Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gameday with Coach Ricky Bolton

I spent game-day with Rick Bolton, he is the University of Tulsa's Men's Basketball strength coach. Bolton a former basketball player at Winston Salem State University remembers game-days and how different his perspective on them now is. I spent time with Bolton on game-day and i learned how the players take pee test in the morning to tell if they are hydrated or not. It is followed by a series of workouts accompanied by red-shirt and injured players. Coach Bolton talked about finding that piece with yourself before a game, while he was recalling his past game-days. I asked him what his favorite part about game-day, he said," The calm before the storm". At first i found the comment slightly cheesy, but then i realized not only was he serious. He was also making an allusion to the Golden Hurricane. Next time you watch a basketball event see if you can spot Coach Bolton, and hopefully you will appreciate the background work that is done for the players that can go unnoticed.

Girma Eshetu, TU's local Papa Johns worker

 By Olin Wright

My profile focused on TU student Girma Eshetu. He works at one of the local Papa Johns. Girma has worked here since last year. his position is delivery driver. he delivers all around midtown Tulsa and occasionally north Tulsa.

"This is my way of making extra money. I make a regular wage here and combined with tips, its not a half bad gig,"He says.

I followed him to work one day and saw firsthand how the delivery service works. There is a huge 100 -nch TV in the back and this shows where and who goes where. The deliveries are mapped out on the TV screen and show where each delivery is headed and which driver takes it there.

I went with Girma on each of his deliveries and learned how the pizza delivery business worked. Some of the delivery computer work looked relatively confusing but Girma said, "It's not very challenging once you get to know the job itself.
Image result for papa john's tulsa
Papa Johns on Harvard 

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people sitting, hat, drink and indoor
Girma, pictured on right. 

I am my brother's keeper: living and learning in North Tulsa

By Elise McGouran

My visitors' pass
“They say North Tulsa’s a great place to be from,” said Dr. John Lepine, the principal for Crossover Preparatory Academy, “But we want North Tulsa to be a great place to be.”  

The school is just one branch of Crossover Community Impact, an organization dedicated to the revival of the Hawthorne neighborhood in North Tulsa.
Crossover also has a housing development company, a health services center, after-school programs, a football team, and a church, all located in the neighborhood of 36th Street North and Peoria Ave.
During our interview, Dr. Lepine stated that Crossover’s aim is to take a “holistic approach to breaking the cycle of poverty in North Tulsa.”

“We could say, ‘oh, fixing education will fix all our problems’” Lepine said, “Or, ‘what we need is better access to healthy food’ or ‘if we could get better jobs’, but one of those things isn’t the issue. All of them are. Crossover recognized that.”

Dr. Lepine's 'office'
The school doesn’t have its own building yet, though the facility they’re in has rooms for the kid’s classes, lunch, chapel, and recreation activities.

“This is my real office,” he laughed, pointing to the cart he wheeled out of the small room he shares with the other administrative staff.

Aside from being the principal, Dr. Lepine is also the Latin teacher. “I’m a man of many hats.” He said.

I had the pleasure of attending Dr. Lepine’s Latin class for the day. It was all Greek to me, but I was impressed by how well the boys grasped the concepts he was teaching them. 

One boy translated a whole sentence, flawlessly, by himself. The whole room broke out in surprised joy, while the boy waved his arms around in celebration. “I couldn’t have said it better myself,” Lepine told him. 

However, class isn't all fun and games, and after the period ends and the lunch hour begins, Lepine stays behind with a few boys who were in need of correction. He pulls each of them aside and speaks to them, quiet but firm, about their behavior. He asks for their side of the story, gives them choices, and then calmly explains the consequences to them. 

"It's not just about the academics," Lepine said later, "it's about what kind of man they're going to be."

"Dr. Lepine, I need some help!"

Lepine spends the whole lunch period in meetings and prepping for whatever's next on the agenda, so one of his students brings Lepine's lunch to the classroom.

Mrs. Stocksen, the science teacher said, “I don’t know how he does it all! I just teach in the morning, but he’s here all day, every day, doing so much.” 

She sighed enviously, “He has so much energy.” 

During lunch, I was able to sit with a group of the students. “Latin is our hardest class - definitely,” said one of the boys, who wants to be a heart surgeon, as we ate our tacos, “But it’s really cool to - you know - learn another language and stuff. Even if it’s dead.” 

The school is just now finishing up its first semester, and Dr. Lepine is adamant about his plans for staying in North Tulsa. Saying, "I would love to send my son to the school one day.”

Dr. Lepine, his wife Katie, and their two children, Jack and June, live in the Hawthorne neighborhood. Their church is just 3 minutes away. They walk the trail going through the neighborhood every day. Lepine bikes to school, which is only 8 minutes away, and many of Lepine’s students live in the very same neighborhood. 

“You know,” he said, as our interview came to a close, “We didn’t create this school for black kids. We created it for North Tulsa kids. We created it for our kids.” Lepine smiled.

“My son is a North Tulsa kid, so this is where I want him to be."

Follow this link to watch my full interview with Dr. Lepine, where we discuss his decision to move to North Tulsa, the most challenging and encouraging aspects of starting a new school, and his dreams for the future:

Follow this link to watch Crossover Preparatory Academy's video about the school:

           Follow this link if you want to know more about the work Crossover is doing in North Tulsa:  

Turning Posts to Profit: Cherish Bodley explains multi-level marketing

By Clara Ard 

In the past few years, a controversial multi-level marketing has taken over social media. As I scroll my Facebook, countless posts about skin care products prod my feed. 

Sitting down with Cherish Bodley, 19, an accounting major at the University of Tulsa, she opened up about her experience working for Nu Skin, an anti-aging skin care line that uses a multi-level marketing business model.

Cherish Bodley, 19, a junior accounting major at the University of Tulsa.

Bodley brought a bright energy into the room, smiling throughout the interview. She began working for Nu Skin over a year ago as a distributor. 

She’s enjoyed the job because she can work on her own time. The flexibility was something that as a busy college student really appealed to her. 

She added, “You can really grow with it.” 

She described her job as a distributor and how she uses social media to reach potential customers. I asked her what it is like integrating business with social media. Bodley responded by saying that she has had to really focus on figuring out who her target audience is and how to tailor messages that will grab their attention. 

She says, “It is really trial and error as far as what people respond to.” 

Bodley showing off one of Nu Skin's mud masks for a Facebook promotion.

Bodley admires Nu Skin because it doesn’t require buying into a multi-level marketing plan like other companies do. The company started out as a face-to-face, word-of-mouth company, but has since switched to profiting mainly from its social media marketing. 

“They have adapted really well to the social media trend,” she says. 

Bodley can work on-the-go, all she needs is a laptop or phone and a creative way to reach consumers. I was curious as to if she actually profited from her job and if it was hard to gain interests from countless social media posts about toothpaste and mud masks. The real challenge for Bodley is the discipline required to succeed in the company. 

Bodley has gained a lot of respect for any entrepreneur as it takes a lot of personal drive and is a huge time commitment, even with the flexible hours. 

Bodley says, “It is really based on you. At first, I struggled with it a lot, but what’s great with Nu Skin is that it allows you to market the products you love. You essentially are building yourself as the brand. Friends and family will buy the products because they love you and what you're doing and can relate to you and trust what you say.” 

Bodley promoting one off the mascara, one of her favorite Nu Skin products

I ended the interview by asking her if she plans to continue to work for Nu Skin. She said that she hasn’t put as much time in it lately as she should. 

“The challenge is staying on top of it. I really like the company though,” Bodley said with a smile. 

Aside from all the controversy related to this type of marketing, it was refreshing to hear a positive outlook from an employee who believes in the company and enjoys the freedom and potential the company offers her.

More information can be found about Nu Skin on their website

For more on Nu Skin a video interview with Cherish Bodley is linked below: 

Just Jackie rocks Tulsa art scene

By: Kayleigh Thesenvitz

The punk rock scene has never had more elegance and precision then when crafted by Just Jackie.

Just Jackie is the brain child of local artist and writer Jackie Eddy.

Her art is often a vibrant take on emotionally loaded scenes. Often the subject is experiencing pain, pleasure or both simultaneously.
The Fish depicts being so caught up in vice that
you are blind to it's consequences.
Occasionally it seeps into NSFW realism.

The motivation for her neo-traditional art usually comes from her mood, spurred by bursts of creativity or inspiration from a fellow artist.

Paintings and drawings like these reflect her own pain from a life of physical and emotional trauma.
This picture was drawn as Jackie was
recovering from the first in an
ongoing series of hip surgeries.

Drawings like the one of the small child in the video are not her norm.

"I get asked for commissions a lot, but I don't like being told what to do," Jackie said. "The stuff that actually sells is the stuff that comes out of my own head."

Jackie has made up to $200 for a single painting, and has been producing art professionally for nine years.

When it comes to the process of creating Jackie said, "it involves a lot of rage."

She said she often ends up screaming at her artwork as she struggles to perfect the details.

When it comes to the mediums, "I hate them all," Jackie said, going into the specific downsides of each.

Her go-to when she isn't sure what she wants to do yet is Prisma Color Markers and pencils. In some ways the use of markers is a throwback to her origins.

"I started out using Sharpies because that was all I could afford," she said.

Now Jackie has an in-home studio with plenty of space and supplies for all of her on-going projects.

As she often struggles to see her own achievements, giving future artists encouragement is not her strong suit.

She concluded our interview saying, "you can get a lot further on spite than most people want you to believe," as she carefully shaded the lips onto a pink haired woman with arrow pierced hands.

To see and purchase her art you can follow her on Facebook @JustJackiesArt or on Instagram at xxjustjackiexx.

Coffee Geeks - A Day In the Life of a Head Roaster

By Skylar Fuser

I walk into Cirque Coffee Roasters, a bustling coffee shop in Tulsa, OK, on one of its renowned “roasting days.” I am greeted by a vibrant 25-year-old man named John Pierce, who has been happily roasting coffee beans by hand all morning. So young, yet an owner of this new, popular shop in Tulsa. 

He quickly picks out a “quaker,” a bean that is discolored and can give the coffee a rancid taste. I quietly watch as the experienced hands sort through the entire batch and listen as he tells me his story.

After gaining experience in roasting from a master in Kansas City, MO, John moved back to Tulsa. It was here that he encountered an old high school friend, Garrett O’Dell, and decided to pursue a shop of their own.

“We both quit our jobs,” John said excitedly.

What sets Cirque apart from the rest of the shops in Tulsa, and maybe in the entire state, is the amount of time and thought put into each drink.

“I know a lot about coffee, so it would be a disservice to my customers if I didn’t go through all the steps,” John said.

Each barista goes through six weeks of intensive training. Morgan Steele, who has worked at Cirque for around eight months, said she had “never felt more prepared for a job.”

All signature drinks are invented by the baristas. Morgan shared with me about her Chai, which she co-created with John. She worked to spice a house-made syrup for the drink, a very unique process that sets its flavor apart from all others.

One frequent customer, Louie Carreno, shared with me about his favorite drink at the time. Louie’s favorite drink was the “Ode to Arnold,” an interesting take on a classic Arnold Palmer.

“The flavors of the drink were sublime,” Carreno said of one of Cirque’s first signature drinks.

John also gave a glimpse as to the future of Cirque, which is about to experience a few renovations.

They have recently leased the unit next door to make space for training new team members and larger areas for roasting.  This will also allow the shop to expand customer seating and keep up with the ever-growing clientele.

If you would like more information about Cirque, or to shop its exclusive, specially-chosen coffees, visit

Tasty pasta with a family atmosphere

 By Brian McCurdy

front of restaurant
Dalesandro's was established in 1990 by Buzz Dalesandro. He had just lost his job, he put his savings together and borrowed $10,000 from a friend and opened a tiny Italian lunch spot downtown Tulsa at 6th and Main. About seven years ago his son Sonny took over the majority ownership and now runs the show at the current location 18th and Boston.

During my time spent with Sonny it was clear that the restaurant was not a business to him, it was his family. The bartender, the hostess, the chef and even the dishwasher were all in good spirits when Sonny was around. One reason for this is because Sonny does not sit in his office while everyone works for him. Sonny was on the floor greeting the regulars as they came in with his friendly smile. He was in the back helping prepare the plates and clean the dishes. He even showed off his bartending skills and made me a delicious cocktail while we chatted.

Sonny vs Saul
“Sonny is not just my boss, he truly is my friend first," said the bartender, Saul. Saul has worked with Sonny for over five years.  “Saul is one of the biggest reasons people come in for dinner,” Sonny told me.  Saul was quick to greet a couple that sat next to me at the bar and without even asking, he poured their regular drink and put in their order. The couple and Saul chatted as if they were all out to dinner together.

Angie, the head waitress, has also worked at Dalesandro's for over five years. She echoed the same thing as Saul. “Sonny is weirdly like a combination of my boss, my dad, my brother and my worst enemy,” she said. "He really does make work enjoyable for us all."

numerous awards over the years
Sonny takes pride in the family atmosphere his restaurant provides for the patrons.  “Quality and consistency are the staples my father taught me the most,” he said. Pair those two with hard work and good recipes and you have one of Tulsa’s best Italian restaurants.

Check out

Generations Antiques: Collecting Tulsa's History One Item at a Time

The store's historic outdoor signage 
stands out on historic Route 66

Molly Monroe

“You name it, and you can probably find it here,” says Dorothy, the charming yet quiet grandma that greeted me at one of Tulsa’s most historic antique malls. Aptly named Generations Antiques, the store’s items collectively represent years of history. A few items date over 50 to 100 years old. Dorothy’s right—they have just about anything. “We got signs, pottery, jewelry…” she says, trailing off. There’s a plethora of selection. “Whatever it is you’re lookin’ for, it’s probably in here,” she says from behind the storefront desk. “I just don’t know where you can find it.” What at first seems to be an unorganized mess of just stuff, turns out to be a methodical arrangement of individual booths, owned by various people. There’s about 80 booths at Generations Antiques and they’re all filled to the brim with little pieces of history. 

Dorothy is one of those booth owners, but today she’s working behind the desk. She explained to me the intricate process of booth renting, and shows me the fancy computer 
system that keeps all the individual revenues organized. “Times change, gotta keep up!” she says.

Dorothy works two days a week--
"Just enough to get me out of the house," she says.
In one of the back corners of the building is Dorothy’s booth—a collection of objects she’s gathered from auctions, garage sales, and her own home. “I paint,” she says, pointing out her latest work—a vintage piece of luggage with the face of a sheep painted on it. It’s darling. Her booth is sprinkled with Christmas ornaments, decorated tea cups, and delicate trinkets. It feels like walking into grandma’s hidden closet of knick-knacks. “I like the cookie jar theme. I already got Easter cookie jars lined out,” she says, pointing to her favorite one. “You gotta think ahead!” 

Pretty much all of the booth renters are buddies despite the friendly competition. Kirk is another booth renter at Generations with an impressive assemblage of records. He takes me to his extensive collection with numerous genres. He explains to me the proper storage conditions, the price ranges, and his organization process. Unlike Dorothy, who’s booth is quite and hidden away, Kirk’s booth is in prime real estate. His records are right at the front of the store, and to the left of the jewelry. “Everyone looks at the jewelry,” he says. Then, they look at his records. It’s deliberate system that he undoubtedly takes much pride in. Kirks’s other booth, which is set up only a couple sections away, is an assortment of miscellaneous items. Vintage coffee mugs, model cars, and empty brandy bottles line the shelves. “It’s best to keep a variety,” he says. 

Kirk shows off his collection's latest
  addition--The Return of Roger Miller
Business is good at Generations Antiques, but not as good as it used to be. Kirk blames it on the declining gas prices. “Things are a little slower than they were two years ago,” he says. But like Dorothy said, things change. “If grandma has to buy the kids toys, then grandma can’t spend any money on antiques.” 

Yet, if history speaks for something, it seems unlikely that business will ever stop entirely. The large, retro sign outside of the building has been successfully attracting visitors for decades. “We’ve been here for years,” Dorothy says. “I don’t even know how long. But long enough that we’re part of Tulsa’s history.” 

Located on 11th and Yale, and historic Route 66, Generations Antiques is a charming mall of various antique items and helpful staff. You might not know what you’re looking for, but at Generations Antique, you can probably find it. 

Generations Antiques 
4810 E 11th St
(918) 834-7577
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Following the Patterns

By Autumn Hall

my interview with Kelly Crowley

The storefront on 15th and Delaware
As I was driving aimlessly down Delaware Ave the other day, a small store sign caught my eye as I was turning onto 15th St.

It was a used bookstore, and I just could not pass up the opportunity to see what gems were hidden there. So, I turned around at the first opportunity and headed straight to the store.

However, to my disappointment, it was closed. But, right next door was an open shop. On a whim, I entered and was enchanted by the simplistic sight that greeted me.
The backroom where classes take place 

The fabric and sewing store, called Owl & Drum that is coupled with the phrase, Sew Very Modern on their business cards, was designed in a way that seems almost minimalistic with the products spaced out all over the store's floor.

Soon after I walked in, Kelly Crowley emerged from the back and greeted me. Crowley has worked at Owl & Drum for about a year and a half. She only works on Wednesdays as she admitted that the job "just supports my sewing habit."

Crowley has been sewing since childhood, but was only self-taught until she moved to Tulsa three years ago and found Owl & Drum. She commented, "I've kinda learned everything I know working here, and it's been really awesome!"

From her lessons at Owl & Drum, Crowley has started making her own clothes, quilts and bags (the shirt she was wearing during the interview was one she made).

A sample of modern quilting

While I was there, Crowley told me that she had recently taken up improv quilting-a new addition to modern quilting.

Curious as to what in the world that was, she explained it to me. Saying that it is a type of modern quilting that you just "piece pieces of fabric together and design around those," when you do not have a particular image you want to portray.

She commented that improv quilting "feels very much more creative," and that she really enjoys the freeform nature of it as she is "not really great at following the patterns."

Owl & Drum not only provides supplies for your next sewing/quilting/embroidering attempt, it also has sewing and quilting classes for all ages, including an after school program for children.

The store also sells unique, handmade items, such as toys, jewelry, handbags, greeting cards and more. And they also offer vintage pattern guides for those who wish to make their own clothing.

The pattern guides offered
 This small business has been running for the last couple of years, but in two weeks will be moving. The store is transitioning to be with the Retro Den on Harvard Ave, along with two other shops.

The spacious store with Crowley
sitting at the desk
Owl & Drum will become primarily an online only store that has shop pick-up. And they plan to continue to provide their sewing lessons.

They also have a blog on their website that offers tips on sewing and quilting.

For more information visit them at
or contact them at