Sunday, April 27, 2008

Artsy, Fartsy — Where's the Food?

It seems like a zillion years since I first started attending the OKC Arts Festival in the 1970s. Its old location on the front grounds of the Civic Center Music Hall was quite the surprise back then once a year for winos and bums (before they became "homeless and indigent").
There are so many different formats of art such as paintings, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, baskets, woodworking and leather to gander at. My personal picks are all the nostalgic-type paintings with old Oklahoma City landmarks highlighted, such as the Tower Theatre, Hollie's Drive-In, churches and Broadway Street in the 1930s.

Now for the truthful part — WE ALL REALLY GO FOR THE FOOD. Sure, the artists or even members of the several great bands or soloists think it's about them, but IT'S THE FOOD! Maybe Strawberries Newport is remembered the most from the early years until now, but it's not the Lone Ranger. Bread bowls with beef burgundy, shish-kabobs, plus one that needs no introduction — Indian Tacos. Or maybe here is where you tasted your first blackened chicken sandwich or fish taco.

It's tradition, by golly — it's tradition to search for the NEW FOOD on the food tent block, and this year for me it was Pork Loin on a Stick, glazed with apple cream sauce and served with sweet potato fries (yes, it has the potential to push your cholesterol number higher than your house address). I must say it was a divine choice, if I do say so myself.

Today I was hosting an open house, where 12 guests have visited. To paraphrase Mark Twain, "The rumors of real estate's death in Oklahoma have been greatly exaggerated."

Let's buy and sell, and I hope you are well.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Technology & Turtles — "Happy Together"

Hello sports fans! (I’ve always wanted to say that…) This second edition of the infamous blog will be a trip (my trip) to the National Education Technology Conference last Otober in Nashville, Tennessee. It combined two of my interests — education and rock ‘n’ roll music.

Our world of technology is on the freeway with no stop lights, speed bumps or ramps. Education and technology must be taught together to a group of young kids that have a different learning style. It’s our duty to elevate their skills for 21st Century living. We must provide online training in a safe environment utilizing online resources.

As parents, grandparents and community members, we must have a commitment to understand and utilize technology in a positive way. Upon meeting other school board members from all across our nation in big, small, rural and urban districts, I know the technology gap is large in some areas. These kids will have to compete with each other and other people in a worldwide economy. I hope we do these kids right — I pray we educate, encourage and enlighten them.

On a personal note, part of the technology we observed and toured was Recording Industry Technology. Belmont University has the “premier” school and facilities for this training. Their basketball team made the NCAA basketball tourney for the first time this year, with Vince Gill (our native Oklahoman) rooting them on to defeat (sad, but true).

After touring the new technology, we were taken to the legendary Studio B recording studio, home of over 95 Number One hits – where Elvis, Jim Reeves and Ray Charles cut their timeless songs. The old equipment and its placement within the room captured each part because they played and sang at the same time — no mixing or putting together parts later, as they do now.

Our guide looked familiar. I turned to one of my tour-mates and declared, “That’s the lead singer of The Turtles!” He replied, “No, that wouldn’t be him.” But it was indeed Mark Volman, the lead singer of The Turtles. He shared his story of going back to college to get a degree at 50. He got to speak at his graduation.

Mark Volman and Glen

Now The Turtles play a few gigs each year, but Mark is a teacher at Belmont. He shares how he signed away the rights to his songs and even the rights to his own name. He teaches the business side of the music business. (Perhaps he cautions others not to sign away their rights lightly!)

So long until next time…

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Welcome to the first installment of Whaddaya Say, Glen Ray?, my entry into the world of blogging.
I hope to impart some real estate knowledge and information on educational issues, as well as share some humor, current events and commentary. I'll also have suggestions for things to see, places to go, music to listen to and restaurants to enjoy.

We all have the problem of setting a date to go out to dinner with friends, family or business associates and having to figure out the answers to the two big questions: 1.) Where are we going? and 2.) What are you hungry for? I will attempt to solve this dilemma for you, or at least increase the multiple-choice answers.

Oklahomans like to think we are known for our barbeque — but folks, we are the Chicken Fried Steak Capital of the World! Ours is the best in the good ol' U. S. of A. Over the years in my travels, I've tried so-called "chicken fried steak" in other states. Besides Texas or maybe Arkansas, it's just not the same. These pitiful desecrations, tarnished with brown gravy or made with Hereford Heaven cubes, are being masqueraded as a sacred food of our forefathers across the nation.

So if you have the chance, take your out-of-town visitors to a place like Soda Pop's Diner at SW 119th and Western. This U.S. Grant alumni Roy Mize has got it down to an art. The chicken fried steak with cream gravy is "slap-daddy good"! Soda Pop's has other great menu items, but for goodness sake, please make them order chicken fried steak! Don't you LOVE 'em?

As for real estate, this time of year, you need to check, caulk or seal your windows. Call for that semi-annual heating and air check-up/cleaning so your system will run more efficiently in the warmer weather. If you don't have a regular H&A jockey, call John at KMP Heating and Air, and he'll get somebody out for you.

Also, this time of year is a great time to check your roof. I bet you haven't been up there in awhile, and a little prevention on your roof and fireplace stuff goes a long way.