian Cuisine

Best Western Avenue district restaurant

The Wedge Pizzeria 4709 N. Western Ave. 2. Sushi Neko 3. Musashi’s 4. The Drum Room 5. VZD Restaurant & Bar

Best Downtown restaurant

Kitchen No. 324 324 N. Robinson Ave. 2. Museum Cafe 3. The Loaded Bowl 4. Joey’s Pizzeria 5. Flint

Best Participating Restaurant in OKC Restaurant Week

Cheever’s Cafe 2409 N. Hudson Ave. 2. Republic Gastropub 3. Rococo 4. Vast 5. Chef Curry To Go

Best restaurant overall

Cheever’s Cafe 2409 N. Hudson Ave.

2. Mahogany Prime Steakhouse 3. Ranch Steakhouse 4. The Pump Bar 5. Dale’s BBQ House

Best sandwich shop

The Mule Q&A Oklahoma Gazette: When did The Mule first open? Joey Morris (co-owner of The Mule): September 2012. It will be five years in September.

OKG: What has changed since that opening day? Is anything different? Morris: The Plaza as a whole is completely different. I feel like at the point when we opened, it was us and Saints down there as far as food and beverage service. Since then, the Plaza has established itself as a dining destination in Oklahoma City — locally and also people who are coming in from out of town. A lot of people will say, “Well, I go to the Plaza.” There’s not really a weak link down here; it’s a good drinking and eating district. OKG: The Mule definitely helped contribute to the idea of the Plaza being this late-night, casualdrinking destination. Morris: That was always our hope and continues to be, to be a staple of the Plaza and then to be a staple of Oklahoma City and then a staple to Oklahoma hopefully and keep it going from there. OKG: Excitement for The Mule was strong around the opening, and it feels like it has been maintained through the years. What’s the key to doing that?


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Morris: For us, it’s always a day-today fight to stay relevant. Coming up in the last five years, you can’t start with the same drink menu you have now. You can’t have the same food menu you had when you opened. You just kind of fight to stay relevant with your regulars and your new clientele and everyone who comes in. As a restaurateur, your demographic should be everybody. If you’re breathing, we want you to come eat. I don’t know that it’s as much something we’ve tried to maintain; it’s just our inclusive atmosphere, menu and so on. Making adjustments here and there is where we’d like to be and where we’d like to stay.

OKG: How often do you examine that food and beverage menu? Morris: We do it quarterly. What people can expect from us is that sometimes we find that our food menu is working great and we don’t touch it for a year. Sometimes we find that our food menu is working great and we don’t touch it for two years, but we just had a menu revision where we took two sandwiches off and added two sandwiches. And then our beverage list, our cocktails and beers are updated daily, but then also quarterly as well. We’ll come out with seasonal drinks and do different seasonal beers. That’s really just us trying to appeal to our customers even more and say, “Hey, we know that it’s winter; that’s why we have three dark beers on tap right now.”

OKG: What’s the favorite sandwich there? Morris: The Macaroni Pony (jalapeño cornbread, chipotle barbecue pulled pork, three-cheese macaroni and pickle). OKG: What about drinks? Morris: If you’re at The Mule, you’re drinking a Moscow Mule. That’s still the mainstay. OKG: You have a few variations of the Moscow Mule, right? Morris: We do; we have a traditional Moscow Mule, and then we do a gin Mule. We make one with tequila we call a Burro. We do one with bourbon we call the Kentucky Mule. We do an Okie Mule too where we use local vodka and a hibiscus tonic that’s a local product as well. OKG: Is there anything about The Mule that you wish more people knew? Morris: The poutine. Our most popular appetizer is the cheese curds. But we make — and have been making since day one — a killer poutine where everything is done in-house, like delicious white gravy. We do our own style of poutine, and there’s different variations on the menu. A lot of people get stuck on cheese curds as the appetizer, but the poutine is out-ofthis-world incredible.

NATIONAL Best national or regional retail establishment you wish was locally owned Best national or regional gym Best national or regional hotel Best national or regional retail RESTAURANT you wish was locally owned Best national or regional sandwich shop Best national or regional mexican restaurant Best National or Regional Steakhouse

7 categories •

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best of okc Best national or regional retail establishment you wish was locally owned

Trader Joe’s

6409 Avondale Drive 2. Target 3. Whole Foods Market 4. Anthropologie 5. H&M

Best national or regional gym

Planet Fitness

several metro locations 2. Gold’s Gym 3. Anytime Fitness 4. Orangetheory Fitness 5. Fitness One

Best national or regional hotel

The Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City 1 Park Ave. 2. 21c Museum Hotel 3. Embassy Suites by Hilton 4. Aloft Hotels 5. Renaissance Waterford

Best national or regional restaurant you wish was locally owned


several metro locations 2. Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar 3. The Cheesecake Factory 4. Chili’s Grill & Bar 5. El Chico Cafe

Best national or regional sandwich shop

Panera Bread

several metro locations 2. Jersey Mike’s Subs 3. Jason’s Deli 4. Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches 5. Subway

Best national or regional mexican restaurant

Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant several metro locations 2. Chuy’s

3. On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina 4. Taco Bell 5. El Chico Cafe

Best National or Regional Steakhouse

Texas Roadhouse several metro locations

2. Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse 3. Outback Steakhouse 4. LongHorn Steakhouse 5. Logan’s Roadhouse


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Best national or regional retail establishment you wish was local

Trader Joe’s In October 2015, when Nichols Hills Plaza posted on social media that Trader Joe’s would join the shopping center, joyful fans of the grocery store chain typed out comments like “I can’t wait,” “Exciting news for OKC” and “I’ve heard this so many times … I’ll believe it when I see it!” Less than a year later, Trader Joe’s opened its doors with hundreds eager to enter the grocery store and load up on products like Speculoos Cookie Butter, Joe Joe’s cookies, Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole and Chili Lime Chicken Burgers. The arrival of Trader Joe’s marked a new chapter in food shopping in Oklahoma City. The Californiabased chain of grocery stores is known for its low

prices on unique and unusual food items and quirky culture, making it stand apart from other food sellers in the metro. While shoppers are indeed supporting a national chain, it doesn’t appear that way in the store. For one, the store’s walls are painted with murals of images of Myriad Botanical Gardens, the Oklahoma Capitol and University of Oklahoma football. At the register, shoppers stand in line at stations named after different Oklahoma City districts, like Plaza District, Automobile Alley and Midtown. It’s a no-brainer why Oklahoma Gazette readers named Trader Joe’s the best national or regional retail establishment you wish was local.



Comic gold

A Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum exhibit highlights forgotten comics of The Chisholm Kid found in boxes. By Jacob Threadgill

The last remaining examples of the first depiction of black comic book heroes sat forgotten in storage for decades. Pittsburgh Courier, one of the nation’s preeminent black newspapers, published a series of color comics featuring four black heroes from 1950 to 1954, a full generation before the first black heroes appeared in the mainstream. One of those heroes, The Chisholm Kid, is on exhibit at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., through Sept. 21. The color comic insert that also included Guy Fortune, a U.S. secret agent; Mark Hunt, a private investigator; and astronaut Neil Knight was a collaboration between the Courier and publishing company Smith-Mann & Associates whose partner Jon Messmann was good friends with the editors of the Courier, the Vann family. After the insert’s color edition ended in 1954, it continued in blackand-white for another two years before being discontinued with nearly all examples of the revolutionary depiction lost to time, until 2014.

National Cowboy Museum’s curator and McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture. Many of the drovers on the trail from south Texas through current-day Oklahoma and into railheads of Abilene, Ellsworth and Dodge City, Kansas, were black, Reeves said. “One comic in particular, The Kid is undercover on the Chisholm Trail on a wagon and they’re attacked by Indians,” Messmann said. “It’s really cool to see it all come together with

Western kaleidoscope

Hidden treasure

Alan Messmann, Jon’s son, discovered galley proofs of the comics after moving much of his late father’s belongings from New York City to Little Rock, Arkansas. After months of unpacking, Messmann and his wife had one final box. He opened it to find a big canvas cloth surrounding a giant leather-bound case sealed in cardboard sheets. The colorful proofs shined back at Messmann like a historic jewel. “They were beautifully preserved, and many of them looked like they could’ve been done a week ago,” Messmann said. “I immediately thought, ‘Oh my gosh! These need to be in the public’s eye. It’s a whole different depiction of culture from this time period.’” Messmann eventually found a home for the comics at the digital Museum of UnCut Funk, which houses many comics and images from the late 1960s and 1970s, but found the series from the Courier to be unprecedented because of its limited circulation. “They were revolutionary and ahead of their time, and other copies didn’t exist,” said Loreen Williamson, Uncut Funk’s co-founder. “A lot of the things we have didn’t come until have the civil rights protests. It’s critically important

he predated black heroes in animation by 20 years. It’s fascinating when you put it in context.” Messmann said his father always had a penchant for making things unique. The comic insert gave Smith-Mann one his first opportunities to use four-color separation, and the Courier was the first black newspaper to publish in color, according to Messmann. The ideas for the comics were born between dinners of Jon Messmann, his wife and the owner of the Courier. “My mother told me that they’d go to dinner at these fancy restaurants and have to call ahead and tell them that they were bringing a black couple, even in New York City,” Messmann said. “It’s crazy to think about now.”

In 2014, Alan Messman found galley proofs of The Chisholm Kid comics in some of his father’s boxes. | Image Alan Messmann / Provided

for these comics to get their historic due and to know that the depiction of black heroes and heroines pre-dated the civil rights movement.” National Cowboy Museum will shine light on the breakthrough of The Chisholm Kid while also commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail, the hero’s namesake. After the Civil War, as many as 6 million cattle were located in southern Texas. Drovers wanted to get the cattle out of Texas and up to Kansas City and Chicago, where the beef could be sold for as much as ten times what it could in Texas, according to Don Reeves, the

the anniversary.” Some of the heroes represented in the Courier inset, including The Chisholm Kid, were drawn by white artists like Carl Pfeufer, who got his start at Marvel Comics. Pfeufer illustrated The Chisholm Kid and was one of the original artists for Marineman, which later became Sub-Mariner. “The Chisholm Kid seeks out justice and rights wrongs,” Williamson said. “He is the equivalent of the Lone Ranger or Hopalong Cassidy. He’s firmly grounded in Western comic heroes and brings a perspective of what it means to be a cowboy and doesn’t alter it because he is black. You don’t see another black cowboy in comics until the 1960s, and

The exhibition featuring the trailblazing Chisholm Kid is one of many at the museum with a commitment to the “kaleidoscope” of the West, according to Reeves. Buffalo soldiers; black rodeo champions; and Herb Jeffries, “the Bronze Buckaroo,” Hollywood’s first black singing cowboy, are among those exhibited. “It’s about presenting an open window of the West,” Reeves said. “The Chisholm Kid is an example of an urban Pittsburgh culture adopting a Western hero and a really cool vignette. It’s not so much what [The Chisholm Kid] did, but who [he was]. The fact he could become a positive figure and hero for young people who didn’t have any heroes who looked like them, really just The Bronze Buckaroo. “Fictionalized television and B-Westerns generalized everything and that’s how people who aren’t from here started believing all cowboys looked and dressed like Gene Autry or John Wayne.” The exhibition is the first featuring The Chisholm Kid in full and large display. Messmann is hoping to make the trip from Little Rock with his 90-year-old mother. “I think it’s fabulous and something that is needed today as much as it was in the 1950s,” Messmann said. “It was so inspiring for people who looked at those comics, and now people will be able to see it and say, ‘This is really cool.’” The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free-$12.50. Visit

Vintage Black Heroes: The Chisholm Kid 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday through Sept. 17 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd St. | 405-478-2250 Free-$12.50

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ARTS & CULTURE Works from David Holland’s Cloudscapes hang in FG Gallery, part of the Fulmer Sill law firm. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

nization we’d never heard of to donate proceeds to, we’d certainly be open to including them in our network,” he said. “As long as it aligns with Fulmer Sills’ values, we don’t want to limit where artists choose to donate.”


Public space

Legal art

Fulmer Sill’s FG Gallery in Automobile Alley displays local art with a conscience. By Jessica Williams

Law firms often conjure images of stuffy offices, pretentiously suited employees and a generally elitist atmosphere. If that’s your idea of law offices, you’ve certainly never been to FG Gallery. Located on the first floor of the Fulmer Sill law firm, 1101 N. Broadway Ave., Suite 102, FG Gallery’s two-year residence inside Midtown’s historic Buick Building is making artistic and charitable waves in the community. Entering the space, visitors are greeted with meticulously placed art amid contemporary offices and meeting rooms. Law firms can seem intimidating, but Oliver, the affable office poodle, remedies those feelings at the door. It also doesn’t hurt that the gallery rests in the middle of Oklahoma City’s Automobile Alley. “We’re next to two major restaurants and have constant foot traffic outside, but people still see law firms as intimidating places,” FG Gallery facilities manager and marketing coordinator Blake Hight told Oklahoma Gazette. “We didn’t want to be like that — our culture is different from the typical law firm. What better way to break the status quo than with a public art gallery?” Part of the expansive growth of the area in recent years, Fulmer Sill sits next to Broadway 10 Bar & Chophouse and Hatch, two de rigueur eateries in the area. Beyond its prime location, the gallery itself continuously breaks from the art world status quo with its philanthropic pursuits. “Our founder Simone Fulmer wants to highlight the fact that artists have a prominent place in all facets of communities,” Hight said. “We currently put all our efforts in connecting emerging local artists with

charitable organizations in the city.”

Community charity

When patrons purchase artwork from FG Gallery, they’re not only supporting local artists. In each rotating exhibition, an artist-approved percentage of proceeds go to a community charity of their choosing. Hight said Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the most popular charitable choice for exhibiting artists. “We always ask artists what charities or causes speak to them the most,” he said. “So far, artists have overwhelmingly responded with their desire to contribute to the food bank.” Working with charitable organizations in OKC, FG Gallery prioritizes high-quality artworks to support its nonprofit goals. Curator Steve Boyd of Horny Toad Fine Arts Services finds local artists to feature in FG Gallery. From the beginning two years ago, Boyd said the focus has always been on Oklahoma artists. “At first, I wasn’t sure if Simone wanted art for the offices or to create an actual gallery,” he said. “It was a really unique idea, and I’m pleased with the local artists we’ve been able to feature since it started.” Rotating every three months, FG features a variety of mediums and styles. Past featured works include sculptures and prints from Ellen Moershel, largescale mixed media by thedirtyfabulous, abstract paintings by Erin Cooper and film/digital photography by Joseph Mills. In mid-August, FG Gallery featured new works by Dustin Oswald (creator of the Bombs Away line of T-shirts). FG’s most recent exhibition,

Cloudscapes, features David Holland’s engrossing, nearly operatic paintings of the sky. At once meditative and chaotic, no obvious focal point centers Holland’s works — instead, lively but tumultuous clouds dictate the entire frame, affording the ground below little space. “This show’s opening in April perfectly coincided with Oklahoma’s tornado season,” Boyd said. “People are used to seeing landscape paintings all the time, but I think David’s work stands out from the rest in its ability to show the sky as a captivating subject.” Following FG artists’ previous patterns, Holland’s chosen charitable organization is Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “Our relationship with the food bank has been incredibly positive,” Hight said. “They wanted to be a part of our concept from the start, so they’ve kind of become our sponsor in many ways. When we first approached them, they were immediately onboard with the idea of uplifting local artists and charitable causes.” Although FG is young in the art world and as a nonprofit, the sky’s the limit in terms of its charitable giving. Boyd said the gallery is open to any charity an artist chooses. “If an artist were to suggest an orga-

Besides the law firm itself, the public remains the primary connection between artists and local charities. FG Gallery emphasizes this with free open house events coinciding with each exhibition opening and closing. Individuals can also schedule private tours of each show during or after office hours. “Accessibility and community are our two main goals,” Hight said. “We want people to feel welcome to enter our space, so our open house events really try to emphasize a community presence.” Open houses feature live music by local bands, food from Midtown restaurants and plenty of festive libations. An open floor plan, quality acoustics and space above the first floor for musicians to play make for lively gatherings. “Every open house, we always open our doors so people know that they are welcome to participate,” Hight said. “When they hear the live music coming from the gallery, it usually sparks an interest.” In establishing a relationship with the public, FG hopes to expand its educational programming in the future. “We’d like to eventually invite nearby schools to participate in guided tours of our exhibitions,” Hight said. “Since art programs in schools are shrinking, we want to function as an alternative source of education, especially for lowincome schools in OKC.” FG Gallery’s vision speaks to a larger need for social change through art in communities, and a progressive approach to practicing law furthers this mission. “There’s always an opportunity in OKC to involve people in the arts,” Hight said. “We’re looking forward to connecting with more local organizations to improve our community.” Visit

FG Gallery’s open floor plan offers an ideal setting for visual art exhibits. | Photo Garett Fisbeck O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 2 3 , 2 0 1 7


ARTS & CULTURE Oklahoma City Ballet brings its production of Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo to Armstrong Auditorium after strong audience reception in its 2016 debut. | Photo Armstrong Auditorium / provided

that have been coming in since 2011.” Dublin Irish Dance, a team of worldchampion dancers with experience in Riverdance, Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, and Celtic Woman, performs Feb. 20. Centuries-old German orchestra Staatskapelle Weimar makes a stop March 15 on its first North American tour. Glenn Miller Orchestra, the world’s most popular swing band, caps off the season with a performance May 10.

T h e at e r

Impressive run

Premiering partners

Armstrong Auditorium invites Oklahoma City Ballet to open its 2017-18 season. By Ben Luschen

Armstrong Auditorium launches the 19th season of its Armstrong International Cultural Foundation Performing Arts Series with an Oklahoma City Ballet collaboration, the first time the two fine-arts institutions have joined creative forces. OKC Ballet presents a double-billed performance featuring Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s 1910 ballet The Firebird and a revival of the Westernthemed 1942 Agnes de Mille production Rodeo. The season-opening event is 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Armstrong Auditorium, 14400 S. Bryant Road, in Edmond. Individual tickets are $31-$71. Ryan Malone, concert manager at Armstrong, said the collaboration started with conversations between the entities’ marketing directors. OKC Ballet is a resident of Civic Center Music Hall but performs elsewhere around the state outside its regular season. Malone said while several ballet companies have taken the Armstrong stage in the past, the OKC company’s debut at the venue is long overdue. “They’re an institution here almost a half-century old,” he said. “That’s really great to be associated with them and to have them perform what I call the quintessential cowboy ballet.” Rodeo is perhaps most recognized for its grand and triumphant score by great American composer Aaron Copland. The music is most associated today with its use in the beef industry advertising campaign. OKC Ballet debuted its production of Rodeo last year at the Civic Center in partnership with Oklahoma City Philharmonic. Roger Mills, the ballet’s artistic director, said all three of its 50

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previous performances were met with standing ovations from the crowd. With dancers donning cowboy boots and other classic attire of the American West, Rodeo might be the perfect production for an Oklahoma-based ballet company. “All of us, as Oklahomans, understand we’ve moved on from the old cowtown persona, but it is still a part of our heritage,” said Mills, who is originally from Chicago but has been artistic director of OKC Ballet the past nine years. “I think it’s important to acknowledge our history and where we’ve come from.” The night’s performance of The Firebird features new choreography first developed by Mills for a production four years ago and has not been seen by audiences since. OKC Ballet recently moved into a new facility at 6800 N. Classen Blvd. It opens its season Oct. 20 with Swan Lake, the first time it has performed the Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky classic in four years. Mills said OKC Ballet is excited both for its own coming season and for its debut in the auditorium, a smaller and more intimate setting than its regular Civic Center home. “[The auditorium] is a beautiful theater to perform in, and it’s particularly nice for dance,” he said. “It has a large stage which allows the dancers to move freely and fully. It’s a smaller house, which can actually be good for noticing the intricacies of ballet.”

Other performers

Armstrong’s season continues with a unique piano duet by Christopher O’Riley and Pablo Ziegler. O’Riley is the

host of the child-prodigy-highlighting National Public Radio program From the Top. He pairs with Ziegler, an Argentinian composer and Latin Grammy winner known for his contributions to modern tango. The Armstrong Auditorium stop in their Two to Tango tour is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9. Ray Chen, a 28-year-old TaiwaneseAmerican violin virtuoso, performs 7:30 p.m. Nov. 28. Violinists are not usually known for their social media presence, but Chen has amassed a large following with more than 120,000 Facebook likes and 2 million followers on his Soundcloud account. “He’s building a young fanbase, but he’s a classical violinist,” Malone said. “There’s no gimmick in the sense of what he’s doing. He certainly is breaking down barriers between classical music and popular culture, which I think it great.” Béla Fleck, one of the world’s bestknown banjo players, makes an Armstrong appearance Jan. 16 alongside string quartet Brooklyn Rider. Malone said this is likely the first time a banjo has been prominently featured in the performing arts series and certainly the first time in a classical or chamber context. A regular favorite, Moscow Festival Ballet, returns for two shows Jan. 29-30. The Russian ballet company presents its Best of Russian Ballet Gala — a sort of “greatest hits” of Russian ballet including choreography from Marius Petipa, Michel Fokine and more — Jan. 29. It returns Jan. 30 for a presentation of Tchaikovsky’s ballet adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. The night will also feature a “best of” tribute to Tchaikovsky’s work. Armstrong Auditorium has welcomed a Russian ballet company, either Moscow Festival Ballet or Russian National Ballet Theatre, every season since it opened its Edmond facility in 2010-11. Malone said the two dance companies are managed by a husband-wife duo and alternate U.S. tours each year. “I feel like they’re the same family,” he said. “It might have a slightly different branding or terminology to it, but it’s basically the same Russian family

Malone struggles to put into words exactly what it is like to experience the eloquence of Armstrong Auditorium for the first time, though he said rookies are usually easy to spot. “I think they’re overwhelmed — maybe that’s the best term,” he said. The lobby features three gorgeous Swarovski crystal chandeliers that refract a literal rainbow of light throughout the interior. “It’s not just like a bright light; it’s colorful lights just hanging above you,” he said. “The middle one is 12 feet in diameter, the other ones are 10 feet in diameter on either side — the reflection they create on the all-glass lobby windows, that just goes on and on and on. We see people come in, stop, stare. Their mouths are agape, and they’re just taking pictures of everything.” Malone has been working with the Armstrong performing arts series since it began in 1998. He said awareness of the series has grown steadily each year with a large spike in interest following the 2010 opening of the auditorium. Though an oil bust and general financial hardships have depressed arts attendance in the state, Malone said it is hard to say what, if any, effect an economic downturn had on Armstrong just because awareness of the series is still continuing to grow. Armstrong’s mission is to champion Oklahoma as a world-class center for the performing arts, a mission it has stuck too since its inception. “When we first started, it was very small,” Malone said. “It was just to create a cultural experience for concertgoers in the area — things we thought were culturally excellent but people don’t necessarily know about.” Full 10-show season passes start at $222. Smaller five-show and three-show packages are also available. Visit or call 405-285-1010.

Oklahoma City Ballet: Rodeo & Firebird 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14 Armstrong Auditorium 14400 S. Bryant Road, Edmond | 405-285-1010 $31-$71

T h e at e r

New notes

Two local orchestras welcome internationally renowned conductor Jeffrey Grogan. By Megan Prather

Oklahoma City University Symphony Orchestra and Oklahoma Youth Orchestras welcome internationally renowned conductor Jeffrey Grogan to their teams for the 2017-18 concert season. Grogan takes over as artistic director and conductor of Oklahoma Youth Orchestras and assumes the role of conductor of Oklahoma City University (OCU) Symphony Orchestra. OCU Symphony Orchestra has a history of excellence that Grogan will help continue. It has been honored with the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and represented the United States at the Meet in Beijing Arts Festival. Grogan will also be conducting Oklahoma Youth Orchestra (OYO), the flagship orchestra of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras organization. The group is comprised of advanced middle and high school musicians and performs standard pieces as well as pieces from contemporary composers. “We’re beyond thrilled about what he has to bring to our program,”

Oklahoma Youth Orchestras executive director Melody Garza said. The organization celebrates its 40th year this season and teaches 350-400 students every week. Grogan will be following Eric Garcia who has conducted the group for the past three years. Garcia was recently chosen in an international search to conduct the Boise Philharmonic. “We were really happy for him but sad for us,” Garza said. However, despite the sadness that comes with an established conductor leaving an ensemble, when Grogan applied for the job, the organization knew they had found another great match to help better their students and help the organization raise the bar. Oklahoma Youth Orchestras was founded in 1977 and works to give Oklahoma students a quality instrumental music education by providing a challenging ensemble experience. The season begins in August and runs through May, offering third-

through 12th-graders performance opportunities in 11 ensembles while working at fostering a lifelong love of music in the students who participate.

Noted knowledge

He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him in his move from New Jersey to Oklahoma City. Grogan most recently held the positions of education and community engagement conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) and artistic director and conductor of NJSO Youth Orchestras. He also previously served as adjudicator, conductor and clinician for many prestigious national and international music festivals and has music education experience through teaching conducting at the University of Michigan, Ithaca College and Baylor University. He is also

Jeffrey Grogan joins Oklahoma City University Symphony Orchestra and Oklahoma Youth Orchestras as conductor and artistic director. | Photo provided

a former associate director of bands and marching band director at the University of Michigan and Baylor University. “The knowledge he has just makes him such a perfect fit for our group,” Garza said. Grogan joins a team of 11 talented conductors who have experience teaching, performing and conducting everything from operas to chamber music. Oklahoma Youth Orchestras has a busy season planned with 11 performances already scheduled. They also travel to assisted living homes and perform at other events throughout the season. “We’re excited about this opportunity for our students,” Garza said. Visit


Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Leviathan Zodiac (detail), 2011. Oil and gold enamel on canvas, 95¾ x 71¾ in. (243.2 x 182.2 cm). Collection of Blake Byrne, Los Angeles. Courtesy of Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, California. © Kehinde Wiley. (Photo: Robert Wedemeyer, courtesy of Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, California)

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ARTS & CULTURE sociate certain colors to sounds, among other things. “Sometimes the shape has something to do with how it ends up looking on the page, but not always,” she said. “I feel the emotion of the poem as a shape before anything else.”

Oklahoma inspiration

What I Learned at the War by Jeanetta

L i t e r atu r e

Calhoun Mish | Image provided

Poetic prowess

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish brings an appreciation of Oklahoma’s land and culture to her role as 2017-18 state poet laureate. By Ian Jayne

They walk and work and live among us, distinguished no longer by a wreath of laurel wrapped around their heads but by the title derived from that symbolic accessory: poet laureate. Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, Oklahoma’s new poet laureate, is an Okie everywoman, at once literary and accessible, straddling multiple worlds and then writing them down. Appointed to the position in March by Gov. Mary Fallin, Mish will fulfill the obligations of her two-year term through regular speaking appointments and by bringing poetry to underserved communities throughout the state. Mish’s appointment marks the latest culmination of her early poetic leanings, encouraged by the fact that her mother frequently read poets like Lord Byron aloud to her and she was hooked on poetry. “I wrote my first poem in second grade, when my dog died,” Mish said. Ever since this first “inciting incident,” to borrow one of the terms Mish used to describe the seeds of her poetry, 52

A u g u s t 2 3 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish serves as state poet laureate for 2017-18. | Photo provided

she has continued to write searching poems that revolve around the themes of personal experience, loss and life in Oklahoma. Despite her early interest in writing, Mish didn’t call herself a poet until decades later. “I always wrote poetry, but as far as being a poet, someone who is publicly recognized as a poet, that didn’t happen until … my first book was published,” Mish said. Tongue Tied Woman, Mish’s debut book of poetry, won the 2002 Edda Poetr y Chapbook for Women Competition. She has since published three other books, including 2016’s Oklahomeland: Essays and her most recent poetry collection, last year’s What I Learned at the War. For Mish, the road to poet laureate was long and winding. Before her first poem was published, she said she worked a series of working-class jobs: an aid in nursing homes and hospitals,

a lab assistant and a bartender. It’s often said that the mark of a true writer is simply the act of writing, and while poetry wasn’t Mish’s vocation during this period of her life, it remained a calling. “I always turned to poetry whenever I needed to unburden myself,” she said. “When something was going on in my life that was difficult or unusual, I always wrote.” Born in Hobart and raised in Wewoka, Mish said she later moved around to Texas, Ohio and New York, “looking for something, like a lot of young people do.” Mish is also a scholar, having earned her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in literature. Now, she directs the Red Earth MFA program at Oklahoma City University. In the world of academia, Mish read widely, taught freshman composition classes and learned a great deal about the other form that would occupy much of her writing career: the essay. As a prolific writer of nonfiction essays frequently appearing in publications like Oklahoma Today, Mish said it’s all about suiting an idea to the best form. “Sometimes I think I’m going to be writing a poem, but the topic … makes me realize it needs to be an essay instead,” Mish said. Partly inspired by the formal necessities of the essay, Mish experimented with metrical patterns such as the fractured sestina, the ghazal, the blank verse ode and the Sapphic elegy in What I Learned at the War. While a glimmer of inspiration might generate either a poem or an essay, for Mish, the impulse to write always manifests itself in a peculiar, definitive way. “It actually starts as a shape in my chest,” Mish said of the experience of poetic inspiration. Mish’s description finds an imperfect but approximate analogy in synesthesia, a condition in which people as-

After Mish feels the shape that a poem might take, she said she often tries to fit the feeling to a narrative. Many of these narratives draw on both Oklahoma’s rich literary tradition and its strong sense of place. For example, Mish said she sat down to write a poem about what Oklahoma’s land has lost over its history, infusing aspects of surveyor Henry Leavitt Ellsworth’s journeys with Washington Irving throughout the prairies. Mish turned the historical narrative into one about her own childhood, weaving past, present and place together. When she lived out of state, Mish grew homesick for Oklahoma and said the state influenced her writing more than it had when she was a resident.

I always turned to poetry whenever I needed to unburden myself. Jeanetta Calhoun Mish For Mish, Oklahoma’s land — a combination of different ecosystems — and people have an inherently beautiful complexity not always apparent to outsiders. “We have this history that’s like no other history of any other state in the Union,” Mish said. From Oklahoma’s origins as a “refugee camp” for various minorities to its cultural renaissance from 1910 to 1940 and all the way to the present, Mish sees a positive vision for the state’s poets and writers. Inspired by Oklahoma (and literary) giants Joy Harjo and Linda Hogan as well as Richard Wright and her poet laureate predecessor, Benjamin Myers, Mish said she stays abreast of the ways that current poets “speak Oklahoma into being on the page.” The poet laureate’s vision for the future? “It’s just getting better, all the time,” she said. Visit



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Learning not to hate

Trinity Presbyterian Church begins a program on dealing with racism. By Jeremy Martin

An Oklahoma City pastor is calling on believers and nonbelievers alike to help the church deal with a “600-pound gorilla in the living room.” A massive, unacknowledged primate in plain sight is only one of the metaphors Trinity Presbyterian Church pastor Rev. Richard Mize used to describe bigotry when discussing the church’s upcoming series of meetings on the subject, Facing Racism & Racists Anonymous. The idea originated in Sunnyvale, California, with pastor Ron Buford, who began holding Racists Anonymous meetings at Congregational Church of Sunnyvale in 2015, drawing inspiration from the 12-step program Alcoholics Anonymous. Mize said comparing racism to alcoholism is “not a perfect fit, but it’s really close enough to start the process and start the discussion.” The northeast OKC church hosted a series of meetings called Racism & Racists Anonymous earlier this year. By following AA’s example of allowing open discussion and “sharing without fixing, without judging,” Mize said, participants were encouraged to be honest about charged topics. “You try to talk to an idea instead of trying to argue with one another,” he said. “It’s a safe space to express awkwardly, stumblingly your experience. … There were a few times over the course of the meetings where people said things awkwardly that in another environment might have been really offensive — out of habit, out of custom, 54

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Rev. Richard Mize of Trinity Presbyterian Church is leading a class to help people fight racist impulses. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

out of ignorance, and I mean classic ignorance, not stupid. You don’t know what you don’t know.” Mize, who describes himself as “a rural Oklahoman from Sequoyah County” and a “recovering redneck,” said he shared his own personal history of ignorance at the meetings and learned to think more about his part in institutionalized racism as a result. “I was a mild racist,” he said of his past. “Not because I’m mean, not because I’m evil, but because I was raised up to not even question the assumptions around me. … I was a flagwaver, a proud Southern white boy, you know, waving a Confederate flag, and I had a come-to-Jesus about that, and that’s part of my story and my journey.” The upcoming series of meetings beginning Wednesday offer a broadening of scope that Mize said make them more comparable to Al-Anon, the support group for people affected by alcoholism but who don’t necessarily suffer from the affliction themselves. “My thinking was anybody who’s honest could participate because racism affects everybody, whether or not you think you are a racist or have to deal with any directly,” he said. In addition to group discussion, the upcoming meetings include lessons from a study guide published by the Presbyterian Church (USA) called Facing Racism. The guide describes racism as

“the original sin of the United States,” which “often cloaks itself in myths and laws that make it difficult to detect by those who benefit from its existence.”

Identifying hate

Patsy Smith, an elder at Trinity, said the way racism is ingrained in society can make it harder to identify and guard against. “Racism is not in a glass or bottle or something you can abstain from,” Smith said. “It is so deeply embedded that sometimes we don’t even recognize the racism within, and it is so systemic that sometimes we don’t even recognize the racism when it comes at us. … It’s much more of a challenge that way.” Huretta Dobbs, a Trinity elder who attends the church with four generations of her family, said she hopes the upcoming meetings will help her process her own personal history. “I would like to know how racism in my past, 70 years ago or more, affected me,” she said. “What did my responses to that racism say about me, and what has been its affect upon my life now, just to be able to face that?” Unfortunately, Mize said, these are discussions many churches aren’t currently fostering. “We’re mostly past people taking fine points of Bible verses out to justify racism,” Mize said. “But churches in general aren’t to the point where they’re actually hearing what the Bible says about the love of god and community and getting along.” That is why Mize said he hopes that though the Facing Racism study guide cites verses from both the Old and New Testaments, nonbelievers will still be willing to attend the meetings. “I have a concern as a pastor that the Bible part’s going to turn some people off, that it’s going to keep some people from coming to this,” he said. “If you’re agnostic or if you don’t do church or

A portrait of Jesus as a black man is displayed at Trinity Presbyterian Church. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

you’re tired of it or whatever, I want you to know what the Bible says about [racism]. … The church needs more than itself to keep it accountable, sadly.” Trinity deacon Delores Smith said she hopes the new meetings give younger members a biblical foundation from which to process and combat intolerance. “Trusting in man is not strong enough,” she said, “but if they see it in church and they hear it at home, then when they go out in public and in society, they have a shield; they have something to stand on — the truth — and they can make that change and pass it along.” Courtney Smith, Patsy Smith’s 22-year-old daughter, said that even though the meetings deal with racism, they are ultimately “about love not hate.” “Even if we can’t dampen it or remove it, we try to balance it out with love,” she said. “It’s not about just pointing out hate or being hateful or, ‘Hey, I’m being hateful.’ It’s saying, ‘I’m being hateful; how can I rectify this? How can I change this and stop being so hateful? How can I try and love more?’” Mize said he would like the meetings to spark similar conversations in other places of worship. “What I hope is that, ideally, other churches cowboy up,” he said. “See what we’re doing, and whatever fits within your church community, do something. ... This is a disease in this society and in this country and in this world, and I think it’s a dereliction of Christian duty to just let it slide.”

Facing Racism & Racists Anonymous 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Aug. 23-Oct. 25 Trinity Presbyterian Church | 2301 NE 23rd St. 405-427-2878 Free

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FoLlow Us

Feeding empowerment Love Link Ministries expands its ability to feed and bring hope to OKC’s poor and homeless population. By Jessica Williams

Love Link Ministries in downtown OKC recently expanded its food pantry services in size and programming. Love Link has served OKC’s poor and homeless population with food social services for more than 25 years. Now expanding into a larger space that doubles its size to about 3,000 square feet, the nonprofit initiative seeks to uplift every individual that enters Love Link. “People relying on our services deserve dignity,” program director Sarah Green told Oklahoma Gazette. Since 1992, Love Link has served the diverse demographics in the local area, primarily focused on providing food, clothing and household essentials to poor and homeless OKC residents. In 2012, the Love Link team moved to its current location at 1122 Linwood Blvd. Renovation efforts have been completed almost entirely through volunteers at what was the NuWay Laundry and Dry Cleaner building. Green, newly appointed executive director Joel Mullen, a building manager and groups of volunteers operate Love Link food pantry. Unlike a traditional canned goods food pantry, Love Link prioritizes a humanizing — even normalizing — experience for those in need. “Last year, we became a full client choice program,” said Green. “That means each person that visits us gets to pick their own food and products. This allows people to choose items based on their needs and preferences.” Full client choice means disenfranchised individuals have the opportunity to regain control of their lives. Green describes the program as a more organized version of visiting any grocery store. 56

A u g u s t 2 3 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

Program director Sarah Green said Love Link Ministries de-stigmatizes negative associations with food pantries. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

“Everyone leaves with about 60 pounds of food and products, including six cans of food, six dry items, a choice of milk or juice, meat, produce and a ‘pick two or three’ option of other random items,” Green said. Although highly organized, the food pantry is designed to mimic the average grocery shopping experience. Volunteers spend around 10 minutes with each client to ensure their needs are met. “Food should not only fill people’s stomachs, but it should also allow them to thrive and improve their lives,” said Green. Love Link de-stigmatizes negative associations with food pantries, and Green said clients of diverse demographics utilize Love Link’s services. The food pantry now includes a Kid’s Corner, complete with games, toys and books. Green said the expansion transforms the treatment of people in need. “Most of these people already have to wait for all of life’s basic necessities wherever they go,” she said. “We want to change that by making this situation enjoyable for everyone. We want to make sure people feel like they are worthy of a good experience.” Love Link’s future programming includes free business courses for first-time professionals and a community garden. While their vision expands, the nonprofit needs more volunteers to meet their philanthropic goals. Love Link Ministries’ food pantry is open 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays. Visit

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Johann Kimbro, executive director of Bring Back the Music, will bring his music instruction nonprofit to Spencer’s new community

Co m m u n i t y

arts center. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

Sound vision

Thanks to an NEA grant, Spencer will soon boast a community arts center. By Rachel Schaub

Refurbished school annex buildings in Spencer will soon echo with the twang of guitars and the smooth notes of saxophones. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded a $75,000 Our Town grant to the city of Spencer and nonprofit Bring Back the Music for a community arts center. Joel Gavin, director of marketing and communications at Oklahoma Arts Council, the state arts agency that also benefits from NEA grants, said this award showcases the importance of community building and cooperation. “What’s great about that is it’s a prime example of how a small city government and a local nonprofit recognized a need in their community and how they can work together to foster meaningful change through arts education,” he said. This is the first NEA grant awarded to the Spencer community. However, Gavin said the town’s residents have benefited from NEA funding in other ways. “The NEA provides funding to the Oklahoma Arts Council, and that currently represents nearly 20 percent of our overall budget,” Gavin said. “We take that money and we provide grants across Oklahoma. We have provided some grant funding to Bring Back the Music, but those served Millwood and Crutcho. We have provided grant funding to the city of Spencer for some festivals. “In a roundabout way, because we

receive funding from the NEA … they have been impacted by NEA funding. But this is certainly a much more sizable grant and has a great deal of impact in this small community, which I think will be very meaningful to that community.”

‘Transcending’ boundaries

Johann Kimbro, executive director of Bring Back the Music, said that the nonprofit organization will use the community arts center to host an afterschool program and summer arts program. Kimbro has an illustrious musical background. His mother owned Oklahoma City’s now-closed Kimbro Music Studio and he founded and directs local show band Shortt Dogg. He formed Bring Back the Music in 2010 after he retired from the Department of Corrections. “We began to see a decline of performing arts education in the public schools, and I felt like that was a shame,” he said. “It’s weird when you look back on things, but I’m a child of the ’50s and ’60s, so I grew up prior to the time that schools were desegregated. We had segregated schools in Oklahoma up until the time I was in the ninth, 10th grade, which was for the most part pretty bad. “But there was one upside to it, and that’s that all the schools northeast, we had performing arts. I started playing clarinet in the third grade at Truman Elementary School. I started playing

The new community arts center will be home to an after-school program and summer arts program. | Photo Bring Back the Music / provided

upright bass in the fourth grade. … More recently, unless you’re in a really affluent school district, kids don’t get instruments in their hands in third and fourth grade like we did.” Kimbro said when performers first begin playing is an indicator of their success.

I started playing clarinet in the third grade at Truman Elementary School. I started playing upright bass in the fourth grade. … More recently, unless you’re in a really affluent school district, kids don’t get instruments in their hands in third and fourth grade like we did. Johann Kimbro “The earlier you become involved, the better the probability of you being successful in that specific field,” he said. “That’s the void that Bring Back the Music is attempting to fill by entering schools either as a day school program or an afterschool program and now as our own standalone.” Bring Back the Music contracts with metro schools and offers after-school programs, but Kimbro wanted to reach

more students with the nonprofit’s teaching. “There’s some upsides to that because when we’re at Millwood, school is for the Millwood students. When we’re in Oklahoma City, the school is for their students, but it needs to transcend school districts,” he said. “By having our own standalone facility, we can reach out to anyone in eastern Oklahoma County who might want to become part of the process.”

Overseeing particulars

Spencer and Bring Back the Music received an Our Town grant, which requires a nonprofit to pair with a community in order to benefit a population underserved by arts programming and education. Kimbro said the nonprofit toyed with a City of Oklahoma City partnership, but it was ultimately easier to pair with a smaller community. Spencer will refurbish two annex buildings from a closed school that have been relocated to city property, and Bring Back the Music will outfit the space and fund the Spencer Bring Back the Music Community Performing Arts Center, Kimbro said. “We anticipate bringing it online sometime in late fall,” he said. “Spencer will start probably sometime in late August, early September with the refurbish project, which will then take about 90 days. And as quick as they get through with that, we’ll take over.” Bring Back the Music hopes to use the momentum from the Spencer project to organize other dedicated facilities. “That’s also our dream for some time later with the City of Oklahoma City,” Kimbro said. “This quadrant over here has been kind of neglected by arts and many other organizations, so we would like very much to bring a similar project to northeast Oklahoma City in the future. But for now, we’re going to get Spencer up and running … hopefully we’ll grow from there.”

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A SeASonAl Guide to CentrAl oklAhomA

There is a lot to see and do throughout Autumn, and Gazette gives its readers direction on where to find the best festivals, shows, foods and more! FeAturinG A 3 month CAlendAr inCludinG: labor day events Fall theater Season Fairs, Festivals, Special events

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CALENDAR public debate between Oklahoma County Sheriff candidates. The debate features questions from a panel of professional journalists and candidates Sheriff P.D. Taylor, Mike Hanson and Ed Grimes, 6-7 p.m. Aug. 23. Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., 570634-5837, WED

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

Retirement 101: Planning for Your Future, offering an introductory course on understanding and evaluating the many options available by coming away with a greater understanding of the options available and feel equipped to make informed decisions about senior living, 9:30 a.m. Aug. 24. Concordia Life Care Community, 7707 W. Britton Road, 405-720-7200,

BOOKS Treasures of the Magical Mine Moppets, join author K.J. Blocker during a signing event for his latest story about a farming family who discovers a magical mining world buried deep under their land. The world is full of happy creatures called moppets who work and play unaware that human life is taking place above them, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 26. Barnes & Noble, 6100 N. May Ave., 405-843-9300, SAT John Joseph Matthews: Life of an Osage Writer, in the captivating biography of John Joseph Matthews, Michael Snyder provides the first booklength account of this fascinating figure. Attend the discussion and book signing, 6:30-8 p.m. Aug. 30. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, WED

FILM Western Movie Matinee: Wyatt Earp, (USA, 1994, Lawrence Kasdan) the story of a man and his family. The movie shows us the good times and the bad times of one of the West’s most famous individuals, 1-2:15 p.m. Aug. 23. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, WED VHSANDCHILL: An Evening With Jeff, everything is coming up Jeff Goldblum at IAO Gallery during an evening with screenings of W.D. Richter’s 1984 science-fiction romantic adventure comedy classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension followed by the 1988 screwball comedy Vibes, 8-11 p.m. Aug. 26. IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-232-6060, individualartists. org. SAT Floating Films: Jurassic World, (USA, 2015, Colin Trevorrow) a new theme park, built on the original site of Jurassic Park, creates a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur, which escapes containment and goes on a killing spree, 9 p.m. Aug. 26. Riversport Adventure Park, 800 Riversport Drive, 405-552-4040, SAT Western Movie Matinee: The Harvey Girls, (UK, 1946, George Sidney) a cohort of young ladies arrive in Sandrock, Arizona, to open a Fred Harvey House, the first such restaurant in town. The Technicolor Western extravaganza reflects MGM musical-making at its finest, 1-3 p.m. Aug. 30. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, WED I Am Not Your Negro, (USA, 2016, Raoul Peck) writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 30. Meinders School of Business, 2501 N. Blackwelder Ave., 405208-5707, WED


SUP Yoga Sunday Try your hand at Stand-Up Yoga with Lisa Woodard, owner of This Land Yoga. Build mindbody awareness and strengthen your relationship with yourself and with others while practicing a healthy lifestyle. Explore breath and movement while balancing on a board at the east lower lake at Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave. Wear clothes you can get wet in for this unique exercise experience. Limited boards are available. The workout begins at 9 a.m. The class costs $15-$20. Visit or call 405-529-6428. SUNDAY Photo This Land Yoga / provided

HAPPENINGS Architects of the American School Symposium, hosted by the Oklahoma College of Architecture bringing together distinguished designers and alumni to reflect on the American School approach to design with guest speakers Brian Phillips, Eddie Jones and Donald MacDonald, 10:15 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 23. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-325-2444, WED State of the Schools, Superintendent Aurora Lora provides an update on her second year overseeing the state’s largest school district and the challenges and opportunities facing the district. Oklahoma State University President V. Burns Hargis details the critical role and impact higher education institutions have on improving the future talent pipeline and more, 11:30-1:30 p.m. Aug. 23. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, WED Tussle at the Tower: OK County Sheriff Debate, NonDoc, in partnership with Let’s Fix This and the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition, hosts a free and

Tom Cole at August Town Hall, join an advocate for a strong national defense, a tireless advocate for taxpayers and small businesses and a leader on issues dealing with Native Americans and tribal governments, 5:30 p.m. Aug. 24. Rose State College, 6420 SE 15th St., Midwest City, 405-3296500, THU OCA Range Round Up, featuring 12 historic Oklahoma ranch teams in a head-to-head competition comprised of six events depicting dayto-day ranching jobs. The competition is fierce and the action is non-stop from riding broncos to wild cow milking, Aug. 25-26. Lazy E Arena, 9600 Lazy E Drive, Guthrie, 405-282-7433, FRI -SAT

Edmond Farmers Market, enjoy a variety of locally grown produce, cheeses, meats and bakery items Edmond Farmer’s Market, 10 a.m. Aug. 25. 24 W. First St., Edmond, 405-359-4630, SAT

Natural Hacks for Memory Support, discover how good nutrition and healthy habits can support our memory throughout our lifespan, 3-4 p.m. Aug. 27. Natural Grocers, 7013 N. May Ave., 405-840-0300, SUN Wine & Cheese Pairing, join Amanda Jane Simcoe, The Cheese Wench, for a fascinating discussion on why we pair certain wines with different cheeses. Try four great wines and pair them with eight varieties of cheese, 5-7 p.m. Aug. 29. La Baguette Bistro, 7408 N. May Ave., 405-840-3047, TUE

Oklahoma County Black Elected Officials College Fair, join 50 universities, organizations and every branch of the military during an event highlighting college affordability, scholarship options and other career opportunities for students not necessarily interested in a traditional university, 9 a.m.-noon Aug. 26. Metro Technology Center, 1900 Springlake Drive, 405-844-8324, SAT Super BitCon Photo Scavenger Hunt, featuring cash, prizes and a team-based adventure all across Oklahoma City. Create your team, get your clues, take your photos and have a chance to win prizes, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Aug. 26. Main Event, 1441 W. Memorial Road, SAT Remington Bark, highlighted by charity races on the Remington Park homestretch allowing owners to bring their four-legged friends to the track to browse offerings from vendors, score free caninethemed Wag Bags, participate in a doggie costume contest and support local pet-focused rescues and charities, 6 p.m. Aug. 26. Remington Park, 1 Remington Place, 405-424-9000, remingtonpark. com. SAT OKC Women’s Equality Day 2017, enjoy an awards dinner, a reception and a silent auction with the Georgia Brown Federated Democratic Women’s Club for the Women’s Equality Day commemoration. Ladies are encouraged to wear hats in honor of the women suffragists of the 19th20th centuries with a reception and silent auction, 6-9 p.m. Aug. 26. The Center Banquet Hall, 4325 NW 50th St., 405-427-3366, SAT Animal Welfare Adoption Day, it’s brunch for a cause during the first pet adoption day out with OKC Animal Welfare. Not only will there be furry friends outside to play and adopt, but you will have the chance to make an impact on the work OKC Animal Welfare has put into place within the local community, including helping over 3,000 pets find a happy home already this year, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 27. Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge, 900 W. Main St., 405-982-6960, SUN Overture Annual Season Kickoff Party, OKC Philharmonic’s Young Professionals Group kicks off the annual season with a party featuring live music, food and drinks, 2-4 p.m. Aug. 27. Verbode, 415 N. Broadway Ave., 405-842-5387, SUN HD 46 Accountability Session, join Darin Chambers and Jacob Rosecrants during an open to the public forum where candidates are asked questions specifically related to education and the budget, 6-7:30 p.m. Aug. 28. Pioneer Library System, 225 N. Webster Ave., Norman, 918-794-3944, togetherok. org. MON Oklahoma Watch-Out: The Elections Ahead, discuss the issues, candidates and political trends surrounding the 2018 statewide and legislative elections with featured panelists Anna Langthorn, the newly named chair of the state Democratic Party; Pam Pollard, the recently re-elected chair of the state Republican Party; and Bill Shapard, founder of SoonerPoll, 6-7 p.m. Aug. 29. Embassy Suites OKC Downtown- Medical Center, 741 N. Philips Ave., 405-325-3529, TUE

Tuesday Night Classics: An Affair to Remember Classic films are brought back to the big screen 7 p.m. every Tuesday for only $5. This week, relive An Affair to Remember the way the film was meant to be seen. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, highprofile types both engaged to be married to other people, meet and fall in love during an ocean voyage, promising to meet again at the top of the Empire State Building if they are still in love at the end of six months. You can enjoy a screening of this romantic comedy Tuesday at Harkins Theatres Bricktown 16, 150 E. Reno Ave. Visit or call 405-231-4747. TUESDAY Photo

performance from the Folklorico Norahua dancers, enjoy food trucks, view the classic car exhibition and many more activities for all ages, 7-10 p.m. Aug. 25. Capitol Hill Center Building, 325 SW 25th St., 405-632-0133, FRI

FOOD Beer for the People: Tailgate Style, join the first tailgating style Beer for the People event featuring beer from Anthem Brewing Company, COOP Ale Works and Twisted Spike Brewing Company, 5:30 p.m. Aug. 24. Vast, 333 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-702-7262,


Fiesta Friday, dance the night away with tropical sounds from Brisa Sur, enjoy the colorful

go to for full listings!

OKC Dodgers vs. Omaha Storm Chasers There are few better ways to wind down the weekend than unwinding in the presence of America’s pastime. The Oklahoma City Dodgers closes out its series versus the Omaha Storm Chasers Sunday before welcoming in the New Orleans Baby Cakes Monday. The Storm Chasers game begins 6:05 p.m. Sunday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive. Tickets are $8-$24. Find the OKC Dodgers team page at or visit Call 405218-1000. Sunday Photo Gazette / file

YOUTH YES, a radically inclusive LGBTQ+ youth group for ages 13-21 featuring movies, music, dinner, monthly fandom nights with positive, knowledgeable staff and peers, 7 p.m. Aug. 24. Expressions Community Center, 2245 NW 39th St., 405-570-1638, THU Low Sensory Morning, for children and families who prefer a quiet, less sensory-stimulating environment, enjoy a gallery where sounds are turned down, attendance is limited, numerous hands-on activities are offered in the galleries and art-making projects are available in the classrooms for children and families to enjoy, 9-11 a.m. Aug. 26. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, SAT Al’s Teen Lounge, offering an assortment of mini geek-out sessions on a variety of interests like favorite games, drawing, movies, arts and crafts and more in a drama-free zone for teens who just want to spend time enjoying their favorite activities with others, 5-7 p.m. Aug. 30. Almonte Library, 2914 SW 59th St., 405-6063575, WED 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 Sept. 4. Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman, 405-3254712, Bodies Revealed, exhibition showcasing real human bodies preserved through a revolutionary process allowing visitors to see themselves in a fascinating way like never before, through October. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405602-6664,

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Read for Adventure, the OKC Zoo and Metropolitan Library Systems have partnered to publish the children’s book Our Day at the Zoo to create a community Read for Adventure program enabling readers to check out the new book from any of the 19 Metro Library locations, through March 31, 2018. Metropolitan Library System, 300 Park Ave., 405-231-8650,

PERFORMING ARTS Private Lives, Elyot and Amanda are a gloriously selfish divorced couple who, by a quirk of fate, meet again on their honeymoons with their new spouses and reignite their old spark, through Aug. 27. Oklahoma Shakespeare on Paseo, 2920 Paseo, 405-235-3700, oklahomashakespeare. com. WED -SUN Lost ’80s Live Retro Tour, experience the longest running retro festival of its kind with some of the most recognizable acts of the ’80s for one night, on one stage, playing hit after hit, Aug. 25. Firelake Grand Casino, 777 Grand Casino Boulevard, Shawnee, 405-964-7263, FRI Monthly Poetry Reading, a featured presentation by poet Jessica Isaacs followed by an open mic reading, 2-4 p.m. Aug. 27. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-232-6060, SUN Sunday Twilight Concert Series, presented by the OKC Arts Council featuring live entertainment by Tap Band, 7:30-9p.m. Aug. 27. Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-270-4848, artscouncilokc. com. SUN Floetry Night, a special event for poets hosted by Chief Peace where artists can get on stage and perform spoken word in front of a live audience. Listen to artists express their thoughts while getting insight on their experiences, 9 p.m. Aug. 28. Hubbly Bubbly Hookah and Cafe, 2900 N. Classen Blvd., 405-609-2930, MON

ACTIVE Learn-to-Swim Program, giving residents of all ages and financial situations the opportunity to learn to swim with proper technique and basic water safety at their own pace offered by the King Marlin Swim Club, ongoing, Lighthouse Sports, Fitness and Health, 3333 W. Hefner Road, 405845-5672, SAT GloRun OKC, run a 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run during the sixth annual nighttime black light race to support the Recovery Center for Alcohol and Drug Services of Central Oklahoma. Wear your brightest colors and be prepared to run through tunnels during the course lined with artwork and glow gear, 6-10 p.m. Aug. 26. Mitch Park Activity Center, 2733 Marilyn Williams Drive, Edmond, 405-525-2525, SAT

Benefit Poker Run and Concert Take your motorcycle on a trek through Shawnee, collecting cards toward your poker hand and a chance to win prizes. The run and concert are to benefit Jake Hayes, a Choctaw High School graduate and member of the U.S. Navy who contracted an autoimmune disease while stationed on the USS Lake Champlain. Registration for the poker run begins 10 a.m. Saturday at Shawnee VFW, 811 E. MacArthur St. The last bike out will depart at noon. There is a $15 registration fee per bike and $5 for each additional rider. Registration also includes a wristband for the concert event later that night. The concert, featuring music by The Jeremy Fullbright Band and country artist Wade Hayes, runs 8-10 p.m. at the VFW. Call 405-273-7098. SATURDAY Photo Outdoor Beer & Yoga, join 405 YOGA OKC where yoga and beer unite. Bring your own yoga mat for a no-pressure, all-levels, feel-good yoga, 10-10:55 a.m. Aug. 27. The Bleu Garten, 301 NW 10th St., 405-879-3808, SUN Bricktown Beach, a sand-filled outdoor park area with umbrellas, lounge chairs, sand volleyball equipment and outdoor games, through Aug. 31. Bricktown Beach, Sheridan and Two N. Mickey Mantle Ave., 405-235-3500,

VISUAL ARTS Art After 5, enjoy a late-night art gallery experience and live music on the roof terrace with the best views of downtown and a relaxing atmosphere, 5-9 p.m. Aug. 24. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, THU

BYOB Mama Happy Hour BYOB, in this instance, stands for “bring your own baby.” It is never too early to teach the young ones a love for pizza pie. Gather and connect with other area mothers over lunch or a cold beer at Empire Slice House. The lunch is 12:30-2:30 p.m. Friday at Empire, 1734 NW 16th St. The meet-up is open to all mothers, but lunch is on you. Visit or call 405-356-6262. FRIDAY Photo 62

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go to for full listings!

Body, curated to examine how the body has been used to address the themes of movement, fragmentation and mechanization, geometry and identity, through Dec. 30. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-325-3272, Cartoons & Comics: The Early Art of Tom Ryan, the drawings of acclaimed Western artist Tom Ryan are displayed showcasing his creativity, talent and humor from his teenage imagination, high school and coast guard years and his school paper’s sports page, through April 1, 2018. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-4782250, Drop-In Art: Printing Press Workshop, join printmaker Erin Latham in the session designed to give visitors an in-depth look at the art of printmaking while creating your own work of art using high-quality inks and paper on the printing press, 1-4 p.m. Aug. 26. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa. com. SAT

school students created during the 2017 Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain. The exhibition features photographs, paintings, drawings and prints and will visit some of the state’s finest galleries as the Tour de Quartz, through Aug. 26. Paseo Art Space, 3022 Paseo St., 405-525-2688, WED -SAT Variations on Themes, an exhibit of paintings by Jim Cobb with a selection of a variety and themes including multiple subjects and landscapes, through Aug. 27. The Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., Norman, 405-307-9320, WED -SUN We the People: A Portrait of Early Oklahoma, enjoy a selection of Henry Wantland’s photography from his family’s arrival to Stillwater in 1891. Images documented over a twodecade span can be viewed during a temporary exhibition, through January 2018. Will Rogers World Airport, 7100 Terminal Drive, 405-4782250,

Encounters, view the exhibition featuring the works of artists Leo Corbett and Hailey Craighead, Aug. 26-Sept. 12. Nesbitt Gallery, 1727 W. Alabama Ave., Chickasha, 405-416-3524, Guerrilla Art Park, featuring six Oklahoma artists, ranging from emerging to well established, in the second edition of the public art display with mediums ranging from ceramics, to glass installations and metal work, through Sept. 4. Oklahoma Contemporary’s Campbell Art Park, NW 11th St. and Broadway Drive, 405-951-0000, Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, presenting an overview of the artist Kehinde Wiley’s career including sixty oil paintings, stained glass and sculpture, through Sept. 10. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, Life and Legacy: The Art of Jerome Tiger, one of Oklahoma’s most celebrated artists produced hundreds of works of art and won numerous awards throughout the country. Celebrate the life and legacy of this remarkable painter, through May 13, 2018. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-4782250, OKC Girl’s Art School opening art reception, view two large-scale paintings created by nine girls from grades 6-8 on display for the first time in the Belle Isle Library with the mission to empower underserved girls to become successful in life through learning about the arts, the artist and the arts community, 6-7 p.m. Aug. 23. Belle Isle Library, 5501 N. Villa Ave., 405-996-8373, WED OKCMOA: Drop-In Art, an in-depth conversation inspired by a single work of art from the exhibition Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic. Museum facilitators and community guests kick off the dialogue discussing a new work of art during each program, 6-7 p.m. Aug. 24. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, THU On the Surface, view the works artists Larry Hefner, Behnaz Sohrabian and Laura Nugent whose work often appears to the casual eye to be different than it does under closer scrutiny, through Aug. 28. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, WED - MON Rachel Hayes Test Patterns, Oklahoma Contemporary is kicking off their Showroom/ Showcase series with the work of Rachel Hayes, a nationally recognized artist whose fabric structures explore painting processes, quilt making, architectural space, light and shadow, through Sept. 4. Oklahoma Contemporary Showroom, 1146 N. Broadway Drive, 405-9510000, Secret Paintings, a series of 26 large canvases recalling Renaissance and pre-Raphaelite masters in their ambitiousness, complexity and scale, view the works of California artist Michael Pearce, through Oct. 20. Nona Jean Hulsey Gallery, 2501 N. Blackwelder Ave., 405-208-5229, visualart/gallery.aspx. Spring show exhibit, enjoy the works of oil painter Phebe Kallstrom and handmade jewelry artist Whitney Ingram, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. through November. The Studio Gallery, 2642 W. Britton Road, 405-752-2642, The New Art: A Controversial Collection Fifty Years Later, the 150-piece permanent collection purchased from the Washington Gallery of Modern Art is dedicated to the collection of contemporary art and features abstract expressionism, post-painterly abstraction, color field painting and pop art, through May 13. 2018. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100,

Day Out with Thomas Thomas the Tank Engine is pulling into the station for a larger-than-life experience offering little engineers and their families the opportunity to take a ride with Thomas and meet Sir Topham Hatt, the controller of the railway, during Friendship Tour 2017. This special event travels to 45 cities and welcomes more than 1 million passengers this year. Enjoy a day of Thomas-themed activities including arts and crafts, storytelling and more. Take a 25-minute train ride with Thomas 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 29 and 30 and Oct. 1 and 6-8 at Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand Blvd. Tickets are $14-$18 for riders age 2 and up. Visit or call 405-424-8222. Sept. 29-Oct. 1, ongoing Photo Oklahoma Railway Museum / provided

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

For okg live music

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Tour de Quartz, artwork displayed from high

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MUSIC from what I can see online, is exciting for me. I’m glad people are looking forward to me coming through.” In his conversation with the Gazette, Kweli took the time to speak about aging rappers’ place in hip-hop and what is necessary for locally based rappers to establish themselves in the wider music landscape.


Growing pains

Star speaks

Eminent emcee Talib Kweli talks ‘grown-man’ hip-hop and community rappers ahead of his show at Tower Theatre. By Ben Luschen

In one of its most anticipated billings since the Uptown 23rd District venue officially reopened, Tower Theatre is bringing legendary New York rapper Talib Kweli in for a rare appearance in Oklahoma City. Kweli might best be known as one half of rap duo Black Star with fellow Brooklyn rapper Mos Def. He performs 8 p.m. Sept. 2 at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St. Tickets are $30-$40. Black Star fans have just one studio album to cherish. Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star was released in September 1998. Kweli and Mos Def, now known as Yasiin Bey, still occasionally perform as a duo and have said in media reports that they now treat Black Star as a primarily live experience. Outside Black Star, Kweli has released 64

Talib Kweli | Dorothy Hong / provided

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six solo albums and multiple collaborative projects. His album Fuck the Money is due in the near future on his selfowned independent label Javotti Media. Kweli is also an avid reader and owns the Nkiru Books bookstore in Brooklyn. He recently finished a memoir, which will be published later this year. Though known as one of hip-hop’s most relentless tourers, Kweli seldom performs in Oklahoma. His most recent stop in the state was in February 2016 at Langston University, where he was one of the school’s featured Black History Month speakers. “People seem very excited about me coming to Oklahoma,” Kweli said in a recent phone interview with Oklahoma Gazette. “I tour a lot, but it’s not like I do OKC that often. The excitement, just

As the ultimate “what’s now” genre that has largely helped define what it means to be “cool” in the United States and across the world for the last few decades, hip-hop has little room for graying emcees over 40 — or does it? The entire history of hip-hop culture barely exceeds four decades itself. It is true that radio has seen few rappers past the age of 50, but hip-hop also has not been around long enough to see most of its biggest commercial stars age past that point. Jay-Z, the reigning Don of mainstream rap’s old guard, released his thirteenth studio album 4:44 on June 30 following his immensely hyped but stale 2013 release Magna Carta Holy Grail. Unlike his preceding effort, 4:44 felt fresh and inspired. Jay-Z raps over soulful, scaled-back production while baring his soul over issues like racism, community development and the muchpublicized rockiness of his marriage to pop queen Beyoncé. The project was praised by many music publications and rap blogs as a blueprint for “grown-man” hip-hop, or the way artists middle age and beyond should approach the genre. The Brooklyn-born rap mogul turns 48 in December. Kweli, 41, said while it is good that 4:44 is getting a lot of positive attention from the media, Jay-Z is not breaking new ground. “With all due respect to the incredible artist that Jay-Z is, the type of ‘grown-man’ rap that these media outlets are talking about has been done many, many, many times by artists other than Jay-Z,” he said. Artists like The Roots, Common and Mos Def have been addressing personal and big-picture societal issues in their music for years. Kweli is a prime example of an emcee with a mature sound. On his most recent album The Seven, a collaborative EP with The LOX rapper Styles P released in April, Kweli raps about living life with an Arabic name, calling out privilege and other things. Community and global consciousness has defined Kweli’s music for the length of his career. The idea of “grown-man” hip-hop seems to assume that young emcees only rap about parties and sex. Anyone who has listened to 30-year-old Los Angeles rapper Kendrick Lamar in the last decade knows that is not the case. “Kendrick is not rapping about sleeping with a bunch of groupies,” Kweli said. “Instead, he’s like, ‘I like this one girl.’ He’s rapping about being valuable in his community and giving back to his community.”

Kweli said 4:44 turned so many heads not just because of its refined tone or personal vulnerability, but because a widely beloved rapper seems to be completely at peace with his status as an established artist and brand. “Jay-Z is making music from a very comfortable space,” he said. “He doesn’t have to impress anyone from the music industry; he doesn’t have to worry about sales or getting people to buy it in the fourth quarter. He’s really making music from his heart.”

Scene heard

Oklahoma City might not be nationally known for hip-hop music, but there is no shortage of locally based rappers to be found in the 405 area code — many of them with great musical talent. However, very few emcees from the area have risen above city- or statewide fandom. Kweli said locally based rappers in places like Oklahoma City sometimes become so focused on the prospect of blowing up on the national stage that they forget to earn the full support of their own hometown. “I saw some advice from [Houston rapper and one-half of former rap duo UGK] Bun B today where he said, ‘Your first album is for your ’hood, your second album is for the world and if you make it past that, you’re making music for yourself,’” he said. “You’ve got to make music that represents where you’re from and get supported by your own community.” Kweli also stressed the importance of building connections and networking whenever and wherever possible. He credited past support from The Roots, Mos Def, De La Soul and comedian Dave Chappelle for taking his career to new heights. For Oklahoma City hip-hop to rise to national attention, Kweli said it is going to take unity and cohesion among resident artists. “I think building musical communities is how artists blow up,” he said. “When you look at the Bay Area sound or trap from Atlanta or the Houston sound or any type of sound that’s blown up, it’s because it’s artists who have come out of a community.” The rapper is eager to bring his live show to America’s heartland in a musical appearance he said is long overdue. “That’s a big part of performance,” Kweli said, “bringing music to people who don’t normally get it.” Visit

Talib Kweli w/ LTZ

and Mainframe Trax Family 8 p.m. Sept. 2 Tower Theatre | 425 NW 23rd St. | 405-708-6937 $30-$40


So Lonely

Texas trio Los Lonely Boys prides itself on relatable music and a special bond with its audience. By Camila Gonzalez

Many families have special traditions, but they usually don’t lead to musical fame and success. This was not the case for the Garza family. Henry, Jojo and Ringo Garza grew up playing music with their dad. As they started to develop their own style, the brothers branched out to form their own band. Ringo came up with the name Los Lonely Boys because a song their dad wrote for them contained the lyric, “I’m just a lonely, lonely boy.” But the boys won’t be lonely Sept. 9 when they play Oklahoma City’s Hudson Performance Hall, 2820 N. May Ave. Even though the band has been active for about two decades, family history is still at the forefront of their career. Along with their father, the brothers were inspired by the musical identities and influences of their mother, her father and her brothers. “So, a lot of inspiration really did come from home first,” bassist and vocalist Jojo Garza told Oklahoma Gazette. After discovering the music through their father, they were influenced by country and rock ’n’ roll heavyweights like Willie Nelson and The Beatles, respectively. They created a mix of all the artists that inspired them to craft their current sound. Even today, the brothers readily acknowledge the help they’ve had along the way.

San Angelo, Texas, power trio Los Lonely Boys play at Hudson Performance Hall Sept. 9. | Photo Los Lonely Boys / provided

“We give the credit to our father first in our lives,” Garza said. “Secondly, we realize there were teachers and people that were there before us. There’s history in everything that we do as people.” Along with appreciating the artists that came before them, they are able to appreciate each other and strengthen their family bond by making music together. “Everything has got its ups and downs, especially familia, but we’re together through thick and thin. [We’re] accepting what life brings in each day that passes,” Garza said. The band is also grateful for being able to perform in many wonderful places. Garza compared picking a favorite venue to picking a favorite child but mentioned that San Francisco’s historic Fillmore and Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival both stood out. “[There are] so many beautiful places in the world, and we’ve been blessed with the ability to see quite a few of those places,” he said. The band considers Oklahoma one of those places. The Sooner State is



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“right around the corner” from their hometown of San Angelo, Texas. “It still feels like home, except [for] a couple of tollways,” he said. Part of the band’s mission is to be welcoming and empathetic toward its audience. Los Lonely Boys perform songs that share genuine experiences and relatable feelings, Garza said. “The truth is, life has got its hardships and its beautiful side,” he said. “And you can expect that from the music of Los Lonely Boys.”

We want to make sure we’re giving something to the people that feels like a life’s work, in a sense. Jojo Garza Another part of the band’s genuine nature is actually playing their instruments and not playing along to prerecorded audio. “There ain’t gonna be no tape recorders or CDs or none of that stuff,” he said with pride. That realness contributes to the interaction between the crowd and the band, which is Garza’s favorite part of performing. When they play, they’re starting a conversation with the people who are watching them. They’re eager to see the response. “[We’re] watching how people become part of it,” Garza said. “It’s about giving, not taking. If people enjoy it, they offer that back. And if they’re not enjoying it, they offer that back too.” That might be why the brothers put such careful work into making their music. Their most recent album, Revelation, was released in 2014. They’ve continued to tour with it because they want the songs to have plenty of time to grow. That doesn’t me a n t hey haven’t been work i ng on another album. Garza said they are always working on new music. “They say that your first record is made from your whole entire life experience. Then the second one becomes work after that. For us, we want to make sure we’re giving something to the people that feels like a 66

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life’s work, in a sense,” he said. “There’s always gonna be music coming out from Los Lonely Boys, no matter what, as long as we’re alive.” The band’s best-known song is “Heaven,” from its 2004 self-titled album. The song broke the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and even reached number one on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. It was its breakout hit at the time, but the band continues to produce standout songs. Garza said that Los Lobos saxophonist Steve Berlin told him Revelation’s “Don’t Walk Away” is the perfect example of their sound. As they continue making music, the brothers also plan to continue pushing their own boundaries, like on the Revelation track “Rule the World,” which leans farther into hard rock territory than their other songs thanks to its punchy drums and a fuzzy guitar solo. “If you listen to that one, that sounds like somebody else jumped on the record,” Garza said. “We’re not about being solidified to one style. We believe that it’s not about one style; it’s about styles.” The band is excited to bring them to OKC once again. “We’re really grateful for anyone that’s ever [listened] to Los Lonely Boys music,” Garza said. “And we can’t wait to get out there and jam for y’all.”

Los Lonely Boys 8 p.m. Sept. 9 Hudson Performance Hall | 2820 N. May Ave. | 405-840-2146 $44.50

Los Lonely Boys released its latest album, Revelation, in 2014. | Image Los Lonely Boys / provided


Key words

Singer-songwriter and pianist Ben Folds returns to Oklahoma with a date at Tulsa’s historic Cain’s Ballroom. By Ben Luschen

Those who missed Ben Folds’ Oklahoma Gazette cover-warranting April 2016 concert appearance at Chevy Bricktown Events Center now have another chance to catch the master pianist and superb songsmith’s trademark wit and candor with a drive up the Turner Turnpike to Tulsa’s Cain’s Ballroom. Folds, who turned 50 last September, is set to perform Monday at the historic venue, 423 N. Main St., in Tulsa. The North Carolina native and longtime resident of Nashville, Tennessee, (he now lives in southern California) is best known as namesake founder of the popular ’90s alternative rock band Ben Folds Five and for a wealth of solo albums, including 2001’s seminal Rockin’ the Suburbs, that have at times delved into the worlds of rock, pop and even classical — sometimes simultaneously. Folds’ most recent album was 2015’s So There, a collaboration with New York chamber sextet yMusic. The singer-songwriter frequently works with symphonies around the country, including the Oklahoma City Philharmonic in 2011. In May, Folds was named artistic adviser to the National Symphony Orchestra. He will serve a three-year term with the national orchestra that makes its primary residence the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Folds has also been making contributions to some notable pieces of music to come out in recent months. He has a duet with Regina Spektor on 2016’s The Hamilton Mixtape, a star-studded soundtrack to the immensely popular LinManuel Miranda Broadway production. Folds also produced the title track on Kesha’s new album Rainbow, released in July. The mature and eclectic release is her first album in five years and the first in the wake of her many lawsuits (some related to sexual assault) against record producer Dr. Luke. The Gazette spoke with Folds about his work with the National Symphony Orchestra, Kesha and his thoughts on raging Confederate statue protests across the country. Oklahoma Gazette: How has your week been? Anything exciting? Ben Folds: Ah, just life stuff. Nothing terribly exciting. I’m not complaining because I’ve got a lot of stuff coming up, so I’m just trying to prepare for that. A lot of Kennedy Center-related stuff, which takes quite a big of organization and keeping up with things.

OKG: Speaking of that, when did you hear the news about National Symphony Orchestra wanting you as artistic adviser? Folds: I’m not exactly sure. We’ve been sort of working with them and talking concepts and shows for a little while. I know it was formalized recently this year, but there’s been some talk about it before, so it was certainly an honor for it to be formalized. I enjoy that kind of working contribution, and those guys down there are just all about art and music, and it’s a really great place. OKG: It’s definitely a natural fit now, but early on, could you have seen your career trajectory taking you to this kind of position? Folds: I mean, I could not have foreseen anything. I was not in the foreseeing line of work; I was just going. I don’t think it would have been a terrible stretch if you had written out, “OK, this is where Folds may go in the next 10 to 20 years.” It certainly would have been a realistic turn for me because I started my whole music trip as a child playing in orchestra. OKG: You were involved in the new Kesha album Rainbow, which is fantastic. What was it like working with her on the title song? Folds: Well, she’s really good, you know? She started off her career really young. She’s really good, but she, of course, had a lot of fortunate success really fast doing a certain thing. I think it’s occurring to her, “Oh shit! I can do things this way; I can do this,” and she’s discovering. I think the cool thing about that record is that it’s all over the shop — it’s all over the road. OKG: It seems like that’s usually seen as a negative thing. Folds: Yeah, but I think in this case, it’s just exactly what we want to hear out of her. It’s kind of like listening to a shortattention-span playlist or something. I think that’s really cool because there’s a genuine discovery in everything she’s doing. All these songs, like the one with the incredible horn section (“Woman” featuring The Dap-Kings Horns) and the one with Dolly Parton (“Old Flames [Can’t Hold a Candle to You]”) — these are things she’s like, “Holy shit! I’m doing this? This is fucking great.” You can feel that inside it. Even though you might look at the veneer and go, “Hmm.

I’m not sure. I think that record feels a little bit unglued,” I think it actually is pretty brilliant. I haven’t listened to it enough to really digest it yet, but my guess is it will succeed long-term as a record because you will start to realize a certain classic nature of the actual songs. I heard the record the other day — I hadn’t heard it yet. I would have liked to have heard it because I would have liked to know how “Rainbow” fit into the record, adjusted accordingly. Unfortunately, this was a very secret project because of all the you-know-why. So I didn’t really hear anything [before the album was released] and then I’m listening to the record recently in sequence and going, “OK, this is crazy and really interesting.” Then the next day, I walk up and someone is playing it down the street. And I heard the first song (“Bastards”), and it sounded like a classic already. I thought, “Well, that’s pretty bizarre.” I went from one night being like, “Hmm. I’m not dead sure,” to the next day and it sounds like it might be a classic coming from down the street, so I think that’s what we’re going to find about it. OKG: You’re from the South. Do you have a take on Confederate statues? Folds: It’s not the South. That’s the main thing that I have to say about it. You’re

Ben Folds | provided

not taking down some part of history that’s the identity of the South — it’s not. I think that’s the overwhelming thing I see after all the Charlottesville[, Virgina,] stuff. All of that’s terrible. Another thing I always want to point out to people when we start having this conversation is that you’re taking it out of the main town square. This is like saying, “The most important thing about this great city and this great state is this guy.” And it’s not like you’re trying to erase that he existed. Eh, he’s probably a great tactician or good at something; that’s fine. Put him in a fucking museum somewhere with a whole bunch of other people, but he doesn’t need to be the main thing. It upsets enough people and it’s divisive, so of course the shit should come down. There’s no question about it. Put fucking Ronald McDonald up in the fucking square instead — everyone likes him. We have a clown representing the U.S.; maybe we’ll have one representing Charlottesville.

Ben Folds 8 p.m. Monday Cain’s Ballroom | 423 Main St., Tulsa | 918-584-2306 $30-$249

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 2 3 , 2 0 1 7


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

WEDNESDAY, 8.23 Bryan McPherson, HiLo Club. FOLK Mon, Aug 28

Costello/Ruby Fray/Laine and more, Opolis, Norman. FOLK

w/ Tall heighTs

Gasoline Boots, Red Brick Bar, Norman. COUNTRY

Thurs, sepT 07

Mojave Red, VZD’s Restaurant & Bar. VARIOUS

Fri & sAT, sepT 08 & 09


ben folds: PaPer airPlane Tour The cadillac Three w/ hailey whiTTers blue whale comedy fesTival Tues, sepT 12

Jonny lang w/ guThrie brown

Edgar Cruz and The Brave Amigos, Oklahoma City Museum of Art. ACOUSTIC Paxton Pennington/Annie Oakley/ Part-Time Savants, The Deli, Norman.

Mon, sepT 18

Jon bellion: The human condiTion Tour iii sAT, sepT 23

reverend horTon heaT w/ fishbone sun, ocT 01

gary clark Jr. w/ Jackie venson Thurs, ocT 05

PorTugal. The man w/ lido Mon, ocT 08

lecrae - all Things work TogeTher Tour Wed, ocT 11


Signal 88, Fort Thunder Harley Davidson, Moore. POP

FRIDAY, 8.25 Brandon Taylor, Red Brick Bar, Norman. COUNTRY Bruce Benson, Bourbon Street Bar. JAZZ

Flock of Pigs/LTZ/Bowlsey, Opolis, Norman. VARIOUS

Gabriel Hancock, Red Rooster Bar & Grill. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Grace Askew, The Power House. BLUES

Thurs, ocT 19

luke combs w/ ray fulcher, Josh PhilliPs

Heartbreak Rodeo, Royal Bavaria. ACOUSTIC

Tulsa ok

Jack Rowdy, Hollywood Corners Station, Norman.

TickeTs & info

Photo provided

Dirty Mugs/Trap Queen, The Blue Note. PUNK

sPoon w/ mondo cozmo

423 norTh main sT

AMP Fest The second annual AMP Fest features art and music made by women. Performers include existential rock band The So Help Me’s (pictured), rapper Miillie Mesh and garage rock quartet LCG & the X. The event is noon-8 p.m. Saturday in Automobile Alley on Ninth Street between N. Broadway Avenue and N. Oklahoma Ave. The music stage is located in the Iguana Grill parking lot, 9 NW Ninth St. Admission is free and open to all ages. Visit Saturday


Josh Abbott Band/Read Southall Band, The Criterion. COUNTRY Kyle Park, Graham Central Station. COUNTRY

Zuzu Petals, Bedlam Bar-B-Q. ROCK

SUNDAY, 8.27 Civil Youth, The Venue OKC. INDIE Husky Burnette, Lost Highway Bar. BLUES Jessica Farmer/Dannie Carson, Red Brick Bar, Norman. COUNTRY

MONDAY, 8.28 Honeywise/Sophia Landis/Jason Surratt, Red Brick Bar, Norman. FOLK

Layken Urie, Classics Bar & Grill. COUNTRY


Letters to a Friend/LFNC/Nora and more, 89th Street-OKC. ROCK

Freakabout, The Blue Note. ROCK Hate For State/Fancy Bump/Christophe Murdock, Your Mom’s Place. ROCK

Nita Fruit, Jive Supper Club & Lounge. BLUES Ravens Three, Full Circle Bookstore. INDIE Sarah Loethen, Bricktown Brewery. ACOUSTIC Sorrytown, Earth Rebirth, Norman. ROCK Street Kings, Oklahoma City Limits. ROCK The Fitzgeralds, Native Spirits Winery, Norman. JAZZ

Wed, Aug 23

abbigale Dawn thur, Aug 24

The Okie Tramps, Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewery.

Fri, Aug 25

Tyler Wilhelm & A Few Dollars More, Okie Tonk Cafe, Moore. COUNTRY

sat, Aug 26

Zac Lee Quartet/Adam and Kizzie/Local Man Ruins and more, VZD’s Restaurant & Bar. JAZZ

Wed, Aug 30


FreD Hill

caleb Mcgee & wink burcHaM

DaviD lawsOn & FrienDs cOlin ryan thur, Aug 31

JasOn palMer & FrienDs Fri, sept 1

Jack waTers & THe uneMplOyeD sat, sept 2

blake lankFOrD Wed, sept 6

lazy J walker thurs, sept 7


Adam Miller, Noir Bistro & Bar. ROCK Boogie Fever, Remington Park. COVER Conspiracy Rejects, Mooney’s Pub and Grill, Norman. ROCK

Jamie Bramble, Full Circle Bookstore. ACOUSTIC Lauren Lee/Cowboy Jim Garling/ Liberty Road and more, Rodeo Opry. COUNTRY

Stone Tide/Burn the Past/Brought By Fate and more, Red Brick Bar, Norman. ROCK

Open Mic w/caleb Mcgee tuesdays


Bryon White/Dylan Stewart, Red Rooster Bar & Grill. SINGER/SONGWRITER Chuck Mosley/Zander Schloss, 89th Street-OKC. Cody Hassell, Vices Bar & Venue, El Reno. COUNTRY

Dead Horse Trauma, Thunder Alley Grill and Sports Bar. ROCK Dirty Red and The SoulShakers, Hollywood Corners Station, Norman. BLUES Joe Mack, Saints Pub. SINGER/SONGWRITER Michael Anthony Shanks, Red Brick Bar, Norman. COUNTRY

Smash Mouth, Tower Theatre. ROCK

Erick Taylor, Bricktown Brewery. ACOUSTIC

Fri, sept 8


Amarillo Junction/Cody Woody, JJ’s Alley.

Equilibrium, UCO Jazz Lab, Edmond. JAZZ

OKC/DC, Big Dick’s Roadhouse, Yukon. COVER

Weekly events



clinT HarDesTy wHiTe ligHTers


The Big News/Paper Saints/Dresden Bombers, The Blue Note. VARIOUS The Frights/King Shelter/On Drugs, 89th StreetOKC. ROCK

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

Tanner Miller 68

a u g u s t 2 3 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

go to for full listings!

free will astrology Homework: Each of us has a secret ignorance. What’s yours? What will you do about it? Testify at ARIES (March 21-April 19)

Welcome to Swami Moonflower’s Psychic Hygiene Hints. Ready for some mystical cleansing? Hint #1: To remove stains on your attitude, use a blend of Chardonnay wine, tears from a cathartic crying session, and dew collected before dawn. Hint #2: To eliminate glitches in your love life, polish your erogenous zones with pomegranate juice while you visualize the goddess kissing your cheek. #3: To get rid of splotches on your halo, place angel food cake on your head for two minutes, then bury the cake in holy ground while chanting, “It’s not my fault! My evil twin’s a jerk!” #4: To banish the imaginary monkey on your back, whip your shoulders with a long silk ribbon until the monkey runs away. #5: To purge negative money karma, burn a dollar bill in the flame of a green candle.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

A reader named Kameel Hawa writes that he “prefers pleasure to leisure and leisure to luxury.” That list of priorities would be excellent for you to adopt during the coming weeks. My analysis of the astrological omens suggests that you will be the recipient of extra amounts of permission, relief, approval, and ease. I won’t be surprised if you come into possession of a fresh X-factor or wild card. In my opinion, to seek luxury would be a banal waste of such precious blessings. You’ll get more health-giving benefits that will last longer if you cultivate simple enjoyments and restorative tranquility.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

The coming weeks will be an excellent time to cruise past the houses where you grew up, the schools you used to attend, the hotspots where you and your old friends hung out, and the places where you first worked and had sex. In fact, I recommend a grand tour of your past. If you can’t literally visit the locations where you came of age, simply visualize them in detail. In your imagination, take a leisurely excursion through your life story. Why do I advise this exercise? Because you can help activate your future potentials by reconnecting with your roots.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

One of my favorite Cancerian artists is Penny Arcade, a New York performance artist, actress, and playwright. In this horoscope, I offer a testimonial in which she articulates the spirit you’d be wise to cultivate in the coming weeks. She says, “I am the person I know best, inside out, the one who best understands my motivations, my struggles, my triumphs. Despite occasionally betraying my best interests to keep the peace, to achieve goals, or for the sake of beloved friendships, I astound myself by my appetite for life, my unwavering curiosity into the human condition, my distrust of the status quo, my poetic soul and abiding love of beauty, my strength of character in the face of unfairness, and my optimism despite defeats and loss.”

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

The Witwatersrand is a series of cliffs in South Africa. It encompasses 217 square miles. From this area, which is a tiny fraction of the Earth’s total land surface, humans have extracted 50 percent of all the gold ever mined. I regard this fact as an apt metaphor for you to meditate on in the next 12 months, Leo. If you’re alert, you will find your soul’s equivalent of Witwatersrand. What I mean is that you’ll have a golden opportunity to discover emotional and spiritual riches that will nurture your soul as it has rarely been nurtured.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

What I wish for you is a toasty coolness. I pray that you will claim a messy gift. I want you to experience an empowering surrender and a calming climax. I very much hope, Virgo, that you will finally see an obvious secret and capitalize on some unruly wisdom and take an epic trip to an intimate turning point. I trust that you’ll find a barrier that draws people together instead of keeping them apart. These wonders may sound paradoxical, and yet they’re quite possible and exactly what you need.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Psychologist James Hansell stated his opinion of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud: “He was wrong about so many things. But he was wrong in such interesting

ways. He pioneered a whole new way of looking at things.” That description should provide good raw material for you to consider as you play with your approach to life in the coming weeks, Libra. Being right won’t be half as important as being willing to gaze at the world from upside-down, inside-out perspectives. So I urge you to put the emphasis on formulating experimental hypotheses, not on proving definitive theories. Be willing to ask naive questions and make educated guesses and escape your own certainties.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

You’re entering a phase of your astrological cycle when you’ll be likely to receive gifts at a higher rate than usual. Some gifts could be big, complex, and catalytic, though others may be subtle, cryptic, or even covert. While some may be useful, others could be problematic. So I want to make sure you know how important it is to be discerning about these offerings. You probably shouldn’t blindly accept all of them. For instance, don’t rashly accept a “blessing” that would indebt or obligate you to someone in ways that feel uncomfortable.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

You are currently under the influence of astrological conditions that have led to dramatic boosts of selfesteem in laboratory rats. To test the theory that this experimental evidence can be applied to humans, I authorize you to act like a charismatic egomaniac in the coming weeks. JUST KIDDNG! I lied about the lab rats. And I lied about you having the authorization to act like an egomaniac. But here are the true facts: The astrological omens suggest you can and should be a lyrical swaggerer and a sensitive swashbuckler.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

I invite you to eliminate all of the following activities from your repertoire in the next three weeks: squabbling, hassling, feuding, confronting, scuffling, skirmishing, sparring, and brawling. Why is this my main message to you? Because the astrological omens tell me that everything important you need to accomplish will come from waging an intense crusade of peace, love, and understanding. The bickering and

grappling stuff won’t help you achieve success even a little -- and would probably undermine it.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Stockbrokers in Pakistan grew

desperate when the Karachi Stock Exchange went into a tailspin. In an effort to reverse the negative trend, they performed a ritual sacrifice of ten goats in a parking lot. But their “magic” failed. Stocks continued to fade. Much later they recovered, but not in a timely manner that would suggest the sacrifice worked. I urge you to avoid their approach to fixing problems, especially now. Reliance on superstition and wishful thinking is guaranteed to keep you stuck. On the other hand, I’m happy to inform you that the coming weeks will be a highly favorable time to use disciplined research and rigorous logic to solve dilemmas.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

In the coming days, maybe you could work some lines from the Biblical “Song of Solomon” into your intimate exchanges. The moment is ripe for such extravagance. Can you imagine saying things like, “Your lips are honey,” or “You are a fountain in the garden, a well of living waters”? In my opinion, it wouldn’t even be too extreme for you to murmur, “May I find the scent of your breath like apricots, and your whispers like spiced wine flowing smoothly to welcome my caresses.” If those sentiments seem too flowery, you could pluck gems from Pablo Neruda’s love sonnets. How about this one: “I want to do with you what spring does to the cherry trees.” Here’s another: “I hunger for your sleek laugh and your hands the color of a furious harvest. I want to eat the sunbeams flaring in your beauty.”

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


Join us next week For our thank You issue August 30 b e s t o F o k l a h o m ac i t Y. c o m Call Today 405.528.6000 or email us aT adverTising@okgazeTTe.Com

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 2 3 , 2 0 1 7


puzzles New York Times Magazine Crossword Puzzle The Magic Show By Eric Berlin | Edited by Will Shortz | 0820 ACROSS 1 Bit of a Bollywood soundtrack 5 Hawaiian giveaway 8 Home of van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” informally 12 Walgreens competitor 19 Greek warrior of myth 20 Person from Calgary or Edmonton 22 Source of material for a baseball bat 23 Magic trick performed at 78-Down 25 Company accountant’s responsibility 26 Concern for wheat farmers 27 Nickname for an Oxford university 29 Puzzle-loving group 30 Sugar found in beer 34 Mouselike rodents 36 Sometimes-stinky pair 39 Adds to 43 Agcy. that cares what airs 46 Mauna ____ 47 Magic trick performed at 119-Across and 104-Down 49 Burden for Jack and Jill 50 Female org. since the 1850s 52 Lee of Marvel Comics 53 Pals around (with) 54 Coca-Cola brand 55 ____ duck (Chinese entree) 57 “Carmina Burana” composer Carl 59 Grant-making org. 60 Like most doors 61 Followed closely, as a set of rules 63 Zest source 65 Feudal vassal 67 Magic trick performed at 123- and 124-Across 71 Word repeated before “everywhere” 72 Online “Very funny!” 73 Basic gymnastics flips 76 Comic Aziz of Master of None 79 “Is that true about me?” 81 Movies with big budgets and no audience 83 At the proper moment 84 Simple percussion instrument 85 Greenish-blue hues 87 Musical based on Fellini’s 81/2 89 Ready to take part

90 Escape maker 91 Magic trick performed at 55-Across 94 Blue, on some maps: Abbr. 95 Onetime White House nickname 96 Apt anagram of IS A CHARM 97 Eight-line poems 99 Hullabaloo 100 Four-string instrument 102 Kind of jar 105 Crisp fabric 109 Tequila source 113 “Whenever you want” 115 Magic trick performed at 15-, 16- and 17-Down 119 Skinny sort 120 Hydrogen has one 121 Architect Saarinen 122 Swiss and others 123 First name in jazz 124 Bad: Prefix 125 Prohibitionists DOWN 1 Go gaga 2 Not quite closed 3 Bunch of friends 4 Truisms 5 ____-di-dah 6 QB Manning 7 Arabic for “son of” 8 Advertising icon who wears a single earring 9 Missouri River native 10 Hurt badly 11 Latin years 12 Output of NWA or DMX 13 “This ____ test” 14 Herbs related to mints 15 English lengths 16 Baseball’s Hank 17 Physicist Bohr 18 Crème ____ crème 21 They can be inflated or shattered 24 Lesley of 60 Minutes 28 Manipulative type 31 Lane in Metropolis 32 12:50 33 Schindler of Schindler’s List 35 Officers below capts. 36 Relief carving 37 Shout of pain 38 Talkative birds 40 “Yuk!”

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Accounts receivable Karen Holmes






41 Relative of pop? 42 Place from which to withdraw deposits 43 Long tooth 44 Give as an example 45 Wearing, with “in” 48 Prefix with structure 49 Décor of many dens 51 Onetime honor for cable TV shows 54 Mozart title character 56 Part of PEI 58 Some dental work 60 Titter 62 South American monkey 64 Old war zone, briefly 66 Tangled up 68 Ill-defined situation


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118 121


69 Offspring 70 Front 74 Director of 1957’s 12 Angry Men 75 Looks like 76 Name on some boxes of film 77 Neophyte, informally 78 Provide part of a coverage policy for 80 ____-pedi 82 “Mirabile ____!” (“Wonderful to state!”) 85 Reproves 86 Dweller in a virtual “City” 88 Great Lakes city 91 Greek X 92 J.Crew competitor 93 New York archbishop Timothy 96 Furs from rabbits


98 Got a move on, with “it” 99 “I would ____ surprised” 101 Stand-up comic Williams 102 Like the Spanish nouns “gato” (cat) and “perro” (dog): Abbr. 103 Literary collection: Abbr. 104 Vaccine holder 106 Run away 107 Tumbled 108 Stuntman Knievel 110 The New World: Abbr. 111 Be inconsistent 112 Book of Mormon book 114 Fannie or Ginnie follower 116 Suffix with dull 117 Small dog 118 Entrances


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AffordAble & PrivAte >> Outpatient medication assisted detox >> Long term medication management for addiction >> Pain management Now acceptiNg Soonercare


3033 N. Walnut Ave. West Building 73105 O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 2 3 , 2 0 1 7


2017 230i Coupe | $389/month*

2017 320i Sedan | $359/month*

2017 650i Gran Coupe | $1,089/month*

2017 X5 xDrive35i | $639/month*

Imports 2017 X1 xDrive28i, 36-month lease, $3,000 down, MSRP $38,595, Standard Terms 2017 320i Sedan, 36-month lease, $2,750 down, MSRP $36,095, Standard Terms 2017 740i, 36-month lease, $5,500 down, MSRP $84,395, Standard Terms


2017 X1 xDrive28i | $339/month*

2017 740i | $999/month*

14145 North Broadway Extension Edmond, OK 73013 | 866.925.9885

2017 230i Coupe, 36-month lease, $2,750 down, MSRP $35,795, Standard Terms 2017 650i Gran Coupe, 36-month lease, $5,500 down, MSRP $93,895, Standard Terms 2017 X5 xDrive35i, 36-month lease, $3,500 down, MSRP $61,995, Standard Term

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Standard terms & Tag, Tax. 1st Payment, Aquisition fee, processing fee WAC *See dealership for details — offers subject to change without prior notice. *August prices subject to change. European models shown.

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