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December 22, 2014

Letter from Ferguson

by Derek Dyson

By sundown Monday evening, November 24, the scene in front of the Ferguson Police Department…
Director Sterlin Harjo heard a story hundreds of times growing up: the story of his…

by Abby Wendle

S terlin Harjo is the director and producer of a new documentary called “This May…
Own This May Be The Last Time on DVD! Tracing a heartfelt journey, award-winning filmmaker…

12/22/2014 | Original Okie

Irena Kendrick

By Shane Brown

Irena Kendrick was born February 5, 1976, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She immigrated to Oklahoma, by way of Germany, as a war refugee when she was 22. After slogging away as a pre-legal subrogation specialist for a decade, Irena cashed in her 401K and opened a restaurant, Joey’s Pizzeria, in Oklahoma City in 2007. She broke her own rule about not dating c…

12/19/2014 | Okiecentric

A Pentecost of Bicycles

By David McGlynn

The attraction between a boy and his bike, as William Maxwell writes about the attraction between boys and dogs, can be taken for granted. One Sunday morning, I felt a moist hand touch my cheek. When I opened my eyes, the light through the window was gray and I could only see the shadow of a kid standing above me. The clock on the nightstand said 5:47. “Dad,” Ha…

12/18/2014 | Okiecentric

The Disappearance of Ford Beckman

By Michael Mason

Editor’s note: On Tuesday, November 18, 2014, Ford Beckman, the subject of this story, died at his home in Tulsa. He was 62 years old. This article was originally published in November/December 2009 in The Believer magazine. It is included in the new anthology of essays, Read Harder, published by McSweeney’s Books, September 2014. When the econom…

12/17/2014 | Okiecentric

Icee Dates, Evangelical Games, and Missional Positions

By Jamie Birdwell-Branson

I remember the crying. Girls with mascara smeared across their faces, racing down the aisles of the tabernacle toward the preacher. Some went in pairs, clutching each other and whispering. The boys typically walked alone, proud and sure of themselves as they went down to inform a Falls Creek counselor of their decisions, whether it be to accept Jesus Christ…

12/16/2014 | Okiecentric

Making the Case for Martyrdom

By Mason Beecroft

Stanley Rother was an unlikely martyr. He was born in a small farmhouse outside Okarche, a small town in western Oklahoma. After high school he decided to pursue the priesthood, but flunked out of seminary and was only allowed to transfer to another because of the influence of his bishop. He briefly served a number of parishes in Oklahoma as an assistant pasto…

12/11/2014 | Okiecentric

When Kansas Was Ahead of its Time

By Shawna Bethell

With the celebration, remembrance, and commentary that has come with 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act this year, we should also remember and celebrate that legislation for equal public accommodations was introduced on the Kansas House floor as early as 1956 by a gentleman who was not yet allowed to join his fellow members of the House for a sandwich a…

12/09/2014 | Okiecentric

Religion of Silence

By Molly Evans

A curving road led me from the expressway into a neighborhood where American flags adorned brown, brick houses and kids’ plastic cars were parked on front lawns. An RV claimed half of a driveway, looking spick-and-span for the Fourth of July weekend. At the end of Lakeview Drive came a swooping turn right onto the gravelly terrain of Monastery Road. The GPS…

12/08/2014 | Original Okie

Father George Eber

By Melissa Lukenbaugh

Father George Eber, an Okie since the ’80s, is originally from Buffalo, New York. After three years as an infantry officer in Vietnam, he worked in business in Colorado, only to find he needed “more important”work. That’s when Oral Roberts University offered a home for his preparation for the priesthood. Soon after embracing th…

12/04/2014 | Original Okie

CJ Wells

By This Land

If you ask CJ Wells what brought him to Tulsa, he’ll say, “An ‘87 Toyota pick-up truck.” He’d been throwing mud at a spinning wheel for a decade by then, but it was at the University of Tulsa under the guidance of Professor Tom Manhart that he got some formal training and earned his MFA in ceramics. He still likes to call himself a craftsma…

12/03/2014 | Okiecentric

The Indian of Their Dreams

By Mark Brown

If they hadn’t been square dancing beneath it, I might have ignored it. But there they were, the squares of the Central District Square Dance Association, promenading to and fro in their Kentucky Colonel bowties and their petticoats, while above them towered the monument, the one with the Indian slumped over his horse. It’s the centerpiece of the Natio…

12/02/2014 | Okiecentric

An Oil Town’s Golden Idol

By Tony Beaulieu

When the Golden Driller was installed for the 1966 International Petroleum Exposition, Tulsa was “The Oil Capital of the World,” and the Golden Driller was Mid-Continental Supply Company’s gift to the city to commemorate the opening of the Tulsa Expo Center. It was a large undertaking in Tulsa history, part of the 354,000-square-foot event center…

11/25/2014 | Okiecentric

Beauty, Purpose, and Preservation

By James McGirk

Contemporary art can be strange and frightening for the uninitiated. Before developers gutted Brooklyn’s historic Domino Sugar Factory (they’re converting it into multimillion-dollar condos), artist Kara Walker came in and installed a 70-foot-tall sugar sphinx with a slave woman’s head and her genitals prominently displayed. Walker, who is…

11/25/2014 | Okiecentric

Memoirs of a Pioneer Teacher

By Harriet Patrick Gilstrap

I was born February 1, 1870, on a farm near Centropolis in Franklin County, Kansas. We moved to Ottawa when I was three years old. When we moved to town, my brother and I were left with a neighbor overnight. When he and I were taken to our new home, the weather was cold and we were covered with buffalo robes during the drive. I do not remember much about the house excep…

11/24/2014 | Poetry

Love Smells of a Man Named Floyd

By Jennifer E. Hudgens

It is difficult to offer up our hearts like raw chicken on a hibachi grill often the chefs are not delicate at first they try to show off impressing with their clever knife juggling and sweet chopping moves Darling this is not a minute waltz it is a break dance in a hot room the stakes are high and sometimes the reward is winning a dance off sometimes satisfaction co…

11/20/2014 | Original Okie

Ryan LaCroix

By Nathan Poppe

Ryan LaCroix is the operations manager at KOSU Radio and co-hosts the weekly radio program The Oklahoma Rock Show. He also serves as contributing editor for Oklahoma Today magazine and has written essays on Oklahoma music for two Oklahoma Historical Society books. He started the online music hub in 2003 and lives in Blanchard with his wif…