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COVER P.21 This Valentine’s Day season, from rare success in the hit-and-miss online dating world to back-up-plan proposals and holy matrimony inside the state Capitol, Oklahoma Gazette readers offer proof that love always finds a way.


By Gazette Staff. Cover Anna Shilling.


Culture immigrant communities face hate and fear

Oklahoma Academy’s 2017- 2020 public policy goals

board race

7 State

8 Election Oklahoma City school 10 Community Kirkpatrick Family

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11 Commentary Adam Soltani 12 Chicken-Fried News



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17 Briefs

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21 Cover love can and does 24 Art Current Studio’s Evolve 25 Art The Legend of the $5

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OKG Classifieds 43

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Rallying hope Community organizations, local students and individuals pull together to promote diversity, unity and progress. By Laura Eastes

In minority communities across the country, the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States ushered with it a sense of fear and heartbreak, which spread and intensified during his first two weeks in office as he signed several executive orders addressing immigration. One bans travel from seven Muslim-majority countries for three months — affecting many immigrants with valid travel visas who were in the process of traveling to or from those countries — and bans refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days. Another calls for tripling immigration forces to 10,000 officers, deporting undocumented immigrants and pulling federal funding from “sanctuary cities.” Yet another ordered the construction of a 1,900-milelong wall spanning the U.S.-Mexico border. Heated debate and legal challenges erupted in the aftermath of Trump’s controversial executive orders and how they were executed.Supporters say the measures are necessary to increase public safety and, as one order states, “protect the American people from terrorist acts by foreign nationals.” However, critics argue the orders don’t solve the nation’s immigration challenges and see the measure restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries as a discriminatory “Muslim ban.” The fear of the unknown and worries for the future are of particular immediacy among the many Hispanics and Muslims who call the Oklahoma City area home.

Giving voice

A day after the November election, University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) student Felix Yanez listened as a peer shared anxiety over Trump overturning 4

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DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), an executive order under President Barack Obama allowing young immigrants temporary resident status. Several of his friends and fellow students wept as they discussed the election outcome during a Hispanic American Student Association meeting. “Immigration targets us the most,” said Yanez, Hispanic American Student Association vice president and a U.S. citizen from Arkansas. “Many DACA students are afraid they wouldn’t be able to continue and achieve their higher education goals. Students worry about being separated from their parents and live in fear of parents or family members getting deported.”

People don’t step into the shoes of others. Felix Yanez

Trump’s campaign platform included promises to stop immigration from Mexico by building a big wall and expelling immigrants who enter the country in violation of civil or criminal law. He made headlines for denouncing Latino immigrants as “criminals” and “rapists.” Five days after his inauguration, Trump signed his executive orders commanding the Department of Homeland Security to commence building a wall along the U.S.Mexico border and escalating efforts to find and then deport unauthorized immigrants. When the university’s Arab Student Organization hosted a #NoBanNoWall rally

Demonstrators during a #NoBanNoWall rally at the University of Central Oklahoma last week. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

on UCO’s campus last week, Yanez volunteered to speak to the diverse crowd of students, faculty and staff, alumni and the greater community about the hurt and dismay felt by his fellow students. As chants of “Love trumps hate” and “No hate, no fear,” echoed off buildings, Yanez declared the border wall a symbol of hatred “that we must fight against.” People who can illustrate the destruction and potential destruction of executive orders like these must do so, Yanez said. “People don’t step into the shoes of others,” Yanez said as he referenced the adage “Never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” “When I was younger, I didn’t think much about deportations, as they never would impact me or my family,” Yanez said. “After I became educated, read articles and heard from families, I started thinking, ‘What if that happened to me? What if my parents were separated from me?’”

Policing immigration

During the last weekend of January, just after Trump signed a Jan. 25 executive order, City of Oklahoma City lawyers passed along the news to Police Chief Bill Citty. Oklahoma City Police Department policies and procedures required no changes following the national order, which frees immigration agents to enforce the law and punish so-called “sanctuary cities.” OKC is not a sanctuary city, and it holds a longstanding pledge to support and cooperate with federal law enforcement agencies, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A sanctuary city is defined as a municipality that limits involvement with federal agencies like ICE and adopts informal policies that inhibit strict enforcement of federal immigration laws. Trump’s order could strip sanctuary cities of federal funding. “We are here to serve,” Citty told the Oklahoma City Council during its Jan. 31 meeting. “The police department serves all

individuals [regardless] of whether they are here documented or undocumented. Our responsibility is to protect all people within the community.” Citty said his officers are not instructed to ask about anyone’s citizenship unless it is relevant information to a criminal investigation. Although, if an individual is arrested and booked into the Oklahoma County Detention Center under felony criminal charges, driving under the influence or transporting or sheltering an undocumented immigrant, status is asked. Under 2007 state immigration law House Bill 1804, jail employees book inmates and list citizenship status. ICE agents can access jail records, obtain warrants, pick up inmates and transfer them to a federal prison. The American justice system is built on holding those charged with crimes and who are innocent until proven guilty in jails before trials. Many believe such a system, when mixed with the new executive order, makes conditions ripe for cases of innocent undocumented people taken into ICE custody and possibly later deported without due process. The police department remains committed to upholding its past practice of not probing immigration status. “We don’t feel we have the authority,” Citty said. “We don’t have the manpower. We don’t have the training.” Despite the department’s message to the Hispanic community, Citty has witnessed apprehension toward officers. “The fear is very real with the new administration,” Citty said. “There were always challenges. We feel we’ve made a lot of headway and done a lot to build understanding and trust within the community, but it is still out there.”

Fear and hope

Life became increasingly challenging for Muslims after 9/11. The terror attack, planned by Al Qaeda, killed nearly 3,000 people and ignited anti-Muslim hate crimes across the country and fueled the rise of Islamophobia, the fear of Muslims and the Islam religion. The past few years in Oklahoma — a state that likes to promote religious values and individual freedom — have been particularly brutal, especially after Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw) began endorsing anti-Muslim actions in 2014. That same year, a disgruntled former warehouse worker attacked coworkers in 2014 at the Moore business, stabbing one and beheading another. News of the tragedy made national headlines as police described the suspect as a recent convert to Islam, which fueled rumors of possible terrorist links. However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation determined there was no link. Islamophoia further spiked during the 2016 presidential campaign, explained Adam Soltani, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) Oklahoma chapter. “Once it reached the level of the highest office in our land, there was really no going back, especially with Trump’s continued on page 6




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election,”Soltani said. In Oklahoma, Islamophobia is the subject of a capitol interim study on “radical Islamic terrorism:” a high school teacher posting on Facebook that Muslims should be “butchered” and a Muslimowned business was vandalized. Often, the actions include passing insults telling Muslims to “go home.” On the day Trump signed the order, the Muslim civil rights organization received a call from a college student distraught over treatment by a professor. “It’s going to take time, but we need to change the notion that Muslims are somewhat foreign to this land rather than a part of this country,” Soltani said. “Islam is not foreign to America, but that is what it is made to seem. Our goal is to show people that we are not only apart of the fabric of America, but a vital organ to the American body.” For every hateful act toward an Oklahoma Muslim, there is a greater amount of community support, which drives two powerful emotions, hope and fear, Soltani said. “The outpouring of love and support from the interfaith community and the community in general has surpassed the feeling of fear that has resulted from hate crimes or rhetoric. I think that is what makes Muslims hopeful,” Soltani said. “There is also that fear that things will get simultaneously worse. Trump wants to ban refugees and immigrants. Essentially, he is targeting Muslim countries. John Bennett has continued to escalate his anti-Muslim rhetoric.”

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As president of UCO’s Arab Student Organization, Crystal Sweiss and her peers voiced their disapproval of the president’s travel ban at the #NoBanNoWall rally on campus. The message was about appreciating diversity and moving the country forward. “Events like this are definitely uplifting, but we’ve never not had hope for the future,” she said. “You have a voice, and if you don’t agree with something, you have the right to express that freely and safely. You can actually have an impact.” Like Sweiss, classmate Yanez has great hopes for the future. While he believes the country must continue to work to improve race relations, he sees an America more ethically and religiously diverse that can progress toward tolerance, mutual respect and unity. Soltani, who was born in Kansas, envisions an America in which his young son will never hear the repeated comment, “Go back home.” Soltani has heard the phrase over and over again during his lifetime. Organizations advocating for peace, love and understanding, like CAIR, work to eliminate such hate from American culture. “We are not only making Oklahoma a better place for Muslims to live, but for all people,” Soltani said.

governor and all members of the Legislature.

s tat e

Policy goals

Another try

The Oklahoma Academy revisits past policy recommendations to create a plan that was recently delivered to lawmakers. By Laura Eastes

Following a contentious 2016 legislative session in which lawmakers scrambled to find the best way to shore up a $1.3 billion budget shortfall, The Oklahoma Academy hit the road to deliver citizen recommendations that would help fix the state’s budget troubles and build a stronger Oklahoma. About eight months before the last day of session, 150 Oklahomans came together for the academy’s 2015 Town Hall, Oklahoma Priorities: The Government and Taxes We Want. “Because of the dire situation of the state, we felt it was critical,” said Julie Knutson, CEO and president of The Oklahoma Academy. “Instead of a town hall for 2016, we went out to the communities — as many as we could — and shared the recommendations of the 2015 town hall, but also other recommendations.” As outlined in the 2015 issue brief, The Oklahoma Academy endorsed a handful of tax and budget reform ideas, like taxing internet sales, authorizing cities and counties

You have a right and a voice to let lawmakers know what you want. Julie Knutson to raise revenue from sources other than sales taxes and broadening the sales tax base. Academy leaders traveled to 30 communities across the state to discuss such proposals. Talks spanned taxes and budgets to issues like consolidating administrative offices of school districts, building a stronger early childhood education system, addressing reforms within the criminal justice system, re-examining the fuel tax and increasing funding to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. “We saw that most people across the state

Dan Boren and John D. Harper listen as Julie Knutson speaks as The Oklahoma Academy released its Strategic Public Policy Goals for 2017-2020. | Photo Laura Eastes

recognized we were in a mess as far as revenue,” Knutson said. “There are a lot of state agencies and departments that are incredibly important, but if you don’t have the money to fund. … You have to prioritize.” That’s exactly what the 50-year-old nonpartisan nonprofit organization did by putting forward past academy town hall recommendations to citizens, who helped craft the academy’s Strategic Public Policy Goals of 2017-2020. Since 2001, the academy has enlisted the help of Oklahomans to discuss health, transportation, the economy, municipal government, water, education, criminal justice and more. Each town hall produced a final report outlining policies backed by the participants. While the academy has played a role in the passage of 64 pieces of legislation, many viable recommendations remained untapped. Two weeks before the start of the state legislative session, Knutson, along with fellow academy leaders, hand-delivered copies of The Oklahoma Academy Strategic Public Policy Goals for 2017-2020, which outlined 30 proposals in areas of mental health, transportation, tribal relations, governance, state budget, health, the economy, education and criminal justice, to the offices of the governor, lieutenant

“The legislative appropriations committees and subcommittees should be more fully integrated in the budget-making process,” said John D. Harper, 2016 academy chairman. “There is a sense that there needs to be more transparency, more interaction and more collaboration,” Harper said when speaking of one of the most noteworthy recommendations to improve the state budget, taxes and revenue. “In the past, we’ve seen these things happen more towards the end of session where all of a sudden, the budget appears and it’s a hand up and down vote.” The academy proposes comprehensive reform in the state budgeting process, such as allowing legislators and the public to review the budget for five legislative days prior to a floor vote and demanding measurable goals for each tax incentive. Some of the recommendations, like consolidating administration in school districts or increasing teacher pay to match salaries offered in surrounding states, aren’t unique to the academy. State lawmakers have floated such recommendations during past sessions. Another academy goal calls for reviewing “off-the-top” appropriations, which Gov. Mary Fallin has previously backed. Leaders like this year’s chairman, former U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, are counting on state lawmakers to recognize the role constituents made in developing the goals. “It’s not a Democrat or Republican solution,” Boren said. “It is grassroots and comes from across the state.” Already, the academy is learning of proposed legislation that falls in line with its public policy goals, Knutson said. The group encourages the public to open dialogue with their lawmakers during this session, which began Monday. “We are really trying to instill that you elect people to represent you in government,” Knutson said. “You have a right and a voice to let lawmakers know what you want. If they don’t hear from you, they will do what they think is best.” Find The Oklahoma Academy Strategic Public Policy Goals 2017-2020 at


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School race

OKCPS school board candidates face off on their desires for stronger schools. By Laura Eastes

Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education chairperson candidates tout diverse skills and experiences that each said separates them from the others. >> Stanley Hupfeld: Hupfeld is a former hospital executive with a passion for public education. While at Integris Health, the OKC hospital began supporting a northwest neighborhood elementary school previously designated as high-challenge and low-performing. The school — now a charter — is a model for achievement and optimism. It was named after him: Stanley Hupfeld Academy at Western Village.

Stanley Hupfeld | Photo provided

>> Paula Lewis: A current school board member representing schools in central Oklahoma City, Lewis is an occupational therapist with two children enrolled in the district. During her year on the board, Lewis has advocated for establishing and following procedures. Additionally, she pushed for a recent special meeting dedicated to discussing charter schools. >> Wilfredo Santos Rivera: Santos Rivera served on the school board from 2006 to 2010 and represented schools in Oklahoma City’s southwest quadrant. A former teacher, Santos Rivera pushed for increased community involvement. He believes major school improvement requires substantive systemic change. >> Bianca Rose: Through her work with OKC education nonprofit Oklahoma Public Schools Resource Center, Rose provides professional development to teachers across the state. She previously taught elementary grades in the district, followed by serving in the human resources department to recruit teachers. She was a member of the team to recruit bilingual teachers from Spain and Puerto Rico to the district. >> Gregory A. Wyatt: Multiple attempts to reach Wyatt were unsuccessful by Oklahoma Gazette’s print deadline.


Tuesday election

The election is Tuesday. People residing within Oklahoma City Public Schools district boundaries can cast ballots for board chairperson. Current chairwoman Lynne Hardin is not seeking re-election. Additionally, there is a race for the District 1 representative, who will work for residents in far northwest and northeast OKC. Those candidates are Charles L. Henry III, Cheryl Poole and Nathan Lee Shirley. Current board member Bob Hammack is not seeking a second term. In District 2, board member Justin Ellis seeks re-election against Rebecca L. Budd and Nick Singer. District 3 represents Nichols

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Wilfredo Santos Rivera | Photo Garett Fisbeck

Hills the southern portion of The Village and neighborhoods in northwest Oklahoma City. If no one earns more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers advance to an April runoff.

Tough times

All four of the school board candidates find common ground when discussing challenges facing the state’s largest district. OKCPS is coming off a challenging budget year in which Superintendent Aurora Lora and her team built a budget with $30 million less in state and federal funds. Laid-off employees felt the first and most immediate impacts of cuts, followed by slashed school and district leadership positions and noncore curriculum subjects and activities. Hupfeld believes the district is in too bad shape to turn down offers of help from local businesses and community organizations. If elected, he would use his professional connections to plug groups into schools for financial help, employee mentor/tutoring programs or other needs. “The long-term success of this city is dependent on fixing the schools,” Hupfeld said. “We just can’t continue to have schools perform so poorly with mediocre graduation rates and mediocre matriculation rates to college. … We’ve just got to do better.” Lewis, who joined the board just a month before the district cut 208 teachers, stated the budget cuts have hurt “the opportuni-

Bianca Rose | Photo Garett Fisbeck

ties we can provide our kids.” With more cuts expected by state lawmakers, Lewis advocates for working to strengthen community support. As the only candidate with experience working in the district’s central office, Rose brings a distinctive perspective, upholding the work of The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools, but advocating for its programs to expand into the central office. She believes support and donations could go a long way to help those charged with overseeing the district’s various programs. Santos Rivera holds a distinctive viewpoint on the district’s budget woes. He believes there is widespread failure, from the individual schools up to district leadership. He said the district must step away from traditional responses. Innovative approaches to discipline, central office structure, curriculum and student assessments could ease budget troubles and discipline problems and strengthen community relations. “You don’t have to plan failure when it comes by itself,” Santos Rivera asserted. “Why waste your time when you should be addressing the compelling need to change the system? … Unless we change the system, we are going to continue to have the same results. We keep on sending the same kind of leadership to the board, and that’s why we keep getting the same results.” If elected, Santos Rivera would implement a Schools of Humanities program at Emerson Mid-High School, an alternative school in downtown OKC. The program would rival Classen School of Advanced Studies and include curriculum centered on philosophy, literature, art, music, language and history.

Other barriers

The district’s changing demographics pose a number of challenges, explained Rose, who believes a majority of the school’s culture does not mirror its leadership. District leaders must use school demographic data to inform their decisions about instruction and programs so each student is provided with an appropriate education. Hispanics made up more than half of the district’s enrollment last year. “Many people do not understand the culture of the district now,” Rose said. “We’ve had many superintendents come in with great ideas, but when they don’t know the culture, the history, and they don’t recognize the district is changing, then changes wouldn’t work.” Lewis would likely to see the district

Paula Lewis | Photo provided

work harder to meet the needs of its most vulnerable students; those who come from families in which generational poverty is occurring. She admitted OKCPS doesn’t achieve high grades on the state’s A-F report cards, but those grades don’t reflect the effects of generational poverty — hunger, abuse, trauma and no early childhood development aid — on students. “Barriers that kept a child from being reading-ready when they entered school are like to continue,” Lewis said. “Yet we want a child with barriers to improve at three times the rate of the kids that came in reading-ready. Those are the conversations we have to have.” Hupfeld believes in uplifting teachers and in expanding training opportunities for principals. He said workers who experience a supportive environment are less likely to take issue with low pay. If elected, he would work to make the district a top place to work, where workers were treated with the dignity they deserve.

Charter debate

While charter schools have been connected to the district since 2000, their role is an ongoing conversation at board meetings. “Charters are not the answer,” said Hupfeld, who supports the growth of enterprise schools within the district. Enterprise schools operate with their own school board and hold unique spending and staffing rights. OKCPS has several enterprise schools. While Santos Rivera is against the district adding or creating new charters, he does support charters currently authorized by the district. “I hope they succeed, and I wouldn’t get in their way,” Santos Rivera said. As a current board member, Lewis applauds district leaders’ efforts to further study Oklahoma City and its growth to create a long-term plan around the district. Such a plan could influence charters. In the short term, she advocates for establishing procedures for charter applications. Rose sees charters as an option for students, especially those looking for a school program strong in fine arts, college prep or the sciences. While she supports charters, she is a stronger proponent of traditional schools. “I know for a fact a traditional public school can be successful,” Rose said. “I don’t think the answer for opening a charter school is because a traditional school is failing.” O kg a z e t t e . c o m | F E B R U A R Y 8 , 2 0 1 7



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Jo Lynne Jones, Infant Crisis Services director of development, meets a baby at the Oklahoma nonprofit. The center is one of 60 that will benefit from November grants made by Kirkpatrick Family Foundation. | Photo Gazette / file

Stronger state

Kirkpatrick Family Fund distributes more than $1 million to area nonprofits since November. By George Lang

Nearly 60 nonprofit organizations will see their operations funded or reach their project goals in 2017 thanks to the distribution of more than $1 million in grants from Kirkpatrick Family Fund. This contribution, distributed in November, will strengthen the impact of arts and social services organizations in Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado. “Four times a year, we make grants to nonprofit organizations; however at the end of the year, that is when we make our greatest distributions, which is where we do our general operations and our large grants,” said Elizabeth Eickman, Kirkpatrick Family Fund president. “The rest of the year, our grantmaking is in the area of small grants and endowment-building grants.” Central Oklahoma organizations benefitting from the distribution include Positive Tomorrows, Allied Arts Foundation, Arts Council of Oklahoma City, Infant Crisis Services and Sunbeam Family Services. Those groups and 53 other recipients fit into the fund’s “areas of interest,” including arts and humanities; children, youth and families; community development; education; environment; and health and social services. “A healthy community can mean a lot of things,” Eickman said. “Many areas, whether it’s social services, culture, the environment or beautification, all of those need to move forward together, not just individually.” Kirkpatrick Family Fund is the youngest of the three key organizations John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick established to strengthen Oklahoma City’s social fabric, Kids examine a bear habitat at Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Gardens. The facility is one of 60 nonprofits to benefit from more than $1 million in Kirkpatrick Family Fund grants awarded in November. | Photo Gazette / file 10

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following Kirkpatrick Foundation and Oklahoma City Community Foundation. Over the course of the past 28 years, Kirkpatrick Family Fund has provided more than $73 million in funding to over 650 nonprofit groups, all of which must submit a letter of inquiry and undergo an eligibility review to qualify for funding. Beyond those basic requirements, the fund looks for stability and vision. Organizations that operate on long-range planning over short-term thinking are more likely to be considered, along with groups led by financially contributing boards of directors. “We like to know that organizations are taking a big picture or holistic view in their grant request,” Eickman said. “Sometimes, when you’re dealing with projects, the project request is a component of a bigger picture, and so it’s really helpful for us to understand what that bigger picture is.” The Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital

at Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Gardens is a recent example of long-term planning that resulted in a significant contribution from the fund. In preparation for its continued expansion, Oklahoma Zoological Society (ZOOfriends) began a campaign in 2011 to build a $4.5 million hospital to provide on-site veterinary care. In honor of Joan Kirkpatrick, daughter of John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick and mother of the fund’s president, Christian Keesee, the Kirkpatrick philanthropies contributed $1 million to the project, which opened in September 2015. “That was something we did together with the Kirkpatrick Foundation and, of course, the Kirkpatrick family’s involvement,” Eickman said. “I think that has made a significant difference for Oklahoma City Zoo. It touches upon the things that we are interested in in terms of animal well-being and animal welfare, and it allows the zoo to offer the highest quality care for the animals in their charge. The zoological society and the zoo have done a fabulous job with that.” Eickman said that the Kirkpatrick family played a key role in feeding or initiating most of the major cultural organizations in Oklahoma City and Kirkpatrick Family Fund is currently focused on completion of Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center’s $26 million facility at NW 11th Street and Broadway Avenue. With the 4.5acre Midtown campus, the fund comes full circle: City Arts Center’s location at State Fair Park was the first project funded by Kirkpatrick Family Fund in 1989. “This will be the most significant cultural institution since the completion of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art,” Eickman said. “It’s going to be an extraordinary facility and will move arts education in our area to the next level. Bottom line is you cannot have a dynamic community if you don’t have a vibrant cultural community as well as a healthy community with quality social services.” Visit

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Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

Unapologetically American Muslim

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free ...” These words are inscribed upon the base of Lady Liberty, a beacon of hope that has greeted those arriving through New York Harbor for generations, representing the idealism and courage of immigrants to our country. My maternal great-grandmother came to the United States in the early 1900s, fleeing persecution and seeking a home in a place that promised her the freedom she did not have as a German living in Russia at the time. My father came to the United States in 1977, seeking an education that could not be obtained in his home country of Iran under the Shah. In both instances, America fulfilled its promise of being the land of freedom and opportunity for individuals who sought a better life for themselves and, eventually, for their families. My ancestors achieved that elusive American dream: They worked hard, raised their families and enjoyed the benefits of the multicultural communities that they embraced. Put simply, I am the son of immigrants. My ethnic heritage consists of German, Russian and Iranian blood. My faith heritage consists of Catholicism on my mother’s side and Islam on my father’s side. I married

The Muslim community has contributed to American progress for centuries as teachers, artists, laborers, soldiers, dignitaries, community members and neighbors.

a Palestinian-American Muslim woman, and our children will have the privilege of growing up in a home where we will teach them to appreciate rich cultural and faith traditions they have inherited. It will be their strength, not their weakness. The challenge we now face as a country is that we have a president who is making every attempt to turn the strength of our diversity into our weakness. He is attempting to take the very thing that makes us great — the variety of skin colors, ethnic heritage, language, faith, cultural practices, accents and all the other nuances of human experience, great and small, that exist within the American melting pot — and use it to sow fear, suspicion and hatred. The Muslim community has contributed to American progress for centuries as teachers, artists, laborers, soldiers, dignitaries, community members and neighbors. Muslims have been working to promote

the American dream since the inception of our country. The time has come for us to embrace that which makes us different so we may turn our attention to building that which makes us great: the promotion of an America where success is not determined by who you are born but by who you become. American Muslims, be proud and as unapologetically Muslim as you can be. Do not back down from your conviction that you belong here, indelibly woven into the fabric of American society, whether you are seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time or whether your family ties go back farther than the first European foot placed on this continent we all call our own. I, for one, am more proud than I have ever been in my life to call myself an American Muslim, and whether you detest me or honor me, don’t expect an apology. Adam Soltani is the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Oklahoma. Last year, YWCA Oklahoma City recognized Soltani as a Leading Social Justice Advocate.

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Incompatible law

Can’t stand the sight of your partner and their disgusting habits anymore? Tired of your spouse’s nagging and don’t really like them at all as a person anyway and not sure you ever really did? Just can’t work out your differences? Too bad. A bill proposed by Oklahoma Rep. Travis Dunlap, R-Bartlesville, would limit the reasons Oklahomans can cite for getting divorced. House Bill 1277, called the Fairness in Fault Act, would take incompatibility off the books for people with children under the age of 18, those who have been married at least 10 years or if there is a written objection to the divorce — provable adultery, abandonment, impotence, extreme cruelty or fraudulent contract would have to suffice, according to The Journal Record reported if one person’s attorney proves their client’s spouse cheated, abandoned them, suffers from impotence or caused the divorce in any other way, the offending party must cover all attorney fees and the offended party can keep 75 percent of the couple’s “marital property.” also reminded the public that, last year, Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill making divorce more expensive. The law raised filing fees and added an administrative fee “totaling 15 percent of fees the court clerk collects for other agencies.” One thing is for sure: These laws certainly make most people reconsider getting married in the first place.

Legislative Darwinism?

Some things never change. Unlike Charles Darwin’s theory of biological evolution. Nobody can tell that to Oklahoma Sen. Josh Brecheen, though. For years, the Coalgate Republican has proposed legislation that many say would force science teachers to educate students about creationism. This year, his Oklahoma Science Education Act (Senate Bill 393) outlines mandates “providing for the creation of a school environment that encourages the exploration of scientific theories,” which many believe includes “scientific controversies” such as the religious belief that a divine being invented all of life (and the entire universe) out of nothing at all. Plausible opinion? Sure. But is it scientific? The official ChickenFried News fortune-telling Magic 8-Ball tells us, “Don’t count on it.” National Center for Science Education calls SB 393 an “antievolution” measure, though that word — along with “creationism,” “intelligent design,” “creation science” or “flood geology” — are not mentioned in its language. Instead, Brecheen’s bill proposes that Oklahoma teachers “find effec-

tive ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies.” It sounds fair enoug h. Now, Brecheen’s challenge is to convince everyone that an opinion — literally “a belief stronger than an impression and less strong than positive knowledge” (Merriam-Webster) — is the exact same thing as the most reliable, fact-based form of scientific knowledge, which is “a way of thinking that values observation and data instead of fanciful ideas about the order of things” ( His grasp of basic scientific method — and basic English vocabulary — is exceptional. OK; it’s about as good as most Oklahomans’, which ain’t super great. After all, Brecheen is a proud product of the Sooner State’s pubic education system, just like the rest of us.

Kanter’s temper

Enes Kanter broke Thunder fans’ hearts — and his own arm — after losing a fight with a chair during the Jan. 27 game against the Dallas Mavericks.

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F E B R U a r y 8 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m said the Oklahoma City Thunder center showed his frustration during the game, at one point slapping the floor. During a timeout, Kanter’s aggression toward inanimate objects continued as he punched a padded chair. Rising up to defend itself and strike a blow for other mistreated seating — battered benches, karate-chopped couch cushions, oppressed ottomans — the chair shifted ever so slightly, catching Kanter’s right forearm against its metal edge. Crack! That sound was both a fracture in Kanter’s right ulna and the smashed hopes of Thunder fans for a spot in the playoffs. He’s already had successful surgery to repair his ulna, according to a team press release. Oddly, the Thunder press release didn’t mention how Kanter’s arm was injured, just that it happened during the team’s 109-98 win over Dallas. We at Chicken-Fried News are big fans of the big man who team leader Russell Westbrook has said is the best bench player in the NBA. Not only did the Turkey native also bring new life to Oklahoma City’s Turkish Food and Art Festival and help convert many of his teammates to a halal diet, but he also rocks a pretty mean mustache. Reports say Kanter could miss two

months as he heals. Maybe this will give him time to finally sit for a mural across from the Steven Adams wall in Film Row.

Business minor

An Oklahoma City teen was recently featured on The Learning Channel. Hey, don’t roll your eyes just yet! This was not another mindless feature about the relationship between a spoiled youth pageant contestant and her opportunistic mother or a look into a day in the life of a family with twins, twins and sextuplets. Instead, TLC featured 16-year-old Margo Gianos on Teen Tycoons, profiling her farreaching natural lip balm business Honestly Margo. The episode premiered Feb. 6. Gianos launched her business at age 12. According to a recent story, the young entrepreneur perfected her first flavor, pumpkin cheesecake, and took the finished product to school. It all sold like hotcakes — or maybe cheesecake. “That’s when my mom told me, ‘You know, you’ve always wanted to have a business and you can actually do something with this if you want,’” the teen told News 9. This Chicken-Fried News writer remembers when he was 12 years old and being paid $5 to eat a worm. That breakthrough in entrepreneurial thinking still pales in comparison to Gianos’ sprawling lip and body balm empire. Today, her product is for sale in 400 stores in the

United States, Canada and Australia. That sure beats stupid human tricks.

That’s alotta coke!

How much cocaine can you fit in the nose of a commercial aircraft? It’s one of the age-old questions of life, right along with “Why are we here?” (see “Legislative Darwinism,” page 12) and “How many licks does it take to get the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” (Purdue University researchers say 364.) The first question was answered by an American Airlines employee in Tulsa when they stumbled on what appeared to be a brick of cocaine, Tulsa World reported. The employee, along with other American Airlines maintenance crewmembers, found seven bricks of cocaine in the nose of a Boeing 747 at Tulsa International Airport. Each was covered with wheel grease, which the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office believed was used to mask the drug’s scent from dogs. Law enforcement estimated the cocaine had a minimum street value of $200,000, and some sources estimated its value at more than twice that. Now that we know how much coke fits in the nose of a plane, we have to ask, “Where do

babies come from?” Whoops! Nope. Sorry; wrong question. What we meant to ask was, “Where did the drugs come from?” That’s what agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration office in Miami were assigned to find out. The airliner recently flew from Bogotá, Colombia to Miami, Florida, where the aircraft was flagged for maintenance and sent to a maintenance hub in Tulsa, where workers discovered the blanca. Considering Colombia is known for DIY cocaine-making classes and the country has surpassed Peru as the world’s top exporter of the drug (an 8.5-ton bust in May was the largest in Colombian history), us hard-nosed investigative journalists at Chicken-Fried News think Miami might not need a weatherman (or DEA agent) to know which way the snow blows.

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | F E B R U a r y 8 , 2 0 1 7




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Dough yeah

Belle Kitchen’s Valentine’s macaron hearts sampler | Photo Garett Fisbeck

Belle Kitchen excels at creating sweetand-tasty pastries. Its savory offerings are just as delicious. By Greg Elwell

The menu clearly tells Belle Kitchen bakery and restaurant customers about the different doughnuts, drinks and sandwiches available. But nowhere in the shop or on its website does it mention the peculiar medical condition best described as “food amnesia” that guests experience again and again when they eat there. “It couldn’t be as good as I remember it,” they say. “It simply can’t be as delicious as I recall.” But then they wander into Belle Kitchen, 7509 N. May Ave., with glazed eyes and order breakfast or lunch. A few bites in, the fog lifts. Yes, the food is that good. Past the colorful murals and tables topped with colored pencils and adult coloring books sit a pair of display cases. The one on the left showcases the eatery’s signature macarons. The other one is filled with doughnuts. Choosing between the two is both impossible and unnecessary. There is room in every life (and stomach) for doughnuts and macarons. A brief word about macarons and macaroons. Macaroons are gluten-free cookies usually made with coconut, sugar and egg whites. Macarons, however, are meringuebased cookies made with egg whites, almond flour and sugar and served as cookie sandwiches piped with a flavorful filling between them.

clockwise from top left Salted caramel, dark chocolate, Fruity Pebbles and birthday cake macarons | Photo Garett Fisbeck

Most people associate these rainbowcolored, hamburger-shaped treats with France thanks to the world-famous Ladurée bakery, which is often credited as the first shop to join two of the meringue cookies together with ganache, but the treats are actually Italian. Macarons ($1.50 each) are beautiful when done correctly, and Belle Kitchen makes the best ones I’ve had since tasting Ladurée’s version in Paris. They are crisp and almost shatter when bitten, and the meringue

Belle Kitchen 7509 N. May Ave. | 405-430-5484 What works: Belle’s Cuban sandwich and macarons lead the pack. What needs work: Closed Monday? That’s when we most need macarons! Tip: When you’re in the neighborhood, swing by Belle Kitchen Deep Deuce, 30 NE Second Ave., inside OKSea.

shards quickly melt. Their centers achieve an addictively chewy texture that breaks down after a few gnashes. Belle Kitchen’s macarons are gone in a bite or two, but each one deserves to be savored. Respect goes to owner Cheryl where toppings are often so rich that having Davenport for always coming up with new an extra mouth and stomach available is flavors to delight her customers. Both the almost a necessity. Fruity Pebbles and birthday cake varieties For instance, if you ordered the turtleput smiles on my face, but it was her most topped doughnut ($3), the first bite of the popular version — salted caramel — that chocolate ganache-topped pastry would blew my mind. make you think, “I’ve never been in a fist “Salted caramel? Yawn,” the jaded among fight, but if someone tries to take this away, I will start swinging.” you might say, but give this a try before casting aspersions. Davenport’s secret is her Gooey caramel and crunchy toasted housemade caramel, which makes all the pecans are perfectly paired so every bite difference in the world. This macaron had gives a gush of creamy chocolate; a salty, an incredible depth of sweet, buttery flavor nutty snap; and lightly yeasty doughnut that’s made all the flavor. My reaction more complex by the was to immediately addition of salt. take another bite, Davenport also is but these treats are an admitted chocopacked with flavor, late fiend, so, of so I slowed down and course, you must try enjoyed how well it the dark chocolate all fit together. macaron. This is when It would be easy having a friend can to obsess over the be a boon because macarons if Belle their doughnut Kitchen didn’t also might be a different kind of rich and you sell some of the best doughnuts in the can share creamTurtle-topped doughnut | Photo Garett Fisbeck filled or espressometro. Making the dough is a 24-hour flavored varieties. process. It rises and is folded three times When anyone says something like, “I to create a heavenly texture that’s solid and don’t really care for sweets,” I just stare at light. The doughnuts are almost weightless them, trying to see if they’re lifelike androids without the toppings, which are themselves or alien badgers clad in human suits. Then I say, “Fine; that’s just fine,” because Belle masterpieces. The strawberry milkshake doughnut ($2) Kitchen also serves a very tasty savory menu. is a ridiculous thing. The restaurant’s fruit The breakfast sandwich ($5) is a must purees are overnighted from California, so with soft scrambled eggs, arugula and perthe flavor is real and spectacular. The fruit fectly cooked bacon on a brioche bun. The is blended with heavy whipping cream and peppery arugula sets off the creamy eggs sugar to create a frosting that really tastes and adds a buttery zing to the bread that like a strawberry milkshake. keeps it from tasting too rich. This is an opportune time to remind evBelle Kitchen’s grilled cheese sandwich eryone that doughnuts are best when shared. ($6) also is made with brioche, except instead This is especially true at Belle Kitchen, of a bun, the bread is sliced from a loaf. Its

tight, buttery crumb holds together well when grilled, and the melted cheese in the center beckons the diner to take bite after bite. It tastes almost like someone made a grilled cheese sandwich using two slices of cake, except savory. It’s one of a kind in the city. All that said, the highest accolades go to Belle’s Cuban sandwich ($6), which only improved with the swap from ciabatta bread to a more traditional hoagie roll. Cuban sandwiches are famous for fusing flavorful smoked pork, ham, cheese, mustard and pickles inside a pressed roll. The savory mix of meats has a satisfying fattiness that is cut sharply by the spice of the mustard and the crunch of the pickle. Mild and nutty Jarlsberg cheese adds texture and a slight tang while preserving

Cuban sandwich | Photo Garett Fisbeck

the creaminess of each bite. Cuban sandwiches have slowly infiltrated Oklahoma City menus for years, but this one is my hands-down favorite. It’s an absolute joy to eat. But that’s true of almost anything at Belle Kitchen. Davenport’s crew does excellent work both in food preparation and customer service. No matter how bad my food amnesia gets, I know I’ll soon find my way back inside for another reminder.

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EAT & DRINK f eat u re


Bubble wrap Champagne experts recommend the best sparkling drinks for Valentine’s Day. By Greg Elwell

The Bobbie

Maybe Cole Porter got kicked in the head when he was writing “I Get a Kick Out of You,” because anybody who says, “I get no kick from champagne” must have a mouth full of busted taste buds. As Valentine’s Day draws ever nearer, some are searching for finishing touches to make the holiday extra romantic. Few beverages say love more than champagne.

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En Croute beverage director Drew Tekell knows his bubbly, whether sipped from a flute or mixed in a cocktail. “When I am looking for bubbles for either consumption or to put into a cocktail, I look for a variety of things,” he said. If he’s enjoying a bottle by itself, he looks for champagne that is “leesy” — having the scent and taste of the sediment or “lees” of the grapes and yeast it’s made from. He prefers sparkling wines with notes of lemon and apple that are more acidic and have a lingering taste. “Basically, good juice,” he said. He recommends Pierre Gimonnet & Fils blanc de blanc, a Champagne made using only Chardonnay grapes. For a more mineral-focused flavor, he chose Champagne Gaston Chiquet. In the United States, champagne has become a catchall term for sparkling wines, but the real stuff comes only from the region of France bearing the same name. Other countries have their own versions, including Spanish Cava and Italian Prosecco. Freeman’s Liquor Mart, 4401 N. Western Ave., is dramatically expanding its sparkling wine selection, said sales consultant Brett Fieldcamp. When customers ask for a high-end bottle, he recommends Veuve Clicquot vintage Champagnes in the $140 range. Most don’t have a vintage, but higherpriced bottles bear the marking of their years of production. Australian-made BK Wines’ Petillant Naturel, a blanc de blanc sparkling wine that shares some of its taste profile with sour beers, is much lower in price. Fieldcamp recommends Hush Heath Estate’s line of British sparkling wines, which are growing in popularity.

Mixed success

Sparkling wines can be great alone, but Tekell said they also make an excellent ingredient in cocktails. “The cocktail needs to be the focus,” he said. “The champagne is an ingredient; it needs to play well with the other kids at the party.” When used to sweeten a cocktail, he often uses a fruitier Italian sparkler called an Asti.

Bellini sugar water frozen peaches sparkling wine Create a simple syrup by mixing 1 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of water and heating the mixture over low heat until the sugar is fully dissolved. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool. Add chilled simple syrup and 1 pound of frozen peaches to a blender and blend until smooth. Add 2 oz. of peach puree to a champagne flute and top with 3 oz. of chilled sparkling wine. ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

Volcano sparkling wine

Bellini | Photo

raspberry liqueur Blue Curaçao orange liqueur Pour 1 1/2 oz. of raspberry liqueur and 1 1/2 oz. of Blue Curaçao into a champagne flute. Add 2 oz. of sparkling wine and serve. ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

French 75 simple syrup sparkling wine gin lemon Create a simple syrup by mixing 1 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of water

The champagne is an ingredient; it needs to play well with the other kids at the party. Drew Tekell

and heating the mixture over low heat until the sugar is fully dissolved. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add 2 oz. of gin, 1 oz. of fresh lemon juice and 1/2 oz. of simple syrup. Shake to combine, and then strain the mixture into a champagne flute. Top with 2 oz. of chilled sparkling wine and serve.

If the wine is there to add saltiness, he uses a more traditional, drier champagne. “As for the production methods, again, it depends on the cocktail,” Tekell said. “If the champagne is the main focus, then I tend to go with something produced with méthode traditionelle because I want the citrus and toasted notes.” Méthode traditionelle champagnes are fermented in the bottle. When Tekell is adding bubbles more than flavor, he might use a wine that is fermented in the tank, called the Charmat method.

“The Charmat method also tends to produce a sparkling wine that is fruitier than the traditional method, so I also take that into consideration of what other ingredients are going in the finished product,” he said. Fieldcamp said most people wanting champagne cocktails make mimosas — a blend of sparkling wine and orange juice popular at brunch. “We get a ton of people who come in here on Saturdays and load up for mimosas,” he said. “Normally, you don’t want to do something too expensive.” Both he and Freeman’s wine manager Ashley Skinnell recommend Spain’s Jaume Serra Cristalino Extra Dry. “I use it for everything that calls for sparkling wine,” Skinnell said. “I honestly think it’s great on its own.” At $12 a bottle, it’s the right price for mixing. “If you want to go a step up, in the $15-$20 range, it’s possible, but I think Cristalino is delicious,” Skinnell said.

brie f s By Greg Elwell

•Bloody Valentine

Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO) adds art to Valentine’s Day weekend romance with its Bleeding Hearts Brunch and Coffee Tasting 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday at IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave. The nonprofit’s film committee selected five love-themed short films for guests, said executive director Laurence Myers Reese. Dubbed a “Valentine’s Day brunch with an artistic flair,” the event also features music, bloody marys and food by Big Truck Tacos, Back Door BBQ and Cupcakes by Taylor. “We have Elemental Coffee [Roasters] providing some cold brew for cocktails and more coffee provided by Leap Coffee Roasters,” Reese said. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. “The Present” by Krystle Brewer | Image Bleeding Hearts Brunch is also the last chance for Individual Artists of Oklahoma / provided guests to browse art from IAO’s annual juried show. Call 405-232-6060 or visit

Fresh start

Homeland Stores and Dole Food Company joined forces Feb. 2 to donate two salad bars to Oklahoma City Public Schools. United Fresh Start Foundation (UFSF) brokered the partnership in an effort to put more salad bars in schools and help increase the amount of fresh produce students eat. The first salad bar was opened to students at Hawthorne Elementary School, 2300 NW 15th St., on Feb. 2 for lunch. The other salad bar will go to Classen School of Advanced Studies, 1901 N. Ellison Ave. Because 33 percent of children are overweight or at risk of being overweight, the company is looking for new ways to support healthy eating, Dole corporate communications director Bil Goldfield said in a media statement. Dole is trying to jumpstart the conversation about nutrition earlier in students’ lives by making fresh fruit and vegetables available through salad bars. “By providing salad bars that will enable schools to offer a variety of produce choices each day, we are hopefully establishing healthier eating habits that will last a lifetime,” Goldfield said.

The donation is part of UFSF’s Salad Bars to Schools program, which has donated salad bars to more than 5,000 schools in the last six years

Masquerade events

Local social club Inner Circle, which is free to join, hosts a pair of events Friday for guests who want to meet and socialize at Jazmo’z Bourbon St. Cafe and Club One15, 115 E. Sheridan Ave. An extended happy hour menu will be served 7:30-10 p.m. at Jazmo’z, 100 E. California Ave., with free appetizers and live music. Next is a dress-up Valentine Masquerade party at Club One15 from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Group members pay no cover and have access to the club’s VIP area. Inner Circle will raffle off three yearly memberships to its app, which includes free appetizers at some local restaurants and no-charge entry to select clubs and bars. To attend, members must reserve a spot at

True Love

since 1940

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eat & DRINK

Sugar rush

It doesn’t matter if your significant other is on a diet; you don’t show up on Valentine’s Day without candy unless you want to sleep on the couch. Save yourself an expensive round of treatments with a chiropractor and invest in some sweets for your sweetheart instead. The metro is a great place to find handcrafted truffles, classic candy bars, gummies of all shapes and sizes and even some out-there sodas. Remember, diets can always start again tomorrow. By Greg Elwell Photos Garett Fisbeck and provided

42nd Street Candy Co.

4200 N. Western Ave., Suite C 405-521-8337 It’s physically possible to walk out of 42nd Street Candy Co. without a bag full of chocolate truffles, old-school candy bars and sour gummy worms, but it isn’t easy. One look at luxurious, bite-sized cocoa treats will activate anyone’s sweet tooth. Don’t be fooled by its small entryway (which also leads to VZD’s Restaurant & Bar); 42nd Street Candy Co. runs three rooms deep and offers chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, jelly beans, gum and more. Create a custom gift box to really make that special someone swoon.



1878 Church Ave., Harrah | 405-323-1787 Formerly known as Fat Daddy Sweets, Alicia Helsley moved into a retail space in Harrah to sell her handmade chocolate treats at Cocoaphilia. The store’s name is apt, as anyone who visits probably has a deep appreciation for cocoa confections. The variety available is staggering. Cocoaphilia’s English toffee has a perfect, chewy crunch with a sweet, buttery flavor and the exotic chocolate-dipped orange peel brings a seductive mix of sweetness and bitterness with a citrus bite.

The Candy Basket

2001 W. Main St., Norman 405-329-9009 Norman’s The Candy Basket started giving college students sugar rushes in 1989. What is the key to the sweets supplier’s longevity? Customer service. Whether it’s your first time in The Candy Basket or you’ve visited for years, the staff takes great care in making sure guests get what they’re looking for. Custom candy bars are a treat, as is the shop’s gourmet popcorn selection. Flavors run the gamut from salty and savory to delectably sweet.



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Bedré Fine Chocolate

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It’s hard to talk chocolate around here without discussing Davis-based Bedré Fine Chocolate. Purchased by the Chickasaw Nation in 2000, the company began in an old Ada elementary school in the 1980s with a goal of making better chocolates. In fact, “bedré” means “better” in Norwegian. But chocolate lovers don’t have to make the pilgrimage to Davis for Bedré — metro stores including Homeland and Crest grocery stores carry the products.

Founded by Lucille and Claude Woody Sr. in 1927, Woody Candy Company holds the record as Oklahoma’s oldest candy manufacturer. Keeping a business going for 90 years is no small feat, and locals can’t get enough of Woody’s signature treat, Aunt Bill’s Brown Candy. The labor-intensive pecan candy is made with vanilla, sugar, cream, butter and pecans. Making it is an adventure, but those who would rather skip right to eating can find some any time at Woody Candy Co.

Bricktown Candy Co. is a drool-worthy store and a magnet for sweets lovers. Nowhere is there a greater risk of salivation than at the shop’s gelato case. Lower in fat and with less air than ice cream, gelato is a chilly Italian treat that begs to be savored. That’s why each cup comes with a tiny, shovel-shaped spoon perfect for depositing the slow-melting dessert in your mouth. If the weather calls for something a bit less frosty, the shop also carries vintage candy bars, gummy snacks and sodas.

If you’re good enough at what you do, you don’t even need a storefront. That’s why CocoFlow Chocolatier, run by Kim and Gene Leiterman, does its business by special order. Occasionally, the artisan chocolate makers will set up shop at events like the Oklahoma State Fair to sell their awardworthy sweets, but if you need a CocoFlow fix, it’s best to visit the business’ Facebook page. The shop excels at chocolate, including truffles and chocolate bars, and the Leitermans also make heavenly macarons.

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I can’t imagine a life without you. I hope this year we can find a little more time to spend together. I love u! Daysha ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Oklahoma Gazette Readers show their love Kenny, There are days you make me crazy! But I still Luv U, after 24 1/2 years. Shari

Clayton Madden, you are my best friend, the love of my life , and soul mate. I can’t wait to marry you on 9.4.17! ♥ Jade ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Bird, You are the love of my life! Every day with you is a great adventure. You make me a better person. Love, Bug ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Marwin, Thank you for 24 years of kisses and hugs... until we are old stars in the sky. Heather

I’m so glad I didn’t pass up the opportunity of seeing you that is beautiful for beauty is God’s handwriting. 143, Stefaun

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Everyday is Valentine’s Day with you, Somy K! Tsa

Daron, Love never gives up! Happy Valentine’s Day darling. Karissa

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

To all my loves, Randy, Jacob, Michael, Bruiser, Thunder, Bolt and Little Girl. Vickie ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

SPUD, I love you! Happy Heart Day, here’s to our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY! Keep being sweet. I like it. ZT

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Who ever loved that loved not at first sight. You captured my heart with a glance, Judy H. Michael

Thank you for always being by my side. I love you! Justine ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Jason C., While surfing on the high and low tides of Life, holding your hands makes the waves amicable. I love you. Cristina ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Sending love to Sitta, my fruit loop in a world of cheerios. I love you Babe! Mary ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Cody, Thank you for saving me. You are my greatest blessing. Love, Princess ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

XOXO hubby - Charles! XOXO new baby - Hudson! You 2 make my life complete. Can’t forget my fur kids, XOXO! Nicole ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

18 years together, who would have thunk it my Darling Holly. Here’s 2 another 18 and more. Much Love, Duddas Doddon ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Lindsey, I want you to know I really love you and can’t wait for you to marry me!!!! Daddy Jey

Michael, 8th Vday 2gether. WOW. You’re my best friend. My one true love. 4ever & always ur Sugar Bear. Andi Grace

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Michael, You are the GREATEST man ever!! Happy Valentine’s Day!! I Love You, Debbie A

Perfect is boring; I never want a life without you. I love you always and forever. Happy 2nd Anniversary (almost). Marta

To Tim, My favorite husband. Happy Valentine’s Day. Love, Jody

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Happy 7 Years to US. I love you so much. Thank you for being by my side through thick and thin. ♥ Michelle ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Dear JaQuitta, Thank you for loving me faithfully, unconditionally and wholeheartedly. YOU are the love of my life! BerThaddaeus ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Keith, being at your side as best friend, lover, confidant, and supporter is my greatest gift in life. Always, Gena

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Dearest Mark, My immense love for you continues to grow with each day of our wonderful life! Susie ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Hollywood, Life with you is an epic ADVENTURE. I hope you had a GREAT DANE today! Love, Bruce

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Michael D., You keep me laughing and make me happy! You could fix the world! Thank you for the best 38 yrs! ♥ Judy

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My Christopher, I just wanted to remind you that I am thoroughly saturated with affection and admiration for you. Valeria

Travis, Let me show you the world through my eyes. Kisses, Lori

Tiger roars for her Bun Bun. XOXO. T

I Love My Dog! Adopt. Don’t Shop. James ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Deanie, Groovy Momma loves you so much! Martha ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Big Honey, This month makes us 9 years strong! I love you and I love our life together! Yay, Nanner ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Home, let me come home. Home is wherever I’m with you. Our home, yes, I am home. Home is when I’m alone with you. Mrs. Blacksten ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Angela, You are the gold at the end of my rainbow. XOLL Suzy ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

ILMB IDMM. Ron ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Baby. I want you to know that no matter what we go through, I will always stand by your side. You are my queen! 143 Loretta ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Frank, I remember how nervous we both were for our first date. I hope you’re my last first date! I like you ;) Lauren

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Mrs. Punkin Puss, Eye Tooth Sheep, Love you more than all the muches....XXXOOO. Mr. Punkin Puss ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Dear Patrick, I’m excited for our 5th Valentine’s Day together and 1st as husband and wife! Love, Anna

Jen, Happy Valentine’s Day, ladybug! I love you! Randall ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

We will always have Wu-Tang. Candy ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Brandon, Brandon, Brandon, can’t you see? Sometimes your words just hypnotize me. And I just love your flashy ways. Candy ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Darren, All my Love to my heart song, my Everlong, my smile, my yes, my I like it A LOT, my Tuacua, my music, ILOVEYOU. Cheryl ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Dawn Kincaid, I love you more with each passing day, you are amazing, funny, beautiful and a blessing to our family. Cliff ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I luv your cute backside Bill, just sayin. Forever and ever amen. Nancy ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Happy Valentine’s Day SNUGGLY BEAR!! I love you SO MUCH-you make my life HAPPY! Love, Sexy Softy Sweetheart. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Happy Valentine’s day! Peanut Happy birthday to my Daughter LuTesha and to my nephew Ahmad...I love you guys. Yolanda

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Scott, I know you think I love the dogs more than you, but I kinda like ya too. Love, your roommate and travel buddy. Lindsey

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Bernie would’ve won! Heywood

Jorden, Just another day to show you how much I adore you and all you do. Happy Valentine’s Day, baby. Brandon

Miles, You’ll always be my sweetie! Happy Valentine’s Day! Love, Mom

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Kevin, Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m so lucky to have you as my best friend and husband. I love you so much! Deby

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TakeOff, We are so proud of all you do! Thanks for being YOU! We will always be your #1 FANS! ♥ Mama & NeNe

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Mark, I have loved you from the moment I saw you. I couldn’t have found a better person to do life with. Love, Kim ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Tom, Whatever crazy situation I find myself in; you always rescue me and I love you beyond measure! I am so lucky ! Judy ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

JPB, You cranky little old sweet fart, I love you very much. JBH

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Bird, Thank you for always being my sweetheart! Thank you for being my Valentine 5 times now! I love you. Booger ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Pork Chop, You are an amazing person and I love you so much. Thank you for being you. Love Bruiser ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Maggart, I love you! Thank you for loving me daily! You are the “Woop” in my “Woop Woop!” Cindy ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Love you Troy. TY for everything u do just not one day a year but everyday. I see, feel, & appreciate it. Stacey ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Sam, You’re my favorite! Love you! Andrea

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Love U brown-eyed Greek Goddess. XO T

Love you Jaclyn! Jackie

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I’m glad we got a chance to see what would happen! Our love, our marriage, a lifetime! Thank you Mrs Angela Finley. George

Babboo, I believe in miracles because I found you! Every day we have together is the BEST DAY EVER! Love, love, love you, Brandi

Love you Lots! K.G.

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Caroline and Nora Lou, I love you both more then anything (even Westbrook) I couldn’t ask for a better family! :) Derek

DANE, My world wouldn’t be the same without you in it. I thank God daily for you! Happy Valentine’s Day love! Mikala

T, Forever True, my love. Forever True. C.

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George Finley Jr., I have loved you since OK State Fair 1986! You still give me butterflies! Love, your wife. Angela

Happy Valentine’s Day to my amazing mom Karen Johnson! Thanks for being there for me and loving me always! xo, Liz

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Phoenix and Conner, Happy Valentines Day. Love, Mimi and Grumpy

To my sweet Valeria. I love my sweet angel. You make me want to become a better person. Thank you. Your, Chris

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Ruben, you are the most amazing husband and father in the world. I love you! Happy Valentine’s Day! Cassie

Happy Valentines Day Aaron Lance. Love, Mom and Dad ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


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Tyler, it takes millions of people to complete the world, but it only takes you to complete mine. Love you always, Kandis

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Love you Cookie! Serenitee

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Trudie, Thank You for sharing your life and love with me. This has been the best 19yrs of my life. Love, Kyle ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Dearski Doodle (My Love Noodle)! I love you E7M! You’re my squishy, my baby pop, my heart! My everything! Kyle ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Dear Cuda and ER, Whether we’re at City Rescue or the Gaillardia, they’ll never see us down, will they? Kes ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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f e b r u a r y 8 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

cov er


Love stories

Tinder swipes, Capitol affairs, hungover first dates and more — Oklahoma Gazette readers share their tales of romance. By Gazette Staff

The funny thing about love is that so often, the reality behind a couple’s story is stranger than whatever fictional tale could be spun about the aim of Cupid’s arrow. “The one” always seems to show up when and where we least expect it. This Valentine’s Day season, Oklahoma Gazette’s resident love doctors — er, reporting staff — recently asked readers to share their strangest, cutest and most endearing stories of romance. From rare success in the hit-and-miss online dating world to back-up-plan proposals and holy matrimony inside the state Capitol, we offer proof that love always finds a way.

Tinder to eternity

Shannon Sipes wasn’t looking for something serious, but she wasn’t looking to hook up, either. That makes the fact that she met her new husband Jordan Sipes on dating app Tinder, known for casual flings, all the more hilarious. “It was a case of not knowing how to date post-30,” Shannon said. “I tried Tinder and would download it and then delete it and then download it and delete it. I didn’t know why I had it.” She had been on a few dates with another guy, but when he started describing how he wanted his wedding to be, she freaked out. They were at Norman Art Walk when she hatched a plan that might just crazy enough to work: get drunk and hope he hated her.

“He didn’t drink, so I thought if I got too drunk, he’d think I was horrible,” she said. It turns out it wasn’t crazy enough to work. “He thought I was super nice and sweet,” Shannon said. In the meantime, she had been talking and texting with Jordan, but they had never met in person. She was hungover and not in the mood to socialize with anyone, but she didn’t want to blow him off again. “I wake up and I’m like, ‘Great. I look a hot mess. Whatever. Take me as I am,’” she said. “So I drove over to Cafe Kacao and met him, and it was one of the most awkward meetings ever.” They had planned to meet a few days prior, but they accidentally rescheduled it for the official day of romance, Jordan said. “We moved [the date] accidentally to Valentine’s Day without realizing it was Valentine’s Day,” he said. Though she was hurting from the night before, Jordan said he immediately found her attractive. “I saw giant hair and giant sunglasses,” he said. “I later found out she was hungover.” Shannon said everything about the early days of their relationship seemed like it shouldn’t have worked out, including a fact he dropped during brunch. “I was like, ‘Please don’t notice how sick I feel,’ and he was talking a million miles an

Shannon and Jordan Sipes sit at the bar at Cafe Kacao, the restaurant where they first met on Valentine’s Day two years ago. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

hour,” Shannon said. “Then he completely says, ‘Okay; I’m divorced, too. I mean, not yet, but we’re in the process and I still live with my ex-wife, but in separate rooms.’” Jordan said that he didn’t tell her on the phone, but he wanted to be upfront with her when they met. And it worked, Shannon said. His honesty was endearing, but she also knew from experience that going through a divorce means life gets so crazy it feels like no one will understand. “There are so many weird things that happen that you cannot explain, the most bizarre things. I know some weird stuff happened to me,” she said. “I had a really good brunch with him. I drank a really good horchata latte, ate some really good French toast and we had a lot of things in common.” So much in common that, about two years after their first meeting, they now share a last name.

Bond and bail

Almost every proposal is unforgettable, but Jon Johnson wanted to take his to the next level. Johnson was traveling with his current wife Mariah and other friends to the annual Lollapalooza summer music festival in Chicago. Jon loves Chicago, and heading in, he knew the big city exactly what he needed to make a moment that would last in time. “It just came to me, ‘I want to be James Bond cool,’ so I was thinking helicopter,” he said. Jon found a service that would take them up and over the city skyline on the music festival’s last day, where he planned on dropping the big question. But just like any other Bond movie, things did not go exactly as planned. A massive dark cloud rolled over them on the day of the flight. With it came on-and-off rain and insufferable humidity. A big thunderstorm was forecast for that night. Lollapalooza shortened and canceled shows. Jon’s helicopter pilot called and said the flight was off because the weather was looking bad. Things worsened after Jon checked his bank account and saw they had far less money than he expected. It wasn’t the romantic day Jon planned. He was visibly down, and Mariah could tell. “The whole time Mariah was like, ‘Oh, it’s OK,’ and trying to lift me up,” he said.

She didn’t know the great extent to which the day had been going wrong. Still, her positive energy was a boost. The couple returned to the hotel, got dressed up and took Mariah’s emergency $100 bill to Carmine’s Restaurant, a fancy Italian place in the city. Mariah thought it was their attempt to make the most out of a crummy day. He saw it as a chance at redemption. While in the restaurant, Jon told Mariah he had to use the restroom. Instead, he pulled the waiter aside and ordered a separate dessert with the little money he had left. Jon returned to the table and told Mariah he just ordered cannoli. “From the bathroom?” Mariah asked. She wondered what kind of dessert one orders from a restroom stall.

It just came to me, ‘I want to be James Bond cool,’ so I was thinking helicopter. Jon Johnson

Apparently, a pretty good one. When the cannoli were delivered to the table, Mariah thanked the waiter, not noticing the engagement ring resting on a dollop of whipped cream. When she saw Jon on one knee and finally processed everything that was happening, she cried tears of joy. The couple has now been married for a happy three months. “It wasn’t the most romantic lead-in,” Jon said, “but it couldn’t have ended more perfectly.”

Bidding war

Kelli Depuy went to the Oklahoma Memorial Union at the University of Oklahoma to witness a trainwreck. Tre Depuy went there to meet Kelli — and for an Applebee’s gift card. It happened during Push Week. Tre’s fraternity Pi Kappa Phi hosted events all week to raise money for Push America (now called Ability Experience), a nonprofit that continued on page 22

Tre and Kelli Depuy | Photo Cary Anne Holton / provided O kg a z e t t e . c o m | f e b r u a r y 8 , 2 0 1 7



Wade, Home is wherever I am with you! To the many adventures that await us... Lava love, Lisa ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Lonzell, I Love you. You are my rock. My # 1. The good ending to a bad day. The best start to a new day. ♥ Keisha ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


Jer, Thank you for being the best father, husband & friend. You make my heart so happy. I’m lucky to be your wife! Colby ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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Beats, If you could see yourself through my eyes you would see how amazing & how loved you are & how happy I am. Lila

Lisa, I’ve told you and tried to show you that I truly love you, and I’ll keep on as long as I live! Michael ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Love you Jess!! Jessica

Randy & Buddy, I love you both for the smiles you put on my face and the many snuggles & hugs I receive! Love, Kira

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Israel, To the entire Gazette world, you are the wood to my fire, the tomatoes to my salsa, I love you! Berta

Mike S., You mean the world to me. You are the best father and husband! I love you! Love forever, Lynda S.

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Happy Valentines Day Mathias! You are a wonderful husband and dog father. Love, Kelly

Christian, The kids and I love you to the moon and back! We are so blessed to have you in our lives. Megan

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Soup, There are some things I’ll live without. But I want you to know that I need you right now, I need you tonight. Lee ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

My Sweet Prince, You’re my favorite you filthy animal. Love, Emily ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Desirae, You are my best friend and soulmate, the love of my life, and on Aug. 26 2017 my wife. Happy V-Day! Ray

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PB-WA & NY-OK+CO, TX, VT & more, I’m in it for you by high mile ride or just cuddlin’ at 2004 & 151 by your side. KS ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Happy first married Valentine’s Day to my beautiful wife. Every day is better because of you. I love you shmoopy :) Ryan CK, You made me smitten in the Mitten. KT ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Jason Pierce, I’m crazy about you. Bell, Jack, Oliver Pierce, I’m so happy I’m your mama. I love you all so hard! Candi

Eric, I will replace your Keurig machine for you. Happy Valentine’s Day. Love, Darla

Thomas, The past 5 months have been pure bliss and you made me believe in love again! Raegan ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Kyle, I love you more than words! “Now for you and me it may not be that hard to reach our dreams.” Happy V Day! Kim

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Beatykins, I love you! :) Amy ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Wes, I am so lucky that I get to love you. You are mine and Mackenzie’s favorite valentine. Stacie ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Rick, Would you please be my valentine for another 20 years? Me love you long time. Steve

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Skitsy, You have been my rock forever, I don’t know who I’d be without you. Probably less crazy ;) I

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D, I am so thankful for you and our millions of kids ;). Thank you for sticking around. I love you more. S

Love you Haileybird. Hailey

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Aiden is 4 and Axl nearly 1. Our family adventures have just begun. It all started when 2 hearts became 1. KJ + DRJ. Diana

Happy Valentines Mi Amor ! Love, April

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I’m just a Cupcake looking for a Stud Muffin. ... Team Double J forever and always. Love you long time honey. Jennifer ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Love you Sweet Pea. Lauren Love you Miguel. Michael

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I Love You! Michael

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Mitzi, You have always been beside me on life’s wonderful and yet difficult journey. I love you for being you. John ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Since Day 2, we knew! I love you more! I’m ready for another 26 years ♥ Kelly

I know you know I love you but I’ll never stop telling you. Thanks for changing my life in the best way, boyfriend. Sara

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Avery and Tyler, You are my world! Mommy would do anything for you. Love you to the moon and back! Gloria

Babe, Happy Valentines Day, Love you mucho ♥ BB

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Garfield and Nermal are some cute cats, but they will never steal my heart away from you.

Lance, You are my soulmate and I will always love you! Daisy ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


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Mariah and Jon Johnson | Photo Valerie Sebestyen Photography / provided

Tasha Lee, Thanks for 17 awesome years! I love you Kitten. Phattony

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promotes a greater understanding of people with disabilities. “One of the events was a date auction,” he said. “The guys would be auctioned off, and we would get girls from different sororities to volunteer, or not volunteer, to be bid on.” Kelli was one of those not-volunteers. She just went to see the spectacle. Growing up on a diet of terrible ’80s movies, she had plenty of fictional date auctions in mind. “It was going to be a delightful trainwreck,” she said. When she and her friend arrived, Kelli realized no one from their sorority, Delta Delta Delta, was represented. She was quickly conscripted into service. “I grabbed the only guy there that I knew and I said, ‘You will bid on me, and I will pay you back,’” she said. Tre did not know this. All he knew was he had seen Kelli around campus at a few events and was a little smitten. When she came up on the auction block, Tre was determined to win. “It was very frustrating,” he said. “I’m a pretty shy guy, so I thought this would be an easy way to break the ice.” As his intention to win the date grew more apparent, others continued to bid to jack up the price. Finally, Kelli gave her friend a signal that it was okay to stop bidding. “He won me for $126, and I came with a delightful Applebee’s gift card,” she said. Afterward, they acknowledged each other but didn’t talk much. Tre had to go on stage to be auctioned off and while someone bid on him, he said, “she peaced out after that.” A pre-date date was arranged to make

cov er

Love you lots! Elliot

Jacob Murphy and Ceciley Thomason Murphy | Photo Wendy Stubbs, Unique Impression Photography / provided

sure Tre wasn’t going to murder her, Kelli said. “He proved worthy and safe,” she said. The couple was married in 2006. Now, they have a 3-year-old daughter named Kate and a little boy on the way. And, of course, they enjoyed that Applebee’s gift card.

Capitol love

It wasn’t quite love at first sight, but Ceciley Thomason Murphy couldn’t deny she felt something when she was introduced to Jacob Murphy at the State Capitol. “All I could think, as a tall woman, is ‘There is someone taller than me, and he is gorgeous,’” she said. At the time of their first meeting, Ceciley, a Rogers State University (RSU) student, and Jacob, an Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU) student, were among the participants in the Oklahoma

Intercollegiate Legislature (OIL), a program that gives college students a chance to gain firsthand experience in the legislative process. “We became really good friends over the course of a year,” Ceciley said. “We began to bond over the fact that we were both passionate about public education and making it accessible. He’s a Republican and I am a Democrat, yet we were able to come together on the issues.” Politics and policies aside, time to travel between the two campuses was approximately six hours, a deterrent for dating. The two remained friends.

We moved [the date] accidentally to Valentine’s Day without realizing it was Valentine’s Day. Jordan Sipes Three years ago, after surviving a car accident and being strapped to a backboard, a thought ran through Ceciley’s mind: “I missed my chance to go out on a date with Jacob Murphy.” More than 350 miles away, news of the car accident traveled to Jacob, who quickly began to travel to northeast Oklahoma. When he reached Woodward, Jacob learned Ceciley was fine and would recover. “He checked on me day and night,” Ceciley said. “I finally suggested, ‘Let’s meet in Oklahoma City.’” Dec. 16, the two exchanged their wedding vows on the fourth floor of the Oklahoma Capitol, not far from where they first laid eyes on each other. “I know it was possible to get married at the Capitol because of the weddings during OIL,” Ceciley said. “I wasn’t sure about the renovation schedule. We tried and tried.” Eventually, the couple went for it, picking a date, inviting guests and gathering on the fourth floor, which is known for its artwork, to seal their bond. “None of the artwork was up, so Sequoyah, Jim Thorpe and Will Rogers did not join us that day,” Ceciley said. To honor her Cherokee heritage, the color blue was incorporated into their wedding details, and Tommy Wildcat, a well-known Cherokee musician on the river cane flute, performed. The marriage ceremony represented the couple perfectly. As proud Oklahomans, the two encourage other couples to consider tying the knot in the people’s house. “Just grab a minister or someone who has the power to do weddings,” she said, “get your friends together, meet at a spot and do it.”

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ARTS & CULTURE The poem will be unveiled at the opening reception, and a visual component will be displayed during the exhibit’s run. The initial run of poem distributions will be printed on paper made from seed. It makes the project Earth-friendly and drives home the notion that the note is a growing idea that will take off on its own after being planted in the neighborhood. “We think the letter might change,” Rogers said. “It might grow; we may want to print it in different colors. You never know what will come out of all this recycled paper. It’s interesting to see where it’s going to go.”



Team works

from left Current Studio’s Kelsey Karper and artists Kelly Rogers, Susanne Thomas, Sarah Engel-Barnett and Holey Kids with the Nesting Instincts installation. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

Three exhibits merge in the Evolve group show opening Thursday at Current Studio. By Ben Luschen

Few — if any — artists ever make their journeys alone. Along the way, they encounter someone who helps, inspires or pushes them forward. Evolve, Current Studio’s newest group exhibition, explores what artists can achieve when they work together. The show is technically three exhibits in one, all featuring teams working together toward a common goal. Sarah EngelBarnett and Suzanne Thomas come together for Nesting Instincts; Erin Latham, Kelly Rogers and Lauren Zuniga offer a community tribute with Love Notes to the Neighborhood; and Holey Kids unveil their cathartic Confessional. An opening reception for Evolve is 6-9 p.m. Thursday at Current Studio, 1218 N. Pennsylvania Ave. An additional artist reception and talk is 6-9 p.m. March 9. The exhibits are on display through March 26.


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Nesting Instincts

Engel-Barnett and Thomas began working together while developing a new art and technology course at Rose State College, where they both work as instructors. Their Nesting Instincts installation is a large, eye-catching nest constructed partially from human and synthetic hair. Old family photos are woven in, and in the center is a yellow button. Press it, and out pops a printed receipt with a phrase of motherly wisdom. Thomas said her idea for the nest dates back to when she was a little girl playing with hair her grandmother kept in a jar. Her grandmother used to tell her not to leave it out because birds would make a nest with it and it would cause her to get headaches. Motherly sayings and maternal warmth are much of the piece’s main focus. Some of the sayings come directly from Thomas’ grandmother. “My favorite one that she used to say was,

‘What you don’t know could start a whole new world,’” Thomas said. The words of wisdom are printed in English and Spanish. A poster on the wall will supply translations on both ends. Visitors will also be able to symbolically add their own hair to the nest by adding buffalo hair kept in a jar nearby.

Love Notes

Oklahomans constantly hear about the state budget, what is worthy of funding and how valued state assets must constantly live with cutbacks. As a social worker and mother, Rogers said the state seems to be sending a message to families that their children’s education and health is not a high priority. Rogers recruited friends Latham and Zuniga to cultivate compassion on a very local level, where they can have the most impact. The result is a poem penned by Zuniga and directed as a loving message to the Classen Ten Penn neighborhood that surrounds Current Studio. Current Studio cofounder Romy Owens said they did some research into the neighborhood and found that over half its residents are Hispanic. To better bring the community together, the poem was translated into Spanish. The artists plan to distribute copies around the neighborhood.

Frequent Oklahoma Gazette readers might remember Holey Kids, the masked, anonymous local performance art couple who go by Father and Mother Holey, from a feature published in April. The pair’s latest venture is Confessional, a joint project with friend Beau Sparks. The artists will replicate the Catholic confessional tradition by setting up their own booth in the studio. Guests can enter the booth and release whatever emotional weight is pressing on them. Holey Kids will be on the other side of the booth, but their hearing will be obstructed by two pairs of earmuffs. Music will also be playing to further obstruct the sound of the confessions. Mother Holey said the idea started after a mutual friend of theirs died. They wanted to provide a space that would let people express themselves to someone without revealing anything that could be harmful. “The importance is not so much the confession itself; just that someone is there,” Mother Holey said.

Evolve opening reception 6-9 p.m. Thursday Exhibit runs through March 26 Current Studio 1218 N. Pennsylvania Ave. 405-673-1218 Free


Dramatic homage

James Nghiem’s fifth pop culturethemed art show focuses on the work of Quentin Tarantino. By Tyler Talley

Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and 2, Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight. These nine films make up the current filmography of iconic, ever-controversial screenwriter and director Quentin Tarantino, arguably the most definitive writer/director of the past two decades. From an unforgettable cast of psychopaths to lines that have reached the upper pantheon of movie quotations, the man has left an indisputable mark on the cinematic zeitgeist, a mark local comedian James Nghiem honed in on when organizing his latest pop culture-themed art show hosted by 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St. “From the costumes to the dialogue to the music to the food his characters discuss, we felt like we had a lot of things to play with there,” Nghiem said.


An untitled work by Tom Farris. | Image provided

Set for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25, The Legend of the $5 Milkshake: A Quentin Tarantino Art Show allows local artists to showcase imaginative artistic tributes to the works of the maestro. “We didn’t want to do just movies, you know?” Nghiem asked. “Also, his fanbase is pretty rabid, so I was a little bit intimi-

The Legend of the $5 Milkshake: A Quentin Tarantino Art Show 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 51st Street Speakeasy 1114 NW 51st St. Free ($3 suggested donation) 21+

Big canvas

Downtown Oklahoma City, Inc. and Oklahoma City Housing Authority seek mural proposals for a sixstory apartment building in Midtown. By Greg Elwell

Downtown Oklahoma City, Inc. and Oklahoma City Housing Authority want some art — some big art. The groups teamed up to fund a new mural on the west side of a Midtown apartment building, and they’re asking for ideas. “Last fall, Ian Colgan with the Oklahoma City Housing Authority reached out to Downtown OKC to inquire about the process of installing a mural on the Classen Senior Center building,” said Staci Sanger, Downtown OKC, Inc. marketing manager. “He already had the idea that a mural would be a great way to improve the space but was interested in a way to partner on the project.” Located at 913 NW 12th St., it is a sixstory, 100-unit building of efficiency and one-bedroom apartments for seniors. It is also a blank canvas. The west wall is 40 feet wide and 75 feet tall. The project budget is $30,000. Individual artists and teams can submit mural proposals through Feb. 21. Once complete, this will be the 10th mural Downtown OKC has helped establish, Sanger said. The other projects include Rick

Sinnett’s silo mural in Bricktown, and the Ninth Street “Braid” mural by Dylan Bradway, Yatika Starr Fields and Kristopher Kanaly. “Cultivation” by Jason Pawley on the underpass at S. EK Gaylord Boulevard and W. Reno Avenue came from the nonprofit’s Artist Invitational program in 2015. “We installed a temporary and interactive mural in the Underground called ‘Impermanence,’” Sanger said. Artists Cassie Stover and Adam Lanman drew on the walls of the Underground below First National Center downtown, and the public was invited to color it in. The group also sponsored Jack Fowler’s “Bricktown Okctopus” on the north wall of Chevy Bricktown Events Center, 429 E. California Ave. “Murals, like most public art, play a crucial role in creating a distinctive sense of ‘place’ in a city,” Sanger said. “They build community pride and give visitors and residents alike reason to continue walking and continue exploring. We believe public art also inspires more curiosity, creativity and conversation. Plus, it adds a sense of wonder to downtown.”

dated doing this one.” Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma receives $10 from each work sold. Two of Nghiem’s past shows raised $490 for the local nonprofit. Additionally, the Speakeasy offers a special menu as an homage to Jack Rabbit Slim’s, the ’50s dinner from Pulp Fiction. Local sketch comedy group Saad Boys also hosts a film screening loosely inspired by Tarantino’s work. Nghiem said The So Help Me’s will perform, and Josh Lathe (host of Comedy Fight League) hosts a RiffTraxstyle screening of Jackie Brown. Nghiem said Speakeasy expressed interest in a dance competition akin to the iconic dance shared by Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) in Pulp Fiction. He also encouraged guests

Budgeting a project this big isn’t easy because every mural is unique. One thing is for sure, she said: The artists must be compensated. She also said budgets depend on a few factors. “As a nonprofit, our budget for public art is dependent on our own fundraising and how many partners we can loop into the project,” she said. Property owners often have a budget in mind before the process begins, and the size of the mural plays a part in determining cost. Painting on a canvas so large is a specialized skill, which means there are fewer artists to choose from. For previous mural projects, Sanger said, Downtown Oklahoma City received about 25 submissions when they limited applicants to central Oklahoma. Artists might have a singular vision for a painting that will hang in a gallery, but for a public project, there are many considerations. “Artists need to keep everyone in mind when submitting: the sponsor, the property owner, the general public and, in this case, the resident,” she said. The selection committee will likely make its decision around the end of February before helping the artist or group of artists through the permitting process, which usually takes about three months. After playing a part in a number of murals, Downtown OKC isn’t done decorating the city. “Now that we’ve gone through the mural process a few times, it’s safe to say

to dress as their favorite Tarantino film characters. Given the expected turnout, Nghiem said overflow will be accommodated by Grease Trap Gallery, 5100 Classen Circle. “It’s gonna be like a mini festival, which is what I’ve always wanted to the shows to be,” Nghiem said. The Legend of the $5 Milkshake is Nghiem’s fifth show. Past themes include Wes Anderson, video game series Street Fighter and anime Cowboy Bebop. “The first Street Fighter show, they didn’t know what to make of it. They didn’t even play Street Fighter and thought it was just gonna be a couple of weirdos,” Nghiem said. “They weren’t totally wrong, but I think they were surprised.” Nghiem said his shows’ continued success has bolstered 51st Street Speakeasy’s ability to draw crowds with one-of-kind artistic offerings. “They kind of just let us do what we want and have even repainted the walls and arranged some of the space to support us,” he said. While the show is free, there will be a suggested $3 donation at the door to compensate the band and organizers. Email Nghiem at robotsavescity@ for submission inquiries.

Oklahoma City artist Jack Fowler painted “Bricktown Okctopus” on the north face of Chevy Bricktown Events Center late last year. | Photo Garett Fisbeck / file

we’re always envisioning artwork on any big, blank walls downtown,” she said. “The public response from [‘Bricktown Okctopus’ and ‘Cultivation’] and our other murals has been overwhelmingly positive. We love hearing the buzz. … We are so proud that Oklahoma City has begun to embrace the importance of public art in our city.” A link to the request for proposals is at Artists seeking more information on submitting a proposal can call Sanger at 405-235-3500.

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reaucratic office. “They’ll be together in a governmenttype waiting room, which is a place where most of us have experienced frustration at things we can’t control,” he said. Actors Lyn Cramer, Mateja Govich, Assassins throws Mark Jammal, Matthew Alvin Brown, notorious figures in Natalya Ferch and others inhabit the roles a room together and of some of history’s political assassins. In preparing for their roles, Baron focused on sets their turmoil to conveying each character’s internal and music. By Jessica Williams external realities. “We’re taking our actors to a gun range,” he said. “It’s a very intense experience, just Political disillusionment is expressed in like the psychological experience of the many ways, from public protests to spendhistorical characters we’re portraying.” ing hard-earned dollars at choice partisan Each character in the waiting room disbusinesses. In extreme instances of angst, plays irritation at their undesirable situation. As the story progresses, deep-seated individuals act against social norms to make a more permanent impact. strains of mental illness and violence Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma’s timely emerge, rendering them dangerous yet ostracized. Assassins production explores the psychology that fuels attempted and successful “The play ultimately conveys how lonely, murders of U.S. presidents. The critically disenfranchised individuals could be acclaimed musical brings together notorimoved to plan such public displays of violence,” he said. ous figures John Wilkes Booth, John Hinckley Jr., Lee Harvey Oswald, Sara Jane Assassins was one of the first producMoore, Lynette “Squeaky” tions of its kind to contemFromme and others, ultiporize figures from the past. mately calling for audience Following each perforAssassins introspection. mance, Baron and Lyric staff “We hope those who host informal audience disWednesday, Feb. 8 come out to see Assassins cussions and further explore through Feb. 26 think more critically about the production’s meaning. Lyric at the Plaza the conditions creating these “Discussing the show’s 1727 NW 16th St. attempted assassins and the message and themes allows consequences of a historical everyone to process what 405-524-9312 cycle of violence,” said directhey just saw and offer their $32-$62 tor Michael Baron. own generational perspecStarting Wednesday, Feb. tive on the issue of gun violence,” Baron said. 8 and running through Feb. 26, with music and lyrics written by Stephen Sondheim, Such a public forum also propels the art the production earned polarized reviews world into a new presidential administration. in 1990 when it first opened off-Broadway. “I had no idea who was going to win the “Some people considered Assassins inappropriate, but others thought it was a election when we planned to show work of genius,” Baron said. “Twenty-seven Assassins,” Baron said. “This show highyears later ... it holds more significance amid lights the importance of the presidency of the difficult 2017 presidential race.” the United States and how serious a role Assassins originally placed its murderthat is for so many people. In the end, it’s a very dangerous job.” ous characters in a carnival game setting rife with illusions and spectacle. For a 2017 For tickets and showtimes, visit lyricupdate, Baron moved them to a stale,

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Killing time

from left Assassins cast Lyn Cramer as Sara Jane Moore, Mateja Govich as John Wilkes Booth and Mark Jammal as John Hinckley Jr. | Photo by KO Rinearson / provided

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Stage presence OKC Broadway unveils its 2017-18 season and promises Hamilton for 2018-19. By Ben Luschen

OKC Broadway hit the ground running during a recent unveiling of its upcoming season of Broadway-caliber productions for Civic Center Music Hall. Elizabeth Gray, the company’s general manager, said the schedule for its second season — publicly unveiled for the first time in late January — is the first time OKC Broadway has been able to go through a complete season setup, booking all its own shows without a rush to get something in place. This year, OKC Broadway expands its season to six shows, up from the customary five-show offering many Oklahoma City fans are used to. Here is what to expect in 2017-18: >> The season opens Sept. 5 with Disney’s The Little Mermaid musical. Children and nostalgic parents alike will enjoy hearing their favorite songs from the popular 1989 animated film. >> Beautiful: The Carole King Musical premieres Sept. 26 in Oklahoma City. The often-vaunted biographical musical features the songwriting titan’s greatest tunes, including “You’ve Got a Friend,” “It’s Too Late” and “I Feel the Earth Move.” >> One of the season’s bigger highlights is The Color Purple: The Musical, running Jan. 2-7, 2018 in OKC. During its Broadway run, the all-new production featured Cynthia Erivo as Celie and earned a 2016 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival. “This isn’t The Color Purple that audiences have seen here at the Civic Center previously,” Gray said.

>> School of Rock: The Musical runs Feb. 6-11, 2018 and features an adapted stage version of the 2003 film starring Jack Black. >> Next, Finding Neverland runs March 13-18, 2018. Gray compared the musical to Wicked for The Wizard of Oz because it tells the story behind the well-known story of Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys. >> The season ends with An American in Paris: A New Musical June 5-10, 2018. The tale is most associated the classic 1951 film musical, but this production appeals to audiences of all ages, due in part to the program’s skillful dancing and choreography throughout. >> In addition to the standard season, OKC Broadway brings in two special add-on season events, including the Rent 20th Anniversary Tour Nov. 7-12 and, back by popular demand, The Book of Mormon April 24-29, 2018. OKC Broadway announced its new season during a recent public event featuring catered hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. It’s believed to be the first time the city’s Broadway presenter has announced a new season in this way. Gray hopes the event, as well as the quality shows lined for this season and beyond, will help enforce the idea that OKC Broadway is dedicated to boosting the quality of show bookings at Civic Center Music Hall. “Having the previous Broadway pre-

The Little Mermaid | Photo Billy Bustamante / provided

senter in place for so long, it was a little bit of a mix-up for people,” she said. “But in general, we were well received. I think once people understand the reason for the change in the Broadway presenter, they get a lot more accommodating and a lot more accepting.”


The future is bright for OKC Broadway beyond the upcoming season. Producer Jeffrey Seller announced in January that the national tour of Hamilton makes its Oklahoma debut during OKC Broadway’s 2018-19 season. Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury Secretary and one of America’s Founding Fathers. The musical is both historically rooted and inescapably modern. Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies, became one of George Washington’s most trusted advisors during the Revolutionary War. The score is a mixture of hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway. Hamilton is sure to be one of the toughest tickets in town, despite still being more than a year away from taking the stage. The hit musical recently ransacked the Tony Awards, earning 11 trophies, including Best Musical. “Just a few select people have been lucky enough to get tickets to the show on Broadway,” Gray said, “so now that it’s touring nationally, it will become a lot more accessible to people.” Those who purchase 2017-18 season passes and renew them for the 2018-19 season guarantee their spots for Hamilton’s Oklahoma debut before tickets go on sale to the general public. Gray said she expects OKC Broadway to be at or near full season subscriber capacity for the 2018-19 season via renewals before next season goes on sale. Visit

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h E A LT h

Sandra Davis, Shelly Stillwell’s mother, said she’s happy with the results of her daughter’s bariatric surgery. | Photo Terre Cooke Chaffin / for the Gazette

Weighed down

Life after bariatric surgergy isn’t easy; patients must change their habits to see results. By Terre Cooke Chaffin

Editor’s note: Weighed Down is an Oklahoma Gazette series about health, weight loss, treatments, behaviors and the paths and challenges of sustainable success. An online search in the Oklahoma City area turns up a half-dozen clinics specializing in weight loss surgery. Two out of three Americans are overweight, and half of those are morbidly obese. The high sugar content of processed foods, 24/7 access to that food, constant light exposure in a round-the-clock world, stress, inactivity, poor eating habits often originating in childhood and medications that cause weight gain create obesity’s perfect storm. Once a person is overweight, the sense of failure that ensues at attempting to lose, often armed with misinformation in the first place, leads to yo-yo dieting that destroys the body’s ability to set a healthy metabolic rate. Bariatric specialists maintain that it takes a shock to the system to embed a change. Dr. Laure DeMattia specializes in the medicine of weight loss surgery and said it is the most effective tool known to achieve weight loss by resetting the body’s metabolic rate. “It’s a mystery still as to what that set point will be after surgery or how long it will last,” she said. “For a long time, we thought, ‘Oh, we are making the stomach smaller, restricting food, and that’s the mechanism.’ And that’s not it. It’s a hormonal cascade that has shifted; it tells the brain, ‘I’m full.’” DeMattia said the body’s reaction is different for a nonsurgical patient. “A person who goes on a very low calorie diet at 800 calories, there are a lot of hormonal shifts that try to tell your

body, ‘Oh, there is something wrong here,’” she said. “If you are intentionally trying to limit caloric intake, your body is going to slow its metabolism down and it’s going to increase your hunger. The gut has hormones that are being released that are communicating with the brain. Ghrelin is one of the hormones that changes with surgery. It goes down. Patients become less hungry.”

New habits

“I tried everything. I’ve always been overweight,” said Malisa Osborne, a patient at an Edmond bariatric center. “I was working out with a trainer last year. She wanted me in the gym two hours a day, and I had to spend all kinds of time on meal prep. It was too expensive … and I didn’t have the time. I’m a single parent. I work full-time as a hair stylist, and I just couldn’t do it. I had horrible eating habits and skipped meals only to over-eat when I found a moment to sit down. For me, weight loss surgery has been a lifesaver.” When Osborne went for a consultation, she weighed 288 pounds and then lost 20 before her Aug. 2 surgery date. Three weeks out, she was down to 250 pounds and hopes to lose another 100 in the next year. “When you’re a larger person and have been for a long time, portion control is a big lesson to learn,” she said. “Having the small stomach helps enormously with that because I get sick if I eat what I shouldn’t or over-eat at all. We’ve been taught to utilize the small space we do have for nutritious food, not junk.”

New diet

“My focus is on weight loss and how to help people take advantage of the first year or 18-month window they have when their weight will drop rapidly. We recommend a low-carb, low-sugar diet. It works. People feel full. They feel satisfied,” said Tiffany Poe, a registered dietician at Integris Weight Loss Center. “Our biggest job as nutritionists is to try and change the way people are thinking because most of our patients that have come here for weight loss surgery have tried every diet. We are tying to undo things they thought were right.” A common misconception is that a healthy meal is a protein, corn, mac and cheese and bread; doctors and dietitians work to reverse the idea that the steak has to have the baked potato or one needs to clean their plate. Generally, when people have their stomachs altered, they must eat 3-ounce meals three times a day that include a source of protein and a veggie, no starch. Two snacks are added to the daily diet once an ideal weight is achieved. DeMattia said statistics show that for the first time in recent history, our children will not have the life expectancy of their parents because of obesity. When kids don’t learn about healthy food early, they aren’t likely to be healthy adults, DeMattia said. Fat cells in the body develop for life from the time we are born to puberty; after that, no matter what, those cells are there and ready to grow heavy people. Obesity is a declared epidemic, but not in the sense of polio or small pox as an infectious agent. Obesity is widespread like a pandemic and presents a cascade of disease processes in response to a variety of factors that have initiated weight

A typical snack for a post-op bariatric patient often consists of small servings of fruit and cheese. | Photo Terre Cooke Chaffin / for the Gazette

gain and an unnecessary storing of fat in more and more people. “I’m just so happy to have my daughter back,” said Sandra Davis, mother of Shelly Stillwell, who had the bariatric sleeve procedure. Stillwell is down more than 100 pounds one year after surgery. She and her mother agree most of the women in their family have been overweight. Food is what they do together. Stillwell began to slowly add on weight after marriage in her early 30s. She said the hectic pace of a military life continued on page 30

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p February 17-19

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continued from page 29

led to poor eating habits. She watched her weight climb from 200 pounds to 235 pounds, and then debilitating migraines set in. She became less active, as she became short of breath due to weight. She said she tried dieting but couldn’t stick to it and emotionally gave up as her weight rose to 297 pounds. “I had so many health problems that were piling on top of each other and creating new ones. It just all seemed insurmountable, and I had to do something,” Stillwell said. “Today, my stomach is the size of a small banana, straight up and down. It holds 3 ounces. It was the size of a small football before. Once food gets to my stomach, it doesn’t stay long before it’s rerouted around part of my intestines. I know what to do and what not to do. I’ve seen the nutritionist many times, and I attend support group meetings. We talk about emotional triggers for eating, what works and what doesn’t. It’s very helpful to remain accountable.”

h E A LT h



A new American opera centered on five sisterwives in a polygamist sect, Dark Sisters will be presented by OCU’s award-winning Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company by a cast of 19 and 20-member orchestra. Composer Nico Muhly will be in residence and featured in a free 7:15 p.m. Friday pre-show talk on opening night.

New education

“Bariatric surgery is not an easy way out,” said Dr. Hamilton Le, a surgeon with Integris Weight Loss Center. “If you’re looking for a quick fix, I wouldn’t encourage it. Even when my patients get to a weight where they feel healthy, their health problems have improved, that weight is not an automatic. If they fall back into old habits, not physically active for instance, snacking or trying to drink their calories, they can put that weight back on. “We know people who are obese as children and adolescents are more likely to be obese adults. Not only because they carry that on, they’ve got habits, but also their metabolism. They are starting to train their metabolisms early to store weight.”

Dietician Tiffany Poe holds fat in one hand and muscle, which is more efficient at burning calories, in the other. | Photo Terre Cooke Chaffin / for the Gazette

The key to this discussion is education. We’ve gotten so far away from normal food, imbibing on sweet coffee concoctions and sports drinks and eating meals loaded with fat and sugar around the clock. While the law of thermodynamics influences the obesity process, dictating the more we eat, the more we must burn, bariatric specialists say there’s more to it than that. Obesity is a health problem of its own linked to genetics and lifestyle, but professionals working in the field wonder if there is something at play they don’t yet understand. There is agreement that the problem began in the ’80s, as Americans were encouraged to lower cholesterol by reducing fat and substituting more carbs in their place. Possibly, there are new influences such as gut bacteria or additives fed to livestock. Obesity medicine researchers say we are just beginning to understand and unravel what has caused the explosion of weight gain. Increasing numbers of people aren’t willing to wait for the research, as they’ve grown weary of the fight. They’ve opted for a surgically induced reset. Coming up: The Weighed Down series continues next week with a look at habitual behaviors some people find themselves practicing in efforts to control weight. About the author: Terre Cooke Chaffin is an Oklahoma City journalist, producer, writer and photographer. She specializes in physical and mental health, creativity and stories of personal growth. Her work encompasses her philosophy “Live Well Today.”

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Co M M U N i T y

Joy Reed Belt and Lance McDaniel enjoy 2015’s Mardi Gras Ball. | Photo Aaron Gililland / provided

Mardi party

SixTwelve’s Mardi Gras Ball celebrates the organization’s birthday and raises funds for its programs. By Jack Fowler

Mardi Gras Ball 8-11 p.m. Feb. 18 vacant lot near Sixtwelve 530 NW 28th St. 405-208-8291 $75-$140

The Big Easy. Crescent City. NOLA. No American town has more wellknown nicknames than New Orleans, and for good reason. For almost three centuries, no other city in the country has boasted more flamboyant diversity in race, cooking, music and culture, so it makes sense that such a place would be known by multiple tags. But it’s one of New Orleans’ lesserknown nicknames that might have the most appeal these days. After all, during the most controversy-laden time most Americans have ever seen, what could be a sweeter relief than a night of partying in The City That Care Forgot?

Public service

The Paseo Arts District’s SixTwelve invites guests to cast off the stress of the daily news and spend a night of revelry at its second annual Mardi Gras Ball 8-11 p.m. Feb. 18 at 530 NW 28th St. “We’re moving it this year to the vacant lot at 28th and Dewey,” said Amy Young, SixTwelve founder and director. “We just need to have more space for everybody, and this place lets us put up a bigger tent and, hopefully, sell some more tickets.” Proceeds from the annual soiree help fund the operations of SixTwelve, a school and event center founded two years ago by Young that has quickly turned into a kind of community hub for the now-bustling Paseo Arts District. 32

f e b r u a r y 8 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c O m

“We’ve started doing scholarships for preschool kids; we offer programs for school children and free community programming for adults,” Young said. “We have potlucks, movie nights, camp scholarships. This event makes all that stuff possible.” SixTwelve has also become a leader in providing services for the arts community, hosting a weekly girls’ art school and providing working artists residencies in an exchange program between OKC and Savannah, Georgia. “The things I’m the most proud of are being able to provide preschool for free and providing programs that people in the community can work together on for free,” Young said. “So Mardi Gras was the closest big event to our opening two years ago, so this has become kind of a birthday party for SixTwelve.”

Party time

As parties go, it’s a doozy. There’s beer donated by Anthem Brewing Company and food from Picasso Cafe, and Lafeyette, Louisiana, zydeco band Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band will perform. To add a bit more old N’awlins flair to the evening, white tie is encouraged, but not required. Even those unable to attend the party can still vote for the Mardi Gras king and queen (or king and king) on SixTwelve’s website. This year’s contestants are Vicky and David Hunt vs. Scotty Irani and Monte Milburn. Votes are cash donations, and the couple with the most cash on the night of the party are crowned this year’s royalty. “Eventually, we’re going to have to move it to a bigger venue so we can fit more people,” said Young of her hopes for the event’s future. “But I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a blast.” Tickets are $75 each or two for $140. Sponsorships are available. Visit

yo U T h

Scouts earn badges, belt loops and pins at Sam Noble Museum. | Photo Sam Noble Museum / provided

Scout’s honor

Sam Noble Museum provides opportunities for Oklahoma Scouts to earn badges.


By Ian Jayne Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts in Oklahoma stars and flight 6-9 p.m. Registration for don’t have to go camping in order to earn April 15’s workshops is due by April 5. their next badge, belt loop or pin. Instead, McKenzie said the workshops provide they can spend a Saturday at Sam Noble Scouts with a “hands-on, inquiry-based Museum examining ancient artifacts, environment” aimed at increasing enthumaking instruments or learning about bugs siasm for science. in order to further their Scouting progress. “This is just a really great opportunity Sam Noble Museum, 2401 Chautauqua because they are eager to learn about all Ave., in Norman has hosted Scout workshops these different topics, get the badges, get the and programs in some capacity since 2005, belt loops and pins,” McKenzie said. according to public programs coordinator The workshops’ interactive nature Carrie McKenzie. allows Scouts to experience Sam Noble At $12 per scout, seasonal workshops Museum in a more tactile way, build social every spring, summer and autumn provide skills and work together on collaborative Scouts across Oklahoma with an affordable, activities. McKenzie said Scouts might be unique opportunity for development and working with their friends or Scouts from completely different towns. general admission to the museum. For individual or troop registration, visit samno“The museum, if you’re going out on your or call 405own, it’s a wonderful place to learn about all 325-1008. these awesome, different Oklahoma natural histoOne adult chaperone must be available for every ry-based topics and conScouts five Scouts and receives cepts,” McKenzie said, Workshops complimentary admission “but it’s not as hands-on to the workshop only. because, of course, our Sam Noble Museum Saturday’s workshops artifacts are fossils.” 2401 Chautauqua Ave. include Tiger Cub Scouts’ The Digging in the Past Tiger Theater, which workshop lets Scouts 405-325-4712 focuses on performances explore fossils, dinosaurs $12 related to nature 10 a.m.and stratigraphy in upnoon. Bear Cub Scouts can close and personal ways, participate in an instrument-focused World according to McKenzie. of Sound workshop 1-4 p.m. She cited the museum’s curators and At two workshops Feb. 25, Brownie Girl experts in entomology, paleontology and Scouts can learn all about insects during the ichthyology as part of the program’s success. Bugs workshop 10 a.m.-noon, and Junior “We are able to bring in a lot of experts Girl Scouts can focus on behind-the-scenes into one place,” she said. “They love to aspects of film and video games during the inspire the next generation.” 1-4 p.m. Entertainment Technology workWhile the workshops focus on Scouts in shop. Scouts should register by Feb. 15 to first to tenth grades, McKenzie said the most ensure their spot. popular ones are for Scouts in elementary school. April 15, Wolf Cub Scouts will be Digging in the Past to learn about prehistoric fossils “We see kids who have known each other 10 a.m.-noon. Webelos Scouts can learn and grown up through these Scout proabout Oklahoma-specific ecosystems as grams,” McKenzie said. they journey Into the Woods 1-4 p.m. Later that evening, Senior Girl Scouts can look to the Sky and learn about the atmosphere,

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AC T i v E

Chris Fay teaches a class at Okinawa Karate School. | Photo Garett Fisbeck


News from the Oklahoma Legislative Session

Fridays at 4:45 p.m. Mondays at 7:45 a.m. With KGOU’s Dick Pryor & eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley

Complete program schedule at 34

f e b r u a r y 8 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c O m

Art teacher

Chris Fay’s Okinawa Karate School preserves longstanding martial arts traditions. By George Lang

When shihan Chris Fay leads classes at his Okinawa Karate School in Midwest City, the students face a symbol featuring a clenched fist with black circles over the index and middle fingers. It is the official symbol for Okinawa Karate-Do Goju-Ryu Shorei-Kan, a strict tradition of karate that makes the dojo at 224 S Sooner Road unique to the region; it is a place where the degrees of separation between Okinawa and Oklahoma are shockingly small. “I can literally say that my instructor was tested by Master Seikichi Toguchi, who was taught by Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Gojo-Ryu karate,” Fay said. Fay’s instructor was the founder of Okinawa Karate School, Tom Haggerty, a former traveling salesman who, after a close call with some hard-edged criminals on the road, decided that some self-defense skills could come in handy. In 1968, Haggerty sought the services of Ichiro Takahata, who studied under Toguchi in Okinawa and came to the U.S. in the early 1960s to teach Okinawa Karate-Do Goju-Ryu Shorei-Kan. In 1972, 40-year-old Haggerty earned his black belt after being tested by Toguchi, and the following spring, he opened a small dojo in Midwest City. As one of the few dojos in Oklahoma City, Haggerty soon found a sizeable clientele, building up to over 120 students within two years and moving to the dojo’s current location by the mid-1970s. Around that same time, Takahata was closing his own dojo to open Samurai Saki House, the legendary hard rock venue on N. May Ave. Fay said he sold his weights to Haggerty, who then expanded his operation, which became the preferred gym for bodybuilding contestants and provided the earliest retail location for Century Martial Arts, the Midwest City-based martial arts gear manufacturing giant. Fay’s experience at Okinawa Karate School began when he was 14 years old. “It was June 2, 1976 ,” Fay said. “I’d been

taking classes at the YMCA for about five months, two days a week, and summer was rolling around, and I told my mom, ‘Two days a week aren’t cutting it. I want to go more.’ She said, ‘Well, there’s that place on the corner. Why don’t you try that?’” Fay took to Haggerty’s teachings quickly, earning his brown belt in nine months, and within two years, he mastered the form. “I got my black belt in ’78, and I’ve been the main instructor here since I was 16,” he said. “Tom took me under his wing, and I’ve made sure — I still make sure — that I do everything to the T the way Tom taught me.” Since that time, Fay has served as an instructor at the dojo, reverting to part-time occasionally in the 1980s when he was a guitarist in hard rock bands. The business thrived until the oil bust of the mid-1980s, which siphoned off much of the dojo’s clientele, forcing Haggerty to downscale his operation by closing the weight gym and the kickboxing ring. In 1994, Haggerty’s wife Ruthie Jo had a stroke, which dealt another blow to the operation. Still, Haggerty persevered with his vision with Fay at this side, and since Haggerty’s death at age 82 in 2014, Fay has maintained the traditions. Each class is 90 minutes long, beginning with sit-ups, push-ups and basic moves. As it has for years, Chris Fay’s Okinawa Karate School offers prospective students of all ages and skill levels a free week at the dojo, where they will learn what Fay considers the purest form of karate. While he professes admiration for mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters, he said that the study of a precise art such as Okinawa Karate-Do Goju-Ryu Shorei-Kan provides a unique level of discipline. “Some people say, ‘Oh, that traditional karate isn’t any good in a street fight,’” Fay said. “But when you come in and repetitively practice and concentrate and do these moves, they become reflex reactions. That is the martial art.”

calendar Valentine’s Night Out, enjoy champagne, food and live music while strolling through Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory filled with lush foliage and flowering tropical plants, 6:30-9 p.m. Feb. 11. Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-297-3995, SAT

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

Sweetheart Market, fresh, local, organic art of all mediums, including prints, buttons and zines. A live DJ set courtesy of Haus boi Laine, plus refreshments, snacks and sandwiches by magicians Kathy Youseal and Bob Jackson, 12-4 p.m. Feb. 12. Resonator, 1010 N. University Blvd., Norman, SUN

BOOKS Carol Krehbiel Muirhead signing, author of You & Me-Me and You: A Diary of Love Poems. Get your copy of the book signed at this author meet-and-greet, 12-2 p.m. Feb. 11. Best of Books, 1313 E. Danforth Road, Edmond, 405-340-9202, SAT

State of Youth Culture, Clint Runge explores the themes of youth culture and their impact on brands. He’ll uncover the Gen-Z decision-making process on topics from education to shopping to entertainment to technology, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 15. CHK | Central Boathouse, 732 Riversport Drive, 405-552-4040, WED

Find Love at the Bookstore, wear a costume, make a heart-shaped badge with the book title inscribed and just be creative, 6-9 p.m. Feb. 11. Barnes & Noble, Norman, 540 Ed Noble Parkway, Norman, 405-579-8800, SAT Eric Wilder guest speaker, Eric Wilder, author of nine novels, four cookbooks and many short stories; join him at this free event, 7-9 p.m. Feb. 14. Rose State College, 6420 SE 15th St., Midwest City, 405733-7673, TUE

FILM Kubo and the Two Strings, (US, 2016, Travis Knight) a young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past, 5:30 p.m. Feb. 9. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, THU The Lobster, (Ireland, 2015, Yorgos Lanthimos) in a dystopian near future, single people are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in 45 days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into the woods, 8 p.m. Feb. 9. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, THU 2017 Academy Award nominated Best Short Films, see all of the nominated Best Short Films – animation, documentary and live action – in this exclusive OKCMOA event. Films include Sing, Silent Nights, Timecode, Ennemis Interieurs and La Femme et la TGV, Feb. 10-23. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, The LEGO Batman Movie night, (US, 2017, Chris McKay) Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted, 7-9 p.m. Feb. 15. Harkins Theatre, 150 E. Reno Ave., 405-231-4747, WED

HAPPENINGS SWOSU Jazz Festival, regional university, high school and middle school jazz bands perform for comments and ratings. Featured artists are Bill Watrous and the Stockton Helbing Trio, Feb. 9-10. SWOSU Fine Arts Auditorium, 100 Campus Drive, Weatherford, 580-774-3705, THU -FRI La Palina Cigar event, join the Omerta Cigar crew and La Palina’s very own Paul Costo while celebrating La Palina’s new smokes, 4-7 p.m. Feb. 9. Omerta Cigar Co., 700 S. Western Ave. Ste B., 405-600-3499, omertacigar. com. THU The Ralph Ellison Creative Writing Workshops, the Ralph Ellison Foundation’s series of free creative writing workshops continue with Rob Roensch, author of the short-story collection The Wildflowers of Baltimore in this event for all skill levels of high-school age and older, 6:30-8:30 Feb. 9. Ralph Ellison Library, 2000 NE 23rd St, 405-424-1437, THU Chinese New Year Celebration, a renowned art troupe from Inner Mongolia performs Mongolianstyle acrobatics, singing and dancing on this multi-state tour, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Feb. 9. OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center, 7777 S. May Ave., 405682-7579, THU Stupid Cupid Pub Crawl 2017, Norman Music Festival hosts the Stupid Cupid Pub Crawl during the 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk, and everyone is invited. Bars participating this year include McNellie’s Norman, Bison Witches, The Garage, Red Brick Bar, The Bluebonnet Bar and Opolis. Live entertainment by Wildings, Ugly Duck and Kinderhook, 6 p.m. Feb. 10. Downtown Norman, 122 E. Main St., Norman, 405-637-6225, FRI Mystery at the Museum, delve into forensics activities such as lifting and identifying fingerprints, impressions analysis, DNA extractions and even using ciphers to decrypt secret messages, 7 p.m.-7 a.m. Feb. 10. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St., 405-602-6664, FRI Swing Your Heart Out!: Live Music and Dancing, live music and dancing. Free lesson with admission followed by the sweet sounds Savoy Trio. Food, friends, fun, ice cream, photo booth and more,

Transgender Valentine’s Banquet Valentine’s Day isn’t just for romantic love — it can also be about showing love and appreciation for family. OKC Pride hosts a Transgender Valentine’s Banquet 7-10 p.m. Thursday at Aloft Oklahoma City Downtown-Bricktown, 209 N. Walnut Ave. The banquet is an evening honoring the community, featuring keynote speakers who touch on every aspect of living in Oklahoma as a transgendered person. Last year’s event quickly reached capacity, so OKC Pride moved it to Aloft. Admission is free and there is limited seating, so reservations are required. Call 405-605-2100 or visit Thursday Photo 7-10 p.m. Feb. 10. Teaze Dance and Fitness, 1112 N. Broadway Ave., 405-232-7653, FRI Love on the Plaza, fall in love on the Plaza by celebrating local nonprofits, art, food and fun. Food trucks include Midway Deli, Fat Sosa’s and The Meating Place. Stop by the SPY van to take a souvenir photo, create your own special Valentine’s card, buy candygrams to give to your secret crush, listen to live by Andrew May and more, 6-10 p.m. Feb. 10. Plaza District, 1618 N. Gatewood Ave., 405367-9403, FRI Flower Power Local Market, the makers are back as Stash’s Annex hosts this makers and vintage market featuring new and favorite vendors. Halls Pizza Kitchen food truck will provide food and the Brewhouse will serve craft beer, 6-9:30 p.m. Feb. 10. Stash, 412 E. Main St., Norman, 405-701-1016, FRI Tunnel of Love Haunted Attraction, The Sanctuary continues the tradition of the tunnel of love with its haunted attraction. Guests will be given an LED torch lamp and must navigate though the twists and turns of a four-story building, Feb. 10-11. The Sanctuary OKC, 12101 N. 1-35 Service Road, 405-2372803, FRI -SAT An Affair of the Heart, offers an array of arts, crafts, antiques, collectibles, furniture, decorative items, accessories, jewelry, clothing, gourmet foods and more, Feb. 10-12. Oklahoma State Fairgrounds, 3001 General Pershing Blvd., 405-948-6700, FRI -SUN 2017 Black Love Celebration Ball, an event for the grown and sophisticated ages 30 and up. Door prizes and vendors available to purchase passion accessories, roses, Valentine’s Day gift baskets and a photographer to capture the night, 9 p.m. Feb. 11. Jive Supper Club & Lounge, 7000 Crossroads Blvd., 405-921-8559, SAT Birth Art Circle, explore our mind’s-eye images of pregnancy, birth and parenting. This is not a therapy group, but a place for self-exploration and peer support, 5-6:30 p.m. Feb. 11. Thrive Mama Collective, 1745 NW 16 St., 405-632-5684, SAT Romancing the Zoo, explore the wacky courtship of animals and learn how the zoo plays matchmaker for species preservation. Take your picture with our Galapagos tortoises. Light hors d’oeuvres, limited adult beverages and dessert served, 6-7:30 p.m. Feb. 11. Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden Education Building, 2000 Remington Park, 405425-0218, SAT

Capitol Crawl, hosted by Let’s Fix This, a community group educating and empowering regular, everyday people to engage with their government in meaningful ways and effectively communicate about issues affecting our state during this event of meeting with the state’s legislators, 5-9 p.m. Feb. 15. Uptown 23rd Street, NW 23rd Street, 405-831-0177, letsfixthisok. org. WED

FOOD Valentines On Broadway, chef John Patterson creates a four-course menu with specially selected wine pairings to complement each course, Feb. 1014. Broadway 10 Bar & Chophouse, 1101 N. Broadway Ave., 405-212-3949, FRI -TUE

Beer & Palette, class held in the Anthem Brewery taproom. Parking Lot Party Food Truck will be on hand to sell dinner to attendees. Brewmaster and president Patrick Lively will speak with guests, 6-9 p.m. Feb. 14. Anthem Brewing Company, 908 SW 4th St., 405-604-0446, TUE Valentine’s Day Beer & Dessert Pairing, the perfect after-dinner plan for your date. That Pie Truck offers an array of desserts to pair with the right beer. Pianist TJ Haverkamp will perform, 6-10:30 p.m. Feb. 14. The Patriarch, 9 E. Edwards St., Edmond, 405285-6670, TUE

YOUTH Valentine’s Day Animal Enrichment Event, some of the zoo’s animals will receive special enrichment treats made with love by their caretakers. Watch the animals’ curiosity take over as they sniff at, stomp on, munch or devour their unique treats, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 9. Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington Pl., 405-424-3344, THU Artful Tours for Fours & Fives, explore Native American stories and art. Make a bead-and-bone necklace to take home. Siblings are invited to come along, but the program is age-appropriate for 4-and 5-year-olds, 10-11 a.m. Feb. 11. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405478-2250, SAT Hot Chocolate Adventure for Kids, warm up as we talk about the chocolate tree and the tasty products we get from it and discuss how bitter beans turn into delicious desserts. Create and taste hot chocolate drinks, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Feb. 11. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, SAT

4th Annual Valentine’s Day Haters Ball, drink the night away with your closest friends at this anti-Valentine’s party, 12 p.m. Feb. 11. Coyote Ugly Saloon, 121 E. California Ave., 405-602-8459, oklahoma. SAT Flip Cup Tournament, FlashBack RetroPub hosts a 5 vs 5 double-elimination tournament bracket format flip cup tournament. The winning team takes home $250 in cash and individual trophies. Entry fee covers flip cup beer for the tournament, 12-6 p.m. Feb. 11. FlashBack RetroPub, 814 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-633-3604, SAT Hot Chocolate for Adults: From Bean to Bar to First Sip, hands-on class to learn about chocolate; where it grows, how it’s made and how it becomes cocoa, including recipes and ideas, 2-3 p.m. Feb. 11. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-4457080, SAT

Chili Bowl Dinner & Auction, live and silent auctions, food and prizes during this event to support Norman High School baseball team, 6-9 p.m. Feb. 11. Norman High School, 911 W. Main St., Norman, 405-366-5812, SAT Naughty Valentine Patio Party, roses are red, violets are blue, parties are sweet, so we’re having a great one on the patio to get you in the mood for Valentine’s Day with seductive drinks, decadent food, live music from The Naughty Sweethearts and you, 8-11 p.m. Feb. 11. The R&J Lounge and Supper Club, 320 NW 10th St., 405-602-5066, rjsupperclub. com. SAT Drinkin’ with Lincoln, celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Take a shot with Lincoln penny toss game and a John Wilks Photo Booth. Come in costume to be entered in a prize, 7 p.m. Feb. 12. Lumpy’s Sports Grill, 12325 N. May Ave., 405-286-3300, SUN Chocolate Deca-Dance Potluck, Auction & Raffle, raffle ticket proceeds benefit The Winds House, providing transitional and supportive housing in Oklahoma City for individuals living with HIV and AIDS. Prizes include a Thunder fun package for two, a gift card to The Cheesecake Factory, Carpenter Square Theatre tickets and more, 6-8 p.m. Feb. 12. Cathedral of Hope OKC, 3131 N. Pennsylvania Ave., 405-232-4673, SUN Valentine’s Day Lunch & Dinner Bricktown OKC, treat your sweetheart on a sizzling experience at Bricktown’s most romantic and delicious taste destination, including a special Valentine’s Day gift for him or her with your reservation, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Feb. 14. Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse, 7 Mickey Mantle Drive, 405-272-0777, mickeymantlesteakhouse. com. TUE Let the Sparks Fly: Valentine’s Day Dinner at Flint, Valentine’s Day dinner including four courses and a range of savory selections. Pair with your favorite wine from our collection while enjoying a seat by the fireplace, 5-11 p.m. Feb. 14. Flint, 15 N. Robinson Ave., 405-605-0657, TUE Valentine’s Day Dinner, celebrate Valentine’s Day at Museum Cafe with a four-course meal in an elegant atmosphere. Want to spend a quiet night at home? Three-course carry-out menu available, 5-9 p.m. Feb. 14. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, TUE

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Oklahoma Mustang Club Cruise-In Saddle up your pony and ride to Rudy’s “Country Store” Bar-B-Q for Oklahoma Mustang Club’s Cruise-In 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at, 3437 W. Memorial Road. It’s an opportunity for club members to meet up, eat a bite and talk about their favorite car, the Ford Mustang. It’s a family atmosphere, so kids are welcome. Rudy’s is a gas station, convenience store and barbecue restaurant specializing in Texas-style brisket, sausage and pork. Admission is free. Visit Tuesday Photo Allen King / provided

The Velvet Rabbit PreTend Friend Show, in the latest installment of the PreTend Friend Show, Miss Claire is sharing the classic tale The Velveteen Rabbit. Mr. Mustache will answer questions, Pete RiPeat will share his latest song, and the rest of the PreTend Friends will enjoy some jokes, tongue twisters and more, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Feb. 11. District House, 1755 NW 16th St., 405-633-0454, SAT Power and Prestige Children’s Gallery, designed to complement the temporary exhibition Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains, the museum offers a fun activity space to explore bravery, pageantry, artistry, community and respect for culture and diversity, through May 14. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250,

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Sweetheart Skate, annual sweetheart skate night event to celebrate the Valentine’s holiday, individuals admission $12, couples are $20, 7 a.m. Feb. 11. Skate Galaxy, 5800 NW 36th St., 405-6052758, SAT

The Cat in the Hat, two children left home alone for a short while one afternoon are visited by a very interesting yet troublesome cat wearing a tall, striped hat. The cat succeeds in creating a huge mess in their house. Can they get it cleaned up before Mom gets home? Feb. 10-Mar. 10. Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, 2501 N. Blackwelder Ave., 405-606-7003,

UFC 208, screening the fight of Holm vs De Randamie for UFC 208. Party packages available, 9 p.m. Feb. 11. Little Darlings, 1500 SE 59th St., 405670-3600, SAT OKC: Barre3 with Art, work through a variety of barre3 poses led by certified barre instructors, 10-11 a.m. Feb. 11. 21c Museum Hotel, 900 W. Main St., 405-982-6900, SAT

PERFORMING ARTS Ether 04: Air, the Ether Explorations seeks to facilitate reflection on our personal and collective associations to the symbolic elemental structure of our external and internal worlds through experimental performance with Kina Bazrbashi, Blake Lusk and Sun Riah, 7-11 p.m. Feb. 8. Resonator, 1010 N. University Blvd., Norman, WED

37 Postcards, Avery Sutton is coming home after years of traveling abroad. Big comic surprises abound when he finds the house is tilted at a distinct angle, the dog hasn’t been fed in five years and his Grandmother, who everyone thought was dead, is alive and kicking, Thursdays-Saturdays 8 p.m. through Feb. 12. Jewel Box Theatre, 3700 N. Walker Ave., 405-521-1786, THU -SAT Pippin, the story of a young prince on a deathdefying journey to find meaning in his existence. Featuring sizzling choreography in the style of Bob Fosse and breathtaking acrobatics by Les 7 Doigts De La Main, through Feb. 12. Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave., 405-297-2264, okcciviccenter. com. WED -SUN Gabriel Rutledge, Rutledge has made television appearances on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, the nationally syndicated Comedy.TV and Nickelodeon’s Nickmom Night Out, Feb. 8-11. Loony Bin Comedy Club, 8503 N. Rockwell Ave., 405-2394242, WED -SAT Don Pasquale, the story of Don Pasquale revolves around a classic comedic premise: A young couple in love schemes to thwart the inappropriate plans of a pompous old man who wants to marry the girl himself, Feb. 9-12. The Reynolds Performing Arts Center, 560 Parrington Oval, Studio 3002, Norman, 405-325-7370, THU -SUN Defending the Caveman, CityRep brings back the longest-running one-man play in Broadway history, a hilariously insightful play about the ways men and women relate, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10-11. OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center, 7777 S. May Ave., 405-682-7579, FRI -SAT

Odyssey & Oracle Valentine’s Pop-Up Market Local vendors and makers gather for Odyssey & Oracle Valentine’s Pop-Up Market, setting up the ideal spot for all your Valentine’s or Galentine’s shopping needs. Participating vendors include Broad Shoppe, Dottie Clothing, Wild at Heart Vintage, Monoxide, DoubleSworded Flora, Trust Witches, Champion Vintage, Emerald Moon Merchants and Loaf & Puddle. The event is 8 p.m.-midnight Saturday at 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St. Admission is free, but it’s a 21-and-older event. Visit facebook. com/broadshoppe or call 405-463-0470. Saturday Photo Broad Shoppe / provided

Seminar, four aspiring New York writers pay handsomely for a private writing seminar with a sought-after but pretentious and egotistical instructor, Feb. 10-25. Shakespeare on Paseo, 2920 Paseo St., 405-235-3700, Fences, the human desire to cocoon an aspiration in the midst of one’s inner and outer turmoil, yet still strive to dream, is vividly exemplified in the character Troy. Playwright August Wilson reveals this plight which has and in many cases still is the journey of many African-American males in this country’s history, yet it is a tale of joy and triumph, Feb. 10-Mar. 4. The Pollard Theatre, 120 W. Harrison Ave., Guthrie, 405-282-2800, Grigory Kalinovsky & Tatiana Goncharova, the debut recording of Russian-born pianist Tatiana Goncharova and violinist Grigory Kalinovsky, featuring Dmitry Shostakovich’s Violin Sonata and 24 Preludes by Centaur, was hailed by the International Record Review for its emotional intensity and overwhelming mastery, 8 p.m. Feb. 11. Petree Recital Hall, Oklahoma City University, 2501 N. Blackwelder Ave., 405-208-5000, SAT Live Banjo Performance, hear American Banjo Museum executive director Johnny Baier, a master of the four-string banjo who has performed across the country for decades, 3-4 p.m. American Banjo Museum, 9 E. Sheridan Ave., 405-604-2793, SAT The RACEy Show, RACE Dance Company showcases sensual movement and the human connection in its burlesque-inspired club show, 7:30-10:30 p.m. Feb. 11. The Loft on Film Row, 700 1/2 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-208-8836, SAT Slade Ham, a comedy club headliner and featured radio host who has toured, literally, around the world. Hosted by Justin Keithly with special guests Billy Bazar and Michael C. Hall, 8-11 p.m. Feb. 11. Russell’s Bar, Tower Hotel, 3233 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-6633, SAT

Adèle Wolf’s Valentine’s Affair Get dolled up this Valentine’s season and head out to see some true dolls at Adèle Wolf’s fifth annual Valentine’s Affair. The city’s marquee burlesque performer welcomes special guests, including RedBone from San Francisco. Guests should also expect door prizes, a photo booth and some audience participation games. The show is 9-11 p.m. Saturday at Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd. Admission is $25-$40. Visit or call 405-445-1696. Saturday Photo Adéle Wolf / provided


f e b r u a r y 8 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

La Vie en Rose, enjoy a romantic evening of wine, chocolates and song featuring French chanson, art songs and cabaret with guest artist Celia Wollenberg and friends, hosted by Cimarron Opera, 7-9 p.m. Feb. 14. The Depot, Norman 200 S. Jones Ave., Norman, 405-307-9320, salon-series. TUE Andy Woodhull, Woodhull made his network television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He has also recently appeared on Conan, Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen and Gotham Comedy Live on AXS, Feb. 14-18. Loony Bin Comedy Club, 8503 N. Rockwell Ave., 405-239-4242, TUE-SAT Sordid Lives, a cult classic black comedy about white trash, full of love, loss and big hair, through March 4. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. The Boom, 2218 NW 39th St., 405-601-7200, FRI -SAT

Yoga and Ayurveda with Reema Datta, Ayurvedic yoga and the art of letting go; experience this dance of being, holding and releasing with an asana class peppered with Ayurvedic teachings on the fine art of letting go, 11a.m.-1:30 p.m. Feb. 11. Ashtanga Yoga Studio, 120 E. Tonhawa Ave., Norman, 405-5037779, SAT Coop Beer Yoga, join Coop Ale Works Brewery for yoga, beer and community. Ticket price includes beer. Bring your own mat, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Feb. 11. Coop Ale Works, 4745 Council Heights Road, 405-842-2667, coopaleworks. com. SAT Cupid’s Undie Run, a four-hour party with a mile fun run in the middle to raise money for Children’s Tumor Foundation, 12-4 p.m. Feb. 11. Dollhouse Lounge & Burlesque, 210 E. Sheridan Ave., 405-4553655, SAT OKVD: Roller Derby Battle of the Sexes, Oklahoma Victory Dolls All Stars take on brother league Oklahoma Men’s Roller Derby. Tornado Alley Roller Girls also face Tulsa County Roller Derby, 5:15-8:15 p.m. Feb. 12. Star Skate Norman, 2020 W. Lindsey St., Norman, 405-329-1818, SUN Men’s Basketball, Thunder vs Golden State Warriors, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11. Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W. Reno Ave., 405-602-8700, SAT Men’s Basketball, OU vs Texas, 8 p.m. Feb. 14. Lloyd Noble Center, 2900 S. Jenkins Ave., Norman, 405325-4666, TUE

VISUAL ARTS A Year in Review, the most stunning works from 2016, through Feb. 13. Kasum Contemporary Fine Arts, 1706 NW 16th St., 405-604-6602, WED -MON Abbreviated Portrait Series: Poteet Victory, Victory’s portraits employ common mental cues or triggers commonly associated with popular personalities, the titles of which are abbreviated in a manner akin to popular acronyms, through April 2. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-325-3272, FRI All That Southwest Jazz, using narrative text and historic photographs to trace Oklahoma blues lineage and legendary jazzmen who staged their early careers in Oklahoma, through March 1. Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-297-3995, MON 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk, view Tim Kenney’s art raffle and live painting, gallery showings including the newest art and sketches by artists Amber Webb and Haley Bell during the 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk. Original items for purchase including prints, stickers, valentines and more, 6 p.m. Feb. 10. Bigfoot Creative, 315 E. Main St., Norman, 405-420-0119, FRI Character Play: Art of Writing in Contemporary China, a diverse body of works from Chinese artists, both traditional Chinese art formats and high-tech digital art and installations. This exhibition questions, imagines and contemplates a futuristic terrain of transmitting vehicles that challenge or reconfirm the existence of the Asian characters, through Feb. 24. The Lightwell Gallery, 520 Parrington Oval, Rm. 202, Norman, 405-325-2691, Child Labor in Oklahoma: Photographs by Lewis Hine, 1916-1917, exhibit highlighting a collection of 25 powerful photographs taken by Hine while he was in Oklahoma 100 years ago. through March 20. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405521-2491, Renee Lawrence, Oklahoma culture and history are the inspirations for this Oklahoma City artist’s meticulous, lifelike ink drawings, through Feb. 26. Contemporary Art Gallery, 2928 Paseo St., 405-6017474, Contemporary Realism, solo exhibitions of contemporary realism featuring David Crismon, Michele Mikesell, Mistsuno Reedy and Bob Sober, through Feb. 26. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336,

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Cut Me Some Slack, artist Joe Slack, defined as creating primitive inspired art with a modern spin and touch of humor, through March 3. Oklahoma City University, 2501 N. Blackwelder Ave., 405-208-5000, Hand + Eye, highlighting work with a high caliber of hands-on illustrative/drawing skills from all levels of the graphic design, interior design, illustration and foundations programs, through Feb. 10. UCO Department of Design, 100 N. University Drive, Edmond, 405-974-5200, WED -FRI Hollywood and the American West, candid, intimate and raw, these photographs showcase private access to the greatest movie stars, musicians, and directors of all time, including John Wayne, Natalie Wood, Paul Newman, Kirk Douglas, Danny Glover, Kevin Costner and more, through May 14. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, I Am The Change, artist Valerie Vaughn is a photographer, memory maker, storyteller, essence reflector and the creative mind behind Project Unlabeled. She’s back with a new exhibition of portrait photos and video relevant to what’s happening in our world for 2017, 6-8 p.m. Feb. 10. 1219 Creative, 1219 N. Classen Blvd., 405-361-4927, FRI Calligraphy Workshop, learn basic techniques, letter formation and discover your own style with instructor Megan Miller. Make a few cards for your loved ones and bring your friends for an afternoon of learning the art while enjoying coffee and treats from Okay Yeah Co., 2-4 p.m. Feb. 12. The Plant Shoppe, 705 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-748-0718, SUN Equine and Vineyard Paintings, oil and pastel works on canvas, masonite and velour paper by selftaught artist Kim Norton, through Feb. 28. 50 Penn Place, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-848-7588, Oklahoma Pride: The Next 50 Years of Oklahoma, artists in the wake of WWII took a new look at creative expression and progressive politics, they focused on self-expression, self-discovery and concepts beyond arts ordinary function, through April 8. Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, 1400 Classen Drive, 405-235-4458, Speak To Me: Jeffrey Gibson, a multimedia artist whose practice includes painting, sculpture, fiber, ceramics, video and performance features recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage and intertribal aesthetics and traditions, 5:30-8 p.m. Feb. 9. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-9510000, THU The Complete WPA Collection, the museum’s Works Progress Administration collection features a large proportion of rural American landscapes and depictions of labor, infrastructure and industrial development. All are figurative, as was favored by the WPA, and there are significant representations of female and foreign-born artists in the Museum’s holdings, through July 2. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, The Cultivated Connoisseur: Works on Paper from the Creighton Gilbert Bequest, Creighton Eddy Gilbert was a renowned art historian specializing in the Italian Renaissance and was one of the foremost authorities on Michelangelo. The bequest includes a total of 272 objects, the majority of which are works on paper, spanning a time period from the 14th century to the 20th, through June 4. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-3253272,

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

see page 40


MUSIC You talked about the old way making music and getting together and doing it organically. Does that kind of play into the theme as well?

‘Current classic’

Bryan: Yes, I think. I mean, it started with Jon — [he] really saw a picture, which is the album cover of the album, and said, “You know what?” And he looked and said, “This house is not for sale.” And it really represented integrity. ... It’s not for sale. We don’t want this to end. It’s not going to give it away. ... And then it started, like he said, it started with my heart, my soul; this heart, this soul. And then at the end, he says again, “so come on up to this house,” which is inviting everybody in.

Bon Jovi is still going strong as it heads into its Feb. 21 tour stop at Chesapeake Arena. By Ben Luschen

Q: Your last album, Burning Bridges, was viewed by some as more of a “contractual and obligational album.” How was making This House different?

Bon Jovi | Photo Norman Jean Roy / provided

When any musician has done as much as Bon Jovi bandmates have for as long as they have, statistics and critical accolades often aren’t as important as they once were. Instead, what gains more meaning is proving one’s own self-worth and not bending to appease outsiders. The New Jersey legend of arena rock — famously led by rhythm guitarist and band namesake Jon Bon Jovi — has released 13 studio albums and sold more than 130 million total records. Its current lineup also includes keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, guitarist Phil X and bassist Hugh McDonald. Bon Jovi’s best-selling, 12-time platinum 1986 album Slippery When Wet includes Image provided

chart-toppers “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Bon Jovi isn’t content with living on its past success and has worked hard to remain relevant throughout its more than three decades together. In November, the band released its first studio project since 2013’s What About Now. Bon Jovi has said This House Is Not For Sale is based on preserving the group’s integrity. It’s also the group’s first studio release since parting ways with longtime guitarist Richie Sambora. Bon Jovi’s latest tour, in support of its new album, stops Feb. 21 at Chesapeake Arena, 100 W. Reno Ave. Oklahoma Gazette participated in an October round-robin media interview with Bryan and Torres, who spoke about the band’s longevity, recording with guitarist Phil X, making the new album and more. Question: A lot of bands from your era are no longer together, let alone playing arenas. To what do you attribute the fact that you guys are still so popular? Bryan: We say we’re a current classic. We strive to have new records; we strive to have new songs on the radio. We’ve got our 14th record coming out, and … it’s another No. 1 record. ... Our fans have been there with us for some of the ride, all of the ride.

We’ve gone to 50 countries around the world for the last 33 years. David Bryan

Bon Jovi 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 Chesapeake Arena 100 W. Reno Ave. 1-800-753-8000 $19.75-$1,457.75

Q: What was it like making an album without Richie Sambora for the first time? Bryan: It’s a different thing, but there’s new life, and I think when you have new people, you have new energy. And, of course, the creative process, the way we’ve worked together, is working with each other in the room. And the song dictates. If everybody’s on the same page, it makes beautiful music. Of course we had some wonderful years with Richie, but if he wants to move on in his direction, it’s one of those things that you can’t avoid, and we carry on because the premise of this record, This House Is Not For Sale, is the roots and the fact that we’re still together and strong and love playing music together. Torres: The three-year period since the last record, the band itself also went through a lot of angst. Richie has been a brother with us for many years — not something you brush off. Of course, time heals wounds, and music definitely heals everything. So at the end of the day, it’s not like we’re brushing them off, but it’s just something you have to carry on in your life. Q: Could you elaborate on the overall theme of This House Is Not For Sale?

Torres: That’s an interesting question. Both have messages. And, more importantly, is the message now. It shows where we’re at right now, the way we feel, not only in music and mentally, but also has that optimistic [feel] which has always been pretty inherent in our music. It’s a message that we live by personally, so it’s nice to be able to convey that musically. They’re both two different animals, I would say. Q: You’ve both done many interviews over the years since the band started. If the roles were reversed and you sat in the interviewer’s chair, whom would you pick to interview? Torres: There’s a few people, but the cool thing is I can’t think of one because I actually met him — one of them was Miles Davis. The question I did ask him is, “How much do you love music?” and the answer was interesting. The answer was it’s part of him and of me. That was a question I asked directly. ... It’s hard being in an interview because you have to ask questions that are not written down on sheets that people give you or line up to finding out what the person’s about. I think the best question is, “Why [do] you do what you do?” And the answer that we come up with is, “We love it.” Q: Why isn’t Bon Jovi in the 2017 class for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Torres: Well, it’s not our decision. When the train goes around and around, you eventually get in there. There are a lot of great artists that deserve to be in there that are not in there either. You can only fit so much each year. Bryan: We’re actually one of America’s great exports because we’ve gone to 50 countries around the world for the last 33 years, bringing the message of American rock ’n’ roll. And we’re still doing it. A current classic — not just playing old songs, but playing new songs and having No. 1 records and No. 1 singles. So for us, we just do what we do. O kg a z e t t e . c o m | F E B R U A R Y 8 , 2 0 1 7



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Havok | Photo Century Media Records / provided


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F E B R U A R Y 8 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m


It has been nearly four years since Havok stuff, so that’s one way I’d like us to stand out,” Sanchez said. “We’re actually speakreleased a record, but the timing for its latest project has never been more appropriate. ing about things that matter. ... We’re talking The politically charged Denver thrash about real shit.” metal band plays with Exmortus and The band’s founding member is thankful Extinction A.D. 6 p.m. Feb. 19 at Thunder fans have given him a platform to speak out Alley Grill & Sports Lounge, 2127 SW 74th on issues that matter to him. It is hard for St. Its newest album, Conformicide, is due him to relate to bands that choose to remain out March 10. silent or neutral. “I don’t know if it’s because In late January, the quartet released a lyric video they’re afraid to speak their mind or they don’t want to for “Hang ’Em High,” its first Havok new, original music in several change their formula,” he said. with Exmortus years. Over a backdrop of fast, “Maybe they’re afraid of what and guests fist-clenching riffs, vocalist their fans will think if they go a certain way.” and lead guitarist David 6 p.m. Feb. 19 Sanchez aggressively calls out Sanchez also does not hide Thunder Alley Grill the lying, greedy powers that himself from the raw fan feed& Sports Lounge back available on the internet. be as he repeatedly chants, 2127 SW 74th St. “The enemy is not coming He was eager to read the YouTube comments on the from overseas.” 405-702-0302 “Every week that goes on, band’s “Hang ’Em High” video. $13-$16 I feel like we’re marching Sanchez seeks opinions from All ages closer and closer to an others. It was his band’s first Orwellian world,” Sanchez new song after a long hiatus, and said. he wanted fans’ honest takes. The online The frontman said he is happy to see feedback, he said, was largely positive. Havok wrapped work on Conformicide George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a dystopian warning on the dangers of unin May. Sanchez said the lead up to its checked government control, rocket back release in March is like trying to hold in an amazing secret from his friends. into popularity nearly 70 years after the “Sonically speaking, I think this is our novel’s 1949 publishing date. best-sounding record,” he said. Fallout from a particularly contentious Touring will have to hold Sanchez over and polarizing election season has comuntil the day the band’s new music finally pelled Americans on all ends of the political spectrum to speak out about their personsees its release. He said he often hears from al beliefs. While Conformicide might be one regretful fans who missed the show when the band came to their city. of Havok’s most political releases yet, Sanchez has never been shy about injecting “I promise you you’re going to have a his take on the world around him within good time,” he said. “You don’t want to hear his own lyrics. Take 2013’s “Give Me about it after the fact that you should have Liberty... or Give Me Death,” a raucous and been there. Show up so you can tell other upbeat statement against government surpeople they should have been there.” veillance and censorship, as an example. Preorder Conformicide at havokband. “Hardly any bands are talking about real com.


Punk prerogative Seattle band Tacocat brings culturally relevant, feminist-inspired punk to Oklahoma. By Ian Jayne

Some of the songs on Lost Time, such Nearly a decade after forming in the Pacific Northwest, Tacocat performs in as “Dana Katherine Scully” and “Men Oklahoma for the first time Feb. 16 at Explain Things to Me” reflect a feminist ethos both individual and social. Opolis, 113 N. Crawford Ave., in Norman “I think we’re big believers in ‘the peras part of its Southwest tour. “We’re excited to go. This is going to be sonal is political, and a lot of our experia first,” said bassist Bree McKenna. ences that we sing about … are based out of Tacocat bandmates also include vocalthe female experience,” McKenna said. “You ist Emily Nokes, guitarist Eric Randall can’t describe the female experience someand drummer Lelah Maupin. McKenna times without addressing street harasssaid the band first came together in order ment, or our bodies or mansplaining.” to play at parties. The label “feminist sci-fi” often circu“We were all just going to shows, and we lates around Tacocat, which McKenna attributes to her and Nokes’ love of feminist ended up just wanting to be a part of that,” science fiction from writers like Margaret McKenna said. According to McKenna, the band’s name Atwood and Octavia Butler as well as shows — humorous and, as many have noted, a like The X-Files. “Dana Katherine Scully” pays homage palindrome — reflects Tacocat’s vibe. “We had a list of names back when we to the latter as it provides a commentary on started,” she said. “We thought that sounded female empowerment in the 1990s. like a really fun name, and it embodied what “A lot of women in sciences in the ’90s we were going for.” apparently were going into this field because Over the years, the act’s sound and style they had a strong role model,” McKenna evolved further. Its 2016 album Lost Time said. “It was really inspiring for all of us since looks at personal experiences through the we grew up in the ’90s.” lens of a larger social consciousness, creatAfter a year of heavy touring in 2016, ing a frequently funny union of pop, punk McKenna said the band took some time off and personal experience. before getting out on the road again. “Our musical stylings have developed a Tacocat also hopes to work on new music little,” McKenna said. “[We] gradually ended this year, a process she said can be compliup having a lot more specific ideas about cated by road life. how we want to execute things.” “We get inspired by things we talk about She said Tacocat’s songwriting process on the road. Our songs reflect a lot of stuff is collaborative and, consequently, somewe think about and feel,” McKenna said. times slow because the band does not have “We always need some pretty hefty time off one primary songwriter. While band when we get home to work on things and members have written some songs totweak them.” gether in the same place, McKenna said Tacocat ends its first tour of 2017 in April the process is generally more at California’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts sequential. Tacocat McKenna said typically she Festival. with Sex Snobs “We’re just excited to see or Randall will come up with a riff idea, which they will then what happens,” McKenna 9:30 p.m. Feb. 16 present to Maupin, and Nokes said of Tacocat’s 2017 goals. Opolis comes in with a melody. “We definitely have some 113 N. Crawford “It pieces together one at pretty hefty band goals this Ave., Norman a time,” she said. “Someone year that we’re starting to will have an idea, and we’ll formulate.” $10-$12 work it out.”




Monday - Friday 10am-6pm

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BROADWAY A Nederlander and Civic Center Foundation Presentation

Tacocat | Photo Michael Lavine

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | F E B R U A R Y 8 , 2 0 1 7


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

WEDNESDAY, 2.08 Don Middlebrook, Baker Street Pub & Grill. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo, UCO Jazz Lab. JAZZ

Grant Wells, Red Piano Lounge, Skirvin Hilton Hotel. JAZZ Riff Raff, ACM@UCO Performance Lab. RAP The Soulmen, Bourbon Street Bar. R&B

THURSDAY, 2.09 Jerry Tachoir Duo, UCO Jazz Lab. JAZZ Naughty Sweethearts, Fassler Hall. BLUEGRASS

NeoRomantics/The Young Vines/The Indigos, Red Brick Bar. INDIE Trapdoor Social/Brightside Flight, The Venue. INDIE

FRIDAY, 2.10 Anchor the Girl/Vibro Kings, VZD’s Restaurant & Club. ROCK Carniflex/Fallujah, 89th Street Collective. ROCK Carol Morgan/Timmy Braun, Thunder Alley Grill and Sports Bar. ACOUSTIC DoubleVee, Oklahoma Contemporary. INDIE

Eldredge Jackson, UCO Jazz Lab. JAZZ

Tower Theatre Grand Opening with Jabee It’s finally here. It feels like local music and arts fans have been teased for months about the historic Tower Theatre’s reopening, and the wait is finally over. Local rapper Jabee opens the venue with a slew of friends, including LTZ, Zie, D.J. Reaper, Soufwessdes and Grand National. The event begins 8 p.m. Feb. 18 at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St. Admission is $10. Visit Feb. 18

| Photo Christopher “Skye” Gant / provided

Trip G, VZD’s Restaurant & Club. HIP-HOP

SUNDAY, 2.12 Davy Knowles Band, Friends Restaurant & Club.


John Gorka: Winter Wind Concert, The Depot, Norman. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Kevin Clover/Pete Moran/Wiz, Malarkey’s. PIANO Lorna Shore, 89th Street Collective. ROCK

Knocked Loose/Harms Way/Eternal Sleep, 89th Street Collective. ROCK

On A Whim, Waters Edge Winery. R&B

Robb Bank/Dash/Wifisfuneral, ACM@UCO Performance Lab. HIP-HOP

Otis Watkins, Oklahoma City Limits. BLUES

Tyler Lee, Bourbon Street Bar. BLUES

St. Valentine’s Massacre Day 1, Diamond Ballroom. ROCK

MONDAY, 2.13

Stephen Salewon, Rococo Northpark. INDIE

Art of Rap, Hubbly Bubbly Hookah and Cafe. RAP

Street Kings, Bourbon Street Bar. ROCK Susan Herndon/Bella Counsel, The Blue Door. FOLK

TUESDAY, 2.14 Eric Johnson, VZD’s Restaurant & Club. ACOUSTIC

The Lark and the Loon/Gabriel Hancock/Jarvix, The Venue OKC. VARIOUS

Wildings/Ugly Duck/Kinderhook, Opolis. VARIOUS

SATURDAY, 2.11 Mojo Thief, Anthem Brewing Company. ROCK Blue Anchor Bells/Keelee Bright/Michael & Lela Dalby, Rodeo Opry. COUNTRY

Last Minute/Los Eskeletos, Lost Highway Bar. ROCK Maggie McClure/Shane Henry, Nosh Restaurant. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Michael Fracasso/Rebecca Loebe/Nellie Clay, The Blue Door. SINGER/SONGWRITER Sweet Ascent/Fervent Roze, Thunder Alley Grill and Sports Bar. ROCK


Brandon Bee, VZD’s Restaurant & Club. RAP

Maurice Johnson, The R&J Lounge and Supper Club. JAZZ

Carly Gwin And the Sin/Josh Hogsett, Opolis. ROCK

Sledge/Minor Morals, 89th Street Collective.

Casey & Minna, Jazmo’z Bourbon St. Cafe. FOLK Electric Okie Test, 51st Street Speakeasy. COVER 2nd Annual ’80s/’90s Party, Foxy Nights Bar. VARIOUS


Southern Disruption Tour with Mothership and Against The Grain, Blue Note Lounge. ROCK The Friends No BS Jam, Friends Restaurant & Club. VARIOUS

Jack & The Bear, Red Brick Bar. FOLK KALO, Red Brick Bar. ROCK

Nuthatch 47/Your Mom/Fentz, Blue Note Lounge. ROCK

Out of Sane, Bourbon Street Bar. ROCK Rocky Kanaga, NOIR Bistro & Bar. VARIOUS Shadowman Blues, UCO Jazz Lab. BLUES St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: Day 2, Diamond Ballroom. ROCK Stinky Gringos Reggae Spectacular, Your Mom’s Place. REGGAE


F E B R U A R Y 8 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

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

go to for full listings!

free will astrology

By Rob Brezsny

Homework: Don’t get back to where you once belonged. Go forward to where you’ve got to belong in the future. Testify at

Other people in your sphere may get fooled by shortsightedness, but you will see the big picture.

ARIES (March 21-April 19) Your reputation is in

brain is your primary erogenous zone. I suspect it will be generating some of your sexiest thoughts ever. To be clear, not all of these erupting streams of bliss will directly involve the sweet, snaky mysteries of wrapping your physical body around another’s. Some of the erotic pleasure will come in the form of epiphanies that awaken sleeping parts of your soul. Others might arrive as revelations that chase away months’ worth of confusion. Still others could be creative breakthroughs that liberate you from a form of bondage you’ve wrongly accepted as necessary.

a state of fermentation. Will this process ultimately produce the metaphorical equivalent of fine wine or else something more like pungent cheese? The answer to that question will depend on how much integrity you express as you wield your clout. Be as charismatic as you dare, yes, but always in service to the greater good rather than to self-aggrandizement. You can accomplish wonders if you are saucy and classy, but you’ll spawn blunders if you’re saucy and bossy..

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Using a blend of

warfare and diplomacy, Napoleon extended French control over much of Western Europe. In 1804, he decided to formalize his growing sovereignty with a coronation ceremony. He departed from tradition, however. For many centuries, French kings had been crowned by the Pope. But on this occasion, Napoleon took the imperial crown from Pope Pius VII and placed it on his own head. Historian David J. Markham writes that he “was simply symbolizing that he was becoming emperor based on his own merits and the will of the people, not because of some religious consecration.” According to my reading of the astrological omens, Taurus, you have the right to perform a comparable gesture. Don’t wait for some authority to crown you. Crown yourself.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Have you heard the

fable about the four blind men who come upon an elephant for the first time? The first man feels the tail and declares that the thing they’ve encountered must be a rope. The second touches one of the elephant’s legs and says that they are in the presence of a tree. The third strokes the trunk and assumes it’s a snake. Putting his hand on a tusk, the fourth man asserts that it’s a spear. I predict that this fable will NOT apply to you in the coming weeks, Gemini. You won’t focus on just one aspect of the whole and think it’s the whole.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) For now, at least, your

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) Human beings upload 300 hours of videos to Youtube every minute of every day. Among that swirling flow is a hefty amount of footage devoted exclusively to the amusing behavior of cats. Researchers estimate there are now more than two million clips of feline shenanigans. Despite the stiff competition, I suspect there’s a much better chance than usual that your cat video will go viral if you upload it in the coming weeks. Why? In general, you Leos now have a sixth sense about how to get noticed. You know what you need to do to express yourself confidently and attract attention -- not just in regards to your cats, but anything that’s important to you. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) I know you haven’t

literally been wrestling and wrangling with a sweaty angel. But if I were going to tell a fairy tale about your life lately, I’d be tempted to say this: Your rumble with the sweaty angel is not finished. In fact, the best and holiest part is still to come. But right now you have cosmic permission to take a short break and rest a while. During the lull, ratchet up your determination to learn all you can from your friendly “struggle.” Try to figure out what you’ve been missing about the true nature of the sweaty angel. Vow to become a stronger advocate for yourself and a more rigorous revealer of the wild truth.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Even if you’re not an

occult wizard or pagan priestess, I suspect you now have the power to conjure benevolent love spells. There’s a caveat, however: They will only work if you cast them on yourself. Flinging them at other people would backfire. But if you do accept that limitation, you’ll be able to invoke a big dose of romantic mojo from both your lower depths and your higher self. Inspiration will be abundantly available as you work to reinvigorate your approach to intimacy and togetherness.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Here’s some advice

from Scorpio writer Norman Rush: “The main effort of arranging your life should be to progressively reduce the amount of time required to decently maintain yourself so that you can have all the time you want for reading.” It’s understandable that a language specialist like Rush would make the final word of the previous sentence “reading.” But you might choose a different word. And I invite you to do just that. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to devotedly carve out more time to do The Most Important Thing in Your Life.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Sixteenth-century

Italian painter Titian was renowned for his brilliant use of color. He was also prolific, versatile, and influential. In 2011, one of his paintings sold for $16.9 million. But one of his contemporaries, the incomparable Michelangelo, said that Titian could have been an even greater artist if he had ever mastered the art of drawing. It seems that Titian skipped a step in his early development. Is there any way that your path resembles Titian’s, Sagittarius? Did you neglect to cultivate a basic skill that has subtly (or not so subtly) handicapped your growth ever since? If so, the coming weeks and months will be an excellent time to fix the glitch.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Our obsessive

use of digital devices has diminished our power to focus. According to a study by Microsoft, the average human attention span has shrunk to eight seconds -- one second less than that of a typical goldfish. I’m

guessing, though, that you Capricorns will buck this trend in the coming weeks. Your ability to concentrate may be exceptional even by pre-Internet standards. I hope you’ll take opportunity of this fortunate anomaly to get a lot of important work and play done.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) The time is now, Brave

Aquarius. Be audacious about improving the big little things in your life. (That’s not a typo. I did indeed use the term “big little things.”) For example: Seek out or demand more engaging responsibilities. Bring your penetrating questions to sphinx-like authorities. Go in search of more useful riddles. Redesign the daily rhythm to better meet your unique needs. Refuse “necessary” boredom that’s not truly necessary. Trust what actually works, not what’s merely attractive. Does all that seem too bold and brazen for you to pull off? I assure you that it’s not. You have more clout than you imagine. You also have a growing faith in your own power to make subtle fundamental shifts. (That’s not a typo. I did indeed use the term “subtle fundamental shifts.”)

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) “Love does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person,” wrote the poet Rilke, “for what would a union be of two people who are unclarified, unfinished, and still incoherent?” That’s an excellent meditation for you to entertain during the Valentine season, Pisces. You’re in the right frame of mind to think about how you could change and educate yourself so as to get the most out of your intimate alliances. Love “is a high inducement for the individual to ripen,” Rilke said, “to become something, to become a world for the sake of another person.” (Thanks to Stephen Mitchell for much of this translation.) 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.

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | F E B R U A R Y 8 , 2 0 1 7


puzzles New York Times Magazine Crossword Puzzle hit the deck

By Jim Hyres & David Steinberg | Edited by Will Shortz | 0205 ACROSS 1 One side of a 69-Across showdown 7 Strip of buttons 14 Other side of the showdown 20 Collective works 21 “Get lost!” 22 Pinball wizard’s hangout 23 Mother ____ 24 Entertainment on a Jamaican cruise, perhaps 25 Kind of paper or test 26 Lieutenant, informally 28 It’s unreturnable 30 Musicianship 31 Green plant? 33 Path to enlightenment 34 Cannon in movies 36 Developer’s purchase 37 Samoan staple 38 Bullets legend Unseld 40 Top-shelf 41 Sushi restaurant wrap? 43 Moxie 45 X-File subject 47 Fairy-tale family 52 Celebratory request 58 “Great!” 59 One doesn’t hold stock for long 60 “My man” 61 “What ____?” 62 Storied workshop worker 65 Sand wedge, e.g. 66 Sean Lennon’s mother 67 Thanksgiving dish 69 Game depicted in the shaded squares 72 Carpenters with small jobs? 73 Last mustachioed president 76 See 125-Across 77 Easy-breezy tune 79 Place where taps may be heard 82 Skype alternative 86 Amount of separation, in a party game 88 Investment-seminar catchphrase 90 Lost big 91 Big retailer in women’s fashion 93 Upscale bag brand 94 “Damn right!” 95 Indy 500 winner A. J.

97 Silly Putty holder 98 Standard poodle name 100 Hound 101 Digital camera mode 102 Countenances 104 Confession subjects 106 The Call of the Wild author 110 March Madness stage 115 In the distance 116 Having a lot to lose, maybe 117 “____ Care of Business” (1974 Bachman-Turner Overdrive hit) 118 Eins + zwei 119 Message with a subject line 120 Unlikely partygoer 121 Lieu 122 Bring in 123 1-Across’s cry 124 Tel. no. add-ons 125 With 76-Across, like Arial and Helvetica 126 14-Across’s result DOWN 1 Like houseplants 2 Wiggle room 3 Light show 4 The “Y” of YSL 5 Once, at one time 6 Behind 7 Campaign expense 8 Wine-barrel descriptor 9 Linc’s portrayer in 1999’s The Mod Squad 10 One may get smashed 11 Chest-thumping 12 Up voice actor 13 Changed, as voting districts 14 Artist who said, “I don’t do drugs. I am drugs” 15 Speed skater Heiden 16 Entr’____ 17 Delivery instructions? 18 Infers from data 19 Feel bitter about 27 “I think,” in texts 29 Neckline shape 32 Word shortened to its last letter in texts 35 Holiday air 36 Tabloid issue

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Marketing Manager Kelsey Lowe



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39 Total 40 Citi rival, informally 42 Neuwirth of Frasier 43 Some SAT takers: Abbr. 44 Tease 46 Item by many a reception desk 47 Super Fro-Yo seller 48 “Hava Nagila” dance 49 Hotel bill add-ons 50 Right on a map 51 From Square 1 53 Marked by futility 54 Jane Rochester, nee ____ 55 “OK by me” 56 Blow off steam 57 Matchmaker of myth 62 Suffix with acetyl 63 Printer paper size: Abbr.

64 BTW 68 Famed Broadway restaurateur 70 Ruhr industrial city 71 Butcher’s discards 72 How great minds are said to think 74 Worried 75 Laser ____ 77 Maui memento 78 “OK by me” 79 Word after snake or sound 80 Container that may have a sharpener 81 Superman, at other times 83 Starting on 84 Like the sign of the fish 85 Marijuana, in modern slang 86 “____ cheese!” 87 Composer Max who was called

Digital Media & Calendar Coordinator Aubrey Jernigan






EDITOR-in-chief Jennifer Palmer Chancellor


“the father of film music” 88 Young swans 89 Part of a tour 92 Basis of some discrimination 96 Lawrence of Arabia star 99 Maniacs 101 City that’s home to the Firestone Country Club 102 Divider in the Bible? 103 Venetian blind parts 105 Bottom of an LP 106 Twister actress Gertz 107 Some 108 Intimate garment, for short 109 Bit of progress 111 Company with a noted catalog 112 Dull color, in Düsseldorf 113 Word on a towel 114 Shade






Assistant EDITOR Brittany Pickering Staff reporters Greg Elwell, Laura Eastes, Ben Luschen Contributors Terre Cooke Chaffin, Jack Fowler Ian Jayne, George Lang, Tyler Talley Photographer Garett Fisbeck Circulation Manager Chad Bleakley Art Director Chris Street Production coordinator Arden Biard Graphic Designer Anna Shilling Order mounted or ready-to-frame prints of Oklahoma Gazette covers, articles and photos at 3701 N. Shartel Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73118-7102

Puzzle No. 0129, which appeared in the February 1 issue.


Advertising Director Christy Duane, Account EXECUTIVES Stephanie Van Horn, Saundra Rinearson Godwin, Elizabeth Riddle

New York Times Crossword Puzzle answers I C E E

Accounting/HR Manager Marian Harrison Accounts receivable Karen Holmes







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publisher Bill Bleakley Associate Publisher James Bengfort



C O S M O N E A P O W D R P I E L A O O L D P A L I E F I N G D E B O M A S A E L T R G I R D A K A N E W Y P A I C O N B A L K A L L E R E S E 42






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P h o n e (4 0 5 ) 5 2 8 - 6 0 0 0 | E - m a i l a dv e r t i s i n g @t i e r r a m e d i ag r o u p. c o m

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EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY All real estate advertising in this newspaper is subject to the Federal Fair Housing

Act of 1968, which makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, preference or discrimination. This newspaper will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of this law. Our readers are hereby informed that all dwellings in our newspaper are available on an equal housing opportunity basis.


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February 8, 2017