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Table of Contents

At the Movies with Marcos Film 3

Plaza Jewels Fashion 6

OKC’s Caffeine Crawl Food 14

By the Numbers

HOW IT WORKS

Data 18

The Curbside Chronicle employs the homeless population of Oklahoma City.

Dante Art 20

Q & A with Carrie Cappernoll Jacobs Community 22

Robert’s Recipe Recipe 24

Meet Kevin

Potential vendors attend orientation

Vendors receive 15 free magazines

Vendor Highlight 26

Hoboscope Fun 30

Contact

Director: ranya@thecurbsidechronicle.org Media: kcrocker@homelessalliance.org

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by Marcos Powell Marcos is a former vendor for The Curbside Chronicle. During his time with Curbside, Marcos transitioned into housing and onto further employment. In his spare time, Marcos enjoys contributing articles about his love for cinema. I’ve always loved Westerns ever since I was a little kid. My father is the one who first got me into them. To this day, every time I watch a good cowboy movie he’s the first person I think of. Westerns are an American staple. They are one of the oldest and most prolific genres in American film history. Despite my enthusiasm for Westerns, today Western movies are a dying breed. But for decades, Westerns were a top genre in Hollywood. Some of the first movies ever produced in Hollywood were Westerns, and from the early 1900s up to the 80s, there

were some incredible Westerns made. A lot of early actors based their careers on Westerns like Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, and William Holden. Oklahoma bred famous Western stars like Will Rogers and James Garner. And given Oklahoma’s history, it almost seems like a right of passage for Oklahomans to experience at least a few great Westerns from the past. But nowadays, Westerns are just not prevalent. There’s a new generation of moviegoers coming up

in America, and Millennials aren’t into Westerns like my generation was. I think Generation X will be the last generation to truly appreciate the Western film genre in its glory. Yes, there have been a handful of great Westerns released in the 21st century but nothing like the good ol’ days. But I don’t want to see Westerns left behind in the dust, which is why I’ve compiled a list of a few of my favorite Westerns for you to check out. And who knows, you might even feel right at home amidst the Wild West.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1967) “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is based in the Southwest during the Civil War, starring Clint Eastwood as The Good, Lee Van Cleef as The Bad, and Eli Wallach as the Ugly. It is the third installment in Sergio Leone’s successful “Dollars Trilogy”, following “A Fistful of Dollars” and “For a Few More Dollars.” Despite being the third installment in the series, the plot stands alone and hails as one of the greatest films of all time. If you only ever see one Western, make sure it’s this one. Sergio Leone is one of the world’s best-known Spaghetti Western directors. Spaghetti Westerns are a subgenre of Western films produced and directed by Italians. The plot revolves around three men competing to find buried Confederate gold on the frontier. Clint Eastwood plays the bounty hunter Blondie, who forms an unlikely partnership with Eli Wallach’s comical character Tuco the bandit. A true love-hate relationship, the two must work together to strike it rich and beat out Lee Van Cleef’s ruthless character Angel Eyes. In addition to an exciting plot, the soundtrack to this movie is incredible. The soundtrack for “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” uses music to perfectly capture the highs and lows throughout the movie with an authentic frontier sound. Despite the title, the movie takes a unique approach to the idea of the classic Western hero, with Clint Eastwood’s character not always being much better than his evil opponents. 3


Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) Another Spaghetti Western, directed by the great Sergio Leone, is “Once Upon a Time in the West.” This movie is notable in its casting of Henry Fonda as its main villain at a time when people were accustom to seeing Fonda as the hero on the screen. Fonda plays the murderous Frank, whom Charles Bronson, a mysterious harmonica-playing gunman, seeks revenge against. The plot revolves around a remote but valuable piece of land called Sweetwater, that a ruthless assassin working for a railroad tycoon is hired to seize ownership of. The mysterious harmonica-player must join forces with a local outlaw to protect a beautiful widow from the same doom that her husband and children met. In addition, the harmonica-player has a personal score to settle with the assassin from years ago too.

The Wild Bunch (1969) This Western is a gritty classic starring William Holden as the retiring outlaw Pike Bishop. Pike and his gang seek to accomplish one final, grand robbery before retiring from the life of crime. But in the midst of the robbery, Pike’s former partner in crime and a crew of bounty hunters ambush them. Forced to flee to Mexico, Pike and his gang try to keep up with the changing times. But their outlaw style of life is disappearing as technology advances and the West becomes less wild. Notable for its graphic violence, “The Wild Bunch” was an extremely controversial film of its time. The deadly shootout at the end can only be described as one of the bloodiest confrontations in Western cinematography.

Tombstone (1993) This film is packed with star power, including Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliot, Bill Paxton, and Powers Boothe. I would like to start by saying that Val Kilmer was cheated out of an Oscar nomination for his moving role as Doc Holliday in this movie. He played the character superbly and 100% should have been nominated for an Oscar. “Tombstone” takes place in Tombstone, Arizona and is based on real life events involving the historic lawman Wyatt Earp. There have been numerous Westerns produced involving the iconic life of Wyatt Earp, but I consider this one to be the best. Kurt Russell plays Wyatt Earp, a retiring lawman. He moves to Tombstone, Arizona to settle down and live out the rest of his days in peace. While in Tombstone, Wyatt and his brothers get involved with their friend, gambler, and sharp shooter Doc Holliday, who suffers from tuberculosis. Wyatt and his brothers find themselves at odds with a local gang of outlaws called the Cowboys. Though he is no longer a lawman, Wyatt is pressured into helping rid the town of the dangerous Cowboys and restore order. This leads to the iconic gunfight at the O.K. Corral. “Tombstone” is a legendary movie about a legendary man. In my opinion, this was the last great American Western produced in the 20th century. 4


Django (1966) No, I am not talking about the 2012 rendition with Jamie Foxx. I am talking about the original “Django” starring Franco Nero from 1966. Nero plays Django, a mysterious drifter wearing a Union uniform and dragging a coffin everywhere he goes. Along his path, Django rescues a woman from bandits and the two find themselves in the middle of a war between Southern racists and Mexican revolutionaries. The storyline truly captivates you and keeps you guessing. You find yourself asking who is this man, what is his story, and what could possibly be inside his coffin? This film is hailed as one of the best Spaghetti Westerns of all time, inspiring over 30 sequels. Nero also starred in the sequel “Django Strikes Again” and made a cameo appearance in Quintin Tarantino’s 2012 “Django Unchained.” While I am a stickler for the original, I was impressed with Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” and the respect it paid to its origins.

Unforgiven (1992) “Unforgiven” was Clint Eastwood’s last Western after decades of involvement in the genre. In addition to starring in the movie, Eastwood also directed and produced the film. The film portrays an aging outlaw (Clint Eastwood) who takes on one last job after years of peace as a farmer. When two cowboys disfigure a local prostitute, the rest of the girls get together and put a bounty on their heads. Needing the money to support his children, Eastwood is forced to rekindle his dark past. Along with his friend Ned (Morgan Freeman) and a young gunslinger (Jaimz Woolvett), the three join forces to bring justice to the frontier. One of the darkest Westerns produced, Eastwood chose to end his Western career with this film and focus on other genres of film. For me, “Unforgiven” symbolized the dying age of Westerns in Hollywood. It was one of the last great Westerns to be produced at the end of an iconic era. Eastwood dedicated the film to his deceased mentors and Western icons, Sergio Leone and Don Siegel, as a statement of closure. The film was the third Western to win an Oscar for Best Picture.

The Magnificent Seven (1960) The Magnificent Seven is a Western remake of the popular Japanese film Seven Samurai. Starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz, Charles Bronson, and James Coburn, it features an unforgettable cast. An oppressed Mexican village is under the control of a ruthless band of outlaws. Unable to take on the outlaws alone, the townspeople hire a band of American cowboys to help defend them. In addition to an exciting storyline, the film’s musical score is a masterpiece. It has become one of the most popular Western scores of all time and heavily used throughout popular culture. A remake is currently being filmed for release in September of 2016. But do yourself a favor and check out the original first! And don’t forget about the sequels “Return of the Seven,” “Guns of the Magnificent Seven,” and “The Magnificent Seven Ride.”


Plaza Jewels

story and styling by Sarah Nsikak of Stone+Harper photos by Shannon Cornman

The lovely ladies of The Curbside Chronicle model handmade, local jewelry from OKC’s Plaza District. Oklahoma City’s historic Plaza District is a treasure trove for beautiful, local works of art. It has become a platform for artists of all mediums to share their craft in the community. Jewelry making is an incredibly intricate form of artistic expression. Welding, beading, and clasping come together harmoniously to make timeless wearable artwork. And if you’re looking for a one-ofa-kind piece, look no further than the shops in the Plaza, featuring designs by local jewelers Amanda Bradway, Cassie Neahring, and Dana Scott.

Amanda Bradway DNA Galleries

Amanda Bradway’s contributions to the Plaza District have been foundational to the beautifully evolving arts culture in Oklahoma City. She is the co-owner of DNA Galleries in the Plaza and a multi-talented artist. The gorgeous stones that Amanda handpicks with care and intent are the focal points of her work. Her designs celebrate the natural beauty of rough gemstones and blend them perfectly with smooth metal finishes

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Cassie Neahring Out on a Limb

Cassie Neahring, owner of Out On A Limb in the Plaza District, started out showcasing her work in DNA galleries. It is the perfect example of how artists in the Plaza constantly support one another and grow together. When she’s not piecing together the most lovely geometric statement jewelry, she is creating sustainable fashion by revamping vintage clothing. Cassie uses colorful, natural stones throughout her designs. She has an incredible breadth of variety in her pieces that can span any wardrobe.

Dana Scott

Collected Thread Dana Scott has an eye for stones, charms, gems, and all things lovely. Her jewelry pieces range from loud and sophisticated statements to minimal, complimentary staple items. If you’ve ever been to the salon-boutique that is The Social Club in Norman, you are no stranger to Dana’s magical curating abilities. She is the co-owner of that shop and her works can also be found at the handmade boutique Collected Thread in the Plaza.

Oh, and did I mention that all of the jewelry in this shoot is modeled by the lovely ladies of The Curbside Chronicle? Styling this shoot with these stunning women was an incredible experience. In preparation for the shoot, we went to Brushed Salon in Midtown for make-up and blowouts. Kristy, Darnesha, and Tia are all vendors for The Curbside Chronicle and have experienced homelessness at various points in their lives. Because of this situation, often times people judge them at first-glance and don’t take the time to see them for who they truly are. These women are some of the strongest, most resilient women you could meet. At the end of the photo shoot, Kristy shared that this experience was the first time she felt like she could prove that she was beautiful because it was the first time someone told her that her beauty was worthy of capturing and showcasing. While the focus of this article is the jewelry adorning these ladies, the truest gems in these photos are the women themselves.


Tia

sells in Bricktown

Pyrite Nugget Earings by Cassie Neahring, $29 at Out on a Limb Clear Quartz Necklace by Dana Scott, $27 at Collected Thread Rainbow Aura Quartz Cluster by Amanda Bradway, $70 at DNA Galleries


Darnesha sells at Memorial & Penn

Carnelian Agate and Raw Brass Earings by Cassie Neahring, $29 at Out on a Limb Wooden Horn Necklace by Urbanology, $39 at DNA Galleries Carnelian Agate and Raw Brass Necklace by Cassie Neahring, $39 at Out on a Limb

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Kristy

sells at Britton Rd. & Broadway ext. N

Raw Chrysophase Earings by Cassie Neahring, $24 at Out on a Limb Raw Pink Opal Necklace by Cassie Neahring, $39 at Out on a Limb


Green Agate and Brass Earings by Cassie Neahring, $34 at Out on a Limb Raw Brass Bar Pendant by Cassie Neahring, $29 at Collected Thread

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Smoky Quartz Collar by Amanda Bradway, $65 at DNA Galleries Quartz Geode and Brass Necklace by Amanda Bradway, $55 at DNA Galleries


Gold Pendant Earings by Dana Scott, $24 at Collected Thread Golden Agate Necklace by Dana Scott, $38 at Collected Thread

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OKC Caffeine Crawl by Ashley Dekat illustrations by Brittany Viklund

It’s spring and that means it’s time for warmer weather, nature, and fresh air. But along with that comes spring-cleaning, tax season, and life’s little everyday surprises. No need to panic though. Thankfully, our great city houses some truly exceptional spots to keep us relaxed and give us some needed extra energy to get through the day. We present The Curbside Chronicle Caffeine Crawl, our buzzworthy suggestions for coffee and tea this season.

Elemental Coffee 815 N Hudson Ave.

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Elemental Coffee, one of the City’s longest standing gourmet coffee shops, really focuses on the purity of coffee. They source the finest beans from all over the world and then roast them right in their shop. Can’t get any fresher than that! The end result is an unaltered, unenhanced, pure cup of coffee. And that is exactly how they want it. You won’t find any commercial syrups or pre-blended mixes here, only cane sugar and their house-made chocolate sauce made from Askinosie single origin cocoa powder. They serve common espresso drinks and French press, but their true specialty, pour-overs, really highlights the coffee’s characteristics. After all, a cup of coffee is unique, and Elemental wants you to explore and embrace its individuality. Also served is their wide selection of house-made local and sustainable food for diners of all kinds of diets and pallets.


The Red Cup 3122 N Classen Blvd.

A long standing neighborhood staple, The Red Cup is a cute remodeled house with plenty of room to spread out. They offer some of the most creative coffee drinks in the city. Aside from the standards, they have specialty drinks like the Black and Tan (espresso with chocolate and vanilla syrups), the trufflelike Raspberry Decadence (espresso with chocolate and raspberry syrups), and the spicy Sexi Mexi (espresso with cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and chocolate syrup). All are made with steamed milk and topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. If coffee isn’t your jam then give their warm and spicy Chai Tea Latte a try. The Red Cup is open seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch, and pastries and is entirely vegetarian with plenty of Vegan and Gluten-Free options available.

Café Condessa 300 Park Ave.

Café Condessa, located next to the downtown Metropolitan Library, is putting a caffeinated twist on some Latin-American favorites. At the top of the list, based off the popular rice milk beverage, is their cinnamon and vanilla bean infused Horchata Latte. Their Cubano, a classic from little Havana, is a sweetened shot of espresso with a splash of milk. They even have created a Nutella Latte to satisfy the chocolate-hazelnut crazed. For unique coffee shop fare, they serve burritos and street tortas, like the Longaniza Torta made with house-made beef sausage, chimichurri mayo, mustard, lettuce, provolone, sliced onions, pickles, fresh guacamole, tomatoes, and the kitchen sink. Well, maybe not the last part, but they certainly don’t have a shortage of creative ingredients.


Cuppies and Joe 727 N Classen Blvd.

In a quaint little Uptown bungalow, lies Cuppies and Joe. The atmosphere is so warm and inviting, as is the staff. Love is definitely a main ingredient in everything this family owned and run business makes. Their baristas make a plethora of delicious caffeine rich drinks like macchiatos, iced chai teas, and Topeca drip coffee. Their London Fog, which is a tea bag steeped in hot, steamed milk, pairs perfectly with the daily offering of cookies. For a cold treat try a “20 below frozen hot chocolate” or an espresso shake. As a bonus grab one of their delicious cupcakes like Chocolate rain, a chocolate cuppie with chocolate buttercream, or a Bangarang, a chocolate cuppie with mocha icing for an extra jolt of caffeine.

Leaf + Bean

321 N Oklahoma Ave. & 2901 NW 36th St. Finally, a coffee shop has graced the Deep Deuce district! Leaf + Bean, the popular drive-up/walk-up coffee shop on May Ave., has recently opened this second location with the same great drinks but in a sit-down environment. The café has ample seating and is complete with floor to ceiling windows to let in plenty of natural light and a nice view of downtown. Their menu is full of classic espresso drinks that can be made even more special by adding their house-made almond, caramel, mocha, and vanilla syrups. They also use the syrups to make fresh craft sodas as a caffeine-free alternative. A small cup of drip coffee is a steal at only $1.50 and compliments Mexican Chocolate donuts, among other pastries, nicely.

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T, Urban Teahouse

519 NW 23rd St. & 7518 N May Ave. Coffee haters have no fear, Urban Teahouse is here. Tea has pre-dated coffee by 3,000 years and Urban Teahouse has its science down to an art. Tea is an excellent source of caffeine and boasts a myriad of health benefits. Luckily, Urban Teahouse has over 100 varieties of tea, from black to oolong to herbal, that can be enjoyed in their welcoming teahouse or brought home for brewing anytime. Intriguing black tea flavors include chocolate cream, coconut pineapple, and lavender Earl Grey, but if green tea tickles your fancy then be sure to try their cranberry mango or lemon ginger snap. Tea can be ordered hot or iced in various sizes or even served in cute little tea pots. Then add your favorite milk and sweetener to make a perfect spot of tea.

Clarity Coffee 431 W Main St.

New to downtown OKC is Clarity Coffee. It is owned by a husband and wife team who are avid coffee lovers. They are to coffee what a sommelier is to wine. They work hard to extract the best qualities from the ever-changing selection of beans. They frequently rotate their coffee roasters to give sippers a sampling of the best coffee from far and wide. Their drink menu is very simple and limited to allow the focus to be on the coffee itself and not on fuss and frills, though you can accessorize any coffee by adding a flavor shot. The space is flooded with plenty of natural light and they welcome their guests to relax while enjoying their curated cups of brew.


By the numbers A look at OKlahoma city's public transit system

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Dante Formerly homeless artist shares his inspiration by Lauryn Nelson photos by Nick Aguilera

Dante Anderson’s passion for art started as a young boy. Dante recalls his first artistic endeavor as learning how to draw a circle at the age of 5. “I was trying to draw a circle and couldn’t get it right. Someone suggested that I use a coke can, but

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I saw that as cheating. So I just kept trying and trying until I finally got it. And it went from there.” Dante spent a majority of his free time as a child inside drawing and coloring. As a 1st grader, Dante was featured in his elementary school

art show and took home the 2nd place prize for his drawing of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. By high school, Dante was competing in art competitions around the state and envisioning a future career as a comic book illustrator.


For Dante, art has always been a powerful force for good in his life, helping him overcome personal struggles with mental illness and depression. At the age of 7, Dante started hearing voices in his head. At first, he thought they were imaginary friends, so he didn’t tell anyone. But as he got older, the voices got worse. It wasn’t until he was 20 years old that Dante was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. “Art was a distraction for me as a kid. I could zone in and focus, and all the voices in my head would disappear. It slowed things down for me,” explains Dante. In 11th grade, Dante became focused on portrait drawing, after his art teacher encouraged him to branch out from cartoons. In the process, Dante became fixated on the importance of eyes in a portrait.

Art was a distraction for me as a kid. I could zone in and focus, and all the voices in my head would disappear.

Portrait of Kevin Durant by Dante Anderson

Stating, “You can see the soul through a person’s eyes.” Dante would spend hours in his room perfecting his pieces. If there was even a slight mistake, Dante would scrap the drawing and start all over. Towards the end of high school, Dante started using drugs to help cope with his mental illness. For the following 13 years, Dante’s bipolar disorder forced him into a state of depression and he stopped drawing altogether. It wasn’t until 2012, when Dante found himself living at a local homeless shelter in Oklahoma City, that he started drawing again. Since rekindling his passion for art, Dante has had the opportunity to have his art featured at IAO Gallery in Film Row. Dante is also passionate about using his art to give back in the community. He’s donated several of his pieces to charity, including six

portraits that raised over $12,000 at the shelter’s annual fundraiser in 2014. But the highlight of his career has been getting to meet Thunder players like Nick Collison and presenting them with original portrait pieces at City Rescue Mission’s Thanksgiving dinner. Looking forward, Dante would like to go to school to study art. Eventually, Dante would like to use his skills to help others use art as a positive outlet from pain and suffering in their lives too. Dante is currently living in a local sober living house and continuing to pursue stability and forward progress in his life. You can follow Dante and his work on Twitter @thaarteest25. If you are interested in commissioning a portrait from Dante, you can inquire via his Twitter account.


Q&A with newly elected school board member

Carrie Coppernoll Jacobs by Ben Felder

Following Phil Horning’s announcement that he would not seek reelection to the Oklahoma City Public Schools board of education, Carrie Coppernoll Jacobs and Adam Zodrow squared off to fill the District 3 seat. In February, Jacobs won the election and became one of two new board members - Paula Lewis ran uncontested for the open seat in District 4. OKCPS is the state’s largest school district with over 46,000 students. Like most large urban districts across the country, OKCPS faces high poverty, challenges in the way of funding and serves a diverse student body. Following her election to the school board, Jacobs spoke with The Curbside Chronicle about the district and the challenges it faces. Curbside: Over 90 percent of students in Oklahoma City Public Schools are classified as living in poverty. What are some of the major challenges that presents for the district? Jacobs: One of the key challenges our city schools face is mobility, and that is tied to poverty. Teachers and 22

students don’t have the chance to build relationships before students have to leave. Many of our schools have a mobility rate of 50 percent or higher, meaning more than half the children in the school don’t start and finish the school year there. Some schools have mobility rates up to 75 percent. School may be the most consistent thing some children have, so we have to make sure their experience at school is reliable, safe, and high quality. What is the board’s role in making sure the district responds to those challenges? I think one way board members can respond to the needs of students in poverty is to ask good questions. Good board members look out for what’s best for all kids, especially those whose families are unable to advocate for themselves. What excites you about OKCPS right now? I feel like Oklahoma City is at a turning point. The city has made some amazing progress, but our schools need to feel

that love and support, as well. There are many schools that don’t have the community support they need to thrive. I think the community is ready, and the schools and students are definitely ready. I’m excited to see progress here. How do you plan to get to know your schools/community during your time on the board? I’m starting by meeting all the principals in my district. I also plan to meet with PTA leaders, teachers and nonprofits that are connected with the schools. I hope to get a well-rounded picture of what’s going on and how I can help. How does homelessness impact the district? The number of students identified as homeless has grown to 3,187. That’s about 1 in 14 students. If you think of it in terms of a classroom, that means, on average, an elementary school teacher will have at least one if not two children who are experiencing homelessness.


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illustrations by Brittany Viklund

I would like to take a moment to give thanks to my many supporters who have given me the courage to continue my recovery from homelessness. Your compassion, kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated. May my recipe column be a token of gratitude to you all. A way for me to bring more

love, joy, and full-bellies into your households in return for the happiness you have brought to mine. I was first introduced to this recipe at the Thanksgiving Day luncheon at the Mustang Baptist Church. It was delicious! Pecan Pie Cake is the perfect combination of two all-time

Cake 2 cups of chopped pecans ¾ cup butter 2 cups white sugar 5 eggs, separated 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 cup milk 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 cups flour 1½ teaspoons baking soda ⅓ cup caramel sauce ⅓ cup light cream 24

dessert staples – pie and cake. Why choose between ‘em, when you can have both? While there are a few steps to putting this together, it is worth the effort, trust me. You’ll want to head into spring with this recipe up your sleeve for all the warmer weather gettogethers.

Filling

½ cup packed brown sugar ⅓ cup cornstarch ¾ cup dark corn syrup 2 egg yolks 1 egg 1½ cups light cream 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Toppings 2 cups heavy cream 3 tablespoons powdered sugar 1 cup of pecan halves


Cake 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Grease three 9” pans and sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly between the pans. 3. Place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring cup and fill to top with milk. Set aside. 4. With a mixer on medium, mix together ¾ cup butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla. 5. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Beat flour mixture into butter mixture alternating with soured milk. Set aside. 6. With mixer on medium-high, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites and 1 cup of chopped pecans into the butter mixture just until completely combined. 7. Divide batter between the 3 prepared pans. 8. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-23 minutes, or just until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake. Cool in the pan 5 minutes. Remove from pans onto cooling racks lined with parchment paper. 9. Combine caramel sauce & light cream. Brush over each of the warm cakes twice. Cool completely.

Filling 1. Combine ½ cup brown sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, egg, light cream, and corn syrup in a large saucepan. 2. Stir continuously over medium heat until mixture boils. Let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Cool completely.

Assembly 1. Place one of the cakes on a plate with the pecans facing up. Top with half of the cooled filling. Repeat layers and finally top with the last cake. 2. Whip 2 cups of cream and powdered sugar on medium high until stiff peaks form. Frost cake with whipped cream and top with pecan halves if desired. 3. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. 4. To serve, slice cake and drizzle each slice with about 2 tablespoons fresh cream before serving.


Vendor Highlight

Meet Kevin

compiled by Ranya O’Connor photos by Sarah Powers

Kevin is a vendor for The Curbside Chronicle. You can find Kevin selling in Downtown Oklahoma City near the First National building during the week and Bricktown on weekends. After four years of homelessness, Kevin moved back into housing this February! On the following pages, Kevin shares how being diagnosed with mental illness has impacted his life.

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Tell us a little bit about your childhood.

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I was raised in Ardmore, Oklahoma. I come from a very dysfunctional family. My father was a veteran in the U.S. Army. My father was a weekend alcoholic. He would start getting drunk on the weekends and tell me stories about Vietnam. He got shot in the war and a fellow soldier had to pack him on his back to safety. Me and him lived with my grandma. She was very spiritual and a hard worker. I went back and forth a lot from OKC to Ardmore as a kid. My parents were divorced and my mom lived in OKC. My mother was in an abusive relationship for about 20 years throughout my childhood.

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What was that like for you to experience? It was horrible. I felt helpless. In hindsight, I realize I was a victim too. He would hit me with his fists. But I didn’t process a lot of that until I was grown up. Growing up, I was also sexually abused by a family friend. He would tie me up and then sexually touch me. I was 7 when it started and it went on for about a year. It messed me up. I thought I had done something wrong. I grew up with a lot of hate in my heart and very confused. It made me question my sexuality as I got older and affected my relationships. Months after it started, I told someone about it but my mother didn’t do anything. She kept it hush-hush. Back then, I guess that’s just the way they did things.


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What was school like for you?

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I loved school. I used to wrestle, run track, and play basketball. I was an Ardmore tiger. When I was 14, I started having problems though. I started having anxiety attacks and getting really paranoid. But I didn’t know what it was so I didn’t tell anybody for years. My thoughts would race and I would get manic. I would have highs and lows. Sometimes I would just crash and burn and be extremely depressed for weeks at a time. I was embarrassed about the situation because at the time I didn’t understand that I had a mental illness. People didn’t talk about mental illness back then. It was a taboo thing. Now, I know that I am bipolar and schizoaffective.

When were you first diagnosed with a mental illness?

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It wasn’t until 1997 that I started getting help. I was 24 at the time and working at St. Anthony’s Hospital as a transporter. I had a big meltdown. I went to work one day and just couldn’t do it no more. I went to the emergency room and told them what I was dealing with. They put me in St. Anthony’s psych ward.

What is it like having bipolar and schizoaffective disorder?

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I get very paranoid. I used to think that people were always talking about me behind my back. I had all these thoughts in my mind that I couldn’t process correctly. I knew they weren’t true, but they felt very real. I also have manic episodes that can last weeks at a time. But on my meds, I can live a healthy, productive life and keep my emotions at bay.

How did the medication affect your life? I could finally interact better and be around other people. I felt somewhat normal. I hadn’t felt normal for a lot of years. I did real good for a while. But when I get to feeling good and my life is going well, I think I don’t need the meds anymore. It’s hard to explain that feeling to someone. I’m sure you can’t understand why someone would stop taking their meds. But if you were ever bipolar or schizoaffective, you’d understand. The meds have different side effects. I would get real sluggish, lethargic, and tired all of the time. I would overeat. I gained 100 pounds on one of my medications. I was 300 pounds at one point. I didn’t like the side effects and they didn’t make me feel good, so I would just fall off and start making bad choices. I would go off my meds and self medicate with alcohol. That was the only way I could deal with it. My thoughts would be racing and I wouldn’t be able to sleep. But when I drank, I would be able to sleep. It would make me feel like I could fit in. Momentarily, it took away all the depression.

I have bipolar. Bipolar doesn’t have me.

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What do you want people to know about those who have mental illness? We are normal people and we can live normal lives. I have bipolar. Bipolar doesn’t have me. I have schizoaffective. Schizoaffective doesn’t have me. There’s a stigma around mental illness. We’re just normal people trying to make it day by day. We want to have a healthy life just like everyone else. We want happiness, love. Mental illness can be treated but there’s not a cure for it. We can have functional, normal lives and interact and be productive. It’s just like any other disease. But you have to learn how to live with it and deal with it. I have people in my family that aren’t here anymore because they couldn’t deal with it. For a while, I couldn’t deal with it either. I tried to kill myself 5 times because I didn’t like the way I was feeling. The way life was. I didn’t want to be like that no more. I didn’t want to take more pills. I wanted everything to go away. But I finally learned how to deal with my mental illness. I got help. I got medicine. Even though it’s not curable, it is treatable. I can’t live a healthy normal life if I don’t stay on my meds. I know that now, and I’m really trying. Kevin stands in front of a house where he used to sleep.


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When did you first experience homelessness?

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I first experienced homelessness about 4 years ago. I was off my medicine and things just fell into a haze. I got into a funk and lost it. I started making bad choices and lost my place. It’s a hard thing. I felt lonely all the time. I was living on the streets, so you can’t show any fear. But at times, I would be fearful for my life. I’ve had people come in where I was asleep and steal my stuff. I’ve had several guns pulled on me on the street by gang members. It’s not a good situation.

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What are you looking forward to?

Where did you stay while you were homeless? I mainly stayed on the streets. That way I didn’t have to deal with anybody. I could keep to myself. I used to stay in McKinley Park and in several nearby abandoned houses. I would stay in the brush at night out of site. I had blankets and cardboard to keep me warm. When I would wake up at the park and come out of the brush, people would snatch their kids away from me. I know that they were afraid of me, which was hard. I wasn’t trying to break the law or anything. I just didn’t have anywhere else to go. One thing I never did was give up though. We have an awesome God. I wouldn’t say that I’m religious but I am spiritual. It gives me a sense of peace that I can’t explain. I prayed every night. And Oklahoma City has been good to me. People have opened their hearts and lives up to me.

Kevin sits on the steps of his new home.

28

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I have a bright future, I think. My meds are working and I’m staying focused. I am back in housing now, and I’m just trying to do the next right thing. I would like to go to a tech school and to gain further employment. I’d like to study computers or welding or something. Several people have already asked me about other jobs while I’m selling Curbside. I have options. I just need a little more time to get steady. I haven’t ever had a lot of stability in life. I’m just now starting to feel like I do. Life is a teacher. I have learned a lot over time. I have to stay on my meds. I have to stay positive and stay focused. I love working with Curbside because I feel like I’m doing something for myself and I’m staying productive. Even though I am taking my medication, I don’t feel as sluggish anymore. In the mornings, I feel a little slow, but then I get up and head out to work and that energizes me. And more people interact with me now. It had been a while since I had interacted with people. At first, I was real shy and timid while selling. Now, I feel real positive. I can talk to anybody and be around big crowds without getting anxious. I feel more confident.

How is it being back in housing? It feels good. I feel a sense of normalcy and peace. The first night, I paced around the house for a real long time. I took a hot shower and thanked God. To me, this house is a mansion. My shed in the backyard looks better than the places I used to stay.


“ Belief in oneself is incredibly infectious. It generates momentum, the collective force of which far outweighs any kernel of self-doubt that may creep in.” ~ Aimee Mullins

For creating a movement propelled by the belief in one’s self and worth, we say thank you to the Curbside Chronicle, and carry on to those moving forward.


Hoboscope by Mystic Milly

PISCES

ARIES

TAURUS

What will your obituary say, Pisces? Go ahead and write it now as if it were running in tomorrow’s paper. (In case I’m freaking you out, The Stars indicate this won’t be running anytime soon.) Now that you’ve written your obituary, read it out loud. Do you like it? Does it tell the story of the life you meant to live? If anything is missing from the story of your life, go find it today.

Lately you haven’t been the friendliest to others in your community. With the alignment of Mars this month, you have a chance for redemption. Invite a stranger into your home and show them hospitality. No need to prepare a fancy meal or light candles. Invite them over to share a large thin crust supreme pizza over a couple games of Exploding Kittens. Haven’t heard of Exploding Kittens? No wonder you’ve been grumpy.

You might be surprised this month by how many people in your life bear similarities to 90’s video game characters. You should show caution in expressing their resemblance. If your next door neighbor wears denim overalls and a yellow shirt, like Wario, refrain from telling him so because Wario is a crooked man. If you do mention their resemblance, make sure you have a turtle shell with you. You can never be too careful around a potential villain.

GEMINI

CANCER

LEO

You love long drives. Whether you have a destination in mind or you simply want to drive in circles on the interstate, you enjoy the simplicity of driving. But be weary this month of other drivers. Unlike you, the other astrological signs tend to utilize driving for utilitarian purposes like going to work, transporting goods, etc… Be especially cautious of semitrucks. They are the clumsy giants of the interstate and should not be trusted. Take your leisurely drives to the back roads this month. Maybe you’ll see a horse.

Your eyebrows may be the envy of your friends, but your nail beds leave much to be desired. Take some time to get a manicure. Despite popular opinion, getting a manicure is a gender neutral activity. Guys can take nail care into consideration with their normal grooming routine just like the ladies. There’s nothing more attractive than a nice set of cuticles.

You may be feeling tired and worn out, but it will only be temporary. Soon, Jupiter will move into alignment with Venus and you will get your energy back. You might even wake up wired at 4am. For those of you living in metropolitan areas, you can find a 24-hour diner to spend those early morning hours. In rural areas, you may struggle finding somewhere to go during your bouts of insomnia. You may have to buy a ukulele and practice hula music. If all else fails, turn on the old boob tube. You’re sure to find a treasure trove of old Jerry Springer and Judge Judy reruns.

30


VIRGO

LIBRA

SCORPIO

Because of the galactic position of Mars you will be drawn to bodies of water this month. You’ll feel at peace looking out across the waves of an ocean, lake, puddle, and possibly even a large glass of water. It will be a harmonious month. Your relationships will feel in sync. You yourself will be fluid and flexible. This would be a good month to try yoga like you’ve always wanted. I hear Myriad Gardens offers yoga by the water ever Tuesday.

Your love life is going to be simultaneously wonderful and horrible this month. All the warmth and excitement that comes with a new relationship will be there, but so will the anxiety and heartache. It will be an emotional roller coaster, so make sure your safety bar is locked down and keep your arms and legs inside.

Neptune is not on your side, Scorpio. I definitely wouldn’t get a hair cut this month if I were you. They will definitely cut your bangs too short. And I definitely wouldn’t try that new Thai food restaurant this week. It will not be good for your digestive track. In fact, this month probably isn’t the best time to finally approach your work place crush either. You’d probably end up tripping on your way to their cubicle and embarrassing yourself. Just play it safe this month, Scorpio. You can enjoy a lucky streak next month.

SAGITTARIUS

CAPRICORN

AQUARIUS

Whenever you hear the sounds of birds chirping, you can’t help but wonder if the sweet melodies are actually sexist cat calls being made toward female birds. Well it’s your time to take a stand, Sagittarius. Next time you hear these offensive chirps, try politely explaining to the male birds why it is offensive. And if they won’t seem to listen, put up a “no boys allowed” sign on your backyard bird feeder. That’ll teach them.

Have you ever considered photography? You have an eye for unconventional beauty. Sometimes when you’re eating Frosted Mini Wheats in the morning, you become transfixed by the tiny caves in the grain. That’s a talent whether you recognize it or not! Capture some of those moments you love. Mail them in to National Geographic. It could turn into a career change. If nothing else, maybe you’ll become a hipster sensation on Instagram. A win-win if you ask me.

Justin Bieber turns 22 this year. Don’t worry. Lots of people have gone on to do great things even after that ripe old age. For instance, it wasn’t until the age of 22 that Charles Darwin took his famous voyage to the Galapagos Islands and began the research that would define his life’s work. Bieber could be the next Darwin, yet. And you could too, Aquarius. You’re never too old to start Beliebing in your dreams.


Help us employ the homeless! The Curbside Chronicle needs your help! Cut along the black lines and keep these cards in your car to hand out to individuals who could use a hand. Together we can employ and empower OKC’s homeless!

The Curbside Chronicle - Issue 16  
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